Sunday, October 30, 2011

Privates Sector Growth

S. Shawcross / Oil on hardboard /18 x 24 / $120

Be sure to visit our painting blog:

This weeks feature video: Sometimes it's important just to laugh and nothing else.

The Louis Saga Continues: Bidding on the 1,500 word essay "Tell Me about the Rabbit George." Signed, hand-bound limited edition of 1 continues: $93.17 G.R. Chelsea Monday, October 31, 2011 Bidding closes midnight Friday, December 2, 2011 To bid send an e-mail to To follow the initial story see my July post on the right ----------->

This week's column was published in the West Quebec Post, October 19th, 2011. It's a little bit irreverent but the scientists make me do this. Really they do... I've changed the names to protect the guilty here.


My dear Dr. T.W. of the University of H.,

May I call you Ted? Of course I can. This is because, in having read your research paper published in July entitled "Male organ and economic growth: Does size matter?" I believe I've become more than intimately familiar with you, on a purely academic level of course. Such language used in your paper certainly bridges the distance between strangers wouldn't you say? I imagine you've received many many letters from strangers since your paper was published. One cannot print things such as "The aim of this paper is to fill a scholarly gap with the male organ," without expecting some distinctly interesting feedback.

My letter of course is different. In fact, I have no interest whatsoever in the topic of your research, at least at the economic level and feel instead, that I must help you address some perhaps delicate matters. I sometimes tend to forget that there are indeed people in the world, scientists even, that are actually "not" familiar with my Institute for the Rehabilitation of Misguided Scientists. Of course it's not just for scientists. Just last week I had a real breakthrough with an engineer working for CIMA who had, without any apparent self-awareness, no control over his freudian slips when announcing himself at meetings. "I'm Jean, from semen," he'd say. Poor poor man. He was just disabled with humiliation. I taught him how to macrame. It took many many months but I have to say, the man is changed! He no longer works for Semen but he's on his 134th hanging pot holder. And he's very very happy indeed. But I digress...

My dearest Ted--your nights must be very long indeed. How can you possibly be sleeping well after discovering that "countries that averaged smaller penis sizes grew at a faster rate than their larger counterparts between 1960 and 1985." Oh you poor poor man. Some things, I always say, are not meant to be discovered. Indeed some things are better left to the murkiness of mystery. Imagination after all has a place. But of course it is understandable to some degree that you felt a deeply intense urge to bring some exuberance into the fertile fields of economics. Economics is, after all, acknowledged to be deadly boring and populated by mostly men who never got over their teething experience. Even still, as you say in your paper, "the male organ hypothesis put forward here is quite penetrating an argument."

When I read that "every centimeter increase in penis size accounted for a 5 to 7 percent reduction in economic growth," my heart simply went out to you. How miserable you must be, there alone in your bed with perhaps only your penis to keep you company and naturally, the bags of gold coins under the bed. Am I right about that? Now, there's no need to feel ashamed. I've dealt with many such persons as yourself. It's not like "everyone" would be so observant--I just happen to have a knack for these things. Rest assured, your secret is very much safe with me.

It is interesting how you conclude your study by suggesting that "penile length and income are both factors that contribute to an individual's level of self-esteem, and if a person has more of the former, he'll need less of the latter." As I've often found with many of you scientist types, you are one inch away from diagnosing yourself but have yet to, may I say, make that special thrust to enlightenment.

My dearest Ted, why did you feel such a need to completely discount the entire female gender in your studies? Why, in other words, do you hate your mother?
And how would you account for this sudden economic decline in North America? Surely something like that would be in the news? I mean, millions of men suddenly funding their private hedges?

If you would like to discuss this further, or perhaps make a generous donation to the Institute for the Rehabilitation of Misguided Scientists, please feel free to contact me. Would you agree that even a rich man with a small penis deserves some happiness in this life? I look forward to your reply, S. Shawcross

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Origins and Origami

LOOK FOR MY NEXT ENTRY OCTOBER 31st! I'm on vacation! Yay!

