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Saturday, 14 December 2013



 Necessary (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 23 January 2013

Now sit we close about this taper here,
And call in question our necessities.

William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar (1599), Act IV, scene 3, lines 170-171

Impeach (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 January 2013

My Mom and Dad (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 January 2013

Inalienable (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 January 2013

God and Guns (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 January 2013

Modern Musket (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 23 January 2013

  Don't Tread on My Future! (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 28 January 2013

  Infringed (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 22 January 2013

  Commander, Post 21 (Melrose, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 May 2013

  The Safest Place in Boston (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 27 February 2013

 The Last Stand (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 30 May 2011

 War Games #2 (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 22 May 2012

Bloody Footprints (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 5 January 2012

 Blood and iced Coffee (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 11 December 2012

Clown (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 7 June 2011

 Bloodbath #1 (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 20 May 2012

Rapture (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 28 May 2011

  Gun Owners (Boston, Massachusetts): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 21 January 2013

Christmas tree in Newtown, Connecticut

Children play around a Christmas tree in Newtown, Connecticut, as the town prepares for the anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting: photo by Michelle Mcloughlin/Reuters via The Guardian, 13 January 2013


Wooden Boy said...

And call in question our necessities

Hard to separate the needing and wanting.

If these photos are any indication of American desire, I feel fear.

The whole "right to bear arms" thing seems very strange to us here

TC said...

Now, fear...

Jim Rohan has an interesting series on public assemblies. (The Boston area is of course historically notable for that sort of thing.) Not really "political" as such, more like cultural study. Still the work also invites one to pause and think a bit upon, what was it called? Citizenship? (When I was a kid there was a class in school: Civics. It was about stuff like this.)

I found the second photo here particularly troubling -- chilling, and not just the weather.

Perhaps the crowning photo in the gun lobby section of the series is the longshot (establishing shot, indeed) of the gun show billboard here.

The zombie series is part of the same public assemblies series. Or part and bloody parcel, even.

Is America like this?

A year less a day after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre (28 dead in total), there occurred yesterday, in a Denver suburb about 15 mins. drive from the site of the Columbine High School massacre (15 dead), this:

Arapahoe High School shooting suspect dead: Guardian, Friday 13 December 2013

ACravan said...

Greetings from the Hudson Valley where we know about chilling. It's snowing lightly now ahead of worsening conditions (not too much worsening, I hope) later today and the light reminds me of the graying light in this grimly evocative series of public assembly photos. I couldn't possibly comment on "American desire," any more than I would feel competent and confident commenting on British desire, French desire, Italian desire, Indian desire, etc., even though I have friends in all those countries. The second photo bothers me only in the sense that it trivializes its subject matter, in pretty much the same way that drawing Hitler mustaches on President George W. Bush (and referring to him unintelligently and unintelligibly as "Bushhitler") trivialized the objections people had to him and his administration. When I was a kid, drawing Hitler mustaches on photos was enjoyable for silly reasons, as well as being commensurate (in a reach/grasp sense) with my level of talent as a visual artist. I also loved drawing Messershmidt fighter planes that were indistinguishable from my other drawings of non-German fighters. The Benghazi attack and slaughter was tragic and remains extremely troubling, as so much else does in terms of the reach/grasp/motives of the current administration. I never know whether to tell people that I'm employed, retired or unemployed -- such is the status (not entirely unfavorable compared to other people’s work situations) of the "jobbing" lawyer who can no longer (and will never) find in-house corporate work available to him. I do know that sky-high, chronic unemployment and seemingly deliberate, stuck in the mud, slow growth remains the order of the day, along with super-luxury for the government elites who pass laws that affect the rest of us, but do not apply to them. I think the problem, reduced to its essence, was best described by Lord Acton. When you throw in an utter lack of integrity and competence, things become even more dire. But I don't think it has anything to do with "American desire." "Necessary" is a great title. The Shakespeare quote is also wonderful. Curtis

TC said...

Curtis, I suspect that much of the sentient universe regards the Americans as the wild card in the anthropological deck, or to change the mixed metaphor, the pudgy kid whose dad brought him up on meat and guns, and World watch Out! I'm not surprised the Tea Party's rapturous conviction of its own capacity to replace political systems as such ruined the Republican Party, and in the aftermath, I speculate it's only the demise of the old-fashioned tv-evangelist demagogue candidates that can account for the current dearth of potential Huey Longs and Father Coughlins. But some kids have got to put those guns to use somewhere, so we'd best stay tuned for the crackle of small arms fire in home rooms across the land.

No, you're right, a death culture like ours probably could never have sprung from desire. We were never even that good.

ACravan said...

I think anti-Tea Party media coverage, which has been fairly universal in the US, has really distorted the effect and actual influence of the so-called Tea Party. For instance, I have heard commentators on both MSNBC (where you would expect to hear such sentiments), but also on the broadcast networks and CNN say that the Tea Party has ruined, or is in the process of ruining, the GOP. I think that's predictable wishful thinking. The Tea Party, as I understand its origins and foundation, stands for the proposition that you shouldn't spend money on things you can't afford, period. Therefore, it stands in contrast to the sentiments of a non-Tea Party figure like Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md) who, when confronted with the reality of a $600M+ website which didn't work (in everybody's estimation), reflexively recommended spending more money on it before considering the matter knowledgeably and in detail. I'm sure the Tea Party brought some of its bad press on itself, but really they should have saved themselves the effort. Others were prepared to do it for them in advance of anything they might do. There will be other Father Coughlins and Huey Longs, of course (I could suggest some contenders now), but the plethora of media outlets will make it difficult for them to break through the clutter. Curtis

Hazen said...

The mood of the country does make one pause. The pictures descend from “citizens” to clowns, zombies, and monsters. Disturbing. We’re a danger to ourselves and to the rest of the world. We should be watched. ¡Una guardia en ese hombre! They used to say the sun never set on the British Empire, back when a world map was covered with imperial pink blotches. That’s because, as a chileno friend of mine explained, God doesn’t trust the British after dark. It’s beyond nationality, of course. What motivates the very human, brain-stem fear is quite old, and exacerbated by civilization; and it’s reached its peculiar apotheosis in the US. Thanks for launching this idea around the candlelit table, via Shakespeare, great pictures, and thoughtful comments about this mad mess. It occurred to me that people who sit with heads bowed over smart phones are desperately looking for an escape hatch. Then it occurred to me that they’ve found it.
“ . . . but from baffling maladies, he hath devised escapes.”

I’ve got my own ways.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Tea Party, as I understand its origins and foundation, stands for the proposition that you shouldn't spend money on things you can't afford, period.

As I understand it, the "Tea Party" is a creation of the Koch brothers, and consists of re-branded right-wing Republicans.

All they stand for is less regulations and taxes for the Kochs. (See Mike Lofgren, for instance.)

TC said...

What is there to say?

I'm old, crippled, unemployed, and, in my own small way, in the way (though, one small mercy, I haven't been run over by a car in well over a year and a half now -- touch wood), and this present America scares me about one-eighth of the way to death (the other seven-eighths having already been taken care of... sort of).

And what is there left to do, then for such a subject, but be afraid?

Perhaps it's a bit like the quiet comment made to me by the driver of one of the new fleet of fuel-efficient public transit buses (they're tight and cramped inside, due in part to having that giant hump up front), as, his bus having run out of fuel (and the drivers are unable to ascertain the fuel status on these new buses, so the buses frequently just stop dead in the street, with passengers having to be self-evacuated, and the stalled bus parked awaiting tow), during the forlorn exiting of the passengers into the cold midnight street: