Portrait of a State of Mind

At some point, life will grab us
by the throat and force us to
question who we’ve become.

Art and Quote  (c) Rob Goldstein 2018


Switching Stations: Snagged on a Run in the Hosiery of Time


Tonight’s Cast of Characters:

John Steed as Captain Mach 10
Zsa Zsa Gabor as Leesa
Newt Gingrich as Queen Stretchmark I
Sean Hannity as Simp the Oracle
Clint Eastwood as Gore Vidal and
Gomer Pye U.S.M.C. as Aryan #5

Illustration based on a digital photograph staged in virtual reality that depicts a male and female avatar dressed in star-fleet costumes posing side by side
Captain Mach 10 with First mate, Trish

Stardate 90210.1. Dear Diary, the Chachka entered the arousing Areola Nebula at 0.100 and now we are trapped in a rope of unknown origin. I’ve ordered First Mate Leesa to steady the helm: she does her best:

Leesa: The ship won’t steer, dah-ling!

Mach Ten: What kind of rope is this?

Leesa: Humidity reads high, dah-ling!

Mach Ten: So sheer! So snug! Change course 32º mark nine zero two one zero!

Leesa: Course changed 32º mark nine zero two one zero, dah-ling.

(A horn blares followed by the sound of a crash. Leesa and Mach Ten reel from one side of the ship to the other. All goes quiet; we see Leesa’s breasts followed by a wide-angle shot of the Chachka’s interior. The decor is Chinese modern with a great big Chinese coffee table to accent a huge coral sofa with bright green cushions.  The helm is really just an alcove with a curved wall.)

Leesa: (tugs the hem of her uniform) Humidity reads normal, dah-ling.

Mach Ten: (Opens a quadraphonic space-map.) Where in the Areola are we?

Leesa: (Her beauty is unperturbed) Let me see, Dah-ling. (She pours herself over the map) I think we are in the Rayon Belt.

(The ship is suddenly filled with the sound of screeching  feedback followed by the amplified voice of Queen Stretch Mark I.)

Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts an African-American Avatar as the character of Queen Stretchmark I.
Queen Stretchmark I


Mach Ten: (Shaking his fist) YOU LIBERTINE TYRANT!


I’ve always been a bit bi-curious about this Queen, Dah-ling.

Mach Ten: She’s seductive and deadly. We’d best do as she says

(Chimes. Aryan#5 appears on deck.)

  Mach Ten: Oh the pain, the pain…

(Petroleum waves crash onto a Lycra shore. White spandex clouds drift above a rubber mountain. Cut to the Queens Throne room. Snow white carpets make a stunning background for pie-crust tables. Corner cabinets, all chiseled out and painted a lovely pink show off wedge wood and Chinese things. There are couches with deep soft cushions in which one can curl up and get lost. To the Queen’s left is Simp the Oracle; to her right is Gore Vidal. both men wear nothing but bicycle tights. Enter Aryan#5 with Leesa; an arm laced behind her back, a lock of blond hair lingers on her forehead to suggest a struggle.)


Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts an African-American Avatar as the character of Aryan #5
Aryan #5

Aryan #5: Howdy ur Haighness!

Queen Stretchmark I: Where is the male?

Aryan #5: He’s a feisty little feller–

Leesa: No! Oh Pleaze, dahling! These silk cords, they feel so tight!

Queen Stretchmark I: Silence! Why have you come to my planet?

Leesa: You trapped us in a huge pair of cheap intergalactic stockings
and brought us here you silly old queen!

Queen: Ha! You’ve come to bring reason to my planet! Reason kills!
Kill them!

Leesa: Getta clue, dahling! We’re the most unreasonable species in
the universe.

(Simp the Oracle giggles and winks at Leesa; Leesa winks back)

Gore Vidal: My dear, I think you were snagged on a run in the hosiery of time.

Leesa: (Rolls her eyes) Thank you for stealing my line!

Queen Stretchmark I: Call the male!

Aryan #5: Su-prise, su-prise, su-prise!

Queen Stretchmark I: (In a determined whisper) He’ll play dress up! I’ll make him!

To be continued….

