Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Seeing that I'm a Gemini, I've decided to debut my Zodiac Tracks Mix featuring Notorious B.I.G., Lady of Rage, Lauryn Hill, Paul McCartney and Pete Rock. These artists have contributed a wealth of music to us, so please share them with your family and friends!

Monday, December 26, 2016

School of Life Monday:
In Praise of the Quiet Life

Quiet lives feel nowadays like lives of failure and resignation, but they may be no such thing: true ambition can lie in learning how to minimise stress and divert energy to properly important projects.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


from The Intercept:
by Sharon Lerner

IF YOU’VE BEEN wondering which environmental protections the incoming administration will target and how exactly they’ll try to undo them, take a look at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s legislative agenda, “Free to Prosper.” Just a few months ago, this radical plan to dismantle environmental safeguards would have been dismissed as the wacky wish list of a conservative fringe group. But with Donald Trump headed to the White House and Myron Ebell, CEI’s director, overseeing the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency, the report, which was released last week, is a chilling preview of the attacks on environmental and health regulations that are likely to come — and a must-read for anyone trying to avert them.

Beyond laying out specific paths to destruction, CEI’s legislative roadmap helps explain the group’s twisted logic for attacking environmental laws in the first place, something that may be lost on the vast majority of Americans, who want clean air and water, accept the reality of climate change, and are not steeped in anti-governmental legal theory.

As CEI sees it, efforts to address the effects of pollution from fossil fuels on our climate are really a “war on affordable energy.” Bizarrely, the report uses a decline in global death rates due to extreme weather since the 1920s to justify the continued burning of oil and coal and its claim that carbon-based fuels “increase life expectancy.” While fossil fuels have unquestionably kept many people warm over the past century, alternative energy sources can also provide plenty of heat — and have the additional appeal of reducing the likelihood of extreme weather events.

Most disingenuously, CEI presents its efforts to do away with climate protections as stemming from a concern for the poor, since “energy costs already impose real burdens on low-income households.” In truth, the poor are disproportionately affected by climate change. And, of course, huge energy and chemical companies are the ones who stand to benefit most from the assault on climate and other environmental protections suggested in the report. Not coincidentally, many of these same powerful interests, including Exxon, Dow, Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Koch Brothers have funded CEI.

Trump has already made it pretty clear that he would like to undo the Paris Climate Agreement. CEI lays out a plan for doing so by reclassifying the agreement as a treaty requiring ratification in the Senate, which would almost certainly fail to receive the necessary two thirds vote.

CEI also calls for overturning the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which includes carbon dioxide and other pollution standards for power plants. If Congress can’t dismantle the actual Clean Power Plan rule, which the report describes as “an unlawful power grab that will increase consumer electricity prices,” the think tank suggests a plan B, defunding the EPA’s implementation of it.

Budgets may be the most direct way to paralyze environmental progress, and CEI proposes slashing a number of them. “Free to Prosper” also calls on Congress to cut off the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, an intergovernmental group that gathers and shares information on strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and preparations for the impacts of climate change.

Although some environmental advocates have offered assurances that dismantling environmental laws will be difficult and time consuming, the CEI report suggests specific strategies the Trump administration might pursue, such as amending the Clean Air Act so that the EPA no longer has the ability to affect climate policy; altering the Clean Water Act so that the EPA has no power to regulate wetlands; and reforming the Endangered Species Act so that it’s harder to add threatened animals.

Generally speaking, whatever natural resource you might think of, CEI believes it doesn’t need protection. So the Waters of the U.S. Rule, which limits pollution in lakes and rivers, should be overturned; the federal government should transfer ownership of land to the states or private citizens, or at the very least make it available for “resource production”; fuel standards for cars should be allowed to expire; and Congress should push back against the Fish and Wildlife Service, which, according to CEI, is engaged in “a vast new endangered species power grab.”

If Congress follows the “Freedom to Prosper” blueprint, it will also roll back restrictions on toxic chemicals. The group suggests eliminating funding for what it calls “activist research,” which includes the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences study of the endocrine disruptor BPA, and for “Safer Choice,” through which EPA helps companies eliminate toxic chemicals from their products. Another CEI target is IRIS, the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System, which identifies hazardous environmental chemicals, such as formaldehyde, styrene, and TCE. IRIS has proven particularly troublesome to industry because it targets widely used chemicals and, as the report notes, drives clean air and drinking water regulations.

Most people want government to keep them safe from such dangers. But CEI seems to have no compunction about eliminating efforts designed to protect health, even when they’re aimed at babies, such as the government’s efforts to restrict dangerous chemicals called phthalates from kids’ products. Although the Consumer Products Safety Commission has been working on such a ban for years, the report recommends conducting oversight hearings that would slow the process further. It’s worth noting that Exxon Mobil, which has funded CEI — and whose CEO is now poised to become Trump’s secretary of state — manufactures phthalates and opposes the ban.

That conflict of interest is just one of many. “This is standard CEI — hysteria, nonsense, and dishonesty to promote the most extreme pro-chemical manufacturer agenda,” said Daniel Rosenberg, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “These people are not relevant players, they’re at the margins,” he added. “Or at least they used to be.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

School of Life Monday:
How To Cope With Snobbery

The existence of snobbery explains why we work so hard and are so worried about our reputations. We are all terrified of humiliation and disrespect.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beastie Boys Late Night Infomercial circa 1998

from Dangerous Minds:

Ad-Rock as John, the over enthusiastic audience member at a juice extractor demonstration.

