My wife Rhumba is learning the ins and outs of figure drawing, caricature and lately, digital painting. Practice makes perfect, and she has the perfect venue for it: a Reddit discussion board where random people post pictures of themselves (or loved ones) and invite any random artist to draw them.
Rhumba would tell you that she’s a developing artist, but she has one thing that some brilliant draftsmen lack: a point of view. And so a honeymooning couple posing with the Golden Gate Bridge do so in the presence of an unknown watcher — almost out of frame.
A flying saucer is almost Rhumba’s trademark now, at least on that discussion board. At the edge of every happy Kodak moment lurks a saucer: Observing? Abducting? Who knows?
Response from the Reddit subjects is nearly unanimous. They think it’s hilarious. But Rhumba has an agenda: to point out that this is a world of distractions. And what they distract you from is the fact that somebody’s watching. From the fact that unimaginable — by you — things are happening whenever life pulls your eyes aside. Whenever you stop looking for the barest moment.
Because it’s true. We have a TV set of a brand that’s been known to send — information — to its corporate headquarters. Not just when it’s on, but when it’s plugged in. Nobody knows what information. Nobody know what the information is for. We’re assured that nothing illicit is afoot. But we pull the plug whenever we’re not watching. And of course our computers betray us constantly.
A saucer in the background may seem hilarious — until the context changes. Then maybe less so. The mother of the tyke below loved her child’s saucer. And it could be cute: but what’s its agenda?
Because we don’t really know. But it’s safe to assume that there is an agenda. Or that, when enough data has been piled in one place simply because it’s possible to do so, someone will make an agenda. Because they can.
And even if you knew what the agenda was, would you believe it? People just don’t do those things, you’d say. You might not believe your own senses.
But what the hell. People have lives to live. They just want to enjoy themselves. You can’t spend all your time looking over your shoulder. Even if there’s always somebody there.
Life goes on, and it’s easier to treat every private moment as private: even if it’s not. What’s the harm, right? Even if your pancakes are floating oddly.
Enjoy the sunshine. Hang loose. It’s a beautiful day!
And some day, you may get the answers to questions that you never even thought to frame.
These are great! Any chance Rhumba will make some prints of these to sell?
Thanks, LK. She looked at having some of them done as giclees (art-quality ink-jet printing), but it was rather expensive. So right now, we’re going nowhere with that. We’re lousy at merchandising. Too lazy? What do you think? Postcards? Just big prints on card stock?