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JOURNAL

FEBRUARY 2019





Personally, I don't care about competitions, but Winners of the 2019 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest images are wonderful.



  


Finally RT takes some steps to stop review trolls.



  


No quarter to Pell and his cronies.



  


This country was not a better place in the past. Golden utopias of bygone decades are a typical delusion of the ultra-conservatives who wallow in nostalgia because they reject modern world and equal rights.



  


Facebook's Patreon competitor feature Fan Subscriptions looks like another massive rip-off, plus it comes with Facebook's content censorship and data leeching. Avoid at all costs.



  


it’s the 21st century, and humans have been to the moon, but there are still over 40 million slaves in the world.



  


One of the scariest things related to computers that I know is a boot-up crash during a big OS update installation, followed by a huge error report that lists numerous exotic failures you cannot possibly fix.



  


Old dogs can learn new tricks. After having spent most of my life as a late sleeper, I've changed into an early riser. It took a few years, but was definitely worth the trouble.



  


Catholic Church has become synonymous with the word "scandal" just like Facebook. Even though their actual crimes are different, both are colossal institutions with millions of followers that have committed outrageous betrayals of trust and blatant misuse of power, peppered with hypocricy, moral corruption, and lies.



  


Some Of My Favourite Photographers: Joel Peter Witkin. The dark prince of decadent nightmare surrealism and perverse eroticism. Definitely not for the consumption of casual viewers.



  


Mr Saturday Night puking his guts out in his bedroom at six o’clock on a Sunday morning. Better him than me.



  


Celebrity idolatry is one of the most ludicrous and redundant diseases of the modern human. The perverse mechanics behind the way status and wealth can turn people into raving worshipers is completely beyond me.



  


Far too often the original artworks are discarded and replaced with cheap, abysmal hackjobs when older books, records, and films are being reissued.



  


Looks like Czech abstract artist František Kupka's exhibition at The National Gallery is next in line. After that, René Magritte at Amos Rex.



  


I really liked the premise and the world-building of Philip K. Dick's novel THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, but disliked Dick's writing style, and the way the story felt like a glimpse into a highly fascinating world that offered endless possibilities in terms of story but ultimately went absolutely nowhere. After having watched the first episode of the television adaptation, it appears quite interesting, so here's hoping the adaptation gets more out of the premise and story possibilities.



  


Just remembered that silly radio jingle/song about "Why can't it always be Friday?"



  


The announcements concerning the death of physical media (Blu-Ray and DVD) are premature, at least when it comes to cinephiles like me. The film selections offered by streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, for example, leave a lot to be desired. 70% of their content is basically trash, 29% I’ve seen already, and if I’m really fortunate, the remaining 1% is what I actually want to see. The more diverse selection of titles available at international webstores is why I still buy films on Blu-Ray. As long as the distribution rights of films are shackled by exclusive licenses and regional restrictions based on the greed of business men, physical media remains crucial in finding more interesting films.



  


According to the Associated Press, The French Fencing Federation has recognized lightsaber dueling as an official sport. Since everyone more or less agrees that April Fools is not in February, I'm going to take this announcement as the best news of the day.



  


And now for some peace and quiet.



  


Ridley Scott's Hennessy X.O. short film is awe-inspiring eye candy. If only he'd get to direct an entire feature film in this fashion.



  


I find it distracting that actors in biopics are almost always far better looking than their real-life counterparts.



  


Roger thinks there's "no apparent dictatorship" in Venezuela. Perhaps dear old Roger should pull his rather large cranium out of his rectum and have a look around when the sun is shining.



  


I had no idea that bunnies could actually aspire to shag themselves to death.



  


Some recently listened albums: Roy Hargrove - Nothing Serious, Manual - Drowned In Light, Deep Purple - inFinite, Stanley Turrentine - Inflation, Mark Isham - Reservation Road Soundtrack, Taylor Haskins - Recombination, Ólafur Arnalds - Found Songs, Jeff Beal - House Of Cards Season 3 Soundtrack



  


According to Pope Francis, the people who critise the Catholic Church are “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil”. Damn, I thought all those molesting priests and their co-conspirators would be better suited for that category, but what do I know of hypocricy and moral corruption.



