Thursday, October 20, 2016

What a Buzzcock did next: Drummer John Maher’s stunning photographs of abandoned homes

from Dangerous Minds

Rust in Peace.’
The chance decisions we make in our teens can sometimes bring wondrous returns.
John Maher was just sixteen when he was asked to play drums for a local band called the Buzzcocks in 1976. The Buzzcocks had been formed by Peter Shelley and Howard Devoto in Manchester in late 1975. Maher didn’t really think about it—he just said yes. His first gig playing drums with the band was supporting the Sex Pistols at their second (now legendary) appearance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in July 1976. 
When he was eighteen, Maher bought his first camera—an Olympus Trip—just prior to the Buzzcocks tour of America in 1978. Photography was something to do on the road—but for Maher it was soon became a passion.
After the Buzzcocks split in 1981, Maher played drums for Wah! and Flag of Convenience. But his interest in music waned. When the Buzzcocks reformed in 1989, Maher opted out—only ever making occasional guest appearances with the band. 
Maher had an interest in drag racing which led to his launching an incredibly successful business making high performance engines—John Maher Racing. His engines and transmissions are described as the best built in the UK. The success of his company allowed Maher to retire. It was then that he returned to photography.
In 2002, Maher relocated from Manchester to the Isle of Harris in Scotland. The beautiful, bleak Hebridean landscape was in stark contrast to his busy post-industrial hometown of Manchester. The land inspired Maher and he became fascinated with the deserted crofts dotted across the island. Homes once filled with working families and children now lay abandoned in disrepair—belongings scattered across wooden floors, empty chairs faithfully waiting for a new owner, wallpaper and paint drifting from the walls, windows smashed, and gardens long untended. 
Maher started documenting these abandoned buildings that spoke more to him about human life than most museums. He took long exposures to achieve a certain look—often blending analogue and digital images to create the best picture. For example, the photograph TV Set was created from “a compilation of nine separate exposures.”
His fascination with the deserted crofts started an idea to have these homes reclaimed and reused bringing new life back to the island. As Maher told the BBC earlier this year:
“What started out as a personal project—documenting abandoned croft houses in the Outer Hebrides—has had an unexpected side effect.
“As a result of displaying my photographs, there’s now a real possibility of seeing at least one of the properties becoming a family home once again.”
Maher’s photographs led to a joint venture by the Carnegie Trust and the local housing association to start renovating some of Harris’s derelict buildings for habitation. Maher’s photographs have been exhibited on the isle and across the UK. “It shows,” he says, “that looking through a lens to the past can help shape things in the future.”
See more of John Maher’s work here.

‘Waiting Room.’

‘Blue Chair.’

‘Bedroom and Chapel.’

‘Peat Fire.’

‘Tin and Stone.’

‘Parallel Lines.’

‘TV Set.’

‘The Dog, the Cat and the Bird.’

‘Big Blue Caravan.’

‘Green Room.’

‘No Job Too Small.’

‘Nobody’s Home.’

H/T It’s Nice ThatBBCFlashbak and The Flying Monk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Noam Chomsky Unravels the Political Mechanics Behind His Gradual Expulsion From Mainstream Media

from AlterNet
The prolific author and acclaimed MIT professor is never featured on major networks.
Ralph Nader and leading linguist Noam Chomsky engaged in a much anticipated discussion in early October on Ralph Nader Radio Hour. The two raised questions about changing the media narrative in a totalitarian-like state, and how Chomsky got dismissed from the mainstream altogether.

"How often have you been on the op-ed pages of the New York Times?" Nader asked Chomsky.

For Chomsky, the last time was over a decade ago.

"[I was asked] to write about the Israeli separation wall, actually an annexation wall that runs through the West Bank and breaking apart the Palestinian communities... condemned as illegal by the World Court," Chomsky told Nader.

Chomsky would later pen a similar piece for CNN on the 2013 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But Chomsky has never been interviewed on the network; nor has he appeared on NBC, ABC or CBS.

"How about NPR and PBS, partially taxpayer-supported...more free-thinking and more tolerant [outlets]?" Nader wanted to know.

"I've been on 'Charlie Rose' two or three times," Chomsky told Nader, adding that he had a curious story about a particular Boston outlet for NPR based in Boston University.

"They used to have a program in their primetime news programs All Things Considered some years ago at 5:25... maybe once a week or so, a five-minute discussion with someone who had written a new book and there's a lot of pressure," Chomsky began.

