Palma Market Palma Market Palma Market Palma Market Palma Market

various photographs from the market in Palma; really digging the results of my 50mm Summicron Rigid.

There’s a lot of outrage in the United States over Donald Trump’s latest comments, because of course there is. This time it happens to be an attack on Representative Ilhan Omar and a subsequent literal rallying cry by his supporters, but I mean, who the fuck is even surprised by this anymore?

Trump made an administration based on the mechanics that allowed him to win: escalation combined with a forgiving media—and by ‘forgiving media’ I mean one that is so entrenched in news cycles as a form of profitability that all new stories eclipse the old. This notion of existing only in-the-moment allows for the outrage to repeat as long as Trump gives a new reason for it to.

And this outrage is easy. It’s hollow. Take another recent abhorrent event, the blocking of health coverage for 9/11 First Responders (a cause to which Jon Stewart has thankfully reclaimed some air time for). After 9/11, the talking points were You’re with us or against us and It’s unpatriotic to not support the President and Never forget.

—Now the talking points are about cost structures, even though the state seems hell-bent on spending a trillion dollars on a war plane that can’t fly. But the talking points begin with Rand Paul and at Fox News, subsequently resonating across the internet. The idea that trolling liberals is more important to these right-wing morons than common decency toward people who show up for jobs these online idiots would be far too cowardly to attempt is just as bad as the spineless democrats who try and compromise with their ilk instead of telling them to sit down and shut the fuck up like the children they are.

Maybe it’s that Americans have adopted the news cycle as a model for civilization; that the past is not an accumulation of evidence but simply an archive of Well, that happened sentiment. Maybe it’s because the actual issues that plague society—capitalism, technocratic ideologies and individualist motivation—would threaten the wealth of too many in power and the dreams of those working to get there. Maybe America is just doomed to repeat these vicious cycles of faux-rage and self-indulgent victimization as immigrants get rounded up and representatives threatened until it all breaks down.

How soon we forget.

Seattle

Pike Place · Seattle

I mailed home 20 rolls of film and a couple were processed and scanned and this was one of the first images I saw from the crop—from my last weeks between Portland and Seattle—and it reminds me so much of why I just keep going from place to place. The generalized insanity of self-indulgence during the end of the world ad nauseum is enough to make a person lose their mind.

this is so fucking good it makes my head hurt. in the future when they look back on art in the age of Nothing Fucking Matters Anymore (And Then The World Ended), this should be page 1 as to how artists responded

Since the world is filled with horrific problems, literal Nazis and absolutely no end in sight, television—or streaming content, or whatever the fuck we’re calling it now—has somehow eclipsed its dominance from the pre-internet era, going from a social norm to a bastion of the Potential Economy of New Technology. Netflix spends billions of dollars on ‘original content,’ and the word Binge has gone from an implication of bad behavior to a promotion for weekend indulgence.1 Entire websites have writers for re-hashing plots and speculating about future character choices.

It makes me wonder, maybe this is because television is the one thing right now that can’t be disputed. Fifty years ago a man landed on the moon and it wasn’t six months back I was sitting at a café when the guy next to me tried to convince me it was faked and the world is, in fact, flat. Television is one area of society—professional sports being another—where there is no such thing as Fake News. You can have opinions that can be ridiculed but everyone starts at the same area of common knowledge.2

This investment in fantasy is dangerous. The more a culture digs a psychological hole into what is not real, the more it allows for the terror of reality to propagate unchecked. Millions of people have signed up to ‘Storm Area 51’ while not a couple hundred miles to the south, camps that actually need liberation only grow more entrenched as a norm in the minds of American society.

People wonder how Donald Trump became President, but let’s not forget that guy was a prominent figure on TV for 15 years.

As America grows more fascinated with its creations—few of which have any artistic integrity and most of which are, at best, forgettable—while it allows for social problems to go unsolved, the country sets itself up only for a more dismal future. That politics are now on display as entertainment and issues play out like seasons on a TV show is no mistake; it is a catastrophic failure of those given responsibility for guarding the merits of political process from the institutions of capitalism.3 Integrity and credibility have long been sold down the river, but people are too busy expressing themselves with GIFs from Game of Thrones to be bothered enough to care.

  • Hilarious how excessive indulgence can either be considered good or bad depending on who profits and what the status quo says.
  • This is one reason I love the ending to The Sopranos, because its open-ended interpretation managed to really piss people off.
  • Similarly, the exponential growth in disposable culture is the opportunity of money, uncaring of the consequence toward the actual craft or ideas behind the concept of American art.
Horse
Cows

—outside of sheep, the animals here are all pretty nice. although I don’t think Ireland has cats. I think I’ve seen one cat in the entire two months I’ve been here. Which is fine, I don’t really see many friendly horses when I’m wandering around in the States—

(images continued from Bantry Bay adventures)

“If the road you followed brought you to this, of what use was the road?”

I think about this scene a lot when I think about modern American liberalism.

I do not understand those who believe in Kamala Harris1 or Elizabeth Warren2—or really any of the other Democratic candidates outside of Bernie.3 What part of believing in a system hell-bent on profit and power would make someone think that it does not, eventually, end up with a Trump-like figure? Someone who uses media perfectly to appeal to the weakness of populism and the modern social-media driven mob mentality?4

Of course The New York Times and its ilk will try and convince America that belief in old institutions matters, and that Trump is just an aberration, but the fact is that Trump is the most recent face of the problem and not the problem itself. And to elect anyone who isn’t willing to throw their weight behind a complete overhaul of the system is to stare at an assassin pointing a shotgun at your face, convincing yourself that you can convince him not to pull the trigger.

  • Cop.
  • “Capitalist to my bones.”
  • OK so maybe include Marianne Williamson here, but more in the sense she’s the Democratic version of Trump and actually has a shot at that mindset shit grabbing a wave of new-age populism.
  • Barack Obama did it perfectly in 2008. The people were tired of war, they were tired of a dumbass for a President, and here came this educated man with a savvy online presence talking about Hope. He enraged part of the country the way that Trump is doing now. They’re really two sides of the same coin.

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips
of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
if it sinks, it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you.

—Frank O’Hara, from Meditations In An Emergency

Bantry Bay Bantry Bay Bantry Bay Bantry Bay

The eight-hour time zone difference between Ireland and America means any major event in the States, I usually wake up to instead of read about in real-time—the way most things go these days. This creates a non-specific sense of dread, in that checking The Guardian or The New Yorker each morning is going to have one horrifying new story or another.

That sort of fear creates a general anxiety, less with regard to certain doom and more that its very existence seems a pretty strong piece of evidence that everything is completely fucked.

Today is different though. Right now everyone in America is asleep. And when they wake, the horrors of targeted raids against immigrants will begin. The Trump administration has blatant disregard for any concept of human rights and the impending violence—both physical and psychological—of what will happen in America just hours from now is an indefensible atrocity.

And those atrocities will be the headlines I will wake to on Monday. That this grotesque cycle of fear is making it easier to predict the future is truly terrifying. That it is defended by some, funded by ‘the opposition’ and ignored by most is tragic. That it is becoming routine for this depraved indifference to keep advertising revenue flowing into Op-Ed pages is quintessentially American.