SHANE LAVALETTE / JOURNAL » Blog Archive » Danny Wilcox Frazier: Driftless

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Driftless: Photographs from Iowa (Duke University Press, 2007) by Danny Wilcox Frazier came out with Frank’s words of praise as the forward to the book.

I stumbled across a copy of it a few weeks ago in the Harvard Book Store and was drawn to the images before I read anything about Frank’s role in making them known. Frazier’s decision to consider the effects of people and resources migrating from failing rural economies to the coasts and to cities was very interesting in itself but the images made the topic all the more severe. It is “as though the heart of America were being emptied.”

Check it out here.

The Master of the "Freeze-Frame" – The Digital Journalist

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I don’t know if Douglas Kirkland has ever thought of becoming a director, but all his images contain the rich, contradictory synthesis of the stills from a successful film. If he had become a director instead of a great photographer, he would have told stories of men and women on the run from reality, reckless lovers considered mad by the world around them, exalted in their attempt to make sense of the events in life which nobody around them can understand. The perfect stills in his book, Freeze Frame, in my opinion, make up his film. It does not matter that the story refers you back to other famous films; all directors quote the colleagues they love and Douglas uses them to narrate his film. The camera (let’s call it that) focuses on the central characters – isolated, laughing, tired, concentrated, in thought, arm in arm, in a trance, but always detached and far from the universe surrounding them, the universe to which they seem not to belong. A world which looks at them with indifference, as though they were misfits desperately searching for a connection, for an impossible story.

Check it out here.

Swindle 15 – Obey Giant

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The times they are a-changing. So, we at SWINDLE want to evolve, too. Issue 15 marks the unveiling of our newly redesigned layout. We’ve made the text more engaging, we’ve standardized the fonts, and added two regular columns: James Gaddy’s Classic Graphics delves into the history of iconic logos, and Henry Rollins gives us Dispatches from the Territories. We’ve got a feature on stunt doubles, who risk their lives in anonymity to make movie stars look badass; Doug Pray’s first-person account of making his latest feature documentary, Big Rig; the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s “School of Popular Painting,” an elite group of artists who showcase the thriving urban culture of their country’s capital, Kinshasa; and a fashion spread that is an ode to ‘80s group Strawberry Switchblade. Only SWINDLE can scour the cultural landscape of the globe to give you a mash-up of content this sweet!

Check it out here.

5B4: The Americans by Robert Frank 50th Anniversary

It is rare for a photographer that came of age in the 1960’s and 70’s to not cite Robert Frank’s The Americans and Walker Evans’ American Photographs as the two books that inspired them to take up a camera and explore the world. It is lore that gets repeated so often it almost seems disingenuous in the retelling. I have often thought that it isn’t possible that so many people could be so instantly enamored since, as much as it may be embarrassing to admit, both of those books took a while for me to warm up to them and see their true greatness. I’ve come around, probably in the same way that an early critic of the first edition of The Americans had when he described Frank as one who “produced pictures that look as if a kid had taken them while eating a Popsicle and then had them developed and printed at the corner drugstore.” That critic failed to specify which flavor of Popsicle would have fueled such a remarkable feat. If he had, maybe photographers would have flocked to have given it a taste.

Check it out here.

SUPERFICIALsnapshots: release

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From Allison V. Smith:

Superficial Snapshots Zine 2: An Issue With Lomos
29 pages, 34 photos
limited edition. 250 signed copies.
(first 20 get signed 5×7 print–sold out)
$22.50 (add $3. to ship out of country)

Check it out here.

5B4: The Cows by Larry E. McPherson

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Most of the books that I have written about contain within their photographs an implied metaphor or meaning that provokes the viewer into different frames of mind. One of the pleasures in looking at work for me is to tease out these meanings that derive partly from the work and partly what my own history enables me to see in the work. There are other photographs that excite but with an innocence steeped in the purest pleasures of looking and examination of a subject clearly and interestingly described by an artist and camera. Larry E. McPherson’s The Cows published by Steidl is such a book that I enjoy for just these reasons.

Check it out here.

SUPERFICIALsnapshots: more than facts

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I officially approved zine two today! The zine has 34 photos all shot with my lomo LC+A. Printed on 80-lb cover stock paper which really gives it a flip book feel. The photos I consider to be my travel snapshots. My dad said it well as he looked through the mocked up zine last week, “this isn’t your best work.” I explained that they are throw away photos. I haven’t sleeved or archived any of the film, I see them as sketches. I’ll put up a paypal button next week when the zines are here. They’ll be 22.50 this time. I can’t wait for you to see it!

