The Geezer Manifesto: Neo-Primitive and Neurotic Elements in the Recent Carvings of E. Ike
By Dink Lurk (the dark dick himself)
Few readers will be inclined to argue with the observation that Ike has a primitive style. Those who have
spent time in his presence are quick to point out the compelling attraction of this description. His
wardrobe, toilet training, hygiene, and general appearance all attest to the fact that in dress, behavior and
demeanor, Ike is essentially indifferent to those qualities which members of polite society esteem in
social interaction. It is still not considered genteel to blow your nose on your shirt sleeve or fart loudly in
public, etiquette which almost everyone but Ike takes for granted. The question remains: "To what extent
has this crude propensity to embrace anti-social norms affected the professional life of the artist [given
that we intend to apply the term 'artist' loosely, of course]?" Here, then, for the elucidation of the absent
minded reader, we shall examine the extent to which Ike's work is representative of the description
"neo-primitive."  Seen here for the first time are several specimens of the artist's recent handiwork, said
to have been prepared specifically for the purpose at hand. It will be the obligation of the reader only to
examine each artifact with an eye toward an intimate personal evaluation, given what has been described
as 'an idiot's eye view' of the antics of aficionados of The Garage School of Carving and the general
semantics of geezer ergonomics.    
Titled "Yer'n'Eye: Monk of the Duchy of Dots," the item here displays aspects of a leitmotif often identified as characteristic of adolescent Ikean style.
Note the primitive carving decorated (some say camouflaged) with dots superimposed on pattern burnt wood. Insiders will note that Ike made no
attempt to select as piece of wood suitable to his subject, because the grain in this piece is obviously marred by ugly blemishes suggesting that stain
was applied below the left eye, throat and lower cheek. But that is not the case. The darker grain is simply a natural characteristic of the wood (in this
case caused by pine sap) which the black cowl over the head was designed (partly) to conceal. Hence one is left with the impression that the left eye,
lighter in color than the right, is oozing with a discharge of some type. So what is really going on here? As you can see, probably not much...Ike was
only willing to add the following comments: "Yer lookin' at what we in the Garage School call somebody's geezer ancestor figure. It's up to you to
figure out whose ancestor, naturally. The average Garage School adept, however, will not be fooled for a moment. He will know immediately who is
being referred to and why. You see, Garage School geezers will go to almost any length to supply other geezers with a belly laugh or two. That's just
the way grubby geezers are...so it should be no surprise to anyone that Yer'n'Eye is superfacially homonymous with Urine I."  Apparently references
to body fluids, excretions, and anatomical deformities are simply matters which the elderly are forced to confront on a daily basis.     
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The category ancestor figure remains undoubtedly a genre of primary concern to geezers about to make their final trip across the Stygian pond. We
see here another example of that illustrious category, 'Mujer con reboso" (woman with shawl). Since it is rare for Ike to attempt female faces, this
item (and others represented below) deserves only minor attention from the male dominated geezer community, according to the average geezer.
First it is important to observe that her head is tilted slightly to your right. From her perspective, however, her head is tilted to the left. So, in geezer
lingo, she is left leaning which you are expected to see as merely leaning always to the right. This is simple geezer logic made manifest in perspective.
You see, geezers believe women operate with a different set of assumptions than do men. They see things one way while geezers see them in another.
Nobody really knows who's right, but that is not the way women see it because they are inclined to believe they are always right...without
exception....

Now, some have said that this figure seems to illustrate female body language in the following way. Take for example the look on her face. How
would you interpret it? A committee of kinematics and kinesiologists composed entirely of males, when recently asked this question, offered the
following evaluation. First and foremost her facial expression suggests she is about to make a subtle cutting remark. This is strongly suggested by the
pursed lips with the lower cheeks sucked in. Her raised eyebrows are a clear sign that she is not impressed with what you just said while the
expression in her eyes tends to imply she is either experiencing great pity for your pathetic intellect or that she doubts your sanity, has been deeply
disturbed by your behavior, or is grief stricken because you have just hurt her feelings...i.e. you are rude as well as crude.

