Sunday, October 13, 2013

Prada Marfa

Photo from A.Addison's blog.
(Previously we told you about a piece of Playboy artwork in Marfa.  Well, that was only the beginning of Marfa's troubles with outdoor art.)
From the Huffington Post:

Prada Marfa, a destination for fashion, art and road trip-loving folks alike, might be closing up "shop." We use the term lightly, of course, since the West Texas storefront isn't a retail shop at all, but rather an art installation set up by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset back in 2005. The beloved Prada building is now being called out by the Texas Department of Transportation, which has deemed the structure as an "illegal outdoor advertising sign," the New York Times reports.

The main issue is that the Prada logo, prominently displayed on the 15-foot-by-25-foot "store," is considered a sign under state and federal law, thereby violating the 1965 Highway Beautification Act (even though technically Prada Marfa sits on private property). Between the countless numbers of Instagram and Facebook photos taken at the locale -- not to mention Beyonce's viral personal snap -- since its erection eight years ago, we're not really sure why lawmakers are deciding to act on this now (though the Times names a Playboy installation in Marfa as catalyst).

We are sure, however, that we'll miss Prada Marfa if the state decides on a forced removal. After all, Miuccia Prada approved (not commissioned) the project and picked out the 20 shoes sitting in the front window. The message Elmgreen and Dragset set out to convey with their installation, a commentary on the mushrooming influence of luxury brands and consumerist culture, is one that Miuccia herself subscribes to. "I'm completely against the idea that we do fashion for an elite," the designer, who has eschewed money-making, mass-market designer collaborations, has said. "That would be too easy, in a way."

Plus, Miuccia has a soft spot for the art world, integrating Surrealism components into her groundbreaking fashion collections and even commissioning a three-story slide from German artist Carsten Höller that runs from her window to the outside of Prada's Milan headquarters. We're sure Miuccia, along with the rest of the camera-happy travelers in West Texas, will be sad to see the art-meets-fashion monument go if Prada Marfa is torn down.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lubbock's Tattooed Jesus

According to Fox News on Oct. 10, there are 59 billboards around Lubbock, Texas showing Jesus covered in tattoos.

The billboards show Jesus wearing a crown of thorns with his arms outstretched. Across his bare chest and arms words such as 'outcast', 'addicted', 'jealous' and 'hatred' have been tattooed on his skin.

Needless to say, these billboards are shocking and offensive to some. However, there is an explanation behind the image.

Instead of insinuating that Jesus was tattooed, the group behind the billboards says it's part of a campaign to bring the message of Jesus’ love to everyone.

The aim of the billboards is to show how Jesus took on our sins on his body on the cross. Then after His death those sins were removed. However, it doesn't seem that way by merely seeing the billboards.

The billboards direct people to the website, where a video shows people coming to Jesus to have their sins cleansed.

During the six-minute video, a woman is seen having her tattoo of 'self righteous' changed to 'humbled' and a boy on crutches having 'outcast' changed to 'accepted' are among those who visit the tattoo parlor.

The video then shows the negative tattoos appearing on the body of Jesus, whose skin had been unblemished at the start of the film.

Jesus Tattoo Volunteer Jay Corner says:
There is controversy when our Lord and Savior was on this Earth, and one of the things He said and the things He did, and I know some people see this as a little bit of a controversy. What’s really cool about it is that it’s really a love story. As you get involved in it and you look at the video, I believe it draws you into that story.” 
The billboards are upsetting to many Christians living in the areas where the billboards are located because they see only the billboards without knowing the explanation behind them.

Some residents call the billboards blasphemous. However, David Wilson, pastor of Southcrest Baptist Church has praised its message:
"I thought that it was cleverly done because, basically, it's a visual of Jesus taking the sins of people and covering them and taking them from an outcast or something and giving them a new start, which is what the gospel is about."
The group behind the campaign that put up the 59 billboards across Lubbock in the past nine days, say they are not trying to sell anything.

According to the Daily Mail, Ashleigh Sawyer, the group's spokesman, said: "The message is a simple one, Jesus's love is transformative. He loves us unconditionally and no matter what you've been marked with, faith in Him and love for others will transform us."

