These, for me, are the two most depressing paintings in western history. They were painted by post-impressionist Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec, a man who, due to inbreeding, was born with a genetic disorder that prevented his legs from growing after they were broken. After being so thoroughly mocked for is appearance, he became an alcoholic, which is what eventually caused his institutionalization and death. His only known romantic relations were with prostitutes.
And then he paints something like this which is so beautiful and tender and sentimental. It seems like the couple in bed really loves each other—cares about each other. Wakes up happy to look at each other. And I see that love and passion and I wonder how lonely he must have been. I wonder how he could paint something like this without it breaking his heart.
Maybe they say artists should create what they know, not because its unbelievable when they extend themselves beyond their experiences, but because when they pull it off with such elegance, it’s so damn unbearable to look at. I hate thinking of Lautrec, wondering about the lovers he created and knowing it was beyond his experience. Creating something that he knows is beautiful and knows he’ll never really understand.
In the eight days since Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old, was killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, what began as an impromptu vigil evolved into a sustained protest; it is now beginning to look like a movement.
The local QuikTrip, a gas station and convenience store that was looted and burned on the second night of the protests, has now been repurposed as the epicenter for gatherings and the exchange of information. The front of the lot bears an improvised graffiti sign identifying the area as the “QT People’s Park.”
With the exception of a few stretches, such as Thursday afternoon, when it was veiled in clouds of tear gas, protesters have been a constant presence in the lot. On Sunday afternoon the area was populated by members of local churches, black fraternity and sorority groups, Amnesty International, the Outcast Motorcycle Club, and twenty or so white supporters from the surrounding area.
On the north side of the station, a group of volunteers with a mobile grill served free hot dogs and water, and a man stood on a crate, handing out bright yellow T-shirts with the logo of the National Action Network, the group led by Al Sharpton.
The conversation here has shifted from the immediate reaction to Michael Brown’s death and toward the underlying social dynamics. Two men I spoke with pointed to the disparity in education funding for Ferguson and more affluent municipalities nearby.
Another talked about being pulled over by an officer who claimed to smell marijuana in the car as a pretense for searching him.
“I’m in the United States Navy,” he told me. “We have to take drug tests in the military so I had proof that there were no drugs in my system. But other people can’t do that.”
Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation.
“If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said.
Ferguson’s elected officials did not look much different than they had years earlier, when it was a largely white community.
10 Photos from Ferguson that won’t make it to the mainstream media.
A community in unity.These photos are via Twitter from a Journalist named Ryan Schuessler (@RyanSchuessler1) who unlike some journalists/reporters, chooses to focus on the activities truly going on right now. He’s not focusing on how much of a “hell-hole” some of them are reporting it to supposedly be. But a community of people who are just seeking Justice For Michael Brown. If you can look at these photos and still buy into the mainsteam media’s game, or feel sorry for the police here in the slightest bit - you’re not paying attention.
The anger and actions of the people in Ferguson are justified. They’re citizens who are outraged by the corruption of the justice system and by the fact these police forces are allowed to gas them and shoot into crowds of innocent civilians, whenever they’re rallying in a peaceful protest that the media refuses to expose. They’ll try to turn it around on these people as often as possible.
For those of us who are, and have been paying attention to what’s going on - to the people of Ferguson, hat’s off to you for standing up. Know there are people who know the truth and aren’t listening to what news sources like CNN, FoxNews and NBC are distorting the information into.
DO NOT FALL INTO THE ILLUSIONS AND DISTORTIONS OF THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA ABOUT THE EVENTS IN FERGUSON. DO NOT FALL PREY TO THEIR GAME.
THESE PEOPLE ARE STANDING AGAINST A CORRUPT POLICE FORCE THAT GOT CAUGHT UP IN THEIR OWN LIES. DO NOT JUST FALL INTO THE STORIES OF TEAR GAS, RUBBER BULLETS, RIOTS, and LOOTERS. THERE ARE EVENTS GOING ON FROM PEACEFUL PROTESTERS WHO ARE STANDING FOR JUSTICE.
@RyanSchuessler1 - Twitter
Love “Da Man Wit the Chips” but Jameila White is the new “Protest MVP.” #staywoke #trill
Two ways of dealing with tear gas grenades from comrades in Turkey: Either submerge them in water. Make sure you can close off the container cause the gas will still spread for a while. Or throw them in the fire so the gas burns off before it can spread.
TUESDAY 8/19: Ferguson PD presented a table full of fabricated evidence at this morning’s press conference - allegedly seized from protestors and stopped cars. The Colt 45 Molotov with a white bandana was the crowning glory, turns out you can’t even buy glass 40’s in Missouri. Stay classy, FPD
I seriously think white supremacist are coming in the area to frame the protesters, but it could just be the cops
Again the media won’t this…stay strong brother ✊
[Image: a series of tweets by justified agitator (@Awkward_Duck) on August 19, 2014.
1:23 AM: We literally laid in someone’s backyard for what seemed like an eternity while tanks rolled down the streets #Ferguson
1:26 AM: I’m live tweeting because there’s a media blackout. #Ferguson
1:33 AM: I’m so shaken. They’re literally just rolling around throwing tear gas into neighborhoods-not aggressive crowds. #Ferguson
1:34 AM: I was pouring milk over one guys eyes when they came back around and threw another at us. #Ferguson
1:51 AM: Let me repeat, THEY ARE GASSING NEIGHBORHOODS not crowds of protestors.There was only a few of us walking. there is no curfew, so why?]