Does 18 Make For A Shithole?

 Esplanade Park in Helsinki. Finland, is the happiest country in the world, according to the newest World Happiness Report. Credit Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva, via Associated Press

Esplanade Park in Helsinki. Finland, is the happiest country in the world, according to the newest World Happiness Report. Credit Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva, via Associated Press.

According to The World Happiness Report, Ustates has plummeted to 18th on the list. If you really want to be happy and feel secure, you need to go Nordic. Finland made the top of the list.

Finland was ranked number one on the World Happiness Report, compiled by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The country was joined by other Scandinavian nations—Norway, Denmark, and Iceland—in the top four, followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.

All these nations are based on strong social welfare structures, and look, people are happy! Looks like that evil socialism has a lot going for it. Turns out that when people feel secure, they tend to be happier and much more laidback.

“I think there really is a deep and very unsettling signal coming through that U.S. society is in many ways under profound stress, even though the economy by traditional measures is doing fine,” Jeffrey D. Sachs, an editor of the report, told the New York Times. “The trends are not good, and the comparative position of the U.S. relative to other high-income countries is nothing short of alarming.”

The drop followed President Donald Trump’s first year in office, during which the majority of Americans reported disapproval of the country’s top elected official, and hundreds of thousands protested his regressive policies on immigration, women’s reproductive rights, and gun control—as well as widespread concerns that the president is blatantly profiting off his position in public office.

The past year also saw reports of America’s widening wealth gap, with the average upper middle-class household holding 75 times more wealth than low-income families.

While other countries have focused on social welfare of all their citizens, Ustates has been in the process of removing rights and the very last shreds of social programs. We’re in the middle of dismantling education, nazis are running rampant all over the place, and you never know when you might be walking into a nightmare massacre. Sounds like a shithole to me.

The World Happiness Report ranks countries according to per capita GDP, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and corruption levels.

Going by that alone, seems Ustates should be at the bottom of the list.

Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the second year in a row in 2017, with researchers suggesting that the opioid addiction epidemic and inequality are related to the decline.

I expect no health care has a lot to do with that one, along with a hefty percentage of the population living in food deserts and being unable to eat well.

Reigning political ideologies in the highest-ranking nations contrast sharply with that of the U.S., noted the researchers.

The countries in the top 10 tend to “believe that what makes people happy is solid social support systems, good public services, and even paying a significant amount in taxes for that,” said Sachs.

Yep. I’m more than happy to pay taxes, when they are used for the common good. That’s supposed to be the bloody point of taxes.

Every top-ranking country also ensures that every citizen has access to free or affordable healthcare, while millions of Americans remain uninsured despite the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Oh, there it is. Yep, other countries seem to have all figured out that having healthy citizens is to their benefit. That strikes me as simple common sense, but not here in Amerikka, no. I’m quite surprised we ended up as high as 18. Now I can’t get this song outta my head:

Via RawStory.

Katastwóf Karavan.

Kara Walker with her “Katastwóf Karavan” at the Mississippi River Trail on February 23, 2018, in New Orleans. Josh Brasted/Getty Images.

Kara Walker with her “Katastwóf Karavan” at the Mississippi River Trail on February 23, 2018, in New Orleans. Josh Brasted/Getty Images.

[…] Walker titled the whole montage the Katastwóf Karavan, or Caravan of Catastrophe, the use of Haitian Creole signaling the mix of Caribbean and Southern histories that shaped New Orleans. Walker’s first public installation since the 2014 Marvelous Sugar Baby — the enormous Sphinx-like mammy figure that she built out of sugar in the now-demolished Domino factory in Williamsburg — the Karavan went up for the closing weekend of the Prospect.4 triennial, which ran for three months at multiple sites around New Orleans. The installation was freighted with layers of site-specific symbolism — none of it subtle if you knew a bit about local history, yet all of it obscured by years of avoidance or, at best, awkward notes in the narratives delivered by school curricula or tourist brochures.

Thus Algiers Point: Here, in the eighteenth century, traders warehoused disembarked captives — those who survived the Middle Passage — before selling them on the opposite bank in the markets that dotted the French Quarter and surroundings. This is where families were rent apart, humans assessed and packaged as commodities. Thus, too, Walker’s tableaux, relevant across the landscape of chattel slavery but especially here.