I was up late one San Fernando valley evening in 1998, channel surfing through cable television when I happened upon a very bizarre infomercial advertising a product called “Sure Shine.” It caught my attention and I immediately stopped flipping: the commercial boasted that this multi-use product could wash your hair, polish your car, clean your kitchen counter, AND be used in the bedroom, as a spermicide. The number to call on the screen was 1-888-711-BSTE. This had to be some kind of hoax! It wasn’t exactly a hoax, rather, an ingenious marketing tactic used to promote the Beastie Boys highly anticipated Hello Nasty album on the hip hop groups’ own record label Grand Royal. 
Calling the 1-888 number that flashed on the screen throughout the half-hour parody led viewers to where they could pre-order Hello Nasty and have it delivered to their doorstep on July 14, the ad also included the URL for Grand Royal’s newly launched website. The low-budget infomercial was directed by none other than Tamra Davis, wife of Beastie Boy Mike D, whose impressive credits include music videos for N.W.A., Sonic Youth, as well as major Hollywood studio films like CB4 and Billy Madison. It ran for several weeks on cable stations in Northern New Jersey, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Manhattan, N.Y., Cleveland, Portland, Philadelphia, Houston, and Washington, D.C.

A disclaimer scrolled over the fake products that read “If you order NOW, you will not receive any car care products, but you can order the record, CD, or cassette of the new Beastie Boys album ‘Hello Nasty’”

This incredibly amusing advertising concept starred the Beastie Boys themselves: Mike D (a.k.a. Mike Diamond), MCA (a.k.a. Adam Yauch) Ad-Rock (a.k.a. Adam Horovitz), who, in the name of sketch comedy, slapped on fake wigs, phony moustaches, ponytails, and took on various roles to sell fake get-rich-quick scams, psychic hotlines, and even a food processor that played beats from Hello Nasty. The Beasties comedy chops hold up strong, with a parody style well ahead of its time pre-dating Adult Swim, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and so many others who a decade later would become popular parodying public-access television with bizarre faux-infomercials in a very similar fashion.
Director Tamra Davis spoke with me about how using a Home Shopping Network style approach to sell Hello Nasty came about: “Ian Rodgers (Grand Royal’s president of new media) was working with the Beasties on how to direct sell and market using the internet. This was all super new and I definitely remember us all thinking about how crazy it would be if you were at home watching TV in the middle of the night and this came on. We thought it would be hilarious.” This wasn’t Ian Rodgers’ first innovative approach to marketing in new media. After he wowed the Beastie Boys by giving a demonstration of the internet in 1994 (they hadn’t heard of it yet!) he created an (unreleased) CD-ROM entitled Don’t Mosh in the Ramen Shop, and in 1998 became one of the very first people to use MP3 technology to upload live recordings to the net while on the road with the group during the Hello Nasty tour.
The late-night infomercial was incredibly effective, with phone lines lighting up and pre-orders filing in whenever and wherever it aired. A Grand Royal telephone operator explained that a few viewers called in just to ask if the ad was real or not. “Some people have been like ‘Are you just going to go out and charge up my credit card?’ And I’ve just been telling them, ‘No, this is legit.’” Greg Pond, a cable programming coordinator at TCI San Francisco said, “This isn’t the first time that our cable systems local-access channels have been used to promote a well-known group of musicians. We aired half-hour spots for Tricky and Pulp, but those were just videos and information about the artists. They were nothing like the infomercial the Beastie Boys produced.”
Beastie Boys fans will be thrilled to see Ad-Rock as John, the over enthusiastic audience member in a juice extractor demonstration. Mike D as exercise guru Jack Freeweather in the “8 Minute Workout” that promises amazing results. “Whatever you’ve been doing in the past, you’ve been doing it wrong. Let Jack make it right.” Mike D returns later as thick-accented “Miklious Toukas” of CEO GR International. In my favorite segment, MCA plays a get-rich-quick character named Bill Swenson, a.k.a. “The Money Man.” A perfectly straight-faced MCA wearing thick, dark-rimmed glasses and a pink sweater around his neck expresses: “Money makes you feel good, money is so underestimated in our society, money is the thing that everyone needs to feel great and be who they are.” Tamra explains there was never a script for the infomercial, “We had all the ideas of the characters and what would happen but it was all improvised as far as what they said or what the guests would say. Some things they did were such inside jokes that if only five of us got it, it was worth it.”

MCA as Bill Swenson, a.k.a. “The Money Man.”

Mike D as thick-accented “Mikilous Toukas” of CEO GR International.

Extras casting helped fill out the traditional studio audience when they taped the ad in New York City, as well as friends, family, fellow Grand Royal labelmates, and even some real people like the Beasties stylist Tara Chaney and Tamra and Mike D’s doorman Joe. E.Z. Mike (a.k.a. Michael Simpson) from the Dust Brothers can be seen in the crowd applauding next to none other than record producer and studio engineer legend Mario Caldato Jr. Any Beastie Boys fan knows him as Mario C. by his frequent shout-outs in lyrics such as “That’s a record ‘cause of Mario” on the song “Root Down” and “Mario C likes to keep it clean!” on “Intergalactic.” Matthew Horovitz (Ad-Rock’s brother) plays Kenny Star of “Hollywood Psychics,” and Ad-Rock’s best friend from elementary school, working actress Nadia Dajani, plays Peg of “The Juice Ladies.” Actor Russell Steinberg (son-in-law of Diane von FĂĽrstenberg) and DJ Frankie Inglese appear as Mike Lathers and Graham Noodledish of “Fantastic Finds,” showing off a miracle cleaning product that can only be applied using a compact disc.

