…..stump gilded missionaries


The site Wordcount arranges 88 thousand of the English language’s most frequently used words. Endlessly fun.
My first name comes in as word 21291, between tablecloth and sclerosis(nice!!!) and my last name is not currently featured in the archives(make you feel small or terribly unique, don’t it?).
Try typing in words and delight in random sentences. To my mind, their are very few more pleasurable activities than Nature’s gift to Humankind: Language.
To delight……and this will do wonders for your tags. Please to enjoy handpicked, edited, personal selections:

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Cherokee Peep Holes…!


Recently, I have begun to take walks in the city. It’s the rainy season and I can’t stand the rain, which, if you have ever lived in Paris for any length of time, you’ve grown to hate.
At the slightest sign of a break in the clouds I put on my overcoat and step out into the California winter haze. I leave the umbrella behind, a willful thought and hope for the best; and damn the consequences.
Today I walked straight down Market, from my house on Castro, without even stopping for gay porn, on the way. So as I said, down Market and onward to the feces district (the Tenderlaid, that would be between 6th and 7th street).
Onward…..and by Bloomingdales, by the make up counter ladies taking languorous cigarette breaks, trying not to plant face from all those samplers they’ve meticulously applied to their faces; passed Old Navy, thru the Metreon and into the light, where there it is, the: Museum of Modern Art, all brick and mortar and eighties fugliest.
Into the lobby where monitors rudely remind me that I should not be loitering here any more than those poorly covered feces I recently passed on 7th and Market. My way of saying, ‘I’ve seen this shit before and even wrote about it. So what to do? I did not plan ahead nor did I consult the internet before I left!

So, I bowed to the inevitable and quickly retraced my steps to reluctantly open the door to da YBCA, or Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, as it is also known to the verbosely minded. (BTW, for yall hippies out there, Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) is a sprawling aromatic herb of western and northwestern North America, ranging from maritime Alaska southwards to Baja California Sur, and NOT what you imagined it to be).

Apparently the YBCA, in a thinly disguised attempt at placating the flower child community into driving East, from Berkeley, North from Willits and South from Venice, is now featuring some half baked exhibit curated to venerate his holiness, the ‘Dalai Lama”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Dalai Lama and he is certainly worth a walk down market street but besides what I think about him, the show is an unmitigated piece of shit.
Enough said, but despite what I think, at least you get to live vicariously through me, and experience, for a brief moment, what it’s like to live here, in this soiled City by the Bay.

So, I perfunctorily went thru this display, cursing my fate, invisibly mumbling words so rich in sexual degradation as it would shame me to repeat them here, with impunity….. when at the corner of my eyes, what do I see; a side chapel, a votive assembly, right there in front of me, a notebook, left by one of the artists, to share your thoughts and feelings with the him and the community; ” Bingo! bitches!”, I exclaimed, “tis not in vain that I ambulate….!”

Here you go, excerpts, with my comments (apparently nasty, I hear, DL:). From the book of life, at the YBCA. Actual comments from visitors, regular folks, like you and me, carefully noted:

We are the cusp of great AWAKENING“.
DL: Personally, I was thinking pandemic…

Let peace and love prevail all over the world. Let all people love each other beyond borders. Fight for humanity and not for land and religion.
DL: Do I detect a thinly disguised “Peace in the Middle East” message, massaged within an inch of saying it, but too “site specific”, too narrowly minded; I’ll replace it with a more non-denominational cliché?

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams“.
DL: Fair enough, roll it, package it, and I’ll smoke it….

The world is a complicated place to live in! Yeah I know it blows, its pretty weird but it is“.
DL: I don’t know what to say but try a Garmin, it usually works for me, until it tells me to take the 10 to Venice at 9 in the mornin’ (LA drivers, you’ll know what I says, the rest of yous can ask them what I am just trying to say).

Reveal, expose, do not deny eternity.
DL: Expose eternity….! Is that a call to arms, a political statement or did you just parfumate with one of those samplers on sixth and Market.

Dear god,
Just as every stream and ocean are connected, some how I must believe…..its hard to believe in you. Bless the falling with compasion. The architecture of the sea creates its own laws; why can’t humanity create as a matter of architecture? Let us begin buildings peaceful society, NOW
DL: Who does not want to chant a prayer that starts nice and easy and ends by screaming… “NOW”.

