Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the Donald Duck Paradox

I feel like discussing something irreverent today, specifically phenomenon known as "the Donald Duck paradox".

Ever notice that when Donald Duck is depicted, he's always wearing his sailor shirt, the scarf, & cap but no pants. Ok, I get it. He's a cartoon character & has no need for pants. Chewbacca from Star Wars is sorta the same way.

YET whenever Donald's depicted coming out of the bathroom, he always has a towel around his bottom.

What are the perverts at Disney trying to tell us?!


You can thank my friend Melissa for illuminating me on this most disturbing issue.

In other news...

I recently shot a dear friend's wedding & am inspired to post this keeper from a completely separate wedding from a couple years ago. This is Shiloh doing the bridal bouquet toss.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the It Gets Better Project

Last month, I blathered about the Spirit Day efforts & their campaign to raise awareness about the uncomfortably high suicide rates w/n the LGBTA community.

In that particular blog I discussed the sense of isolation which is a contributing factor on why many people feel compelled to take their own life. The It Gets Better Project combats this angle.

They aim to provide an example to the LGBTA community that, no, you are not alone in this world. It also provides testimonials, a searchable events section by area code, a gift shop (that sorta acts as a suicide prevention hot line fundraiser), ways to contribute. Most importantly, it offers a phone number to a suicide prevention hot line through one of their partners.

Thank Stephen Colbert's 29 Nov interview of project founder Dan Savage for tipping me off. An interview clip is below:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Dan Savage
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

This is something I can get behind. It thinks through what can be done AFTER the day ends when we show solidarity, solidarity, solidarity for the LGBTA community.

In other news...

This here is Julie participating in my Abandonment project.

Weather'wise the day was absolute crap. I consider myself lucky we got even this but it certainly made it interesting. I'm pleased what I got though.


Feel free & comment away if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bristol Headaches

I swear if I have to listen to people yap about Bristol Palin's horrible dancing ability & how outrageous it is she made it to the Dancing w/ the Stars finals, I'm going to turn green, rip my shirt off, muck up my hair, shout "Hulk smash puny humans", & then go on a destructive rampage.

How has this ridiculousness effected me personally? My own mother (god bless) spent 10 minutes trying to persuade me to vote for (I forget who) in this competition. All I know is is that it wasn't Bristol Palin. She went on & on about how bad she was. Quite frankly, I DO NOT CARE.

I may think the Bristol is not what I'd consider a good role model. Her only claim to fame is being an underage pregnant mother and then having the gull to promote abstinance only (how'd that work out for you, hon). I'm less than enthused how her mother, Sarah, uses her entire family as political props to further her own agenda...but that's an issue w/ the mother not Bristol.

W/ the amount of energy some people spend ripping on the Palins (whether it be Sarah herself or Bristol or young one Willow), you'd think people have money invested in this all. I'm sure some no doubt do.

Don't kid yourself. Shows like Dancing w/ the Stars (or American Idol) are NOT talent show but are glorified a popularity contest.

Its what happens when you give the audience a say in choosing a winner when they have zero expertise. American Idol went through this a couple years again w/ the infamous Sanjaya. The kid had nice raw talent but survived far longer than many thought he should have. Those kind of systems are a double-edged sword. Its great when the person you're rooting for makes it but not so great when its someone else.

To quote Simon Cowell, the former American Idol judge that everyone loves to hate, "The person who wins American Idol is not always the best singer."

Whatever but I've got bigger fish to fry. I'm just tired of hearing about it.

In other news...

Shooting sports photography is very tough for me. Constant movement, barely know where the plays are going, the less than ideal lenses I own, not to mention my eyes suck. LOL.

It all forces me to think on my toes. Shoot a ton & hope you get one or two keepers. Below is something I shot during the 2010 Queensbury at Glens Falls Varsity football game.


Feel free to comment away on any of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spirit Day Reflections

I was perfectly willing to keep my mouth shut & remain neutral but something recent has compelled me to speak.

Facebook & other online communites started a "Wear Purple for Spirit Day on Oct 20th" in response to raising awareness about teen bullying & the recent high profile suicides surrounding the LGBTA community.

Speaking from someone who was a bully victim, I sympathize.

I graduated in the pre-Columbine school environment where bullying awareness was next to nill. I've been knocked out by a sleeper hold, pelted w/ a broom handle like its a baseball bat, hip-checked against a locker, countless bloody noses, glasses broken, name-called relentlessly, being spat-on, had another guy climb onto a locker & jump off it WWE style hitting me in the head... & those were just the guys. The girls were even nastier in their own way because they mess w/ your head w/ rumors.

What helped back then (especially in middle school) was I had a life outside of the school environment. It also didn't hurt I was ingrained to stand up for myself by my parents. But if I started shit, I was left to be high & dry where I deserved.

Many people simply don't have that support in life. When there is no hope & a person feels like no one is or willing to listen to them, suicide (among many other things) looks like a pretty attractive alternative. Lord knows I've known many a Marine brother who has at least thought about eating their weapon because they simply didn't know how to handle the transition or knew where to get help. The lack of adequate Mental Health Services has never been great for our servicemen (in comparison to standard medical aid) but that's for another story.

It saddens me that the Spirit Day promotion w/ so much potential leaves my stomach empty.

Contrary to how it was made out, bullying nor suicide is a phenomenon limited to the LGBTA demographic. I think that's what angers me the most. The event didn't try to raise money for organizations that address the bullying or suicide prevention issue. It didn't try to educate, nor point the victims to resources they could turn to in their hour of need. It didn't try to educate a victims friends on what they can do to help stop the bullying or be on the look-out if their friend is feeling so helpless they'll kill themselves.

It also neglects that just because one leaves the academic environment, it doesn't mean the bullying all of a sudden stops. Assholes are something people simply have to deal w/ ALL their lives whether its the idiot boss taking advantage of his position of power or the inconsiderate coworker refusing to use their indoor voice which effects your job performance because you cannot concentrate or the rural police officer giving you a hard time because they can or the college roommate who you despise or the boyfriend being in the mood when you're not or someone in the other department making shit up about you instead of *gasp* actually asking you in person or the wife nagging you to fix the fence when all you want to do is grab a nice cold one after working a 12-hour shift. (Some of these are hyperbole but they're all symptoms of the same thing, the application of power)

I see Spirit Day (at least how it was executed) as being similar to those bull-shitty "1-day not Buying Gas" protests. Its like people waving their arms, giving the impression they're "doing something" when what they're ACTUALLY doing is barely anything at all.

Don't get me wrong, its nice to complain an injustice but that only does so much.

If people want to address this problem, the victims really need to speak up & tell someone & keep speaking up until someone will listen AND will actually do something about it before it reaches a boiling point. They can't be subtle about it either. An argument I've heard against that suggestion is that it makes the bullying worse. I agree but in our society (especially within an academic environment), people have to be told what they're doing wrong, how inappropriate it is, & allow them to correct their actions. Think about it, if you get robbed & fail to report it to the police, you've forfeited your right to complain that the cops aren't doing anything about it. Its the same premise.

If speaking up about it does not stop it, victims needs stand up for themselves. Violence is rarely a good initial response but sometimes it IS necessary.

Furthermore if some schmuck online is relentlessly talking trash about you (trust me, there are & will be no shortage of them), get off the freakin' computer or learn about the block feature the person from your favorite social networking page. Do some activity & (try to) make friends outside of the school environment. It may be petty but take solace in making something out of your life when you graduate so you can drive the proverbial knife at your haters come the 20-year high school reunion by being rich & marrying a hot spouse. At the very least people really need to grow a thick skin.

In fairness, some of these solutions are overly simplistic but its a better start than simply "showing" solidarity, solidarity, solidarity & doing nothing about it once the day is over.

These are simply my views. If these makes me "insensitive", then, well, I'm sorry to hear but I'm hardly going to lose sleep over it.

In other news...

This here is an oldie but goodie of Gabrielle, messing around w/ her little brother.

Working w/ certain people just feels right regardless of the actual results. Gabrielle is in this category.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if you so desire.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11th Day on the 11th Month at the 11th Hour

92 years ago today, the Great War or what we now call World War I ended.

