Thursday, October 15, 2020

Hans Solo Was Frozen In Carbonite...

 

 But what they did to The Incredible Hulk... was infinitely worse!

See ya's next week...      Photo: © Stan Banos

Monday, October 12, 2020

Blog Update...

 

Another day in "Don't call it 'Frisco."   Photo: © Stan Banos

Well, I'm hardly the optimist, but nowhere near as down as this guy- can't be. An involuntary separation followed by a pandemic and less than ideal living conditions won't allow me to go down that rabbit hole of depression and desperation- otherwise, I might just be that guy...

Anyway, it's moving time, again. And this time, it's a small (very small), but much needed step up, details to follow. So the blog will be silent as of the end of the week, and hopefully resume sometime next. See ya's again; enjoy and stay safe...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Don't Ask A Question You Don't Know The Answer To...

Now, I'm not a lawyer like Chris Cuomo is, but even I know the first tenet of how not to look the fool if you are. Pro Democratic CNN and MSNBC both run for the hills whenever 'Extreme Left Socialist Radicals" like Bernie or AOC are mentioned, and AOC is in full display here as to why Repubs hate and despise her so- and spineless, middle of the road Dems fear her! Smart as a goddamn whip- she does not suffer fools lightly...


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Comic Relief

I'm a lucky man- in just 2 weeks I'll be moving from a SRO to a full fledged Micro-Studio apt... I'm gonna have my very own john again! But now is certainly not the time to either gloat, or forget those less fortunate than myself. And so to keep perspective, to keep an even keel in these uncertain times and not lose track in my own financial ascension-  I present to you the tragic case of Jennifer Risher, who goes to prolonged lengths to explain to us just how truly vexing and burdensome it is to be... a full fledged Multi-Millionaire! 

As Ms. Risher reveals in her own words, she and her husband both became filthy rich not necessarily because of the sweat of their collective brows or their higher than normal IQ's- but because of investing in some very lucky stocks. Oh, the humanity! So she wants to open her heart and start a much needed dialogue to let us know just how very hard and perplexing it is to be so damn well off...

Now, as the host fully explains, she initiates this journey of insight and self evaluation not with talking to and engaging people of the working class, or the working poor, or the homeless, as to how she can best use all this guilt ridden lucre to better society. No, too easy, been done countless times before, and honestly, where has it gotten any of us? She reaches out to other filthy rich bastards to help lighten the worrisome load of her nouveau riche conscience. Or as my HS chemistry teacher used to say, "Likes dissolve likes." (You can move to the 3:40 mark to skip Intro...) 

 

 

AddendumPerhaps we can arrange funds via crowdsourcing to help further her dialogue with fellow multi-millionaires...

Saturday, October 3, 2020

"I Don't Wear Face Masks Like Him."

 

4/15/2017                Photo: © Stan Banos
 

No, U-Most-Certainly-Did-Not... And even today, your wretched Chief of Staff didn't wear a mask when reporting that you were now sick because... you refused to wear a mask!

You didn't wear a mask for the same reason you swirl the hair on one side of your head to cover the rest (like one ungodly, hirsute Mr. Softee cone)- your child like, butt hurt vanity. You didn't wear a mask to prove how mighty and invulnerable you were to yourself and your supporters, to prove that your nonplan of callous ignorance and disregard was your shining claim to bold, innovative leadership- and mostly... to mock those that had sense enough to wear them

So now, you and your sycophants call for empathy, empathy for he who revels in mocking the weaknesses and frailties (real or imagined) of others- of those he was (s)elected to lead and represent. Let us all now bend a knee in prayer and respect for he who has needlessly prolonged this pandemic, caused thousands of needless deaths and purposely placed even his own supporters in harm's way.

Now, don't get me wrong- I do hope and pray he recovers. I certainly wouldn't mind if he suffers a bit, like many of those who have suffered this disease; I certainly wouldn't mind if he suffers some permanent debilitating effects to remind himself and others of the consequence of such callous disregard and selfishness. But live he must, to personally experience the humiliation of being voted out by the majority of American citizens of all faiths, colors and preferences- and then rise to the further humiliation of an awaiting array of endless perp walks and court appearances for his wide multiplicity of crimes that will ultimately culminate in a state prison invulnerable to federal pardons.

