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Covid and its human cost…

The National Covid Memorial Wall - Our mums heart is here

I’ve been wanting to write this for some time. It has been a hard year for my family and I. On January 19th 2021 I received a phone call from the nurse at the hospital that our mum had passed away. Little did I know how hard the following months would be. We like many people were in that emotional limbo where we were denied the time to sit, hold the hand and respect our lost loved one. Covid stole that most valued time where we could say our goodbyes and share our love with the people we treasured the most.

We like untold millions other around the globe were faced with the loss of someone in the coldest and most clinical way. Dealing with the many emotions and thoughts this loss caused. The Sadness, the questions, the guilt that you didn’t tell them everything they meant to you. All of it was caused by a bureaucracy most clinical and rules that meant we were ill-equipped for the burden that was delivered to us its victim’s families and loved ones.

The other thing that happened was the growth of the cult of ignorance in which we were faced with increasing numbers of people who refused to believe that Covid was real and a threat. Those who were convinced that numbers and statistics were more important than the human cost. These same people became cultists who told you that masks didn’t work, that the vaccine was a scam or a conspiracy, they believed that they knew the “truth” and that this was some big plot by the powers that be to control us and curtail our freedoms. These same people would shout about how wearing a mask was an assault on their freedom and rail about how this was just the start of a secret agenda. The sad thing is the Anti-Vax Brigade who have fed the ignorance and who are responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of people who believe that the vaccines don’t work.

I began to have conversations where people would try to convince me that they had done their research, having been initiated into some secret knowledge somehow which showed the “truth” of the situation. Throwing statistics, and loose “facts” and hearsay and dubious “science” around like it was evidence of the sham that was Covid. I knew that these people had taken on the cult of ignorance as their uniform – blissfully oblivious of their insensitivity, ignorance and stupidity.

Their raiment was one of ignorance, entitlement, selfishness and childish petulance and the insistence on not wearing a mask because it somehow violated their freedom to do so, that was an affront to their belief in the lies being fed to them by the quasi-intellectuals who were their sources of the “great truths” that they now were champions of.

I was being asked questions like, did your mum have underlying conditions, told that it only affected a small percentage of the population and in my grief, I was unable to feel anything but anger, sorrow and grief at their insensitivity, their lack of compassion and the complete failure of their common sense and respect for their fellow human beings. Beings who are mourning the loss of their loved ones and who would welcome some compassion, consideration and love instead of the statistics and the smug “I know what this is” shit that people are throwing at us.

Our mother, Angelou was a beautiful gentle soul, who loved everyone and had time for everyone, family, friend and stranger alike. Angelou wasn’t just a statistic or someone with underlying health issues. She was a dearly loved soul, whom we, like many others out there in the same Covid aftermath are treasured, loved and missed dearly.

So to those of you who wish to talk to me and those of us in the same situation, hold your tongue, think before you start to spout parrot-fashion the crap you know so little about. If you are not an epidemiologist, virologist, respiratory specialist or someone with first-hand knowledge of the factors at play then hold your council and thoughts to yourself. I’m done with being considerate and respectful of the lack of care, compassion, consideration or humanity of those of you who insist on being surface thinkers.

The purME mask

The purME black face maskThe purME black face mask

Today I received the purME mask. A mask that’s comfy and offers real protection against allergens, droplets, particles and virii like COVID-19 and other pathogens. It definitely feels more effective than other masks. Available in black, white and see-through. with a variety of detailing options available.

I opted for the Black mask, which came with the black valve cap covers I ordered silver but was told that they decided not to produce them. The purME has taken the best features from a variety of designs to provide the protection of an industrial respirator while retaining the portability and comfort of its lightweight competitors.

The airflow valves are rather nice. With N95 level HEPA filters included for daily use, or an optional upgrade available to provide P100 level (99.8%)protection.

Designed completely from scratch, the shape is crafted to fit most faces for a comfortable and secure fit. Made from silicone, the purMe combines comfort with excellent protection. The facepiece is both durable and flexible, as well as machine washable. Just take it apart first, as the filters aren’t waterproof.

The two airflow ports on the front of the mask can be easily converted from bi-directional filtering to one-way airflow, depending on your needs. You do however need a pair of pliers to help fit the valves. Filtering particles both in and out, the one-way airflow design gives a better seal and comfort. I tried this but changed back to bidirectional to see how it suited me. I much preferred it.