The conflict holds a certain fascination for me. The new weapons developed in the hope that they'd give each side a "decisive victory". The piss poor leadership sending their men to the slaughter, long after any tangible results evaporated. The major players making backrooms deals to anyone & everyone w/ no intention of keeping those promises. The horrendous living conditions both sides fought endured both in the trenches & on the homefront.

It plays out like a Greek tragedy. The character motivations compelling them one step closer to their own demise.

November 11th was originally called Armistice Day in remembrance of that conflict but has been rightfully changed in 1954 to Veterans Day. The focus shifted in honoring the World War I conflict to ALL living veteran.

In other news...

This is an oldie but goodie of Ceri.

She had this independent actress thing to her personality where I could just give her a set of general directions & she'd go to town w/ it. It definitely made my job as a photographer easy.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if you so desire.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adirondack Phantoms Offense Reported Missing

I was visiting the local AHL Adirondack Phantoms Facebook "fan" page & it got me thinking.

The team recently deactivated, fired, or released their leading scorer Pat Maroon. His exact status remains vague for reason to be revealed in a bit. This would not even be noticed except for how its played out.

The parent company, Philadelphia Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren, as quoted in this article, said Maroon was removed due to "probably a pattern" of problems. If that weren't coy enough, he continues, "I'm not going to get into the whys and the how comes. From time to time you have to do things that are not nice in the interest of the team, the organization and the hockey team. And this is a decision that ultimately I made on Wednesday."

It begs the question, does anyone actually know or are they just pulling stuff outta their rear?

This probably wouldn't be an issue but Maroon was one of the lone bright spots on a truly abysmal offense. I seriously think being waterboarded is less painful than watching these guys.

The other conspiracy theory is that its a genius ploy to increase alcohol sales. Y'know w/ people drowning their sorrows as we watch the game.

Its not like management is giving us much to go on anyway.

If management wants the city of Glens Falls taxpayers to foot the bill for a new $150K+ replay board in order to blackmail **whoops!**, I mean, persuade the team to stay long-term, they've got to do a better job of explaining their decisions to the very people who support them w/ their ticket sales.

If they felt he was a problem in the locker, just say so. If he got a couple of DUI's, just say so. If he wasn't a team player, just say so. We the fans may not like it but we can understand.

This brouhaha really leads me to believe its simply a contract dispute & this is management's way of getting back at him. Ticket paying patrons are collateral damage.

In other news...

This here is Jenny.

I was blessed in working w/ her in NY before she chased her dreams to California. We only worked once but the rapport between us was, to put it mildly, awesome. Someday when the stars align Mr Camera will capture her visage again. :)

This here is a candid from that shoot.


Feel free & comment on any part of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Howie Hawkins for Governor

I was initially going to vote for Andrew Cuomo for a variety reason. The main one being Carl Paladino's kinda a loose cannon looney tune. The mentality raises concerns how he'll deal w/ things if he doesn't get his way. It reminds me a lot of former governor Eliot Spitzer's campaign about "cleaning up Albany" only to do politically stupid stuff to get his own ass in trouble (Client 9 sex scandal aside). I'm talking about Troopergate.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited by local business owner Matt Funicellio to one of those meet the candidate meetings showcasing Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins.

Even if my mind is made up, I traditionally want to hear opposing viewpoints in order to give them a fair shake.

Howie Hawkins won me over.

I realized Cuomo isn't campaigning whatsoever. He's got a big enough lead that he doesn't have to talk about his plans. Because of that, we're pretty much left to what he has spoken about.

He believes in cutting state funding at a moment when there's a big push for it at the national level. He's believes in cutting Health Care funds. He's proposed a state cap on property which is a great idea now but if California did that in the early 70's & as any California resident will tell you, its next to impossible to get any sort of funding to undertake capital improvements (like a recent high-speed railway system running from San Diego to San Francisco was voted down).

What concerned me the most was Cuomo's support for hydrofracking. This is a process that mines natural gas. The problem is all this is that natural gas is orderless, colorless, & tasteless as well as it seeps into the drinking water supply. At a time when there's a big push to go green renewable energies, hydrofracking is completely an outmoded 20th century ideal.

Despite what the local Post-Star daily, I think Howie is easily ready for the job. I was impressed w/ the Green Party New Deal. I was impressed w/ his command of the facts. I was especially impressed by his proposal to resurrect the Stock Transfer tax (I think that's what its called) where all transactions on Wall Street would be subject to a 1/20 of 1% tax (where if I'm understanding it right, a transaction where there's a profit $500,000, the traders(?) would have to pay $100).

I also don't see things changing by reelecting the same two parties to do the same exact thing because quite frankly, there's no incentive for them to change even when they DO have power. This is further supported by the recently revealed Aqueduct scandal that effected nearly the entire NY state legislative leadership on both sides.

I'm voting for Howie Hawkins for governor.

In other news...

This here is Vanessa.

At the moment I'm playfully titling this as "She Makes Zombie Killing Look Good!"


This was actually a spur of the moment shot, done at the local Mead Lumber in Queensbury. The owner gave us permission to play since he & Vanessa knew each other. :)

Feel free & comment away on any part of this blog, if you so desire.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Murphy - Gibson Debate in Queensbury

The Warren County League of Women voters hosted a debate between Rep Scott Murphy & his main challenger Chris Gibson for NY's 20th Congressional seat. Contrary to its name, the goal for the League of Women Voters is to provide information to ALL voters giving them an informed choice come Election Day.

There isn't much of a substantive difference between the two candidates except on what they'd do w/ the Dept of Education (Murphy wants to reform it, Gibson wants to morph it back into the Health, Education, & Welfare Department like it was back before 1980 to reduce the bureaucracy).

There was also big difference between "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Gibson wanted to wait until after the results of Gates Commission due out in January but was inclined to see it go, which I can certainly understand. Murphy wants it repealed immediately citing what Truman did w/ integrating the military, which I also agree w/.

Considering the Obama administration's little-publicized policy changes, granting same-sex health benefits to federal employees yet challenging a judge's order that bans "don't ask, don't tell", its a damned if you do, damned if you don't kinda thing. The President probably just wants to do it on his terms as opposed to making it ballot fodder for the Republican base sending them to the polls in more numbers than his own (like they did all throughout W's administration did in reverese). But I'm digressing at the moment.

There were some telling differences between the two candidates from a political communications standpoint.

The speaker system was an early challenge. It didn't work & EVERYONE had to pass a small clip-on microphone to be heard. Even when the speaker system was fixed, there were some differences. Gibson left his microphone in its holder, forcing him to hunch & lean into it, blocking part of his face for the cameras. Murphy took his out of its holder, allowing him to sit erect in his chair, leaving the microphone low enough to be seen clearly by the cameras.

Murphy appeared to be more apt to take notes during the debate. Gibson considerably less so.

Gibson early on seemed to use filler words like "uhm" & "uh" a lot more in the first half of the debate. He also wasn't great w/ his time management being cut-off twice (out of 10 questions) by the moderator & ran long over on another. However he did seem to improve the longer the debate went on. Murphy was clear & concise & was only cut off once toward the end.

The tactical difference in sound bites was interesting. Gibson tried to link Murphy to "Speaker Pelosi" about a half dozen times during the night while Murphy mentioned the local "CR Bard" plant (they make medical catheters for those not in the know) usually in reference to some sort of policy plan of his.

The red cards were something each candidate could use to extend their time. Gibson used his as a rebuttal points to whatever Murphy would attack him w/. I was confused why Gibson choose to use them under those circumstances because A. he burned through his two w/n the first 4 questions but more importantly, B. his rebuttal statements didn't provide anything new to the discussion. He would just reiterate the same exact points he made in his original statements. Murphy waited to use his red cards at the end. One was answering an education related question. The other was during his closing arguments.

I really felt Murphy had the better grasp of the overall facts, rattling off facts & numbers quite easily. W/ the exception of what to do in Afghanistan where he descended into military jargon, Gibson struggled w/ his command of the facts & stuck to his talking points.

I was a mightily annoyed the Gibson supporters raised a ruckus while walking out on the middle of Murphy's closing arguments but at the same time it wasn't THAT surprising. I was also a little disappointed that Murphy in his closing arguments took a direct shot at Gibson, as opposed to the more subtle indirect approach he used throughout the debate. But again, that was not entirely unexpected either.

