Meet the Girls

These are the fantastic girls in my 2014 Drag Queens & Covered Bridges of New Hampshire Calendar!

#dragqueensandcoveredbridges

January, Cherry Lyquor

January, Cherry Lyquor, Prentiss Bridge, Langdon, NH

February, Nicohl D Lafontaine & Britney Lynn

February, Nicohl D Lafontaine & Britney Lynn, Cilleyville Bridge, Andover, NH

March, Ivy League, Squam River Bridge, Ashland, NH

March, Ivy League, Squam River Bridge, Ashland, NH

April, Lady Sabrina, Wright's Bridge, Newport, NH

April, Lady Sabrina, Wright’s Bridge, Newport, NH

May, Miss Toni, Waterloo Bridge, Warner, NH

May, Miss Toni, Waterloo Bridge, Warner, NH

June, Porcia J. Chanel, Riverwalk Bridge, Littleton, NH

June, Porcia J. Chanel, Riverwalk Bridge, Littleton, NH

July, Violencia Exclamation Point, Wentworth Golf Course Bridge, Jackson, NH

July, Violencia Exclamation Point, Wentworth Golf Course Bridge, Jackson, NH

August, Laila McQueen, Swift River Bridge, Conway, NH

August, Laila McQueen, Swift River Bridge, Conway, NH*

*The owners of Bartlett Bridge, Bartlett, NH refused to be a part of this series due to its content

September, Amber Alyrt, Fisher Bridge, Wolcott, VT

September, Amber Alyrt, Fisher Bridge, Wolcott, VT*

*The owners of Clark’s Trading Post Bridge, Lincoln, NH refused to be a part of this series due to its content

October, Lexus Dee, Flume Bridge, Lincoln, NH

October, Lexus Dee, Flume Bridge, Lincoln, NH

November, Katrina George, Stark Bridge, Stark, NH

November, Katrina George, Stark Bridge, Stark, NH

December, Countess Morticia Dracula, Greenfield-Hancock Bridge, Greenfield, NH

December, Countess Morticia Dracula, Greenfield-Hancock Bridge, Greenfield, NH

C A L E N D A R S | P O S T C A R D S | A N D R O I D | E M A I L M E

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I had a great time making these photos, and I’m very proud of them. But I had to face homophobia and bigotry that changed the original intent of this project. So much so, it will even be present in the very cover of this calendar. The cover will be Miss September, and, ironically, that photograph was shot not in New Hampshire, but at Fisher Bridge in Wolcott, Vermont. The owners of the only bridge with a railroad in New Hampshire, Clark’s Trading Post Bridge, the one I wanted to use, changed their minds on allowing me to shoot on their property, when I told them the model would be a drag queen. When another owner, owner of the Barlett Bridge, denied me permission because his bridge was a “wholesome place,” I drove away weeping; I didn’t know those two words could strike so hard. I wasn’t expecting these kind of reactions when I first started. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect.

But not all has been like this. Up in Conway, a father and his daughter interrupted my shoot with Laila McQueen. The little girl was absolutely convinced it was a photoshoot with Lady Gaga! I had to disappoint her and let her know Laila McQueen was not in fact Lady Gaga. What a compliment, though!  The family seemed enamored with us. It made my day, especially when the day before, my spirits were so low, almost broken.

This is all okay, though. This isn’t supposed to be politically correct, neatly packaged, with impolite details swept under the rug, all imperfections soft-brushed away. This is a snapshot of where we are at, in this present moment. This is my love letter to New Hampshire. This is about its culture — its beauty marks and its warts.

I always get the window seat

I went on an Earthship

 

I’m a narcissistic cultist

The point they unwittingly made is that the Free State Project is largely comprised of narcissistic individuals who are incapable of consideration for those who live outside of their cult.

Susan the Bruce

Wow. Ironic. All the other testimonies were their own theatrics, pulling on the heart strings, making emotional-bleeding-heart pleas for taxpayer’s money, in other words, the legalized plunder from others.

“My life story is so much worse than yours that I deserve, no, in fact, I am entitled to your money.” Heck, one guy fell off a skyscraper. He deserves my money. Wheel barrels full of money.

So pathetic and exploitative were their performances, these people had no shame bringing out their own mentally-disabled children, bring them in front of a room full of people, point at them, and tell the committee and all there to hear how worthless and incapable they are, how they will never amount to anything, never overcome their struggles, never make anything of themselves, and can only survive on the government dole. Seriously. That level of dependency was a disgusting sight to see.

In any other circumstance, my heart would go out to these struggles. The pains of life can be heavy. I know it. But to see these “my life is so hard, so unfair, give me your money” was vile. To parade your mentally-disabled children, who had no idea why they were trotted along to sit through a totally boring hearing, to be used as props to get free money is pathetic.