  


I hereby declare my new iPad a pollution free zone. In short, it doesn't have any apps related to Facebook.



  


Now that my book collection has started turning into electronic form, I find it absolutely outstanding how I'm able to organize my books into separate ebook collections. Organizing a physical bookshelf was always a drag, limited by book and shelf sizes.



  


Bernie!



  


That moment when you feel like Marge Simpson.



  


How long until next September? Too long, I say.



  


More good times on Instagram with the latest batch of fake ”new followers” who disappear immediately if you don’t follow them back. Life must be hard when its value is dictated by social media followers and likes.



  


Jennifer Lawrence is swimming in the city. She’s here, she’s there, she’s everywhere.



  


Such a shame that composer Jeff Beal's fantastic score for Netflix series HOUSE OF CARDS was buried so deep in the mix. I understand the need for dialogue to be clearly audible, but the atmospheric score really takes the listener on a dark journey to a mysterious underworld teeming with sinister tragedies.



  


Time is definitely relative when you’re anxiously waiting for something.



  


What is the most annoying thing for someone who loves watching movies in a theatre? Noisy and intruding patrons, like the teens at yesterday’s screening who just couldn’t stay away from their ever-present phones. It’s astonishing how thoroughly social media has addicted entire generations. Nothing in their lives apparently happens for real, unless it’s been posted on social media, not to mention the obligation to go through every asinine and pointless post from everyone they follow.



  


Andrea never really got the spot in the limelights she deserved.



  


As per usual, the most difficult part of human anatomy to animate in the most authentic and convincing manner with CGI would appear to be the mouth.



  


But now my bookshelf is almost empty. What am I supposed to do with an almost empty bookshelf.



  


”Social media influencers tagging luxury brands in their playa photos for popularity” pretty much sums up most of the things I loathe about the self-promotional glitz culture on Instagram that so many in this day and age worship, for reasons that are beyond me.



  


Someone should probably count how many times Ballard mention’s Vaughan’s ”heavy groin” in his book CRASH. Just out of curiosity.



  


Hitchcock’s TO CATCH A THIEF (1955) is a fascinating example of bygone sexual politics typical of its era. A 25-year-old Grace Kelly is paired with a 50-year-old love interest Cary Grant. Grant might be suave with his scarf and that ultra deep leathery tan, but he still looks old enough to be Kelly’s grandpa.



  


Why hang on to physical possessions one doesn't really need? It’s utterly futile and ephemeral at best if one considers the only absolute fact of our existence: one day we will all die, and lose everything we’ve ever had. Keeping this in mind, I’m finding it less and less rational to collect physical things I don’t actively use or need. Writer Chuck Palahniuk says that "the things you own end up owning you". I find that statement to be one of life's great truths. I've always loathed moving house because of all the things that I must haul with me.



  


Amnesty was supposed to fight against toxic cesspools of abuse, not to be a toxic cesspool of abuse itself.



  


One of the very few contemporary trends I can actually endorse is minimalism. Reducing the amount of one's possessions is incredibly liberating. I’ve always been a collector (books, movies, photographs, music), which is a redundant trait inherited from our primitive hunter-gatherer forebears. Over time, I’ve gotten rid of my physical photographs and music, and just recently I started reducing my collection of physical books and moving the ones I actually want to keep over to Apple Books and Kindle.



  


After having watched the Netflix documentary, I've come to the conclusion that the garish farce that was the Ted Bundy case was what the US justice system would probably now call a ”learning experience”. But the one thing I cannot understand is all the women who lust after a toxic psychopath like Bundy.



  


Britain seems to be doomed by obstinate fanatics who are determined to ruin the country.



  


I think it's important to take extended breaks from shooting personal projects. Last year, I shot so much that it has felt really good to not think about photography all the time.



  


Show me an honest company and I’ll show you the door.



  


I used to consider myself a liberal, but then it dawned on me how conservative many liberals actually are. Sometimes I feel as if liberals and conservatives are just two sides of the same coin.



  


People hiding needles into food in grocery stores is one of the myriad ways malicious humans have used their creativity over the millennia to hurt each other.



  


The day before yesterday was not a good day, but today is not the day before yesterday.



