Posted in Art, Dating, Faith, Gossip, Politics by TASTE & POWER on January 21, 2010

I was banned from facebook for posting this picture of myself around age 3 which i recently found in my family’s archives.  My father was at the time an active amateur photographer with a sense of humor as is made very clear by this image:  my posture clearly reflecting my shyness about my nudity, yet I evidently do not yet have the self-awareness required to stop playing with my penis for the camera.  When I posted this image on facebook, it did indeed occur to me that it might be an issue:  there is a long history of irrational censorship of images of nude children(see Jock Sturges, Ron Oliver, Sally Mann), in which all depictions of underage nudity are lumped together into the sleaze bucket, and the internet has been a war zone with respect to censorship and all kinds of imagery deemed too indecent for public consumption since it became an accessible means for sharing photos in the late 80s/early 90s.  It is impossible for me to ignore the site and moment at which this particular censoring has occurred, for I have recently been made aware of a “story” seeping into mainstream media outlets regarding the dissemination of risque, semi-nude, nude and occasionally lewd photographs of underage subjects on anonymous image boards on the internet.  It is true that this is somewhat a growing trend, but having grown up during the internet boom, I became aware of the practice in unspeakably seedy AOL chatrooms at an early age.  These photos are generally first distributed by the author/subject of the photograph via instant message, facebook, photobucket, a text message(sexting), email, and then shared and re-shared by the growing number of recipients, or in some cases directly to the audience at large, that is, to an anonymous image board, with countless numbers of drooling voyeurs “fapping” away to whatever underage indiscretion strikes at their dark soul.  I recently heard a discussion of the matter on NPR.  In a few cases, I gather, the initial posters, that is teenaged boys and girls who have photographed themselves nude and shared it with their friends, have been charged criminally.  A number of good points were touched on, which I wish to reflect upon here.  1) This is not a criminal matter! As of yet, there is no legal distinction between a teenager posting a nude picture of him or herself and a pedophile doing so. This is insane, for a number of obvious reasons. 2) Kids have been allowed, and even encouraged to engage in similar activities on social networking sites for years. It is the parameters of the medium of the text message, or private chat room that allows for them to make the next logical step of sharing nude self portraits. The language of myspace prepares them for it perfectly. and 3) the media’s obsession with this “phenomenon” and the hysteria it seems to inspire in parents and society at large speaks VOLUMES about our obsession with teen sexuality and our desires to insert ourselves into the drama, albeit under the guise of one motivated by protective and/or moralistic intentions. Before one classifies an image pornographic, one needs to look in the mirror and ask oneself why they might categorize it as such.  With that, I’d like to apologize to whichever facebook employee found my photo and banned me for it.  “Sorry if I gave you a boner.”

Systematic Death

Posted in Music, Politics by oldmandub on January 5, 2009


My old stomping grounds of Sierra Madre / Pasadena had a bunch of snot nosed punk rock kids with skateboards and guitars, just like every stomping ground. I’m not sure there was anything unique to mine except for the particular bands that played and the individuals that stomped around. While going through old comics the other night I stumbled upon this gem of a zine that Gabe from the Waifs was doing called Systematic Death. Short lived it was, but this issue captured a moment of my youth and the youth of my friends. Within we got some local band reviews, tips for dealing with cops, a little art, a little poetry, and some mixed tape adds. I scanned some pages to post it. I’m encouraging others to do the same to get a snapshot from what was going on in ya’ll’s hoods. Oh, and some of you might see some familiar pimpled baby faces so look for that.
sc00135d01use your imagination to fill in the gaps up there. Like if you had some frog blood and wanted to fill in the gaps of Dino DNA.




Music, Politics, and Dismemberment.

Posted in Food & Wine, Music, Politics by oldmandub on October 13, 2008

Does anyone think John McCain should be president? Does anyone think both John McCain and Barack Obama are the same? Does anyone think Barack Obama will give you a moist towelette with a smile at his White House BBQs? I know we shy away from politics on this site, or at least i’ve been called less than savory epithets for trying to talk about it, but gosh darnit, i think it’s interesting. Anyway, i thought if anyone was inline with the any of the aforementioned modes of thought we could debate or discuss here on Taste & Power. Yes, there are other sites for that, but i think most of the folks on those sites are either still in college and all “radical”, or never went. I think my friends thirsting for tasty power snacks are intelligent and funny.

Also, can we start uploading links to music we’re finding out there? I found some good ones for music i like but i’d like to here what you like.

I don’t have much to say about dismemberment, except that dismember does not rhyme with October, but October is sandwhiched right between September and November, December. Kind of an uneven sando, i guess. August is a pretty gay name for a month. AUGUST: the hater of sandos.

Trying W. For Murder

Posted in Politics by oldmandub on July 25, 2008

Here’s a video of an informal indictment against George W. Bush. To me, impeachment is too little, too late, but I think we can still throw him in jail after. And I doubt Obama would pardon him.

