You know, some schools don't permit kids to play tag... the school psychologists say it's emotionally scarring. It's a way of picking on the unpopular kids, who are never able to get "untagged," since the clique of popular kids target them. (My sense: those kids are bullies, whether tag is played or not. Fix the bully, because you haven't solved anything by banning the game.)
About a week ago, someone tagged someone else in the blogging network. That first person tagged seven others (1x7=7), each of those seven tagged seven more (7x7=49); those forty-nine each tagged seven more (49x7=343). One of the 343 is me.
If all of us in my cadre of 343 tag the full batch of seven, then the next group —of 2,401 artists— will be looking for 16,807 "untagged" souls on the web.
Now, there aren't any bullies in this game -- except for maybe that first person. It's actually a great idea (until you get into this ponzi-scheme math), a way of recognizing someone, of getting people to write a little bit about themselves, and to pay the compliment forward, so that lots of people are sending lots of people to look at lots of other people. It is a 'rolling theme', providing interest and variety... and I'm complimented that both Karen and Silvina have tagged me, because they are kind and generous and talented (and running out of candidates already, I imagine.)
So, here are my little-known facts:
- In middle school, I played saxophone in the school band. At first, I made good progress, but then I got worse, instead of better. Eventually I was so bad, I gave up practicing because I couldn't stand to hear myself play.
- In third grade I jumped off the side of a slide, snagged my foot on the ledge, and stopped my fall with my face. Put my upper incisors through my lower lip. I can still feel the scar.
- I get better at tongue-twisters if I've had one beer.
- In theater, I didn't get sweaty hands before going on stage, but I got a huge adrenaline shot when I said my first line.
- I spent my early childhood in Germany and England -- missing a huge chunk of Americana. People look at me funny when they make an "I Love Lucy" reference and I look blankly back at them. I must look like one of those red-scare foreign agents: He looks and talks like a normal American, but he doesn't know who won the '68 world series.
- I was inspired to become a visual artist by having an internship with an architect, who made me study political art. John Heartfield changed my idea of the power of art, and gave me an unforgettable image of courage.
- I once had a job programming payphones - and designing ads to go next to them in the booth.
At this point, I'm going to break the rules, because everyone else on my blog roll has already been tagged this month, or I just don't know them well enough to tag, and I can't overcome my anxiety about the possibility that I'd be rejected out of hand, and I'm not a very friendly sort, so I don't have any other friends.
I guess that makes eight true, but little-known, things.
But, to round out the people on my blog list that I don't know well enough to tag; if you aren't already familiar with them, do go look at the blogs of (in order of latest update):
Bob Cornelis, who poses hard questions about art and artmaking
David Lobenberg, an accomplished watercolor teacher
Deb Schmit, a terrific western landscape painter
Frank Gardner, a landscape painter living in Mexico
Karin Jurick, who has a body of work about people looking at art, which is cool
Kathryn Law, who is a sunny impressionist, now in Italy.