NPR was going to allow Chomsky to present his 1989 book, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies.

"I got a call from the publisher telling me when I should tune in and I never listened [before], so I tuned in [and] there was five minutes of music... I started getting phone calls from around the country asking 'What happened to the piece?'" Chomsky remembered.

"I then got a call from the station manager in Washington who told me that she'd been getting calls and she didn't understand it because it was listed... she called back saying kind of embarrassed ... that some bigwig in the system had heard the announcement at five o'clock and had ordered it canceled," Chomsky explained.

The irony of Chomsky's media criticism being dismissed by the media is not lost on the former MIT professor, who remains in awe of America's level of censorship.

"Any one of the former Bush-Cheney warmongers like Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton and others have gotten far more press after they've left federal positions; in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post," Nader said.

And unlike Chomsky, "They've been on television public television, NPR and they have a record of false statements; they have record of deception, they have record of pursuing policies are illegal under our Constitution, under international law and under federal statutes such as criminal invasion of Iraq and other adventures around the world," Nader pointed out.

But the media problem permeates other industries, like education and government.

"Now, a society that operates in a way where propaganda is not only emanating from the major media but it gets into our schools, the kind of courses are taught, the content of the history, is a society that's not going to be mobilized for its own survival, much less the survival of other countries whose dictators we have for decades supported to oppress their people," explained Nader.

Listen to Ralph Nader's full program with Noam Chomsky:

Monday, October 17, 2016

School of Life Monday:

John Ruskin was an art critic who believed the immorality of 19th century capitalism could be highlighted by one thing above all others: the ugliness of the environment.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

from my instagram

PUBLIC ENEMY between jail cells in Hell’s Kitchen NYC 1988 This photo was used on the inner sleeve to the LP version of this album, becuase yes, vinyl was held in a sleeve inside the actual album cover and the sleeve gave artists more room to express themselves on occasion, sometimes that art may end up in a CD booklet or folding cassette package, sometimes not, certainly not the 12”x12” version. There was no hesitation from the group when I asked them to stand on the flag I had in my bag that day. I’m proud to have been a part of this album. IMHO the greatest hip hop album ever! Chuck gave me the title when he was ready and i threw out the idea of them breaking out of a jail, likely inspired but some listening to the tracks or just the title. What ended up on the cover was actually a photo i was not happy with, see my books THE IDEALIST and the new MY RULES for better images from the same day and cell . Fact is what i envisioned as the cover originally was a video still i made off the surveillance camera footage i made. In the end i got out voted, everyone loved the work but thought it was a bit too abstract for the audience at the time, PARTICULARLY it turns out by the time of release up to 80% of sales were on cassettes! So they wanted a photo that showed them in jail as vividly as possible, with as many 'BARS" as possible showing up in the tiny square on the cassette... As an artist i threatened to scratch the negative so they couldn't use what i thought was a sub par photograph, then they hit me right back,"Glen, it's too late, its either this image or a graphic, DON'T DESTROY THE DOPE FLICK!" What could i do? I had to be down on what i knew was a masterpiece LP. And my sequence would be on the back of the LP, used in some ad's and on the fold outs in the smaller packages.... Of course i don't regret giving in on this one. Lesson learned. BUT at least years later i am able to share all the better images in my books. You check them out and you'll get it ... #SheWatchChanelZero #PUBLICENEMY #DefJam #MyRules #FuckYouHeroes #BlackSteelInTheHourOfChaos #ChuckD #S1Ws #FlavorFlav #HipHop #GoldenEra #ExtraStrengthPosse #BringTheNoise #OG #classic #PUNKrock

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Have Fun Friday
Someone stuck a Go-Pro on a Hot Wheels car

from Boing Boing

5MadMovieMakers revealed how they make their cool POV videos of Hot Wheels cars flying down tracks: a GoPro Hero affixed to Pharadox Hot Wheels Chassis.
They posted a picture of the rig designed by Raptor House Effects for others who want to give it a shot.
These are the same guys who did the Hot Wheels dashcam road trip earlier this year.
• Hot Wheels Stunts (YouTube / 5MadMovieMakers)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

There's A Word for Buying Books and Not Reading Them

from "OZY"
Because you won’t read this in a book … if you’re not reading your books.
Part of an occasional series on unusual words we wish we had in English.
Nick Carraway slinks away from Jay Gatsby’s party. In the library he comes across a drunken, bespectacled fat cat who starts going off about the books lining the walls. “They’re real,” he slurs, pointing to them. “What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop too — didn’t cut the pages. But what do you want? What do you expect?” Uncut pages! If you know how books used to be manufactured, this means one thing and one thing only: Gatsby wasn’t much of a reader. After all, until they’re cut, book pages can’t be turned.

