PG found a picture on Facebook. It was a satire of We are the 99 percent. The cutie pie man is holding up a hand written sign. The sign says “I am a child of the omnipotent everything. I represent a unique and luminous aspect of the shimmering entirety known as ALL THAT IS. I am responsible for and to all the other facets of creation who are experimenting with “Being”. The ides of “us” or “them” is meaningless to me. As I lift up my fellow creatures, I ascend. As I ascend, we are all together uplifted. I have the same creative and destructive power as every immaculate partide of the ecstatically united whole. I AM THE 100%.”
When you click on the picture, you go to the original post. If you look in the comments, you get a Link to some music. . The man is a musician, with product to sell. There is nothing wrong with this. Lots of people have product to sell, and if people don’t know about it, they will not enjoy it.
PG posted this link on facebook, and noted the marketing connection. It was said that this was a BUZZKILL, and that he was “raining on the parade”.(The spell check suggestion for BUZZKILL is BUGZILLA) PG responded with this comment: “The music is pleasant to listen to. He has a right to market it. I did not intend to “rain on the parade” with my comment. I think the satire of the 99% movement was rather tacky, and the message is a lot of nonsense. However, the music that he is promoting in this manner is fun to listen. Sometimes the end justifies the means.”
We live in a time when everyone is shouting. When everyone is shouting, no one is heard. If Mr. Brinkley wants to further his career as a performer, that is his right. ( We were going to say privilege, but that is an insult these days. Semantics can be funny.) The seminal post has 660 comments as this is written, and will no doubt hit the magic 666 soon.
Whether or not Mr. Brinkley agrees with the comment in the picture is beside the point. It would be nice if he is sincere, and really *believes. (One of the songs, “Not Hiding Now”, explores this dilemma.) You can still see his product here , there, and here again. Pictures are from The Library of Congress .
As you may have noticed, PG likes to take pictures, and then warp them. (He has been looking for a term to describe this, and is going to try photowarping.) A week ago, he noticed that he had fallen behind on this, took an inventory, and saw that he had 1453 pictures in the warp line. After a week of intensive labor, this number is down to 613.
As this is written, it is 1:30 am, on the last Sunday of October. This is probably the heaviest party night of the year. PG did know of a party, but it would mean driving fifteen miles and paying twenty dollars. This cover charge includes an open bar. PG is a retired drunk, and does not relish paying for other peoples legal drugs. Sometimes, the best way to enjoy life is to warp pictures, and listen to entertainment on the internet.
The first round of eartickling was an episode of bloggingheadstv. This feature is a discussion of life in Russia. Those of a certain age remember when Russia was the baddest boogieman to haunt the planet. Today, some things are different, and some are the same. A certain amount of dissent is permitted on the internet. The television outlets are kept under control.
In the early nineties, PG talked to a lady from Soviet Georgia. She said something that makes more sense the more you think about it. “In our country, the government and the secret police run everything. In this country, the banks and the computers run everything.”
The main audio event tonight was a seven part video series by Og Mandino. The series was captured in 1990, six years before the death of Og Mandino. (Og is short for Augustine.) It is his basic motivational speech.
PG first heard of Og Mandino when PG was working at Redo Blue. A co worker, who we will call Freddie, carried a book by Og Mandino for his first year at Redo Blue. Freddie was a fan of motivational authors. Freddie was also the laziest person PG has ever shared a payroll with. PG has not kept up with Freddie. To be fair, that there is a chance Freddie is doing well these days.
In the years after that, PG heard the praises of Og Mandino sung by Neal Boortz. In spite of this, PG was curious about the message of Og Mandino. When PG has the misfortune to be exposed to motivational speakers, he tries to learn one or two things from the entertainer. PG does not consider this type of message to be entertaining, in contrast to many in our culture.
PG was not impressed by Og Mandino. PG felt like someone had been trying to manipulate him. There was one moment of irony. One of the concepts that Mr. Mandino espouses is that you are not doing anything by yourself. You must be willing to say, ” I need help”. When PG heard Og Mandino say “I need help”, a picture of a drag queen named Mary Edith Pitts was on the screen.
Another thing that Og Mandino says is that you should read. PG agrees with this … moreover, PG reads. Only difference between PG and Og Mandino is in the choice of reading material. The entertainer says you should go to the library, and find more motivational writers. Right now, PG is reading a ghost written autobiography of Bing Crosby. It is tons of fun to read, and has no motivational value at all.
