Holzen, Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
My kid brother, Phillip Arthur Peters, turns 50 today… congratulations big boy, and may you stay forever young! Phil shares a birthday with René Descartes (Cartesian ‘father of modern philosophy’ born in 1596: “Cogito, ergo sum—I think, therefore I am.”)
Our mother Amanda with happy little Phil in Frankfurt (thanks for the photo, brother Jim).
On Monday, 23 June I’ll be giving a talk entitled Do The Right Thing. Do The Thing Right. (the same presentation as in Amsterdam last month) as part of the FITC Chicago 2008 event. It’s been many years since I was last in the windy city… I’m looking forward to the visit. FITC has three goals: “to Inspire, to Educate, and to Challenge.”
A designer colleague (who also drives a Westie) sent me this great link this week—a collection of classic U.S. magazine adverts for Volkswagen vanagons (from 1962-1998). View the ads here. Enjoy the ride…
The 27th of April is celebrated around the world every year as World Graphics Day (gatherings by designers, exhibitions, etc.). April 27th marks the birth date of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) in 1963—it provides an opportunity to recognize communication design and the role our profession plays in today’s world. World Graphics Day was officially inaugurated in 1995 to help further Icograda’s goal of “contributing to greater understanding between people, and helping to build bridges where divides and inequities exist.”
I’m planning to get together with some local friends on that Sunday (a month from today) here in Manitoba to plant some trees—let me know if you’d care to join in…
Yesterday evening I gave a presentation entitled Pushing the Envelope to the Winnipeg Philatelic Society—founded in 1900, it is the oldest stamp club in Western Canada. I showed developmental sketches, shared the process of designing stamps, and answered questions of the many enthusiastic participants (I’ve had the honored privilege of being involved in the design of over 20 Canadian stamps to date). Read about a few of those stamp releases here, here, and here. (The Winnipeg Free Press did a feature piece on this in 2005, which you can access here).
Some of the commemorative stamps we’ve designed at Circle: 1999 Pan American Games, 125th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Fishing Flies, Canadian Recording Artists.
We saw our first migratory Canada Goose here this week… the sun is growing in strength, puddles of water are emerging… spring appears to have once again sprung… today is the Spring Equinox. In Turkey (and all other Persian cultures), today is the Iranian new year, or Nowruz (also spelled Norooz, Norouz, Newroz, Newrooz…). Nowruz is said to have been celebrated for some 15,000 years—even before the end of the last ice age.
Image by Bertil Videt: Kurds in Istanbul celebrate Nowruz by jumping over fire (looks like fun—perhaps we’ll try that on the weekend).
Well, today marks five horrific years since the “pre-emptive strike” on Iraq by the U.S., based on conclusive “intelligence” it had collected regarding the threat that Baghdad posed to the world’s fear-ridden superpower… we all know where things are actually at—though this is what George W. Bush had to say today (please listen to the dear man’s voice for full effect—“Denial is obviously not just a river in Africa.”)
Because sometimes the best thing you can do is laugh, here’s a link to a more humorous take on things (language warning)—thanks to Shirley Hicks in Toronto for that, from an exchange on the GDC Listserv today. I also heard Phil Donohue on CBC Radio while driving to work (I don’t normally listen to American talk-show hosts, I’ll have you know…) here’s what Phil had to say.
Sad, very sad, a very sad day indeed… thankfully spring arrives within a few hours from now, as Tom Waits quips here….
Forty years ago today, U.S. Army forces massacred hundreds of women and children in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai (the My Lai Massacre). The incident prompted widespread outrage around the world and led to reduced U.S. support at home for the Vietnam War… one wonders why, four decades later, the latest U.S.-led war in Iraq still has the support it does (especially given the information available at our fingertips, e.g. the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib).
Has our age become inured to suffering, brutality, and injustice? I was an impressionable 13 years old when the incident at My Lai took place, and I certainly remember….
Not to get weird about it, but the Ides of March have freaked me out ever since I first learned of them in elementary school. In the year 44 BC this day marked the treacherous demise of Julius Caesar (I’m not making a value judgment here, it’s just a historical thing); in 1917 it was the day that the last tzar of Russia, Nicholas ll, was forced to abdicate the throne (three years before my dad was born into the turmoil of Molotchna, and part of the remarkable unrest following WWI); in 1933 it was the day that Adolf Hitler first expressed his nascent dream of The Third Reich (and six years later to the day that Nazi troops invaded Bohemia and Moravia [then Czechoslovakia]).
More recently, it was the single day in history that more people on the face of the earth than ever before gathered together in a unified action for peace (400,000 marched in Milan, 300,000 in Barcelona, 120,000 in Madrid, you get the picture… )—to no avail, George W. Bush simultaneously prepared to lead the (bullied, cowed, coerced) “coalition of the willing” nations into the U.S. empire’s most recent war against Iraq. If you’re really into Irony, you’ve got to listen to George W’s speech of five years ago today (brought to you verbatim courtesy of The White House’s own website) here. (For full effect, turn on the audio to hear George W’s voice—rich, I tell you, rich…).
It remains a poignant day for me… five years ago today I was in Mumbai, India on a network-building sortie with Icograda—six days later while in Ahmedabad (Mahatma Gandhi’s home town), we watched in surreal disbelief as the U.S. reigned down an unprovoked firestorm on the ancient city of Baghdad (one of the the world’s “cradles of civilization,” and onto its hundreds of thousands of terrified citizens).
Indeed, beware the Ides of March… (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
Images: Caesar’s demise as painted by Vincenzo Camuccini; Tsar Nicholas ll of Russia; Adolf Hitler of Germany; George W. Bush of the U.S. of America.
Geez magazine Issue #9 arrived today (theme: “Art,” with guest art directors Diana Thorneycroft and Michael Boss)—it includes a piece I wrote on art appreciation that grew out of a bar table talk with publisher Aiden Enns some weeks back. My take on art criticism: “…what you ‘see’ is what you ‘get’ and depends largely on where you stand.”
Geez is an award-winning, non-profit, ad-free, quarterly Christian activist magazine that aims to “untangle the narrative of faith from the fundamentalists, pious self-helpers and religio-profiteers.” Find out more about Geez here.
Cover illustration: ‘Self (Bandage)’ by Dominika Dratwa. Napkin sketch: yours truly.