Fotodesign Bellmeio: Blog en-us (C) Fotodesign Bellmeio [email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Fotodesign Bellmeio: Blog 120 100 Slut Shamers Need to Get a Life Misogynistic.  Self-righteous.  Shrill. That’s how I characterize people, who claim the role of moral police.

Slut shaming is the principle way a shrinking but highly vocal minority in modern society repress self-expression in girls and women.  If a female doesn't conform to a modest line in behavior and appearance in public, she could be labeled a slut, which translates to brazenly oversexed and immoral.

Conformity is a cultural construct that has been used for centuries to repress women.  It began twelve thousand or so years ago, when humans traded the stone-age, hunter-gatherer nomadic way for living in permanent communities dependent on agriculture for survival.  The move to settlements also gave rapid rise to a male aggression/dominance paradigm that has shaped our culture, our religions, our politic, and the way men relate to women ever since.

Subjugated and treated as little more than vessels for child bearing, women who dared to step out of the very dark shadow looming over them were severely censored, or even worse, brutally made example by being burned alive at the stake.

In modern, developed societies women have shaken off most of the limits that prevented them from achieving their full potential in earlier times.  These days, women's voices are loud and clear. They have demanded equal treatment and, for the most part, they are getting it. Some battles, like equal pay for equal work and reproductive choice, are still being waged, so the fight continues.

One area where younger people, and young females in particular, remain in conflict with older people is in how they express themselves by appearance and personal behavior. Female sexuality is a powerful force that has been almost entirely repressed since the invention of the wheel.  Not anymore. We live now in an era awash in sexual expression.  Something like forty percent of the traffic on the internet is sexual in nature, much of it extremely so.

Young girls born into the age of the internet and cellphones are now getting peer pressure to engage in 'sexting', where the private exchange of sexually provocative images is the norm. This is a broad form of sexual expression that is far beyond anything seen in previous eras.

Religious conservatives and traditionalists are apoplectic about the rise of female power and sexual expression.  They lament the passing of the culturally enforced female modesty that was once the norm, and they are quick to apply the 'slut' label to any girl who chooses to express herself overtly, by what she wears and how she behaves.

Here's a bit of information we'd like to share with anyone who dares condemn another person, because they function outside of a cultural straightjacket.  We humans are hardwired to be interested in sex. It is how we are made. The brain sends us strong bio-chemical signals in response to sexual stimuli. That's what nature intended.

That's not to say that freedom includes license to behave any way one likes. Some judgment is required. But it's not young people who are open in their sexual expression that need to change so much as it is older people, who are quick to condemn with ugly labels.

Bottom line. Being sexual is normal for men and for women.  Every person, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, has a right to own their sexuality, and express it as they wish, without fear of attracting a 'scarlet' label.

Through the ages,  sex workers have been the subject of ridicule and scorn.  Many of them choose to express themselves through that career choice.  Should they be condemned for doing so?  Or should they be accepted for who they are, within a framework of  public policy that regulates their work to protect them from exploitation and violence, with law enforcement focused on stopping the exploitation of adults, and particularly children, who are forced into sexual servitude?  The answer to this also seems clear. Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to a large extent, are already taking this tolerant approach.

Where sex is concerned, the law and policing, moral and otherwise, should be reserved for criminals, who exploit women, and even more so for those who sexually abuse and exploit children.

I respect women who are comfortable expressing their sexual power. It is entirely normal to think that way.  Men should not take that to mean they can behave like alley cats when they see an attractive woman walking down the street.  There are ways to appreciate a woman without ceding complete control to one's limbic brain.  Consent under all circumstances is the operative word.


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:16:46 GMT
Riane Eisler Back in the eighties, when I was young, I read a book that changed my perspective on a lot of things.  That book was The Chalice and the Blade. The author is a wonderful human being named, Riane Eisler.

Eisler provides compelling evidence that in the pre-historic neolithic era, humans lived in small groups or clans that functioned on a cooperative partnership model in which men and women lived as equals, and shared responsibility and decision making. In fact, the evidence suggests that neolithic human life was closely tied to the cycles of nature.  Women had a particularly sacred place in those primitive societies because their menses reflected the rhythms of nature, and because they were capable of giving birth to new life.