The last speaker on the hit parade tonight makes the same point. Kurt Vonnegut appeared on a taped episode of the Charlie Rose show. (The archives of the Charlie Rose show are available for listening.) Mr. Vonnegut talks about making your soul grow by writing short stories and poems. Whether this is the same success that Mr. Mandino talks about is in the eye of the beholder.
You need to let me be on top sometimes. I gotta get rid of these love handles (ony) /// “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” –Horace Mann (fb) /// I mean how do you tell a nurse in the ER that you dislocated your knee giving a blowjob to your boyfriend. (ony) /// Tourist girl to friend: Thank god our bodies don’t completely turn off when we go to sleep or else people would be getting raped and murder all the time. Wanna see the shirt I got? –F Train (ony) /// ”When fascism comes to america, it will be holding a cross wrapped in a flag.” (fb) /// do it yourself (DIY)— lots of folks (fb) ///I know I’m constantly being manipulated by my cats, but I love ‘em anyway… (fb) /// We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, & to bring home those who have lost their way. – St. Francis of Assisi (fb) ///”A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.” ~ Arthur C. Clark (fb) /// Written on the side of my new glasses: FOSSIL. An apt description of an old dude wearing progressive bifocals. (fb) ///Cashier, looking at driver’s license: Oh, you’re an organ donor? Lady: Yes… Cashier: Did it hurt?! –Target (ony) /// I think we’re getting a little bogged down by our definitions of definition. (fb) /// “If politics is fundamentally about solidarity—and I believe it is—then poetry is the most profound form of politics” — @tejucole (tw) /// RT @tejucole: Sergeant Baba Wuya was on night patrol on Lasisi Street in Jos when he felt machetes descend on him, and then ceased to feel. (tw) /// The #OccupyWallStreet #OccupyAtlanta movements have one principle argument in common. The status quo is entirely unacceptable. (tw) /// I’m at the point in my life where I’m trying to get guys I’ve fucked to give a ride to guys I’m going to fuck. (ony) /// “Only when the last tree is cut down, the last fish pulled from the river, the last sunrise blotted out and last lands made dug for our fills will we realize maybe, just maybe that we can’t eat money.” (fb) /// The frustrated cannibal threw up his hands. (fb) /// That awkward moment when your sexuality is kinda being erased in a technically non-offensive way. (fb) /// If you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. (fb) /// “It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right – especially when one is right.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (fb) /// Angel Poventud (spell check suggestion : Ventured)#occupyatlanta 3:28am there was a large police presence surrounding the park. Command vehicle still here, tents still here. Status quo? (tw) /// Winnie Anne Wright We’re sitting at the bar at waffle house, they’re doing dishes in front of me. All the smells are about to make me sick. #Sundayproblems (tw) /// Dalton Healey The first time I have ever had a wait at Waffle House, I wasn’t aware that even existed! (tw) /// Confused teenage girl to another, looking at wall of silver-screen era movie star magazines: Where’s Justin Bieber? –Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria (ony) /// Big blond tourist doof to grossly overweight wife who eyeballs every passenger: Yes, you’ll see all kinds here. –Uptown 1 Train (ony) /// Pretentious, fake man to pretentious, fake woman: But of course, Soho in the old days was so pretentious and fake… –Art Gallery, Chelsea (ony) ///Hobo poet on train: Ladies and gents, a subway haiku for you: “New York subway map/ Manhattan flaccid penis/Brooklyn/Queens scrotum.” –2 Express Train (ony) /// “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle (fb) /// “Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around.” – Vanilla Sky (fb) /// Beryl: ” Anyone ever telll you that you were fickle?” Linda:” No. I never hang around long enough!” (fb) /// Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~His Holiness The Dalai Lama (fb) /// I’m so over every discussion turning into a rant about racism and privelege these days. I’m also over hearing about “The Man”, “The 1%”, and how Kate Middleton is bringing back pantyhose. (fb) /// The ear is a better communicator than the tongue. (aph) /// If you feel offended you are ready to write an aphorism. (aph) /// Rudeness is sauce to his good wit, which gives men stomach to digest his words with better appetite. (aph) /// Girl: So I got undressed, pulled out my vibrator, and asked him to give me a little inspiration and cheer me along. He said he’d be right back and returned with a family-size box of Cheeze-Its. Like, what the fuck? Boy: When a girl says she wants to cum for you on camera, it’s generally not a good time to go to the concession stand. –W 3rd (ony) ///There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to Fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. (aph) /// There is no alchemy that changes opinions