So please get better, Mr. President- then go fuck yourself, 'cause Melania sure ain't gonna...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Enablers-In-Chief

Photo: © Stan Banos

Kinda felt sorry for Chris Wallace, Tuesday night- after all, who could have controlled and prevented any of that? What man or woman alive could've reined in, let alone stopped the rampaging school yard bully, the raging, Right Wing bull in the China shop? Who amongst us could ever hope to confront the power and fury wielded by the very person (s)elected to lead... "The Free World?"

Those calling themselves members of "The Free Press," that's who the fuck who! When Trump states, "that's what  people are saying," who the fuck is saying it? When he boasts "that's what I hear," exactly where the fuck did he hear it? When he repeatedly states that he is under audit and therefore can't release his taxes, when he declares his health care plan infinitely better and cheaper- and has yet to present either in Four Fuckin' Years... It's full well time to put your collective foot down and DEMAND some small modicum of fact and sanity. Enough... is... Enough!

And yet, our mighty press has let him slide and slide again, time and time again. Whimsical, Sharpie, weather map redraws- no problem; paying prostitutes as campaign expenses- easy peazy; casting patriotic military and intelligence truth tellers as traitors- business as usual; suppressing and denying overwhelming Intel on Russian security meddling and domestic White terrorist activity- piece o' cake; editing and subverting crucial pandemic and climate change findings that will affect us all for years and decades to come, respectively... Done and Done!

So yes, members of the US Press Corps, you and yours have helped create, enable and embolden this Man Child Bully of the Western World. You've swallowed his lies daily and then served them cold with a shallow shrug of your collective shoulders. You, more than anyone, have helped pave the way for his continual and now casual onslaught on truth, civility and sanity... And have willingly done so- year after increasingly sorry year.

So knock off the feigned looks of outrage and dismay- you have wiped your hands clean of the whole stinking mess that you have allowed to grow, fester and metastisize. This insecure sociopath who has never experienced the word "NO," who has never been held accountable his entire life (legally, financially, personally) will once again and forever run roughshod with your kowtowing forums of appeasement. 

Mr. Wallace should have quashed that charade of a so called debate- and held the nationwide intervention this overgrown, at risk child has so desperately needed his entire life- as any worthwhile parent, teacher, friend or partner would have. That was the time to wrench that machine cold of its non stop lies, division and vitriol.

Members of the press- reclaim and retake your dignity, your responsibility- to us, and hold this incestuous crime family accountable for its decades of fraud, corruption and deceit. Yes, we the voters hold the final say, but you're supposed to help make that challenge all the more transparent, not provide years of continued cover and legitimacy for criminality in the very highest of offices.

 ADDENDUM: Something like... this!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Question Unasked, Unanswered...

 

1/21/2017  Photo: © Stan Banos

Well, errr... that was fun! KInda, sorta, in a way... if you're into that kind of debacle. And without a kill switch to stop one of those participants from talking out of turn, we just got more of the same coming; just as we will continue to be held hostage to the perpetual cacophony of outright, baldfaced lies pouring forth from his anus shaped orifice without the inclusion of a much needed electric shock switch. 

And when Trump asks about Hunter Biden, all Sleepy Joe has to do is ask him why son Eric said they get all their money from Russia- and when he denies it... ask what foreign nationals he owes $400 Million toAnd when he says he can't because he's under audit, remind him that is not a valid excuse, and when he recovers from the shock of the electric, fact check switch- ask it again...

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Praying For A Small Miracle


Photo: © Stan Banos

Not her, me! It's never fun going to a major city for any length of time and coming back empty handed without even one shot. I was in NYC for four days- half the time it rained, the other half spent with my elderly moms. Half a day remaining; got up early and walked up Fifth- a coupla almosts. Went to LIC for an hour and a half- Nada. Hey, I tried. Time to head back to the hotel to make my way to the airport; walked through Herald Square past The Garden- and as I lift my head up cussing my unfortunate fate... prayer answered!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Get On The Good Foot!

 No idea the Dutch could dance... So - Dang - GOOD!
 And no matter your ethnicity- These gals are an absolute joy to watch!


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Frankly Speaking...


