Philadelphia: Lest We Forget

Philadelphia: Lest We Forget

Philadelphia stands as a landmark film in the portrayal of gays, AIDS and homophobia; the film battled long-established social barriers and helped put a heroically human face to the long-suffering gay community. Tom Hanks won a deserved Academy Award for his portrayal of a previously energetic lawyer who wastes away into a gaunt, diseased AIDS victim. Bruce Springsteen also received an Academy Award for Streets of Philadelphia, his first-ever song written for a movie.

Bruce Springsteen: Streets of Philadelphia

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Photos of the Day: Visions of Auto-Magic Through the Years

Photos of the Day: Visions of Auto-Magic Through the Years

Visions of Auto-Magic is a captivating collection of photographs of automobiles through the years, images that often transform the ordinary of urban daily life into intense images that sizzle and delight the eye.  The photographs range from very early street pictures, to more recent highly abstract views.  The master photographers represented in this photo-essay include: Walker Evans, Alfred Steiglitz,  Ray K. Metzker, Dennis Stock and Harry Callahan.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost: The 2009 World Premiere

Slide Show: Visions of Auto-Magic Through the Years

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Construct: Visual Creations of Colorful Imaginary Urban Buildings That Don’t Exist

The Open Heart, 2008

Stairwell, 2008

Fear to Tread, 2008

Recursive, 2007

Escapist, 2008

Euphoria, 2008

Delicates, 2007

Construct: Visual Creations of Colorful Imaginary Urban Buildings That Don’t Exist

Photography by:  Laura Kicey

Construct is an ongoing project by photographer Laura Kicey, which represents the interplay between architecture and visual culture, a particularly unique approach to the modern creative exploration of architecture and urban propositions in the contemporary arts.  Kicey is a photographer and artist based just outside of Philadelphia (PA).  Her art has been shown in a number of regional galleries and has appeared in numerous publications internationally.

The series of images presented here is a collection of architectural building facades in Philadelphia that do not exist.  The combined details of the buildings are the artistic result of Laura Kicey’s ongoing photo-explorations that use photographic parts blended together; the intricate details of doors, bricks, peeling paint and mortar are blended in ways that give each of  the recreated buildings new perspectives, colors and settings of their own.

The Construct series began about two years ago, when Kicey began experiencing health problems that prevented her from being as mobile as she previously had been.  At about the same time, she was examining her archive of photos and noticed that she had a large number of images of architectural details that had never been used as photographs on their own.  It occurred to Kicey that she could use them to build her own buildings, so that while she was no longer able to be out exploring, she could make her own places of imaginary escape.

Kicey began creating places that were comprised of detailed images from settings and locations to which she had been in the past.  She combined signage, windows, doors, fire escapes, walls, boards, painted on typography and plants together to create new places with altered colors and orientation.  In each of her visionary architectural works there are elements both of reality and of the impossible; they’re not “perfect designs”and couldn’t necessarily exist at all in three dimensions.  Still, they represent places that Kicey wishes she could visit and see, and she finds that creating them is quite comforting.

Hideaway, 2007

Slide Show: Construct/Visual Creations of Colorful Imaginary Urban Buildings That Don’t Exist

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World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

Today, December 1st, is the 20th Annual World AIDS Day, a day when individuals and organizations from all around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 39.5 million people living with HIV, including 2.3 million children. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years-old, and they are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95% of the people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations.

However, HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but is also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy. D.
(Disembedded)

Bruce Springsteen: The Streets of Philadelphia

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive
The survivors-Our heads bowed
The survivors-At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive
.”

The Pet Shop Boys, Miracles

Red on World AIDS Day

Music Audio: You Raise Me Up:

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

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Springsteen Plays at Obama Philly Rally: “Obama Will Restore American Promise”

Springsteen Plays at Obama Rally: “Obama Will Restore America’s Promise”

Bruce Springsteen called the Bush presidency “a disaster” and said many Americans have “justifiably lost faith” in the American dream. The legendary singer interrupted his seven-song performance at the Obama voter-registration rally in Philadelphia last Saturday to praise Democrat Barack Obama and bemoan the crises facing the next president. “After the disaster of the last eight years, we need somebody to lead us in an American reclamation project,” Springsteen said.

Springsteen said that America remains a house of dreams for some, but that too many people have given up on the promise of fairness and equality. “I’ve spent 35 years writing about America and its people and the meaning of the American promise, a promise handed down right here in this city,” said Springsteen, whose songs often depict down-on-their-luck, working-class dreamers. “Our everyday citizens… have justifiably lost faith in its meaning.”

The rally, planned by the Obama campaign just a week ago, drew tens of thousands of people to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Springsteen himself approached the Obama campaign and asked to help out.

You can read the full version of Bruce Springsteen’s comments here.

And you can watch the entire 42:30 minutes of his acoustic set here.

