“Banjoes and mushrooms” :: Issue #302, Rusty’s Electric Dreams

You live in a dreamyou manufacture illusions!”

Tennessee Williams

An inbox zine for positive deviants and the people who love them
Issue #302 :: The “Banjoes & Mushrooms” Edition :: 5:12:2021

Banjoes & Mushrooms…

SJ: “I can’t believe how many banjoes there were!”

Me: “Banjoes?”

SJ: “Yeah, they were EVERYWHERE. I’ve never seen so many banjoes in one place in my WHOLE LIFE.”

Me: “Huh, I didn’t see ANY. I did see a lot of mushrooms though.”

SJ: “Mushrooms…?”

The big antiques faire here in Alameda reopened this month and I took my 16-year-old daughter for the very first time. We were there about three hours and managed to snag a few cool things before the big rush. As we were driving away, I asked her what she thought about it. That’s when she told me about seeing all those banjoes. I laughed and told her that, back in the day, I used to see a lot of “Lincolns” at the flea market. It was a game my then-boyfriend and I played: Count how many things we saw in Abraham Lincoln’s likeness. There are so many Lincoln things out there! Sometimes we switched to owls. Turns out you can tune into most anything and start seeing lots of them.

For the first time ever, I looked up what it’s all about, this pattern detection “thing,” I found out it has a name. In fact, it has two.

Here’s what I learned:

“The name ‘Baader–Meinhof phenomenon” was… noticed by a man named Terry Mullen, who in 1994 wrote a letter to a newspaper column in which he mentioned that he had first heard of the Baader–Meinhof Group, and shortly thereafter coincidentally came across the term from another source. After the story was published, various readers submitted letters detailing their own experiences of similar events, and the name ‘Baader–Meinhof phenomenon’ was coined as a result.

The term ‘frequency illusion‘ was coined in 2005 by Arnold Zwicky, a professor of linguistics at Stanford University and The Ohio State University. Zwicky considered this illusion a process involving two cognitive biases: selective attention bias (noticing things that are salient to us and disregarding the rest) followed by confirmation bias (looking for things that support our hypotheses while disregarding potential counter-evidence).”

So, there ya go. Don’t know why SJ’s brain was locked into banjoes but I know mine is laser-focused on mushrooms because I need to get off my butt and start making art for the upcoming Game of Shrooms (see the Featured Events section for more info)!

Listen, I don’t want you to think of mushrooms, mushroom art, mushroom anything, ok? And certainly don’t send me photos of all the mushrooms you aren’t seeing. Let’s nip these mushroom sightings in the bud, shall we?

Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. SJ and I hiked to Little Yosemite in Sunol, CA this past weekend. What a neat nature find! If you go, go early, bring water, and wear a hat and sunscreen. It gets hot.

As seen on the Internets

All-girl band The Linda Lindas played loud rock in the L.A. Public Library!

:: The “wisdom tree” is a super-cool bookrest ($69)
:: tiktok.com/@kingcrybby/video/6958542591189126406

:: Pending: World’s first 3d-printed house ever put on the market
:: zillow.com/homes/34-Millbrook-Ln-Riverhead,-NY,-11901_rb
:: Virtual tourtours.squarefootphotography.com/public/vtour

:: I’ll be more interested in 3D-printed homes when they look like THIS
:: instagram.com/p/COnqL-DgZVJ

:: The tilework in the restrooms at John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI!
:: artmuseumtoilet.org/JMKACview_6.htm Thx, Rosie!

