December 2, 2009

The Eternal Banality of the Photography of Charles Foster Johnson

[Note: Reposted because I don't have the time right now to examine the eternal banality of Charles Johnson's prose. But I will get around to it. As for his recent little list of why he left wherever he thought he was, all I can say is, "Door. Ass. Bang."]

The Hockneyesque "Green Sphere Upon the Sands of Solace." From the "What? On the Beach Again?" series. Here we see the questioning autodidact Johnson confronting the existential vacuity of American beachspace with a sardonic Worholian distancing of the self from the mundane spritziness that is the Malibu shell of angst, despair, and desolation. Note that even the small Macintosh-referenced trash icon in the middle distance is in an emptied state.

Mozart: [hesitantly] I never knew that music like that was possible!
Salieri: [uncertainly] You flatter me.
Mozart: No, no! One hears such sounds, and what can one say but... ”Salieri."
-- Amadeus (1984) - Memorable quotes

Of late many have opined on the mental state of Charles Foster Johnson erstwhile hotchat master of Little Green Footballs. Words such as "dementia," "quisling," "bull goose looney," "testicular chancre," "slobbering obamallationist," and "schmo" have hurtled about the blogosphere for months. I shall not endeavor to improve upon this brick-bat barrage of blandishments in which Mr. Johnson is repeatedly and heartedly encouraged "to perform self-intercourse with a low-yield thermonuclear warhead."

Nor shall I note that having a "big" "b-log" floating about like a cowchip on a vast sea of Internet sludge is akin to possessing a two-inch penis. Neither shall I underscore those slanderous assertions that Johnson's writing skills are limited to the "Paste" command. I note only that before "Paste" there is always his first tool, "Cut." I shall also say nothing to underscore the obvious assertion in so many quarters that a "Dan Rather Scoop" is now so far in the past that even Dan Rather's lawsuit has run out of Dan Rather gas.

No, too much has been done to malign Charles Foster Johnson, that Howard Hughes of Somewhere Lost Angeles. Instead I propose to consider the one area in which there can be no justifiable criticism of the "artiste" that dwells within the eternal sunshine of his mind, his photography....

The sought after and collectable "Up Close and Impersonal." A stunning study in the heretofore unexploited textures of worn wood grain and rusted metal, a combination previously unknown to photography. A breakthrough made even more meaningful by the absence of the locking eye for the hasp of the lock, suggesting an imminent release of a seething emotional sea of spume just beneath the calm splintery surfaces which his lens so lightly caresses; a release that, frozen in time as this photograph retroactively is, we shall never see come to pass.

Lovers of this masterful Johnsonian art, as I am, always approach a session at Little Green Footballs with the pining hope that there will be, at long last, another image from Johnson's long running oeuvre: "Nobody Here and Nothing Happening Nowhere." Often we are disappointed and confronted instead with a mere masterpiece of cutting and pasting framed by the homespun prose commentary by the master hotchatter kicking off another round of up and down dinging amongst his 12 disciples. And while watching the drinking birds nod over the glass never fails to amuse, it does not satisfy.

Those are low moments. Low indeed. But every so often, which is why we "Keep coming back," there's another startling image selected by Johnson to underscore the lonely crowd of one and the empty shell of being that is a fine and tough-minded life lived without reference to the spirit. On those days, our spiritless husk soars and we see things like:

Johnson, Charles Foster -- "To take or not to take that long walk on that short pier." A seminal Johnsonian image in more ways than two, this carefully seen potential path to the compost heap of the ocean teases the viewer with the implied possibility that the photographer himself might fall half in love with easeful death when listening alone again to the siren call of the surf. The only thing that may argue against such a sweet deliverance is the presence of small humans who might, through Christian charity and in infinite error, band together to pull him from the surf and set him once more on the upward path of evolution.

And when we are, at last, in the presence of the latest sublime moment captured by his lens we can repose, with beverage of choice, to contemplate Johnson's fearless plunges into the stygian depths of the banal. To many pilgrims such as myself, a new "Johnson" is the high point of the week's cybervoyaging.

