Jim Richardson (aka Lake Superior Aquaman) Posts

The Floating Island of Fremont, Duluth’s Breakaway Township

As documented in the book Duluth: An Illustrated History: “The opening of the Duluth canal proved to have a beneficial effect which its promoters had not anticipated. Currents flowing through the channel carried away a considerable amount of rotting timber and mucky islets which had infested the harbor. In fact, one of Duluth’s original townsites — Fremont — was thus swept out into Lake Superior and lost forever.”

The Zenith City Press website confirms the account: new currents swept several floating bogs in the harbor out to sea. The largest of these islands was 1,200 feet long and 400 feet wide — larger than the largest lake vessel — and it contained the township of Fremont. It began where Rice’s Point is today, and on May 10, 1873, it passed through the canal to the open sea.

I must correct the error, often propagated, that Fremont broke up that night in rough water. The truth is, Fremont is still out there, population 299, comprised of 20 families that each own a business. I know because I have been to Fremont. I have hiked its marshes and shopped its cute, bustling downtown. I have fished off its docks. I have traded stories, dreams, and fears with Fremonters around beach campfires.

Many people have. Lake Superior is dotted with cities that Fremont has visited. I highly recommend, next time Fremont is visible on the horizon, try to get there. The Fremont music scene is a delight. And of course anyone who loves lake culture and the outdoors probably already knows about it.

I Don’t Want to See Another Naked Woman as Long as I Live

“All you sweet girls with all of your sweet talk, you can all go take a walk” – The Velvet Underground, “Heroin”

I am not on heroin, I’m expressing freedom from love and sex. I’m celibate as a monk from here on out. Retire my jersey, I’m out of the game. You can leave your hat on — and all the rest of it too. Quoth the bard, “Love stinks.” If you ever wonder if I want to get in your pants: I don’t.

The title of this piece is an actual quote. I heard someone say it while they were having really remarkable romantic troubles. You can switch the genders up in this essay to suit your tastes. The sentiment works any which way. I am not advocating a lifestyle. This is not an aspirational document. It’s just that I’ve been thinking: I’ve approached love like the depraved addict in “Heroin.”

Love and sex have always been indistinguishable to me. I loved everyone I ever made it with, or I wanted to love them, or I tried to love them. Whatever it takes to pick up strangers and have casual sex, I never had it. My game was serial monogamy. I was good at that for many years, traipsing from relationship to relationship. But I started living like I needed a partner to make me whole. I am not a sex addict, but I behaved like a love addict. And isn’t that what addicts are supposed to do: quit?

New Plan: Trick the Archeologists of the Far Future

Mockup example of proposed bronze historical marker series

New plan is to commission pieces on bronze or stone that can survive longer than paper, longer than digital, to really communicate with the future. The alien surveyors of 5000 AD will ask themselves, “WTH was going on in Duluth?” I’ve reached out to a few locals with the right skills; I hope to be able to show a nice series by Fall.

Meet Lanue boss, same as La old boss

Music video for “What I Love the Most” below the fold.

AP: University of MN Anomalies Department tests gravity-refracting material in Duluth

The Arthur M. Anderson fitted with gravity-refracting hull invented by Dr. Mallard McPurdy of UMD

AP: University of Minnesota Duluth – The university’s Anomalies Department worked closely with the local Institute for Sideways Research to develop the space-age material necessary for hovering ships, seen lately in the skies over this Midwestern beach town. The hulls of cargo ships (called “ore boats” on the inland seas) were irradiated with strangelet particles discovered by UMD’s Dr. Mallard McPurdy in 2018. These particles were later commercialized by the Institute for Sideways Research which specializes in gravity refraction. The Institute’s founder, Dr. Horace Zontal, explained, “With this innovative particle, we were finally able to refract gravity a full 180 degrees in the hull of the revered Arthur M. Anderson.” The shipping lanes of the world are expected to be revolutionized in the coming years to take advantage of the new phenomenon. Dr. McPurdy estimated, “Costs will be slashed by two-thirds leading to cheaper commodities for all humanity.”

Essay series by Jim Richardson

Since 2020 and the dawn of the Covid era, I have written ongoing chonky essay series about my obsessions: art, literature, music, my relationship with Lake Superior, and other stuff. I will keep this updated as new installments appear. Thank you to Perfect Duluth Day for the bandwidth.

