01.09.09

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Some interesting art with political undertones from Jesse Hazelip.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

12.04.08


Conceived and Written (six weeks later than he shoulda) by-Marc Shaiman Directed and Staged by: Adam Shankman Produced by Adam Shankman, Marc Shaiman and Mike Farah Edited by Bradly Schulz and Drew Antzis Cast (in order of appearance) California Gays and The People That Love Them Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole Parker Proposition 8′ers and The People That Follow Them Prop 8 Leader- John C. Reilly Prop 8 Leader’s #1 Wife- Allison Janney Prop 8 Leader’s #2 Wife- Kathy Najimy Riffing Prop 8′er-Jenifer Lewis A Preacher- Craig Robinson Scary Catholic School Girls From Hell-Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke The Frightened Villagers Katharine “Kooks” Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise “Esi!” Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, Tate Taylor, Brunson Green Jesus Christ Jack Black A Very Smart Fellow Neil Patrick Harris Piano Player Marc “Marc” Shaiman —- Co-Choreographer: Anne “Mama” Fletcher Recorded and Mixed by Frank Wolf & Greg Hayes Director of Photography: Michael Barrett Camera Operators: Jake Szymanski, Bradly Schulz and Drew Antzis Production designer: Nelson Coates Costume designer: Shanna Knecht Costume assistants: Leslie Schilling, Annalisa Adams, Elizabeth Abate Hair: Laura Sanchez Make-up: Shauna O’Toole, Atticuss Sharp Production sound: Bradford Craig Music editor: Lisa Jaime Music assistant: Brian Naguit Snacky: “Snacky” Special Thanks to Adam McKay for the nudge.

Wow, look at all those famous people.

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11.21.08

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An interesting interview is available at the NY Times from the man, Sol Sender (Senderllc.com/) who put the famous ‘O’ in the Obama brand.

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11.04.08

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If you are registered and you haven’t done so yet, get up off your ass, get out there and vote today! Please, be sure to do it. Nothing you do today will be more important. Every vote does count. Do not take anything for granted. This is one of the most important elections in American history. Get out there and take part. If you have to stand in line and miss work then so be it. It is your legal right to do so. Tell your employer or teacher you are voting.

If you don’t and your candidate loses, you revoke all your rights to complain.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

10.13.08

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In light of the recent downturn in the economy along with the upcoming election, I decided to drop the price of the Obama Commemorative posters by 20 dollars. From now until the day of the presidential election the posters will be priced at $30. Also, up until election day, if you order an Obama poster you can choose ANY of the other posters (currently priced at $18) on the website and receive them with your Obama poster for only $10. Again, all of the posters are signed and numbered.

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10.07.08

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The good people at the Cuban Council have initiated an interesting project to try to help determine exactly how much influence the alien vote could have on the upcoming election. Its an interesting idea that will no doubt yield even more interesting data.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,

09.29.08

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Well, unless you have been living under a rock for the past week it has been impossible to ignore the news roaring out of the U.S. The Wall Street bailout failed today going down at 228 to 205. After a flurry of calls and emails protesting the bill flooded the government, lawmakers were just not willing to risk passing such an unpopular bill this close to an election. Wall Street responded promptly with one of the sharpest single day drops in the history of the American economy.

What does it mean for people like us? And by that I mean working designers, Art Directors, Photographers, Artists, etc.? Well, time will tell. A friend of mine who works at Wachovia stopped by over the weekend and said that people were pulling money out of the bank all last week and that the credit score for a simple car loan had been raised to 700. A perfect credit score is 850, and you can trust me when I say that there are a lot of people out there no where near a credit score of 700. That means working-class people like you and me are going to start feeling a crunch very soon unless something miraculous happens. I think what America is finally discovering is that you can’t build a kingdom on credit. Its akin to building a house on a foundation of sand. The days of the gold standard are long past and the concept of value now is open to speculation. And speculation just isn’t a hard currency.

