DC with Pakistan.


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Last night there was a well attended gathering at Du Pont Circle in Washington DC. Many faiths, ethnicities and ages all came together to remember those who had been massacred at their school desks in Peshawar the day before.

Candles were lit. Heads were bowed. Tears were shed.

The memory of those murdered at weddings and in their homes by drones and by death squads danced round the edge of the memorial.

All the innocents have value and all were joined in hoping for a better world for those innocents who remain.

Productivity Fail #402 – Blame the Coffee.


That wired moment at 2am when you think two keyboards and two monitors will make you twice as productive.

work station
I just need two extra arms and an extra brain and then everything will be well with the world. Yes, that is all that is required. Just that, nothing more.

Birth, Death, Rebirth.


three signs bw

What better way to mourn the loss of a pet at the Animal Hospital than to buy a new pet at the pet store and stuff your old pet at the taxidermist?

I also commend whoever came up with the business strategy of having these three trades in such close proximity.

Cheetahs at DC Zoo.


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Two cheetahs at rest.
Two cheetahs at rest.
One cheetah prowling.
One cheetah prowling.

I know that lazy tilt shift is a mistake but I just can’t help myself.

Let’s just pretend it’s a visual trick to highlight how trapped these majestic creatures must feel.

Yes, let’s go with that reason.

The Saddest Christmas Sign in the World.


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And I don’t even want to begin to imagine what that bear is doing.

I stared at the animated sign, hypnotised for several minutes, and was still none the wiser.

Snow Day.


It snowed a while ago.

Here are four photographs.

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National Christmas Tree, Washington D.C (2013)


Nothing says Christmas is here more than cutting down a massive tree, transporting it across the country and then displaying it on the National Mall for all to see. It is far more romantic than that previous sentence would have you believe, in that it is incredibly romantic. Take your lover – I highly recommend it.

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MOMA – black and white (2013)


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DO YOU SENSE HOW ALL THE PARTS OF A GOOD

PICTURE ARE INVOLVED WITH EACH OTHER, NOT

JUST PLACED SIDE BY SIDE? ART IS A CREATION

FOR THE EYE AND CAN ONLY BE HINTED AT WITH

WORDS.

 

A Warning from History to John Kerry from Colin Powell Through the Medium of Sculpture.


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A Warning from History to John Kerry from Colin Powell Through the Medium of Sculpture.

Culture of Illusion – Framing Creates Fictions.


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Culture of Illusion – Mass Protest.


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Culture of Illusion – Don’t Worry, We’re Watching Everything You Do.


all seeing eye

All seeing eye

Low slung

Up High

Blinkless hive-mind

Panopticon Watching.

Culture of Illusion – Just Another Morning In Suburbia.


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Appetite for Distraction – Welcome to Brookland.


welcome to brookland

I was there to watch dance and to take this picture.

If you want to know more about the area, click HERE.

It is a link to it’s Wikipedia page. I cannot attest to the truth of anything on that page.

I hope I have not guided you into a Web of Deceit.

Culture of Illusion – One Possible Future.


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Culture of Illusion – Fifty/Fifty


Somewhere nearby there is a store that sells only left shoes…

Appetite for Distraction – Cherry Blossom Festival


Ooooh!

Such vibrant colours!

It may appear, from these pictures, that I am stalking members of the public.

I assure you that this is not the case.

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Culture of Illusion – Sunset Over Washington.


A quirky fact about the Washington Monument – the tip is made of aluminum. Why, you might ask. It seems that at the time of the building of the Monument the most precious element in all the world was aluminium. Little were the designers to know that in but a century or so cans full of fizzy soda would be made of that very same material. I hope that the fact I used both spellings of that particular element has annoyed everyone in equal measure.

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So now this wounded phallus wears a worthless hat.

I don’t know if there is some kind of deeper conclusion one can draw from this about the State of the Nation whilst one enjoys the beautiful sunset, but if you can think of one please let me know.

Appetite for Distraction – Monochrome Cherry Blossoms.


I am being deliberately contrary and only posting, for now, monochrome pictures of the cherry blossoms.

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Colour comes later.

Culture of Illusion – Matchbox Monuments.


I was quite taken with the idea, as I was strolling through Washington DC today, enjoying the full bloom of The Cherry Blossom Festival, of taking some photographs in which the great monuments of this fine country are but specks in the frame. So I did that and I show some of them to you now.