The group plans to extend its billboard campaign to other regions.

Unfortunately, people are reacting to the billboard alone without knowing it is an object lesson to a much deeper meaning. Perhaps the billboard was not the right method for this message.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Frog's Eye View Isn't Always Pretty ...

From Fox News:
A still camera on a sound trigger captured this intriguing photo of an airborne frog leaping for his life as NASA's LADEE spacecraft lifts off from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

In a caption listed along with the photo on NASA’s Instagram page, the space agency writes that the frog was captured in a single frame by one of the remote cameras used to photograph the launch.

The condition of the frog, however, is uncertain.

Brenda Chapman explains why she chose to start her new mystery novel in Kermit.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bring the Marshmallows Part 2!

Liz and Robert are visible above.
My camera's battery was iffy here, so lucky for me that Creating Memories documented the entire homecoming parade and bonfire.  Be sure to see all 324 of their pictures.

Robert and a friend.
My shadow.

This was Kermit's first bonfire since 2010, due to burn ban issues.  This year, the county granted an exemption for one night only.

The football team arrives.

Of course, this is all entirely safe.  No one ever throws aerosol cans or bullets or anything in the fire.  Everyone acts responsibly.

Looks like a fire to me.  Yup.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Also in Grandfalls ...

From collectintexasgal.
This is a unique horse fountain in Grandfalls.
You can guess where the water emerges.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fight Like a Girl!

 I saw this today in Grandfalls, TX, but I didn't have my camera.  So thanks Yahoo images!
From a Facebook page. Used without permission.
It's a breast cancer awareness tow truck from Neal Pool Rekers in Odessa.

From Neal Pool Rekers' Facebook page.
Used again without permission.

The back of the truck says "Towing for Tatas". 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

You Had Us at Hello!

Check out the opening line of Brenda Chapman's new mystery, entitled My Sister's Keeper, which is scheduled for publication this month:

"It was the middle of a steamy August night in Kermit, Texas, and my bedside phone was ringing."



We've gotta read it!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Matilda the UTPB Ghost

(Liz graduated from UTPB and for a summer she worked in the library, which at that time was housed in the Mesa Building.  She never experienced Matilda firsthand, but she can testify to the strange noises that occur in the building late at night, as well as the reactions of students and staff who had felt or heard something out of the ordinary ...

I briefly mentioned the Matilda legend once before in these pages.  The OA ran this article Sunday as part of the 40th anniversary of the university.)

From the Odessa American:

by Celinda Hawkins

I was doing some online perusing recently and came across an Odessa ghost story that I had never heard before involving a haunting in the hallowed halls of UTPB.

In 2009, the good students at the Mesa Journal did some digging and found out that yes, there have been stories about a ghost at UTPB for years and her name is “Matilda.” According to a story penned by Amber Batura, the most common legend claims that Matilda was the wife or girlfriend of a construction worker on campus while the Mesa Building was being built in the early 1970s. Legend has it (remember, this is legend and speculation, not fact) he may have killed her (although the circumstances are vague) and buried her remains somewhere in the building, perhaps somewhere in the foundation of stairwell six.

The legend of Matilda is alive and well — even if she isn’t. The “Matilda” part of the campus lore during orientation is always a favorite of new students. Last week, orientation students could not wait to get to stairwell six.

“They took a photo there and gathered around like they had their arms around Matilda,” said Jessica Zuniga, director of student life. Sadly, Matilda did not appear in the photo. Maybe she was there…in spirit.

Zuniga said there have even been strange orbs that have appeared in photos taken in the Student Union Building.

“If you ask any of the folks that work there or the students — everybody has Matilda stories,” Zuniga told me, especially the security guards who are there late at night. One said Matilda talked to him and may have even forced a soda out of the machine when he was thirsty, Zuniga said.

Some folks were talking about the story on Facebook: a woman said she had always heard about the legend of the ghostly apparition of a woman was haunting the hallowed halls of the Mesa Building at UTPB.

Michele Thompson posted that while she was a student at UTPB there were reports that the gal ghost was haunting the student union area and had been spotted on a stairwell in the building. She admitted hearing lots of different versions, but wanted to quash the rumor mill once and for all.

