“Sleep On Needles” by Sondre Lerche

I haven’t posted for a week now because I’ve been giving my brain a rest from all the over stimulation it’s had over the last several months.

Yep, the silly season is upon us and the last couple of weeks have been a blur of socialisation as I’ve been catching up with friends I haven’t seen for awhile. I’ve thrown a few dinner parties since I’ve been back, but for some strange reason, I didn’t take any photos or put up some new recipes. I guess I’m a little, “blogged out”, but never fear (those of you who care), I’ll be putting up plenty of stuff over the next few days.

So in the meantime I want to share, “Sleep On Needles” by Sondre Lerche which I’ve been listening to at high volume in the car. It’s a bit folksy pop that goes grunge and then tips it’s hat to Phil Spector and Motown by a Norwegian baby faced kid!

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It’s such a product of this post modern age we live in, that borrows from anywhere and doesn’t really care that much about context (which, by the way, is fine with me).  

Anti fascist graffiti. Venice, Italy. 2009

I read with great amusement today about how Berlusconi’s nose was broken, plus two of his teeth knocked out, and the leader of the Lega Nord, Umberto Bossi described it as, “an act of terrorism”.

I find this news hilarious on a few levels.

First off Berlusconi has been riding roughshod over the law in Italy for years and is widely seen as very corrupt and in bed with the Mafia. So it comes as no surprise that old Silvio “has had it coming for some time”, and he should thank his lucky stars he wasn’t assassinated for the hubris he regularly displays. It always amazes me when I think about people like Berlusconi and how brazenly venial they are.

How can the populace be so stupid to vote for such despicable people?

The other thing that stuck me as funny was that Umberto Bossi, whose party supports Berlusconi, was so incensed at the attack.

The Lega Norda (Northern League in English) would like the Northern regions of Italy to separate from the south.

When I was in Verona and in Venice, I had some very interesting discussions with some locals and they told me what they thought about the Lega Norda.  Apparently there is a lot of dissatisfaction with how the north of Italy produces so much of the country’s economy and a lot of their taxes “disappear” into the south. To many (not all of course) the south is seen as irredeemably corrupt (the huge 2 year long garbage strike controlled by the Mafia in Naples was often mentioned) with the southerners portrayed as backward and untrustworthy. Of course such sentiments attract racists who are also keen to make sure that immigration is kept to an absolute minimum as well.

So on one hand you have a corrupt billionaire who is in cahoots with the Mafia and on the other hand we have a guy who says that the corrupt influences of the south like the Mafia are ruining the country and he wants his region to separate. It just serves as an example to me of how expedient some politicians are when it comes to power and staying in power.

Interestingly, the people I spoke to in the north didn’t like Berlusconi, the Mafia or the Lega Nord as they felt is was people like them who were ruining the country. I’m pretty sure they didn’t think it was just a southern phenomena.

When I was in Venice the son of the guy who owned the hotel was a law student. What a pleasure it was to talk about such matters with such an erudite and well informed person. We were basically told that the Lega Norda appealed to popularist sentiments but those in the know felt that it was a “Trojan horse” for Fascism.

Since Venice is a Lega Nord stronghold it wasn’t surprising to see graffiti like below in the working class areas around the arsenal.

  

Shooting from a low angle with a wide lens. Dubrovnik, Croatia. 2009

Over the last six months I’ve been experimenting with holding my camera, fitted with a 10mm lens, low down by my side and taking photos of people as I walk by them. Most of the time, shooting this way leads to failed images, but every now and again I get an interesting shot.

One of the reason why I’ve been shooting this way is to not only to get a different perspective and angle but also to get higher things into the frame. I wanted to do this because I noticed that a lot of my shots were shot from the same height, straight on, and they were starting to look a bit stale.

I’ve also been experimenting with holding my camera as high above my head as I can, as well, and I’ll post some of those shots at a later date.