Mixed Media Series - Voodoo Healing Skull

30. Nov. 2017

By Lon Bennett - Bio

Mixed Media Series - Voodoo Healing Skull - Lon Bennett
Mixed Media Series - Voodoo Healing Skull - Lon Bennett

There is a reason that people will set an appointment days in advance from several hundred miles with Lon Bennett.  The appointment is not for healing, psychology or legal consultation. The appointment is for ink. Lon Bennett's ability to break down the fearful into the beautiful is the result of his street education and intellectual capabilities. He is a pro. He looks outside of himself and reaches inside to produce a masterful Constructive Technology Aggregate. His mixed media is no exception.

The mixed media "Voodoo Healing Skull" here is a gift. Observe it. Is it fear we need to to nurture? Do we need to fear the healing snake? Perhaps the fact that we all will die makes this day that much more beautiful.

© Lon Bennett / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Mixed Media Series - "Voodoo Healing Skull"

#OgFOMK #LonBennett #MixedMedia #Skull #Voodoo #Healing #Serpent #Snake #Flowers #Yellow



Mixed Media Series - Arabian Scented Column

29. Nov. 2017

By Lon Bennett - Bio

Mixed Media Series - Arabian Scented Column - Lon Bennett
Mixed Media Series - Arabian Scented Column - Lon Bennett

In this mixed media drawing the artist, Lon Bennett, captures a welcoming Arabian vessel that permeates spicy scents. The column to the right and the checkered floor show a sturdy reliable foundation and capitol. The tent or curtain while flowing reminds us of temporary conditions. Outside is the beautiful blue sky and grassy planes. The outside is just partitioned but not rejected. 

© Lon Bennett / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Mixed Media Series - "Arabian Scented Column"

#OgFOMK #LonBennett #MixedMedia #Arabian #Arabia #Welcome #Shelter #Colors



Nothing Good Ever Happens

29. Nov. 2017

A Henrique Couto Movie!

Henrique Couto - Nothing Good Ever Happens
Henrique Couto - Nothing Good Ever Happens

Henrique Couto writes, directs and has a fantastic team of friends who act. This is the movie Nothing Good Ever Happens:

Henrique Couto writes, directs and produces some films that we were attracted to by Amazon Prime. In fact we had no idea who he was but after watching five of his movies we have to say that we love his work and the work of his team. Please watch this. Comment on it. Let him know that OgFOMK ArTS referred you!

 © Hernique Couto / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Movies - Not Horror - "Nothing Good Ever Happens"

 #OgFOMK #HenriqueCouto #Movies #NothingGoodEverHappens #Independant #Film



In Which We Try to Separate the Art from the Artist

20. Nov. 2017

Thoughts on current affairs: harassment, lying, cover-ups, misdeeds and general douchery.

  1. Artists are people.
  2. People see art as both a commodity for consumption and a mystical power.
  3. Artists are supposed to be the stewards of said mystical power and be better than the people they sell their art to.
  4. People still want a say in what their dollar buys, up to and including the private lives of the artists.
These ideas are all in a jumbled clash at the moment, causing a metric ton of butt-hurt.

As I pen these thoughts, I'm listening to an album by a band I fell in love with a few years ago. The music, the lyrics, the pageantry, the entire message and aesthetic hooked me deep. Earlier this year I came across some information about the leader of the band, how he'd supposedly screwed some former members, and that the whole thing was going to court.

Nay, good sir, whose voice and visage gave me such joy, whose message I took to heart, say it ain't so!

I had tickets to see them, purchased months before I heard the news. I did not attend the show. (There were some other mundane reasons for not going, as the show was many hours' drive from home, but the funk I was in didn't help.)

By the gods, what a drama-queen attitude. I missed a damn good show, for what? To wallow in perceived slight and righteous indignation? Sounds like a fun weekend.

As allegations of wrongdoing bloom across the fields of politics and popular entertainment like so many tenacious dandelions, and ridiculous boycotts follow, I sit back, and listen to my once and future favorite band. The songs are still wonderful. The beat still hooks me, and I tap my fingers on the desk. Whether the allegations are true or not, whether the man behind the music is an ass-hat or not, I love these albums.

I read an article by a blogger whom I've followed and admired for nearly a decade now, who took the attitude that creatives should use their platforms to make political statements, that it falls to those who are in the public eye to champion causes and raise awareness, going so far as to insinuate that failure to do so was gross irresponsibility. In effect, she advocates against any separation between the art and the artist. I think that's a mistake.

