Wednesday, October 24, 2012

“of fly rods and freedom.”

The banner to my blog includes the note, which somewhat explains why I write here, “because there is more to LIVING than flyfishing.”  There is indeed more to LIVING than flyfishing, but for myself, at least, flyfishing epitomizes my freedom.

Here’s a link to a Vimeo video titled of fly rods and freedom. (3:31), which includes this note from the individual who posted the video.

a short edit from the upper north platte, and some smaller tributaries thereof. dogs, backcountry wandering, fish, fly rods and freedom are a few of the things that make life so worth living. even though i am currently scraping by on a college students meager stipend, i am one of the richest men alive. (bold by ed.)

Fly rods and freedom.  Riches galore.

Linked via Moldy Chum.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/24 at 09:39 AM
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

A “Narrow, Delicate Path”

With talk of riots possibly occuring if Romney is elected, and murmurings of an American insurgency arising if Obama is elected to a second term, it was interesting to read a recent Oleg Volk post titled The mis-directed fetish of marksmanship., which I first was directed to by the blog RicketyClick.

RicketyClick has some good comments to make in regards to Oleg’s post, and in regards to talk of an American insurgency, but it is the following thoughts of Lyle, in a post at the blog The View From North Central Idaho titled American Insurgency? which, I think, encapsulates the stark truth of these matters, and echo RicketyClick’s closing thoughts.

Any widespread insurgency in America is really the kick-starter to global chaos, and for some of our enemies that is actually the plan - take advantage of a weakened and distracted America.  Collapse the system into a new system.  Twelfth Imam and all that rot.

So no.

We had best get our own houses in order, and look at our Progressive (incremental communist) neighbors as part of our country, which absolutely MUST hold together.  “Last great hope for liberty” and “with malice toward none” come to mind.  I hope you have your beliefs and your communication skills well-honed.  You’ll need both, and by the way the latter doesn’t exist without the former - you know it.

Compromise with evil will get us nowhere and open warfare amongst us will get us all destroyed.  That leaves us a very narrow, delicate path then, doesn’t it?  Our enemies know it too.  Interestingly, that applies to your personal life as well as your public life and the global situation.

Remember, the real “American revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

Posted by John Venlet on 10/21 at 11:30 AM
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Morning Light


Posted by John Venlet on 10/21 at 08:22 AM
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To Fight Quote

To fight does not mean of necessity to shout and strike; it may mean to persist quietly and politely to one’s goal.

Will Durant; The Pleasures of Philosophy - A Survey of Human Life and Destiny, Simon and Schuster, New York, Fifth Cloth Edition 1964, pg. 184

Posted by John Venlet on 10/21 at 07:33 AM
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sons and Arrows


My Dad was quite pleased he had six sons, who brought into the world another six sons.  Venlet’s all.  Four sons are missing from this picture, as is my Dad, who is no longer in this world, but we still do Dad proud, I think, and we also illustrate my Dad’s pleasure in realizing the blessings of the words of Psalm 127:3-5.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/14 at 10:24 AM
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mutual Individual Cooperation Quote

The reformer longs for an omnipotent government, forgetting that this merely means omnipotent politicians.  Better a hundred times that men should build up their own methods of cooperation and control, than they should rely upon aldermen and policemen!

Will Durant, The Pleasures of Philosphy - A Survey of Human Life and Destiny, Simon and Schuster, New York, Fifth Cloth Edition 1964, pg. 96

Posted by John Venlet on 10/11 at 09:09 AM
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Notes on the U.P.

I recently spent some time in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.  The U.P. is still a rather rugged territory, sparsely populated with rather independent individuals, and a good population of Finns, many of whom still exhibit the rugged individualism of the legendary Sark (Armour Sarkela), a Lake Superior fisherman immortalized in the book Armour: A Lake Superior Fisherman, which I recently had the distinct pleasure of reading.

