Head study #2

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cry For Me Baby

Beats me


You know, I have no idea if it is true or not but you have to admit this is a beaut of a headline.

This one wins the internet. Hands down the best headline of the current President's tenure and there have been so many to pick from. And if it turns out to be false, well it is still one hell of a literary effort.

Who could come up with the piece de resistance, spanked with Forbes magazine? Delicious. Substitute the Weekly Reader, Boy's Life, even Field and Stream, it would have fallen flat as a potato pancake.

When the Steele dossier story broke and the world first got an inkling that the Donald might have a kinky penchant for off beat watersports, for some reason it struck me as more than plausible.

Now we are faced with a daily accounting of secret Michael Cohen slush funds and $130,000 payments to skanky porn stars under assumed names, I'd say this thing is really heating up. And I for one am really enjoying the spectacle.

I was talking about the subject a week or so ago with Vlad and of course one of us, forget which, brought up the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler's strange cravings in der sack, which were said to be both masochistic and scatological.

He asked me which end of the abuse I thought Trump enjoyed and I said that I thought that he was definitely a bottom. I am not an expert on the subject mind you but I have read both the sleazier books of Anne Rice and the Story of O and the men in power always have some strange need to be punished. So the Forbes magazine thing checks out.

Portrait of Francis Dashwood,
11th Baron le Despencer
by William Hogarth
Of course wild sexual peccadillos are as American as Benjamin Franklin, who was said to have enjoyed a bawdy romp or two at the famous Hellfire Club in London.

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You know Trump bitches about the mean old mainstream media but he really has it pretty easy.

We have a fawning right wing media, your Breitbart and Fox News with an occasional Alex Jones nutjob like Info Wars thrown in for spice and then in the center the rest of the MSM bunch which is honestly pretty vanilla.

What we need in this country is an underground press again. When I was a kid we had Ramparts and Evergreen, The East Village Other,  Berkeley Barb, The Door, L.A. Free Press, a Village Voice with teeth. Not to mention Zap, Insect Fear, Mother's Oats, Arcade, all the great comics from Apex and Last Gasp. Now there is nothing. No Lenny Bruce either.

Where is the Paul Krassner of today? Mort Sahl? Hunter S. Thompson? The latter would be ejaculating in his grave for a headline like this one. The mainstream press has gone so establishment, even the branch that is supposedly on the left of center.

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I can't wait to see what ends up dribbling out of the Moscow dossier, if the Stormy Daniels affair has legs? But than again it would be hard to imagine a President of the United States hiring a porn star consort when his new wife was still nursing his new child. Couldn't happen, could it?


Narcissus


Bruce Cockburn - Soul Of A Man

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jo Jo White R.I.P.

I was never a big Celtics fan but always admired their team greatly.

Jo Jo White, who died the other day, was a favorite of mine.

White was a perennial all star and his Celtic teams won four championships. He also won a Gold Medal in the 68 Olympics.

Along with Cowens and Havlicek, the team had a lot of moxie and grit.

I was a Knick and Laker fan back then. There were far fewer teams and the talent level was sky high, the competition fierce.

Unseld, Reed, Chamberlain, Lanier, Jabbar, Oscar, it was a glorious time for team basketball.

In the celestial orbit of the vegetables the cauliflower was always the brains of the operation.


Two minute rundown

Squash study

Using nuclear strikes on countries that engage in cyberhacking just doesn't seem like a very good idea to me. Bit disproportionate. What happens after that?

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Height of cynical triangulation plays for the GOP to pit CHIP funding against DACA in the current budget showdown. Nasty people. Trump asked for a bipartisan solution. He got one then ran the other way when confronted by conservatives.

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The chemical companies are playing the Trump administration like a fiddle. EPA eases path for new chemicals, raising fears of health hazards

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People are rightfully outraged at the Turpins, the parents in Perris who kept their 12 children shackled to their beds. It was definitely heinous and they deserve the fires of hell. Can we save some derision for the matching plaid and the bowl haircuts too?

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The latest report on international terrorist suspects being well, mostly foreign, is a total farce. Talk about disingenuous conflation. The link was made to make immigrants look bad. Many of the people were criminals specifically extradited to this country. And domestic terrorists were not even considered in the report.

And Jeff Sessions now says that we don't want illiterate immigrants. Good countries don't take them. My grandfather was illiterate. He ended up learning and making something of himself. I imagine many of the average american's forebears were similarly challenged. Many Americans today are illiterate as well. Trump wants to limit migration to hot looking Scandinavian babes. Hmmm.


Speaking of Scandinavians, Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen wasn't sure if Norwegians were mostly white during her grilling yesterday on Capitol Hill. Please. Unless of course, she lied under oath.

Nielsen was Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Prevention, Preparedness, and Response during her tenure in the Bush Administration. Many blame her for what is characterized as a botched response to Katrina, failing to act on several specific warnings.

The other day she admitted that she did not know that 15,000 dreamers have already lost DACA status under the Trump regime.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Exceptionally what?

So now we are parsing the semantical difference between the words shithole and shithouse? Bit duplicitous of those GOP pricks Perdue and Cotton, if you ask me.

I think we can finally put all that talk about American exceptionalism to bed.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, no choir boy himself, came down pretty hard on President Trump today and I can't say I altogether blame him.
'They continue to work using the language of diktat and ultimatum. They do not recognize the reality of a multipolar world'
The man has got a point.

Calling Edward Weston

I am shooting some fruits and vegetables today.