A couple of days late this week. It's been a busy thanksgiving!!

Les toits sous la neige (d'apres Caillebotte)
S. Shawcross / 30" x 36" / Oil on canvas / $795

Be sure to visit our painting blog:

LOOK FOR MY NEXT ENTRY OCTOBER 31st! I'm on vacation! Yay!

This weeks feature video: Sometimes only George Carlin will do when you're just annoyed at the world. This classic piece discusses class distinctions and what really makes us all equal. It's the little things. Isn't it always? WARNING: Carlin is deeply disrespectful and has very colourful language. Be well advised if you are easily offended.

The Louis Saga Continues: Bidding on the 1,500 word essay "Tell Me about the Rabbit George." Signed, hand-bound limited edition of 1 continues: $91.00 Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Bidding closes midnight Friday, December 2, 2011 To bid send an e-mail to To follow the initial story see my July post on the right ----------->

CURRENT COMMENTARY: What a good sport Dr. D. was in the publishing of this piece. He said he was pretty much used to the ribbing he has received and approved the copy for publication. This piece was published in the West Quebec Post.

My dear Dr. D. of the Southwest Research Institute:

Hello. I am pleased to be writing you as I feel I may be of some service to you.

As I understand this, correct me if I am wrong, you have conducted experiments by hoisting up into the air with 40-foot cranes, two 2,800 lb granite balls which you proceeded to smash together in order to “test whether the coefficient of restitution would be the same across a wide spectrum of ball sizes, verifying current asteroid models.” In other words, I believe you smashed the balls together to see what they would do.

This “to see what they would do” concept of course, is understood by us lay individuals to be the prime motivating force for the activities of all scientists. It is how that is manifested which becomes important. That is why I am writing to you.

Now it would appear most of the press coverage you have received thus far has deeply titillated reporters who are apparently delighted to write extensively about the size of your balls. Not to mention the references to asteroids, Uranus and their possible derivatives. I don’t want you to feel bad about this, as most scientists of your most high calibre have no clue what nefarious things reporters can do with a turn of the tongue and a twist of a phrase. Nor I imagine do you realize what they mean when they say you had big balls to do what you did. I realize as a scientist that you live on a higher intellectual plain than we and this is certainly understandable given that you probably understood high-school calculus and this fact alone left you no alternative in choosing a career. Understanding calculus is not your fault. We understand.

But never mind all that. The thing is Dr. D., you could have used square pieces of granite, even rectangular, octepussal or polygamous bits of granite. I say this because I believe it is understood that after the creation of the Universe most of the bits and pieces mucking about in the vast nothingness were not actually round initially. Asteroids in fact seem to be rather lumpy and irregular in shape. They are not spheres in other words in nature so the question (the seemingly innocent question) would be: why, if you were attempting to duplicate conditions in space in order to test your theory… well… why did you have to use balls and indeed such big big round smooth balls to conduct your experiment?

In my effort to help scientists such as yourself I have created a Society for the Rehabilitation of Misguided Scientists. I don’t mean to brag of course, but just so you know, I believe with my help many many scientists have taken up needlepoint and given up their foolish experiments. They are much happier than the engineers doing macramé so I know how happy you might be.

Most of the individuals I have helped are indeed not as smart as you and so I don’t believe I need spell it out for you. Here is a hint: what do large balls and the creation of the universe have in common? I think you know. The big big smooth balls were simply representative of your pursuit of learning what happened in the Big Bang. You might not be aware of the colloquial use of that term but it’s a dead away about your particular “issue.” You see, many male scientists have not figured out that they are men first, and scientists second. In order to repress your need to experience the Big Bang, you not only created big big balls but then bashed them together. This is not healthy way of doing things.

I know you must be amazed at my diagnostic capabilities. What can I say! Now you must not be shy. It happens to the best of men. Not that there are many who have actually manifested their sublimated sexual needs in quite such a grandiose fashion, but if we search hard enough there have been some I’m sure. In other words, you are not alone… I don’t think. Well… Maybe you are “somewhat unique” but it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Please don’t hesitate to write back.