“Wait’ll They Get A Load Of Me.”

Posted in Art, Film, Politics, Religion, self help by oldmandub on July 23, 2008

When Heath Ledger died back in January I probably mourned with little more than a shrug. I hadn’t jumped on the bandwagon to see him play a star-crossed gay cowboy. While a bunch of people went out to see I’m Not There, I wasn’t there. And I think there were at least ten things I found distasteful with Ten Things I Hate About You. However, after seeing his version of The Joker in The Dark Knight I now see there’s plenty to be sad about.

While credit is certainly owed to Christopher Nolan for writing the extraordinary dialogue that Mr. Ledger clearly relished in, his was more than acting. It was the disappearance of an actor into words on paper only to reemerge as an icon that graced us with an obliterating blow to all other possible and existing performances of The Joker. This Joker personified those moments at rock bottom some of us have when we say, “Fuck it. One day our star will engulf any residue of humanity anyway.” These moments are potential gateways to absolute freedom. The kind of freedom that is knowing that we are going to die some day and that nothing matters except in what it means to us here and now. Knowing that our manmade institutions and concepts are stifling to what we truly can be. These moments can be chilling and thankfully most of us seem to crawl our way out. Nonetheless I found his performance serene.

Heath Ledger’s The Joker is Taste and Power, in the way that I wish I could have it. He has the taste for anarchy and the power of an “agent of chaos.” In January I shrugged. But after seeing The Dark Knight I truly miss a man I never knew.

Adam Curtis Blows Minds

Posted in Film, Politics by TASTE & POWER on July 14, 2008

Just for the hell of it, here’s the Power of Nightmares, a documentary I’ve been obsessing over lately. 3 parts, one hour each.

Art is Dead Death.

Posted in Art, Faith, Gossip, Politics, Religion by thedumpsterbaby on April 18, 2008

So we all know contemporary art is boring. At least we all know that thats how most people feel about it. In addition to boring, other adjectives commonly used to describe the segment of cultural output are pretentious, masturbatory, self-serving, narcissistic, and, today’s key word: offensive. Art’s been pissing people off for centuries, and that is a big reason why I like it. People in general annoy the crap out of me, and even though art’s a limp-dick kind of gun, society just hates being conceptually tea-bagged by weirdo art-fags, while, for me, few other events can evoke the same feelings of bliss & joy from the depths of my depravity.

So recently we’ve been hearing a lot about that guy who starves dogs to death while socialites stand around watching, drinking wine and eating cheese. This seemed to piss people off pretty good, as it seemed i could not log on to myspace or Aim for several days without some horrified dog-lover forwarding me the story…and then came the petitions: “Stop this dog murderer before he strikes again!”

Spare me. Ain’t no myspace petition (more…)

Speaking of Robert Downey Jr….

Posted in Art, Film, Politics by LadyHam on April 10, 2008

Tropic Thunder

Look at these guys. So thats Ben Stiller obviously, and then there’s those other two. Does the black guy look familiar? He should. It’s good ol’ Robert Downey Jr! Your favorite snuggly Iron Man crackhead.

Generally speaking, blackface offends me. And the prospect of Robert Downey Jr. in blackface puts my panties in a jumble, to say the least. Blackface, used in comedies back in the 1920’s, is once again being committed to film for its comedic purposes. But maybe it’s not technically blackface. Just a white guy playing a black guy by coloring his skin black. Will Stiller’s use of blackface in his new film Tropic Thunder live up to the satirical genius of Spike Lee’s Bamboozled?  I haven’t seen the movie yet so I don’t know much about the plot but the trailer seems to tell us that Robert Downey’s character is a white actor, so intense about his acting career, that he goes through an operation to MAKE himself black. (more…)

Your own Dalai Lama

Posted in Art, Design, Faith, Politics, Religion, self help by LadyHam on April 3, 2008

Whether it’s his smile, or a coy side glance, you too can have inner peace with your choice of beautiful desktop images of His Holiness!

His Holiness likes to share a joke,

“You the man! You! No, You! Aw, you’re great.”

… or just unwind. There’s a little bit of Dalai Lama in all of us.

Visit http://www.dalailama.com/ for more information.

Taste? Power? Uh, uh, art?

Posted in Art, Faith, Food & Wine, Music, Politics, Religion by Rubang B, the Mad Doctor of Love on March 13, 2008

What are taste and power and what the fuck do they have to do with each other? What happens when they collide? For the purposes of resolving these riddles, I will be defining taste as “the sociological concept of expressing preferences deemed appropriate or inappropriate by (or for) society” and power as “the ability by a group or individual to make choices or influence outcomes bigger than it/him/herself.” To have both is to control what other people like, usually without them knowing. To have both is to be both the gatekeeper and the keymaster.

