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YouTube Video of Teabaggers Having A Rally On Astroturf
|| 9/16/2009 || 6:43 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||


[Watch on YouTube]

Last Friday, on the evening before the Taxpayer March On Washington, a large group of teabaggers, patriots, small-government conservatives, and libertarians staged a rally at CityCenterDC, the site of the old Washington, DC Convention center. Little did they know they were standing on Astroturf.

Astroturfing is a word that describes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior. Being that the Taxpayer March on Washington was promoted heavily by Fox News and other conversation media organizations, it was far from being a grassroots mobilization. So when I realized the demonstrators were actually standing on astroturf, I decided to make this short video to highlight the irony of the spectacle.


Related Taxpayers March on Washington, DC Entries:
Photographs of Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC
Photographs of Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART ONE]
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART TWO]
Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART THREE]



Three Photographs of Cara Ober’s exhibit “Love Letters” at Civilian Art Projects
|| 9/13/2009 || 9:26 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Photographs of Cara Ober's exhibit Love Letters at Civilian Art Projects

After I went to Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC, I rode my bike to the gallery opening at Civilian Art Projects.

From the Civilian Art Projects website:

Love Letters is Baltimore-based artist Cara Ober’s first solo exhibition with Civilian Art Projects. Ober layers drawing, painting, and printmaking into mixed media works that examine and reinterpret sentimental imagery. Intricate and funny, Love Letters explores the relationship of the artist to image, word, and personal meaning found in the exploration of secret fantasy and expressive interlude.

The exhibition will be up until October 17th, 2009.

View the two other photographs I took:

+ MORE



Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART THREE]
|| 9/12/2009 || 11:42 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Photograph of a sign that says: HUGO CHAVEZ OBAMA -  I do not want socialism.  Tell the Truth! --- Save the baby seals
Probably my favorite sign of the entire demonstration.
SAVE THE BABY SEALS!!

Like Part Two, this portion of photographs from today’s Taxpayers March on Washington focuses on some of the random signs I found.

+ MORE



Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART TWO]
|| || 10:44 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

Photograph of a woman holding a sign that says: No thanks, I already have a Messiah
Photograph of a woman holding a sign that says: “No thanks, I already have a Messiah” and shows a modified Obama logo with a crescent moon to imply Barack Obama is a muslim.

In this portion of photographs from today’s Taxpayers March on Washington I am focusing on some of the random signs I found.

Photograph of a sign showing George Washinton saying WTF? with the caption: George addresses today's Congress
Photograph of a sign showing George Washinton saying WTF? with the caption: George addresses today’s Congress

View the rest:

+ MORE



Photographs of the Taxpayers March on Washington [PART ONE]
|| || 8:57 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

A sign that says Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy covered in horse poop

This morning I got up early to attend the Taxpayers March on Washington. Being that I’ve attended nearly every major demonstration in Washington, DC over the last ten years, I was really curious about how this demonstration would go off. How many people would there be? What would be the demographics of those present? Would people bring guns? Are these people as crazy and brainwashed as they’ve come to appear on television? Instead of relying on YouTube videos and hearsay, I wanted to see for myself who consider themselves modern day patriots.

Before I left my house I turned on the TV to see if there was any coverage of the demonstration on the major cable television news channels. Sure enough, CNN was showing that an estimated 80,000 were present. I also opened up the Washington Post and was rather startled that they had an article on the front page about the march. Where was the same kind of coverage before the Iraq war started when there were hundreds of thousands of Americans marching? After reading the article, and questioning Washington Post’s motives, I put on my FREE DC hat, charged up my camera, and rode my bike down to Pennsylvania ave to take it all in.


Below is my first batch of photographs from the day.

Photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that says: I want my gun
Photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that says: I Want My Gun.
My question is, why do you need a gun at a peaceful demonstration?

+ MORE



Photographs of Friday’s Opening Rally of the Taxpayers March on DC at CityCenterDC
|| 9/11/2009 || 11:15 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

A woman with fake over-sized ears with Obama's logo and the text: Pelosi Bullshit Reflector

Earlier this evening I noticed one of my friends had posted photos of the Tea Party Rally taking place at City Center DC on Facebook. I was planning on going that part of the city to attend a gallery opening, so I decided to stop by the event and take some photographs of people in the crowd.

Generally speaking, I’ve always felt this Taxpayer March on Washington reeks of astroturf— a term used for fake grassroots. With this weekend’s Taxpayer March on Washington being heavily promoted on Fox News and other conservative media outlets, it cannot be considered grassroots by any means. The concept of a grassroots movement is that it is organic and not promoted from the top down, but organized from the bottom up.

