Photo I Like

What Are You Going To Look Like….

Q: “What are you gonna look like when you’re 60 with all those tattoos?”


A: “Fucking bad ass”


June 5, 1989 Tian An Men

In 1989 I was a college student, largely self-absorbed and still working on figuring out how the world fit together, and disengaged from the idea that I fit in that picture as well.  There was no internet.  I didn’t have a newspaper subscription, and I watched very little television.  So it was that the Tiananmen Square Protest of that year were little more than background static–blurbs heard in passing on the radio, bits of conversation overheard here and there, headlines on magazines in the grocery store check-out line.  Had I been paying attention, I would undoubtedly have been transfixed by the student protests–I vaguely remember thinking how shocking it was.  China seemed monolithic and steady.  When the government declared martial law and violently suppressed the students, I nodded: this was China, this is how things are in China.  It was only a matter of time.

And then, in the midst of the tragic, murderous crackdown, something amazing happened.  A man, probably a man of great love and conviction, said “enough” and, without stopping to set down his bag, stepped in front of a squadron of tanks.  He stepped into the street and there’s no question his eyes made contact with the eyes of the young men driving and commanding that tank–and just maybe those soldiers had seen enough because together, the unknown man of conscience and the un-named soldiers, changed the world.

A few months later, and halfway around the world, the Berlin Wall fell, and everything we’d ever known about fear and distrust, friendship and animosity, changed with it, just as everything we knew about China changed.




…there is no price tag on courage… Tiananmen Square remembered…#TBSU…

My Poetry Poetry

I Love Your Soft

I tossed a draft of this against the Twitter wall yesterday and it stuck.  A little. 

I love your soft
Solomon-songed geology–
oh, those hills and valleys–
your glacial erosion.


Quotes From The Dark Side: Ronald Reagan

Sometimes the Dark Side and the Dumb Side co-exist in the same space, like reagan2alternative universes.

“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.”
~ Ronald Reagan


Artist Detained Approaching Tiananmen Square 25th Anniversary

Despite fitful, stumbling progress China has yet to embrace the freedoms that should accompany its anything goes economic policies, and that has become particularly evident in the days leading up to the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and the massacre that followed.

Catching my eye today was the arrest of an Australian artist, Guo Jian, a Tiananmen protester and former soldier who is best known for creating art with a strong current of social criticism, after a very interesting (read it!) interview with the Financial Times in which he openly discussed, among other things, his involvement with the student led protests of 1989 and his most recent installation piece, a massive diorama of Tiananmen Square made of trash, ground pork, and other non-traditional but deeply symbolic materials which in part is meant as a critique of the extensive redevelopment programs China has employed to alter the historic Square in it’s ongoing attempts to scrub the protests and massacre from memory.

This anniversary has been a real sore spot for China. The huge, rapidly developing nation has censored and forbidden all mentions of the 1989 incidents, including schools, where students are instead instructed, in great detail, every affront ever perpetuated against China by outsiders. This seems especially strange to us Americans, whose nation wears it’s own, remarkably similar, sins on our collective sleeves.  We may be a nation of secrets, according to whistle blowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, but our constitution rights permit volumes of often deeply critical review of our lowest moments in remarkable detail.  In China, that just gets you locked up.

This isn’t working out for the communist government the way they’d hoped.

Not at all.

*On an unrelated note, this is my 400th post–fitting that I didn’t realize until after I posted, and that it was on a serious subject. Huzzah!


Best Damn Quotes: Edward Abbey

Abbey“At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “this far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behavior.”

~ Edward Abbey