Stay safe out there!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Back in March, a group I periodically attended called Drinking Liberally decided to do something different: Instead of meeting at a bar at night, why not meet on a Sunday afternoon over coffee? The result was a larger group, lively discussions, and a lot of fun!
But it was at that time that we discussed a new poster. We were "sponsored" by the national group, and they didn't have anything for coffee drinkers. While talking, I took out my sketch book, worked out a quick idea, and everyone agreed it would be great for me to do it.
Well, time passed, and the idea simply sat around, periodically being mentioned and me groaning about time or something or other. But since I was being so productive and creative, I decided now was the time to take a chance and work on the poster and see if the national picked it up.
The version I did relied on the imagery already used by the organization and the original idea was to do a radial as I've done in a lot of my work. I passed on that idea because it just couldn't work with the font, space, and limited color I wanted to use.
This version plays off Art Deco and the same ideas and concepts used for New Deal programs under FDR.
If you live in Philadelphia, namely the Mt. Airy area, please come out to Drinking Coffee Liberally! The group meets up Every Sunday at 12:30PM to 2:30PM at Infusion Cafe at 7133 Germantown Avenue. Tell 'em Larry Sent 'Ya!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
IN FLAMES is playing The Trocadero October 4th at 7PM. They will be joined by Between the Buried and Me, 3 Inches of Blood, and The Faceless.
Download and hand out your own flyer HERE.
Interested in what went into making this? Read the full story here, but here's a snippet:
Behind the screaming demoness is a symbol. Now, those familiar with In Flames will see something familiar yet strange. In Flames has adopted a few symbols over the years, and there was a sort of tribal one used back in 2006 for Come Clarity. I decided to take the idea and make it my own. In this case, it involved turning it into the symbol of chaos as well.
There's some writing on the original piece, but I had to take it off the smaller versions of the posters because it didn't read well. I was listening to "A Sense of Purpose" while penciling it in and one lyric in particular came to mind: " Feel this up your conviction!" To me, though, it sounded like "Feel the Realness of Your Convictions!", thus the name of the piece. The lyric is from the song "I'm the Highway".
Interested? Make sure you check it out on my blog!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"Stop Bitching and Start a Revolution". To me, these are words to live by.
I love metal shows, and I love concert posters. So its always a shock and annoyance to me to never see posters or flyers for metal concerts coming up in Philadelphia. The local blogs seem to tend to ignore them, instead opting to post (as I've ranted a million times before) about some indie rock or trance/electronica band.
On Monday, September 28th, Obituary, Goatwhore, Krisiun, and Warbringer will play The Trocadero at 6PM! Tickets are only $17.50, $20 at the door, and it should be a good show!
You can download the awesome flyer yourself to print and hand out by clicking THIS LINK.
So go out, spread the word, tell your friends, and jump in the pit!
-And, yeah, I made the flyer and everything, so show me some love, too: Larry West Productions.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The problem, though, is that this is exactly what happened in 2003... and 2004... and especially 2005. In 2005, I attended a Impeach Bush rally in Washington DC. Save the crowd being anti-Bush and being much, much larger, we were treated just like the people who protested on September 12th. In 2003 and 2004 at the anti-war protests, the crowd was much smaller, but it was growing.
One thing I keep hearing is that the protesters against Obama are doing it on racial lines, or at the very least, that there is some deep-seated racism in it. Admittedly, I wouldn't be shocked if that is the sentiment of 10% or less of the people protesting, but it is far from it for the majority! Some people are there simply because they don't like his policies, some are anti-Obama because of Fox News.
But the simplest explanation makes the most sense: That the people who are anti-Obama are politically driven. After 8 years of bush and the Republicans in control, when they were able to live in a country more their way, the fact that you have someone coming in who represents most of what they're afraid of (Democrats, economic and health care reform, ending the Iraq War), especially when he is basically trying to undo everything Bush did in only 9 months... well, can you at least understand their fear? Their anger?
Here's footage of their protests on 9/12:
And here's the anti-Bush Protests from 2005:
I'm not asking you to agree with them, but I am saying that we need to realize that it isn't as black-and-white as "well, they hate black people" or "they hate Democrats". We need to listen their side and understand them better.
Image Courtesy of the Seattle Times.
Why? Because, in the end, what he did wasn't that damn bad, that's why!
Lets get a few things straight: First off, what he did was stupid. Interrupting the President of the United States with a remark while hes making a speech to the joint-sessions is rude. That said, it isn't all that bad. Compared to countless other democracies with Parliaments, what happened was incredibly tame! Shouting matches, fist fights... someone yelling, briefly, "You Lie!"is next to nothing.
In this country, we have both a democracy and freedom of speech. We are allowed to say whatever we want to our democratically elected officials with very few restrictions. More or less, the only actual restriction is you can't threaten them, which is perfectly reasonable. That said, I, as well as everyone else, knows that there are still manners and moments to show dissent in a proper manner.
Think back to 2003. George W. Bush is making his State of the Union address where he lies to the American people and mentions something about a country buying yellow cake uranium. Not only was it a lie, but it was a bold-face lie. Not only was it a bold-face lie, it was a bold-face lie to get us to go into a unwinable war against a country we had no real reason to attack. I think its safe to say that the same people screaming outrage about Joe Wilson would applaud whoever would have yelled it then.
