Friday, February 13, 2009

aviators and a v-neck.


Photographer: Andy Kuechenmeister, makeup by Maxine Suter and hair by Ziggy


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bedford Hotel, NYC

Photographer: Chip Willis
Makeup by Charlotte B, Hair by Crews. Styling by Rhonda McKnight.

Why making your life a Dead Kennedy's song isn't such a great idea after high school:

The "köpi" is a squat located in Berlin's city center. It's illegally the home to 80+ anarchist. The building is now up for sale. Instead of making an attempt at purchasing the building the inhabitants have chosen to declare "war" on the local police. Good luck there. German police are far less forgiving than those in the US.

The köpi is in close proximity to daycares, banks, shopping centers, grocery stores and my apartment.

In this case poor thinking has gone way too far. Acts of violence by these leftist have left people in Mitte feeling threatened and in danger.

Below is my response to one of these leftist. Their writings are in Italic while mine are in bold lettering.

listen. if you want an honest answer. my face was cringing as i was reading the things you were writing. the person who "owns" that property has absolutely NO right to it. what did that person do to own that property? they paid an amount of money and signed their name on a peice of paper. only to do absolutely NOTHING with it untill it was profitable enough to sell it.

If you want an honest answer, my face cringes to think that your outlook on life hasn't matured or become even slightly more realistic in the years since we've known each other. You can put "owns" in "brackets" all you like, but it doesn't change a simple fact. The people who decided to live in that building do not have any right to it. You operate under the mindset of someone who's had everything given to them their whole life, yet resents it. You just assume things will be there for you to take no matter what. The person who OWNS that building is the reason it's there in the first place. No amount of hanging out, drinking, putting on shows or anything else the squatters did will ever create a building. That's where your entire viewpoint falls flat. You can't dumpster dive for food without a grocery store there selling food to other people, and you can't squat in a building without someone paying to have it built in the first place. If you change the rules so that people are allowed to take control of whatever building they happen to feel like taking, you get no more buildings ever. It's called incentive. Without a financial incentive to build a building (ie: ownership and the right to use that building as you see fit) nobody will ever build the buildings for you to squat in. It's totally foreign to you to think that paying an amount of money is an important act because you romanticize poverty. It's pretty infantile to think that somehow the world would just go on without all the things that human beings have worked so hard for over the centuries. Being able to trade money for goods is the singular reason why so many people are able to survive, and not the reason why anybody starves. It's only grown up babies who had mommy and daddy pay their way who don't understand this basic fact. If you didn't have money and trade, you don't have food to feed the world, you don't have clothing, and you don't have any buildings for ANYBODY to live in.

the people who have been in the kopi for the past 20 years basically BUILT that building and made it livable. it houses dozens of people and functions as a show space, bar, community space, and a general free space where you can go and hang out when there's nothing else to do. in my eyes, this is a million times more legit "ownership" than some fuckhead throwing around his capital.... "investing" in vacant buildings.

Again, it's much easier to suggest that ownership is unimportant than to face anything resembling reality. Your understanding of the word "basically" is seriously flawed. The person who BUILT the building is the person who built the building. Spray painting walls, and bringing in furniture off the street is not the same thing as building, if you can't see the difference you should try building something for real. You seem to think getting huge structures is some really easy task compared with turning it into a space to "hang out when there's nothing else to do". If there was "nothing else to do" why not say... get a job? why not go and make the world a bit better place for those who are actually in need (as opposed to punks who prefer the romance of poverty to actual work). The fact is that you're all talk. You're an overgrown 12 year old who thinks that it's cool to have a fort to hang out with your buddies. This doesn't help any real poor people, it just lets you and your friends feel cool.

going back to my first paragraph... it is a disgusting fucking atrocity, even in a rich ass country like germany, to buy a building and leave it vacant when there are PEOPLE ON THE STREET. to me this is the clearest and best justification for squatting. cant you understand that???????? i thought you did. maybe you do. i dont know.

Knowing you've lived in Berlin I can't excuse your idiotic false attempt at an explanation here. Berlin is not a rich city, the fact that people in Potsdam have money doesn't drive up the rents in Berlin, and there's no reason to assume that the person who owns that building has some vast endless supply of money to afford to just let it go. Also, if you actually cared about people on the streets, you would do something that actually helps those that need it, rather than trying to build social clubs for people like yourself. The overwhelming majority of people who live on the streets are either mentally ill or the victims of abuse in the home. Neither of these groups benefit from squatting. The girl who was abused by her father should not be living in a squat, it's not a safe place for her. I understand more about this than you ever will Gary. Squats do nothing to help the real problem, they just let you feel better about yourself. I don't think that making a bunch of obnoxious white kids feel cool is a good justification to steal money out of someone's pocket who will be paying out taxes which will go to fund actual shelters and places where people can be safe. Fuck your sense of entitlement gary, you're so obviously a child.

as far as the violence goes... that is basic european protest for you. i think there is a basic understanding that to have democracy, you have to keep the police in check.. and that means fighting back every now and again. not with sit-ins and peaceful marches, but with rocks and bottles and fire. they are not our masters, isabella. and when they commit crimes against us, like evicting us from OUR buildings, we have to fight back.

