Category Archives: photos

Sign of the Times

Cranford, NJ September 2020

The two major historical events of my lifetime, both atrocities, come together at a local monument. Not to get all 9/11 Truther or anything, but it appears that Bob Woodward, the “hero” of Watergate, knew back in January that Trump was withholding information about the pandemic but chose not to publish it until his book came out this fall. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If the corporate media held back information that led to the deaths of over 100,000 Americans, what are they hiding about the deaths of only 3000 Americans? My guess is involvement by the Saudi government and a coverup by the Bush Administration, but don’t quote me on that.

No Pain No Gain

pain-gain

Westfield, NJ July 2020

A little social commentary displayed on a house down the street from my gym. I’m confused about whether this is an idealist or a materialist view of the world. The Dream comes from The Pain. The Vision Comes from Dream. So you start out with the physical and then stack one idea (The Vision) on top of another (The Dream). Then you have a collective (“The People”), out of which grows political power and then inevitably change. I suppose it’s all worth trying.

The Center Held

center

Westfield, NJ June 2020

So far the alliance between blacks and upper-middle-class suburban professionals that Joe Biden is counting on to win the election seems to have weathered the first round of social unrest. Trump’s approval numbers are approaching those of late second term Chris Christie. Just about the only thing the Republicans have left in their arsenal is voter suppression. I’m not looking forward to this Fall when “conservatives” suddenly realize how much they love “social distancing” (how useful it is to keep people away from the polls) after all, and Trump starts making appearances at press conferences with an American flag mask.

On the Way to Buy Groceries

privilege

Garwood, NJ May 2020

I am reminded of realities of some uncomfortable realities. I didn’t go to any protests today, not only because I’m afraid of Covid-19, but because they erupted so quickly I hadn’t mentally prepared myself to find one. When I read the news today, “oh boy,” and looked at photos of dozens of American cities in flames, the only thought I had was “well here it is, 1968 all over again. The only thing missing is the assassinations.”

But that’s not quite right. In 1968, the cities erupted because Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were murdered, the former by a Palestinian who resented his support for Israel, the latter almost certainly by US military intelligence who resented his opposition to the war in Vietnam. In 2020, the cities erupted because George Floyd, an ordinary man, not a Nobel Prize winner or a former Attorney General, was murdered by the Minneapolis police.

So it’s not really a matter of “first time as tragedy, second time as farce” so much as “first time as tragedy, second time as a consequence of the first.” Martin Luther King was murdered by the United States government because he was a threat to the military industrial complex and the American ruling class. George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis Police because 40 years of neoliberal capitalism has created a society where many lives simply don’t matter, where racist cops have a license to kill.

I have no idea where the current crisis is going to lead us. Will it be the fall of neoliberalism? Or will we get out of the closet fascism? My bet is on the latter, but only time will tell. In any event, I recall the words of John F. Kennedy. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” Colin Kaepernick lost his career because he protested against police brutality peacefully. He took a knee. We should have listened more closely to what he was trying to tell us.

The Killing Fields

killing-fields

Cranford, NJ May 2020

It doesn’t look like a death camp, but as of today, 39 people have died of complications related to Covid-19. We should look at the elderly as the canary in the coal mine. You can learn a lot about a society by what happens to the weakest and the most vulnerable. People in their 80s are going to die. There’s not much we can do about it, but they don’t have to die this way.

It’s a Bourgeois Town

fine

Westfield, NJ April 2020

The local bourgeoisie has discovered water soluble chalk. A few years ago, during Occupy Wall Street, or Black Lives Matter, chalking the sidewalk often meant that dozens of militarized police would roll up  on you, throw you to the ground, and put you through central booking (before the judge offered the inevitable ACD). But now, during the pandemic, in Central Union County, NJ, where the average family takes in about $200,000 a year from jobs on Wall Street, or in for profit healthcare, it’s rare to see a street without some message written out in pretty colors. I just wish there were more creativity. 90% of the slogans are generic, apolitical messages like “thank you to our healthcare workers” or “stay safe.” Perhaps I should buy some chalk myself the next time I go to the grocery store and write something like “workers of the world unite” or “end the fed” and see if I get arrested.