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Booze Brothers

Companionship for
Lonesome Drinkers

It may’ve been the Ukrainian winter. It gets pretty nippy at this time of the year over there. Like, North Pole nippy. So the Kind Fairy had a great idea: why not offer a specialized staff to entertain those lonesome souls, who seek refuge from the cold in the warmth and comfort of the local pubs?
Such a jolly team can tell stories, play guitar, and dance. They can even listen to the loopy tales addled minds love to retell ever so often, one hopes. And if these buddies for hire may seem a bit expensive, at about $18 a shift, the fairy tells us they’re very professional and often go beyond the call of duty.
For instance, at any given night, they may recite the complete poetry of some obscure local legend, or Faust’s soliloquy, while tucking in the now happy pissers to help them get some sleep. But don’t get any ideas: they don’t offer escort services.
By now, you gather this is no flying or flamboyant fairy kind, but that also can be arranged, it seems. It’s all the work of a very entrepreneurial company, which launched the special service last December and became an overnight hit.
It operates like a charity, you see, lest not forget that this time of the year, many come to the realization that there’s very few left of their kind around, if, which may be the case more often than not, they haven’t already moved to warmer pastures long ago.
So here’s to those well versed in Ukrainian literature and strong libations.
In the meantime, it’s summer in Rio de Janeiro and the local booze trippers have ideas of their own on how to exercise their chat bones. Specially those who live and drink at the beach.
That’s two of them on the picture above. The one listening is one of Brazil’s greatest poets, Carlos Drumond de Andrade, or rather, his statue. The one speaking so eloquently is a local resident, just back from the pub. By the looks of it, they’re having a grand conversation.
So there you go. There must be some kind of overarching lesson in these two stories, but it completely eludes us. We’re just happy to combine booze with fairies, poetry and companionship in a single post.

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Merry Juana

Cops Seize German Pot Plant

Decorated as Christmas Tree

The holiday cheers, which had an earlier start this year at a household in Montabaur near Koblenz, Germany, are already over. And the place’s main resident, an “old 68er,” which is how Germans call former activists of the long ago peace protests of 1968, is under arrest for drug possession.

It all started when the police got to the house and found about 150g of marijuana, which in most nights, would be enough to cheer up any peace activist, let alone law enforcers with a mandate to book you.

But before they left, they noticed an odd-looking tree in the living room. Under closer scrutiny, the centerpiece of the holiday decoration turned out to be a six-feet tall pot plant on a tree stand, with cute twinkling string lights.

As the now not-so-cheery fellow explained while being led away by the buzzkill squad, the tree was not quite ready for “Silent Night” just yet, and the plan was to add gifts under it. Just like it’s done everywhere else.

And you thought the business of holiday folly is alive and well in Germany. Or buzzkill squads were a thing of the past.

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50 Years in 3 Minutes

“>

Ad Tells Story

in 60,000 Pics

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Voodoo Child

Jimi Hendrix’s Legacy

Reaches Age of the iPod

Rock’s arguably greatest guitar player would’ve been 68 today. But most of what was relevant about his life and legacy has already been regurgitated this past September, 40 years of his death.

Which clears our schedule today to only enjoy his music, never mind what it’d all be were he still around.

In rock’s recent history, 1970 was as a chockfull of landmarks year as few others. That’s why, 40 years later, we found ourselves once more talking and reading about Jimi Hendrix.

And about Janis, who also died the same year, and Jim and John, who both share a fateful date next month – you’ll hear more about that soon enough – and there surely be many others.

The day belongs to the paratrooper from Seattle, though. So if you’re heading to the the corner coffee shop, have a load to soak at the laundromat, or simply are planning to take it easy, he’s your guy.

Crowd pleasers Hey Joe, Foxy Lady, Purple Haze or All Along the Watchtower usually get the first pick. But since his recorded ouvre is limited, you’ll be through with it all before the dryer’s done. But you’ll, cue the smoky voice, gonna like the way you’ll feel; we guarantee it.

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‘Tiss the Season

Punch a Panda

and Feel Better

Just in time for Christmas. Or Chanukah. Are you disappointed with the way that job interview went? No problem. Mad you won’t be able to get a single gift of your holiday shopping list? It happens. Sad people walked away from you in the subway as soon as you began your series of very witty and straight to the point out-loud comments about the news you’ve just read? Never mind. For instead of start cursing, kicking and acting all crazy, you can now just punch a panda.

That’s right. Performance artist Nate Hill came up with a very selfless way to offer solace to his fellow New Yorkers: he dons a panda suit and invites them to punch their frustrations away. And it’s cheap too. Thank goodness someone is really doing some good during this oh so festive but stressful as hell season. He’s also available for weddings, bachelor parties and bar mitzvahs, we hear. And no, he’s not related to that Sad Panda who depressed the bejesus of everyone around the Wall Street area last year.

