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that would be me/ still alive yet smashed in the rubble/

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 27: (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

You will find stuff posted here from the Smash Street Art Collective. Adolescents at-risk. At-risk means they're confronting serious, life-threatening, deeply personal, intimate issues with human sex trafficking, suicide, addiction, sexual abuse, disability from physical abuse, homelessness, school failure, cutting, running away, life on the street, coming out, severe bullying, survival sex, jail, sex work, and HIV/AIDS. They do not necessarily speak English.

People have a lot of questions about what at-risk means. The bottom line is that these are kids who walk a fine line between life and death. Some have been totally traumatized by human sex trafficking, and while they might express themselves here, some of them are mute. Thusly, if a kid is responding to you here, do not assume that he communicates anything whatsoever outside what he creates on this blog; most of it will be art as he sees it. It might not be art to you. But it will be art to him.

Some of the adolescents in Smash Street are designated (CH) by state's Special Education Programs as Communicatively Handicapped.

Warning: Anything you communicate to a kid at Smash Street can be posted here, and a lot of people will read everything you've said. Haters are not welcomed. Pedophiles who make overtures are reported. At no time will a kid give you his address. Watch what you say and how you say it. People who bully get posted as examples of what hate speech is.

Images of the kids themselves can be obfuscated or photoshopped on purpose. Some kids are more focused on confidentiality than others. We are not on Facebook. We employ technologies to speak to and among ourselves. This means the post will simply be for those of us in Smash Street. Warning: Some posts could be disturbing. A post might be for whatever outsiders there are. Sometimes a kid is posting for himself or one other particular kid. At Smash Street we call that an internal dialogue.

Kids can refer themselves to the program, and many are referred by outside NGOs. You can submit questions to us at the email listed above. You will find stuff posted here by the kids in Show Me Your Life. This is an International Art Program peer-mentored by survivors. Some content is attributed. Some content is anonymous if the kid wants to opt out of identifying himself. It's up to the kid who made it. You will also find stuff here posted by Tim Barrus, Creative Director of Real Stories Gallery Foundation 501c3, Show Me Your Life and Smash Street Boys Art Collective.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities fair use of digital content in classroom and teaching-research applications. This blog is always under construction (24/7), and is designed by the kids who contribute to it.

WHO IS TIM BARRUS/ WHY SMASH STREET

 

Tim Barrus is an award winning, fiction-based photographer whose work focuses on multimedia art and collage. His work questions our ideas of identity.

Tim is the founder of Manhattan Childrens’ Writers Group, Cinematheque Films, Paris, Smash Street Safe House, and Show Me Your Life Art Program for Kids At-Risk from 18 countries. He is the Artistic Director of Real Stories Gallery Foundation. His text and print work has included Tristan’s Moon Gallery, NYC, the New York Times (most notable), Esquire, the Columbia Review, and the Children’s Rights Group (Ford Foundation Grantee), United Nations’ International Year of the Child. His work has appeared in Drummer, Mach, Advocate Men, Christopher Street, Random House/Ballantine., Houghton Mifflin, Knights Press, Gay Sunshine Press, New American Library, Men-On-Men, Grey’s Sporting Journal, American Baby, and he was the producer of the special educational video: “Finally Included.”

Barrus has worked with children at: Taos Public Schools Special Education, Nova University Autism Program, Cerritos College Hospital Adolescent Intensive Care, San Francisco Hearing and Speech, Head Start, Home Start, Morning Star School, Community Mental Health, Michigan, and the Burt Psychiatric Center for Autistic Children.

 “I am a Provokateur. Life is both a performance and an art. How cultures nurture imposed ideas of identity, and punish any kind of different take is my eternal fascination. Working with kids and working in art is a way of life in every aspect of what is Mixed-Media.”

"My work has included a focus on HIV/AIDS. My Cinematheque Students act as mentors for Show Me Your Life. Watch. Do. Teach. I have included some of their work as teaching instruments in ORBITLOGUE."

