THE MOST POSITIVE MAN IN THE WORLD
[Sudanese artist Awer Bul lived for years in a desolate UN refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. He returns there this summer with filmmaker Gabriel Williams, where they will document an art workshop in the camp. SurfingtheSpectacle will publish dispatches from them throughout their trip. For more information about Awer, go here. Photo of Awer by Cynthia Merchant of the Commonwealth Times.]
The most positive man in the world loved to make pictures as a boy.
He burned cow dung to get the color white.
The most positive man in the world knew war as a boy.
He saw death before he could understand it.
The most positive man in the world lost his home as a boy.
He escaped into the bush with his family, and walked on and on.
The most positive man in the world lost his family as a boy.
He knew hunger and thirst and fear.
The most positive man in the world saw injustice as a boy.
He watched the weak devoured by lions and the unlucky cut down by men.
The most positive man in the world escaped to America as a boy.
He sensed new worlds, new possibilities.
The most positive man in the world is an artist.
He is an artist who believes that art –
art can transform the universe.
Meet Awer Bul.
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EAT AND GROW STRONG.
We May Be Needing You Later.
The Results of our Experiment
"This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment [laughs]. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference. "
(Retired General Tony McPeak in Rolling Stone Magazine, March 7, 2007)
Some of the Nonsense was Evil
Kurt Vonnegut on Sea Pirates and the brave history of America from his Breakfast of Champions
On the Farm
Another short video
from Charlie Leduff. Check out the brief, but memorable, portrait of a kid out in the plains.
The War Machine
Just how mechanical is our culture and its industry of war? Click here
to see artist Deven Langston's award-winning interactive animation The War Machine
You Too Can Help Dieraq!
This moment from the Miss Teen USA competition will never lose its capacity to reveal who we are. At one point, Miss Teen South Carolina is asked a question regarding the tragic level of American ignorance. Her response? Perfection itself.
Who else, we wonder, could have answered as wisely and brilliantly as this young woman? Only one other comes to mind, a true master of reason and eloquence who lived for a spell in our nation's capital.
Behold the Audio
Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 work about cosmic disconnect, Whitey on the Moon
Every Gun Made
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
(Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953)
PARIS BEGINS IT ALL
banksy, hilton, celebrity, fakery, guerilla art, profound vacancy, destroy
UPON TAKING THE PHOTOGRAPHS BACK OUT
blue, blue, blue, blue sky, september 11th
WE AS HUMANS
robots, camel racing, child slaves, starvation, sport, robot jockeys, sheikhs
THE HUMAN FORM DIVINE
william blake, leduff, storyteller, detroit, charon, body snatcher, 14 bucks
THAT WHICH OFFENDS
michael dickinson, rude, madman, torture, eggs, bush, photomontage
LIBERTY OR DEATH
patrick henry, gabriel, slaves, rebellion, how awkward, freedom, death
CHILDREN'S GUIDE TO TERRORISM archie campbell,
warning to children, arabian, delight
THE GLORY OF ART
warhol, commodity, south africa, death and water, creativity, merry-go-round
SEND IN THE CLOWNS
mughal emperor, saira wasim, pakistan, buffoon, boys, politics, missiles
AS IF WE COUNT
obvious & obscene, the dead unheard, civilian toll, counting, who? who?
THE MARVEL OF THE TASER
glorious invention, small problems, library, confronting brutality
THE FACE OF HUMANITY
glory, mars, civilization, human marvel, sacred image, timeless message
BEHOLD THE LIGHT
thomas kinkade, serenity, inoffensive images, million dollar industry, kitsch, piss
THAT WHICH IS REPEATED
hiroshima, debate, civilians, annihilation, history class, patriotism, bomb drop
GESTURE, MOVEMENT, ACTION body, signal, raw, performance art, action, motive, irrational event
THAT WHICH IS SUBVERSIVE radical, souls & chumps, FBI, Jimmy Stewart, secret bond, lost world, human value
THE SPORTING LIFE
noble tradition, child abuse, nuisance, something good, mighty princes
WHOLE LOT SAFER
mission accomplished, dead Saddam, bad people, vigilance, rutabaga!
THAT WHICH DOESN'T EXIST madmen, pieta, diego rivera, rockefeller, lenin, robot beggar, erasure
GIFTS FROM THE GODS Limbaugh, healing words, incredible offer, angels, commies, warrior, O'Reilly
ART AND THE TOILET advertising, fantastic tale, soft and superior, Mona Lisa, civilized ass
WHEN RODNEY KING MADE A SPEECH brutal beating, riot, ignorance, eloquence, ridicule, we're all stuck
BURDEN OF IMAGES
Lee Miller, fashion, photographer, war, annihilation, cooking
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND hiding war images, civilian death, military coffin, surreal, shaming
THAT WHICH BLIGHTS THE CITY contamination, public work, illegal art, madman's ravings, abomination
WRITER AS HERO
Mr. Vonnegut has left
the room and may not
be back shortly
THAT WHICH ENTERTAINS
torture, Battle of Algiers, dark ages, filmmaker, 24, agony and amusement
THE MEASURE OF WOMEN
body, size, control, fear, engineering, dolls, violence, war, length of history
THE WALLS OF THE WORLD
creatures, murals, opening skins, struggle, dream, dolls, violence, Blu
THE MOST POSITIVE MAN IN THE WORLD boy, war, hunger, trek, fear, lions, art, new world, Awer Bul
VISION OF THE DIVINE
dark mysteries, dream visions, avatar, courage, clarity, guiding muse
THE NEXT GREAT SPECIES
changing planet, chemicals, consumption, cell phone, kingdom of the cockroach
oil industry, cataclysm, transformation, new fuel, janitor, bright future
GO FUCK YOURSELF MR. CHENEY crucial message, Dr. Marble, decency, FCC, boobies, achievement
THE DAILY DRIVE
Iraq, checkpoints, panic, broken, familiar, tedium, fear, mistakes, humor
THE COMPASSIONATE SOUL caring Americans, injustice, Mother Teresa, women, benefactor
WONDERFUL ANIMATION FOR AMERICAN CHILDREN terror, animation, evil, souls, patriot, inspiring
AS IF HUMAN
Hirst, skull, profit, homeless, Eqbal, dignity, portraits, street stories,
OUR FRIEND IS DEAD
stopping to move forward, endless mystery, foolishness & wisdom
THE OLD DOG BEGINS TO BITE Botero, enormous, mythic, Columbia, pleasant, murder, prison, memory
OUR STRANGE DREAMS aching manifestations, desires, justice, brazen truth, book 'em Danno
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW future glory, lightning from heaven, eternal trust, always with you
THE MAN WHO MADE THE MOUSETRAP machine gun, invention, Hiram Maxim, knighthood, thanks!
THE GIFT OF THE HEART AK-47, Valentine, sweet Kalashnikov, sacred and cheap, kiss, true love
OUR TWILIGHT ZONE
Saudi Executioner, TV talk show, insanity, modesty, brain matter, normal
THAT WHICH IS FASHIONABLE stylish, taser, objet d'art, writhing, music, pain, beauty, failure
BEHOLD THE MAN prison torture interview etchings stories catastrophe shame complicity
THE NEW WORLD garbage Texas dead zone plastics poison nature survival fittest nature!
EXCLUSIVE ADS FROM MCCAIN CAMPAIGN! Britney Hitler Lenin Manson Farrakhan Satan
THE DREAM DEPICTED Guernica decimation dream of flight aerial slaughter civilized incineration