You fucking killed it brutha, you inspire the revolution. Burning free and bad…, love“.
DL: I am sensing some innate contradictions, but never-mind me, I am far too cerebral for this….

Words are not enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,enough,……….
DL: That’s the great thing about mantras, if you repeat them long enough, they start to mean something else.

Keep that spirit flowing breathe your art until your last breath. Oliver.”
DL: This one startled me for a micro-second. I thought to myself, did I sleep walk to this bitch and signed my name. No, that’s signed Oliver, not Olivier.

You are perfectly complete and whole“.
DL: (Accompanied With a drawing of what looks like a butt with flowing gas coming out of it). And I am a complete ass whole for thinking it.

I really like your exhieibit very much!” (Lightning bolt and a house drawn, a kid’s handwriting and drawing).
DL: He/she is innocent until Early Onset Adulthood.

I have always been in awe of your creativeness. The passion for what you do always shine thru. Don’t ever stop believing in your capabilities.
You are a true artist. I knew this from the day you were born.
Love and forever
Yours forever yours sincerelly,

DL: This one is a little tricky, as the artist’s name is actually spelled Derik, not Derek, so I am to presume that his own mother does not know how to spell her son’s name, or she did not get the memo as to why Derek is now called Derik; or some clever little trickster wrote this, but failed to properly read the wall’s” “My name is..and I did this…”

You are now an art fag
Welcome to the club. Vital power takes you right there wherever there is, Leighton, Dad

DL: So dad is in on this too, but I find his message a little more masculine, a little more type A, in a gentle sort of way. Go get the “WHEREVER” Derek….!! I mean, Derik…!

I am done, I am complete
DL: and someone else wrote next to it, making my work easier, but more indirectly You are a fucking hippie

Thank you brother, I am so proud of you and your vision to wake each and everyone of us from the dream into the living dream of our own potential. Many blessings- reverence.
DL: Shoot the messenger, and the message.

Whoahhhh, whoahh, wwe,…..whoahh, wwwaa,….
DL: Next time I am in a museum I’ll shoot for the orgasm, the wine and cheese buffet sucks anyway.

I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells. I honour the place in you that is of light, love thruth & of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me. We are one. Namaste, Infinite gratitude & love
DL: Hey brother, I want to come with you but before we begin, please to point me towards the nearest consulate.

Wubba wubba ….Wubba wubba ….Wubba wubba ….Wubba wubba ….
DL: The afterglow, I presume….

DL: and to conclude, MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:

I want to face fuck that girl in the video, she’s hot“,
DL:Comment circled and note added next to it ; ” Wow, how sad and insulting that that is all you got out of all this love and work. Micah(the girl in the video) the artist’s wife.
DL: No comment…..


As I stepped out of the side show and into the lobby, it was now filled with old ladies, when before it had been empty. The place now smelled like chlorine, that public pool smell old people tend to retain after bobbing in it, to sooth the years away. I presume the YBCA was part of the day, a retirement tour date.

Being of less than sound mind, and urgently needing to pee, I made my way to the latrines but overshot and ended up in the women’s bathroom. After vainly looking for urinals, it finally dawned on me that I was in the wrong place. I retraced my steps, only to run into an old lady just about to step into the man’s toilets. She had seen me go in the ladies’ room and wrongly assumed the other door was where she also needed to do, her business.

How ironic, to get all turned around at the YBCA, where every other exhibit is about some gender specific group show, exploring some sort of gender based “ism-é”, or, “Feminism and the subversion of identity, bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of sex”.
…..humm, remind me not to have sex with that one, too damn intimidating.

PS: MDM, I wrote this one with you in mind, hope it helps lift your spirits, and Alyson too, they had a bit of a rough week.

Raphaël and Gabriel in San Blas.

These shots were taken in San Blas, Panama. Raphael who is now 12 years old, was ten at the time and gabriel, the blond one was 7. The New York Times travel section had a piece on the San Blas archipelago recently which hopefully will not ruin the place. If you are interested here are a few more shots of us boys in San Blas, in April 2006(the man in the yellow shirt is an Italian friend we made, not yours truly).