Cinematheque is guerrilla education for a collective of at-risk adolescent HIV+/AIDS boys studying art in radical, self-directed ways. We’ve been prostitutes, junkies, thieves, and potential suicides. Most of us are from the street. Art is all we really have. Traditional education has failed us. We have rejected the educational status quo. We seek to interject our subversive ideas into the dialogue that defines what art is today.

  • WHY SMASH STREET?

Y not Smash Street. There r other Smash Streets. They crop up. They move around as well. 

They are who they are. We are who we are. But we’re simply not on the map. What, you thought you new everything. That what gets slopped in a tabloid witch hunt causes me to LMFAO when a thing cannot be believable because you do not know it. Not know it how. Such a broad definition as 2 B incomprehensible like the earth is flat because it looks flat, and what the fuck is a neutrino. No one has ever seen one sitting for a photograph. The art has to move because that is the nature of the universe, it’s constantly tearing itself apart, probably, and us with it so like yeah. Why even refer to disease. The marginalized are so far out there anyway, that we believe that you believe in whatever contrived versions of yourselves that you want to be contrived as. Sometimes we go riding bikes at midnight. Hardly see another soul. Insidiously seductive. It’s not about the body as a dead piece of meat. For that, you have advertising, which is interesting given its limitations. I have this thing I am working on. I do not know what it is yet. My students are building it with nails, wires hung from the ceiling, green wire mesh, paper and art supplies for making signs, being open to learning, always learning, is the final poetry. It’s where poetry comes from. We hear from people who say: men don’t make poems. That is how stupid and vapid and dull and boring it can get out there with the haters and the whiners and Y is it they can’t take their eyes off my shit, and what does it matter what I said years ago about whatever. Whatever. We make what we make. It’s about survival. It’s about moving forward. To look backward much would be suicidal wallowing. There is no time for it. We have 2 make it through the day. For as long as we can. Everyone is in that cosmic boat. Our boat is called Smash Street, and sailing around the entire fucking planet cuz that is what we do cuz that is what we do is what we do. We are doing it today right now. A blog is an internal dialogue for us among especially ourselves to ourselves. We are listening to what music we might discover in ourselves because the culture we live in would see us dead, and I do not overstate my case. We are in a forward motion and we are capturing neutrinos with our bloody hands. They do slip though, yes, a smashing through, and we are glad for it.

This portfolio represents many of the art teaching tools (especially in collage) I use in reaching adolescents. I am selling nothing here. I do shoot portraits. But I am very expensive, and you can’t afford me. Cinematheque is participating in a research project that is evaluating art teaching technique. Teaching collage employs many of those fair use instruments, and they are here as joint projects between students and teachers. As an educational entity, Cinematheque students (Smash Street Safe House) are allowed access to fair use art materials and mixed media in the teaching of iconic manipulation in photographic, video and film production. Representations and facsimiles posted here are presented as teaching tools and instruments employed to instruct students in the techniques and application of mixed media art and collage. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities the fair use of such materials in classroom and teaching-research nonprofit applications.

http://tim-barrus.4ormat.com

EXIT WOUNDS

EXIT WOUNDS. THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY

(a screen play; work in progress)

"its was bout busting raps and standing for something..." (after eminem and cultural taboo)

the layering of ordinary things/ isn’t this the place we live most of our lives out enacting the dramas of our rooms/ doors slamming, footsteps up the stairs, the boys are playing rock and roll/ what separates the ordinary moments from the more appointed ones is usually ritual/ the days designated to represent this or that/ the dead and all their many messages are paid homage to when homage must be paid/ there are days for presidents, days for soldiers, days for dead saints, days for the explorers of continents, days for gods, days for your stupid flags, days when documents were signed, days when feasts were held, days for lovers, days you must send flowers, days of fasting, days when medea has been seen pacing in her rooms, her dresses and her shadows wet with knives/ slowly turns near her windows that look out onto the street/ away, away/

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY AIDS CLINIC (SEQUESTRATION & GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN). OCT 16, 2013

Young boys doing sex work are finding themselves more and more confronting GHB, Rohypnol, and Ketamine. If the trick isn’t force-feeding this stuff to them, often the pimp is.

