Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Take Two Tuesday and Gotta keep ’em separated — Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: What life will you choose?

November 6, 2012

Election day special.


Tartu, Estonia.

Choose … wisely.

This post’s picture originally appeared on November 9, 2010 at 9:53 am. Check that near-synchronicity.

Flashback Friday — Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

November 2, 2012

The bulk of this post originally appeared on February 5, 2010 at 9:04 am.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


(The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

edit 11/2/12: In the original post, the following comment was left

John Hawksley Says:

Hello, I was Cheryl’s husband and we were married at the time of her death(may 28,1988) Cheryl Kubert was her real name. Born in Los Angeles, went to Fairfax High School. We had one child(Rachel). She was 50 at time of her death. She was a glamour lovlie in Ken Murry’s Blackouts and she did extensive modeling, traveled with U. S. O troupe and was a member of SAG and SEG. She had the heart and the looks of an angel. She could sing, play the piano and dance. If you need anymore information you can text me. John

Thank you for the further info, Mr. Hawksley.

edit 11/2/12, 2.0: The late Joe Kubert, comic legend, also corresponded with me briefly in regard to this post. He passed on in August, and I am not sharing because I believe death negates privacy, but merely because I never shared originally. As with Mr. Hawksley’s comment, I meant to go back and edit again, but the time gets away from you.

Dear E,

Thank you for your email and your interest. To my knowledge I am not related to a Cheri [sic] Kubert. She looks like someone I would not have minded knowing! Please continue to read, write, and care about comics. You may also share a link with your readers to The Kubert School.

Regards,
Joe

The Kubert School, based in Dover, NJ offers students a high quality and challenging education in Cartooning and Graphic Art.” They also have correspondence courses.

This has been your Flashback Friday.

Retread — Burroughs Month: Thanksgiving Prayer

November 24, 2011


“To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
Thanksgiving Day. November 28, 1986.”

Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.


Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.


Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.


For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.


Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind their
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories — all right let’s see
your arms!


You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

I do not believe it is as hopeless as all that. This year, I am incredibly thankful to be alive at all, let alone to live where I do with the people I love. I understand Mr. Burroughs’ criticisms, I just think that we must keep caring and trying to win out against the sense of defeat and cynicism, and maybe then the dream can still be saved. I don’t believe people are inherently bad; I believe the opposite, and I won’t get discouraged and filled with bitterness toward all of humanity just because of the publicized exploits and outrages of the bad apples in our barrel. I believe that for each one of the headlines that sends people in to despair over the state of the world, there are a thousand unreported little kindnesses and gestures of love and connection.

And world peace. I know. I get cheesey. I’m just feeling very happy and free and alive.




Almost all photos via Square America.







This post originally appeared on November 26, 2010.

Just Another Auden October: Let music for peace / Be the paradigm

October 24, 2011



Let mortals beware of words
For with words we lie,
Can speak peace
When we mean war.



But song is true.
Let music for peace
Be the paradigm,
For peace means change
At the right time.

(W.H. Auden, “Hymn to the United Nations.” 1971.)

Just Another Auden October: Composed of Eros and of dust, show an affirming flame — ft. photography by Andre de Dienes

October 20, 2011



Defenseless under the night,
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,


Ironic points of light,
Flash out wherever the Just,
Exchange their messages:


May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair



Show an affirming flame.

(W.H. Auden, “Sept. 1, 1939.” Another Time, 1940.)

All photographs by Andre de Dienes.

The date in the poem’s title refers, of course, to the invasion of Poland by Hitler’s Wehrmacht … or does it refer with remarkably prescient precedence to my birthday?

No. It refers to the other thing.

Just another Auden October: Apocalypse yesterday

October 19, 2011


via.

The stars are dead; the animals will not look:
We are left alone with our day, and the time is short and
History to the defeated
May say Alas but cannot help or pardon.