Illustration based on a photo staged in virtual reality that depicts my alternates, Bobby and Matthew watching the physical me read Antonin Artaud
Next Week on Mach 10

Next week on ‘Mach Ten’:

Mach Ten: How is it you people speak English?

Aryan  24:  We’re so smart ur species little pea pickin’ brains couldn’t understand
us so’s when the Queen got here we scanned his brain and saw what was in it.

Mr. Haney: What you see is what you think, Mr. Mach Ten! Hey! Can ah interest you
in a book?

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018 All Rights Reserved







Switching Stations: Jeffery’s Messages

Warning: Adult themes and language ahead.


Hey Jeff-reee! Wat up ese? Guess who I seen? I seen Kenny an I seen his new wrap an he got himself a new van where he can be sleepin’ in it.  He traded the Buick! But ese! Wouldnya rather have a Buick? Lissen-up ese: I gotta joke! You an’ your Mom got moren one thing in common. You both whores! Jeff-reee! Is the shit fresh!  Whaja doin? Wachin porn? You an Manuela de Palma? Why don’ja go out an getta job. Yo ese!– Getta freakin job!




Jeffery? This is Sara. I need Robert’s tools. I have to go to Mom’s after work tonight. If you take them over to Mom’s, I’ll leave five dollars for the taxi. Please Jeffery. We have to have those tools so please bring them to Mom’s today! OK?



Hey, hey bro. I know you ain’t amped out. I know its crank, dude. So hustle ur ass over here an bring me the merchandise. Yak at ja later.



Jeffery? This is Sara! Please bring the tools to Mom’s. Please Jeffery!




Hey Jeff. This is Bob. It’s 8:15.  I guess I’m calling to ask if you’re OK. I’m at the St. Francis doing some work if you catch my drift.  If you want to make the drop meet me on Ellis in two hours. Over by the construction site: be there.

Photograph of a young man who is standing in a squat listening to his messages
I’m at the St. Francis doing some work, if you catch my drift.


Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. I’ve waited patiently for you to pay for that briefcase. Don’t make me go over there with my authorities. No BS, dude. I want my money.     


Jeffery? This is Aunt Esther. You have Robert’s tools. Please bring them to your Mother’s.




Jeffery! This is your Mother!  Aunt Esther wants you to bring Robert’s tools to my place. Where I live? OK? Call me! Bye!



Yo Jeff-reee! It’s Bobby! I sold them tools an’ got a fifty! Rock an’ Roll, dude! I got the candy so’s I’ll catch up with you later!

Semi-surreal photograph of a young man who is listening to his message on a cell phone. A hand with a gun it it is seen on a television Monitor
Rock and Roll, Dude!


Whadup, Jeffery? I know you know who the fuck this is. Check it: a client wants to sell you an MK 16. I know you like collecting that kinna shit: gimme a buzz.


Jeffery? This is Sara! Did you get Moms message? Bring us those tools! They are essential to Robert’s work. You borrowed them without permission and we need them now!


Heeeeyyy Jeff-reee! Ese! Pick up de phone. I know you’re there! Pobrecito mijo. Yankin’ his life away. Jeff-reee! Pendejo!!—You screwed up bad an’ now ur goin’ downdowndown. Crank brought ya down, ese!


Jeffery. This is Sara. If you’re home pick up! How long is it going to take for us to get Robert’s tools back from you. I’ll give you a hundred if you bring them back. I guess I’m going to have to come over and get them.


Hey, hey bro! 12:35 at night. Howcum you ain’t on the horse troll? You better have my dollars! Yeah! Big Daddy R Money!

Photograph of a young man who is listening to his message on a cell phone. A hand with a gun it it is seen on a television Monitor
Howcum you ain’t on the horse troll?



8:22 in the morning and you missed another session. For a parolee that says he wants to get straight you stick too close to convicts. ’nuff sed. You know who this is. Call me.



Jeffery? It’s your lawyer. It’s Tuesday, 10am. I hope you didn’t go out on another binge. We need you here at the Hall of Justice in two hours. I need you here to win!  Ok?



1:45 PM and another parolee of mine is back to jail. He got two years. He wanted out on OR but no one will vouch for him. So to jail he went. Two years my friend. I see you guys sharing a cell. No one will vouch for you! ‘nuff sed.



