Three People, or, Twit l’Iver

#lulz | #WhatTheyVotedFor

John Moe (@johnmoe): This is three people: Rick Gates, the bass player for a Canadian Bon Iver cover band, and your mom's third husband Steve. [via Twitter, 18 February 2018]

This is John Moe:

This is three people: Rick Gates, the bass player for a Canadian Bon Iver cover band, and your mom’s third husband Steve.

Alex Brandon’s photo for Associated Press is very possibly iconic.

A Brief Distraction

Associated Press: "US envoy takes 17 UN ambassadors to play with gay characters" (2 March 2016)Associated Press:  "NASA spaceman back from record year flight; gives thumbs up" (2 March 2016)This is fun. I mean, sure, maybe Scott Kelly did give an actual thumbs-up at some point, but still.

Headlines, indeed, can be their own manner of entertainment. But even more fun than mismatches like Krill Kudryavtsev’s photo with Marcia Dunn’s headline for Associated Press is a double entendre, such as we might perceive her colleague Edith M. Lederer’s human rights report: “US envoy takes 17 UN ambassadors to play with gay characters”.


Image note: Left ― AP headline, “NASA spaceman back from record year flight; gives thumbs up”, with photo by Krill Kudryavtsev showing American astronaut Scott Kelly showing a victory sign, 2 March 2016. Right ― AP headline: “US envoy takes 17 UN ambassadors to play with gay characters”, 2 March 2016.

Dunn, Marcia. “NASA spaceman back from record year flight; gives thumbs up”. Associated Press. 2 March 2016.

Lederer, Edith M. “US envoy takes 17 UN ambassadors to play with gay characters”. Associated Press. 2 March 2016.

The Ben Carson Show (Phenomenon)

Source photos: Ben Carson announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, 5 May 2015 (Paul Sancya/AP). A biblical inscription is chiseled into the wall of Ben Carson's home, with 'proverbs' spelled incorrectly (Mark Makela/The Guardian, 2014).

Tom McCarthy tries to explain the Ben Carson phenomenon for The Guardian:

He is more than an American success story, brilliant brain surgeon and bestselling author of 10 Christian-themed books. He has also coined some of the most outlandish statements ever uttered on the national stage, a purveyor of bizarre conspiracy theories and a provocateur who compares abortion to slavery and same-sex marriage to pedophilia.

This week, Carson restated his belief that the pyramids were built by the biblical Joseph to store grain, and not by Egyptians to entomb their kings. He believes that Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Abbas attended school together in Moscow in 1968. He believes that Jews with firearms might have been able to stop the Holocaust, that he personally could stop a mass shooting, that the Earth was created in six days and that Osama bin Laden enjoyed Saudi protection after 9/11.

The Carson conundrum is not fully captured by a list of his eccentric beliefs, however. He also confounds the traditional demographics of US politics, in which national African American political figures are meant to be Democrats. Not only is Carson a Republican – he is a strong conservative on both social and economic issues, opposing abortion including in cases of rape and incest, and framing welfare programs as a scheme to breed dependence and win votes.

He has visited the riot zones of Ferguson and Baltimore but offered little compassion for black urban poor populations who feel oppressed by mostly white police forces.

Even Carson’s core appeal as a Christian evangelical is complicated by the fact that he is a lifelong adherent to a relatively small sect, the Seventh-Day Adventist church, whose celebration of the sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday and denial of the doctrine of hell have drawn accusations of heresy from other mainstream Christian groups.

That last probably plays more strongly with the British audience; in the United States, Christian is as Christian does; Dr. Carson’s penchant for false witness and exclusionary, judgmental scorn are his own ad hoc iteration of faith, shot through with neurotic self-contradiction as it struggles to justify his self-centered pretense of humility. If one seeks strangeness about the SDA experience in general, it is a different phenomenon.


Full Color Fabulous

“They have the same daily challenges as anyone else but also have the struggle of trying to navigate obstacles and attitudes. China is not an easy place sometimes, but for many they face the greatest difficulty in finding acceptance from their families.”

Kevin Frayer

Two words―breathtaking humanity.

Chinese drag queens perform at the Chunai 98 club on January 9, 2015 in Nanning, Guangxi Province, southern China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Other than that, JamesMichael Nichols’ brief Q&A with photographer Kevin Frayer, for Huffington Post, is just another link sitting on my desktop for far too long. And they really are awesome photos, really are that fabulous.


Nichols, JamesMichael. “Kevin Frayer, Photographer, Showcases Stunning Drag Queens In China”. The Huffington Post. 8 March 2015.

Full Color Horror

Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, Palestine, taken 11 February 2015.  Credit: Mohammed Abed.

“Palestinians riding donkey-led carts cross through Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood during a sandstorm. This neighborhood was among the hardest hit during Israel’s 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip last summer.”

Sami Kishawi

This is how Israel defends itself against the spectre of terrorism.

Any questions?


Image note: Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, Palestine, 11 February 2015. Credit: Mohammed Abed.

Kisawi, Sami. “Photo of the Week: Shuja’iyya still recovering from heavy Israeli assault”. Sixteen Minutes to Palestine. 19 February 2015.