Art Ripped from the Headlines

#Ferguson, a collection featuring portraits of protesters rendered in charcoal and watercolors.

“People see these faces and all they see in these faces is angry violent faces, when in actuality all they’re doing is standing there and saying, ‘I wanna live, I have a right to live,’” artist Howard Barry told the BBC.

The St. Louis-based artist uses pages of the St. Louis American newspaper as the main medium for a series of paintings inspired by the fatal shooting of 18-year old Ferguson resident Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson and the massive protests that followed. Titled #Ferguson, the collection features portraits of protesters rendered in charcoal and watercolors.

“It was just that nasty reality that, if you are a young black man, any encounter you have with law enforcement could possibly be fatal,” Barry said in his BBC interview. “My therapy is often to draw. Rather than to try to debate with everybody and try to explain to them what I’m feeling, I put it down on paper.”

In the paintings, Barry’s protesters often have their hands raised, wearing shirts that declare “hands up, don’t shoot,” a phrase that has become a popular protest chant on the streets of Ferguson and in solidarity demonstrations. In one painting, he depicts the image of Michael Brown's father wailing with anguish at his son’s funeral. Barry has also drawn portraits of personalities who have become prominent on the streets of Ferguson, like St. Louis Alderman Antonio French and hip hop recording artist Talib Kweli. In other renderings, he’s sketched the image of Martin Luther King, Jr., on top of St. Louis American headlines about the Ferguson protests and Michael Brown’s death.

“Going through the paper and some of the images that I had in mind, the headlines and the articles seemed to be a perfect fit,” Barry told the newspaper. “I had to go get more copies of the papers, because once I started with them, they just kept coming.”

He grew up in neighboring Kinloch, a poverty-stricken community that, according to Barry, now looks like a “ghost town.” Kinloch experienced white flight in the early 20th century, after large numbers of blacks began moving in. It was one of the oldest black-majority towns in Missouri until the town was razed in order to expand the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

“I grew up knowing that there were people who for arbitrary reasons put a bull’s eye on me,” he told the St. Louis American. “My dad wouldn’t let me go into Ferguson or Berkeley or the surrounding areas for that reason. He was constantly coaching me on what to say when I encountered those officers and made me aware that my life was on the line.”

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less