And thus the calliope, a direct retort to the one on the Natchez — “the OTHER calliope,” Walker called it on her handout for the event — and its sonic broadcast of a whitewashed history. Several times a day, the vessel’s instrument blares out to the city (there is no such thing as a quiet calliope) items from a hoary playlist such as “Old Man River,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “God Bless America,” and, yes, “Dixie’s Land.” […]

You can read and see much more about Kara Walker’s latest piece here.

The Bracero Program.

Blueprints for the El Paso [Santa Fe Bridge] disinfection plant, 1916 (image from Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez:1893-1923 by David Dorado Romo).

Blueprints for the El Paso [Santa Fe Bridge] disinfection plant, 1916 (image from Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez:1893-1923 by David Dorado Romo).

During the Second World War, with industrial resources bent toward the war effort, the US suffered a dangerous shortfall of farm and railroad workers. From 1942 to 1964, the federal government, in partnership with Mexico, oversaw one of the largest foreign worker programs in US history. It was called the “Bracero Program,” from the Spanish word for manual labor. Between 1951 and 1964, Rio Vista Farm, near El Paso, Texas, accepted more than 80,000 Mexican workers per year. The contractual time, wages, and transportation of workers were documented at these sites after they underwent medical and psychological examinations, which often included fumigation with DDT. Approximately 4.6 million braceros went through the system over a 22-year period.

Artist Adriana Corral, with assistance from the National Trust Foundation and historian David Romo, has spent several years preparing to erect a site-specific installation at the historic Rio Vista Farm, titled “Unearthed: Desenterrado.” The work, curated by Cortney Lane Stell and produced by the Denver-based traveling museum Black Cube, is composed of a 60- by 40- foot flag. On each side of its semi-translucent white cotton support, a single eagle is embroidered: the Mexican golden eagle on one side and the American bald eagle on the other, claws connecting. Artist Vincent Valdez, who collaborated on the idea and design, told Hyperallergic in an email:

The historic usage of the eagle as nationalistic and patriotic symbols are used to evoke power, aggression, invulnerability and triumph. In this case, two eagles caught dueling in mid-flight speak to the tangled love and hate relationship between the neighboring countries.

It symbolizes the monumental contributions made by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the US, and captures a neglected narrative in American history. Corral discussed the project with Hyperallergic.

Hyperallergic has an in-depth article and interview about this project, and the history of the Bracero Program, along with more images. Click on over to read all about it.

Everyday American Hell.

Peter Williams, “Resistance II” (2017), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (photo by Carson Zullinger).

Peter Williams, “Resistance II” (2017), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (photo by Carson Zullinger).

[…] Williams uses caricature to invite viewers — whatever their political persuasion— to reflect upon how they see people of a race different from their own, as well as underscore the intolerance, distrust, and fear running throughout our everyday lives. A brave and intrepid curator ought to buy “Mass Murder” and install it near the entrance of a museum.

Walking home, I remembered something a black artist friend told me about raising his son in New York City: “I told him never to run down the street.” This is the reality we inhabit. There is nothing “united” about the United States, something artists as different as Jasper Johns and Peter Williams have known their whole lives.

Peter Williams: With So Little To Be Sure Of continues at CUE Art Foundation (137 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) through March 29.

Hyperallergic has an in-depth article on Peter Williams’s latest works and show, well worth a detour in your day to read and see many more art pieces.

Sunday Facepalm.

Wikimedia Commons.

Someone who bills herself “Montreal Healthy Girl” has some news for us all: “CANCER IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING!!!” Did you get those extra exclamation marks? Obviously all manner of truthy, because serious emphasis. I’d dearly like to give this person one hell of a smack, to say the least.

So what is Cancer exactly and what the hell can we do about it when we are faced with a paralysing fear of death? The following may surprise you, but finding out you have the big C is not as terrifyingly final as we are taught to think. Contrary to popular belief and misinformation, CANCER IS ACTUALLY A GOOD THING!!! It is your body’s way of defending itself against a poisonous internal environment and without it, most of us would die long before our diagnosis.