While I am ALL FOR artists expressing themselves in any way they see fit, up to and including unpopular stands on sensitive issues, to insist on that level of engagement from every creative person would ultimately hurt us all.

See 1. above, and tack on the addendum that 'No One is Perfect.' If every piece of art you encountered throughout your day came with a Nutrition Facts tag listing the creators' personal dating history, legislative standing positions, and police record, how much less art would you then enjoy? Basic math suggests that the number would be pretty damn low. But we're already doing that, aren't we? Social media and the constant churning of talk shows and news outlets feed us more than we can stomach about the goings-on of celebrity lives.

Should people be held accountable for breaking the law? Of course. Should people be held accountable in the court of public opinion before they can be tried by a jury of their peers? Getting harder to find 12 people who haven't heard any details of the case nowadays, isn't it?

When we see the mighty stumble, it can feel like a betrayal, for sure. When we can say, "I'VE never done THAT," it turns the screw, makes the sin we perceive a worse offense for having been committed by our better. But oh, dear reader, turn your face into the breeze of sweet realization that NO ONE is better; friend, take a deep breath of that. NO ONE IS BETTER. We're all flawed and flailing, reaching toward some light source or other. The tragedy is mistaking the artist for that light source, instead of the art itself.

EyeSpewArt - a doodle by Kim Breeding-Mercer
EyeSpewArt - a doodle by Kim Breeding-Mercer

Kim Breeding-Mercer writes about the bad behavior of artists and its relationship to consumption and consumer expectations. Consumers of art hold artists to high standards and judge harshly. Presumed guilty out of the gate across all media, the butt-hurt leads us on a fast track to mob rule.

© Kim Breeding-Mercer / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Editorial - "In Which We Try to Separate the Art from the Artist

#OgFOMK #KimBreddingMercer #Celebrity  #Art #Artists #Behavior #MeToo #SexualHarassment #Lying #Cover-ups #Misdeeds #Editorial #Journal #Privacy



Books: Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series

16. NOV. 2017

Greetings OgFOMK readers. I'm Kim Cormack from Vancouver Island, Canada. Some of you paranormal fantasy lovers already know of my series. For the blog readers that haven't embraced their inner Dragon yet, I'll give you a quick rundown.

Kim Cormack - Paranormal Fantasy - Children of the Ankh
Kim Cormack - Paranormal Fantasy - Children of the Ankh Series

Book 1  - Sweet Sleep

Take a trip into the metaphysical spiritual world with these endearing paranormal anti-heroes and wickedly titillating warriors. This will be unlike anything you've ever read.

The Children of the Ankh Series - Book 1- Sweet Sleep
The Children of the Ankh Series - Book 1- Sweet Sleep

Happy sixteenth birthday. Procreation with mortals is illegal under the immortal law. It doesn’t matter if your abilities are a genetic glitch or created by immortal blood because the Correction cannot tell the difference. They are coming to exterminate you and your entire genetic line. If you survive your Correction or show outstanding bravery in the face of insurmountable odds, you will be claimed by one of three clans of immortals residing on earth, Ankh, Trinity or Triad. Your soul will be branded, prohibiting your entry to the hall of souls each time you die. You may be stolen by the other clans until you reach the age of eighteen when your soul will be spiritually bound to your clan forever.

Would you live your life differently if you knew you were going to be corrected…erased from this world sometime around your sixteenth birthday? You and your twin sister were never meant to be born. There will be no place to run. No place to hide. You won’t even know they’re coming. Do you have what it takes to survive your Correction? Could you leave your humanity behind? If the answer is yes, then hold on tight...it’s going to be one hell of a ride!

A blurb from, Sweet Sleep.

As her vision flickered one last time, the man was gone. It was her mother looking into her eyes. Her mother's eyes were filled with so much love that it seemed to release her from her pain and fear as it had when she was a small child. Her mother cradled her as a baby, rocking her back and forth. She was safe now in her mother's arms. She was at peace. Mommy, her heart sang, you're here to save me.

The warmth of her mother's love enveloped her tortured soul. She looked into her mother's eyes. She touched Kayn's face and started to sing a song that she had sung to her every night when she was very small.
Sleep, sweet sleep till the morning
Just dream away and close your eyes
My love, you'll be safe until the morning
Sleeping in my heart, all through the night
Although bad dreams come to scare you
My love will scare them all away
My heart
The lights flickered, the pain went away, and her mother was holding her, singing "Sleep, sweet sleep."

