America is a land of diversity with a rich history of embracing immigration. Almost any American can trace their family roots to immigrants. Often our ancestors migrated to escape prejudices in their homeland and to find a better life. Current immigration laws do not reflect our shared values, nor do they reflect the realities of our modern world. They all too often separate parents from their children and criminalize those seeking a better way of life. We call upon Congress to put forth an Immigration Reform Bill that leaves no one out and provides a roadmap to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Let’s live up to our highest ideals of democracy and freedom. Check out my friend Favianna Rodriguez’s Migration is Beautiful image and please share.
Help spread these butterflies and make a statement for just and humane immigration reform. Visit MigrationIsBeautiful.com
For anyone in the NYC area, there is a march against gun violence on May 11. The zealous gun advocates are very loud, so if you believe in common sense gun safety, please make your voice heard. Thanks for caring.
My friend Jason Filipow sent me this piece on Malcolm McLaren. Malcolm managed the Sex Pistols and was married to Vivienne Westwood(who my daughter Vivienne is named after). The Sex Pistols were life changing for me musically, visually, and philosophically. Malcolm was a very important part of their media manipulation strategy and antagonistic stance. Malcolm also was a pioneer in hip hop with his Buffalo Gals track. Keith Haring did part of the art. I was able to hang out with Malcolm a couple times and he was brilliant. It was hard to get a word in, but it was a pleasure to just listen to him. This is a piece from the BBC that is very worth watching.
Award-winning documentary director Ondi Timoner, whose films include the Sundance champs “DIG!” and “We Live in Public,” is launching her first crowd-funding campaign to finance an extension of her A Total Disruption website, which chronicles innovators and entrepreneurs in the tech world
“You can’t just be an artist now,” Timoner told TheWrap this week. “You have to be an artist-entrepreneur, and we want to set up a resource to show content creators how it can be done.”
Click for more
U.S. drone policy has been a contentious topic over the last few years. Many people seem to be afraid to speak against drones for fear of being seen as “soft on terror”. I first accepted drones because they were presented as a tool to eradicate proven terrorists with surgical precision. The more I learn, the more I am troubled by the volume of civilian casualties. In my opinion, it is impossible to ethically fight “the war on terror” by engaging in terrorism. Any civilian casualty is an act of terrorism by the U.S. If the U.S. claims that civilian casualties are acceptable in the pursuit of terrorists, then the next time there are American hostages taken, it would make sense to drone strike the whole location to make sure the terrorists are taken out. Oh wait, that wouldn’t happen because the lives of U.S. citizens are more sacred than the lives of foreigners. As an advocate of all humanity, I fundamentally disagree with that ideology. The lives of innocent civilians worldwide are just as important as American lives. Even from a strategic standpoint, the hostility that results from the deaths of innocent civilians is a crucial factor in radicalization leading to terrorism. In other words, a sloppy war on terrorism only generates more terrorists. I was happy to see what Tom Brokaw had to say about the issue. Check it out!
Click for more
This image has been controversial, but I’m glad to take the heat if it encourages more people to participate in a necessary conversation. I’m not anti- 2nd Amendment, I’m pro-common sense. No one needs an assault rifle with a 50 round clip, especially without a background check. Let’s not allow a powerful organization like the NRA to lobby, use fear tactics, and ultimately dictate policy that is not supported by the majority of Americans. Please speak up if you believe in safety over intimidation. Thanks for caring.
Click for more
I’m glad to see people with the courage to make art critiquing the NRA. Check it out.
My friend Jason Filipow found this shot of me from the summer of ’88 on the internet. We don’t know who took the photo, but it is from a spot called the Junkyard, an abandoned concrete slab on Sullivan’s Island South Carolina. The Junkyard was a really fun spot where we built a bunch of ramps as we were able to buy or “acquire” wood. I remember clearly that I was riding an S.M.A Rocco Division Jesse Martinez with OJ Team Rider wheels and independent trucks. I learned to ollie boardslide handrails on that setup. We had a great crew that skated The Junkyard almost daily, including Jason Filipow, Alfred Hawkins(who can be seen at the right edge of the frame), David Stowe, and Kevin Taylor. I’m still friends with all of them, and they are all successful artists and designers. The creativity and rebellion of skateboarding shaped who we’ve become profoundly. I’m teaching my daughter to skate now. I was reminded of another valuable thing skateboarding helped me with after I slammed on my tail bone skating with my daughter today… resilience! Skateboarding taught me to cope with pain and keep going.