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February 18 2017

Anywhere you have extreme poverty and no national health insurance, no promise of health care regardless of social standing, that’s where you see the sharp limitations of market-based health care.
Paul Farmer
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“HIS NAME IS VENT MAN he loves his vent so much he is even on google maps in philly 😊😊😊” —rahel aima

We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it. So we fight the long defeat.
Paul Farmer
There is nothing wrong with underlining personal agency, but there is something unfair about using personal responsibility as a basis for assigning blame while simultaneously denying those who are being blamed the opportunity to exert agency in their lives
Paul Farmer, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues
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Farhad Ahrarnia at Lawrie Shabibi” by Anna Seaman:

An interesting collection of art is going up at Lawrie Shabibi Gallery in Dubai for their new exhibition. Something for the Touts, the Nuns, the Grocery Clerks and You is the title of the exhibition by Farhad Ahrarnia that opens at the gallery at 6pm tonight. The main body of the show consists of cardboard collected from Shiraz, Esfahan and Tehran in Iran with gilded illuminations painted on their surfaces. There are also new pieces from his on-going wall-based Khatam series. There is therefore, a mix of high art ornamentation and discarded cardboard boxes. The artist is interested in the potential of traditional craft, emphasising its engagement with the modern and embedding various cultural sensibilities onto two seemingly incongruous surfaces.

The unusual title is taken from a poem by Charles Bukowski, a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer who was notorious for writings that were influenced by his home surroundings and the impact of modernisation and industrialisation on the poor and working classes.

Additional images above from Lawrie Shabibi, Selections, and Harper’s Bazaar.

With rare exceptions, all of your most important achievements on this planet will come from working with others—or, in a word, partnership.
Paul Farmer
Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm.
Paul Farmer
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My Arizona, Isamu Noguchi (photo by Alexandra Lange)

The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.
Paul Farmer
WL’s [White Liberals] think all the world’s problems can be fixed without any cost to themselves. We don’t believe that. There’s a lot to be said for sacrifice, remorse, even pity. It’s what separates us from roaches.
Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
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from the work of Kobayashi Kiyochika

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Test Chart, George Mayerle, 1907 (via Present & Correct via Able)

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“The remains of the St. Francis Dam in California, which burst just before midnight on March 12, 1928, and killed more than 400 people.” (via “Oroville Is a Warning for California Dams, as Climate Change Adds Stress”)

February 05 2017

Play fullscreen

Jimi Could Have Fallen from the Sky, Terence Nance:

This short is the unauthorized, heavily abridged, biographical, visual and supersonic moment about the fact that Johnny Allen Hendrix (aka Jimi Hendrix) knew how to skydive. Set in Seattle where Jimi was born and raised, the film wonders aloud about what this skill meant for the life he went on to lead. Why did he retreat to the sky so quickly before all of us were ready for him to go? Directed by Terence Nance.

January 29 2017

This Land Is Your Land

The final three verses of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” (brought back to my attention by Raph Koster):

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

January 24 2017

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Teju Cole:

An essay I haven’t written, and it may not need to be an essay, just a brief note like this one, is about the common phenomenon of reading an expression on someone’s face in a photograph as proof of something or the other. Indeed, what’s in the heart or on the mind might be revealed on the face. It frequently is. But much more likely is that the face, caught at a certain moment, is simply cycling through its wide repertoire of possible configurations. We can look bored without being bored, sarcastic without feeling sarcasm, sad even though it’s a happy moment, engaged while feeling neutral.

All unfaked photos are true. The question that is never properly interrogated is: true of what? An unmanipulated photo of a face is true of what that face was doing right at that moment as seen with a certain arrangement of light. This could be radically different from that it was doing the moment before or the moment after the one the camera captured. The camera has not lied, it has merely told a severely delimited truth that we are eager to take for a larger one. But the reason why we do so is obvious: it amuses us, it confirms our prejudices, it gives us a hook to like even more someone we already like, or despise more deeply someone we hated anyway.

Image: Duchenne de Boulogne, from Le Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine, 1862

January 22 2017

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San Diego Coastline. California, USA., Dennis Stock, 1968 from the collection California Trip

January 21 2017

In other words, agency doesn’t so much exert itself upon others as it does float within the intersection of freedom and authority. Enacting one’s agency is always a balancing act between doing what is within your understanding of your own power and working with the boundaries of others’ understandings of theirs. It is a cooperative, chemical interaction. Freedom delimited by others’ freedoms delimited by yours.
— Sean Michael Morris, “Once a fearsome murderer invaded a Zen master’s home
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Casey says, “Will never get over how Robert Bringhurst blockquotes the biggest ever truthbomb right at the beginning of The Elements of Typographic Style.” Here it is typed up:

—Everything written symbols can say has already passed by. They are like tracks left by animals. That is why the masters of meditation refuse to accept that writings are final. The aim is to reach true being by means of those tracks, those letters, those signs — but reality itself is not a sign, and it leaves no tracks. It doesn’t come to us by way of letters or words. We can go toward it, by following those words and letters back to what they came from. But so long as we are preoccupied with symbols, theories, and opinions, we fail to reach the principle.

—But when we give up symbols and opinions, aren’t we left in the utter nothingness of being?

—Yes.“

Kimura Kyūho, Kenjutsu Fushigi Hen [On the Mysteries of Swordsmanship], 1768

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