Monday, February 6, 2023

Really, Seriously?!?

We needed a radar evading, stealth, fifth generation jet fighter armed with a Sidewinder air to air missile to take down... a balloon, a balloon?!?

If ya really wanted to humiliate China, ya send up a biplane with a propeller and machine gun and rat-tat-tat the fucker down King Kong style. And even that's overkill- hell, meet it on its own terms... send up the Good Year blimp and have the copilot ride shotgun! That's the kind of embarrassment that'll deflate any thought of future balloon incursion!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

That's Gratitude For Ya!

You'd think that after fixing up the rotting pier where it now stands to the tune of millions in order to show the public world class art (photography) exhibits for absolutely free (exhibits that would go for double figures these days)- yeah, you'd think that would count for... something! So the good people in charge right here in San Francisco decided to show their appreciation by throwing Pier 24 Photography out- lock, stock and barrel...

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Funny Sick, Or Funny Ha-Ha?

Always amusing how those who attack "feelings," are the same who live by them (as opposed to say... Facts).

Great speech, that ignores the fact that many people are desperately working to bring about change, and being completely ignored, by: the fossil fuel industries, by Conservative, Right Wing politicians (who deny climate change even exists, and if it does, is not man made) and governments by and large, rich and poor. Every few years, these world governments get together, solemnly pledge great things they will accomplish in a few short years, and then proceed to do absolutely... NOTHING.

Meanwhile, Big Oil continues to get subsidized, innovative, clean alternatives continue to get underfunded, and plans for even more climate conventions are made, driving people to the point of near madness where they desperately end up throwing soup on paintings as their elders hasten to mindlessly poison their very future. The ice caps are melting, the permafrost is melting, and glaciers are disappearing wholesale while giant sink holes are appearing in Siberia releasing unprecedented levels of lethal methane. Island nations are disappearing into the Pacific, and storms are more devastating than ever as tornados appear where they never have before; droughts are longer and more severe worldwide, desertification is increasing, and the last ten years are the hottest on record...

Yeah, great speech (uh-huh)- and about as funny as a Republican with a snowball on the Senate floor.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Remembering 2 Minor Icons

A quick search of The Guardian last Sunday revealed the passing of a sublime guitar hero, and the examination of a noted photographer and documentarian who went to his grave with a very sobering secret...

I still remember the utter thrill upon first listening to Tom Verlaine's album Marquee Moon and being transported to rock & roll guitar heaven! The album was transcendent, a proto-punk who could actually play, a guitar virtuoso who delivered the goods tenfold, and still kept you wanting for more...

Meanwhile, Ernest Withers compiled an enormous body of work of a time and community that he alone was positioned to have such access- while at the same time compromising that very legacy with every shot he took, every life he documented, every secret he exposed...

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Proof!!!

 Of what, don't exactly know... but it's all the proof I need!!!

The Mars Barrr (NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona via SWNS)

Still don't believe?!?

Friday, January 27, 2023

What Happens When...

one group chooses to punish and humiliate another group as (Republican) investigators chose to when 'investigating' the... investigators?!? They are handed very credible evidence of very possible wrong doing by their own people and leader(s)- which they very quickly proceed to bury post haste!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

(In)Justice


Photo: © Stan Banos


I remember when they crucified Anita Hill in the '90s for the sake of the pubic hair fabulist (and Supreme Court Justice to be named) Clarence Thomas, he who decried Affirmative Action, only to employ his own very personalized version to outwit and defeat his critics in a basically All White Congressional 'jury,' by ever so sanctimoniously declaring himself the victim of a "high tech lynching." Giving credit where credit due, it was the most effective and sickening display of playing the "race card" by someone who professed to be so adamantly against the slightest hint of it. And the very same White Congressmen who most profoundly condemn said "race card" whenever allegedly used in society at large, cheered wildly as he unashamedly owned and abused it to his, and their advantage.

We were again treated to the same basic storyline in 2018 when human beer mold Brett Kavanaugh was accused of rape by yet another totally believable and truthful female witness, one Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Mr. Kavanaugh lashed out against those who doubted his denial of the accusations with some rather vehement verbal attacks and histrionics that at times bordered on the unhinged.

But this time- there would be an FBI investigation! I remember watching a former FBI agent on a cable news channel describing what such an investigation would entail. He assured viewers that such investigations were thorough beyond imagining, where no stone would remain unturned. Every friend and acquaintance of either party would be meticulously investigated, witness reports corroborated, and agents would personally drive Ms. Blasey around until the house in question where the alleged rape occurred would finally be located and confirmed! Have no doubt, all would be revealed...

Of course, none of the above happened. With Trump at the helm, it was a most deliberate and guaranteed whitewash specifically designed to get his man in. And once again, yet another absolute shit of a human being who openly mocked and degraded any semblance of law and justice was gleefully seated on our nation's highest court. 

Now comes a documentary called Justice, a film that exposes key bits and pieces of viable (and incriminating) information that were purposely ignored, not pursued and intentionally left out of the official 'investigation.' And one can only hope that the film throws open this case anew and ultimately leads to something akin to its title...

Friday, January 20, 2023

For Your (Remote) Consideration...

 

Hey, even if you're not buying any of it, ya gotta admit- you can't possibly have a cooler name than 
Ingo Swann. And then, there's this...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Would Have LOVED To Photograph This!!!

