2008-12-31

Cliche Clouds


I've determined that there is only one thing I am not doing enough of. I don't post enough art. I am going to try and fix that. So here is a work in progress. This is a backplate, I am reading On the Road, just thinking about some the things that Neil and Jack might have woken up to out there... I 'll keep working on more foreground stuff tomorrow.

2008-12-30

Elephant



Getting back on the Horse,erm, Elephant! Just wanted to do a rough, semi-expressive, semi-realistic painting. On top of that I had a friend who wanted to see me put together an elephant. This is a SKETCH this isn't like, a real piece, there is form but no real drama, shape but no need to really push form. I guess I just wanted some color and thoughts down, just a pensive idea and some fading light. Also, laziness. I really need to spend more time, but I can't stay in the zone very long at the moment, so I guess I will just have to keep working at staying there longer in the next few weeks while I recharge. Well folks, hope you like it...

2008-12-05

6 Months in India

I guess this is the milestone month. This weekend marks six month's of working for Gameshastra in Hyderabad. I've spent 7 weeks back in the U.S. since this started. I feel more at home in India than I do in the myriad of changing homes Sinead has been bouncing to. I return to the U.S and its like it did after I lived in Washington State and Nevada, like a stranger in a known land, the perpetual tourist.

Well three days until I turn 30 years old. I am entering the decade of fast fading youth and slow slide into an uncomfortable, ill fitting middle age. Oh but the all the things I have to show for it! I guess its fair to say if was looking merely run up the score I am failing, a career in games and no high marks for how I have lived. Not that I am bitter, or at least half as bitter as I will be when I am 40.

I guess now that wine of my youth is turning to the vinegar of middle age I should look for the positive applications of my innate change in characteristics. One, I will make a salad taste better with out risking the friskiness of being tipsy. Two, my cutlery will be cleaner than ever. Three, I finally have an excuse for being worthless at parties, but no excuse for being worthless on a dirty bathroom.

Some days you just want to hear a record a player looping revolution #9 backwards and a pound a bottle of cheap merlot. You want to watch the shadow of the sun paint a dancing slit of yellow light across the room, the only illumination from the sun as peeks through the almost closed shutters. You want to see that thin strip of bleached light redden just as you pass into blackness of the Indian night.

Instead you will be lucky if you don't have to work 10 more hours in the Salt Mine with a cupcake and candle to commemorate your thirtieth round trip on Spaceship Earth. It will pass with all of the pomp and circumstance of a Ken and Barbie wedding as you drift through another day.

I have peered into the cold beating heart of space and time and heard only the flatulent convunlsions of the Space Child called God. What if the powers that created the Universe are infinitely dumber and less interesting than the creation itself? What if we peer deep into the mind of God and find only the abstract wonderings of a child-like dreamer? What if the Universe is so fundamentally retarded that every single Scientist is doomed to go mad when they realize that universe doesn't actually make sense? The bastard contraption has only one rule, it can change the rules so it doesn't fail. Every other piece of nonsense is the part and parcel of the code. Supreme inelegance.

The notches I tick past have a little more relevence these days, like the braids in the noose I will surely hang from, just as everyone else will in time. By most estimates I have lived over 40% of my life. I guess there is no time like the present to make these days count. Surely the braids of the noose will eventually tick along until there is no more rope left to run into. Nothing left my neck and the fleeting moments before the sharp drop and dull shock. One last time to look up and see the sky before the light fades into the final night.

In the meantime I look forward to making the most of the 60% I have left on a messed up, backwards rock spinning away in the backwoods of a forgotten galaxy. A moment in time, unique as a snowflake, and just as meaningless as one more ice crystal in Antarctica.

2008-11-25

Really Big Fish

I have been working in India for almost 6 months now and the focus of Gameshastra is more on smaller games and services for larger ones. This Friday we'll see the fruits of our labor hit the Big Fish Game portal, (not just The Pirate Bay). Without further adieu, Nocturnal: Boston Nightfall.

I was the Art Director/Team Lead for the UI, Mini Games and the Hidden Object Backgrounds. I had to run away screaming from the In Game comics. If the game was named for what takes place there it would have been called Nocturnal: Edwardian Vampire Incest Litigation Suit, or Nocturnal: EVILS.

To the 30 Plus year old housewives that will actually play through this game I hope you enjoy the puzzles and content. To the morbidly curious have at it. To the rest I hope most of the Art is forgivable.

Here is Stuff:


2008-11-05

Land of Opportunity

I awoke early in my 3rd rate motel room in Moab, Utah feeling strangely fine. By most accounts the death star exploded night and the curse of eight years of the worst president ever are over. Here's to seeing the end that chapter, may we collectively have the good sense not repeat it.

The U.S. has elected Barack Obama as it's president.

The U.S. has elected Barack Obama as it's president.

