basketball flickr politics



There's an inti­ma­cy in this that so res­onates with me. I mean, it's impos­si­ble to imag­ine that I wouldn't be charmed by the sub­ject mat­ter alone — a Pres­i­dent I great­ly admire, plus two NBA play­ers. But this moment is espe­cial­ly great, because I love Der­rick Rose's game and I will always appre­ci­ate that he OD'd on can­dy before the 2008 NCAA Final with Kansas. And I admire Joakim Noah's grit­ty post play and his seri­ous media game. And I love that there's gen­uine emo­tion in this shot. It has got a lit­tle bit of stagey-ness, but it also feels, like I said, inti­mate, like the pho­tog­ra­ph­er took this pho­to and emailed it to me, and said: "You'd appre­ci­ate this."

flickr lit photo

A peek into Obama's speech-writing process

Obama speech - Jon Favreau - FlickrPho­to: Pete Souza

I real­ly geek out out on glimpses of the marked-up copy of oth­er writ­ers, so I was pret­ty fas­ci­nat­ed to see a page of a Pres­i­den­tial speech-in-progress. If you click through to the zoomed-in page, you'll see that all of Obama's notes are all copy-edits; there are no devel­op­men­tal "what I'm try­ing to say here"-style edits. Not sure what that means, but I thought it was inter­est­ing. The Flickr cap­tion indi­cates that the pho­to was tak­en "in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in prepa­ra­tion for the president's address to a joint ses­sion of Con­gress." Cool.

cinema visual

Groundbreaking / William Klein's Ali

David Remnick's excel­lent biog­ra­phy of Muham­mad Ali, King of the World con­tains a tru­ly stun­ning scene that sprung to mind dur­ing last week's inau­gu­ra­tion. Before Ali's first big bout, a meet­ing with Son­ny Lis­ton, the press didn't know what to make of Ali's con­fi­dence and bom­bast. A reporter asked: "Cas­sius, all these things you're say­ing about Lis­ton, do you real­ly mean them? Do you real­ly think you're going to beat this guy?"

Ali: I'm Christo­pher Colum­bus … I believe I'll win. I've nev­er been in there with him, but I believe the world is round and they all believe the world is flat. Maybe I'll fall off the world at the hori­zon but I believe the world is round.1

I feel like there's a thread that runs direct­ly from this state­ment to last Tuesday's inau­gu­ra­tion, and it made me want to dig deep­er into Ali, the myth-mak­er. So last night I watched a 1964 doc­u­men­tary, made by pho­tog­ra­ph­er William Klein, called Muham­mad Ali: The Great­est; it's includ­ed in a recent Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion release called The Deliri­ous Fic­tions of William Klein, which is cheap‑o on Ama­zon right now, actually. 

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - TitleTypog­ra­phy suits the sub­ject. ALI. Yeah.

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - AliKlein is known for his still pho­tog­ra­phy, and he brings a photographer's eye, and a cav­a­lier atti­tude toward edit­ing. The movie is a mon­tage of spon­tane­ity and action, trac­ing Ali's path from the build-up to his first fight with Son­ny Lis­ton to the Rum­ble in the Jun­gle with George Foreman.

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - Joe LouisKlein catch­es a nice glimpse of anoth­er ground­break­ing fig­ure.

William Klein - Muhammad Ali - Mysterious punchAli's sec­ond fight with Lis­ton became infa­mous for the "phan­tom" punch that end­ed it. Rumors abound that Lis­ton took a dive, either because he bet against him­self or because he was afraid that the Nation of Islam would seek revenge if Ali lost. See it for your­self on the YouTubez.

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - Kids in ZaireKlein cap­tures some amaz­ing moments around the Rum­ble, which took place in Zaire, 1974.

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - Foreman fanThe whole nation appears to be in and around the sta­di­um. When We Were Kings tells the whole sto­ry. It will blow your mind, and make you love Nor­man Mail­er at the same time.

Muhammad Ali - William Klein - Mobutu Sese SekoMobu­tu Sese Seko, Zaire's strong­man pres­i­dent, is omnipresent in Klein's footage from the fight. I love this image of his head slow­ly com­ing into focus from the clouds.

flickr politics


Flickr photo

They call it the White House, but that's a tem­po­rary con­di­tion.

politics san francisco

Elections / Photos from the campaign trail

Bake sale for Barack ObamaPho­to: Joshua Lott

Last June, Mara orga­nized a bake sale to raise mon­ey for Barack Oba­ma. It was a typ­i­cal­ly chilly sum­mer day in San Fran­cis­co, but we made a fist­ful of cash, AND we got our pic­ture tak­en by a passer­by who hap­pened to be a pro­fes­sion­al pho­to­jour­nal­ist. His name is Joshua Lott, and he post­ed it on a blog called The Stump­ing Grounds, which fea­tures one pho­to per day from one of the many pho­to­jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the cam­paign. Ours was post­ed on June 24th.

Barack Obama strikes the Heisman poseI had to include this; it's the cur­rent pho­to, and it's awe­some. It was tak­en by Scout Tufankjian, and her site is well worth a look. She's post­ed a series on the Secret Ser­vice which is both reveal­ing and kind of scary.