(left to right) Mario C., Ad-Rock, and E.Z. Mike as studio audience members.

Mike Lathers (Russell Steinberg) and Graham Noodledish (DJ Frankie Inglese) of “Fantastic Finds.”

The brilliant Hello Nasty infomercial was unfortunately left out of the Beastie Boys Criterion Edition Video Anthology, however, it can be seen in its entirety on YouTube in three parts. In 2009 Tamra wrote a cookbook titled Make Me Something Good to Eat and also hosted a cooking show called the Tamra Davis Cooking Show, inspired by cooking meals at home for their two children, Skyler and Davis. She recently directed an episode of BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency starring Elijah Wood as well as Netflix’s upcoming original comedy series Santa Clarita Diet starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bobby Piercy never before seen photograph from 1977
on my Instagram

BOBBY PIERCY the Legend, slaloming at a park in SanDiego late 1977 or early 1978, with his dog Sonny... according to best research among friends both Bobby and Sonny have long since passed (RIP). BP was a professional snow skier who brought his parallel stance and hip shaking to the cones with a vengeance. His natural abilities were pretty incredible, he even skated vertical and Surfed more than he skated or Snow skied. As a teen ager he'd fly me down to San Diego for the weekend to make photos down there, i was too young to drive so the cab to LAX would cost around 20 bucks and my plane ticket was usually less than TEN dollars, just incredible when you think about it (one or two of my ticket receipts is in the collage in the MY RULES book). Bobby would give me $100 at the end of the weekend to pay for the cabs, airplanes, film and developing. The only time i ever tried surfing was with Bobby, Jay Adams and Warren Bolster (all legends all gone). Ask anyone who knew him and you'll hear great stories, he was well loved by all, not to mention a true player with the ladies. Jus' sayin'. #STYLE #PointLoma #SanDiego #Player #PlayBoy #Racer #slalom #PARTY #ArrowSkateboards #unpublished #YouveNeverSeenThisOneBefore #Traknology #skateboarding #surfer #skier #TurnerSummerSki #BadAss #Pimp please feel free to chime in and let me know where in san diego this is, and have a good weekend ✌🏽p.s. electors use your brains and follow the advice of the founding fathers, vote your conscious. #Dump

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Friday, December 16, 2016

HR - 'Finding Joseph I' - The Documentary

Tonight I went to a screening of the film "Finding Joseph I" It was much better than I expected, also much more emotional for me to see, and especially to see Joseph answer some questions after the screening. The same guy that i remember with so much charisma and character became a shell of himself and even less over the years, now seems to be in some form of control over his diagnosed schizophrenia, just slightly, it's heavy duty.

I can highly recommend the film, except there were more than a few people who didn't need to be in the film for their observations and knucklehead opinions, but it was a journey and if you have seen HR back in the late 70's or early 80's as I had, and then witnessed the deterioration or absolute unpredictability from the late 80's onward, this gives you the deeper window of sorts you were hoping for. Some really interesting family history in the early part of the film as well. (I never knew he and Earl rode skateboards in the 60's!)

go here for more info:

from the website:
HR "Finding Joseph I" is a feature documentary currently in production, chronicling the eccentric life and struggles of punk rock reggae singer, Paul "HR" Hudson, a.k.a. Joseph I. The charismatic frontman's energetic and explosive live performances helped pioneer hardcore punk rock with the Bad Brains, one of the most influential bands to rise out of the 1980's. HR's heavy devotion to the Rastafarian faith guided him in a spiritual direction leaving the band several times to explore his love for reggae music as the solo artist, HR Human Rights. Over the years, the Bad Brains have reunited several times only to struggle with the unpredictable singer. HR's increasingly strange and abnormal behavior has left many convinced that he his suffering from psychological troubles while others believe he is still living out his journey as one of the greatest frontmen in rock and roll history!

This documentary will feature interviews with musicians and peers HR has worked with and influenced as they share their stories and first hand experiences. Most importantly we will hear from HR himself about his life, philosophies, and career while seeing him continue to write, record, and perform, spreading his passionate message of universal peace and love.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

great DEVO interview circa 1981

from Dangerous Minds
The entire interview, uncut, is amazing red meat for serious DEVOtees—it’s over 40 minutes of the band discussing their motivations, the devolution idea, newly-nascent Reaganism, the concept behind the New Traditionalists LP, public responses to their work and their image, rock ’n’ roll culture, all the obsessions shared between DEVO and its fans to which the band gave voice. It’s worth it for the Jerry Casale quote “Art bands are in love with their own poopoo” alone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Crime of the Big Leagues
great 10 minute doc.

A mini-doc about the late Lester Rodney, the unsung hero that helped desegregate Major League Baseball.

Crime of the Big Leagues from Tomorrow Media on Vimeo.

Monday, December 12, 2016

School of Life Monday:
Literature - George Orwell

George Orwell is the most famous English language writer of the 20th century, the author of Animal Farm and 1984. What was he trying to tell us and what is his genius?