This is such a gracious idea that we’re sure Hill’s already got some hearty hugs from satisfied strangers, right after they clobbered him with loaded-combinations and vicious uppercuts, venting their troubles. It sounds dangerous too, we agree, and we fear for his sense of judgement, offering himself so openly that way. But we also wonder why couldn’t we come up with ways of our own to help dwellers of this great city to cope with the current state of affairs?

While we let our inner Muhammad Ali have a go at a punching bag, in case we run into the altruistic bear-attired Brooklynite, what if both Pandas would meet? Would Punch-me suggest the other to get out of his (or hers) funky by throwing a few punches too? What if they’d get into an argument? Jee, what if they really go at it? That’s the spirit, practicing cynicals of every shade would jump at it right away. We wouldn’t touch that with a boxing glove, though.

Instead, we’d be spoiled enough to offer our own round of err footwork to complement his act, one that obviously we haven’t be able to come up with even when were smashed against the canvas, barely hearing the count, as it often happened. But what if we’d list our grievances and pay him to shout them out loud, all the while being hit by our potent jabs Or what about having the Sad Panda offering some additional encouragement, that is, reasons why, yeah, we need to punch a panda pronto? He could always end his interventions with a, “it won’t help you but go and let him have it,” for example.

Finally, what if the Panch-me Panda would be allowed to turn the tables and begin to (grasp) let US have it? Maybe some of us are already convinced it’s all our fault, anyway, so why not go for that kind of twisted therapy and be done with? Think about it. In the end, we could all share a pint or something. Or find a post for that special holiday for the rest of us, Festivus.

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Naked Meal

“>A Thanksgiving Prayer

“> by William Burroughs

“Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal

of the last and greatest of the human dreams.”

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Farewell Flippy

“>

A Nightmare Before Christmas

for Those Who Love YouTube Star

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Ghost Ride

Under New York, a Storied

Past Missed its Last Train

Paris has the old Catacombs. Capadocia, in Turkey, exists atop dozens of underground villages. And New York City has its subway tunnels, where abandoned stations are connected by miles of uncompleted tracks.

Recent news about a graffiti show that opened somewhere under Williamsburg renewed interest in the dark recesses of this city, the forbidden vaults carved in the bedrock of Manhattan and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Perhaps unrelated to the latest wave of attention, the MTA now allows commuters of the #6 train a glimpse of what once was the crown jewel of the system: the City Hall station. Just stay on as the train loops after the Brooklyn Bridge station, to go back uptown, and you’ll briefly pass its elegant Art Deco lines and exquisite architectural beauty. You may even take a tour there, if you fancy seeing it up close and in detail, but you probably already saw at least parts of it, or a mock up of it, in the many movies it’s been featured on since it was abandoned in 1945.

Beyond the splendor in the dark, though, which speaks of a glamorous time of cocktail parties by the platforms and Hollywood starlets being introduced to the metropolis by local politicians of the era, there’s always been another world breathing down there. It’s a world of ghosts and shadows, rodents and vermin, of stray pets and missing family members.

A secluded community of the dispossessed and the dejected, the forgotten and the ignored by the society above, that dwells along those non-electrified tracks, known with certain derision as the Mole People. Through the windows of the speeding trains, you may even catch a brief glimpse of their faces, quickly receding to the darkness.

So brief in fact that no one has had the chance to ask them what they think about the new show, and the attention it’s gathering from the police. The latest bunch of daring artists has been busy playing cat and mouse with the MTA and so are the visitors following them, who parachute down below through cracks and sewage tubes, in search for the rare exhibit.

It’s all just another New York you don’t hear often in the news, or see on the tabloid shows on celebrities. Not nearly as ancient as those hidden sites in Europe. No meaningful amount of blood and carnage is associated with its history, and besides being buried, it shares only dirt and big rats with those foreign chambers that once served as refuge to runaways from one ruler or another.

Our tunnels claim their own brand of hide and seek excitement to account for. Mostly hiding actually. The Mole people hide from the MTA, the artists try to avoid the police, the night tourists sometimes get lost, and the rats run away from everyone they don’t yet know. It’s all mostly devoid of human skulls that we know of, of course. But it’s where we live, so we’re running with it. Got that?

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Walk in His Shoes

Scary Homemade Frodo Feet

To Make Middle Earth Proud

This mom outdid herself this time. She manufactured this Hobbit Sneaker for her 9-year old son, and he’s about to wow the competition in a school presentation of the Fellowship of the Ring kind. As J.R.R.Tolkien would say, “Let him not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the darkness fall.”

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Change the World

TED Award for J R,

Street Provocateur

If you’re not well acquainted with the agitprop world of graffiti expression or street art, or don’t live in one of the slums of South America, Asia and Africa, you may never have heard of J R, the secretive Parisian artist who just won the TED’s 2011 “Wishes Big Enough to Change the World” award.

But to scores of impoverished communities around the world, it’s a well earned acknowledgment to the artist, whose giant photographs of local residents have been plastered all over shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta and Nairobi.