For Johnson, flush with the deeper insights into the human soul that come from his ceaseless reading of a comment stream without beginning or end, has managed to perform an aesthetic rendering of the banal with a simple camera and has raised that previously despised state to heights undreamed of since Andy Warhol's Soup Cans. Surely these images are the equal of those; images of the great bland nothingness that humanity itself must someday, as the smart monkey, confront.

And who better to sheathe the banal with portentous thuds of truth than Charles Foster Johnson, a man whose contribution to the dual religions of Darwin and Zero is without equal? Who better than he to show us all the sprawling emptiness that lurks like some metaphysical Cthulhu at the end of every solo pumping of tired aluminum tubes across the wastes of Los Angeles to that tarred beach where supertankers always loom on the horizon? No one, say I. Let this man be master of the banal as Hockney is the master of the gay swimming pools of West Covina.

But although brilliantly banal, there are deeper questions asked by the photography of Charles Foster Johnson. Questions such as:

jo0hnsonbird.jpg jo9hnson3birds.jpg
One bird or three? [Left, the often imitated but never duplicated, "Gull Squatting on Sopping Wet Sand." Right, the suitable for framing, "Gulls Above Me Downdinging"]

Yes, "One bird or three?" That is the eternal question that bedevils all lesser photographers when pointing their lens to the mud below or the sky above. Most would be unable to decide, but the genius of Charles Foster Johnson is that, in a whiff of rich effluvial insight, he answers, now and forever, with "Both." In doing so, he deepens the banal by, at the very least, two birds.

Of course these major breakthroughs - done off handed and almost in a mindless manner -- are now predictably common in the photography of Charles Foster Johnson. Nevertheless, no one is a master unless they can grow beyond themselves and this Johnson does again and again when breaking new ground in his studio and undisclosed fortress of solitude, known to his acolytes as "Der Lizard Bunker" seen here for the first time.

Der Lizard Bunker: Small and somewhat shabby it hides unimaginable wealth, wisdom, and beauty within it's dank dungeonesque walls. Cognoscenti have compared it to "late Donald Judd but less comfortable."

Yes, it is within this unassuming cube of concrete and iron that the most influential photographic images of the blogosphere are created and promulgated to a waiting world. Nothing, however, prepared Johnson's 6 true fans for the impact of his masterpiece: "I'd Like to Thank the Little People Who Hit the Tip Jar"

Johnson, Charles Foster: "I'd Like to Thank the Little People Who Hit the Tip Jar" 2009-- previously titled "Wee Humans at Play on the Sands of Time Waiting for Creepy Islamic Arab Racist Fascists to Cut Off Their Heads with a Chainsaw." 2008

Although reissuing "Wee Humans..." as "I'd Like to Thank..." in early 2009 first raised some questions among collectors and gallery owners alike, Johnson issued his "I've Found and Now Fondle My Inner Arab" manifesto along with his "Enforcement Edicts of Lizard 1" to clear up the confusion. And in truth, the overwhelming power of this image drowns any faint cries of "Revisionist!" on the part of the haters and racists that now make up 99 and 44/100ths of the American population.

Gazing at its serene and lackadasical blues of ocean, at the teeny-tiny people way, way off in the lonely distance lost on the searing sands, and at the boat previously believed to be about to put ashore a gang of Arab beheading experts with Johnson's home address, one cannot but be lulled into a tender state of somnambulistic tranquility. A state which is, perhaps, this photographer's deepest gift of Asbergian yearning to a misunderstanding world. Banality is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

Dedicated to Stacy McCain on the occasion of his 50th Birthday.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 2, 2009 5:55 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Mr V

My god, after awhile I was hoping you'd stop


He has fallen far from the TANG memo, eh ?

Posted by: OhioDude at October 6, 2009 8:18 PM

Those formally dyslexic, artistically barren, and distressingly autistic photographs might well be the earliest evidence that something was amiss. It's not just that they're awful. Rather, their lifelessness projects some kind of palpable void.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at October 6, 2009 9:14 PM

It's like the lonely version of "On The Beach". The least he could do is shut up and play his guitar.

