I’ve been seriously falling behind on my comic book reading this last year or so. Not intentional, I guess I just found myself busy with other things. I did, however, read the first collection of a new series called Manifest Destiny. This series is published by Image Comics, written by Chris Dingess, and illustrated by Matthew Roberts. I don’t know that I’ve read or have seen any other work by these two creators, but I’ll keep my eyes open. Both the story and artwork are solid and very well done.
Manifest Destiny starts off with explorers Lewis & Clark heading out west in 1804. The primary mission is to explore, but they are also sent to investigate all sorts of supernatural occurrences leaked back by the French to the US Government. Their first encounter is with some sort of centaur/Minotaur/buffalo hybrid beasties who begin hunting them down. That’s pretty early, and as the story progresses, other weird stuff starts going on. Oh, and Sacajawea kicks monster ass, which is great to see.
I love stories about the old west, especially when they have a spooky twist.
I say this every year, but I can’t believe how fast time goes on by. Its already June, and it is PRIDE weekend here in SLC.
Much love to our friends on this rainbow weekend!
I have been seeing a lot of crows lately. I learned a long time ago to pay attention to them. Many cultures have seen them as omens of some sort. Its never really clear whether or not the omen is good or bad. But they fly between worlds. Watching. Bringing messages. Memory and Dream. All I know is when I see one I pay attention.
About a year ago I was walking along and I saw this crow flying overhead being chased by three smaller birds. I imagine that crow got caught trying to invade the smaller bird’s nest. Those little birds chased the crow around, herding it to and from different branches, dive bombing and squeaking at it. I must have watched them for about an hour. It seemed that way at least.
A few days ago I saw something similar again. A crow flew over my head, and then about thirty seconds later it flew over me again in the other direction being chased by a single small squeaking bird. I wasn’t able to watch their drama for long though because that little bird chased the crow out of my view pretty quickly. You tell ‘em birdie!
I think I have seen at least one or two crows everyday for the last few weeks. I like that. Yesterday I was walking along and there must have been ten or more flying around. Circling around really. A murder of crows and their carrion.
I also saw a hawk today. I liked that too.
When I was a kid the Uncanny X-Men were my thing. I remember reading one of their comics for the first time, I musta been at around age ten. A friend had a copy of X-Men 111 (I just looked it up). Written by Chris Clairmont and penciled by John Byrne, the X-Men were trapped by Magneto in some big top circus. I thought it was the absolute coolest.
Colossus was my favorite, and if I could have picked any superpower back then it would have been the ability to change my flesh into indestructible steel. I don’t know if that would still be my first choice, but I wouldn’t mind having that super-power today. Wolverine was a close second, of course, but yeah Colossus ruled. And together, their fastball special would warm my nerd heard. Really, the whole team was great (except maybe Cyclops. I always thought he was kind of a weenie. But even he had his place, you betcha! Zapping people with his eyeballs!).
I followed their comic through Junior High and into High School, which is when my interest in comics in general started to wane. I still loved em, but was just busy with other stuff I guess, plus I was always broke haha. I’ll be honest, the X-Men did kind of wear me down at the time too though. Even though some great characters like Apocalypse and Cable were introduced around the same time and in these alternate history story-lines, there just started to be too many of those alternate histories, with too many of Jean Grey and Scott Summer’s children coming back from the future (or past!) to the present to set things right. I mean, I love that sci-fi stuff… but in moderation. I clung on to them for as long as I could, but by the time I went to college and they were trying to get me to buy all their metal foil covers, I was out. I pretty much quit buying comics for over ten years.
But I have always had a soft spot for the X-Men.
Back in maybe ’04 or so I came across Grant Morrison‘s “New X-Men” for sale and I decided to pick it up. Illustrated by Frank Quiety, I guess these issues kind of got me back in. Not as fanatically as I was when I was a kid, but I did read more of the series, along with related titles like X-Force. So damn good. I’ve gone backward and forward in time since then to get caught up.