Contrarily, a committee of similarly trained females reached conclusions of an entirely different nature. They saw her as long suffering due to her
affiliation with a third world minority, Latina women. She is forced to wear a shawl because she is denied weekly visits to a hairdresser. Her facial
expression suggests she is emotionally fragile, is suffering from loss of confidence, and feels she is not appreciated for doing all the cooking, the
laundry and the house cleaning. Her clothing is also drab, dysfunctional, poorly designed and barely decorated. So she is justifiably miserable about
that as well. Indeed, all in all, she feels sad, helpless, abused and discriminated against all at the same time. It is really a very very disturbing image
that in no way could have been created by a man. Her condition, however, probably was. Since representatives of both gender groups clearly saw
things quite differently, it is apparent that geezer logic played no significant role in the development of the female perspective. And, as it turned out,
that is the only observation both committees were prepared to agree upon.   
If you think it's all really just about relationships...
Geezers, as a class, are rarely allowed the opportunity to express deeply held opinions about sex, society, government, marriage, the church,
medicine, the arts, education, the Bible, history, youth, diet, health, vitamins, condoms, booze, whatever. Do you have any idea why? No, you do not,
because you are not a geezer...yet...so I guess I'm gonna have to fill you in.

You see, geezers have usually done everything worth doing already, so they have experienced all the major DISAPPOINTMENTS associated with the
itemized categories listed above. They have had all the sad sex they are ever going to have already, so they have little reason to exaggerate about that,
except for those still interested in occasional masturbation. They are generally ignored by society and are frequently screwed by government, in spite
of the crummy social security checks they receive monthly, which by the way they must still declare as income and pay federal taxes on (it's called
taxation without representation). The church is still interested in them, of course, because burials are a lucrative source of income for the religious
pukes who dominate the funeral industries. [The National Funeral Directors Association 2006 survey found that the average price for a metal casket
was $2,255.] Other than that, as far as the church is concerned, geezers can go fuck themselves to death for all they care. Medicine, of course, is
another matter. Doctors love to have geezers as patients because (1) geezers qualify for Medicare (such as it is), and (2) geezers are old and prone to
every imaginable illness you can imagine. Since illness = lots of  money to doctors, dentists, pill pushers and the insurance industries who own the
government, all these fuckers do everything they can to muzzle geezers, because geezers are dying to complain about the rippoffs they have suffered
as a result of being old and human. Also, let's face it; the young couldn't give a good rat's ass about the old. They are just too busy trying to find
someone (anyone really) who knows how to give good head. Of course, I could go on and on about all this, but I'm sure you get the point. Anyway,
what is really amazing is that Ike somehow managed to get all this crap suggested by the carving you see here. In fact, there is only one universal
truth, and every geezer worth his salt knows what it is. That's why one old geezer (wearing a mask) is explaining it to an airhead who simply doesn't
understand that "Everything is bullshit!"  
One cannot possibly expect to qualify as a neo-primitive carver unless one is willing (at a minimum) to carve one exceptionally primitive figure. That
is why several of the
figures displayed on this page were carved in fig wood, naturally. It's just the appropriate thing to do if you don't see what I
mean. As you know, figs grow on fig trees, and when figs ripen and dry out, their skins shrivel and darken as the fruit becomes nutritious and sweet.
Now, thinking about what I have just said, try gazing for a minute or two into the eyes of the figure just above to the left. Do you see how wistful her
expression is? And those magnificently expressive lips? What do you suppose she is thinking about? What does she want at this moment more than
anything else in the world? But then, perceptively, the more you stare into her eyes, the more you see her expression change ever so slightly to
sadness, although if you stare at the tip of her nose she might even seem furiously angry or about to cry. Now why do you suppose that is? Is it
