May 1, 2014

Marilyn Monroe by Philippe Halsman

In 1952, LIFE magazine assigned photographer Philippe Halsman to shoot Marilyn Monroe in her tiny Hollywood studio apartment. The resulting cover photo (at the end of this post) pushed her over the top, giving her immediate superstar status, and 20th Century Fox jumped to sweeten her existing multi-year contract to keep their starlet happy.

April 11, 2014
luso-vintage:

Queen Elizabeth Visiting Lisbon, 1950’s
More Luso-Vintage at Lusitano ‘63

luso-vintage:

Queen Elizabeth Visiting Lisbon, 1950’s

More Luso-Vintage at Lusitano ‘63

April 6, 2014

Riding the Hate Bus, 1961

Joe Scherschel

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschel, the iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm …

The “Hate” Bus was the disturbing idea of George Lincoln Rockwell, whose name is proudly plastered all over the bus. He was the founder of the American Nazi Party, calling for “white power” and racial segregation.  In the early 1960s, he acquired a Volkswagen van and decorated it with messages of hate, white supremacy and anti-semitic slogans. Rockwell personally drove it with a band of party members around the deep south, organising rallies and speaking at Ku Klux Klan meets. These photographs were taken on May 23rd, three days after the Freedom Riders were infamously assaulted at the Greyhound Station in Montgomery.

To further spread his shameful message, Rockwell even founded a small record label, named Hatenanny Records, based on the word “hootenanny”, traditionally referring to folk music performances. With artists including country singer Odis Cochran & The 3 Bigots, the label released several singles that were sold mostly through mail order and at the party’s rallies.

Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

An FBI report on the American Nazi Party had this to say of Rockwell:

George Lincoln Rockwell is an egocentric and a chronic failure who created the shabby, small-time enterprise which he named the American Nazi Party in order to abate his tormenting ambitions to achieve fame. Carrying the war-tattered banner of a vanquished enemy the world would like to forget, Rockwell leads his heterogeneous “army” against an imaginary “Zionist conspiracy.” Distasteful costumes, contemptible slogans, and disruptive tactics have brought national attention to Rockwell, inflating him and his group far beyond their due.

Despite his white supremacy beliefs, Rockwell made confusing attempts to form friendly associations with the Nation of Islam, openly praising its leader Elijah Muhammad as the “Black people’s Hitler,” for promoting integrity and pride among his people. The two extreme figures shared pro-separation views and an end goal for a segregated community and  in 1961, Rockwell showed up with a dozen of his neo-Nazi soldiers in full garb to a major Nation of Islam rally in Washington D.C. They were seated near the center stage and Rockwell gave $20 in donations.

Rockwell even admired Malcolm X, the controversial human rights activist, who for many years, also advocated the separation of black and white Americans. Rockwell believed he was the true leader of Black America. The admiration was not mutual however, and in 1965, after Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam he sent this telegram to Rockwell while he was touring the South on another “Hate Bus” campaign:

This is to warn you that I am no longer held in check from fighting white supremacists by Elijah Muhammad’s separatist Black Muslim movement, and that if your present racist agitation against our people there in Alabama causes physical harm to Reverend King or any other black Americans who are only attempting to enjoy their rights as free human beings, that you and your Ku Klux Klan friends will be met with maximum physical retaliation from those of us who are not hand-cuffed by the disarming philosophy of nonviolence, and who believe in asserting our right of self-defense – by any means necessary.

To add to his list of hate, Lincoln Rockwell was also a Holocaust denier and in a 1966 interview with Playboy, he toldjournalist Alex Haley, “I don’t believe for one minute that any 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated by Hitler. It never happened.”

 I sure hope that mechanic left a spanner in the works or punctured a hole in their fuel tank…

In 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was shot and killed outside a shopping center in Arlington, Virginia. One of his own party members was arrested and convicted for his murder.

As for the van, according to the FBI report, the van was repossessed after a loan default.