into facts; the search continues for an alchemy that allows facts to alter opinions. (aph) While you can understand the tragedy of the commons on an intellectual level, you really can’t feel it on a visceral level until you try to find a clean public restroom. (fb) /// A Facebook friend posted a very racist picture. I commented this is racist and offensive. A girl quickly responded: “Your hair and corndog offend me.” I might get this tattooed. It is just too good. (fb) /// You and your rumors have two things in common; you’re both fake and you both get around… (fb) /// If I say what I think, I’m a bitch. If I cry some times, I’m a drama queen. If I have guy friends, I’m a slut. If I stand up for myself, I’m mouthy. Seems like you can’t do anything now a days without being labeled. So what, go ahead and label me, see if I care. Re-post this if you’re proud of who you are!!!! (fb) /// “By appreciation we make excellence in others our own property.” — Voltaire fucl /// If a pizza has thickness a and radius z, then its volume is pi z z a. fucl /// Thank God I didn’t lose my virginity to that asshole. That woulda been like winnin a raffle ticket for a free bag of dog shit. But with like a really pretty bag. A pretty bag full of dog shit. (ony) /// I mean how do you tell a nurse in the ER that you dislocated your knee giving a blowjob to your boyfriend. (ony) /// I’m at the point in my life where I’m trying to get guys I’ve fucked to give a ride to guys I’m going to fuck. (ony) /// “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin (fb) /// “You have no right to set up standards and ideals for other people, and you have no right to expect in others a perfection that is lacking in yourself”. (fb) /// “There is nothing worse than fading into anonymous obscurity.” – Unknown (fb) /// Thank God I didn’t lose my virginity to that asshole. That woulda been like winnin a raffle ticket for a free bag of dog shit. But with like a really pretty bag. A pretty bag full of dog shit. (ony) /// This isn’t his Halloween costume. It’s from Jenny’s wedding, so don’t report me to DEFACS. (fb) /// Sam Simpson Nothing better than redneck waffle house in GA ! (tw) /// Alex Rogers The chef at the waffle house has a staring problem (tw) /// Chill-Cool Chunn @OMFG_imAWESOME this waffle house is a trip! Waitress yelling, forgetting food, and old lady preaching about money. (tw) /// Bryania Banner darby: do you have a boyfriend? me: no. darby: does he hate you? me: i dont know.. darby: i think he does. me: haha..probably. (tw) /// Elementary school boy #1: You wanna know why Wal-Mart is the best? Cause you can buy a big box of cereal in one aisle, then go to the next aisle and buy a gun! What more do you need? Elementary school boy #2: Wowee… Elementary school boy #1: Exactly! You can’t do that anywhere else in the world! –6 Train (ony) /// I’m pretty sure that when my parents bought me those savings bonds they thought it would go towards something useful like tuition. Not your bail. (ony) /// $150 bar tab covered by these tits. That’s now the going rate. Keeping my bra on during sex unless i see the Benjamins. (ony) /// Yeah Greg found him eating out of a tuna can with a pill cap (ony) /// These visits to alternative reality are from a variety of sources. Included are Facebook (fb), twitter (tw), Futility Closet (fucl), All Aphorisms, All The Time (Aph) (Aph), and Overheard in New York (ony). Pictures are from The Library of Congress . These images are Union soldiers from the War Between The States. The video is courtesy of Live Apartment Fire. Selah.
Juan Cole published a commentary, Top 10 ways OWS can Excel: Counsel from Iran’s Green Movement. The Atlanta section of the occupy movement is at a crossroads now. It gets good marks for working as well as it did, but to this date has not really achieved anything. There were mistakes made … renaming Woodruff Park for Troy Davis is a terrible idea, and would not help economic fairness.
The firefight over a hip hop festival seems to be what ended the initial occupation. There seems to be confusion as to exactly what was going on. (And how does having a hip hop festival help the overall goal of a better life for the 99%?) When you have this leaderless entity, it is possible for a red herring, like generators at a hip hop festival, to bring down the house of cards.
As for the next step, this reporter does not have a clue. The right wing can make lots of hippy (spell check suggestions:chippy, happy, nippy, hippo, lippy) jokes now, which will be a handy distraction for the one percent. The tea party is getting in on the fun. Crying victim is always a crowd pleaser.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress Here are ten suggestions from the Green revolution in Iran. Remember, the status quo in Iran was not changed by this revolution. While these ideas my help the occupation movement, they are not a guaranteed path to success.
1) Pick a color to represent your movement and wear it daily in public places (work, restaurant, etc.). Remember, this is a numbers game. You want maximum visibility, and to bring your movement into everyday life.