The scope and scale of the photos help to give residents instant visibility to outsiders who otherwise would remain oblivious to those communities. It’s a creative way to draw attention to their social, economical and political struggles, all the while adding an element of beauty to landscapes littered with roughly assembled shacks its dwellers build and rebuild over time.

Thus the California lecture series’ award, named for its connection to technology, entertainment and design, adds J R to an eclectic list of past recipients, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, singer Bono and chef Jamie Oliver.

He was neither aware nor had applied to the $100 thousand award, but learned he’d won it on his way to another disappearing neighborhood in Shanghai. There, amid the demolition rubble, he’s been plastering big slabs of broken cinderblocks with pictures of former residents without any permission from the Chinese government.

It’s all in a day’s work for a semi-obscure artist who refuses corporate sponsorship, sells his work for top dollar at galleries and auction houses, and uses the proceedings to fund projects aimed at social change. No word yet on what it’ll be his next wish to change the world.

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Pet Offender

Suffolk to Track

Animal Abusers

Here’s a national registry that couldn’t have come any time sooner. Just like sex offenders are required by law to disclose their whereabouts to a nationwide database, so will people convicted of offenses against animals, at least in this Long Island, New York, county.

It’s the equivalent to the Megan’s Law, which was finally established after one too many brutal atrocities against children were committed by convicted criminals at large. If it could not bring back or even heal those already victimized, it did prevent an unknown number of new cases.

Such legislation, allowing anyone to accuse someone else of abuse, has its critics, of course. But in practice, it’s been proven effective in way too many instances, without preventing the persecution of individual cases of civil right violations.

Apart from forcing convicted abusers to inform communities about their comings and goings, the legislation also aims at preventig them from ever adopting animals. Overall, it may wind up helping to set standards for a future national registry.

The coward, pathological and utterly disturbing habit of inflicting pain to animals is now considered part of the criminal profiling of serial killers, and related to patterns of domestic violence and sex abuse. The correlation is considerably more controversial when it comes to medical research.

In fact, there’re some who advocate the end of all clinical research involving animals, arguing that its costs far outweight possible benefits from the practice. So far, pharmaceutic laboratories, themselves highly funded and well connected multinationals, have successfully discredited such claims.

But while the debate over the issue rages on, it’s about time we start tracking and penalizing those who enjoy harming the defenseless.

A word of caution, though, about this registry and, by extension, the nature of any listing: someone like Adolf Hitler, for example, would never be in such database. For despite being a mass murderer, he was also an animal lover.

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Meet My Little Friend

When Fear & Inequality

Sleep With Our Children

A collection of portraits of kids around the world and the places where they lie down to dream every night may have been what James Mollison had in mind for his book of pictures, “Where Children Sleep.” The stark succession of contrasts between wealthy and extremelly poor boys and girls, and their refuges, which sometimes resemble little castles, and in others are more like scary dumps, are disclosed right from the opening page.

But as the photos show the places where they play and make up the fantasies that will inform their growth and reflect their despair or faith in the future, they also reveal where these kids are coming from, what’s important for them right now, and where they may be heading to. It’s all there, along with their proud or innocent or empty expressions, the objects of their current affection, or simply their stare back at you with a million unarticulated questions.

Meet 11 year old Joey, for example, from Kentucky, U.S., grasping one of his two shotguns, and see the bunker he calls his bedroom. Or the anonymous boy who sleeps on an outdoor mattress in the outskirts of Rome, Italy. Or Lamine, 12, and his axe, a full time worker from Senegal. It’s a bolt to our system to think that if they ever make it to our own age, some clues of what their future holds are already present in these pictures.

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Happy (Week) End

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UFOs Over NYC

“>

“>About Those Fuzzy, Shiny Blobs

“> You Saw Flying Over Your Head

Weather balloons? Allien exploratory spaceshifts? Carl Paladino’s porn emails? No one will ever know. A seemingly metallic object, or a group of them, depending on who you ask, floating on the skies above Chelsea Wednesday morning stopped New Yorkers on their tracks.

As usual, no clear, steady, HD picture has ever come up from the apparition, which makes one wonder: While there’s always plenty of high quality shots of celebrity underwears, no matter how many bodyguards they place between you and the tabloid-drawing starlet, when you need a single, straight pic of a civilization-changing moment, there’s never any available.

But being as it may, whatever it was that attracted all those raised pointing fingers, one thing it was not: the first one to astound the city for just about a minute or so, before it resumed its much fuzzier, equally uncertain but way more determined trajectory to wherever it was that it was heading to. As to us, as usual, we’re as clueless as we were before. So move on and thanks for all the fish.

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xxx

Animal News

A Flying Donkey, A Crashing Whale & 500 Dead Penguins

Suddenly, three unusual animal stories broke news yesterday throughout the world. Colltales couldn’t help it but tried to make sense of them all. It couldn’t, of course. Yet, if their deeper meaning eluded everyone, in the end, some sort of twisted justice did prevail.

In a Russian beach, a mentally-challenged entrepreneur paraded for half hour a terrified donkey 50 feet above stunned beach goers on the ground. The police of Golubitskaya, on the Sea of Azoz, may consider animal cruelty charges against him. Oh the humanity, etc.