My trip to the U.P. took me over the Mackinaw Bridge,


past brilliantly red frosted trees,


an Honest Injun’s Tourist Trap,


to deer and bear camps of friends where the shooting of a bear by an 11 year old girl is an event of some import and celebration, lasting into the wee hours of the morning, which made getting up with the sun rather a challenge,


though no less a beautiful experience.  I enjoyed myself thoroughly, regardless of being addressed as a troll.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/10 at 12:35 PM
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Art For Sale

The other day, Camille Paglia had an essay published in the Wall Street Journal titled How Capitalism Can Save Art, which received a good deal of coverage in the media and the blogosphere.

Paglia’s essay contends that the iPhone and other glittering gadgets of this the 21st century have “sapped artistic creativity and innovation in the arts” right out of the art world, killing the avant-garde, thank goodness, and asks the following “larger” question in light of her theory.

...What do contemporary artists have to say, and to whom are they saying it? Unfortunately, too many artists have lost touch with the general audience and have retreated to an airless echo chamber. The art world, like humanities faculties, suffers from a monolithic political orthodoxy—an upper-middle-class liberalism far from the fiery antiestablishment leftism of the 1960s.

Considering Paglia’s self professed political leanings; “I am speaking as a libertarian Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008.”; I was a bit surpised at her appeal to capitalism to be the saving grace of the art world, so I was pleased to note that Paglia does confess further into her essay that capitalism is not the evil overlord the political left portrays it as.

Capitalism has its weaknesses. But it is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women. The routine defamation of capitalism by armchair leftists in academe and the mainstream media has cut young artists and thinkers off from the authentic cultural energies of our time.

But let’s explore Paglia’s ascertain that capitalism can save art, and I can think of no more apt venue to explore Paglia’s ascertain than Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Art Prize 2012 competition, which closed just last Friday, October 5th.

Some fifteen hundred (1,500) plus artists competed in this the third Art Prize competition, and the Lovely Melis and I spent an afternoon wandering the many venues displaying the artist’s works.  While there were some wonderful works of art entered into this competition, in my opinion over eighty percent (80%) of the “art” was quite pedestrian in nature, as this performance piece titled Worm Man is but one example out of many.

In the winter of 2007 I began performing a character named Worm Man. This project began with the question: What do we and earthworms have in common?

I highly doubt that capitalism can save “Worm Man,” nor many of the other so-called art works displayed at Art Prize, though the 2012 Art Prize Top Ten and Juried Awards do have some commendable works, such as Frits Hoendervanger’s “Rebirth of Spring,” which is my personal favorite.

I fear Camille Paglia’s ascertain that capitalism can save art is a bit off base, though capitalism does and will play a role in the saving the art world.  No, what will save the art world is rather more cerebral matters, as Paglia herself alludes to in her essay.

Thus we live in a strange and contradictory culture, where the most talented college students are ideologically indoctrinated with contempt for the economic system that made their freedom, comforts and privileges possible. In the realm of arts and letters, religion is dismissed as reactionary and unhip. (bold by ed.)

Destroy the ideological indoctrinations and indoctrinators, and then capitalism can do its work in saving the world of art.

All Art Prize 2012 Entries.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/10 at 09:26 AM
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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Taking the Next Step, One At A Time

Claire Wolfe in a post titled Don’t waste a rock (or a thought).

It’s natural … absolutely natural and a key step toward our self-liberation to be alarmed & furious when we discover that The Government Is Not Our Friend. And it’s absolutely natural after that to spend some time OMG!ing over every new revelation of government excess or overreach.

But that’s a phase. It’s a kind of adolescence of freedomista thought.

How many people just get stuck there? Get stuck in a perpetual tizzy of fear, disgust, or rage? So off we go to a blog or a forum or a Facebook page and shout and pound our fists — or raise a metaphoric digitus impudicus toward Our Eeeevil Overlords. And we neglect to move on to the next step, which is detaching ourselves from the state and refusing to honor the state even with our thoughts.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/09 at 03:09 PM
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