  


Jonna Kina's ARR: FOR A SCENE (2017), a documentary portrait of two foley artists, was a brilliant piece of work. The short film, shot on 35 mm, was on display in the media space at Espoo Museum Of Modern Art. When I walked in, I didn't know that it depicts foley artists recreating sound effects for the shower scene in Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960), so at first it looked like a bizarre performance film.



  


Some recently listened albums: Allan Holdsworth - Wardenclyffe Tower, Tord Gustavsen Quartet - Extended Circle, Poe - Haunted, Ketil Bjørnstad - The Sea, Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Spark Of Life, Chris Squire - Fish Out Of Water



  


Utterly loathsome how female models who don’t shave all their body hair receive demands from idiots on Instagram to shave and conform to their beauty standards.



  


Some Of My Favourite Photographers: Diane Arbus. I envy Arbus' ability to gain the trust of her subjects. Her talent to confront and seduce people to reveal themselves in her intimate portraits is something I will never have.



  


It really looks like that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences truly lost its way when it decided to snub cinematography and editing from the broadcast in favour of commercials. Personally, I couldn't care less because I don't waste time by watching any awards ceremonies, but for the numerous filmmakers who care do about getting recognition, this must be terribly insulting.



  


I really must say that Airplay is incredibly handy in conjunction with Apple TV. Even though I don't worship technology, I appreciate its achievements, both large and small.



  


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of my latest heroes.



  


I had no idea that Allan Holdsworth had died a couple of years ago. His playing was extremely original, and his sense of harmony and chord voicings were just as incredible as his legato style soloing technique.



  


The reason why I tend to post such large amounts of rants here about the stupidity of humankind is because I find the human tendency to believe in irrational nonsense extremely offensive.



  


And the press is having a field day with yet another unexpected celebrity death. They are really milking this one for all its worth.



  


It’s the 21st century, and humankind has thousands of years of evolution and progress behind it. But instead of continuing on this path, humankind has started devolving. More and more people choose to believe in irrational nonsense and delusional fantasies that have resulted in deep division and upheaval. Humankind will never transcend to any kind of sci-fi utopia where it has overcome its inherent problems. Humankind is going to degenerate until it's too stupid to even procreate anymore. By that time, exctinction will be a mercy.



  


According to French journalist and author Frédéric Martel, the Vatican is a “startling account of corruption and hypocrisy”. How surprising.



  


Why such vast numbers of Americans are against free health care and free education is completely beyond my capability to comprehend. According to my current hypothesis, welfare and greater good are an anathema to people consumed by self-interest, self-centeredness, and self-glorification.



  


The flat earth conspiracists get my vote for peddling one of the most idiotic "ideologies" ever invented on this planet. The amounts of cognitive dissonance and obstinacy required to ignore indisputable scientific evidence gathered over 2000 years must be truly massive. The capacity and tendency for wilful stupidity and ignorance like this is unforgivable in the 21st century, and the reason why I don’t have any faith in humankind.



  


It is entirely possible that the dream of a united Europe has died.



  


Some Of My Favourite Photographers: Francesca Woodman. The entire genre of artistic self-portraits was elevated to a whole new level by Woodman's intimate and surrealistic photography that has inspired countless imitators around the world, but none of them come even close to matching the brilliance of Woodman's originality that was cut short by her tragic and untimely death.



  


The political stage in Poland just got very interesting new players.



  


It would appear that anti-vaxxing imbeciles have been somewhat succesful in spreading their fear-mongering campaigns and cretinous conspiracy theories because there's been an alarming rise of measles cases around the world. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: humankind will self-destruct because of its own stupidity.



  


It is entirely possible that the absolutely offensive and miserable weather conditions in this accursed place have reached hitherto unplumbed and undreamed of abysses.



  


Here's a quick reminder to all those plastic people who obsess over success, luxury clothing, perfect Instagram selfies, hair removal, photo filters, and plastic surgery: we are all full of shit. Quite literally.



