Wyclef Jean for President of Haiti

Wyclef Jean is running for president of Haiti, making today’s jukebox an obvious one:

Dear Reader,

My four-year-old daughter, Angelina, and my wife, Claudinette, are the angels of my life — and I know this year has been especially trying for them, as my efforts for Haiti have taken so much more of my time since January, when the devastating earthquake nearly destroyed my home country. In fact, my concern for my family was my primary thought as I was being urged by others to seek the presidency of Haiti.

But then I came to realize that I have to make this decision for them, and especially for my daughter, as much as for myself and my country. At age four, my daughter has already seen so much suffering in Haiti, but we’ve done our best to have her also witness the beauty of the country and the beautiful spirits of its people. I have always believed in the need to parent her by example, to show her that her dad is a man of action and a man of his word. I’ve told her throughout her life that Haiti’s future lies in our hands — including hers, as one of the young people of the country — and I want to show her by example what I’m willing to do to make Haiti a better place. I believe that to move Haiti forward, it’s going to be necessary to embrace the energy of its people, to unite around a common goal of moving ahead together. Taking all of these factors into consideration over the last few weeks, I have decided to run for president of Haiti.

I’m happy to have my family as my biggest supporters. They’ve been right there with me, helping with the programs of my NGO, Yele Haiti, over the years. Angelina and Claudinette and I were all in Haiti a few weeks before the earthquake, in fact. We went to Cite Soleil, one of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods, to give toys and backpacks to the kids. The hotel where we had stayed was destroyed by the earthquake, crumbled to the ground. We escaped death by only a few weeks — my daughter, wife and I would have been under the rubble.

Once, I told Angelina she was going to perform with me on Nickelodeon, and she asked me if she was going to get paid. I asked her, “What are you gonna do with the money?” When she said she needed it to send to the kids of Haiti, I cried tears of joy! And when some people attacked my involvement with Yéle Haiti and tears rolled down my cheeks on Oprah, she said, “Daddy, you are too tough to cry. I’ve never seen you cry.” I said to her, “I’m not crying for myself; I’m crying for the people of Haiti.”

Some negative stories continue to be written about me. People might question my motives. Because our daughter is so young, we have shielded her from the negative stories, but when she is a little older, we will talk about those (and there might be many more to come in the next few months — or years, even, depending on how things go in my campaign to make a brighter future for Angelina and the rest of the youth of Haiti).

I’ve tried to do the right thing in every part of my life, but especially when it comes to family and to Haiti. Sometimes I’ve been successful; other times not so much. But for years, I have been trying to help Haiti grow and prosper, and now I think I have the biggest chance I will ever have to make a difference there. I feel my calling is to serve our country in whatever way the people will have me.

I trust that Angelina understands why I feel a responsibility to my countrymen who suffer so much, because I know that my daughter’s heart is as beautiful as she is. I hold Haiti and its growth and development dear to my heart; I have pledged to work for my beloved country just as I have pledged to be the best father I can be to my daughter.

My daughter and my wife, my mother, my brothers and sisters, my cousins and the rest of our family are always first in my heart. But Haiti and its people are a very close second. I hope and pray that my baby girl will understand that, and I think she will — I can tell in her eyes and with the questions she asks that she already understands that to live for yourself is to live selfishly, but to live for others is the best sacrifice that we can make as human beings.

As the Creole saying goes, “L’union fait la force” — “there is strength in unity.” That is something I live by; I get strength from my family, and from all my supporters in Haiti.

Sincerely,
Wyclef Jean

Live: Lightning Crashes

Very much in a 90s rock mood today. Thusly, I’d like to share Lightning Crashes by Live.

This is a good song to be contemplative to. So if you have something on your mind, take a listen and get lost in yourself.

Farwell Kodacrhome!

The last roll of Kodachrome has been shot by none other than photographer Steve McCurry. There will be no more production of the Kodachrome film, making this specific roll immensely unique. Check out the story by AP (Associated Press) and consider this: what would you shoot with the last roll of a film?

In this June 2010 photo released by National Geographic Television, photographer Steve McCurry takes a photo of a Bollywood actor in Mumbai, India, with the last Kodachrome roll. Betting its future on digital photography, Kodak discontinued the slide and motion-picture film with a production run last August in which a master sheet nearly a mile long was cut up into more than 20,000 rolls. McCurry requested the final 36-exposure strip. After nine months of planning, he embarked in June on a six-week odyssey. Trailing him was a TV crew from National Geographic Channel, which plans to broadcast a one-hour documentary early next year. AP Photo/National Geographic Television, Yvonne Russo.
By: Ben Dobbin, Associated Press Writer

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Neil Young: Heart of Gold

A musical force in his own right, Neil Young is today’s jukebox choice. Heart of Gold from the Harvest Moon album, is definitely one of his greatest songs.

Double Rainbow!

This was just too much hilarity not to share:

Oasis: Don’t Look Back in Anger

Oasis is one of my favorite bands of all time. They really understood what it meant to be “rock stars”. They understood that when the day was done, feuds lost or won, it was about the music and their audience.

The Gallagher brothers are notorious for their relationship (if you can call it that) with one another. You’d be hard pressed to find an interview where Noel or Liam had something nice to say about the other but, they somehow made it work for a long and extremely successful career.

Check out one of my favorites, Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis:

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Equivalents: Transcending the Literal

Mr. Alfred Stieglitz was an interesting man to say the least. Among his many contributions to the world of photography, was the gift of his Equivalents series. This series was composed entirely of images of clouds, including over 200 photos. At first this may not seem to be very intriguing but, after understanding what his intention was,  that will change drastically.

Stieglitz began this series in the early 20th century, setting out to conquer two aspects at once: the perfection of a technical print, and the aesthetic that must lend itself seamlessly to that print to create a perfect marriage between the two.

That in itself is quite a feat to accomplish, as any artist will tell you. His influence with Equivalents did not end there however. This series can be argued to be the first abstract photographs created and the first to attempt to forgo their literal meaning.

So, for this weeks inspiration (photographically related at least), I would like to honor the man who essentially ushered in the use of symbolic photography.