It was obviously no secret since lots of other folks weighed in. Cindy Wagnon Cole recalled in a post the tale of a UTPB officer in 1985 who said he saw the ghost as he was locking up the doors on the stairwell at the Mesa Building.

“As he is opening the door he saw a figure of a woman with long hair, arms with no legs, staring right at him and in an instant she moved to her right and disappeared,” Cole posted. “Within 2-3 seconds after that the large metal door to the stairwell where she disappeared SLAMMED open!”

She said the officer recalled feeling a bit like a jittery, bug –eyed Don Knotts because when he ran back to the office, he was shaking so bad he couldn’t get his keys in the door.

“…When the dispatcher came out and she said you look like you’ve just seen a ghost,” she posted. “without knowing he really did.”

According to Batura’s report, Matilda mostly haunts the Student Union women’s restroom, the fourth floor and the sixth stairwell. But the reporter also uncovered stories of hearing the voice of a sad and forlorn female in an eerie whisper beckoning him to “come here.”

Other former students and employees have heard of the Matilda legend too. “

I went to school at UTPB and later worked there for five years,” Janice Slaughter Golden posted. “I heard stories from staff members about seeing “Matilda.” One was the Chief of Campus Police at the time, who told a story about doing his security check of the gym building. He said no one was supposed to be in the building and all the lights were out, but he heard noises coming from the weight room. He went to one there. I guess Matilda liked to work out!...”

So if you happen to be at the Mesa Building walking up or down stairwell six and you see an orb, feel a cold chill or see a soda coming flying out of the machine — don’t fret, it’s just Matilda saying hello.

Contact Celinda Hawkins on Twitter at @OAciti or call 432-333-7779.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Day the Clown Cried

Okay, we live in an age that has survived Sharknado and Jar Jar Binks.  So what could be so terrible about this show?
Harry Shearer claims to have viewed the whole film, and here he discusses it with Howard Stern.
  • This Dennis the Menace cartoon actually ran in 1970, resulting in many complaints.
  • These two Opus strips, here and here, in which Lola Granola's spiritual search leads her to embrace jihad, were censored by "a large number"of newspapers.
  • A list of censored Looney Tunes.  Happy browsing!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


From Fox News:
MARFA, Texas – A Texas agency says Playboy has 45 days to remove a neon-lit 40-foot high sculpture of the magazine's iconic bunny logo from a West Texas road.

The Texas Department of Transportation ordered the removal of the sign, called "Playboy Marfa," because Playboy does not have a license for outdoor advertisement in Texas.

The El Paso Times reports officials representing Playboy said the company has not violated any laws and will try to resolve the agency's concerns.

Officials were alerted about the sign after Marfa resident Lineaus Lorette filed a complaint. "I thought it was a sign -- a corporate logo. And in Texas you can't put up signs without permits," Lorette said. "I checked and it didn't have a permit so I filed a complaint."

Lorette says some Marfa residents are upset the company has used their town, known as a hub for artists, for marketing purposes.

"I was really ambivalent. It's a beautifully made sign," Lorette said. "The problem is that it's a sign. The rules have to apply to everybody."

Veronica Beyer, TxDOT's director of media relations in Austin said that the agency is treating the case like any other instance in which someone puts up a road side advertisement without a license in an area that does not qualify.

The sign is part of a roadside art display designed by New York contemporary artist Richard Phillips and Playboy's creative director of special projects Neville Wakefield. The installation features the offending sign perched atop a post and a concrete platform displaying a stylized version of 1972 Dodge Charger, a classic American "muscle car."

PR Consulting, a firm that represents Playboy, said that they do not consider that "the art installation by Richard Phillips violates any laws, rules or regulations. Our legal counsel is currently looking into this matter and we hope to resolve this issue satisfactorily and as quickly as possible."

Located in the heart of West Texas, Marfa is known as a hub for artists and creative types. It is also no stranger to out-of-the-ordinary roadside art exhibitions. Prada Marfa, an installation that mimics one of the high-end fashion brand's stores in the middle of a pasture was erected in 2005 along the same road as the Playboy display.

Monahans, Texas is getting a Bush's Chicken!  Finally, Monahans residents have a reason to live!
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