Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy All Hallow's Eve

All Hallow's Eve: S. Banos

I'm not big on Halloween, but whatever you do- make sure you listen to the story below (rest of the episode here) ...  
Forget 'ghost story,' it's a story you won't soon (if ever) forget- period.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Politics 101

First, I must say that the very sight of this guy made me turn away in disgust- just one of those visceral, gut level things. Couldn't stand the very sight of him! And he certainly didn't seem to be very funny, or whatever it was he was supposed to be, or do. 

Then, quite accidentally, I heard Mr. Russell Brand speak, and though I still can't vouch for his comedy, he is as intelligent in his (political) thinking as he is lightning fast in his speech...

Monday, October 28, 2013

One World Trade Center Blues

Well, I certainly agree that it's one butt ugly building- perhaps Banksy is approaching it from the other end. He says it doesn't quite stand out enough, I think it stands out like a massive glass and concrete sore thumb in the shape of some vertical security vault. Maybe, that is what he's saying. Regardless, I think we both agree- good looking it is not...   (via skyscraperpage)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Times Two

Two from recent pages of NY Times Lens blog:
(much as I like the "playfulness" of the first- the precision drama of the second just blows me away)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

No- WE Are Broken...

Not just the ocean.  The simple fact is- we cannot exist without it...

Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff

At the end of this century when people no longer have access to what was once the biggest source of protein on... earth, some will ask why we allowed our biggest giver of life to turn into an open sewer where only jellyfish can survive amidst the tons of floating plastic, garbage and other detritus. They will ask why we simply watched it happen, allowed it to happen, and still did absolutely nothing- knowing full well that we cannot possibly survive without it.

And all we'll be able to say is... because we're human; and when you come down to it, killing is what we do best. Oh, we can build and create, sing and even love, but killing is what we're best at. Sometimes it makes no matter what we kill, or how we do it, long as there's something left to kill: human, plant or animal. We can always ask why later...

Photo: Kambou Sia

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Los Restos de la RevoluciĆ³n- Kevin Kunishi

"...sometimes I would lose track of which side this individual was on..."    -- Kevin Kunishi

Isn't that the lesson we never seem to learn- no matter the time, no matter the place?

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Other than the stunningly realistic special effects, I didn't quite know what to expect from Gravity. And I'm more than happy to say that it delivered. George Clooney starts out as the casual, carefree, cowboy astronaut before quickly transitioning first into Cool, Calm and Collected Mr. Take Charge Guy, only to metamorphose even further into the ever so reassuring voice of mankind itself- warm, transcendent, almost spiritual.* Sandra Bullock perseveres through the ever escalating sequence of chaos via vacuum, stopping only once for a womb like, zen tribute shot to 2001

This movie, if anything, succeeds in portraying just how catastrophically dangerous space can be (not exactly a recruitment film), and how hard those space suits must work and train to make it all look so easy...

* Although The Wife said he looks and sounds like Buzz LightYear- also ironically true.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Definitely one of the coolest things I've seen in quite sometime! And more than a little ironic in the sense that this was how it was always depicted in the cheapo, Grade B, Sci-fi flicks of yore...
(via Boing Boing)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Depths...

I guess even Homeland Security is starting to tire of their own sting operations where they set up some local disgruntled stooges to participate in some lame brained scheme (largely concocted by their new found undercover friends and enablers) to blow up the universe with fake bombs and weaponry from your friendly, neighborhood FBI. Least, I haven't heard of any lately. Well, they can certainly take a page from these local law enforcement officials who recently came up with this sterling, outright gem of an undercover caper extraordinaire! Really shows what a little moral initiative and creativity in the hands of law enforcement can accomplish when set free...

What do you do when you don't have enough crime to even bust a Meth lab? How about something truly insidious, yeah- just pull out all the plugs and go as low, as low can possibly go!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name...

via Boing Boing

It's curious to see how the commentary on this facet of racism (in sports) so closely mirrors anytime (the very, very few times) the subject comes up in photographic circles- the defense of, denial of and justification for.

To actually have a team called the "Redskins" in 2013 is, I'd like to say, totally unbelievable. Upon seeing the plethora of blatantly racist commentary on the internet however, it is, in fact- totally believable as well as repugnant. As for the Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo, I must admit to having rather fond, endearing memories of The Chief since childhood, but Neil Shyminsky lays out a pretty convincing argument as to why "nostalgia for its own sake is always a pretty weak argument," not to mention a host of other more salient reasons...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pay Your Own Prize!

At this point, everyone knows (one would hope) to check the small print of any competition they may enter for ownership and copyright abuse. THE INTERNATIONAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE from EMERGING SCENE however contains one stipulation that had me rolling- The Grand (and only) Prize is $1,000 US; and with that- the winner must: print, mat, frame and mail the winning photograph to a prestigious photographic gallery, museum, institution... some freaking restaurant lounge in Barcelona. Throw in cost of insurance, and if your finished artwork is of any considerable size you just might have enough change left from your winnings to eke out a six pack and toast to your success with your imaginary, international, jet setting, trend setter friends from afar!!!

One would have hoped the "Humanitarian" amongst their judges would have perhaps forfeited a meal and donated the proceeds towards postage. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Donna Decesare

Photo: Donna Decesare

Documentary photographer Donna Decesare will be at North Gate Hall Library, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday Oct. 10, 7PM.