El Camino….and then some….


Here we go, here are a few more stories for your arty pleasuré:

ONE- Go shoot animal tracks, gopher tracks, goat tracks, that sort of thing. Did you know most roads and byways you now drive on, to take your aunt Mary to her shallow grave, started out as animal tracks. That’s right, way back when, all that primitive man had to do was follow them and bingo, either they’d get some tasty entrée or find some dirty water to quench their cave sized estomaqué.
When we were kids in Corsica, you had to know which path, which track, led back home, otherwise you’d be fucked, big time….. The goats ate away at the “Maquis“(a corsican word BTW) and over time dig tunnels into the mountains; some led nowhere but to dappled dead ends*, other led us home. If you didn’t what you were doing, you were dead.

During the war my grandfather and his pals in the Corsican resistance would lure the Germans and Italians into the Maquis through those tunnels, get them good and lost and then burn that part of the mountain, roasting them like Christmas partridges. Which brings me to our next story.

TWO- In California and the West, we have what’s called freeways, and on those freeways automobiles travel great distances rather hurriedly, and often recklessly whack other mammals out of their way. The often end up, in the grass, by the side of the road, where they lie, mortally wounded. If they are not dead right away, death usually comes slowly but no one’s counting, so who knows how long it takes. Paramedics are never called but once in the while if the stink is too great, some CALTRANS highway worker will drop by and pick up the remains. But fortunately, not all of them are collected and a few stay there to rot, deep in the yellowing grass, watching big rigs go their separate ways.

That grass I just mentioned…. well teenage runaways enjoy putting matches to it; just for the hell of it. Great big billowing dark clouds of sooting grass rise into our beautiful blue clouds(what’s a blue cloud you ask?), soiling Highway 5 a little more than expected, incinerating those forgotten carcasses . The tall grasses gone, what was once invisible to vagrants and passenger seats, is now revealed, after that grassy and fiery furnace. (Note: If you are on a budget and don’t like waiting in Motel 6s, just burn some shit down yourself or rent some teenage runaway. If you can’t find crispy critters just drive to the nearest muni dump and ask where they keep the road kill and plead your case…..)

So, next summer, drive up and down High 5 between Tracy and LA and look out for those dark burned out grassless patches, drag your cameras on a one horse open sleight and shoot those forlorn carcasses (See above image, for reference only).

The first one to return to NYC with a body of work out of those two stories gets a gallery show….so please hurry….off you go…. shoo…scram….shuusshhhh…..

I was also going to suggest shooting those discarded xmas trees you are apt to see, felled by the side of the road, but my friend steve mentioned that it has already been done. Anyway, someone has already done a similar project, shooting piles of lawn clippings on suburban streets but called them “Detritus”, and with a name like that, you get the keys to the city.

* Just like Golden Gate park in San Francisco, except that the tunnels are dug by the homeless and you more likely to catch some toothless skank giving head, rather than having a magical childhood ready made. (Skank:The term “skank” differs from that of “slut” in that whereas the latter implies only sexual promiscuity; the former also implies poor taste, personally degrading behaviour and low socioeconomic class. Dang…..! I want me some of that, aaarg, those damn childhood fetishes!).

Epistolary Query…

Image courtesy of: Marsh, Moriarty, Ontel & Golder, P.C.

In the spirit of this new year, I wish to share with you this personal missive, which over the years has allowed me to correspond with strangers; garnering friendships and honors as well as financial recompense. This letter, I use as first correspondence to inquire about potential editorial, corporate or advertising contigencies with future and existing clients. Feel free to use it as I have presently exhausted its value, uses and benefits (I have also noticed that it it is most effective when committed to parchment).

“Dearest (recipient),

I am very much obliged to(sponsor’s name)for writing to me on Thursday January the 17th, and very glad that I owe the pleasure of hearing from him again so soon, and to such an agreeable cause, and that it so graciously concerns me. But, you will not be surprised, nor perhaps so joyful as I should be, to find that he/she recommended me to your agency. I am very well happy to hear of his health and safety and wish him and you sir/madame, nothing but a good prize as to have so kindly thought of me.

But deem me not so devoid of proper pride as to wish you to evoke his/her determination, from which I will not attempt to dissuade you, whether he/she may have made it in coll deliberation, or in precipitous haste.