One thing is for sure. The corporate government has been firmly put in place, and I think we are seeing the end of an era in the United States. I am just waiting to see what’s next. If I wake up tomorrow and hear the headline, ‘America Sold To China’, I can’t say I will be surprised.

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06.21.08


Watch, read and weep at the statistics in Bran Dougherty-Johnson’s, motion piece, Costs Of War.

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06.04.08

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Hilary Clinton has officially announced tonight that she is officially dropping out of the race for President. She has plans now to endorse Obama later this week.

That being said it is time for the next important order of business and that is the news that for the first time in the history of the United States of America we officially have are first black presidential nominee. It is a proud and historic moment for our country and it is a moment that so far has been hard fought by Obama and his supporters. I think at this point it is safe to say that he has run an intelligent campaign and his people have done an absolutely phenomenal job in winning this nomination. It really is an amazing time right now in the United States and it is exciting as a young person to feel, even in a small way to be actively participating in something so important. It’s an amazing moment to see someone young, energized, exciting and more symbolic of our shared creeds in this country.

The real work lies ahead now for the Obama camp. McCain will be pulling out all the stops to do whatever he can to smear and bring Obama down. It is going to be a tough time but what could potentially be gained is worth the fight. It is a thrilling time for sure and I think a lot of eyes, all over the world will continue to be focused on where this is all going. There is no doubt that America now finds itself in the throes of political history. I just hope for all our sakes that this is the beginning of correcting some awful mistakes made over the last 8 years. We have a lot of work to do and we need to get to it.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

06.03.08

I have been holding off on writing this entry until the video was in from all three remaining presidential candidates tonight. I watched all three and there were some good speeches given tonight. They are posted above and I apologize for the commercials but it was the best and most complete video I could find. I think the speeches tonight were the first time the American public got a glimpse of some of what they can expect in the coming months. I am probably misquoting the exact number, but McCain used the word ‘change’ around 35 times or more in his speech. A particular note that offended me from McCain’s speech was his touting that Obama somehow represents or is supported by special interest. That was hard to sit through considering McCain is supported by some of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the country. His attempt at posing himself as the original change candidate seemed a little contrived and a touch desperate but I think it is just the beginning of his part pulling out all the stops against a potential run against Obama. I have heard from inside his party that the proposition of running against Obama and his ‘new’ way of campaigning scares the hell out of some of his affiliates. Apparently Obama has been able to move younger conservative voters over to his side and this worries McCain’s organizers. It should and it is also why I think we can expect to see a very interesting race that will highlight some of the polar factions of American politics.

Another note from the nights events is that Clinton made it clear that she is not yet deciding to drop out of the nomination process. She has amassed a large cache of voters, and as a wealthy woman, there can be no doubt that she knows when you have acquired valuable assets you hold on to them as long as you can or at least as long as you can to use them for leverage. That being said, it is looking like she wants to use that cache of voters as a potential way of maneuvering her way into a V.P. position. News is breaking from her camp that she wants to seek personal council with Obama as soon as possible so they can discuss future plans. The nagging question is, why doesn’t she just meet with him then? Why does she have to ‘announce’ that she wants to meet with him. One thing is for sure, the Clinton supporters are standing firmly by her and regardless of her attempt at congratulating Obama and speaking of party unification.

Lastly, and of course I can admit bias as an Obama supporter, I think Obama gave a rousing speech tonight. It was truly inspiring and it was the first time I felt he really started laying down the issues he wants to address as the nominee. The news has been quick to jump on the story of his nomination and I was very excited by it myself. The problem is, Clinton has not yet officially ceded the nomination and until she does I worry that she could cause a tear in the party. Obama is doing his best despite this to talk to all potential voters on both sides of the aisle. Despite the muddy conditions under which he did his best at accepting the apparent nomination, it is a historic evening for American politics. Obama will be our first black presidential nominee and it is due time. I still believe he is a real symbol for a new America and it is an America that young people understand and openly accept while some older Americans are still clinging to past prejudice. I have heard it said and uttered that America is not ready for a black President and I feel this is totally untrue. If we are not ready now then we never will be. Skin color should no longer be an issue in this country. Period. It’s an important and overdue step for the U.S.

