Posts Tagged: Tom Vater

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

Animal Farm V

A Steve McCurry moment.

INDIA // JUNE 2016

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 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

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

The Walls Are Screaming VII

Keith Richards turns 73 today. From RocknRoll bad boy, drug fiend, human riff and most wasted being on the planet to corporate pirate banker and smug dad of Johnny Depp in one life time. Happy Birthday from The Devil’s Road, Keith. We know you’ve been this way.

GERMANY // SEPTEMBER 2016

Humans Outside New York XIX

heel

A local sex worker gets her work gear fixed by a cobbler in Kathmandu.

NEPAL // NOVEMBER 2011

Love In The Age Of Intolerance IV

Penang lovers.

MALAYSIA // APRIL 2003

 

Blame The Parents III

“No, it wasn’t an accident, I didn’t say that. It was carefully planned, down to the tiniest mechanical and emotional detail. But it was a mistake.”  

‘On The Beach’ – Nevil Shute

MALAYSIA // DECEMBER 2015

I Fall On My Knees Every Sunday

So Mother Teresa has become a saint. She sure was no saint in life. She spent years tricking the most vulnerable, desperate people into Christianity, made millions of dollars of donations disappear, vocally hated democracy, and hung out with or pledged sympathy to a long list of dictators and crooks around the world including Bebe Dòk (Jean-Claude Duvalier) in Haiti, Enver Hoxha in Albania, Robert Maxwell, the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement and the Argentine Military Junta. In southern India she languishes in hundreds of vitrines on street corners, looking like an atrophied sex worker. She probably ate the sick looking baby she is holding in her arms here seconds after I turned my head.

INDIA // JULY 2016

Love in the Age of Intolerance III

Train, train, comin’ down, down the line
Train, train, comin’ down, down the line
Well, it’s bringin’ my baby ’cause she’s mine, all mine
She’s mine, all mine

‘Mystery Train’ – Elvis Presley

INDIA // JULY 2016

Punk Never Die II

punk1

As counter-cultural subcultures are becoming a thing of the past in Europe and the US, they continue to thrive in the developing world. Perhaps young people in the West feel that they have nothing left to fight against, perhaps they are inundated with so much information that communal self expression is now simply a fad that flickers across one’s screen.
Sure, in Asia and South America, sub culture can be just as much an expression of disposable income by the middle classes as in the West, but counter-cultural fashions from the West are being morphed into local voices of protest in countries like Nepal, Indonesia, Burma and Malaysia.

Punk rock lives on in Kathmandu.

NEPAL // NOVEMBER 2011

Humans Outside New York XVII

gemocide

A soldier in Rakhine State, where the Tatmadaw, Burma’s feared military, in silent collusion with Buddhist freedom icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, kills and rapes Rohingya, a Muslim minority.

BURMA // AUGUST 2013

Humans Outside New York XVI

Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, former actress, illustrious state minister of Tamil Nadu and leader of the AIDMK party passed away today. For her 68th birthday, her sixt-eight most devoted followers had her face tattooed on their arms. The tradition harks back to the turbulent politics in the state in the 1970s. These three gentlemen in the photograph also have tattoos of MGR, Jayalalithaa’s predecessor, applied during a mass ceremony in 1977. India never disappoints.

INDIA // July 2016

Love in the Age of Intolerance II

“Marseilles isn’t a city for tourists. There’s nothing to see. Its beauty can’t be photographed. It can only be shared. It’s a place where you have to take sides, be passionately for or against. Only then can you see what there is to see. And you realize, too late, that you’re in the middle of a tragedy. An ancient tragedy in which the hero is death. In Marseilles, even to lose you have to know how to fight.”

Jean-Claude Izzo

FRANCE // JULY 2015

Humans Outside New York XV

You gotta thrill my soul, all right
Roll, roll, roll, roll and thrill my soul

“Roadhouse Blues” – The Doors

INDIA // AUGUST 2016

 

Animal Farm III

Two million foreign visitors visit the thousand year old Angkor temples in Cambodia a year. The nearest town, Siem Reap, once a quaint colonial French backwater, is now a tourist ghetto with more than 700 hotels, a town dedicated to the US dollar where Cambodia’s brutal poverty, corruption and impunity are barely visible to the casual observer – and let’s face it, from the tourists to the US and Chinese governments, to the EU and the UN, observers outdo each other in casualness when it comes to everyone’s quiet support of one of Asia’s best-running kleptocracies.