That pre-historic partnership paradigm was lost about 10,000 years ago when humans evolved from hunter-gather groups that moved about constantly to fixed communities that depended on agriculture for food. To provide a common defense against maurauders that survived by raiding and pillaging what humans living in permanent settlements had, settled peoples moved away from a partnership based culture to one dominated by males.  From that time on, males of the species have pertty much run the show. Religion, governance, economics: the shape of human culture is built on a male domance model in which women are subjugated and billigerence and confrontation overwhelm caring and cooperation.   All of human history, since the beginning of agriculture, has been shaped by male dominance.

Eisler's bottom line: Men and women must learn to live together in partnership as co-equals closely aligned to the natural world.  It was that way once. It can be that way again. Advanced societies do seem to be headed in that direction. Women should be equal to men in all ways. It's only right, and it may be the only pathway to a future that is truly sustainable.

Riane Eisler founded the non-profit, The Center for Partnership Studies.

Here is a link to her webpage....

Here is a link to her book, The Chalice and the Blade...


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Thu, 22 Mar 2012 19:00:00 GMT
Polar Bears Playing with Sled Dogs Amazing video. Who could imagine it. Polar bears, huge and powerful apex predators of the Arctic, playing gently with a group of chained up sled dogs.   It doesn't compute, but there it is.!



[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Wed, 21 Mar 2012 07:00:00 GMT
As the oceans go... In this TED video presentation, oceanographer Paul Snelgrove talks about a massive international effort to survey and cololect population data on lhe lifeforms the world's oceans. What they found was alarming.  Pelagic fish populations have declined dramatically due to human exploitation.  Industrial fishing is virtually strip mining the oceans. In the middle of the Pacific, human detritus has accumulated in a massive whirlpool of waste several hundred miles wide.  Yet, despite the dearth of human stewardship, the evidence suggests the ocean realm is highly resilient. It can recover if given a chance.

Here is the link to Paul Snelgrove's TED presentation...

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Tue, 20 Mar 2012 19:00:00 GMT
The Third Industrial Revolution In 2007, The Hydrogen Age, a book, for which I was the as the principle author,  reported on the emerging trends away from fossil fuels in favor clean renewable forms of energy.  In the US, where the oil, coal, and gas lobbies dominate energy politics, this trend has been somewhat stunted. The same cannot be said about Europe. 

In his recently published book, The Third Industrial Revolution,  Jeremy Rifklin, President of The Foundation for Economic Trends,  reports that the European Union and its members nations are aggressively pursuing a transition to clean, renewable energy.  They have committed billions of euros to the process and cleared the way with financial incentives and a whole range of public policy initiatives. Wind, solar, geothermal, ocean wave, and other clean technologies are coming on line at an ever accelerating pace. Rifkin says this transition is in essence the opening stage of what he characterizes as The third industrial revolution. 

It's not just happening in Europe. Latin America, Asia, and even Africa are following the European example. 

One of the big impediments with wind and solar is the intermittant nature of the resource. It's not always windy even in the windiest places, and the sun doesn't shine 24 hours a day.  There are a number of ways to store surplus wind and solar energy for use when needed.   One of the best ways, and pretty much the only way renewable energy can be stored and transported long distances for use on demand is by taking the electricity produced from wind, solar, and other renewables, and convert it to hydrogen.  That is done by splitting water molecules into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen.  

Hydrogen is the most abundant substance in the universe. When hydrogen is converted back into useable energy in a device called a fuel cell, it is totally pollutrion free. The only exhaust is water. Hydrogen is highly flammable and can be hazardous,  but no more so than gasoline or natural gas. A big part of the European strategy for the transition to renewables is the adoption of hydrogen as a fuel for automotive transportation.  By 2015, many of the world's auto manufacturers will commercialize fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen, and hydrogen refueling stations will be found all over the continent. 

As the European union goes, so goes the rest of the world. I only wish this kind of aggresive strategy was at work here in the United States.  A renewable energy future using hydrogen as a primary energy carrier is the best way to wean ourselves off of dirty and increasingly costly fossil fuel energy. It is also the best way to walk human society back from the climate change precipice. Renewables, enabled by hydrogen translate to a pollution free energy future that is sustainable over the long term.    

Here is a link to Jeremy Rifkin's website and latest book...



[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Sun, 18 Mar 2012 19:00:00 GMT
The Earth is Full The evidence is all around us. The age of endless growth is over. The Earth is full of people; full of the waste we create, and at its limit in the amount of human induced stress it can endure.  We humans all need to get on the same page and recognize that the era of endless growth is finished. We must work together to transform our society into something that appropriately reflects the ways of nature. WE must transform our economy. WE must make it equitable and sustainable over the long term.  This is the message of Paul Gilding, who spoke at a recent TED conference.