:: Tiny (animated) Concert: Dead Kennedys Thanks, Julie!
:: instagram.com/p/CNPwwVsjPpc

:: For sale: Coney Island funhouse Thanks, Professor!
:: ebay.com/itm/194086538817

:: “Why a Vancouver Cemetery Is Planting Squash, Kale, and Corn”
:: atlasobscura.com/articles/cemetery-farms-honey

It’s all an illusion:

:: This guy claims to have been Ronald McDonald for 12 years. McD’s disagrees.
:: facebook.com/theguardian/videos/10153453050901323

:: Little tiny Carters (a wide-angle lens is to blame)
:: twitter.com/CarterCenter/status/1389400596004970501/photo/1

:: LOSERBALL: Charlie Todd’s subvertisement for Art in Ad Places
:: instagram.com/p/COf4FkGJoxy

:: The kids are alright
:: tiktok.com/@anneke618/video/6961059357593308421

:: In case you wondered, this was an Onion parody.
:: youtu.be/bikxb_LUKeU

Real Chucks you can actually buy: yay!

Vintage clothing retailer Beyond Retro collaborated with Converse to make high/low top Chucks with  upcycled secondhand Aloha shirts. They’re neat-o but pricey!

Real thing you can actually drive: yay!

:: Real-life replica of Toy Story’s “Pizza Planet” pickup truck
:: sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/d/chico-1992-toyota-pickup-pizza-planet/7317804276.html

Real things you can actually make: yay!
:: Like to sew? This modern pattern company has some sweet looks!
:: closetcorepatterns.com

Real frames you can actually wear: YAY!
:: Iris Apfel has a new line of bold frames
:: zennioptical.com/iris-apfel-glasses/live-colorfully

Real motel you can actually stay in: YES WAY!
:: Every room in The Dive Motel in Nashville has a “Party Switch” that activates a disco ball and music!
:: thedivemotel.com
If you go: Nashville has an ARG called “Mysterious Nashville” that looks promising.

Featured Events

[Oakland, California : 5/28 – 7/10] Tin artist Dave Yoas has a brand new exhibition, Individually Twisted. Transmission Gallery. I can’t wait to see it!

[Live, on your phone: Fri-Sun, 5/14 to 5/30/21] The SF Neo-Futurists have a new interactive performance called The Program and it’s performed entirely on your phone.

[6/12/21] Attaboy’s Game of Shrooms, this amazing art-n-seek event is happening soon and, as I mentioned, I need to get my sh*t together so I can participate.

[5/17 to 6/6] The Mailbox is an interactive mail experience by Tiny Box Theater. Tickets on sale until 5/14.

[Now – 5/23/21] Virtual White Elephant Sale, local pickups only

[Oakland : 5/16] Jingletown art ride (bicycles), 9:30 a.m. meet at Fruitvale BART/10:30 a.m. *ride*

[San Francisco: 5/22 & 5/30] Screenings of Sisters with Transistors at the Roxie. At the 5/22 show, my pal Suki O’Kane is performing! She writes,  I’ll be fully vaxxed, fully masked, and passing out the hand-held projectors to accompany this brief set of Jurassic electronics, on offering of gratitude for the women who built this field for us.”

[Lake (??) Lodoga, California] Is Camp Tipsy actually happening with the drought? Anyone?

[OngoingOffice of Collecting & Design Thanks, Mel!

[Now until ?] Madcap Motel looks like a fun immersive retro-romp.

[7/30] Rental Car Rally, the “midnight competitive roadtrip where handsome people dress up in costumes and descend upon wondrous and strange locations in rental cars” is on (despite the impending gas shortage).

[Coachella Valley: Now – 5/16/21] Desert X 2021, FREE

[10/29] Disney presents Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Live-to-film concert experience with Danny Elfman and TBA guests at Banc of California Stadium. Tickets on sale now.

[Cypress Lake: 5/17/21 – 8/8/21] Mark Mothersbaugh & Beatie Wolfe: Postcards for Democracy at
The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery

[Now – 10/31/21] Kusama: Cosmic Nature, New York Botanical Garden

Um, the event section is getting longer. Guess the world is opening up — gulp!

How to hack into bus stop advertising spaces

Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a fortnightly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff for positive deviants and the people who love them. If this was forwarded to you, please consider subscribing yourself.

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