The Beginning

Some fun reviews...

One chapter and you will be hooked. By the end, you will feel like you have known each character your entire life. I could not have anticipated the twists and turns in this story and had a hard time putting it down. Waiting for book two with anticipation!

Have you ever read a book that you could not wait until the end, but you really did not want it to be over? You could spend the rest of your life submerged in the tale because it was just that darn good! It was so well-written that you could not help but to share the title with a friend or in my case with a publishing company I work for. It was so mind-blowing that we voted this a MUST READ page turner! Kim Cormack's "Sweet Sleep" is considered a Publisher's Read, because any publishing house in their right mind would be honored to publish this work.

From the cover to the prologue and throughout the entire book I was craving for more, and what Kim Cormack gave me was beyond my imagination. A story about a girl that was so much more than a girl, who falls in love, overcomes tragedy and evolves into more than she ever knew she could be. Cormack's, Kayn Brighton was faced with death, life, change, and peace. And when all seemed lost her best friend Kevin stood right beside her. As Kayn fights for her soul and her family she is continuously on the side of great loss, but there is something about this girl that makes her so special. And as a reader, you want to ride along as she pursues her journey through life to discover what that spark is.

This YA (Young Adult) novel is filled with fantasy-like creatures, demons, battles, love, reincarnation, and heeded messages for the reader. Two of my favorite quotes from this novel were, "We are always so much stronger than we believe ourselves to be" and "All heroes are born out of embers that linger from the fire of great tragedy;" so very true Cormack.

Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series
Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series

Book 2 - Enlightenment

The Children of the Ankh Series - Book 2 - Enlightenment
The Children of the Ankh Series - Book 2 - Enlightenment

A mystical dark paranormal fantasy series unlike any other...

One thousand years ago, procreation with mortals became illegal under the immortal law. Any suspected immortal offspring will be allowed to live until the age of sixteen. At this time, a Correction will be sent to erase their family line. The suspected immortal and their immediate family will be executed. If the partially immortal teen manages to survive their Correction, or they have impressed the Guardians of the in-between with their bravery, they may be granted a second chance as a sacrificial lamb for the greater good. 

They must join one of three clans of immortals living on earth. Clan Ankh, Clan Trinity or Clan Triad. They will then have the symbol of that clan branded into their flesh and with this mark, their souls will no longer be permitted through the hall of souls when they die. They must wait in the in-between for their clans to heal their mortal shells. Once they have reached the age of eighteen they will be sealed to their clan. The next step is to train their partially mortal brains to survive the stresses of immortality. The next feat will be the immortal Testing where they will be dropped into a floating crypt the size of New York City. 

This Testing is fuelled by your worst nightmares. It is a place of magic. A personal hell, where anything can happen. Here you must die a thousand times if need be, in increasingly violent ways until you understand what it is to be immortal. All three Clans go into the Testing. They must remain together and search for the Amber room in order to survive. There is a catch…Only the first two clans that find the Amber room will be allowed out. The third clan will remain trapped in the nightmare forever…

Some fun reviews...

Enlightenment is a fast-paced novel that had me cringing and nail-biting! The action is non-stop and the characters jumped off the pages and came to life. The story never halts or slows but plows onward at high-speed culminating in a heck of a climax and opening the door for the next book in the series.

Filled with humor and scenes that make you blush, Cormack shows readers that she isn’t a one-dimensional author. Within this novel, there is a depth of symbolic meanings that will leave impressions on readers. This is a story that will capture the imagination of every book lover.

This masterpiece is the very essence of action, adventure, suspense, power, romance, and raw emotion. Right from the first page, while providing background information on relatable characters and drawing the reader into a story that they will never want to end and will never, ever forget, Cormack slams the reader with a plethora of emotions.

You will feel.
You will hurt.
Be prepared for it.
I teared up quite a few times. At the same time, the story is amazing and its pacing is perfect. While you may want to read the first book just to have read the series in order, I don’t believe it’s not necessary. I myself was able to follow each part of the story easily. I won’t give it all away, but I will say that Kim is a master of her craft. I stayed up late into the night reading this one and could not put it down. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Children of Ankh series. Enlightenment was amazing!

