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Category: 1110DC (October)

Thomas Ryan a New York security consultant has been identified as part of an intelligence gathering operation within the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Ryan’s activities involved infiltrating the movement in order to discredit them, forwarding information gleaned from the movements internal email lists to the NYPD and FBI. Ryan claims on his blog to have worked for the US Army, leading a team called Black Cell, which he claims are “a team of the most-highly trained and capable physical, threat and cyber security professionals in the world.” Ryan is alleged to have sent emails containing the movements strategies to the extremist conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, who has been using them in an attempt to paint the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement as anarchists bent on destroying the global financial markets.


Inspired by Alan Colmes image source Liberaland

Sam Mullet the 66 year old US Amish leader of a breakaway group is alleged to be responsible for encouraging five of his cult members to attack the bishop of another Amish community. Mullet’s two sons Lester and Johnny along with three others illegally entered the home of a 74 year old Amish bishop from a mainstream Amish community in an Ohio nearby county, using clippers and scissors attacked the man and his son removing their beards. The beards of Amish men have a religious significance, growing them from adulthood and ceasing to trim them upon marriage. Mullet claims the beards were cut after he received criticism regarding his leadership of the breakaway cult, and was meant to humiliate and punish. Mullet denies have given his approval for the attack, but claims he would not have intervened to stop them.


Inspired by Gawker image source clevescene

George Soros the 81 year old Hungarian born US financier and philanthropist supporter of progressive liberal causes has been speculated by critics such as the right wing extremist radio host Rush Limbaugh as providing financial backing to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ grassroots movement. Soros known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because of his US$1 billion in investment profits during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis, is one of the 10 wealthiest US citizens with a net worth estimated at US$22 billion, and has given away through philanthropic causes US$8 billion since 1979. Soros played a crucial role in the collapse of Eastern Europe communism, as an advocate of ‘open societies’, financially supporting dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement. Soros is the chairman of the Open Society Institute, and former board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Inspired by Jason Linkins image source WEF

Paolo Baratta the 72 year old Italian former banker and Chairman of the Venice Biennale art exhibition has been informed his position will cease at the conclusion of this year. Baratta is deeply involved with the Italian cultural sector, sitting on several institutional and organizational boards. His successor Giulio Malgara a businessman has little experience with the arts will assume the role from the 1st January 1012, and is seen by some as a political appointment. The Mayor of Venice Giorgio Orsoni released a statement stating, “I am convinced that Giulio Malgara is an unsuitable person to carry out the role of chairman of the Venice Biennale and that it would be a mistake to confirm him in this position. It would interrupt a vital and fruitful process that needs to be seen through to the end.”


Inspired by Anna Somers Cocks image source Starkwhite

Amy Kremer a former flight attendant and now chairwoman of the US extremist group the ‘Tea Party Express’, has expressed outrage at comparisons being made with her group to the burgeoning ‘Occupy Wall Street’ grassroots movement. In an interview with POLITICO, Kremer ironically pointed out the OWS movement “don’t even know why they’re out there protesting on Wall Street. I don’t think it’s the left’s answer to the tea party movement … I think they’re just unhappy people that don’t know really what they want… The tea party movement … the thing is, we’ve matured.” The TPE under Kremer’s leadership now endorses and promotes ultra right wing Christian conservative candidates running for state and federal offices. VP Joe Biden drew a comparison referring to both movements initial origins stating, “There’s a lot in common with the tea party”.


Inspired by Min Jung Lee image source bildungblog

Franklin Edward “Frank” Kameny a US gay rights activist and deemed one of the most significant figures has died at the age of 86. Kameny was dismissed in 1957 from his position as an astronomer in the Army Map Service because of his sexuality, leading him to begin “a Herculean struggle with the American establishment” that would “spearhead a new period of militancy in the gay rights movement of the early 1960s”. Kameny protested his dismissal and argued this case to the United States Supreme Court in 1961. Although unsuccessful in his petition, it was notable as the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation. In 1963 Kameny launched a campaign to overturn sodomy laws and became the first openly gay candidate for the United States Congress, personally drafting a bill that finally passed in 1993.


