Sunday, May 31, 2009

OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

Yes this is several years old, and I'm a bit lazy this week with the posts, but if you never saw this, it's certainly well worth it.



and just for the hell of it, go to the Faux News Channel for a few more recent choice clippings.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

RECOGNIZE

just in case you've never seen this:
(may i suggest the full screen mode, it's pretty cool)



buy the book direct here or possibly discounted at Amazon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Total shithead list cont.

What a fucking scum bag piece of shit, Jeff Stier. Do some people not have any integrity at all? i mean even a fucking ounce? This guy belongs on the list without a doubt, as Samantha B. from the Daily Show illustrates so clearly below.



and here are a few more pieces of shit from Fox news, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R) Oklahoma, on the fucking disgusting and pathetic side of gasoline guzzling:


Anyone i ever add to this list can get hit by a bus as far as i'm concerned.

Point these people out whenever you can, and don't let them get away with it.
Stand up and be counted.
thank you.

thanks Jon Stewart and the Daily Show,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Christopher Hitchens vs. Ken Blackwell of The Family Research Council

I haven't been a big fan of Hitchens since he flipped many years ago, but every once and a while it's certainly fun to see him argue on the side of the argument we agree with, (particularly when he's sober). I mean he has written some incredible titles: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice where he takes down Mother Teresa! To his latest God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. No matter how you slice him, he's a bad ass, wether we agree with him or not.


Ken Blackwell of The Family Research Council (Self-described as a "Christian organization promoting the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian value system upon which it is built") goes up against Christopher Hitchens on the topic of Christianity in America. (thanks, BoingBoing)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Story of Rough Trade records

This is a very cool BBC documentary on the incredible Rough Trade records in London. Early example of the "Do It Yourself" culture and ethic.

I first went here in the spring of 1980 (after high school graduation). i was told by one of my English DJ friends who now lived in New York, to see a particular person and just buy what ever top few records they recommended. I came home with an early Crass 7" Bloody Revolutions/Persons Unknown, and an early Adam & the Ants record as well as a few bizarre others including Spizzenergi's "Where's Captain Kirk".



(thanks, to Joe Carducci who pointed this out in an e-mail today)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

new old cameras

Last few days i've been looking on Ebay and around the internet for some old camera stuff, with some success i might add. The old classics are not really in demand as they were just a few years ago even, deals are there to be found if you're at all interested, but that doesn't stop some folks from still trying to get top dollar off of something that almost no one wants. Sadly, for the most part the old technology is fading a bit quicker than i suspected it would only a few years ago. It's not depressing at all, but certainly interesting.

Anyway while looking around i stumbled on some photos of two classic versions of cameras similar to what i use, but insane special editions. These things are damn near comical, but if it was 1987 and i got a big Def Jam job done, i may have treated myself to one of these, In fact if i showed them to Rick Rubin back then he probably would have insisted that i use one on my next shoot! I mean if Ice-T or Eric B. were at all interested in photography i'm sure I would have had to get them one of these:


So what's the real story on this Pentax LX camera anyway?
" .... It was March 16th, 1981, one year after the introduction of the Pentax LX. The ten-millionth Pentax SLR camera, an LX, came out of AOC’s main plant in Mashiko and was given to the chief designer, then chairman of Asahi Opt. Co. Ltd. Minoru Suzuki. In order to celebrate this 10 million event, on August 25th, 1981 a limited edition "LX Gold" was introduced. It was 18 carat gold plated with brown leather (also-called lizard skin or snake skin) and was equipped with an SMC Pentax f/1.2 50mm lens also with brown leather and gold finish. All dark details of the LX Gold are dark-brown instead of black, including the front lens ring and film chamber, with only the film pressure plate and the small watch curtain in black. Of course, the natural titanium shutter curtains remain unchanged. Also a brown lens cap and everready case were provided with the LX Gold. The package included a wooden box with red lining and white silk gloves to handle the camera without leaving fingerprints on the sensitive gold plating. Both the camera and the case are provided with golden carton boxes sporting 10million logo and 1981 lettering.

Only 300 pieces of the LX Gold were manufactured, 200pcs for the Japanese home market and 100pcs for the international market. Serial numbers for the LX Gold ranged from XM001 to XM300 (XM meaning ten million). Sales started in November 1981 at 850,000 Yen, but not all of them, were sold, as some were either given to Pentax importers worldwide or became prizes for photo contests... Apparently, the LX Gold for the US market had a different type of leather, maybe for import laws about leather of endangered species.

The original article was published on SPOTMATIC magazine #25, July 2000.
for more pictures of this incredibly pimped out camera than you could imagine (four pages worth) go here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

new poll for you

People identifying themselves as Republicans have fallen from 26 percent to 22 percent, their lowest level in 25 years, according to Pew.
Over the first four months of 2009, the Republican Party has continued to lose adherents. Interviews with over 7,000 respondents nationwide so far this year found fewer than a quarter (23%) of the combined total identifying themselves as Republicans. This is down from 25% in 2008, and from 30% in 2004. In total, the GOP has lost roughly a quarter of its base over the past five years.