“Incapable of consideration?” Ha! Does Susan not realize for every dollar given to one of these children or their parents is a dollar taken forcibly from someone else and their child? Every dollar taken is a dollar not used for how someone else best sees fit. A dollar lost to someone’s education. A dollar lost to someone else’s health concerns. A dollar to help someone else’s aging grandmother. Government merely redistributes wealth making their decisions, not on who “needs” or “deserves” it most, but purely on political grounds and power. You really think they care? Well they might, if show you them how influential your voting bloc is. Kind of a perverse rational for distributing funds, no? Talk about a lack of consideration. How is it inconsiderate when there is thievery happening, out in the open, in front of me?

And you know what? I take no issue with people who live on food stamps and use government services, and take as much welfare as is available. We cannot remove government out of our lives completely. They have infiltrated ever living pore of human interaction and society. If we simply refused to involve ourselves with anything government has touched, we would surely die. That’s how much power and influence they have taken over our lives. So, yes, fine, take welfare, because the government has significantly monopolized what used to be church services, changed our culture deeply, and diverted what should be our own personal responsibility and cause to take care of each other, to instead be managed, handled, and determined by bureaucratic committees, their lobbyist friends, and people engaged in unions, voting blocs, and collectivist group-think. Democracy truly is a dying giant.

To perpetuate this system of mutual plunder and sickening dependency made me feel absolutely no qualms to punk that hearing, to punk anyone who thinks this is ethical behavior. In fact, our speeches, even though taken straight out of the movies, were absolutely fitting among the rest of the testimonies.

We’re just better actors.

Breaking the State’s Fourth Wall

On May 9th, 2013, I decided to troll the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee during this year’s HB 1 Budget Hearing.

I wanted to break the fourth wall of government, and show those in the seat of power and these hearings for what they are: political theatre. And, to be honest, as I had originally intended to punk the New Hampshire House of Representatives instead, it was far more gratifying to perform in front of the Senators, as they are a much smaller consolidation of power, and thus more dangerous, arrogant, and elitist than the House could ever be to the cause of freedom.

Below, Adam Sutler and Edgar Friendly give an anti- and pro- liberty speech, respectively, completely written in movie quotes. In retrospect, I should’ve used Labyrinth’s “You have no power over me” somewhere.

Mr. Chairman and members of this distinguished Committee,

You and I both know how important this budget is because … [Network] I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street. There’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.

[The Verdict] I mean there is no justice. The rich win; the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead. We think of ourselves as victims — and we become victims. We become, we become weak; we doubt ourselves; we doubt our beliefs; we doubt our institutions; and we doubt the law.

[The Contender] Now, I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves and gave women the right to vote. It gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very Chapel of Democracy that we sit in together.

And you. You are the stewards of this Church. [The Verdict] Today, you are the law. You are the law, not some book, not the lawyers, not a marble statue, or the trappings of the court. See, those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are, in fact, a prayer, a fervent and frightened prayer.

In my religion, they say, “Act as if you had faith; faith will be given to you.”

[V for Vendetta] Ladies and Gentleman, <this budiget> is a test. Moments such as these are matters of faith. To fail is to invite doubt into everything we believe, everything we have fought for. Doubt will plunge this country back into chaos, and I will not let that happen.

What we need right now is a clear message to the people of <New Hampshire>! This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television. This message must resound throughout the ENTIRE INTERLINK! I want this <state> to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion! I want every man, woman, and child to understand how close we are to chaos! I WANT EVERYONE to remember WHY THEY NEED US!

This budget. [V for Vendetta] I want more than arrests. I want results. [Tombstone] Tell all the other curs the LAW’S coming! You tell ‘em I’M coming… and Hell’s coming with me, you hear?! Hell’s coming with me!

Thank You.

Mr Chairman and members of this distinguished Committee,

[The Fountainhead] I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life, nor to any part of my energy, nor to any achievement of mine — no matter who makes the claim! It had to be said: The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. I came here to be heard in the name of every man of independence still left in the world. I wanted to state my terms. I do not care to work or live on any others.

After reading this budget, I realized that [Network] at the bottom of all our terrified souls we know that democracy is a dying giant; a sick, sick, dying, decaying political concept writhing in its final pain. I don’t mean that the United States is finished as a world power. The United States is the richest, the most powerful, the most advanced country in the world, light years ahead of any other country. And I don’t mean the <terroists> are gonna take over the world because the <terrorists> are deader than we are.

What is finished … is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished, because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some 200 odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-than-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods.

[V for Vendetta] How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.

That’s right. You see, [Demolition Man] according to <this budget>, I’m the enemy. Because I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech, freedom of choice. I’m the kind of guy who would sit in the greasy spoon and wonder “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of Barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?” I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, and butter and buckets of cheese ok? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in a non-smoking section. I wanna run through the streets naked with green jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, ok pal? I’ve *seen* the future, you know what it is? It’s a 47 year-old virgin, sitting around in his beige pajamas drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing “I’m an Oscar-Meyer Wiener”.

That’s freedom. That’s what we should be striving for, and this bill knows no such thing. Thank you.

If you’d like to see the original filmed scenes overdubbed over our performances, you can see Adam Sutler’s here and Edgar Friendly’s here.

