O’Brien’s Big Retrospective

Eléctrica in the Desert

Rio Grande Post 3317 / Claire O’Brien   2015

Hay Barn off New Mexico I-25     Claire O’Brien  2015

Motel off I-25

Diesel Out Back / Claire O’Brien 2010

Desert Highway stop 1 JPG Journado De La Muerto / Claire O’Brien 2014

At home in this world with the Early Bird Cafe / CLAIRE O'BRIEN 2012

Passing Through / Claire O’Brien / 2014

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Eléctrica in the Desert

New York City,1978 / Kevin Cummins
You will see us coming, V formation through the sky.
Take arms. Take aim. Be without shame:
No one to bow to, to vow to, to blame.
From ‘Til Victory, “Easter”, 1978
ChelseaΘHotel, NYC, Θ1968, Robert Mapplethorpe
There must be something I can dream tonight.
All the fire is frozen, yet still – I have the will.
Trumpets, violins, I hear them in the distance –
and my skin emits a ray,
But I think it’s sad, it’s much too bad
that our friends can’t come back to us today.
From Elegie, “Horses”, 1975
 1977, NYC, Robert Mapplethorpe
1990/ No photo info
” You just keep doing your work because that’s what you are called
to do. No artist can expect to be embraced by the people; even if it seems like no one…

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Eléctrica in the Desert


Come you masters of war –
You that build the big guns,
You that build the death planes,
You that build all the bombs.
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.



You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy

But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.



Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.



And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow…

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On the Backs of an Empire

Why I hate: this is a Bengali woman carrying a British motherfucker on her back at the height of Empire.
























Gina Haspel and the Normalising of Torture

Preface by Claire O’Brien

Let this be where we stop them. Let’s go no further. We must hound Haspel relentlessly, daily, making it impossible for her to function. Set up 24 hour protest sites as close to the Justice Dept, Congress, and the White House, her home and her church as we can get. Everyone who deals with her, every university visit, every lecture, every meeting, every member of her personal staff gets flooded with public outrage. WE SAY NO, WE SAY NO AND WE KEEP SAYING NO.
Reblogging on Electrica in the Desert


by Kit

This all happened by accident. This isn’t who we are. We didn’t mean it. Honest.

Gina Haspel is almost certainly going to be the next director of the CIA. This shouldn’t happen, but it will.

For those unfamiliar: Haspel was deputy head of the Agency under now-secretary of state Mike Pompeo. But that wasn’t her first job. She also oversaw the CIA torture programme in a secret black-site in Thailand. In 2005 she was promoted (probably because she’s really good at torturing people), and was then in charge of the CIA’s global network of torture sites.

This makes her a terrible person, but probably quite a good CIA agent.

Just to be clear, this is not a theory a rumor or a smear. Nobody debates these facts. This was her job. She supervised torture camps.

The response in the press is pretty disheartening, to be honest. Or, at…

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Solidarity for Ahed Tamimi in South Lebanon —

Rebel Voice

Lebanon’s Rashidieh camp holds event in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi Last Thursday, NGOs from across South Lebanon gathered to promote and raise awareness of children’s rights, specifically in support of the Palestinian human rights icon, Ahed Tamimi. The event brought together hundreds of children along with NGO workers and representatives at Al-Quds Youth Centre in…

via Solidarity for Ahed Tamimi in South Lebanon —

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Migrant Caravan Reaches US Border

Rebel Voice

As Trump tries to escalate the tide of xenophobia that is sweeping across the US, a caravan of desperate migrants from Central America has arrived at the US-Mexican border seeking admission as refugees.

Trump has mocked and belittled these terrified people. He has dismissed their hopes and dreams. He has also chosen to ignore the fact that the migrants are fleeing social deprivation and conflict caused by the interference of the agencies of the US in nations such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. It was the psychopathic desires and actions of the CIA that caused civil wars in these nations, resulting in the poverty and danger that forced families to flee their homes.

Trump and his cronies (and the US Surplass) owe the people of Central America a huge debt. The least they can do is allow some of them a home where they can exist in…

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Difference means danger in America

This is 26-year-old Ethan Saylor,  killed in a Maryland movie theater in 2013  by three off-duty sheriff’s deputies who were working security.  Mr. Saylor,  who had  Down Syndrome and an IQ of 40, had been ordered to leave the theater and had refused. He wanted to see the movie again and to wait for his caregiver,  but had no money for a second ticket and was ordered out.  He died shortly after deputies threw him to the ground and knelt on his back to handcuff him.  Although the coroner ruled his death a homicide caused by asphyxiation, the deputies were not charged.  It took until last month, after years of public struggle and legal appeals, for the Saylor family to finally win what would have to pass for justice for their son.

America  is a dangerous place for some people.  Identifying  those most vulnerable to state intrusion or violence reveals  much of what is most important about our country.

We cannot for a moment set aside the intense scrutiny required of us by law enforcement’s constant threat to African American lives.  In 2017, for example,  although only 13 percent of the population is Black,  23 percent of police shooting fatalities were Black.  But that specific danger lies near the far end of a continuum on which every degree of difference from a narrow norm represents a risk A lot more of us are on that continuum than we realize.  In spite of national rhetoric to the contrary,  the United States is really a strikingly conformist society,  something we often don’t notice until a kind of confrontation suddenly pops up – that is, when the language of a public ideal collides with widespread social stigma instead of covering that stigma up.



Down Syndrome is such a good example of how that happens, even after the long, hard, and apparently successful struggle by families to transform public perception. It’s hard to believe the clumsy, rough, mean-spirited, and ignorant treatment Ethan received.  He called out for his mother, yelling that he was hurt, shortly before he drew his last breath. And this happened long after Down Syndrome meant a lifetime in institutions, beginning in early childhood. In fact,  America has long been introduced to both the potential and the particular charm of Down Syndrome people, many of whom have big personalities. Until you remember that they used to be routine targets – of ridicule, bullying, physical abuse, hostility, and social isolation. And it looks like, under society’s veneer,  they still are – that’s the mentality exhibited by the deputies who killed Ethan. They admitted that they had immediately recognized him as disabled, but for them that clearly didn’t mean he had specific civil rights protected by federal law.  For them, his disability had a meaning much older than that:  Ethan was upset and uncooperative,  not compliant and inferior. Thus, the deputies ignored the informative pleas of Ethan’s caregiver and moved with quick hostility put him in his place.



Witness accounts: Theater goers who were present during the incident reported hearing Ethan cry for his mother and struggle with the officers


 If we look at what I  believe must be a constant struggle for humanity on the part of just this one segment of disabled Americans,  we have reason for deep sadness on behalf of so many, many more of our people. Inside their hearts, it’s almost like no one really believes they fit in! Maybe that’s why so many of us are preoccupied with keeping others out. I think our nation’s legacy of slavery was so prolonged that violence crept into every crevice of American culture, where it lives like a poison in our bones.




This is Florida resident  Gilberto Powell, 22,  beaten in the face by police who found the bulge in his shirt suspicious. The bulge was Powell’s colostomy bag.  Gilberto has Down Syndrome






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