Posted by: David C McKinnis at October 6, 2009 9:23 PM

"A stunning study in the heretofore unexploited textures of worn wood grain and rusted metal, a combination previously unknown to photography."

"...increasing the banality by at least two birds."


(I was actually slightly injured by the blast-effects of the smackdown--in the future, please give a Time on Target or a Shot to Splash estimate so I can find cover or move out of the area.)

Posted by: Gray at October 7, 2009 12:58 AM

Would it be safe to summarize that you are not on the Johnson side of the recent controversies?

Posted by: AskMom at October 7, 2009 3:05 AM

A unique approach here, as usual.

LGF used to be, for me, one of the few blogs to visit several times daily. (And my blog is, or used to be, on the LFG rotating blog roll.)

It's been at least a week, if not two weeks, since I have been able to force myself to glance at it. And it's been months since I've done more than glance.

Ichabod! Ichabod!

Posted by: ELC at October 7, 2009 5:05 AM

CJ is in it for the money, plain and simple. Pulling an Andrew Sullivan (and then some) has spiked his traffic as curious onlookers are pulled in car-wreck style from all regions of the political landscape. What this guy REALLY deserves is obscurity. I've removed all bookmarks to LGF from my computers, and I am forcing myself not to visit his site. I won't contribute to the income of this blackguard again.

Posted by: Northern Bandit at October 7, 2009 6:01 AM


Dead. Solid. Perfect.

My tribute can be found here: STACY MCCAIN: THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

Posted by: Bob Belvedere at October 7, 2009 6:24 AM


Posted by: ahem at October 7, 2009 6:51 AM

And all this time I thought it was just me, "Geez, not another picture of his bike."
Whatever happened to Charles, anyway? Keep up the amazingly good work, V.

Posted by: Malagate at October 7, 2009 7:11 AM

Charlie's photographs have a certain "The View From My Room" feel to them. Sardonic, yet superfluous.

Posted by: Velociman at October 7, 2009 7:31 AM

- I note only that before "Paste" there is always his first tool, "Cut."

With respect to Charles' Johnson, I think this works better, overall, as I note only that before "Paste" there is always his first tool, "Copy."

Amadeus is still a treasure, is it not!

Posted by: goy at October 7, 2009 7:36 AM

who better to sheathe the banal with portentous thuds of truth than Charles Foster Johnson

Oh, let this be writ in every place, a placard upon the very breast of the blogosphere, a scarlet standard of shame and warning, "beyond here be Lizards!"


Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at October 7, 2009 7:38 AM

Whoa. . . wait just a minute.

You don't suppose he's assembling a portfolio for the purpose of applying for an NEA grant, do you? Cuz, I'm thinking he may need the money, and this is a sure-fire way to fame and fortune: elitist banality underwritten by the oh-so-common man.


Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at October 7, 2009 8:18 AM

Subtle, restrained and yet utterly devastating. No sturm und drang of poleaxe cleaving a skull, this is a stiletto quietly piercing the heart. Well done.

Posted by: ExurbanKevin at October 7, 2009 8:52 AM

Wow, I thought I was reading another Iowahawk piece. Well done!

Posted by: Corona at October 7, 2009 9:05 AM

Hey, I resemble that 2-inch dick remark!

Posted by: Lance de Boyle at October 7, 2009 9:11 AM

I just reread this post slowly, in order to savor the sweet verbal abuse. It might be the finest piece of insultainment I've ever read.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at October 7, 2009 9:24 AM

Unlike most of you, I DID NOT shit my pants laughing at this. I came close though.

Posted by: james Hooker at October 7, 2009 9:38 AM

Are we certain that Charles Johnson isn't some sort of a blogger cooperative effort, lately suffering from the predictable result of never having been expressly anti-communist?

