Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Future Imperfect

Sometime this mid to latter century, your children's children will ask their parents whatever happened to these magnificent animals, when all that's left are hordes of jellyfish floating in a toxic soup of oxygen depleted water, man made chemicals and islands of wandering plastic waste. They'll somehow find the time to ask the way kids inevitably do- whenever there's a break from the recurrent global conflicts over potable water and arable lands.

And someone will have to tell them that no one cared enough about them or any other living thing (with the exception of their own venal selves)- so we knowingly continued to pollute, over fish, and enthusiastically convert two thirds of the world's surface area into the largest open air sewer known to humankind. Someone will have to tell them, that yes, the signs were both abundant and evident that our largest life source was in obvious, imminent danger and yet we continued to abuse it unabated, somehow maniacally setting aside the obvious conclusion that it would ultimately endanger our own survival.

Someone will have to answer them, but it won't be me, and it won't be you. And with that reassurance we'll continue to mine every last remaining gasp of fossil fuel no matter the environmental cost, we'll continue to vote for every policy that benefits wanton, short term economic growth, and we'll most happily continue to deny that we have reached that point of no return where the earth itself can no longer rebound, forgive or maintain us...   (BoingBoing)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Obama Hypocrisy, The Legacy Continues...

The people responsible for the torture of thousands, the very same people responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan men, women and children- yes, the very same people who sent our own young to be killed, maimed and traumatized for life in a completely unnecessary and senseless war, and then bankrupted our entire country as their final swan song have absolutely nothing to fear. Our President of HOPE and Change we can all believe and stick up far into the farthest unknown recesses of our ass has guaranteed that justice will never come near any of The Bush Crime Family while living in the nation they so enthusiastically helped tear down.

And yet, when someone steps up and tries to do the right thing- they're ready, willing and able to prosecute and imprison on moment's notice. As for mass killers- they're federally approved!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"Do you think a woman can rape a man?" he asks at one point. "I think that's like putting a marshmallow in a parking meter," quips McKinney.

Joyce McKinney is a one woman show- her life, the veritable three ring circus. She reinvented herself more times than Madonna, wore more disguises than Cindy Sherman could have ever pictured. All Errol Morris had to do was sit her down and let her have her way with the Interrotron every bit the way she had with the British tabloids of the '70s. Hers is a uniquely revisionist recounting of a life most uniquely lived- all in the name of love. Sure, a self professed IQ of 168 may have been put to better use- but then, think of the loss of being denied this film...

Monday, July 25, 2011

"He Is A Wall St. Democrat...

which we used to call Republicans."   -Michael Hudson, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and author of "Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire."  (that's a lot politer than I would've put it)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Madness In Every Color

The very thought of all those innocent youths being mercilessly slaughtered is certainly enough to turn anyone's stomach- except of those who place the right to own every conceivable type of gun ever made over everyone's basic right to live. And there are obviously enough of the latter in this country to actually regulate the insanity of our gun laws*

If anything, this Norwegian madman was quite efficient. Again, had it happened here in the US, the usual right wing, gun pundits would be avidly proclaiming that "guns don't kill people..." As if someone, even if armed with a broad sword, could kill so many in so short a time. 

There is, of course, no silver lining to this murderous insanity, no grand lesson learned, except perhaps a reconfirmation of an age old truth that evil exists in all humanity- regardless of color, culture, or creed.

* Oh, and of course... many of these same insane gun proponents would cite that this madness in Norway just validates "the fact" that tighter gun laws just don't work- completely ignoring inconvenient realities such as:

In 1999, there were 28,874 gun-related deaths in the United States- over 80 deaths every day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Tea Party Goys

This may come off as a bit of an inside joke to readers worldwide, so I apologize- but anyone growing up in New York City is exposed to a wide variety of ethnicities. And that means no matter what your faith, race or culture- everyone in New York grows up Jewish to some extent. All New Yorkers love to kvetch, and it's more than a little difficult to grow up in any of the five boroughs without ample amounts of chutzpah

Any New Yorker, even those Gentile to the core, knows at least that much Yiddish- and so should any "Presidential candidate" who's going to publicly attempt even the most casual association with said term, unless she's completely, absolutely, 100% mashugana... But then, what would you expect of The Tea Party Queen that mangles the very grade school history that her own Tea Party quacks base themselves on?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Documentary Film

Perhaps this yet another case of everyone knowing, but me... nevertheless, for the one or two possible others who walk in the darkness alongside me- Top Documentary is a site I will be avidly exploring come the time...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enemies Of The People

Hardly the most entertaining or visually captivating documentary ever made (low key would be one way to describe it), Enemies Of The People is one of the most enthralling documentaries I have ever seen. The subject matter is horrific, mind alteringly so! Interviews with mass murderers- including the man who orchestrated their rampage.