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Black Flag 1982 on my Instagram

BLACK FLAG circa 1982, Henry Rollins on vocals, Greg Ginn in the background and Chuck Dukowski flailing around on stage in the foreground, looks like he's maybe even about to fall on me. This looks like one of those shows in Santa Barbara, BLACK FLAG peak era with Dez on second guitar. This is a rare color image of the band, becuase we really didn't have any publications that printed in full color back then that were interested in PUNK ROCK, i had Action Now that would give us occasional color coverage with punk photos, but even when it came time to the full feature on BLACK FLAG in the very last issue of SkateBoarder's ACTION NOW, we only got B&W pages. Black Flag was my favorite band, particularly during this time. Shows were exciting and thrilling like you could barely imagine, the unpredictability of the crowd and often the local authorities, not to mention the bands intensity on any particular night, you just had no idea of what was gonna go down, but it was a catharsis, an emotional and physical release i wish everyone could have the chance to experience at a show, particularly in an independent space. this photo originally appeared in my book FUCK YOU TOO, and although this one is not in MY RULES the book, there are a lot of incredible BLACK FLAG images that are, some classics and some never seen before. Essays of inspiration from 22 different subjects, including Dukowski and Rollins. Truly incredible. Get this huge monster of a book now if you haven't already 👊🏽 #inspiration #Radical #BlackFlag #HenryRollins #integrity #MyRules #SprayPaint #RiseAbove #Damaged #PoliceStory #GetTheNewBook #Punk #HardcorePunk #Politics #change

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Friday, December 9, 2016

Post Election Subway Therapy

I went to the Union Square subway station late thursday evening to finish a roll of film I started, making photos with Tony Alva last month. I wanted to finish the roll by making pictures of the mosaic of "post-it" notes on some of the walls expressing peoples frustration and other things regarding the 2016 Presidential election.

Afterwords I borrowed a friends iPhone and made this clip and some still images too.

SUBWAY THERAPY from Burning Flags Press on Vimeo.

these words below from:

Channeling the Fire

Right now, people are overflowing with fire. That fire can do amazing things, but we need to make sure we are directing it so it can have the best effect. Sometimes we are burning so hot we end up burning our friends, our family, and bridges we will need to work together as a world community in the future. Don't talk at each other. Talk with each other.

Follow the project on Instagram and Facebook @subwaytherapy!

When people are overflowing with emotion, help channel their energy into something good.

Subway Therapy is about making people smile, laugh, and feel less stress. I believe people grow and learn through dynamic conversation.

For the last several years I imagined going outside with a table and chairs to talk to people. I don't know why, but it was always something I wanted to do. What got me thinking in this specific direction was the concept of absolution. How do people feel better when they feel bad? There are so many people walking around with extra emotional weight. I am very lucky to have family and friends that help me process events that happen in my life, but what if someone doesn't have a family to turn to or friends to support them? What if they don't have a community to be a part of, or access to therapy? This is a complicated problem with no clear solution.

Nine months ago, I sat with a book people could write their secrets in, and I had a little sign that said Secret Keeper. More often than not, people would just talk to me instead of writing something down. It got pretty common to hear, "I feel so much better! This is great... like therapy." I heard it enough that it stuck and six months ago, Subway Therapy was born. Lately, the project has evolved and I have been using sticky notes to give people an opportunity to transform their stress into something beautiful.

Keep in mind, I am not a licensed therapist. I am not a therapist of any kind. I have no obligation to keep what I hear confidential. I cannot provide professional advice, but I like to listen and when asked I give personal advice from my experience.

I look forward to our conversation,

Matthew "Levee" Chavez


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pussy Riot
on my Instagram

Nadya and Masha @nadyariot and @all_mary of PUSSY RIOT the day we first met in the spring of 2014. We made this photograph and i stopped the presses on the MY RULES book and added this photo at the last possible moment, removing another image. These two are incredibly inspiring young women kicking ass for what they believe in. After many phone calls, e-mails, and connections worn out, I finally had an opportunity to get a short time with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. It's very rare, if ever, i do so much to get a chance to work with anyone these days. But I had to do something with these two! The goal was to get one last shot for the MY RULES book. I wasn't able to get the balaclava image i was hoping for, but got a couple of good ones (probably even better since I could actually see their faces), and had a nice time talking with them about film photography, vegetarianism, and what happened to them at the Olympics. These are some bad ass women as far as i'm concerned, and i was honored to work with them, even if only for a few minutes. I gave them a copy my book "FUCK YOU TOO" as well as a few other souvenirs an old punk like me had around the apartment that i thought they might appreciate. They were gracious. We got to shoot about half a roll of film (I let my son finish the roll on our way to school the next day) and a couple of snaps with my digital point and shoot as well. This one is made on film, i posted one of the digital images a while back. The MY RULES book is the first i didn't self publish, took a bit of teeth pulling to get a new page in the book and one removed, but worked out great in the end. Really rounded out the last few pages perfectly, and let y'all know when inspired i will still make some great photos. ☮ #MashaAlyokhina #NadyaTolokonnikova #PussyRiot #BadAss #ArtCollective #activists #inspiration #punk #Russia #lifeontheline #standingUpForWhatYouBelive #justice #fightingthegovernment #correct #MyRules #GetTheNewBook #artistsforpositivesocialchange thx @andystepanian @karen2scott

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Monday, December 5, 2016

School of Life Monday: Philosophical Meditation

At the School of Life, we’ve pioneered a new form of Meditation we call Philosophical Meditation, designed to help with anxiety, sadness and a lack of direction.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

This is the most dangerous time for our planet
by Stephen Hawking

from The Guardian:

We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it

As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. Within that town, the scientific community that I became part of in my 20s is even more rarefied.