I know some readers do not like it when I write about politics but as an American citizen this presidential race and it’s impact on both the U.S. and the world are impossible to ignore. The current administration has put a strain on this country and it has made it a difficult climate in which to practice a creative career. It will be better for us all if America takes a step in a more intelligent, diplomatic, ethical and prosperous direction. These are interesting times we find ourselves in and I think it’s important to pay attention. The world could be a very different place in the future and making changes may require sacrifices from us all, specifically in the U.S. We need a leader now more than ever that can inspire us to take up our civic duty and make both America and the world a better place. We have been apathetic for too long and it is costing us dearly.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

05.27.08


I leave the country for 4 days and when I come back there is a journalist on Fox joking about ‘knocking’ off Obama? I think a new low has been reached on Fox news. I can’t believe someone would say something like that on national television, not just about Obama, but about any presidential candidate. Is she completely out of her mind? It’s pathetic and just downright unprofessional. What a disgrace.

She couldn’t even apologize sincerely. Someone call security and escort this woman to the door. Call her a cab home and hand her a newspaper so she can start combing the classifieds for a new job because a slip like that should cost her the one she already has.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

05.26.08

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I had previously written about artist, musician and designer Scott Hansen being selected by the Obama campaign to contribute the next ‘Artists for Obama’ poster after Shepard Fairey and the poster was printed and put up for sale this week. You can purchase a limited edition print of the poster ‘here‘ at the official Obama website.

It’s interesting to note that where, Fairey’s work (and my own) work for Obama has been very ‘political’ drawing influence from WWII propaganda and Russian Constructivism, Hansen’s poster is very soft and human. It’s a sharp contrast to the now iconic poster Fairey created and portrays a totally different interpretation of Obama’s campaign and message.

You can read more about the poster along with a massive list of comments about it at IS050′s blog.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

05.14.08

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George Bush sunk to a new low today when news surfaced that he claimed he had given up golf to show solidarity for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq. U.S. war veterans are already calling the move a disgrace and an ‘insult to all Americans.’

Brandon Friedman, a U.S. infantry officer veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan said that Bush claiming he sacrificed playing golf for the soldiers was a “slap in the face” for U.S. troops.

If there were any doubt as to whether or not Bush sincerely understands the sacrifices incurred by military service they have been squashed entirely by this news. It just shows how completely disconnected he is from his public and how little he can relate. It is a sign of the times that the U.S. body politic is now headed by royal legacy aristocrats who know and care nothing about what they would most likely consider the ‘peasant’ population. It’s a symbol for what has become of the system of government in America. It’s truly broken and no longer represents the common American.

In an interview with Yahoo, Bush said, “I didn’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

This may be unbelievable but it is not unexpected, that is if you have been paying attention to what has been going on now from the very first day this administration took office. It’s time to start holding them responsible for the blood of our young men. Start voting them out in every election you can take part in. This can’t happen again. Ever. America is better than this. We just need people in office that show it. Bush never has and history will reflect this.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,

05.10.08



So, with all the talk about Reverend Wright and Obama, it is probably a good idea to at least, for the sake of argument, bring some attention to the other side. I still feel strongly, as our forefathers did, that religion has absolutely no place in politics. I may be alone on that notion and I do realize that religion has a lot to do with informing one’s system of beliefs. However, I think our forefathers were pretty specific on this particular topic and saw the combination of church and state as a threat to the independence of the republic. I don’t condemn other people’s religious beliefs because that is a private matter and people are free to believe whatever they like, so long as it does not bring about harm to innocent people. I just think in order to ensure that rational discussion that involves the highest thought and is in the interest of diplomacy first is strained when strong religious beliefs are brought to the fold. So, it bothers me that this has become such an issue with American politics.