Nuon Chea was Brother #2 under the infamous Pol Pot, the very man responsible for carrying out the order to kill. The other two protagonists are two of the actual killers themselves- killers who, more than a little surprisingly, want to confess their tales for prosperity's sake. Killers who by their own admission "killed hundreds, if not thousands." These are not the crazed, wild eyed, maniacal killers of suspense thrillers, or even the quietly calculating killers one one might imagine or suspect. In fact, they appear the most humble and modest of men- simple farmers who had the choice of kill, or be killed. And kill they did, as one put it, "My hands hurt from slitting so many throats, so I started stabbing them." A female officer responsible for seeing those orders carried out recalled that the waters of the rice paddies bubbled "as if boiling" from all the decomposing bodies underneath.

But this is also a story of redemption as the two farmer/killers try to convince others forced into killing to also recount their stories. It is also a movie within a movie as one director (Rob Lemkin) follows and films Thet Sambath conducting and filming the interviews of his fellow Cambodians- the fellow countrymen responsible for killing his very family members. His persistence and restraint is nothing short of super human, resulting in the admissions and revelations that make one ponder, and ponder anew this thing called life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You Don't Talk To The Lizards At The Zoo...

I'm sure there are still those who roll there eyes at the very mention- yes, more crazed, lunatic, psycho, UFO whackos telling their made up stories to those dumb enough to listen...

These "seriously deranged" and retired US Air Force officers and security personnel who held various degrees of security clearance relate their stories of what they saw and witnessed concerning UFO's and our standing nuclear arsenal. It's pretty "droll" stuff as far as UFO "mythology," the main thing here is who these people are and were- not to mention what they witnessed. Some of the questions at the end are quite enlightening...  (via HuffPo)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Equipment Fail!

Was happy as paste when I ordered a couple of Holga lenses in Nikon mount, equipment even I could afford and hopefully use whenever the occasion should arise! I for one love the dream like, alternative quality a Holga provides and I'm always seeking to go lighter and more bulk free whenever possible, and although a Holga sure don't weigh much, it still takes up space. Having two minuscule, super light weight lenses (and one a WA!) on a body with adjustable settings would be one very versatile and most definite win, win!

But then... I neither contemplated, nor was I forewarned, what it would be like to actually look through these plastic wonders on an SLR. Although the actual working aperture may well be f8 or thereabouts, in practice it's like looking through with the lens stepped down to f22... with a polarizer. Other words, it's a very impractical, unusable set up. 'Nuff said.

Now on to things... much more usable, and every bit impractical- instead of a shitty lens on a fancy body, how 'bout a fancy lens on a crap body?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What America Is Capable Of...

Sunday's post was purely "hypothetical," mere "speculation." But before you scoff at the recall of the woman below and automatically dismiss it as the wild, psychotic machinations of a paranoid schizophrenic (or yet another "Conspiracy Theory")- remember... this is official testimony from The President's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experimentation in Wash, DC back in '95. And then remember- President Clinton officially apologized for this program.

This is not the singular case of what happened to one, unfortunate, solitary individual- MK-ULTRA was a program in which Americans willingly, systematically and "scientifically" tortured and sexually abused young American children in the name of these United States. And in these days of elevated fear, and heightened secrecy and security, when "enhanced interrogation" (BTW- the same exact term used by the Nazi's) is looked upon with such increased fondness-- you willing to bet the house this still aint going on under a different acronym, under a different administrator, with ever more advanced "technology" and zeal?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not Just A Movie?

Could it be that the most chilling premise of The Manchurian Candidate was never in the movie? Could it possibly be that while foreign agents no doubt tortured and tried to brainwash and induce Americans to kill fellow Americans, it was, in fact, "loyal" Americans themselves who succeeded in doing that dirty work on their own people while working for... the US government?    (be sure to watch all 3 Parts...)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stuff Worth Reading...