This is what the work of a dedicated photographer committed to the subjects and subject matter she is documenting looks like. It is not taken incognito at arm's length, with an extended prosthesis, behind an ever moving and concealed window. And as Ms. Decesare herself states- she goes up close, in your face and personal, not to shock and have you look away, but to grab your attention and engage you. View (and listen to) her work, as she gives voice to the voiceless and let's us into their lives- and them into ours.

Photo: Donna Decesare

Monday, October 7, 2013

Drive-By Street Photography

 To view essay click HERE...

 ...I had a problem to solve. How do I show what I see while driving around,
without missing the moment by parking the car and getting out?  --Alex Garcia

Pro photographer Alex Garcia has shot an essay (only a part of which is presently shown) on a long neglected and under served community in Chicago. From what I gather, it had to be done within a very restricted time frame. To meet that time frame and the dangers inherent in said assignment (which I address in the comments section there-in) Mr. Garcia went to the extraordinary and unorthodox lengths of photographing from a moving vehicle with a tethered hidden camera- drive by photography at its most literal. While his innovative 'solution' to the assignment is indeed ingenious- one can't help but feel a tad (ie- A Lot!) queasy about the ethics and methodology employed.

Mr. Garcia argues that some good has already resulted from his work, that more is certain to follow, and that the balance of his work will show a more intimate portrayal of the community. I certainly hope that is the case, because the initial phase of this project, if anything, seems to highlight, exploit and perpetuate the plethora of negative imagery and stereotypes long out there. That is not to deny that Mr. Garcia includes some neutral or positive images as well, but I couldn't shake the feeling that ultimately I would be treated to the image of Ronnie Reagan's welfare queen cruising about in her pink Caddie convertible, wind in her bonnet as she made her rounds casually collecting her welfare checks.

Yes, you can view real life images such as Mr. Garcia's in any inner city you choose- no argument there. But one of the main responsibilities and rewards of in depth photojournalism is to provide analysis and understanding that goes beyond perfunctory, everyday images, and to give voice to those not heard- part one of his body of work does neither. And so, I suppose, we must wait to see the remainder of this work (as well as its social aftermath) to see how it redeems itself and fulfills its stated mission.

I'm sure his initial photos would receive considerable kudos from some street photography advocates for his innovative 'candid' approach- curiously, Mr. Garcia repeatedly asserts there is a long, respected tradition of this kind of photography* in photojournalism. Really? I don't recall Mr. Riis, or Smith, Davidson or Ms. Mark employing such methods. I'm also quite sure that there are many street photo advocates that would say this represents the complete antithesis of that particular genre.

Some will forever say the end justifies the means, but then- some will even profess that it is quite OK for a conflict photographer that documents the suffering and evils of war to actually profit form those that perpetuate and profit from that suffering! To be sure none of us are without sin, but sometimes (ie- all the time) it does serve to question one's motives, how one approaches and arrives at the work they produce, and how that work will be ultimately perceived, interpreted and used...

*For the possible exception of Evans, none of the photographers listed went to the all out deception engaged in by Mr. Garcia. And I think it's no stretch to say that Bruce Davidson would positively vomit at the very thought, and that even Mr. Evans did not practice his particular 'skullduggery' in one particular neighborhood with one class of people.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How Ignorant Are Americans? Oh, About...

Yeah, but them's hicks- surely my sophisticated, hometown New Yorkers know what side is up...
(thank you FOX News- bring on the Death Squads!)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rep. Randy Neugebauer Needs To Have His Flag Shoved...

... far enough up his ass till he finally apologizes to that park ranger, the American people and better make it humanity as a whole considering the lengths he will go to fabricate excuses for his own insidious treachery. The sad fact is that there is no flag big enough for this HYPOCRITE, loser extraordinaire to hide behind. And, of course, immediately after blaming an innocent person for his own actions, this coward writ large immediately turns and runs- lest he be forced to defend the "logic" of his baseless accusation.

If my rant sounds a tad obscene- it's not half as pathetic as what these Tea Party Bastards disseminate each and every day, spreading their hateful, lying bile, conceived from the most purposely ignorant misinformation, whenever and where ever they can. And as soon as they reap what they sew... there they are- blaming someone else!

What is it that their Christian god says about hypocrites???

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Transit Art vs. Ads Ad Nauseum

Photo: Sara Fusco

Photo: Richard Sandler

I remember stopping dead in my tracks back in the early eighties in NYC upon first coming face to face with what talented graffiti artists could actually do when they went all out on a subway train- and that was in no small part because most graffiti just flat out sucked and had a pretty negative effect on one's everyday psyche. The great majority of it was to the painterly arts what the vast majority of Flickr is to its photographic counterpart. People bitched till they went numb- it helped defeat one mayor, and elect another.

Photo: Todd Hull
But I've yet to hear of any public furor anywhere decrying the commercial abominations now festooned over much of our public transportation systems the world over all in the name of the almighty, corporate dollar. Not satisfied with the billboards, posters and regularly placed cardboard inserts of yore- they now plaster over the little view we pay for, blotting out the occasional glimpses of sunlight with their massive, coma inducing logos and food by products galore.

I'll take graffiti any day...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Money Question

Uhhmmm... Errrrr..... Uhhhhh..... See how easy it is to render these bobblehead fuckers naked, moot and useless soon as you ask the right question, and demand an answer- instead of just kowtowing to their usual monied bullshit (like the 'journalist' on hand)?
Via- Daily Kos