Check it out here.

The Secret Museum of Mankind website, the "World's Greatest Collection of Strange & Secret Photographs" – Boing Boing

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Seen:

The Secret Museum of Mankind website, the “World’s Greatest Collection of Strange & Secret Photographs” – Boing Boing

Ian Macky says: “Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index. Published by ‘Manhattan House’ and sold by ‘Metro Publications,’ both of New York, its ‘Five Volumes in One’ was pure hype: it had never been released in any other form.”

Three million cheers to Macky for not only scanning all 564 pages of this treasure of a book, but for cleaning up the images, transcribing the text, and adding thumbnail galleries and a copy of a 1942 magazine ad.

Gang Leader for a Day – Sudhir Venkatesh – Book Review – New York Times

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Gang Leader for a Day – Sudhir Venkatesh – Book Review – New York Times: “On a hot summer day in 1989, Sudhir Venkatesh, a callow sociology student with a ponytail and tie-dyed T-shirt, walked into one of Chicago’s toughest housing projects, clipboard in hand, ready to ask residents about their lives. Sample question: ‘How does it feel to be black and poor?’ Suggested answers: ‘very bad, somewhat bad, neither bad nor good, somewhat good, very good.’ Actual answers: unprintable.

Mr. Venkatesh got rid of the clipboard and the questionnaire, but not his fascination with life in the Chicago housing projects. He stuck around, befriended a gang leader and for the next decade lived a curious insider-outsider life at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes on the city’s South Side, an eye-opening experience he documents in the high-octane ‘Gang Leader for a Day.’

In a bit of bravado Mr. Venkatesh, who now teaches at Columbia, styles himself a ‘rogue sociologist.’ Dissatisfied with opinion surveys and statistical analysis as ways to describe the life of the poor, he reverted to the methods of his predecessors at the University of Chicago, who took an ethnographic approach to the study of hobos, hustlers and politicians. Much like a journalist, he observed, asked questions and drew conclusions as he accumulated raw data.”

Love, Bludgeoned and Bent by the Camps

NYT:

Martin Amis’s new novel, “House of Meetings,” tackles the same sobering material his 2002 nonfiction book “Koba the Dread” did: Stalin’s slave labor camps and the atrocities committed by the government during the failed “Soviet experiment.” The novel is everything that misguided earlier book was not. Whereas “Koba” weirdly mixed chilling, secondhand historical accounts of Stalin’s crimes with self-indulgent asides about Mr. Amis’s upper-middle-class life in England, “House of Meetings” is a powerful, unrelenting and deeply affecting performance: a bullet train of a novel that barrels deep into the heart of darkness that was the Soviet gulag and takes the reader along on an unnerving journey into one of history’s most harrowing chapters

Here.

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Review: Tiger Force

Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War

Tiger Force, Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss,
[rating:5/5]

This is a harrowing book. Especially reading it now, looking back on Vietnam with an eye on Iraq. Tiger Force was an elite group of US special forces working in free-fire zones in Central Vietnam. Some of these units were investigated (though never charged) with war crimes against Vietnamese civilians. All the stories you’ve heard of GI’s collecting necklaces of ears, elderly farmers beaten down with rifle butts, and even baby-killing are all here in graphic detail. And while I couldn’t put the book down, it left me feeling ill. The descriptions make you feel like you’re there, sweating with the soldiers in the Song Ve valley:

It wasn’t long before the team leader began complaining about the Song Ve. The platoon should be hunting VC, and instead they were stuck looking for villagers…The blisters on their feet were starting to break into open sores, and the men were constantly complaining of the overwhelming smell of manure blowing from the rice patties, where the villagers used animal and human waste to fertilize the fields. Two of the newcomers had carelessly pulled leeches from their legs earlier in the day, leaving wounds so deep the medics were worried about infections setting in.

Private Gary Kornatowski was already hobbling from the cuts in his shins left by the nasty green creatures. When he took off his boots earlier in the day, he had noticed his legs were covered and had quickly begun pulling off the leaches with his hands. The whole country was a collection of vampires, large and small.