I still almost can't believe it, and I voted for him. It feels like the a weight has been lifted and the shackles of a long and ugly history at least got a little lighter. We might be onto something here. I got a little more bounce in my step today and the rest of the country got something even better:

The capacity to surprise ourselves with how good our good side can be.

It feels like the values that really built America might be winning again. It was never about creating an imperial hegemony. It's never been about heading over seas to create proxy democracies or all of the other BS that we have been in the name of White Trash.

It's always been about looking past most of the crap that most nations on this planet can't and giving some miserable bastard a shot. Sometimes they hit it out of the park. It's about making the U.S. a little more meritocratic again.

Well it's a pretty great day in America, the tide has turned, and it's going to be all right

2008-10-21

Strange Days at the Polls

Yesterday I had great many errands to run, but foremost in my mind was heading out to the county Registar's office and making sure that I was actually able to vote on the 4th. This is what I saw:


The County offices were packed with people in to Vote Early.

I have been writing, reading and following the electoral process with a lot of zeal for the past 16 months. I was actually watching the Democratic debates when Chris Dodd was still a candidate and when Rudy Guilliani was the presumptive Republican nominee. Even back then I started pegging a lot of interest in Barrack Obama, and by January he was my candidate. I voted for him in the Utah Democratic primary over Hillary. I didn't think he had shot then really, but what a crazy year it's been.

Unfortuneately all has not been well in Avalon for the past year. The sins of the past were starting to haunt the Dow Industrials going back to November of 2007 and since then nothing eased the pain until we hit a total economic freefall this September. Now we are in what is going to be looked at as the biggest slowdown since the Depression, you can just feel it. As bad as it has been watching America turn blue has been beautiful to see. I think collectively we know what has led us to this point, and we know what it takes to bail us out.

My Stepdad calls September 19th "Red Friday". He wants it commemorated as the day card carrying members of the Republican party woke up Socialists. It looks like it might be the day the "Free Market" died. I think the markets should be there to give everyone a slice of the pie, and you know Brother's if I have enough I am going to share them with you. It just feels right to me, I might even want to say it feels "American".

Naturally a group of people in America want to create a strict Socially Conservative state. Liberals aren't the ones tapping phones of Soldiers and Democrats. They aren't ones scared of what happens when Blacks, Latino's and Asians vote. They aren't the ones pounds the pulpits with Dog Whistle politics. They are NOT the ones trying to silence people with the Spectres of Fear. Al-Quada was just as big of a threat under Clinton as it was Bush, but Clinton didn't re-organize the government to fight them. Social Conservatives need to have control, and they think that they must rule on top over the "lesser" people.

Three of the greatest figures in U.S. of the 20th Century, Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were all sensible Social Liberals. Their killers, as much as we know, were carrying the water of extreme Social Conservatism. Our greatest hopes for a united, peaceful multi-cultural America, one that could really live up to the notion of "With Liberty and Justice for All", we're silenced by Hill-Billy's with guns. The only way to silence the surge in common sense was with a gun.

The worm has definitely turned. I went out to register and then found out that I could Vote, so I did. In the short time I was there so did at least several hundred people. People of every description and from every walk of life were in the courthouse exercising their most crucial right in Democracy. Over half of them were under the age of thirty.

Things aren't great in America today. But it feels like the Ghost of Ronald Reagan might have finally left the building. The influence of that son of a bitch that ordered State Troopers to open fire on students in California, that did everything he could to drive a wedge between Americans and their Government might finally be fading. It feels like Morning in America, and the tide is turning. Maybe John, Bobby and Martin didn't die for nothing after all.

