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On the two-week anniversary of Election Day I want to announce that I’ve done yet another screencast video. I was inspired to make it after I read that, on Election Day, voters in Maine approved a measure that would bring Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) to their state. In the video I explain what Ranked Choice Voting is and how it could encourage both the growth of third parties and more non-voters to actually go to the polls and vote. I also explain how Ranked Choice Voting could’ve affected the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential elections.
One week ago today was the election that managed to make Donald Trump the president-elect who will be sworn into office in January as the 45th President of the United States.
As some of you may know, last summer I devoted a series of Throwback Thursday posts to reviewing the classic 1970’s comic book series Howard the Duck. Back in 2015 Howard the Duck underwent a reboot that lasted a few issues then it temporarily went on hiatus for a few months because Marvel was doing this huge storyline called Battleworld which crossed over into a lot of its comic books from The Avengers to The X-Men. Once that storyline was over, Howard the Duck started up again with the issue number being set back to #1. (In other words, there were two Howard the Duck #1 comic books that were released in 2015.) I know it’s complicated but that’s the comic book industry for ya! I never bothered with reading that huge Battleworld storyline (especially since most comic books cost $3.99 per issue these days) so I basically waited until Howard the Duck went back to printing new issues and bought that series.
The second Howard the Duck #1 that was released in 2015 had this panel that struck me as funny when I first read it. I remembered it after last Tuesday’s Election Day debacle and this Donald Trump throwaway joke is now not only no longer funny but it’s pretty ironic.
Not only can I now imagine that universe where Donald Trump is President of the United States, I’m now currently living through it.
Today is Election Day in the United States so I’d thought I show off one of my latest video that I made just a couple of days ago. A friend of mine had forwarded a link to this story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how today voters in San Francisco will be deciding whether to lower the voting age to 16 in city elections. If this measure passes, San Francisco would join Takoma Park, Maryland in welcoming 16-year-olds to vote. (The Takoma Park City Council passed the measure lowering the voting age in 2013.) Basically my friend wanted my take on this issue in a YouTube screencast. I took a look at the issue and I thought of a way that something like this can not only be passed but high schools could be instrumental in encouraging 16-year-olds to actually use their new-found right to vote.
Last week I was making some cat drawings for a potential children’s book project that someone who lives in my neighborhood wrote and she’s trying to get it self-published through Amazon.com. (She needed some illustrations for her book.) While I was drawing one cat that was based on a photograph of the writer’s recently deceased cat, I had this weird idea. I’ll admit that I was inspired to do this after seeing yet another photograph of Donald Trump online while he’s spewing his latest hateful rhetoric. (He’s said so many hateful things in public on a daily basis that I literally can’t keep track anymore.) I even parodied the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. I did this in colored pencils.
Five years ago I wrote this Twitter rant about the scandal surrounding then-Congressman Anthony Weiner when it was revealed that he was tweeting pictures of his, uh, wiener to women other than his wife. He ended up resigning from Congress in disgrace and he faded from the public spotlight for a bit as he vowed to work on his marriage to Huma Abedin, who also happens to be among Hillary Clinton’s closest staffers. In time the couple had a son together and they tried to portray themselves as a close-knit family.
Two years later Anthony Weiner decided to revive his ruined political career by running for mayor of New York City. But then it was revealed that he had not only resumed his sexting habit but he was sending pictures of his dick under the name “Carlos Danger” to women other than his wife—one of whom was named Sydney Leathers. Not only did I write a sequel to that earlier post, I even created this mixed media piece that played off of comic books and his Carlos Danger alter-ego.
Amazing Fantasy: Introducing Carlos Danger
Mixed-media (computer graphics, ink, colored pencils, watercolors)
8 inches x 10 inches
20 cm x 25 cm
To learn more about how I created this piece, see the post I originally wrote on July 27, 2013. This piece was on display at the 2013 Station North Arts District Salon show in Baltimore but no one purchased it. After the show ended Anthony Weiner lost the New York mayoral election and he slinked out of the public eye while his wife continued to work for Hillary Clinton as she left the State Department and began her current campaign for President of the United States.
A few days ago Anthony Weiner was back in the news as The New York Post revealed that Anthony Weiner had not only resume his sexting habits but he was sending his dick pictures to a woman who’s a Donald Trump supporter. What’s more, one of those dick pictures he sent included his young son lying nearby as he slept—blissfully unaware of what his father was doing next to him in the same bed.
This time Huma Abedin has had enough as she announced that she was separating from her husband and taking their son with her.
It’s obvious that Anthony Weiner has a major problem since he keeps on doing stuff like this and he definitely needs professional help. The only silver lining to this latest episode in Anthony Weiner’s life is that my 2013 blog post about the making of my original Amazing Fantasy: Introducing Carlos Danger piece is now among the most read blog posts for this week. If anyone wants to purchase this piece or even look into licensing it for use in a publication or something similar, please send an email at kimstark61 at gmail dot com.
