Check out artist Renato Garza Cervera‘s super-disturbing series “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast.” Cervera created sculptures depicting L.A. gang members as rugs, complete with the hokey feral faces a taxidermist would give a tiger or bearskin. If you’re revolted by such a racist and inhumane depiction of dead young men, congratulations—that’s the intended effect; Cervera’s work is supposed to produce discomfort with blatant dehumanization.
Societies always invent new beasts in order to make others responsible for their problems, to express their fears and to invent them a new cover. Mass media play a very important role on this world-wide scapegoating process, by presenting some minorities as uncapable of thinking or feeling, delayed and dispensable people.
The startling detail in the tattoos and skin of each sculpture—right down to their anuses—contrasts so intensely with the uniformity of their faces; the effect is the kind of uncanny creepiness that inspires nightmares.
More of these creepy and provocative artworks after the jump…...
Members of the Savage Skulls circa late 60’s, early 70’s
In the ‘60s and ‘70s, gangs not unlike the ones featured in Walter Hill’s The Warriors owned the streets of New York City. The 1993 documentary film Flyin’ Cut Sleeves takes a look back at the volatile years that eventually culminated in a truce and subsequent “peace meeting” held at the Hoe Avenue Boys Club in 1971 by the gangs themselves. The real-life events are strikingly similar to the storyline from Hill’s 1979 film.
Young members of the Savage Skulls
According to the statements made in Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, in 1969 the NYPD put the number of organized gangs at 100, with membership as high as 11,000. Many gang members were just kids, barely in high school. Some of the most compelling footage in the film comes from interviews that were shot by Rita Fecher, a schoolteacher working at that time in the South Bronx. From her interviews with her students, Fecher was able to glean that the vast majority of her pupils were also active gang members. It is a gritty and dark exploration of a desperate time in New York City—Fecher notes at one point in the film that she received an absence note from a family that could not send their child to school because he had no shoes.
Flyin’ Cut Sleeves was released on DVD in 2010, and you can score a copy here. I’ve included a slew of vintage images of many of the gangs featured in the film as well as Flyin’ Cut Sleeves in its entirety. There’s also a brief NSFW video that was shot at the Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting for you to check out.
After the jump, more remarkable images of the Flyin’ Cut Sleeves gangs as well as the full movie (and a bonus video too).....
Not something you see every day or even most days or hopefully ever, if you’re lucky. Neighbors of a man, identified by Vancouver, WA police as Andrew Helmsworth, reported seeing him walking around naked carrying a knife on Sunday afternoon.
When police officers arrived on the scene, as reported by KPTV, they found Helmsworth outside his house, refusing to surrender.
Instead he went inside, put on some short pants and picked up a banjo, which he then proceeded to serenade them with. As seen in the video below, Helmsworth was subdued with a non-lethal round and taken into custody. The standoff lasted more than two hours.
(Rubber bullets, eh? Surely I can’t be the only one hearing about this thinking that this naked, knife-wielding guy is DAMNED LUCKY THAT HE’S WHITE, now, can I?)
In March DM reported on activists in Germany who, seeking to discourage drunken revelers from urinating in public, had applied special liquid-repelling paint to certain walls which would have the effect of redirecting the stream back towards, say, the malefactor’s own pant legs.
Today the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the city of San Francisco is using the identical technique. Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru commented, “We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots. ... Nobody wants to smell urine. We are trying different things to try to make San Francisco smell nice and look beautiful.”
[Nuru] demonstrated a painted wall’s effectiveness at the 16th Street Bart Plaza Thursday. A sign reading, “Hold it! This wall is not a public restroom. Please respect San Francisco and seek relief in an appropriate place,” hung above it. It doesn’t explicitly state that the wall will fire back, so some surprises are in store.
“Watch your shoes over there, brother,” Nuru said, spraying water from a plastic bottle against the pee-proof wall. The liquid splashed right back, soaking the bottom of his pants. “The team that did the testing, they were excited because the liquid bounces back more than we thought it would. Anything we can do to deter people is a good thing.”
The experiment in Hamburg’s St. Pauli neighborhood captured the attention of San Francisco officials. “Based on Hamburg, we know this pilot program is going to work,” Nuru said. “It will reduce the number of people using the walls. I really think it will deter them.”
The paint was applied in “nine urine-repellent walls in the Tenderloin, the Mission and South of Market,” with more to come. We can’t tell you where in San Francisco you are safe from the splattery technique, so we advise taking your binge drinking habits to Oakland for the time being.
Here’s a video from San Francisco Public Works demonstrating the paint:
It’s difficult to know what deeper meaning could lie behind the tactic that high-end department store Harvey Nichols used this week to promote their new app—taking actual closed-circuit video footage of actual shoplifters caught in the act and presenting it with adorable little cartoon character heads placed over the lawbreakers’ faces. But you know, meaning shmeaning, the clips are curiously resonant and the kind of weird-ass experimental footage you’re going to want setting the tone at your next ‘shrooms party.
It’s even the case that a public service is contributed, as the clip decisively segues from shoplifters naughtily slipping valuables into their pockets etc. to their frantic attempts to escape security personnel and, inevitably, some glum time spent in a holding room. Crime doesn’t pay, kids! Don’t go there.
Credit goes to the ad agency adam&eveDDB for hiring Layzell Brothers to execute the cutesy robber heads. The jaunty music is Wot Do You Call It?” by Wiley.
