Riding a motorcycle has an almost meditative effect. Anyway — last week ended in New Orleans. I had a few beers, a whiskey and danced with my eyes closed. The first night I ended up in a bar with wonderful blues. There was a guard who kept watch over me. On the third night I ate alligator meat, but something must have been wrong with it, because I got sick. A few days later the director and cameraman would join me in Atlanta to follow me for ten more days.
As far as I understood — he had the tendency to mumble — he used to own a grocery store which was emptied out by bailiffs. Nowadays he repairs cars, outdoors, next to the building which should have been the grocery store. Murt was very impressed by me photographing him. This study covered a period of forty years — from to — and men participated. All of the men were African-American. They received a placebo, so that the government could study the effects of syphilis on a black body.
For forty years these men were never told that they had syphilis.
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Not even when penicillin came on the market. Tumors, insanity, blindness, heart conditions and death were the results, but nothing was being done. On top of that, nineteen infected children were born. In the true reason behind the study leaked, and this led to a lot of commotion, understandably. The study was terminated. A compensation of ten million dollars was awarded to the survivors and their next of kin. To think that a study like this could continue for forty years still baffles me. Everyone who participated has died; the researchers and the doctors, but also the patients and their next of kin.
While in Tuskegee I photographed a young but very gabby girl. I ran into this child in a Walmart, with her mother — Walmart tends to be an interesting place. A few days later, while in Canton — at this point joined by the director and the cameraman — I found another two photo subjects at a Walmart.
Beautifully curved roads in fantastic landscapes. Heavily forested, it all smells lovely. Nothing matters. So much has happened over these past few weeks that my thoughts are all tangled up. Last week director Simone de Vries and cameraman Maarten van Rossem were following me in my tracks again. As I rode my miles on the bike, they drove behind me. Last week ended in the Smokey Mountains — very much worth the trip, especially on a motorbike. Ride the tail of the dragon! We stopped at a small city called Loudon and spent the night at a motel that was next to a trailer park.
The swimming pool was the local hangout, and therefore a perfect place to meet new people to photograph. I met Jonah and Grant, father and son. At age nine Jonah had come across a joint in the living room; he smoked it and has been a fan ever since. He says he smokes only when he can afford it. I also met Joyce, who lived in a tiny trailer that made photographing her a challenge.
She was curled up on her bed with her dog — a nice picture. In the evening the trailer park seemed like the set of some cult movie. As I sat outside my motel room, all sorts of characters passed by. The receptionist, for example, who lived in the motel. His room was on the second floor and had red light.
In his room was a bike — he liked to cycle. When his shift was over he was supposed to close the pool, but instead he got his bike which had bluetooth so he could play music by the pool. He tried to play it really cool as he walked by with his bike. Then he switched on all the lights on the bike — I think there were about ten different flashing lights — which reminded me of a police car. Later he headed off to cycle around for a bit. The way he got on the bike and tried to ride off gave away that it was more about showing off the bike than actually riding it.
There was no shortage of alcohol here, and at some point the loudest bigmouth had gotten so drunk that he fell over. Nobody helped him up. He was just lying there, screaming for ice in his drink. He just kept on whining as if nothing had happened. There was also a bald, fat guy in an electric wheelchair who kept going in circles around the pool while spitting phlegm onto the concrete every now and then. He was babysitting his grandchild and kept shouting for him to come over. Ignoring him, the kid just kept hopping around the pool, knowing that his oversized grandfather would never catch him.
Observing all these characters was enough to keep me entertained for the evening. The next day we continued westward and ended up in a big traffic jam. Since we were stuck in it, I began looking for good photo-subjects in the traffic jam. I set up my little studio by the side of the road and took some nice shots. Just as the traffic started to move again, I saw a beautiful red-haired girl.
She wrote down my number and luckily contacted me that evening. We decided to meet up in Peducah, since we were heading there the next day. Unfortunately we ended up in the middle of a downpour, so when I arrived I was totally soaked. To make matters worse, I was only allowed to photograph her for five minutes at the location. Another interesting place we visited was Salem: not especially because of the city itself, but due to the situation that we encountered there. We stayed at a very nice hotel. There was a power outage in Salem, so finding a place to eat was difficult. Eventually, on the outskirts of town, we found a small bar where they did have power.
They cooked us some wonderful food and put on a display of fireworks — another movie-like moment that made us feel euphoric. My laptop had also crashed. I needed it to upload my photographs and share my stories with you. But the fact remained that I needed both my passport and a laptop, so the next day I had to travel miles to even get to the nearest Apple store.
