Things are beginning to happen. Odds and ends that have been lingering are suddenly getting done.
The two new books I ordered earlier this year as an early birthday present from Michael Stokes’ latest kickstarter, arrived safe and sound this morning.
That brings me to 8 of his coffee table books and 4 of them have my name in!!
My Naked Soldier is a wonderful piece of work. These are not actually Michael Stokes photos but are in fact a collection of photos that Michael has collected over the years that depict soldiers of WWI and WWII in various states of undress and getting up to all kinds of fun and letting off steam.
Sinner or Saint is definitely Michael’s own work and he has outdone himself with some truly amazing and very naughty photos.
We had a phone call early this morning to tell us that our new sofa suite has finally arrived and that they had a delivery slot available tomorrow morning and do we want it?
ERM….. YES PLEASE!!
Unfortunately I’m at work tomorrow, so I will have to wait until I get home to see it and dress it how I want it, but thankfully I won’t be around for the upheaval of getting the old suite out and the new one in!!
This is a HUGE relief. We had been getting worried we would never see it and the thought of the company we had brought it from might go bust during the pandemic was beginning to worm it’s way into our heads. Thankfully, that is now one less thing to worry about.
Thursday and Friday are garage clearout days. Everything out on Thursday with a dump run of general rubbish at the end of the day and a bulk collection from the driveway on Friday. The only thing left to do in the house now is have a good clear out and organise the kitchen. I can’t remember the last time we were this organised.
Most of my Xmas shopping is done. I have just a couple of presents I want to get but I need to be able to actually go into a shop for a couple of them so it will have to wait until after the current lockdown.
The Xmas decs are starting to go up. I have a tree in my living room. Just a tree, no decs yet!! That will all change at the end of the week when I have managed to get the decs out of the garage. It’s very early this year but who cares!! It’s been a shit year and if we can cheer ourselves up by having Xmas cheer for a few weeks longer than normal then I think we owe it to ourselves to do it!!
So the countdown has started. Monday the 17th December, 2018, see’s the implementation of new rules and regulations by Tumblr.
As I briefly mentioned in a blog a few days ago, HERE, Tumblr announced that it will permanently ban adult content from it’s platform on December 17th. A blanket ban on ‘adult content’, regardless of what it is with just a few exceptions.
Like I said in that blog, “they seem to think that everyone who enjoys a bit of ‘adult content’ is automatically looking for ‘porn’ and this is simply not the case”.
The exceptions include nude classical statues and political protests that feature nudity. It’s interesting that Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos. If this is the case, why are artistic photos of the human form being flagged?
Several people I follow on Tumblr are photographic artists who specialise in the nude human form. Beautiful work that is now being flagged and will not be visible to the public from 17th and, in some cases, the blog itself will be deleted. One of the photographers has written a wonderful little article about how he feels about this kind of censorship.
Michael Stokes starts the article with the following paragraph…. “Part of my morning routine is to wake up the computer, have coffee, and see if Instagram or Facebook have removed any of my photos or, worse yet, deleted my account. Social media sites are important because not only are they my main source of exposure to income, they are my calling card for the models who pose for me. As a photographer who specializes in the male form, I shoot still images of men in various state of undress, everything from shirtless to full frontal nudity. I’m also known for photographing wounded, amputee veterans in the nude, work that has been the subject of about a dozen doctoral theses and published in various academic journals, with themes from changing perceptions of the handicapped to an analysis of masculinity in America as it relates to war.”
Michael’s work is stunning! And in my eyes, is no different to the classical statues and paintings that Tumblr has made an exception for, and here we have a prime example of the problem.
The image on the left is a ‘classical statue’ and, can I just point out, is completely nude. This image, by Tumblr’s new rules, will still be allowed on the site. However, the image on the right is a photo by Michael Stokes, a photo in which the model is wearing shorts and the model wouldn’t be out of place strolling on a beach. This photo is one that has already been flagged as inappropriate.
Again, classical statue on the left will be allowed, the stunning photo by Michael Stokes on the right will be flagged and banned. I don’t see the difference!!