The book covers the unit’s apparent devolution into barbarity as they lose comrades and realize that their task is impossible:

There were no real rules and regulations anymore. Half the unit had grown long, scraggly beards and had cut the sleeves off their uniforms. Kerrigan, Ybarra, and several others were openly wearing necklaces of ears, and others were carrying severed ears in pouches. Whenever the smell of rotting flesh was too strong, Ybarra would toss away his current necklace and make a new one from ears he carried in a ration bag filled with vinegar.

Most of the men had lost a great deal of weight, their faces gaunt, ribs protruding when they peeled off their shirts. At least a dozen were hooked on amphetamines and constantly pestered the medics for daily allowances.

The last third of the book leaves the jungle and covers an Army CID investigation in the atrocities. Though it seems obvious that their commanders had to know what was happening, and at least two soldiers admitted to murdering civilians, no charges were ever filed:

Charles Fulton was even more revealing, because he not only admitted to tossing grenades into a bunker but later heard the cries of the people underground. No one, he said, bothered to help the wounded Vietnamese. He freely admitted there were no weapons or signs of Vietcong.

Aspey wondered, Could this have been a routine practice? It violated the Army’s policies and procedures and the Geneva conventions. Worse, because there were so many bunkers, no one would ever know how many in the province were turned into mass underground graves.

He wondered with a growing sense of dread how far up the chain of command this case went.

Tiger Force, Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss,
[rating:5/5]

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Koudelka

MagnumPhotos:

Koudelka, published by Delpire, Paris, 2006.

Here.

The Plot Against America

Dexter Filkins reviews Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 99/11, in the NYT Book Review:

The fateful struggle between the C.I.A. and F.B.I. in the months leading up to the attacks has been outlined before, but never in such detail. At meetings, C.I.A. analysts dangled photos of two of the eventual hijackers in front of F.B.I. agents, but wouldn’t tell them who they were. The F.B.I. agents could sense that the C.I.A. possessed crucial pieces of evidence about Islamic radicals they were investigating, but couldn’t tell what they were. The tension came to a head at a meeting in New York on June 11, exactly three months before the catastrophe, which ended with F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents shouting at each other across the room.

In one of the most remarkable scenes in the book, Ali Soufan, an F.B.I. agent assigned to Al Qaeda, was taken aside on Sept. 12 and finally shown the names and photos of the men the C.I.A. had known for more than a year and a half were in America. The planes had already struck. Soufan ran to the bathroom and retched.

Here.

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New Koudelka book

From Magnum Photos:

Camargue

Publisher : Actes Sud, Arles, 2006.

Here.

American Idyll

From the Digital Journalist:

For a more perceptive and profound patriotism immerse yourself in Burk Uzzle’s latest book, A Family Named Spot. Here you will find some of the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies that make this country great, all displayed unabashedly and without apology or sentimentality. They are also portrayed without disdain but with great affection. On the lid of his camera case Uzzle has inscribed the words “Celebrate, don’t incriminate,” which is an indication of his affinity with his subjects, whether they are people or landscapes.

Here.

Review: The Few And The Proud

The Few and the Proud: Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words

The Few And The Proud; Marine Corps Drill Instructors In Their Own Words, by Larry Smith.
[rating:4/5]

Okay, if I gave out C+ or B-, this would be there. The book contains profiles and interviews of various drill instructors from the WW2 era to today. Some of these are very interesting, and others are not.

“There was a kid, some bohunk kid from Mississippi or somplace who didn’t know his left foot from his right, kept marching badly. The drill sergeant walked over, very cordial and sweet, and said to him, ‘Are you having trouble, keeping the rhythm of the march?’ And the kid said, ‘Yes, Sergeant.’ He said, ‘Well you seem to be having trouble knowing which foot to pivot on when we’re making those fast turns.’ And the kid said, ‘That’s right, Sergeant.’ So the D.I. lifted up his foot and he slammed it down on the kid’s foot and he said, ‘Now, pivot on the one that hurts.’ I never forgot that.”

