Cheap and Cheerful

George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it.

Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared, man.

George Hanson: They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.

From Easy Rider

MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Animal Farm VIIII

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

Panem Et Circenses

The construction of an image.

Press photographers focus in on a young girl running around with the Tricolore at the Front National’s (France’s far right party) headquarters in Paris during the presidential election. Candiate Marine Le Pen won 18% in the first round of the election.

FRANCE // MAY 2012

The Walls Are Screaming XV

FRANCE // OCTOBER 2012

Humans Outside New York XXVIII

BURMA // DECEMBER 2005

The Walls Are Screaming XIV

Guest post by Rāj Hegde

MALAYSIA //  AUGUST 2013

And The Clocks Were Striking Thirteen

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.” – Pink Floyd

Headphone bar in Barcelona

SPAIN //  AUGUST 2010

Fuck Everything XII

FRANCE // DECEMBER 2010

Making America Great Again VI

So Donald Trump has been in power for about nine days now. Can you feel it? We’re all on it. The Devil’s Road.

USA // SEPTEMBER 2005

Humans Outside New York XXVIII

It’s Chinese New Year today and The Devil’s Road is cautiously optimistic, despite things being what they are and will be, at the start of the year of the Red Fire Chicken.

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

Blame The Parents VI

‘When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.’ – George Romero

FRANCE // SEPTEMBER 2010

Humans Outside New York XXVII

A couple of young glue sniffers on the streets of Phnom Penh.

Never forget, eight men have the same wealth as the fifty poorest percent on the planet.

CAMBODIA // APRIL 2001

Animal Farm VIII

And everything was made for you and me
All of it was made for you and me
‘Cause it just belongs to you and me
So let’s take a ride and see what’s mine

‘The Passenger’ – Iggy Pop

CAMBODIA // JUNE 2003

Ghost Rider II

In the deserts of Sudan
And the gardens of Japan
From Milan to Yucatan
Every woman, every man

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Je t’adore, ich liebe dich,
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me slowly, hit me quick.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

In the wilds of Borneo
And the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho
Move their body to and fro.

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
Das ist gut! C’est fantastique!
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
It’s nice to be a lunatic.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!
In the dock of Tiger Bay
On the road to Mandalay
From Bombay to Santa Fe
Over hills and far away

Hit me with your selfie stick.
Hit me! Hit me!
C’est si bon, mm? Ist es nicht?
Hit me! hit me! hit me!
Hit me with your selfie stick.
Two fat persons, click, click, click.
Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

Thanks to Ian Dury & The Blockheads

THAILAND // AUGUST 2014

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday IV

Being connected in everything in Burma, former socialist dictatorship, and now, thanks to US diplomacy, an authoritarian democracy. Just a few years ago a SIM card cost hundreds of dollars and only the very rich and well connected could get online. These days everyone is surfing the net on several smartphones and regime critics go to jail for Facebook posts that upset the very rich and well connected. But there is free Wi-Fi at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most important Buddhist monument.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XIII

GERMANY // OCTOBER 2016

Animal Farm VII

Bugs and insects of all kinds and dimensions are popular snacks and comfort food across Southeast Asia.

Also, Trump is now US president, so anything goes.

MYANMAR // NOVEMBER 2015

Making America Great Again V

Making America Great Again – Today!

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

Love In The Age Of Intolerance VI

THAILAND // NOVEMBER 2016

Fuck Everything XI

Fuck Death as well!

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XII

An old friend told me the other day that abortion was legal in the US so that Hillary Clinton could enrich herself. Whether Clinton makes a cent off abortion legislation she introduced or not is irrelevant. If the Republicans manage to overturn Roe vs Wade, thousands of women will suffer serious health issues and some will die.
My friend sees conspiracies on the left to justify his immeasurable anger at his feeling powerless in the face of an increasingly chaotic, brutal but also more colorful and varied world. His anger, fueled by right wing websites attacking minorities, is so overwhelming that he loses empathy for his fellow women and men to be able to feel himself. Welcome to the Trump Age.

