Friday, April 2, 2021

When you lose an arm do everything you can to deal with it, then ignore it

REBT Network: Albert Ellis | Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

REBT Network: Albert Ellis | Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

The works of Dr. Albert Ellis and the theory and practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

In encountering the death of former in-law to Huntington’s and finding my ex-wife still in LTC with same I lost my ability to feel, but a week later it has returned, this is the anniversary of our split, the therapist said to leave when I was thrown out one day don’t look back this is the disease process of her brain disintegrating, you have a responsibility to your own life, not to watch her die for decades of mental and physical decline attacking you as she gets more aggressive.

For 3 years I sat numbly in a coffee shop writing in a journal studying the work of Dr. David Burns, the Feeling Good guy, that the therapist gave me a lifesaver thrown to a man drowning in despair until eventually, I found and discovered I was basing my self-esteem on horrific loss.

The advice was to throw the notion of self-esteem in the trash. Stop fighting with it and other people’s problems and walk. But where? To satisfaction. To have self-esteem I had to make a living as an artist, it’s all conditional, that was insane, making shit for conservative advertisers.

So, I took my little car, went couriering like a sailor on the sea transporting from port to port, lived a regular healthy life and went back to my creativity no longer at the mercy of imagined dislikes of me by others and myself based on conditions.

Until this week 20 years later it all re-emerged with the passing of the former in-law. They said then at the hospital it would all come back, but it wouldn’t stay.

They were right as it turns out. ‘When you lose an arm do everything you can to deal with it, then ignore it and focus on satisfaction. You may not have as many choices, but you still have some - Albert Ellis’

Best. Advice. Ever.

Easter. Jerald Blackstock. 2001 

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Edi Whittaker

The family therapist said to leave her and not look back. Still good advice I find.

March 28, 2021

F.O.G. stands for Fear Obligation and Guilt. I have been manipulated with these in the past. By narcissists liars.

Edi was/is a narcissist liar. She said all the right things but she lied. She hunted so she could use nurturing men, she used me as conservative cover for her gayness. I guess what I feel guilty about is that I believed her when she said I was using her resources to live on to help me get an education. My family therapist said getting an education improves income in a relationship. The rational response is I treated it as an expected thing in a relationship. 

I chose to go along with the acquiring of a house plan, but I wasn't consulted, it was a done deal her father financed it, I was simply told it was going to happen. I was headed for art school on my 4th attempt, if I was to afford it, it was better to move even though I preferred and still do prefer an apartment. I was in love and had yet to learn to be assertive. I became the hired hand, the house slave.

She and Teresa Knight were/are much the same in looks, body style and communication, the passive aggressiveness of conditional relationship.

Neither honest nor open in their lack of forthcoming.

She dumped me when she was through with me. I was becoming a liability to her lies, pissing off her conservative friends and family by being openly Liberal.

I became very irritable at the frustration of the promise of love the lie of it, love instead given to girlfriends and cats.

I was neglected and abandoned so she could spend our time together conservatively fundraising for charity, which I oppose, I prefer the government to use common resources.

Finally, she told me to leave. I felt guilty and obligated, fearful, having been manipulated for so long, I wouldn't do it myself, Stockholm syndrome.

Her father used her mother much the same way. When her mother was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease he threw her out, she walked in front of a bus.

Her sister Marylin died of Huntington's last month, I just saw the obit. That means Edi is still alive with Huntington's warehoused in long-term care somewhere.

The family therapist said to leave her and not look back. Still good advice I find.


Spring Love

Things I am in love with

women’s faces / bodies / roses/ on buildings/ structures/ animated

With this note in my sketchbook artist’s book, I realized that my emotional health has recovered.

Shut down for many years, a lifetime of devastating abuse from narcissists claiming emotional intelligence but when asked for the evidence, they left blaming me, for asking. The love of my life for a few months.

Now accepting this disappointment, I focus on what I find satisfying, this way I am independent in my love of life, self-reliant. No longer full of shame embarrassment guilt depression rage anxiety(terror) hurt and jealousy. No longer capable of being manipulated with these things.