I am putting a few pics in a show next month, knocking some stuff around in my mind.

Will let you know when it gets closer.


I am sure that I will get some Weston smack. Even shot a whole bunch of stuff at ƒ20. This one is pretty wide open. Save yourselves the trouble.

Manuel de Falla - El Amor Brujo



Portsmouth Orchestra featuring Dolores Arriaga

Meine Doppelgänger


Google has an android app out now called Art and Culture. It allows you to take a selfie which matches you up with a portrait in its vast museum archive. I had various matches, with rankings, including a Whistler self portrait, but my highest degree match was to this painting by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida.

Sorolla is a favorite of Leslie and mine, we went to his garden painting expedition at the Alhambra when we were in Granada.

The painting, executed in 1910, was a portrait of the Marquis of Vega-Inclán. Inscribed in spanish upper left is “To Benigno Vega for his Museum in Toledo." The canvas now rests at the El Greco Museum.

Bueno.

Did a little checking on my Marquis and found this:


Which is sort of interesting and coincidental because the Pan Pacific Exposition was in both San Diego and San Francisco in 1915 and it is quite possible, if not probable, that he visited the place of my birth at some point.

Studio shot


Emma Lazarus - recent revisions


Stay

Studio shots


My friend Fred Young is a studio and fashion photographer. I had told him that I wanted to learn more about lighting and studio work. I have never really approached portraiture with professional methods and I needed to see how it was done.


Yesterday he invited me over to his studio to watch him work and get a little education. He told me that I was free to take some shots on my own so I did. I was using my Nikon D810 with the nikkor 85mm 1.8 d.


He was very professional and I enjoyed watching the obvious rapport he had with the models, who were all very sweet and charming.


Fred knew exactly what he wanted and was able to communicate his vision clearly. It was a lot of fun watching him work and also trying my own hand.

I asked him if we could shoot some darker, more dramatic stuff and I am happy with the shots we were able to ultimately capture.

The girl near the bottom of the page with the purple hair is also a makeup artist who specializes in prosthetic effects like you see in the movies.

A delight as they all were, to a girl. My focus is off a little on this particular shot. I can see I have a lot to learn. Hope that I get invited back!



Saturday, January 13, 2018

I'll take care of you

Senators Perdue and Cotton go full Sergeant Schultz

We heard nothing!

Chitlins con carne






you pick.

Marmot smelling the flowers


I must be jonesing for a trip to the Tetons!

This shot is straight out of Wind in the Willows or a turn of the century children's book, wouldn't be surprised if the marmot turned around and invited me to tea.

After looking at his pocket watch, of course.

Opportunity

We never learn.

Pretty little cooper's hawk near the mailbox this morning.

Remember a few weeks ago, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said that there would be no drilling or mining in Bears Ears National Monument, that the media was lying.

He must have meant the new Bears Ears.

Read this article in the New York Times, Uranium Miners Pushed Hard for a Comeback. They Got Their Wish.
The Trump administration is set to shrink Bears Ears by 85 percent next month, potentially opening more than a million acres to mining, drilling and other industrial activity. But even as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared last month that “there is no mine within Bears Ears,” there were more than 300 uranium mining claims inside the monument, according to data from Utah’s Bureau of Land Management office that was reviewed by The New York Times.
The vast majority of those claims fall neatly outside the new boundaries of Bears Ears set by the administration. And an examination of local B.L.M. records, including those not yet entered into the agency’s land and mineral use authorizations database, shows that about a third of the claims are linked to Energy Fuels, a Canadian uranium producer. Energy Fuels also owns the Grand Canyon mine, where groundwater has already flooded the main shaft.
The Navajo have been decimated by uranium mining, it has been a toxic disaster on the reservation, both to their environment and physical beings.

Here's a good article in an old Los Angeles Times, if you can get behind the paywall. I touched on it here at the Blast a few years ago, this article has another good link.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Dreaming of big sky and vapors

I've reprocessed some of my old shots from Yellowstone and the Tetons today. Sort of like visiting old friends. Make sure that you click on one and see them full size.

Mammoth Springs

Schwabacher's
Snake River Overlook

black bear cub

red fox
Large male grizzly, Big Thumb Creek

Moose on the Gros Ventre

I Am the Black Gold of the Sun

SFB

I had intended to dance around the whole "Trump shithole" kerfuffle but I simply can't.

Every week we Americans ask ourselves if the national bar can be possibly dropped any lower and every week we get some delicious new surprise like this and plummet even farther into the abyss.

What I found most interesting was the initial feedback from the talking heads that the President's derogatory comments regarding Haiti and Africa would only help him with his base. Ann Coulter sounded very aroused, thought he was trying to woo her back to the fold.

Interestingly, African immigrants are better educated than Americans. Over 40% have bachelor's degrees. The number of Americans with bachelor's degrees is closer to 30%. Republican strategist and consultant Frank Luntz tweeted: “43% of immigrants from (shithole) African countries have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 33% of the overall American population. Nigerian-Americans, for instance, have a median household income well above the American average.”


I got on The Hill, Townhall, National Review, all my normal go to's for taking the conservative pulse, and after reading the comments sections, I believe that the prognosticators were absolutely correct. A sampling:







These of course are the tamer comments, many of them were so obscene and racist that they are unprintable. But you get the idea. The base eats this stuff up like sloppy joes served at a cross burning. The GOP is quickly becoming the party of racism and hate. He is loving the way this resonates with the base. Look for him to double down on the nasty invective when he sees the big spike in his ratings.