Inspired by Linda Hirshman image source DCVirago

Michael Rubens Bloomberg the 69 year old US businessman Mayor of New York City visited the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement at Zuccotti Park. Although the visit was brief, he addressed members of the movement informing them they would need to vacate the park in order for it to be ‘cleaned’. Brookfield Properties the owners of the park had complained to the NYPD that concerned citizens and office workers were reporting lewdness, groping, drinking, drug use, unsanitary conditions and offensive odors, from and around the park. However members of the movement voiced concerns that it was an attempt to evict them from the park and prevent them from bringing back camping equipment. Bloomberg later confirmed the ‘cleaning’ had been postponed and the movement could stay “indefinitely”. Bloomberg has a 2011 personal net worth of $18.1 billion.

Inspired by Max Read image source Rubenstein

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the 73 year old President of Liberia has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Tawakel Karman of Yemen and Leymah Gbowee also of Liberia. The prize recognized the women “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”. Sirleaf is the first and only elected female head of any state in Africa. Thorbjorn Jagland, a former prime minister of Norway, leads the Nobel committee that chose the winners released the citation for the award stating “We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society”. During her term Sirleaf signed into law a Freedom of Information bill, the first of its kind in West Africa.


  1. Inspired by France24 image source Agencia Brasil

Zwelethu Mthethwa the 51 year old South African artist photographer nominated to include his work in the prestigious Venice Biennale art exhibition, has withdrawn outraged and alleging transparency issues within the organizing group. Monna Mokoena a South African gallery owner who had initiated the South African return to the Biennale following non participation since 1995, has been appointed the commissioner by the government. Mokoena selected the curator and two of his own artists to exhibit, and as a token selected two others including Mthethwa while delaying them access to information and financial budgets. Malcolm Payne a former Dean of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town who had exhibited at the last South African participation in the 1995 Biennale, criticised Mokoena appointment as “A handout … What happened then is happening now”.

Inspired by Matthew Blackman image source myglobalhustle

Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling the 23 year old Chilean student movement leader during the recent Chilean protests that met with ferocious police opposition, has succeeded in obtaining a Supreme Court order instructing police to provide her with protection following death threats. Vallejo is considered an influential icon of modern Chile, seen by some as the successor to the symbolic Gladys Marín. Vallejo is a active member of the ‘Juventudes Comunistas de Chile’ (Chilean Communist Youth), and is the president of the Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile (FECh) (Student Federation of the University of Chile). Vallejo a geography student was blamed by the government for the protests, and was attacked by squad vehicles firing jets of tear gas and water, setting off chemical allergic reactions resulting in welts and respiratory conditions.


Inspired by Mac Margolis image source profesorbaker

Danilo Gentili Jr the 32 year old Brazilian Comedian talk show host, known for his pushing of humors boundaries has succeeded in opening the Comedy Central Apresenta (Comedy Central Presents). Gentili was chosen to host the channels stand-up night club show, receiving high ratings and reviews on its opening night. Gentili received notoriety 12 months earlier when he made a joke of the soon to be first female president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, regarding her torture as a former Marxist guerrilla fighting against the military dictatorship. Gentili joked that “Seriously a president has to be smart. If she was caught and tortured, it’s because she was an idiot.” However Gentili acknowledges that under the military regime this type of political humor “could never have happened. Probably in the first two minutes of the show the army would have moved in”.


Inspired by Tom Phillips image source Júnia Machado

Michel Neyret the 55 year old French ‘Super-cop’, the deputy police chief of Lyon, France’s second largest city, has been charged with associating with criminals and supplying drugs to informants. Neyret, while highly respected for his effective methods in reducing violent and drug crimes, is renowned for his glamorous social lifestyle. Neyret admitted he may have been just “imprudent” when accepting a trip to Morocco and the use of a Ferrari from significant crime figures. Neyret claims that he is not corrupt but just portrayed that way, but is now suspended from duties and remanded into custody after phone taps related to international drug investigations suggested otherwise. Neyret is accused of corrupt activities including drug trafficking and associating with criminals. Five other police officers are also under investigation raising larger issues of ethics within the National Police Force.


Inspired by Tony Todd image source

Saul Perlmutter the 51 year old US astrophysicist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been awarded the Nobel prize for Physics along with two others, for their discovery that the universe’ expansion is speeding up instead of slowing down as has long been held. Perlmutter a professor of physics at the University of California aims now to gain a better understanding of the universes’ acceleration rate. Perlmutter is the leading investigator in the Supernova/Acceleration Probe project, designing a satellite dedicated to finding and studying the distant universe for more supernovae. The three winners of the award have shown how the universe emerged from the Big Bang. Dark energy, a theory that emerged as a result of the discovery, is an inverse gravity making up 75% of the universe, causing the accelerated expansion.