Those who are indifferent to where we as a society are headed must wake up.  We must all come to fear what will happen if we don't mend our ways.  If we find motivation in that fear. If we begin to pull our oars together, all in the same worthy, sustainable direction,  we can overcome the odds stacked agasinst us. We can overcome the destructive inertia we have built up, and create a decent future for our children, living in harmony and balance with nature.

Here is the link to Paul Gilding's TED talk...

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Sat, 17 Mar 2012 19:00:00 GMT
Abundance is our Future? I just viewed a very encouraging  TED video presentation delivered by Peter Diamandis,  Chairman of the  X-Prize Foundation.  The X-Prize game is to put up a large cash prize, open to anyone who can achieve a lofty technical breakthrough.  An example: Burt Rutan and Richard Branson won a million dollar X-Prize for leading the first private industry effort to successfully send a human beyond the atmosphere into space and back.

Here is a link to the X-Prize Foundation

Diamandis's TED presentation was very upbeat. He highlighted the remarkable progress human civilization has made on many fronts, and he suggests that despite the serious problems we face that we will find technical solutions for these problems. He sees a future for humanity that is marked with abundance.

I liked what Peter Diamandis had to say, though I do find his level of optimism a bit pollyanish.   Technology is not going to solve the human population problem.  There are already way too many of us, plain and simple. Much of the biodiversity that is being lost to human overexploitation of the planet's finite resources will never be recovered or restored.  I would feel much more optimistic about Peter Diamandis's predictions if we were giving proper attention to these issues.

Here is the link to Diamandis's TED Presentation...

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Fri, 16 Mar 2012 19:00:00 GMT
Digital Angel Here is our first digital artwork from very talented, Toronto-based artist, Leslie Haubrick.

Angel in the sea

Model: Verronica Devine


The link to Leslie's webpage is....


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Fri, 16 Mar 2012 00:26:13 GMT
Snoring Dormouse This video is precious. A tiny creature asleep in the palm of a man's hand.

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Thu, 15 Mar 2012 07:00:00 GMT
Daryl Hannah There's this actress named Daryl Hannah. When I was young, she was one of the hottest, most desireable women on the planet.   She played Madison the stunning blond mermaid in a movie called, Splash.  She was the object of Steve Martin's amour in the wonderful comedy feature, Roxanne. She's been in a bunch of movies; a lot of them were good, some were even better than that. 

I've known for a long time that Daryl Hannah is a good soul; a very good soul indeed.  She's a committed activist for animal rights.  She's a vegan.... that's a really committed vegetarian for those who are ignorant of such things.  She also makes her own movies for the internet about stuff that matters;  about nature, the environment, human rights; things that reflect compassion and caring.   I don't mean she hires somebody to make her movies for her.  She does it herself. 

Daryl Hannah was and remains drop dead gorgeous. For a time, she was 'A' list; one of the most celebrated people in the world.  She could easily have taken a frivolous pathway through life. Instead, she chose to be a person of substance.   That makes her a good soul in my mind. That goodness is on full didplay on her webpage, as are many of her videos.

Here is the link to dhlovelife, Daryl Hannah's webpage

Here's Daryl Hannah in the movie, Splash...


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Wed, 14 Mar 2012 07:25:27 GMT
Saving a Humpback  It's a beautiful thing to see humans show compassion for another species. In this video shot in Mexico's Sea of Cortez in February, 2011, a group of people cross paths with a giant humpback whale, barely alive, trapped in a tighly wrapped cocoon of nylon gill net. At some personal risk, the humans worked with a knife to cut away the netting. After an hour, they restored the great whale's freedom. The humans were then treated to a joyful display of breeching and tail slapping by a magnificent creature, grateful to be free.

Here is the link...

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Tue, 13 Mar 2012 07:13:41 GMT
Alexandra Paul There was a TV series in the nineties that for some time was the number one television show in the entire world.  One of the stars of that series was an actress named Alexandra Paul.  I first crossed paths with Alexandra at about that time, but our meeting and subsequent collaboration had no connection with the world of fame and celebrity. Alexandra Paul became a much valued friend as a consequence of our common activist concern about human overpopulation.   We both wanted desperately to make a difference; to make a dent in the public's general indifference to the fact that human numbers on Earth have exploded. There are now more than seven billion of us; nearly three times the number there were when I emerged from the womb.  Humans are consuming the planet's resources at an unprecidented scale, and shredding the fabric of the biosphere in the process.