Hence, kind Sir/Madame, I shall endeavor to inquire as to your affections, and as readily and completely as you may consider me. All that I shall now require from you is this; that you would respond electronically, should you find this missive and my photographic entreaties to be suitable, and to your demiurgic liking.

I hope to not have written under a foolish confidence in your attachment, and if so please accept my sincerest pleas for forgiveness and/or apology…..”


Your Name.

Il Papa Fieri….

A note left by my 9 year old Gabriel, written in English but in beautiful handwritten French cursive:

“Papa, I should like for you to download these movies to my iPod “:

1- Team America,
2- In iTunes, in the section “Purchased” there will be a movie called: “South Park Bigger, longer and uncut…”
3- In iTunes, in the section “Purchased” there will be a movie called: “Winter X Games XI”

Glad to be of service, my son, and while I am at it, shall get you a quill, a feather, as of a goose, formed into a pen for writing…. for your tenth birthday.

Ista quidem est!


…………… those affected foragers, manipulating other, less disingenuous characters, elephantine rogues and agitators who rise to pomp and circumstance by playing to that imminent and gullible mind, of a market of believers.

Perpetrators, thinly disguised speculators, obstructionist and talented frocks, biding the acrimonious bile of some authority or power: The backslapper, apple polisher, flatterer and glad hander; within whose easy compliance lies the carbonized core of a hateful, bullying and fearful deceiver; a coddling messenger who seeks compliant listeners, like so many fools before them in respectful demeanor…. you shall forgive me, should you derive any pleasure from thy efforts, but ….. ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture as crawling.” Jonathan Swift.

The Naked APE.

DL: Photographers out number editors a million to one but given the fact that you may well be the one and only photo editor who did it, what does that “intuit” about your esteemed colleagues?

RB(AKAPE): I think there’s a huge misconception about the number of “professional” photographers in this industry. I’d say 20 maybe 23 tops. Everyone else is just vying for one of those slots by shooting jobs for free as marketing material. So, as you can see there’s absolutely no reason for photo editors to do anything with the internets.

DL: Something tells me that you are trying to sell us something, are we all unsuspecting pawns in an elaborate marketing scheme of your own making?

RB(AKAPE): There is absolutely no obligation to buy but I think once you hear the stories of people making 1000, 2000 and even 10,000 dollars a week you will want to buy my 10 disc set turning your vacation photos into cash. Money back guarantee except in the 50 states not available outside the US.

DL: OH. MY . GOD…! Is that expression learned, or innate?

RB(AKAPE): I normally say “holy fucking shit can you fucking believe how fucking great that fucking photo is a just want to shit myself and donkey punch my mother.” Oh. My. God seemed more user friendly.

DL: There was a lot of brown nosing the APE over the past four months. What does that say about photographers or the biz?

RB(AKAPE): If NY Times Magazine Director of Photography, Kathy Ryan were to suddenly come to a screeching halt the entire photo industry would find itself lodged up her ass.

DL: Winston Churchill once said, “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give”, care to elaborate?

RB(AKAPE): No. That makes my brain hurt.

DL: You once had a dream, what was it?

RB(AKAPE): A reoccurring dream where the CFO and I enter a caged octagon.

DL: Why do you think you were so successful, so quickly?

RB(AKAPE): See above, they all thought I was Kathy Ryan.

DL: Anyone else that you know following your careless lead?

RB(AKAPE): I’ve poisoned everyone who tried. Anyone seen George Pitts lately?

DL: Photography is now a commodity like wheat, pork bellies or soy beans, care to disagree?

RB(AKAPE): Is this where you tell me I have to pay a digital processing fee and a digital transfer fee and a fee to ftp and a fee to burn a disk and a digital package fee and a digi-tech fee and a removable storage fee and a post processing fee?

DL: You share your life with a special someone, an ego, a wife, a pet monkey. What did they think of all this? Did you ever have to defend your compulsion and if so how could you and how did you justify it?

RB(AKAPE): Look Olivier I’m tired of calling your wife and telling her that blogging is anything other than online masturbation.

DL: Some may say that your taste in photography are rather safe, care to elaborate?

