Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Crazy Ones...

I have been a Apple/Mac fan and Steve Jobs admirer my entire adult life. OK. He wasn't the perfect human but he stood where humanities met technology and did about as good as a job as it as I can imagine. I read and re-read his biography over the winter vacation. And checked out that old ad campaign for the Crazy Ones...

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Steve Jobs

(the link might not work from Japan. Just search on youtube for 'Think Different.')

The ad featured short clips of Bob Dylan, Amelia Earhardt, Picasso, Muhammad Ali, Jim Henson (muppets) , Martha Graham, Maria Callas, Alfred Hitchcock, John and Yoko etc.

Near my house two dear friends live and work. Their studio is called, 'Saiseiryu'. Recycle Way. They are both Japanese. She was born in Japanese occupied China and grew up in Tokyo and Moscow during the cold war. She later worked for several top Japanese designers,(Issey Miyake) and later worked as a clothing designer in Hong Kong and then many years in New York with their own brand (Pluto Cat on the Earth) with her husband. They never thought about selling as a priority. The fun and integrity are priorities. They don't think about integrity but instinctively work with materials that reflect their ever evolving relationship with this over-crowded and over consuming human species that is amusing itself and the planet to death. They make all their own clothing. Like John and Yoko they sit and talk about ideas and then actualize their ideas. (In their clothing.) After September 11th in New York they moved back and live a quiet life in the mountains near me. My town is famous for artists and I often wonder where they are....there are a few talented and famous and successful writers and painters and potters near by and I have been lucky to know them all these years. But Saiseiryu are special. They are still growing and their work has substance because it is real time as well as connected to the world at large. We had circled and eyed each other from a distance for a few years before becoming friends. Now I tear up thinking of the privilage it is to be near them.

They use only cloth they have picked up and re make it into...I could write volumes. But this post is about the New Years precious present they gave me.

They are almost universally seen as crazy. To me they are about the only sane ones in the town. They showed up at my house to pick up some stuff dressed in The Jetsons meet Space Janitor self-designed white nuclear clean-up uniforms with comical non-functional hard hats and Dalai Lama pictures and 'Toxic Waste Beware' printed on their plutonium clean up crew jumpsuits a week or so after the nuclear accident. "We were either ten years ahead or ten years late when we were wearing these in New York." I just kept a straight face as we had coffee and cookies but my other visiting friends thought they were actually heading up to Fukushima in these nutty outfits to clean up the reactor. I had a much needed laugh for days at their genius and guts.

Last year just sucked. Nuclear......grrrrrr.

It is an old tradition that the neighborhood guys put on a dragon/lion suit and come in through the front door and dance around your house uninvited to clean out the last year's bad energy and bring in new energy.

They showed up on New Years Eve with Jun dressed in a hand-made green robot bird and danced around my house with incense purifying the house and bringing in fresh energy for the coming year. Why a bird? "I don't want to be a human anymore....look at the stupid things they do. I'd rather be a bird and fly away from this mess."

Snoopy was feigning disinterest but she later winked and said that it is better to just play along with a straight face. I could have swore I heard her giggling insanely in her sleep that night.


  1. what a wonderful community.

  2. i sually read your posts and then come back to post a comment. this one had me reflecting for two days. plain great.
    i love how the japanese are so unasuming and so little me me me.

  3. Beautiful Bryan. I really miss you guys!

  4. Great to hear where those two fine folks have ended up. I was friends with Pluto Cat when they lived in NYC, and in Portland, and wondered where they had gone. I would love to meet up with them again when I get back to Japan. Tell them Shayla and David Eli Hason say hello:) They are shining beacons of hope, happiness, and the beauty of chaos.