It definitely filters the air as when you breathe in, it grips onto your face more firmly. The harness which goes around the back of the head and around your ears takes a little getting used to, however, it is comfy.
I like this mask…

#maskoftheday #helmetoftheday #purme

är Big logo Grey Facemask

är Big logo Grey FaceMask

är Big logo Grey FaceMask

Today I received my är face mask this is a lovely high-quality face mask which is comfortable and comes with high-quality replaceable filters. The only issue is I would like a back of the neck type of straps on it. I find the around-the-ear type uncomfortable.

At Approx €29.90 the masks price tag is probably a little more than most of the majority of masks on the market, but unlike the majority of reusable face coverings. The är face mask makes the claim that they reduce 99% of viruses with their ViralOff® treatment Nano-technology filters that block up to 99.8% of viruses, pollution and pollen. All this, thanks to a revolutionary self-cleaning function which was developed in Sweden and has been scientifically tested and verified.

Each adjustable mask comes with a replaceable nano-filter, which are sold separately in packs for about €13. Each filter comprises of three layers and the nanofibers within the filter are 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The brand recommends that you replace them every two weeks but maybe more frequently in city-centres.

Ar mask 1.jpg

Ar mask 2.jpg

Ar facemask Website: ar-facemask

Comback Techwear Face Mask

combach tech6021176_3756470637885806067_o.jpg

What with all the facemasks out there, I wanted to find something a little different so when I saw the Comback Techwear Face Mask it was an easy decision to order one. The mask looks really cool and somewhat cyberpunk/industrial. Some folks are calling it Techwear.

I received the mask about 3 weeks after I ordered it and it took about 10 minuted to put it together. The assembly instructions being somewhat absent from the package. The mask itself ships with one filter, (you can of course order more) and once assemble I found i had to make a few adjustments to make the fit just right.
I felt comfortable using it although it did raise a few eyebrows from people when I went shopping with it. If you like a cyberpunk type look I would highly recommend this mask.

Please note: Comback states that this product is not a medical device or personal protective equipment and is not a substitute for following the relevant social-distancing guidelines, which include practicing good personal hygiene, such as frequently washing your hands and not touching your face. I feel it is just as practical as any other high grade mask which uses replaceable filters. I would love to see a variant which takes standard n95 filters.

Available from Blank Archive


Rihanna – Harpers Bazaar Shoot – Cultural Approriation or Creative Inspiration

Rihanna has appeared in what has turned out to be a rather contentious photo shoot in Harper’s Bazaar China. Featuring on the cover and appearing in the issue wearing what is distinctly oriental inspired fashion, the photos are gorgeous, lush and beautiful.

However the aesthetic is causing some to cry foul and accuse her of cultural appropriation. it seems like many are thinking ‘How dare she try to look oriental or wear clothing which is of a different culture than hers.’

This is utter nonsense, Cultural Appropriation or is it Creative Inspiration. The Shoot Credits are as follows:
Photography: Chen Man.
Visual Direction: Xiaomu Fan
Styling: Wei Tian
Publisher: Simona Sha
No doubts there are more not credited…

It isn’t strange that there isn’t a westerner amongst them, as the publication is based in China. So, I ask you, where is the theft (read Appropriation)?

Grow up people, Rihanna is the Model, whom no doubt the creative team wanted to do something creative and interesting with. Well, they’ve succeeded. For a long time now our global environment has been getting smaller and smaller, and we and our creative precursors have drawn their influences from all over the world.

This so-called appropriation lies at the very heart of creativity, read up on Chinoiserie, Japonism, Orientalism, Modern Classicism and any art style inspired by other cultures and period styles.

Japan has whole subcultures which are inspired and influenced by western culture, just look at the Tokyo Rockabilliy Subculture. Are they guilty of Cultural Appropriation? Who cares… Grow up and stop being so sensitive.

watch the video of the shoot in youtube

Sandman is confirmed as TV Series by Netflix

Sandman Illustration by Roger Cruz

Sandman Illustration by Roger Cruz

For those of you who are fans of The Sandman, Good News. It appears that Netflix have given the go-ahead on a TV series. The Sandman is a character from the Vertigo/DC comic series of the same name. The comic series written by Neil Gaiman is one oft he best to come out of the Vertigo Imprint and also gave birth to memorable characters like Death, another fan fave. The Sandman also know as Dream or Morpheus, along with a myriad other names. Sandman is also one of 7 siblings who form the Endless: Death, Destiny, Dream, Destruction. Desire, Delirium and Despair

The Endless - Art by Frank Quitely

The Endless – Art by Frank Quitely

The TV Series is said to be comprised of an initial run of 11 episodes. Other articles have quoted Vice President of Originals at Netflix, Channing Dungey, saying “We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series, The Sandman, to life onscreen. From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.”