Photo: Bruce Haley

First, if you haven't already, there's Bruce Haley's revealing interview in Lenscratch. Bruce has been around the "block" a few times in some of your harder "neighborhoods." Despite that background, he's a pretty low key and generous guy who freely dispenses quite a bit of useful advice (photographic and otherwise). Did I mention he's also one heck of a photographer?

And for those hungering for something more political, there are these two interesting and recent Fourth of July must read rants, one written by the one and only Chris Hedges, the other by the truly one and only Jurassicpork.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011- Not My Favorite Thus Far...

2011 has not been my favorite year. Having said that, I am indeed fortunate that I am still duly employed and  housed- something many people throughout the world must do without many a goddamn day of their existence. So complain as I might, and I will- I do count my blessings... 

It started with a couple of root canals, and rapidly went downhill from there. A prostate inflammation led to a trip to the ER where I had to have a tube inserted up my natural, god given plumbing simply so I could relieve myself. Sound painful? Think of every which way you can say "excruciatingly agonizing." And I'd really like to point out that ER personnel are the Special Forces of medicine, except, instead of being super deadly- they're super nice and helpful, unlike their more clinical, mundane GP brethren who two days prior told me, "It's probably just a virus." Although, it should be noted I could've really used the traditional slug of whiskey and belt to bite down on before being subjected to "the tube."

Two weeks later- a 3AM trip to the ER due to a kidney stone. It's unbelievable that something 3mm wide can cause such crippling, mind numbing pain that you can't sit, can't lie down, or barely walk! Two doses of morphine just to relieve the pain. As one doctor described it- the male version of giving birth.

A month later, I'm routinely crossing the street downtown when someone starts honking his horn at me. Most San Franciscan drivers amaze me, they actually wait for you to cross the street if they see you about to cross on the corner- very unlike my native New York where they dare you to cross the street. This guy was well beyond the latter as he continued to lean on the horn as I'm mid street (the light had now turned yellow) directly in front of his turning car. At this point I stop, face him directly and throw up my hands, not in a threatening gesture- but in a "what is the problem, you gottta be kidding me" manner? He continues to accelerate stopping abruptly when he makes direct contact with my legs. Although still standing, I sure didn't appreciate the physical contact with his car. So I start pounding on his hood repeatedly with my fist. He again steps on the pedal and I barely get out of the way as both my feet get run over by his front tire, and for a split second I'm scared I might actually get dragged underneath. I take stock of myself- still standing, not bleeding, adrenaline gushing out my ears. I proceed to kick his brand new car as hard as I can, as many times as I can with feet I hope aren't already broken. He gets out- definitely not happy.

Bad news: he's 6'1"-6'2" about 225-250; he's got a good hundred pounds on me. Good news: He's like 60-65. He yells his way outta the car coming at me in "I'm gonna kick your soon to be sorry ass" mode. He takes a swing, it grazes my head, and right there I know- I can take this guy. I return fire and back the guy up- and then the thought hits me... how sad and ludicrous is this? Two old geezers duking it out in the middle of the street- the kinda thing I'd be laughing at should I catch sight myself. I resist advancing, and fortunately, the noble citizenry of San Francisco step in and separate us. He was still yelling when I walked away.

I was wondering what I'd say to Judge Judy should I have chosen a different route and taken Mr. Road Rage to court. She definitely would get on my case for confronting him and not just getting out of the way. "Your Honor," I would say, as I unroll my sleeves to unveil my two skinny arms before the court, "Look at me. I wouldn't have gotten to 55 years if I went around starting fights all my life- and by the same token, I sure wouldn't be here before you this day if I ran away form everyone who ever wanted to pound me into submission."

Yeah, guess it wouldn't hurt thinking up a new strategy- next year's gonna be better...

Monday, July 4, 2011

MUST SEE... Holiday Laughs!

 Hurry! Hurry! Hurry...

See The United States of America at its mind numbingly hilarious best as science is reduced before your very eyes to the abject hysterical blather of religious fantasy! See a once great and innovative country reduced to the medieval machinations of magic and mayhem!   Fact or Fiction, Reality or... Fantasy- YOU will never be the same!

The first video matches, if not surpasses, anything SNL has ever done. But it's the second video that really, truly... chills. Favorite quotes from the latter:

"I think everyone should have their opinions taught," which just beat out, "I think little bits and pieces should be taught."