It Takes All Kinds/ Metissages

 at Don Byron Concert (from March 2, 2007) and 11 by 8 and a half inches

This is an old text I wrote that I happened upon yesterday:

metissage:  different cultures and peoples interconnecting, mingling, setting off things in each other.  Human life can be a “gumbo” of sympathetic splendor.  It takes all kinds.  Our variety keeps us strong.

If we were all the same, all duplicates of each other, then this world would be poisoned.

To those of us who hold this view we can only stand aghast at our opposites:  only one good nation, only one good religion, white supremacy, male supremacy, the rich and famous are good while the poor and struggling are looked down on, “pretty people” are good and “ugly people” are bad etc. , etc.

September 20, 1998 (notes in the inside front cover of a small sketchbook)


These are themes which I’ve returned to over and over again.  I did one piece a “Declaration of Interdependence.”  Let’s co-exist at least!

Breaking these barriers, is a really powerful idea.  It can make the “small-minded” very upset or angry.  Yet, it’s a key direction to explore within the struggle toward “peace on Earth.”  Vive la difference!

The more we move from recognition to acceptance to appreciation to celebration of each other, the better things can be.  Then too, we could evolve in our attitudes toward the earth itself, toward plant and animal life.

We could learn or develop better attitudes towards various “constructs” from nations to religions to economic situations.  We could improve our attitudes toward such human realities as age, gender and health.

What would this world be like if the barriers between nations, faiths and peoples were reduced or “broken down”?  What if more people (and “tribes” of peoples) interacted with nature and the earth more naturally?  We could live together far more truly than we are now, November 6, 2009.



Looking around for relevant sites on the web I’ve found metissage often (but not always) refers to “mixed marriages” or relationships, inter-racial (and other?)

There are other references toward metissage in art and music.  I recall a reference toward this in Surrealism, but I can’t recall exactly where.

What I’m getting at is not really “globalization.”  In this, too often, money “trickles up” to the rich instead of spreading in other directions.  Yet I am an internationalist and consider myself some sort of citizen of the world.

Nor is it just multiculturalism or simple “brotherhood.”  I’m trying to explore something more complex, mysterious and poetic.  Then eventually, I hope to go into just how all this relates to art and artists.


Recently I noticed a similarity (with these ideas) in the plant kingdom.  It’s often better to let the species grow wild and intermingle naturally rather than try to have their evolution controlled or directed.

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