Springsteen Plays at Obama Rally in Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen: The Streets of Philadelphia

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35,000 Philadelphia Supporters Hail Obama’s Speech on Race

35,000 Philadelphia Supporters Hail Obama’s Speech on Race

Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his campaign on Friday night in Philadelphia.  It was the biggest gathering of Obama supporters that the campaign had ever seen, exceeding the 30,000 who greeted Obama and Oprah Winfrey in December in Columbia, S.C.  An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people pressed into Independence Park to hear the Democratic presidential candidate, four days before Pennsylvania’s crucial presidential primary on April 22nd.

Beyond the stunning fact that more people came out for Obama’s rally in front of Independence Hall than any other event since he announced his candidacy, there was a remarkable spontaneous demonstration of support that occurred when his speech ended.  At least 5,000 people had nowhere to go but up Market Street.  Obama’s charge of the night: “Declare independence!” was with them.  They started with the familiar “O-Bam-A.”  By 7th and Market Streets, they had graduated to “Yes we can!”   By 10th and Market Streets, with hundreds of supporters streaming in between cars on the road, they were just cheering.  At first, a few Philadelphia policemen cops tried to move the surging crowd to the sidewalks, but it didn’t work.  The police finally retreated to the sidewalks, and a full mile away from Independence Park, the Obama crowd was still marching.

Barack Obama’s Philadelphia speech is now being hailed as one of the most powerful discourses on race ever given by a politician.  Obama’s speech on race recognized that some blacks and whites still harbor significant anger and resentment.  While condemning their hateful expression, he conceded that these feelings exist.  Obama spoke from the heart, from his true experience of living in both our black and white cultures.  His life, indeed his DNA, embodies a truly American experience.  Obama mapped out his vision for getting beyond the distractions of race toward solving the real problems Americans face: the war, the economy, health, education and the environment.

Obama told the crowd that the United States is at a critical moment in its history, not unlike what the founding fathers faced in Philadelphia.  “It was over 200 years ago that a group of patriots gathered in this city to do something that no one in the world believed they could do,” Obama said.  “After years of a government that didn’t listen to them, or speak for them, or represent their hopes and their dreams, a few humble colonists came to Philadelphia to declare their independence from the tyranny of the British throne.”

The Illinois senator called Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton a “tenacious” opponent but said that it was time to move beyond the old politics of the 1990s.   Hillary Clinton “is a tenacious campaigner and is a committed public servant,” he began.   But her message, he said, is “that we can’t really change the say anything, do anything special interest game of so we might as well choose a candidate who knows how to play the game.”  He mocked her “kitchen sink strategy” and then stated, “I’m not running to be the president who plays the same old game. I’m running to end the game.”

Barack Obama: “A More Perfect Union” (Full Speech on Race)

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Hillary: Can Obama Beat McCain? Yes, Yes, Yes!!

With the Pennsylvania primary just six days away, Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia gave Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama a last chance to settle old and new scores as they headed into a week that could make or break their presidential aspirations. Clinton wanted to extend her five point lead in Pennsylvania, while Obama was trying to unveil a debate performance that reflects the recent national poll figures that show him surging way past Clinton in the areas of trustworthiness and electability.

During the debate, Obama and Clinton each defended their handling of missteps and misstatements on the campaign trail and directed sharp criticisms toward each other. They began their first head-to-head encounter in nearly two months focused on political disputes, rather than upon their relatively narrow policy differences. Obama, who leads in the number of delegates needed to claim the nomination, fielded tough questions about his relationship with his former pastor, his patriotism and his description of small-town voters as “bitter,” the latter a controversy that has engulfed his campaign for much of the past week.

Obama argued repeatedly that voters are smart enough to differentiate petty issues from important economic matters. “So the problem that we have in our politics, which is fairly typical, is that you take one person’s statement, if it’s not properly phrased, and you just beat it to death,” Obama said. “And that’s what Senator Clinton’s been doing over the last four days. And I understand that. That’s politics. And I expect to have to go through this process. But I do think it’s important to recognize that it’s not helping that person who’s sitting at the kitchen table, who’s trying to figure out how to pay the bills at the end of the month.”

Clinton addressed questions about voters’ deteriorating level of trust in her after her recent false claims to have ducked sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia. In perhaps her fullest explanations of her Bosnia gaffe to date, she noted she had already apologized and said that while she had gotten the details wrong, she was otherwise proud to have taken the trip. “I may be a lot of things, but I’m not dumb,” Clinton said. “I’m embarrassed by it, I have apologized for it, I said it was a mistake. It is, I hope, something you can look over.”

Clinton, who has been quoted as saying in private conversations that she does not think Obama can win the general election, made her clearest statement to date of her confidence in Obama. When asked whether Obama would win against Sen. John McCain, Clinton adamantly replied: “Yes, Yes, Yes.”

Obama responded by saying that he believes he’s better suited to beat McCain, that his ability to unify the electorate would be the key to winning in November. “When we are unified, there is nothing that we cannot tackle,” he said.

Hillary: “Can Obama Beat McCain? Yes, Yes, Yes!

Read an article that is extremely critical of the debate’s moderators, as well as of the entire ABC News coverage of the Philadelphia Democratic debate, in this morning’s edition of The Washington Post here.

And Greg Mitchell calls ABC News’ coverage of the debate A Shameful Night for U.S. Media in today’s Huffington Post here.

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