Overall, the debate was about what I expected. Aside from the microphone issue, it wasn't anywhere near the farce that the recent NYS gubernatorial debates were.

In other news...

This here is Elizabeth participating in my Breast Cancer Awareness project. The "RIP" & picture are in reference to her deceased Mom.


Feel free & comment away, if you dare.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mid-Term Election Advice

The election season is shaping up to be one of the more entertaining ones in recent memory. We've got:

- a witch, Christine O'Donnell
- a Nazi, Rich Iott
- a homophobe, Carl Paladino
- an incumbent US Senator running as a challenger, Kirsten Gillibrand

To the most of you...don't run from the allegations, OWN THEM! Think of it like reverse psychology.

1. For Ms. O'Donnell, here are some Witch justifications for you:

"When I was young & stupid like a lot of people, I tried out a lot of things that later on the road to self-discovery wasn't for me. Witchcraft was simply one of them."

...or she could go a completely different route...

"With the rise of Harry Potter, witchcraft isn't the social stigma that it once was. I love everything about it: the moral lessons, the devoted community surrounding it (think of it like Star Wars or Star Trek), the home-spun creativity, the Wizard Rock scene. Seriously, what is there not to like w/ the King Arthur'esque-Christ'like archtype figure?"
You could also play the "Wicked" musical angle to.

2. For Mr Iott your Nazi role-playing might be a little easier to spin:

"Yeah, I dress up as a Nazi & play war. We're the ones in all the movies you love like Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List that train the bad guys be bad so they make the Allies look good."

"If it weren't Nazis in their uniforms, it'd probably be Star Wars Stormtroopers. Its not like anyone would have to worry about dying because they sure as hell couldn't hit the broadside of the barn anyway. The Klingons were another possibibility! Those boys not only knew how to fight but their mating rituals are quite entertaining. Just be sure to have a med kit handy."

If that doesn't work maybe Presidents Obama & Bush could give him some advice. Tons of people obviously think they are both Nazis & they have yet to be executed.

3. For Mr Paladino, I'm think you should go completely the other route.

Don't trash homosexuals
& then backtrack in an Urkel'esque "Did I do that?" No, trash & then follow-up w/ "& I mean every word of it!" See how far you can go w/ it before you're tarred in effigy (which is just going to happen anyway come November). Put single mothers in your cross hairs. Same w/ leaches in the Hispanic & African-Americans for not being in their proper place, females in the board room for not doing their patriotic duty of raising a family, naive college kids trying to save the world, unemployed leaches who drain the tax dollars, Muslims (for what else?) being terrorists, labor unions for standing in the way of progress, dead Muslims for taking up our precious cemetery space, Wall Street for being greedy & having the balls to ask the taxpayers to bail them out, teachers for wanting tenure, babies for being as helpless as they are.

All the while you'd be praising country folk for protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. Servicemen should be praised too because, well, even during events like Abu Ghraib, no one should be held accountable. Porn stars should be praised to because who doesn't like a good bestiality email forwarded to them.

Why this piece of advice, many people will ask?

Mr Paladino, you can change Albany more by losing & giving your opponent Andrew Cuomo a crushing mandate to do the unpopular things that need doing. Like actually getting a budget in place on time (something that's only been done like once or twice in NY in the last 30+ years) as well as REAL ethics reform.

It also sends a message to the State Republican party that they need to develop better ideas & put up decent candidates unlike your primary opponent, the milk-toast, 1-dimensional Rick Lazio.

4. Ms Gillibrand is the only person that is following my "embracing the opposites" approach.

In her campaign commercial, she touts "(she) hasn't been in Washington long but (she's) been there long enough to know things are broken." She's been there as an elected representative/appointed senator since 2007 & previous to that she was special counsel to the HUD Secertary (Andrew Cuomo) & prior to that interned w/ staunch Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato.

It begs the question that if she's been in & out of Washington most of her adult life, is she even trying to change "broken Washington" as much as she says or does it make for good P.R.? & if she's as transparent as she says, how come she chose to defend Philip Morris against major civil litigations & racketeering probes by the Justice Department when her firm Davis Polk & Wardwell allowed their associates to decline such work based on moral & ethical grounds? If she's as not-broken as she says, how come she didn't give back $18K to the tobacco industry during her 2008 run like many other candidates do when such donations reveal to be embarrassing to them?

I doubt we'll ever completely know. She can legitimately cite the attorney-client privilege but it certainly makes one wonder.

In other news...

This here is a portrait of Shylah.

I definitely liked her infectious Lois Lane type spunk. Not sure if the picture below really reflects that but that's the vibe I got while working w/ her. I hope to work w/ her again but being the busy girl, Lord only knows if the scheduling will ever present itself again.


Feel free & comment on any part of this blog, if you so desire.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books Week

Last night I went to the Banned Book week read-aloud at the Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe here in Glens Fall & was quite enjoyable. Its important to call attention to this because so many Americans are completely oblivious that stuff like this is alive & well in good ol' "free" America.

According to one of the lists brought to the gathering, I was quite proud (in that twisted sorta way) that the entire Harry Potter series has been the most heavily challenged book in the entire 2000 decade. Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickle & Dimed" was banned somewhere in PA because "it promotes economic fallacies and drug use." Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" recently rose UP the charts & banned because of "offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group." Any number of Judy Blumes remain banned at any given time. & how could we NOT ban Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" (said w/ sarcasm). I discovered there's a certain lyricism to the work when read aloud that I never picked up on before. Might have to revisit it at some point in the future.

Here's the list if you wish to see what are the most challenged/banned this past decade or the top 10 in 2009.

This gathering also brought up some questions that I never thought to have considered. Banned Book Week was started by the American Library Association, yet so many libraries themselves simply don't acknowledge book banning or the event(s). It wouldn't surprise me in the least that they don't want to be seen as political & thus come under attack & thus lose taxpayer dollars due to community outrage. Its a shame.

Anyway, I brought Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" mostly because it is a work that A. I actually owned & B. was a work that is still heavily banned in many places.

Its most notable banning was in Nazi Germany in 1933 & was publicly burned along w/ the rest of Remarque's works (sound familiar?). The Nazis produced propaganda claiming he was a descendant of French Jews, a claim that many biographies still perpetuate despite the lack of evidence.

I also chose the following passage because in my opinion it does a decent job reflecting what's going on in our society, specifically of those who have answered the call to fight. The more things change, the more they remain the same:

There are rumors of an offensive. We go up to the front two days earlier than usual. On the way we pass a shelled school house. Stacked up on its longer side is a high double wall of yellow, unpolished, brand-new coffins. They still smell of resin, pine, & the forest. There are at least a hundred of them.

"That's a good preparation for an offensive," said Mueller astonished.

"They're for us," growls Detering.

"You be thankful if you get so much as a coffin," grins Tjaden, "they'll slip you a waterproof sheet for your old Aunt Sally of a carcase."

The others jest too, unpleasant jests, but what else can a man do? - The coffins are really for us. The organization surpasses itself in that kind of thing.

Ahead of us everything is shimmering. The first night we try to get our bearings. When it is fairly quiet we can hear the transports behind the enemy lines rolling ceaselessly until dawn. Kat says they do not go back but are bring up troops - troops, munitions, & guns.

The English artillery has been strengthened, that we can detect at once. There are at least 4 batteries of 9-inch guns to the right of the farm & behind the poplars they put in trench mortars. Besides these they brought up a night of those French beasts with instaneous fuses.

We are in low spirits. After we have been in the dug-out for two hours our own shells begin to fall in the trench. This is the third time in four weeks. If it were simply a mistake in aim no one would say anything, but the truth is the barrels are worn out. The shots are so often so uncertain that they land within our own lines. To-night two of our men were wounded by them.

In other news...

This here is Jenny.

It was great working w/ her because she had this theater background where you could just give her some general directions & she'd completely go to town w/ it. People like that make my job easy. It also didn't hurt that the rapport I depend on was near instantaneous. This is unusual for a first time working w/ someone new.


Feel free & comment away on any part of this if you so desire.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Campaign Ads

Sometimes I think I'm the only person alive who is actually enjoys election campaign commercials.

Its a form of entertainment! The deep sinister music. The deep Darth Vader'esque voice overs. The righteous indignation. The distortions. The blanket lies.