On the way to Kansas City the skies changed rapidly, and again I was hit by a huge downpour.
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It got so dark that the streetlights turned on automatically. Despite that, it was fascinating to see how quickly the weather can change here. Yesterday I spoke with a local man, who told me that locals can always sense when a tornado is coming. It only takes twenty minutes for a tornado to take shape. Shelter has to be found in a basement, or a bathroom if there is no basement. The motorcycle takes care of me, I take care of the motorcycle. So I hope I can avoid those tornadoes — that seems like the wisest option to me.
The motorcycle and I would like to arrive in Las Vegas in one piece. The documentary maker and the cameraman have also returned to the Netherlands, which takes some getting used to. To me personally, this trip has immense value; and at this point the idea of having to go back to the Netherlands soon is inconceivable. Well, alone… I do have the motorcycle. Time is running out. Having miscalculated, I just realized that, as of today, only eleven days remain. Since so much rain has fallen here in recent weeks, the surroundings look beautiful. I was going down a road parallel to the I80 — a busy interstate — in the southern part of Nebraska.
A long and straight but beautiful road that runs between green fields. The fields are so many different shades of green that you could call them painterly. Next to this road, running from east to west, was a track for freight trains. So I was riding alongside large freight trains for miles, and there was hardly any traffic. Sometimes I rode through small towns with names like Funk and Pine Bluffs, whose populations vary from 60 to In Lincoln, a slightly bigger city, I photographed Suzy.
I saw her walking down the street and approached her. As soon as I told her I was from Amsterdam, she begged me to take her back with me — she was dead serious. On her door there was a note. The note said Jeff had to leave, because the cops knew. Jeff wanted to cut her up into pieces. Despite Jeff wanting to cut her up, she spoke about him with sympathy. After all, he was divorced and addicted to meth. A good portrait can be forced, but not moving portrait.
I could walk out the door, place any person in front of my camera and shoot a portrait which is good in terms of quality. I want more. But I did shoot a very nice portrait of her. Then it was time to move on, since I did need to get back to Vegas. Today I was in Chugwater, Wyoming. I had googled Chugwater and found a group photo that included a girl I badly wanted to photograph. Her husband thought I came to ask for gas — the gas station had ceased to exist in Chugwater after a man had driven into it last year, triggering an explosion.
So if you ever need gas in Chugwater, go see the mayor. Nebaska and Wyoming are two states where I feel at home. Here I pass small towns and big pickup trucks. My first car was a red Chevy pickup that my dad gave me after my mom made him give up one of their cars. When it snowed my dad taught me how to spin around lantern poles; when it rained he taught me to take turns while skidding.
And when the sun was shining we did this too. While the bike drones on in the background, J.
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Cale sings gently into my ears. Eleven days to go. Sometimes the closest hotel is still miles away. Wide-open landscapes alternate with grotesque mountains — sometimes the sights are literally breathtaking. The scenery makes me feel small and big at the same time. It can be frightening to crisscross these landscapes alone and without phone access , yet it feels much more comfortable and familiar than it did two and a half months ago. Realizing this makes me feel melancholy at times. A kiss on the forehead to take your worries away, a hug for comfort, or to share a euphoric feeling. A few days ago I saw part of the documentary on Nina Simone.
She was asked what freedom meant to her. Freedom is to feel no fear, she answered. During this trip there were a few moments when I felt fearless — and that awareness means a lot to me. A year would probably not even be sufficient for me. Last week I rode through Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. I stopped at Evanston, worn out from the ride, and pulled over at the first available hotel. Despite its high rates the hotel had no laundry room — a blessing, I realized later on — so I continued in search of a place to wash my only pair of jeans.
I forgot about my laundry pretty quickly. Among the characters I met was William, who referred to himself as an alien. As I photographed him in his tiny room I tried to focus on his story but the peeing dog next to him kept distracting me. The smell of ammonia was bearable as long as I was focusing on the portrait. By the time I was finally outside and back on my motorbike, just the thought of the smell was enough to cause extreme nausea.
Intense heat causes my helmet to make creaky noises. The sweat underneath my glasses sometimes makes my eyes sting. After long rides the hot asphalt is enough to comfort my back. On the map I had indicated the short detour northward that I then took — there it was, like a lost little line. On the contrary.
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Just a few more days. Not done just yet. Actually not at all. First Pioche and Vegas. When I left the Netherlands two and a half months ago, I realized how much trouble I had — and still have — with leaving. Sometimes that was easy, sometimes not at all. From there I rode miles, back to Vegas — the same route on which I started my journey.
