Thursday, December 25, 2008

More songs of joy and peace

A perennial favorite this time of year, 'round Nocturnes Corner, the song "Christmas in the Trenches" by Folksinger John McCutcheon re-tells quite eloquently the story of the spontaneous 'Christmas Truce' of 1914.

Read more on the history of this extraordinary event here and here - and enjoy John McCutcheon's performance.

(All quiet on the Western Front . . .)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Nocturne for Christmas Eve . . .

The Joni Mitchell composition "River" as performed by Sarah McLachlan.

(Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Old Town Sacramento at Night

The following is from Viewpoint's Web site - NOTE: there are still slots available for this fun, new 'shop offering!
Viewpoint Photographic Art Center announces the last of its Fall 2008 schedule of photography workshops - photographing Sacramento Old Town and Downtown at Night, with Tim Baskerville.

Offering a greatly expanded program with a wide diversity of subjects; ViewPoint is very pleased to welcome several nationally recognized instructors to our growing faculty. Additional information may be obtained on the Viewpoint website. These classes are sure to fill early so don’t delay. Go to Workshops at and use the pre-registration links to reserve your spot today! For additional information Contact Gene Kennedy, 916-441-2341,

November 22 & 23
Old Town and Downtown Sacramento at Night
Instructor: Tim Baskerville
Saturday & Sunday, 7 to 11pm

Tim Baskerville has been photographing the night for over 25 years. Founder of The Nocturnes, he will lead us on an adventure of exploring both Old Town and downtown Sacramento the weekend before Thanksgiving. Emphasis will be on evaluating existing lighting situations and exposing accordingly. Films and digital capture will be discussed and compared. This is an intensive workshop, limited to 15 participants, closely supervised on location. Download
a Registration Form here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Nocturnes return to Death Valley

Dream Date #3, Death Valley by Tim Baskerville

Death Valley, at more than 3 million acres, is the largest National Park in the contiguous United States. From Telescope Peak (11,049 foot) on the west to Dante's View on the east (5,475 foot and offering a vista of nearly all of Death Valley), the park features spectacular desert scenery, unusual wildlife, and is an area of great geological, historical, and cultural interest to many. Badwater is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level). The average high temperature during the day in November is a very mild 76 degrees, followed by cooler nights at around 50 degrees!

This is the dramatic landscape we will find ourselves visiting this November 8-10, during the waxing Full "Frost" Moon - to photograph the nocturnal beauty of Death Valley! We will photograph around Furnace Creek Ranch, and such sites as the Ghost town of Rhyolite and Zabriskie Point under the light of the full moon.

Deadline to register with us is October 31st - more info can be found
here - and you can register here.

(Read an unsolicited testimonial re: this 'shop on Joe Reifer's NPy Blog from a few weeks back)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is there anybody out there . . . ? (still)

Calling all Nocturnes! Well, it's that time again! - For our 16th AlumNight (now a semi-annual) event, sponsored by The Nocturnes NPy Web site, at a "secure undisclosed location" in the SF Bay Area, on October 18th.

We have a number of announcements to make, much to talk about, and work (from you!) to see. All this, and a few more surprises - should be a another great AlumNight! So-o-o, if you're an Alum, be sure bring your latest work, promo pieces, 'leave behinds,' and just news of what's goin' on in your photo-life!

We are posting this notice here to catch a few of our "fair-weather Nocturnes," whose email addresses may have changed since our last event - in the hope they'll catch the news here!

If you're alumni, and for some reason have NOT rec'd email re: this event - please contact us (you know where to find us . . . ) re: the details for AlumNight. Or, if you know of an Alum who fits this category, give them a buzz, won't you?

(Joe, Mike, Jimmy - can you hear me . . .?)

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Nocturnes - OFF LIMITS - for a bit

Well now, we've really done it! The previously-mentioned and many-times-delayed migration to the new server takes place over the next 72 hours. During this period (Labor Day, indeed!) you might SEE a cached view of The Nocturnes Web site, or you might get NOTHING for your efforts. Emails to the site are also disabled temporarily (ah-h-h, peace and quiet!). This blog however, will be fully functioning and if you need to get/keep in touch, that is an option. Immediately after this period, service WILL continue to be interrupted – hopefully, just for a few more days, but expect delays in getting ALL the pages/depts back up and running.

