Category Politics

Intelligence Squared U.S.

This isn’t exactly music monday material, but think of it as another option to listen to while completing tasks that require more hands than brains: oxford-style debating from Intelligence Squared. Ok, Ok, stay with me. I listened to one of these debates this past weekend centering around a proposition that “the art market is less ethical than the stock market” and since I like art, I wanted the art market to be ethical… but then I learned more about the art market (while listening to some pretty funny back-and-forth between the panelists, including artist Chuck Close, collector Richard Feigen, critic Jerry Saltz, and others.) The audience is polled before and after the debate to determine the winner.

Most of the debates center around political propositions, especially the free U.S. version, but the original, un-free version from the U.K. features more debates surrounding design such as: Fashion Maketh Woman, Modern Architecture is all Glass and Carbuncles, Real Artists Work in Advertising or Palladio versus Ruskin. Actually, after writing Palladio versus Ruskin, I can’t blame anyone for preferring to listen to music.


Tiny Showcase for the Gulf Restoration Network

A few weeks back Bobby posted some heartbreaking photographs of animals caught in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the official governmental reaction has been disappointing, I have noticed a number of online charities and initiatives popping up that have been admirably designed to raise money to protect and restore the Gulf region.

Helping the cause, the people at Tiny Showcase have joined forces with artist Jen Corace to produce the above print (“Down, Down, Down”) to raise money for the Gulf Restoration Network. To my mind, it’s a win-win situation: each print sold raises $15 for the charity and buyers will have a beautiful print to hang on their walls and know that they’ve made a small difference. But do be quick: this unsigned edition will only be available until 18 June 2010.


Caught in the Oil Spill

The photos above are both cruel and painful to look at, and that’s exactly why I’m posting them. It’s been 46 days since the drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana had an explosion causing crude oil to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. These photos were taken by AP Photographer Charlie Riedel and I think they sum up what’s happening quite well, showing that there are living things dying because of this catastrophe. I think it’s hard to really realize what’s happening since it’s not on land, and we can’t see exactly what this giant blot on a satellite map really means.

It sickens me that the our government hasn’t done more to make these assholes pay for what they’ve done. I don’t think there’s even a way to calculate the damage that has been done and the potential long term problems. I hope whenever this mess is over that BP is held fully accountable for not taking the proper precautions and that our government makes sure that this never happens again.

I also wanted to point out that designer/educator Frank Chimero has updated the Lousiana image from his States Project to reflect the current state of the state. Originally there was gum on the bottom of the shoe, making the statement about how difficult it was to get out of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina hit. But it’s amazing how well this works when you simply change the pink of bubblegum to the black of crude.


No on Prop 8

It’s Election Day here in the U.S, a day which is now so important for the entire world. If you’ve read my blog before you know that I’ve voted for Barack Obama, I’ve been supporting him on this blog since last April when I first heard about him and heard his intense passion for this country. At this point I’m fairly certain he’s going to win, even my mother, a republican, just wrote me saying that she thinks he’s going to win, and Karl Rove, one of the most vile men on this planet, has stated he will win. So I’m feeling good about that.

My other concern is called Prop 8, a proposition currently being voted on here in California. Basically Prop 8 wants to make a constitutional amendment stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Currently in California same-sex couples can get married, and enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. If people vote yes on Prop 8, then people like me, a gay man, won’t be able to get married to the person I love.

A lot of people who are voting yes on 8 say they want to “protect marriage”, which confuses me. Let’s take for example Bristol Palin, a 17 year old girl who got knocked up by her 18 year old boyfriend… they plan on getting married because she got pregnant, not because they’re in love. So, how is any of that sacred? How many countless heterosexual people get married in Vegas on a whim? Is that what people are trying to protect?

Then there’s the issue of religion. I’m not a religious person in any way, shape, or form. I wasn’t raised in any particular way, and I’m quite happy the way I am. That being said, I don’t want to get married in a church, I want religion to be no part of my ceremony. I want to be married on the beach, surrounded by all of the friends and family I love, telling all of them that I’m committing myself to one person for the rest of my life.

The last issue comes from the false statements from the Yes on 8 people stating that children will be taught about homosexuality as early as kindergarten. From the No on Prop 8 site:

“Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it.”

That’s what I have to say about the issue. It’s about equal rights for everyone. And c’mon California, we’re one of the most progressive states out there. We can be a beacon for change for the rest of the U.S., paving the way for other states to follow suit. So please, VOTE NO ON PROP 8.