Again, you clearly don't understand what the word "basic" means. You need to expand your viewpoint. Democracy means that the populace has a say in how their political system functions. The people overwhelmingly support the police. The fact that you happen to see them as enemies doesn't make you a defender of democracy. There is little in this world less friendly towards democracy than a bunch of random kids thinking that they have been elected the vigilante justice. Did you know that bottles and rocks and fire can hurt other people besides the police? There are children (besides you) and elderly people who live in these areas. Do you really think that it's okay on any level to endanger a child or aged person in order to fight your little pathetic (let me repeat it again Gary, it's pathetic, the most pathetic excuse for a life I can imagine, so sad and small and purely selfish that it makes me tremble to think that people can really be so stupid, pathetic.) little battle with the police? You are not keeping them in check. Every time you throw a bottle you are doing one thing and one thing only, you are wasting public money that will be taken out of social services. I know you used to collect welfare, you pathetic child. You have no problem stealing food out of the mouths of the hungry children who have less now because selfish babies like yourself think that everything in the world should just come to them. Every fire or smashed bottle or graffiti or broken window means the money to clean it up is taken out of the budget for the soup kitchen, homeless shelter, welfare program, or some other place that will only harm those people whose side you pretend to be on. You not only don't mind taking food from hungry children so that you don't have to *GASP* work for a living, but you are willing to steal money from a baby so that you can play pirates and smash bottles BECAUSE IT'S FUN FOR YOU. That is subhuman Gary, it's fucking awful. The fact that you think putting innocent people in danger so that you can steal money from the needy to justify your idiotic romance with being a rebel is not a moral high ground, it makes you the lowest form of human life on the planet.

as much as i know, the kopi was ok for now. but if you're right, and it will be shut down, i will be there on the street. even if i dont like any of those people. this is about having free space in a world dominated by consumer culture.
this is about right vs wrong. the person who owns that building does not deserve it.

Of course it will be shut down, as it should. There are families who work hard for a living who could be living in those buildings.

Here's your problem. You think you're an enemy of consumer culture but you're not. If it wasn't for consumer culture you would be long dead and gone. You don't have even the most basic understanding of the world, thanks to your consistent sheltering throughout your life. You can't see that everything you do is a product of what you call "consumer culture". The trains you ride had to be built, along with the tracks, and would never have existed without there being a serious incentive to build them. You are not subverting the train culture by riding for free, you are simply choosing to be a parasite. The same goes for dumpster diving. Eat garbage all you want, you can thanks to the fact that we have an incredibly advanced food supply system that has been worked out and improved year after year with investments into science and infrastructure and which has now allowed food to be plentiful in the USA. So much so that parasites like yourself can choose to feed off the fat generated by the system. Take away the system and you don't eat. Even given a plot of land to farm, you wouldn't be able to feed yourself. Human beings were subsistence farmers for centuries, and were also dying from starvation left and right. You think things were better before trade? You are either the most ignorant person I have ever known, or simply the stupidest. Consumer culture has it's downfalls for sure. People buy way more than they need and it has an alienating effect on some. This is not the same thing as thinking that trade and ownership are concepts that have slowed down human progress. There's nothing else that has come even close to these two concepts when it comes to benefiting all of humankind. It takes an olympic ignorance to think that we were better off before trade existed, or that places where ownership is not protected are somehow better off.

You're full of shit Gary. If you were really a fucking anarchist you wouldn't be coming to Berlin to throw bottles (after you drink from them I imagine) at cops, you would go live in the anarchist utopias in the Ukraine, Somalia, or any of the huge number of places where consumer culture, private property, police, and everything else you hate have no control over what goes on. You would never though, because you can't exist without the things you claim to hate so much. You're completely full of shit. You think you help out those in need, but everything you do actually hurts them. You claim to hate cops and government, but you actually just love being one of those people who talks like that. You owe your whole existence and identity to the consumer culture, so shut the fuck up and stop pretending you're representing what's "right". If you weren't so in love with yourself you wouldn't be blinded to the harm and stupidity of your actions.

i just woke up. i hope this made some sense to you.

Nope, "woke up" is exactly what you haven't done, maybe it's time.

Christopher Mclallen and I.