B Season


Yes, it's me. I'm the guy who quit Twitter (back when I quit the Internet). Remember me? Hi.

No I'm not going back to Twitter (or Facebook either, sorry Helen) but I do find it interesting what happens post-Wide Web retirement (see: Twitpic).

For instance, one of my old Twitter handles was "The_Ty" (as in,, well it turns out that someone, somewhere in south Florida is now the new The_Ty. Good for him. I don't have time to be the Ty anymore. So let us all give a hearty middlespace welcome to the new the Ty on the World Wide.

Here's what I want you to do? Follow him on Twitter, get him into the crew. Forget me, I'm a scoundrel. Follow Tyquiem Simmons. Make him famous. Why?

Here's why -- the
The_Ty's bio:
"cooler than a pool in a blizzard, with ice cubes in it, during christmas"



American Idol Worship - 1 (leisure)

American Idol Worship - 2 (future gifting)

American Idol Worship - 3 (reconstruction)

A Handle on the Truth (American Apparel version)

Credit where credit is due....


Ask Ty...September 29 [The Process Question]

It must be Tuesday, Middlespacers, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,
You're such a prolific writer and I have a question for you. How do you write? I mean, what is your process? How do you conceive of a topic and then how do you actually get it all written down? Do you need total quiet or can you work with noise? Are you disciplined or do you sort of write freeform?

I struggle to finish my stuff sometimes, even if I'm really interested in it. How do you do it?


A fan
Ty: Good question and an even better observation, A-Fan. Ahhh, the process! How it is done. How we do what we do up in this here joint. Magic formulas and magic bullets. How the magic happens! Magic Johnson. Court vision. Visionary. Guru Styley. Blah-blah-blah....
Admire the confidence and
brazen demand

for attention
one's unique
and irreplaceable genius.

Well, first of all I do not consider myself a prolific writer. Nor do I consider myself a prolific photographer. Nor prolific musician, mentor, Etc. I cannot go there. I do recognize that I have maintained a somewhat steady period of productivity. As an artist, I accept and feel the blessings of heroes and gods, I really do. Diamonds from G-d rain upon my shoulders. But productivity is mostly driven by the FEAR that it will all go away; the inspiration, the motivation, the ideas, and the opportunity. *POOF!* Just. Like. That. Like TGA (I thought that was "it"). I'm always running skured (that's the Maryland dialect for "scared"). So anything I can complete I take one-second's satisfaction before the FEAR pounces upon me like Kanye West on Taylor Swift. Big, black, and so high!

Since my "process" is not about writing, exclusively, I'll try to provide some information about how the I do some things, A-Fan. But what the hell do I know? (nothin', that's what!)

How Does Ty Work?

How a topic is conceived - Luck. Opportunity. I read. I listen. I travel. I talk. I think. People send me emails. I have backings and forthings. People ask me questions. I never know when, where, or how a topic may enter the mind/queue.

Some topics are immediately actionable. Other topics or ideas get jotted down for future consideration. Some ideas are discarded after a while for lack of freshness or just being a weak concept. Believe me, I do feel pains of the work at hand and I feel the pain of others. Hell, Sean just posted this Friday:

"I spend a ridiculous amount of my time throughout the day constructing things that never get completed. Sentence fragments hang in the air like a mist, only to evaporate by the time I actually get home to try and spend time nurturing them and bringing them to life. I sit at my desk at The Job daydreaming."

- Sean H. Doyle
This happens to me too. I'm sure to all of us. It's as frustrating as it gets but I have the comfort of the notebook safety-net. If you can call it "comfort." Because that too can run dry.

Sometimes a "topic" is purely image driven (with or without design embellishments). I will review my photographic backlog and see what strikes me. Some things are easily posted as-is and the guilt comes from a feeling of not achieving. Others fall into natural 3-5 image categories. I see some that fit into already developed categories. Some begin categories anew. Some of the best images you'll never see because most of the material developed for clients is never posted. Cold storage.

Image-driven topics are often easier to produce/publish for me and typically get moved to the top of the Daily Objectives queue.

How to write things down - I typically carry two notebooks in my bag: a composition book and a tiny Moleskine journal. The Moleskine is a place for bullets and brief notes: the ideas. The composition book is a place to begin to develop these or independent ideas: a working book.

I also have a Google Docs account where there are currently 50 pieces in various states of development. Often these are pulled down into a Web log editor and further developed there. A published Web logged piece may represent a more finalized draft of the Google Docs pieces. So most of the Docs pieces forever exist in the drudgery of incompleteness. So sad. Colin-left parenthesis.