Finally! I finally finished American Witness, The Art And Life Of Robert Frank by RJ Smith. Took almost a year, and not that it was all that bad, it just wasn't all that... exciting either. Really didn't know a lick about the guy, except ya know, The Americans. And I think I did see him one day, he lived a block from me for a coupla years back in NYC- but it coulda been just another scruffy old guy on The Lower East Side. But I've always been fascinated by guys who meteorically rise to the top from jump- and then intentionally throw it all away for something else, which... they're usually never quite as good at. Very different from your average superstar genre that burn out on drugs, excess, whatever- shitload of them. Paul Graham, Stephen Shore... throw in Michael Jordan to mix things up. All packed it in at their peak to pursue the road less familiar. Graham and Shore, both pioneers of color in their respective fields, gave it all up to embrace smaller, experimental projects that most photographers pursue on their way to finding themselves and honing their vision. Jordan tried another sport he was not exactly best suited for, and Frank went full out into independent film making. His most infamous film being Cock Sucker Blues, the life and times documentary of The Rolling Stones on the road; which I excitedly got to see one day at MOMA, only to struggle (unsuccessfully) to stay awake throughout its overbearingly prolonged ennui. I suppose one could argue that it does take a special something to take the drugs, sex and debauchery of "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" and turn it into a major snooze fest. But Frederick Wiseman he was not.

To be honest, I only thought I was gonna read that part of the book that dealt with his photography days. How is it that this Jewish/Swiss immigrant created the seminal photography book of the Twentieth Century? The book that turned a craft into an art form, and a series of blacks, whites and greys into a searing indictment of the most prosperous country on the planet? The book that inspired countless photographers and photography wannabes decades hence. Well, American Witness offers very little in the way of that. We don't learn about what he did on the road, the stories behind the individual photos, the personal insights into his shooting process. And not through any fault of the author- but because Frank was dead set in not divulging, imparting, or discussing any of the above. Joel Meyerowitz articulate he was most certainly not, and he didn't give an outright shit about teaching- which is not to say he was without ego, or impervious to the demands of bill collectors. But if you, like I, were hoping to catch a purloined glimpse into that special secret sauce gestalt that ignited the visionary magic that resulted from that most legendary of road trips- hitch a ride elsewhere...

Fortunately, one does get to hear about various assorted sundries of interest along the way: Uncle Ansel exhibiting photos in a Chinese laundry at $25 a pop, Gloria Steinem's double life as a one time CIA operative, and one long and diverse cast and crew of creative characters both genius, and delusional. It's only after The Americans that the book actually does pick up, exactly because of that colorful swirl of characters that surrounded his life after he threw himself into the more collaborative world of film making, the new medium he then so fully embraced and devoted himself to for the remainder of his career- perhaps, in good part because it was an endeavor he could neither fully control, nor master. It wasn't just him and the Leica he so effortlessly controlled. Every film was a separate life force, a different personality with a different set of challenges. 

He was a player no doubt, but sincere enough in his beliefs- he despised repetition, and was able to use his eventual fame and recognition to eke out the independent lifestyle he so desperately sought.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Good For The Goose...







Photo: © Stan Banos


We shouldn't have to be talking about this, this shouldn't even be a partisan issue- we should simply be following the guidelines that... REPUBLICANS themselves set up!!!

The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.   -Mitch McConnell, 2016

 Or in the words of...  Lindsey Graham!

Please, sign! I've never asked anyone, to sign anything, on this blog- but this is so vile, so dismissive of anything moral, ethical or humanly decent that we must make these lying, sorry ass SOB's live up to their own words!

The DEMS best grow a pair... 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Just Beautiful...



Let's see, how do I put this... OK, how '
bout this- the first* and last song
(15:40) on this video are two of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Did I say how much I love her laugh?
*starts immed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In Time Of Plague

Brian Rose has made quite the specialty of documenting the hidden histories of distinct geographic localities: The Berlin Wall, The Meatpacking District, The Lower East Side, Atlantic City, and now- Williamsburg, Brooklyn during Covid. Williamsburg is an area that has experienced hyper gentrification since the eighties, an area in Brooklyn that was largely split between distinct Hasidic and Puerto Rican neighborhoods; it followed the now well proven formula of an influx of artists and hipsters seeking cheaper rent, followed by the inevitable onslaught of big real estate and other well monied interests and residents. Out go the poor and low wage workers of color, in come the luxury condo owners with their accompanying Black nannies and caretakers like a scene from Ye Olde South (I kid you not- it was a common sight, pre-Covid)- but I digress...

