July 26, 2010

Trips of Wonder: Free Online Guidebooks for Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai & the Big Island of Hawaii

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Since 1996, when the art and design team of Pak So and Anna Tan first traveled on a wondrous journey to the enchanting island of Maui, Hawaii, the creative couple have spent many happy days, months, and years exploring, photographing and writing about the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Pak and Anna are the authors of the printed guidebook Paradise: Road to Hana, Maui.

In 2008, the authors began sharing incredible stories and sights of the islands of Hawaii through free online guidebooks on the travel website Trips of Wonder. Titles by Pak So and Anna Tan include Heaven: Island of Kauai, Hawaii, 2008, Paradise: Island of Maui, Hawaii, 2008, Peace: Island of Oahu, Hawaii, 2008, and Birth: The Big Island, Hawaii, 2009.

Now in 2010, Trips of Wonder is pleased to present the new 240-page online travel guide titled Live Simply: Lanai and Molokai, Hawaii. Mahatma Gandhi once said "Live simply so others may simply live." Where do you stand in that equation? Join us and help bring a sense of basic goodness back to our world. Peace and Aloha on life's continuing journey.

July 19, 2010

Sweet Land Of Liberty

T-shirt design seen on Bayard Street in NYC

The New America ... well, it looks, sounds, smells and acts a lot like the Old America, doesn't it?

"For more than a year we've watched as Tea Party members have called congressmen the N-word, have called congressmen the F-word. We see them carry racist signs and whenever it happens, the membership tries to shirk responsibility."

"If the Tea Party wants to be respected and wants to be part of the mainstream in this country, they have to take responsibility."

. . . . . . . . 

On July 14, 2010, spokesman Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express wrote and published the following "satirical" letter as a personal blog post. Mr. Williams imagined himself as NAACP President Ben Jealous writing to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. 

Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the 'tea party movement'.

The tea party position to "end the bailouts" for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn't that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of "reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government." What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government "stop the out of control spending." Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.


Precious Ben Jealous, Tom's Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person 

. . . . . . . . 

Again, the above fictional letter was written by Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express. Shame on you Mr. Williams.

July 11, 2010

The Better Image

Anna Tan and Pak So of Anna Tan Graphic Design recently completed the design of a clear and intelligent website for The Better Image. Established in 1991, The Better Image is dedicated to the Conservation and Preservation of fine art and historic photographs. Please visit the new site to learn more about the professional treatments, processes and services offered by The Better Image. Clients of the company include major museums, archives, libraries, estates, foundations, and corporate collections. With studios located in Milford, New Jersey and New York City, The Better Image is well positioned to assist with the preservation of your photographic art.

July 3, 2010

Train of Thought

YouTube video posted by TheNewsEurope

Whichever side you fall on in the great debate of Seattle police officer Ian Walsh's justification for punching a 17-year-old girl during a jaywalking incident ... I personally could not help but think of artist Chris Burden's 1993 installation at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA titled L.A.P.D. Uniform.

As per The Fabric Workshop and Museum's website:

"Created in response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, L.A.P.D. Uniform alludes not only to the violence of that landmark incident, but also to the power of the police to inflict violence as well as to protect us from it. Burden frequently employs a radical change of scale, using toys or toy-like objects to stand in as symbols of actual or potential destruction. In L.A.P.D. Uniform, he seizes our attention with 30 reproductions of an enlarged version of a police uniform. The uniform, made for an officer seven-feet, four-inches tall, includes a badge, a baton, and an actual gun. The number, size and forms of this piece allows the work to retain powerful meanings even when divorced from its original context. The viewer becomes child-size, disempowered, and vulnerable. Or are we protected and shielded?"

Thinking of L.A.P.D. Uniform and notions of power and disempowerment in this world led me to pull down my copy of Chris Burden: Beyond The Limits, published by MAK, Cantz Verlag, 1996. Various forms of power play are initiated on a much bigger level by governments and big businesses every second of every day of every year ... and I now remembered another piece by Chris Burden titled The Other Vietnam Memorial, 1991. 

As per Chris Burden: Beyond The Limits:

"The Other Vietnam Memorial consists of twelve huge copper panels, each 7 ft. by 12 ft., mounted on a central pole. The panels are hinged, like pages in a book, and can be turned. Etched into the copper panels, in a very small 6 point type, are three million names, symbolizing the North and the South Vietnamese killed during the U.S. involvement from 1968 to 1973, in the Vietnamese Civil War. This memorial is obviously a counterpoint to Maya Lin's Washington D.C. Memorial Wall."

"The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities, including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers."

. . . . . . . . 

On June 27, 2010, Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed article titled The Third Depression for The New York Times.  I noted with interest that one of the highest recommended Reader's Comments for this article comes from a writer named Phil in the mountains of Kyushu, Japan.  Phil writes from his perch:

"Yes, another bad bit of history we're in - but the parallel goes to WWI. ...

Like royalty then, Corporate America today holds national governments to militarism. Wherever corporates see profits, they have the U.S. set up, arm, and secret-police-train dictators to toady to them - first for oil and construction conglomerates, then for environmental-and-safety-lax manufacturing, and expansion of Industrial Ag. This last, thanks to subsidies from a permanently bribed U.S. Congress, worldwide undercuts small farms, kills traditional communities, and forces the migration of millions to all the new, slum sprawl megalopolises. There the uprooted serve as cheap labor, and as prey to the sprawl, fast food, video gaming, gangsta styles, and other corporate marketing.

Corporate America ever expands in a logic without room for balance or sustainability. This, with its dictators, amounts to permanent war against lands and peoples. ...

... So it's not, as your column today limits itself to seeing, simply economic corruption and collapse. It's far worse - far more like the total evil that the complacent powerful wrecked on all one century ago."