But these Republican losses have not translated into substantial Democratic gains. So far in 2009, 35% of adults nationwide identify as Democrats, about the same as in 2008 (36%). While GOP identification has fallen seven points since 2004, the Democrats have gained only two points over that period. Instead, a growing number of Americans describe themselves as independents, 36% in 2009 compared with just 32% in 2008 and 30% in 2004.
It's about fucking time. now i wish the green party would start to be included and gain some ground in these surveys.


That reminds me, I watch HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher every Friday night for some entertaining political discussion (where i first heard of this new poll), and i think he's a good moderator of the discussions, i also appreciate that he's a vegetarian or at least tries to be, and often sticks up for animal rights. I even agree with him on the issue of religion. And I applauded him for standing up to ABC for what he said that supposedly got him kicked off the air there. BUT otherwise may i state for the record: what a fucking unfunny smug little shit he is, on the TV show, and in that horrible film Religulous - he was just so condescending and NOT funny - there were several movies out before his that do a much better job at discrediting all the major religions, his was just embarrassing. Honestly 95 percent of his monologues and "skits" on Real Time are NOT AT ALL funny when he's trying to be, and he often blames his studio audience for being too liberal since they don't laugh? DUDE, you got NO jokes, and btw. your music SUCKS as well. And while i'm at it, can you quit trying to hint to the whole world how much of a playboy you are with African American women? I mean i don't care who you like to fuck, but you are so juvenile in the way you like to make your little hints and remarks about it, not to mention your bragging about your pot smoking - what a fucking chump. I appreciate your political skills even if i don't always agree with you. But a stand-up comedian you are not (or, if you want to be, at least once and for all find some good writers!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday sermon of the month
"Our Food - Our Future"


download the pdf here at Earthsave.

Unfortunate related news I only discovered earlier this evening is that DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA author John Robbins was also a victim of Bernard Madoff.
He and his wife of 42 years, Deo, lost 98 percent of their net worth in the vast investment sham that has sapped international banks, movie stars and charitable organizations. As a famous longtime resister of what he calls the "toxic mythology" that "self-worth is defined by net worth," Robbins acknowledged the inescapable irony of losing more than $1 million in a market-driven scheme fueled by old-fashioned greed.
Back in 1987 his book blazed a trail for myself and many others. John Robbins was really an important part of an awakening in this country and the world. While it was obviously not smart of him to put his life savings in the stock market or what he thought was the stock market, (not to mention against some of what he may have preached), it is sad for such a positive man to be effected so horribly. The story quoted above is linked to in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Lot's of the comments are really negative, and that's just a sad commentary on those humans. This is one special human.

I highly recommend any of his books to everyone.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

King Tee - previously unpublished shots

These are just a few bad ass shots taken in the parking lot at the Forum in Inglewood, California, that we never got to use.

*actually this last shot was published in a book called Rockin' Down The Highway

King Tee (Roger McBride) was probably one of the least popular hip-hop artists that i shot more than once over the years (i mean there indeed were some less popular, but i only shot them once), but all the work we did was really good looking, and always based around some cool car that he or his friends had at the time. We did three album covers together (and i can't remember how many 12" single covers we got from those same sessions), and i got great compliments for all of them from people of every ilk, I think i like the last one (At Your Own Risk) the best because it was so damn real, and it was all so not set up. The front cover I shot while leaning out the window of Amery's car while on the 101 freeway headed downtown to the L.A. County Jail (to shoot what we thought would be the front cover), it was a one off killer, composition and attitude perfect, the day i got it back from Kodak i knew it was the shot that we didn't plan, but that I'd convince them all to use. Now i gotta admit that wasn't hard, since Ice-T was in fact making a lot of those art/management type decisions with "T-La" at the time, and the shot we got for the back cover with the insets were incredible. On the way back to Ice-T's house, where we all met up for the photo-session, the police pulled up behind the lowered light green Impala '64 and flipped the lights on and made them all get out of the car, we were in the car just ahead of them, so we saw it all happen then pulled over, parked down a side street, as quickly as possible i threw some film into the camera and a long lens, then shot a few photos surveillance style before I walked up and vouched for them. Unfortunately once again white guy with a big mouth, saves the day, but we were in L.A. so some harassment was inevitable. But at least we got a dope shot for the back cover...





* FYI - On purpose, I have not taken a photo with a weapon, in over 15 years, and never plan to ever again. When i originally was doing it, it was before it became common, or worse, a novelty. Early on we were trying to show a particular reality, but once i became aware of the fact that it was no longer just helping to tell a story, share a reality of daily life for some of these lyricists, but eventually seemed to be glorifying the use of guns, I vowed never to create a picture with a gun in it again. The last time i did it was for the infamous 1993 cover of In Gatz We Truss' by South Central Cartel. Besides, shooting pictures with a gun, a cigarette or gratuitous nudity, i came to realize for the most part is just a cop-out, when there's not something else great about a personality, composition or character, just throw in one of those "props" and all sense goes out the window. Too corny and too easy, that's my opinion. Not to mention, I HATE GUNS!