Rose is more than adept at capturing the details and nuances that speak to the hidden histories behind that which is in plain sight. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn: In Time Of Plague, he deftly uses shadows, rain swept streets and the contrasting and competing styles of architecture to accentuate those vastly sweeping changes, changes further emphasized by the highly unoccupied streets of "these uncertain times."
 
Photo: © Brian Rose

I've walked these same streets on many an occasion, but unlike Rose I don't have the visual goods to show for the effort. I've considered and framed that very storefront many a time, and well... I'm just glad someone was able to do it justice. I have a general rule that I don't get a photobook unless it has at least twenty winners that I think capable of standing on their own. I can easily pick around two dozen in this case, and the rest of the photos add nicely to support and advance the overall character of this transitionary neighborhood in this transitional period of time. Oh, and the reproductions, in a word- superb!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Commitment March (cont.)


Photo: © Stan Banos


Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos



Photo: © Stan Banos

  

Photo: © Stan Banos


Thursday, September 10, 2020

09/09/2020

11:00AM   Pedicure Apocalypse         Cause, ya know... gotta look good! 
Photo: © Stan Banos

Today was the first day in which all the legitimate and cautionary warnings concerning climate change became (a trifle more) real, palpable and visceral to yet another (albeit small) group of people (in San Francisco). As rural California continues to burn unabated all around us, most urban Californians are content to just continue about their now semi-routine Covid existence. One crisis at a time, please! But nature, and the onslaught we have ravaged upon it, deems otherwise.

And again, this is just one small portent of much greater (and catastrophic) things to come. Because we won't always be able to simply pause, get out nails done and and casually take pretty pictures of the world burning all around us. And it won't be limited to CA much longer.

So look the best you can folks, cause the clock is ticking...  

12:53PM    Bay Bridge             Photo: © Stan Banos   

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Choose Your Speed...


Gotta Love 'Em!                  Photo: © Stan Banos

I can only begin to guess how many protests, marches, and demonstrations the two above have between them. You just know they're hardcore (and cute), and have been for decades on in. 

The two below... not so much. But while some will be quick to find fault, hey, this is where many people's participatory level lies. And at the very least, they are sympathetic- unless you apply the completely cynical view that they have that sign displayed simply so they won't be disturbed from their leisure (and no doubt, there's many a Black Lives Matter sign displayed on homes and businesses as a matter of cheap insurance rather than solidarity). But before I, or we, are so quick to judge...

Attending all the protests, doesn't do all that much once the event's over- does it? It's what we do between them that counts: voting, organizing, getting the word out, challenging the status quo.  I remember one rally where a brother informed the assembled flat out that most of them didn't have skin in the game, most of them didn't get beaten by cops where they lived, most of them hadn't gone to jail for simply standing up for their everyday rights- most of them were just there to feel good about themselves on one very beautiful day! 

Now, that particular speech... didn't go down particularly well. Ya might even say a whole lotta people did not appreciate it one single bit. And I know, cause I was purposely looking about to register their looks and grunts of discomfort and disapproval. And hey, I'm not pulling a holier than thou here folks; I'm a relatively light skinned Latin X, I got some measure of anonymity- in a crowd at least, not so much in a department store ('specially when I sported a 'fro, instead of a bald head). But I've never been busted for my beliefs (or looks), so my street cred's shit. But we all must live our beliefs in between the marches to some extent- which means we all must dare beyond our comfort zones some times, if those beliefs are sincere...

Protest Lite...           Photo: © Stan Banos

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Commitment March, 8/28/2020- Washington, D.C.


Photo: © Stan Banos
 
Took a bit of time off recently, survived a plane ride devoid of Black Uniformed thugs loaded with gear, and made my way to The March in DC before spending a few days with moms in NYC. For the past couple of months I was hopin' and a prayin’ that it wouldn’t rain on said date, and fortunately, it didn’t- although hotter ‘n hell with humidity you could cut with a butter knife. Honestly, I don’t know how masses of people weren’t hospitalized, but then, I guess the vast majority of folks weren’t foolish enough to walk around in ninety degree heat for six hours non stop looking for photos... and it was an icee vendor when finally over that saved me from passing out.

