Friday, August 22, 2014
On 7 June 1998, in Jasper, Texas, James Byrd, Jr. – a black man – accepted a ride from three white men, Lawrence Brewer, John King, and Shawn Berry. Berry and Byrd had passed each other many times in town. Instead of taking Byrd home, they took him to a wooded country road and beat him nearly to death, breaking 4 ribs, his jaw, his left shin, his left orbital bone, knocking out almost all of his teeth, and rupturing both his testicles by smashing them with a wrench. Then they chained him by the ankles to Berry’s trailer hitch and dragged him for 3 miles down the road. They had pulled his pants down so it would hurt more. They testified to this much. He survived until his body swung out from behind the truck at a turn and struck a cement drainage culvert, ripping off his head and right arm. The three men then deliberately scattered his body all over town, dumping most of it in a black cemetery.
They were arrested when police found in the middle of the highway the wrench, with Berry’s name on it, that they used on Byrd. They found a Zippo lighter inscribed with “Possum,” which was King’s nickname. The crime is sufficiently despicable to make it onto such a list as this, but its most odious aspect is the fact that none of the three men has ever apologized. Brewer was executed on 21 September 2011, smiling as they strapped him to the table. He deliberately ordered a prodigious last meal, and then scattered it all over his cell. He spat in the priest’s face, and had this to say, “He was a godamn nigger and I hope his family never recovers. As far as any regrets, no. I have no regrets. No, I’d do it all over again, to tell you the truth.”
King, who is awaiting execution, wrote Brewer letters attesting to the same absence of remorse and refusal to repent, and answered a prison psychiatrist, in response to the question, “Why did you do it?” with “Go fuck yourself. I’m not afraid to be murdered for doing what’s right. That son of a bitch was a fucking black bastard, and he’s burning the fuck in Hell right now. God is white.”
The online white supremacist community cheered the crime and called it a great day for whites, America, and God. They staged freedom marches around the courthouse during the trial. Berry has wisely never publicly shared his partners’ sentiment, and his silence spared him the death penalty. He will be in 23-hour lockdown until at least 2038.
Monday, August 11, 2014
EXPOSE: SHEDDING LIGHT ON COLLECTIVE BEAUTY
Tell me something.
When was the last time you saw an image of skin markings that looked just like yours?
When was the last time you saw an image of breasts that looked just like yours? An ass that looked just like yours? Scars that looked just like yours? A belly that looked just like yours?
Unless you're a celebrity look alike and have real time Photoshop (like, a program that follows and moves with you) I'm going to guess that for the majority of us... it's been a while. It's been a while since we've (or maybe we've never) seen our body positively represented within that overwhelming flood of images that fills our social media feeds, televisions, and magazines.
I think it's time to change that.
Action Bronson has released the video for "Easy Rider", the first single from his forthcoming album Mr. Wonderful. The video for the Party Supplies-produced track, directed by Tom Gould, is an homage to the 1969 Peter Fonda/Dennis Hopper film of the same name. It includes scenes of the rapper taking acid (after making sure to sneak a tab under his headband for later, of course), racing across the desert on a Harley, and playing guitar on top of a cliff. Oh, and Bronsolino also holds his own in a bar fight against, like, twenty-five people. Watch below via Noisey.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Detail of Sky, 2006, sculpture, human placenta, umbilical cord, stainless steel, perspex and refrigeration system. When artist Marc Quinn's son was born, he molded the placenta and umbilical cord into the likeness of his child. Marc Quinn is known for his ‘blood head’ self portraits — a documentation of the artist’s head, as it ages every five years, and so represents a portrait of the artist over a fifteen year period