Posted by: Ed Flinn at October 7, 2009 9:50 AM

INSULTAINMENT! The word of the day directed at CFJ, the friennemy of the right.

Since I don't have a blog and am woefully ignorant of the biz side of blogging, is there really a bundle of money to be made with a blog the size of LGF? (or the former size of LGF as I saw somewhere his traffic is trending down)

Posted by: Boots at October 7, 2009 10:14 AM

Remind me never to show you my pictures of nothing.

Posted by: Rich Nelson at October 7, 2009 10:52 AM

OK, every single one of you are banned from the Internet, says Excitable Chucky :)

Posted by: William Teach at October 7, 2009 11:40 AM


Nothing quite like being slapped up side the head with a velvet glove...while the cold steely hand is still inside.

Poetic elegance and beauty seamlessly merged with slicing brutality searing public scorn.

That OtherMcCain guy should turn 50 years old more often.

Posted by: Aye Chihuahua at October 7, 2009 11:42 AM

This is the most hilarious thing ever!!!

Posted by: Natalie at October 7, 2009 11:45 AM

Oh puh-leeeeeze... "A breakthrough made even more meaningful by the absence of the locking eye for the hasp of the lock..."

The hasp is OPEN - the locking eye is out-of-sight to the right of the picture... If you're going to verbally flay, at least get your OWN story straight! ;))

Posted by: Jim at October 7, 2009 12:45 PM

Hey come on at Mr. Johnson current level of mental problems he is doing very well to be able to operate a camera let alone choose interesting views.

Posted by: John at October 7, 2009 12:51 PM

"dementia" "quisling" etc.

Try demon possession.

Posted by: baldilocks at October 7, 2009 1:11 PM

Oh I have a much longer analysis of LGF and it's history and the financial struggles and business reasons for heading off where it is going, but I think I'll work on that a bit more.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 7, 2009 1:18 PM

Note that in the hasp photo:
There's only one screw...
and it's loose.

Posted by: ed in texas at October 7, 2009 2:00 PM

You captured his art completely. Much like a muslim extremest, you were willing to go the extra mile an chop off all delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: mare at October 7, 2009 2:05 PM

Empty soul, vapid art - a perfect example of our postmodern age. Arrogance doth not beget beauty.

Posted by: Dr Bob at October 7, 2009 3:50 PM

mare typed:

'Much like a muslim extremest,' (snip)

And here I thought I was the only one to notice the similarity.

Go figure.

Posted by: at October 7, 2009 3:56 PM

Thanks for this delightful 'art' review. You captured it well. Though you could have added a few more 'bike wheel spokes' shots for good measure, it truly hits the mark.

Posted by: Urban Infidel at October 7, 2009 3:59 PM


Of course the lock hasp has an eye. The critique is that CFJ chose to omit the very part of a lock that makes it ... a lock. More nihilism and nothingless, a lock rendered a non-lock by unsuccessful cropping.

Only CFJ could render the banal to be even less than it is.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at October 7, 2009 4:00 PM

Damn, Gerard, you gave me my first full-throated, wild-assed belly laugh of the week. God, that was sweet.

Posted by: Daphne at October 7, 2009 4:11 PM

Let us all give thanks that CFJ never got into Lolcats.

Posted by: Connecticut Yankee at October 7, 2009 4:29 PM

Skewered Lizardoid dished, and iced.

"JWM, you've been hanging with stalkers."

(parting shot from sh*rmuta as I got sticked)


Posted by: jwm at October 7, 2009 4:59 PM

This is very revelant and impressive and you should totally be bitching about every aspect of LGF every hour of the day, every day of the week, every week of the year

maybe then you'll be respected and happy

one day your prince will come

Posted by: GALACTUS at October 7, 2009 5:11 PM

Punctuation, capitalization, syntax. They can be your friends.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 7, 2009 6:27 PM

I understand that the great artists aren't truly recognized until after they've perished. Let's hope Charles gets recognized real soon!

Posted by: Crusty at October 7, 2009 7:41 PM

What Gagdad Bob said...

Superb job, Mr V!!

