Sadly, there was not a repeat game of strip billiards, but Prince Harry remained as photogenic as ever on his recent US visit. Although I am sure his Grandmother would have held it in, the Prince even paid a short visit to a port a potty while partipating with injured servicemen and women at the Warrior Games in Colorado.
'The life of a Colorado miner is a hard one. The weather was frequently harsh, the hours, usually long. The work was dirty, and hazardous to the miner’s health. The mines themselves however, were usually located in some of the more beautiful areas of the state. The images of Tyler combine the rugged beauty of the abandoned buildings, Colorado’s rugged landscape and the solitary masculine form.'
Preston Newell (Man Of Mine)
I have always tried to make FH more than just a showcase for models or even photographers. I have attempted to have the blog be more of a showcase for the work, the images created by models and artists that stimulate me visually and emotionally. These images of Tyler (Boldfigure) by Boulder’s Preston Newell do just that.
When I first saw images of Tyler, I knew I wanted to feature him on the blog. His work is not only creative and artistic, but the figures and lines his body creates are both dramatic and athletic. When I first contacted Tyler, it was not his work with Newell Photography that first drew my eye, but it was these images that demanded most of my attention.
'As a figure model, I come alive in front of the camera. I think of nudity as a kind of a costume I put on and I become almost like an actor or a character as I collaborate with the artist to create an image. Nude, I reveal none of the clues about me that my clothes offer and I can explore all kinds of personas and ideas.'
Viewers of FH know I love to explore the relationship between model and location. Many artists are able to make great captures by placing a model in front of, or within a location. My favorite images however, are ones where the model blends into their location in away that makes it seem they are organic to the location and not just passing through to take a picture.
As well as working as a figure model, Tyler is an artist himself giving him a perspective for what his body and pose will look and feel like from both sides of the lens. In these images, he is not just at the mine, it is almost as if through his body, Tyler is channelling the thousands of men who passed through and worked there .
Hard does not even begin to describe the life of a miner. Viewing these images, you cannot help but think of the lives, even deaths of all of the men who worked there. The risk and daily danger the work entailed. The early mornings and the long days. The muscle pain and fatigue that must have been a regular part of the day.
What most struck me were the thoughts and dreams each man must have needed to get them through the long days and endless shifts. Thoughts of their wives and children waiting at home. The sexual longings, for a woman in town, or maybe a secret longing for fellow miner or other man. Dreams of a day off, and of one day not having to get up and go to the mine.
'The shoot took place at an old mill at a ghost town in Colorado called Bonanza. The shoot was challenging for a few reasons other than the remote location. My skin had a reaction to whatever was in all the dust and dirt and I got an instant rash, so I had to find water to rinse off with and then cover myself in lotion to prevent contact. I was constantly washing and reapplying to prevent the rash from showing. There were a few times when I was tied up or far away from my clothes and people would show up and I'd have to work quickly to get free, dressed or hide.'
Tyler and Preston met when Tyler modeled for several photo workshops that Preston was a student at. Preston eventually approached Tyler to pose for him and they have had many one on one shoots over the years. Tyler says that working with the same photographer again and again has helped to reach a different level of communication and trust. Both model and photographer like the classical images best, but continue to experiment with different concepts. Tyler believes that although they might not all end up being beautiful images; they are perhaps more compelling photographs. With that level of trust, Tyler says they both have become fearless.
The Big Bang Theory is currently my favorite television sit-com. Well written, well acted with huge laugh out loud moments each week. Although most television shows fade just a little as seasons go by, the CBS comedy has been able to add new elements and characters to keep the show fresh. The Big Bang Theory is a rare of example of a show that has actually has gotten better with each season. I am not one of those people who wants every television character to be gay. TV forums and messages boards are filled with posters wanting certain characters, man already established as straight, to be turned gay. I want well thought out, defined characters. Creating a gay character just for the sake of it, is no better than having a token 'minority' best friend or neighbour. One of my favorite gay television characters was Kevin on Brothers & Sisters. Although his sexuality was a strong part of his character, it did not dominate all of his story or relationships with others.
There many obvious pros and cons to making Raj gay. Although the show has written him as outwardly straight, they have also written enough character traits within Raj to make his homosexually make complete sense. Raj, and actor Kunal Nayyar, have always been frankly, a bit of a third (forth) wheel on the show. Not as funny, nor as interesting, as most of the other larger characters. Having Raj come out would have set the character apart, allowing Nayyar to shine separately from his fellow cast members, adding yet another new element. Instead, they have followed suit this season, giving him a quirky girlfriend.
I am a bit disappointed the writers chose to give Raj a girlfriend this season. I am not bothered the show did not come out and actually make him gay, I am sure there were many pressures not to do this. Given the world Big Bang is set in however, it is not uncommon to find men who are gay, straight as well as many a bit sexually stunted and confused. They have covered the straight, (Leonard, Howard) they have covered the sexually stunted (Sheldon), it might have been nice if Raj covered the gay, or at least confused.
Lucy, Raj's current girlfriend. is very much like a quieter knock off of Amy and not nearly as interesting, or funny. Why copy the same relationship pattern as already done with the other three male leads? Earlier in the season, the show toyed, or teased, that Raj and comic book store owner Stuart (Kevin Sussman) might be entering into a physical relationship. It is disappointing the show did to pursue this, not because I need Raj to be gay but because it was brave and could have potentially been huge. Raj and Stuart, trying to maneuver their way through a relationship would have been so watchable, and followed the patter of adding new elements each season instead of the tired, and already been done, relationship with Lucy.
Tomorrow night marks Bill Hader's last appearance as a regular on Saturday Night Live. Hader has been my favorite featured player since he began with characters as diverse as his Vincent Price and James Carvelle through characters Deven, Nitro and of course Stefon.
Stefon's appearances were scaled back at bit this season, maybe because they were getting a bit tired. I still loved however hearing the opening to Weekend Update if only because it meant there was hope we might get a few minutes of the tour guide to New York's coolest night club and hot spots!
Tomorrow nights guest host is Ben Affleck. Affleck hosted the week Stefon first appeared, so hopefully it is a good sign we see him one more time before Hader's departure!