2008-10-09

Oh Shit My Shit

A funny thing happened on the U.S. stock market today, the P.E. ratio's of even the most bloated stocks started looking pretty damn attractive. If I had the money I would start buying stocks again. Oh wait, nobody has any money, except Warren Buffet. That's pretty much the same boat everyone is in.
So now it becomes apparent to a lot of people that we aren't just in a recession, we are in a freefall. No one knew where the bottom was going to hit and indeed we still don't. But you know what, we are going to be alright. Even if this goes from a gut wrenching recession to a full blown Depression it will be O.K.
Let me tell you a little story of what happened to a lot of people in my world after Reagan took office. Back in the 80's things seemed a lot stronger, even for a poor kid in Utah. Somehow we left most of those people behind, we abandoned the dignity of basic work and now here we are, we screwed a huge group of people in America, they used to be called the Middle Class.
For the bosses it was a different story. They would have a great factory in the Heart of America making an innovative product that sells in Wal-Marts across the country. They would have a solid infrastructure, amazing workers with mortgages and a load of machines that cost a fortune. One Wal-Mart comes into the shop and says that don't want to work with a Union shop in the U.S. but they love the beds. They ask the boss to move his factory to China. Pennies on the dollar for workers, and you don't have to worry about Health Care, Days off, Pensions or Government Safety Regulations. The offset in worker cost far out-weighs the shipping costs and besides Wal-Mart can help you set everything up. So the boss has a tough decision to make, but it will greatly enrich him. "The U.S. economy is strong, the workers will find another way to make money", he would think.
So the workers who once had Pensions and Healthcare and Vacations and Security do what ever they have to do to keep paying their Mortgages. Things were getting tough for the former workers of the Mattress factory, the service industry just wasn't as good. Their new Jobs at Wal-Mart just didn't pay like the old. They could never make as money in the blue vest selling the matresses that used to be 'Made in America.'
Meanwhile back at the Country Club the boss was living large. Since he started outsourcing he had more money than he what to do with. He had the Mercedes, the Mansion, the Vacation House, the Viking Stoves, the Sub Zero, the Toys, the Healthcare security, everything a person could want, and then some. He still had enough money that the only thing he could do was work to keep his money keeping him wealthy. Some investment's weren't panning out that great though, the dot-com bubble had already poppped and he still had too much money to just let sit there wasting away in bank at 2% interest.
While some the Old Factory crew were toiling away in jobs going nowhere some of the other people were getting smart. The best place to make money in America was in Housing, in California and Florida and New York the price of real estate was rising by as much as 25% a year. The markets were heating up every where. "Everyone has to have a home, and anymore it's the safest investment you can make", they would say. There was just one problem, everyone but the old boss was working for Wal-Mart or the Mortgage company, how were they going to get people that work for Wal-Mart into a home?
Well it turns out that the Conservatives in Washington had been grappling with that same problem for a while. It turns out if you just lower the barriers to entry enough anyone can have a million dollar home. Besides they had to something to help out their constituent's, they were friends with everyone from the Old Factory and the Boss was their biggest supporter. So eventually they decided it would be good to cut away enough regulation that anyone could have a house. It turns out to get a family working at Wal-Mart into a house you can't ask for money, have a high interest rate, or even ask if they were employed steadily.
So the Wal-Mart workers finally got their houses but the banks were having a tough time making their balance sheets work. "At least these home value's are always going up!" Maybe we can sell the value of these debts off to someone and maybe not have things be so risky.
The Boss has been shopping around the market looking for the best place to put his money and what does he find, Real Estate! Housing prices have been rising for years, it's easier to buy a home than ever and if anything goes wrong at least you have the house! Besides the more houses there are the matresses he can ship in from China!
For a while it seemed like everything was going to be O.K. Long after the factory had closed the Boss was richer than ever, the workers had found new jobs and they even had houses and a piece of the pie. The banker, the mortgage broker and even the Conservative politician seemed to be doing just great.
But then a funny thing happened. Some of those workers at the Wal-Mart started having problems, maybe it was an illness, maybe it was their family, maybe it was some accident or bolt out of the blue. But one way or another when the people at Wal-Mart fell they fell hard and they didn't have anything to fall on. The only money they had left was the equity in there house. When they got sick they had to take out reverse mortgages to pay the doctor. When they had family struggles they had no where to turn, everyone they knew was in the same boat.
It wasn't like there weren't tough times at the Old Factory, sometimes they got hurt, sometimes they had emergencies, but they always had a soft place to fall, and it wasn't just a mattress. They had healthcare, and vacation times, and sick pay and they were pretty secure when they had a Union to help them keep it.
The bad times were back and it seemed like a long time ago when things were good. They went to church, they voted Conservative, they even gave their old Boss a big tax cut so that some of his money might trickle down. Somehow none of that seemed to help a bit. Now they were loosing there home, which wasn't even worth what they paid for it, and they didn't know what to do, they had nothing left but a pile of debt, and now there were new laws that didn't even let get rid of that debt in a bankruptcy.
They turned on Fox News at their Son's apartment one night. Sean Hannity was talking about ACORN and giving loans to people that didn't qualify and how it was causing a crisis. They weren't minorities and they used to make a lot of money, they couldn't believe that the people they helped all there lives would turn on them like that. They were sick, they lost their houses, they lost everything. Shamed and with nothing left they just wanted to cry.
So they went to sleep on the mattress they brought with them from the house they bought after Wal-Mart. It was one the last ones that still said 'Made in America'. It was over 10 years old now, stained from moving house, a little neglect, and a lot of tears.
The story of the family who got sick or had something bad happen got told a few too many times. Too many people got kicked out of their houses and there was no one left to buy the ones that were there. The old boulevards next to the derrilect old factory were almost completely vacant now. The mortgage companies couldn't sell the houses.
One morning in November, the Boss returned from his trip to the Tropics to find that most of the money he just stuck into the Bank was gone. It was millions of dollars and he didn't know where any of it was, or how he was going to get it back. In a matter of weeks he lost more money than most people will ever see in there lives. He couldn't understand where it all went, he believed in America, and now he didn't know what to think. He felt a hollow in his stomach and now he just want's to be sick.