Alexandra Paul, and I, along with our friends, Gregory Molina and Michael Tobias, made an educational video titled Jam Packed in 1997.  Later, we were joined by Mark and Michelle Griffith on a follow-up video titled, The Cost of Cool.  These films were two of the earliest efforts to deliver a wake-up call on overpopulation and consumption to a school age audience.

Here is a link to The Cost of Cool...


These days, Alexandra Paul is at least as famous for her activisim as she is for her acting. She is a passionate champion for clean energy. She was one of the first celebrities to drive around in an electric car. Currently, her preferred transportation is a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.   She and her husband, a very good man named Ian Murray,  are also committed advocates for animal rights. They recently helped rescue  dozens of Beagles who had been enslaved from birth, caged and caught up in ugly cycles of canine laboratory testing.

Alexandra Paul is an exceptional human being. She is making a very worthy contribution to evolving a world that is sustainable and secure for future generations.  She also gives great hugs.

Here is a link to Alexandra's webpage

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Mon, 12 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT
Hysteria I learned about Hysteria, a movie scheduled for release sometime this Spring by Sony Classic pictures, when my path crossed with Tracey Becker, one of that project's producers.  Tracey became engaged on Change Agents, a project I am currently developing with my colleague, Chad Kirkpatrick  I knew when I saw the trailer for Hysteria that Tracey was the right person to comment on the work we are doing.

The trailer for Hysteria is a hoot.  I haven't seen the movie yet, but if it turns out to be as much fun as the trailer is, we're all in for a big league treat.  The subject of this movie is a malady a great many women suffered with in the 19th century and before. Hysteria was not any kind of illness, but instead was a reflection of women's frustration over having to deny their natural inclination to sexual orgasm. Built around the story of the doctor in Victorian England, who invented the 'vibrator', Hysteria was directed Tanya Wexler, a young filmmaker perfectly suited to translate this story into a totally delicious movie experience.

Take a moment to look at this. It's really fun.

The link to the Hysteria trailer follows...

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Sun, 11 Mar 2012 09:17:16 GMT
Koyaanisqatsi 'Life out of balance', that is the meaning of Koyaanisqatsi, a word in the Hopi indian language that was applied in 1982 to a remarkable work by filmmaker, Godfrey Reggio. It's hard to believe that 30 years have passed since I saw Koyaanisqatsi the first time, when I was still a very young man. It had an indeliable impact on me, with its relentless montage of troubling images of the Earth and man, punctuated by a powerful soundtrack by Phillip Glass. Koyaanisqatsi helped bring focus to my life. I've traveled a meandering, unconventional path ever since, seeking ways to leave a positive mark.

Here is the trailer for the film.


I had the privilege of spending time with Godfrey Reggio a few years after Koyaanisqatsi was released.  He was and remains a remarkable human being, in a life committed to exposing the troubling relationsip between humans and the planet they all depend on to survive.  Reggio followed up Koyaanisqatsi with a second film,  Powaqquasti, which means, 'Life in Transformation'   Here is a link to some moments from that film.


I recently learned that now, all these years later,  Reggio is working on what he calls the final piece of his triology.  He calls it Naqoyqatsi, 'Life as War'.   That suggests that Reggio's final shot across humanity's bow will be rather apocalyptic. 

Here is a link to Godfrey Reggio's website.


Godfrey Reggio was a big part of my personal wake-up call. I recommend his marvelous work to anyone who cares about the future of human life on Earth.



[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Sat, 10 Mar 2012 09:00:00 GMT
I am My Mother's Son My mother, Edna Holland, has had a rich life.  She was a young woman when the Second World War began.  She married my father after the great conflict was over.  

Some years later, I was their first born child, conceived, as my mother tells it, in an unheated  beachhouse on the rocky coast of Belfast, Maine. I actually traveled back there with them as an adult and saw that place. Pretty cool to know the exact place where sparks flew, and I became a zygote.

When I was young, my family, like so many families, was financially challenged.  When we were kids, there might be one jug of Coca Cola a week for the whole family.  When my mother poured out each allotment, my brother, and sister, and I would count the ice cubes in the glasses to make sure they were the same. We would fight over concern that one would get slightly more Coca Cola than the other.  Anyway, my mom put up with a lot back then. I was a handful when I was eight years old.

