Search Results for 'ron english'

Street Art

obeyBroken Spines has previously discussed the work of Ron English.  But, with all the hub-bub around the inauguration, I was interested in the story behind the ubiquitous Obama “Hope” posters created by Shepard Fairey.  It turns out that Fairey is a street artist best known for his “Obey” stickers with an abstract black and white face based on Andre the Giant.  He’s a southern California skater, former punk rocker, and graphic artist who happens to avoid compliance with local ordinances.


But, his omnipresent poster of Obama has ironically brought him huge mainstream success ultimately helping to elect a president, the personification of government.  Listen to this Terry Gross interview with him where he deftly explains how he balances his street cred with his new found success.

Also, check out Time Magazine’s photo series called “Art of the Street” (it includes one of Fairey’s pieces).


For giggles, I included this parody of the Fairey’s hope poster. It was published on the front page of the Willamette Week paper in Portland. The image is created by Barry Stock.  I’m sure Fairey doesn’t mind.

Abject Expressionism


Morgan Spurlock included paintings by Ron English in his 2004 documentary “Super Size Me”.  In December, English is publishing a coffee table retrospective of his work and the image, “MC Milkshake”, above is on the cover.  You can see more of his work at  Is it art?  Is English the new Warhol?  Either way I like it.

From Wikipedia:

 One aspect of his work involves ‘liberating’ commercial billboards with his own messages. Frequent targets of his work include Joe Camel, McDonalds, and Mickey Mouse. Ron English can be considered the “celebrated prankster father of agit-pop”, who wrangles carefully created corporate iconographies so that they are turned upside down, and are used against the very corporation they are meant to represent.


Sonia Sotomayor – Outlier?

Excerpt from The Washington Post May 26, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor knew she wanted to go into law from an early age.

As a child, she aspired to be like Nancy Drew, the detective in the popular children’s mystery series. But at the age of 8, she was diagnosed with diabetes and told she might need to rethink her dreams.

Her struggle with diabetes was just one of many adversities she faced while growing up.

Sotomayor’s parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during World War II. Her father worked in a factory and didn’t speak English.

She was born in the Bronx and grew up in a public housing project, not too far from the stadium of her favorite team — the New York Yankees. Her father died when she was 9, leaving her mother to raise her and her younger brother on her own.

Her mother, whom Sotomayor describes as her biggest inspiration, worked six days a week to care for her and her younger brother, and instilled in them the value of an education.

Sotomayor later graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and went on to attend Yale law school, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

In her three-decade career, she has worked at nearly every level of the judicial system, and on Tuesday she became President Obama’s pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.

Sotomayor thanked Obama for “the most humbling honor of my life.”

“I hope that as the Senate and American people learn more about me, they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences,” she said.

Matt H.




About Me:

  • 40+ years old
  • Married
  • 2 children – daughter and son
  • Education:
    • Catholic school education K-12:
      • Although I now consider myself a “recovering” catholic
    • Public state college undergraduate degree (1994):
      • Major: Management Information Systems
      • Minor: Philosophy – Business Ethics
      • Beta Theta Pi fraternity
    • Public state college MBA degree (1997)
      • Business Strategy / Finance / Information Systems

Professional Career

  • Software Developer / Technical Support – MN (3 Years)
  • Internal IT Outsourcing Team – NY (7 Years)
  • Retail Business Development – MN (9 Years)
  • Entrepreneur – MN (1+ Years)

Other Books Beyond Fight Club Titles:

