January 12th, 2005

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

look out honey 'cause I'm using technology

Location: Salina, KS

En route to some po-dunk town in western Kansas called Selden then should be in Colorado Springs by mid-day.  I have a feeling the last 48 hours of this week is going to be rough on me, trying to get from Colorado back east to Illinois, then up to Minnesota to visit with atthestarz and hockeyfag for the weekend.  Did I mention that there is an arctic cold front moving in this weekend and temperatures in Minnesota are expected to be sub-zero?


I must be nuts.

Nevada Shoetree

People amaze and amuse me.  It is a wonderment that never ceases.  Often times it can be appalling, the brutal and insensitive nature of humanity, but for the most part, I've always found it inspiring.  Man is capable of the grandest achievements - philosophically, artistically, and mechincally - and yet, simultaneously, can be reduced to tearful, hysterical laughter by a really good fart joke.  It is this duality of the human spirit that moves me; the sacred and the profane, the high-brow and the low-brow, the earnest endeavor and the flight of fancy.

There is a tree at the Kings Island amusement park in Ohio.  I forget which ride it is, one of the big water rides.  The line you have to stand in winds through a forest to the attraction.  There are many trees along the path, but one in particular was singled out by the throngs of hot, idle park-goers for a piece of impromptu collective art.  I've always called it the gum tree.  There, on the right-side of the path stands the small tree, it's trunk almost completely covered in globs of chewing gum of every color imaginable.  It's not like base graffiti, an essentially one person show of artistry on a public canvas.  Sure, graffiti when un-checked results in a collection of various artists in a localized area, but it's not a collective effort on a singular undertaking.  Someone, most likely a group of someones, standing in that line decided to all stick their gum on that tree.  Consequentially, over the years, more and more people added more gum to the tree, resulting in the myriad of color that exists today.

I discovered a similar phenomena in central Nevada.  Trees are rare here in the desert climate.  One is generally hard pressed to spot a tree on the stark landscape.  U.S. Highway 50 runs laterally through the center of the state, from Ely on its eastern border all the way to Lake Tahoe. It is a beautful drive, with long stretches of open country.  Often times you can drive anywhere from 50 to 100 miles between towns with nary a house in site. 

Between the small towns of Fallon and Austin stands a tree on the side of the highway.  Much like the gum tree in Ohio, it has become a living, breathing work of collective art - a piece which has an unwritten history and a fluid, unending future.  It exists by the sheer will of its anonymous participants and the spirit of conspiracy.  I present to you, in all its breathtaking majesty and glory, the Nevada shoe tree.

Collapse )You can see the entire set of photos I took that morning in my photo gallery

x-posted to found_objects
i'm ready for my close up mr demille

whore that I am...

Location: Denver, CO

Last night while catching up on some journal reading, I found where mandy_moon had made a recent entry with regard to the Nevada shoe tree, pimping out my awesome pictures and relating her own attempt to start a similar phenomenon in Boston.  In a vulgar display of narcissism, I decided to see if she had made my entry a "memory".  Indeed she had and had placed it in a cateogry listed as "Found Objects".  Upon further inspection, I discovered the found_objects community, from where she had culled her other memories in that cateogry.

I had no idea this community existed, so I went and checked it out.  Wow.  A community of over 4,000 members with as many as 10-20 posts in it per day.  I decided in my devious, self-absored heart that this was not an opportunity that could be passed upon so I immediately joined the community and formulated an entry comprised of the pictures of the Nevada shoe tree and put it with the lengthy, hoity-toity exposition I had written for my initial documentation of the Oregon shoe tree.

The response was rabid.  In less the 24 hours it has already generated 80 comments, mostly positive.  There were a few tree-huggers who bally-hooed and a few comments concerning the pretention of the analysis, but overall people seemed to enjoy and appreciate it.

I feel so loved. 

It also seems to be a really neat community. If you enjoy seeing pictures of odd things, I highly recommend it.  Unfortunately I doubt I will have the time to devote to keeping up with it on a regular basis, but I will try.

And I will definitely be posting more pictures for the community in the future.