Friday, July 28, 2017

B&W in Color

Photo: © S. Banos

NO, no, no- not gonna go there: B&W vs. color, digital vs. analog, Coke vs. Pepsi, etc, etc... Fool's errand each and every one. Just gonna point out two instances in which the prescribed and obvious choice is... not necessarily the best. A coupla years ago I was honored to have the photo below selected for Random Excellence over at The Online Photographer. Someone immediately pointed out that it failed because it should have been in color. And it certainly would have been colorful at that, with the Red, White and Blue and... just about everything else thrown in for good measure- exactly why I was happy to see it in monochrome, putting everything in equal measure, without the circus kaleidoscope of color.

Meanwhile, everyone knows that repetitive graphics and geometric patterns and shadows are the inherent domain of B&W. It's the sensuous, yet subdued, color however that most definitely brings the square format photo above to life, in what would have otherwise made for a most pedestrian exercise in B&W 101.  

Photo: © S. Banos

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lesson Learned?

Photo: © S. Banos

This summer, a most alarming intriguing precedent has been set. One I'm not quite sure what to make of or construe. Weekend after weekend I take my lengthy afternoon constitutional(s)- only to return to the hearth with absolute nada to show for said excursions. Meanwhile, my short promenade to and from the local pub on early Friday eves have been producing much more discernible results.

The conclusion has become rather obvious: drink more, try less...

Photo: © S. Banos

Photo: © S. Banos

Photo: © S. Banos

Photo: © S. Banos

Friday, July 21, 2017

Living In Alternia

Bob Mueller peering into an alternate reality in the making (propped up by a hostile foreign entity).   Photo: © S. Banos

Split personalities are not limited to Hollywood psycho-killers, we have one for a President: one half, barely rational moron, the other- totally delusional, (semi)-successful, outright con man deluxe. And some people like it just-like-that... because in all the subsequent confusion and disarray of alternative facts and priorities, that's how they get to dismantle a (somewhat) functional democracy once and for all into the little fiefdom(s) these wannabe warlords seek to either pervert, or dismember- while the rest of us shout in vain that the house is on fire... 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

No, Not Quite Hell, But...

The wife and I were having this (usual for us) conversation just the night before. We can't possibly reincarnate into this earthly life yet again once we depart the present. We're exhausted, disgusted (with humanity per se), and let's face it- we ain't gonna get any better than we are now (least I'm not). This is indubitably the very best version of me attainable- granted, not much... but what could be gained risking the possibility of regressing and going backwards? Really don't wanna go there...

Lombard St.   Photo: © S. Banos

Anyway... how does this get us to Lombard St.- "The Crookedest Street in the World?" It's an incredibly beautiful street in San Francisco- very nice homes, highlighted with flowers everywhere in one of the most uniquely architectured living environments anywhere! So what's the problem? 

Well, despite all the above- it's also besieged, and I do mean besieged, by tourists every damn minute of every damn day. Those residents have little, if any respite from the meandering hordes... ever! Morning, noon or night. Even in Italian hill towns, tourists tend to dissipate come night and winter. Not here. They are on their streets and sidewalks, their driveways, posing in front of their front yards. Residents are literally prisoners in their own homes- nice as they are! On the other hand... while I do have sympathy (I really don't know if I could withstand it)- it's not like they're living in Iraq or Syria.*

I've often gone to the top of Lombard St. attempting to get some Marty Parr(ish) type photos of all the ridiculousness, but have always come back empty handed. This time I found myself at the bottom (it's on a steeply inclined hill) where I made note of said monument to what crosses my mind every time I've gone there.

I suppose there are various versions and intensities of hell, and we all have our shared and unique burdens to persevere- Chrissakes, the very fact that I can casually ponder such inequities is proof in and of itself of my "elite" world class status... despite living on an economic precipice. It's just that, it's just that... goddamn, life is hard enough even when you're not living on the streets, hard enough when they're not taking pot shots at ya, hard enough when you don't have a terminal disease or major disability! 

Next time 'round, maybe I'll just learn to stop complaining.Though that won't be particularly easy if I'm plunked down in the midst of a nuclear winter- particularly with all the Repubs crowing about how wrong we got global warming...

*All kidding aside- this is what hell on earth really looks like (ironically, they're the first to mention that there are others who have it even worse).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fun Time Hits The Fan...

It's Official!! Met with a foreign government agent to influence a Presidential election (and more)...
Listen closely- they're starting to scurry in the background as we speak. We're within arms' reach of official Panic Mode. 
Hurry, Hurry, Hurry... Watch The Combover Don as he throws his "High Quality" Shit of a son right under the fleeting bus... 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Save The Humans

Brooklyn    Photo: © S. Banos

History will record this as the era when "reality" was conveniently and most unwillingly hijacked into a celebrity driven contradiction of "alternative facts." Bush era Republicans having long ago dismissed a "reality" based... reality

Personally, my reality is consistently more straightforward, consisting of: my immediate environs, various media, people I choose to stay in contact with- and those on the streets casually conversing aloud with or without the aid of a cell phone or fellow conversant.

Reality is, I won't be around in a few years. But for the life of me, I will never be able to understand the "family value" types, particularly those with children, who cannot (or more inexplicably) refuse to see that we are diligently continuing to degrade and poison our planet, our very life source, their very future- unabated and... unconcerned.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Fate Of The Osage

One of the things I love most, particularly with the passage of time, is the "discovery" of little known (and rather mind blowing- least to me) episodes of history that I had no idea ever existed! Pieces of history with little to no precedent, whose very existence are in contradiction to everything before or after- and that seemingly fly in the face of history itself. 

The full panorama. Courtesy Archie Mason

The Osage Indian Murders is just such an instance where history has not only been forgotten- but very purposely expunged. Of course, the blatant racism (and violence) against Native Americans certainly comes as no surprise, it's the aberration of wealth and power that these people attained against all odds, if only for so brief a time- before they were so violently and surreptitiously stripped of any and all vestige of that material prestige... by the dominant society that just wouldn't allow Indians of means living amongst Whites who had less. That was simply not how "reality" was supposed to transpire- and they quickly set about correcting it through every means imaginable!

And, of course, history always has a way of repeating, resonating and... being forgotten.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th!

NYC   Photo: © S. Banos
And speaking of vets, patriotism and heroes for that matter- I'll ask, yet again... When is the great Hollywood bio-epic (or even a freakin' statue for Chrissakes!) gonna be made for this Great American Hero, or... this guy? These were real leaders- heroes who lived and experienced war, unlike our current 5X deferment who liked playing soldier in school, or the one who bravely defended Texan  airspace.