Inspired by Robert Sanders image source

Moataz Nasr the 50 year old Egyptian cultural artist activist has been prevented from including a key element to his London’s Hanover Square maze by the Westminster City Council. After gaining approval to exhibit his maze installation that has inscribed the words “The People Want The Fall Of The Regime”, he is now prevented from including the inscription on the basis that it was not “suitable at this time”. Nasr has been an activist since he was shot while demonstrating against the government at age 16, actively protested in Tahrir Square during the downfall of the Mubarak regime over its corruption and repression. Nasr responded “I was always looking up to England and Europe as places where I could express myself and live freely without anything to control me, so I am bitterly disappointed”.


Inspired by Coline Milliard image source thenational

Desmond Mpilo Tutu the 80 year old South African retired Anglican bishop who became synonymous with the apartheid struggle during the 1980s, has released a new biography marking his 80th birthday titled ‘Tutu:Authorized’. Tuto rose to worldwide fame as a tireless activist receiving tributes for world leaders for his inspirational activities. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Tuto was regarded as a ‘playful’  individual who traveled the world campaigning to end the South African apartheid rule. FW de Klerk the last leader of the apartheid government is quoted as stating, “I developed tremendous respect for his fearlessness. It wasn’t fearlessness of a wild kind. It was fearlessness anchored in his deep faith in God”. South Africa’s first democratic president Nelson Mandela stated, ”If Desmond gets to heaven and  is denied entry, then none of the rest of us will get in!”


Inspired by myweku image source Dale Frost

Mark Wallinger the 52 year old UK artist, and 2007 Turner Prize winner for his meticulous recreation at the Tate Britain, of peace campaigner Brian Haw’s protest outside of the UK parliament against policies toward Iraq, acknowledges that now the majority of his work comes via commissions or competitions. In an interview with Nicholas Wroe of the Guardian, Wallinger stated, “I admit that long gone are the days when I just used to be in my studio painting, and when I finished one piece I’d just start on another, but things still need to be interesting stepping-off points”. While now settling for work in set design for ballets and opera, Wallinger’s earlier work was noted for its social commentary focusing on social class and nationalism, ultimately winning him the prestigious Turner Prize.


Inspired by Nicholas Wroe image source

Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul the 76 year old US politician and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination has criticized President Obama for “assassinating” Anwar al-Awlaki the US born Muslim cleric and al Qaeda leader, claiming he should have been captured and brought before trial in a US court. US government authorities have previously stated that al-Awlaki would be targeted if he were ever located for preaching terror in the Arabian Peninsula as the public face of al Qaeda. Paul stated, “If the American people accept this blindly and casually, that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad… Al-Awlaki was born here, he’s an American citizen, he was never tried or charged for any crimes… To start assassinating American citizens without charges – we should think very seriously about this.”


Inspired by Eric Kleefeld image source

Courtney Michelle Love the 37 year old US singer-songwriter and co-founder of alternative rock band Hole, described by Rolling Stone as “the most controversial woman in rock history”, has announced she will be writing a “no holds barred” memoir. The memoir according to publishers “is time for the public to hear her tell her story, as she lived it”. The book will disclose her drug abuse, her private family relationships with her daughter and late husband Kurt Cobain, the former lead vocal of Nirvana. Rock biographer Anthony Bozza will be “setting the record straight” as co-author of the book, with her publisher claiming “Courtney is one of the most fascinating and provocative artists of our time … She is one of those rare performers who continues to reinvent herself time and again throughout the arc of her career”.


Inspired by BBC image source appolinar

Robert Allen Zimmerman the 70 year old US musician and painter known as Bob Dylan, is now reported to have copyright license to the images he has used in the creation of his paintings. Questions have arisen about whether the paintings are based on the singer’s “own experiences and observations, or on photographs that are widely available and were not taken by Mr. Dylan”. Dylan’s gallery Gagosian states that “While the composition of some of Bob Dylan’s paintings are based on a variety of sources, including archival, historic images, the paintings’ vibrancy and freshness come from the colors and textures found in everyday scenes he observed during his travels”. However the Gagosian web site promotion states the paintings are “a visual reflection on his travels in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea”.