2) Have an all-inclusive strategy. Accept people with different views who are willing to join you in protest. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to know what you want as a movement yet. The goal at this stage is to point to your opponents and say that they have been lying to you; that the show they have constructed is false and that you are sick of it.
3) Demonstrate peacefully. Committing violence during demonstrations leads to ruptures within your movement, diminishes public sympathy, and gives the security forces a reason to violently suppress your protest.
4) Be rigorous. Security forces, dressed as civilians, may commit public acts of violence in order to have an excuse to squash protests. Find footage of those that police accuses of acting violently. Make sure they are legitimate protestors. Expose them if they are not.
5) Be creative. During demonstrations in Iran, security forces dressed a male protester in female attire in a bid to embarrass him. The next day, hundreds of male protesters came out in female attire.
6) Record protests with your mobile phones and send to television stations. Many broadcasters are owned by the very people who are in the 1%. But every now and then, there are producers and news workers who are willing to get in trouble for showing the truth. This happened in Iran on many occasions. News websites have an e-mail address and they generally ask you to send them footage.
7) Send your footage of acts of violence committed by the police to foreign television broadcasters like Al Jazeera, RT, etc. When they show the footage, it puts pressure on American broadcasters to do the same. (Iranian protestors used BBC very effectively, even though it is a British outlet).
8) Write, “I am 99%” or “OWS” on all dollar bills that you circulate. Remember, you are fighting on the plane of the symbolic, and cash circulates widely and quickly.
9) Do not let politicians co-opt your movement. Many politicians, domestic or not, may hope to use your movement to their advantage. Allow them to join your movement, but DO NOT let them lead or act as spokesperson.
10) Write arguments and op-eds that aim at the logic of the system that has robbed you of opportunities and comfort. Do not aim at a particular person. People can be replaced; it is the system that is hurting you.
PG edits a picture of mannequins. He listens to Charlie Rose read a letter that Hunter S. Thompson wrote on November 22, 1963. He ate steamed collard greens, that had sat in the refrigerator overnight. He felt an ice pack over his swollen toe, on the left foot next to the big toe. His sense of smell is ignored, which means that his body and residence were clean. The night before, the police cleared out the Woodruff Park occupation. The national debt was escalating at an unfathomable rate. PG credits all of these things to his white privilege.
Today’s product is a double repost. The theme is war. The pictures are from this years Dragon Con parade. Every labor day, thousands of fantasy minded folks come to downtown Atlanta. It is amazing how many of the costumes, in the parade, are about killing. One wonders how these plastic superheroes would perform in a genuine firefight.
Part one is a story by Mark Twain. He was horrified by the activities of Uncle Slaughter 110 years ago. Part two is about the killing of women and children by remote control. This could be celebrated at Dragon Con. In the text, there is a reference to killing militants from Uzbekistan. Pro Life Republican Herman Cain calls this country “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan.”
One hundred and four years ago, the United States was involved in a war, that did not want to end. This conflict was in the Philippines. Although there had been an official end to the war, guerrillas continued to fight the Americans. The war was a nasty affair, with many atrocities.
The War against the Philippine people was a souvenir of the Spanish American War. There had been a rebellion against Spanish rule in the islands. After the American forces routed the Spanish, the rebellion shifted to the American occupiers. It was a war stumbled into, and difficult to end.
Mark Twain was horrified. He wrote a story, The War Prayer. As Lew Rockwell tells the tale
“Twain wrote The War Prayer during the US war on the Philippines. It was submitted for publication, but on March 22, 1905, Harper’s Bazaar rejected it as “not quite suited to a woman’s magazine.” Eight days later, Twain wrote to his friend Dan Beard, to whom he had read the story, “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.” Because he had an exclusive contract with Harper & Brothers, Mark Twain could not publish “The War Prayer” elsewhere and it remained unpublished until 1923.”
HT to David Crosby and his autobiography, “Since Then“. A book report is forthcoming.
Getting back to “A War Prayer“, the story starts in a church. A war has started, and is popular. The troops leave for glory the next day. The preacher has an emotional prayer to send them on their way. Unknown to the minister, there is a visitor. “An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting.
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,” Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”
The stranger motioned to the preacher to step aside. The stranger stepped into the pulpit, and claimed to have a message for the worshipers, sent directly from G-d. The preacher’s message was for support in time of war, and implied that G-d and the preacher support the same side in this conflict. There is an unspoken part to a prayer like this. This unspoken part was what the stranger was going to put into words.
