I Took This Picture At…

I took this picture at 3:16pm CST, on February 2nd, 2012.

I was on the NW corner of State and Adams in downtown Chicago, facing south.

I had just met with my accountant with regards to filing my 2011 income taxes, and had given him my financial documents for the year.

I was angry at my ex-wife for countless terrible things she did to me, and continued to do to me. I looked forward to a day when I wouldn’t be affected by her, or at least affected by her significantly less.

I was mad at my lawyer for doing a horrid job of representing me in the divorce. I was still paying her back for the hours she spent doing an awful job.

I was mad at the lawyer of my ex, who, despite knowingly participating in our “collaborative” divorce, did everything in her power to act as a combative litigation attorney. (A side note, our case was the last collaborative divorce case she handled).

I wished there was something I could do to make things better.

I was so angry and mad at everything. I was mad at how little money I had.

But it was sunny out. There was a breeze. That made me happy.

And, I had just gotten off the phone with my fiancé. I felt lots of love for her. We talked about the weekend. She was very busy at work that day. I felt for her and wanted to make her feel better.

I didn’t take a picture because what I was seeing down State Street was particularly interesting or beautiful.

I wanted to remember this moment for some reason.

I was there.

Elevator Lobbies

I like to sometimes take pictures with my phone. If I feel like it, I post those pictures to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

A month or so ago, I went out walking during my lunch break on a particularly nasty, cold rainy day and took these pictures.

I posted them all to Twitter, but people didn’t respond to any of them, other than one person who said, “Please stop doing this.”

I don’t know. Sometimes you connect with people, sometimes you don’t.

I like them. Enjoy.

Obey Or Else

Several months ago I noticed an assortment of Shephard Fairey “OBEY” stickers plastered on the bike rack and other surfaces near the train station in my town.

I thought to myself, it only took a couple decades for that graffiti to ripple out to the western suburbs. Of course, now you can buy clothing, bags, mugs, mousepads, toasters, jello molds, etc. of that OBEY image. The person who placed the stickers didn’t make those stickers — they bought them.

Seeing those stickers makes me think about a lot of things. I think about how counterculture can be easily packaged and sold and completely defanged. I think about how the original graffiti that has been turned into a commodity was not particularly countercultural, or dangerous, or interesting in the first place. I think about how the artist Shepherd Fairey appropriates images for his own use and makes a profit on them, while simultaneously zealously protecting his own work when other people attempt to appropriate it. He’s kind of a dick, probably.

All these thoughts really don’t have much bearing on the real world, I suppose. I’m not thinking about war, or peace, or hunger, or how people should be nice to each other. They are the thoughts that a white guy with a comfortable life can think as he prepares to board a comfortable train to take him to his well-paying-but-not-too-particularly-stressful job.

Anyways, I saw something interesting today. Someone added accompanying graffiti to some of the stickers near the train station.

What did the person who wrote “OR ELSE” mean? Was it ironic? Was it brilliant? Was it redundant? Why did they feel compelled to write that? Isn’t the “OR ELSE” already implied?

I walked around the other side of the pole and noticed another Fairey sticker, and more graffiti.

Ohhhhhh. That’s nice.

So, now, more questions. Was “NIGGER LOVER” written at the same time as “OR ELSE”? Or was it written at a different time? Was it written by a different person? Note that the “L” in “LOVER” and the “L” in “ELSE” are different.

Did someone feel spontaneously compelled to write “NIGGER LOVER” on a pole, or was it in response to the André the Giant sticker? If it was in response to the sticker, did the person who wrote the graffiti think André the Giant as depicted in the sticker was black?

What do you think?


I accidentally took a picture of my foot when I was taking the graffiti pictures. Enjoy!