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Be a fucking person!"

Once again Jon Stewart sets'em straight. I mean how many times have you watched these corporate scum bags or political ass holes do something that makes you (you meaning: a person who actually believes in the overall good of human kind), just want to tell some one just "Be a fucking person" - a decent thinking, caring just a bit compassionate human being, BEFORE deciding to shit on another person as though you are better or more important than them. I am looking forward to this new segment and i hope it becomes a catch phrase people start using in business and politics more often.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Crazy-ass freeway exchanges of the world"

This is a really interesting web site if you're at all intrigued by this type of stuff.


Jebediah says, "This is a photo gallery of strange and striking freeway interchange configurations, including ones like the volleyball, the double trumpet, and the turbine. Many are as, or more, visually interesting than the cloverleaf. Learning all the different varieties makes one feel a bit like a birdwatcher when driving on the interstate. 'Oh, there's a classic diamond! And there's a clovermill!'"


Part 1 from Infrastructurist.com
Part 2 from Infrastructurist.com
(thanks, Jeb and BoingBoing)

For someone who only drives when on vacation i sure do still think about this stuff a lot, and this is even more interesting to me "DIY electric VW goes 82MPH".

I've owned two cars in my life. In my senior year in high school I bought the first automatic Honda Prelude made, with all my SkateBoarder magazine savings. About five years later, in 1984, I had the opportunity to by a classic Mercedes for the price to get it out of the shop that a family friend did not want to pay, so I figured i'd have a Benz all fixed up for $3500, great, until the mechanic took me for a ride that wouldn't end 'til many thousands later, years later. (The Dead Kennedy's song "Trust Your Mechanic" comes to mind quite vividly for me). After i bought that car, by the late 80's i said i'd never buy another car unless it was electric. That car stayed with family in Los Angeles, I never brought it back to NYC, no need at all. A few years ago i sold that car to a good friend who will take care of it out there, it had been running fine for the old car that it is, but indeed care is what it always needs, but it was a cool classic that all my old friends remember fondly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Beatbox Battle World Championship "Wildcard"

From the back seat of a car this young lady sends in her video entry as a wild card. Talk about chillaxin'...
from NPR.org
Who's the greatest beatboxer in the world? We'll soon find out, when the annual Beatbox Battle World Championship gets underway in Berlin, Germany on May 28. Each year contestants from all over the world flock to the city to lay down some sweet, human-generated beats in hopes of snagging the grand prize. This year's winner will be crowned on May 31.
In the meantime, the BBWC has announced the winner of its wildcard competition. It's Julia Dales, a 17 year-old from Canada:



Julia Dales took first place as a wildcard, so she gets a shot at winning the whole thing.
(thanks, BoingBoing)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

cool ticket coupon from 1984


Here's an interesting ticket from a show i helped put together while I was still managing Suicidal Tendencies.
Obviously you've heard of most of these bands that were playing below Suicidal on the bill, except maybe the Abandoned who i think i remember were a band started by Tony Cadena of the Adolescents after they first split up. Great to see The Chili Peppers opening for Suicidal AND S.S. Decontrol, don't know how they managed to stay above the Minutemen though.

Here's another previously unpublished photo from my archive.

Suicidal Tendencies circa 1983 on the side of the Smith house in Playa Del Rey, California. (Yup, that's Amery "AWOL" Smith on the right).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hip-Hop in the media circa 1981

From a program i have come to detest over the years especially after scumbag John Stossel came on, here's 20/20's look at Hip-Hop in 1981, from Rap Radar. Crazy bit of cultural science. (pt.2 is the better piece).




(Thanks, Doug.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TOMS - One For One

Produced by Ken Kokin (Usual Suspects and Sundance Winner, Public Access), the TOMS Shoe Drop experience is beautifully documented to reflect the One for One mission, "For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need." The first Shoe Drop took place in Argentina in October of 2006, when TOMS Shoes Founder and Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie and his team brought 10,000 pairs of shoes to distribute to children in need.
TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about.

In 2006 an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie, befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created a company that would match every pair of shoes sold with a pair given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by caring TOMS customers.

Since our beginning, TOMS has given over 140,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the One for One model. Because of your support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009.

Our ongoing community events and Shoe Drop Tours allow TOMS supporters and enthusiasts to be part of our One for One movement. Join us.

TOMS SHOES

They do have Vegan options.
And they also did a collaboration with Element Skateboard company.

(Thanks, John )

unrelated: Check out this 100% bamboo skateboard manufacturer while you're at it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Us Now: documentary about web collaboration

This is a really cool film about this internet thing that i've been talking about a lot lately. Produced by Banyak Films in the UK.