Sometimes I just start writing. And I suck at editing. I am often told about typos and edit needs when my wife reads the pieces. But I just go. Like here. Sorry.

A music project, on the other hand, will typically begin with a pining. This deep pining will become full-blown appendicitis-like pain. That is, my mind/body leaves me no choice but to do it. Like an exorcism. I become fully obsessed with project fulfillment and music projects are the very worst. Not only the pain before, but the pain during the process of creating a music project is nearly unbearable. It takes time off of my life. But, just as the pining so suddenly begins, at some point during a music project, it all goes just away and I know it's time to finish. Weird, huh?

Is quiet necessary?
- No, quiet is not required, in fact far from total quiet, I listen to my radio friends Elliot In The Morning every morning from 8:00 until ten. I've been listening to these kooks since 2000 or 2001 or whenever they started. Love 'em. And not just because they sent me to Raconteurs and Dead Weather all VIP style. That has nothing to do with it.

Weekly I will load up Tom Scharpling's The Best Show On WFMU after Elliot. Three hours of mirth and mayhem and whatever. Other than that (and here's a big key to productivity) I'm listening to music on headphones. I do not want quiet. My brain needs to be doing multiple things.

Sometimes I'm here in the kitchen (down in the studio only if I'm printing, making music, video, or the like - or in the darkness of winter) and sometimes at one of the coffee shops. So you can probably deduce that I require sound while I work. Always with the headphones.

Audio/music projects require absolute silence during the project, however. The ears require a lot of TLC during a music project.

Discipline vs. Freeform - I do not know. I guess there is some of both: discipline to follow-up on urges and fulfill a thing or two. But there is a free form element that is both relieving and wholly madness-inducing. Which is why I continue to search and create so many constructs and definitions to make the work fit (force the work) into places where they make some sense. To me!

I just do my work. I love to do my work. But I never know where my work will take me. And, again, that's the frightening part. Maybe I'm just on a lucky streak?

How To Finish - One must push oneself to finish what they have begun. To not fulfill something started is to demonstrate a lack of discipline and a slack mind. Sure there are the so-called "non-starters." I have a million ideas that get nowhere. And a million others that get well into development and have to be, as Rich says, "Burned down in order to start over." And there are others that should have been burned down or just shot before sunrise.

All of it is about deconstruction-reconstruction. Middlespaces. Pitter-patter, the world shatters, nothing matters.

You finish projects because what separates artists from hobbists. And do not every let anyone tell you the definition of "artist" is based on selling shit. Ever been to a craft show? Please! Artists have an ability to somehow complete. A smart, creative, genius talent who is full of ideas and never makes a damn thing is nothing. A smart, creative, talent who is full of ideas and helps others fulfill is a producer. A dog with a Sharpie who cannot stop making things and the only reason is "because that's what I do" is good in my book.

Don't try. Do. That's what Ralph told me in 1985.
What is my process? I do stuff then I sleep. If I didn't have a family I'd do it 25/8/366 and die an early death. So thank you family for providing me with balance. Thank you friends for helping with the inspiration and idea side. My process: pure fucking luck!

Not enough information, A-Fan? Well, queue up and fill out a complaint form (the complaint form I designed, by the way--and I trademarked it too).

Just a guess,


Green Brown Down



Thriller - Here It Is!

Hurray! I got permission to post this.

Better than MJ at this age. MUCH better than JT at this age. Prodigy? Superstar in the making? Dunno but this is the BEST THING EVER! I promise and swear. Get ready for the greatest 40 seconds of your life....

Stop reading and press PLAY!

Public Terminal

Linthicum, Maryland

Presence (seen and be seen)

Ann Arbor, MI (homecoming)


A Smack in the Mouth

Sometimes you win by taking a shot for the the good guys.


Beautiful People Never Light Their Own Cigarettes

"Aww yeah. We doin' this! We really gonna do this! Shake that turkey! Baste that Trukey, Beef! Lick that turkey on the aaaarms!"


Administrative Notice #5,100

Off to Michigan tonight. Back next week.

Catch up with the backlog.


If I get permission to show you, this video will give you a TGA.



now it is the time for exposure

Conversation With A Friend (paraphrased, anonymized, and summarized)

Friend: I get it--what you want to do, but I still don't know what you plan to create.

Me: Me neither. That's the beauty. And, that's what really excites me about it!

