Trina: The Plot

It was then I realized Roy had murdered his first wife and cared
nothing for his son, Little Jimmy.

I strolled with little Jimmy to the New Haven Green and asked if
he wanted a new Mommy.

“N-Not if Daddy kills her!” he replied.

It was then I thought of cigarettes and contrived a plan.

I married Roy and slowly introduced him to cigarettes.

He smoked a carton a day by our first anniversary.

One day, twenty years later, Little Jimmy returned from Yale.

Roy wheezed as I lit his cigarette.

“Trina!” Roy gasped, “You whore!”

“Shut-up,” I snapped. “Here! I’ll break off the filter!”

“Muthuh!” cried Jimmy, “Leave Fathuh alone or I’ll report you to the Surgeon General!”

“You and what lobby?” I sneered.

However, I was nervous and hastily swallowed the lit evidence.

I asked Jimmy what he had learned at Yale that day.

“Schematics,” he replied.

“Liar…” I grinned. “You were cruising the men’s room in the library.  I slipped into one of your Father’s jackets and wore his aftershave.

I saw who you did in the stalls vile boy!”

Roy chortled and slid face first into his ashtray.

I held a mirror to his lips and caught the ashes of his last breath…

(C) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved

Variations on a Theme

Art by Rob Goldstein
Variations on a Theme

I’ve been on a short break from therapy.

It’s hard to question your motives and beliefs twice a week, every week.

I used last week’s rains as a reason not to go.

There are times when I want to know what it feels like just to live.

That’s not the way it’s going to be for me, not yet—and I can feel
my mind splitting open in preparation for this afternoon’s session.

When I feel low I distract myself with humor and wordplay.

I’m a big fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 because of the wordplay.

New episodes of MST3K are in production and headed for Netflix this year.

For people who don’t know the show here’s a sample:

Great humor is timeless.

A conversation about astrology yesterday led to thoughts of the Firesign Theater so I ran a search for them on the Internet Archives.

If you’re feeling down I offer this story of ‘Genesis’ as told by the Firesign Theater.

It is an excerpt from “I Think We’re all Bozos on this Bus.”

Before the beginning, there was this turtle. And the turtle was alone. And he looked around, and he saw his neighbor, which was his mother. And he lay down on top of his neighbor, and behold! she bore him in tears an oak tree, which grew all day and then fell over — like a bridge. And lo! under the bridge there came a catfish. And he was very big. And he was walking. And he was the biggest he had seen. And so were the fiery balls of this fish, one of which is the sun, and the other, they called the moon.

Firesign Theatre

 

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A Tribute to Kendall Person and The Neighborhood

An illustration made in Virtual Reality that depicts a male and a female avatar in formal attire dancing in a nighclub
An Illustration made in virtual reality.

My first post of 2017 is a tribute to Kendall Person and the healing power of community and collaboration.

Faith and a belief in one’s self worth is crucial to the recovery of someone with a serious mental health diagnosis.

I’ve discussed our cynical legal system that protects the rights of the mentally disabled by using our loss of judgement as an excuse to deny us treatment.

Truly integrating people with psychiatric disabilities into society means respecting us enough to grant us access to the resources we need to heal
and fulfill our lives as people.

To give us a chance to collaborate and contribute where we can.

In Kendall Person’s Neighborhood I was accepted and treated with respect
which restored my sense of self-worth as an artist.

The videos I’ve worked on with Kendall and The Neighborhood have both involved the use of Virtual Reality to make illustrations.

The first video I worked on with Kendall was about a couple named Jack and Belinda.

As Kendall envisioned them, Jack and Belinda had always loved each other but had never met.

An illustration made in Virtual Reality that depicts a male and a female avatar in casual attire dancing in a nighclub
The first incarnation of Jack and Belinda.

As the narrative evolved, Jack and Belinda are dead but Belinda doesn’t know.

An illustration made in Virtual Reality that depicts a male and a female avatar in formal attire dancing in a nighclub
Jack arrives to take Belinda up in a dance of ascension.

Jack arrives to take Belinda up in a dance of ascension.

I spent a week making textures and sets in virtual reality.

I shot hundreds of high-resolution stills of avatars in different costumes and skins as they danced and became Jack and Belinda.

I’d send Kendall a test video and he critiqued it.

We often disagreed, but learning how to intelligently argue a point of view is an essential life skill and crucial to successfully coping with a chronic mental illness.

People with mental illness often become passive out of fear of alienating friends and treatment providers.

I had never made a video and only did so because of Kendall’s faith me.

The result was a 1 minute video called Jack and Belinda, the Ascension.

A couple of weeks ago Kendall asked me to give a short statement for
December’s closing performance, a one night only live-stream on Facebook.

My contribution was a short video in which I describe how I evolved a
healthier sense of self by describing the work I did with Kendall.

Imagine the power of living in a community of equals who nurture the
best in each other.

For the video below I went back to the raw shoots and chose the shots I considered the best as illustrations.

RG 2016

Jack and Belinda created by Kendall Person
Photography and video by Rob Goldstein
(c) 2016
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The Night Bobby Found Christ in an Abandoned Subway Car

I dedicate this post to ‘WTF am I on about now?

Her post about photography in in virtual worlds was
the prompt I needed to finish this abandoned video.

I made this video from high-resolution panels that I staged
and shot in virtual reality and processed in multiple apps.
I cropped a cover of Silent Night that I found at the
Internet Archives.

It’s a Gregorian chant.

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

The thing I like best about the Nativity story is that God
decides to incarnate among the poor and oppressed.

If you take the story literally the omnipotent God of Israel
becomes a lowly Jewish bastard whose life is in jeopardy
from conception.

I wondered how God would incarnate in today’s world
and came up with the idea of a homeless guy who finds the
Christ child in an abandoned subway car.

I got the idea from Dark Days, a documentary made
in the 1990’s about 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.

Season’s Greetings to the World!

May we find our way back to the light.