Saturday, May 7, 2011

Credit Check

This image has been my header for the past week until being replaced by the self portrait that I made last year in July, the last time I had a haircut (or any of them for that matter).  Several people have contacted me saying that the image is a genuine likeness of yours truly and the shot's clarity in composition truly reflects how they see me when in person.  Credit should go when it is due and in this case the one who made the snap was Shannon Lechner, a photography student and apprentice.  She was using my camera under her manual control (with my add vice) and the old 55mm portrait lens.  I edited the original a bit with crop, black & white effect and a slight contrast adjustment.  For whatever reason, I really like this shot of myself and I do not say that often.

 This one I used the other day to introduce my immediate reaction to the news that sent millions of Americans in the opposite direction of what I was feeling.  Through the trees the sun burst the day before in my out back yard.  It is a completely lucky shot held still and changed only with black & white, contrast and a touch of highlight.  The burst in the sun is how the lens sent it to the reader, 16 million points of light radiating from the center.  A star apparent. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Closure only comes by letting go.

Of course some folks are starting to say that it is already old 'news', however the implications of the announcement that Osama bin (not ibn) Laden has been swept off the face of the earth will reverberate forever.  As in this second of time the changes are in motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The other basic principal of science proven time again states that two people can look at the same object from opposing sides and see two completely different things. Every single day I walk and ride across the surface of this spinning planet those two basic theories reveal themselves honestly and without a veil. 

You are about to read a document that I consider absolutely brilliant for its simplicity and accurate description of the cultural response to the death of the co-founder of al-Qaeda.  There is a possibility that this post will become AI'd and disappear from your cortex.  The only truth is that my intention is to transfer to you the peaceful response of understanding and feeling what is really going on around us.   Even though you may consider 'it' over your head and out of your con troll, your connection to this insanity in the now is organically connected to its manifestation. 

Online page with links can be read here.
From Peter Joseph & Zeitgeist:

On May 1, 2011 Pres. Barack Obama appeared on national television with the
spontaneous announcement that Osama bin Laden, the purported organizer of
the tragic events of September 11th 2001, was killed by military forces in

Within moments, a media blitz ran across virtually all television networks
in what could only be described as a grotesque celebratory display,
reflective of a level of emotional immaturity that borders on cultural
psychosis. Depictions of people running through the streets of New York and
Washington chanting jingoistic American slogans, waving their flags like
the members of some cult, praising the death of another human being,
reveals yet another layer of this sickness we call modern society.

It is not the scope of this response to address the political usage of such
an event or to illuminate the staged orchestration of how public perception
was to be controlled by the mainstream media and the United States
Government. Rather the point of this article is to express the gross
irrationality apparent and how our culture becomes so easily fixed and
emotionally charged with respect to surface symbology, rather than true
root problems, solutions or rational considerations of circumstance.

The first and most obvious point is that the death of Osama bin Laden means
nothing when it comes to the problem of international terrorism. His death
simply serves as a catharsis for a culture that has a neurotic fixation on
revenge and retribution. The very fact that the Government which, from a
psychological standpoint, has always served as a paternal figure for it
citizens, reinforces the idea that murdering people is a solution to
anything should be enough for most of us to take pause and consider the
quality of the values coming out of the zeitgeist itself.

However, beyond the emotional distortions and tragic, vindictive pattern of
rewarding the continuation of human division and violence comes a more
practical consideration regarding what the problem really is and the
importance of that problem with respect to priority.

The death of any human being is of an immeasurable consequence in society.
It is never just the death of the individual. It is the death of
relationships, companionship, support and the integrity of familial and
communal environments. The unnecessary deaths of 3000 people on September
11, 2001 is no more or no less important than the deaths of those during
the World Wars, via cancer and disease, accidents or anything else.

As a society, it is safe to say that we seek a world that strategically
limits all such unnecessary consequences through social approaches that
allow for the greatest safety our ingenuity can create. It is in this
context that the neurotic obsession with the events of September 11th, 2001
become gravely insulting and detrimental to progress. An environment has
now been created where outrageous amounts of money, resources and energy is
spent seeking and destroying very small subcultures of human beings that
pose ideological differences and act on those differences through violence.

Yet, in the United States alone each year, roughly 30,000 people die from
automobile accidents, the majority of which could be stopped by very simple
structural changes. That’s ten 9/11′s each year… yet no one seems to pine
over this epidemic. Likewise, over 1 million Americans die from heart
disease and cancer annually – causes of which are now easily linked to
environmental influences in the majority. Yet, regardless of the over 330
9/11′s occurring each year in this context, the governmental budget
allocations for research on these illnesses is only a small fraction of the
money spent on “anti-terrorism” operations.

Such a list could go on and on with regard to the perversion of priority
when it comes to what it means to truly save and protect human life and I
hope many out there can recognize the severe imbalance we have at hand with
respect to our values.