"We made a film about mass collaboration through the Web and how it is reshaping the future of government. "Us Now" features Clay Shirky, Don Tapscott and lots of other clever people. And we made it look pretty too! Better still, it's up for FREE online streaming!"

Us Now (Thanks BoingBoing)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mike Tyson Documentary - no joke.

We've watched this twice already. If you have ever been intrigued or excited or even angered by this guy this documentary is a must see.



Go to a theater, rent the DVD or find the Bit Torrent, it's an incredible story done well and serious as Iron Mike's fist, pretty great.

I took this photo back in 1987.
Here's Tyson back stage at the Run-DMC & Beastie Boys "Together Forever" tour with Mookie (one of the tour crew - who i heard died recently). Mike had been champ only for a short while at the time I snapped this quick shot. He was dancing on the side of the stage during both sets. We used to see him at hip-hop spots pretty often back then.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kodachrome, another step toward its extinction?


If you've seen my color photography, you've seen the use of Kodachrome film. Ever since i first got published i have been using this film. Back in the old days it's all anyone with half an once of credibility would use and i was told by Warren Bolster (RIP) the original editor at SkateBoarder magazine that that was the film of choice for the magazine, I have been addicted ever since. Although in the last 10 years or so i have used it less and less since it is less available and more difficult to process. "It is an elaborately crafted photographic film, extolled for its sharpness, vivid colors and archival durability. " Here's a bit from the Wikipedia page for some interesting details:
Kodachrome was the first successfully mass-marketed color still film... and remains the oldest brand of color film currently available.
Since its introduction in 1935 it has been produced in several camera film and movie formats, and was for many years used for professional color photography, especially for images intended for publication in print media.
Kodachrome is appreciated in the archival and professional market because of its color accuracy and dark-storage longevity. Because of these qualities, Kodachrome has been used by professional photographers... Kodachrome was invented in the early 1930s by two professional musicians, Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes (hence the humorous saying that Kodachrome was made by God and Man)...

Kodachrome is fundamentally different from E-6 process and C-41 process color films (most commonly used)... its rendering of color and response to light unique. The dye couplers in other color films require thicker emulsion layers that allow light to scatter, whereas thinner layers are generally sharper... Kodachrome's long-term "dark-keeping" stability under ordinary conditions has long been superior to other color film. Kodachrome slides over fifty years old still retain accurate color and grain. It has been calculated that the least stable color, yellow, would suffer a 20% loss of dye in 185 years... The Kodachrome K-14 developing process is very complicated, exacting and requires technicians with extensive chemistry training, as well as large machinery which is extremely difficult to operate, which precludes its use by amateurs or small laboratories, unlike the E-6 process used for developing modern reversal [slide] films... Kodak no longer processes Kodachrome film itself. Dwayne's Photo, an independent facility in Kansas, is the sole Kodachrome processing facility in the world.
So as you may have guessed it, that last line has led me to the title of this post. Although they still do make Kodachrome 64 (my film of choice for all the early skateboarding years), my favorite since then was the Kodachrome 200, which has been out of production for several years now, but i have some on ice i can keep until the lab stops processing it altogether. My current problem is that most recently the place to drop it in New York was a Walgreens pharmacy! If you could imagine, and it was really cheap too, like $6.99 a roll or something, but when i went in yesterday to drop of a roll they told me they no longer will be accepting it. Damn. So now like the rest of the world i will have to send my Kodachrome through the US Mail to Kansas and pay nearly three times what i was per roll to get it processed and delivered back to me in 2 weeks time. Talk about old school.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful i can still use it at all, just hope they are still doing it for a while until i at least finish the dozen or so rolls i have for those special occasions i think it's worth using.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The pizza box of the 21st century

simple and obvious.
Environmentally Conscious Organization (e.c.o.), Incorporated is a design, licensing firm and manufacturing firm dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging. e.c.o., Incorporated is marketing its first product, the Green Box (US Patent 7,051,919), a pizza box manufactured from 100% recycled material. The top of the Green Box breaks down into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The bottom of the 'Green Box' converts easily into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for plastic wrap, tin foil or plastic bags. The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin. Made from a standard pizza blank, the Green Box requires no additional material or major redesign and can therefore be produced at no additional manufacturing cost. e.c.o., Incorporated owns the utility patent on the Green Box. Check out the website at www.ecoincorporated.com.

thanks BBgadgets

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

fucked up architecture.

I love looking at architecture anywhere and everywhere, home and around the world, and even when it's corny, if it's fucked up enough i like that too.
A few weeks ago BoingBoing ran a cool piece and i was inspired by that to turn you onto these places and the sites they came from Unusual Architecture and VIllage of Joy.

Ewok House (Location unknown)

Erwin Wurm: House Attack (Viena, Austria)

Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)

Wonderworks (Pigeon Forge, TN, United States)

Stone House (GuimarĂ£es, Portugal)

National Theatre (Beijing, China)

Sculptured House (Colorado, United States)

I'm pretty sure I remember seeing this last one used in Woody Allen's incredible 1973 movie Sleeper.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jay Adams
(October 2008 interview)

Well if you're a Jay Adams fan or hater this is going to be interesting to you.

