Raise the Hammer

Mark Fenton writes photo-essays which celebrate the city of Hamilton. These essays appear regularly in Raise the Hammer (raisethehammer.org) an on-line Hamilton magazine.

Read my articles at RaiseTheHammer.org

Mark assumed that walking the streets and taking photos would be easy. This has not been the case. Mark regularly meets police officers, security guards, port authority representatives, and similar guardians of public space. Many of these people fail to share his zeal for photographing the city and as a result these meetings often go less smoothly than he might wish. When Mark’s journeys end, he returns to the computer to digress on such diverse subjects as:

  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Communicable diseases
  • Representations of the Virgin Mary in Medieval sculpture
  • Erasers
  • Representations of the Virgin Mary on grilled cheese sandwiches
  • The perils of railway crossings
  • Bridges, overpasses, and tunnels
  • Cold War era bomb shelters
  • Gummy Frogs
  • How to get from Regina to Winnipeg by bus, on a bus route wherein a brutal murder has occurred just a few weeks prior
  • Weimeraners
  • Shoelaces
  • Chinese poetry from the late T’ang dynasty
  • Hamilton bus schedules
  • Misaddressed mail
  • Rescue dogs

Here are some things readers of Mark Fenton’s essays have posted on Raise the Hammer. To be democratic this selection contains not only responses that are generally favourable, but some that are less favourable, some that are just interesting to read, and some that are inscrutable.

The funniest thing I have read online in a long time.
– Adrian

What a waste of time you put into this shpeel. [sic]
– Former 10 yr Airport Employee

I threw my coffee on a bus driver after he said that I couldn’t bring it on the bus.
– crtsvgl [sic]

Actually you have talent.
– Former 10 yr Airport Employee

Wow. Just – wow. There’s not really anything else like this on the Internet or in print. Thank you for sharing your deranged, genius vision!
– Serendipitous Visitor

This is the kind of article that I don’t like seeing here.
– Hammer

How come you walk everywhere?
– Joejoe

The most robust of the common blood borne pathogens, Hepatitis A, will almost certainly be dead in dried blood after a week, and certainly safe after a month.
– Lab tech, anonymous

I’m wondering about the author’s current and vaguely recurring fascination with bridges — overpasses, tunnels, going under….
– Curious people want to know

Mark’s photo essays have long been my favorite thing on RTH, but lately they’re fast moving up my list of my favorite things on the entire Internet!
– Fan-ton

I want to point out that it’s incredibly dangerous to walk on railroad tracks and especially on bridges! Stay the hell off the damn tracks.
– Seriously?