Thousand of miles away, in Brazil, other beaches also witnessed a sad spectacle: 500 dead penguins washed ashore, their stomachs completely empty, biologists found out later. These birds are known to beach themselves there at this time of the year but no one had ever seen so many dead together or even has any idea why. Ill-fated migrants.

And to wrap it all up, out of the blue, for no apparent reason, a 40-ton right whale crashed a sailing boat in the waters off Cape Town, in South Africa. The impact flatten the boat’s mast and terrified the tourists aboard who, up to that point, were having a whale of a good time. But no one put it better than a sailor who saw it happened: “It looked like it was angry or something…” No shit.

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Sick Stunt

Parasailing Donkey May 

Lead to Cruelty Charges

Another proof mankind may not be the most evolved species on this planet. A Russian entrepreneur trying to attract attention to his parasailing business, had the ill-conceived idea of parading a donkey 50 feet above stunned beach goers on the ground.

Witnesses said the poor creature was flailing his limbs in fear and, after half hour, was dragged through sea and sand as he was lowered down. Despite some locals’ dubious claim that the donkey did not suffer, the police of Golubitskaya, on the Sea of Azoz, may consider animal cruelty charges against the unidentified business.

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The Sun, Manya 

& Brigitte Bardot

This story starts as a tragedy. Its second act is now a farce. And before anyone knows whether there’ll even be a third part, the British tabloids are already treating it as a comedy. All but one, that is.

Last month, a picture of a donkey, harnessed by a colorful parachute 50 meters above a Russian beach, caused outrage around the world. The stone-hearted owner of a small parasailing business who came up with the cruel stunt attracted almost universal scorn and, one hopes, must’ve lost a few customers too.

The curtain call for the second act of this unoriginal tale finds British tabloid The Sun allegedly buying the donkey for 70,000 rubles, about $2,400, and moving her to an “elite Kremlin stable,” where she is getting massages, eating organic carrots and looking “ass-stonishingly healthy,” to quote such a guardian of the English vernacular.

Praise and gratitude to the Sun ensued from all over until the donkey’s owner, one Vasily Gorobets, is interviewed by the other jealous tabloids, and they all have a hearty laugh. It turned out the Sun’d purchased the wrong donkey.

Hahaha, they all go, and you wouldn’t be held in contempt if their joy would elicit in you visions of hyenas just before feasting in some leftover carcass. Hahaha indeed.

Enters former sex symbol-turned animal activist Brigitte Bardot to close the proceeding for now. The French actress, who was first at complaining to Vladimir Putin about the stupid stunt above the Black Sea beach, confirms that Anapka, the sold donkey, is not Manya, the flying one, who by the way, never left the loving care of Gorobets.

Actually, wasn’t Gorobets supposed to be slapped with some kind of animal cruelty charge by the police, as it was mentioned at that time? Nyet. We should be so lucky.

And since it’s unlikely that there’ll be any takers for a third act of this summer dud, it may be time to put it all to rest. Good night, Manya. Bonne nuit, Brigitte Bardot.

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Dead Migrants

Dead Penguins in Brazil’s 

Beaches Starved to Death

A record number of dead penguins with empty stomachs washed ashore in Brazil in the past 10 days. Overfishing may be the cause for their death by starvation, marine biologists say.

But no one knows why so many more than usual died this time around, up to 500 black-and-white Magellan penguins, found in three Sao Paulo state beaches.

They migrate this time of the year from Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands searching for food in warmer waters, but usually only 10 in average end up dead in Brazilian beaches.

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Beautiful People

Tree Dwellers 

Get Recognition

The almost 3,000 members of the nomadic tribe Korowai, or Koroway, from Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua, were officially recognized and counted by the Papuan census this year.

Anthropologists began studying this elusive tribe, one of about 250 still unknown groups in the region, in the late 1970s. Like them, the Korowai speak their own language but only a handful is able to read or write it. They live in wooden homes as high as 164 feet from the forest floor in families of up to eight, and excel at horticulture, hunting and fishing.

Welcome and good luck in this sad, toxic and dangerous congregation we call contemporary human society. You’ll learn soon enough that you’ll need it.

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Rainbow in Arabic

First Gay Magazine 

In Classic Language

Mithly, a free underground publication focused on issues affecting alternative sexual lifestyles, is causing a commotion in Morocco and the rest of the Arab world. The magazine, which would be strictly forbidden by Islamic law, surprises for its non-confrontational approach but, as expected, it’s already attracting the wrath of religious zealots. Its mostly expatriate publishers and even readers face harsh penalties, including prison terms. Although not the first publication of its kind, Mithly is the first to use the classic Arabic language. Its name is a word play loosely meaning “equal like me.”