  


One of the most outrageous scams in the world right now is being peddled by politicians and business executives who demand spending cuts during humanity's wealthiest era. Flagrant greed is the reason why we have cases of institutionalized injustice and cruelty such as the Finnish elderly health care scandal. Businesses are obsessed with maximizing profits, just as their lackies in governments and parliaments, ignoring all the suffering and destruction this diseased avariciousness causes. Who cares about the elderly people dying in misery as long as the venal businessmen get their profits.



  


Procrastination is my middle name.



  


Some recently listened albums: Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Uncharted Land, The Flashbulb - Dormant (Movement 1 Through 7), NEØV - Orange Morning, Steve Tibbets - Safe Journey, Marcin Wasilewski Trio - January, King Crimson - VROOM VROOM (Live 1995/96).



  


Internet Explorer has become obsolete and shouldn't be used by Windows users anymore. This reminds me of the previous web browsers that have become obsolete as well. Back in 1995, when I started using the Internet, Mosaic and Netscape Navigator were the two main browsers available, and they felt so modern and revolutionary when Internet was something completely new.



  


Is beauty for beauty's sake enough of a reason to keep on taking photographs if one does not have societal or political ambitions in terms of themes and content?



  


Things I’m Grateful Of #6: I'm not a fan, and I don't belong to any fandom (fan is an abbreviation of fanatic).



  


Some Of My Favourite Photographers: Daido Moriyama. Life on the streets as seen through Moriyama's lens turns into a gritty, decadent, and desolate black & white wasteland with textures as coarse as a 40 grit sandpaper.



  


Armie Hammer for Batman.



  


One of my biggest regrets at the moment is having been stupid enough to give Facebook so much highly personal data about myself over the years. Even though I have deleted my Facebook account, it is most likely that all my data still exists at Facebook's servers.



  


Still can’t get over the audacity of Tumblr’s sexist definition of ”female-presenting nipples” as offensive, objectionable, and prohibited content. I don’t think I will ever understand the logic behind the hysterical fear of the nipple that the religious, misogynistic conservatives harbor. Furthermore, no one has ever been able to explain the crucial difference between male and female nipples. What exactly makes the female nipple so dangerous and corruptive to our sensitive minds that it must be condemned and hidden?



  


Favourite Lovecraft Gems #16: "viscous agglutinations", "unexplainable fetor", "sinister lightnings".



  


But how about that time when I wrote a story in the English class about canned goods made out of human spinchters by a colonial robber baron?



  


One of humankind’s most tragic flaws is the worship of excess wealth and sanctioning of greed. This is most obvious in the way humans allow the existence of billionaires in a world where the poor are dying of hunger. Every billionaire who refuses to donate large sums for the greater good has blood on his hands.



  


The consequent difference of jumping from iOS 10 to iOS 12 made it feel like I got an entirely new phone.



  


Whenever I see children in films who look nothing like their parents, it makes me feel like the filmmakers are implying that the mother has been cheating. The truth is that the casting process is often illogical, focusing on performance instead of plausibility. For example, it’s extremely rare for parents with pale blue eyes to have a child with dark brown eyes, but filmmaking has always been a sloppy sleight of hand that pisses on logic.



  


I meant to google the idiom "odd duck" but accidentally typed "'odd cuck".



  


I would definitely apply the contemporary term "creepy a.f." to HEREDITARY (2018)



  


History has proven again and again that a large precentage of people are like robots that lay dormant without any original thought, waiting for some authority figure to come and insert programming. The more ludicrous and delusional the programming is, the more ecstatic the experience would appear to be for the robot.



  


Why do we bother with lame excuses and white lies when we could just be honest, even if it's awkward.



  


Shaky explanations from capitalist politicians and venal business men about the sordid senior health care scandal. Nobody has the guts to just say out loud that those greedy parasites were ruthlessly, knowingly, and purposefully reaping profits by exploiting sick and vulnerable old people. Exploitation is still being normalized and sanctioned by the avaricious capitalists and their minions, who preach the gospel of neo-liberalism.



  


I bet the toxic Star Wars fanboys still try to convince themselves that The Last Jedi never happened.



  


Once I started deleting redundant music from my iTunes library, I just couldn't stop. There were so many old albums that either didn't interest me anymore, or were already available on Spotify. I decided to keep only the rare, obscure, and weird titles that are mostly unavailable on streaming services, and deleted about 200 Gt of music that was just eating up hard drive space. The resulting iTunes library is one slim and odd duck, to say the least, but now it fits on a smaller, faster, and silent SSD drive.



