Thursday, October 16, 2014



Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014




"X "


















After all, it ain't as if they're coming from



Monday, October 6, 2014


Tempura and newspaper clipping on cardboard mounted on board.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tommy Schaefer on a Girl's Bike (In Memory of John Walsh RIP)

Let me tell you this about Tommy Schaefer. Tommy is a mythological character. He is six foot five inches tall, authentic, an original, one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet and, at the end of his sixties, he is still one bad man. There is an army of much younger men that wish they had never wound this old street fighter up. Age has done little for his reputation as a bad ass
One day I was standing on Third Street talking to my dear friend John Walsh, since deceased. John was a funny guy and one of the most generous men on the planet. He worked on the docks for many years but by the time I met him he was retired on full disability. Whatever his disability, it certainly wasn't visible. John saw all the angles and worked them. 
Anyway, John (JW to his friends) and I were talking out on the street. It was a bright, sunny day, maybe in the early days of autumn. All of a sudden who rolls up on a bike but Tommy Schaefer. Tommy was all excited and determined to impart some salacious piece of neighborhood news to us but he never got around to it. We wouldn't let him speak. John and I demanded an explanation on why this old hard head was tooling around on a girl's bike. In fact, we were so busy breaking Tom's balls that we never let him explain himself. 
The more John and I laughed about the sight of Tommy of Tommy on a girl's bike, the madder he got. The more angry he got, the more we laughed. He kept trying to change the subject to no avail. By the time he pedaled away he had steam coming out of his ears.
John is dead so I break Tommy's balls twice as much about the bike in John's memory. Today I promised Tommy that if he would let me take his photograph on the girl's bike that I would never break his balls about it again. 
I fucking lied.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The big fun!

The future wears a mustache but so did Joseph Stalin.

I dedicate this image to Bryan "The Brain" German.

I used to work with this guy. His name is Victor.
His personalty mimics is his appearance. He is sincere and nervous. His style is his complete lack of style. It would never occur to him that someone would make him the subject of an artwork. He will probably never know that he is the subject of an artwork.

I used to call him "Sabotage" after the Beastie Boys song of the same name.

The title of this image, "The big fun!" is also the name of one of my favorite Miles Davis albums.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


How does a water tower catch on fire?
Since 1981, three Mayors of Camden have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to jail while in office.
On October 29, 2012, the FBI announced Camden was ranked first in violent crime per capita of cities with over 50,000 residents.
Camden has privatized its entire police force.
Entire neighborhoods are now under heavy CCTV surveillance.
Camden is directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia PA.
Tempura on cardboard mounted on board, 14 1/4" X 18 1/4".

Friday, September 5, 2014


Premonition of a Clampdown, an Insurrection and Their Abject Futility.
No boiled beans this time around.
When I was three or four years old my parents took me to Philadelphia Museum of Art. My favorite artworks at the time were Soft Composition with Boiled Beans by Salvador Dali, Prometheus Bound by Peter Paul Rubens and Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? by Marcel Duchamp.,_Rose_Sélavy%3F
In the late fifties and early sixties, Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? was not protected by a Plexiglass vitrine as it is today. It sat on a shelf exposed, vulnerable to the touch of four year old wise guys. I knew that the cubes of marble were meant to be read as sugar cubes. I suspected that they were not what they appeared to be and I felt that the artist was fooling the viewer by substituting marble for sugar. To prove my hypotheses I stuck my finger in the cage to feel the cubes, much to the horror of the somnambulant guard. He began yelling and asked us to leave the museum. 
The only other person that I know who was ejected from PMA on his first visit was the remarkable painter Thomas Chimes. 
At age eighty-eight the museum gave Thomas a one man exhibition in their galleries.
It took Philadelphia Museum of Art fifty years to throw me out again. 
CLAMPDOWN: 18 1/4" X 24 1/4" tempura paint on cardboard mounted board, newspaper photographs circa 1984, matte medium, glue stick

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014


I was right. The miscreants that beat the park guard and spit on him two weeks ago were not from the city of Philadelphia. They were suburban kids. They were from Pottstown, PA.



The customer was the worst of his kind, drunk and questioning his bill. He was part of a large group assembled to celebrate someone's birthday. They called the bar several times in the days leading up to the event, demanding services that the bar does not provide. Collectively they were a nuisance before they ever entered the joint. They were worse in person.