As Robin Williams said in Good Will Hunting, It’s not your fault.

Overvalue Undervalue Dump Smear, I can’t make anyone do that. They say all the right things a lover says, but.they.lie.

How to protect me so I don’t live in a fortress of solitude?
Ask for what I want.
Because healthy people have a frank conversation with a willingness to compromise, the ones not so healthy, narcissists, borderlines, etc. leave sooner than later smearing as they go… They manipulate by withholding sex. Ask for sex. Appropriately. Doesn’t matter if they say yes, if it’s a chore, leave. Run.

Brenda wanted to be friends first, which is fine with me, I like friends, but not the type that cuts me off from everybody, tries to hold me by offering anal sex, then abusing me for my lack of wealth in the middle of the night when I am naked and most trusting and vulnerable.

Carol said she would kill herself if I went to my stag before our marriage. At that time I was so full of terror of being abandoned I went along with it. A year of marriage and still no sex. Finally, she left, blaming me, I was devastated and turned to my new friend cocaine to ease the pain.

Barbara also withheld sex as did Sue saying I pressured her into having sex when she was drunk and she practically raped me.

Fortunately, the penis knows the difference between coercion and happy compliance and it was never consummated. Sloppy drunks are a turn-off.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Popular Culture is a Stripper Pole

Popular Culture is a Stripper Pole

The bottom line at art school was the bottom line.

I use the term popular culture. “In simple words, popular culture can be understood as a set of cultural products, practices, beliefs, and objects dominating society. It affects and influences the people it comes across towards these sets of objects or beliefs. From music to dance, movies, literature, fashion, it encompasses everything that is believed and consumed by the majority of people in any society.”1

The key here, for me, is dominating society. That would be American popular culture exported as a commercial endeavour.

I live in Canada, raised in a deeply religious British protestant popular culture home where everything foreign is bad. Drive like a white man was heard often.

Being born in 1953 I saw the arrival of American pop culture with the advent of television in our home. It was Las Vegas entertainment on the Ed Sullivan show, and the Beatles shocked my mother by daring to wear hair on their foreheads. Billy Graham espoused a Puritan God.

Now it’s 2021. I spent the day yesterday collaborating with Elie, a self portrait artist2. Her and her work had been thrown off Facebook and Insta, as was mine, for displaying the female form, we met on Twitter. I posted the results of our collaboration on Flikr 3.

Having been through a British art school here on the Alberta prairies, it was a constant battle between American Puritan censorship, European history and tradition, the Vegas stripper pole aesthetic and the primarily racist British deep distrust of anything foreign.

The bottom line at art school was the bottom line. The cognitive distortion4 is that your work must be ‘good for something’ and that something is money. A steady reliable way to create income in the arts has always been titillation. Art for arts sake beauty for the sake of beauty were the allowed excursions of school but once you graduated if you wanted a gallery representation, the gate keepers of art sales, you had better manufacture what sells. That would be modernism in this part of the world. Nothing controversial to go over the couch in the corporate home or God forbid, the office. Simply a pleasing arrangement of shape line tone colour texture rhythm please.

The Vegas American pop culture is a titillating equal and opposite reaction to Puritan restraint. It is a garish eyesore in platform heels, a true obscenity of women prostituted for money using violence and drugs. It is as if the masses became the Catholic priests raping children in a culture of extremes. Watch the movie Spotlight. Utah, the Mormon state, consumes the most amount of porn and anti-depressants, I read somewhere on the net.

The European Fine Art aesthetic I was taught is that of subtle refined elegance, and yes this is what it’s buyers have been taught to desire. It is as pervasive in their culture as American television is in ours.

I hadn’t watched regular American television programming for 20 years, until I was sent to the stroke ward for 6 months physio. The large screens were on 24/7 in the common rooms. To make it feel like home. Once I turned it off at breakfast to just catch a break and have a conversation, a roofer with a broken spine from his fall became violent, he was sent home to watch his programs. The television was turned back on.

If it wasn’t women in platform heels it was men doing stupid human tricks also on drugs to enhance their performance in homoerotic displays like football and such. 24/7.