Inspired by Ann Binlot image source Alberto Cabello

Thom Yorke the lead vocal of the UK band Radiohead was introduced along with the band by Stephen Colbert to ‘The Colbert Report’ that was devoted almost entirely to the band. “Prepare yourselves, Radiohead. You’re about to meet Televisionface” , was how Colbert made the introduction to the hour-long special episode, stating “presented by Dr Pepper, except for Radiohead, who present themselves because they’re nobody’s corporate tool”. Yorke and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves during the show, and for the pioneers of “Serious Listening” they were actually laughing. Colbert chided the band for their anti-corporate stance yet sitting beneath a large Dr. Pepper sign. Yorke responded that the soda “tastes like that stuff you get at the dentist to swill your mouth out.” Colbert replied, “Well, Thom, It is a doctor”.


Inspired by Hadley Freeman image source Comedy Central

Patrick Keiller the 61 year old UK avant garde film-maker and artist, has been selected to undertake an installation of the central space at the Tate Britain. Keiller is renowned for ‘Robinson in Ruins’ film featuring the narration by Vanessa Redgrave. Released in 2010 the film documents the outcomes of a three-year research project titled The Future of Landscape and the Moving Image, the third in the Robinson series. The Tate Britain commission by Keiller will be its latest in an ongoing series of contemporary sculpture commissions which address the heritage of the space as a sculpture gallery. Keiller stated on accepting the commission, “As someone most usually involved with images and the linearity of narrative, I’m delighted by the invitation to devise an exhibit for a sculpture gallery.”


Inspired by Mark Brown image source

Anthony Bologna a New York Deputy Inspector of Police with the NYPD pepper spray attacked several female protestors during the “Occupy Wall Street” protest organized by the “hacktivist” group Anonymous. Police suddenly escalated their crowd control efforts by corralling protestors behind orange mesh netting. Bologna caught on video then approached the occupants corralled onto the footpath and unprovoked applied pepper spray at four women for no apparent reason. Bologna is currently the subject of a civil rights lawsuit relating to false arrest and civil rights violations that took place during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, under pressure relating to the abuse announced that all incidents involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” protests were being referred to the Civilian Complaints Review Board and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs unit.


Inspired by Jillian Rayfield image source hammeroftruth

Arianna Huffington [Stasinopoulos] the 61 year old Greek born US columnist and co-founder of the news website The Huffington Post, has been profiled by Vogue Magazine as “slightly teeter-tottery.” Huffinton’s profile included observations from her colleague and former other Huffington Post co-founder Kenny Lerer, refuting Huffinton’s claim of de-emphasizing the politics of the liberal website, stating the site had never been left wing to begin with, and was only seeking to pacify advertisers by appearing to move away from progressive stances on issues. The profile included descriptions of Huffinton’s clothing tastes, including the excessive use of thick makeup and the drinking of cappuccinos’ with a straw. Huffington is the ex-wife of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington, and stood as an independent candidate for Governor in the 2003 California recall election.


Inspired by Kat Stoeffel image source Jezebel

Winston “Winnie” Castelo a Philippines Barrister and parliamentary representative has filed a bill to prohibit ‘Planking’ as a form of protest. Planking is a recent internet fad, in which photographs are posted online of an individual lying face down in unusual location with hands touch the sides of the body. Recently a group of students calling themselves the ‘League of Filpino Students’, supported  a transport strike by staged a planking protest blocking Manila roads. Castelo stated on the filing of his bill, “If you have plankers in the middle of the street, it will disrupt traffic. While we recognize their right to express themselves, you have to respect the rights of the riding public. I was really worried as a parent … we have to see to it that their lives are protected as well.”


Inspired by AlJazeera image source

Leopoldo López Mendoza the 40 year old Venezuelan Economist and Politician has attained a ruling from the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Human Rights Court, that the Chávez government violated his political rights by denying him from holding office. López was one of 400 Venezuelans barred by Chávez from running in the 2008 elections due to alleged corruption investigations. López claims he was banned because Chávez knows he can win. López is seeking to run against Chávez in Venezuela’s 2012 presidential election. The court ordered the Venezuela electoral council not to prevent López from running in a future election, however the Chávez government plans to contest the order before the Venezuela Supreme Court. According to the Wall Street Journal, six of the seven Supreme Court justices “are sympathetic to the president”.


