Designer Scott Hansen has created the second poster in the Artists for Obama Gallery.  The Shepard Fairy designed prints sold out fast; so get one of these while you can.

Recently I posted about Pascal Dagin, the world’s premier fashion photo retoucher. I’ve also recently posted about Unilever’s brand Dove and some of their practices, both good and bad as a cosmetics manufacturer. Their global Campaign for Real Beauty was aimed at portraying what women truly look like in the real world. Ironically, the company hired the world’s greatest photo retoucher for that very campaign. Why? Because even real beauty needs a little post production help from time to time.

Alejandro Jodorowski is a cinema genius like no other. The success of his film El Topo made him “the father of the midnight movie.” His films have been described as political, surreal, offensive and psychodelic.  All of these descriptions are as accurate as they are false. His body of work has been created as a quest for truth and enlightenment. For decades his films were only available on pirated VHS dubs and were banned in many countries. Now a set of three Jodorowsky films and accompanying soundtracks are available including: Fando y Lis, El Topo, and The Holy Mountain.

In the last few years Dove, the manufacturer of soaps and beauty products has been running their Campaign for Real Beauty. The idea is a global campaign focused on a social change that recognizes that real women come in different sizes and shapes. Dove’s online viral Evolution spot was truly something special to see; again they were punctuating the notion that real people don’t walk around looking like touched up photos.

With this kind of advertising one would think that a company like Dove is not only socially concerned about those who buy their products, but the world at large. I was terribly disappointed to see an ad created by Greenpeace designed to raise awareness of Dove’s not so friendly practices in Indonesia. Unilever the brand’s parent company is participating in trade for palm oil that is leading to the destruction of valuable forest and wildlife. See the very telling ad and lets make Unilever reconsider their trade.

 

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has worked tirelessly writing, recording and touring the last several years. On the band’s last touring album Year Zero, Reznor created something of an alternate reality designed to engage fans in a world around the music. This massive experiment proved to be hugely successful. As the recording industry continues to wrestle with change, NIN are plowing forward redefining our musical landscape and bringing their fans with them. Since Year Zero, the band has released two more albums. The first is an album called Ghosts I-IV which was intended to play like a soundtrack to an unmade film. NIN have launched the Ghost Film Festival inviting fans to make videos inspired by the tracks. The newest album, The Slip is an entirely free giveaway. The band is also encouraging fans to remix tracks and pass them around. It is quite clear that Reznor has embraced the notion that music can be a dialogue; his list of collaborators continues to grow and now includes his own fans.

Marilyn Manson has finally decided like so many other celebs to endorse his own product. The rocker was instrumental in developing his label of absinthe. And yes, its true that certain brands of true absinthe are now legal in the US. It is also absolutely false that absinthe will make you go looney more than any other type of spirit. That was all actually a giant smear campaign created by a threatened wine industry in France during the early 1900s.

 

Oliver Ackerman is the singer and guitar player for A Place to Bury Stangers. The band has generated indie-cult status. In addition to playing very loud music, he is the creator of Death By Audio. Several years back, Oliver had the idea to sell his custom guitar FX pedals that he had designed for his himself. This fruitful experiment lead to something bigger. The very studio where he was working became something of a collective artists space that curates shows and provides bands with rehearsal and recording space. Picthfork has done a feature on Oliver’s brainchild.

Just how well do you know where your food comes from? Before your meal made its way to your plate, how did the ingredients start out? Everyday, it is highly likely that you are ingesting food that can be traced back to a very large and unfriendly corporation called Monsanto.

The company controls a large majority of the seeds that are used in this country for farming. Through the influence of money and intimidation techniques, this company has re-written our laws and claims patents on some of the most fundamental parts of our food chain. Like the use of seeds for planting. Monsanto historically has been a chemical company. In the 60’s they were makers of agent orange, a dangerous cancer causing pesticide. Gradually, the company shifted into the agriculture business consolidating competition under their roof. Now Monsanto is moving in on our dairy supply.

Who is paying the price? American farmers are absolutely suffering and being bullied about. These genetically modified unnatural seeds are ending up in the greater portion of what we eat. What are we to do? First, get to know Monsanto. And secondly, eat less packaged food and purchase more local food from local green markets.

In The Graduate (1967), there is a famous line in which Dustin Hoffman’s character is advised upon his college graduation, “I’ve got one word for you. Plastics… the future is in plastics.” And so it is true that plastic has changed our world, but not always for the better. There is a highly polluted section of the Pacific Ocean estimated to be about twice the size of Texas that has been referred to as “Garbage Island.”