Course I'm one of those people that KNOWS that both sides distort the facts & take it as such. George W Bush (or Obama for that matter) is in no way shape or form remotely like Hitler.

& why is it always Hitler? How come Stalin, Mao, & Mussolini never get any despot love from the angered masses? Take Mussolini, he was so pathetically sinister he had to invade a backward African country to fulfill his delusions of a Neo-Roman ruler. Stalin purged & executed (what?) 25 million of his own people. & Mao! Didn't like 50 million of his people die IN PEACETIME to do his horrendous farming policies. Sorry but it takes a special kind of despot to kill that many when a war isn't going on.

In other news...

This here is my friend Heather. In case you haven't noticed, she's playing in her window frame.


Feel free to comment away on any part of this blog if you so choose.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pericles versus Remarque

The 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks have come & gone. I was going to tell about a young buck's appreciation (bordering on fealty) for my military service & my discomfort w/ being called a "hero" but I've decided to go a different route.

I'm sure there will be writers/speechwriters/yappists proclaiming the honorable & noble sacrifices provided by the people of that day. It'll take a familiar tact: remembering our forefathers, the uniqueness of our way of life, the speaker/writer/yappist's humbleness on such a solemn occasion, remembering the honored dead & urging the living to emulate those who perished. Pericles & Lincoln would be familiar w/ these themes.

Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, disagreed w/ Pericles (a significant plot point in a debate w/ the main character's school teacher). Remarque's experience through the fictionalized main character Baumer, was one of monotonous life at the front, the constant threat from artillery fire, the complete disconnect between him & the civilians on the outside, & most importantly the complete randomness of life & death.

& what of this 9th anniversary thing?

I can see both sides of this. You'd WANT to think those 2500+ that perished in the towers (plus the god knows how many casualties elsewhere) were killed to give their deaths meaning. But at the same time I'm sure the untold millions who fell on small pieces of real estate like the Somme, Dogger Bank, Caporetto, Jutland, Verdun, the Marne the Falklands, Salonika, Meuse-Argonne, & Gallipoli (to name a brief few) might disagree about if their deaths were worth it.

I also hear people chant the jingoistic, "Never forget! Never forget!" in relation to the 9/11 attacks but will we? We've certainly forgotten or perverted such "never forget" days like June 6th or November 11th or December 7th or July 1-3 or April 14th or November 22nd. I don't see why we'd all of a sudden things would change now.

Its easier for people to justify their sacrifices if they actually know WHY they're fighting. Unfortunately, we the American public were initially told we're fighting to "keep the world safe for democracy"...err, I mean "keeping the world safe from terrorism". Then we were told its because so & so "presents a clear & present danger" to America. Then the public was told we're fighting to liberate other people.

Does anyone but me think this is a load of horse manure? We haven't honored the memory of the dead, we've perverted it.

In order to have their sacrifices mean something, there has to be some sort of benefit no matter how horrible the notion they may have arisen.

We're involved in 2 separate wars, one forced into it, the other by choice. We've wasted untold billions trying to win said wars when no one can remotely come to a consensus of what "winning" actually means. Because we're at war & need an enemy, we've started fighting amongst ourselves. It started w/ anyone who disagreed w/ the viewpoints of those in power, then shifted to minority groups simply wishing for equal rights UNDER THE LAW, then it shifted to immigrant groups (legal status was an inconvenient detail to many), then it shifted to ones belief structure.

I'd almost think we all lost our heads but then I open my proverbial US History text book. Muslims are today's scapegoat, I get that. Before that it was gays, before that it was woman *gasp* wanting equal pay for equal work, before that it was the blacks, before that it was the Commies, before that it was the yellow-belly Japs, before that it was scourge of organized labor, before that it was the Italian plague, before that it was the uncivilized Indians getting in our way, before that it was Johnny Reb (or Billy Yank depending on where you lived), before that it was the damn Irish, & so on & so forth.

Again I ask, were the sacrifice of 9/11 worth it?

Make no mistake, I'm not a lovey-dovey peace at all costs kinda person. There are some fights worth fighting.

But w/ this one, I think we blew it on HOW we've chosen to fight the good fight. I think its beyond salvage. Its like being down 42-0 at the end of a (American) football game's first quarter but the odds of that are borderline nil. There's nothing wrong w/ cutting ones losses & approaching it from a fresh angle. But oh wait, we'd be a "cut & runner" which is another overally simplistic, jingoistic, perverted idea.

I honestly believe we are worse off now than the year or so after 9/11. At least then we didn't attack go after our own like rabid dogs. At least then our disagreements didn't hinder us from getting stuff done.

Maybe I'm delusional idealist. Maybe the deep seated, hysterical racism was always there & me w/ my rose-colored glasses never saw it this way before.

If so & we are unable to control our emotions, shucking reason & logic aside, & giving into our hate & fear, we as American have already lost & we're to stupid to even know it.

In other news...

This here is Lorraine, shot back when I was in Boston. She had this acting background that completely made my job as a photographer easy.


Feel free to comment if you so desire.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tea Party and Tom Joad

Came across some self-professed Tea-party enthusiast showing a Rage Against the Machine performance covering "Ghosts of Tom Joad". He encouraged us to emulate RATM & express our anger towards our government.

Its been close to 3 years since I took my "Politics in Springsteen" elective but from what I remember of the album (as well as the song), I do not remotely recall it being about expressing anger & discontent towards anyone, let alone our government. Did a quick reference check & sure enough my suspicions were correct. The prevailing themes of the song entail hopeless, poverty, depression, hunger, & homelessness to name a few.

I ask for a clarification in how expressing ones anger towards the government remotely relates to that song? I ask because for the life of me, I am not getting that kind of message from those lyrics. I asked also because (giving them the benefit of the doubt) rock music is hardly known for its accurate lyrical interpretations. Whether its Liz Phair discussing her "secret beauty routine"; or the GOP misappropriating Springsteen's "Born in the USA" in 1984 thinking it was an uplifting song to be proud of; or the delightfully raunchiness of the Who's "Squeezebox".

The response accused me of "being an ideologue & lacking intelligence". Its a response I fully expected but, as mentioned earlier, I like to at least TRY & give people the benefit of the doubt. If they weave their own noose, that's their prerogative.

That's unfortunately one of the many problems w/ discourse today. Everyone's shouting at each other, assuming that volume alone equals merit. No coherent message. No leadership. No attempt at understanding your opponent's perspective (if for nothing else than to counter their arguments).

Its more like a gaggle.

"Let's get together & be angry. It'll change things." Expressing ones anger is all well & good but its one step a very long & time consuming process. If you want the change bad enough, you have to spend the time doing the grunt work. Unfortunately, most people aren't willing to get their hands dirty.

Whatever, life goes on.

In other news...

This here is Ivory, yet another gracious participant in my Abandonment Adventure series.

I remember this being a tough shoot, more so because of the life issues on my end that I was dealing w/ at the time. She's a good person & am still glad I went through w/ it.


Feel free & comment away if you so desire.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Robbery Update

As a follow up to my blog regarding questions about the validity of a local purse snatching, the local paper is reporting that it was indeed a false report. It was to cover-up, of all things, a domestic assault case.


The irony is is that had they not bothered to report the robbery that never happened. They likely would not be looking at the domestic assault charge, among a host of other charges. Course I doubt they were thinking that far ahead.

Go figure.

Glad the Glens Falls Police Department figured it out. The city isn't crime ridden but they have enough to worry about without having to waste time investigating false allegations.

In other news...

This here is Vron. She's a total sweetie.


Feel free to comment away if you so desire.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Dimensional Lazio

Its nice to know that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Republican candidate for governor, Rick Lazio, is choosing the much bellyhooed construction of an Islamic Community near Ground Zero:


...a centerpiece of his gubernatorial campaign. So much for having actual ideas. So much his previously much belly-hooed pet-issue of "reforming Albany dysfunction."

I remember back during his 2000 US Senate race against Hillary Clinton where his entire platform was, "Vote for me. I'm a true New Yorker". He lost that race by 12% points & those were during relatively good economic times.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he's still one-dimensionally bankrupt of ideas. If this is the absolute best he or the State Republican Party can do, they deserve to be crushed by 25+ points, like they are behind now.

In other news...

This is here is Rika participating in my Abandonment Adventure project.