Michael Beirut’s Politically Neutral Lapel Pin

Politics. While they may frustrate my to no end, they intrigue me even more. So when I came across this new lapel pin by Michael Beirut, a collaboration between he and Men’s Vogue, I was quite excited, as it was designed to be politically neutral, something we can all appreciate. With the pins design, Beirut “tried to defamiliarize a very familiar configuration of letters”, and it’s unique shape is inspired by the country’s history as a melting pot.

I think this is a really beautiful piece of work and is extremely timeless feeling, something I’ve found is really important to me lately. There are only 5,000 made and they go for $10 a piece, so grab one while you can, I already did.


Obama Letterpress Print by Dan Funderburgh

I’m an adamant supporter of both Barack Obama and Dan Funderburgh, so when you combine the two it’s almost like waking up on X-Mas morning! Dan, along with Dylan Fareed over at I Am Still Alive, have teamed up to create another amazing poster called Census. The poster features all sorts of patriotic bits and bobs arranged in a way that only someone like Dan Funderburgh can do.

Most importantly, ALL proceeds go are being donated straight to the Obama campaign, so if you’re like me, this is a great deal on both ends. The prints measure 13 x 20″, and are only $30, which is an amazing deal for such an awesome print and an amazing cause. Click here to order one!


Stuck on Lapel Pins

The New York Times has a great little story called Stuck on Lapel Pins, which basically dips back into questioning Obama’s patriotism because he doesn’t wear a flag pin (most of which, are made in China). So what they’ve done is asked some illustrators and designers to create an new, alternative pin that he could wear instead. My personal favorite came from the awesome Oliver Munday who came up with afresh and modern approach to the topic, wearing a badge. On each one is some sort of clever, hipster saying or contemporary interpretation of classic symbols and ideas. I think Oliver should actually make sets of these, I know I would wear some of those.

There’s also Ray Bartkus’ idea, which is to simply rip the lapels off of all suits everywhere, thus killing this stupid debate.


The Obama “Hope” Fine Art Version

Unless you’re legally blind, you’ve seen Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster wheat pasted everywhere in the world. Well Shepard has decided to donate a fine art version of the poster to the charity auction, Art For Life, which is an annual event that benefits Russell Simmon’s Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation. The piece up for auction is one of three in existence, measures 4′ x 6′, and to me is absolutely beautiful. I love that Shep took his wheat paste/stencil/layering style and applied it to this poster, I think it looks really rad. The only catch is that currently the piece is going for $32,777, and you have to increase the bid by at least $5,000. So if you have a spare forty grand lying around, you should definitely pick yourself up a new piece for the mantle!


Scott Hansen / ISO50’s New Obama Poster

Eagle-eyed reader Victor just sent me an email letting me know that Scott Hansen, better knows as ISO50 to the design-y types, has the poster he created for Barack Obama on the official Obama site. About a month ago Scott wrote on his blog that the Obama campaign had contacted him to create a poster, just like Shepard Fairey had done previously. He also described on his blog about how crazy this project became. The final file ended up being 2.77 GB, with almost 1000 layers!!! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, a file of that size, with that many layers, is basically unheard of. I deal with digital images all the time, and I cringe at a 200 MB file, let alone almost 3 GB!

I think the poster turned out really amazing, it’s definitely going to be pretty damn popular. The colors are fantastic, and I’m sure there’s a TON of detail that you can’t see in the tiny image above. The poster measures 23″ x 40″, and comes in an edition of 5000, which I don’t think is that many, especially with the size of audience that is probably seeing the image. The poster isn’t officially ready, but you can pre-order it for $70 right now.

I just think it’s rad that all of these ultra-creative folks have stepped up to the plate to really show their support for Obama. It makes me really happy to see them rallying behind Obama and hopefully getting more and more younger voters into voting.


Black is the New President, Bitch

I’m back home from Northern California and I had a really great weekend. While I was up there I had a chance to watch Saturday Night Live which I never get to do because I don’t have cable… or a TV. The episode wasn’t very funny, but the special appearance by Tracy Morgan made the whole thing worthwhile. As of lately SNL has been catching a little flack for being too “Hillary friendly”, so they got Tracy Morgan to even the tide a little bit. I thought what he said was really great, but the very last part had me laughing and jumping out of my seat. Just watch the clip (which might have a commercial before the video, not my fault) and see for yourself.