The tourists come to blankly stare at history, ignore the unpalatable present and engage in communal bad taste, purchasing Orientalist crap in countless souvenir shops. Crocodile leather is all the rage. A wallet doesn’t come cheap at around US$200, but for those who have got it all already….

CAMBODIA // AUGUST 2016

Humans Outside New York XIV

Spiritually refreshing to see a ghost doing a Gary Oldman impression inside Angkor Wat amidst thousands of selfie stick wielding, golf visor wearing Chinese package tourists, digitally overfed suburban backpackers in $2 elephant pants, Buddhist monks from around the region armed with tablets and pretending to meditate, and American physics teachers looking to use their moral guidance to help underage girls grow up.

CAMBODIA // JULY 2014

Entartete Kunst

‘The only things that go through my head are aliens, robots and naked girls who are all waiting to come to life in my work.’

American hobo tattoo artist Chris Powers, who’s lived on the road for twenty-five years, attending the 2015 International Tattoo Convention in Kathmandu.

On the tattoo convention’s second day, April 25th, Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake. Some 9000 people lost their lives and part of Kathmandu’s historic center collapsed. Chris Powers and the other convention attendees survived.

NEPAL // APRIL 2015

Animal Farm II

Most people in Asia don’t give much of a fuck about animal welfare. Notable exceptions are some ethnic minorities in India. Of course, the Hindus love their cows but that’s mostly religion and politics and India had more vegetarians than the rest of the world put together..

But outside the Indian subcontinent, vegetarianism  is rare; only Taiwan has a large vegetarian minority. Animals are there to be eaten or to be pulverized into medicine. Before they are consumed, they are either caught in the wild or bred on farms and in factories, transported and killed as cheaply as possible.

One day they will fight back.

CAMBODIA // MARCH 2014

Animal Farm

The democracy industry on the edge of the Sahara. Kids get paid to canvas, fibre glass horses are commissioned to wilt under the desert sun and vote banks have to be organised.

MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Love In The Age Of Intolerance

“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” – Prince Philip

POLAND // OCTOBER 2016

Making America Great Again IV

Just like Rome
We fell asleep when we got spoiled
Ignore human rights in the rest of the world
Ya might just lose your own

As the noose of narco-militarism
Tightens around your necks
We worry about burning flags
And pee in jars at work
To keep our jobs

But if someone came for you one night
And dragged you away
Do you really think your neighbors
Would even care?

Full Metal Jack-Off – Jello Biafra & D.O.A.

GERMANY //  OCTOBER  2016

Humans Outside New York XI

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.” – Travis Bickle

BURMA // OCTOBER 2015

The Walls Are Screaming IV

 

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

MALAYSIA // FEBRUARY 2015

Making America Great Again II

The Devil Rides in Texas.

USA // APRIL 2005

Humans Outside New York IX

The Beauty and the Beast.

Part of the efforts by Thailand’s military to bring happiness to the people.

THAILAND // JUNE 2014

Humans Outside New York VIII

If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m you man,
You win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me

– The Ace of Spades, Motörhead

NEPAL // OCTOBER 2011

Making America Great Again

The US vote for their president today. God is somewhere else. Better chug down some pills.

USA // APRIL 2005

Fuck Everything II

And have a nice day.

MOROCCO // OCTOBER 2016

Humans Outside New York VI

Malay girls engage in shallow hedonistic pleasures.

MALAYSIA // FEBRUARY 2015

Humans Outside New York IV

God loves the poor.

This Desia Kondh woman is sitting on the floor of a catholic church made of mud in the back of beyond of Odisha, clapping along to the psalms, waiting for Jesus to free her from large scale mining businesses taking her land, proselytizing missionaries taking her beliefs, the Hindu majority dictating their fashion and a hostile government taking her identity. The Desia Kondh women believe that face tattoos serve as identity markers in the afterlife. This woman’s younger sisters have been talked out of the tradition by god men and the authorities. They’ve been told that they won’t need their markers once they have reached the footstool of the Almighty, that a headscarf will make them respectable, and that they won’t get a job in the market economy with chess boards on their cheeks.

INDIA // AUGUST 2016

You Know You Want One II

Scheisse am Stil. In a world in which everything is for sale, why not sell a piece of shit? You know you want one.

GERMANY // SEPTEMBER 2016

You Know You Want One

Terrorism is the new fashion.

Halloween trash for the less sophisticated party animal, or the hipster who’s dithered in the shop for half an hour debating with himself whether a bloody plastic necklace is cool enough to go with his beard and tattoos or not.

Made in China, sold in Thailand. Likely to cause a skin rash.

THAILAND // OCTOBER 2016

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