Viral load will jump precipitously in infected individuals who use these drugs.

The boys use the term: Date. A “date” is code for a sexual transaction. Date rape is the highly risky and highly toxic use of one, two, or all three of these pharmaceuticals.

I am not here to mouth the words: just say no. It’s a health issue. Not a moral one.

You can’t say no if you have been rendered unconscious.

Tricks who want to fuck a dead body have always been with us. I doubt they will be volunteering to go live on a desert island anytime soon.

I also note that after a “date” involving the boy passing out (overdose is very tricky), the kid can resume consciousness to find his rectum torn and bleeding. Often, he does not know why.

There is a sense of shame that pervades the experience. Combine that with a kid who has HIV and is doing sex work, it’s a lethal combination. 

My own take on it has to do with the relationship of increased Mexican narco smuggling via the same routes sex trafficking follows. You have one, you have the other. Follow the money.

Many pimps are reluctant to have a corpse on their hands. So they simply include the drugs in the price of the transaction with the trick. The trick gets the drugs so the pimp isn’t looking at a murder charge. Tricks can be high-risk-takers, and my own anecdotal assessment is that many of them are clinically depressed. Their willingness to play god is endemic.

Boys doing sex work who have been knocked out by any of these drugs or a combination of them may want to be checked out for internal bleeding. Boys who have HIV as an additional correlation factor may experience risk for internal infections. 

His dick might have fucked you, but his fist may have gotten some play in there, too.

I know this: screaming might just cause the neighbors to close their windows and their eyes.  

 

HIV/AIDS and American Trypanosomiasis

So what is binary fission.

Fifty years ago, Western medicine knew very little about the protozoan parasite, parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The organism was mainly confined to poor regions of rural Mexico.

Migrant dispora has changed all of that. Sex work and modes of transmission and changing demographics combined with diaspora have created a very complex picture for public health policy-makers to grapple with. Mainly, they have failed.

There are no states who are not reporting cases of Chagas disease.

Chagas disease will kill you but not before you have gone insane. The protozoa can infect the brain. It also gets transmitted to any fetus where the mother is infected.

Combine Chagas with HIV — and poverty — you can kiss your ass goodbye.

Undocumented boys doing sex work have presented the Western medical model with heretofore unknown challenges. The bug has been found in drinking water in the US; extending all the way south to the deserts of Chile. 

T cruzi is a member of the family Trypanosomatidae in the order Kinetoplastida and belongs to a special section called Stercoraria. The infective forms of T cruzi are contained in the shit of the insect vectors and gain entry into its mammalian hosts through contamination. This mechanism of transmission contrasts with that of the two subspecies of African trypanosomes that cause human disease, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, which are transmitted via the saliva of their vectors, and with the mechanism by which the nonpathogenic trypanosome found in the Americas, Trypanosoma rangeli, is transmitted to its mammalian hosts.

As with other parasites that infect both mammalian and insect hosts, the life cycle of T cruzi is complex. The T cruzi life cycle consists of 3 main developmental forms. Epimastigotes are an extracellular and noninfective form of the parasite found in the midgut of insect vectors, where they multiply by binary fission.

As epimastigotes move to the hindgut, they differentiate into metacyclic trypomastigotes which are nondividing forms resistant to mammalian complement that have the capacity to infect mammalian cells. They then enter local cells through breaks in the skin, mucous membranes, or the conjunctivas and transform into the third morphologic form, amastigotes. Amastigotes multiply intracellularly until the host cell is overwhelmed, at which point they transform into bloodstream trypomastigotes.

Undocumented boys who have done sex work are rarely tested for HIV while in the custody of ICE. Not one of them has ever been tested for Chagas.

Why.

Because no one wants to pay for treatment.

They’re like unwanted fish. Thrown back into the sea as chum.

The potential for immigrant patients in the U.S. to develop severe neurological symptoms related to Chagas is underrecognized but real. Researchers (now furloughed) are sounding alarm bells. Demographics just do not contain disease anymore.