Feel free to comment on any of this if you so desire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heroes Hypocrisy

Had a recent incident w/ a former model of mine.

She's a staunch Republican who will periodically post things in her Facebook status message about her views. Y'know, "If you believe that Joe Schmuckatllie is a complete douchebag, please repost." Stuff along those lines. Whatever floats your boat, its your profile.

She was outraged how Muslims dared to open a Mosque near the hallowed grounds of the where "9/11 heroes fell."

For the record, I think this uproar is a completely phony issue. I also think its more of an outrage that the idiots in Congress failed to pass a health insurance bill for the 9/11 first responders (those very same heroes) & cited the link as a reference:


I of course am accused of using an openly biased news source. Funny. I never realized that the AP was an openly biased news source. And even if it was its not like having a bias has anything bad about it, so long as they are open about it. I think its MORE honest being up-front about said bias & letting people take them into account than continually touting that they are "fair & balanced" when they are anything but.

That's a rant for another time though.

Anyway after she complained that my link "horribly biased" & then goes on the usual talking points rant; defeated on procedural issues because "my Democrats" wouldn't allow amendments, wanted to prevent illegal immigrants from using it, blah, blah, blah...you know the deal. "My Democrats"?! Talk about assuming statements not in evidence. I wasn't pointing fingers or giving some lame excuse why (its semantics anyway), the shit just didn't get done.

If they are the "heroes" we the public continually claim them to be, they (& by extension their families) have EARNED the right to be here regardless of purported immigration is. Its the same w/ how we treat our GIs. We put them on the pedestal & call them "heroes" but the fact of the matter is, we don't treat them as such.

It takes forever & a day to get them the equipment the need to fight the fight we've asked them to. The government for the past 9+ years refuses to tell us why exactly we're fighting the good fight. The servicemen's mental health care is woefully inadequate (& is interestingly enough starting to show in military dogs). Its like everything else in our society, we use it until we cannot anymore, throw it away, replacing it w/ some new product to start the cycle all over again.

Needless to say she defriended me. I care but at the same time I don't. I'm sorry but I'm of the type that if I say something retarded or act like a complete idiot, I'd WANT someone to call me on it. I guess I'm in the minority like that though.

Whatever, life will go on.

In other news...

This was a impromptu shoot w/ Emily. I would have LOVED to have spent a little more time working w/ her but the scheduling just wouldn't permit it. I'm happy w/ what I got though.


Feel free to post comments on anything here.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Walkoffs Need to Take a Walk

We here at Farenell Photography propose that "walkoff" should be expunged from the baseball lexicon.

We are tired of reading headlines "(Such & such team) wins in a walk-off error" or "walk-off walk" or "walk-off hit". The term should be used as an exclamation point. Use to many exclamation points & the emphasis of the entire sentence loses meaning.

The only exception to my proposed rule is the home run. Its very being IS the exclamation point. A home run to win the game is like 2-4 exclamation points.

Kirk Gibson hitting a walk-off homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series is acceptable. Mookie Wilson hitting into a walk-off error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series is not acceptable. Joe Carter hitting a Series walk-off homer is MOST DEFINATELY acceptable. Edgar Renteria hitting a walk-off hit in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series is not acceptable. Carlton Fisk hitting a walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is acceptable.

While we're at it, MLB should get rid of the designated hitter. No more of these over the hill sluggers whose only use left is to hit.

Same with interleague play too. I'm tried of seeing my crappy Red Sox have to play actual good teams like the Cardinals & Dodgers every year while the Yankees get to use half their interleague schedule to beat up on the Mets.

I know very well none of these proposals have a snowballs chance in hell in happening. But one has to start somewhere, right?


In other news...

This here is Ally, Danielle's roommate. The same Danielle whose picture I posted last entry. I was originally supposed to shoot she & Danielle the same day. Ally was in the mid-morning slot, Danielle took the afternoon.

The snag in the plan were the torrential thunder showers that day. Not quite to Noah's caliber but enough for me to request a reschedule. She was, thankfully, & as fate would have it 20 minutes after we agreed to reschedule for the following weekend, the sky cleared.

Go figure.

The new shoot day was in the high 80's (unseasonably warm is an understatement for early May), while the old shoot date was in the 50's. The incident reinforced the old adage, "If you don't like the weather here in the Northeast, wait a minute. It'll change."

Anyway, this is another of my Abandonment Adventure series. The one people sometime refer to as "Urbexing" or "Urban Exploration" or "Urban Decay."

I'm tentatively calling this shot "Leather & Lace." Whether it stays that way god willing I have a show, I haven't a clue. I'm running w/ it for now.


Feel free & comment, if you dare.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Madden Hotel Sale

I'm conflicted.

A part of me wants to unleash my scorn at Jack Diamond (the Glens Falls mayor), the Post-Star, and the city system of Glens Falls for their collusionary eminent domain tactics in closing the Madden Hotel. It was clear from the start that no matter who owned it, nor how much they compiled w/ the city's request to get it in code compliance, the city was going to force a closure. The city was bound & determined to get their way, kicking out even legitimate residents like the Open Door food kitchen. I guess they are collateral damage in this tiff.

The city has spent so much tax payer dollars cracking down on the property & its residents, one has to wonder if those expenses could not have been spent more wisely. Like fixing the drainage system by Kensington Elementary School that floods everytime there's a minor rain or snowstorm.

Then there are days like today when I walk to my local library. My route takes me past the hotel. It doesn't matter what time of day it is, there is ALWAYS riff-raff in front of that place clogging the sidewalk. Furthermore, they act like I'm burdening them when I politely say "excuse me" because I'd like to pass through.

I'm not delusional in thinking that the Madden's closure will actually solve the problems of finding a place in the city for affordable housing. But if its closure (& hopefully its demolition) addresses trying to get rid of the riff-raff that's CONSTANTLY there, all I can say is good riddance.

In other news...

This here is Danielle.

The antcedote behind this image is that the day prior it was an unseasonably humid 80 degrees. The day this was shot it was a frigid 50 degrees. It didn't help matters that a downpour earlier that day forced me to cancel a shoot w/ her roommate. Well, that & any sort of inclement weather turns drivers into complete (expletive deleted) morons one of which nearly sideswiped her while yacking on their cell phone.

Anyway, Danielle was participating in my ongoing Abandonment Adventure series. The one people sometime refer to as "Urbexing" or "Urban Exploration." I like the visual contrast between the "dirty, blah" environment juxtaposed against the "pretty, clean" model.


Feel free & comment away if you so choose.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Operation Paperback

Saw an interesting blog entry by Bee Balm Gal about Operation Paperback:


This organization collects gently used books and sends them to American troops deployed overseas. Since 1999, they have shipped over 1.1 million books to locations around the globe. They are also specifically looking for active-duty, National Guard, Reservists, & their spouses to figure out the needs of the military community.

As a firm believer in encouraging books to have their own adventure once they're read (& thus be aggressively giving mine away), this is an organization is something that I can get behind.

In other news...

This here is Corey.

She came up to the area last Autumn, a little after the peak leaf season but prior to it being blistering cold.It was a fun, quick shoot that cut short by her being called into her workplace. Bummer maybe but I can't hold it against her.

After she got the results, I wasn't pleasantly tickled that she not only acknowledge receipt of the pictures but called to gush how pleased she was. That doesn't happen often (the gushing or the acknowledging), mostly because people get busy w/ their lives. I've been there, trust me. It just is what it is.


Feel free & comment if you dare.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Everytime Roman Polanski appears in the news, I always hear about how "cruel" the prosecutors are for continually dredging this up & thus causing the victim more pain.

I have to disagree.

The prosecutors bent over backward to give him a sweetheart plea deal for drugging & then anally raping a 13 YEAR-OLD GIRL to spare her the agony of going through a trial.

Supposedly he fled because the judge reneged or was going to give him a harsher than expected sentence (which is his perrogative). Let's assume that's the case & not the self-serving statement that it is. If he truly didn't like the sentencing agreement, Polanski could have withdrawn his plea agreement & taken his chances at trial.

Yes this whole thing is being perpetuated because there's a big-name attached to a high profile criminal case. Its no wonder that the 13 year-old girl 33 years later wants to just put this sordid affair behind her.

