29 October 2008

Dream Diagram 2

The second in the Dream Diagram Series.

9" x 7"
pen and watercolor on illustration board

28 October 2008

La Toma

I watched a vey interestng movie this evening centering aroun te exprpriation of closed factoriesin Argentina. The Take (La Toma) is a film about an auto parts factory in Buenos Aires that was closed during the economic and political colapse o that country in 2001. e workers, sick of being unable to find employment while the factories sat abandoned and unused (and some say the owners sold off machinery) decided to take action ad occupy the factory. This happned all over the country in many different industries, and the workers began to produce goods which they echanged with other factories and sold and donated to hospitals and schools.

Most modern economists would insist that in order for the economy to function poperly and smoothly it requires expert guidance from above(their own), inevitably with tiers of heirarchical expertise descending to the worker, who doesn't know her ass from her elbow. The parties who benefit from this type of heirarcy are obvious.
The case of Argentina and specifically the workers in the occupied factories shown in The Take show a diferent type of labor/benefit scheme centered on reciprocity.
I'm sure there are problems, but if there was any doubt that people want t work and help eachother, The Take is powerful counterevidence.
I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand a little better what Anarchy looks like outside of a Hot Topic or music video.

Here's the trailer, longer excerpts are available at a popular video sharing website, and The Take is also available from a popular online movie rental corporation.

24 October 2008

NPR and the FCC

I've picked up a lot of animosity towards Public Radio coming from some of my closest friends.
Most of it pretty harsh and more or less along the lines of "Fuck NPR".

I haven't yet really heard a concrete reason for that, but I'll admit, I myself have a few complaints about NPR's current incarnation. Mostly I think it's watered down, quaint, fluffy. There's very little to it that delves very deeply into serious issues, often it merely scratches the surface and moves on to something like I'm listening to now, a story about the new Clint Eastwood move The Changeling, and the true story that inspired it.

When serious stories are covered, like the previous story about the role race plays in the current presidential election they seem to merely skirt the issue. The Changeling story was almost 5 minutes, while the race story was only 9 minutes.

NPR News Code of Ethics and Practices

While clearly the publicly funded media is supposed to be relatively objective, I'd like to point out that public broacasting is subject to the rules of the FCC, and if NPR has become more benign and/or innocuous in the last seven years take a look at the record of FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, who was appointed to the comission by George W. Bush in '01, and made Chairman in '05. Before that he worked for Bush/Cheney, as did his wife in various capacities.

Martin is a privatiser and centraliser who is interested in concentrating wealth into a few hands at the expense of public discourse and open objective media, and as of Dec. '07 the FCC is under investigation for shady practices.
Plan Would Ease Limits on Media Owners
A Deal Maker Named by Bush to Lead F.C.C.
House Committee Chairman Orders Inquiry Into F.C.C

23 October 2008

Both Sides

Well, I sent in my absentee ballot today after sitting down with the voters pamphlet and reading through all the ordinances and candidate statements. I'll admit that I ended up voting for Barack Obama, not necesarily a bad thing, but not what I would have chosen under perfect circumstances (of which there never seem to be any). In conciseish fashion here's why I didn't vote for Cynthia McKinney, or Albuquerque, NM native Gloria La Riva, the candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation:
- Sarah Palin scares the shit out of me. She's a power-hungry hypocritical ignoramus who holds petty grudges and likes to throw her weight around.
- McCain's choice of Palin, and many of his subsequent remarks indicate to me that he is incapable of independent thought. His "maverick" persona is a farce when it comes to power politics. Basically he'll do whatever the people pulling the strings tell him to do.
- Some polls currently show Obama to be leading the fuck out of McCain just about everywhere, but some polls disagree. As much as I want to contribute to creating a viable third party (which requires I believe 5% of the popular vote) I'm too scared of McCain/Palin to not vote for the only other possible winner.
-I read something in the last issue of The Progressive that talked about this tough choice and one thing they said was very interesting to me. More or less, "The percentage of people who vote Green or anything else in major elections and also vote Green in local elections, or do work with the Green Party locally to bring their agenda into the public forum is very very tiny, if it exists at all."
To me this translates into something of a novelty vote, and I feel like I need to back up my beliefs with some action other than filling in a little oval once every four years. (For the record, I did vote for the Green candidates in the recent local primary. None of them won.)
-Finally, I am actually a little bit inspired by (what I percieve as) the amzingly broad range of grassroots (and otherwise) support that the Obama candidacy has generated.

So, I was mostly scared into voting against McCain/Palin, and a tiny bit inspired into voting for Obama/Biden. I think that outcome is kindof sad, but I think I made the right choice.

If any of the above made you think for some reason that I might be a person of intellectual depth, let me throw a little ballast in the other tank with a list of films that arrived today in the mail:
Violence in A Women's Prison
Women In Fury
SS Camp Women's Hell
SS Girls
SS Experiment Love Camp
To say I am excited to watch these treasures of base exploitation is an understatement. I have to remind myself that I can't watch them all at once, and the excitement will probably wear off before I even get the chance. Not to mention the fact that they're all so relatively formulaic that having watched one, you might be considered to have seen them all.
I make no excuses for my taste.
Lost Video Archive

22 October 2008

Dream Diagram

The first in a the Dream Diagram Series I did and may yet add to.

20 October 2008

Joe Sacco and Palestine

Just finished Joe Sacco's Palestine. I won't say that I found it transformational, it was what I expected if perhaps a little less refined. I first read Sacco about a year ago when I picked up Safe Area Gorazde. I thought that book was excellent, and I have since read a decent amount about the dissolution of the formoer Yugoslavia, although it wasn't Sacco's book that prompted my interest it was a tiny look into the muddled personal politics that cloud that conflict, and it added much to my knowledge of the subject.

Palestine is similar in many ways. It was originally serialized quite a few years before Safe Area Gorazde and so it lacks some of the polish that experience gave the latter work. Nevertheless, it conveys it's point, which is as far as I can tell that; the Palestinean/Israeli conflict is opaque to a western view, even to someone who has spent time in the Occupied Territories speaking with Palestineans and Israelis. It's clear from any unbiased look at the situation that the Palestineans are brutally opressed, but Sacco's is not an unbiased opinion, and frankly it shouldn't be.
Almost 20 years after Sacco spent his time in the Occupied Territories, one can only imagine what things are like now in that part of the world.

I guess what Sacco doesn't do, even if it's clear he's trying to give voice to a people who have been more or less silenced in Western discourse thanks to the hand-in-glove relationship between the US and Israel, is declare who's right and who's wrong. That's too obscure and unfair a question considering the millions of individual lives involved on either side.

What he does do though, and there is no subtlety here as far as I can tell, is force you to ask yourself what the hell you are doing besides just reading a stupid 25 dollar graphic novel about it.

07 October 2008

Todays Output

This is the bird illustration that I have to reproduce on a 3 x 4 foot canvas.

06 October 2008


Finally finished the zombies and the poster.

Own my original painting of zombie Obama (or McCain for that matter)for just $50! Contact me at eatenbyworms(at)hotmail.

03 October 2008

Sockit Wenches

Years ago during the inaugural season of the Rat City Roller girls, the Socket Wenches team captain asked me to design a logo for the team. This is what I came up with, but I never heard back from them after I submitted it and they never used it. They opted instead for a pinup style girl riding a crescent wrench, something I was trying to avoid both in its use of the woman as a disempowered sexual object and the obviously wrong kind of tool. Leave it to me to ruin my chances at what would now be parochial notoriety by throwing a "wrench" in the machine of social expectation.