Up to 1 million immigrants living in the U.S. and Canada are estimated to carry latent infection Trypanosoma cruzi, which is endemic in Central and South America and which can reactivate in such individuals who become immunosuppressed.

Because a variety of immunosuppressive agents are commonly used in neurological practice — to treat multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and other autoimmune conditions, for example — neurologists should be aware of the risk in patients from Latin America.

Also, clinicians should consider the possibility of Chagas disease in Latino patients presenting with symptoms that appear to be those of toxoplasmosis.

Case reports two Houston-area patients who developed fulminant Chagas disease with brain involvement as a consequence of AIDS. Both were women, one a 38-year-old originally from Honduras and the other, age 50, from Guatemala.

They were found at presentation to have multiple cerebral masses. Toxoplasmosis was initially suspected in both cases and it was actually diagnosed (incorrectly) in the Guatemalan woman. However, the diagnosis was eventually ruled out in the women, via serology in the Honduran patient and through brain biopsy in the Guatemalan woman.

Although the infection proved fatal to the Honduran woman, the other patient survived with antiretroviral and anti-trypanosomal therapy but with persistent mental impairment.

In patients without fully functional immune systems, cerebral manifestations of Chagas disease can be fulminant and lethal.

So. Yeah. For the sake of argument, pretend that you are providing caregiving to young undocumented boys doing sex work in the United States. How would you know a kid might have both HIV and the amebic parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. How would you even suspect it before the kid went mad.

You wouldn’t. You wouldn’t know jack shit about Chagas disease.

Reports have described clusters of reactivated Chagas disease in the context of AIDS, leukemia, and solid organ transplantation.

As a broader range of immunosuppressive agents enters the neurologists’ armamentarium, it is possible that iatrogenically triggered reactivation will be seen in patients.

From 300,000 to 1 million people in the U.S. and Canada, mostly immigrants from nations farther south, are believed to carry the Chagas parasite. Blood donations are now screened for T. cruzi contamination. Donor-blood data from 2010 found that carriers were present in throughout the United States. Chagas disease should be treated with nifurtimox and benznidazole, neither of which is FDA approved. They are available to American physicians only from the CDC.

Which is currently closed.

 

Oct 16, 2013. CDC website message: The lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found athttp://www.usa.gov.

http://www.usa.gov/resources/images/Icon_Question.png); color: rgb(45, 91, 138); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bolder; background-position: 0px 1px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; "> What's Affected by a Government Shutdown?

Below, find an overview of some of the government services and operations that will be impacted until Congress passes a budget to fund them again. For detailed information about specific activities at Federal agencies, please see federal government contingency plans.

  • Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
  • Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
  • Veterans’ compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended  shutdown.
  • Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
  • New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical  trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
  • Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects. Loans to rural communities will be halted.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting us from terrorist threats, defending our borders, inspecting our food, and keeping our skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown  ends.
  • Hundreds of thousands of additional federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.

http://www.usa.gov/resources/images/Icon_Government.png); color: rgb(45, 91, 138); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bolder; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; "> Services That Will Continue During the Government Shutdown

  • Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
  • Active military will continue serving.
  • Air traffic controllers, prison guards, and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
  • NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.

 

TIM BARRUS (Creative Director, Real Stories/Smash Street/Show Me Your Life)

An Open Letter to my HIV/AIDS Clinic

Why are HIV/AIDS clinics so punitive. And arrogant. Do they like suffering.

Yes.

I really hate you people. Your definition of medicine is so dated, it’s right out of the 1950s playbook.

Your stupidity is beneath contempt.

It is up to me — it is not up to you — whether I come to your stupid clinic run by stupid people.

Do you really think the people in Africa with HIV are put through the medical gristmill like we are.

I do not include the “me” in that “we.”

I refuse most of your stupid tests.

You may feel free to go fuck yourselves.

Today, AIDS clinics are more concerned with cholesterol than with HIV.

