Wednesday, January 28, 2015

waterboarding: five definitions

[waw-ter-bawr-ding, ‐bohr‐, wot-er‐]

1. an enhanced interrogation technique in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized suspect until information is elicited that proves their culpability, thereby creating an easy workaround to the naive, pre-9/11 pipe dream "innocent until proven guilty."

2. a form of enhanced hazing involving water performed on certain immobilized detainees until they admit that they are in fact "enemy combatants," thereby justifying their initial capture, subsequent detention (indefinite), and whatever else might happen to befall them should their treatment ever get leaked to a journalist—particularly one whose hatred of America is so intense that they might actually consider reporting on it.


1. a method of torture that no legal or political or cultural authority from the Spanish Inquisition until the Bush administration ever doubted for a moment was torture. definition (US): definition (UK):

The first two definitions are mine; the third, which I deemed obsolete, is taken from The Atlantic

Thursday, January 08, 2015


"My grandfather, Earl Collins, painted airplanes in England during World War II. After, in civilian life, he painted houses, until he was hired by a Baltimore savings and loan company to supervise maintenance of their city branch. I remember him as a kind and exceptionally generous man with impeccable style. When he died in 1996, my grandmother gave me his 35mm Nikon. I don’t remember him ever taking pictures, but a box of slides I found recently are evidence that he took a lot in the years between 1959 and 1972. These photos are also evidence of an aesthetic, which, if such things can be handed down generations, I believe I inherited. Though we never discussed photography or art and he didn’t like the movies, I am haunted by the similarities between the subjects that interest us and the way we organize the frame." —Matthew Porterfield

top image: By Earl Collins [More]; bottom image: By Matthew Porterfield (Putty Hill)

Thursday, January 01, 2015


From Eduardo Galeano's Children of the Days (2013)