With that said, I am fully aware of the fact that Obama attended Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years and he has strong personal ties to Wright. Obama has condemned Wright’s statements publicly and has worked to distance himself from Wright’s egocentric antics.

McCain also has connections to some frightening religious zealots. The difference being that McCain actively and very deliberately sought the endorsement of these zealots because he has declared that he shares their beliefs. Again, as in the case with Obama, this would be a private matter on McCain’s behalf if it were not for the absolutely insane things that the religious leaders endorsing McCain are saying. They are also saying these things very openly and are not hiding their fanatical beliefs in any way whatsoever.

Reverend Hagee is McCain’s biggest religious endorser so far and as Obama has begun distancing himself from Wright, McCain has drawn himself closer to Hagee and refuses to drop his endorsement. The reason this is disturbing is because of the vast array of discriminatory beliefs held by Hagee, who condemns just about everyone under the sun who does not adhere to his warped morality. He has claimed that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God meant to punish the sinful people of New Orleans. I would imagine there were a lot of innocent people in New Orleans who did not choose to be born there that would beg to differ with that opinion and probably found it deeply disturbing, and rightly so. Hagee also believes that, and I quote, “The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty.” He also believes that the Catholic church is “a great whore” and “a false cult system.”

A new and even more disturbing religious leader that McCain has sought endorsement from is Reverend Rod Parsley. He shares many of Hagee’s views and in some ways is almost more fanatical. So why has this not been as much an issue in the media. Doesn’t this deserve at least equal coverage? Why aren’t more people talking about this? If this presidential race is going to allow us to look at and judge both sides equally then why is the media not at least reporting more openly on this. The beliefs of these men is publicly known and very easy to track down. Why isn’t this being treated as a bigger issue?

You can read more about McCain’s ‘spiritual counsel’ at the following links:
The Huffington Post
Wikipedia page on Hagee
Hagee on Hurricane Katrina
Hagee on Armageddon

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

05.07.08


Well, again I am sorry for the seemingly disproportionate amount of politics to art on my blog lately, but there is just so much entertaining content right now in the political arena that it is impossible to keep away from it. This video may be low-fi but since this blog is about the collision between creativity and culture, I cannot think of a better video that marries creativity and politics so harmoniously. It must have been a pain to edit this but it is just hilarious. It’s impossible not to have a laugh and enjoy it.

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Damn. I thought she was done until I saw this video. There is still a possibility. Damn.

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05.02.08

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I made another small series of free downloadable Obama posters this week. I will most likely do one more short series with an image of Obama and then be finished. Again, I made these to function as a FREE resource to people interested in printing their own posters at little expense via Kinkos or their home printer or whatever way they can for that matter. I felt it was important that, as opposed to having pay $70 to $200 dollars for a piece of art that was really nonfunctional, it might be more useful to people to just have some clean attractive signage readily available to them so they could show their support for Obama.

I don’t care if you don’t like the font, or you are annoyed by the slanted ‘A’ characters in the last round of posters, or think the simple vector art I created looks too much like Shepard Fairey or whoever else out there in our world of a billion designers that makes simple vector portraits of people. I created them the way I did out of functionality. They are all very small in file size making them easy to download and email (even the vector portrait posters at 24×36), include space for writing for usage as meeting announcements etc., translate easily into black and white, and portray quick easily digestible iconic imagery that was meant to embody the spirit of political propaganda.

If you don’t like the posters, don’t download and use them. If you do, or you want to use the vector art in them to make your own posters, that is exactly what they are for. If you don’t like how I created them, use the existing graphics and improve upon them and then make your posters available for free so people have an alternative. I am all for that.

