Thursday, December 18, 2008

Please take the time to watch the below video and read the article I have posted (as well as the articles linked at the bottom). This is very important and I think more and more people need to hear about it. This is an investigation done by a good friend and huge inspiration to me,investigative reporter AC Thompson, on some horrible things that went down during the days of Hurrican Katrina.

Katrina's Hidden Race War
In New Orleans's Algiers Point, white vigilantes
shot African-Americans with impunity
Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.

By A.C. Thompson

December 18, 2008

The way Donnell Herrington tells it, there was no warning. One second he was trudging through the heat. The next he was lying prostrate on the pavement, his life spilling out of a hole in his throat, his body racked with pain, his vision blurred and distorted.

It was September 1, 2005, some three days after Hurricane Katrina crashed into New Orleans, and somebody had just blasted Herrington, who is African-American, with a shotgun. "I just hit the ground. I didn't even know what happened," recalls Herrington, a burly 32-year-old with a soft drawl.

The sudden eruption of gunfire horrified Herrington's companions—his cousin Marcel Alexander, then 17, and friend Chris Collins, then 18, who are also black. "I looked at Donnell and he had this big old hole in his neck," Alexander recalls. "I tried to help him up, and they started shooting again." Herrington says he was staggering to his feet when a second shotgun blast struck him from behind; the spray of lead pellets also caught Collins and Alexander. The buckshot peppered Alexander's back, arm and buttocks.

Herrington shouted at the other men to run and turned to face his attackers: three armed white males. Herrington says he hadn't even seen the men or their weapons before the shooting began. As Alexander and Collins fled, Herrington ran in the opposite direction, his hand pressed to the bleeding wound on his throat. Behind him, Herrington says, the gunmen yelled, "Get him! Get that nigger!"

The attack occurred in Algiers Point. The Point, as locals call it, is a neighborhood within a neighborhood, a small cluster of ornate, immaculately maintained 150-year-old houses within the larger Algiers district. A nationally recognized historic area, Algiers Point is largely white, while the rest of Algiers is predominantly black. It's a "white enclave" whose residents have "a kind of siege mentality," says Tulane University historian Lance Hill, noting that some white New Orleanians "think of themselves as an oppressed minority."

A wide street lined with towering trees, Opelousas Avenue marks the dividing line between Algiers Point and greater Algiers, and the difference in wealth between the two areas is immediately noticeable. "On one side of Opelousas it's 'hood, on the other side it's suburbs," says one local. "The two sides are totally opposite, like muddy and clean."

Algiers Point has always been somewhat isolated: it's perched on the west bank of the Mississippi River, linked to the core of the city only by a ferry line and twin gray steel bridges. When the hurricane descended on Louisiana, Algiers Point got off relatively easy. While wide swaths of New Orleans were deluged, the levees ringing Algiers Point withstood the Mississippi's surging currents, preventing flooding; most homes and businesses in the area survived intact. As word spread that the area was dry, desperate people began heading toward the west bank, some walking over bridges, others traveling by boat. The National Guard soon designated the Algiers Point ferry landing an official evacuation site. Rescuers from the Coast Guard and other agencies brought flood victims to the ferry terminal, where soldiers loaded them onto buses headed for Texas.

In the case of one shooting victim, evidence indicates that the local police may have been complicit in his death. Eyewitnesses didn't see where the bullet came from, but when they took a bleeding Henry Glover to a police staging area hoping for medical assistance, they were met by blows instead. See A.C. Thompson's companion piece, "Body of Evidence."
Facing an influx of refugees, the residents of Algiers Point could have pulled together food, water and medical supplies for the flood victims. Instead, a group of white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply "didn't belong."