So is the collaboration between Ellie and myself a Vegas titillation? Yes, it skirts that edge, because titillation is fun and it’s a social skill. But unlike Vegas, tittilation is not the point. It also incorporates Japanese high culture and popular graphics embedded into the work, with European classical poses for the figure as well as aspects of Warhol’s pop-art repetitivness.

Why do I feel such an intense pleasure, such an intense satisfaction with this art making? The point is, satisfaction in art making and the right of ownership of our bodies and our images of them and our pleasure in them. As Tom Robbins said somewhere, Thank God for young women getting naked on the internet.


What is Popular Culture: Overview

by Sociology Group


colab with Eliza Loveheart photographer self portrait @ellieelle_5


Hi Sue... Smear campaigns being what they are. I believe devastating is the word for that.


Hi Sue,

Well somehow your email ended up on my substack subscribers list, google magic of everyone I ever sent an email to, and to my surprise you have been reading it, so you know how I am. Surprised.

Sorry to hear about the immuno thing I had no idea. It must be hard for someone as social as you.

Just got an appointment today for April 6 jabbing.

An Italian family has sort of adopted me, they own the Italian supermarket on 20th and Edmonton with a cafe and a restaurant next door. I go there for coffee and groceries because they care for me and the hygiene is excellent, not like Kawa where they don't even wipe or bus a table.

Last time I saw you, you were there with wassiname Bob? You two ignored me. Consistently. Is he still in the picture? I had a show there while trying to make a go of it with Thayre. Bob was really friendly, hitting on her while being nice to me. But then Carol Greene warned her off, saying I was hard on women so when Carol came to my show all nice and sweet, I asked her why she would intrude in my relationship that way, what evidence did she have. She was referring to you and I, things not working out, frank conversation and willingness to compromise I felt were the working edge as they are in every relationship.

Booze didn't help, I as a non-drinker didn't want to be around it any more but then I was still recovering from the death of my wife to Huntington's and after a long miserable illness like that I was grasping at any straw for affection, even if your straw was in your bottle, so that sincere communication, companionship and sex were out of the picture, I just became lonelier, so I moved on, learned to forge a closer relationship with me, and left the bored drunk art school grad 'ladies who paint' divorcees of rich husbands to find the Bob's of the world to play with.

I don't know what motivated me to write to you, seeing your name as someone who reads my blog, and the fact I moved back in my old apartment on 11th where I lived when I met you, now to do accessible stroke recovery, I suppose. The management had a record of me and were willing to rent to me, no one else was at that time, a jobless homeless crippled man warehoused in the hospital with no family and no friends to visit. That happens when your wife dies, a lot of the relationships were hers, what with me being an introvert artist.

My local art options for friendship are few, money being the class distinction, I don't meet people at the Glencoe Club or move to my cabin in the mountains to avoid pandemics and since I don't have the local moneyed friends and family the gallery owners aren’t interested in me.

One gallery owner, that picture framer guy whose father made those awful photo-realistic eyesores, actually said to me he couldn't show me as he had his family to think about. He blamed my exposure on the net in New York showing me all over the world to millions, as a threat to his brick and mortar model making me a threat to his family, that and my reputation through Carol Greene who I have met twice, as being hard on women aka you.

I am quite the Casanova art monster killer of businesses, families and breaker of hearts. But as Leonard Cohen said, I didn't even get laid. Better to say I'm a monster than to say I'm not of the heavily boozing moneyed class and certainly not one to get introduced to family.

Smear campaigns being what they are. I believe devastating is the word for that.

Hey... Can you buy me a coffee?


Can you buy me a coffee?

Internet panhandling.
When I was a kid, living on the street, panhandling, I starved. Then as I learned my guitar I became a busker and still starved. The guy across the street in pre-gentrified Gastown Vancouver played the banjo and made a shitload. He was immortalized as one of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in an underground comic created by Gilbert Shelton.

He, I forget his name, would cross the street and play along with me so I eventually got bus fare home to Calgary. Nice guy. Anyway I have always preferred to have a job and steady groceries.