  • Team Torture: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values
    • Author / Date Read: Philippe Sands/ July 08
    • Comment: Not the most dynamic read ever but great content.  What I took away were three things: 1) The policy on torture was created by policy wonk Washington lawyers on behalf of the Bush administration, not our military JAG or generals – they didn’t want soldiers conducting aggressive interrogation techniques for fear of retribution on our troops, 2) the FBI and NCIS have both been against the interrogation techniques because they do not produce valid results – detainees will say anything to avoid torture, and 3) even though the Bush administration has defined these captives as enemy combatants and not soldiers to avoid Article 3 of the Geneva convention – the truth is that these techniques do violate the Geneva convention and any soldier who has used these techniques and is detained on international soil could be held on war crimes charges.  Shame on you Mr. Bush, Mr, Rumsfeld, and Mr. Feith.
  • Cool It
    • Author / Date Read: Bjorn Lomborg/ June 08
    • Comment: The author agrees that there is global warming and that it is man made.  What he disagrees with is the amount of money that we are going to commit to doing something about it; rather than doing something else that could be a greater good (i.e. solving world hunger, solving the global AIDS crisis, etc.).  Lomborg is a classic utilitarian – the greatest good for the greatest number and at the lowest cost.
  • The Audacity of Hope
    • Author / Date Read: Barack Obama / April 08
    • Comment: The book details Barack’s life and his political views as of 2006.  He describes the government that he wants (and I want) but it is not a book about him; rather it is a book about us.  Are we willing to take an active role in changing our government or are we merely resigned to complain about the way that it is.  Thank you Barack… for too long we have heard why we can’t… now we can be a part of why we can.
  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal 5 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Ben Macintyre / March 08
    • Comment: A true story of a English criminal imprisoned in occupied France during WWII who volunteers to become a German spy only to turn himself in to the British police/military at the start of his first mission and later becomes a British double agent. While lengthy 364 pages this is one of those books that you don’t want to put down! If it were not so well documented, I would have bet money that it were a work of fiction. What I found really interesting was the lack of understanding and accuracy that both the British and the German’s have of each other’s spy networks. Finally, the author does a great job of conveying the complexity involved in being a double agent and living a lie while trying to tell the truth. Amazing book!.
  • Our Endangered Values : America’s Moral Crisis 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Jimmy Carter / February 08
    • Comment: A great read and a greater person!  While I do not share his faith I agree with every other thing he has to say.  He leaves the reader wanting more after a few of the chapters but is spot on with his domestic and international insights.
    • Author / Date Read: John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt / January 08
    • Comment: Interesting book that opened my eyes to the workings of Washington but I would have preffered to only have read the first 50 pages.
  • On Wings of Eagles 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Ken Follett / November 07
    • Comment: An amazing story of Ross Perot (and EDS) that I never knew.  Two EDS employees we imprisoned in Iran in December of 1978, were freed when a pro-Ayatollah mod stormed the prison they were in, to eventually escape via a border crossing into Turkey.  The book left me with two questions: what was the US still doing in Iran in 1979 when the embassy hostages were taken and what would my company do to “rescue” me if travelling abroad for business?
  • A Long Way Gone 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Ishmael Beah / September 07
    • Comment: Choppy and repetitious, but inspiring – how fortunate we are to live in “relative” peace!  The amazing story of a young boy turned into a brutal killer.
  • The Innovation Paradox 5 Stars
    • Authors  / Date Read: Ralph Keyes & Richard Farson / September 2007
    • Comment: Awesome! Should be required reading for anyone in business today.  The success of failure… the failure of success – how often are individuals or businesses crippled to innovate by the fear of failure.
  • A Whole New Mind 5 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Daniel H. Pink / August 2007
    • Comment: Another great read… left brain logic got us this far but is no longer sufficient.  With the influence of abundance, automation, and Asia individuals and businesses must look beyond the linear equations and ingage in right brain thinking… inspiration, empathy, and emotion.  Mr. Pink’s unique talent is to take the disparate details of the world and distill them down into the obvious.
  • The Wal*Mart Effect 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Charles Fishman / July 2007
    • Comment: “Always low prices, always” is the mantra that drives this company and it is that second “always” that leads it to ruin competitors, vendors, and lives with it’s pricing tenacity.  Great read!
  • Charlie Wilson’s War 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: George Crile / June 2007
    • Comment: 500+ pages but I couldn’t stop turning them… I learned as much about political (also relevant to business) strategy as I did about arms sales to Afghanistan.  Soon to be a movie starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
  • Bringing Down the House 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Ben Mezrich / April 2007
    • Comment: One word… Awesome!  An amazing story of some wickedly smart kids who can count cards quickly; it is a quick read and a real page turner.
  • Wisdom of Our Fathers 5 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Tim Russert / March 2007
    • Comment: Keep the box of Kleenex near buy but if I could be “half the man” of the stories of fathers in this book… I would feel pretty good.
  • The Truth About Healthcare 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: David Mechanic / March 2007
    • Comment: Relevant & insightful but a painful read.  How do we fix a system where millions of citizens suffer with no health care coverage in the wealthiest nation in the world?
  • The Tipping Point 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Malcolm Gladwell / February 2007
    • Comment: Loved it!  I wanted more details but I loved the insights and the willingness to call them out.
  • FDR’s Folly 2 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Jim Powell / January 2007
    • Comment: Ok… so FDR wasn’t perfect but he wasn’t nearly the devil that this book made him out to be.
  • Conservatives Without Conscience 5 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: John Dean / December 2006
    • Comment: Wow… I think Dean is really on to something here… he has some of the most insightful theories on the why’s of the republican party.  A MUST READ for anyone even remotely interested in politics.
  • The Truth About Muhammad 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Robert Spencer / December 2006
    • Comment: A bit one sided but a glimpse into a religion that I knew little about.
  • The Heartless Stone 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Tom Zoellner / October 2006
    • Comment: Share with your girl friends and they will never want that big engagement ring (maybe?).  Fascinating.
  • The One Percent Doctrine 5 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Ron Suskind / September 2006
    • Comment: An awesome book with amazing details on the U.S. response to 9/11 and the alarming policy that Cheney instituted on if some event had a 1% chance of occurring it was to be investigated, thus draining limited resources from Bin Laden & Afghanistan.
  • Whatever It Takes 2 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: J.D. Hayworth / July 2006
    • Comment: While Hayworth is a bit too far to the “right” for me… besides building a wall… I agree with most of the rest of the book.  The solution lies somewhere in enforcing the laws we have on the books, holding businesses accountable, and figuring out some sort of “guest worker” program that allows the current immigrant workers to stay but collects the appropriate taxes.
  • Freakonomics 4 Stars
    • Authors / Date Read: Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner / May 2006
    • Comment: You will want to dazzle your friends with facts for weeks after reading this one.  Cheating teachers, poor crack dealers, and the socioeconomic effects of naming your child… this book has it all.  A great read.
  • The Big Picture 3 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Edward Epstein / April 2006
    • Comment: Amazing insight into the power of the motion picture industry… a long read but an intriguing journey.
  • Mr. China 4 Stars
    • Author / Date Read: Tim Clissold / March 2006
    • Comment: Wow!  My former imployer was a large investor in the early capitalizing of China.  I would love to hear more of these stories of pilfering and thievery… did I mention the second plant that I am building just down the valley?


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