Elementary children killed by a twenty year old. That is what was all over the internet today, and what will be broadcasted on all the media outlets for the next month.

I’ve read about this theory some time ago, and since I agree with it, I find it fitting to mention it at this time.  Now this might sound like I’m just being emotional and posting subjective material, but the truth is that what I am about to share is backed by professional opinion and has been for some time.  Unfortunately not much attention has been given.

Most media is crap and in cases such as the reporting of the recent massacre at the elementary school, it is harmful.  Based on past experiences, we can agree that this story will be the main topic of discussion and news for the next couple of weeks.  The problem with that is that this kind of ‘news’ creates a ripple effect.  Those ripples are carried out by all media outlets in the country, and even world (heck I got the news here in Cambodia) to a degree of having a devastating effect on a few who are then inspired to commit these same kinds of atrocities.  If we stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense.  There are unstable people out there in every corner of the country, and when they hear about a misunderstood boy with issues killing others and becoming an instant poster boy with everybody mentioning their name, trying to figure out why they did it, and getting all the attention that they crave, the unstable boy in front of the tv goes out and claims that attention by copying what worked for the other guy.  If any of you guys read Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, he talks a bit about this phenomenon along with other ‘trends’ and how/why they happen.   Unfortunately, our gun obsessed culture does not make it any better.  The guns are out there. Plenty of them.

Anyway, because I understand that we like to be entertained, I will share this video link which briefly touches on why we should condemn the kind of “reporting” that we tune in to watch.

I think the guy sums it up.  News media outlets should really start some responsible reporting, and we as the public, should stop tunning in to this kind of stuff.  That’s the only reason I mentioned this story.

In other news: My friend sent me this very nice poem by Alejandro Jodorowsky. I could not find it in English so I’ll have to translate the best I can.

This is the Spanish Version:

En el país de los mediocres, nació un verdadero artista. Su necesidad de expresión era esencial y pronto encontró un viejo piano en el que llegó a tocar sublimes conciertos. Su perfección como pianista despertó tal envidia que pronto los ciudadanos, por medio de calumnias, se las arreglaron para meterlo preso y ahí, en la cárcel, hacer cortarle el brazo derecho. El manco sufrió un tiempo, pero luego su mundo interior le hizo reponerse y comenzar, con una mano, a fabricar máscaras que eran obras maestras. Los mediocres hicieron que le cortaran el otro brazo. Así mutilado, el artista no se dejó abatir y se convirtió en un gran bailarín. ¡Le cercenaron una pierna! El cojo se encerró en un cuarto y con telas, óleos y pinceles, aprendió a pintar con su pie. El único público que este creador tenía eran los niños, porque en sus corazoncitos no cabían los celos y eran capaces de aceptar el valor de otro. ¡Los resentidos le cortaron la otra pierna! Se dedicó a cantar ópera. ¡Le cortaron la lengua! Tomó entre los dientes un pincel y creó dibujos fantásticos. ¡Le arrancaron los dientes! Consiguió una antigua máquina de escribir y golpeando las teclas con la nariz escribió poemas, cuentos, novelas. ¡Le arrancaron la nariz! Rodó entonces sobre polvos de colores y con el cuerpo untado, frotándose contra una tela, hizo maravillosos cuadros abstractos. ¡Los amargados, no soportándolo más, lo asesinaron! En su testamento dejó una orden, que los niños, convertidos ya en jóvenes, ejecutaron religiosamente: con sus tripas fabricaron cuerdas de violín, con su piel hicieron un tambor; con sus huesos, flautas; con sus cabellos una funda para armónica y con sus demás restos, molidos, obtuvieron celulosa para fabricar un blanco papel en donde imprimieron sus versos.
Alejandro Jodorowsky


In the land of mediocrity, a real artist was born.  His necessity to express was essential and soon he found an old piano through which he was able to play sublime concerts.  His perfection as a pianist created such envy that soon the citizens created a plan to have him arrested, and there in jail, have the artists’ arm cut off.  The artist suffered a while, but soon the world inside him gave him strength to heal and start with one hand, to make masks which were true works of art. The mediocre crowd had his other arm cut off. Mutilated, the artist did not give up and he became a great dancer.  They severed his leg! The cripple locked himself in a room with canvas, oils, and brushes, and learned to paint with his foot.  The only public this creator had were the children, because their little hearts had no room for jealousy and they were able to accept the courage of another. The embittered ones had his other leg cut off! He then dedicated himself to singing opera. They cut out his tongue! He took a pen in between his teeth and created wonderful drawings.  They took out his teeth! He found an old typing machine and srtiking the keys with his nose, he wrote poems, stories, novels. They had his nose cut off! He then rolled about in colored dirt and with his covered body, created wonderful abstract paintings on cloth.  The bitter crowd could not stand it anymore. They killed him.  In his testament he left an order, that the children, now grown to young adults, religiously executed: with his entrails they created strings for violins, with his skin they made drums; with his bones, flutes; with his hair a case for the harmonica, and with the rest, grounded down to pulp, they obtained material to create white paper on which to print their verses.