They were in the bar for several hours and were drinking steadily the whole time. They sang the Happy Birthday song at least six times and sang Fly Eagles Fly, the Philadelphia Eagles football team fight song. Upon hearing Fly Eagles Fly I remarked to a patron unconnected with the group, "If I was drinking here instead of working I would have left when they started singing that stupid song." He concurred and said, "I just said the same thing to my friends!" Not only were these people a thorn in the staff's side but now they were chasing other customers away. There was almost no amount they would spend that would justify the amount of maintenance they required. 

One of the members of the birthday troupe was a forty year old, tall, zaftig brunette with hair that extended down to her ample ass. She was proud of the length of her hair but the last two inches of her tresses were a tangle of split ends. She wore a white polka dot dress with no sleeves that called attention to her extremely wide shoulders and her fleshy arms. The dress was a size too small, which called attention to her bulk. She accessorized the ensemble with red patent leather fuck-me pumps. She attempted to look retro but in reality the look was just wrong since it highlighted all of her bad features. The dress had a cut-out at the base of her spine that revealed a tattoo of a pentagram in a circle. I was fascinated by the tattoo, not because it was interesting as a tattoo but because it was at least 3/4" off center. All night this botched symmetry plagued me. 

She was clearly emotionally unbalanced. Her mug ran through multiple emotions that seemed to have no connection to cause and effect. Her eyes were intense but unfocused. They had the sheen of a person that enjoys mixing her anti-depression medication with booze. Her voice was loud, not just drunk loud but the kind of voice that was loud all the time. Her size, her bulk and her fashion faux pas almost hinted at transvestism but she wasn't put together enough to be a cross-dresser. I must stop here to apologize to transvestites everywhere for even comparing her to your group.

At one point I was horrified to see that this plus-size gal had abandoned her shoes and was now barefoot. On average, every weekend night six glasses are broken on the concrete floor. Although the glass is immediately swept up, it is impossible to get every shard in a crowded bar with a clientele disinterested in moving out of your way so that you can do it. With trepidation I approached her to relay my concern. I expected resistance and I got it. "I almost never wear shoes. The calluses on my feet are like leather." Her comment immediately painted a frightening image in my over-active visual imagination. Disinterested in continuing a fruitless conversation with a madwoman, I just shook my head and walked away. At some point she took my advice but not before she ruined my appetite with the lingering image of her callused feet. 

Another antagonist from the birthday party was a woman who was around 100 pounds overweight. She wore a tight top of synthetic fiber that was the color of a peach. It was an unfortunate choice for a fat woman, emulating the color of a fruit whose shape she so closely resembled. She was crazy as well. I made the mistake of responding to her small talk a couple of times and each time the conversation degenerated into sexual innuendo. Each time I scampered away in fear. She chose to stand in the one opening in the bar, blocking it. It is the only access to the office from the customer side of the bar area. I had to go past her several times, apologizing each time I squeezed by. I did everything in my power not to touch her. I didn't want to talk to her and I most definitely did not want to rub up against her. After the forth time I slid past her sideways I apologized for inconveniencing her again. By the fourth  time even a fucking idiot would have gotten the hint to move. Not her, though, she just resumed the sexual barrage. 

"I told you to stop apologizing," she said. "It's okay, no more apologies. I like you brushing by me."  She had her back to me as she addressed me. Then she proceeded to reach backwards toward me, pulling me toward her with her pudgy arms. She pinned me against her massive body. She began to bump and grind her fat ass into my genitals. Although the incident lasted only two or three-seconds it felt like an eternity. I was flabbergasted. She cured me of apologizing but not by persuading me to simulate doggy-style sex. I just quit going to the office until she relocated her corpulent frame. 

Around closing time the main male customer involved with the accursed birthday party started arguing with the bartender about his tab. He disputed some of the charges. He claimed that there were four beers charged to his account that he hadn't ordered and never received. The disputed amount was $24. At this point in the evening he had been drinking for ten hours straight and his faculties were in question. Plus he was a jerk-off even before he got drunk.