1: Tasteful Power – Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Tolstoy was a count who didn’t give a fuck. He was born in 1808 into one of the wealthiest noble families in Russian history, with plenty of power and no taste. This bothered him. His mother, father, grandmother, and aunt died when he was 2, 9, 10, and 13. This didn’t bother him.

When he was 19 he inherited his 4,000 acres and 350 serfs. This sucked, so he moved to Moscow, got drunk, and blew all his money gambling. He slowly sold land and slaves for years to pay his debt, and eventually had to cut down his forests, tear down his house, and even sell his watch. Legend has it that he didn’t give a fuck about money. He went to school at St. Petersburg to study law and Oriental languages. College sucked, so he quit. He volunteered in an artillery unit. War sucked (possibly even moreso than college), so he quit. He tried to free his serfs in 1851, a whole decade before the cavemen in control of Russia got the idea. His serfs didn’t take his offer because they thought it was a trap. (Note: slaves are stupid. Tolstoy started a school for his slaves’ kids a few years later to try to fix this.)

So Tolstoy travels all across Europe to see what it’s like, and realizes it’s a bunch of bourgeois pseudo-intellectual dooshbags. He starts to write the world’s most amazing stories about rich assholes dying. Then he freaks out because he can’t stop gambling and having sex, so he magically devises a new form of Christian anarchism, gets a bunch of disciples, and they start traveling around calling themselves Tolstoyans.

He threw away his financial power and slave-owning power and got a bunch of religious power and literary power out of thin air. The man had good taste, and knew what kinds of power mattered. He owned land, riches, bodies, and labor, and didn’t care. He wanted souls, and he wanted to control the world of literature, so he snatched it all up. Even King Pimp Dostoyevsky called him the world’s greatest living writer, and Nabokov called him the greatest writer in all of Russian history. And his religious works famously influenced Gandhi and MLK’s doctrines of nonviolence.

Also, he wrote into his will that anything he wrote before 1881 would be copyrighted by his wife and family, and anything afterwards would have no copyright whatsoever, and one time he shot a bear point-blank range in the fucking face. THEN he learned to ride a bike at age 67, was excommunicated at age 73, and died at 82 with thousands of peasants at his funeral in the middle of the woods. He invented ballin’.

2: Powerful Taste – Food that Tastes You Back

People need to eat to live, so controlling food means eternal riches. Australia is aware of this, while America is not. (Note: America is stupid. Maybe Tolstoy should have started a school over here to fix that.) From 1992 to 2003, Australia exported 20% of the world’s beef and veal, and America and Brazil were tied for 2nd place at 18% (or 1.1 million metric tons) each. Over this period, U.S. beef exports grew 85%. Then in 2003, something magical happened.

One Canadian-born cow in Washington state had mad cow disease, or as we call it on the streets: bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Most of the world immediately banned U.S. beef. Most of the world doesn’t want mad cow disease. 90% of U.S. beef was bought by Japan (the world’s largest beef-importer), South Korea, Canada, and Mexico, which all banned U.S. beef. Wuss countries like Canada and Mexico changed their minds soon and allowed poison meat into their homes. Japan, however, took this opportunity to finally get revenge for the uranium-fission and plutonium-implosion bombs of yesteryear and banned all beef that didn’t follow their new import laws. No beef would be allowed into Japan unless data was readily available regarding where the cow was born, where it died, every single place it lived, everything it ate, and every cow it lived with at every single location. America thought this would cost too much; Australia did not. American beef exports dropped from 18% of the world market to 3%. American beef exports dropped to 17% of their 2003 level. With one swift move, Japan handed over the world’s beef market to Australia (and to a lesser extent, Brazil). If you want health-guaranteed madness-free beef, go to one of those countries. If a country’s beef is good enough for Japan, it’s good enough for anybody.

To further demonstrate how hard America fucked itself in the meat wallet, American cow tongue (the tastiest part if you’re a burrito fan like myself) went for $4.25 per pound before the incident, and as of July 2004 was down to 70 cents per pound, for a loss of $12.43 per cow head, as calculated by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. In Japan, cow tongue can fetch over $20 per pound. They cut it into thin strips and grill it in teriyaki sauce Korean BBQ style and it’s heavenly. If you find yourself in Japan, eat it. They call it gyutan. It’s Japanese for “cow tongue.”

3: Tasty Power – YMO and Beer

The best way to tie all these concepts together in a way you MTV/ADD-generation heathens can follow, is through an audio-visual example. I read that somewhere. Yellow Magic Orchestra, one of the tastiest groups to ever bless electronic music from 1978 onward, recently reformed (again) to rock out a commercial for Kirin Ichiban, one of the world’s tastiest beers, and my personal ex-favorite. (I quit drinking beer last year, in Japan. I’m so rad.) Watch as with the perfect match of fashion-taste and music-power, YMO control the dance floor, and all our hearts.