USA // JUNE 2005

You Know You Want One VI

“As soon as you start talking about mystique, you have none.” ― Neil Young

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Ghost Rider

‘If you’re in control, you’re not going fast enough”. – Parnelli Jones

USA // JUNE 2005

Love In The Age Of Intolerance V

When Burmese teenagers go out on a date, they often visit local temples. There they sit dreamily holding hands, the matching jackets or shirts adding some cute poignancy to the scene, quite in contrast to the harsh daily realities they are likely to face.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

Humans Outside New York XXVI

As in many parts of Burma, the new Asian kid on the tourism bloc, children like these novice monks are employed – this lot each got a can of Sprite for their efforts – in construction, in this case to build a bridge to a cave monastery in Kayin State.
As well as child labor, various forms of slave labor and prison labor remain highly visible in Myanmar, the wealth gap is gigantic, a number of armed conflicts grind on and the Rohingya minority are the most persecuted people on the planet, according to the UN. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recent arrival of democracy has only exasperated this. But most Burmese now have at least one mobile phone and all of them enjoy democracy.

BURMA // NOVEMBER 2015

Animal Farm VI

I want to break free.

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2015

The Walls Are Screaming XI

…and real ones make you fly.

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

The Walls Are Screaming X

As there’s so much fake news and post-truth news and newspeak out there, doubting official narratives, be they government or mainstream media, appears to be just as important as keeping one’s distance to the far out right wing conspiracy cosmos that’s growing on the Internet and slowly seeps into our daily lives. Two realities increasingly divorced from what’s actually going on are competing for our attention. Do your own thing!

TURKEY // JUNE 2013

Humans Outside New York XXV


Mary Henry: “It’s funny.. the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight everything falls back into place again”

From the movie Carnival of Souls

FRANCE // SEPTEMBER 2011

Animal Farm V

A Steve McCurry moment.

INDIA // JUNE 2016

Entartete Kunst III

FRANCE // OCTOBER 2014

Humans Outside New York XXIV

“I love bunnies because they are cute and they fuck all the time.”

During Gezi Park demonstrations, Istanbul tattoo artist Bunny King inked protesters free of charge to create visual reminders of those heady days.

TURKEY // DECEMBER 2013

Animal Farm IV

Who killed Bambi?

THAILAND // DECEMBER 2016

Humans Outside New York XXIII

Bare-knuckle boxing at the Three Pagodas Pass, your typical lawless border town moment.

BURMA // DECEMBER 2005

Blame The Parents V

ravi

Ravi runs a tattoo shop in Palika Bazaar, a gigantic, gloomy underground market in central New Delhi, home to hundreds of tattooists of dubious skills and more dubious hygiene standards. Ravi is a devotee of Shiva, Hindu god of creation and destruction. If you want your godly tattoos rough and ready like Ravi, Palika Bazaar is the place for you. Tattoos then, are perhaps the last personal expression left to otherwise powerless people. The government can’t take them from you. Your mother can’t rub them off.

INDIA // JULY 2016

Humans Outside New York XXII

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no, oh no, no, no
Hey hey hey, that’s what I say’

Satisfaction’ – The Rolling Stones

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2016

Fuck Everything X

Happy New Year from The Devil’s Road.

And thanks to Rāj Hegde for the guest post.