Why migrate, you may ask? A few simple reasons: cost for additional bandwidth, efficiency, and brute storage. This is an important move, as it will enable us to expand the current Gallery space to include some new international artists who’ve expressed interest in participating in our little show’n’tell. BTW, if you would like to deepen your participation in The Nocturnes – that would be one path – to join the growing list of gallery artists. The annual fee is yet to be determined, but it should be modest, and helps us cover the increased bandwidth and the need for the move to the new server.

(This ain't off limits anymore . . . )

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An American Prayer

Got an email today from Stu Jenks - with a link to this great new video by Dave Stewart. Even if you're not a fan of Obama (or Stewart for that matter), Stu guesses "you will be greatly moved by end of the song."

We couldn't agree more - nice to see Joannie B. in there, too!

(Remember me . . .)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Need a few more Nocturnists . . .

Looking for a few more people to round out the 3-night Workshop I'm doing for RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco. Starts THIS THURSDAY, August 7 and continues on the 14th and 21st. You can call RayKo at 415.495.3773 for more information, and to register. SOMA locations include Yerba Buena Gardens (if we can get the permitting done in time!) and along the Embarcadero.

(Nocturnes Crossing - 100 feet)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dark Weekend II

Another BIG weekend coming up for NPy and Local NPrs - a transbay extravaganza of nocturnal education/entertainment events coming up - see last weekend's offering (post is below), in case you missed it - those events are still in play, too! I'm beginning to feel every bit the Social Director for all the Nocturnists out there (yet another of our many free services . . .)!

First of all, Troy Paiva's release party for his new book - "Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration" - is being held at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco on Friday, August 1st.

(Cover of Troy Paiva's second book)

Just across the bay on the same evening, Joe Reifer will be holding court at the opening for the show: "Toy Camera Dreams" at Lucky Ju Ju's vintage pinball arcade, in Alameda.

(Oscar, by Joe Reifer)

Just so you know, Andy Frazer "scooped' us again on both of the above - on his NPy BLog - so, as to not waste your time here ("we know you have choices . . . ") you can read a full description, get addresses and times from this link.

Finally, again ON THE SAME NIGHT, John Vias will be at the opening reception for the "Glimpses of Time" exhibit at the
Joyce Gordon Gallery from 5:30 - 8:30 pm. The show runs August 1-30, 2008, and the Gallery is located at 406 Fourteenth Street in Downtown Oakland, steps from the 12th Street BART station. Read more about this show and the award he was granted on John's site - click on NEWS

(Shiny Door by John Vias)

Let's see now, for those keeping score, in August we have:
Nocturnes . . . in Berkeley?
Night Sky spying witnessed - again, in Berkeley.
UrbEx photo documentation/fine art in San Francisco.
Another of John Vias's "Blue Nocturnes" in Oakland.
Joe Reifer, dream-states, and Pinball in Alameda.
And, Gotham's darkest hour, at theaters near you - that should keep you busy!

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Night School

Quite a weekend feast of nocturnal education/entertainment events coming up - one that's sure to, how shall we say it, ". . . put a smile on that face!"

First of all, as many who frequent the Photog-Blog-o-sphere surely know, the opening reception for the Nocturnes . . . in Berkeley? exhibit of NPy at The LightRoom, on Fifth Street in Berkeley, is this Saturday, July 19, from 2-6pm, with plenty of Nocturnes in attendance. So, why not venture out and see the faces behind the images?

Hearst Memorial Gymnasium, West Study by Tim Baskerville

The show features NightWork by some of the "usual suspects" - Tim Baskerville, Denise Fuson, Sherry Glassman, Mark Jaremko, Joe Reifer, Charity Vargas, and John Vias - all artists living, working, teaching, or photographing (or all of the above!) around Berkeley and nearby East Bay communities. It marks a shift in focus for The Nocturnes group (formerly San Francisco-based) to East Bay and North Bay locales.