He was in his early forties, around six foot five inches tall and fairly fit. He was in a lot better physical condition than his two female playmates. In fact he was chatting up the fat woman while she was grinding her fat ass against me. The more he argued about the bill the louder and more animated he got. He kept thrusting his finger at the bartender to intimidate her. I had seen enough. I had no choice but defend the bartender's integrity. I went over to talk to him and put my meaty hand on his shoulder to get his attention. I have large, heavy hands. Imagine someone placing a pork shoulder on your own shoulder and keeping it there while they talked to you. I made no eye contact. I thought it might be more intimidating to him if I looked crazy.

Facing straight ahead I said, "Look, you need to take it down a notch. I won't have you yelling at her like that. Regardless of your bill, you need to address her calmly." 

"I'm only raising my voice because it is loud in here."

"Bullshit, you are being abusive. You either chill the fuck out immediately or get thrown the fuck out." 

With a look of concern on his face he said, "I am not trying to start a fight." 

"I'm not talking about a fight. I'm talking about a discussion." He was wearing me out with his bullshit.

In the meantime the bartender got the manager. The manager explained that he did not believe that he had been erroneously charged but he would reduce the cost of the disputed drinks in half. Now, by his inebriated estimation, he was only down twelve dollars. That wasn't good enough for the low-grade grifter. He continued whining about the tab to the two crazy women he was with. 

This seriously pissed me off. I started to move toward the back of the bar to get Jim Black, who is six foot, eight inches tall. Between the two of us we could have tossed him from the curb to the trolley tracks in the middle of the street. But something about asking for help with this douche-bag galled me. 

I turned around, armed with another plan. I would humiliate him into shutting up. I put my hand in my pocket and fished out six bucks, half the amount of his current loss. I walked up to him, waving the money and said, "Look. This is my money, not the company's. I will pay you half your loss, six dollars to SHUT…THE…FUCK…UP…ABOUT…THE…FUCKING...BILL!"

I never expected him to take it. He was standing between the two women, I thought he might try to save face by refusing it but he didn't. To my amazement he pocketed the money. That's what kind of asshole he was. 

I walked outside to get away from those miscreants and calm down a bit. After a minute or so I came back in. I saw that he was talking to the two women. I screamed, "YOU BETTER BE TALKING ABOUT PUSSY OR BASEBALL OR I WANT MY MONEY BACK!" He assured me that they were off the topic of the bill. They mercifully paid and left.


I asked, in as innocent a voice as I could muster, "It wasn't six one dollar bills by any chance, was it?" She hadn't seen me pay him off.

"Yes, how did you know?"

"Oh, because I paid him six dollars to stop talking about the bill."


I explained calmly, "I wanted him to shut the fuck up."

"FUCK YOU," she screamed, "I DON'T EVEN WANT THE MONEY! IT'S DIRTY" and she proceeded to throw the money at me. I tried to persuade her to keep the money but she wasn't buying it. "FUCK YOU! YOU KEEP THE SIX DOLLARS."

I snatched up the money, put it back in my pocket and laughed. I got the asshole customer to shut up, wound up the bartender that was getting on my nerves all night and miraculously got my money back in the bargain. Some nights just go your way, against all odds.


                       THE SWIFT AND THE INDIGNANT

It was the end of the evening and the end of an exceptionally long work week. The first few minutes after closing time are usually uneventful. Most of the drama has played itself out by 1:45. The remaining stragglers become docile without access to more alcohol. They are easily herded toward the exit in this state. They resemble wobbly lemmings at the edge of the abyss. They shuffle toward the door in search of some combination booze, drugs and sex. The pragmatists might pursue sleep but drinking inhibits clarity of thought.

I positioned myself by the front door, prodding the few remaining people to leave. I was startled by two successive bangs, the sound of hastily breeched security doors. A drunken frat boy coursed across the cobble stones with one of our heavier bar stools in  his right hand. This bizarre tableau was well lit by a perigee moon. 

I ran after him faster than I think either of us anticipated. He began with a fifteen feet lead on me before I could react. At first I questioned what the hell I was even looking at. First I had to convince myself that the blur with the stool wasn't a co-worker with a legitimate purpose. Although I got off to a fast start, I wasn't certain how my knees would fare even over a short distance.

It is amazing how quickly information can be processed by the human mind. I refer to my own mind, of course. His was dulled by alcohol and incapable of accurate risk assessment. He was, however, fast and strong enough to carry the bar stool with one hand but he made a series of fatal miscues. He misread his degree of drunkenness and he stumbled badly while turning left out of the courtyard. When I saw the misstep I realized that I might just catch up to him if I got lucky. I had no turn to negotiate, just a clear shot on an angle due to my position.

