Somewhere in the archives of the Yahoogroup Artistamp is a long essay called The Refrigeratorkunst Manifesto ... in a mere 40 paragraphs, I prove that the longer the artist's Manifesto, the crappier the art.
Amtrak's Downeaster goes from North Station, Boston to Portland, Maine -- and now, Amtrak promises, in a year or two it will continue north to Freeport and finally to Brunswick, where the amazing, spectacular (and usually frozen) Bowdoin College is. Also Big Shipyards in Brunswick. It's quite the interesting and historic Maine Atlantic Coast town.
If you like LL Bean clothes, superexpensive nylon-barrel shotguns, fly-fishing gear, tents, binoculars, camping equipment, you can show up at the store in Freeport at ANY HOUR, 24/7 (I think the store is closed on Christmas Day), and gear up for your Maine wilderness expedition. Oh yeah, they got canoes and kayaks too. Many other cool stores and great seafood restaurants in Freeport.
Anyway this is my Refrigerator Art of our recent Amtrak trip to visit my brother Maury in Silver Spring, Maryland. A new improved version, with a compass rose so you can see which way is North.
The most remarkable thing about this stamp is everything it absolutely refuses to say or show or reveal about this trip. This stamp is a Monument to Denial. It uses Amtrak as concealment and misdirection, like the smoke and flame flash and scantily-clad pretty girl assistant which a stage magician uses so you don't see The Important Stuff.
Everybody's always bad-mouthing Denial, saying all kinds of negative shit about it, saying Denial Is Bad For You.
Would you prefer to take Life straight? Totally devoid of Denial?
Shit, that would bigtime suck the hairy wazoo. I would call that: Hell.
The date of our southbound train trip was just coincidentally 9/11, but when we pondered and contemplated the coincidence, we decided there was not likely to be a safer day on which to voyage the USA Northeast Corridor than National Terrorism Paranoia Anniversary Day.
Though they were reasonably light on the SWAT gear and assault weapons, the New Haven Connecticut train station and platforms were very heavy with squads of all sorts of paramilitary uniformed police from various federal agencies. (Amtrak has its own police force.)
Lots of bomb-sniffing (and drug-sniffing) dogs -- which, by the way, don't understand English, they're all imports trained in Mitteleuropa, and respond exclusively to German word commands.
One thing this Refrigeratorkunst does not show -- my Negative Space -- is that I do not do Airports and Big Commercial Airliners anymore if I can help it. To travel to another continent or the Caribbean if I must (although don't overlook the Old School way: ships!). But I ain't doing airports or big commercial airliners no more.
For all Amtrak's faults, to ride its passenger trains, nobody sticks his or her hands all over my genitalia, nobody makes me take my shoes off, nobody irradiates me with ionizing radiation, there's no security TV screen that shows Travellin' Bob totally nude to a bunch of uniformed giggling strangers.