Posted by: JewishOdysseus at October 7, 2009 8:11 PM

I thought it was me. I was insulted on little green footballs just the other day when mentioned that I had trouble believing in man caused global warming. I was directed to a "science" site that was long on lofty pronouncements and short on facts. I finally "pasted" a quote from Addams "So long and thanks for all the fishes"

Posted by: Duncan Winn at October 7, 2009 8:32 PM

Ah, it's fun watching Islamophobes and (apparently) reformed Islamophobes going at each other.

Posted by: samir at October 7, 2009 9:45 PM

Hmm. Chucky is ridiculous, but he sure is a giant compared to his enemies.

Posted by: Hmm at October 7, 2009 10:35 PM

Well said, Gerard. I LOL'd; I really did.

Posted by: rickl at October 7, 2009 11:12 PM

But who wants to be a giant piece of shit?

If I included an animated gif, going back-and-forth would you get the picture, Mr. Hmm ????

Posted by: Darrell at October 8, 2009 1:11 AM

There's hope for CFJ, here.

I can't wait to play with that awesome app!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at October 8, 2009 4:36 AM

What a FABULOUS way to start the day. Awesome report....and the comments...even better! Thank you!

Posted by: redsquirrel at October 8, 2009 6:32 AM

As a member of "The Banned" I have no love lost for Charles Johnson.
However, assailing him over his political views and intolerance is one thing, but "attacking him" (and that's how he'll see it) over his photographs is just ridiculous.
He's a musician, and a website designer (or used to be) and runs a blog that is no longer relevent.
He has never pretended to be Ansel Adams or anyone even remotely like that. He just puts up "purty photos" and for that, although this is clealy satire, it seems to me he ought not to be criticised, or mocked. Had he claimed to have created Great Art Photos or something then the criticism would be valid; but he hasn't and this is just the same kinda "piling on" for which he is guilty.

Posted by: realwest at October 8, 2009 7:19 AM

This is priceless! It is on par with Iowahawk, and that says a lot...

For writing it, you are the man.

All the best

Posted by: Bob Reed at October 8, 2009 8:08 AM

V, you've really outdone yourself this time. It does my heart glad to know that out of all of this bullshit, something of value has grown.

Posted by: Squid at October 8, 2009 8:35 AM

"I shall not endeavor to improve upon this brick-bat barrage of blandishments"?

May I draw your attention to the actual meaning of "blandishments"? Behold:

"The act of blandishing; a word or act expressive of affection or kindness, and tending to win the heart; soft words and artful caresses; cajolery; allurement."

You don't write as well as you think you do. As to what you have to say about a group of snap-shots? Why did you bother?

If you aren't happy with Charles, that's your right. But it's your imagination if you think what you wrote - a pretentious, awkward, and graceless piece of nonsense - proves anything except your own spiteful, nasty nature.

Posted by: Dianna at October 8, 2009 8:54 AM

The meaning of "blandishment" as "a word or act expressive of affection or kindness"? Who knew? You don't say? Really? No kidding? Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that.

You've certainly schooled me, Dianna. I can only fall back on a certain exchange between Humpty Dumpty and Alice:

When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master—that's all.'

Posted by: vanderleun at October 8, 2009 9:35 AM

Oh look - Chuckles the Clown sent Dianna the School Marm out to defend him. Guess Kilgore Trout the racist and Irish Rose the Shit Disturber and the rest of the flying monkeys were busy hijacking other sites.

Posted by: Icanhashumor at October 8, 2009 9:56 AM


You used to be one of the more respected conservatives at Little Green Frogs for so long - sad to see you drank the idiocy Kool Aid being proffered by Rev. Charles Johnson. How does it feel to be associated with dunderheads such as iceweasel, W-lover er Sharmuta, Cato the Elder and Jimmah?

Posted by: Mortimer at October 8, 2009 10:03 AM

Diana, may I draw your attention to the dictionary definition of "sarcasm"? :-P

And as for "spitefulness", it's Charles who bans people for merely disagreeing with the Little Green Party Line, not Gerard Vanderleun.