Oh for fuck’s sake. It’s obvious this stupid twit does not know one thing about cancer, nor did she bother with actually getting acquainted with anyone who happens to have cancer. Most people are aware that cure rates are up for many types of cancer, and many people with stage IV cancers are living their lives for decades past diagnosis. CANCER IS NOT A GOOD THING. IT’S A BAD THING WHICH REQUIRES PROPER TREATMENT FROM PEOPLE WITH ACTUAL MEDICAL DEGREES.  Cancer does not save you from early death due to a “poisonous internal environment”.  Cancer cells are terrifyingly magnificent, and out of all the things on this planet, they play the game of evolution best. There are so many different types of cancer cells, it’s dizzying, and no, all cancers are not treated the same; they cannot be. For each type of cancer, it’s a different game. If you want a thorough understanding of how cancer cells work, read The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Cancer cells are rogues, and they excel at reproducing and mutating. Some cancers tend to be low aggression, like mine (colorectal cancer), others are incredibly aggressive and scary as fuck. As always, with any cancer, your best bet is early detection, and prevention, like not smoking, which cuts your chances of lung cancer way down. It never hurts to eat healthy and get at least moderate exercise, but those things will not guarantee you’ll never hear “it’s cancer.” The older you get, the more likely there will be an incidence of cancer. Get those screening tests! Cancer is not the result of an “imbalance” or the body being too “acidic”, which is the fucking stupid twit’s answer to cancer and how to get it to “reverse itself”. This sort of crap is incredibly dangerous, and leads to people dying.  Please, if you hear “it’s cancer”, do not fall for this sort of crap. I’m the last person to say that cancer treatment is any sort of fucking fun, it isn’t. It’s a right pain in the ass (literally in my case), and the side effects are nasty. It’s better than death, which is what you’ll get with Ms. Healthy Girl and those like her. In the case of someone like myself, with colon cancer, you might actually live for quite a while without treatment, being that it’s not an overly aggressive cancer. But there will pain. Enormous, bad pain. Pain which will get worse. And by the time you drag your sorry ass to an actual physician, it will likely to be too damn late.

I won’t link you to the idiot’s fucking page, because this infuriates me no end, but I will link you to Jonathan Jarry at McGill, who has plenty to say about this dangerous fucking mess of a person.

Quilts: Tools For Resistance.

Yaneli Martinez, “Inequality 4 All”.

Yaneli Martinez, “Inequality 4 All”.

Jaquie Gering, “Veer”.

Jaquie Gering, “Veer”.

PASADENA, Calif. — “SHUT UP and Listen,” proclaims a quilt in bold, red letters. It shows a muted American flag, hung upside down on its phantom flagpole. The aggressive “SHUT UP” is rendered in darker red fabric, like oxidized blood. But the message softens with the word “Listen,” looped in beautiful script, using sweeter reds and an assemblage of floral, plaid, and paisley fabrics. The quilt is willing to have a conversation if I’m willing to hold my tongue.

Jessica Wohl’s quilt was just one of many beckoning calls to action at QuiltCon 2018, the Modern Quilt Guild’s annual convention, held at the Pasadena Convention Center late February. The guild launched in 2009, after quilters making innovative, nontraditional works began forming connections online and realized they weren’t alone in their experimentation. The guild has established chapters internationally, in which quilters come together and show their work, workshop new techniques, and build a community.

Embedded in this year’s quilt show, which featured over 350 works, were acts of protest. They carried messages like “strong women taught us to quilt…and to fight,” “rise up, resist,” and simply, “oh no.” Others depicted difficult, but insightful, interpretations of mass incarceration, police brutality, school shootings, and acts of terror. The need quilters have felt to channel their frustrations into their craft during Trump’s America was palpable. But the members of the Modern Quilt Guild are also continuing a very old tradition of using the quilt as a tool for resistance.

You can read and see much more at Hyperallergic. I wish I could have seen this show.

Sunday Facepalm: All Ya Need Is Nice.

Star Parker, yet another conservative idiot, has decided on her defense of guns in the wake of the last school shooting. Those darn students weren’t nice enough to the shooter! We don’t need gun control or any sort of reform, no. What we need is niceness! We are all responsible for every dude walking around with a growing grudge, a tantrum, and a gun. You betcha. As to blaming the students:

“Well, not necessarily one individual student, but we can call for gun control if we want to as a nation, we can call for more federal laws if we want to as a nation, but usually when you’re faced with tragedy, you first check yourself,” Parker said. “We have forgotten how to just look inwardly. We’ve become such a nation of victims that we’ve forgotten to say, ‘Wait a minute, what could I have done?’”