On the other hand, its also about the integrity of the entire criminal justice system. Because it is a high profile name attached to the case & they let (publicly) let him go, its telling EVERY criminal out there that if you have the means to flee; it ok not to take responsibility for ones own actions.

I empathize w/ the victim but I care more about the integrity of the system because it effects EACH & EVERY ONE OF US. If someone rapes my sister, its ok because if the case is to tough, we won't hold the perp accountable. If someone beats their wife sending her to the ER, they won't be held accountable. If someone steals my identity, that's ok because they won't be held accountable. Victims have to have faith & trust the system because A. they won't report the crimes (a problem already showing in cities as well as immigrant communities) & B. it encourages people to take the law into their own hands.

I'm also bothered by the hypocrisy. If the Polanski did not have a high-profile name attached, no one in their right mind would think its ok to let someone go who drugged & anally raped a 13-year old girl. I guess that's what having a high-profile name gets you, reasonable doubt off-the-bat regardless of what the nondisputed facts are.

In other more cheerful news...

This here is Vanessa.

She was looking for actor-headshots but kinda wanted a natural light kinda vibe to it. I'd like to think I did the best I could under the weather circumstances provided (bright overcast sky that kinda blinded you even when you weren't looking at it).


Feel free to comment on any part of this blog if you so choose.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Whole Lotta Nothing

I had a blog planned out but I just don't feel like posting it anymore.

It ran something along the lines of ass-hat says something questionable; I challenge said notion & ask for a clarification; ass-hate opens mouth & proves they're an ass-hat (as opposed to keeping it shut & giving himself reasonable doubt).

Whatever. The schmuck isn't worth the effort.

Stuff really hasn't changed much or has been said better elsewhere.

1. The idiots in the NYS legislature still haven't reached a budget as I write this. Depsite this being, 2 months overdue if not more. God forbid they do their one constitutional duties. I'm not sure which is worse, them taking off 2 months last year because they cannot act like adults & getting paid for it or pretending to act like adults, still getting nothing done, & STILL get paid for it.

Its a shame because the Governor is the only one TRYING to get something done & is actually in tune w/ the economic reality we're in because the voters don't like him & is on the way out anyway. While the rest are to busy trying to get reelected.

If we the voters are to stupid to keep these guys in office, sometimes I think its the government we deserve.

2. I've kinda gotten into World Cup fever. Its definately not a sport that Americans are accustomed to watching (constant scoring, breaks in the action). Not to mention, most (timed) regulation games revolve around the 60 minute timeframe plus halftime, soccer (at least at that level) revolve around the 90 minute games plus halftime. But once you get passed that, its sorta like hockey in the sense that its the scoring chances & the near misses that make exciting. That & the inevitable controversies but I'm not going to get into that.

3. Its been pretty hot lately. I wish I could be sympathetic but I've lived (& worked) in a tropical juggle for a year & a half. There was literally zero difference between the sun & the shade.

Don't like the heat? Do something about it. No sense whining about it because doing so isn't going to make it any cooler. Or one could think of it this way, would you rather it be blistering hot or blistering cold? Me, I'd rather have it blistering hot because at least I can operate outside my house doing (I dunno) taking a drive w/ the windows rolled down (the original air conditioner), take a swim in any of the natural swimming spots here in the beautiful Adirondacks, hover around the air-conditioner, cool off w/ the hose.

Just have to keep things in perspective.

In other news...

This here is Rika participating in my Abandonment project. People sometimes refer to stuff like this as "urbexing" or "urban decay" or "urban exploration".

Anyway, this is her outfits but playing around w/ one of my fabric thingies that I always seem to have. I just kinda ran w/ it at that moment.


Feel free & comment away if you so choose.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baseball Hall of Fame

This weekend, my brother & I took my baseball-loving father to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as a belated Father's Day present.

As a fan myself, the biggest question I had going in was how they were going to address the performance enhancing issue. I soon got my answer because of how we choose to tour the museum (visiting the most recent stuff to the least recent). Maybe I should say that I got my answer by what they weren't showing.

On the contrary, they acknowledge the steroid issue by having a big exhibit of Hank Aaron, the former holder of the all-time home run record & generally agreed upon nonsteroid user. They acknowledge the various records (most home runs, most doubles, most games played, etc) & those that hold it. But other than that, no artifacts of tainted players. No special no-hitter balls, no bats, no uniform items, etc.

Conclusion: Steroid users have no place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In other news...

This here is my dear friend, Melanie, who is participating in my never-ending abandonment project (sometimes commonly referred to as "urbexing" or "urban decay"). Locations like these, I've learned to use them as much as you freakin' can because they WILL NOT be there indefinitely.


Feel free & comment away about any part of this blog if you wish.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bait and Switch review

Just finished Barbara Ehrenreich's "Bait & Switch" .

The author goes on an undercover investigation to investigate & experience white-collar job hunting. Specifically trying to get a communications field & middle management sectors. The results are humorous & chilling at the same time.

Her conclusions are equally depressing. Actually landing a job (to say nothing about an interview) means being likable over results oriented, being a true-believer at the sacrifice of having an outside life (no hobbies or family life), & basically being a yes-man at the detriment to results.

Because SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people are in this sector of the workforce trying to get back in, I encourage everyone to read it.

In other news...

This here is Ashley & her mom, participating in my Breast Cancer Awareness project while I was in Boston last summer.

Actually this was kinda the run-up to it (the building a rapport stage), the vision for BCA is more something like this. But still it was part of their journey & easily one of the most physically, mentally, & exhausting shoots I can remember doing.

Ashley's mom being a breast cancer survivor (2 weeks post-op at that) is one of the bravest people I've ever met. I am forever grateful for the oppurtunity in working w/ them both.


Feel free & comment away if you so desire.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Local Purse Snatching

Saw an interesting article in today's local newspaper.


There's something about this where its setting off my BS detector.

The red flags:

1. "The attacker was described as a thin black male, 6 feet to 6-feet-2 tall, wearing baggy black pants, a red shirt with a black logo and a red bandana on his head. He also reportedly had gold teeth and thin mustache or goatee."

Sounds like the stereotypical "big black" man, wearing "big black man" appearal, w/ gold teeth & facial hair to make him sound more menancing. Never mind the fact that Northern NY is hardly known for its ethnic diversity. Never mind the fact that that stretch of the bike trail isn't really near any residential areas (we'll get to that later).

2. "The incident happened shortly before 2 p.m." "the man jumped out of bushes and grabbed her purse"...Jumped out of the bushes during the middle of the day?"

Jumped out of the bushes in the middle of the day? Considering biketrail stretch has a nice straight away, the victims are saying that he lay in wait specifically for them?

3. "The woman and her boyfriend struggled with him, the man punching the woman -- who is battling breast cancer -- in the chest before he was able to rip the purse away and run off."

This is the most head-scratching part. Petty crimes like purse snatching are what's called "crimes of oppurtunity." You prep, you make your attempt, & get the heck outta there. You don't stick around & fight. To many things can go wrong.

It also makes me wonder what the heck the boyfriend was doing. Did he try & run after the perp?

4. "The couple continued walking on the bike path until they got to Maple Street, where they spotted a relative who they told about the alleged attack."

Admittedly, this is less of a red flag. In today's day & age of instant & portable communication devices like cell phones, between the two of them you'd think there'd be pretty good odds that they'd have one. Where they could report the incident near the scene of the crime. Apparently, that's not the case.

Though a purse-snatching by a "big black" man is plausible, there are so many concidences. To many things don't add up for it to smell right.

In other news...

This here is Rika doing the relationship w/ her boyfriend.

We were playing w/ the short span of late afternoon winter sunlight while we could.


Feel free to comment on whatever you like. It'd just be helpful if a first name was left in case I choose to reply (so I know who I'm addressing).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fair Use Doctrine

As an artist, I am seriously troubled by a local restaurant's choice to host a particular artist.

Clarification: I'm bothered by the artist's choice to present original art protected under copyright law specifically Hollywood characters. For those of you not in the know, these are the characters themselves in full makeup & costume: Jack Nicholson's Joker, Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, Clint Eastwood's Man w/ No Name, Gerald Butler's King Leonidas, & a couple others.

Some, like Shepard Fairey in the Obama "Hope" poster where he used a copyrighted AP photograph w/o proper attribution or royalties since the work is a derriative, will argue that it falls under "the fair use" exception in the copyright code (Title 17). However, I do not share that intrepretation. The keys to the exception being in the context of "criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research."