The title of the exhibit, of course comes from that clever (and long running!) ad campaign from the late ‘60s by the Berkeley Farms Corporation. The tagline ran: “Farms in Berkeley?” to which one hears a cow respond - “Mooooo.” And, as incongruous as it might seem to find farms in present-day Berkeley (although the Ocean View district was once an agricultural area!), it should come as no surprise that The Nocturnes have found beauty, mystery, and transformation amid the darkened streets of Berkeley.

For directions, etc. and to read more about this fascinating and fun exhibit see the exhibit
page on The Nocturnes site. And, you can preview some of the images in the show online.

While you're in town, why not visit the Berkeley Art Museum, across from the campus (where the Hearst Memorial Gymnasium image above was taken) to catch the exhibit, "The Other Night Sky" featuring photography by Trevor Paglen, in which he investigates, documents some alarming governmental facets of movement in the night sky, which we, as NPrs, might not ordinarily associate with the coming of nightfall.
See the BAM/PFA site for more info.

And, if that's not enuf nocturnal stimulus for you, "The Dark Knight," the new Batman movie, opens on Friday, July 18, and it looks to be a stunner, with a haunting performance by the late Heath Ledger as the Joker.

See the trailer here, or on the Warner Bros. site for the release of the movie.

Let's see now, mysterious night images of Berkeley (the campus and the city); clandestine spying by OUR Government, seen in the night sky; and Gotham's darkest hour - that should do it!

So when in Gotham (or Berkeley), ". . . let's be careful out there."

("Why so serious . . ." )

Friday, June 06, 2008

What we’re selling here: Part II . . . or, PDN gets it right

An email from
Charity Vargas (sitting in NYC somewhere, reading PDN) recently alerted us to the following:

As part of their Photo Annual 2008, (still on newsstands, but hurry!) in their feature entitled “46 Reasons to Love Photography Now” Photo District News has this to say about “contemporary practices that function in the dark . . . are flourishing, backed by strong communities of photographers who support each other, share advice, and show their work online.” Tracing NPy’s pedigree back to the late 1800s, the article points out that study was “reignited in the 1970s: thru the efforts of NPy pioneers/educators Steve Harper, Richard Misrach, and Arthur Ollman. PDN writer, Alan Rapp further states: “Today the nexus of the movement is the Bay Area community known as The Nocturnes. These photographers helped advance Night Photography toward becoming a genre unto itself.” And he goes on to point out the many activities we sponsor, mostly around California.

The second part of the article focuses on the Urban Exploration movement, and its link to the NPy world, mentioning the work of our own
Troy Paiva.

(Do you think my horn is in tune? Toot, toot!)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

RE: Quitting Time . . . or What I LIKE about the Internet

"You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello, hello . . ."
(Hello, Goodbye - Lennon/McCartney)

Well, it seems to have started May 12, 2008, with Stu Jenks posting
An Argument Against Photography - and the follow-up on May 14, 2008, I'm Not Suicidal . . . tho' it really started before that. With the backlash. With a few heads butting up against the biz-ness of Photography, its disingenuosness. The incessant talk of gear, gadetry, gizmos, and those . . . egos. The constant marketing, self-promotion, and worse. The multitude of "Nice Capture!" comments and all.

Photo by Szymon Seweryn

Stu's exposition flew round the Photog-Blog-World, and I was 110% behind him, his sentiments, his predicament. It's something I struggle with - almost daily, and I remember the first of this year saying that I was "Seriously looking at my involvement with all this stuff for the new year."(shows, 'shops, et all) to which someone had replied: "I think you said that last year." Yeah well, anyway, I'm constantly questioning all this - it's the tried and true "Is this trip necessary?" test. So, I was primed for the artistic investigation via the Blogs that was to follow. So, it appears, was Joe Reifer - on his blog May 17, 2008, he picked up on "the question(s)" and has been attacking it from different vantage points, angles, depths (like any good photographer!) in his on-again off-again fashion ever since. Mark Hobson's The Landscapist blog - joined in the fray, as others (just google the words "Joe Reifer" and "Blog" to follow the ether trail) did the same.

