Pedro and Buddy - whither bromance?


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it's Seal Hunt time again!!!


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it's hard out here to be a ...


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the psycho-Orthodox of Beit Shemesh

"another incident last week, in which
some ultra-Orthodox men in the town of Beit Shemesh harassed an eight-year old girl on her
way to her religious Jewish girls school — spitting on her, calling her a "whore" and claiming she
was dressed immodestly.

Naama dresses with long sleeves and a skirt
but extremists consider even that outfit,
standard in mainstream Jewish religious schools,
to be immodest."



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more Modified Tumblers!

"when you're down,
and troubled,

and you need a helping hand"...

well, when i feel that way,
sometimes there's nothing better

than making fun of other people!

so i go cruising for some of those images
with cheerful, positive, optimistic sayings
on them and have my way with them!


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the Niqab and i (part 2)

My discomfort level with people covering up
their faces is not just due to history and some
of the cultural archetypes that have come up
with it.

I don't have to go back centuries. There are lots
of examples of problematic face coverings
in the here and now...

Well, problematic to me, anyway.

The Ku Klux Klan have been hating,
intimidating and killing people
for over 150 years in the US
and Canada.


Here's another contemporary archetype -
is he a regular old criminal,
or is he a trans-national terrorist?

Whatever, he's everywhere!

... and here's another contemporary covered face
that puts the fear of what-have-you
into me... that seems to be just
everywhere these days.

Faces covered.
Bulky black outfits.
Take off the badge, and who knows
who's beating the hell out of you?

Nobody, not even the cop beside him-
the one who's beating the hell out
of the person beside you!


Salut, Jacques.

i know there are good reasons why
a hockey goalie might wear a mask.
i've worn one myself.

but if i see someone walking down
my street wearing one, my discomfort level
will go through the roof.

Am I your goalie? or your opponent?

What's my point? i wish i knew...
which is one reason i have a blog-
to try and write my way into understanding
more than i do....

contemporary Hallowe'en costume

i don't really care much
about other people's religion.
most religions seem to boil down
to a handful of operating instructions
that make a certain amount of sense.

unfortunately, many people who follow
a religion don't seem to follow
those instructions very closely,
...but whatever.

after years of study and personal experience, i also feel that any kind of religious fundamentalism should be classified as a mental illness.

from some American movie, i think

...i've grown up in a culture
where covering one's face is usually
an indication that one is up to no good.

a movie in Mexico

masks are used to inspire fear.
masks are worn to give the wearer
a distinct advantage over those not wearing masks.

it's been that way for hundreds of years,
and it's still like that now.

is that you, Jason?

to expect that i'm going to be OK
with anyone wearing a mask in public
is at best, naive, and at worst,
predicated on profound cultural ignorance
and/or willful self-absorption.


...and it's crazy to expect that choosing
to wear a mask will make no difference
in how you are perceived or treated
by others who are not wearing one.


a niqab is a mask.


a niqab dehumanizes the person wearing it,
and it dehumanizes everyone the wearer encounters.

it sends a clear message that i have been judged a priori and found unworthy.
it says "i don't trust you".

...so why should anyone trust someone wearing a niqab?

a hijab - vive la difference.


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the Niqab and i (part 1)

These people creep me out.
Big time.

No reason why they should.

They are Hermandes y Cofridias de Penitencia. They've been part of religious life in Seville for more than 500 years.

It's a Catholic thing.

They still creep the shit out of me.


For starters, they remind me of the men
with their faces covered
 in these old illustrations.

They worked for the Spanish Inquisition.
They tortured people until they confessed
to whatever.

After confessing, they would be
often burned alive in public.

It was a Catholic thing too.

Here's another icon of Western Civ...

The executioner was a government
employee who cut off people's
heads with an axe,
for money.

Like the Inquisitors, executioners covered
their faces to keep their identity secret.

In some places, they covered their faces and wore bulky robes.

There were other people who traditionally covered their faces
and wore robes.

We called them "lepers".


... and then of course,
there's this guy

Wait, there's more!
this way to Part 2


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Tina Modotti - a passionate life

She was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini, in Udine Italy and when she moved to
San Francisco in 1912, she was 16.

It would be the first of many journeys - the next 30 years would take her to Los Angeles, Mexico City, Berlin, Moscow and Malaga...

Modotti by Weston

In Los Angeles she met
Edward Weston.
She became his favourite model and later his lover, darkroom assistant and finally, creative partner.

Modotti by Weston

In 1923,
they opened a photography studio together in Mexico City. Tina's early work was elegant, even formal, but as her political understanding evolved, her images revealed her growing awareness of Mexican life.

Weston by Modotti

Her friends, lovers and
fellow travelers included Freida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Augusto C├ęsar Sandino, Miguel Covarrubias, Jean Charlot, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Sergei Eisenstein, Alexandra Kollontaii, La Pasionaria, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Capa and Norman Bethune.

‘Le mani del burattinaio no. 3 (1926)’ - sold at £61,250

when she died, Pablo Neruda
wrote her epitaph...

Pure your gentle name, pure your fragile life,
bees, shadows, fire, snow, silence and foam,
combined with steel and wire and
pollen to make up your firm
and delicate being.


Want to buy one of her photographs?

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