Posts by Paul Ottaviano

Independent image maker. Gardener. Digital frontier homesteader. Flâneur. I help my partner with her developmental story editing boutique. Pretty damn good with a cast iron skillet, too. MS will not get the best of me, but it might bring out the best in me. Happy in obscurity. Privacy + Responsible Freedom = ? Conversation is the best social media. Member | International Institute of Not Doing Much International Member | Bohemian FC Unless otherwise noted, most work is licensed with a Peer Production, P2P Attribution-ConditionalNonCommercial-ShareAlikeLicense.

Bully Stix for “Job Creators”

homeless person street photography portland oregon
Portland, OR. Where “doing something about homeless” means annexation of farmland for big tech.

“Job creation” is an excuse to do seemingly anything now. Especially when used in a “state of emergency”, relevancy be damned. Existing law and social contract are simply traffic cones, for house broken Jezebel and John Partisans to dance around.

Hyped-up itinerant “mobility”, comes at the price of local dignity.

Vapor over Mt. Royal

Montreal, October 2015. I did a week long walkabout, camera in tow. In hindsight, it was an idlers holiday… a flaneur gallivant in a different neighborhood, each day.

Montreal is a fine city for a brief sojourn. Metro public transportation, modeled on Paris’, is amenable to leisure, if not actively encouraging it. Nonetheless, most residents or workday occupants briskly walk to their next destination. Few ramble.

Among those who do take their time, vaping was common. A familiar sight it was, to see plumes floating overhead a horde of pedestrians. Unfortunately, I did not see many idlers. Sad is the thought that Montreal, like most cities, has gone in for laws against “loitering”, or mastery of your own time. Perhaps the local puff-giver is simply another commuter who longs for a daydream, and vaping slows down time, at least perceptibly, or offers soothing relief, if only temporary, from the anxieties of urban toil.

Anyway, it was common, and so “while in Rome”, I partook. There was a reassuring essence in it, but nerve prickly, too, as if the rebellious act of a single exhale was paradoxically street survival tool and risked unwanted attention. Benefits of the former must outweigh the cons of the latter, or I doubt it would’ve caught on. To me, it was a means to be idle, while in motion.

I miss smoking. Not tobacco, which would be an unwise choice for me now. And not vape, as I did not care for it. But cannabis, yes, I do miss it. Particularly during its underground days, when etiquette mattered. Social circles, interacting with social purpose, was its underlying culture. Civil disobedience and petty outlaws, was the romance.

Mostly, I miss the art of the smoke. Rolling my own, usually poorly, to choosing an artisan pipe and then toking my time. Being with friends old and new, having a good laugh, and watching smoke drift into unpredictable patterns. Music, food. Art. Conversation. No wonder industrial-capitalists and their agents disapprove, unless taxed, of course, and “productive”.

“The genius of the place”

Stoneboat CSA Farm, Helvetia. Hillsboro, OR.

“Two opposing philosophies of farm life”

The farm is a food-factory, and the criterion of its success is salable products.”

The farm is a place to live. The criterion of success is a harmonious balance between plants, animals, and people; between the domestic and the wild; between utility and beauty.”

Aldo Leopold, “The Outlook for Farm Wildlife”. Also referenced by Wendell Berry, “Limits in a Prodigal Age”.