 

It’s The Connections

You know. I apparently make just some weird audio recordings when I’m completely inebriated.

After a night of trivia — drunk, high, home, sitting in the dark — I was getting into one of those “pontificating” moods. But the problem was I couldn’t remember or even keep track of too many thoughts at a time. Not much was staying long enough in my short term memory, really. The train of logic, the steps of “henceforth,” “ergo,” and “thus,” following from the question”what is so special about tumblr?” and my attempted premise of “it’s the connections,” just kept disappearing and reappearing. I couldn’t find the next stone to jump on. And when I did jump, I couldn’t remember where I just was. I guess you could say I couldn’t make the connections …. about the connections …. It was all very frustrating, and ended up, fruitless and stupid. I come off as an idiot. But, whatever, it’s funny.

 

Nemo. New Hampshire ’13

 

Dream Crushers

A few months ago, back in the summer, my friend Laura gave me a call. We hadn’t spoken in a while, so we caught up. She then pitched me this idea for a title sequence she wanted me to make. A few friends of hers were making a web series. I told her, “I know exactly what to do.” Shortly after our conversation, she sent me an email.

Hello!

I have started reading the book- it’s definitely an angry New Yorkey version of self help which cuts through the usual airy fairy meditate and find your inner child stuff. Inspiring and also borderline sociopathic but I think it’s definitely valuable and proactive!  I mean, I’m reading it cover to cover.

Thank you Andre.

I sent her my digital copy of James Altucher‘s “I Was Blind But Now I See.” It’s a bit of a self-help/self-realization book I thought she might enjoy. Altucher has some great anecdotes and doesn’t mince words. I thought her description about Altucher was pretty amusingly accurate. Laura has an uncanny gift reading people.

Ok, I have attached the musical tag line from our Dream Crushers theme song and a video clip that has the “fly-in” effect I’m going for.  I’m open to weird illustrations and even animation.  The main thing is that the title card says DREAM CRUSHERS.

Think 21 year old nerdy guy, delusions of grandeur, star wars, anime, but low-fi.  It’s like one step up from notebook doodling but not quite as gritty as Michel Gondry.

Can you dig it?

Love, Laura

Oh I can dig it.

 

Gibberish

When you live in LA for 10 years, and all your friends are actors, I can only guess, even for an engineer, like myself, some of that “actor stuff” is just going to rub off on you.

I’ve been stressed out lately, trying to do too many projects at the same time. I had no intentions to do any kind of performance piece. I hadn’t planned anything. But once, all the poets and storytellers had gone,  the emcee asked “Is there anyone else who wants to go next,” and those faces, all across the room, turned their heads and stared at me, well, geez, I guess I had to go up and do something. Talk about pressure and expectations.

This was, more or less, my entire thought process in my head, “Okay. Well, I’m stressed out and I want to get it off my chest, but I really don’t want to tell people anything about it … I know! …” And go! This is my off-the-cuff performance piece.

 

Move Over Jesus

Move over Jesus; there’s a new carpenter in town. After successfully making my own table, it looks like I just couldn’t stop with the carpentry.

My roommate is a writer, and wherever she goes, countless books follow. There have been stacks of boxes sitting in the corner of the room, driving me nuts, messing with my minimalist-feng-shui furniture style, and just cluttering things up. Ack!

We couldn’t just buy a bookshelf because, here in New Hampshire, there’s a problem – baseboard heaters. They line the walls and get in the way of having any kind of bookshelf stand against the wall. Ergo, I’m building one. Whatever. I wanted to.

It was a slow process. I first looked online, but all the designs and how to’s were complicated contraptions, outside my comfort zone, outside my expertise (you know how long it took me to have the gusto and jump into making my own table, having never done anything like that before? A couple of months). Then Eureka! I’ll just build individual cubes! A simple, interesting, doable design. I did a couple of test cubes with different woods — pine, poplar. I ended up using Home Depot’s basic 2 x 12 lumber for its durability and cost, despite initially preferring a thinner width. And tada!

Funny story about the photos here. Firstly, I usually use Hipstamatic on my iPhone, but a cop stole my phone a couple of months ago — another story for another time. So, I had to pull out my handy dandy, trusty Canon AE-1 film camera. Ah the mistakes, let me count the ways. I accidentally double exposed the film. And, when I got them developed, I asked for digital copies, but the developers forgot to do that. So, I took the negatives to my local Rite Aid, only to have them screw up and improperly feed the film through the machine. Alas, some of the digital images are mixed frames — 2/3 one frame, 1/3 the next frame. Oy! 

I swear, somewhere in these photos, behind the mixed frames and double exposures, it is supposed to be a “I’m building a bookshelf” narrative. I swear! Isn’t there some Japanese ink painting philosophy that says all mistakes were meant to be, embrace the mistakes? Okay, I will then. Enjoy!

Slideshow:
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Notes: I have an awful history with wall hanging; I just don’t do it anymore. I must thank the great Bill Domenico, laser beam activist extraordinaire, for the great job he did hanging the cubes!