(W. H. Auden, “Spain.” 90-93. 1937. )

Anything that men make will shake apart*. Eventually the feats of engineering and machinery humanity has wrought will fall to ruin, maybe sooner than later. Running will be no good: depend on it.


Photograph of Auden’s typewriter via swarthmore.

This poem was first published as “Spain” in 1937. Auden included it in his 1940 anthology Another Time as “Spain 1937” but later disavowed the poem’s political and apocalyptic tone, saying that he never really believed what he’d written, but wrote it because he thought it would be “rhetorically effective.” According to the late Frank Kermode, Auden hated most of all the above, which is the final stanza of “Spain”/”Spain 1937.”

I like it.




*(Except plutonium rods. I admit that those are going to take a really long time to shake apart. Way to fucking go, everybody.)

Heinlein Month: Live each golden moment as if it were eternity

July 19, 2011


Marilyn photographed by Sam Shaw.

Live each golden moment as if it were eternity — without fear, without hope, but with a sybaritic gusto.

(Robert A. Heinlein. Stranger In A Strange Land, 1961.)

Heinlein Month: The real problem

July 10, 2011


Photograph by John Filo. Mary Vecchio crying over the body of a fellow student slain by National Guardsmen. May 4, 1970. Kent State, Ohio, USA.

“You’re bitching about friendly fornication — do you know what I’m worried about?”

“What?”

“Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit. Sweat over that, instead.”

(Jubal to Mike. Stranger In A Strange Land.)

Daily Batman: Everybody sucks for Batman today

July 10, 2011

In Batman No. 303, Batman gets a nasty crack on the noggin and mistakenly believes that Batman is his secret identity, while Bruce Wayne is the Dark Knight. Malarkey ensues.


via.

Having been chased by gawking crowds for the crime of trying to eat a hot dog, resulting in a cop warning him that Batman wouldn’t like it if he knew some schmuck was impersonating him, the dejected and confused Caped Crusader wanders afield of his usual holding patterns. Wandering the streets, he finds himself looking for friends in a love-in-ing little bed of flower children, who he pretty much promptly discounts as viable companions.


Ibid.

But if you’re feeling left out because you’re not a hippie, don’t worry — the writers take time to throw out a bash on Comic-Con goers, too. Everybody sucks! Why are you wasting Batman’s time?? Kill yourself.

Flashback Friday — Advice: Marilyn edition, “The few remaining earthbound stars”

July 8, 2011

This post originally appeared on May 19, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.


I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.

(Telegram from Marilyn Monroe declining a party invitation from Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. June 13, 1962.)

You got to fight for your right to twinkle. It is difficult and discouraging and at times seems insurmountable, but in the end, you are raised up to the sky to shine forever. Please try to help each other out and let’s none of us lose heart.

Movie Millisecond: You can’t live alone

July 7, 2011


Masculin Féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966).

You really can’t live alone.

Thanks for two million unique hits on this journal in its almost two years of operation. Come for the porn, stay for the shenanigans! Comment any ol’ time. You do not know how much I enjoy it.

As this is not a for-profit blog, every person who visits really does matter to me. It began as a way to force myself to write, and to subject myself to the excruciating experience I’d spent my life trying to shun, sharing myself with other people. When I shied away, I thought that I’d change focus and the journal evolved in to a sort of annotated public scrapbook, a way to share the things that matter to me with other people.


Source help wanted.

But you know, I’ve been thinking about it, and it’s really the same thing. Maybe I don’t have the courage to always talk about myself, and I instead sublimate that desire to share, that impulse to connect, into a post about a former Playmate or a digression on the mythic overtones of a poem by E.E. Cummings. But I am still sharing myself, still saying, “This is me, and this is what I am about. I’m telling you something personal.” Because the things that matter to us almost entirely comprise who we are. When you visit, and link, and comment, it ratifies my sense that I’m not alone in this universe.

If you want to introduce yourself, ask questions, or share ideas, do it, and thank you again. Here’s to two million more of us agreeing that some of the detritus we encounter in this thing called life can be pretty all right — even meaningful.

