Monthly Archives: April 2022

New ART @ CHC: France 2014

 Rainy Evening in BordeauxRainy Evening in Bordeaux (2014)

I have finally gotten around to adding a new gallery to ART@CHC, comprising a selection of images I shot during our 2014 two-week trip to France.  Hope you enjoy.  While there, you might also revisit the Steps Gallery, which I refreshed with a few new images.

As always, I’d recommend viewing on a laptop — phones aren’t made for art.  Thanks.

I’m thinking of reworking the whole ART@CHC experience sometime this year, to better allow my images to cover as much screen area as possible.  I’m especially disappointed how my portrait-mode images come across, as I have to scrunch them down to fit inside the vertical dimensions of the browser window.  As a result, they just don’t have the impact of landscape-mode images.  Real art, in-front-of-your-eyes art, doesn’t have this problem.  In real life, people get to look up and down, not just side-to-side.  Ah well.

A Happy Spring to all my readers.  Buds are budding.  Weeds are demanding to be pulled.  The cycle begins anew.  Nature exploiting every angle to further its art.

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Illustration of The Young and the Oblivious by Craig H Collins
So my spouse and I are walking back to the parking garage after a dinner out this week, and we encounter two young women standing in the middle of the sidewalk, chatting.  Although we approach to within a couple of feet, neither of the women sees fit to move.  I say, “Excuse us!” which does get their attention — but they respond not by stepping to one side so that we may pass, but by huddling a bit closer to each other in the middle of the sidewalk.  This forces my spouse to pass them to their left while I go to the right.

Is it just me, or is oblivious the new pandemic?  It certainly seems to be infectious.

Last weekend, while we were at a Hampton Inn in Ohio, I went to the breakfast area to make some toast to take to our room.  A young man stood in front of the empty toaster, dutifully spreading cream cheese on his toasted bagel.  I opened the bread keeper (right next to the toaster), tong-extracted a slice of whole wheat, and then stood a few socially-distanced feet away.  The guy didn’t move, or even look up.  I waited another respectful 10-15 seconds.  Scrape, scrape, scrape went the plastic knife.  I finally circled around the counter, dropped my slice in the toaster slot, and reached around the toaster to push the lever down.  This, at last, served to elicit an “oh sorry” from the guy — but he still didn’t step away from the toaster until every smidgen* of his cream cheese had been spread.

I suppose I could have said “Excuse me!” in this situation as well, but why did I need to? Where are other people’s awareness skills?  Are they no longer obligated to use them?

A few days before that, I was driving through a shopping/residential area on my way out of our neighborhood.  As I approached the four-way stop, I had to pull up behind two cars whose drivers were having a window-to-window conversation, blocking both of the lanes.  I sat there about a minute patiently waiting for them to finish.  I didn’t tap my horn, but I was just about to.

I understand that car-to-car convos are the norm in some neighborhoods, and impatience with such is not welcome there.  But this isn’t one of those neighborhoods.  What may be street culture elsewhere was simple obliviousness here.

I am almost always looking around for someone I may be inconveniencing, as if points are awarded for Most Considerate Citizen.  And whenever we are at a bar, my spouse keeps an eye on the empty barstools, ready to offer to switch seats to accommodate a larger party.

Are we throwbacks?  I’m beginning to think so.

I am undecided whether rampant obliviousness is a product of phone-app absorption or the natural result of the internet’s distance and anonymity seeping into our everyday lives.  Probably much of both.  Either way, I keep waiting, waiting, for the other guy to look up, see me, and think of something other than the continued pursuit of his own agenda.

_______________

* What exactly would you call the last bit of cream cheese in a packet, besides smidgenMorsel implies something crumbled or piecewise, as does speck.  Pinch and dash are for powders or granules, and drop is for liquids.  Ounce is a relatively large quantity for cream cheese, and dab sounds too soft and buttery.   Whatever word we choose should convey the notion that it takes forever for oblivious people to spread it.
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