My mom was a housewife, as was the norm in those times.  Despite the challenges of making ends meet, she always made sure we had enough good food to eat. She made sure we went to school dressed decently. She put up with a lot of crap from all of us, and kept us going in the right direction. She also provided a safe nurturing ground so that each of us could grow up and turn out okay.  I say this not to denigrate my father's love and influence, but to celebrate the reality that I am who I am largely because of my mom.

Through the years, both my parents were always there and always supportive as I carved my own unconventional path through life.   Since 2004, when my father passed away, I have talked to my mother pretty much every day on the phone. I like talking to her. She lives now with my sister, Jill, in suburban Houston. My brother, Jay, who lives closeby, visits her regularly.

Even now,  i talk to my mom when I need encouragement or pragmatic advice.  I want her to know how much I appreciate all the love she has given me and the personal sacrifices she so often endured for me when I was growing up.

Thanks Mom. I love you. 

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:05:51 GMT
No H8 I worked recently with a model named, Molli. She's tall and energetic; also very pretty, and very bright. She appears to be on a positive pathway through life.

Molli asked me to produce some images of her with the duct tape moniker adopted by activists for the social iniative known as  No H8. This group is about treating gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people as equal and worthy citizens, who are due the same respect as anyone in the straight community. 

I thank Molli for inspiring me to express myself on this issue.

Sexual orientation is part of every person's DNA.  It's the individual biological reflection of who we are.  Each of us should be encouraged to embrace our identity.  No one should be the subject of scorn because of it.

Bottom line: We are all members of the same human family.  A high tolerance for differences should be society's norm. 

Here is an image of Molli...


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:50:49 GMT
Firegirl This image is the product of our first collaboration with Rumanian digital artist, Andreea Cernesteau.  Her work is marvelous.  More of it can be seen on her personal website...


The model for 'Firegirl' is Anna Marie 


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Fri, 09 Mar 2012 09:00:00 GMT
V-Day I worry a lot about the future of human civilization.  Most people would agree that life on Earth is wildly out of balance.  A course correction is badly needed.

Part of the solution lies with changing the overriding human paradigm, from the male dominance that has prevailed since the beginnings of agriculture ten thousand years ago to one of stewardship and compassion; a life affirming paradigm that will foster our transition to a relationship with the biosphere that is both celebratory and sustainable. Critical to that process is the ending of the violence and the  oppression of women, and the acceptance of women as absolute equals to males.  Some places are a lot further along that path than others.

V-Day is a remarkable, non-profit organization, with a grand mission designed to elevate women in every corner of the world. Early in 2013, V-Day will launch a global outreach effort that will shine a bright light on those places where women are still denied access to education and health care, and are subjected to rape and every other kind of violence and abuse.

Founded by Eve Ensler, the charismatic author of The Vagina Monologues, a play that has been performed thousands of times, on stages in every corner of the world,  V-Day is an emerging phenomenon, galvanizing women of every ethnicity and persuasion to stand tall and seek respect and full gender equality.  They even have a group called V-Men for guys like me.

Check out the link


[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Thu, 08 Mar 2012 09:00:00 GMT
Simian Delight Human interaction with wild gorillas was pretty much unheard of until Dian Fossey's enchanting, but ultimately tragic story was told in the movie, Gorillas in the Mist.  The mountain gorilla is one of the most critically endangered, large animal species on Earth. As of January, 2011, there were just under 800 of them in the world. They  can only be found in a few protected areas in the Eastern Congo, Uganda, and Ruwanda.  These days their best hope may come from the tourist dollars generated by foreigners, who travel to Africa to experience wild gorillas, up close.  These intelligent, peaceful, and mostly vegetarian creatures share about 99% of their genetic identity with humans. 

I love this video. Partially because it is reminiscent of a scene in Change Agents, my most recent screenplay.   The large male patriarch, also known as the silverback, weighs in the range of 400 pounds.  In this amazing moment of human-gorilla interaction, the silverback pays an unexpected visit to a tourist camp, accompanied by his wives and their kiddies.  

The best part begins just over a minute into the video. It is magical.  Enjoy.



[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Wed, 07 Mar 2012 18:41:59 GMT
Venturing into Digital Art This week, we launch the first of several ongoing collaborations with digital artists.  The two images below reflect the digital magic of Portland-based artist, Gino Martino.       Model Mayhem #1948921



Model: Charlotte


Model: Annie

[email protected] (Fotodesign Bellmeio) Mon, 05 Mar 2012 22:01:50 GMT