Category Archives: Politics

Bob Shell: Fighting Monsters

Artwork by Christopher Suciu. Copyright 2019

 

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #33

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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FIGHTING MONSTERS

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Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”.

I’ve been fighting a monster known as The Commonwealth of Virginia since my life was disrupted in 2003 by false criminal charges after the death of my girlfriend Marion Franklin. Have I succeeded in not becoming a monster myself? I hope so.

When you’re charged with a crime by a state, that state devotes all of its vast resources to insuring that you are convicted. Unless you are wealthy, it’s a very uneven match, and you must be prepared to lose everything, even if you win the case. Lawyers, court reporters, expert witnesses, bail bondsmen, etc., don’t work for free. Everywhere you turn, someone is standing there with their hand extended for money. I’ve never been wealthy, just comfortable, and the whole legal process bankrupted me.

Last night I had a dream. I was sitting in an auditorium somewhere with friends. We were on the front row. The Commonwealth’s Attorney (CA) came down the aisle, turned to me and asked, “Mr. Shell, did you wear sunglasses on your drive over here today?”. I said that I had. “You see,” he barked, “he admits to an illegal activity.”. I must have looked totally confused because he said, “Don’t you know that it’s illegal to wear sunglasses after you’re accused of a crime? ”

Just a dream, right? But not so far from reality. After my arrest I spent thirty days in jail before my lawyer could bail me out. When you’re out on bail it’s just like probation; you have to report to the Probation and Parole office regularly, and any infraction, no matter how minor, can get your release cancelled and you thrown back in jail. One day I was going somewhere in town, don’t recall where, when a town cop pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for having a burned out brake light. I had no idea the light wasn’t working. For a while it looked like the CA was going to try to revoke my bail over this! I had the light fixed immediately and carried the receipt to traffic court. Luckily, the judge dismissed the charge. But by driving with a burned out brake light, I was technically committing an illegal act while out on bail! And if they want to, they can revoke your bail over almost anything, even a parking ticket!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-prostitution/

 

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A.H. Scott: Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song

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A.H. Scott: Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song

 

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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Sour Moneybags’ Dumbasssss Song

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Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

On the run

Ain’t no pun

Feelin’ the strain on my feet, as under the sun my old body is beat

Hellhounds on my trail

I’m being persecuted beyond the pale

Gotta run from “The Man”

Cuz’ I’m a renegade without no plan or power

Oh, who am I kiddin’, I’m “The Man” livin’ in the Ivory Tower

They call me Prez,

But, behind my back they call me Sauer

Mueller’s on my case

But, no crimes are mine

Not even a trace

Gotta stick it to “The Man”

Cuz’ I’m a poor l’il lamb

Just ignore the fact that I’m outta’ the crib with my pappy’s platinum rib

Gold home plate is ever so great

But, I’m a lonely man in the peoples’ house all alone

Yet, there is that certain something that melts my heart and keeps me from turning to stone

As long as I have that aqua chirper, I sure as hell ain’t alone

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Gavel’s gonna’ get me, if I stand still

Nancy P. lookin’ at me and is goin’ in for the kill

Gotta put on a mask of strength

Even though I’m on the short end of length

Dames! Dames! Ruining my game

RBG is the Energizer Bunny and fit as a fiddle

She’s older than me, but I’m a tantrum toddler that dribbles

My iron grip is startin’ to slip with every pushback of democracy’s nibble

But, I’m new to this job, ya’ gotta remember that fact

Two years running and I still ain’t got no tact

Gotta’ keep on the run

Ya’ know I ain’t no nun

Ya’ know I ain’t no monk

Damn, gotta keep on runnin’, to keep out of this funk

But, Mueller’s crampin’ my style

Now, Dems ain’t lettin’ me have no more fun

Guard rails be damned, I’m drivin’ this mutha of a country off the razor’s edge

After all, I’m running this show with my orange glow

Yet, nobody realizes that hazy hue is actually my halo

Promises, promises, I screech again and again

Gonna make a run for the border and get me some cashin’

Makin’ them Mexicans pay for my wall is my key voting blocks’ passion

Sour Moneybags spouting gibberish of worker bees praising him for shutdown

While, fed employees’ cash flow is running down

Tweets don’t fail me now!

Tweets don’t fail me now!

My dumbass song won’t do me wrong

This is my song, am I wrong? Am I wrong?

Cuz’ it got me where I am all along

Gazing out my window, I see the little bluebird

As it flies by, I run outside and give it a wave

Little bluebird comes closer towards me

It must be quite brave

A fat turd from that bird lands in my eye

Screaming, I cry, “Why? Why? Why?”

Tweet is my friend, again and again

Yet, sweet bird of blue is a myth that is ever so true

When a tweet comes from the soul which is sour, call of the barbarian is diminished in power

Tweet defeat

He CAN be beat

Dems don’t fail us now!

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here:http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-crumblin-dice/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, News, Popular Culture, Women

A.H. Scott: Piddler On The Roof

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Illustrations and Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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PIDDLER ON THE ROOF

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Artwork by Thomcat23 for Tony Ward Studio. Copyright 2018

Artwork by Thomcat23 for Tony Ward Studio

 

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He piddles here

He piddles there

When he piddles, inhabitants of the Earth better beware

Is it so hard to ask for a man to be of class?

To the Piddler On the Roof, his core is crass

Piddler, oh Piddler, we all are screwed!

Piddler, oh Piddler, why do you do what you do?