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Bull Market

Matador

Julio Aparicio

Is Gored

The spilled blood of another bullfighter was left to dry Saturday on the dirt of Plaza de los Toros, in Madrid. Famous torero Julio Aparicio lost his balance and fell under Opiparo, a half-ton bull who stabbed him repeatedly through the jaw. The injuries, although horrific, are not life threatening and Julio, who’s the son of another bullfighter with the same name, is expected to fully recover. Opiparo however was killed immediately after the incident. (Graphic content)

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A Nightmare Retold

CONFIRMING OUR WORST FEARS

 

Waterboarding,

Tapes Destroyed, Iraq

and the Plame Leak

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou tells it all to TruthOut

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Dismayland

Entre Favelas et DisneyLand by Jeff Gillette

(Boing Boing)

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Under the Midwest Skies

Fireball Over Iowa, Missouri & Indiana

April, 2010

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Blue Jeans River

* At the blue jean capital of the world, manufacturing of the beloved fabric is responsible for the pollution of the Pearl River Delta, as satellite images show. Watch the video. CNN via Huffington Post

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Time Capsule

* Times Squarein the 40s

A short excerpt by Louis Faurer

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Short & Shot

Werner Herzog

narrates RaimiBahrami‘s

Plastic Bag

Then, he gets shot (on camera):

BBC INTERVIEW

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Lost Cat

Free Teasing

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The Calls

An Audio Portrait

 

East Village in the 80s through my answering machine. Greeting messages, friendly voices, a recordedecstasy and many tongues were left on tape for me to remember. Now I’m sharing it a        

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May Day

Shepard Fairey

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Inner Slideshow

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Color Me Lost

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This Week in God

Friendly

Reminder:

People Do

Keep Tags.

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Good Day Sunshine

Happy Birthday 

Sir James Paul!

The lefty bass player of the world’s greatest band is 68.

Perhaps this is a good time as ever

to choose your favorite song.

Here’s to an enduring (and melodious) legacy.

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Desmodus Pop

Some of the 

Same & Lots of

What’s News

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Demodus Sun

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Old Folk

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Precedent

Vuvuzela’s 

Noble Past

A recent-uncovered painting from the 1660s depicts a supporter of Cherubin FC using the now infamous horn to torment his adversary.

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Rainbow Hill

Brush of Fresh Colors 

Changes Favela in Rio

Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, two Dutch artists, had a very good idea. They asked residents to paint the facades of 34 houses of Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Marta favela. The result is visually arresting and socially relevant. The painters were paid for the facelift of their community. “O Morro” (which means both the hill and the slum), as the two-year ongoing project is called, didn’t solve ingrained social woes afflicting one of the world’s most beautiful cities nor it intended to. But it does make a difference for the better.

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Ring a Star

Happy 70th, 

Mr. Starkey

The drummer whose chemistry with three of rock’s greatest songwriters helped them all became the 20th century’s music most successful band is 70 years old today. Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr.

Some say it’s his birthday and he says, it’s alright, in my head, I’m 24. It’s been a long and winding road and he was ushered to our public conscience with a little help from his friends John, Paul and George.

You’ll read the news elsewhere, boy. Here’s to a very talented artist who must be the world’s greatest drummer, since he played in the world’s greatest band. Here’s to Ringo, we’ll be thinking of you.

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LostCat Oil Painting

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Excusez-Moi

Need an Excuse? 

It’s Bastille Day!

Both Fourth of July and Bastille Day mark the birth of two new nations, the U.S. and France, and the beginning of a new era. But although their founding ideals are forever linked, the beginning of the French Revolution also signals the start of a bloody popular uprising that history could not shake loose from the loft ideals the date still invokes.

For the dark side of “Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!” chanted during the fall of the iconic prison, is the also iconic beheading of Marie Antoniette and the following political instability that caused widespread death and destruction.

Three centuries later, there can be no doubt of the worthiness of the French political changes that helped ignite democratic ideals throughout the world at the end of the 1700s, however fraught with social inequality and plagued by an all-too often resurgence of authoritarian regimes.

So have a Pernod Ricard and think about what today is all about. There’s no need to sing La Marseillaise again to remind yourself how luck you are.

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Naked Joke

Nazi Mickey Poster 

Causes Stir in Poland

It’s not the first time Italian artist Max Papeschi takes an elaborated, albeit cheap, shot at the Disney iconography. What never ceases to surprise anyone paying attention is how he always prompts the same outraged reaction.

All it took, this time, was for him to slap Mickey Mouse’s head on a naked female body with a swastika next to it, for good measure, and voilà, another eruption of enraged comments popped up all over the European press.

The gigantic outdoor poster with the image is at the entrance of the artist’s new show in Poland, where predictably strong feelings about nazi horrors are still raw. But a quick search on the Internet shows that Disney and the nazi iconography are familiar themes in his work and have often provoked controversy in the past.

From an artistic point of view, his work is generally not very successful at what it seems to aim for. For one, its lack of subtleness short-changes its critical intentions, and deems what could be a meditation on the cross section of political despotism and popular culture into a shallow exercise of graphic craftsmanship.

