Thursday, January 26, 2012

One bad apple…

If you blissfully stroll through the the brand driven, ad agency carefully crafted, glistening, candy-coated Apple dreamscape of an exalted place of refined air far above the hellish nether-world of jaw-dropping labor abuses in Chinese sweat shops, it's time for your wake up call.


Yesterday’s Business Section of the New York Times, featured a scathing and comprehensive article titled, “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad”. It does a fine job of describing just how much blood, sweat, and tears (literally) goes into the shiny new iPhones and iPads that have driven Apple sales into new realms of success.

Make no mistake, I’m no fan of China. In my opinion, they are simply wrong on every level whether it be citizen oppression or social injustice, wildly flagrant environmental damage, over population and a strict unyielding compliance to an outdated, failed, political system steeped in dysfunction. I could go on, but my point is made.

Regardless of my personal feelings however, I understand that when all the layers of psychological, religious, social and personal identification are gone, people are people.

And a human being deserves better than what is reported in the article.

I’m curious now as to what steps Apple will take, if any, to repair this ugly situation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Now who’s gonna swab the deck pirate scum?

I laugh heartily when I hear GOP spin-masters decry Obama with baseless implications about him being weak on military support or lacking in concern about defense against terrorism and the such.

As Commander-in-Chief, not only did he authorize the taking out of bin Laden, last night, right before/during his SOTU address mind you, he authorized an operation to rescue Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen who was kidnapped and held against her will for three months in Somalia by pirates.

These are pirates who now will no longer be needing an eye patch, peg leg, or parrot.

(Image by johnx1 of the Independents for If Pirates Ruled Photoshop strange pictures contest)

Way to kick some smarmy Somalian pirate pirate ass POTUS!

Read the entire article here courtesy of 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Empty Subway…

Having lived in Washington, DC for over 20 years, I’ve taken countless metro rides throughout the great city and surrounding metro area.

While journeying via the metro to the Shady Grove stop for a business meeting late yesterday morning, I realized that it had been years since I had ridden to any of the “last stops” on the system. I lost track of time gliding through the tunnels as I mentally flipped through the years attempting to pinpoint the last time I had the experience. No luck. As I lifted my head out of the futility of my memory haze, I noticed that I was the sole passenger on the car.

I quickly glanced to both the left and right to see if I could see a distant profile of some other rider lost in a newspaper or iPhone. No one.

It’s a surreal, dreamlike, short-lived and rare experience to be the only person in a passenger car on a metro system that shuttles over 2.5 million people annually. So, of course, I reached for my
iPhone to make quick use of my favorite camera app to quickly visually document the fleeting experience. After a wee bit of tweaking in Photoshop, I present the results here for you to enjoy.

If you ever find yourself alone in an otherwise crowded space, after taking a moment to take in the Zen of it all. Grab your camera, visually document, and then let me know. I’d like to see what you come up with and I’d like to share it here.

(and please remember folks - all images in this post ©Michael Sprouse 2012)

Click on the image below to see a larger version in a new window






Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pardon me, is that a head in your bag? Say Cheese!

What kind of twisted American society have we created where the first impulse someone has when they have the unfortunate and horrific experience of stumbling across a severed head while walking through the park is to have a photograph of taken of themselves posing next to the hideousness with a smile?

What if their second impulse is to list the macabre image to a photographic licensing firm so as to get at least a 5 grand asking price from the media frenzy as they each attempt to claim it?

I envision snarling, angry junkyard dogs leaping wild eyed for a gnarled bone dangled from the hand of an inbreed mouth-breathing freak.

Horrifying though this thought may be to the sane few who dwell amongst this culturally decimated society , it's all true. You can find the sordid details here.

How rich the irony that this news item appears on the same day photography giant and American icon Kodak files for bankruptcy?

Remember, say cheese...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Sunday, January 15, 2012

More Free Facebook Covers!

The last time I posted some recent Facebook covers that I designed for free, they became very popular. So, being that I’m in a generous mood today – I’m posting more. Share as you will and enjoy!

I created these in Photoshop using either my own original photographs, or digital collages from vintage and/or retro photographs.

To use them, simply click on the image below for the larger version which is the size you’ll need for the cover image. Then

  1. Go to your timeline
  2. Click Add a Cover
  3. Choose choose “upload a new photo” and direct it to the are where you have saved the image
  4. Once you choose a photo, you can reposition it by clicking on the image and dragging it up or down
  5. Click Save
  6. Enjoy!







Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kim Novak Lashes Out?


According to an article I ran across in The Mainichi Daily News, Kim Novak feels “violated” because music from the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece film “Vertigo” is used in “The Artist” (the new  French black-and-white homage to the silent-film era and expected to be a front-runner at this year's Academy Awards).

Violated? It’s not as if she co-composed the film’s astounding score, and I’ll make the safe assumption that the film’s score wasn’t being piped onto the set during her scenes in the film. 

Let me mention that I am a tremendous fan of both Hitchcock and Novak and “Vertigo” is truly an outstanding work of cinematic art. Masterfully directed by Hitchcock, the magical and skillful performances by Novak and the late great Jimmy Stewart are integral parts of the film’s mystique and allure.


That being said, I find this reaction by the now faded, but still treasured, star over the top. Was this really worth having a “statement released by her manager” to document her disdain?

According to the article, Kim feels that her "body of work has been violated by 'The Artist.' This film took the love theme music from 'Vertigo' and used the emotions it engenders as its own. Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart can't speak for themselves, but I can. It was our work that unconsciously or consciously evoked the memories and feelings to the audience that were used for the climax of 'The Artist.'"

Perhaps, but I sense that this smites more so of bitter grapes then anger over music. Novak was at the pinnacle of her film career in the early to mid 1960’s. She made a handful of forgettable theater and television films in 70’s and early 80’s culminating in her last film appearance, 1991’s “Liebestraum”. According to Wikipedia however, “owing to battles with the director over how to play the role,” in that film, her scenes were cut. “Novak later admitted in a 2004 interview that the film was a mistake.”

In 2007 she said in an interview, that said that she would consider returning to the screen "if the right thing came along."  Personally, I would love to see her on the big screen in a meaningful role. Where’s Taratino when you need him?

That interview was over 5 years ago. Perhaps Kim felt that some attention getting, rattling of the cage of the film industry was in order over what she considers to be a cinematic no-no in connection to a master film that she starred in over 50 years ago.

It isn’t.