because she has realized that "Everything is bullshit!" And the look on her face is the play of emotions leading up to this realization..?  
Primitive, of course, does not necessarily imply stupid or backward. In fact,  in one respect it implies 'free of so-called civilized perspectives,' or
unburdened by conventional rules, dogma, obligations, expectations and so forth. Thus we see that the neo-primitive carver may be concerned with a
fresh approach to perspective in art because he is no longer fettered by conventional ways of thinking or doing things. To be a 'primitive' then is to be
someone with a fresh or original approach, not beholden to others notions of propriety, sobriety, society, or any other credo for that matter. If it's all
just bullshit anyway, what does it matter what I think about what you think or vice versa?  Who really gives a hoot any more anyway about what you
or I think? I know I don't and I suspect you don't either. So there we are, together, free of stupid, unworkable, restrictive, anal retentive fixations.
Shall we not then attempt to make the best of it? You do what you think you do best, and I will do the same. Can we not have it both ways? Frankly I
do not see why not...
Freud's Dilemma, (or Father Knows best) further presents more of the crude over simplifications we have come to
expect from applied geezer ergonomics. Anyone who has read Freud's writings will be forced to admit he did not
understand Jack Shit about geezers, no matter what his apologists have to say. To assert that all red blooded males
subconsciously desire to kill their fathers so they can screw their mothers is just a load of twaddle in any geezer's
same BS wrapped up in puerile semantic confusion and quagmires of adulterated adolescent crotch gobble. I put it to
you plainly. Doesn't this carving, which is a total masterpiece in fig, explain it all just as reliably and as believably as
Freud ever did? It's true we all wear a mask; that's simply friggin' obvious. Because nobody can go around with his
prick hanging out and get away with it (unless you join a nudist colony or move to San Francisco). The fact is what
all human behavior boils down to is an item buried deep within the brain. You see, in each of us there is an odd
evolutionary remnant, something left over from an ancient stage in the development of the human central nervous
system. Something we have received from all the life forms that have preceded us in the chain of life leading back to
the first slimy egg. Something we all have in common with the dinosaurs and every bird and lizard who ever lived
since. We each share a Lizard brain and that is the most important thing we all have in common. It's what really
makes us tick and why we all enjoy dicking around so much....crawling around on our bellies and crapping in our
diapers until we receive the benefits of mommy's potty training. After all is said and done, aren't we all really just as
simple as that...?
Curiously, according to Ike, the most important thing about mommy is that she will love anything she gives birth to, no matter how stupid, ugly,
wicked or misbegotten the thing may be. It's just part of the human female programming. Furthermore, a mommy is capable of any degree of self
delusion to insure the survival of her brood. Out comes this hairless wrinkled savage covered in slime and the first thought mommy has is "Isn't he
just darling? Why he is just the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. And look, he has already learned how to scream, yell and cry until I let him suck
my tit." Naturally, this behavior, this abject failure to perceive reality, goes on for the life of her darling baby, no matter how many times she has to
change his shitty diaper, wipe off his asshole, powder his balls, and so forth. The relationship between mother and child has to rank very high on the
list of marvels of the natural world, otherwise none of us would ever have survived childhood. One crap a day for mommy to clean up would be
painful enough for any rational human to bear, but you give a healthy infant enough milk and he can crap as much as 6-7 times a day. And I mean
really nasty smelly craps that often ooze right out the side of the diaper. You go through this day after day for a couple years and there is no doubt
whatsoever that your personality and attitude are going to suffer. So there you have it: what this last carving is all about. Titled "Reverend Mothers of
Pinewood," this piece is Ike's monument to his mother, in appreciation for the fact that she resisted all temptations to dump the baby along with the
bathwater...  