That one was from the 50s. Here’s a guy from the present day, Will Post:

“The thing that really ticked me off in Kosovo was, you know, they called this crap peacekeeping. How do we keep peace? We kill the bad guys. If you act up, we’re going to kill you. After what happened in Kosovo when the bad guys shot at my guys, I believe that 99 percent of other units would have let go and just radioed in. But I asked the Marines, I didn’t know if any of my guys were hit yet, and I asked them, Can you see them shooting? They said yes. Are they shooting at you? They yelled back to me yes. I said, ‘Kill ’em. Kill ’em.’ And that’s why we wound up doing what we did. Peacekeeping to me is horseshit. It only takes one bullet to end your war, and I’ll be damned if it’s going to happen to one of my Marines on my watch because of being restrained. And those Marines understood: My God. This ain’t peacekeeping. These people are trying to kill us. You turn your back on them for one minute, they will kill you. Damn right.”

Another bit from Will Post:

“As for Iraq, a lot of my friends, first sergeants and sergeants major are over there, and they report the Marines are just performing superbly. Nearly all Marines are chomping at the bit to get over there. You don’t hear them complaining about deployment time. This is what they came in the Marine Corps to do. They’re warriors, dealing with snipers and IEDs, Improvised Explosive Devices; I’m old school. I call them booby traps, because that’s what they are. Mostly, it’s very frustrating, but they’re doing their job wonderfully, and as usual 99.9 percent of the stuff that’s going on don’t make the papers, just the bad stuff. The people over there absolutely love them.”

The Few And The Proud; Marine Corps Drill Instructors In Their Own Words, by Larry Smith.
[rating:4/5]

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Review: In the Belly of the Green Bird; The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq

In the Belly of the Green Bird : The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq

In the Belly of the Green Bird; The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq, by Nir Rosen.
[rating:4/5]

Nir Rosen’s book gives us something I hadn’t seen much before- the view of an occupied Iraq from the Arabic point of view:

A nervous soldier asked me to go explain the situation to the bespectacled staff sergeant, who had been attempting to calm the situation by telling the demonstrators, who did not speak English, that the U.S. patrol meant no harm. He finally lost his temper when and Iraqi told him gently, “You must go.”

“I have the weapons,” the sergeant said. “You back off.”

“Let’s get the fuck out!” one marine shouted to another, as the tension increased. I was certain that a shove, a tossed stone, or a shot fired could have provoked a massacre and turned the city violently against the American occupation. Finally, the marines retreated cautiously around a corner, as the worshipers were held back by their own men. Women peered at the marines from behind cracked open doors and children waved to them and gave them a thumbs-up.

Rosen, a Turk, is able to travel and speak with the Iraqi people, imams, and fighters, in a way that I have not seen anywhere else. He carefully details the change in Iraq from the heady liberation, the growth of the insurgency, and today’s sectarian strife:

Haidar was the father or two children and a frail man, with an attenuated body made even smaller by the immense turban he wore that pressed down on his large ears. Wide eyes and a long nose protruded from his long, thin face, made longer by a beard. In Moqtada’s prison, he was chained to a column and beaten. He claims he was also tortured with electric shocks. Haidar’s forehead is scarred because his keepers bashed it into a column. He claims there were about thirty-five detainees in the prison, including a twelve-year-old accused of homosexuality and a fourteen-year-old who stole money.

Haidar was finally released after his face was broadcast on TV as a missing person and representatives from the seminary pressured Moqtada’s office. His true “crime” had been some public statements blaming Moqtada’s men for a murder back in April 2003.

As a westerner, it did get hard keeping track of who is who. Rosen interviews so many key figures that it’s often an effort to keep up. But it’s so worthwhile. His is one missing viewpoint in most American minds.

My last night I sat with my friends on Sandra, my favorite fresh fruit juice and ice cream place, happy that the owner still recognized me and remembered my usual drink, a strawberry and banana milkshake. One friend, a Sunni, confided to me that things had been much better under Saddam. Another friend was annoyed that Iraqis could be celebrating Eid and ignoring the horror all around them. Yet, he said, “They could level all of Baghdad and it would still be better than Saddam. At least we have hope.”

A few weeks later the same friend e-mailed me in despair: “I’m living here in the middle of shit, a civil war will happen I’m sure of it… You can’t be comfortable talking with a man until you know if he is Shia or Sunni…People don’t trust each other…To be clear, now Shia are Iranians for the Sunni, and Sunni are Salafi terrorists for the Shia. We have a civil war here; it is only a matter of time, and some peppers to provoke it.”

In the Belly of the Green Bird; The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq, by Nir Rosen. Grade: B

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Review: Keep Sweet; Children of Polygamy

Keep Sweet; Children of Polygamy, by Debbie Palmer & Dave Perrin. Grade, regular reader: D; Polygamy-obsessed: B.