They are so far behind what cutting edge medicine is that there is no dust for them to eat. It’s all settled.

Your ignorance is disgusting.

Don’t touch me unless you have some COMPELLING reason to, and you do not. The paternalism in these places predates the 1950s.

And these are the cheerleading rahrahs who will cheerlead us to an AIDS-free generation. How stupid can a slogan get. Pretty stupid.

In other words…

The requirement to fast before a cholesterol check can be a major pain in the ass.

People who forget to fast may be told to reschedule their appointments. For those who remember, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room with a growling stomach can make for a rough start to the day.

Then, there are people who are not compliant and have no current plans to become compliant.

Now, a large new study shows that cholesterol levels aren’t radically different in people who ate compared to those who fasted before their blood was drawn.

How can this be.

How can the way we have always done something be wrong.

The study, which is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that people may not need to fast.

Experts who were not involved in the research called the results an eye-opener.

"This information is actually very, very interesting. It might change how we approach a patient," says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Experts in AIDS are experts in procedure. That is all. They question nothing and they do not tolerate being questioned.

I have given up on finding an AIDS clinic that is not a proponent of one size fits all. And you call this medicine. I call this a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Just give me a reason.

For the study, researchers looked at the results of all the cholesterol tests processed at the same lab during a six-month stretch in 2011. Because the lab does all the testing for the entire city of Calgary, Canada, that amounted to test results for more than 200,000 people. Doctors also recorded how long it had been since the patient had last eaten.

When researchers broke down the results by fasting time, they found little change. Overall, total cholesterol and HDL “good” cholesterol varied by less than 2%, depending on when a person had last eaten. Total cholesterol and HDL are important because they are the main measures used to calculate a person’s risk for heart-related events.

LDL or “bad” cholesterol was less than 10% different in people who’d recently eaten compared to those who had been fasting for at least eight hours.

Triglycerides or blood fats, were the most sensitive to food. They varied by no more than 20% between people who had fasted and those who had not.

But everyone must fast (or suffer because they say so) or face the consequences.

They can drop you if they find you noncompliant.

Please, do not write to me about how you are a better person because you are compliant in medical settings.

There are only so many people I can piss on in one day.

"For routine screening, we’re suggesting that a 2% variance probably isn’t going to be significant," says Christopher Naugler, MD, MSc, chief of clinical pathology at the University of Calgary, Canada.

Other experts agree.

"I think we’ve just taken for granted that we should do fasting for lipid testing," says Samia Mora, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.

She says the requirement to fast before a cholesterol test was based on very small studies where researchers fed subjects very high-fat or high-sugar meals.

"Most people aren’t having big fat loads before they get their lipids measured," she says.

Currently, guidelines still recommend that people not eat before a cholesterol test. But Mora says a growing body of evidence suggests that fasting isn’t necessary.

"We’ve had several studies now that have all found the same thing," she says.

Imagine that.

HIV/AIDS clinics always think they know best.

There is little evidence indicating this is even remotely true, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Fasting is just one example.

Although I have been dealing with eye surgeons, people who know more about eyes than the pompous idiots at the HIV clinic, I had to take their eye test anyway.

I laughed my way through it.

Obamacare will not fix your typical AIDS clinic. There is no excuse for stupidity.

I could cite a thousand examples why AIDS medicine isn’t even medicine.

It’s archeology. But I shall tastefully leave that rant for another time. 

Hermes-Head Revisited (after #Banksyny Oct 16 2013, NYC) AFTER STEPHEN FRY OPEN LETTER (SOCHI OLYMPICS)

 

To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

 

 

Greek messenger god Hermes

Greece's first commemorative stamps were issued in 1896 for the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic games in modern times. Postage philatelic production accompanies all Olympic Games since 1896. Postage stamps issued by the host country are an essential attribute of all the Games and with no doubt are the most valuable exhibit of philatelic collections. The agreement between the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and Russian Federal agency of communications provides for a large-scale philatelic program in 2011-2014.