This is Sara.  Are you still in bed? Are you bringing Robert’s tools to Mom’s house? Aunt Esther said you better bring them! The tools. Robert’s tools? Do you even know what I’m talking about?


OK,  Miss Thing. Your phone was just bizzy.  So I guess you gone in less than a minute? You gonna hang in that shitty dorm all day? It’s 3:10 on Tuesday in case
you ain’t
 oriented x 3. Call me sweetie. You said you would share.




Double dealin’ Jeffery! It’s Randy ya messed up tweak! Ya didn’t come out yesterday! Ya was gonna buy me drinks or so ya said. So, uh, what up? Did it all go up in smoke? It’s 5:10 sos I’ll call back about 7:30.


Hey Jeffery ya up in smoke fool! It’s Randy! We ain’t makin no deals cos you ain’t around! So howcum you don’t be around? I’m over at Jack in the Box tryina hustle a BLT. I’ll be here all night. The address is JACK-in-the-Box!
Laters dude.


Jeffery! This is Sara! Get your ass out of bed and bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house! NOW! And you better answer my calls too! Goodbye!



Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. You think I’m letting you slide or something and I’m telling you homey don’t play that way. I’ll put out a ten thousand dollar contract your ass —so if you want your life you better give me a buzz.  2 Questions: What is John Wayne’s real name and what was his first movie that he starred in. If you know the answers, I’ll just bust a cap in your pretty white ass.


Photo of a young man in a squat listening to is messages-staged in Virtual Reality
I’m telling you homey don’t play that way


Jeffery! This is Sara. Mom’s in the hospital. DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL! If you call her I’ll call the police and let them know who you are and where you live. I know there are warrants out for you. I don’t want you near Mom. I don’t want you near the hospital. If you have any questions, bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house first.



Hey Jeff-reee! Esaaaaaaay. You makin’ luuuuv now? Is it all luvy duvy in this land of screwed up druggies? Ain’t a damn thing funny, Jeffery! Get you a real woman, amigo! If you don’t get a real woman you’ll lose them shrinking pelotas! Dedee is chotito. A punk, bro! An’ you da punk-ee!



Jeffery this is Mom. When you visit tonight sneak in a pack of cigarettes? I’ll give you fifty dollars. Don’t let the nurses catch you. It’s extremely important. I love you.



Jeffrey this is Sara. Stop visiting Mom! If you don’t stay away from her I’ll have you arrested. How can you bring smokes to a woman that just had a stroke?



Hey, man. I’m telling you man, this is the last message you’ll ever ignore. I know you got paid an’ you better have my crank or my dollars ’cause I just sent a shitload of trouble your way! If you got the answers to my questions about John Wayne they’ll make it quick—OK? Good-bye, Jeffery.


Photo of a young man in a squat listening to is messages-staged in Virtual Reality, I used a toy camera filter to give it a sense of tunnel vision
Good-bye, Jeffery



First posted in 2015, as Jeffery’s Messages

Jeffery’s Messages (c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2015-2017
Illustrations staged in Virtual Reality.
Gun textures found on shutter-stock and GIPHY





Accept the Gift

First posted 12/11/2016 as The Night Bobby Found Christ in an Abandoned Subway Car

I read the Nativity story as the story of a God who decides to incarnate as an outcast among the poor and oppressed people of a barbaric civilization with a static class system.

Life was brutish and short for the poor.

The warrior God of Israel takes flesh as an impoverished Jewish outcast whose
life is in danger from the moment of conception.

It’s a great story!

I wondered how it might look today and saw a homeless youth who finds
the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

Will he accept the burden of this gift?

An avatar that represents an alternate named Bobby is shown finding the Christ child in an abandoned subway car
A homeless youth finds the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

I used VR to make a video of it.

I got the idea for the subway car from Dark Days, a documentary made in the 1990’s about a tribe of homeless people who live in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York.

I use two photo-shopped frames from the documentary as an homage to it.

I first came up with this idea in 2011 but didn’t have the skill I needed
to make it work the way I envisioned it.

I’m going to remake the video for next Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the World!

May we find our way back to the light.

The video is a series high-resolution panels staged and shot in virtual reality and processed in multiple apps.

I cropped a cover of Silent Night  found at the Internet Archives.

To the best of my knowledge the recording is in the public domain.