When I give recommendations to friends about books to read, I always have Kim Cormack on the top of the list. Her first novel of the series "Sweet Sleep" blew my mind away and now this book takes it even further and didn't know that was possible. Just when you didn't think your heart could break anymore for Kayn, it does in this novel when she is tested beyond her wildest dreams. In this novel readers watch as friendships grow into family and characters discover a strength within that they didn't know was possible. After one chapter you will be hooked on this story, there is so much creativity in this book, so many different ways for someone to die or be tortured! It will have you gripping the book unable to put it down until the very end. I may have screamed at the end because I wanted more.

Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series
Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series

Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series
Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series

Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series
Kim Cormack - Children of the Ankh Series

Book 3 - Let There Be Dragons

Children of the Ankh Series - Book 3 - Let There Be Dragons
Children of the Ankh Series - Book 3 - Let There Be Dragons

Identical twins, Kayn and Chloe Brighton share a soul due to a supernatural mishap. One soul was gifted to a mortal, this soul split, leaving one twin with the dark half and the other with the light. At the age of sixteen, the Correction came to erase their family line, leaving Kayn as the only survivor. She joins clan Ankh. 

Kayn must absorb her deceased twin’s soul to become one. Her best friend Kevin is also taken by Ankh, due to a psychic ability, inherited from his grandmother. In a surprising plot twist, his grandfather turns out to be the leader of Triad. Kevin is taken by Triad. Kayn struggles through the loss of her best friend and first love as she begins to train for the Testing with Zach and Melody. Now that her soul has been joined with her twins, she feels Chloe’s emotions and dreams of her experiences at night. 

Her twin's attachment to Frost causes her emotional conflict. Kayn must learn to fight, die and stand back up to fight and die again in order to get through The Testing. She tries to move on with Frost, but unresolved feelings for Kevin get in the way. Before the Testing, she discovers that even though Kevin has had his memory erased, he still seems to feel something for her. Frost lets her go to figure out her feelings. Kevin and Kayn reconnect, but he is part of a plan to help her survive the Testing by turning her into an emotionless Dragon. 

After the devastating plot is followed through, our heroine attains the ability to operate without emotion. After dying a thousand times while trapped in a magical place far worse than any version of hell one could imagine. Kayn leads her clan out of the immortal Testing, but the girl that survives the simulation of hell is much darker than the girl that entered. Our heroine has attained the ability to operate without emotion. The girl that survives is a Dragon. This is not a fairytale. This is a nightmare.

Some fun reviews...

I laughed hysterically at parts like Kayn’s new found liking for hot sauce on everything she eats and found myself on the edge of my seat during other parts that I won’t mention. I never give a spoiler.

This series never disappoints.

Kim starts the ball rolling in Sweet Sleep when we are introduced to Clan Ankh, Kayn and Kevin. Readers grow to love everyone in the story and BAM, Kim throws in a twist. Enlightenment, we watch Kayn grow with her clan and learn to deal with the loss of Kevin and gain the strength needed to survive the test, the BAM again more twists! She keeps this momentum in Let There Be Dragons, now we see Kayn in a new, more dangerous role. Kim has a talent for building up the tension and creating a tone throughout the novel that makes readers want to stop time and just read. Once I got to the end I seriously wanted to scream because I didn't want it to end. Kim leaves her readers desperately craving more, as Kayn craves energy and hot sauce.

This volume of the series also gives us a bit of a steamy scene between Kayn and Frost, a scene that would put traditional romance novels to shame! As she builds the general tension between characters and action, she also builds the sexual tension between the two. While the characters are already well developed throughout the series thus far, Kim finds ways to develop them even more and adds new depth and meaning to them in each installment. I don't think I have read a series that had such complex and multi-layered characters. I cannot wait for more from Kim, I am excited to see what she has in store for Clan Ankh, and wonder if maybe there are other versions of the story in the works. How great would it be if we could have a series that focuses on Kevin, or even Clan Trinity? hint, hint Kim!

Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack
Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack

Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack
Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack

Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack
Let There Be Dragons - Kim Cormack

Coming December 6th, 2017, Handlers of Dragons!

Every book in the series will be on sale for 99 cents on Amazon until the December 6th release.

Mobi deal Amazon

Children of Ankh Series - Book 4 - Handlers of Dragons
Children of Ankh Series - Book 4 - Handlers of Dragons

Epub Smashwords 

Handlers of Dragons Release Event

Handlers of Dragons Release Event
Handlers of Dragons Release Event

Next time I stop by I'll tell you all about the side series.