And within that scientific community, the small group of international theoretical physicists with whom I have spent my working life might sometimes be tempted to regard themselves as the pinnacle. In addition to this, with the celebrity that has come with my books, and the isolation imposed by my illness, I feel as though my ivory tower is getting taller.

So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.

It was, everyone seems to agree, the moment when the forgotten spoke, finding their voices to reject the advice and guidance of experts and the elite everywhere.

I am no exception to this rule. I warned before the Brexit vote that it would damage scientific research in Britain, that a vote to leave would be a step backward, and the electorate – or at least a sufficiently significant proportion of it – took no more notice of me than any of the other political leaders, trade unionists, artists, scientists, businessmen and celebrities who all gave the same unheeded advice to the rest of the country.

What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism that fail to take account of the facts, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few individuals working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their greed leads us astray. So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.

It is also the case that another unintended consequence of the global spread of the internet and social media is that the stark nature of these inequalities is far more apparent than it has been in the past. For me, the ability to use technology to communicate has been a liberating and positive experience. Without it, I would not have been able to continue working these many years past.

But it also means that the lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible to anyone, however poor, who has access to a phone. And since there are now more people with a telephone than access to clean water in sub-Saharan Africa, this will shortly mean nearly everyone on our increasingly crowded planet will not be able to escape the inequality.

The consequences of this are plain to see: the rural poor flock to cities, to shanty towns, driven by hope. And then often, finding that the Instagram nirvana is not available there, they seek it overseas, joining the ever greater numbers of economic migrants in search of a better life. These migrants in turn place new demands on the infrastructures and economies of the countries in which they arrive, undermining tolerance and further fuelling political populism.

For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.

• The writer launched earlier this year

Saturday, December 3, 2016

the movie trailer

Saving Banksy - Official Trailer #2 (Documentary)
The documentary feature film "Saving Banksy" is the true story of one misguided art collector’s attempt to save a Banksy from destruction and the auction block. The documentary was directed by Colin Day with narration by Paul Polycarpou, and interviews with the top street and graffiti artists from across the globe, including Ben Eine, Risk, Revok, Niels Mueman, Blek Le Rat, Anthony Lister, Doze Green, Hera and Glen E Friedman. "Saving Banksy - It's not art unless you can sell it for lots of money".
Release Date: TBA

Happy Birthday Colin !

Friday, December 2, 2016

Vegans are right to be furious
about beef fat in the new £5 notes

from The Guardian:
So the new fivers contain tallow. How very emblematic of the grand deception the meat and dairy industry relies on for its continued existence

To anyone who has taken an unflinching look at the slaughterhouse industry, the Bank of England’s belated admission that the new £5 notes contain beef tallow will seem strangely symbolic. Few industries are as secretive as the one that murders 22m animals each day in the UK alone, and the driving force for that shiftiness is a lust for profit. So the way the Bank of England tried to sneak out money containing animal products seems a fitting metaphor for the entire filthy racket.

The unnecessary presence of tallow in banknotes is problematic for many vegetarians and members of several faith groups, including Hindus, for whom the cow is a sacred mother. But for vegans it is a further slap in the face.

Veganism, as defined by the Vegan Society, is a bid “to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. It is about more than what we put on our plates: it is a meticulous, daily endeavour for compassion towards animals in all aspects of our lives. That’s why it is crushing to know that the Bank of England has misled us into carrying around animal fat in our (leather-free) wallets and purses.

As I’ve trodden the path from vegetarianism towards veganism, I’ve often felt overwhelmed. Knocking halloumi on the head was hard enough, but then I realised that my foot cream includes lamb product, my vitamin capsules are made of gelatine, and even some cleaning products are un-vegan. It seems obscene, then, that after making thoughtful choices in shops and restaurants, the very cash I pay with will nullify the whole project.

And for a growing number of people, this issue is problematic. Veganism is soaring. According to a survey earlier this year, 542,000 Brits – almost 1% of the population – are vegans, up from 150,000 in 2006. The health benefits of a plant-based diet are increasingly recognised, and so are the environmental and welfare costs of consuming animal products.

Some still see us as extremists, but a growing number recognise there is nothing more extreme than what animal agriculture is doing to the planet and its non-human residents.

Supermarkets stock own-brand vegan products, and restaurants increasingly offer meat-product-free dining options. Over the summer Pret a Manger trialled a temporary pop-up in central London selling only vegan and vegetarian food, and it’s been such a hit it has stayed open. We are weeks away from Veganuary, when a UK-based charity encourages people to try veganism for the first month of the year.

The question is whether as a society we grasp the tallow controversy as an opportunity to keep this momentum going, or whether we let it encourage the misconception that vegans are a bit weird and self-righteous.

In response to news about the fiver, Twitter has been doing a great trade in baffled tweets, with vegans dismissed as “morons”, “whiners’ and “fannies”. Some have, hilariously, pointed out that one is not actually supposed to eat bank notes, while other jokers have offered to take the notes off the hands of anyone upset by this bombshell.

We should welcome the humour and the attention it brings to this issue as an opportunity to educate people about veganism. Because, just as we didn’t know we were handling banknotes containing cow products, most meat-eaters know little of the horrors of the industry they are funding: the chicken slaughterhouses where workers rip the heads off live birds; the abattoirs where cows are alive as their heads are skinned and their legs sawn off; the factory-farm workers who systematically attack crate-bound pigs with lead pipes. It is from this world that tallow emerges.