He moans and howls of how there are no connections to the bear

But, around every corner the sounds of coins and linkage are heard

Not some grand conspiracy it has to be

Just coincidence of business ties that bind the Piddler On the Roof to the neighborhood of the Black Sea

Piddler On The Roof keeps parroting that there is no proof

He must think we’re fools and we’re all goofs

If we all were asked right in this moment where we get our pay, I bet we all could answer that question without delay

Yet, for Piddler On The Roof, he avoids that question and turns reality to sway

I’m a rich man he boasts, again and again and again

But, as the truth is exposed bit by bit, it proves he’s gotta bow to those who butters his toast

His affinity for strongmen is known near and far

But, if you ask to see his tax returns, he’ll tell ya’ that’s going a bit too far

His allegiance to business is damningly raw

Just ignore that tale of the bone saw

Maybe the royal one had it done

Or, maybe some rogue element went off the script

Either way, Piddler On The Roof has gotta defend the ties that bind

If you ask him about morality, he’ll say that’s a bore and a grind

Howling at the moon from the roof of the house of white, he piddles with delight

He cares not of what others think

But, he should, for the hunt for justice is on the brink

A man of stature and focus is on your tainted trail

Better wise up, Piddler, ‘cuz your phony act is about to fail

That yearning of yours to keep up appearances is swirling swiftly down the drain

Uncorked!

Unplugged!

Unhinged!

Bought & Sold!

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here:http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-the-devil-and-the-catholic-church/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, News, Poetry, Popular Culture, Women

Ed Simmons: Venice Beach Trashed

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Photography and Text by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018

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VENICE BEACH TRASHED

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OK, like the way most things go in Venice, we should hope too that this is transitory. God only knows it ain’t normal this blight. Walk out onto the sand, step in someone’s shit, maybe get stuck by a syringe flung out from someone’s tent.  This group shows literally no respect. For half a century I’ve floated in and out of  Venice Beach, California.  LA’s ghetto on the sand. I’ve watched  it change. Every time it seems when an uproar over one group is raised and the group gets run out, something worse always fills the vacuum.  What i’m seeing today, for tomorrow is scary.

House keeping on the sand.  Yeah, thats right. Weekly maid service for the homeless. What happens each Friday, people camped out on the sand, camped out on most all the side alleys connecting the Speedway to the Ocean Front Walk.  They gather up whatever belongings they wish to keep, then move it up and out of the way, while waiting for the mess they don’t want to be taken away.  So, I wonder whether this “Every Friday Morning Venice Beach Cleanup Routine” might just be feeding a vicious cycle of co-dependency.  These kooks, not cleaning up their own mess, leaving their trash all over the side streets and sand, should be fined handsomely, then run out of town. 

Certainly what we’re seeing here is a public health problem. However, I’m guessing some of this situation could get resolved soon.  After years of blocking chainstores from occupying any boardwalk storefront space, Starbucks is helping out by contributing some decent restroom facilities.  Lord knows, the public bathrooms haven’t been able to handle the homeless load.

In other news, Snapchat employees moved in to town.  The rents went up and the price for a regular cup of coffee went up too. I recently went with a friend for some lunch. New management at an old spot set in. We ordered a couple chicken enchalada’s, each with rice and beans, no chips, no salsa, no service, no cheese, $26 bucks, yes,… $26.00 bucks! I said no cheese on the beans! With Snap Inc. grabbing up all the space on market street, acquiring so many of the storefronts/properties along the boardwalk, prices for everything, everywhere across town now seem to be double what they used to be! They ran the artists out. A  few were able to find other spaces, but Market Street was gutted, for years this Venice Street was filled with studios and galleries. Well that ended quick. Snapchat has decided maybe it be better now to move their urban campus to the Santa Monica Airport. It goes without saying things are really hurting here in this little gem of a beach town. I’m praying for life to get better, not continuing to get worse.

Ya really gotta watch your bike in Venice Beach.  Seems a lot of wrenching goes on down by the Ocean Front Walk. One could lose a wheel or a seat as fast as a blink of an eye. Early in the morning, right after the first of the month, out on the boardwalk riding, you see signs that people out here been spinning in circles all night, all sprung, so much random stuff flung everywhere. Its sad. Seems anymore all of this is just accepted as normal. ITS NOT!

 Please don’t let me be misunderstood.  I’ve at times come back to Venice homeless too.  Almost anyone can be chopped off at the knees. The Venice Beach community has always had compassion for the down and out. A diverse community of locals, some of whom I’ve known near 40 years in Dogtown  all have a home. I know this guy, this old friend is a savant. I was hanging with him just the other day. We were talking about all this mess left out all around his home. You don’t see any tents pitched anywhere near his spot. His oasis. He keeps it clean. So we were talking, I told him my birthday was coming up in a few days. That I was turning 66. He said “your a Dragon”. I said yes, a Water Dragon. His eyes lit up.  He said “interesting you know that, I  then said my Mother was an Earth Dragon”. Then we started talking about the order of elements in the  Chinese Astrological Chart and how it represented a cyclical world, then “The Boy” took off on an oratory  of both Chinese Astrology, the Zodiac,  then finished up with a Miles Davis primer.  That old friend I admire. He ain’t letting go of his Venice Beach.  Much respect for him! 

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http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ed-simmons-jay-adams-local-hero/

Ed Simmons: Self Portrait. Copyright 2018

About The Author: Ed Simmons is a documentary photographer and assistant to Tony Ward, based in Los Angeles, California. To access additional articles by Ed Simmons, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ed-simmons-jay-adams-local-hero/

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Vote: November 6, 2016

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Vote! November 6, 2018

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