COA Side Series - Vol. 1 - Wild Think - Kim Cormack
COA Side Series - Vol. 1 - Wild Think - Kim Cormack

COA Side Series - Vol. 2 - Wicked Thing - Kim Cormack
COA Side Series - Vol. 2 - Wicked Thing - Kim Cormack

Book 3... Deplorable Me

Coming Spring 2018

Happy Reading XO 
Kim Cormack ☥ 

Kim Cormack, author of The Children of the Ankh Series, shares the ins and outs of this paranormal fantasy. This is her first post to OgFOMK ArTS as a writer. Her Novels can easily be purchased through Amazon.

© Kim Cormack / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Children of Ankh series -

#OgFOMK #KimCormack #childrenofankh #childrenofankhseries #reading #books #paranormalfantasy #immortals #SweetSleep #Enlightenment #LetThereBeDragons #HandlersofDragons #WildThing #WickedThing



Twenty years later, still contemplating what there is to do...

15. Nov. 2017

What is there to do?

there are floors to be swept (to get dirty again)
there are toilets to clean (to be shit in again)
there are asses to kiss
and hands to shake (so they can bend you over)

there are stars to contemplate
there are flowers to smell
there are sunsets to watch

there are stories to be written
and re-written (to be rejected and revised)
there are songs to be thought of
songs that my voice would break to sing
lyrics that drown my eyes with tears
and tones, keys, pitches that make me shake, my skin crawl

there are dreams to bury (and pray they fertilize something)
there are nightmares to embrace as lovers
there are dead gods to pray to
there are years to live inside a shell

there are vows to break (and make again)
there are bills to pay
there are hopes to smash to pieces

there are steps not to be taken
steps forward
steps back
there are bridges to sigh at (and never cross)
there are guardian angels to neglect
and ignore
there are believers
believers in me
piled up like plague-dead
to clean out of the closets (and fill with potpourri instead)
there are ditches to dig

there are reasons to get out of bed
there are no reasons to get out of bed

there are eggs to scramble (and leave stuck in the pan)
there are condoms to use
there are children to let down

there are answers to questions
there are questions I haven't asked yet (and can't think of)
there are hidden costs to deal with
there are masks to put on
there are masks to take off
there are too many unpaved roads that go nowhere

there are bombs
there are guns
there are black holes

there are feathers
there are clouds
there are sunrooms to sit in (and never leave)

there are dead squirrels in the road
there are roaches in the walls
there are dogs in the alley who eat better than us

there are phone calls to return
there are drugs I wish I was on
there are no drugs worth taking (to any effect)
there are whores to beat

there are couches babies sleep on
there are kids at college with agendas
there are corporate-level workers with the money to blow
and they blow it
and they blow it
there are very few things worth buying

there are things I want
that I could never buy (intangibles are priceless)
there are things I have that thrill me
there are ways my lover moves
that entrance me completely
there are times when I cry because he is so beautiful
and I am so unworthy to be a goddess
there are altars to my insides
that are attended by blasphemous demons

there are oracles to consult
there are no answers to be had so easy

there are too many choices
there are too many books
there are too many conflicting commands
there are not enough clear paths

there are people with energy
there are people on prozac

there are happy people

they are mysterious to me

Twenty years later, still contemplating what there is to do...| Kim Breeding-Mercer
Twenty years later, still contemplating what there is to do... Kim Breeding-Mercer

Greetings from 1998, when this piece was first composed! It began as an actual list of chores and errands, and turned into an existential lament. (I was so dramatic in my 20s; I cringe at some of these lines now, but others, sadly, still apply.) It may have appeared in a print issue of OgFOMK that year or the next, but my copy's in storage...I'll dig it out soon and post some highlights. That was my introduction to OgFOMK specifically, and zines in general. (I went on to publish my own zine, "under", for a year or two. Fun times.) 
 Onward and awkward!
-- Kim Breeding-Mercer

Kim Breeding-Mercer returns to OgFOMK ArTS after 19 years! She brings a literary beauty from the past with some poesy. The former editor for OgFOMK ArTS will bring even more of her talents as the sun creeps into 2018.

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved.  - "What is there to do?"

#OgFOMK #kimbreedingmercer #freeverse #poetry



Review: Returning to Lauren Groff's Arcadia

14. Nov. 2017

"Pay attention...Not to the grand gesture, but to the passing breath."

With a mounting tower of new books on my nightstand, I chose to re-read Arcadia by Lauren Groff for the beauty and balm her prose always delivers. My hunger for new stories can leave me whirling with new names and fates. I decided to revisit a story where there could be no new surprises, where I could simply read to enjoy. I devoured this novel two years ago and was worried the magic may have faded in the wake of all I've read since. What happened instead was a gift. 

