Literate Lobsters Are Literate


Ukrainian nature photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko shows us that snails are so much more than incredibly slow-moving mollusks who leave slimy trails and sometimes end up on people’s dinner plates. By looking at his photos we learn that snails appear to be curious, playful and even affectionate.

Shot in the woodland area near his home town in Berdichev, located in the Zhytomyr Oblast of northern Ukraine, Mishchenko’s beautiful photos are apparently unstaged. Instead he relies on an extraordinarily keen eye for spotting wildlife:

'As a child, my father taught me to hunt mushrooms near my home and we would always come across all manner of bugs and creatures,' he said. 'As I got older and my interest in photography grew, I decided I wanted to catch these magical scenes on camera.'

Visit Vyacheslav Mishchenkos’ website to check out many more of his remarkable nature photos. The only thing missing from them is narration by Sir David Attenborough.

[via 22 Words and]

Exene's "Exene Says" Column for the OC Weekly, 6/21/13


So when I said, way back on Monday, that Exene had broken my heart a little bit? This is what I was referring to.

It seemed wrong, preparing for this week, to refuse to mention anything produced after 1985, given that the members of X are not fossils but artists still at work. In the nearly thirty years since Ain’t Love Grand, Exene has fronted two other bands, become a producer, published several books of collage work, raised a son, participated in a few art exhibitions. I apologize that I don’t have time or space to cover all of that when I move to a discussion of what Exene has been up to in the last few months.

What Exene has been up to in the last few months is writing a column for the alternative newspaper OC Weekly, including the above, and establishing a social-media presence, which includes liking YouTube videos suggesting that the Boston Marathon bombing and Asiana Airlines plane crash were both faked, or that the grieving parents of Sandy Hook were played by actors, or that those upset about the Zimmerman trial are just succumbing to media manipulation.

She has also posted a few videos of her own. Watching this one, I think: I love her bright pink lipstick and her chunky rings and her refusal to listen to anyone who says women in their fifties shouldn’t wear bright pink lipstick. I love that she gets right up into the camera. I love that she says, “There’s no one to compare me to. I’m not good, I’m not bad, I just am.” These are the things I have admired about Exene from my first exposure to X — her seizing the stage and insisting that her stories are worth telling her way.

But I can’t love the conspiracy theorizing, and especially the conspiracy-theory-based slut shaming — as if, having voiced the messes of being female, sexual, and imperfect in “I’m Coming Over,” “Because I Do,” and “The Once Over Twice,” Exene isn’t willing to grant any younger woman that much humanity. Well, I’m a sexual, imperfect woman myself, and I say: to hell with that.

Atomic Rooster - Sleeping for Years (Beat-Club August 1970)