So, coming back to the point of revenge and retribution, I will conclude
this response with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., likely the most
brilliant intuitive mind when it came to conflict and the power of
non-violence. On September 15, 1963 a Birmingham Alabama church was bombed,
killing four little girls attending Sunday school.

In a public address, Dr. King stated:

“What murdered these four girls? Look around. You will see that many
people that you never thought about participated in this evil act. So
tonight all of us must leave here with a new determination to struggle. God

We can’t save the soul of this nation throwing bricks. We can’t save the
soul of this nation getting our ammunitions and going out shooting physical
weapons. We must know that we have something much more powerful. Just take
up the ammunition of love.”

- Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963 -
~Peter Joseph

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Were swaying, not just swaying, I'm just saying.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Wide Awake in a Fake Empire

The real question is, what else is happening right now? Do not swing and miss at the curve ball they are throwing you, the illusion of a win is simply that, brace yourself and feel what is going on around us with an open heart.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Remember when the river flowed up the mountain?

Zoo the other afternoon through the old 105mm.
This morning I woke up to a text message and a voice mail, both inquiring if I had heard about the auto hit and run fatality of a human on a bike at 0551hrs near the South End.  According to a local news source, the death by vehicle happened predawn on Poindexter Drive near the intersection of Lawndale Road.  The victim was Carl Hedrick, a 29 year old who was apparently visiting some friends in Charlotte.   After running over the victim, the car driver hit the gas in a conscious effort to run from the truth that he or she created, while two people could do nothing but watch their friend die of traumatic injuries.  The car, which has been described as an older light colored Toyota Corolla or Tercel with front damage was last seen headed towards South Boulevard.  If you have any information because you are connected to the incident or just searched the cloud over Hong Kong looking for insight, please do what is natural and contact CMPD Detective Kevin Allred of the Major Crash Unit at 704.432.2169. 

Seems like I have feelings that are not yet thoughts about this latest cycling related death by auto in Charlotte. In the now, the time that I spend riding my bike for the Monday through Friday daily continues to fill my senses with the authenticity of the experience.  While remaining car contact free for the past seven years or so, I never stop thinking about the catastrophic potential energy transfer that could happen if I wind up in front of one from any angle accelerating towards my human form.  Just yesterday I was rolling a Saturday Stay Alive into the big buildings to guide 13 riders on a 'Beginners' bike tour of the downtown Charlotte area.  It is a route that I am very familiar with, and the closer to town I get, the more options I have to ride a variety of quiet neighborhood streets that all take me to the same destination.

The gentle climb up McClintock Road in the cool morning air under a cloudless saturated blue sky reminded me of some place I had been a long time ago.  Random vibrant green topped old hardwoods stood tall up the long sloping landscape, their big round canopies weren't there a month ago and now they were swaying lightly in the early breeze.  Rolling by the big church, I thought about going left towards Commonwealth but quickly changed my mind.  For whatever reason, this morning I stayed straight with my back to the sun on McClintock for the Plaza on the flat up over the hill. 

At ten meters and closing for the stop sign at the Plaza I started slowing down knowing that this can be a precarious intersection to cross.  Straight through the intersection I take a gravel parking lot alley to Thomas Street for more options.   Most mornings I have to come to a complete stop because of Plaza commuter car cross traffic, but on a Saturday it felt and was quiet.  Except for one, one potential killer in a small brown colored sports car coming down the Plaza from way of Central accelerating for a quick turn onto McClintock towards my space, on my side of the stop sign.  Yes, at that point in time it was mine.

Slowing the gear still not at the sign but life alarmed, and looking into the approaching windscreen I saw the dark driver's large white eyeballs as he realized he was cutting a corner.  His eyes looked surprised, not aware or paying attention at all.  A prevalent condition of the auto culture of this fine city.  My intuition in complete survival mode not wanting a head on crash at this speed, screamed at him something that I do not remember.  He was cutting it so close to his left that there was no where and time space for me to go.  Either his intuition kicks in by simultaneously widening his turn right (he had plenty of room, which is where he should have been in the first place) and letting off the gas, or he is going to hit me head on and cause a serious problem.

I leaned right, and he came about wider at speed, we missed by a meter before I even made it to the right edge of the white stop line.  There I held up for a second turning to see if he had stopped and was wanting to discuss the matter at hand.  Oh yeah, his eyes, his car, his presence in the now are all dead giveaways that he did not give one shit about what had just really happened.  My heart rate was up a bit until I made it to Pecan, then the quiet street settled me down with the understanding of how comfortable I felt right then.  Tomorrow morning I will go through that spot again, as I will many times forward future.  

Condolences to the family and friends of Carl Hedrick, I am very saddened to hear about his death this morning.  For anyone who reads this post and is actively following the two wheeled path, please be careful and watch the place that you put your machine and human form, this town is as dangerous as any other American metro and that is not a joke.  Like someone smart once tried to instill in me, make every ride count...