Cause I'm just a tumbleweed lovin' kinda guy! They've captured my imagination since I was a kid; aimlessly stumblin' and a bumblin' through the bleak Western landscape, always just the slightest bit leery that they would somehow transform into some malevolent mass, self awareness. And seeing them overtaking suburbia somehow adds yet another level of creepy surrealism...

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Facts, Documents And...

Well... the slam dunk on indicting/convicting Trump on classified documents just turned into a Hail Mary from halfcourt!

Yeah, I know, I know- apples and Appalachia; but facts no longer matter in the court of public opinion, and if you think that really doesn't matter- Puh-lease! Plus, they found the documents (in Biden's possession) in November, before election...

What was a 'sure thing,' easy-peasy Trump conviction on obstruction may now have to be discarded because it's hard to talk obstruction without first talking unlawful possession of classified documents- which they are both Guilty of! We had a plethora of criminal charges to convict the bastard: the sure bet is now arguably shot to shit, the insurrection charge is as real, as it is shaky- so full steam ahead with the voter fraud charges...

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Looking At Things...

João Rocha-   Looking At A Juice Box

via Kim Jong Il! Can't get any more direct and on point than the title of this book. Talk about a one trick pony- and it's a helluva trick ya never tire of, from one cover to the next! And that's what good photography is all about- in any book.

PS- Yeah, would love to read the notes those military officers are studiously scribbling down concerning Great Leader and... juice boxes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

There are Groomers...

As in the hysterical propaganda promoted by QANON- and then there are GROOMERS (the real kind) who uhhh... just happen to be in QANON (making up stuff about... groomers)!

Friday, January 6, 2023

Babylon

A mish-mosh of a film throughout, Babylon speeds through earliest Hollywood Blvd. like a cocaine fueled, slapstick farce, occasionally slamming the brakes for spurts of sophomoric, overbaked drama which unfortunately comes off as sadly ludicrous. Could have been a seriously good movie- if someone had stuck to the script... any of the half dozen or so to be found within its three hours.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Friday, December 30, 2022

Happy New Year!

And I ask you, what better way is there to ring in The New Year than with some new pics from this year's SF leather fair(s)? A little bit o' levity to ring out the old year before it starts raining indictments in the new... Be there- will be wild!


All Photos: © S. Banos














































All Photos: © S. Banos


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Top 3 (Non)Regrets In Life

1) Not getting a motorcycle in my youth- dead of a drunken joy ride within two weeks... guaranteed! Somehow, someway, I actually had just enough self awareness then to realize that fact- still give myself considerable credit for the light speed certainty of acknowledging that most basic reality, no questions asked. Reason for being #1, fairly obvious. 

2) Never enrolling in an Aikido dojo, always thought it the "intellectual martial art;" dug the way cool aesthetics of the B&W gets ups too. In fact, it's little more than a dance class where participants concentrate on practicing well rehearsed, choreographed counter moves, often in slow-mo, meant to subdue and make short work of your opponent- I fell for its subtle, less is more, turn their own power against them approach! Unfortunately, it's more WWE make believe than anything else- but don't take my word for it!   

3) Not getting a digital (pigment inkjet) printer- even if I had the room and money, it would have no doubt hastened the demise of my marriage considerably more efficiently than anything my already inherent failings would eventually unravel. What with: paper profiles, clogged inkjets, jammed paper, and software I would never quite master in a desperately futile attempt to make the print match the ideal screen image- all the while gushing wasted inks (worth more than their weight in gold) in the process... Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth would have rendered anyone within a twenty mile radius senseless!

Monday, December 26, 2022

The Whale


I hate tear jerkers, not because I'm so manly (I hate football too)- but because I don't appreciate the attempt at being so obviously manipulated, emotionally or otherwise. And everyone in The Whale, and I mean everyone, has the reddest, teariest eyes in all Hollywood, all deep within the weight of their own personal suffering. That said, this is one of the best flicks I've seen in a long, long time...

Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a morbidly obese, failed father struggling for redemption while slowly but proactively committing suicide. We're thrust into his claustrophobic world and never leave it for the entirety of the movie- and we are never bored. The movie does an incredible job of recreating a home dominated by one's chronic illness: the age long grime and creases in the furnishings, the monocolor gloom- you can smell the staleness of the air...

Eventually, it becomes clear why Charlie's devoted nurse and friend (Hong Chau- the stem maitre d' in The Menu) is so forgiving and understanding; he has a face (oh, what a face!) that simply defies animosity, and a personality to match- despite his major fuck up(s), like neglecting his relationship with his daughter (Sadie Sink- a major acting tour de force in her own right).

It's amazing how a whole lifetime of hurt and experience can be encapsulated into one small apartment already bursting at the seams from its one occupant, all in one week's time, but Darren Aronofsky achieves just that. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

East Coast/West Coast- Triple Double



Walk, SF-   Photo: © S. Banos




Walk, NYC-    Photo: © S. Banos




Garage, SF-    Photo: © S. Banos




Garage, NYC-    Photo: © S. Banos




Selfie, NYC-   Photo: © S. Banos




Selfie, SF-  Photo: © S. Banos


HAPPY HOLIDAYS Y'ALL!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

THE Calendar For 2023- Year Of The Dog!



At last, something to keep one even keeled and optimistic throughout the year- any year, dog lover or not!



And if I could have made a contribution:

Photo: © S. Banos


Favorite video clip of the year- (37:45):