Jay Adams from Kyle Browning on Vimeo.

I found this just by accident on Vimeo

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ten questions to ask your mother now.

Ten questions to ask your mother now

By Judith Newman (CNN)-- "Mom, I have to ask you something," my seven-year-old Henry begins. He stares at me with those solemn eyes and I steel myself.
Considering our unique family, it could be any number of things. Why do you and Dad live in separate places? (We are married but never could stand to live together.)
Why is Gus so different from other kids? (Henry's twin brother is mildly autistic.)
Why does Dad look tired all the time? (My husband was 68 when our sons were born... You do the math.)
I'm ready.
"Do you think spit cleans better than water?" he asks. "You always use it to clean my face."
You know, it isn't a bad question. And, in a way, every burst of curiosity gives me hope that my boys will continue to quiz me about ever more interesting and personal things. Because, as adults, so many of us don't ask enough about our mothers. (Maybe we're scared. More likely we just don't get around to it.)
Yet there's no better way to become closer to a person, even if you've known her all your life. So, after an utterly unscientific survey of friends and acquaintances, I've come up with 10 queries to get you started. Try them out this Mother's Day. You may even learn something about yourself.
1. What's the one thing you would have done differently as a mom? Recently I had this conversation with someone I had considered one of the best mothers I know -- the kind who never missed a kid's concert or a PTA conference. Her children are grown now, and they are neither independent nor particularly grateful.
"I should have let them fail," she told me. "When my daughter forgot to do her homework, I shouldn't have done it for her. When the other one got caught shoplifting, I should have let her spend a night in jail." For better or worse, your mother has probably given this subject a good deal of thought.
2. Why did you choose to be with my father? "Look at him!" my mother says adoringly. "He looks just like Jascha Heifetz!" He does, actually. But Heifetz, perhaps the world's greatest violinist, was one weird-looking dude. And my dad doesn't even play the violin. (Which is a bit like an accountant being the spitting image of Mick Jagger.)
So was there anything else? "Well, he liked smart women," says my mom, who was in medical school when they met in the 1950s. "So many men didn't back then." Not a bad reason to marry someone. I'm glad I asked.
3. In what ways do you think I'm like you? And not like you? Accuracy is not important here; you want to know her perceptions. Does she think you share her best qualities or her worst? (And do you agree?) Are your similarities and differences complementary -- they make the two of you click -- or are they the cause of all your conflicts?
4. Which one of us kids did you like the best? OK, chances are she'll dodge this question. But you'll probably force a compliment out of her -- "You were the one who set the table when you were three" -- and get a little insight into how she viewed each of you. And if she gives a straight answer? Well, you'll all have something new to fixate upon.
5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have? The woman who suggested this question had learned late in life that the "aunt" who had lived with her parents while she was growing up was, in fact, her father's lover -- an arrangement that apparently suited all involved. Your mom's secrets might be a little less stunning. But hearing something she has been holding back may take your relationship into (good) uncharted territory.
6. Do you think it's easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family? We might agonize about working more hours outside the home and competing with our kids' cell phones for attention, but our mothers had other battles. "My mom thinks that if she had had a career, she would have been less frustrated and a better mother," reports one friend. The two of you needn't have a "Terms of Endearment moment over this one, but by understanding what she went through, you may appreciate your own situation more.
7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents? In my informal survey, the list went on and on, covering everything from "Did you ever think about leaving my dad for someone else?" and "Did you ever want to just throw in the towel?" to "What music do you want played at your funeral?" People regretted what they hadn't asked -- never what they had.
8. What's the best thing I can do for you right now? My mother is not subtle: "Call every day. If you don't, I think you're dead."
Other friends who had asked this question over the years were invariably surprised. One mom wanted her daughter to teach her to use a computer; another wanted her son, a plastic surgeon, to give her a face-lift. ("I had a moment where I didn't exactly love lifting my mother's skin off, but I thought I could do a better job than anyone else," he says.)
The mom of a young colleague wanted to meet her friends. "I'd always thought she wasn't interested in them," she says. "In fact, my mom was just shy."
9. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us -- or that you would still like to change? This inquiry prompted one mother to plan a trip with her 30-year-old daughter -- their first ever. She and her husband had always vacationed alone when their children were young, and she had felt bad about it for years. Whether you're 25 or 55, chances are there is some dynamic between you and your mother that could be better. Give her a chance to put it out there.
10. When did you realize you were no longer a child? I know what the answer will be for me, and I was startled to hear my mother give the same response: "I knew it when my own mother died," she told me. "That's the last time there would be anyone in the world who always put me before herself." from CNN.com

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Good friend and producer Eric Matthies sent me this the other day.
from Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University. This is really great.
Here's a shorty to whet the appetite


Thought you'd dig this - it's one of the best studies of media culture I've seen yet. 55 min. long so be warned.