“Well, perhaps said ‘hello,’ perhaps said ‘I’m sorry to hear your dad died,’” Parker said. “This is a very small community of people we’re talking about. This is not the responsibility of Washington, D.C., or the NRA. This is the responsibility of people that are closest to someone to be able to look them in the eye as an individual. So the challenge of this whole nation of victims is that now it’s not about us anymore, it’s about somebody else, our problems are somebody else’s fault. Well, no, actually, this is a very small community, someone must have saw his sadness, someone must have known his dad died.”

Ms. Parker didn’t listen to the students talking. Ms. Parker certainly didn’t listen to Ms. Emma Gonzalez, who pointed out, strongly, that they knew that kid. They knew what he was like. They knew his desire for violence, his propensity for cruelty. They did speak out, they tried to tell people, they tried to warn people, but no one listened well enough to what they had to say, and now a lot of kids are dead. Sometimes, reaching out to a person can make all the difference in the world, but simply being ‘nice’ isn’t enough to reach anyone. If you’re going to extend ‘nice’, it needs to go further than that; and there are people you can’t reach in any way. The shooter in this case was primed to go off for years, but it was ignored by everyone except the students. The students wanted to know why people like his neighbours ignored him wandering around with a fucking gun. How about you answer that one, Ms. Parker? I would have loved to see you walk up to a kid wandering about with a gun and be ‘nice’ to him.


“Well, they expelled him probably because he was acting out,” she said, “and he was acting out probably because he didn’t have any friends—you know, whoever sat next to him in class, they’d better not be the ones who are protesting out there today.”

They expelled him because he was a danger to others, you fucking idiot. Sitting next to someone in class does not make you friends, and friendship is not a one way street. Christ, I loathe conservatives.

The whole mess and video is at RWW. In other, depressing news, the Dominionists of the Theocalypse have descended on CPAC, all of them staying at the Trump Hotel to sing their praises to the Tiny Tyrant. You can read the whole sorry thing here.

Money Shot. (NSFW)

Judith Bernstein, “Money Shot – Blue Balls” (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 104 x 90 1/2 inches.

Judith Bernstein, “Money Shot – Blue Balls” (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 104 x 90 1/2 inches.

Judith Bernstein, “President” (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 89 1/2 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery).

Judith Bernstein, “President” (2017), acrylic and oil on canvas, 90 x 89 1/2 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery).

Judith Bernstein, who is finally getting the attention she should have had all along (only took until she was 72), has a new show, Money Shot, and it is a scathing indictment of our current state of regime.

In Money Shot, Schlongface is an omnipresent demagogue. The character (similar to Cockman, who debuted in Bernstein’s works of the 1960s) has a cock and balls for a face. Schlongface is meant to represent Trump, but the figure can be spliced into innumerable moments of history. He is the pathetic villain, the dictator whose rampant destruction betrays both his predilection for rape and impotence.

What hits you on the nose feels like a kick to the crotch. The seriousness of these political and psychosexual implications, told through tongue-in-cheek (or cock-and-nose) wordplay and humor, are important themes in Bernstein’s work. In her impactful scale, enraged mark-making, and caricature, there is never an either/or. There are only contradictory couplings. Laugh. But fear.


In “President” (2017), Schlongface seems to merge with a foreshortened female figure whose legs are spread-eagle in the foreground. The figure’s crotch is stamped with the US Presidential Seal – with an asshole like a target beneath it. The political and psychosexual dynamic of Bernstein’s work turns on the complexities derived by the receiver.

Judith Bernstein: Money Shot continues at Paul Kasmin Gallery (293 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan) through March 3. You can see, and read much more at Hyperallergic.

Black People Excited About Black Panther: BAD!

A dude by the name of Ben Shapiro is all manner of upset about people being excited about Black Panther. Naturally, he misses the point, by a whole damn universe. Most of his screeth* seems to be a lament over the lack of gratefulness being displayed in this excitement. Black people should be grateful, dammit, for all the great and wonderful things white people have done for them! On your knees, slaves! Oh, er…stop being so excited! I’m not going to be able to get everything in, it’s a fairly long screeth, so full of wypipo gone wrong that it’s extremely difficult to take, and that’s a serious understatement. Shapiro is one of those fucking idiots who make you ache for the ability to reach through your screen and smack him into last Sunday. And I’ll just add that I’m over the top excited about Black Panther m’self, but I can hardly share in the excitement born of such outstanding representation, because I’m not black. That said, I don’t have any problems understanding The Excitement.