All images via the LIFE archives.

(text by messynessy)

December 23, 2013
The Home Drop Cafe: Green Tea (16th in Magi’s Death Cafe Series)

annmarcaida:

image

Saint Nicholas was ‘home’.  Although he actually wasn’t.  But because he thought he was, he was.  This wasn’t a Zen observation but could have been, if he’d thought about it, which he didn’t.  In reality he was in Miss Priscilla Smyth-Brown’s three-storey boarding house.  In his room in the basement.  Not that he’d fallen from grace or sunk to new depths.  After all, he’d resided there for many years.  There he dwelt still despite being the only lodger.

In terms of space, his room was very large, occupying as it did over half of the whole basement.  Thus it was really a spacious apartment, with its own kitchen and bathroom.  The only larger room was the loft, which ran the length and breadth of the boarding house and had sweeping views of an identical building across the ghetto street.  Nicholas could have relocated himself into the penthouse, but having to daily clamber up and down the long stairs prevented him from doing so.

Despite the lack of sweeping views, the cellar did have a casement window near the ceiling.  Through it the saint could watch the feet walking by along the footpath hugging the skirts of the boarding house.  At the back of his crypt was a small plain window, frozen shut by coats of paint in the distant past.  Through years of grime he could see the backyard shed which housed his black motorcycle during winter rains.  And when he was away travelling.  It was all very reassuringly familiar.

The saint liked living in the boarding house on Hell Street.  For it was but a stone’s throw from an old subway railway station which adjoined the terminus for bus route 999.  After many years of neglect, the old station had been converted into a youth club to serve the adolescents living in the ghetto community known as Hades.  Its real name had been lost to living memory.  But few youths came to the club, and it was closed down.  Yet it was soon reincarnated as a distribution centre for drugs of choice; and its popularity soared until it was busted by the drug squad.

Reincarnation struck again via the God’s Hitmen Motorcycle Club – the outlaw gang using it as both their headquarters and venue for activities unbeknown to the saint.  Yet not to the blind officers of the vice squad, whose affliction was alleviated by the generosity of the ladies of the night.  Whose profession was also unknown to Saint Nicholas; for he assumed them to be visitors addicted to joy rides obtainable at the motorcycle club.  Thereby the current status quo of the old station was a win-win situation for all those in the know.

Thus the saint was ‘home’ once more in familiar surroundings.  Now he could add the University of Hard Knock’s award of OT behind his name: the Overseas Travel diploma.  He was also eligible to add the prestigious Porridge degree.  For he’d done his time in prison with the speed of a child prodigy – half an hour of it without protest on any kind.  Being innocent, he’d walked out with head held high to Sergeant Bull Mastiff’s saffron coloured car.  This Buddhist devotee had driven the saint all the way home.  The karma he earned by the good deed would manifest in his guru, Ms Wannabe Karmasutra teaching him a new yoga position.  Thus such was yet another win-win situation.

And Miss Priscilla Smyth-Brown’s warm welcome home for her lodger was a third win-win event.  She had been smitten with guilt at slipping a one-way jet flight ticket to India under his door without warning him of the perils of Delhi Belly.  Oddly, her generosity had commissioned a fourth win-win situation.  On a train journey Saint Nicholas had met Lord Buddha, who sagely advised him not to eat curry and to go home.

Now he was in what he erroneously thought of as home.  His real home was beyond the stars.  But he thought he was home, and thus was.  With Miss Smyth-Brown about to present a ‘welcome home surprise’ in what so easily could have been The Home Drop Cafe.  But it wasn’t!  And it didn’t matter in the least.

Miss Priscilla would make amends.  She’d forgotten all about her lodger’s absent-minded ways – which had previously driven her to distraction and desperation.  In his absence she had remembered how fond she was of him, and of their totally meaningless conversations.  One-way conversations flowing from her to him.  Now she was showing her appreciation.