Friday, May 8, 2009

WE NEED SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE.


PERIOD.

My wife and I had an experience in France a few years ago. To make a long story short, we had an emergency while she was pregnant, we found a doctor in a small village near where we were staying, at 7pm he saw us in his office and helped and talked and tested, gave us advice and a prescription, and then as he was writing it out he said "I'm sorry but you are going to have to pay cash for this visit in full since you are American, but i will give you a voucher and you will get reimbursed by your health insurance provider back home", i was prepared for the worst, as he was taking a while to fill out the voucher. He said "that will be twenty two euros". I asked, "so is this a co-payment of some type?" "No that is the full payment." haaa! I couldn't believe it, he was filling out the voucher for 5 minutes, i would not even go through the hell i would need to for 22 Euros from an American insurance company. That was my experience with the French system, courteous, knowledgeable, friendly, and incredibly reasonable for some one who had to pay (which of course the French do not). Btw. the prescription charge was also incredibly next to nothing - REASONABLE not GREEDY - Thank you.

Democracy Trying to Work.


Video from C-Span of the Senate Hearings on healthcare reform. Senator Max Baucus tries to quiet the peaceful and very articulate citizens/protesters speaking out, one by one, demanding a seat at the table (where 15 witnesses wait to testify, not one representing the single-payer option).


Why We Need a Single-Payer Health Care System
There are two main arguments in favor of single payer health care, also called "Medicare for All", now proposed as Congressional bill HR 676 by John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich with 91 co-sponsors.

The Moral Ethical Argument
The first is the ethical moral argument. Health insurance companies make their profit by denying health care to sick people. That is immoral and unethical.

The Economic Argument
The second and perhaps more compelling argument is economic. Our current system of for-profit corporate health insurance has created an unbearable economic burden on the nation. Simply put, it is too expensive for us to bear. There are over 100 separate health insurance companies operating under different sets of rules creating a huge 30 % administrative overhead. For comparison, administrative overhead for Medicare is only 2%.

By converting to a single payer system, we immediately save 300 billion dollars in administrative overhead.

As a nation, we are now paying twice what other countries pay for health care, yet we have 45 million uninsured and 18,000 deaths annually caused by lack of access to health care. Almost half the bankruptcies currently filed in the United States are because of medical bills. We are paying a huge national Health Care bill, twice what other countries spend on universal health care, yet we do not have universal health coverage here in the US.

Medicare is a 40 year example of a successful single payer system which has an administrative overhead of 2%, not 30%.

Only One Explanation Why We Don't Have Single Payer Now
These two arguments in favor of a single payer heath insurance system (moral and economic) are so compelling, that one must conclude the only reason we don't have single payer now is because of lack of representative government. The obvious conclusion is that our government does not serve the people who elected them. Rather, our elected government officials serve the special interests of the health insurance industry and other corporations who make massive campaign contributions.

from an article by Jeffrey Dach MD, here.


And from TruthDig
read this eye opening piece from Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. here's a few clips:
A study just released by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group, found that in the week before Obama’s health-care summit, of the hundreds of stories that appeared in major newspapers and on the networks, “only five included the views of advocates of single-payer—none of which appeared on television.” Most opinion columns that mentioned single-payer were written by opponents.
...
Locked out of the debate, silenced by the media, single-payer advocates are taking action. Russell Mokhiber, who writes and edits the Corporate Crime Reporter, has decided that the time has come to directly confront the problem of our broken health-care system. He’s going to the national meeting of the American Health Insurance Plans and is joining others in burning their health-insurance bills outside in protest. Mokhiber told me, “The insurance companies have no place in the health care of American people. How are we going to beat these people? We have to start the direct confrontation.” Launching a new organization, Single Payer Action (singlepayeraction.org), Mokhiber and others promise to take the issue to the insurance industry executives, the lobbyists and the members of Congress directly, in Washington, D.C., and their home district offices.

Critical mass is building behind a single-payer system. From Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, who told me, “I’ve reluctantly come to the view that it’s the only alternative,” to health-care providers themselves, who witness and endure the system’s failure firsthand. Geri Jenkins of the newly formed, 150,000-nurses-strong United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee (nnoc.net) said: “It is the only health-care-reform proposal that can work. ... We are currently pushing to have a genuine, honest policy debate, because we’ll win ... the health insurers will collapse under the weight of their own irrelevance.”

If you are at all not 100% sure about this issue you owe it to yourself and your family to see Michael Moore's documentary SiCkO. Here you go:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The season is almost upon us.

I started playing ball again last year after i was invited by Adam Horovitz and his wife Kathleen Hanna to check out their running game they've had for years, i jumped at the chance. I think it had been literally 30 years since i played a game of baseball or softball.