“”O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-
for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”
The New American Foundation has a report on the drone attacks on Pakistan. These attacks have increases dramatically under BHO, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. HT to Andrew Sullivan, Atlantic Magazine, and The New Yorker.
Drones are unmanned aircraft operated by remote control. There is no human at risk (to us) in these operations. These reports do not mention how many drones have been shot down. These attacks are going on in Pakistan (which theoretically is not at war with the United States), and in secret operations around the world.
Drone attacks are like abortions. In a typical procedure, the doctor and mother are at little risk, and the baby dies. Abortion is safer than childbirth, just like drones are safer than aircraft with human crews. Safer, that is, for the human crew. Drones are just as deadly for the women and children on the ground as manned aircraft.
The issue of civilian casualties continues. Estimates range from 6% to 85 % of the deaths are civilians. This is going to be impossible to verify, with militants exaggerating and Americans denying. The lowest estimates are from the long war journal. It should be noted that if these operations were happening in America, and white citizens were being killed, a 6% rate of civilian death would be an outrage. However, when you are talking about dark skinned Muslims eight time zones away, a human life if worth less, compared to the military advantage gained.
One thing from the NAF report caught the eye here. “As a result of the unprecedented 41 drone strikes into Pakistan …about a half-dozen leaders of militant organizations have been killed–including two heads of Uzbek terrorist groups allied with al Qaeda.” What are Uzbek terrorist groups doing in Pakistan? Are we making attacks in Uzbekistan now?
Another eye popper is in the appendix. This is from a list of drone attacks.
24. June 23
Location: Makeen, South Waziristan (funeral of militants killed in earlier strike)
Al Qaeda/Taliban leaders killed: Unknown
Al Qaeda/Taliban killed: At least 45
Others killed: 45-83 (including militants)
We are attacking funerals. This is what gets POTUS the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition to the moral disaster of killing women and children with unmanned aircraft, there are some strategic issues. The fighters have been staying in the mountainous frontier of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is the area being attacked. There are indications that the fighters are moving into more populated areas of Pakistan. They will be more difficult to fight there.
When you drop a bomb on an outpost, you destroy cell phones, computers, and paperwork. These items can be of value for determining the future plans of the fighters. Also, dead men tell no tales. Remember the ticking time bomb in the torture debates? What is someone knows where that ticking bomb is, but we kill him? He is not going to be able to tell us where that bomb is, torture or no torture.
If the goal of the war in Stan Land is to destroy the terrorists, then we should question whether killing leaders is going to do the trick. Drone attacks are a tactic, not a strategy. The anger that fuels these terrorists is not going to go away, and the leaders that are killed are going to be replaced. These attacks may slow down the resistance, but they will not destroy it.
When he is not writing detective novels about former governors who eat road kill, Carl Hiassen produces a column for the Miami Herald. This column has a Netflix ad that breaks through the toughest of popup ad deflaters. It seems as though Brad Drake, the Florida state representative from Eucheeanna, FL, has a proposal to change the way Florida executes people. In the new world order, lethal injection would be put aside. The condemned would have a choice between the electric chair and a firing squad. (Here is a copy of the bill. )
Rep. Drake has a way with words. “So, I say let’s end the debate,” Drake, a Republican, said in a release Tuesday. “We still have Old Sparky. And if that doesn’t suit the criminal, then we will provide them a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead … There shouldn’t be anything controversial about a .45-caliber bullet. If it were up to me we would just throw them off the Sunshine Skyway bridge and be done with it … am sick and tired of this sensitivity movement for criminals,” Drake said. “Every time there is a warranted execution that is about to take place, some man or woman is standing on a corner holding a sign, yelling and screaming for humane treatment… I have no desire to humanely respect those that are inhumane”
The Current sheds a bit of light on Mr. Drake’s story. “In a Waffle House in DeFuniak Springs, Drake said he heard a constituent say, “‘You know, they ought to just put them in the electric chair or line them up in front of a firing squad.’” After a conversation with the person, Drake, 36, said he decided to file the bill … There have been problems in the past with electrocutions. In the late 1990s Florida’s electric chair, known as “Old Sparky,” left one death row inmate convicted of a triple-homicide alive for moments after the electrocution, and sparked a fire on another inmate’s face.”
NWF Daily News reports that the bill was the result of a debate over an execution. Florida is one of many states using pentobarbital as a sedative in the lethal injection cocktail. “His lawyers questioned the drug, saying it had not been tested for use to render an inmate unconscious.” If the reader clicks on the ad below this story, he/she can get a free sample of Jif To Go peanut butter.