Anyway, I am writing about the X-Men because the new X-Men: Days of Future Past came out this weekend and I just saw it earlier. Great movie, and brought back very fond memories!
Last year HawkWatch International used some of my artwork to promote their annual event, “Wings Across the West“. I also made a poster for HawkWatch using my artwork. Well, this year they asked me if I could make another piece, and you can see that new piece above. Any opportunity to draw a beautiful bird is a good opportunity, especially if it helps promote raptor preservation.
First off, I should say this post has spoilers for the new Captain America movie, so quit reading if ya don’t like that sort of thing. Second, this post contains a number of “real life” conspiracy theories that were addressed in the new Captain America movie, so quit reading if ya don’t like that sort of thing.
The new Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an entertaining movie, which is the most important thing in the end. Its just a movie. A superhero movie. But I’m kinda partial to superhero flicks. Turns out, this has easily become a favorite.
In addition to it being a great film though, I saw a whole lot of what many people believe to be real-life conspiracies being played out on the screen. I don’t necessarily buy into all of the good old conspiracy theory stuff, but I don’t dismiss out of hand either. At the very least, I think it is important to stay informed and be able to see the issues from multiple angles. And its plain to see that there is a whole lot of bullshit going on in the world now.
Anyway, seeing these conspiracies play out on the screen was kind of like a slap in the face the first time I saw the movie. When I saw it again, I decided I’d write about it.
The main plot has Hydra infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and that is a good place to start. In Marvel Comics, Hydra begins as an arm (or hydra-head) of the Nazi party during WWII. Hydra begins to take on a life of its own over time, but it has its roots with the Nazi. In the movie, Hydra infiltrates S.H.I.E.L.D. through coercion and deception in order to take over the US government. Okay, so that is Marvel’s history. In our real world, it could be said that something similar has been going down.
Its well established that during his rise to power, Hitler got a huge bulk of his funding from many American corporations and banks. It is a historical fact that some of these corporations were involved with eugenics research, gave money, support, provided raw materials and weaponry to the Nazi party and Hitler. A side note, but it also well established that George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush (former President George W. Bush Sr.’s grandpappy and father, dis-respectively) helped Hitler rise to power. Another side note, it is also known that Prescott Bush helped plan a government coup in 1933 meant to topple President Franklin D. Rossevelt, because Bush believed that fascist policy would get America through the Great Depression.
Fast forward a little bit. In the movie, after the end of WWII, a number of Nazi scientists were brought over to America where they were allowed to continue their research. Well, in the really-real world this also happened. Hundreds of Nazi scientists were brought over to work with the American military under Operation Paperclip. Many of those (former? current?) Nazis rose to positions of power in our own government, probably most the famous being Wernher von Braun, who went on to become a director of NASA. I’ll leave it to you to imagine how deep their influence went.
Alrighty, back to the movie where S.H.I.E.L.D. is run by a world council which decides the fate of nations. Well, that looked a lot to me like the much anticipated New World Order back here in our world. Or maybe the Bilderberg Group? Actually, the whole Captain America movie seemed to be a story about how the New World Order might rise to power.
I’m kind of skipping around, but back to the movie and how it begins. Cap and a bunch of agents are sent to free hostages and recover stolen data from a hijacked warship. As the film progresses they discover that the kidnappings were part of a government sanctioned operation. Back in our world these are known as False Flag operations, and there are many people who believe our government uses these False Flag operations to manipulate the People into giving away their freedom. This is, to my mind, where you have to tread very lightly and keep a healthy dose of skepticism.
I personally am not one of those people who buy into “9/11 was an inside job” hook line and sinker, but there are many people who do, and it is easy to understand why. There are so many unanswered questions and things that were covered up. Whatever you think about the tragedy, its plain to see that our world is completely different since that infamous date. Unending wars against an undefined enemy, post-traumatic national fear (there is a terrorist under your bed!), the self-proclaimed “Patriot” Act, economic collapse (in spite of what we’ve been told, we can’t afford all of this war. Can’t afford it financially or morally), Citizens United, government surveillance… and on… and on.