The good folks here at Substack suggest that I can firewall my art and my commentary on life and demand subscriptions to see/read it. Buy the art or the dog gets it!
Ya, No. If it’s on the internet it’s free, because you and I already pay for internet to see stuff.

Enter the Big But:
because nothing is all or nothing there must be a way to earn a living and not hold folks to ransom. The good folks at Substack provided for that too. Buy a subscription or not, it’s up to you and your situation. I did a gofundme to get a place after a stroke and some people are in a position to send me 500 bucks, others 10 others 0.

It isn’t up to me to decide what your position is or your motivation is/should be. I have 217 subscribers and 100 on average read my stuff that I email out. Those are huge numbers for an introvert artist locked down in a pandemic. 7 bucks a month to subscribe, I pay that for a VPN or a latte and don’t even notice it. There have been times though when 7 bucks is a big deal.

Now, living on a seniors pension 7 bucks is again a big deal because multiplied by 100 readers that’s my rent at the moment but life changes and even a studio apartment in Calgary is 1000.00, parking another 200.00. Food banks exist for a reason yanno.

I appreciate the letters and comments you folks send me, encouraging and disagreeing and telling me my art is beautiful. I recently lowered my print prices so I make only 50 bucks off each one at The Duchy of Jerald Digital Debauchery which is really Fine Art America’s back end for framing, shipping, card processing and money back guarantee.

My business courses said to charge more instead, but this is the net, the competition is huge, and the potential for views/sales is huge as well.

So I appeal to you, if you find this work satisfying for whatever reason, please send me a coffee. Naked pics are optional.

Strategies of Satisfaction


Strategies of Satisfaction

Maybe fewer choices than before but I still have satisfaction

I have choices. Choices for what?

Satisfaction. Ultimately.

I choose to, consciously choose to, have high tolerance of frustration. This is the prescription for satisfaction in any endeavour. Notice I didn’t say success, I said satisfaction.
I tolerated the extremely high frustration level of acquiring an education. I’m not the most successful anything, no one is really, but I choose to feel very satisfied with my efforts.
This is what free will and the power of choice are for.
So I can do anything and derive satisfaction from it?
If I use my power of choice to tolerate frustration?
Well, since having a stroke, walking across the street has been at times not even possible. But standing up from my wheelchair 10 times in a row 6 times a day became a goal I could feel very satisfied with accomplishing…
Then that first step…
Satisfaction is satisfaction

I entered a competition for creating banners for inner city neighbourhoods. They gave me the dimensions and such and wanted to consult with the winner on the theme and work with the artist, typical advert-ing art, off-putting art, workflow of a paid commercial art-slave. Being a Fine Artist I have been highly trained over many years of higher education to deprogram that slave-hood ‘I must be liked and accepted or I am no good’ mindset.
So I got a copy of Illustrator, a YouTube on how to make a bicycle wheel, which is very hard, as designers tend to only design square shapes, and over 3 weeks of frustration made me some banners with my non-dominate unaffected hand.

  1. Submitted my art and was rejected again, 99% of all submissions by all artists are rejected, much of the art training is how to tolerate that frustration and not give up because you are without evidence basing your satisfaction on being accepted.

  2. Got a high end art computer and 2 graphics monitors made to order, delivered and set up.

  3. Got a copy of Illustrator and learned to use it sufficiently.

  4. Got out of the stroke ward, got a place, got an income, got a car, learned to drive one handed left foot, got my licence back.

  5. Got a formal education in painting and drawing to the degree of teaching these subjects at University level.

  6. Finished off high school qualifications so I could pursue higher education.

  7. Quit smoking dope and other self defeating strategies to be able to go to school and concentrate.

  8. Entered into evidence based psychotherapy and learned the difference between self defeating and self helping activities.

Beginning at age 40.

Each step was/is a highly frustrating pursuit of satisfaction.
Mountain climbers find the more frustrating the endeavour the better they like it
Because it has more potential for satisfaction.

I think I’ll climb a mountain today. Or make a banner. Or meet a new friend.

Strategies of satisfaction.