It’s the late 1960’s and our hero is Little Bit, a young boy whose world is a sprawling commune in the acres of upstate New York. His unique normal is a community of artists, pacifists, and dreamers who use their ingenuity, large-scale puppetry, knowledge of nature’s pharmacy, and fierce commitment to each other to re-create Eden. Little Bit believes with the certainty of a young child that he carries the burden of his mother’s happiness. Deciding that his words would shatter the equilibrium of his family of three, he chooses to be mute. A fairy-tale conceit, this belief that our tiny actions will keep those most important to us safe. He is our silent guide to Arcadia, a observer of nuance, often overlooked and therefore the keeper of secrets. The commune’s tribal governing works far longer than expected. The kernel of genuine desire the core Arcadians nurture for an alternative American Dream is seductive. The story of their triumphs, Little Bit’s prophetic glints, and the inevitable unraveling of the community is compelling and sad and compulsively readable. 

The novel shifts and the children of Arcadia are integrated into the America of dentistry, sidewalks, and pasteurization. We follow the characters into abrupt modernity and watch the tension their bonds undergo. The adult Bit hasn’t forgotten the magic of noticing. He faces his young daughter whose heart has been bruised and without explanation, begins: "The sharpness of radishes on the middle of the tongue. A hot shower after a cold day. Feeling how strong you are when you squeeze my neck. A spritz of lemon in my water." Such a tiny shift in focus, but I cheered as her heart brightened and she began to sing of her own small joys…“so excited she is standing on her chair, invoking the tiny domestic gods of grape cough syrup and Japanese beetles and the cedar bed in the preschool's hamster cage." 

Bit’s return to Arcadia is the novel’s third act. His reluctance to reenter a place of so many broken promises is made necessary by his once-powerful mother’s failing health and her intense need to say goodbye to life with dignity. The echoes of the child Bit segue well with the man he became and the descriptions of Arcadia’s ruins reclaimed by nature believably mirror the earlier voice of unspoiled youth. This last section of the novel proves its thesis - the rewards reaped by noticing the everyday beauty of life are vast and fragile. Look up expecting fireworks and risk missing what will later ground you. 

My first read of “Arcadia” was plot-driven. On this second journey, free from the big reveal, I was struck by the intimacy of the central family, their cohesion reliant on a careful study of gesture, mood, the need for breath. The quiet intensity of the present is this novel’s gift. Time is flowing through my own fingers at an almost unforgivable pace. My children are leaving years and "firsts" behind too rapidly for any mother and November has come again in what couldn't have been an entire year. The always constant change of our world seems to have accelerated recently, too fast for the seismic grind of history. Ms. Groff's invocation to honor, with focus and intention, who and what is in front of us is not original, but a reminder most needed. And perhaps one of the better written reminders at that. Rarely has a re-visit offered a richer view into a story already lived.

Ghillian's Reviews - 02 - "Arcadia by Lauren Groff"
Ghillian's Reviews - 02 - "Arcadia by Lauren Groff"

Ghillian Porter-Smith reviews the book Arcadia by Lauren Groff for OgFOMK ArTS.

© Ghillian Porter-Smith / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Ghillian's Reviews - 02 - "Arcadia by Lauren Groff"

#OgFOMK #Ghillian #Books #Review #Arcadia #LaurenGroff




12. Nov. 2017
By Mykel Board - Bio

This is a picture of a picture now hanging in the Museum of Modern Art here in NYC. The exhibit is from CLUB 57... a NYC club in the 80s the spawned the likes of Keith Harring, Michel Basquat, Anne Magnuson... and me.

This is part of a photo of ART, my first "band." (Me, Crackers on guitar, Kim Davis on Metronome, Lori Montana (shown) doing sign language. My t-shirts were always offensive. My demeanor: threatening in a funny (ha ha) way... just like now.

Mykel Board and Lori Montana, 1980, Club 57, New York
Mykel Board and Lori Montana, 1980, Club 57, New York

The original taken sometime in 1980.