Upon arriving at City Center I was immediately aware that the “patriots” were actually standing on astroturf. I let out a hearty laugh at the irony many of those present were not aware of. Below are some of the photographs I took earlier this evening. In a couple days I hope to have the videos I recorded uploaded to YouTube.


Manipulated photo showing some of the Tea Party Patriors
Manipulated photo showing some of the demonstrators

View the rest:

+ MORE



The Mural Non-Controversy: From Edgewood to the Edge of the World Vs. ANC Commissioner Marshall Phillips
|| 8/28/2009 || 6:04 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

watch video on YouTube

Last Sunday there was a great article in the Washington Post about the just-completed mural in DC called From Edgewood to the Edge of the World. My good friend DECOY participated in the construction of the mural (and is shown in the video above), so when I originally saw the video clip on TV, I laughed out loud and decided to save the video. I originally attempted to embed the video about the story here on this blog, but was unable to do so properly, so I uploaded the video to YouTube. After I posted the video on Facebook, I decided to e-mail the popular street art blog Wooster Collective, who had posted a call to artists a couple weeks ago. The following day they posted the video under the headline “Stupidity in Washington, DC.”

The joke of this story is that there really is no controversy. Rather its one ANC commissioner, who doesn’t have much appreciation for art, trying to make a fuss about a unique cultural attraction in his neighborhood. I think it was the Redskins reference that really got me laughing. The team isn’t even located in Washington, DC! I sincerely hope someone makes a stencil of the Redskins logo and adds it to the mural. Not to comply with his request, per se, but to just make a point about the transient nature of street art. Since the artists approached him before the mural was even started, he had the opportunity to participate in the painting of the mural. So for him to complain about it lacking local relevance is in poor taste. But then again, he’s wearing a neon green jumpsuit, and from the looks of it(?), has his beard dyed grey. I’m curious about what he hangs on the walls of home.


As a side note— I really really really dislike the blatant racism exhibited by some YouTube users. The video has been viewed about 2,000 times since I uploaded it and I’ve already had to delete some racially charged comments. This is not the first time I’ve had to deal with this type of digital bigotry. The YouTube video of George Bush getting booed at Obama’s inauguration had quite a bit of hate speech. So what gives? I am debating if I should just turn off comments on all the videos I upload so I don’t have to be the intolerance nanny.



The sign I posted outside of MTV’s Real World DC house is transcribed in today’s Washington Post
|| 8/16/2009 || 3:01 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

Last month's photograph of the sign I wheatpasted outside of the Real World DC house in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC

Last month I posted the photograph above in my entry about adding some political commentary to the area around the Real World DC house in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. This morning a friend of mine left a somewhat cryptic comment on my Facebook page telling me to check section E6 in today’s Washington Post. I ran downstairs, opened the paper up, and let out out a hearty laugh.

Transcribed near the end of Dan Zak’s article, Neighborhood Watch: MTV Is in the House, and Everyone Else Just Wants to Be, is the text of my sign:

Reality Bites

Sometime in July, a sign is posted on the base of the lamppost on the northeast corner of the intersection. In simple black lettering on a plain white background, it reads, one word per line:

IN
THE
REAL
WORLD
ALL
AMERICANS
DESERVE
FULL
REPRESENTATION
IN
CONGRESS.

In the next section of the article there is choice quote from some teenagers from Maryland:

“It’s been 23 years. . . . D.C. is a treasure. . . . They’ve been to New York, like, five times. . . . It’s the capital. . . . It’ll be a really good representation of the city. . . . I talked to the cast before and they’re really down to earth.”

(underline added for emphasis of the Congressional lack thereof)

While I was not identified as the creator of the sign, even though a simple Google Search would have brought the author to my website, and the author only mentioned that there was one sign (there are 8 still up last time I counted), I’m very pleased that my sign was mentioned in today’s article. In that respect, the ten dollars spent making those signs & purchasing the wheatpaste was completely validated— my message made it into the Washington Post. But the real question is if the message will make the cut and be mentioned in any of the episodes set to air on MTV in 2010?


Since the sign(s) has been up now for just about a month, I figure its time to remove them and put up something new. I already have the next flyer made, but I’m debating if I should put them up or not. The flyer is a bit over the top, but well, umm, so are most of the people mentioned in the article. But unlike the ones who actually give two shits about the show, my aim is not to get in the house or hang out with the cast (I really could care less about that), but to use their presence in Washington, DC as a vehicle to get out the larger message of DC residents being second class citizens denied representation in Congress.