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You will note that The Washington Monument does not fit the definition but I included it anyway.

Please forgive me.

Culture of Illusion – Why Bear Wrestling is Destroying the Youth of Today.


Wendy’s is a fine family restaurant chain with their rectangular burgers, their tasty free milkshakes offers and their bear fighting. It is probably a little known fact that bear fighting is a part of the Wendy’s brand. I was unaware of this until I saw the gift that appeared in the meal of the child that I was with. It came with two unassuming plastic bears, both of whom you will meet in a minute, and these delightful instructions:

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Wrestle!

Now the game itself is a variant on the classic throwing things up in the air and then getting points from how they land. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with throwing things up in the air and then getting points from how they land on the flat surface that they end up resting on. Yet my mind is conflicted. Bear Wrestling? This is what we are teaching our children? No wonder they all become drug addicts and criminals always disappointing us and ruining society with their noises and their smells. If we tell them that bear wrestling is okay what else are we supposed to expect?

Have Wendy’s planned a whole series of these sordid games? Perhaps Michael Vick’s Dog Fighting? Jerry Seinfeld’s Cock Boxing? (I apologize to both Mr. Vick, who has served his time, and to Mr. Seinfeld for who there is no evidence that he has ever indulged in any kind of cock boxing. I am merely offering unsourced examples to make my point.)

Then my eye was drawn to the title of the game – Zookeeper…

What kind of twisted world do the creators of this game live in that they think that Zookeepers indulge in the sport of bear wrestling? Do they imagine that, when the gates close and the lights dim at the local zoo, the staff come out and then force the creatures under their care to participate in a complex series of Hunger Games style trials until the sun rises the next day? Do the elephants have to get encased in thick armour and force to wear large spikes before running round an oval track, the winner given food – the losers crushed under some kind of as to be determined elephant crushing machine? Do the lizards play Russian Roulette for sunlight? What of the butterflies? Are they harnessed and forced to dance up and down the greasy poles of zookeeper lust?

These are only questions. I am only asking the questions. It is up to the zoo community to provide the answers.

Regardless of these accusations which I haven’t made let us look closer at the hideous rules that our children must follow in order to play this Zookeeper sponsored bear wrestling. Each child gets a bear, a bear much like this dead eyed looking creature:

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Please kill me, the bear pleaded as you stared into it’s cold dead eye.

Then each child throws their bear. If they do not wrestle, not in this instance tear at one another with their massive paws and their jagged face ripping teeth, but if they touch, THEN THEY MUST WRESTLE AGAIN! THERE WILL BE NO RESPITE FOR THE FIGHTING BEARS! NONE!

After five rounds of this brutal dance of death a human winner is declared and so the cycle continues.

So what, may you ask, are the various scores? Here are the various scores:

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The revenge of the bear against the zookeeper will not be a pretty one.

Just to test out these rules I tried to roll all of them. I am nothing if not randomly thorough:

1 POINT:

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Why have you not put me out of my misery?

This is what happens when a bear falls. Pretty much every time you get one point.

2 POINTS:

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I surrender.

This happened somewhat infrequently but it’s still possible to get a couple of points like this. If you are inhuman enough to play such a violent game that is destroying our children.

3 POINTS:

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So terribly afraid.

This is also possible. You can get points for this as you watch society crumble.

4 POINTS:

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Forgive me Ancient Bear Gods for I just ate a zookeeper.

This one is, and sorry for being rude, fucking impossible. I tried for at least fifteen minutes. You will never get this one no matter how flat the surface or how patient you think you are.

5 POINTS:

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I AM NOT A CIRCUS PERFORMER! I AM A BEAR!

This one is even more impossible than the last one. So fucking impossible that I only tried it for five minutes. It was even difficult to balance the beast like this with a flat surface and what little patience remained to me from earlier. At this point they were really just filling up space on their instruction card. YOU WILL NEVER GET THIS ONE. EVER.

So you battle for five rounds. Then the child with the highest points wins. Then they put these back in a drawer or probably just leave them on the floor for you to step on later because THEY HATE YOU and then you yell at them and then you throw them out of the window.