While researching this feature, we entered “lead cocktail” into Google. 6 of the 12 results on the first page were about Rep. Drake. One mentioned a 1988 movie starring Tom Cruise. One site for cocktail recipes had the plan for Death on a Lead Cocktail. ( 1 Part absinthe, 1 Part chambord, 1 Part lime juice) The SF Gate tells us that the Right herbs can lead to intriguing cocktails.
An optomist, with advertising from Home Depot, reports 85% of Kids’ Drinks, Snacks Could Contain High Levels of Lead. For the well dressed execution fan, Misses Dressy has the Lead Cocktail Dress. Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. .
It is perhaps the most famous photograph from the depression. . The semi official title is Migrant Mother. The Library of Congress says “Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.” The exact date is unknown, and was either February or March of 1936. The photographer was Dorothea Lange (pronounced dore-THEE-ah lang). The model was Florence Owens Thompson .
Ms. Lange was born Dorothea Margaretta Nutzhorn May 26, 1895 in Hoboken, N.J. When she was seven she had polio, and when she was twelve her father left. Both events affected her deeply. ( Lange is her mother’s maiden name, chosen for use after the father left.) She became a photographer, and had a successful studio in San Francisco. By 1936 she was with her second husband, her sons were in boarding school, and she went to work for the Farm Security Administration.
The Farm Security Administration hired a number of photographers to document the lives of Americans between 1934 and 1944. ( During part of this time, it was connected to the Office of War Information, and the Resettlement Administration.) Since they were working for the government, the photographers were not entitled to copyright protection. The majority of these pictures are in the public domain, including the famous pictures of Florence Thompson.
This feature started with a google search for the correct way to pronounce Dorothea Lange. ( Readers of this blog have seen the fondness for Library of Congress historic pictures. Ms. Lange is one of their stars.) This search led to a teacher’s guide from Yale University. This guide is about Dorothea Lange and the Migrant Mother. It tells the story as well as PG could. Bless his pea picking heart.
The day that Dorothea Lange photographed what would become her most famous photograph, Migrant Mother, has been retold by Lange in numerous sources. She was on her way home from a trip documenting the living and working conditions of the migrants to California. She followed their schedules, getting up at sunup and working until sundown, which made for long, sixteen-hour days. She was tired, and she was ready to see her family.
With about seven hours of driving left ahead of her, she passed a homemade sign that said Pea Pickers’ Camp. She knew that a late frost had ruined the pea crop, and was concerned about the people who might be at the camp. It nagged at her to turn around, to go back and visit the camp, another opportunity to document. About 15 minutes (20 miles) later, Lange did turn around and went back to the camp.
Right away she saw the woman who would be the subject of Migrant Mother. Some sources say she took 5 shots, but she really took 6; in any case each shot focuses in on the woman a little more, and the final shot is the one that would become the “timeless and universal symbol of suffering in the face of adversity “ ( The search at the Library of Congress for “Migrant Mother” only has five of the shots.)
Early the morning after she got home, instead of spending time with her family Lange rushed to develop the photographs and submit them to the FSA and The San Francisco News. She thought that these photographs could help bring attention to the plight of these American migrant farmers. She was right; the story was printed in newspapers around the country, and the federal government immediately sent 20,000 pounds of food to the camps. The U.S. public couldn’t believe that the people who provided them with food were starving … (The Thompson family had left for Watsonville by the time the food arrived)
The Dust Bowl refugees were of European descent, and were migrating to California because they were displaced from their farmland by drought. Florence Owens Thompson, though from Oklahoma, was a full-blooded Native American, and her family had been displaced from tribal lands by the U.S. government. (By 1930, Native Americans had lost more than 80% of their lands this way).
The day Lange photographed Thompson, she and her family were driving towards Watsonville, hoping to pick lettuce in the Pajaro Valley. The timing chain on their car broke just outside Nipomo, and so they pulled into the pea -pickers camp to fix it. While fixing the chain, the radiator was punctured; Thompson’s two boys (and likely her male companion) (Wikipedia says it was husband Jim Hill) brought the radiator into town to be fixed. While they were gone, Lange arrived with her camera…
The choices Lange made in terms of shooting the scene are very telling in light of our discussion about documentary photography. Most strikingly, the woman’s teenaged daughter is purposefully excluded from the photograph. She appears in the first two photographs of the series, but Lange thought that including her would cause the viewer to speculate about how old the mother was when she began having children (Curtis p. 55). At the time, the ideal family contained no more than three children; this woman’s family of seven could have detracted from the matter at hand, and maybe caused people to feel less sympathetic towards her (Curtis p. 52).