Picked up a signed copy of Keep Sweet at a small bookstore in Creston, BC, just a few kilometers from where the events in the book took place. The inscription from Debbie Palmer, “Hope you enjoy” struck me as odd from the start, but especially when I got to this paragraph:

Early one Friday morning, I was stuck in the only bathroom in the house, vomiting. I threw up green, slimy liquid, then was hit with a terrible attack of diarrhea. Children soon started pounding on the door. Sharp pains stabbed my right side, and a flush of fever left me sweating and weak. I crumpled in a ball onto the floor, unconcerned that I was lying in my own mess. A stern command from Daddy brought me to my feet, and I unlocked the door.

Hope you enjoy? Um, okay.

This book isn’t what I thought it would be. Coming from a woman who left polygamy after three tough marriages and apparent trauma, you expect a strong voice speaking out against, what I would think she feels, is a lifestyle incompatible with equal rights for women. But Palmer isn’t that speaker. She was a believer and her story seems pretty honest. She takes some shots, but then portrays herself as almost an idiot. The book is less an anti-polygamy diatribe from an exile than a look into the fundamentalist religion of intense faith and, often, poverty. It is a religion at odds with Canadian and US law:

Uncle Isaac called the whole family to evening meetings and firesides. He would read from a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Over and over he told us, “When it is my time to die, which could be anytime, none of you will ever see my face again, let alone the face of Christ, if you are not prepared to suffer as Christ suffered. You people cannot expect to slide into the celestial kingdom on someone else’s coattails. You’ve got to suffer and sacrifice and be maligned and hated. Do you think the world will love you if you’re doing the Lord’s will? We can be dull, stupid, and common like all the other seagulls on the shore fighting for the rotten, stinking fish, or we can soar like Jonathan Livingston Seagull into the next life with a celestial vision.” Uncle Isaac was firece and bold and we loved it. I became determined I would be a high-flying seagull, no matter what the pain or sacrifice.

Put aside the polygamy, the religion here is fierce and fundamental. The polygamist leaders in Keep Sweet are very intense in their beliefs, and the religion is portrayed by Palmer as one where fear is the key motivation:

Joseph White Musser decreed the Lord required us to bring our earthly needs and desires under subjugation “every whit” before we’d be allowed to parent these choice spirits. When a woman was married to a man for all eternity, she shouldn’t think she could let her passions run loose in the way of the gentile world. He said the Lord’s commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has an order.

“We watch the animals of the earth and see that they follow the natural order the Lord has designed for them. Therefore we must counsel together as husbands and wives and find out the time when we may conceive, and otherwise bring the passions of the flesh under control so our energy will be used in serving the Lord.” This commandment weighed heavily on the woman; if she deceived her husband and did not inform him of the proper times, she would be guilty of adulterating the birth canal, and the consequences would be “dire and severe.” There was a short verse at the end of the passage: “Sow in the morn thy seed, In the eve hold not thy hand.”

I wish this book had been edited more tightly. It seems as if Palmer is trying to get every last detail and every event in here, and a lot of it doesn’t move the story along. And the book ends before she leaves the group. But I think Palmer tells it the way it was, and often it’s as unflattering to her as it is to the fundamentalist religion she left behind. Don’t read this book expecting to find a hero, or even a sympathetic character. It’s more interesting as an insight into religion. I think that was most valuable to me: reading the experiences of someone who spent some time around polygamist prophet LeRoy S. Johnson and other insights into the FLDS fundamentalist mormon religion:

We were truly blessed that our prophet and his apostles visited Canada every three months now so they could update us on what God had in mind for his people. They arrived shortly after the gentile media made a big fuss about the United States being the first world power to build a spaceship and send a man to walk on the moon. Newspapers, radio, and television were talking non-stop about beating Russia in the race for space. We were all excited, and most everyone managed to find a television to watch “the moonwalk” over and over again. Uncle Isaac reminded us that our prophet had said, “God would never, worlds without end, allow a man to walk on the moon. The moon and all the celestial bodies in the heavens were protected from man by God, and He would never allow man to reach any of His creations off this earth.”