“Everyone in the media is talking about the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of humanity, or at least since Caitlyn Jenner became a woman—a transgender woman—and that, of course, is the release of ‘Black Panther’. It is so deeply important,” Shapiro said, mockingly.

No, not one single person is talking about the movie as if it were the most important thing ever in the history of humanity, you sniveling dipshit. Black Panther is deeply important – look at how damn long it’s taken to get a mainstream movie comprised of a mostly black cast, especially when no one is able to say that tokenism has gone out of Hollywood.

“We’ve heard it’s deeply important to millions of black Americans, who after all were not liberated from slavery 200 years ago and liberated by the civil rights movement with federal legislation, have not been gradually restored to what always should have been full civil rights in the United States. None of that has mattered up till they made a Marvel movie about a superhero who is black in a country filled with black people. ‘Blade’ was not enough. ‘Catwoman’ with Halle Berry, no. OK, Wakanda is where it is,” Shapiro said.

He continued sarcastically, “This is the most important moment in black American history, not Martin Luther King, not Frederick Douglass, not the Civil War, not the end of Jim Crow, none of that, not Brown vs. Board—the most important thing is that Chadwick Boseman puts claws on his hands and a mask on his face and runs around jumping off cars in CGI fashion—deeply, deeply important. Black children everywhere will now believe that they too can be superheroes who jump off cars in fictional countries.”

Oh my. Hey, sniveling dipshit! You left a little something out – all those things? They wouldn’t have been necessary if white people deciding that forcibly kidnapping people and putting them into slavery hadn’t been done in the first place. You don’t get fucking points for taking centuries to correct your massive mistakes. As for the the movies Blade and Catwoman, you wouldn’t have noticed that outside the main characters, most of the cast was comprised of white people. That’s because you expect to see white people, as far as you’re concerned, that’s only right and proper. What a fucking surprise that people of colour would like to see themselves reflected in the same way, and not always have to settle for tokenism.

“We heard this about Barack Obama when he was elected, too. ‘Now that Obama has been president, black Americans will feel like they too can be presidents. It’s a transformative moment.’ Yet, all we hear now is that America is deeply racist and that black people are still systemically discriminated against and that black people are still victims in America society. So, it turns out it didn’t mean anything,” Shapiro said.

Yes, it was a transformative moment. Just like the portraits too, because generations of children to come will be able to read about a black president, and they will see black people represented in the sea of white in the white house. (White, white everywhere.) Having such transformative moments in regard to representation and the hope of future achievement is not a magic fucking wand, you wannabe Voldemort. Whitemort? Yeah, I’ll go with that one. It does not magically erase systemic racism, localised bigotry, or victimisation. Those are still with us, and unfortunately, with the Tiny Tyrant, we’re seeing a vicious, cancerous rise in hatred. The difference such transformative moments make cannot be accurately estimated; they represent hope, strength, and change. They represent inclusion and acceptance, and you just have to try and take that away, by demeaning black people in every way your tiny, atrophied brain can come up with. You aren’t worth spitting on, Mr. Shapiro.

“Sorry to break it to you folks, Wakanda is not a real place,” Shapiro said. “It does not exist.”

Well, thank you ever so much for that whitesplaination, Mr. Shapiro. I’m ever so sure that not one black person could possibly figure that one out minus your help. What a flaming doucheweasel.

You can read the whole thing, and watch video at RWW.

*Screeth: screed + froth.

Sunday Facepalm.

Courtesy Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax.

Virginia drivers can already get a state-issued license plate to show their support for the National Rifle Association, but a push for a “Stop Gun Violence” specialty plate took a contentious turn this week in the House of Delegates.


“We’re the snowflakes,” said Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, the plate’s sponsor. “But these guys see ‘gun violence’ on anything and they go ballistic.”

During floor debate Thursday, Gilbert said Simon was trying to make a political point that goes beyond “a little ol’ license plate bill.”

“It is him trying to build a narrative that gun violence is somehow different from regular violence,” Gilbert said, asking Simon why the license plate couldn’t raise awareness of violence generally.

So…you want a plate which says “stop violence”? Apparently Mr. Gilbert didn’t notice that he himself made a distinction between gun violence and “regular” violence. Perhaps republican assholes could get together and put out a degrees of violence pamphlet, assigning points or something. At least that waste of time would prevent them from doing harm for a while. The fact of the matter is that gun violence is indeed different. You can kill a whole lot of people very quickly with a gun. If nothing else, I’d think being able to kill cops with guns might have given these assholes pause, but no. As an aside, Mr. Simon deserves a smack for his word play.