But even if that weren’t the case, I am doublely concerned that the artist made no attempt to create a "significant change”. In the art world, that small change is enough to constitute the reinterpreted work as a new original. Marcel Duchamp’s “L.H.O.O.Q.” is such an example. He painted a mustache on a postcard sized Mona Lisa, retitled it, and put it in a gallery setting. Because the Dadaist movement questioned traditional notions of art AND because he took the time to make it his own, the work and its message was become accepted.

As an artist w/ an academic background, I see it as the equivalent to artistic plagiarism.

We artists have enough problem with people intentionally ripping off our works w/o our permission. It breaks my heart knowing that the restaurant owner who is a supporter of local arts scene is unintentionally helping intellectual property theft.

I'm struggling how to tactfully broach the issue w/ the restaurant owner. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

In other news...

I'm choosing the following image because there's an interesting rip story that goes w/ it.

Some brainiac approached the model asking to work w/ her. Since he didn't have any work on the site, she asked for samples to get an idea of his quality. Low & behold he choses this one:


Little does he know that the shot he chose is one of her favorite images...of herself...by me. She reported the rip to the site administrators who were all happy to boot the bugger from the site.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Rabbi Credentials

I've been called many things in my life.

"Pornographer" because let's face it, if I photograph adult women in various states of undress even if the R-rated parts are covered, its automatically porn. A "predator" because adult women have chosen of their own free-will to shed their clothes in front of my camera. "TNT", you can thank my brother for that. A "bigot" because (as my old Marine Staff Sergeant used to say), "I'm an equal oppurtunity bigot, I just hate everybody." The "Flash" because I "move like a bolt of lightning" (the complete opposite of its context, LOL).

I'm even a self-described "fallen Catholic" because as a "smut peddler that exploits women", I'm surely going to burn in Hell. Better to laugh w/ the sinners than cry w/ the saints, I guess.

*cues evil laugh*

However, I don't think I've ever had any names given that had anything to do w/ my piety. That changed while at work a couple weeks ago.

As the story goes...

I was plugging away at the computer, minding my own business when a fellow coworker from another department comes over. She sits next to me & asks in a hushed tone, "I don't mean to be rude but (pausing) are you a rabbi?"

She was lucky & wasn't drinking my coffee because it would have sprayed out of my mouth in shock. Instead I repeated the question only louder but laughing. Still in seriousness she hushed me down again.

Once I was able to recompose myself, she explains about a swearing incident the previous day. Apparently a member of her own department & I were in the stock room moving boxes when a swearing incident came up. I never quite understood if I was the one flinging the expletative deleteds or the other guy. But she said, according to him, he was absolutely convinced I was a rabbi because of that incident as well as "how (I) carry myself."

Not quite sure what that means, is it my body-language? My Jack Webb "just the facts, ma'am" straight-laced demeanor because I'm focused on getting stuff done? W/ the beard, I could even see the Alec Guiness's Obi-Wan Kenobi thing. I dunno.

Anyways...I informed her that no, I went the complete other way, the proverbial drinking, whoring, carrowsing route.

Feeling conflicted, she next asked whether to set him straight or string him along. I of course told her to string him along. The man better pray that I never find out who he is because, oh boy, am I gonna have fun screwing w/ him. LOL


This is what happens when people automatically assume things w/o taking the 2 seconds to verify said information (something that I hate). Though this is a light-hearted, I've been on the receiving end of others where the effects were not so comedic.

Whatever, life goes on.

In other news...

This here is Brooke. She & her mom were gracious enough to indulge me w/ their participation in my ongoing abandonment series.

While shooting, Brooke accumulated a lot of dirt on her hands & then randomly started rubbing it all across her arms & face. It was one of those bizarre moments that fit what we were all doing & where I would never have planned it in a million years. It worked, so I just ran w/ it & we all still laugh about it to this day.


Feel free to comment, if you so choose.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I Do Versus Who I Am

Deep down a part of me has always known this but its been hammered in lately. Photography is simply something that I do & enjoy, its not who I am.

This has been really hit home in a variety of ways.

- being uninspired by a person's look
- a person's inability to follow freakin' preparation directions
- a subject's primma-donna'ish
- bringing outside drama which I don't need
- changing what has been previously agreed upon in advance the day of the shoot
- content being all about them & not enough giving on what I want or need

But most importantly, if you don't have a sense of humor & are overly particular about being shown a certain way, then I'm sorry, I don't care how hot you think you are, working together is just not for me.

I'm not saying all the people I have worked w/ fell in the above category, Its likely just a numbers thing. By this time last year, I'd worked w/ close to 25 people. This year (as I write this) its closer 6 or 7, so of course the usual 10% of not-so-great shoots only SEEMS more prevalent.

This funk however has extended far beyond my people photography. I haven't shot any random junk stuff in over 8 months & I haven't practiced my sports photography in longer than that. Nor have I not gone out & wandered shooting landscapes or whatever. The explorational wonder just hasn't been there.

Whatever, life will go on.

In other news...

This here is Sapphire. She's one of those people where having never met her previously (setting aside the less than 15 minutes sitting at the scrumpicious down-home family dinner after her sister's wedding ceremony). Yet working together simply "felt right."

That's a notion that's becoming more & more important lately (or at least it is in my own delusional mind). Quality over quantity. Doing something because I want to, as opposed to doing something just for the sake of habit.

Anyways, there are two versions of the shot below. The other version may argueablely be better but I'm choosing this one because I'm an admitted sucker for a pretty smile.


Feel free to leave comments if you so choose.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mythologizing the Past

I ran across this Washington Post news article that came out shortly after the recent passage of Health Care reforms.

I came across an interesting quote:

"I grew up in the '50s," said Hugh Pearson, 63, a retired builder from Bakersfield, Calif. "That was a wonderful time. Nobody was getting rich, nobody was doing everything big. But it was 'Ozzie and Harriet' days, 'Leave It to Beaver'-type stuff. Now we have all this MTV, expose-yourself stuff, and we have no morality left, not even by the legislators."

It makes for a great news-bite but let's look at this further. If its 2010 now & he's currently 63, that would mean he was born roughly in 1947. He was 3 when it began & 13 when it closed!

BTW, I'm doing the "face-palm" right now.

Back when I was that age, my biggest concern was catching the latest episode of the original Transformers cartoon. Or yelling at my sister for disassembling my latest Legos creation, or playing GI Joe w/ the neighborhood kids in the woods by my old house.

I guess its a testament to the effectiveness of the Madison Avenue cultural propaganda machine.

In other news...

This here is Ashley. We met each other many moons ago through the connection of a mutual friend. It didn't work out for quite sometime, she was coming as I was going & vice versa. That sorta thing.

Low & behold she was like 8 months pregnant or something & found herself in my area & inquired about a shoot. I made time the following week.

It was kinda tough considering Mother Nature forced us indoodrs, the limited time available, & not to mention, it was my first preggo shoot in like 7 years. I think both of us did a pretty darn good. Preggo shoots are always tough trying to hit the model at the right angle that shows off the bump (the thing everyone wants to see apparently) & remembering that the model won't have same movement mechanics.

Anyways, here's the lovely Ashley & her then pregnant self.


Feel free to comment away on anything written here, if you so desire.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time Travel is a Sorry Excuse for Quality Storytelling

I've come to the conclusion that 95% of time travel stories are a weak excuse for quality storytelling.

It seems like a good idea in theory. It allows you to introduce fun, alternate versions of the characters we all know & love. It allows you to introduce horrible environments that do not exist in the present. It allows you to reanalyze time periods that we've come to mythologize. It allows you to discuss the moral implications of mucking up the past & altering ones own present.

Why do I think time travel stories are a weak excuse for storytelling?

Its an investment issue.

When some friggin' science fiction franchise produces some villain who travels back to my character(s)'s own past & then SUCCEEDS in altering his future, its not respecting what's come before it. It makes changing the present to easy & is without consequences. If no character that "I" know, not even one, aren't going to remember the effected changes, then what's the point of telling the story in the first place?