That certainly dampened the excitement in our group, and some of the kids were even wondering if the prophet had been wrong. We all stopped talking about it until he arrived to explain to us why the newspapers and television were contradicting what he’d told us. We were relieved to find out how Satan had inspired the government of the United States to create fake pictures of the moonwalk in order to further trick and confuse people on Earth. After the meeting, everyone was distraught to discover the lengths the devil would go to make people “believe a lit and be damned.” Jan immediately included the prophet’s teachings about the treachery of the gentile nations in our classes at school so we wouldn’t be tempted to believe what we heard on television or happened to read. We just needed to be very sure to remember that Satan’s number-one tool to deceive and destroy people through temptation was television.

Keep Sweet; Children of Polygamy, by Debbie Palmer & Dave Perrin. Grade, regular reader: D; Polygamy-obsessed: B.

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Review: Dispatches from the Edge

Dispatches from the Edge : A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival

Dispatches from the Edge, by Anderson Cooper. Grade: A.

Don’t mistake my high rating of this book for any vindication of broadcast media. I don’t watch TV news, finding it generally shallow. And before I quote from the book, showing you some of Cooper’s observations, I’ve got to ask, did he really need three photos of himself on the book jacket? There he is looking serious in Africa. There he is looking serious in a hurricane. There he is looking serious after Katrina. He’s got that serious-looking squint going down, but in photos inside the book, you’ll actually see him with his eyes open.

That said, it’s a great book that gives you the feel for crisis reporting:

In Baghdad in 2005 the list of what you can’t do is much longer than the list of what you can. You can’t: eat in a restaurant; go to the movies; hail a taxi; go out at night; stroll down the street; stand in a crowd; stay in one spot too long; use the same route; get stuck in traffic; forget to barricade your door at night; neglect to speak in code when using walkie-talkies; or go anywhere without armed guards, communication devices, an ID, a Kevlar vest, or a multi-vehicle convoy. You can’t forget you’re a target.

Other than that, it’s not so bad.

Cooper writes about covering international crisis in Iraq, Bosnia, Niger, Rwanda, and Somalia:

I arrived back in Nairobi and showered the dust from my hair, lathered my body, pried the dirt from my finger- and toenails. I put on fresh clothes, went to an italian restaurant, ate pasta, drank passion fruit juice, watched the TV above the bar. I’d been there, now I was here. A short plane ride, a few hundred miles, another world, light years away.

I finished my meal. A cool breeze blew through the restaurant. When I breathed deeply, however, I was suddenly assaulted by a smell. Smoke, rot, flesh, and food- it was the smell of Somalia, and it came like a stiletto stab out of the shadows. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. My clothes were clean, so was my skin. For a moment I thought it was my imagination, a hallucination brought on by the heat and my fever. Then I realized that it was coming from my boots. I had only one pair, and the smell of that place had soaked into the leather, worked itself into the soles. Just that morning, in Baidoa, getting pictures of a dead donkey, I’d stepped into a pool of blood. Who knew what else I’d walked through?

From the chaotic aftermath of Katrina:

The Scientologists are here too. Kirstie Alley arrived with a bunch of them, and John Travolta is around as well. No one beats Steven Seagal, though. He’s not here with any group. I saw him late one night dressed in a cop uniform, out on patrol with some deputies from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department. He’s been going out with their SWAT team.

“Seagal’s tight with the sheriff in Jefferson,” a New Orleans cop tells me later. “There’s a bar where a lot of cops hang out, and I remember a couple years ago Seagal comes in with those guys and takes out a framed eight-by ten photo of himself and fucking hangs it on the wall.”

“Get out of here,” I say, “no way.”

“I shit you not,” he says. “As soon as he left, a couple of us took out our pistols and shot it. Blew the fucking thing off the wall. One bullet actually went right through and hit a car-rental place next door.”

Dispatches from the Edge, by Anderson Cooper. Grade: A.

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Gross-Out Magazine Shock Comes to the U.S.

From PDN:

Through a spokesperson, Shock editors declined to be interviewed for this story, though the company did provide an advance copy of the magazine for review.

The first issue of Shock is a medley of photojournalism essays, paparazzi, and upsetting images including a self-immolating protestor and a child held hostage with a blade to her throat. Shock borrows the celebrity tabloid look of its French counterpart, but with less nudity; it’s more PG-13 than R.

This issue has just five advertisements, for JVC, Bowflex, Girls Gone Wild, a cell phone service and a film school.

Here.

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