I was given the nicest room, and they had a surprise for me. The next day they handed me a cowboy hat and took me to the shooting range. In Nevada, a shooting range is pretty much like an empty field in the middle of nowhere, with a view of the mountains. A former shooting instructor Dan and John the plumber, no joke showed me the ropes. They taught me about different bullets, different guns and how to use them. The love, the care and enthusiasm with which they shared their knowledge affected me. I started small, with a.
Learning how to stand firmly; to focus, concentrate and control a weapon was a special experience. In a certain way it was comparable to riding a motorcycle — most motorcyclists will recognize the euphoric feeling of taking a very sharp turn successfully with your knee almost touching the ground. After two days it was time to leave Pioche. Las Vegas was the final destination. On the way I rode past Caliente. Recognizing the RV park, I rode up to his trailer and knocked on the door. There he was: the man who had been walking to the post office several times in the last few weeks to check if I had already sent him a letter.
Now I was at his front door, almost miles and two and a half months later. He threw his arms up and gave me the sweetest hug. I had to cry when I saw him. The man is lonely, but not bitter. I could listen to him for hours. He talks about responsibilities, desires, connections.
He speaks in my words, as though he can create order in the chaos in my mind. His eyes tell a thousand tales, and I want to hear all of them. I missed you, honey. Like home. Maybe that feeling, to me, lies with being in transit. Once I got back to Vegas, I felt drained — exhausted from all the emotions, encounters and impressions. Yet I had failed to find peace. Next morning, another goodbye: my metal buddy had to go back to the dealer. The inanimate object had long since become much more than that to me. The longer I rode, the calmer I became. A worn-out tire betrayed the distance we had covered.
At a gentle speed I rode to the dealer, parked the Harley at the door and got a bit queasy when someone came for the key. I asked how much it would cost to ship it to Amsterdam. They gave me a price for the same model. That was virtually impossible. And so the motorcycle, my buddy, would stay there and end up carrying someone else. I was a bit jealous, even though I had no idea who would ride it. My sentiment embarrassed me. Once I arrived at the airport, I finally realized that I had done it: I had done almost miles.
I had initially set out to hit ! Wk 1 1st week. Wk 2 2nd week. Wk 3 3rd week. Wk 4 4th week. Wk 5 5th week. Wk 6 6th week. Wk 7 7th week. Wk 8 8th week. Wk 9 9th week. Wk 10 10th week. Select a week 1st week. James, Pioche, Nevada. Rachelle and Mary, Caliente, Nevada. Self-portrait Raton, New Mexico The past week has felt like a year. Self-portrait Walmart.
Car, Tuskegee, Alabama Week six already. Time Is Running Out St. There was an entrepreneurial rough-and-tumble in those days. The America that produced the ice cream truck was the America in which a mailroom staffer could become a CEO, or in which a friendly eccentric hawking fried chicken door to door could become a fast food magnate. Today, there is no mailroom and interns are illegal thanks Obama. Emperor Palpitine is looking better everyday. Because OTAs are not subject to the regulatory and disclosure guidelines required for most contracts, the Pentagon can get away with not reporting them as procurements—in other words, as part of the grand total.
What can that mean other than the MIC can spend public funds on whatever it wants, when it wants-funds acquired from you and me and our children. Even the most jaded USA! From Lifesite News :. Why not just mandate that children should be taken from their parents at birth and placed into the care of care of a colony of primates like Tarzan of Greystoke? In , I accepted laicization from the priesthood as a consequence of having violated my vow of celibacy as a priest on more than one occasion.
I lived an unhealthy life as a priest, and I hurt people. I never intended to become such a person, but I did. What I did was wrong. I deeply regret having hurt people who looked up to me as a spiritual leader, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Chew on that for a moment and consider how many may read Fr.
Thankfully, we must bear in mind that the Sacraments cannot be tainted by crooked and ungraceful priests administering them. The new threats to the sacred space demand a fundamental rethinking for conservatives. It is a radical individualism that leads to vicious tribalism. The threat comes from those two main currents of the national Republican Party.
At his essence Trump is an assault on the sacred order that conservatives hold dear — the habits and institutions that cultivate sympathy, honesty, faithfulness and friendship. Ta da! The Faith, the beautiful, time tested Faith and teaching of solidarity and subsidiarity that the Catholic Church vends, even in her darkest hour. In short, the Church is civilization. From the BBC. Legal permission will no longer be required to end care for patients in a long-term permanent vegetative state, the Supreme Court has ruled. It will now be easier to withdraw food and liquid to allow such patients to die across the UK.