Had always wondered what it was like to attend the original MLK march in DC back in the day over fifty years ago- the one you see with wall to wall people going towards virtual infinity on either side of the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.* Those B&W photos were almost like magic to me, and this event lived up to expectations in living color. Never did see so many damn people in one place in my life spanning several generations, two thirds Black, one third Other- and one very positive vibe throughout. We lacked the ultra-charismatic leader of an MLK, but those gathered were as in the moment, as they were committed towards the future. As one most poignant of signs put it- "They're trying to start a race war, we're trying to stop one!" Of course, there's so much more to say, so much more ugliness to address, so much division to heal..

Eventually, people made a human chain across the reflecting pool with their signs in hand- an inspirational sight to behold both in its simplicity and grandeur. Tempted as I was to follow on in for some unique photo ops and to cool my aching dogs (my younger self would have)- I just saw my current day self slippin' and a trippin' like some wounded wildebeest crossing the river with lions in pursuit. My two cameras were already smoldering to the touch and I didn't further want to test their much touted "weather resistance." So I rather wisely refrained, continuing to concentrate on the thousands of land bound subjects at hand. And when the day was done, I ended up with about a dozen strong contenders along with the blisters healing to this day. That evening it commenced to thunder, and rain fell the entirety of the following day, which was fine- the wait was over, the deed was done, the respite welcomed.
 
Photo: © Stan Banos

I was staying at a small B&B near Howard University, a historically Black neighborhood which was now very mixed and gleaming from that fresh squeezed, just gentrified sheen. On the surface everything was cool, people were friendly and everyone got along. But that certain new found look of forced prosperity comes at a deep and underlying cost wherever it happens, as a short talk with a local native quickly bore out. It is what it is, I suppose..
 
 PS- More photos to come..

*When I first visited Wash, DC, it was as a child with my family and a carload of relatives. We drove up to the the storied Lincoln Monument, and my father circled about trying to find the ever elusive parking lot. Having failed his quest, he threw his hands up, said what the hell, and parked the station wagon right smack in front of Mr. Lincoln's building. As we walked up the stairs, he turned around as we all noticed the motor cycle cop pull over to the curb, remove his cap and and shake his head at who would ever... By now dad had taken out his trusty Bell and Howell Super 8 and filmed the entire sequence with said cop, foot on bumper, writing out his ticket and placing it on the windshield before riding off on his Harley.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

See Ya's In Sept...


Photo: © Stan Banos

It's that time where we officially enter the blog respite continuum- time to let the ol' creative juices relax, regurgitate and reinvigorate a spell. We'll commence live on or post Labor Day, before launching into full November countdown mode that will hopefully herald in a new year where we can all breathe a little easier- sans our current tyrannical, delusional overlord.

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

For Your Consideration...


Strange Bedfellows Indeed!

Relax, calm down, take-a-deep-breath.... There are some things on both sides of this issue that I could readily believe, some that are beyond ridiculous, and some that I am just damn up in the air about- which is the exact purpose of (Russian styled) propaganda- throw up enough seemingly credible scenarios and explanations on all sides so that everyone in turn throws up their hands in collective confusion, despair and ultimate... disengagement.

I have no idea if Covid 19 came from a Chinese wet market, or a man made weapons lab (actually, I lead to the former). And if the latter, yeah, it was planned- and don't tell me that neither government would do such a thing. And... I have no idea if Bill Gates is doing more harm than good, more good than harm, or just raking in more millions with a cosmetic halo (well, definitely the latter- regardless of the first two). 

Here's what I definitely do know: vaccines have saved countless numbers of lives/vaccines can and have caused debilitating, life long injuries. Big Pharma would sell each and every one of their your mothers for an extra buck. Vaccine makers cannot be sued or held liable for any injury or death their product(s) cause- at least that is the law in the US of A. Our current administration has given B-B-B-Billions of dollars to companies that have never produced a vaccine, to produce a vaccine in record time (translation: the usual safety protocols and testing will be compromised- guaranteed).

"I don't need facts to back up my feelings" is not a viable option. And even if everything in the video below is true, it still means the disease is out and about amongst us- so not wearing a precautionary mask when in proximity to other humans for the time being is both selfish and stupid. And no matter your politics, no matter your side of choice, one more thing is most definitely certain- we must make the time and effort to hold our governments accountable!



Plandemic II: Indoctornation - powered by ise.media

(click close on commercial to watch film)