When i was a kid i was really into baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates of the late 60's and 70's were my team. I followed the standings of the NL East like a hawk. Roberto Clemente was my idol. I even got to know Dock Ellis personally (we'll get into that in another blog one day perhaps)... I used to think i was gonna be pro, that dream got shattered a little late for me, i was around 12 years old. I punched someone in the face and broke my own hand, it was a horrible season for me. Besides I started skateboarding a lot more then too. And the fact was I couldn't hit a curve ball.


But let's get back to the 2008 season, I had a fucking blast playing every week all summer long, more fun than i could remember in a long time, win or loose i really didn't care, it's an easy going game with some people who can't play and some who take it a bit too seriously. I was so anxious at first, i think for the first two games i had hit the first ball pitched to me everytime i came to bat, and i was whacking them, fun as hell. Connecting the bat to the ball solid is a great feeling, catching a fly ball on the run is just damn fun.


Ok, so i'm a vegan, correct? so what the fuck? what was the last piece of animal in my life that i hadn't replaced after all these years? You guessed it, my baseball glove. After all did i even have a choice? Well almost 20 years after i stopped using a leather wallet, wearing leather shoes or even having a leather belt in my wardrobe, i still had a leather baseball glove and i wanted to do something about it. So several years ago (even though I was yet to discover equipment manager Horovitz' softball game), i still wanted to replace that last leather item, just in case i was able to find someone to at least have a catch with. So i searched and i searched and i searched, sure there were some literally "dime store" vinyl gloves out there made for 8 year olds, but was i really going to have to steep that low, not to mention that small? Somehow I stumbled upon this guy Scott Carpenter in some interview some where, and somehow i found his brand new website, it had not even been picked up by the search engines yet, i must have been one of the first people to even see it! I was blown away by what i was reading. He started the business up in Cooperstown , New York (the same little town where the National Baseball Hall Of Fame is located), and he used to work for Rawlings one of the most important baseball company's in the world, before they closed down their US operations. He knew gloves inside and out, literally. i called the guy almost immediately to get more details and see if he was as real as his website had professed. He was all that and more.


I was only balking at the price by this point (around 250 bucks) and told him as it came closer to summer i'd get back to him. Within a month or two he dropped me a line, when we had last spoken i believe he could read my reason for hesitation, but i think he knew how i really wanted the glove and he wanted me to have one, so he let me know he had donated a certificate for one of his custom made gloves to PeTA to auction off for some fund raising event they were having, and he let me know the bids were low. This was my chance to give the money to a good cause, AND get the glove for a good price. Well it worked out perfect, i bid it up at the last minute, my first time ever on Ebay, and got it for less than half the usual price! Within a month or so Scott had e-mailed me some progress photos with my custom embroidery, and then the final product came in the mail a few weeks after that.


I recently took a peek back at Scott's website "Carpenter Trade" and it's been updated a bit as has his glove design, so I called him yesterday just to say hello and check in. He informed me, among other things, that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has just asked to aquire one of his gloves since they are now being used by some pros and are the first 100% synthetic gloves ever made and used by pros (less than half the weight of a normal glove by the way - and every one is hand made). He also told me that his work has improved as well since i got my original a few years back. If you are at all interested in baseball or the DIY aesthetic you need to check out his story, and if you're so inclined i'd highly recommend one of his gloves, this guy is a serious craftsman. The season is almost upon us...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paul Haven R.I.P.


Who was Paul Haven? He was the art director at SkateBoarder magazine during it's entire run in the 70's, right through the last issue of Action Nowmagazine in the early 80's. As a youngster, he was my first encounter with art direction. He had a great aesthetic, although a bit typical of the era, it was still at times progressive too. He did good, clean, sharp work, like all of the Surfer publications of the day. A big inspiration to my page aesthetic forever. He also worked on Super-X magazine with me and several of the other old crew in the late 90's. Last time i saw him was at my L.A. sixspace show in 2004.


"King James" Cassimus told me just last night that it was a very sudden death, happened Saturday evening, caused by pneumonia. James also sent me the above photo of Paul at the magazine offices from 1979.

I first met (as did several others), infamous and now world famous art director David Carson while he was filling in for a vacationing Paul way back then as a substitute AD at SkateBoarder. I always thought Paul was way better. He respected the work of those who he worked with, didn't over design or care to bring attention to his own skills, he presented his pages like a professional, to help tell the story, not to take it over or demean it (unfortunately i can't say that about Carson and so many other AD's these days).

He will be missed, my sincere condolence to the family and friends.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

continued conversation in Juxtapoz magazine (on-line only)

There's a few reasons why I put stuff about me up on here, first it's probably becuase it's late and i have not thought about or found anything else cool to put up, second as in today, for some reason (see next sentence) i thought i might be able to pass around a bit more inspiration. I got a really nice e-mail from COOP after he read my interview in Juxtapoz's 100th issue (which he is also featured in). He said: "Just wanted to give you an electronic high five for speaking up so eloquently about craft and skill in your interview. I'm also fed up with the "anything goes" nature of the fine art world. Learning to do your job and increasing your skills and knowledge is a necessity in any profession, and it certainly should be for those of us trying to make art. - Keep it up, dude."
Now isn't that fucking nice? I think so.


