Pugs Not Drug… Hmmm…

Gemma Corell - Pugs Not Drugs - the topshop version!

I saw this lovely tee in town so I snapped a pic of it. I think if I ever saw any girl wearing it, it’d be instant love!

I posted it onto the relentless maw that is Facebook and my friend Sandy pointed me towards this:

Gemma Corell - Pugs Not Drugs

It’s by one of her fave artists, Gemma Corell. And it pre-dates the TopShop shirt. As far as I know, they didn’t ask her about it or pay anything or whatnot.

Now, when I sample something, I have to pay the person who originally came up with the idea.

Of course, I’m not saying that TopShop did nick this, perish the thought! That could be a very expensive thing to accuse them of.

It’s probably just great minds thinking alike. Yep.

That’s definitely it!

No Make-Up, No Photoshop: Kelly

No Make-Up, No Photoshop: Kelly - 1

Girl number two in my rather idiosyncratic campaign against make-up and excessive photoshopping: Kelly.

I’ve done loads of pics of Kelly before and I think you can see that in how relaxed she is. Every portrait you take is, of course, not a photo of a person but a photo of your relationship with that person. And I think you can tell we’re mates. πŸ™‚

Since the photoshoot, Kell’s stopped wearing make-up! She didn’t wear loads before but now she feels confident enough not to wear any. I call that a positive result!

She’s sitting at my dining table right now and says:

“Even though I feel slightly more vulnerable, I still feel very pretty. And when people see me now, they see the real me, not a faΓ§ade.”

No Make-Up, No Photoshop: Nat

No Make-Up, No Photoshop: Nat - 2

I have a dislike of extreme photoshoppery of portraits. Particularly of women. You know the ones I mean: where every blemish and wrinkle is removed, leaving an image that looks like some uncanny android rather than a living, breathing human being. I find these images disturbing on many levels.

I also, like most blokes, think make-up is generally gilding the lily. Women are naturally beautiful, and make-up nearly always obscures that beauty. Very rarely, when it does succeed, it’s because the applier knows that less is more.

To that end, I’ve started a photo project called No Make-Up, No Photoshop which I’ll be posting onto Flickr and here. I’ll be using women and girls I know and shooting them with zero make-up and no photoshopping. The only adjustments to the images will be cropping and contrast changes. I won’t even boost saturation to falsely alter their natural colours.

Click the image above to see more of natural beauty, Nat! πŸ™‚

Aged Yummy + Ice, Sea, Dead People @ Big Blue, Derby, 10/4/10

On Saturday, I managed to catch a couple of bands out of a multi-band bill at Big Blue.

Aged Yummy

Aged Yummy were extremely twiddly and have very much a liking of the silly time sig change. But I’ll let them off because the three-piece also have a deft melodic sensibility and lovely lyrics. Result! Put it this way, they were giving away their CDR but I paid them a fiver for it as I enjoyed the gig so much. πŸ™‚

Ice, Sea, Dead People

Ice, Sea, Dead People were another trio and, again, they managed to make a massive sound. Not least because lead shouty/guitarist bloke is a fucking demon on the guitar. He raked his hands over it, knocked it round the room like a sailor in a barfight and still managed to make it sing. And scream. They reminded me of ‘Flames’-era Refused and that can only be good.

Talking to both bands briefly afterwards, I can also say that they were lovely lads. So, great music and totally not-wankers. Please, send them your money now!

The Brutal Murders Behind Our “Liberation”

US Massacre of innocents

Wikileaks claims to have obtained and decrypted video that shows US occupying forces in an Apache helicopter intentionally firing on a dozen civilians in Baghdad, including journalists working for the Reuters news organization: 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.
(Source: Boing Boing)

I waited a couple of days before I posted this. I couldn’t really believe it. I didn’t want to believe it.

So far, the US have acknowledged that the video is real and are “attempting” to trace the original.

What is clear here is that portions of the US military do not see Iraqis as humans any more. They can murder them in cold blood and then laugh about it afterwards, as if they’re idiot teenagers playing Call Of Duty. This is the behaviour of fascists, this is the behaviour of Nazis. People wonder how the concentration camp guards could have sent innocent Jews into those showers: this video shows how. They laughed as they did it and probably joked about it with their friends.

US Massacre of innocents

They were probably exactly as psychopathic and truly, basely evil as the troops firing first on these civilians and then on the people going to their rescue.

And these murders happened years ago. It would all still be hushed up if it wasn’t for Wikileaks.

So, remember this the next time you hear some patriotic bullshit about our great achievements in Iraq. We were part of the USA’s crusade for oil, pure and simple. We were part of Abu Ghraib, we were part of murdering over 1.2 million Iraqis and we were part of this.

This video is the crystallisation of the West’s mission in Iraq. Be proud.

Wave your little Union Jacks and be proud.