Like I said in my previous blog, “Tumblr has always been a safe space for people and minorities to find like minded people to share content with regardless of what that content is”.
And as Michael says in his article “This is not exclusively a LGBTQ+ issue, it applies to all minority voices faced with further marginalization. Not everyone wants to live in a strictly homogonous society defined by a social media giant. Facebook is a monopoly and Verizon acquiring and sanitizing Tumblr is just another example of a large corporation manipulating social media to serve its own purposes”.
So, I will continue to follow these people on Tumblr to see what happens. I suspect the site will become extremely boring at best, or die completely at worst. How fast that will happen is anyone’s guess. So for now, I’ll continue to add wonderful images to my blogs, although my blogs also get automatically posted to my Tumblr site, so it will be interesting to see if I get any flags!
It’s been a pretty good week so far and I’m in the mood for a big blog. I’ve been on annual leave and preparing for Xmas, but with that said, I did still have to do a placement day, which was actually quite enjoyable!
Anyway, Tuesday evening we went to a secret screening at Cineworld. I love these events because we have absolutely no idea what film is going to be shown until it starts. All we know is that it is a film due for release at some point over the next couple of months. Two cracking films in the past, and shown a good 8 weeks before their actual release dates were ‘Love Simon’ and ‘The Incredibles 2’. This time it was ‘Green Book’.
When it started, the whole audience did a collective ‘whaaaat???’ I’ll admit, I haven’t seen a thing advertised about this film and knew absolutely nothing about it. It’s a bit of a slow starter……BUT…..stick with it. As you get more and more invested in the characters and the humour of the film, it’s actually really good. Viggo Mortensen is almost unrecognisable, and Mahershala Ali is wonderfully amusing.
Based on a true story, Green Book is a comedy-drama set in the 1960’s about the classical and jazz pianist Don shirley, played by Mahershala Ali and the Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen. The pair take on a tour of the Deep South, not a safe thing to do for people of colour in the 1960’s! Tony is initially quite prejudiced but the two slowly form an amazing bond and end up as life-long friends. The film itself is named after ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’, a mid-20th century guidebook for African American travellers, written by Victor Hugo Green, to help them find motels and restaurants that would accept them.
Would I go and see it again? Possibly, but I will, in all likelihood, add it to my DVD collection.
Not so good this week, was the announcement by Tumblr to ban ‘ALL’ adult content from the 17th December. This is a real shame and to be quite frank, I think it will kill Tumblr!
Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations. The exceptions include nude classical statues and political protests that feature nudity. The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted. Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos.
They have already started to flag posts and inform users that their content is not suitable, but something is very wrong if they think that this kind of photo is ‘explicit’!!
I have been on Tumblr for almost three years and it is a wonderful place to find any kind of weird and wonderful content you’re interested in. I would never have fallen into the Kylux fandom and started writing fan-fiction if I hadn’t found this site! It has always been a safe space for people to find like minded people to share content with regardless of what that content is. Artists have found it a great place to showcase artwork that would probably never get to see the light of day due to censorship restrictions elsewhere. The failure of the site is their inability to control ‘bugs’ and ‘porn bots’ and their inability to ban sites that include pedophilia. Their answer to the problem is a blanket ban.
They seem to think that everyone who enjoys a bit of ‘adult content’ is automatically looking for ‘porn’ and this is simply not the case.
10 years ago, the same thing happened to ‘Livejournal’ and all that happened was that the users migrated to a different platform and Livejournal died. I have already seen this happening on Tumblr. A lot of the people I follow are setting themselves up on Twitter and Instagram and getting ready to jump ship if they need to. Michael Stokes, the photographic artist who I’ve discussed on my blog recently, has had to purge around 90% of the photos he has on Tumblr, including all of his wounded veterans photos because they have been deemed inappropriate!
Anyway, I wait for December 17th with baited breath. I have a feeling that Tumblr will become quite a desolate and boring place very quickly.