Posted by: pst314 at October 8, 2009 10:58 AM

I didn't see the word douchebag anywhere in this article. Please remember, selrahC = douche.

Posted by: Stain of selrahC at October 8, 2009 11:00 AM

While this is a priceless verbal portrait and a fitting birthday tribute to Stacy McCain, I'm going to have to side with realwest on this. Mr. Johnson has never claimed to be a great photographer. I presume he published photos that he either enjoyed taking or vieweing (or both).

As a very longtime member of LGF, it came as no surprise (but some disappointment) that I was recently banned from LGF myself for no apparent reason.

I will admit to some dismay, as the real jewel of LGF these days is the Linkviewer, where members could post links of interest. A self-posted link there from a small blog like Grand Rants could boost viewership from a few hundered to over 1,000 hits in one day. Now where are we going to get an audience, pray tell?

That said, it is unutterably sad to me that Charles has spiraled downward like this. I can't help but think that there's some tragic background to his descent, which is something we'll probably never know. I feel sorry for Charles, wish him the best, and hope that he is able to overcome whatever he is struggling with.

Posted by: Stoutcat at October 8, 2009 11:45 AM

The "rise" of the audience at LGF is powered by the current actions of Johnson. It's a traffic play and he needs the money. He's underwater in more ways than one. Note the Amazon links to cameras often paired with the photos.

This effort at boosting the site into a PC chat room will not avail him.

In time we'll all have said what there is to say and move on. The traffic will continue to decline. The Left will not forgive and the Right will not forget.

In a way, it's punishment enough that he has to review all the comments all the time.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 8, 2009 11:54 AM

Hi Stoutcat! I too got kicked off after having been a member since 2000. I agree, the Linkviewer is really the only thing going for LGF these days. I find it ironic that a lot of the links posted there tend to be more conservative than Chuckles' own views. Heh.

Posted by: Ashan at October 8, 2009 12:37 PM

CJ is a hack. in every way, he is a hack. he can't take a photo, can't play guitar, and can't host a blog. everything about him is exceedingly average and his bitterness is evidence of that pathetic fact. how sad to be the best at being banal, or the expert of the average.

Posted by: morganastan at October 8, 2009 12:58 PM

I was there with you at the end prepared to cast my wreath of ivy and bicycle streamers adrift along with "What took you all so long?" sentimentality, when I was stopped by the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and felt a shiver from cold sand. CFJ is not on the spectrum.

The lack of empathy ASD meme is bs. Aspies most often are not able to demonstrate empathy but it is felt, though not verbalized until remediation for such skills. The DSM-IV does not make this clear on the surface so I understand the public confusion in light of MSM cut and paste journalism. Furthermore, for ASDs there is a hyper sense of rules and order, which applies to good codes of conduct, for a desired non-confrontational or unaltered routine in their lives. (Aspies wouldn't wield a ban stick.)

Clearly, CFJ has no empathy as demonstrated by seven years of hate crime projection, attacking the messengers, and perceived vengeance through personal bitterness. He lives a life of unreason.

P.S. I'm not a doctor on TV but I'm wearing my White House provided lab coat. Recall he was lefist prior to 9/11, reasonable fear turned into religiously motivated attacks, spotlight gone from Rathergate, hysterics over people gathering for conventions from Brussels to Tea Parties or chat threads, and I have to go with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) more common in men, and developed later in life. We could ask any number of the multitude of people (friends, relatives, aquaintances, companions, neighbors, etc.) who have face-to-face contact with him as so often represented in his glorious photography, no?

P.S.S. I have stared too long at the sun and find the tide has gone out. Therefore, I'll drop this wreath with bicycle streamers in isolation subject to the whims of the moon and tide for the abandoned thought he is.