  


Approximately two decades have passed since the first time I used Photoshop, but I feel I've barely scratched the surface of all the possibilities hiding under its shiny hood. Photoshop is amazing in its complexity and diversity. There are so many ways to perform countless tasks, and every year I learn something new.



  


Favourite Lovecraft Gems #15: "malign encroachments", "unplumbed abysses", "nameless stench"'.



  


A recent Helsingin Sanomat article reminded me of how America is quite literally everywhere in our everyday lives. Large portions of entertainment, culture, media, Internet content in general, lifegoals, attitudes, and politics we consume have been the result of American cultural imperialism. Hell, I'm even writing these journal entries in English, the modern day Lingua Franca that's a direct result of American music, films, and television.



  


Some Of My Favourite Photographers: Brittany Markert. Through her "In Rooms" film photography Markert has discovered a world of her own that manifests as something surreal, erotic, anachronistic, nightmarish, and mysterious, yet deeply personal and emotional.



  


I wish I had the tenacity and vision to photograph in a singular style, but I'm like a dog that chases every passing car except the most important one that leads to the abattoir, and trash cans full of juicy offal.



  


Things I’m Grateful Of #5: Literature, cinema, and music.



  


The Finnish Museum Card is one of the best inventions ever. Visiting all the exhibitions that interest me became a breeze because now I don't have to think about the mounting costs and get cheap.



  


Argentinian horror film ATERRADOS (2017) really scared the living daylights out of me. I suppose it's a positive thing to discover that after having watched brutal horror films for decades, I still haven't become completely desensitized.



  


Some recently listened albums: Keren Ann - You're Gonna Get Love, NEØV - Volant, Jean-Michel Jarre - Equinoxe Infinity, Dr Lonnie Smith - Afro-Desia, Matt Chamberlain - Comet B, Floratone - Floratone.



  


There are quite a few morally corrupt, barbaric countries that I will absolutely not travel to. I find it appalling that many still do, because there's some resort or exotic locale that's good for "luxury lifestyle" IG selfies. We all need to look like winners, right? Living the dream (of the deluded and greedy).



  


Scoot McNairy could be the long lost son of Bruce Weitz. In the case of some venal Hollywood studio executive remaking Hill Street Blues some day, McNairy should be cast as Sgt. Belker.



  


I made the mistake of taking a peek at some IG post comments. It was like diving into raw sewage. To think that some choose to wallow in that hostile cesspool every day, slinging shit at others, willingly.



  


Favourite Lovecraft Gems #14: "dimly sinister suggestiveness", "burial place of the aeons", "gaseous wraiths and rash flyers".



  


It's dumbfounding how it nearly always takes three attempts to plug in a Type A USB connector if you can't see the orientation of the socket pins.



  


Enough snow!



  


The newspapers are having a field day with his death, and they're milking it for all its worth.



  


Fear is the mind killer, but so is insecurity.



  


Is art only in the eye of the beholder?



  


And suddenly, there were heaps of King Crimson live albums on Spotify.



  


Favourite Lovecraft Gems #13: "namelessly accursed", "nightmare antiquity", "abyssward aperture".



  


Some recently listened albums: Aaron Parks - Invicible Cinema, Skalpel - Konfusion, Deftones - Koi No Yokan, Bosnian Rainbows - Bosnian Rainbows, Ryuichi Sakamoto - The Revenant Soundtrack.



  


I just mentioned during a WhatsApp chat my need to buy a new Mac some day. A couple of minutes later I received advertisement email. Obviously, it was about buying a new Mac. Facebook is using WhatsApp for spying its users, as per usual. Nothing is private, and all data will be exploited for sinister commercial purposes. This was the kickstart I needed for moving my private conversations over to Signal.



  


Apparently I have added a multitude of photo sets over to the Galleries.



  


Upon revisiting Lovecraft's story AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, I realized to my great surprise that I had forgotten almost all of the backstory. While backstories often give insight into understanding characters, they often rob them of their mystery.



  


And now for something completely different.