So take a look at the Dow and realize that every point that drops it is just a variation of this story being told a hundred times.

Anyone who has read my blog should have a pretty good idea of how I am voting. Now you know why.

2008-10-02

Throwing Down the Gauntlet



That's it. I've had it. I had to look at this at this cunt far too many times. House Minority Whip* Eric Cantor, I CHALLENGE YOU TO A MATCH OF NO HOLDS BARRED FISTICUFFS. 

The Prize: If I lose I convert to Catholocism, crazy ass Da Vinci Code Catholocism and vote Republican till the end of my days. I will never again forsake De-Regulation, Trickle Down Economics or the Bush Doctine. I will Support the Troops harder than other man in North America, without actually you know, joining a Branch of Military (anal cysts). I will acknowledge that Sarah Palin is like, TOTALLY, so close to Russia she could be Putin's Milf Crush. I will salute BUSH II with the reverence that most nerds only reserve for the 'Empire Strikes Back'. Hell, in my revised Neo-Con Catholocism I will refer to George Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan as the Father, Son and Holy-Ghost.

In short I will become all makes my skin crawl in America.

If I win you will voluntarilly contract Polio. You will burn all 37 copies of the Fountainhead that you own and you memorize the names the names of at least 25 foreign nations. You will stop crying. You will read Keynes 'General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' twice. You will vote for substantive increases in Regulation and Oversight in Capital Markets, especially Real Estate. You will be an active participant in wealth redistribution in America to Extreme Minorities (The Gay Midget Phillipino League). You will work tirelessly to create the lowest Gini Index in the history of our Nation. Like the Grinch you will have to watch your heart grow two sizes to large, you snivelling twat.

Sure I am 15 years younger and not addicted to 'Just for Men' haircolor. I don't know your height, reach or fighting style, but I am assuming it entails a lot pretending be hurt, acting like a pussy and then biting people when they turn around. The way you bawled after Nancy Pelosi's speech I don't think that you have even the slightest risidual testosterone in your shriveled scrotum to face me down. It's a shame.

So Eric Cantor next time you are on the West Coast and need to see if you have a shred of manhood left, look me up. I will see you in the Octagon.

* Now that I think about it in Title alone 'Minority Whip'  that has to be the most appropriate position a Republican can hold. "Take that you sub prime loan stealin' fence jumping Latino's! No Affirmative Action for you Macawcaw!" he would say.

2008-09-29

The End of Free Money

With all eyes turned to the state of the U.S. economy and the unprecedented drop in stocks on the DJIA I would like to offer two thoughts.

First, we have to realize that most American's were complicit in this unraveling of our economy. We all wanted something for free. It doesn't matter if you were a Democrat or a Republican, the bulk of the worst policy decision's were made back when Clinton was still in office. Sure a lot of the deregulation was spurred on by House Republican's in general and Phill Graham in particular but we have to get past the blame game.

The simple fact is that true fiscal convservativeism bit the dust in 2000. With it went the last shreds of controls of our Capital markets. We were able to maintain the appearance of prosperity for a large portion of the last eight years but know we are seeing just how hollow those gains were.

Now that we have had any economy addicted to free money and fake progress we are just now crashing back to our inevitable economic reality. The fact is that free market systems are winner take all with out regulation. That left an awful lot of Americans faced with ever dimmer prospects for real wealth acquisition. Meanwhile for the 20 years we have allowed a very narrow sliver of people to reap ALL of the benefit's of our economy. I think we are all going to have to take a good hard look at the post-depression policies of Roosevelt and realize that we are going to see a lot of people waking up socialists.

Sorry Sean Hannity. We shouldn't give huge tax breaks to the rich while people who have busted their ass for our nation, fought our wars, taught our children, built our roads have woken up to find they can't actually buy homes, afford health care, or send their children to school.

And that brings me to my second point. This may look like a catastrophe, and we are definitely going to feel the hurt in every level of our society. But there are two things that are going to change in the next 10 years. At first this is going to rip us apart, but a day will come when we wake up and realize what really matters to us. From the C.E.O. of the Exxon to the bum on the street, we are all in this together, and the selfishness, greed and stupidity have to stop. Second we are going to learn that you have to make real progress, it is not enough to have people living from paycheck to paycheck, digging an ever deep ditch. It's time to go back to the way things worked in the 40's, 50's, and 60's and abandon the idea of the Milton Friedman's, the Neo-Consertative Deficit Spending, and even Wall Street now. This is the end of something for nothing and money for free.