Middlespace of America Proposal Portfolio


Untitled #2001 (Too Bad About The Hat)


Channelling Frank 1954

Robert Frank
130 west 23d
New York City

To photograph throughout the U.S.A. and to center the attention on industrialization. The people in the midst of this era of progress and the effect it has upon them. On city people and on families in agricultural areas. The aspirations of manual workers in comparison to white collar employees. Maybe the picture will be different in various places, or then it might be surprisingly similar in places far apart.

I am always impressed by the strong admiration for the young and all that is new. The atmosphere in which young people - especially students - learn and grow up and how their free time is spent. Also the strong influence of women on all levels, such as I have never seen in Europe.

I don't think that this should be a carefully planned trip, but that the photographs - with some text - should be a spontaneous record of a man seeing this country for the first time (except N.Y.). I feel that the U.S. is the country that is evolving more rapidly than any other country and that my project is bound to be incomplete but I am sure that it will be a vivid and valuable report. Such a project can only be executed by complete independence. That is why I apply for your fellowship.

I expect to complete the project within one year. The publisher Robert Delpire (Edition Neuf, Paris) has agreed to publish such a photographic essay in book form. I have also written to Mr. Kuebler of "Du" Magazine in Switzerland and have received a favorably reply.


Disordering the Senses


Ask Ty...September 22 [The ACORN Video Question]

It must be Tuesday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,
This has been bothering me for a few days, this ACORN video thing.

Back at UCSC you let me participate in your affirmative action experiment. It involved a ruse where you gave the participant a test to see if he or she "qualified" to be in a study. At the end of the test you said to me "well, you don't qualify, but we don't have enough men in this study, so I'm going to let you participate anyway." Then a series of questions were asked, and I supposed people answer them differently depending on if they "qualified" or not. I doubt the ruse worked on me because I was told in advance by you "I'm going to perform my experiment on you to show you what it is." Also, you didn't sell the "you didn't qualify line" very well to me, kind of mumbled it (this would make for another great experiment, "How well can one friend lie to another while showing him an experiment he's working on?").

So, these videos, where a supposed pimp and his "ho" get financial advice from ACORN employees appear immediately to me like a classic psychology experiment. Something entitled maybe "Study in Altruistic Behavior as Manipulated by Ever-Increasing Situational Absurdities." In this experiment, a person who's given the task of being as helpful as possible is presented with a ridiculous situation. These videos could just have easily involved a guy looking to start a Leper colony next to an elementary school or start a giraffe farm on his rooftop garden. There will always be those willing to go that extra mile and say "Yes, sir, how can I help you with your desire to house Gitmo detainees in your guest bedroom?"

But, most people look at that woman in the video and think, "That dumb bitch, she probably grew up in the Ghetto where under-aged prostitutes from El Salvador are kept in brothels around every corner." How she should really be looked at is a participant in an experiment who fell for the ruse and demonstrated how good she is at her job. Shit, she probably should have gotten employee of the month, not fired. I mean, the woman was just doing her job, a pretty powerful motivator for some.

Your thoughts?

- Dave
Ty: Good questions and even better observations, Dave. Or Candid Camera. Or that terrible TeeVee joint with Howie Mandell called, Howie Do It. Or the cool-insider-silly Punk'd created by Demi's husband. Indeed the staple of the unscripted hidden camera reality comedy program is altruism in the face of the ridiculous, right? And speaking of Candid Camera, did you know I met Allen Funt, the long time Candid Camera host? Met him at the Western Psychology Association Annual Meeting in 1990. My friend and colleague (and TeeVee fan), Carrie, was nearly distraught after meeting the shell-of-a-man in person. You see, by then, Mr. Funt was ancient, feeble, and cliché. She said, "Remember, Ty, never meet your heroes." I still value that advice because what is hero in the mind is often very different in person.

Anyway, I flubbed my script? Oh shit! I totally forgot about that. Yes, the Mary/Mark selection/qualified actor/observer study. Funny, I was just writing about that work, it seems.

Anyway, ACORN, huh? I haven't seen the video but I've read about it a little. Sigh. Yes, a handful ACORN employees got tricked into becoming the cause of the era for men with the names Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck and the people who listen to them. Yes, I guess we are Nazi Socialist Elitist Foreigners then. I guess you win this silly ass "debate" then, Bill O'Reilly. Sigh.

It's so unfortunate. Not that I'm defending ACORN but they have done quite a bit of good for people. But these weirdo right-wingers are not only transparently desperate, they are just freakishly crazed; self-painted into corners of their own illogical, under-educated rhetoric. I mean these addled rubes would sell their mother's souls if that would make them appear to be "correct for the mainstream of America." Because that apparently means something to 'em even though they can't really explain that.