  


The recent story in The Atlantic about the latest craze of the Instagram celebrity wannabes is mind-numbing, to say the least. Those sad people are wasting fortunes on fake teeth so they could meet the insane beauty standards of an insane civilisation, and look fabulous on their Instagram selfies. Yet more evidence for my hypothesis that questions the position of Homo Sapiens as the most intelligent species on this planet.



  


How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb? None. Conservatives don't believe in progress.



  


Some recently listened albums: Shane Carruth - Upstream Color Soundtrack, Peter Gabriel - Us, Remember Remember - Forgetting The Present, Tori Amos - To Venus And Back, Subheim - No Land Called Home, Alaskan Tapes - In Distance We're Losing, Thievery Corporation - Saudade, Jóhann Jóhansson - Mandy Soundtrack, Antonio Carlos Jobim - Stone Flower, Aphrodite's Child - 666.



  


Managed to stop myself in the middle of reading yet another social media outrage news story. I guess modern humans just don't have better things to do than to look for opportunities to induce a hysterical knee-jerk reaction in themselves and join a bloodthirsty lynch mob. This is all too medieval for 21st century.



  


After getting rid of Facebook, the next logical step would be to get rid of every Facebook owned app, such as WhatsApp and Instagram. There's already a safe and secure replacement for WhatsApp called Signal. Instagram, unfortunately, doesn't have a proper replacement yet.



  


All the places where I don't belong.



  


Time has really shown me that the number one investment for anyone who's planning to spend long hours at the computer, editing and retouching photos, should be an ergonomic office chair that will safeguard your back. I thought I had a decent office chair, but it has actually wrecked my back during the last few years.



  


It's paradoxical and endlessly ironic how humankind is a civilisation that is often far from civilised.



  


Depeche Mode's song "Condemnation" has always sounded like "Condom Nation" to me, but I don't think the song is about the pros and cons of safe sex.



  


Removing the background from a picture in Photoshop becomes quite "challenging" when you've got a blonde model wearing a white shirt against a white background. Under these circumstances, all those fancy new masking and selection tools become utterly useless, and it's all up to your skills.



  


Things I’m Grateful Of #4: I don't worship money like soulless, capitalist parasites.



  


Exceptionally rotten idea to allow profit-obsessed robber barons and their minions to run health care companies. Those capitalist parasites maximized the profits by severely downgrading the quality of health care services, especially those aimed at disabled seniors, resulting in serious negligence, suffering, and even death. But who cares about collateral damage when there's tons of money to be made, right?



  


Most likely, I will never get used to the look of the "motion smoothing" technology of modern televisions. Whenever I configure the settings of a new television, I turn these features off. If I watch a movie shot on film at 24 fps, I want it to look like film, not cheap consumer grade HD video.



  


Only man could've invented something as malevolent and asinine as "the original sin".



  


Favourite Lovecraft Gems #12: "forgotten aeons", "preternatural massiveness", "mad grotesqueness".



  


I miss art exhibitions like Ars 95 that were thought-provoking and shocking. One of the worst things that can happen to art is that it becomes house-trained, sterile, lifeless, unnoticeable, and insignificant.



  


I remember leaving 500px after a relatively short stint when I got sick of all the hustling photographers sending me messages and begging for likes.



  


In a world where people are still dying of hunger, I really don't want to see any more of those wasteful morons, who hoard piles of food on their plates just because they can, and then throw most of it away.



  


"No regrets" and "only god can judge me" are the creeds of true narcissists. What those self-appointed dignitaries refuse to understand is that having regrets about one's wrongdoings can lead to self-reflection and crucial learning experiences that help one to prevent repeating the same mistakes.



  


Just wondering if anyone's ever seen Robert Rodriguez without a hat.



  


The algorithm that Netflix uses is actually quite spot-on at recommending content for me. The key to getting accurate recommendations is taking some time to give a wider selection of their content positive and negative ratings that are specific, accurate, and consistent with the types of films you want to see — in general — instead of just voting for everything you like.



  


There are far more interesting books, films, art exhibitions, and television shows than there are hours in a day. Definitely a first world problem.



  


Things I’m Grateful Of #3: I'm not on Facebook anymore.









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