In the third shot, all you see is the mother nursing her youngest child. Migrant Mother is often referred to as Migrant Madonna… Lange thought that her subject looked too anxious and uncomfortable with the camera, as Lange seemed to have triggered in her what she called “that self-protective thing” (Curtis p. 57). So, despite being uncomfortable with how unpredictable children were to photograph, to calm the mother she added one of the children back into the frame for the fourth shot. She had the child rest her chin on her mother’s shoulder, which, though somewhat unnatural, served the purpose of anchoring the child still. She was also asked to remove her hat, which would have obscured her facial features. This resulted in a good photograph, but Lange “thought she could do better (Curtis p. 58).
The fifth shot was the same, but from a different angle, which illuminates an empty pie tin, heavily symbolic of the hunger the family was facing. It also highlighted a warm and loving relationship between mother and child, as the child is leaning lovingly on the mother’s shoulder, which is comforting to the child.
For the sixth and final shot, (the one which became famous) Lange brought another child in, but she had both children face away from the camera, so that her shot would not be jeopardized by their unpredictability, and they would serve as a loving frame for the mother. Lange asked the mother to bring her right hand up to her face, and that resulted in exactly what Lange wanted and knew was there (Curtis p. 65). It softened her anxiety about the camera into a mother’s concern for the welfare of her family. The mother was worried about letting her sleeping child slip, so in the original sixth shot you could see her thumb grasped around the pole for support. In her excitement Lange did not see it. She eventually altered the original photonegative because she “did not want a small detail to mar the accomplishment (of overcoming her subject’s defensiveness) (Curtis p. 67).”
In this feature, the second image from the session is missing. The pictures in this feature are as follows. 1- The famous picture, cropped. 2- The first shot from the session. 3- A detail from the first shot. 4- The Migrant Madonna. 5- Child on the shoulder. 6- Child on the shoulder #2. 7. The full length famous picture. 8- A portrait of Dorothea Lange. 9- Another photograph by Ms. Lange, taken on the California-Arizona border in the summer of 1936. This is a repost.
While trolling through the archives, trying to avoid writing anything new today, a feature came up from this day in 2008. Influential Men is the first 15 of a list of the “49 Most Influential Men”. In the spirit of living in the present, we will take a look at the Top 49 Men of 2011. Like the 2008 version, this thingie is going to make you click on every page to see the winner. This is a lot of work for a slack blogger. To compensate, we will only examine the top 15, with inappropriate commentary.
01- Steve Jobs is dead.
02- Seal Team Six sent Osama Bin Ladin to paradise.
03- Larry Page is the CEO of Google. He is the top ranked man that PG has not heard of.
04- Warren Buffett has a lot of money.
05- Kayne West sang Gay Fish on Southpark.
06- Mohamed Bouazizi helped spark the revolution in Tunisia. He may be the only person on this list who did anything worthwhile.
07- Prince William has the good fortune to look like his mother.
08- Anonymous is a mystery.
09- Ryan Gosling is an actor with blue eyes.
10- Lionel Messi plays futbol.
11- Cadel Evans rides bicycles, and allegedly does not take drugs.
12- Jon Stewart is an entertainer. Why are comedians taken seriously for their politics?
13- Andrew Mason is the CEO of Groupon. He probably paid for this ranking.
14- George Clooney is an actor.
15- Jay-Z is a rapper, role model for Kayne West, and babydaddy for Beyonce’.
President Barack H. Obama is number 21. He was number one three years ago, when he had not been elected. BHO is ranked ahead of any Republican challengers. This episode of celebrity wallowing is sponsored by Gillette Fusion Proglide. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
PG woke up and turned on the computer. A search in the archives found a couple of posts from 2007 that were ready for a rerun . One held a surprise.
Manifestation is the story of a church sign, and a radio show. There is a link to a site called “Freedom from religion.com”. When you go to the site today, you find Come Follow Me. It is a religious site, where you are directed to “Like” G-d on Facebook.
It seems as though the domain “Freedom from Religion” was bought out. “The Gospel Media Network had a vision to acquire a handful of very important domain names, such as G-d.com, Religion.com, Heaven.com, Christians.com, and many other related names. A group of dedicated, passionate people wish to share the message of the Gospel. Please join us in discovering and celebrating the hope, life and love that is in G-d.”
Freedom from religion had a resource page. One of the programs offered was a counseling service. This service tried to persuade women to not get abortions. When you go to the link for this resource page today, you get the Reach Local Directory. Abortion counseling services are no longer offered.
Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d
That was on a church signboard that I passed this morning. While these messages frequently spark a case of platitude fatigue, this one caught my eye. It had the ring of truth, about the people who value belief over performance. A vivid illustration was not long in coming.
On the Laura Ingraham show, there was a debate about Jesus Worship. The players were Dinesh D’Souza and Dan Barker. Mr. D’Souza is an author, who recently wrote a best selling pro Jesus book . Mr. Barker is a radio whiner on Air America, and is affiliated with Freedom From Religion.com. After a civil opening exchange, the affair got nasty. Mr. D’Souza was interrupting his opponent, asking a lot of questions that had little relevance to what he was saying, and generally showing no respect or courtesy. This is consistent with my experience with Jesus Worshippers…that many are rude, love to argue, and show little respect for those with whom they disagree.
Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d
It gets better. Mr. D’ Souza was grilling Mr. Barker on where he gets some of his ideas, and Ms. Ingraham jumped in with both feet. “Why do liberals always support abortion?” And she was off, and nothing was going to stop her from a grossout description of late term abortion. Never mind that Freedom From Religion lists counseling services that try to stop abortion. Never mind that Ms. Ingraham is an enthusiastic supporter of the killing in Babylon. If a pregnant woman in Babylon is killed by a cruise missile, does that count as abortion?
Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d
The good thing about not having a big audience is the freedom to discuss touchy subjects. I can say more or less anything I want, and since very few are reading, there is no problem. With that in mind, I approach the subject for today’s lesson…the “N- word”. It doesn’t get much touchier.
Now, we all know what that word is. It has six letters, rhymes with trigger, and makes the brains of some people turn into jello. It is a derogatory phrase for people of African origin, and is familiar to a white southern person like myself.
I try to avoid using this term. There are four main reasons for this. If I ever get paid for doing this, I will come up with a top ten list.
1- The N word hurts people’s feelings. I have known many fine Black people, and my life is much richer as a result. I do not want to say anything that will hurt these people. As for the not so fine Black People that I have known, they are G-d’s children just like me. My fellow human beings no not deserve to be insulted just for who they are.
2- Being heard saying the N word can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution; loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a white person. I do not wish to give that power to another group of people, to turn me into a mass of incoherent rage just for hearing a six letter word.
The closest thing to this is “Cracker”, which I only recently found out was an insult. This is odd, because when I was a boy, we had a minor league baseball team called the Atlanta Crackers. There was even a team in the Negro League called the Black Crackers .
4- The use of the N word demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad. When you hate someone, you hate yourself worse than the person you hate. And frankly, a lot of these people are not worth it. If the N word demeans a paleface like myself, what does it say about a black person who uses it?
On the back page of Vanity Fair is the Proust Questionnaire, a series of questions answered by a celebrity. The quiz was not written by Marcel Proust. He is said to have taken a similar quiz twice, once when he was thirteen, and again at twenty. There were different questions on both occaisons, and the VF application is different from both. The quiz taken by the thirteen year old seems to be the easiest. This will be the basis of today’s feature. Pictures are from The Library of Congress .
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Listening to a Jesus Worshiper.
Where would you like to live? Atlanta GA
What is your idea of earthly happiness? To be surrounded by friends, food, and music.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent? The desire to sleep.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Porter Osborne Jr.
Who are your favorite characters in history? The Confederate deserter who lived with Walt Whitman.
Who are your favorite heroines in real life? Joni Mitchell
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? Sissy Hankshaw.
Your favorite painter? M.C. Escher
Your favorite musician? The anonymous studio players on disco songs.
The quality you most admire in a man? Wit.
The quality you most admire in a woman? Friendliness.
Your favorite virtue? Not having a favorite virtue.
Your favorite occupation? Making sticker pictures.
Who would you have liked to be? Someone with more imagination.
As PG was processing this post, a chain email came in. It asked that you send a message to 12 people. It is not certain that 12 people will read this feature. However, as an act of optomism, the following message is sent your way.
QUICK PRAYER Please do not break. Just 27 words – “G-d, our Father, walk through my house and take away All my worries and illnesses and please watch over and heal my Family, Amen.” This prayer is so powerful. Pass this to 12 people Including me. A blessing is coming to you in form of a new Job, a house, marriage, finances, or maybe an answer to Something (a prayer, a request) that you have been waiting For. Do not break or ask questions. Stop what you are doing & send it to 12 people Now. Watch what he does!