Click on the screen grab below to read the last page of the article:

Screen grab from the Washington Post article about the Real World in DC where the text of my sign is transcribed

What’s interesting about the text on-line versus the text in the printed article is that there is extra space between lines of the poster in the on-line version captured above. These extra line breaks actually make the point of the poster appear more important on-line than it does in the print edition, which does not feature extra line breaks. But since the print edition of the Washington Post is not delivered outside of the Washington, DC area, this typographical difference carries significantly more weight on-line than in print. In that respect, I must thank the web editor at the Washington Post for giving the text of my sign a little bit more emphasis than it would otherwise have received if it were identical to the print edition.


UPDATE – After I posted this entry, I went back to the Washington Post website and found that the poster was briefly shown at the beginning of the video portion of the article:

Video still of the poster being shown on the video that accompanies the article


Signs of the Time: The Healthcare Hipster [OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT]
|| 8/13/2009 || 12:04 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Photograph of a Hipster at a Healthcare Town Hall Meeting with a sign that says Obama Bring Back ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT from a somewhat anonymous Flickr user

Photograph from a first-time Flickr user named “granitepics”

The other day I was a asked by a friend who writes for a local DC blog called ReadySetDC to define the word “hipster.” There was recently light-hearted article in the Washington Post that used the term “quasi-hipster,” and few other blogs debated the merits of the story.

Before submitting my overtly wordy & somewhat absurd quote for his story, I sent him the link to Douglass Haddow’s Adbuster’s article that I had transcribed last summer. Basically I was implying that I’ve already offered my two cents on the topic, but I’ll still participate because I’m curious as to how other people will define the word in the entry. Visually, however….

Earlier today a friend posted this link on Facebook and after scrolling down to bottom, past the crazy signs, and the dude wearing a gun, I found the photo above and chuckled.

Oh how timely, there was a hipster…. Sporting tacky dark red sunglasses, a batman t-shirt, flip-flops, and an absurd sign: OBAMA BRING BACK ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

I immediately sent the photo to my high school friend Scott Thomas Towler because he used to work on the television show Arrested Development. I probably wouldn’t have even written this post had it not been for his work on the show—-

There has been such vitriol displayed at these dubiously titled “town hall” meetings by useful idiots, so seeing a hipster engaging in some type of contemporary culture jamming gave me some hope. The photograph shows that there is a societal buffer between for and against; evidence that people are not all left or right or wrong.

But then again, healthcare is a human right— something akin an inalienable right. Other countries know this very very well but there is far too much money to be made off of pain & suffering to transform health insurance corporations into non-profit entities. As such, it will continue to be a contentious issue that will be played out in the media for weeks to come.

Maybe we can begin to use a new term, like useful morons or useful morans, to describe the people being severely duped? Useful idiots needs to be modernized to describe the ignorance present in the American political landscape. Lucky for us, many of these useful morans will probably get distracted by a new television show come September. But unlike the show mentioned in sign the hipster is holding, the future health & well-being of Americans cannot be canceled.

Photograph of a Hipster at a Healthcare Town Hall Meeting with a sign that says Obama Bring Back ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT from Flickr user ccc photography

Photograph from Flickr user ccc photography



The Infinite E-mail – An Artistic Potential Security Flaw in Apple’s Mail Application [Inbox Art]
|| 8/12/2009 || 1:53 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

A screen grab showing the Safari browser option of e-mailing a webpage

Imagine that every time you clicked on an e-mail in your inbox, the e-mail showed something different. Well thats what I discovered last night before I went to bed.

A few weeks ago I found out that Mac users can send fully coded HTML e-mails using Apple’s Mail Application. All one needs to do is open up Safari, go to the page you want to e-mail, and select “Mail Contents of This Page” in the File Menu (see image above). The contents of the page are then automatically pasted into an e-mail that is ready to be sent:

A screen grab showing the HTML in an e-mail

But what if the HTML contains PHP scripts that dynamically load content? The HTML (originally from the Grand Juxtaposition via the front page of my website) calls two PHP scripts that randomly selects two images from two different folders on my website. So when you click on the e-mail in your inbox, two new images are displayed because Apple’s Mail Application runs the PHP scripts:

A screen grab from Apple's Mail Application showing a different image in the body of the e-mail because the PHP scripts

Notice that the images in the e-mail are different than what was originally sent
Click to view the full-sized image

Lets say the script was malicious and called a website that attempted to download malware. Would this ‘discovery’ be a flaw in Apple’s Mail Application?


So far I have tested this splendid e-mail out by emailing myself the same page to my GMail, Yahoo Mail, and MSN e-mail accounts. With the exception of MSN, which only loaded the foreground graphic and not the background graphic, neither GMail nor Yahoo worked like Apple’s Mail Application. I have not tested it out on Entourage or any other off-line e-mail client programs and I am curious if they’ll run the scripts or not. Regardless, this is probably one of the coolest e-mails ever!


Related Lost Series Entries:

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