I put it in high gear when I saw that he ran like a drunk. Whatever his usual skills, they were greatly diminished by the booze. I was indignant that he had the audacity to steal a chair in front of me. My anger and the adrenaline rush helped me pick up speed. No way some jackass was going to rob something as large and absurd as a damn bar stool on my watch. I could already imagine the taunts and the laughter of my co-workers if this prick got away. I decided his escape wasn't an option. 

By the time we got to the middle of the large lot next door I had cut his lead down to five feet. The way he hunched his shoulders broadcast fear as if expecting an imminent blow. It was bad for him that a man his father's age was going to catch his drunk-ass. The whole time I was cursing, hurling epithets and snarling like a feral dog. It seemed to unnerve him. Each step got me even more angry. I had already made up my mind to jump on him and beat him until he quit moving. If I got him down and he made the mistake of facing me I was gong to strangle his dumb ass for making me run. 

Another step or two and I would be in a position to tackle him. Just then he quickly but carefully placed the stool in the sidewalk and kept running. If the roles were reversed my pursuer would have eaten the fucking stool! He wasn't hard-wired that way, however. He lacked the killer instinct, the ability that made the difference between a win and a loss in a street fight. I have plenty of it. 

I wasn't certain that I could beat him in a foot race but, although he was bigger than me, he stood no chance against me in a fight. He posed so little physical threat that I never even bothered to take my glasses off. 

Walking back to the bar with the stool in my hand I was amazed at the size of the audience. I hadn't noticed anyone while I was running. Girls stood open mouthed, amazed that I recovered the stool from someone who started with a significant lead, was larger than me and less than half my age. A man asked me, "How old are you?" When I replied that I was sixty, all he said was "That was fucking unbelievable." Except it wasn't. I had witnesses.

Michael Macfeat, 10 August 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014


First, here is the definition of the word "love" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
(1) :  strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties love
 for a child> (2) :  attraction based on sexual desire :  affection and tenderness felt bylovers (3) :  affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>

b :  an assurance of affection love
:  warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
a :  the object of attachment, devotion, or admirationlove
(1) :  a beloved person :  darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
a :  unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) :  the fatherly concern of God for humankind(2) :  brotherly concern for others
b :  a person's adoration of God
:  a god or personification of love
:  an amorous episode :  love affair
:  the sexual embrace :  copulation
:  a score of zero (as in tennis)
capitalized Christian Science :  god
— at love
:  holding one's opponent scoreless in tennis
— in love
:  inspired by affection
This is a recent incident that happened in LOVE PARK near City Hall in Philadelphia:
 Most of the time I feel that young black men get a raw deal from the police. It is a problem in this society. Also, I almost always take the side of skateboarders against the  world. I know a lot of skateboarders. I also don't believe that all the rules should be obeyed by all of the people all of the time. Even after admitting those biases, I must state that  the behavior in this video is completely out of line and unjustified. It is bullshit. Even though the officer hand his hands up to fight, he looked more frightened than aggressive. It is unlikely that he would have pursued the kids had they just walked away. It is my job to accurately read threat display. The park guard was just afraid. Judging from the ethnic make-up of the three skateboarders and from their appearance, I would not be surprised to hear that they hail from the suburbs. I think that city kids are too street smart to attack a park guard. These kids were completely out of line. I don't know what went on between the guard and the kids before the video was taken but it would have had to be pretty damn outrageous to justify this cowardly attack. That kid is damn lucky that he chose that guard to fight and not me because I would have beaten his dumb ass from LOVE Park to the Hi-Speedline station at 16th and Locust. My condolences to the park guard. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