So now that I’ve had that rant what’s next? I’ve made a start on my three reflective essays for my portfolio. That’s not exactly going well but at least I’ve made a start. I have been really enjoying ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of here’ this year and last night had me and the kids in floods of tears as the five remaining contestants got visits from family. When John clapped eyes on his husband Scott, I just melted! I really don’t know who’s going to win this year, after James left, the four remaining contestants are all fantastic for different reasons. Personally I’d like to see John crowned King (or Queen!) of the jungle. The annoying thing is, that I won’t be able to watch the final on Sunday because I’ll be in Birmingham at a Hozier concert.
Yep. Sunday evening, I’ll be at a Hozier concert!!! I’ve only waited four years for this. I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!
This is the moment, almost four years ago, after falling asleep on the sofa, waking up in the early hours with the TV still on, showing a re-run of Graham Norton. I had been woken up by an angel singing and that is when I became mesmerised and totally fell in love with Hozier.
So, back to today, better bring this blog to an end. I’ve got a few small chores to do, clean car windows, fill car with petrol, de-wookie the husband, pack for an overnight stay in Birmingham and then head to the cinema to see Mortal Engines!
I will ‘hopefully’ bombard my blog with photos and possibly some videos of the concert when I get back on Monday.
Ever since Italy last year, I have been nurturing an old artistic interest.
I absolutely love the human form and if I’m being totally honest, the male form in particular.
Renaissance artwork is a particular favourite, so Italy and Florence were a dream come true. I mean just look at this…..
This is the work of Michelangelo.
Really take a look at it. Look at the detail, the musculature, the folds of skin, the crossed feet. Look at the fingers squeezing into the buttock and this has all been carved out of marble.
Michelangelo, looked at a block of marble and saw this!!
Anyway, back to the reason for this post.
My interest has seen me collecting images. Amazing paintings from modern artists with a plethora of styles.
Love the lighting and the detail in the hands.
Again, look at the detail in the hands. I get very jealous of people who can do hands.
His work is very reminiscent of the renaissance period with exaggerated body movement and swathes of material.
I love the colour in these images and the fact that he totally makes you feel like you’re under water. They’re amazing!!
So, where was I going with this post…… oh yes….
My Xmas present
One of my favourite forms of expression is photography.
I think that, taken in the right conditions, a photograph can make a human form look like it’s been carved from marble.
One of my favourite photographers is Michael Stokes.
He takes amazing photos of the human form and the photos that initially grabbed my interest were from a collection of work entitled ‘Always Loyal’.
This coffee table book is one I have just received, had a quick flick through and given up to be wrapped for Xmas. So frustrating!!
It consists of very raw and powerful photos of service men and women. Injured in the line of duty. It shows each one before their injury, during their recovery and then Michael’s photo’s almost make it look like they are blooming or transforming into their final form. They’ve gone through hell but they are still here and this book honours what they’ve gone through in an amazing way.
However, I also decided to try some of his earlier work.
I decided to go for his first book entitled, ‘Masculinity’.
The first edition of this book has sold out and can currently be found changing hands for around £800 – £1000!!
I was intrigued.
So when I found the second edition for sale through the artist himself, I jumped at the chance to get it.
My beautifully signed copy arrived with ‘Always Loyal’ and after a very eye opening quick skim through, I have also given this one up to be wrapped for Xmas.
The preface in this book is titled, ‘Art, Porn and the Male Form’.
What I didn’t know about Michael Stokes is that because of the rules and regulations of what can and cannot be posted on social media and the rules of publishers, Michael’s work is all created independently so that he is not bound by those rules and can express himself fully. Because I’ve only seen his work through social media, I hadn’t fully appreciated the extent of his work until I saw this book.
Let’s just say, this book shows the male form in ‘ALL’ it’s glory and is definitely one I won’t be showing my mother at Xmas!!
Here’s a taster…… one’s that I can show anyway!!
I will be keeping my eye open for opportunities to collect his other coffee table books, although, because they are collections of ‘artwork’, they are pretty expensive.
But well and truly worth it!
Can’t wait to get my hands back on them at Xmas.