Take Marvel Comics for example. I know you guys made a big push to get Peter Parker back to his single guy worry roots but you couldn't have thought of a better storyline than having Pete's 25-year marriage to Mary Jane Watson evaporated by a snap of the fingers? You mean to tell me you guys have never heard of, y'know, a thing called a divorce? You could've done that & have her move to Hollywood (she is an actress after-all) & then have Pete lives the single life you guys want him to. By magically erasing his marriage, you also changed Pete's bombshell of a coming out party that occurred in "Civil War" (probably your best company wide storyline in years). Whoops, sorry audience, that didn't happen either.

Or take the most recent Star Trek movie. You have a villain from Picard & Janeway's time period traveling back in time, creating havoc in Kirk & Spock's Academy days (a period of like 150-175 years in the past). Nevermind that you glossed over why he's ticked off. Nevermind that his reasons don't make sense, even to him. If they don't make sense to the character himself, why in the hell would they make any sense to the audience?

I know franchise reboots & origin stories are the rage right now but give me a friggin' break. Its one thing for some James Bond villain threatening to blow up the world, its another for him to actually do it. By telling that particular story w/o even a hint of a reset or a way to make things right. If things are not going to be fixed, why tell the story to begin w/?

There's no "Amok Time", no awesome deliciously suave evilness that is Khan, no cat & mouse hunt that is the "Balance of Terror", no "Menagerie" or "the Cage", no Borg, the entire Next Generation, DS9, & Voyager series are all shot (they all had prominent Vulcan & Romulan deeply woven into the fabric of their mythos). You get the idea.

The sad thing is is that they could have used the EXACT same plotline (pissed off villain traveling back to his enemy's past), placed it in Picard & Janeway's time period, introduce us to a familiar yet new crew (its not like it conflicts w/ any Star Trek projects going on right now because there are none), & it would have been perfectly acceptable. Hell, you could have kept Old Spock in the mix to draw roots from the Original Series. Instead we get the abortion that is the Star Trek "Reboot". Don't get me wrong, it had its moments like the different takes on old motifs: being chased by weird creatures, retarded yet fun fight scenes, new takes on old sound effects, the really nice nod to retro set designs but updating them for a unique look. *sigh*

I hope JJ Abrams someday gets stabbed by a liquid metal Terminator. Thank you for wasting like a 20-year emotional investment.

In other news...

This here is a shot of Shylah & Brad.

This shot came off more like an engagement picture than I ever intended but it still works. I particularly like how their hands are positioned because A. its all their doing & B. whenever I try to place the hands, I completely screw it up. They were both a fun bunch to work w/.


Feel free to comment away if you so desire.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Future Darwin Award Applicant

I never would have thought the Census information would have been controversial but apparently I was wrong. The most sensitive information they ask for is your phone number & even that one could probably find out what it is by, I dunno, DOING A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH!

Here's what the form asks in case you're interested:


Some like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (Republican from Minnesota) feel its so "intrusive" that she is urging her constituents not to fill out the forms. Don't get me wrong, I know there are a lot of anti-government wackos out there but its doubly ironic since the entire basis on whether a Congressperson even has a job (aside from being elected) is based on having MORE residents in their state than the others.

It'd be poetic justice if she lost her seat from gerrymandering because her state lost population. I can just foresee idiots like these someday becoming a Darwin Award applicant.

In other news...

This is a semi-oldie of Nancy wearing custom jewelry by Parker Posie Designs.


Feel free to comment on any part of this blog, if you dare. (cues mischievous laugh)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Heart Boobies Brouhaha

Of all the things for a community to be outraged about, the infamous South Glens Falls "I (heart) boobies" brouhaha should not be one of them.

Is the phrasing crude? Sure it is. But it gets people to think & followup w/ why the person is wearing said bracelet. That was certainly my experience when introduced to the "Save the Ta-Tas" organization. I thought it was another silly Facebook group (much like "I want to be your derivative so I can lay tangent to your curves") but after a quick investigation they are indeed a legitimate Breast Cancer Awareness organization.

Though I applaud Ms Ballard for correcting what she perceived as a school violation, at the same time I have to wonder if this is a case of a teacher having an axe to grind? Think about it. The bracelet was never disrupting class until the teacher herself brought undue attention to it. Secondly, the student offered a reasonable compromise to turn the bracelet inside out. Thirdly, the teacher went out of her way to go after the kid the next day when the bracelet was already inside out. On this last count I have to ask...considering there are an untold number of organizations using variation of the "I heart boobies" color scheme, how did the teacher know what was on the bracelet if she never saw it inside-out to begin w/?

Ms Ballard is not the only person in society who has been effected by Breast Cancer. Had she not lost her head & taken 5 minutes (probably less) to Google the organization, she would have found all she needed to discover what the organization was about. Had she spoken to the kid in private (maybe after class or school?), she would have learned he too had a family member effected by the disease. She could have taken the time to visit the local American Cancer Society office & given the kid a more acceptable alternative braclet (they were more than happy to give away for free the one I wear away, despite my offer to pay the crippling price of $2) Instead she loses her head enforcing a zero-tolerance policy, the spirit of which was never meant for more noticeable & disruptive personal attire. As the saying goes, a "teachable moment" was lost.

Interestingly enough, by Ms Ballard & the administration acting the way they did, they've brought publicity to the "I heart Boobies" organization in ways the organization itself could never have hoped for. Call this the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The point is for all the unwise things teenagers often get themselves into. Punishing them for wanting to help improve society, should not be one of them.

If this story didn't get juicer, the SGF Assistant principle had the brains to be photographed groping the wax figures of Jessica Simpson & Jenna Jameson during a trip to a recent trip to Vegas. The story probably would have ended there but he then went on post them publicly on his Facebook page. This is the same person responsible for disciplining students for their cancer awareness's "disruptive attire."

I swear this is sounding more & more like a South Park episode. The kids are the responsible ones while the adults act like idiots.

In other news...

This is where I'd present one of the pictures from my Breast Cancer Awareness pictures but unfortunately, there aren't any ones that A. are of a PG nature that haven't been seen yet.

So, I'll just show you an oldie but goodie.


Feel free to opine if you so choose.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pedopriests Comparing Themselves to Holocaust Jews

This being Easter & all, I had an interesting cross-culture analysis about resurrections planned but something more serious arose that I felt merited my scorn.

I consider myself a spiritual person but its really hard to support organized religion when institutions like the Catholic Church make claims that have no basis in reality.

I give you the latest Vatican statement defending itself against the ongoing pedophilia charges. They're comparing their (perceived) persecution in regards to the ongoing pedophilia priest scandal w/ those of the Holocaust Jews.

These people just don't get it & likely never will. For starters, pedo-priests are the abusers not the victim. If you insist on comparing it to the Holocaust, a more appropriate analogy is that the pedo-priest are the Nazi War Criminals. "We're only following orders." Yeah, I'm sure.

If the Roman Catholic church is unable or unwilling to even investigate the matter & take appropriate disciplinary action (as opposed to shuffling them from one unsuspecting parish to another), then the accuser should stand trial in the criminal justice system. "Just protecting our institution" be damned.

Your community entrusted you not to abuse that trust. Because you violated that public trust, you should get whatever punishment that this world can meet out. I'd be saying the same for any police officer or elected official violating their oath for personal gain.

Kicking out a couple of kids out of Catholic School because their parents are lesbians is ok (as if the children have any say in who their parents are). Pimping out the choir as a de facto prostitution ring is ok. Telling women what they can & cannot do to their own bodies is ok. Doing nothing about known pedophile priests is ok. But god forbid that two people of the same sex want to love each other, that's a sin!

It just goes to show how (expletive deleted) their priorities have become. Its bullshit like this that contributes why I don't waste my time going to Sunday mass anymore.

Edit: This makes me even more angry!!!

In the two years before Father Murphy died, the bishops in Milwaukee and Superior tried to have him defrocked but were dissuaded by Vatican officials who had received a letter from Father Murphy asking for leniency. The Vatican said Father Murphy had shown “apparent good conduct” in the 24 years since he had been removed from St. John’s and sent to Boulder Junction.

The locals tried to get rid of this piece of trash & headquarters gives the guy yet another reprieve. I know they believe in the sacrament of reconciliation but apparently, enough will never be enough to these idiots.

In other news...

This here is Hope, a person I consider a creatively dear friend. This is an older picture that has a special place in my heart.


Feel free to comment away if you so choose.