RB(AKAPE): Are you referring to my habit of saying in meetings “I’d like see what Annie Lebovitz would do with that” even though I’ve asked her agent 144,000 times to shoot something for me and the answer has always been no?

DL: Have you found your voice and is this it?

RB(AKAPE): No, I’m thinking more Backstreet Boys with choreographed dance but I just can’t seem to get Contientious, Jackaonary and A Visual Society to show up for practice.

DL: How do you like your feminine side shaped?

RB(AKAPE): Conical.

DL: Off the record and just between you and me, what made you do it?……guilt, shame…? and if so, are you easily intimidated?

RB(AKAPE): Interesting, I’ve never thought of it that way but now that I’m lying on this comfortable couch and you’re talking to me in that soothing voice I’d have to say there’s a fair amount of guilt involved in figuring out how many ways you can screw photographers out of a couple bucks on a daily, wait no, hourly basis as a chosen profession. This is my atonement.

DL: ….ever been gang banged by the Keebler elves…?

RB(AKAPE): Oh. My. God… is that where all these cookies came from… Olivier… Olivier… why can’t I move my arms… I can barely see you… it’s like I’m looking through a lens baby attached to a kaleidoscope.

DL: Anything to loose and if so, when will you loose it?

RB(AKAPE): Close to loosing my lunch every time I hit publish.

DL: Successful blogs tend to slowly become overwhelmed by their own successes. The audience becomes more and more self absorbed and see the “Top Blog” as a tool to generate traffic to their own site or start posting to turn the conversation unto themselves, as opposed to furthering the discussion. How will you negotiate success, has this already happened?

RB(AKAPE): Ultimately my goal is to turn the photo blogging community into a giant donut where all links and conversations lead back to the original post. The conversation will repeat itself in perpetuity throughout the universe in every medium known and unknown without additional payment.

DL: Please, be brutally honest!

RB(AKAPE): When I pee in the snow I write my name.

DL: (This Space left unintentionally blank).


DL: Unlike a painter, a photographer starts with something finished and works backwards….what about a “A Photo Editor”?

RB(AKAPE): Did you know aphotoeditor spelt backwards is rotideotohpa?

DL: I have to ask you this, how many Horse ladies in your apocalypse?

RB(AKAPE): She’s pullin’ six white horses.

DL: Favorite three layered cake?

RB(AKAPE): Ho hos.

DL: An old chinese proverb states: ” It does not matter if it’s black or white, as long as it catches light”, care to dignify this pronouncement with a reply?

RB(AKAPE): It matters if I shine a flashlight up your ass.

DL: Many of your fans had assumed, wrongly, that you were a lady, any thoughts, rebukes or responses?

RB(AKAPE): Not the first time someone told me “you write and photo edit like a woman.”

DL: “If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention”, what exactly does that mean?

RB(AKAPE): In the FAQ section of my blog it states that by loading aphotoeditor.com in your web browser you are hereby signing a work for hire contract that governs all previous and future work as a photographer throughout the universe in all mediums known and unknown in perpetuity.

DL: The US department of Labor states that the Employment of photographers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2016. Photographers can expect keen competition for job openings because the work is attractive to many people. Could this be?

RB(AKAPE): Sure, who doesn’t want to hang out with Mickey and Goofy and snap pictures of screaming kids all day long.

DL: There are currently 122,000 professional photographers in the US alone, with a median hourly income of $12 dollars and 58 cents. Please explain ?

RB(AKAPE): And with expenses of $12 an hour that leaves a pure profit of 58 cents an hour.

DL: Which of the following would cause the unemployment rate to increase?

I. A man who quits his job to spend more time with his children
II. A woman who has not looked for a job in two years and begins looking again
III. A woman who quits her job and begins looking for a new job in another city.

RB(AKAPE): IV. Blogging for a living.

DL: And to conclude this interview please explain:

1- Definition of social stratification
2- Social class in terms of wealth, income, education, occupation, and lifestyle
3- Concepts of power, prestige and status, both ascribed and achieved
4- Social inequality involving race, gender, class, age, prejudice, and discrimination
5- Functional and conflict theories of stratification
6- Horizontal, vertical, inter-generational social mobility
7- Poverty/life chances

RB(AKAPE): Ask someone who cares.