When people find out the facts, it can change everything. A recent study found that 88% of Britons didn’t realise that most pigs are killed at just six months of age, even though their natural lifespan is 15 years. Two-thirds were unaware that on egg farms killing all male chicks at a day or two old is standard practice. Many were unaware that little piglets routinely have their tails amputated and teeth removed without anaesthesia. After becoming aware of this reality, one in six said that they would give up meat and dairy entirely.

Our best reaction to the five-pound tallow revelation will be to see it as a springboard for discussion on the grand deception that the meat industry pulls on us all.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gotta have some fun too...

Last game of the year for me, unofficial post season, in the rain, the Saturday after the election... I wasn't going to go, then at the last minute I did, there were barely enough folks to play, but we got a game together and I gotta say this felt SO DAMN GOOD! (especially after such a dreadful week) Not too often I get two homers in one game...

Raw Footage by JOSÉ TAPIA


FUCK YEAH! Gotta have some fun too! from Burning Flags Press on Vimeo.

Watch on a big screen as you got,click HD and turn up the volume, this was FUN.

(sound track from THE SONICS and Jay-Z)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Punk protest: Sex Pistols manager's son sets fire to collection
Joe CorrĂ© on Burn Punk London Extinction: “It’s about whether punk rock actually meant anything”

from NME:

Today saw Joe CorrĂ© burn £5 million of rare punk memorabilia, beginning with the destruction of an original acetate copy of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’.

CorrĂ©, who is the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren, made headlines earlier this year when he vowed to burn his expensive collection in protest of Punk.London’s year-long celebration of 40 years of punk music. CorrĂ© also claimed that the celebration has been endorsed by the Queen, and criticised institutions like the BFI, Museum of London (where CorrĂ© appeared earlier this month for a Punk.London debate), and the Roundhouse for turning punk into “a museum piece.”

Fans have called out CorrĂ© on his actions, stating that the memorabilia should instead be placed in a museum or sold to help the homeless. In a new interview with Navaz Batliwalla, CorrĂ© has opened up about the stunt, saying; “It’s not about me. It’s about whether punk rock actually meant anything on one level.”

He continued; “It’s about trying to get people to get their head around the difference between price and value. It’s about drawing attention to the hypocrisy of these establishment institutions now making money out of these pastiche versions. How long’s it going to be before they put a Queen’s jubilee mug with a safety pin through her nose in the palace gift shop? It’s not long is it? Forty years to go from public enemy number one to everyone seeing the UK as the birth of punk, so that’s now a valued tourist attraction item that we can use. Well go ahead but people like me will have something to say about it.”

Asked whether he’s had support for the cause, he replied; “There’s been a hell of a lot of reaction and that’s what’s important,” before adding, “I didn’t start this with a master plan, this is someone giving me an opening goal and saying do you want to be a conformist and join this thing like everybody else and celebrate Punk London?”

Vivienne Westwood also made a speech about climate change at the event, stating; “My job as an activist is to try to make things clear so that we can understand things and find the solution.” You can see footage from the speech below.

Meanwhile, CorrĂ© also responded to a rumour that he had been burning fakes. Posting on Twitter, he responded to a tweet accusing him of using fakes, writing “no you will see photos to come and a doc too!”. He has also posted that “Julian Assange is the only punk left.”

Responding to those criticising him for not selling the merchandise to help the homeless, he wrote; “Stay tuned, it’s all to come” as well as “All will be revealed…” You can see those tweets and responses below.

from the Guardian:
Bonfire of vanity: 10 ways Joe CorrĂ© could use his £5m of punk memorabilia

from the BBC:
Punk protest: Sex Pistols manager's son sets fire to collection

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bernie Sanders meets Spike Lee:
‘Where do we go? Where is the hope?

from The Guardian:

The senator and the film-maker discuss Trump, where Clinton went wrong – and how to make a difference in 2017
by Emma Brockes

Bernie Sanders charges head-first into a hotel room in midtown Manhattan, a man with no time to waste. This is not the campaign-era Bernie, the Bernie of memes and ice-cream flavours and jokey, Feel The Bern fun. All that has been swept away and replaced with something harder, more urgent, a sense that, with Clinton vanquished, cometh the hour, cometh the man, so that even to call him Bernie at this point feels wrong. In this guise, Senator Sanders, an outsider throughout the campaign, shows himself to be a politician of 40 years’ standing, with a desire to fight politics with politics and no tolerance for weeping, kvetching or the need for catharsis. The only noticeable hangover of his formerly whimsical style is his habit of saying everything twice. Sanders makes “Yup, yup” sound like the gravest assessment in the world.

Spike Lee, on the other hand, is emotional. He campaigned for Sanders and wants a hug from him, reassurance that things will be OK and an acknowledgment that the world has gone mad, appeals towards which the senator shows some understanding and also undisguised irritation. The two men occupy different positions on the same side, one representing the political opposition to Trump, the other the cultural opposition. Lee wants direction from Sanders on how that opposition might work, but he also wants recognition that conciliation with Trump, the politician’s instinct, is not at the expense of core values.

In this, they differ. Lee, like so many of us, might be said to have the luxury of total opposition, of total rejection of Trump and vilification of his supporters. Sanders, somewhat surprisingly given his reputation as uncompromising, takes a more strategic line even than colleagues such as Harry Reid, the senate minority leader, who earlier this month issued a strong repudiation of Trump when he described him as “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fuelled his campaign with bigotry and hate”.