Saint Nicholas blinked in dismay at the cup Miss Smyth-Brown set before him.  Like his infuriating ways, she’d forgotten his skinny flat white coffee fixation.

“Drink up, dear!” she said, her eyes shining.  “Green tea!  There’s plenty more.”

There was nothing the saint could graciously do save make a mental note to retrain the landlady to his point of view regarding beverages.  In the meantime, he couldn’t hurt her feelings.  He’d just have to grin and bear it with clenched teeth.  Therefore, he gingerly raised the foul brew to his lips and sipped the green tea.  Thereby he once more kick started karma – of the type totally unknown to Sergeant Bull Mastiff and Swami Wannabe Karmasutra, even when engaging in new yoga positions.

Such is the way of karma.

*******************************************************************************************

Ann says: You’ve just read part 15 of Magi’s remarkable 34-part Death Cafe series.  I will continue to publish a new installment each Monday.

Magi has just joined Tumblr!  You can follow him by clicking here.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Part 4 here.

Part 5 here.

Part 6 here.

Part 7 here.

Part 8 here.

Part 9 here.

Part 10 here.

Part  11 here.

Part 12 here.

Part 13 here.

Part 14 here.

Part 15 here.

Copyright 2013 by Magi

Image: Danielle Sylvan

December 6, 2013

kateoplis:

Best of 2013 (Part l)

October 27, 2013

Angelo Merendino

2.

Five months after being wed in Central Park, while most couples are settling into a new blissful life together, Angelo Merendino and his wife Jennifer received troubling news: Jennifer had breast cancer.

Of this diagnosis, and the journey that ensued, Angelo states, “With each challenge we grew closer. Words became less important. One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, ‘You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.’”

Angelo took his wife’s request seriously and his photographs, collected here, document not just her struggle with cancer, but also a certain compassionate way of looking– a presence from behind the lens that is not exploiting nor agenda-driven. Each black and white image from Angelo shows the necessity in bearing witness or being a vulnerable presence that is sharing in the difficult and very human experience of love and loss.

Angelo additionally notes, “We loved each other with every bit of our souls. Jen taught me to love, to listen, to give and to believe in others and myself. I’ve never been as happy as I was during this time.”

For those of us touched by cancer, we can relate to Angelo’s statement here– sickness is not just about the disease, it’s about relationships: how we deepen with one another by practicing empathy and how this feeling palpably echoes long after someone passes. Capturing this feeling in art, the way Angelo has here, connects not just two people, but many millions more.

October 27, 2013

Angelo Merendino

1.

Five months after being wed in Central Park, while most couples are settling into a new blissful life together, Angelo Merendino and his wife Jennifer received troubling news: Jennifer had breast cancer.

Of this diagnosis, and the journey that ensued, Angelo states, “With each challenge we grew closer. Words became less important. One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, ‘You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.’”

Angelo took his wife’s request seriously and his photographs, collected here, document not just her struggle with cancer, but also a certain compassionate way of looking– a presence from behind the lens that is not exploiting nor agenda-driven. Each black and white image from Angelo shows the necessity in bearing witness or being a vulnerable presence that is sharing in the difficult and very human experience of love and loss.

Angelo additionally notes, “We loved each other with every bit of our souls. Jen taught me to love, to listen, to give and to believe in others and myself. I’ve never been as happy as I was during this time.”

For those of us touched by cancer, we can relate to Angelo’s statement here– sickness is not just about the disease, it’s about relationships: how we deepen with one another by practicing empathy and how this feeling palpably echoes long after someone passes. Capturing this feeling in art, the way Angelo has here, connects not just two people, but many millions more.

October 26, 2013
She Fighted Until The End

She Fighted Until The End

October 9, 2013
Happy Life:)

Happy Life:)

11:39am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z8bgTyxBjJbN
  
Filed under: awesome life 
June 27, 2013

Photographs (from the LIFE archives) by Hugo Jaeger
(Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer)