Friday, March 08, 2024

The muse becomes cymbalic


Those of you new to Dizgraceland won't recognize my muse and (tor)mentor, the Monkey Playing Cymbals. He (I assume he is a he, but I've never looked...if you catch my drift) is a rather old battery operated toy monkey playing cymbals that doesn't really work, but can be made to play the cymbals manually. 

He (they since there are three of them in this design and he/they could be gender fluid) have sat on the shelf above my desk at work for probably 20 years or so. I should bring it (him, they) home since I work most days now in my home office.  But  then I'd have to put up with the Monkey's chattering about change and being left alone for so long in an empty office.

Regardless of the human attributes I am projecting up on this more or less inanimate object, it has been my muse for years. So it seemed fitting to incorporate it he them into a t-shirt design. Fortunately I have plenty of photos of the monkey in various poses. It is amazing the different looks he they them have for a battery operated toy that no longer operates.

So if you are new to Dizgraceland and stumbled in here looking for the meaning behind my random t-shirt designs you now have a bit of background about the monkey. He (let's just go ahead and call him he from now on since that is the pronoun I seem to automatically fall back on)  is not new to my Photoshop fever dreams. He actually had his own blog for some time ( I eventually grew tired of maintaining it and paying for the domain name. But for awhile I played with many Monkey personaes. 

This isn't one of them. This was something I came up with today. As you can see, the Monkey is quite animated when I dress him up. I neglected to tell him that Sea Monkeys were not, in fact, monkeys and that he is dressed like a brine shrimp.  I imagine that would have triggered some feces throwing. 

Though being a mechanical monkey he fortunately doesn't have any real feces to fling. But I don't want to take a chance with being hit in the eye with a spring or a spare gear. 

I've learned not to monkey with the Monkey.

Though on that note I did find a new site that generates AI art. ChatGPT tried to explain it to me as technologies that range from machine learning algorithms to neural networks that analyze data, patters and content and generate new content.  I asked it to create a Monkey Sea Monkey and it spit out this:

I thought that was pretty cool (and a bit disturbing). I wouldn't want to encounter it while snorkeling off the beach in Cabo after a few cervezas.  But I wanted to see something closer to a mechanical sea monkey playing cymbals.  Here's what it came up with:

My Monkey Playing Cymbals doesn't like it and says it raises concerns about the potential for AI to replace artists altogether (and Monkey Muses I suspect).  I think it is something I wouldn't mind having sitting above my desk for another 20 years. 

Who am I to stand in the way of progress and new improved monkey muses.

Stop chattering at me Monkey!

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