These writings and instruments eliminated a bit of the mediocrity of the country…

Nobody can stop the human spirit from expressing! No matter the adversity, if you are authentic, you will always find a road that will allow you to create your world.

Thanks Andrea for inspiring me!

& in case I don’t post something sooner, happy end of the world! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! if we survive.  🙂


Oh Battambang

I told my friend Soviet to design some ‘Oh Battambang’ shirts, so he did, and they are now on sale at Make Maek Art Space.  Get ’em while they’re hot!  …or go for the best seller, ‘Occupy Yourself’ designed by … Continue reading

Working Together! (Angelina Jolie’s NGO)

The “Crimes Against Nature” art exhibition will take place starting today, June 30 to July 5, 2012.  Yesterday however, we had a private party with the folks of MJP- The Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation, who approached the art community of Battambang with a proposal of collaborating in efforts to create awareness about the protected forest of Samlout, Cambodia.  Samlout is a national forest shared by the Thailand Cambodian border which has suffered horrors like deforestation due to illegal logging, poaching, and explosive mines.

MJP has decided to work with the creative team at Make Maek art space on st. 2.5 in order to try an alternative way of communicating/educating the public about what is happening to the land in Cambodia.  After extensive meetings, planning, and having recruited local artists to help in this project, the result was a colorful, disturbing, and beautiful presentation. Let’s make Brangelina proud!  Here are a lot of photos of the event and the artwork.



Below we have Bee’s painting in his very own style.


The biggest surprise for me was Thean Ly’s painting below, with his zombie vs. flowers inspired masterpiece. Check it out! & some detail photos just because this painting is incredible!



Soviet of course participated. Soviet has been spearheading the local art movement in Battambang, Cambodia. He’s the guy in The New York Times, and the guy you’ll keep hearing more about these next couple of months.


Here is Sophorn with her mother nature inspired painting.


Here with my buddy Soviet.


Here is the MJP team. Rangers, officers, CEO, etc.


I will be going to Malaysia for the month of July in hopes of seeing some orangutans, real jungle adventures, and great food!  I’ll post documentation of the whole thing. + I’m learning one of the most famous Cambodian songs in Cambodian so I’m in the works of making a music video 😛  It will be interesting.

Peace and Love !


After almost 7 weeks + in Cambodia, I feel really good! There is that one thing however that bothers me. SEX. :O You may think that I am talking about my personal life, but I’m not letting you into that cave of wonders.

I’m talking about the dark side of Cambodia. Sex tourism is a huge thing here and it is all around me when I go into Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.  Many foreigners will come to this country looking for one thing.  Sexpats is what we call them. Unfortunately, the majority of the girls they go after are underage and have been dragged into this sad malicious world.  

Good thing is that the U.S. has passed what is called the Protect Act of 2003, which applies to U.S. citizens or residents who engage in sexual activity abroad with a child under the age of 18.  If caught, they face up 30 years in prison.  Many Peace Corps Volunteers have gotten involved in efforts to educate young women in Cambodia and to hopefully help prevent these kinds of crimes.  So there. Hopefully you understand the sexual frustration title.

According to the 2009 Unicef “Situation Analysis on Youth in Cambodia,” over 40% of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 18.  Children are literally the future of Cambodia.

On a happier note,

I went fishing with some local Khmer people on a small trip to the rice fields. Yeah!!

I bet you guys didn’t know that rice fields had fish in em.  Well, not only do people go out into the rice fields for rice, but they also go there to catch some fish during the rainy season.  How do the fish get there? I’ve been wondering myself, but I think that it has to do with the river flooding and spilling some fishy water into the surrounding rice fields.  And I caught…


I’ve also been hard at work washing my own clothes. I promise I’ve gotten better! 😛

Some other photos:

co-teaching with a Cambodian English teacher as part of training

and here we are enjoying some delicious Khmer food (called cow climbs the mountain?)

I’m out of time, but stay tuned! By the time I update again I will be living with my new Khmer family (at permanent site for two years)!!