What transpires in the end is an absolute hunger for shock value, not thought provoking aspirations, wrapped up into a Photoshop 101 package. So what’s not short of amazement is that such a rehash of interchangeable themes of visual culture still cause such a stir.

We should all be glad that Roy Lichtenstein, to name but one of the few great ones, is no longer with us; he’d be deeply offended about this whole “Bam!””Boom!”, no question about it.

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Time to Go

Dinner Is Served at the 

Second Door to Your Left

There’s an unforgettable scene in Louis Bunuel‘s “The Phantom of Liberty” (1974) when the party guests pull down their undergarments and sit on toilet bowls at what looks like a dinner table, that’s a fine example of the master Spanish filmmaker’s sense of surrealistic humor rarely seen these days at movie theaters anywhere.

Leave it to the Chinese, though, to dilute and emulate the scene in the context of a restaurant chain, no less, that opened first in Taipei exactly 30 years after the movie and it’s now spread out to Hong Kong and the mainland. Although here no one is required to pull down their paints in order to be served, the humor of the whole situation is not amiss.

In the movie, one of the protagonists goes to the bathroom and opens a cabinet, where a dinner plate is ready to be eaten. When someone knocks, he obviously says, as anyone would, “It’s busy.” One wonders whether the Chinese restaurant’s owner Wang Tzi-wei thought, at least for a moment, in having some kind of take on that scene too. Most likely, he hasn’t even seen the movie. It doesn’t matter.

This is one of those cases where you need to wash your hands before you go to the toilet. Bon Appetit!

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Desmodus Cartonizer

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Steamy Saturday

A Day to Beat This 

Coney Island Crowd?

Independence Day, 1961.

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River Square

Five Blue Plazas at the 

Heart of the Big Apple

Some of Times Squarepedestrian plazas are being turned into a blue water river. Molly Dillworth won the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City with her “Cool Water, Hot Island” project to paint some of the most walked on paths of the Great White Way, from 42nd to 47th Street. The plazas will remain blue until 2012.

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LostCat Warhol

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Grandma Grass

Nanny Got a Brand New Bag

No wonder.

She can’t

remember

what she did

with her pot.

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Solar Tsunami

Sun Storm Graces Earth 

With Spectacular Lights

We’ve just been hit by 10 billion tons of superheated gas hurled by the sun and the result was some of the most beautiful Aurora Borealis displays across the northern U.S., Canada and parts of Europe seen in years.

The solar storm, charged particles of plasma interacting with our planet’s magnetic field, was originated by a huge flare above a giant sunspot the size of the earth.

The resulting explosion on the star’s surface sent a shock wave racing towards us at a million miles per hour. But for the sun and the earth, it was all a day’s work. Now, aren’t you glad you stuck around long enough to live through it?

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Vanished

Last Cab 

Ride for a

New York

Judge

80 years ago today, Judge Joseph Force Crater hailed a cab at the corner of 45th Street and 8th Avenue never to be seen again. The case of the State Supreme Court justice went cold after a few decades but never ceased to ignite New Yorkers’ imagination.

One of them, novelist Peter Quinn, just released “The Man Who Never Returned,” a fictional account about what may’ve happened to Crater, who served with Peter Quinn senior at the Foley Square courthouse.

Crater stepped into oblivion but will live forever, whether his case is solved or not. To us, though, it’s just delightful to be entrusted with his lore and one Sally Lou Ritz, 22, a showgirl he had his last meal with and who also disappeared a few weeks after him. For a time, his name became a colloquial reference, as in, he pulled a Judge Crater on me. But then the Great Depression hit and these two never got a chance to inspire a single Broadway musical.

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InkWriting

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Undiscovered Country

New Island Off France 

Sets Off Old Arguments

It’s not on any map or chart yet. It has no name. At high tide, it’s about the size of two and a half football fields, but it’s at least 10 times larger when the tide is low. And it’s 20 minutes off the French coast, near the mouth of the Gironde estuary. That’s pretty much all everybody can agree about it.

To some, “L’île Mystérieuse” is not even an island, but a sandbank. There are those who believe it’s only 18 months old, while others swear they’ve been going there for 15 years. Environmentalists, geologists and naturalists say the island is likely to expand, rather than disappear, and therefore, should be protected from the human presence.

Partygoers and regular visitors wish such buzzkillers would just go away and let them do as they please on the new land. They even congregate under the “île Mystérieuse Liberation Front.” For them, it should be declared a semi-independent territory of the people, and all this talk about regulation is just too much.

Oh, but there’s something else everyone seems to agree about the Mysterious Island: it’s very, very beautiful. And it’s French, of course.

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ArtisteSepian

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33 Years Ago

Millions Remember Today Where

They Were When Elvis Presley Died

(1/8/1935-8/16/1977)

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Catcher in the Toilet

EBay to Sell Salinger’s 

Commode for $1 Million

It’s authentic. It’s unwashed. And now it can be all yours to keep. Or sit on it. Or put it on your living room, Marcel Duchamp style. Some even say it’s a great investment.