Joe's latest posts deal with magic, photography, and clothespins and he makes some pretty startling (tho' some might argue obvious) statements:

"The best storytelling exists in print, the Internet is the same as TV."

"Blogs are to sell you something — what are they selling?"

That last one brings me to just what's behind "Cogito, ergo blog" (I wish I could say I dreamt that up but credit goes - in its most recent reincarnation - to Philosophy Talk, the Blog ) and the reason I why I do this. The answer to that arrived this past week in a beautiful overseas packet (check out those stamps!) from Poland, for my review. Inside was the work of a couple of artists, working/exhibiting NPy together - stunning, magical, mysterious, moody, stark b/w work - previously unknown to me. Now, The Nocturnes, you must realize, is a 'for-profit' endeavor, in name only - and that gives me (actually it "gave" me nothing - that "vision" was there from the beginning) quite a bit of "freedom," and perspective. So, to answer the question: "What is THIS Blog selling?" I would have to say THE IDEA of The Nocturnes, that community-building, the sense of the importance/relevance of NPy education and research, and the collective vision of all those associated with the endeavor. And, that is what I LIKE about the internet - and how it's not TV. Last time I checked, Channel 3 (NBC) did nothing to hook me up with kindred spirits half a world away!

As John pointed out in his comment on Mark's Blog - "We all need that “communication and connection” — it makes us fully realized human beings — and probably more engaged photographers."

Your comments/connections are MOST welcome.

(You say why . . . and I say I don't know.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sail the Moon . . .

Latest Lunar Eclipse w/ "Ghost Ship" sculpture (site - MISHP)
NPy by Tim Baskerville

Now, related to the Open Space stories below, this past weekend the nascent Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve held an "Access Day" in the normally "off-limits" southern tip (site of the proposed regional park) of Mare Island at the Carquinez Strait. These monthly "Second Saturday Access Days" are hosted by Arc Ecology. Contact: Myrna Hayes, Volunteer North Bay Projects Manager for Arc Ecology, myrnahay[at]pacbell[dot]net, or call 707-557-9816.

The public may walk, hike or bicycle on the paved roads enjoying scenic vistas of 7 Bay Area counties, as well as the cultural, military and natural features of the area.

The next scheduled Access Day is set for Saturday, June 14, 2008 - so, mark your calendars. Groups meet at The Preserve entrance gate at the deadend of Railroad Ave on Mare Island. For directions: enter the park name into Google Maps .

For more info re: The Preserve, visit the SF Bay Flyway festival Web site

And, look for The Nocturnes to hold a nighttime event at The Preserve real soon!

("How you gonna keep off the preserve, once they've seen the sights?"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

News of Ranchos and Open Space

Leading off, there was a great article ("Conservation on a staggering scale at Tejon") in yesterday's SF Chronicle about Tejon Ranch, near Grapevine (Southern California), and the inking of a deal to save more than 240,000 acres (that's eight times the size of San Francisco!) and preserve it as open space in perpetuity. This is largest single acquisition of public land in California history, and a great environmental, ecological, and conservation achievement. Read all about it here.

Lynch Canyon image by Tim Baskerville

On a somewhat less "staggering scale" - this weekend marks the anniversary of Lynch Canyon's usage as a public Open Space. Owned by the Solano Land Trust and operated with partner, the Solano County Parks Department, this 1,000 acre site is home to an amazing variety of wildlife, including grazing cattle (the site's historical usage). Read more about the weekend's festivities here.

Photo of Rush Ranch Nature Center by Tim Baskerville

And, next weekend (Saturday, May 17) The Nocturnes offer a special one-night Night Photography Workshop at another Solano Land Trust property - the 2,070 acre Rush Ranch Open Space, out by Grizzly Island on the Suisun Marsh. This is a benefit for the Rush Ranch Educational Council - read more about Rush Ranch and the Solano Land Trust here - and The Nocturnes Full Moon NPy Workshop here. There are still a few spots open for the 'shop!

Now, back away from the computer - and, just get out there . . .

"Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don't fence me in."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"If I can make it there . . ."

Michael Kenna
New York, Mont St. Michel, Guilin, Chausey, Hokkaido
March 26 - April 26, 2008
Stephen Wirtz Gallery
49 Geary Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108

Flatiron Building, Study 2, New York, USA, 2003

Perhaps this image by Michael Kenna is a quiet homage to any number of unmentioned and anonymous photographers (Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglist, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Karl Struss, etc. - come to mind, having photographed the Flatiron building from almost the same vantage point, some, a century ago) - it's that " . . . On the Shoulders of Giants" idea - perhaps not. The show also includes work done in Japan, China, Mont St. Michel and other parts of France, and yet it is the New York work that I think is a bit of a departure for Mr. Kenna. This is one of the quieter images - for a more ferocious night photograph, see the next one, below - whimsically titled: "Mary Poppins Over Midtown, New York, New York, USA, 2006."

The Artist Reception is Thursday, April 3, 2008 from 5:30 to 7:30, and yes, Mr. Kenna will be in attendance, as will some of The Nocturnes, we're sure.

BTW, when you stop by the gallery, say hello to Wirtz staffer Julie Casemore (a former neighbor of ours - before we deserted the City - and tell her "The Nocturnes sent you."
BTW2, Michael Kenna has agreed to contribute to the traveling exhibition, "Darkness, Darkness" (see post below) - more details to follow!

("These little town blues, are melting away . . . ")

Monday, March 17, 2008

Darkness, Darkness

"Darkness, darkness, be my pillow,
Take my hand, and let me sleep.
In the coolness of your shadow,
In the silence of your deep."
(Darkness, Darkness lyrics by Jesse Colin Young)

Nightscape 1, 9:43pm by Mark Jaremko

Well, it looks like Andy Frazer and Joe Reifer have "scooped" me again. That's really okay tho - all three of us ("the NPy Bloggers") are in the "Darkness, Darkness" exhibit (along with fellow Nocturnes instructors Mark Jaremko, Lance Keimig and Tom Paiva, as well as Alumni Suzanne Friedrich) opening back at Three Columns Gallery at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. and we're nothing if not a laissez-faire-type community. The show runs from March 18 through April 30, with an opening reception March 19, at5:30pm.

Described as "An Exhibit of Contemporary American Night Photography," it includes work by NPy pioneers Steve Harper and Arthur Ollman, as well as Troy Paiva of, and other illuminaries of the NPy world.

Get all the details here. Also, have a look at the "Resources" of the D2 site - lots of "nocturnal fodder" there!

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Is there anybody out there . . . ? (still)

Calling all Nocturnes! Well, it's that time again! - For our 15th AlumNight (now a semi-annual) event, sponsored by The Nocturnes NPy Web site, at a "secure undisclosed location" in the SF Bay Area, on March 22nd.

We have a number of announcements to make, much to talk about, and work (from you!) to see. All this, and a few more surprises - should be a another great AlumNight! So-o-o, if you're an Alum, be sure bring your latest work, promo pieces, 'leave behinds,' and just news of what's goin' on in your photo-life!

We are posting this notice here to catch a few of our "fair-weather Nocturnes," whose email addresses may have changed since our last event - in the hope they'll catch the news here!

If you're alumni, and for some reason have NOT rec'd email re: this event - please contact us (you know where to find us . . . ) re: the details for AlumNight. Or, if you know of an Alum who fits this category, give them a buzz, won't you?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hope . . .

In case you haven't heard, the film "Once" ("The little film that could") won the Oscar for Original Song for "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Much deserved award, very moving acceptance comments by both artists, and Jon Stewart's "call back" of Markéta was brilliant!. For those who weren't able to view the show - here, thru the miracle of YouTube are the clips!

ACCEPTANCE - NOTE: Try this link - embedded video no longer works

PERFORMANCE - NOTE: embed no longer works - try the Letterman clip here. "Fairplay to those who dare to dream . . ."

("Make art. Make art.")