2008-09-22

Indian Pulp Fiction


                                     JULES
                         – Okay now, tell me about the hash? 
                      

                              
       VINCENT
                         What so you want to know?

                              
       JULES
                         Well, hash is legal there, right?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Yeah, it's legal, but is ain't a 
                         hundred percent legal. I mean you 
                         can't walk into a restaurant, roll a 
                         joint, and start puffin' away. You're 
                         only supposed to smoke in your home 
                         or during certain religious festivals.

                              
       JULES
                         Those are the Puja's?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Yeah, it breaks down like this: it's 
                         legal to buy it, it's legal to own 
                         it and, if you're the proprietor of 
                         large Ganesha statue, it's legal to sell
                         it. It's legal to carry it, which doesn't 
                         really matter 'cause – get a load of 
                         this – if the cops stop you, you just
                         give them a few hundred rupees and they
                         will act like they have never seen you.

                              
       JULES
                         That did it, man – I'm fuckin' goin', 
                         that's all there is to it.

                              
       VINCENT
                         You'll dig it the most. But you know 
                         what the funniest thing about India 
                         is?

                              
       JULES
                         What?

                              
       VINCENT
                         It's the little differences. A lotta 
                         the same shit we got here, they got 
                         there, but there they're a little 
                         different.

                              
       JULES
                         Examples?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Well, in Hyderabad, you can smoke in 
                         the restaurants. And I don't mean 
                         in a little cigarette either. They give you 
                         a giant hookah, like in an Opium Den. In 
                         Bangalore, you can smoke a Hookah at 
                         MacDonald's. Also, you know what 
                         they call a Quarter Pounder with 
                         Cheese in India?

                              
       JULES
                         They don't call it a Quarter Pounder 
                         with Cheese?

                              
       VINCENT
                         No, they don't serve beef
                         in McDonald's there and, AND,
                         they got the metric system there.
                         They wouldn't know what the fuck a 
                         Quarter Pounder is. 

                              
       JULES
                         What'd they call it?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Super Chicken with Cheese.

                              
       JULES
                              (repeating)
                         Super Chicken with Cheese. What'd they call 
                         a Big Mac?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Big Mac's a Chicken Maharaja Mac. A 
                         Maharaja Mac...

                              
       JULES
                         The Maharaja Mac. What do they call a 
                         Whopper?

                              
       VINCENT
                         I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger 
                         King.  But you know what they put on 
                         french fries in India instead of 
                         ketchup?

                              
       JULES
                         What?

                              
       VINCENT
                         Capsicum Spice!

                              
       JULES
                         Goddamn!

                              
       VINCENT
                         I seen 'em do it. And I don't mean a 
                         little bit on the side of the plate, 
                         they fuckin' drown 'em in it.

                              
       JULES
                         Uuccch!

Also everyone Stateside is saying 'Burn After Reading' is great. I can't see it for at least a month.

2008-09-20

A Letter To My Family

The Vaughan/Blanchard/Barton/Christensen clan is represents a large spectrum of Political and Religious thought. But sometimes you just have to drop a bomb on them and let them try and argue their way back out. So with no small amount of love or sincerity I sent this email their way. I hope that I can do what to can for my own lot. Right now in America it's looking like the Third Act of Titanic.

Here is an email I sent there way. If you feel like I do retool to your needs and pass it on to your loved ones. Here it goes:

Hey All,

Mom and I were talking about this a few days ago and I though I should send this out to you all. I know I will be preaching to the choir to some of you, but many of the people I care about lean a lot more to right. Nobodies perfect! Rather than just post this up on my blog which only a few people read I thought I would be much better off posting this up here. I really sincerely hope I can change your minds about some things. I know you have a lot of fears and doubts about people especially that closet Muslim Manchurian Candidate, Barrack Obama. I also know it takes a lot of courage to go against the prevailing wisdom of friends, and your religious and business institutions. But we are staring down an economic crisis of unprecedented proportion. The kind that can so fundamentally alter our economic and political landscape we might not have a recognizable America left, if it indeed it can survive. So you tell me if me you think it's a good idea to leave our fate in the hands of the ideologues who have pushed us to the brink. Do you think the Opposition could be any worse than the Cannibals at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now?

I've been watching our present economic meltdown happen in slow motion since about 2005. I started paying attention those "No Down Payment" infomercials talking about how to buy a home with no money and only finance them on interest only loans. They would advertise how you could own 10 homes paying a fraction of what you do for your current home, rent out the others and as soon as the house appreciate enough you just flip em! Easy Money, make thousands each month. Then I started reading up on interest only loans, a very popular financial tool that had previously reached it's zenith in the bustling years of the Mid 20's. I seem to remember something of a reality check hitting by the 30's.