I truly appreciate the company.

Heinlein Month: Year of the Rabbit — Intelligent application of science

July 6, 2011



If we blow ourselves up we will do it by misapplication of science; if we manage to keep from blowing ourselves up, it will be through intelligent application of science.

(Robert A. Heinlein, “The Pragmatics of Patriotism”. Address at the U.S. Naval Academy. April 5, 1973.)

Music Moment: Cat Stevens, “Peace Train”

May 6, 2011

Cat Stevens — Peace Train

I’ve been smiling lately. I really have.


Photographed by Julie Lansom.

Now I’ve been happy lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


via.
Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be,
some day it’s going to come


With Shelley Duvall, via.
Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again


Now I’ve been smiling lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun


Richard Hamilton.
Oh peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on now peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller


Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on now peace train

A few weeks ago, I came home triumphantly wielding a near-mint Cat Stevens LP from a trip to a nearby touristy mountain town — only to see in going through my collection that at some point in the past I’d brought that exact record in pretty much the exact same condition.

My organization skills may be in the toilet, but the important thing is, I’m consistent.


via.

Get your bags together,
go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer,
it soon will be with you


With Carly Simon, via.
Now come and join the living,
it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
soon it will all be true


Now I’ve been crying lately,
thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
why can’t we live in bliss

I’ve been trying to balance my recent heady busy-ness in the areas of work and returning to school with the activities I love, like country driving, taking pictures, listening to my records, and of course spending time with my mad rad friendohs.


via.

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again.

I don’t know by what trick or trends in behavior I’ve done it, but, despite recent roller coasters of emotion, anxiety, and obligation, I still just feel really happy and mellow about things in assessing the Spring, even accounting for the ups and downs.


via.

I have this optimistic and even confident feeling as I enter the Summer. Here’s hoping it sticks around. I feel like everything is beautiful.

In related news, did you know you could smoke banana peels? The brown spots talk about their dreams while they sizzle and pop. Fact.

(Not fact.)

Daily Batman: Caterpillars < Butterflies < the Bat

April 26, 2011


“Batman Shadow” photographed by Lee Houser.

Nature hides her secrets because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.

(Albert Einstein)

Seeing only the chrysalis, we never know which is going to contain Batman, at any stage of the game. By extension of this metaphor, all caterpillars are Batman until proven otherwise. Dr. Einstein points out that Nature unfolds the mystery in her own time. With such a potentially optimistic end in mind, it’s ludicrous to give up the search. So don’t?

Vonnegut Month: The people on the edge

February 8, 2011


Nous allons a la lune! via.

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

“Big, undreamed-of things — the people on the edge see them first.”

(Player Piano. Scribner, 1952.)

I think this is more important now than I ever have before. I stayed comfortable in the past, I kept nervously to the middle and tried not to draw attention to myself even though I found it unfulfilling and dissatisfactory, purely because the idea of doing anything else and letting the real me out seemed far too iffy.


via.

And now I have been galvanized in to action, in to pursuing the things I want, and I can’t believe I ever kept away from the edge, kept myself boxed-in and low-key and up-and-up. I don’t regret the time I spent hiding and gathering courage to myself, because that’s no use, and I don’t disdain myself for my fears or insecurities, nor anyone else for feeling like they are not able to be a jumper just yet, but I’m just so glad I’ve begun.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Fear and love

February 7, 2011


via.

Comics crit: Magneto and Sartre edition with bonus ill-conceived insomniacal condemnation of what pigs we humans are

February 1, 2011


I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.

(Jean-Paul Sartre.)


Magneto: I remember my own childhood … the gas chambers at Auschwitz, the guards joking as they herded my family to their death. As our lives were nothing to them, so human lives became nothing to me.

Storm: If you have a deity, butcher, pray to it.

Magneto: As a boy, I believed. As a boy — I turned my back on God forever.