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Simply titled "Nocturnes"

Waiting at the Crossing, Lincoln, NE 1993 by Chris Faust
Having seen the panoramic night work (done with a rare Cirkut rotational panorama camera) of Chris Faust previously, I was curious to see just what format his new book would take. I am pleased to announce that the review copy I recently received from the Univ. of Minnesota Press is a beautifully designed 9x15 (Horizontal) monograph, with an introduction by Joan Rothfuss of the Walker Art Center. Chris braves the rough Minnesota winters to photograph scenes that recall Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Hopper (our favorite NPr who did not use a camera) - with a little bit of 'snow-noir' thrown in for good measure.

One of our favorite soundbites, from the Photographer's Notes in the book, where Chris makes the point: "To make a photograph is still magical and soulful, very much like making Music."

The book is simply titled "Nocturnes" (catchy, no?) and is available thru The Nocturnes link to Amazon
(Like music to our ears . . . )

Friday, January 18, 2008

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme . . .

One of the most graceful, fluid examples of time/motion study I've seen in a long while can be viewed at Jeff Hillhouse's photography site. This particlular image really struck me - no title (at least it's not noted on his site), no indicator of how it was accomplished either - just light, color, cloud movement, and time. And, just look at the scale of that landscape!

BONUS POINTS - if you can figure out how this image was accomplished BEFORE you click over to Jeff's Web site. BTW, Jeff's site (as well as the work by 100+ other NPrs) is now linked, pretty handily, on The Nocturnes site - at O. Winston Links!

(from The Nocturnes Network Detective)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Waiting for Bono

Continuing with the 'eyebrow thing'- this clever little piece (available thru the efforts of!) features St. Glen Hansard and an amazing sound-likeness of Bono. Hansard, of course is one of the stars (along with Markéta Irglová - all of a worldly 17 at the time the film was made) of the runaway indie hit/music film "Once." Just released as a DVD right before Christmas - if you haven't already done so, see this movie!

(“Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.”)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Light Painting the mainstream?

Page One:
An AP Photo of "light painting," celebrating the New Year, over the wire, syndicated in newpapers 'round the globe - see it here!

Page Two:
Throughout 2007, Sprint/Nextel unveiled a number of one-minute long commercial spots, using stop-motion photography with digital cameras, a small creative bunch of artists who COULD draw a [necessarily] not-so-straight line, and the time honored technique of "light painting" during the exposure(s). A little different than the approach we Nocturnes use in our NPy (mostly lengthy exposures), but the principle is the same, and the cumulative aspect of "gathering light over time" rings true.

The performance aspect that comes across in these pieces (which I've always felt was an important part of the attraction of/to NPY) is there, as well - one of the producers/participants in the production of the spots even equated the process to a dance. That about sums it up for me - process and performance art - and these commercials, while hawking cellphones, document the craft and art of this thing we do and are some of the greatest promotional pieces for the study of NPY that I've seen in a bit.

This embedded clip was the spot that I first happened onto (and it hit me!). View the 'behind-the-scenes'commmentary about the production here. Favorite quote from the commentary: "Here, it's not about the perfection, it's about the imperfect on that happens." And, see more spots from the series here, here, and here.

(Ever the evangelista . . . )

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Random Conciliatory Notes / Hot Shots

- The Nocturnes has struck a deal with the Writers Guild of America, so befitting a "Wide World of Pants," we're back in the Nocturnal Entertainment business this new year!

- One of our goals for 2008 was to be more faithful in posting to this here Blog - we would like to have a post up everday (holidays excepted, or not) or maybe every-other day. Well, we'll just have to see . . .

- I am also contemplating participating in
AIDS/LifeCycle , the long bike ride to Los Angeles (from San Francisco) that happens in June. So the new year (at least half of it) might be a balancing act between blogging and biking. More about all this later.

- Our first featured NPr of the New Year is none other than the father of modern industrial and locomotive Night Photography - O. Winston Link! See his famed "Iaeger Drive-In"
image on the New York Times site.

- BTW, did you know that the comprehensive
links page on The Nocturnes site is entitled "O. Winston Links" in the man's honor?

(Yeah, and if you buy that first point . . .)