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Didn't see the movie but this gag reel nearly brings me to tears (with laughter) every time I watch it. Thanks to Ms. Mackenzie for passing it along- I can't get enough! These two are hillarious! "What about the Pup?" I love that line. Sigh. It's cold here in California.
Hope this makes someone else laugh too...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Working on the new issue of the Three Records zine that I do. In the zine, I ask people to name three records that have changed and/or inspired their lives. So interesting to see how music came in to people's lives and the effect it had on them. SO excited to be working on this project again!!! There have been people's list that have come in that have brought me to tears- so good. This is the cover of the first one... I'll let you all know when the second one is finished!!!
Hope everyone is well and warm!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just another quick thought-- does anyone else find it weird that even the "Art House" Movie Theaters are playing those insanely patriotic/propogandic Army commercials? Each time they come on I am a little more confused. Any information?
Shot a bunch of product type stuff for an art director friend of mine today and yesterday. Normally most photographers I know cringe at the thought of this kind of photography! I use to but more and more I am having fun with it. It's a pretty nice challenge making mundane things come to life (or at least look interesting). Maybe mundane is the wrong word? I think I just love the technical challenge of it... Not to mention it's not often I use a long lens! They are SOOO nerdy. Yeah, come on, they are! Just a different kind of photo challenge!
Hope all is well.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Couple, NYC.

I was so happy to see these two walking hand in hand for blocks and blocks that I had to make a photo of it. I've been in love before and will be in love again I'm sure(how's that for positivity?). Hope everyone is doing well and staying warm wherever you may be. Rumor has it it's pretty cold out East. Hmmm, it's going to be 55 in LA tonight!!! That's kind of cold?

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

I'm not a huge fan of horror films but I went on a highly recommended suggestion that I go see the Swedish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN I was surprised at how much I really liked it. I loved the way it was shot with it's muted colors and tight shots-- not to mention the actors did a really great/convincing job. I'm not a movie critic, not really sure how to write about these things... though I am very picky and am saying that this movie is really worth checking out. Let me know what you think!
Here's the trailer:

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Saturday, December 06, 2008


Photo:Wroclaw, Poland, 2001

Seems like a lot of friends are having hard times these days. Feels like the state of the world is finally rearing it's ugly head in our personal lives. It was inevitable. So many times this week I've said "things will get better, you just need to get through this." And it's true. Things always do get better, it's just a matter of getting through it. Reminded me of this photo I made in Poland. I was very sad, maybe the saddest I've ever been in my life. I remember the (1/60th of a )second I made that photo that I knew everything would be ok. It was the strangest sensation and I'm not really sure I can explain it. I just remember having a rush of hope after hearing the shutter. It was so ironic standing in the middle of what was once was a Jewish ghetto in Poland and thinking "you know, it will be ok." And eventually, it was and I was and I am. It's just a matter of going through it, getting through it and eventually, you will. I promise you that.
Be good to one another.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I use to travel a lot with my friend Jason Fulford. On one of our trips, he started writing a list of 5 things from each day. I can't remember exactly what the theme of these lists were, pretty sure it was just anything from the day. Most likely positive or funny things that happened that day. I started doing it as well and had a lot of fun recounting the day. So, why not do it now and then? Starting now...

1. Hanging out with Niles drinking coffee, eating at a great new spot and talking film for a couple of hours. He's equally obsessed with the 40's in Los Angeles. That makes me excited for future projects with him! We also talked about a future photo show in LA that he would like me to be a part of. That makes me happy! whoop whoop.

2. Lots of Three Records #2 lists coming in! So fun to read everyone's records.

3. Jimi Hendrix look-a-like in the 99 cents store. He is still kind of blowing my mind.

4. Walking around LA today with my headphones on, with the volume up REALLY loud. I love the feeling of walking and listening to music. Puts you in another world and man, shit sounds sooooo much better in the headphones. Maybe I need to get one of those big fancy pairs that look like ear muffs. I can only imagine how good that sounds. Not to mention, it drowns out all the shitty comments dudes think it's ok to say. I see their lips moving but nothing's coming out! Only music. I love walking around town and listening to music. Did I say that? Yeah.

5. Tonight, making a huge pot of potato/leek soup and watching WAL-E. Cute movie. Great soup. I like the simple things in life.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thought I would share some art I made as a kid. Just came across it in a pile of papers.
Ahhhh, to be young again.
Hope everyone is well and staying warm!