Thursday, February 4, 2016

Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA

Behold Akira, the amazing journey into post apocalypse mutant madness.  Click the images for the larger image.

The year is 2019 and speed tribes, cyberpunk, mutant gangs all collide in the streets of old Tokyo.  It was destroyed in 1982 with nuclear weapons when the world entered WWIII.  Now Neo Tokyo tries to forget the past and become a beacon of hope and new beginnings.  But the struggles to forget the disasters, and mutations, lead only to new and more catastrophic events.

The comic was beautifully done and captured the Japanese sense of fear and pain over the past use of nuclear weapons, and its fascination with the motorcycle gangs (Speed Tribes) and cyberpunk worlds.

The manga was turned into an animated color film, and is considered by many critics to be a masterpiece.  I prefer the comics, and am not a snob, the comics are just more detailed and more clear about the events. 

I thoroughly recommend this to any human.  Not to anyone who is mutant however.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Capturing real African American History through poem, music and photography

Abel Meeropol (February 1903 – October1986) was an American writer, teacher and song-writer, whose works were published under his pseudonym Lewis Allan. His best-known song is "Strange Fruit" (1937) adapted from his poem Bitter Fruit, especially as recorded by Billie Holiday.  This work was inspired by his outrage upon viewing the photograph showing the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, August 7, 1930.

Billie Holiday went through a number of obstacles after receiving the poem now lyrics and having had them placed to music, to record the song.  From distributors saying no to carrying the music, to the artist's label refusing to release the music, Holiday went out of her way to release the work, and it eventually sold well over one million copies.  It was an anthem of the African American outrage towards lynching, as much as simply the horror and outrage by many towards the harsh racism prior to the era of Civil Rights, and beyond.

Originally the photo of the lynching was sold to souvenir seekers, and those who approved of such practices.  But upon seeing the photo, the author used the power of the image to turn the racist message upside down.  The poem and song powerfully tell the viewer of the image, exactly what they were seeing.

Friday, January 29, 2016


If you are one of many and do nothing to distinguish yourself from the herd, you might be a sheep.  Try something new.  Be yourself.  Ignore public opinion.  Do what your conscience demands.

“I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”   Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 “Giving style” to one’s character - a great and rare art! It is exercised by those who see all the strengths and weaknesses of their own natures and then comprehend them in an artistic plan until everything appears as art and reason and even weakness delights the eye.”   Friedrich Nietzsche

the NFL: No Fun League


photo copyright the respective owner

I am not a fan of the Carolina Panthers, nor is their
quarterback Cam Newton one of my favorite players. 

There have been many voices complaining about the manner of celebration carried out by the Carolina Panthers, and particularly by Cam Newton, on the way to the Superbowl.  They crushed most of their opponents, and showed amazing form both sides of the ball, crushing the opponent on defense, and scoring freely and often on offense.  When Cam Newton is the scorer, he dances.  And some think it is a case of Newton mocking his opponents. 

Since about 1975 or so, players have been growing more outrageous in their celebrations.  And the league penalizes too much celebration.  It is common to see players dance in celebration, even of a simple catch or first down, let alone a touchdown.

So why does it bother so many people that Cam dances?  I have to say, I think there are two things involved.  It is taunting or mocking, and that is unbecoming of a professional in sport.  Illegal or not, the celebration seems to taunt the defeated foe.  The second thing involved, I am afraid, is racism.  Cam Newton is a large, powerful, handsome, intelligent African American at the position of Quarterback, and that is a position that is the final bastion of white reason.  They say black quarterbacks want to run and not pass, and can't read defenses.  And here comes a black QB who is good in many ways others are not, including many white QBs.  His dance is mocking the opponent maybe, but it is truly mocking a stereotype.  And for that reason alone, I say, Dance Cam.  Dance all you fucking like.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

"International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 2 million Gipsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session."  Source: Wiki

"Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children. Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger."

Elie Wiesel