Or in 2004... or 2005... or 2007....
Remember when someone threw a shoe at George W. Bush? Basically, the agreement form a majority of American's was... amusement. An Iraqi Journalist threw a shoe at the President. His punishment was minor, and he's being released today after only 10 months in prison. No one called for his head or for him to resign.
What Joe Wilson did is excusable and understandable. This was not a Town Hall, it was not a campaign rally, it was an address to the nation. He did not threaten, he did not curse, he did not say anything horrible. When confronted with a Commander-in-Chief he believed was lying, he dared to do exactly what any of us would have wanted to say in that same situation ourselves. You and I may not agree with what he thought was a lie, we may not agree with this man at all.
To call for him to resign, to force him to apologize again AFTER he's already done so for speaking out of turn... for not apologizing for WHAT he said, which he meant... to do so goes against the First Amendment and smacks of censorship against something not considered the status quo!
Do I agree with what he said? NO! Do I agree with the fact he embarrassed himself and his state by making his comment during the speech? NO! Do I honestly feel he had every right in the world to do it? YES.
Cartoon Courtesy of Steve Benson
Nutter is in between a rock and a hard place with the Philadelphia City Budget. Despite the cries and protests from residents last year, Nutter not only has Libraries on the chopping block, he has them up front, ready to shut them down in a heartbeat if the PA State Budget doesn't get approved.
But to a much more important and scarier end, he wants to shut down the Philadelphia Court System.
WHAT THE HELL?!
The problem with this is actually very simple: It is next to impossible to do that. Why? Largely because his Plan C budget, the "Doomsday Budget", isn't legal. He has no legal right to shut down the Philadelphia Court System, and it has been decried by critics as being nothing more than a scare tactic.
So lets get this straight: We have a Mayor who is threatening his citizens with no legal system in his city if his budget doesn't get approved. At the same time, other cities and states have faced similar problems but have made other cuts in other places. Nutter is simply using a scare tactic to get what he wants, which is a pension freeze and a 1% raise in the city Sales Tax for "only 5 years".
When I ran for office, I kept saying the same thing over and over again: I want long-term solutions for long-term problems. You can't just put a band-aid on something and hope it works, you need something that will have a long-term effect.
The thing that urkes me the most is the fact that, while Philadelphia got money from the Stimulus earlier this year... does anyone know where it went? What happened to the money?! All I've seen so far is that they re-paved some streets that really didn't need it! We got over $700 MILLION!
So what should Nutter do? How does he save Philadelphia from fiscal collapse and make sure he can actually deliver on his promise? The Committee of Seventy says it best:
The proposals include reducing the cost and size of city government; fixing how property taxes are assessed; evaluating the need and functions of the city's four independently elected row offices; consolidating city housing agencies; and improving the 311 call system to generate greater savings.Is it going to be easy? No, but, really, this needs to happen and it needs to happen NOW.
Friday, September 11, 2009
House and Senate leaders announce that they have reached a compromise that will end the state budget impasse. The tentative agreement calls for the adoption of a $27.945 billion spending plan that includes no broad-based tax increases and uses a combination of one-time revenues and recurring revenues to produce a balanced budget for the fiscal year.
Pennsylvanians deserve an end to the uncertainty, and, with a continued spirit of teamwork, House Democrats are committed to working with the Senate to finalize the details and send the budget to .
Please visit www.pahouse.com to learn more.
Does this mean Nutter will not be able to implement Plan C? More as this develops.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Last night, I watched as President Obama gave his speech on health care. Now, some may think at this point that I am anti-Obama to no end, and your wrong, very very wrong. Last night showed me why I'm glad I voted for him, and its largely because I wanted someone who, to be quite frank, got shit done.
Obama: You will no longer be denied coverage if you have a pre-existing condition. You will no longer be dropped if you get sick, or water it down. You can keep your insurance if you're happy with it.
THIS! THIS is what the people voting for Obama wanted. This is what a large majority of American's want! This, in the end, is what we need.
Health Insurance companies are, to me, the last privatized public service. While I am 110% in favor of capitalism, I don't think certain things should be privatized, like the police or fire departments. If you make your own system to compete, I'm 100% in favor of that, but not for it being entirely private. Health Insurance is an essential public service. Without it, people who get violently sick and could be otherwise productive members of society fall and die since they can't afford the coverage.
The only thing I'm worried with in this bill is that they would need to set caps and limits on the insurance companies on what, exactly, they will charge for this. They make money denying people, which we know for a fact, so if they have to take and keep sick people, are they going to, in turn, raise their rates for them and everyone else? "Oh, your not denied, but your monthly premium is $2000"?!
I'm happy and hopeful with what I heard, but I am nervous of the execution.
Also last night, there was something rarely ever done during a speech like this: Dissent. Yes, there have been gestures in the past (simply sitting while others stand), but in the middle of his speech, Republican Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled "YOU LIE!" While I don't agree with him on his point, I do want to say this: I wish someone had the balls to say that during the State of the Union address back in 2003.
Cartoon - Tony Auth
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I got this album nearly a year and a half ago, and frankly, it's a brilliant album! "Skeletons" is an album that deserves a ton of respect and is catchy as hell.
That said, am I back? Is this blog back?
Yes. And I'm taking names.