As you can see to the right, Ike’s primary development from gamete to geezer bonehead is deftly represented by the four faced figures placed one
atop each other. Starting from the bottom, we see the image of Ike as the primitive blockhead that he is (a fact attested to by all the important relatives
who otherwise wouldn’t admit to being related to Ike in the first place.) Next comes a one-eyed figure, followed by a sour puss, and then the beamish
knucklehead on top. Apparently, raising and associating with Ike were never agreeable tasks.  It is interesting, however, to note that both female
figures are draped in formal caps and gowns, suggesting they were instrumental in Ike’s primary education, primitive as that may seem to those who
know Ike today. That is to say, few of his contemporary associates would be likely to conclude he had a primary education, if you know what I
mean. If you don’t I guess that’s also to your benefit. Additionally, of the carvings so far represented, this is the first example of Ike’s tendency to
carve all around figures, a practice that allows for rotating the work to reveal various geezerfied perspectives. Although this is not a technique at all
typical of primitive carvers, most authorities are quick to suggest that makes no essential difference to the identification of Ike as a Classical Primitive
Geezer type.
Naturally, there are always those who want to make more of this than meets the eye. Take for instance the words uttered by the minor Flap Doodle of Van Nuys, Ugh Toad.  Since the Toad is notoriously a man of few words, take my word for it: a few words from him is all you are ever likely to
get… Nevertheless, Toad has written in one of his more loquacious moments: “there appears to be a modest dribble, but a dribble nonetheless, leaking from the right eye of the fig in this figure.” In Toad’s view, this amounts to all the evidence necessary to conclude this fig is really not a fig at all
but a dried date carved in date palm. Fortunately, since the sum total of the Toad’s knowledge of wood can be contained in a single brain bit [zero] there is little basis for taking this crummy observation seriously.     
Selecting the photos for this exposition has proven to be no easy task for several reasons. First, no single photo can ever hope to portray the true image of a carving since no one point of view captures a 360 degree perspective. Thus, because Ike is known for carving from multiple viewpoints,
something is always ‘left out.’ And what is left out is frequently something essential to Ike’s understanding as well as your understanding of Ike. The next carving [Freud's Dilemma] is, of course, a case in point. Obviously, we are meant to see that the figure represented is not that of Sigmund
Freud [1856-1939], the Austrian physician and founder of psychoanalysis. Freud’s viewpoint, in proposing his definition of the human unconscious, was naturally limited by the nature of the patients he treated and the knowledge [such as the Greek myths] available to him during his lifetime. So
what is it about the figure that we are meant to see?
Note the above Photo which
shows detail of the Lizard
while the photo to the right
captures a part of the backside
of the carving as seen in a
mirror image.
Pinewood Man (before and after) is the title Ike gave to the image you see here. Those unfamiliar with the
plain vanilla details of corporeal existence on the planet will perhaps be unaware that the cul-de-sac where
Ike maintains a family residence is located in Irvine on a street with the same name. Thus it can be
conjectured that Pinewood Man is meant to reveal autobiographical details about the carver himself.
Combining elements of a primitive mask with three dimensional carving and serendipitous selection of
wood, it is clear that this particular work exhibits clues and gross notions of self. Glossing over the fact
that the title is obviously reminiscent of anthropological references to early Homo sapiens (Piltdown Man,
Java Man etc.) which bewails the fact of Ike’s primordial consistency, readers of this exegesis and those
with carving experience will not fail to notice the following as well. This figure has a primitive ear (actually
two); the face is cut into the trunk of wood directly across the vertical grain [a difficult assignment]; there
is that peculiar obloid formation below the right ear; and the figure gazes upward with something like an
enigmatic or inscrutable stare. To begin (again) it must be noted that the obloid formation was not carved
by Ike but was a natural feature of the wood. [Trees just sometimes produce the damndest formations.]
Looking something like a donut with a hole in it, puckered lips or a donkey’s anus, it is impossible to guess
what Ike saw in this feature or why he chose to incorporate it into the sculpture. But it is just the kind of
quirky thing that he is known to do. In any case, from the point of view of primitive peoples this feature
represents a holy quality or a body cavity, a fact which is beyond authoritarian dispute. What then shall we
make of this dumb but holy brute, this odd but curious creature, apparently struggling to understand what
makes up the sky above? This listener, watching and waiting, baffled, or perhaps even angry, but stern and
undeniably resolute?  Need I say more? I think not…