The Cover Art for Death: The Time of Your Life - Deluxe Edition

The Cover Art for Death: The Time of Your Life – Deluxe Edition

As a big fan of the comic series, I am looking forward to this as the comics were some of the most intelligent and personally enjoyable stories that I have read to date. The artwork that accompanied these stories was also some of my favourite with several brilliant artists, including Dave McKean and Mike Dringenberg, adding their visions of the Endless to the excellent stories from Neil Gaiman.

Cover of Sandman Issue 1 by Dave McKean

Cover of Sandman Issue 1 by Dave McKean

Sandman and the Endless especially spoke to people with alternative lifestyles, Goths,Punks, Heavy Metal fans and people who felt and lived outside of the mainstream. These individuals found a love for these stories and art. Many drew inspiration and some affirmation from seeing their lifestyles and their identities represented in the media inan intelligent way.

The Artists who drew these stories often based their renditions on the people and friends they had around them. When Mike Dringenberg showed Neil Gaiman his sketch of Death, the drawing was based on a friend of his called Cinamon Hadley who was a Fashion Designer and Punk Rocker.

Cinamon Hadley, The Girl Who Was Death

Cinamon Hadley, The Girl Who Was Death

“Death is the only major character whose visuals didn’t spring from me; that credit goes to Mike Dringenberg. In my original Sandman outline, I suggested Death look like rock star Nico in 1968, with the perfect cheekbones and perfect face she has on the cover of her Chelsea Girl album.But Mike Dringenberg had his own ideas, so he sent me a drawing based on a woman he knew named Cinamon Hadley — the drawing that was later printed in Sandman 11 — and I looked at it and had the immediate reaction of, “Wow. That’s really cool.” Later that day, Dave McKean and I went to dinner in Chelsea at the My Old Dutch Pancake House and the waitress who served us was a kind of vision. She was American, had long black hair, was dressed entirely in black — black jeans, T-shirt, etc. — and wore a big silver ankh on a silver necklace. And she looked exactly like Mike Dringenberg’s drawing of Death.””

— Neil Gaiman quoted from



The Illustration used to head this story was created by Roger Cruz, an Artist who enjoys creating comic art, whether it be mainstream or off the beaten track. you can find more of his work at his website and on deviantart.

Things That Make You Tick

Cosmic Things That Make You Tick

That Make You Tick

What is it about the passions that drive us? What makes us get up in the mornings and look forward to the day. What makes us do the work we do, especially when we love it. This blog is about passions, love, inspiration and the things that make you tick…

Whitaker Studio

The Joshua Tree Residence

The Joshua Tree Residence

Need somewhere to live? If you happen to have a few Shipping Containers, no problem, contact and they can create something really cool. The one featured in the link below is called the Joshua Tree Residence and is something quite extraordinary. My favourite is the Hechingen Studio … but then again black always was my favourite tonal value…

The Hechingen Studio -

The Hechingen Studio –

The Hechingen Studio

The Hechingen Studio

Natalie Shau

Natalie Shau - 2017

Natalie Shau – 2017

One of my favourite Artists from DeviantArt, I’ve featured her before, but as she has since moved her host pages, I thought I’d update her listing. Natalie Shau is a mixed media artist and photographer based in Lithuania (Vilnius). Her work is rich, dark and well worth looking at. Her prefered areas are in fashion and portrait photography as well as digital illustration and photo art.

Natalie also creates artwork and photography for musicians, theatre, fashion magazines, writers and advertising.

You can find her dark, but often whimsical work at Natalie Shau and Deviant Art.

Natalie Shau - Lacuna Coil

Natalie Shau – Lacuna Coil

The Art of Phil Noto

noto (2).jpg

As a fan of comic art, there are many artists whose work I enjoy and collect. Phil Noto is a perfect example of just such an artist. He’s produced covers interiors and illustrations for most major characters. His work on Danger Girl, Batman, Beautiful Killer and other characters has a very unique look. The illustrations are for some reason reminiscent of the 60’s and indeed very cool. I like his style, because, it, like many of my favourites, stands out and is immediately recognizable. His work fetches good prices in the auctions and is well worth a look. To see more of his work please visit and his Blog.