Sanders condemns those aspects of Trump, but is reluctant to characterise millions of white, working-class voters as racists, through what I suspect is political pragmatism and deep sentiment, given his own background is white working class. Lee is not so ready to give Trump voters the benefit of the doubt. It is a fascinating exchange.

Bernie Sanders Hey, Spike, how are you?

Spike Lee I feel terrible, Senator.

BS I understand that. I understand that.

SL I want to thank you, though. Because what you did is great. And reading this stuff that’s coming out – the revelations about Wasserman [Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, who during the campaign leaked emails shown to be biased against Sanders in favour of Clinton] and Donna Brazile [interim DNC chair, who gave Clinton a heads-up on questions in advance of a CNN debate], whom I know. Cheating goes both ways, huh? [Laughs.]

BS Well, you know. We took on the entire establishment and that’s what happens. But we have some enormously difficult times now. We gotta go forward, and I look forward to working with you to make that happen.

SL Well, anything I can do to help. But look at these [Trump] appointees – who’s this guy, Bannon? Brannon?

BS Bannon.

SL Whoooo!

BS He’s going to be policy adviser or something.

SL Hahahahahahahahaha!

BS Yup.

SL You know what Malcolm X said? It was a famous quote that got him into trouble, but that comes to mind. He said, “Chickens come home to roost.” And it seems to me, all this stuff today was a reaction to day one, when Obama put his right hand on Lincoln’s bible. I think things started on the day a black man became president of the United States. This all happened eight years ago.

BS Well, I think, Spike, that’s part of it. I don’t think it’s the whole thing, though.

SL But I think it’s a large part of it.

BS Well, I think a number of people who voted for Obama once, or twice, voted for Trump. And I think the issue is that there are millions of people in this country who voted for Trump but do not accept… I’m not going to deny for a second that there’s a lot of racism and xenophobia and sexism out there; there certainly is. But there are a whole lot of other people who are just really, really hurting. They’re working two or three jobs, they’re worried about their kids, they can’t afford to send them to childcare or to college. And Trump comes along and says, “I’m a champion of the working class.” And he’s a good showman and a good entertainer, and people believed him.

But our job now, it seems to me, is in three areas. Number one: to fight him tooth and nail in any movement toward racism, xenophobia, sexism, trying to divide our country up. And number two: if he is at all sincere – and we will see if he is – in developing programmes to create jobs and raise wages, I think we should work with him. But I’ll tell you what also concerns me, not just for this country but the planet, is this guy thinks that climate change is a hoax. Well, let me tell you, it ain’t a hoax. Climate change is real, and if we don’t transform our energy system, the planet we leave for our kids and grandchildren may not be a pretty place.

SL What also is troublesome, which I’ve tossed and turned over at night: the man has the nuclear codes.

BS Yup, yup.

SL [Laughs incredulously.] The man has the nuclear codes.

BS I agree.

SL Excuse me, if I may, sir; you know I love sports. I’ve seen it too many times, when a team thinks they’ve got it all won, just wrapped up, and you see players go down the sideline and start celebrating, and then they reach the goal line and fumble. The Clintons – and I’m not asking you for a comment; this is my opinion – thought they had it won. And what do the great coaches always say? Keep playing until there is no time on the clock! And it seems to me the Clintons were celebrating before the day was up.

BS [Mirthlessly.] Ha.

SL It was not Hillary Clinton’s birthright to be president of the United States of America! And Trump, he played it like he was going to keep going at this until the whistle blows, until time has run out.

BS Right. You’re right. Now, no one can deny that Trump was holding three or four rallies a day, he was running all over this country, working 20 hours a day. And that’s the truth. But I think that speaks to, Spike, something that goes beyond Hillary Clinton. It really goes to the very nature of the Democratic party.


BS That’s right. And it calls for the transformation of the Democratic party, and making it clear it’s going to be a party that brings together blacks and whites and Latinos and women and gays, and everyone else. But it’s also going to be a party…

SL Would you say that it’s a shambles, now, Senator – the DNC?

BS Yes. Yes. And I am supporting…

SL There’s a whole lot of finger-pointing going on.

BS Yes. I think we need a house-cleaning. I think the DNC needs an entirely new direction. I think it needs leadership, and I think it needs to be very clear about the fact that it stands with working families and is prepared to take on the billionaire class and Wall Street, and corporate America, and the drug companies and the insurance companies. People are hurting. And we need a programme that stands with working families and brings people together.

SL Were you ever offered the VP position, sir?

BS No. Absolutely not.

SL Would you have taken it?

BS Er. Probably, yes. But that’s again looking through the rear-view mirror.

SL I mean, we’re all looking upon the debris and trying to say, excuse my language, what the f? I mean, when I woke up that morning, the world is different. It’s a different world.

BS It is a very different world. And it’s a very frightening world. [Brusquely.] But we gotta get beyond that.

SL The man has the nuclear codes.

BS Yup.

SL Let me ask you another question. How can you tell another country that they’ve got to pay for a wall? Or fences? How does that work?

BS Well, Spike, I think what you are going to find is that a lot of the hyperbole, a lot of the rhetoric that Mr Trump used in his campaign, ends up not being terribly relevant to the real world.

SL So you think his voters are not going to hold him to the outrageous stuff he said he’d do?

BS Well, I think in some ways they may not. I think what we’ve got to do is hold him accountable for the statements he made about raising wages and creating jobs, and I think we gotta fight him tooth and nail on the outrageous…

SL But how do we do that if they [the Republicans] have the House and the Senate? How do we do that?