When families and doctors are in agreement, medical staff will be able to remove feeding tubes without applying to the Court of Protection. Lady Black ruled there was no violation under the Human Rights Convention. Human beings are exalted creatures before God, calling them vegetables to justify murdering them is an abomination. Oremus, England. I will increase the amount I give in both instances by the amount I used to give to the diocese. And I will hope, and pray, to see clear and public efforts on your part to meet what I hope we both agree is the most pressing and immediate need of the Church we both love.
No, Pope Francis is going to have to stop playing Pope tree-hugger and actually administer Justice by convening tribunals boards of prelates of some sort. Blame Canada — REM had a song they called Losing My Religion which I was told was about what happens when young boys stop pursuing goodness in their language and instead learn how to curse. The song has an eerie, sad tone, as though losing your religion is a lamentable thing. That was a mere 20 years ago, this is now: Losing Your Religion is a rite of passage being celebrated for example in Quebec.
Now comes the report that the Catholic faith has been all but extinguished in Quebec and the principle reason is, according to some , that it never really was practiced; rather, it was something people did because they were embarrassed not to? Losing your religion is bad, boasting that you never really had it to lose is obstinate sin and sad.
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The report also contains this about Penn State. Penn State was home to the now disgraced sodomite and former football coach Jerry Sandusky; one wonders what else Sandusky might have been doing with priests assigned as chaplains for the football program. Isis Chants USA! I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year.
Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. We have known that Raytheon was selling missiles to the Sauds for years; now we know that the Sauds sell them in turn to ISIS and others. Question: how many American troops have been killed or maimed in undeclared wars by these same missiles? It is also a fact that farmers are paid to grow crops that they then sell to buyers overseas.
Is it really that hard to grow corn, wheat and soybeans? That has to be the start of a really bad joke and not a serious inquiry. Tim is staying put and explains the reasons why. How Catholicism has all the answers, including to its own problems , and it asks us to be courageous. We all have to admit that we are capable of doing wrong and of being hurt. These are two very different things, yes, but they both involve the wounding of a soul, and what the Church offers to the injured is reconciliation and healing.
So instead of running down the street, tearing off your scapular and Saint Benedict medals as Dreher and millions of others did, Stanley is staying put because he has used reason and Faith, a virtue infused into our souls at Baptism, to reach the truth: extra ecclesiam nulla salus. The Stones have done with their perpetual teenagery. The Devil Hates Latin — Father Perricone explains something many have wrestled with explaining: why taking the body, blood, soul and Divinity of Our Lord in our hands is a terrible practice. Moreover, no intelligent Catholic would maintain that Communion in the hand alone caused a decline either in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament or in vocations to the priesthood.
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On the other hand, no intelligent Catholic would deny that Communion in the hand holds a principal place in the constellation of factors that have led to these declines. Any other conclusion is counterintuitive. McCarrick believed that he was my direct contact with God. He told me that hundreds and hundreds of times: God will only listen to you when you are with me. Who else could inspire this prideful, blasphemous boast but the author of pride himself? Saint Luke solves the mystery. Maybe you should. The experience of the past 50 years seriously questions the success of that effort.
At this point, what is important to realize is that if the teaching of Humanae Vitae is set aside, no damage whatsoever will have been done to the real traditional teaching. If the current occupant of the papal office takes that step, he will have confirmed that the purpose of tradition itself is to move forward, not backward. However, we are not talking about men who are psychosexually mature. And yet the bishops and officials at the Vatican refuse to acknowledge this. Rather, they are perpetuating the problem, and even making it worse, with policies that actually punish seminarians and priests who seek to deal openly, honestly and healthily with their sexual orientation.
Got that, faithful laity? Wanna know how we are going to see sodomite marriages in The Church? Few people are where I am on this but more inch my way everyday, like Matthew Walther:. I reckon this to the real-world example of the NFL. It is pure fantasy to believe that the league is going to go back to the days of Landry and Lombardi wearing suits on the sideline after Staubach and Starr had attended Mass to start their gameday. We should start admitting that this is the course of action, conform our minds to it and pray for the Holy Ghost and our patron saints to guide us there.
A group calling itself BLinC Bidness Leaders in Christ, violated those rules when it denied the application of an publicly active sodomite for a leadership position. UI kicked the group off campus and made them pariahs — a fantastic mortification! But these modern cowards are all crustaceans ; their hardness is all on the cover and their softness is inside.
Cowardice in not confronting their lusts as St Benedict famously did and instead acting upon them like the harlot before the meeting at the well. All I can do is pray.
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