The weekend before the DC primary election there was this special art exhibition at The Fridge that was dedicated to Bernie Sanders. I attended the Friday night opening reception. While I was traveling via Metro I saw a woman who was obviously dressed for Awesome Con, which was held the same weekend. (I haven’t been to Awesome Con since 2014 mainly because of financial reasons but I was also turned off by the crowds. I attended the first year in 2013 and I liked the fact that it was relatively small and laid-back. The following year it had literally doubled in size so it was very crowded and full of very long lines. The entrance fee had also doubled in price compared to the year before. It was a letdown compared to that first year where I could go to any panel without having to wait in any long lines.)
The Fridge is located just a couple of blocks away from the Eastern Market Metro station and it’s located in an area of Capitol Hill known as Barracks Row because of the Marine Corps barracks located in that area. It’s a pretty trendy area full of upscale bars and restaurants. I took a photo of this really attractive mural that is located on the side of an Asian restaurant known as Hooshi.
I found The Fridge with no problem. Here are my photos from that event.
On the way back to the Eastern Market Metro I decided to check out this cupcake shop known as Sweet Lobby [ http://www.sweetlobby.com ], whose biggest claim to fame is that the owner of this place once won first place on an episode of The Food Network show Cupcake Wars. I decided to purchase a Smores cupcake to take home with me. I opened its pretty box the next day. I found that it tasted excellent. It had a graham cracker base with a chocolate cupcake that’s topped with marshmallow icing. It was so awesome! I’ll definitely keep this place in mind the next time I visit the Barracks Row part of Capitol Hill.
Last week I checked out a brand new event in Baltimore known as Light City. Basically it was a week-long event where there were art installations that consisted entirely of lights. Obviously it was the kind of event that could only be viewed at night. I learned about Light City on Facebook and I was awed by what I saw and photographed.
I passed by the historic Bromo Seltzer tower on the way from the Camden Yards Light Rail Stop to the Charm City Circulator bus stop.
I also passed by this Baltimore Ravens banner highlighting the fact that this season is their 20th anniversary.
I ate dinner at the Shake Shack but it was so unusually crowded inside that restaurant that I ordered my meal to go so I could just walk to the Inner Harbor and eat my meal on one of the benches. I was glad that the weather was nice and warm so I could do that. After dinner I walked around and took in all of the sites. There were these historic light poles that were placed in the same general area. The installation was known as In Light of History. They looked really pretty. There were copies of free newsletters that one can pick up. I didn’t read my newsletter copy until after I got home and I found out that they were there to mark places where the slave trade took place in Baltimore. That was pretty heavy to read, especially the vintage newspaper ads (which are posted on this website).
There was a vintage Baltimore City police car that was parked outside.
The outside of the World Trade Center had these animated lights that were really pretty.
There was live entertainment in various venues throughout Light City but people crowded the stage so much that I only got short glimpses such as the performance dance in the next photo.
The Inner Harbor was really crowded even though I went to Light City on a Thursday night. The Baltimore Sun reported that nearly 400,000 people attended that show the entire week. I’m not surprised, especially since the next photo shows how jam-packed the Inner Harbor was with people. (I can only image how crowded it got on the weekends.)
Everywhere I went there were all kinds of pretty lights everywhere.
There were echoes of Freddie Gray’s murder at the hands of the Baltimore police officers and the Black Lives Matter movement in this light display that was shown on the McKeldin Square fountain that featured people who were victims of excessive force by the Baltimore Police Department.
There was an area full of circles where people were invited to step on them. Generally the discs changed color every time someone stepped on them.
Next to that area full of circles was this tent that where a private party was held that was off-limits to the general public.
A group of Bernie Sanders campaign volunteers got in on the fun by putting up their own light display urging people to vote for Sanders. (The Maryland primary will be coming in a few weeks.)
It was an amazing night. I was only able to take in just half of what was going on in Light City. Based on the map I saw, it looked like the whole thing started from Rash Field all the way past the Inner Harbor attractions (Maryland Science Center, Harborplace, etc.) until it ended just west of Fells Point, which was a huge amount of walking. I wasn’t able to return to Light City to finish touring the rest of it due mainly to the fact that I have a lot of other things I needed to do (such as spring cleaning, working on income taxes, etc.). I hope they do it again next year. I would definitely take at least two nights to see everything and account for the huge crowds that this event draws. Next time I would pack a dinner, snacks, and drinks from home instead of battling crowds to order a meal at one of the many restaurants and fast food outlets in the area.
This morning I saw a few videos that I can’t resist sharing. The first one is an ad that aired on Saturday Night Live last night that’s totally hysterical.
Then there’s this hilarious mash-up between Donald Trump and the 1950’s sitcom The Honeymooners that’s totally sublime.
On a more serious note, here’s the latest threat from Anonymous to take down Donald Trump.
You can watch that one unfold in real time on Twitter under the #OpTrump hashtag.