An Open Letter to David Cameron and the IOC

By Stephen Fry

August 7th, 2013

Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,

I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, two years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations inflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.

Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.

An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.

He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milonov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).

I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.

“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those “good” who allow evil to triumph?

The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.

I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.

Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace

Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement

Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education

I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.

Yours in desperate hope for humanity

Stephen Fry

 

 

Hermes(/ˈhɜrmiːz/; Greek : Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia. He is second youngest of the Olympian gods.

Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moved freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He is protector and patron of travelers, herdsmen, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade. In some myths he is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster and the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, winged cap, and his main symbol is the herald's staff, the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus which consisted of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.

In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon (see interpretatio romana), Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce.

Stephen Fry: LANGUAGE

STREET ART #Banksy (Oct 15, 2013)

 

“Staring the fire down” by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

 

What color do the bedouins inhabit to keep out the sun //

To become reflection, & not absorption?

 

I was young when the massacre occurred at Kent State,

it did not phase me. I was still inhabiting the pastel cloth

 

that reflects the heat. I was still a pastel myself

like the dead girl Allison, who put a flower in the rifle's barrel & said

flowers are better. Something like that.

What color would she have chosen to be, should she have to choose?

 

What life would she have chosen, knowing she had to leave?

My hands are trembling. Do I remember, I ask myself, the first time

I saw a man's hand tremble, as it hovered

over my body, in violence or in love? Do I remember

 

the first time I saw the pianist melt into the instrument,

swaying, his fingers playing the keys as heat plays lava. No.

 

I never kneel when I pray. I stand upright before God & man alike,

I never kneel when I pray. I wear black now, intent

on taking on the heat, on staring the fire down

into its very source, its thievery, its final ember.

 

 

 

 

Good Production Values

You don’t get very good production values when you are surreptitiously filming through a hole in your shirt a bunch of goons at war against unarmed, impoverished village people. What is the point of shooting children down.

I had a friend tell me once there is no evil in the world.

I do not believe it. It is out there. I have seen it. I have smelled it like burning rubber is an acrid thing. There is evil in the world.

Human rights advocates take heart from such abstract events as the World Court going up against crimes against humanity. World leaders, all goons with goon squads, can be indicted.

But what about these guys with the guns. They are almost always men. So they do what they are told to do.

This is no defense.

Everyone draws his own lines in the sand.

I could never work at a dog pound that killed dogs. There’s a line. I could not do it. I cannot pretend that I could do that.

It creeps me out.

I want to know about the men who hide their faces.

I would have no trouble whatsoever killing them. What’s more important, people or dogs.

Dogs.

I would have no problem killing the men in this video. It is a contradiction. But I am not conflicted anymore than the men here are conflicted. I often wonder at how stupid or vacant they must be.

It’s indifference that is both hateful and evil.

The boys who wrote FAGGOTS GET OUT on the side of my house are — what. Indifferent. Hateful. Stupid.

All of the above. I wanted to hurt them.

But staying off the radar screens is best.

I bitch and moan on my blogs mainly because I have to.

You do not see, you do not hear, you do not comprehend 98.9% of anything I write, or speak into a camera with, or photograph in any shoot. The camera is my weapon of choice these days.

Why. Because I am afraid. Of men like the ones in this video. There are men not at all unlike this who live next door to me. They are my neighbors. They are boys who write FAGGOTS GET OUT on the side of a house.

They would shoot a dog, these men. They will shoot anything that moves.

I am compelled to demonize them because I do not understand them. I do not want to understand the goons. I want to push their corpses back into the black ribbon of moonlight river.

I look at the tired emptiness in my neighbors, and I want to run. The local dog pound is a nightmare.

Some states have laws against filming horses being slaughtered. These laws were put on the books by a lobbying consortium of slaughterhouses.

What you think of as American freedom of expression is a quaint idea high school history teachers love to keep alive. Let’s rah, rah for America. Are drones used exclusively overseas. No. They are at every border. Watching. Taking pictures.

Maybe taking pictures, too, is fighting back. Fire with fire.