And you think the republicans are bad? Really? At least they are organized and stick to their vision of dominance. I can't completely hate people who play to win. The democrats, on the other hand, are merely pathetic. I can't even begin to discuss what a failure of a party the democrats are in comparison to the evilness of republicans. It's just so sad [sad.face.emoticon]!

Yet I maintain that there are still patriots among us. We just have to do our part to make shit right. Not through violence, not through hatred, not though lies. We're not republicans and we are not democrats. We need to move the whole ideal of America to a place where we can at least call ourselves on our own self-serving, self-pity fear and ignorance. How? Open your eyes and call out all the silly little wrongs all the time. You wouldn't let a friend drink and drive, right? Well why are you letting ignorant zealots crash your America like terrorists in a hijacked plane? You don't think this all affects you? Then think harder. Try harder. In fact, stop trying and start doing. Something. Pen to paper, fingers to keys, anything.

I am America. I am an American. And so are you so start giving a shit for a while. Try that.

I guess I don't really have an answer to your question, Dave. But I am sick and tired of the bullshit, for sure. Don't we, as a people, have real problems to attend to?

Just a guess,


March 2, 1955

"His weakness in practical application of his work is revealed in his plan to photograph America, but this is only so if one were to take that plan literally. He can however make a very important and unique contribution to the photographing of America.

He seems less able to make the kind of photographs that the magazines could use than any other good photographer and that is largely because, 1, he lacks all practical sense and, 2, and more important, editors and publishers are not as yet aware of the importance of a poet with a camera."

Edward Steichen on Robert Frank
March 2, 1955

Coke & Pepsi - 5

Coke & Pepsi - 3

Coke & Pepsi - 4

Coke & Pepsi - 2

Coke & Pepsi - 1

Quit Frontin': If You Give the Police a Good Reason to Harass You The Police Will Harass You

Deadhead & Gangbanger Special
I asked my State Trooper friends about race and crime.
Some data, albeit anecdotal, but it's still data:
My white State Trooper friend says that about 85 percent of black people he pulls over will at least allude to skin color during the traffic stop versus zero percent of white people he stops.
My black State Trooper friend says that about 25 percent of the black people he pulls over will at least allude to skin color during the traffic stop versus about five percent of white people he stops.

For similar traffic offenses regardless of trooper color, the majority of black people will cop an attitude about the selective persecutions by Johnny Law while most white people accept the fact that driving 75 miles per hour in a 55 zone can get you cited. White people will try to get out of a ticket through name-drop or boob flash, but they usually do not cry societal foul and the understand that the quicker the transaction the better. Nobody enjoys a moving violation.

While there have been real and clearly documented instances of overt racism on the part of state and other highway enforcement professionals, the myth of "Driving While Black" is largely over-hyped. It is not like policemen want to be fired or police departments want to be sued. In fact, pulling over black people is basically like walking on eggshells say my friends. Controlling for all other factors, traffic patrol officers are probably a touch nicer to black people than white people. Well, "more professional" probably substitutes for "nicer" in this instance.

But if you are 15 years-old, 4 foot 10 inches tall, and you're driving 90 fucking miles an hour in a new stolen Lexus in a school zone while "Cutty" and "Shay-Shay" are smoking "blunts" and flashing "signs", the chances are quite good that you're not going to get a free pass no matter who the fucking president is. You are going to get an aluminum shampoo. And it's not because you're black. It's because you just led 11 police cars on a high speed chase until you ran out of gas in Pennsylvania.

If you give the police a good reason to fuck with you, the police will take said opportunity to fuck with you. That's not racism, that's the law. I thought we all knew that cops hated gang colors and stupid behaviors.

Likewise, my trooper friends say that if they roll up on a 1972 VW "Westy" microbus going 28 miles per hour in the fast lane and cars are zooming past to the right, bus all spewing black exhaust with Grateful Dead and obligatory "Save Mother Earth" stickers, they feel as if they have to flip a coin to determine if it's worth the hours of searching, documenting, field sobriety tests, booking, and bullshit rhetoric they have to endure because the chance of finding marijuana is 100%. Often there is the felonious possession of Ecstasy, mushrooms, and acid as well. The have to bring the dog out to sniff the bus.

