Category Archives: alBAHquerque

Good for whom,


A Clear View

Sigh. I’m not often forced “to take a stand.” I have values and rules to live by, but I rarely get tested or asked to choose something I loathe in order to further something I love. In addition, I believe an open mind requires consideration of many things and a closed mind cannot grow.

I love taking pictures and I am very happy with — even proud of — some photographs I have taken. For me, a great photo is an intersection of art, craft and luck. I have been lucky to be in the right place at the right time a few times.

A noble artist works for himself or herself alone — the world means little. I am not noble. I want my photographs to be seen and — heart on my sleeve — loved. I should withdraw in shame at this point, but I must confess this unseemliness for the larger effect.

Today, two photographers I admire sent me an invitation to a photography competition. I’m not afraid to compete. I have entered other contests, sticking my neck out to bow before judges. In this case, the prize is extraordinary: To be seen all over Albuquerque. Wow.

Long before blogs existed, I frequently wrote letters to various editors and a few were printed (though I’m no Don Schrader). Occasionally, I’d run into someone who’d say, “I saw your letter….” (Often, they couldn’t recall what it was about.) I even saw one of my letters on someone’s office door once. That needy child within me — please, look away! — bubbled with joy.

Imagine: To be seen by countless Albuquerqueans. What a prize!

The Face of Albuquerque
Call for Entries

ClearChannel will be introducing seven new digital billboards into the Albuquerque area market in mid-November. The billboards utilize LED technology and their messages rotate every 8 seconds. As part of a testing period scheduled to run through December 2, 2007, they have agreed to display an exhibit of local photographers’ work on those billboards; the show will be titled, “The Face of Albuquerque.” Marc Gutierrez and Lisa Tannenbaum are working with ClearChannel to select approximately 40 photos for the exhibit.

In the end, doing nothing is always easy. I can do nothing and save my self-respect for another day. There is no need to be in anyone’s face, either on a billboard or in protest of the same. No need to snap at my friends. Still, I must protest: Billboards are litter. Billboards are a stick in the eye. Billboards are vile distractions for a populace barely able to focus on a txtmsg or 10 second commercial. Clear Channel wishes to use our art as a lubricant for that stick. I’ll have no part of it. mjh

electronic billboard in albuquerque

mjh’s blog — Puh-lease, god, no!

Oh, Joy! More billboards, not fewer

ABQjournal Metro: City Adding Bus Shelters, By Lloyd Jojola, Journal Staff Writer

Albuquerque will get new bus shelters as part of an agreement with Lamar Transit Advertising.

“We’ve really had a great need for shelters, and funding has always been problematic,” Mayor Martin Chávez said at a Thursday news conference.

The City Council earlier this month approved a bus advertising contract with Lamar. As part of the deal, Lamar will build new bus shelters.

“In return,” Chávez said, “they get to put advertisements on them…”

Of the 2,814 bus stops in the city, 155 have shelters, according to the Transit Department.

About 100 new shelters will be built over the year. They will be lighted at night, using energy collected from the sun. [mjh: making this a *green* thumb in your eye!]

At the very least, the lighting on these eyesores should be restricted to times the buses run, not 24 hours a day. mjh


I’m stunned by the hung jury in the case of the cop accused of raping a then-14-year-old. The issue seems to hinge on consent and deception. As I understand it, a minor cannot legally consent: Sex with a minor is always rape. Should it be regarded as such if the minor lies? If a minor cannot legally consent, I’m not sure she can legally be responsible for a lie of consent. Further — come on! — how incompetent is a cop who believes a lying minor? He must be some poor judge of character. Cops think everyone who talks them is a liar. Unless there’s something in it for him.

Sadly, another public servant — this one a fireman — is accused of the same jaw-droppingly dim judgment. Or, simply, raping and lying about it.

And now, a 24-year-old frat “boy” serially rapes under-aged girls and videotapes it for the added pleasure. Drunkenness negates consent, if there was any and if any of his victims was old enough to legally consent sober. His parents must be proud, if the news has reached their cellblocks.

Ours is a sick society unable to restrain its own evil. You fear terrorists? There are three — just the smallest sampling. mjh

Your Ad Here

I appreciate the Albuquerque Journal’s eulogy for Lady Bird Johnson. She tried very hard to get America to clean up its act and to recognize that beauty should be commonplace and vistas should not be ruined by billboards.