The shooting of an unarmed man, Michael Brown of Ferguson MO, has caused international outrage and for good reason. Every aspect of this travesty has been mishandled by the police and the city administration of Ferguson. Every move they made caused the situation to deteriorate. Although the police have enough equipment to quell a small counter-insurgency in a foreign land, neither the police nor the local government is sophisticated enough to justify the allocation of military gear. The position of the police is untenable. Everything Ferguson has done in response to people expressing their dissent in the streets has inflamed the situation. The entire episode is a tragedy, a mindless and avoidable tragedy. 
Nothing can be seen as positive about police murdering young, unarmed black men in their own communities. There is, however, an unexpected and unprecedented reaction to this shooting that deviates from past events. More often than not there is a racial divide in reactions to an event such as this. The incident in Ferguson has joined the African-American community and whites in universal condemnation. This solidarity is long overdue.
Philadelphia has a long history of racial strife. Despite our past, the white community in Philadelphia is every bit as horrified by the shooting of Michael Brown as the black community. I have not heard one white person, regardless of economic class, speak in support of the Ferguson police and the incendiary mishandling of events by the city officials of Ferguson. For once the artificial division between poor and working-class blacks and whites in similar economic positions has been erased by the brutality in Ferguson.
Every person I have talked to, regardless of race, condemns the situation in Ferguson. I have heard no exceptions. The first-hand response literally has been unanimous in opposition to the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent events. I cannot recall even one previous event that has galvanized public opinion in this way, ever.
Perhaps the more racist elements in white society have collectively  chosen to remain silent for some reason. If the racists have chosen to shut up about the events in Ferguson it is a vast improvement over their past commentary. Hopefully we are all getting smarter. Hopefully we are transcending the divisiveness of racial politics. Hopefully this sad situation in Ferguson is the start of a political dialogue that is not crippled by the knee-jerk response of pre-ordained positions determined by solely by race. Hopefully our society is growing up. It is better late than never.

Monday, July 21, 2014


The title was taken from the caption of this newspaper clipping.
Harry "The Hunchback" Riccobene was an old school Philadelphia mobster and one very tough little monkey. He was very short, four foot eleven inches tall and had a hunchback. Despite his physical problems he was extremely charismatic and funny. He was initiated into the mob at the age of sixteen. 
He had a good working relationship with then mob boss Angelo "The Gentleman Don" Bruno and his underboss Phillip "Chickenman" Testa. They shot Bruno in front of a South Philadelphia restaurant which removed his high ranking protector. He was still in good stead with the mob hierarchy when Testa took control. Unfortunately Testa's reign didn't last long. He was blown up while entering his home. The blast was so strong that it ripped the porch right off of his house. "Little" Nicky Scarfo became mob boss after Testa. Scarfo and Riccobene hated each other and it wasn't long before Scarfo began plotting to kill The Hunchback.
On June 8, 1982, Harry Riccobene, then 72 years old, was standing in a in a glass enclosed phone booth talking to his 22 year-old girlfriend. On Scarfo's orders beefy 5-foot-10 Wayne Grande jogged up to the booth and shot Riccobene five times. Riccobene, tough as a bull, charged out of the booth, wrested the gun out of his assassin's hand before he collapsed on the sidewalk. Grande fled. When the police got there they asked Harry how he managed to commandeer the gun. Harry's response: "He was done with it. It was empty."
There was another attempt on his life that year. Gunmen found him sitting in his car, waiting for his girlfriend to come out of her house. They emptied their pistols into Harry's car. None of the shots hit their intended target. The cops arrived and asked him why his car was full of bullet holes. He said he didn't know. "Probably neighborhood vandals" was his response.
In the year 2000 he died in prison at age of 89.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

German Anthem 8 bits (Das Lied der Deutschen)

Somebody told me that Germany won the World Cup. 

Sehr gut, Deutschen!

I will be okay not watching European football on every bar television in Philadelphia for a while. 

I hope that they don't fill the time slot with poker tournaments because that is the damn dumbest shit imaginable. Poker isn't a sport. While I am at it either is NASCAR, the favorite of peckerwood suburbia. Watching golf on TV is a close third.

When my friend Scot and I were kids, we couldn't make any noise while going through the living room of his family home if Scot's father was watching golf. The guy was scary. He was a first generation emigre from Scotland with a thick head of white hair. He wore glasses and a permanent scowl, the quintessential dour Presbyterian with a hair trigger temper for extra points. The old man was glued to his Barcolounger all day Sunday watching golf. The Scotsman found the American announcers annoying (he found most things annoying, particularly me) so he would sit all day Sunday watching golf with the sound turned off. Can you imagine? The horror...  

But  digress...

This is an awesome 8 bit version of Das Lied Der Deutschen.