That paragraph above reminds me of Arnim Zola‘s point about how we have traded in our freedom for security, comfort and convenience. Sounds about right to me.
Speaking of Zola and government surveillance, didn’t Arnim Zola’s monitoring of American citizens in the film sound very similar to what Edward Snowden revealed about our own government?
And didn’t those new S.H.I.E.L.D / Hydra helicarriers sound an awful lot like government drones? Granted, they were fancy drones, but their function was the same. That is, anonymous death. Killing people from the sky.
I thought this might be a long post, but this has gotten L.O.N.G.
One last thing… We should all remember what Italian fascist Mussolini said: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Sound familiar, ehh? I guess Mussolini would know. With government bailouts, the Fed, Corporate Personhood, Citizens United, and many of our new policies written down by lawyers on little scraps of paper stink of fascism. Its plain to see that corporate interest and big finance trump the People pretty much every time. Can you say “Hail HYDRA”?
Anyway, it is great to be a skeptic. And I am skeptical about conspiracy :) Very much so. But its also good to remember, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you!”
The Vegetative Universe, opens like a flower from the Earths center:
In which is Eternity. It expands in Stars to the Mundane Shell
And there it meets Eternity again, both within and without
San Francisco meets Jackson Hole in the heart of Salt Lake City. Located at the mouth of City Creek Canyon, this unique home is like living on an island of wilderness inside the heart of a city. Within a short walk of the new City Creek Center, this quaint cottage is filled with personality and craftsman details.
Stainless appliances and custom built in cabinetry add convenience to any lifestyle. Austrian stairs leading to a cozy loft, vintage brick floors in the dining room, and a clawfoot tub are just a few of the many charming custom characteristics of the home. This home features a pair of bedrooms, bathrooms and patios as well as a single loft, dining room and sauna. Three skylights and south facing bay windows fill your days with sunlight and the location in a tight knit community comes with friendly neighbors, as well.
- 1800 Square Feet
- Loft, formal dining and vaulted study
- 2 bathrooms
- Pets considered
- $1,600 per month
- Located 1.5 blocks from Memory Grove, in the heart of City Creek Canyon, and 2 blocks from the heart of downtown
This utterly unique Memory Grove home will be available June 1, 2014
123 East 4th Ave., SLC, UT.
Travel to intersection of State and N. Temple, head East. East on N. Temple, which turns to 2nd Avenue after State Street. Take immediate left on Canyon Road. Travel North to 3rd Avenue, continue straight. Travel North to 4th Avenue, turn left. Second house on North side of road. Grey with Orange door.
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I don’t have a whole lot more to say about tarot here on ArtDuh for now, except the Thoth deck is mindbogglingly beautiful! Created my Alister Crowley (spooky! haha) and illustrated by artist Frieda Harris. These images and symbols are very rich and meaningful, and the way Harris has portrayed them is pretty much perfect.
Like I say, I don’t have a whole lot more to add about oracles, but I do want to post and look at these beautiful pictures!
I’m no expert by any means, but a quick note about Crowley. I know that he has a questionable reputation with a lot of people. Its understandable, I guess, since he was so unconventional. Even though I do think he was brilliant, I won’t even try to defend him. Not my place and he did a lot of shocking things. Plus, I don’t claim to relate to or like everything he said and did (although this Thoth deck is one of the things he did very well!). I’ve come to understand that a lot of the things that were so “controversial” are, most lot of the time, just theatrics (but not always, to be sure). He had many profound insights, but I kind of think of him as a performer to some degree. He liked the public eye and played to that as well.
Also, about Thoth… an amazing historical teacher. Considered to be the one who taught the Egyptians magic, science, and how to write, he is also thought to be the author of the Emerald Tablet. He is also often associated with the Greco-Roman god Hermes/Mercury, the messenger of the gods. It is also accepted by a number of people that Thoth and thrice great Hermes Trismegistus are one and the same person. I have even read before that Thoth and the biblical Enoch were probably the same person too. Thoth has a very rich history, which make for extremely powerful symbols.