Simon Griffee Design Photography Writing Illustration

November 2013

A Universal Income is Not a Silly Idea

Published 2013 November 28

It is a great idea.

Piazza di San Calisto, Rome, Italy, February 2012

Published 2013 November 26

\getcloser100 Day 36.

I’ll likely be taking a break the next four days to visit my friends JRB and KJT, one of which is in this picture!

Torre, Isola del Giglio, Italy, August 2013

Published 2013 November 25

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Cala del Gesso, Isola del Giglio, Italy, July 2010

Published 2013 November 24

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Via del Corso, Rome, Italy, February 2013

Published 2013 November 24

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Via del Corso, Rome, Italy, September 2013

Published 2013 November 22

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Circo Massimo, Rome, Italy, May 2012

Published 2013 November 21

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Day 30 is here.

A Fence That Separates Two Worlds

Published 2013 November 20

Writer Lorenzo Silva quoted in the Guardian’s excellent Our Walled World:

…a symbol of the failure of Europe, and of the human race in general…a fence that separates two worlds.

Unfortunately, I am often reminded of Imaginary Lines.

Hue Saigon and Hoi An, Vietnam, April 2010

Published 2013 November 20

\getcloser100 Day 30.

Day 29 is here.

Josef Koudelka: Formed by the World

Published 2013 November 20

Great interview with the great photographer Josef Koudelka, and part II.

Via my friend John Ryan Brubaker.

I have this deformation, from this Czech period when I was growing up, in many different ways. It goes even to the language. I don’t believe what people say. What was written or what you heard — the contrary was true.

The writer Bruce Chatwin, in a book about aborigines in Australia, called “The Songlines,” says there are a few rules so that aboriginals can survive in a hostile country. The first was to stay in one place means suicide. Second, your country is the place where you don’t put questions to yourself anymore. Your home is the place where you leave from and in a period of crisis you must formulate a way to escape. Also, you should keep good relationships with your neighbors.

bq.. I want to show you this little book I bought 20 years ago in Czechoslovakia. It is the speech of Chief Seattle to the president of the United States in 1854. It is so beautiful. It applies to Israel.

He says the land doesn’t belong to the people — it is the people who belong to the land. The land is the mother and what is happening to the mother is going to happen to the son too. This is the question about selling the land. He said how can you sell your mother — how can you sell the air — and he said if you are spitting on your land you are spitting on your mother.

bq.. Q. What did you learn from visiting all these places and spending all this time thinking about the archaeology sites and the history of man?

A. That nothing is permanent.

Nothing is permanent — that’s also what I learned from the Gypsies. Bresson used to tell me that your problem is that you don’t think about the future, and that’s exactly what I learned from the Gypsies. Not to worry much about the future. And I learned that to be alive I don’t need much. So I never worried about money because I knew in the past if I needed the money I borrowed it so I didn’t lose the time.

And time is the only thing you have in your life, and if you are getting older you feel it a little more. But I felt that all my life.

Our Walled World

Published 2013 November 20

Not sure if I have time or want to restart this blog, but this is as good a link as any to do it with.

bq.. Why are we building new walls to divide us?

Using satellite imagery, users’ pictures, video and first-hand testimony, Guardian reporters across the world chart the new walls being built to divide people from their neighbours.

Almost a quarter of a century after the Iron Curtain came down, the walls are going up again. In steel and concrete, with watchtowers and barbed wire, mankind is building separation barriers at a rate perhaps unequalled in history - at least 6,000 miles in the last decade alone, according to a Guardian analysis.

Now, in a unique project, Guardian journalists have visited 10 of the most controversial, striking, contested and extraordinary walls, from the US-Mexican border to the West Bank, and from Europe’s eastern and southern frontiers to the divided cities of Homs and Belfast. We have tried to establish why these new divisions are going up now, in an age when globalisation was supposed to tear the barriers down - particularly when, as history shows, walls rarely did what they set out to do.

bq.. In the short term, walls may appear worthwhile investments. But they never address the underlying causes of the conflicts they seek to mitigate. At best, walls create an illusion of security – because those on the “wrong” side will always be working out how to get around them.

At worst, they are counter-productive: a people that believes it has solved its problems by isolating itself physically from whatever threatens it – broadly, inequality – can put off asking itself the bigger questions.

They might, just possibly, do better to recall Frost’s words.

    Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offence.
    Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
    That wants it down.

See also: Walls: an illusion of security from Berlin to the West Bank by Jon Henley.

Prairie, Badlands, South Dakota, June 2005

Published 2013 November 19

\getcloser100 Day 29.

Amber recently wrote about Martha Gellhorn after reading her book Travels With Myself and Another which has an uncredited, cropped version of Robert Capa’s photograph of Gellhorn with the rifle on the cover.

Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, July 2003

Published 2013 November 18

\getcloser100 Day 28.

St Ives Harbour, St Ives, England, September 2012

Published 2013 November 17

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Day 26 is here.

Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy, September 2012

Published 2013 November 15

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Day 24 is here.

Day 26 is here.

Via del Salvatore, Cortona, Italy, July 2011

Published 2013 November 13

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Day 22 is here.

Day 24 is here.

Via di San Gregorio, Rome, Italy, December 2012

Published 2013 November 11

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Le Thanh Ton, Saigon, Vietnam, March 2010

Published 2013 November 10

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Porta di Roma, Rome, Italy, October 2009

Published 2013 November 9

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Tham Morakot, Kho Muk, Andaman Sea, March 2010

Published 2013 November 9

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Dad’s Ashes, Carbis Bay, Near St Ives, England, September 2012

Published 2013 November 8

My dad was born two months before Capa’s photograph was taken.

I miss my dad very much.

\getcloser100 Day 17.

Cafe Han Thuyen, Saigon, Vietnam, March 2010

Published 2013 November 6

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Portico d’Ottavia, Rome, Italy, November 2011

Published 2013 November 5

\getcloser100 Day 15. Day 14 is here.

Champ de Mars, Paris, France, May 2013

Published 2013 November 3

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Near Triana, Seville, Spain, April 2011

Published 2013 November 2

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Campo de’ Fiori, Rome, Italy, January 2010

Published 2013 November 1

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