Then you bring them back inside and you put them in a series of  new positions and ascribe points to them:

100 POINTS:

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“I love you.” “I love you too.” “Let’s not fight.” ‘We must. The Zookeeper has our children.’

1000 POINTS:

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“Yes.” “Yes.” “Oh. That’s never happened before.” “That’s okay.” “Can we just cuddle?”

1,000,000 POINTS:

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“This life is not the life I had planned.”

As Many Points as You Feel are Suitable:

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“I’m stuck.”

Then if your children want the game back show them this:

Yes they may have nightmares and develop a nervous tick that wasn’t there before but you will have taught them a valuable lesson about the power of nature and that Zookeepers are the most dangerous people on the planet.

You are welcome.

Culture of Illusion – Questionable Shelving.


Whilst wandering through CVS one evening I couldn’t help but notice the unusual placing of weight control products next to a shelf of tasty mayonnaise.

mayonnaise and weight control

What nefarious plan is this? After gorging on buckets of mayonnaise are we supposed to return to this 24 hour neon lit apothecary and purchase items to control the weight we have been utterly wanton with?

I think that is the plan. So the cycle continues of famine and feast, asceticism and decadence, of self-control and self-indulgence. Thus do we continue the Manichaean dance that has no end but the dissolution of our constantly battling dualities.

Fuck you CVS.

Fuck you in your mouth.

That was ruder than I intended and yet I am not going to delete that last curse.

So there.

Appetite for Distraction – Uprooted.


uprooted

Uprooted.

Now remember, now forget:
Thick thatched thoughts crush - mash:
Disconsolate, Alone.

Each torn memory re-
Veals a slippery wound.
Now remember, now forget.

Dripping despair drowning
Each and every breath - 
Disconsolate. Alone.

Screaming hopeless Death howl.
Bound - Branded - Broken.
Now remember, now forget.

Scrabble through the rubble
of the futile future.
Disconsolate. Alone.

Reflect on the struggle
Of withered ragged joy - 
Now remember, now forget.

You and I begin now.
You and I never end.
Disconsolate. Alone.
Now remember. Now forget.

Culture of Illusion – This and That.


this and that black and white

This and That.

The rain fell in haunted lines,
Straight separations between this and that.

Lonely neon screens glowed in empty toy strewn rooms;
Witnesses to this and that.

Cattled commuters wedged in tight
On pilgrimage to this and that.

A single figure ran round the track
Yearning quietly for this and that.

Stale coffee poured in styrofoam
Is brief respite from this and that.

From out the gloom a clot of light
In recompense for this and that.

Appetite for Distraction – Bus Station, Night (2013)


going home
Going Home.

 

Going home.

The weight of the week

Hangs over you.

You deserve your sleep.

It will all begin again soon enough.

Rest. Cleanse. Relax.

Forget.

Appetite for Distraction – Fading.


fading away

The hurried ghosts of muddied memory

Appear, without appeal, from ink black blots.

Coalescing in their frozen trajectory

They succumb to untenable thoughts.

 

Appear, without appeal, from ink black blots

To be smeared in the jagged night air.

They succumb to untenable thoughts,

Fighting to be freed from the suspended snare.

 

To be smeared in the jagged night air

With whiskered whispering relentless flow,

Fighting to be freed from the suspended snare,

Stubborn in their refusal to slow.

 

With whiskered whispering relentless flow,

They rage, crack, tear, rail, bellow yet more

Stubborn in their refusal to slow.

No quietly waiting at the shore.

 

They rage, crack, tear, rail, bellow yet more,

One more time. The Final Treachery.

No quietly waiting at the shore.

The hurried ghosts of muddied memory.

Appetite for Distraction – Elevated.


room

When riding an elevator

It is not unusual for You

To stare into the Infinite Mirror

And see that the only thing

Staring back is

Me.

Appetite for Distraction – Boot Print Cloud.


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“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” 1984, George Orwell.

Alternatively you can just enjoy this rather lovely photograph I took of a cloud that looks like a boot print.

Context is so important with art, as it is in life.

Culture of Illusion – The Most Melancholy Sign in the World.


This sign is in the window of a teeth whitening shop. Does one call it a shop? Regardless of this fact it fills me with sadness every time I look at it.

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No matter how hard you chase beauty you will never catch it. Never – for it is too fast for you.

This may, I admit, have a little more to do with the way I perceive the world than with the sign itself.