Inspired by Martin Delfin image source

Steve Rodney McQueen the 41 year old UK artist and filmmaker has released his new work titled ‘Shame’ at the Venice Film Festival to much acclaim. The film is about a 30+ male sex addict having issues managing his sexual urges after his sister moves in with him. The main character Brandon, skilled at the easy pickups, is constrained by his sister’s presence and disastrous activities including self harm, and a relationship with his boss. McQueen’s films are typically black and white minimalistic pieces, projected on an enclosed art gallery wall. He often appeared in his own earlier works, and is renowned for restaging a Buster Keaton stunt titled ‘Deadpan’ where a house collapses leaving him standing and unscathed through a window opening. McQueen is a Turner Prize winner, and received the Caméra d’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival.


Inspired by Ann Binlot image source futureshipwreck

Wadah Khanfar the 44 year old Director General of the Al Jazeera Network has been forced to stepped down as the head of the organization, after Wikileaks released a diplomatic cable showing he collaborated with the U.S. government. The cable stated Khanfar had agreed to remove detrimental images from the network’s online slideshow. Contrary to Al Jazeera’s reputation that Khanfar had built, taking the single channel news to a multi-national network that countered the US newsgathering hegemony, the cable implied Khanfar had systematically worked closely with the US intelligence. The images removed from the online slideshow depicted injured women and children resulting from US military actions. Khanfar’s replacement is Sheikh Ahmad bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, seen as a move by the establishment to control the growing Network’s power.


Inspired by Zara Golden image source AlJazeera

Marina Abramović the 64 year old New York-based Serbian performance artist renowned for her major retrospective 2010 performance at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) titled ‘The Artist is Present’, has had her work recreated into a browser based video game of the same title. The performance was the largest performance art exhibition ever held at MoMA, sitting for 736 hours with spectators queuing to sit opposite as Abramović sat static, immobile and silent in the museum’s atrium. The game developer Pippin Barr created the game to reconstruct the experience, including minor details such as ticketing, queuing and the environmental visuals of the museum space. Abramović has been an active performance artist for the past three decades, describing herself as the ‘grandmother of performance art’, exploring performer-audience relationships, and the artists physical limitations.



Inspired by Phaidon image source Shelby Lessig

Andrew Breitbart the 42 year old US publisher, conservative commentator and key note speaker for the Tea Party has told an audience in the event of a civil war with liberals, to fire the first shot stating that “We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns.” Addressing a gathering of Tea Party followers who had paid $45 to attend the function in Lexington, Breitbart spoke to the current #occupywallstreet protest, stating “Bring ‘em on!”, then going onto the civil war analogy. “Because I know who’s on our side. They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns. I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with.”


Inspired by Tommy Christopher image source Neon Tommy

Chris Ofili the 42 year old UK painter renowned for his works referencing his Nigerian heritage and use of elephant dung, has had his first experimental piece located with two others in a vault of a gallery in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The piece was created in 1992 when Ofili traveled to Zimbabwe as a young 23 year old council funded artist to participate in an artists’ workshop, where he experimented in the use of elephant dung that has gone on to become his signature media. The Art Newspaper investigation uncovered these significant paintings from the now defunct workshop, in a branch vault of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The paintings are in need of urgent conservation works due to the materials used and the young Ofili’s (now a Turner Prize winner of international fame) lack of experience at the time.


Inspired by Martin Bailey image source African Success

Miquel Barceló the 53 year old Spanish artist has installed into the famous New York’s Union Square a 9 metre tall, 5 tonne, sculptured bronze circus like elephant titled ‘Gran elefandret’. The sculpture depicts the elephant balancing in a gravity-defying posture holding itself up by the end of its trunk. The highly textured piece depicts the fat wrinkly legs, sagging skin and floppy big ears all delicately balanced on the animal’s trunk. The work is located on a traffic island adjacent to the square secured with a steel base, and has been previously exhibited publically to much acclaim in Madrid and Avignon. Speaking at the unveiling of the work Barceló stated, “I always say it’s a self portrait, because it’s like an artist in difficult times – we’re always balancing on our trunks.”


Inspired by Julia Halperin image source sightseeing-madrid

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