The sad news is nothing is free or easy. All that ease of purchasing power and lack of fundamentals in the housing sector did was overheat the market , raise the cost of home ownership to prices radically disproportionate to the actual wages of the people living in them and make those that did jump into the market a prime target for bad loans. Wage growth has been negative for almost every year of the Bush administration, horrific when compared with inflation, which means the cost of housing should have decreased. So when markets come back to reality who can pay, no one has savings, no one has a safety net, not even the financial institutions.

So all of that money in housing during the Bush that was made was just a bunch of funny money, paper without real equity. Unreal estate. On top of that we a lot of investors, most of them managing money from Sovereign Wealth funds in other countries and public trusts in America with bills to pay, equity to protect and no real interest in propping up ailing markets. If the government leveraged buyouts don't hold we are looking unparalleled pan-global economic devastation. Even now our abilities to cope with this economically are stressed to the limits. If our bond rating slips the rest of the world may just cut us loose and let us slip into an economic free fall that will be worse than the Great Depression. We can wake up living in a world where China looks like America in the 60's and America looks like China in 1900's.

So who thinks we should be paying a half a trillion dollars a year to fight a war in God forsaken Middle Eastern hell hole now? Who thinks we should let the small fraction of people who laughed all the way to their Swiss bank accounts as they rode the Deregulation Train off the cliff, taking most of the American middle class with it, ride off into the sunset with a 200 billion dollar a year tax cut? Who thinks we should provide further tax incentives to companies to move or cut jobs out the America? Who thinks this is just history taking its course and not the ramifications of years of systematically undoing the progress made by during the Clinton Era, hell the Roosevelt Era? Who thinks we can stand idle and just say that all Politicians are the same, and we can't change any of this?

I think our deep cynicism has taken us to brink. I think we have seen time and time again that if you let a bunch of glad handing war profiteering crooks high jack the American Government over a bunch of non-issues you can't expect a responsible, rational, present governance. What we have had in the White House for eight years is, in all fairness, our Founding Fathers worst nightmare made flesh and handed the highest office in the land. He is an indolent, dull-minded, pandering, simpleton wearing the masks of Power with an absolutely certainty that his Providence is mightier than the rule of Law and the well-being of those he Governs. He keeps about him only the sycophantic worshipers of his own cult of personality and those savvy enough to pull his puppet strings. The political machinery that made this monster only wants unleash more of the same.If you want to vote for another deeply disturbing, cynical Political operative and his gang of Lobbyist Adviser's, running a campaign that would have even made him cringe only four years ago you can vote for that guy. It rhymes with McSame.

Our only hope is to elect people that understand the economy, still have an ounce of integrity, and still understand that all of the progress and prosperity begins with helping the Middle Class in America, if it means a few less Yachts in the Harbor for the boys from Skull and Bones. Politics IS institutionalized class warfare and I strongly suggest you look at what team you are on your tax return and start playing your part.* If you need a hint John McCain says you aren't rich unless you are making $5,000,000 a year. Hopefully this is getting a bit clearer everyday.

Disregard this email at your own peril,

-Joshua Scott Vaughan

*If you make enough money not to care about the Middle Class, help us out anyways, you will never want for friends.

2008-09-19

Banjara

I have been living and working in Hyderabad for close to 3 months total this year. Thought I might long overdue to share some of the views and maybe make some art. This blog isn't just about taking the piss out of my friends after all.

I have most of the day off from work so I thought I would make some crappy second rate art. Well here is my speed paint of the view from my balcony here in Hyderabad. From here almost can't see the U.S. Economy collapsing...

2008-09-17

When Bad Photoshops Happen To Good People

For only the second time this year I have missed a wedding of a dear friend. This time it was a whopper, my best friend for over 15 years and a man that the audacity, the tenacity, and sheer strength of will to be my roommate for over 6 of them. That is either insantity or a profile in courage.
So instead of heaping even more massive laudatory praise for a guy is both one the best artist's and programmers I know. Instead of glad handing a guy whose moral turpetude is so potent that if politicians had the power to extract his essencne his cloned progengy would fill all the clone vats in Area 51. Instead of saying that this strange ecclectic, who tears could end our countries addiction to foreign only save for the fact that he nevers cries (until now), ought to have just enjoyed his wedding day. I say that things got missed. The asthetic angels weep on my shoulders for the fashion that was lost. Fret not overlong, I have fixed it in Photoshop




On your fifth wedding anniversary you shall have what's coming to you. And it's only the finest in Beaver Pelt.

Congratulations and all of the best my dear Cholesky!

2008-09-16

Why Obama IS Great.

Now that virtually every single segment of the American Financial sector is bordering on insolvency most the largest corporations are turning to Uncle Sam to bail them out. Honestly what other choice do we have? But here is the issue, once these institutions are bailed out, once yet again prove with disastrous results that while people can be free economies never can be, will this Generation of Americans, long past paying the pensions of most of the Greatest Generation and long since Sold Out by the Me Generation have what it takes to turn this around? 