Posted by: FeFe at October 8, 2009 1:34 PM

I stand in awe of your skills, FeFe. Most excellent and heartfelt.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 8, 2009 2:07 PM

I too was banned from LGF for deigning to express my opinion. I've gone back to look a few times, but it only takes me less than a minute to realize I can't stand the place. And his pictures do suck. Mine do too, but I don't post em on the interwebs.

Posted by: Charles Martel at October 8, 2009 8:26 PM

Brilliantly done.

It's funny to me that whenever the subject of CFJ comes up, the comments turn into a, "Thread of the Banned" kind of thing.

BTW: Even a slow motion train wreck becomes tiresome after a while. I finally stopped visiting LGF when I realized even Johnson in Full Leftard mode wasn't entertaining anymore.

Posted by: Hucbald at October 8, 2009 9:07 PM

You neglected his most important works, the "Tanker on the Horizon with Beach in the Foreground" series.

Ignoring this sequence does nothing but disrespect the moonbat lizardmeister.

Shame on you, Sirra!

On the other hand, this is my first visit to but won't be my last!

Posted by: djb at October 9, 2009 5:09 PM

Actually, I do have a collection of his "Tankers Looming" series, but I am saving them for a future homage to "The Enduring Themes of Charles Foster Johnson" also known as "Rock. Bike. Accident. Buy This Camera at Amazon Now."

Posted by: vanderleun at October 9, 2009 5:25 PM

As they say in more plebeian corners of the Conserva-Verse; Your satire slices like a hammer!

Thank you for the laughs.

Posted by: monkeyfan at October 9, 2009 8:21 PM

F.stop, yer killin' me!

Charles J. (as he is known to the cognoscenti) is preparing a new Magnum Opus series:

"Dirt: its multivalences in textural claptrappery as revealed by the auto-setting on a camera more expensive than it need be".

Prominently featured will be:

"Bicycle Tracks": in~ sand; wet mud; dust; powdery gravel; dried mud; yellow clay; red clay; brown clay; humus and (the ephermeral and hard to register) peat moss.

Hand offset prints will be available for wrapping fish.

Posted by: profitsbeard at October 10, 2009 6:58 PM

Obviously, you do not understand the depth of Charles Johnson. He is a littoral genius.

Posted by: Old Rebel at October 11, 2009 8:49 AM

Although the real focus of the blog is digital photography, there are also a lot of helpful tips on shooting situations (flowers, landscapes, weddings, portraits, etc) that will apply to any kind of camera: from digital point-and-shoots to large format film photography.

Posted by: Pet portraits at October 14, 2009 1:21 PM

Delicious, Mr. V. To those who say Mr. Johnson has never purported to be a professional photographer, I say: who else tries to hawk that crap at $24.95 a pop? Hitler was no great shakes as an artist, yet he also tried to sell his slop at exhorbitant prices. (The sound you are now hearing is a head exploding somewhere)

Perhaps next year Mr. Johnson will grace us with a "reasonably-priced" full-color, four photo screen-saver program featuring portraits of every remaining LGF reader/drooler.

By the way, its my theory (and just a theory) that the pony tail may hide acne scars on the back of the neck.

Posted by: Blastineau at December 1, 2009 6:55 PM

Ah, a great theory because it is most likely true.

Posted by: vanderleun at December 1, 2009 7:13 PM

CJ McWar-hole needs to toss some soup cans in there.

The iconic juxtaposition of a couple cans of alphabet and cream of mushroom soup would elevate his photographic art almost as much as a heightened awareness of focus would.

Posted by: monkeyfan at December 2, 2009 6:23 AM

I wait with monitor flickering and bladder full for the momentous occasion of some fearless and stout LGF ex-pat to finally publish the heretofore secret "Enforcement Edicts of Lizards 1." While many believe that their mere existence is a myth (like Goldstein's tome re; Ingsoc), tantalizing morsels have been tangentially verified.

For instance, a wide swath of experts now believe, after decryption made possible with a Cray III mainframe, digital camera, and bicycle tire, that edict number 4 proclaims to all dutiful lizards "I upding, therefore I am."