So really this is just me talking, with Katie Zuppann from Juxtapoz (who kind of set the pace/tone of the interview i did with Shepard Fairey in that 100th Juxtapoz), along with Debra Anderson of Culture Shock Marketing a bit after Shepard had to run off to a special event at his Studio Number One. Here's a bite from me:
"You’ve got to call a spade a spade. Too many people are afraid of saying things, what they believe. These are things that I believe in, I’m not afraid of my truth. I’m not bullshitting, I don’t have ulterior motives, I’m not trying to get more commercial work, I’m not trying to get more friends, I don’t like to get more enemies, although I do seem to get more of those than I do friends.

The people who know me love me, people who are my friends appreciate me, people who don’t tell the truth or people who are fakers, toys, people who are not hard workers, they don’t like me too much. I’m not pointing them out by name necessarily; if something’s bogus I’m going to say it. I’m tired of the bullshit getting in the way of the good stuff. Therefore we have to push it aside and clear the way for the good stuff to come back again.

There are plenty of great photographers out there and there are plenty of great painters out there. Probably all the bullshit that’s out there hides them. It’s in the way of us seeing them. It’s definitely out there. Just because I’m not seeing it or I’m not inspired by those bands, I know they’re out there. I’ve run across little pockets, and people, in places I’d never imagine and seen incredible stuff. But there’s so much bullshit that’s clouding it for the good stuff. That’s part of the motivation for doing this, to get the good stuff out there and get the bullshit out of the way and call the bullshit when you see it. People are afraid to do that, and I’m not afraid to do that.

I’m sorry if it’s not polite or it’s not friendly or if I seem egomaniacal or opinionated or whatever the silly words are that they put negative connotations on, what the fuck is wrong with having an opinion? If it’s based on something? If you’re a movie critic and you’ve never made a movie then I’m just going to take that into consideration. I’m an artist, I’ve been around a lot of art, I don’t know everything, I’m a pretty dumb guy, but compared to the average person, maybe I know a little bit more. I read a little bit more, I research a little bit more, I listen a little bit more. That’s why I have confidence in what I say. If I’ve been wrong a lot, I probably have a little bit of confidence, or less confidence than I do. You live and learn, and you keep going forward."

read the rest of it here if you want (but that's probably the best of it, ha!), lots of pictures too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mike Watt interviewed by Ian Svenonius
on Soft Focus

This is part 2 of 5 of the most recent "Soft Focus" episodes of Ian's show that i had to catch up on.

In case you haven't seen previous episodes, there are indeed some great interviews worth seeing including some of these favorites of mine with Penny Rimbaud, Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and Terry Hall. If you go through all of the shows there are a few guests that are horribly annoying as well, but as usual i give the Spiv all the credit for doing better than anyone else would have.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How cool is TechShop



"I'm very excited to tell you that TechShop Portland is now open!" - founder Jim Newton.
And that's great news for tinkerers, builders, and makers in Oregon. TechShop is an open-access public workshop that's kind of like a health club with heavy machinery and sparks instead of treadmills. Tinkerers, inventors, and hackers pay a membership fee, and in turn receive access to professionally-maintained gear, workshops, mentors, and a community of like-minded makers.

Above, a Boing Boing TV episode from 2008 in which Boing-Boing visited the first TechShop site in Silicon Valley, which has been open now for several years. Jim Newton, who is a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster, says they plan to open a number of locations around the US -- and eventually, the rest of the world.

Jim Newton and the TechShop folks explain:
TechShop is a 33,000 square foot membership based workshop that provides members with any skill level to have access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a creative and supportive community of like minded people so you can build the things you have always wanted to make.
TechShop is perfect for inventors, "makers", hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, crackpots, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don't have the tools, space or skills.

Here's more on the newly opened TechShop in Portland, Oregon.

thanks to Xeni at BoingBoing

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Minor Threat DVD (last batch coming soon)

Well, i got a call the other day and Dischord are putting together the last batch of the original pressing of the Minor Threat live DVD (which is currently out of stock). It was decided at this time they would be able to alter the inside of the package with a tray card, so i was asked to see if i could dig up a few old shots that had never been printed before that they were interested in possibly using. One was live, which you will see on the inside of the DVD box tray if you get one of these last copies. The other shot, a band portrait was from the same roll of film as the "Salad Days" cover, was previously unpublished, and since they went with the live shot I thought i'd share the portrait scan with you here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Obama's first 100 days slide show

The H.N.I.C. first 100 days.
Best slide show i've seen in a while here. (on MSNBC)
From the official White House photographer Pete Souza.




Official WhiteHouse.org long version on Flicker here.
(and don't forget to click to get the captions!)

btw. the best presidential T-shirt i've seen can be picked up here.