If you're interested in more by me, check out: mykelsblog.blogspot.com

Mykel Board's New York Life Series: Mykel Board and Lori Montana, 1980, Club 57, New York

© Mykel Board / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - THE NY LIFE SERIES - NUMBER 2 OF SERIES - "A Museum Piece"

#OgFOMK #MykelBoard #Club57 #MykelBoardsART #Photos #MOMA #NewYork #Artless #Bands



Square Peg: #NoBill24

15. Oct. 2017

Bill 24 "Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act" 

(Proposed: Winnipeg, MB, Canada) 

(UPDATE: It Was Passed!)

     Poor, poor Mother Earth.  She already bears too many scars that she does not deserve.  I wonder how many more fresh wounds she can withstand before she succumbs?  There are too many people on this planet and too many of those living large and  a big component of that is our seemingly insatiable addiction to meat.

Declan Schroeder‏ @dreamfactory47  Oct 11
Declan Schroeder‏ @dreamfactory47  Oct 11
     Globally, 66 billion land animals are killed for food each year.  Animal agriculture is responsible for environmental degradation, habitat destruction, species extinction, uses vast quantities of fossil fuels and our precious water and, according to a UN report, produces more green house gases than all forms of transport combined.  A meat-eating cyclist uses more resources than a car driving vegan.  Adding industrial hog barns to our landscape has as much a place in a “made-in-Manitoba” green plan as would building a pipe-line.

     Animal agriculture has huge human health implications.  Bacon and other processed meats have been identified as carcinogens by the World Health Organization.  Populations with the highest rates  of animal product consumption have correspondingly high rates of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and cancer.  We do not have a health care system.  We have a disease management system and it is collapsing under its own weight.  Building more hog barns while shutting down Urgent Care facilities and ER's is the polar opposite of what needs to be done.  Perhaps people will finally realize they need to take their health into their own hands if they wish to avoid a medical system that itself is on life support by adopting a plant-based diet.  Wouldn't that be a happy accident?    
     And while those reasons alone should be sufficient to give pause, I am here today to speak up for the pigs.  To say they are voiceless is not entirely true because they do have a language of their own.  Only you can't hear them because they are locked behind the closed doors of factory farms.  I recently learned that mother pigs sing to their babies.  But I doubt if there is any singing going on in those farrowing stalls.

      On the world stage, Canada bears the shameful reputation of having some of the weakest animal protection laws in a developed country.  Any effort to make common-sense, science-based improvements is met with vehement opposition by industry.  We saw that  recently with Bill C-246, The Modernizing Animal Protections Act,  and attempts to bring our federal transportation laws into the 21st century.  Pigs can  be subjected to continuous transport for up to 36 hours with no food, water, or rest.  The trailers they are stuffed into provide little protection from scorching heat or bitter cold.

Square Peg - Debbie Wall - #NoBill24
Square Peg - Debbie Wall - #NoBill24

     Here in Manitoba, our outlines that the Duties of owners includes providing adequate food, water, medical attention when ill and reasonable protection from the elements.  Animals shall not be confined to an enclosure or area with inadequate space, unsanitary conditions, inadequate ventilation or without providing an opportunity for exercise such that it “significantly” impairs their well-being.  It specifies that no person shall inflict upon an animal acute suffering, serious injury or harm, or extreme anxiety or mental distress that “significantly” impairs their health or well-being.

     While much of this wording is troubling in and of itself, it gets worse for those animals unlucky enough not to be deemed pets because the Act then goes on to provide an exhaustive list of 15 so-called “Accepted activities”, including agricultural uses and slaughter, that are exempt as long as they are carried out in a manner “consistent with a standard code of conduct”.  This would be like excusing employers from labor laws as long as they follow their own rules and explains why animals on factory farms can be treated in a manner that would have you and me headin' to the hoosegow if we did the same things to our pets.

     Incredibly, euthanasia is considered an “accepted activity”.  Imagine your horror if you took your ailing companion animal, a beloved family member, to a veterinarian for euthanasia and then watched as they swung them by their hind legs and smashed their skull onto a concrete floor.  This is standard industry practice for killing piglets.  Given that the definition of euthanasia is “a painless, peaceful death”, including it as a so-called “Accepted activity” makes it a most obscene oxymoron.

     We are told time and again that policies and laws are based on science and not emotion.  But I submit to you that the Animal Care Act has a huge emotional component as it provides a semblance of protection only to animals that have sentimental value to humans.  That is, companion animals.  But science tells us that pigs suffer just as greatly as a dog would when they have their teeth clipped, tails cut off, ears notched and testicles ripped out without anesthesia or are kept in crates the size of a coffin their entire lives.  All are standard practices.  And while they are capable of feeling joy, this is never experienced by those caught up in the industrial farming system.  They can also feel fear.

