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  Sunday   July 5   2009


Kodak is ceasing production of Kodachrome. I have boxes and boxes of Kodachrome slides taken in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. I tried using it a year ago but was not happy. It could have been the processing. There is only one lab left. E6 rules the transparency world but I've been in the negative world for some time now so it doesn't really affect me. I'm still sad to see it go.

Fortune's Kodachrome legacy

Walker Evans, 1957

"Walker Evans portrays caddies from the Pinehurst Golf Course of North Carolina in this photograph published in Fortune's October 1957 issue."


BigYellowDaddy Takes Our Kodachrome Away

"We get the phrase “seeing the handwriting on the wall” from the Biblical story of the cyrptic message written by a disembodied hand on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast, whereat said ghostly extremity inscribed the words “Mene Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” (Old Testament, Book of Daniel 5: 1-6, 25-8.)

"The Columbia Encyclopedia (sixth edition, 2008) tells us that “These Aramaic words may be translated literally as ‘It has been counted and counted, weighed and divided.’ Daniel interpreted this to mean that the king’s deeds had been weighed and found deficient and that his kingdom would therefore be divided.” (Here’s Rembrandt’s version of the scene.)

"I don’t claim any prophetic ability. I don’t even lay much stock in my intuitive capacity, believing, as my late colleague Richard Kirstel often said, that “Intuition is like magic: it works, but the quality control sucks.” I don’t have special access to photo-industry insiders, and while I keep an ear to the ground on general principles I don’t listen especially closely to that industry’s mavens.

"At the same time, I try my best to keep up with whatever news affects me as a member of our lens culture, I attend some of the trade expos, I talk with and listen closely to photographers, I observe at first hand what goes on in photo-education programs around the world, and I make a point of reading the handwriting on the walls. So, when Eastman Kodak announced on June 22 that it had ceased production of Kodachrome film after 74 years, I didn’t consider that at all surprising. Indeed, I found myself in the odd position of thinking “I told you so.” "


 11:16 AM - link


Leading Clerics Defy Ayatollah on Disputed Iran Election

"The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.

"A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult — if not impossible."


Iran's streets are lost, but hope returns
By Pepe Escobar

"The angel of history lives in Iran - even though Manichean progressives of all stripes, especially in the United States, insist on believing the overwhelming popular uprising in Iran is nothing but one more US Central Intelligence Agency-engineered "color" revolution.

"Confronted with this, Iranian journalists and the diaspora in Paris, including people just arriving from Tehran, are puzzled: how hard is it to understand, they say, that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has in fact ceased to be an arbiter and has legitimized a coup, steering the regime towards totalitarianism, striking off "republic" from "Islamic Republic" and, in a Brechtian twist, virtually abolishing the people?

"The Iranian intelligentsia and those commuting from Tehran are unanimous: the legitimacy of the regime as a whole is in play. The regime can't allow the genie of democracy to get out of the lamp, for it would open a Pandora's box of dreams.

"And people power may have lost the street - facing a massive repression machine; but people are not afraid anymore. They believe another Iran is possible. All hopes lie on a protracted, creative, subversive, underground and parallel movement of civil disobedience, with strikes and mourning ceremonies, up and down, with lulls and crescendos.

"The 1978/1979 Iranian revolution lasted, back to back, roughly one year. The seeds of the next one have already been planted. The angel of history silently surveys it all."


Battle for Iran shifts from the streets to the heart of power
Ayatollah Khamenei's support for President Ahmadinejad has led both moderates and hard-liners to start plotting against him

"The power struggle inside Iran appears to be moving from the streets into the heart of the regime itself this weekend amid reports that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani is plotting to undermine the power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rafsanjani's manoeuvres against Khamenei come as tensions between the speaker of the parliament, Ali Larijani, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also appeared to be coming to a head.

"Mass demonstrations on the streets against the election results have been effectively crushed by a massive police and basiij militia presence that has seen several dozen deaths and the arrests of hundreds of supporters of defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. But the splits within Iran's political elite are deepening."


Iran’s ‘Zimbabwe’ Option

"The political turmoil in Iran over the past two weeks was no “Color” Revolution in the sense that much of the Western media imagined it, superimposing the narratives of the fall of Eastern European regimes (in the way that a 24-hour cable news culture is prone to do) on a situation whose dynamics and character was profoundly different. Iran’s electoral contest was always, first and foremost, a battle between rival factions of the regime. And what brought the protesters out into the streets was that the ruling faction so blatantly broke the system’s own rules during the election. The opposition leadership has claimed, all along, to be out to rescue the Islamic Revolution from what they say is its betrayal by the Ahmadinejad faction, and the slogans of the protesters bear this out: “Ya Hussein” and “Allah U’Akbar” are hardly deemed counterrevolutionary chants in Iran, and nor is this necessarily simply camouflage: The 1979 revolution established two sources of legitimacy for the rulers of the Islamic Republic — the guidance or “guardianship” of unelected clerics interpreting Islamic law and philosophy, and the will of the people as expressed through democratic elections (albeit with a range of candidates sharply restricted by the clerics) to the legislature and presidency. And the actions of Ahmadinejad and his backers, who include Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, have violated both principles."


 10:58 AM - link