BS Well, we do it because it turns out that, on every major issue facing the American people, our view is the popular view, the view supported by the American people, and Mr Trump’s is not. For example: we are going to work hard to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. The vast majority of Democrats and, actually, Republicans believe in that. We’re going to fight to rebuild the infrastructure and create millions of jobs, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, dealing with student debt, childcare – all of these issues have the support of the American people. We have got to put him on the defensive, and that speaks to a need where you can play a great role – you and other people who know how to do media – which is to bring people together around the progressive agenda.

SL All right, but doesn’t the president of the United States appoint the Supreme Court justices?

BS Oh, he sure does. All right, look. That’s the reality, Spike; you’re talking about reality. Yes, he’s going to be the president. That’s the fact. Our job is to determine what we can do in opposition to him. That’s where we are right now. And we have to be very, very smart about that.

SL We’re going to need your leadership, sir.

BS Well, Spike, here’s the story, to the degree that my leadership means anything. It means we bring people together. You know what? The vast majority of the American people do not think that Roe v Wade should be ended. Our job is to make it clear that if he goes forward in that direction, there is a price to pay. What politics is about is this: you may hold a point of view, but if I can rally massive opposition to your point of view, you may rethink that point of view. That’s where we’re at. I do not think the American people want to overturn Roe v Wade. I do not think that the American people want to be deporting millions of people. I don’t think the American people want to stop Muslim people coming into this country. But I do think the American people want an economic agenda that works for working people, not just billionaires. So the way you defeat or slow down your opponents is that you bring people together, and you show that he is on the wrong side of history. That’s the best we can do.

SL What are your comments, Senator, on the uprising we’ve seen across the United States after the results?

BS Well, as you just indicated, you and I woke up that morning very disturbed and upset, and people are taking to the streets to express their disappointment and their anger. Our job is to convert that anger into a constructive effort to stop Trump’s worst policies and to force him to do something that’s relevant to the American people.

SL Haven’t there been several studies done that show you would have defeated Donald Trump?

BS Yes. There have been several polls that suggested that.

SL [Long silence.] Hmmm. This is a rhetorical question, but I just want readers to understand this, very clearly. Where do we go? Where is the hope?

BS OK, here is where the hope is. The hope is to understand that the Democratic party has stumbled very significantly in the last number of decades. It’s not just this election, Spike, as disastrous as it has been. It is the fact that the Republican party controls the Senate, controls the US House, controls something like two-thirds of the governor seats in this country, and that the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats in the last eight years. What that tells me is that the Democratic party has got to very fundamentally rethink who it is and where it goes. It has to shed the current situation where it’s a party of the liberal elite, a party of wealthy people who give substantial sums – we can use that money, that’s fine, but it must reidentify itself as a party of working people. Whether you’re black, white, Latino, there are millions of people today who are working longer hours for lower wages, and they’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1%. The Democratic party has got to say we are on the side of the 99%. Our party is not about having fancy fundraisers, it’s about going into union halls, veterans’ halls, farm communities, the inner cities. It has to bring people together around the progressive agenda and make government work for all of us and not the 1%. That’s why I’m supporting Keith Ellison [as prospective chair of the DNC].

SL Who?

BS Keith Ellison. Of Minnesota.

SL Oh, yes. He’s the Muslim brother, right?

BS Yes. He’s a very good guy, and he’s the co-chair of the house progressive caucus. Very progressive guy. And I think Keith understands that the future of the Democratic party is a grassroots party. So I’m going to be supporting him and shaking up the Democratic party.

SL Let me ask you another question. The coalition that Obama got, that put him in office – did the Clinton campaign think it would automatically win [those people] without having to work? I don’t understand it. Because I did not feel the energy there was for Obama – even for you – for Hillary Clinton. I respect the woman, but the enthusiasm wasn’t there.

BS I think nobody would argue with you on that. What we have seen is that in 2008 Obama ran a historical campaign where the turnout was extraordinarily high: enthusiasm in the minority community, strong support in the white working class, and that carried over in 2012. But in 2016, what we saw – I think your point is quite right – it would be hard to suggest that the people of this country were enthusiastic about the Clinton campaign. There was not the energy we have seen in the Obama campaign, and what ended up happening was voter turnout was low. She won the black community overwhelmingly, but turnout was low. She lost a lot of white, working-class people. That’s just the fact.

SL I’m still trying to figure something out.

BS How she lost white women?

SL Yeah.

BS I’ll tell you how. A, Hillary Clinton got more popular votes than Donald Trump. Let’s not forget that. B, Every poll I saw showed Donald Trump was enormously unpopular. C, A lot of people who voted for Donald Trump did not vote for his racist statements, his statements on immigration, on women. They didn’t support that. But what Trump tapped into is a lot of economic angst and anger and frustration.

SL You think people can separate the racist and sexist comments he made from his policies?

BS Yes. I think what they are saying is, “I need a job, my kid needs to go to college, Mr Trump is promising that. I think he will probably not carry through on his racist, sexist policies. Let’s vote for the economic issues.” That’s what I think happened. So you had a lot of white, working-class women who did not appreciate his sexist remarks, but who do want to see an improvement in the economy.

I gotta run now, Spike, but let’s get together in the not too distant future.

• Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In by Bernie Sanders (Profile Books, £14.99) is out now. To order a copy for £12.29, go to Chi-Raq, directed by Spike Lee, is in cinemas 2nd December. This conversation has been condensed as part of the editing process.