Cliff Crego's blog, whitebark—
Notes scratched into a stonepine snag, open to the light, clear air . . .

December 2010
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Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 8:09 pm

One never knows what will show up in one’s inbox. I came back Thursday evening from a trip up on skis getting my lowest winter camp ready for fieldwork. I was tired. The snow had been like one would expect in April. It had rained past 2200 m., and then froze, so there was 2 cm. solid ice layer, and sun-cupped and highly irregular to boot. But it would easily support my weight, so the was fast and easy skinning up. And after checking things out, coming down was fast, which I like. And loud. Solid ice against metal edges of the skis. So as I would stop to make photos, I was more than once amazed at the sudden stop of white noise of ski + icy snow.

In my inbox I had a curious message headed “content review.” Without going into detail, a printing service I use only for my postcards and CliffCards had pulled a new postcard I had just offered and was particularly pleased with. It’s measures 4″ x 5 1/2″, is printed on 120 cardstock, shiny true black & white, with a text on the back:

WHISKEY—a long-line sonnet

He could see everything he ever dreamed of
Inside a fresh, new bottle: The young, handsome
Rodeo cowboy, or shooting Geronimo on a Hollywood
Set, or taking care of the last ferocious bear above town.

He always set out two glasses before breaking
Open a new bottle. One for solitude; Two to spit at.
You can’t steal inside heaven in hell; One must buy it,
One bottle, at a time. The fate of clear crystal.

Inside the bottle he sees a world more real than
The squalor around him. He pours two more glasses,
Puts his boots up on the table, and spins the chamber

One last time. He likes the sound. Well-oiled. He stands,
Kicks the door open, and throws the last bottle into the air,
Shooting it before it smashes to the ground. He always misses.

On the front of the card is a macro photo of Jack Daniels whiskey bottles, one with light coming through, another quite dark. The service provider was evidently concerned with Jack Daneils trademark violation. “How is this possible/” I asked myself. (If you happen to be a lawyer with knowledge of such things, I’d love to hear from you.)

So my beautiful new card is no more, vaporized into the ether. We live in exciting times. And also more than a bit strange times. Web 3.0 and social media notwithstanding, the internet retains at moments like these its more sinister aspect. The plug is pulled on a page. One knows not, nor CAN one know, by whom. And one is essentially powerless to do anything about it. Certainly, the means of production — books, photographs, CD’s, video, etc. — have been radically democratized, it is true. But yet the means of distribution remain firmly under corporate dominion.

The above mentioned photo is still very much alive and well and on public display on the website. Tell your friends, while the good times last! Cheers!
And as a part of the Photoweek Northwest e-zine at:

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