To be sure, there are contrarians who deciper the source code, allegedly altered by climate-denying creationists,to read "hit the tip jar, or I will post another slobbering Amazon/Kindle plug in a manner no less subtle than a carny barker." I leave it to those in the know which interpretation is correct.

One suggestion to the dauntless soul who may take up the task of laying the Edicts in the sunlight for all to see: Perhaps the written word can be interposed with the soothing, sweet images of a certain calendar to which some humans and all hibernating bears are so forcefully drawn. Or perhaps the crayon renderings of a chimp can be of use. I suggest this dalliance in the hope that the reader of such blazing wisdom and pedagogy from one Charles Johnson will take at least temporary surcease, or perhaps a nap, lest their gray matter combust from the imminent sense of being wired into truly cosmic wisdom, peace, and elevator music.

Posted by: Blastineau at December 2, 2009 9:36 AM

I wonder WTF happened to him from the Days of TANG-Fisking to now ?

Either a complete mental short, or mayhaps being "bought" by some entity ?

Sad. But your continued takedown is making me spew coffee upon my monitor. The art-references are TFF. I love Dr. Bobs' "insultainment "

I offer "rhetorrhea" as the main LGF product

Posted by: OhioDude at December 2, 2009 9:50 AM

Now THAT'S a comment!

Posted by: vanderleun at December 2, 2009 9:50 AM

CF Johnson seems to be a total product of his internet screen. If you spend all your time on freeper comments sections the world has to look a little buggy. But come on. Here is Johnson's list for converting - now inverted:

Reasons I left the left:
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: William Ayers, etc.) and in Europe (see: all leftist parties, ex-communists, Marx, Stalin, Jean Paul Sarte, Gramsci, the whole shebang while making excuses for anti-western Muslim Imams, etc.)

2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and anti-white supremacism (see: William Ayers, Anita Dunn, the NAACP, the ACLU, PAstor Wright, etc.)

3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: NOW quiet on treatment of Muslim women, silence on clitorectomies, abortion good all the time, general passivity in the face of stated Muslim leadership to replace western attitudes towards women and marriage, etc.)

4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: Climate change, most green job talk, East Anglia, NASA AL Gore, Van Jones, etc.)

5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Reverend Wright, et al, the entire black church establishment in America, etc.)

6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: Code Pink, WTO protesters, Socialist Workers Party, Michael Moore, etc.)

7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Michael Moore, Anita Dunn, Van Jones, Climate alarmists, science-will-save-us-or-we-will-kill-you scientists, comment section at Daily Kos or Huffington Post, etc.)

8. A left-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Little Green Footballs, etc.)

9. Pro-Islamic supoport that goes far beyond simply tolerating radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: the doemstic miltary, academia, government whose standards of political correctness allow mass murderers to grow and flourish among us, etc.)

10. Hatred for President Bush that went far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: Dan Rather memos, everyone calling him Hitler, all the media ranged against him, academia, the CIA and FBI, you know the rest, etc)

Posted by: Das at December 2, 2009 11:39 AM

OhioDude: Alas, it would appear that factual fisking has gone by the wayside and given way to figurative fisting.


Posted by: Blastineau at December 2, 2009 12:44 PM

Ouch! That's gotta leave a mark!

Any further, and he would accuse you and RSMC of attempted murder...

Well done! :-)

Posted by: newton at December 2, 2009 10:58 PM

Gave up on LGF in 2006-7. Hit it a couple of times this year and it's nothing but "tea party!!!!", "Glenn Beck!!!", "Creationists!!!". It's a lot worse now than even 6 months ago.

Now to the photos.

Individually, there's nothing wrong with any of the photos. In fact, I like some of them. But, when put together, I believe your review and critique is spot on. The photos are devoid of life for the most part. People are rendered as insignificant insects, if people even appear at all.

And while I don't believe Mr. Johnson (old or new version) is a Nazi, I do believe that he would find Welthauptstadt Germania architecture quite pleasing. That architecture turns makes the individual insignificant.

Posted by: dej at December 4, 2009 1:36 PM