Big Nose K-Ike

Amid the flotsam and clutter so typical of Ike’s studio/
garage can be found bizarre baubles, showy trinkets and other semi-worthless things. Seen here is a typical
example. Carved from an old and cranky piece of Eucalyptus, this preposterous figure titled Big Nose K-Ike rests in
a place of honor beside Yer’N’Eye, on the brick step up to the fireplace in Ike’s Irvine residence. Seen as
companion pieces, there is little doubt that the two carvings were meant to be displayed together. Similar colors,
paint and decorative flourishes further make the case for the filial relationship. Insiders are, of course, aware that
these carvings represent the artistic partnership Ike commemorated with Odd Jim Dotty. Although outsiders might
wonder which figure represents Ike, that is hardly in doubt. Toothy with big black gums, we cannot fail to note
that Ike’s “portrait” is equipped with a second (auxiliary) mouth. Some believe that makes Ike the spokesperson for
the duo, but that is simply not the case. Nor is it fair to conclude that the wimpy look in Ike’s eyes suggests he is
emotionally unstable or the weaker partner of the two. What is important, however, is the size of Ike’s nose,
symbolizing his often offensive scrutiny of other people’s business. (Everyone knows Ike is a busybody, gadfly,
and fart-knocker who picks his nose.) What they don’t know, however, is that, according to Ike, this image is
meant to suggest that he smells something that just doesn’t smell right. What might that be?  Personally, I suspect
that K-Ike has just detected the mephitic aroma of a rather noxious and disgusting fart, an observation which would
appear to be entirely consistent with the Geezer’s Prime Directive.  If this observation proves eventually to be
‘correct,’ it follows that Ike spent considerable time and effort to provide someone with a crude but thoroughly
geezerfied belly laugh or two. A final detail about the two carvings bears mentioning here. The K-Ike figure, as I
noted above, was carved in cranky Eucalyptus; but the Yer’N’Eye figure was sculpted in a hard and very dry piece
of Pine. Surely, there can be no mistaking the significance of that simple fact.    

Finn’s Alter Ego, or Son of Pinewood Man

A brief autobiographical note:
Lovable, affectionate, considerate, affable, extremely talented and conscientious: these are just a few of the many laudable qualities for
which Finn is admired. Loyal to family and friends alike, Finn is much loved and respected by so many people that he remains a bona
fide conundrum or a peculiar anomaly to Ike. Consider, for example, the bizarre factoid that Finn receives hundreds of emails every
year just on his birthday alone.

It is sometimes said that opposites attract, but that rather terse remark in no way adequately explains the stark contrasts that Finn
presents compared to his crusty and utterly geezerfied ancestor. Known for his cool, comprehensive mechanical brilliance, Finn is the
darling of his social set, where his skills are in constant demand by both the ladies as well as the gents. “Go, dude!”  Justly world
famous for his artistic and comical genuflections on this and that, his histrionic antics, volubility, common sense, generosity, and
willingness to help others, only gifted genealogists, family philosophers, psychiatrists, and palm readers might hope to explain how
Finn could possibly be related to Ike. Yet that somehow is precisely the case.

Finn’s alter Ego, then, represents Ike’s attempt to capture the spirit of Finn in wood, a colorful sculpted benediction to his son for the
man he has become, in spite of  [or perhaps because of] the awe-filled reality of growing up in the presence of such a negative
parental role model. (Will wonders never cease?) On the step up to the fireplace, to the left of the “Dolls of the Family Geneology,”
Finn stares in perpetual vigilance over the main room of the family residence, toward the effigy of Ma and Pa (a carving not shown
here). Depicted in a black beret with a van Gogh beard (a style Finn is known to prefer) the photo here does not do justice to the
engaging expression on his face where a quiet concern  is mingled with strength, truth and wisdom, all blessed with a manly grace…
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