Dreams and Themes

Last week I had a series of interconnected dreams over three nights. I was first introduced to the idea of interconnected dreams by the book A Little Course in Dreams: A Basic Handbook of Jungian Dreamwork by Robert Bosnak. The book is pocket-sized which makes the title a self-referential joke. But the book has had an outsized influence on me. I don’t always agree with its interpretations — dream interpretation is a subjective crapshoot — but it helped.

I am blessed with the ability to easily remember and interpret many of my dreams. The revelatory insight from the book was the idea that dreams can come in clusters over many nights. I began noticing themes and symbols evolving over time. I frequently see this across spans of three or four nights. And some symbols have recurred over my entire life and continue working themselves out. As Bosnak writes, “Dreams often group themselves around specific themes that begin to unfold over time. Images go through a continual process of change, and such a process can sometimes be followed in a series of images that have presented themselves to someone as dreams. The insight that emerges when we study a series of dreams is that dream figures are in a constant state of development. Like any living organism, they come into being and decay.”

Fish Frozen in Lake Superior Ice Sheet

 

Fish of increasing size frozen at various depths in 8 inches of ice or so. Pic #1: 3-inch fish. Pic #2: 6-inch fish. Pic # 3: 12-inch fish.

On the Recent Ice Angler Rescue

I have some comments and observations about the ice angler rescue on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

First off, I watch ice closely because I am nutty for skating the biggest lake in the world. No, not Lake Baikal, that piece of shit lake. I mean Lake Superior, the queen of the unsalted seas. Ice cover has been minimal this year so I have been sad, and nearly desperate in this COVID season for recreation and release.

But as my house has a decent lake view, I watched with some interest as ice plugged the outer harbor. It seemed too much to ask for that it should become safe enough to skate on — keeping in mind that ice is never safe. But whatever.

The sign I watch for is the appearance of ice houses. Once they appear, I grab my skates. My logic is this: those guys know what they’re doing. I figure the ice angler community is right on top of the Department of Natural Resources, and is tracking ice thickness so I don’t have to. If they feel safe, I feel safe.

Ice Angler Rescue

Ice anglers rescued after ice sheet breaks away from shore.

KBJR. WCCO-TV. Star Trib. Duluth News-Tribune.

I was skating that ice 48 hours ago, so I’m going to crawl under my bed now.

Skated the big lake today

Skated the big lake today in -30 windchill or so. Had it all to myself because I’m a baller, shot caller, 20-inch blades on the Impala

Avant-Garde Women: The Hundred-Jointed Dancer and the Laban Ladies

Art history is weighted toward objects like paintings and sculptures, and so the performing arts have gotten less attention. Dadaism, which began in Zurich in 1916, was an art movement that generated objects — but it was also a highly performance-based phenomenon. The origin and center of Dada activity was in fact a rollicking cabaret. What happened on stage was every bit as important as the paintings on display; this also held true in the later Galerie Dada, which centered around performance-based “soirees.”

A great number of Dada stage performers were women, but art history emphasized the artworks of the Dada men instead. This is slowly being corrected. The female dancers on Dada stages have been characterized as being “associated with” Dada; they have also been called “fringe” members. But the more I look into it, the more they seem like central players. These women were from the nearby dance school of Rudolph von Laban (pronounced like “Le Bon”); Dadaist Hugo Ball called them the “Laban Ladies.” Their star dancer was founding Dadaist Sophie Taeuber, who Ball called the “hundred-jointed dancer.” She was the only person with full membership in both groups, and it was through her that Laban Ladies filled Dada’s stages. Looking at connections between the Dadaists and these avant-garde women reveals: the Laban Ladies were Dada’s secret weapon.

More Wild Ice

Skating Duluth’s inner harbor at “the slip.” Photo gallery below.

Avant-Garde Women: Sophie Taeuber, Founding Dadaist

The multitalented Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber was one of the original Dadaists in 1916. Working in many media at the cutting edge of modern art, she went on to Surrealism and more. She remained lesser-known for sexist reasons even while many art historians considered her a crucial and pioneering figure. Her work was overshadowed by male contemporaries, and even though art history tended to minimize her, if anything the situation has all but reversed itself now: her star has brightened while others have dimmed. Decades after her death in 1943, Taeuber continues to emerge from the shadows of the avant-garde.

A note on spellings etc.

Different sources below refer to Dada either as “dada,” “Dada,” “DADA,” “Zurich Dada,” or “Zurich-dada.” All are synonymous for our purposes. The Zurich branch of Dadaism that Sophie Taeuber helped create in 1916 was the founding branch of the movement, propagating to other cities after she moved on. Indifference to standardized capitalization was a Dada hallmark.

Wild Ice

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