Thursday, March 4, 2021



The Mindfulness Money Shot

You have to keep coming back. (to give us money).

Les Krims, 1970

It seems that in March every year I have my new year accounting anniversary because someone else decided I should have an anniversary.
Some no account accountant no doubt. I have known a few.
33 years ago I quit over-anxiety induced drug and alcohol relief strategies
33 years ago in that transition I got predated (they hunt) into a yoga (Yasodara Ashram1) cult for over-anxiety relief strategy
33 years ago I switched from self defeating behaviours, like yoga, to a more self helping psychotherapy over-anxiety cure.2
33 years ago I found the evidence that yoga and 12 step religion is narcissism for narcissists; the usual modus operandi of any narcissist3 being:

33 years ago I apply this painful devastating knowledge to any, yes any, religion, cult what have you and see the same money & life grabbing grift of
The usual snake oil salesman pitch:
1. Abuse. You are broken. Well, with over anxiety I tended to agree even though it caused the over anxiety. To unbelieve without evidence that this is true, or alternatively, to drop perfectionism and accept accept accept the squalid and sordid humanness of being human, I highly prefer to be super human (they all promise that ultimately) but I don’t have to. Studies at Stanford4 have shown that this little simple statement will change the brain chemistry similar to Prozac.
2. Dependence. We are going to fix it. The guru the god the teacher or some such programming has superior knowledge/abilities over yours and it will get your whites whiter with divine light or some such magical cure snake oil.
3. Rape. It’s going to cost you money. Rape of your bank account first and foremost. Pass the plate is the reason for you being there. A.A. is a multi-million corporation. Yoga even more so. The Catholic Church…and yes they all reccomend celibacy a distraction to whats going on in the back door back room.
4. The Money Shot. You have to keep coming back. (to give us money). Why? Because It Doesn’t Work. Yoga meditation mindfulness blah blah are a relief from over anxiety but not a cure, in fact they make it worse. In many subtle and not so subtle ways there is this ongoing abuse, of you being broken and since a person is still over anxious, the tendency is to believe it. Just one more yoga teachers course @8 grand per, or 10,000 hail Mary’s. Uncle Charlie was a 3 meeting a day man with a 30 year coin giving talks on spirituality, whatever that is. Every meeting creates a new opportunity to grab your cash so you had better do a meeting a day you loser godless unmindful (you don’t even have a mind) disease ridden drunken sot. Pay the fuck up.

So, what’s the do it yourself cure? The ancient psychological insight of Epictetus, who said, “What disturbs men's minds is not events but their judgments on events.” 
Read, if you wish, how that became the most effective evidence based psychotherapy of the last century.5 And yes, it’s free.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

coffee girl


How To Be An Artist

your life has meaning
your life has purpose
simply because you exist

This was from Will Ross1, and for me this solved the typical artists over-concern and cognitive distortion that your work has value, or meaning due to some external condition. Such as sales or publication or some such nonsense that defines your ‘goodness’ as an artist. Albert Ellis2 in his book The Myth of Self Esteem laid this out for me in way that was elegant and simple: the purpose of life is satisfaction, throw the notion of self esteem in the garbage and pursue satisfaction.

Alan Dunning3 my influence at Art School taught me that people can be talked into buying anything, and they will, this has nothing to do with art, this has to do with salesmanship.

But my kid needs to make a living, parents would complain when I started teaching art. So get him trained as an accountant as well, it’s a good living, take it anywhere, making a living is easy, making art is having a life for an artist. Anything less is conditional acceptance of your kid, child abuse by definition. You say I abuse my kid? Abandonment is the most common abuse, so when you force her away from her dreams, to fit your ideal of security, yes that’s child abuse. You have said your kid can’t handle life and given them a lifetime of anxiety. By this time the parents were long past listening and the Art School suggested I teach adults instead, exorcising Bob Ross, the creature rather than dealing with the dereliction of children by right wing oil magnates.

Reading the Paris Review4 interview with George Saunders he speaks of how as a child his parents gave him unconditional love (they didn’t) as the only way to get attention (love) was by being popular, extroverted and funny. We introverts are often therefore lonely forlorn and abandoned by ourselves because we haven’t learned to value ourselves for ourselves because no one else does.