Sincerely yours,
S. Shawcross.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pinecones and Paperweights

What matters
16 x 20, oil on masonite
(The horizon is actually straight on this. It's the photograph that makes it dark and crooked.

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO: Finally! A perfectly rational explanation for how Irish dancing began

Bidding on the 1,500 word essay "Tell Me about the Rabbit George." Signed, hand-bound limited edition of 1 continues: $91.00 Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Bidding closes midnight Friday, December 2, 2011 To bid send an e-mail to To follow the initial story see my July post on the right ----------->

was published in the West Quebec Post, August 18, 2011

Pinecones and Paperweights

I haven’t seen a decent movie in years. There are two reasons for this. The first one is because apparently plot, dialogue and character development in movie scripts has been supplanted by special effects, cartoon actors and slack-jawed monosyllabic grunts. I meet these monosyllabic grunts on a daily basis because this is what constitutes communication now at the vocal level ever since they developed the Blackberry and other such nonsense. I’m beginning to get used to the idea. I mean, what choice do we have?

I know the day when the finesse and credibility of movies started to decline was the day that Kevin Costner started getting starring roles. The man cannot act. He and Brad Pitt are about as convincing as actors as pinecones would be as paperweights. They are basically pretty boys, eye candy for the feminine persuasion in the audience and a diversion from the reality of ridiculous scripts covered up by even more ridiculous special effects. They have become so desperate in the department of special effects that now they are bringing out 3D movies with scratch cards so we can smell the roses so to speak. I suspect that eventually the chairs we sit in at movies will start gyrating as we pretend to ride horses and will throw us out into the aisles as the horses buck. I wouldn’t put it past them, these movie people. They have to do something to compete with on-line movie rentals. What else are they going to do with dwindling audiences at their movie theatres? Maybe they can turn them into community centres? However, I digress.

The second reason I haven’t seen a decent movie in years is because of Rhonda. I hate Rhonda. I don’t hate Rhonda just because she’s seen every movie ever made. I don’t hate her because she sees every movie the instant it comes out. I hate her because she tells me about it. Rhonda is a walking talking movie spoiler. She will greet you with a punctilious smile carefully orchestrated to invite discussion. You think you’re going to talk about the weather but she will then immediately launch into why you need to see the movie she’s just seen. It is apparently so darn good that she must describe it to you in infinite detail from beginning to the bitter end. And no matter how much you protest about how you don’t want to know the ending she always finds a way. You can do whatever you want to distract her but it won’t work. The woman is a master spoiler.

“Would you like a coffee Rhonda?” you will ask on the way to the kitchen after having stated in no uncertain terms that you would like to see this movie and would she please keep the ending to herself.

“Oh yes. I’d love some coffee! That’s just like the character in this movie. He was drinking coffee at the bar in Come-by-chance, Newfoundland where he went to escape the Mexican mafia drug cartel after he killed the man with the limp (which was caused by a barrage of shrapnel during the blitz in Guatemala) by poison dart tattoos when he was trying to rescue the woman that he--this man at the bar in Come-By-Chance--fell in love with over tuna fish sandwiches with artichokes in that cave near Luxembourg. So after he drank the coffee he killed himself by throwing himself off the cliff in St. John’s.”

“Would you like some cream with that coffee?” I ask.

“Oh. I’m sorry I did it AGAIN.” She laughs. She ALWAYS laughs at this point. “It’s such a good movie! I just can’t help myself!” And of course she’s right. She can’t help herself: it’s an itch that needs scratching, a ritual that needs ending, and a deed that needs doing. Just like how I usually add the cream before pouring the coffee over her head.

“I just can’t help myself,” I say sadly. It’s just a deed that needs doing. That’s the way it is. It hasn’t worked yet with Rhonda but I live in hope. Maybe I’ll add sugar next time.