America: A wholly owned Division of China: A Dubai Corporation. 

Can we turn this around? Can turn around a process that had it roots in the mind of Amnesiac President's and Corporate Raiders in the Seventies? Can turn back the clock to a basic decency that can allow us to look after one another again? Can we find the strength to challenge those people in our Corporations who feel they have no fundamental responsibility to the people they employ? Can we challenge those in Government who feel no basic need to protect and serve their constituents and the greater constituency of the American People, regardless of race, creed and gender? Can we a make America a benevolent power, not just an imposing Super-Power poised to take the world to brink for the smallest of perceived threats? Can we rise above the din and confusion to be a little bit then we have been, and honor what we ARE about?

There is a guy out there who thinks so, and he gives a lot more back to this country than a great speech, although this is one of them:

..Make no mistake: my opponent is running for four more years of policies that will throw the economy further out of balance. His outrage at Wall Street would be more convincing if he wasn’t offering them more tax cuts. His call for fiscal responsibility would be believable if he wasn’t for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and more of a trillion dollar war in Iraq paid for with deficit spending and borrowing from foreign creditors like China. His newfound support for regulation bears no resemblance to his scornful attitude towards oversight and enforcement. John McCain cannot be trusted to reestablish proper oversight of our financial markets for one simple reason: he has shown time and again that he does not believe in it.

What has happened these last eight years is not some historical anomaly, so we know what to expect if we try these policies for another four. When lobbyists run your campaign, the special interests end up gaming the system. When the White House is hostile to any kind of oversight, corporations cut corners and consumers pay the price. When regulators are chosen for their disdain for regulation and we gut their ability to enforce the law, then the interests of the American people are not protected. It’s an ideology that intentionally breeds incompetence in Washington and irresponsibility on Wall Street, and it’s time to turn the page.

Just today, Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem. But here’s the thing … we know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership that gets us out. I’ll provide it, John McCain won’t, and that’s the choice for the American people in this election.

Can we overcome the stupidity and foolishness of our hard right bend in the States?

Yes we can...


2008-09-15

Great Balls of Balls!

Perhaps the single greatest problem with the 3-4 month development cycle of a true casual game is the fact that you don't really get too many shots at do overs. Right now I am getting ready to send my game at Gameshastra into a Beta. That means if you really want to make sure that everything goes in a works right, looks good and really is put together nicely you better nail that on the first shot. Barring that the second. God forbid you need a third.

About three weeks ago I started working on the UI for the game I am working on. Now mind you I couldn't give it my full attention. But things just kind of went along and got implemented and they weren't exactly knocking anyone out. Hell, they were awful, the whole thing was getting to be brazenly inconsistent and I hadn't given it the attention it needed. That is until about six days go. That's when my life went to hell and crunch time began in earnest.

Since then I have been at the office 12 to 14 hours a day for 4 of the last 5 days. This is not because I thought this was a great idea. I know what crunch time does to me (makes me a loopy basket case) but I am really backed into a wall. Nothing to do know scrape together every last drop of gumption and just do the work.

The good news is I hit a style I can live with. I am drawing all of the Layer Style and Page Design mastery skills that Matt Petersen and Ben Savage could osmose into me during my years at EA. What I wouldn't give to have those guys around right now! It'd be done up in about 2 days!

Somehow I just hope I don't look at this work in two month's and hate it. There is nothing worse than grinding yourself down to the fallow nothingness of spent being only to find your labors for naught. It's not even that I worry if other people think it's O.K. It matters to me.

Well I am going to eat some food, read the internets and soon dream a quiet dream and imagine myself as comfy as any of my lazy dogs. I return home in a month and hopefully I can point to this post when I am knocking back a cold one and not working myself into an early on some storied Friday in October in Utah. The cold wind will chill my beer and I can sleep in the warmth of my bed surrounded by the things that love me back, it will be a refreshing change of pace.

Also, Holy Shit, I have a ton of people commenting on my stuff. Shout outs to Cholesky, Jason and Xavi. If anyone happens to stumble upon this hit up Cholesky's Lab, the bastard has sealed his fate in the eyes of God and Government and the Family. He is wed. I promise to update with like some honest to god art next time. In about a month I will have some mmm... mmm... good drops!

2008-09-09

The Running Man

Just feeling like posting some art:

2008-09-08

RNC Politics

I read all of Sarah Palin's speech. It was easier than listening to her speak it. I read all of John McCain's. The Daily Show beat me to the punch. It's George Bush's 2000 acceptence polished up for the Reformed Maverick. In eight years they haven't managed to do any of things they talked about, even when they had a stranglehold on national politics. I don't think that they will do any of it with another four years, which is probably for the best.