Collecting books and not reading them is, shall we say, textbook behavior. At least for some of you, and you know who you are. Suffering from the condition of racking up book purchases of $100, $200 or $1,000 without ever bending a spine? There’s a Japanese word for you.

Prognosis: terminal. Stats reveal that e-reading doesn’t hold a candle to the joy of reading a physical book. Although e-book sales jumped 1,260 percent between 2008 and 2010, 2.71 billion physical books were sold in the U.S. alone in 2015, according to Statista. That’s compared with the 1.32 billion movie tickets sold in the U.S. and Canada. As if every American were reading an average of more than eight books annually.

Certainly, it’s unlikely you’re going to hear the word tsundoku on the subway. But in a language where there are words for canceling an appointment at the last minute and the culture-specific condition of adult male shut-in syndrome, how can you be surprised? Other, similar words like tsūdoku (read through) and jukudoku (reading deeply) are in praise of sitting down with a book (doku means “to read”). But we think tsundoku is particularly special: Oku means to do something and leave it for a while, says Sahoko Ichikawa, a senior lecturer at Cornell University, and tsunde means to stack things.

We all know one or two people who have this expensive but arguably harmless addiction (harmless unless your surname is Collyer, that is). We might even look in the mirror and see it. Bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin used to suffer from tsundoku, Elderkin says, before they began to cull their collections. They had a bad case: They stored books in poorly ventilated bathrooms and under the sink, “places where books, frankly, do not want to be,” Elderkin says. Perhaps there’s a reason for those of us still afflicted. Books can be a status symbol. Sometimes collectors acquire for nostalgia’s sake, says Susan Benne, executive director of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Perhaps they read the books in childhood or adolescence, or the book becomes a symbol of a certain time in their life. Let’s be real: It is probably The Catcher in the Rye.

Who could blame the Japanese for having this word? Murakami books are awfully pretty, but those suckers can be long. Does anyone really read them?

Monday, October 10, 2016

School of Life Monday
History: Consumerism

and The $265 Black Flag T-Shirt mention
In the Wall Street Journal

It’s only very recently in history that we’ve been able to buy more than the bare necessities. Can the history of consumption guide us to a wiser future?

Page ONE - 7 October 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Classic Marvel comics covers remixed to showcase old school rap legends

from Dangerous Minds:

A Tribe Called Quest, reworking of Fantastic Four #49 (April 1966), “If This Be Doomsday!”
The Silver Surfer must choose between his master and the Earth
Not long ago an artist going by the name Beddo released a whole bunch of lovingly recreated classic Marvel covers featuring some of the greatest rap artists of the 1980s and 1990s. Beddo says that there are more on the way, and it is devoutly to be hoped that he stands by his word.

Notorious B.I.G., reworking of Spider-Man #50 (July 1967), “Spiderman No More!’
First appearance of Kingpin

Tupac, reworking of X-Men #141 (January 1981), “Days of Future Past”
First appearance the Future X-Men

Public Enemy, reworking of New Mutants #87 (March 1990), “A Show of Power!”
First full appearance of the Mutant Liberation Front

Lauryn Hill, reworking of X-Men #101 (October 1975), “Like a Phoenix, from the Ashes”
First appearance of Jean Gray as Phoenix

Rakim, reworking of Iron Man #128 (November 1979), “Demon in a Bottle”
Tony Stark deals with his alcoholism

Tupac, reworking of Wolverine Limited Series #3 (November 1982), “Loss”
Death of Yukio

Wu-Tang Clan, reworking of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 (May 1984), “The War Begins”
Big clusterfuck in outer space with just about all the Marvel heroes

Nas, reworking of Avengers #57 (October 1968), “Behold the Vision!”
First appearance of Vision

While researching this post I came across this clever reworking of Avengers #57starring John Cage, by artist Clinton Reno for a performance at the Available Light Theater in Columbus, Ohio:

Friday, October 7, 2016

HR “Finding Joseph I”
Trailer for the documentary on BAD BRAINS singer HR

I was wondering what ever happened with this?

"We are very excited to announce the World Premiere for HR “Finding Joseph I” will be at the Doc n’ Roll Film Festival in London, England on Nov.10th, 2016!"

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.