     I cannot give you the details of what happens once they reach the slaughter house (known by the euphemism “processing plant”) as letters to both the Minister of Agriculture and Manitoba Pork requesting this information have gone unanswered.  But Science tells us that pigs produce the same hormones as we do in response to stress and I can't imagine what their levels of cortisol and adrenaline must be after enduring factory farming conditions, transport and slaughter.  These stress hormones don't just drain away with the blood on the kill floor and I wonder what impact they have on those consuming their flesh.

https://hogwatchmanitoba.ca/ Piglets

     Industrial hog farming already could not exist without being exempt from the same level of care expected of citizens.   And now they want to rework the fire codes for farm buildings.  This will leave animals who are helpless in every sense of the word even more vulnerable to dying in fires.  I am truly sickened by these so-called “barn” fires that kill tens of thousands of pigs every year.  According to the Winnipeg Humane Society's latest newsletter, nearly 4,000 hogs died in a “barn” fire in June of 2017.

     I struggle to think of a death more horrific than being imprisoned, with no chance of escape, feeling the heat of the fire approaching while listening to the screams of those being consumed by the flames.  These animals deserve nothing less than fire classification systems that include livestock and not just the number of employees.  They are entitled to fire sprinklers, alarm systems, evacuation plans and concrete wall separations to slow fires down.  Instead, it appears that emergency preparedness consists of the ability to file an insurance claim.

     I worked in small animal practices for three and a half decades and, over the years, too numerous to count were the times I heard veterinarians say, “People shouldn't have animals if they can't afford them.”  So I say to the hog industry in this province:  If it is too expensive to provide these beings with bedding and access to the outdoors where they can enjoy fresh air, sunshine and engage in natural activities so that you don't have to resort to mutilating them in order to offset behaviors caused by extreme confinement. . .   If it isn't within your budget to house them in a manner that will keep them safe from burning to death . . . If you cannot afford to provide them with one last kindness by ensuring their trip to their slaughter leaves them free of hunger, dehydration, heat exhaustion or freezing to the sides of transport truck trailers . . . Then you shouldn't have animals.
     Just like a holistic approach is the key to our own health, so it is for our poor dying planet.  Doing it  piecemeal is as effective as plugging up a sieve with toothpicks.  The contents will have drained out long before it is sealed.  We are in  need of a paradigm shift and politicians who are forward thinking and bold enough to make changes in that direction.  We will never achieve true peace on this planet as long as we continue to heap violence on our fellow Earthlings, treating them as commodities instead of recognizing them as the sentient beings they are.

      In an interview, Dr. Jane Goodall said, “I saw meat on the plate.  I looked down and said this symbolizes fear, pain and death, and I don't want that in my body.”  You are what you eat and peace begins in the kitchen.

Debbie Wall

Read about the proposed Bill 24 here: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/environmentalists-hog-industry-clash-452663353.html

Hog Watch Canada: https://hogwatchmanitoba.ca/


 Bill 24 not only lifted the moratorium on new industrial hog barns being built, it also relaxed the fire codes for farm buildings leaving animals that are helpless in every sense of the word even more vulnerable to dying in fires.  Within days of its passing, in a harbinger of things to come, 7,500 hogs perished in a so-called "barn" fire in southeast Manitoba.
     Change is never easy, but change that results in sentient beings burning to death for the sake of profit is never acceptable.  This should be the position of all the self-described animal lovers who are reading this while enjoying their morning bacon and who should be putting their thoughts into action.  Otherwise, Manitoba is not the "Hog Capital of Canada" but the "Cruel Indifference Capital".

--Debbie (Published in Freep 16. Nov. 2017)

Debbie Wall writes about the Winnipeg MN, Canada Bill 24, which is Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act (Winnipeg, MN Canada). She discusses the benefits of animal protection and even changing your diet. This piece is written to highlight the detrimental effects of giving free range to businesses and not to the environment or animals.

© Debbie Wall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2017 All Rights Reserved. - Square Peg - Bill 24 - Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act (Winnipeg, MN Canada)

#OgFOMK #DebbieWall #AnimalRights #Canada #Winnipeg #Vegan #Earth #NoBill24 #HogWatch


ED. Note: I totally misinterpreted this and I thought it was for the Canadian C-246 Bill. Debbie has since corrected me and this piece is against the local Winnipeg, MN Canada "Bill 24" (proposed). --Alex Nuttall