I understand a eulogy is not the best place for the truth, but an editorial is, and so I’m disappointed that the Journal’s ignores the truth: Lady Bird lost, as did we all. Start at the Big I and drive in any direction. You’ll see countless hideous billboards within yards of starting, each blocking the magnificent vista of the Rio Grande valley. You’ll see hundreds before you leave the city or reach the stateline. The winners are corporations like Clear Channel, which invoke sacred personal property rights as a shield for personal profit. Everywhere you look, someone sticks a thumb in your eye and deposits another dollar in his pocket.

Beauty is blocked by blight. Greed won. Lady Bird is already spinning in her grave. mjh

ABQjournal Opinion: Lady Bird’s Legacy
Friday, July 13, 2007
Remember Lady Bird Johnson as a reason more wildflowers bloom along highways lined by fewer junkyards and billboards.
Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, the widow of President Lyndon B. Johnson, died Wednesday at 94.
Known as the Environmental First Lady of America, she did more than plant bluebonnets. She translated concerns about pollution, urban decay, recreation, mental health, public transportation and the crime rate into national policy.
The Beautification Act of 1965 called for control of outdoor advertising, including removal of certain types of signs along the nation’s interstate highways. It also required junkyards along primary highways to be relocated or screened.
Her vision is distilled to perfection at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, with its woodlands, sweeping meadows and public gardens filled with native flowers and plants.
But the seeds of her advocacy for beautification scattered far beyond Texas. Her legacy can be seen perennially flowering on roadsides across America.

A Thumb in Your Eye

I’ve written about this before and will again (talk about Sisyphus). See (scroll down for more stories and photos).

Update: Thanks to Coco on Dukecityfix for the link and taking the discussion to more of Albuquerque.

Puh-lease, god, no!

ABQjournal: Watch for Dancing Billboard By Rosalie Rayburn, Of the Journal

Albuquerque is riding the crest of a new wave in digital billboard technology.

Phoenix-based billboard giant Clear Channel Outdoor has picked Albuquerque for a pilot test of digital technology that allows advertisers to beam rapidly changing messages from street-side billboards. …

Clear Channel lit up the first of its 10 digital billboards, located on Lomas just west of Interstate 25, this month. The remaining billboards are located along similarly busy streets near intersections.

Instead of the traditional printed text and image, digital technology enables the billboards to display a series of images and messages that change every eight seconds.

The technology allows advertisers to introduce new information daily or even hourly. For example, a McDonald’s restaurant could advertise specials for breakfast, cheeseburgers for lunch and something else for dinner, Adams said.

When I can, I’m going to add pictures of these and the countless other vomit-inducing, eye-gouging billboards all over the god-damn state. We need to ban billboards in New Mexico.

I’ve noticed both sides of I-25 between Isleta and Los Lunas have more and more billboards going up. Two side-by-side evenly spaced for a mile or more. A couple of guys are putting these up every weekend. Who is behind this? mjh

Flickr: mjhinton’s photos tagged with albahquerque

A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick

It seems I misunderestimated Don Harris. Somehow, I had the impression he is a Right Wing whacko out to “Take Back The Courts.” He seemed to be a student of Karl Rove when he smeared his opponent last fall. And, yet, here he is, doing something I don’t find disgusting — in fact, I thank him for his efforts.

In my own tiny way, I’ve been waging this battle for a while. I’ve posted a few pictures of the grotesqueness businesses will shove in your face — ah, the beloved unfettered Market. Recently, I’ve gathered a few photos under the category “alBAHquerque” (here and at Flickr) — so far, I am the only one to use that tag. With luck, it will become historical documentation of just how stupid we were and how we sometimes stand up to the Market. mjh

ABQjournal: Councilor Wants Cell-Phone Towers to Blend With Their Surroundings Journal Staff Report

Irritated by massive cell-phone towers?

City Councilor Don Harris wants to do something about it.

He said Friday that he plans to introduce an ordinance requiring that towers in Albuquerque be concealed to limit their impact on the environment.

“One of the things that makes Albuquerque great is our vistas,” Harris said in a written announcement. “We must act now before our landscape is forever changed.”

Under his bill, new wireless telecommunications towers would have to be concealed when they are constructed. Existing towers would have five years to comply with the ordinance.

ABQjournal: Can You Hear Me Now? Hide That Cell Tower Abqjournal Editorial

Nobody ever comes back from vacation saying “you should have seen the cell-phone towers.” Nobody flashes photos of their kids standing next to one. Nobody lobbies to get one in their backyard.

Why would they? While most of us use a cell phone [mjh: I do not], we don’t want to look at all the hardware that makes it work. A New Mexico sunset loses a little something when viewed through a forest of metal poles.

Albuquerque has a chance to become the cell-tower city different, a place where towers are heard and not seen, under a proposal by City Councilor Don Harris.