The world is a slaughterhouse, and I am at a complete loss as to how to film it. That journey — the filming of it — you name it: trafficking, death by association to a virus, the list goes on, is why I am here. It is a choice to be here. The kids I work with get it. It’s all a choice. Anyone can put a gun in his mouth.  

The cameras keep getting smaller and smaller. There is one where you can wear it as a medallion around your neck. It’s the size of a quarter.

It appears in no way anything like a camera. It takes great video.

I could kill these men and dump their bodies into the river they rode in on. Without a moment’s hesitation.

Good production values do not exist. The idea of it is a delusion.

 

A cup of tea would restore my normality

BANKSY New York. Oct 14, 2013. Queens. "What we do in life echoes in Eternity..." COLUMBUS DAY, USA.

 

Don't touch me, I used to think, as people passed me in the street;

don't touch me. I was Echo.

BANKSY New York City. 69th Street and 39th Avenue, Queens. Oct 14, 2013. 

Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from 'Gladiator') but you know what? "I'm just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker" as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.

 

Banksy New York. THE STREET IS IN PLAY. (Manhattan location). Oct 1, 2013.

 

 

http://static.tumblr.com/f76dc6445ab5ef4a1a3cf514b700f607/i8omzur/6gamuo... " style="width: 500px; height: 2149px; " />

SHOW ME YOUR LIFE / SMASH STREET BOYS

We give cameras to at-risk kids. So. Yeah. Eat me.

 

 

I look out the window © Carolyn Srygley-Moore

 

Is it fate or choice which moves us: some call it will

 

The striking of the conductor's baton against the movement of red-stained violins 

chords of fiction & anti-fiction // it is not fear of madness that moves me

 

I have been there, I still have my moments

it is not fear that dictates my next option.

 

Don't touch me, I used to think, as people passed me in the street;

don't touch me. I was Echo.  & on the rooftops the conductor waved

 

his silvery baton, like a wisp of smoke for communication

rising from the trees. Drums of war

 

reboant in the trees. Now I touch, I touch eagerly, without flashing

back, back, far back. Unconstrained by linear time

 

I look out the window, but at other things

because I flinch, when it comes to the matters of humanity.

 

 

I look out the window

 

when I arrive at contemplating the matters of horse & man.

As the bison leave the park in search of winter

& they come with their guns slung like stags over their shoulder

I look out the window. The brown leaf is gone.

 

The snowflake is gone.

The red unicorn flung over the shoulder, he vanishes into the corner of time.

BANKSY New York. Oct 13, 2013. Central Park.

http://www.banksy.co.uk

 

Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases.
For $60 each.

Please note: This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today.

 

 

OCT 10, 2013: Banksy Broke the Cultural Dam with his tiny little BEAVER art installation! Getting people onto the streets... the same streets where every night in New York City there are 3,800 unaccompanied homeless kids needing a safe place to sleep. There are only 240 safe shelter beds available. Just imagine what it feels like being a kid abandoned to find ways to survive in the heart of New York City. Winter is approaching... 

 

It is really difficult for an artist to sell his/her work on the streets, even if a lot of people know of and happen to like the particular artist's work. 

It is also really difficult for an artist to sell his/her work on the streets, if the artist also happens to live on the streets and the streets are the artist's art studio.

The vast majority of artists do not make their art because they believe they will be able to sell it and/or earn a living as an artist. They know better! The process of conceptualizing the thing you will create, the powerful experience of being absorbed whilst creating the thing, compels people to get involved. It's a way of speaking. We don't speak only to earn a living, we speak because we feel compelled to communicate, express how we feel, explore who we are and who we would like to be.  Sometimes we even find ways to speak to protest wrongdoing, human rights abuses, to make a mark that says we exist. Humans have used the arts as a way to introduce themselves & their ideas to each other for thousands of years. If it was not a powerful form of communication, the creative world related to PR, Marketing, Sales, Propaganda, Education and Religion, would not bother investing so much time, energy or money, searching & exploring & creating visual signifiers that strengthen their goals.

 



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