The legislation filed to create the anti-gun violence plate would’ve imposed a standard $10 plate fee. But Republicans argued it should cost $25, the rate for revenue-generating plates that raise money for a social cause.

Republicans argued that cause should be mental health, prompting Simon to accuse the GOP of hijacking the plate’s message.

“To buy into the myth that this is a mental health problem and that these license plates ought to be used to solve a mental health problem unfairly stigmatizes people living with mental illness,” Simon said. “It unfairly characterizes it.”

Oh yes, it perpetuates stigma, and it’s a very unfair, malicious, and lazy conclusion that so many people run to and take refuge in, whenever there’s another major shooting. Othering is terribly convenient for those who refuse to pay attention to the problem staring them in the face.

Simon said he filed the bill on behalf of a constituent, 65-year-old retired microbiologist Carol Luten, who gathered the 450 prepaid applications required before the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will consider issuing a specialty plate. That constituent’s concerns go well beyond the mass shootings that draw headlines and focus more on everyday gun violence, such as children dying because an adult left a firearm unattended, Simon said.

“The people putting this plate in ought to have a say about what that plate means and where the funds from it go,” Simon said.

Simon suggested the money from the plate could go toward domestic violence prevention, but Republicans voted to direct the money to mental health on a 50-48 party-line vote.

Of course they did. Nothing like sticking to their narrative that guns are just harmless instruments.

The two House Republicans currently running for Congress — Dels. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, and Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper — voted against the plate.

“Obviously none of us support gun violence,” Freitas said. “The issue that I think a lot of us have is this idea of putting the focus on an instrument as opposed to a focus on the crime.”

Right, you want to focus on the crime. The problem there being…the fucking crime. By the time you’re focusing on that, at least one person is dead. Some of us find value in trying to make it a hell of a lot more difficult for someone to commit murder. For every brand of ugly immorality, you can count on republicans. Bet they are all “good” christians, too.

The full story is at

Design Crime: Art & Social Justice.

Stickers by Stuart Semple.

From spikes installed on window ledges to bars that divide benches into a set number of seats, examples of disciplinary architecture — otherwise known as hostile urban architecture — are all around us. Such designs deliberately restrict certain behaviors in public spaces, and while they affect everyone, they especially target homeless individuals, who cannot rest on these surfaces.

The UK-based artist Stuart Semple has created a campaign to try and raise awareness about these often subtle forms of social control. Today, he launched a website, Hostile Design, as a platform where people can easily and quickly spread word about these designs. It simply calls for anyone to photograph examples anywhere in the world, and share them on Instagram with the hashtag #hostiledesign. The website then aggregates these in a “design crime gallery.”

“Hostile design is design that intends to restrict freedom or somehow control a human being — be that homeless people, a skater or everyday humans congregating to enjoy themselves,” Semple told Hyperallergic. “The danger of hostile design is it’s so insidious. It’s so quiet, so camouflaged, that unless you know what it is, you accept it. And that blind acceptance makes things grow and spread.”

To further inform people beyond the digital sphere, he is also distributing stickers he created, which are available on the website. These “design crime” stickers are intended for pasting on offending surfaces and are available through pay-what-you-can pricing.

A bus stop in Bournemouth.

Living rural, I don’t see things like the above bus stop, which honestly shocked me. I’m about the size of a twig, and trying to sit on that “bench” would be very uncomfortable for me. Has it become so important to us to keep the afflicted and unfortunate out of sight that we willingly go along with being punished by this “disciplinary architecture”? This certainly strikes me as immoral and unethical, making every surrounding hostile because oh my, someone might actually find a place they could lie down and sleep, the horror! Par for the course, there’s zero effort to do anything about the problem of homeless people, but there’s a whole lot of effort going into driving them away from all public spaces. Certainly does not speak well of us. This isn’t just about driving the unfortunate out of sight, there’s also a public stair handrail, which has a block placed on it, just in case anyone had a fit of happy and wanted to slide on the railing.

I can’t say I’ve noticed anything like this in Bismarck, but I’m arming myself with stickers, and I’ll be looking.

There’s much more to read and see at Hyperallergic.