In a staggering gesture of nose-averting bad taste, the new owners of the house where J.D. Salinger lived for 48 years in Cornish, New Hampshire, decided to sell some of its items.

Nothing better to start the proceedings, they must’ve reasoned, than with its toilet bowl and, since we’re at it, why not put it on eBay, so to attract maximum attention and quite likely the best price?

Many a fan is thanking heavens, as we speak, that the über-private author of “The Catcher in the Rye” has left us in January at 91, before having to duck once again the onslaught of media exposure such sale would surely ensue.

Or not. It is just a toilet bowl, for crying out loud. We’re all humans, sort of grown-ups, and have seen worst displays of insensitivity towards sacred cows in our own time. Besides, we heard the sellers are accepting best offers, so there you go. But this whole business does stink.

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We Rest Our Case

Can’t Grasp Their Soul? 

Bid for Their Toilet Bowls

First it was J.D. Salinger’s unwashed toilet bowl that showed up on eBay a few weeks ago for a $1 million asking bid. Now, it’s John Lennon’s, for $500 thousand more. What’s next? Nothing else, that’s what should be next.

Hey, we’re as open minded as the next nun, but enough of this, er, garbage. Either scatology is the next black in the auction markets or more people are willing to get down and dirty to make a buck or connect to their favorite celebrity than we were ready to admit. In any way, we insist, this whole business stinks.

In the same lot of Lennon’s blue porcelain commode, there’re real treasuries. Like the limited mono edition of “Two Virgins,” his first public collaboration with Yoko Ono; a small harmonica that belonged to his son, Julian; a black and white picture of a young Paul McCartney; Beatles autographs and other memorabilia, all worth some good money.

But it’s the bathroom bowl of Lennon’s Tittenhurst Park residence that’s been getting the most, un-kosher attention. It may go back to the closet where it’d been stored for 40 years, if it’s not sold, and it’s just as well. At least, it may take us that long to understand why it was even put up for sale.

But before that, wanna know one last meaningless, creepy piece of shoddy coincidence related to the sale of these bowls? The man who shot John Lennon was holding a copy of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”. What? We said it was meaningless.

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Caption These

How Would You 

Call These Pics?

Create an intriguing caption, a single sentence for each of these photos and the three best ones will be published here a month from today. Winners will also be added to the exclusive Colltales Friends mailing list.

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* Here Are the Winning Entries. Thanks to All Participants.              And Welcome the Newest Colltales’ Inner Circle Members.

We Bake, Boot 

Pealing & Mask

1. You should see what they bake for Christmas.    2. Japan won’t have Paris but she’s welcome to my wall Italy. 3. Paul, is that really you?

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Appetite

Two Forks, 

a Pen & a

Toothbrush

It happened late at night. The particularly indulgent weekend party was at full blast and there was no sign it was about to be wrapped up.

According to anonymous revelers, what was supposed to be an elegant meal with some fancy dancing, had quickly turned into the kind of affair where people run naked for no particular reason and whoever is around is fair game to everyone else’s lust.

Witnesses clearly recall the moment when someone pulled out a ballpoint pen and began chasing one of the servers around the house. The rest is a blur by most accounts.

It seems that there was some cheering, at first, no one knows why, then a few moments of silence, and then a big, collective wail that brought everyone’s revelry to a screeching halt.

That’s when the cops came. But even now, no one can explain the toothbrush. So, children, see this X-ray picture? Can you think of an reasonable explanation? Neither can we.

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About Last Night

Coney Island 

Was So Pretty,

Blurry Lights

& Fireworks

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Bearded

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13th Step

The Advertising Campaign That 

Boosted the Alcoholics Anonymous

This picture provoked shock and a national debate in the 1930s. From being an acceptable method for helping treat alcoholic addiction, public indignation deemed it a form of “cruel and unusual punishment” that should be fazed out immediately.

After only a few hours staring at the photograph, research subjects would break down and cry uncontrollably. The race was then on to find another suitable therapy to address self-destructive conduct.

Enter Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith who created the Twelve Step program in 1935, initially focused on alcohol addiction and then adapted to other forms of misbehavior. The rest is tipsy history.

Only now, though, the truth about what happened to the picture can be told: It was adopted for years by police departments throughout the country as a form of torture and intimidation.

It seems that even hardcore criminals couldn’t resist it.

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Look Alike

Ghostbusters’ Ecto 1 

Replica Up for Auction

The first movie launched the franchise in 1984; the second came out five years later, and a third installment is expected for 2012. Between then and now, video games, comix and novels enjoyed almost as much success as the first two movies. So did the cast and the car they drove.

The modified 1959 Cadillac S&S ambulance known in the movies as Ecto 1 underwent further changes as the series went along. And so did countless replicas that pop up every once in a while in commercials, tributes, homages and the like. The latest version is up for auction September 25.

Its owner spent a considerable amount of money retrofitting it externally to look like the Ecto, and the interior, as a modern limousine. But still stands to make a profit from his effort, due to the enduring popularity of the Ghostbusters movies.