In short the Bard would say it was,"Full of Sound and Fury, in the End, signifying Nothing." No new ideas, no new path, no new mission, no new vision. A perverse rendition of democratic politics from the seventies without any real vision of how to accomplish it.

For the Ron Paul republican's I really hope you can find a way to get your voice heard above the din. At least you have something meaningful to say in all of this. It's seems that for a lot of Republicans who really do have somehthing valueable to offer to the public it will take a while for you guys to pick up steam. Even William F. Buckly, one the smartest voices on the right and leading propents of a small effecient Government said "the GOP needs to forget about trying to govern for a while, and should go out into the desert and find itself." I couldn't agree more.

2008-09-06

A Signature, With Apologies


The usual rules in commercial art generally dictate that 1) All things be equal you will probably steal 2) Just because you lifted it doesn't mean you shouldn't at least synthesize it! 3) There is nothing more tasteless than obvious brazen theft.

And with that all sincere apologies to Saul Bass. If you must steal at least pick someone good. In this case I think I am choosing someone who you make a case for as being the best. 

At least it's not just Helvetica...

Larry the Arab


Since the film was restored in the late 90's, Lawrence of Arabia has been my "It" film on the AFI top 10. Sure Citizen Cane is great film with a tremendous vision and narrative, but I almost think that what it really shows is that movie critics were actually comic book geeks first. Casablanca is a gem of a film, but it's just not BIG enough, it feels like a great play. The Godfather is a masterwork, but as someone who grew in a largely disjointed family in Utah, there is only so much about this I that film I can get. I still haven't seen Gone With The Wind! It's kind of sad but it's on my to do list! But down there at number #5 is David Lean's masterpiece. The story and the photography are the best ever. Any serious film student should memorize every shot. I just don't think a film of this caliber will be made again for quite some time. It's just perfect.

Because of my opinion of this film I just haven't even attempted fan art*. What was the use? For now I am abondoning the cult of the genious and throwing this out there any ways. Here is T.E. Lawrence:


With links to flickr for those that want to see a larger version!

*Hell I don't even know if you could call it that... Uh, historical fan fiction illustration perhaps?.

2008-09-03

In Response


Over at Cholesky's Lab Ev has pictures of invisible horses for his Fiancee Robyn. I just thought I would carry it over to the logical conclusion. I think there is much more fun to be had with this.

Frederick would proud.

2008-09-02

Postuno!

Crypto Psychology my old blog that was read by, oh, no one, is now dead. I think I just need to put a better art/life focused blog together. I do lead a life that is at least of passing interest in synopsis form. Besides, this blog has a better name.

For those keeping score I am a seven year veteran of the games industry, having worked as an artist on several projects over the years. I have my third party employee merit badge, my failed start-up merit badge, my successful sell-out merit badge, and my years in the corporate grind merit badge. Now I am going for my Successful International Start-Up with Benefit's! merit badge.

At the present I am working for an 18 month old company based in Hyderabad, India and El Segundo California called Gameshastra. I was hired on in May of 2008 to be the art director for a group of about 35 artists (and growing) who work here in Banjarra hills. While can't be overly specific about all of the details I can say that this is a very interesting company to work for and it's been a really big eye opener to work at this level. I am still at the point where I am a bridge between the world of the boardroom and the working floor. It's an interesting dance but at least I like the beat.

But that's all kinds of secondary. I am on here to post up some art, wax inflammatory on the state of religion and politics, and generally do what I can to stir the pot without getting too overheated! Hopefully those in my circle of family and friends will care to read it. I will try not to bore everyone too much, and I will try to post frequently. But for now a story!

Today is Ganesha Chaturthi in India. I attended the puja(ritual) for it this morning. Good times as the elephant god walks the earth! For the ceremony everyone gathers near a little tent made to house a Figure of Ganesha. In the "auspicious" time for your ceremony (which coincides nicely with when a Brahman priest can fit you in) you have people gather and make offerings of food, spices and flowers to the Lord Ganesha. You get a fat bindu and get to shout if you love Elephant Dieties. The priest has a really long, loud chant to recite and should his wife call and need him to remember to pick up stuff at the market he will pick up his cell phone mid chant with a loud, "HALLO!" Oh, modern India, the phones are always on!

Here's pictures:

Ganesh prior to being anointed


Me after the Puja


And Ganesha afterwards


And the last thing of minor significance, Google Chrome is out. It's new, it's speedy and it has a really nice comic by Scott McCloud.

UPDATION! And Wired and everyone else under the Sun and there dog is all over it. Also if you don't want Google knowing all of your stuff, as if you can stop that, you can do this:


For those that have learned to stop worrying about Skynet and love the Bomb: use Google Reader. I share a ton of crap on there and soon as there is a widget for it I would love for it to end up on this here blog too...