If Jimmy Trooper is anywhere near the end of his shift, he really wants to let those retarded fake-hippies slide even though the dumb motherfuckers are basically a rolling advertisement for possession. And they smell bad. And their father's lawyers are total pricks who will come to court with all sorts of tricks.

If you give the police a good reason to fuck with you, the police will take said opportunity to fuck with you. That's not fascism, that's the fucking law. I thought everyone knew that cops hated tie-dye.

People. Stop acting incredulous that somebody kicked you in the ass when you decided to wear your "Kick Me - in the ass!" t-shirt to a frat party. What were you thinking? Have some responsibility for yourself. Not to excuse all police but if you behave like someone who is breaking the law, chances are that you are breaking the law and, therefore, your chances of being treated like a criminal when caught are very high. No do-overs or "just kiddings" with the law. And quit acting like the cops planted shit on you. Niggas got video on the dash and shit, please!

If you are black or if you are white and you basically ask the police to pull you over and fuck with you, the police will pull you over and fuck with you. That's their fucking job. Open your mouth and you just piss them off and you will get even more fucked with. It's never funny.

If you want to feel as if you live in a fair and equitable society that is happy-happy pluralistic and free, it is your responsibility, your job, to stop being a mopetard. Ask any off-duty cop you know personally. They can straighten you out on this shit.

Quit frontin'!



You Say You Want A Resolution...

...Well, you know.

OK, remember that federal criminal jury I sat on in June [clicky]?

As you remember we convicted the defendant [clicky].

Today was the sentencing [clicky].

Washington, D.C. Man Sentenced to Life Plus 35 Years for the Murder of a Dunbar Armored Car Employee in Prince George's County

GREENBELT, MD—U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Earl Whittley Davis, age 39, of Washington D.C., today to life plus 35 years in prison, for robbery and using a gun in the murder of a Dunbar armored car employee, carjacking, using a gun in furtherance of the carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. A federal jury convicted Davis of those crimes on June 3, 2009.

“This sentence cannot replace a lost life, but it brings a small measure of justice for Jason Schwindler, a 28-year-old Navy veteran and a husband and father, who was brutally murdered during an armored car robbery,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Roberto Hylton stated, “The Prince George's County Police Department greatly appreciates the efforts of the United States Attorney's Office in prosecuting this dangerous predator.”

According to testimony at Davis’ five-week trial, on August 6, 2004, Jason Schwindler, a Dunbar armored car employee, exited the armored vehicle and walked toward the front door of BB&T Bank at 3505 Hamilton Street in Hyattsville, Maryland with a money bag containing $57,118.70 in cash and checks amounting to $5,594. Two armed men, including Earl Davis, approached Schwindler and shot him multiple times. The men grabbed the money bag and entered a stolen Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle parked in front of the bank. The driver in the armored car drove into the Jeep Cherokee, disabling it. The two men ran to the rear of the bank where they pointed guns at a bank customer who was approaching her car and demanded her keys. They fled in the bank customer’s car. Later that day, the customer’s stolen car was recovered in northeast Washington, D.C. with the empty money bag inside. DNA evidence recovered from a ballcap left on the scene, the steering wheel of the Jeep Cherokee, and the steering wheel of the carjacked vehicle was matched to the DNA of Earl Davis. Davis was arrested on October 25, 2004.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Hyattsville City Police Department, and the United States Park Police and commended Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey for his office’s cooperation and coordination in this case. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deborah Johnston and Emily Glatfelter, who prosecuted the case.

See also interesting 4th Amendment suppression of evidence motion opinion [clicky for .pdf]

Just thought you would want to know.


no YOU lie

Assembly Required*

* (batteries not included)

I Just Moved To Park Slope

After sitting at my table watching every mope from wherever put paper on my doorstep, look what I ended up making because I can guarantee you, I do not want your coupon for housecleaning, dry cleaning, or Chinese food. No! I really don't want cable TeeVee. If you checked your list, you'd probably read the part about where I already have it. I don't want the free Gazette or a new telephone directory. I got the Google! Don't leave it because it's going into the recyc before I even read it.

Sometimes, for giggles, I baffle them and yell, "No!" from the window all shaking my head and making the arm gesture that an umpire would make to indicate safe. Or I chase them down the block and give 'em their shit back. "Hi, I don't want the paper you left at my house."

I know, it's like the Ted Kaczynski shirt, right? [scroll down when you get there] But just leave me (and my American property) alone, please.




You Tell Me

_____________ is code for "Black"



"During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person."

As Judged By Failed Artists

Playing The Race Up My Sleeve