To properly explain such popularity and that of its props may take much longer than what it’ll probably take for the car to be sold, even if its asking price is close to $100 thousand. By the way, they’re still accepting bids. In case you don’t have that kind of cash, though, may we ask, who you’re gonna call?

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Desmodus Cartoon

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Two After 909

We Still Remember it. 

No Need to Talk About it.

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Wesunder

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Britney Who?

Spears, Whose Chewed Up 

Gum Sold for $500 on eBay

(You may insert here a clever reference to the political outlook for eBay’s former CEO.)

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WesBlue

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Aghast

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Sketchy

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Croc Is to Blame

Crocodile Causes

Deadly Plane Crash

The crash of a commuter plane in Congo in August that killed 19 people was caused by a crocodile who got loose in the cabin while the aircraft prepared to land. As the stewardesses panic and hurried to the cockpit, so did the passengers, causing a stampede that threw the plane off balance.

According to the crash’s sole survival, a passenger had hid the reptile in a big sports bag, hoping to sell it in Bandundu, the flight’s destination from the capital Kinshasa.

The plane went down and exploded on an empty house near the airport. The crocodile survived the accident but was killed afterward by a blow from a machete. Neither the animal’s size nor his killer are known at this time.

It was the worst instance of a crocodile bringing down an aircraft but not the only one. Last year, a helicopter crashed in Australia, after the pilot decided to fly over one such reptile and have a closer look. He and his passenger survived.

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Blind Wessie

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Old Art

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SketchWes

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WesEffXX

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PixieWes

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RoundPeak

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WesEff

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Blue Ghost

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WesLego

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Lostcat Warhol

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UnempWes

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Wes Stamp

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Stained Wes

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ColorBarWes

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Wes58

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Aghast

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Philippe “Wes” Previl

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Wes CPAPX2

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Working Class Wes

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Glass & Teeth

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WexComix

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Purpwes

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Catch Wes

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Ol’ 57

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CharcoWes

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Old Hat

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CarniWes

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WesCube

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Shadow Wes

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PixelWes

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B&Writer

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WesObam

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WesBarro

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WesPhantom

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Weshot

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YelloEyes

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GraphWes

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AlgaeWes

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Picture X

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WesGhost

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Dark Mirror

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BlueEyed

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WesX9

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Wes Lichenstein

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WesHead

HalfGlassWes

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WesBlackRedLine

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YellowCartoon

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MLK

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GreekishWes

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BlackWes

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WesLego

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DoubleMirrorWes

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LipstickWes

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HangingWes

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3ColloredWes

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FadingYelloWes

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FrankenWes

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RIPWes

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HalfBlueWes

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TwinWes

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YelloWeyes

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WesbyLeoNegX

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BlendedNegWes

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WesByLeoRedWar

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WesHalfGlass

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Wesgelicus

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WesFades

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WesbyLeoYelRedWar

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WesMarLey 1980

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BrownTwinWes

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WesTrip

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WesStarOnFire

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PurpleWes

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BlueRedWes

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WesFawkes

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IntervieWes

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ClownWes

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WesBluRept

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WesComix

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BlindYelloWes

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WesNegWar

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TriangWes

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WesX3Ghosts

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WesWarNeg

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WesWasHot

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StrangMix

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WesNeedlePoint

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ReticWes

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WesYel

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WesTroixMénestrels

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WesMarbleDouble

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HoodieWes

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WesYears

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WesCube

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CamouflageWes

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OldArt

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FatEyedWes

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Wes9Spades

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WesTube

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FFAAWes

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BluesClues

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PixilyWes

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Wes2Ages

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DreadWes

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Stormy Wes

ZineWes II

SePixWes

SePixWes

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BlueKid64

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BlueFoamStatue

BlueFoamStatue

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RedSunWes

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GhostWes

GhostWes

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TexturedWes

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3-DBlueWes

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DarkBluGhost

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WesFawkes

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WesNeedlePt

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Sleep in Flames

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WesBarro

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WesHoodDiaries2

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AngryDandyWes

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SkyEyes

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Burning Wes

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X-ColorWes

X-ColorWes

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CanvasWes

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RadioactiveWes

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AvatarWes

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CellWes

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WesWarhol

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EarthWes

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WesPixel

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RoundedWes

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WesJelFish

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VapidWes

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RedishWes

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WesMosaic

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TriPartWes

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WesFellini

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HoodWes

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DuoWesAvatar

DuoWesAvatar

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WesPinetta

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SkyWes

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WebWes

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NocturnalWes

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WesNewsMosaic

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Wes64

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4XWes

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WesXAvatar

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WesCat

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WesNews

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WesBraz

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WesPil

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WesBraFla

WesBraFla

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WesEleUs

WesEleUS

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DigWes

DigWes

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One thought on “VideoPhotoAudio

  1. fernanda says:

    ainda não tinha visto todas essas fotos! gostei delas!
    mas ver dá mais saudade…
    bjs,
    fer

    Like this

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