(Uncanny X-Men #150. October 1981. Qtd in Jacobs, Rivka. “The Magneto Is Jewish FAQ.” 11 Nov 1998.)

Right?

I think it’s interesting that while Sartre takes it as given that there is no God, Magneto doesn’t say he doesn’t believe in God: just that he’s turned his back on God.

Do you believe there are events so breathtakingly beyond our tiny human processing powers in their scope that even the fallout we ourselves witness is tiny compared to the ripples they create in the universe? Do you think those ripples can become so powerful as they reverbate out in their effect that they can negate the existence of God? I’m not explaining my question well.

Okay. Obviously there are events that can make a person declaim God’s existence, as Sartre does, just as those same events might crystallize another person’s faith, reaction to the primal scene taking a different effect on each in their turn. That part I do not question or debate. But suppose that there was certainly a God: could something happen that was so bad it could kill God? Would not the events of the second World War, the Holocaust and the bombing of Hiroshima, be such a thing? And have we not compounded that as humanity daily ever since with the usual million atrocities and ungrateful offenses that people have committed toward one another and their environment since they first slithered on to land and grabbed hold, just continually jackhammering cracks in the material of the universe? It’s like two in the morning, why am I even writing this. I guess if Nietzsche’s right and God is dead, I’m saying we killed Him. Right? Don’t shoot the messenger, baby.

Talk nerdy to me — Winter of my discontent: Season’s Greetings from Hoth edition

January 24, 2011

In the last few weeks, everyone around me (myself included) repeatedly asserted to one another how cold it was — so cold, we said, my gosh, it’s so cold — but Hoth scenes always put it all in perspective, don’t they?


via laurenmoran on the tumblr.

So speaking of Star Wars extreme-temperature location shooting, I was watching this segment on the Daily Show recently, and it ends up that there are protests and massive government upheaval going on in Tunisia, where the Tattooine scenes for Episodes IV and I were filmed. I didn’t know that.

To clarify: I knew the Tattooine scene-filming part. I even knew there was a town there actually called Tataouine, although the Lars homestead scenes were not set there, but instead filmed near the troglodyte architectural mecca of Matmâta, which is about 70 miles north of Tataouine (R.I.P., Owen and Beru).

The life-altering modern politics, on the shameful other hand, was brand-new news to me.


Photograph by Jamal Saidi for Reuters.

This is what a futuristic rebel alliance looks like.

The ousting of Tunisian president Ben Ali came as a result of public backlash in the wake of a sham election last October, condemned by the Human Rights Watch. This was followed by incendiary WikiLeaks which surfaced, detailing the president and his family’s lavish lifestyle in an impoverished country.

The revolt was largely organized via social media, relying heavily on texts, facebook, and twitter. Search #sidibouzid for the hundreds of thousands of tweets from Sidi Bouzid, the seat of the so-called Jasmine Revolution.


via the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

Coming so soon after the 2009 election riots in Iran, which were similarly organized, some of the power-hungry dictators in the Arab world are getting understandably nervous about the precarity of their positions. I said goddamn. How now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? You can’t hide technology from the people forever.




What I’m also trying to say, though, with both the “it’s so cold” story and the absolute ignorance of grave disturbances in another country’s Force until seeing it on a quasi-serious news program, is that I’m a shallow, isolated slave to materialism. It is not a proud moment.

Dr. King’s Day: The all-redemptive price

January 17, 2011

Dr. King poses with Robert Kennedy. What one man does not know is that the other has been politically bullied in to tapping the first’s phone since 1963.

There are so few straightforward and ideal moments in time, and even fewer uncomplicated and ideal men.


If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

R.I.P. to Dr. King and RFK, both.

Dr. King’s Day: An individual who breaks the law to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice

January 17, 2011

September 4, 1958. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King refused to pay the $14 fine, instead accepting the sentence of 14 days in jail for disobedience of an officer of the law. The commissioner of police, embarassed by the bad publicity and concerned at the public outcry over the incident, paid Dr. King’s fine himself.


I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.