Tag Archives: swastikas

buskingniksub

190511 salamandir, by jon leach
190511 salamandir, by jon leach
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
190511 salamandir, up close
190511 salamandir, up close

busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.

the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬

seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.

my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.

on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.

and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…

i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒

anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.

when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.

but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:

Pig Pin card
Pig Pin card

i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth:
ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool!
Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas.
ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit.
Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it.
ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”.
Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them.
ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again!
Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊

allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.

then there’s this…

5 types of swastika buttons
5 types of swastika buttons

i think i may have found a way to market these online so that people will be able to get what they want without having it be a random selection chosen by me. it’s difficult, because no two buttons are exactly the same, but i discovered, quite by accident, that there are five different general categories that they fall into. i suppose, if i wanted to get really technical, i could separate them even further into a predominant colour, but i think that may be a bit more complex, because then it would be possible, theoretically, for someone to come up with a colour and category that doesn’t exist, and that would be embarrassing.

they are all swastikas: category 1 buttons have more of an abstract swastika, because you can’t actually see it, but if you can look beyond the borders of the button, you might be able to imagine where it would be. category 2 buttons are a little less abstract, but it’s still not a visible swastika, although it might be easier for some people to figure out where it is. category 3 buttons have at least one definite swastika. category 4 buttons have at least three definite swastikas, and category 5 buttons have EITHER no less than 6 swastikas, OR at least one swastika, and a significant area where there are no swastikas.

they’re all $1.00 or more a piece… i say “or more” because if people want to pay more for them, i won’t complain. 😉

not quite dead yet, but…

ManWoman by Mark Berry
photo by Mark Berry

Last news about Manwoman

Sorry to say that my dad, ManWoman, is not faring well. He has a kind of cancer that causes his bone marrow to cease making blood. The technical name is Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts. In short, without new blood, it is impossible to breath, fight infections, or clot and stop bleeding.

He had been receiving transfusions of blood and platelets, but there is no cure for this kind of cancer. Not chemo therapy. Not bone marrow transplant, because he is old and weak. In any case, ManWoman does not wish to endure weeks of traumatic medical treatment, when the potential time gained is so very small.

ManWoman has made the decision to pass peacefully — and with Dignity — in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by family and friends. No further transfusions or treatments will be made — except medication for the rather intense pain. When the blood cells from his last transfusion are gone, well… The clock is ticking. There is no exact prediction how much time is left. One day or a few days — probably. A week or two — maybe. Months — not very likely.

I wish there was better news, but there isn’t. It will be a sad day when he passes, but he has left the world an enormous and inspired body of work. He will not be forgotten by those who love him. We will always carry a piece of him in our hearts.

~ Ivan Cat

‘World Swastika Rehabilitation Day’ is June 23

swastika shatkona

Swastika Day

Raelians have invited Buddhists, Hindus and the numerous spiritual groups who use the swastika as their spiritual symbol to stand up and show their support for the third annual Swastika Rehabilitation Day, to be held June 23 in cities around the world.

The swastika has been a symbol of peace and good luck in many Eastern religions and can be found on religious monuments and scriptures on every continent. It is also part of the spiritual symbol of the Raelian Movement.

Rael, the Movement’s spiritual leader, has explained the recurrent presence of the swastika as the symbol of the advanced scientists who created all forms of life on Earth and guided humanity with the teachings of peace and love that are at the origin of all religions.

“The swastika is one of the best traces left by those who created us, and the attempt to bury it as a symbol of violence and hatred only gives credit to the horrible Nazi ideology,” said Thomas Kaenzig, coordinator of World Swastika Rehabilitation Day. “Demystifying the original meaning of this beautiful symbol is the only solution,” he explained. “We can’t accept the fact that the swastika is still being hijacked, just as Christians wouldn’t accept that the Christian cross was used to represent the ideology of the Ku Klux Klan. Images of swastikas within synagogues and various other ancient sites in Israel have also helped people of Jewish origin to recognize the importance of this rehabilitation day.”

Kaenzig said it’s time to educate the public and rehabilitate what Raelians consider to be the most important symbol for humanity. He added that this year’s world demonstration will include flying large swastika banners in the skies of several U.S. cities and presenting street swastika animations in Karlsruhe, Germany, and in Tel Aviv, Israel.

diwali swastika flower rangoli

what have i been doing the past few weeks?

120103 hobo nickelafter the panto ended for 2011 (it starts again on saturday, and runs for two weeks. get yer tickets now ’cause they’re selling out fast!) i got started making some hobo nickels. they’re not classic hobo nickels, of course, but they’re in a similar vein… and, hey… they’re only a nickel… and, as long as you don’t try to use the result as “currency”, they’re perfectly legal. 8) i broke most of my jewelers’ saw blades on the first couple of them, getting the technique right and re-adjusting my fingers. i went out to tacoma screw, to get more jewelers’ saw blades, and they didn’t know what i was talking about. i went to rockler, and they had them, but i’m not sure they’re the right ones, because they say they’re only for wood… and they’re 28 teeth per inch, and i’m pretty sure that the ones i need are more like 35 to 50 teeth per inch… i’m pretty sure that if i made the trip to hardwick’s, in seattle, that i’d be able to walk in and say i needed extra-fine jewelers’ saw-blades and they’d point me towards a bin of ’em… i went in there one time, and i said i was looking for a vice, and the guy asked me if i had considered smoking… 😉 i made nickels like this A LOT, between 1986 (when i got out of the tech school, and realised that i could make them) until 1994, when i started having to limit my workshop space because of where i was living. they just kind of faded into past memory, and were only re-realised a few weeks ago.

i put in the order for another 20 dozen aparajita on the 15th. i still haven’t heard anything, but they are making the incense to order (SQUEEEEE!!!) so i’m not being as paranoid about it… i’m still being paranoid (after all, it’s sort of a natural state of existence for me), just not as much. i’m probably going to email again on friday if i still haven’t heard anything by then.

120103 swastika coini got this good-luck token in the mail the other day. it’s a little bit bigger than a US quarter, or a little smaller than a US half-dollar. i didn’t remember where it came from, at first, and because of the fact that i bid on it at ebay, it didn’t come from anybody i knew, or from an address with which i was familiar, which was pretty exciting, until i remembered where it came from.

after having gone to meet her, i figured out where the lady who knew who i am knows me from: she knows me because i am associated with Howlin’ Hobbit… although she was really disappointed when i didn’t drive up in my elaborately-painted art-car she was just as happy to take a picture of me wearing my hippy-hat

we spent christmas eve driving: we got up around 5:00 or so, and drove to salem, oregon, then we drove north and stopped just south of portland, then we drove into portland and visited a couple of different places before heading back, around 7:30 pm… by the time we got home, i had had about as much driving as i could stand for a while, so i spent most of the rest of xmas at home, being a hermit-crab. we took our annual trip to double-bluff off-leash dog-park on new-years’ day, and got there just as a polar-bear swim was getting over, which was kind of odd, because normally we are the only ones there on new years, and this year there were huge crowds of people, and music blaring… and an ambulance…