BURMA // OCTOBER 2015

You Know You Want One V

I’m gonna be so big, I’m gonna be a big star and I will never return
Never return, no, never return, to burn at this piss factory
And I will travel light, oh, watch me now

‘Piss Factory’ – Patti Smith

BELGIUM // OCTOBER 2011

The Walls Are Screaming IX

If there’s one thing that I can’t explain
Is why the world has to have so much pain
With all the ways of communicating
We can’t get in touch with who we’re hating (Who we’re hating)
And now we can’t get in touch with who we’re hating

So turn on (turn on), turn on (turn on), turn on (turn on) the news
So turn on (turn on), turn on (turn on), turn on (turn on) the news

I hear it every day on the radio
Somebody shoots a guy he don’t even know
Airplanes falling out of the sky
A baby is born and another one dies
Highways fill with refugees now
Doctors finding out about disease
With all this uptight pushing & shoving
That keeps us away from who we’re loving (Who we’re loving)
That keeps us away from who we should be loving

“Turn On The News” – Hüsker Dü

TURKEY // JUNE 2013

Fuck Everything IX

Fuck you too. And have a nice day.

GERMANY // SEPTEMBER 2016

Fuck Everything VIII

finger

‘Metropolis, worlds collide, Ain’t nobody on the other side.’

‘Metropolis’ – Motörhead

Hindu calendar in a tattoo shop in New Delhi.

INDIA // JULY 2016

Entartete Kunst II

Modern art says Thank You, Bangkok.

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

Humans Outside New York XXI

This morning, while I was having breakfast, I watched a wasted, middle aged sex worker cough up her last customer’s effluent into the unforgiving street. I’m in Pattaya, possibly the ugliest, nastiest, most unfriendly, most cut throat and depressingly exploitative place I have ever been to…and I have been to a few horrible places in this life.
The resident and visiting Farang and Thais are uniformly nasty and the whole city stinks of rip-offs, abuse and tragedy.
Forget all the bla-bla about the place being a family destination. It’s a gigantic, tired whorehouse, a sex factory for old men without love, for emotional cripples and viagra-popping criminals from around the world, who should all be dead but are somehow clinging on to what can’t really be called life.
That’s a celebration of sorts of course, and places like Pattaya must exist somewhere other than just in our psyche, if for no other reason than to tell us clearly that there’s no hope for us. Pattaya is an American creation, a side-effect of our once desperate fight against the evils of communism, but it’s wholeheartedly Thai, because the Thais in charge of the place simply don’t care about anything other than making money, no matter now debased the method.
And while there’s nothing to look at, there’s plenty to see.
From morning to morning, a haze of mediocracy hangs above the city, an insipid film of average – best reflected in the prevalence of Hitler T-Shirts and other Nazi memorabilia in the city’s markets, the minute, dirty beach populated by hustlers, the overpriced restaurants selling Thai food that tastes like garbage, the piss awful cover bands on Walking Street that churn out uninspired, hollow rock standards to hundreds of drunken degenerates, the mean, beady eyes of white men that poke out of decrepit sports bars and follow passers-by like persistent venereal diseases, the incredible cacophony of terrible tattoos displayed on wilting flesh, and the thousands of burnt out and beaten women along the riverfront who are waiting to open their legs, mouths and asses for less than 50 bucks.

Welcome to Thailand, amigos. It’s a lot to swallow.

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday III

God is dead and Jesus is blind. But at least we have Trump guiding us through the coming years, heightening chances of one apocalypse or another.

INDIA // JUNE 2016

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday II

A very happy holiday from The Borneo Angels on The Devil’s Road.

2016 may well be remembered as the last year in which reality made any kind of sense.
Unless of course, you blindly follow The Devil’s Road.

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2015

Blame The Parents IV

Carl Denham: “Monsters belong in B movies.”

From the movie King Kong

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2015

Humans Outside New York XX

A very determined Hijra in Madurai, the most common term for trans women in India and Pakistan.

“All men are liars, said Roberta Muldoon, who knew this was true because she had once been a man.”

‘The World According to Garp’  – John Irving

INDIA // JULY 2016

Fuck Everything VII

John Hammond: “I bring scientists. You bring the rock star.”

‘Jurassic Park’ – Michael Crichton

GERMANY // JUNE 2014

The Walls Are Screaming VIII

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leading but get gamblers instead
Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
Empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

INDIA // JULY 2016

Obey

THAILAND // FEBRUARY 2015

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