In 1974 Norman Mailer wrote an essay for Esquire called “The Faith of Graffiti”—a gripping and sympathetic investigation on the defacement of public and private property as an urban art movement of complex and fascinating depth. Mailer’s work eventually produced two collaborative pictorial books—The Faith of Graffiti and Watching My Name Go By. The beauty of tagging and graffiti art is almost taken for granted today, especially since artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat legitimized the genre to the art world in both its unlawful execution and its distinctive aesthetic, but Mailer was doing something new by recording the phenomenon as an organic outpouring of artistic expression, and this short 1976 documentary—also named “Watching My Name Go By”—is equally open-minded in its portrayal of graffiti artists and their critics.
The documentary isn’t just mindless cheerleading either; time is given to community members who hate seeing their city constantly vandalized (though quite a few also admire the work), and on some level you have to feel bad for the public servants charged with cleaning up after the kids. At the same time, no one is shocked by it; in addition to the graffitists’ own reflections on their craft, the “civilian” interviewees offer thoughtful insights on the phenomenon. There is a certain amount of juvenile nihilism of course, but some theorize this outlet of masculine delinquency as youthful rebellion. One official points out that graffiti isn’t a practice relegated to “minorities” or “kids from broken homes,” and from the accounts of the kids themselves, the graffiti “craze” appears to be appealing most of all as a hobby, rather than a denouncement of society or conscious act of dissent.
It’s seldom that you’ll hear me saying a good word about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the rightwing lawman from Arizona’s Maricopa County who’s known for taking racial profiling to outrageous heights and for being one of the foremost diehard “birther” idiots. BUT in this case, I have to hand it to the Sheriff: When I heard about the sad, sordid and sick tale of the hapless would-be horse-fucker Michael Crawford, arrested by Arpaio’s men in an undercover sting operation last Friday, my first thought was “I’m glad they got this sick fuck.”
And then my second thought was realizing that there was VIDEO FOOTAGE of Crawford’s sting. As the kids say: OMG. I mean… It’s the REALEST thing you’ve ever seen (Today at least).Totally revolting. To Catch a Predator on steroids.
Michael Crawford, 68, landed in Phoenix believing he would meet with a horse owner he’d been corresponding with online, according to a statement released by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Crawford hoped the fictitious owner would allow Crawford to engage in “perverted” sex acts with an animal, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a press conference Sunday.
Crawford posted an ad on a popular website soliciting a willing horse owner, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators in the Animal Crimes Investigations Unit opened the case in October and corresponded with Crawford via e-mail and phone-call conversations.
“If you can really help with what I am seeking, I am definitely interested in traveling out to meet you,” Crawford told the detectives. He admitted that he had traveled the country since the 1970s to find horse owners willing to let him have sex with their steeds.
On Friday, Crawford was met by undercover deputies at the Phoenix airport and taken to a “meeting” with the horses in Tolleson, Arizona. It was all videotaped.
You will never get you innocence back after you watch this 68-year-old perv gleefully licking his lips over which horse he thinks he’s going to fuck.
How is that even enticing? HOW? If you’re a horse-fucker, does it matter if it’s a boy or a girl? So many questions.
These business cards come from Chicago during the 1970s and early 1980s—a charmingly distinguished touch for what was after all in most cases just a bunch of buddies who would get into rumbles every so often.
As the proprietor of We Are Supervision, the blog where most of these cards came from, says, these cards come from the days when “a gang was more of a neighborhood crew then what it is today.” These were the days of “fists, bats, and bottles” rather than AK-47s. “Most of the gangs were just about the neighborhood and hanging out together.”
If you wanted to make some cards like this for yourself, the first thing you’d have to do is make up a name for your crew—something like “Almighty Insane Freaks” will do. Then generate a little doodle of a unicorn or a skull, list the names of your members and voilà! you are instantly eligible to enter the fishbowl raffle at your local chain restaurant…...
A 26-year-old man wearing a belt of fake-bullets, “spiked fighting gloves,” and “spiked leather bracelets” caused what Boston Police described as a “real panic” as he rode an MBTA bus last Friday.
The Boston Police Department’s website describes the “real panic” on the MBTA bus, as alarmed passengers called 911 upon seeing the young man wearing “military grade ammunition” around his waist:
At about 4:20 PM on Friday July 10, 2015, officers assigned to District D-14 (Brighton) responded to a call for a person with a gun on an MBTA bus in the area of Cambridge and Harvard Streets.
Officers learned that the driver had pulled the bus over as passengers began calling 911 when a male suspect boarded the bus with what appeared to be military grade ammunition strapped around his waist. The driver stated that the passengers were in a panic, fearing that the suspect was about to pull out a weapon.
The suspect, later identified as Kevin Young, 26, of Watertown, exited the bus and was stopped by police on Penniman Road at which time it was discovered that the ammunition was fake. Officers recovered 69 replica bullets in all. The suspect was wearing what was described as spiked fighting gloves and spiked leather bracelets.
The suspect was placed in custody and will appear in Brighton District Court on charges of Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Unlawfully Carried Dangerous Weapon and Disorderly Conduct.
The suspect appears to be a member of the crust band Hexxus. “Bullet belts” have been a staple fashion accessory for punks and metalheads for decades now. A post on the band’s Facebook page is encouraging the group to do a “benefit” for legal fees.
Hexxus’ Bandcamp page is currently empty. This is your fifteen minutes, guys. You might wanna get on that.