Obama is one of the first politicians in a quarter of a century who isn’t just speaking to the people, he is speaking for the people. He is a thinking man who wants to elevate this country to a higher plane and re-engage the U.S. with the rest of the world. His message is one of community. In the spirit of that message, and if you are in fact an Obama supporter, I encourage you to create your own imagery to support Obama in whatever way you see fit. Create imagery and give it away for free to help spread his message and help him get elected. It may be one of the most important things you do in a long time as a designer. Think activity not apathy. Move, shake, do something. Our country has been divided by greedy men with shameful motives. We need to reunite as a republic and start working together to take our country back and make it a place for the people and by the people instead of somewhere only for the ‘rich’ people. Any small way you can contribute like making posters, shirts, buttons, etc. is valid. Small contributions can add up into a tidal wave that drowns out the special interests that are crushing us as working class Americans.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

04.14.08


You may have heard this in the news today because it is the latest piece of garbage that the media has sent up the flagpole and just as you would expect they are all now standing erect at full salute like a bunch of mindless zombies. The bullshit to which I am referring to, is the ‘guns and religion’ comment Obama made last week. The problem with the whole thing is that the ‘people cling to guns and religion’ comment came out of a much longer talk where there was a massive amount of, can you handle this, truth! He was speaking about how when times are hard and people feel more and more misrepresented by, and disconnected from their government, which I think we can safely say most of us feel right now, they become angry, cling to their remaining rights and look to faith where they hope for the best. You can read his actual comments above.

As I think you will find, in his own words, there is a lot of truth to what Obama is saying. I just wish they would broadcast all of his talk on television so people can hear and see exactly what was said. I agree completely with what he said. Yes, he could have worded it a little more subtly, but c’mon, things are bad right now and are we so sensitive that we can’t take a hard look at ourselves and engage in truthful dialogue? Does everything have to be pureed into baby food so we can lap it up from our politicians like abunch of helpless dogs? Seriously folks, can’t we cut the bullshit here and start talking about the gigantic steps we have to take now to get ourselves out of this massive shit-heap that has been piled upon us by the most irresponsible administration in the history of the United States? Are we so sensitive that we can’t talk honestly about how embittered we really are? Don’t we have a right to be, and is it really going to offend our sensibilities so badly to hear one of our politicians muse on the subject? Obama is thinking about the American people and what our mindset is because he wants to represent us. He may have stumbled on his verbage a little, but how many times has Bush said something so stupid that you just about had to turn off the television and take a shower because you were covered in disgust.

Don’t let our media fool you right now. This is a game and what is at stake is MONEY. Money, money, money. There are a lot of wealthy people who do not want to see a politician step forward with the best interest of the American people in his heart. To allow this would be to overturn all the progress they have made at subduing us and turning us into their own personal ATM withdrawal. Don’t be fooled for a minute because it is just bullshit. Plain and simple. There is no other word to describe it and it makes me mad. They are reaching for anything they can find right now to bring Obama down and it is transparent and sad.

The truth is, that the very people Obama is referring to and will be the most offended by his comments are the same people who voted for Bush twice in the last 8 years. Even more ironic is the sheer and simple fact that Bush has been running those people into the ground at every turn. He has sent their sons and daughters to war with no good explanation as to why. He has refused them proper health and psychiatric care upon their return. He has taken their jobs and made it impossible for them to keep their homes. Make no bones about it and clear the wax from your ears. His administration is responsible for where we are now and it is going to take someone other than another Clinton or pro-war Republican to get us out of this mess.

I would like to see Clinton answer, honestly, exactly how much money she has accepted from pharmaceutical lobbyists. She wanted to change the health care system many years ago and she was run into the ground and now she has been bought out by the corrupting powers she tried to fight. It is a sacrifice of integrity that we can no longer allow at the highest levels of our government. I would also like to see McCain speak about how many handouts he has taken from corporate lobbyists. Only in a country this divided could someone who just filed a tax return for over a hundred million dollars refer to Obama as ‘elitist’. It’s outrageous and enigmatic of the kind of smear politics that have corrupted the integrity of our system. Don’t be fooled by it and don’t grace it with a moment of your consideration. It’s not worth it and it’s flat out wrong. We have been swindled and we will only have ourselves to blame if we let it happen again, be it by our irresponsible media or money-grubbing politicians.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,