So he made a career of being popular and liked and funny. And gave himself lifelong anxiety lest he should ever fail to be published or popular or a good provider. Having 10 framed photographs of Buddhist teachers around him when he worked, an old and popular distraction from anxiety. Not a cure though, one needs unconditional self acceptance for that.

I met a woman yesterday, working as a clerk in a grocery I was at, and we chatted. Her kid got a degree in painting and just got a masters in fine art, and Mom approaching retirement, is working in a grocery store helping to make this possible because it satisfys her.

I like her a lot.


Saturday, February 20, 2021


salvidor & gala

The Day Painting Died

‘You wouldn’t know art if you saw it.’ This was the opening statement from 1David my art theory prof, hired I suspect because he was fashionably a token 2Métis with a degree who made pop art, cartoon copies on cheap warped canvas supports, you know the type, a stylized woman with a giant tear proclaiming in her speech bubble her lost love. Thinly painted flat graphics dead dried-down lifeless. Horribly insecure and hostile little man dressed in fashionable artists black.
Abusive crits were his specialty, especially to me, a white man adult student older and taller than him who formerly slept with Sylvia3, his now wife, where we had explored our love of bisexual women together at the local gay club until she embarrassedly said she suspected giving me an indiscrete Saturday night social disease (my personal relationship deal breaker), now upgrading my credential. I suspect a penis sized insecurity as well.
I know art when I feel it, was my perfectly valid non intellectual, non art theory response. I often leak tears in front of art. I cry at movies and weddings as well.
Tell me, he scoffed, what is your ‘work’ about. ‘It is about paint, the beauty of paint, the sensuousness of the medium. I have studied 4Picasso’s paintings, still looking as fresh and wet as the day they were painted and none of the supports were warped at all. I was totally seduced and became a painter’
’Where is your artists statement!’, he rightfully demanded almost screaming.
’Picasso didn’t have one so I don’t have to have one either.’ Perfectly valid response, quoting an influence who thereby bestows permissions. My big brothers and sisters of the art world protecting me in perpetuity.
He turned 50 shades of grey. I feared apoplexy.
Picasso was/is out of favour with the aspiring intellectual postmodern theorists at my 5art school, Alberta University of the Arts. They used the cognitive distortion (lie) that he caused the suicide of 2 of his lovers, as if anyone can cause their abuse by others. Suicide is complicated but it is often an abuse towards the universe/others that ‘did them wrong’. I felt that Picasso had poor taste in partners and shitty luck with women, was easily flattered and love bombed by narcissist muses, much like 6Salvador Dalí and his horrible wife 7Gala who made him book an appointment to visit. In 1968, Dalí bought Gala the Castle of Púbol, Girona, where she would spend time every summer from 1971 to 1980. He also agreed not to visit there without getting advance permission from her in writing.
’Hang on a sec I have to turn the tape over’, I said.
’You are recording this?’
’We record all our crits in studio in the painting department. We even record our self talk as we paint, an exercise in awareness of what we are about. An aid to memory.’
Of course this wasn’t true that we did this or that the tape was set to record, but adult students in a one on one crit with a prof who is known for his brutal abusiveness who had slept with the insecure creatures’ now formerly sketchy wife needed some protection.
Bullies are cowards and standing up to them is always in my best interests.
The creature summarily left, I received a A for the crit, thus pushing me onto the honour roll.
David went on to publish papers, I heard, on how a painting couldn’t be ‘about paint’. I guess he showed me…
My advisor, 8Alan Dunning, a genuine intellectual from Britain who can switch effortlessly from the language of thinking to the language of feeling, suggested I read 9Rosalind E. Krauss, a postmodernist theorist at Columbia University in New York City who said “... photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches10.” I was smitten.
Charmed, I finished my degree in painting, bought a digital camera and a photoshop computer, updated again to a degree in digital goings ons, gathered up my painter brothers and sisters and never looked back, the sum of my influences even the shitty abusive ones.

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