Saturday, January 31, 2015

Beat the Weakonomy, Become a Gaucho

Stolen from
So the economy sucks, you've lost your job or perhaps, unemployment is in your near future. The time couldn’t be better to get re-inspired, think outside the box and take that leap towards a new career path, er, or at least something to get you far far away from the current U.S. depression.
One word: Gaucho.
Gaucho. It is the new Plastics.
During our travels across Chile we have encountered the Gaucho up close and personal and we think becoming a Gaucho might just get you off the Prozac, or at least off the government's teat.
Gaucho Perks:
+ No wasting time or money on networking - useless breakfasts, lunches, dinners, coffees and drinks with people you’ll never probably work with, for, or befriend.
+ Cheap wardrobe (See below)
+ Cheap/free employees (See below)
+ Saying that you’re a gaucho is likely to help you pick up chicks, or dudes.
Gaucho Research, Just Add Netflix:
Say you don’t have Gaucho relatives to learn from. Well, Hollywood is always there to help you out. Order up “The Gaucho”, a 1927 film starring Douglas Fairbanks as a gaucho leader who saves his town. C'mon, you are unemployed, you have plenty of time.
Gaucho Uni:
* Baggy jeans (more vintage than rapper style)
* Leather jacket (80s style preferred- you don’t want to look too Gaucho chic)
* A cute little scarf
* The most essential piece is the beret -- gauchos accessorize with the best of 'em.
Brokeback Gaucho
If you’re single, expect to be alone for extended periods of time.
If you're in a relationship, expect to be alone for extended periods of time.
If you have a family, expect to be alone for extended periods of time.
Animals Are Your Friends
1) You’ll need two or three dogs and three years to train them. They will help you herd the cattle, which could include cows or sheep.
2) No sleeping with your animals. While you may be lonely, you know the saying: don’t “do it” where you eat? Same applies to the Gaucho.
3) Learn to be at one with your horse. This will be your main mode of transportation. FYI: Not only are you saving money by not having a car, but you’ll be helping the environment too.
While it may be difficult to break into the industry in South America, we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to stand out here and make a name for yourself. Finally, while you begin your baby steps to becoming a Gaucho, remember, it’s not about the destination but the journey!
Pay = Room and Board and about $300USD a month.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chilean Gaucho Faustino Barrientos

Admittedly, I only found one picture of him wearing a boina - he wears a casquette most of the time, but his story is too good not to relate here.
Faustino Barrientos is a gaucho who has spent more than 46 years in isolation by Lake O'Higgins - one of the most remote corners of the world. Since 1965, Barrientos has worked as a horse-riding rancher and shepherd living in the southern swath of Chile and Argentina.
In December, he was visited by journalists from Vice, an independent media company in Brooklyn, New York. It took the reporters four days to travel to his home, made from a salvaged fishing boat.
'I don't need money,' he told them after welcoming them to his home. 'I have enough to eat. Life seems to be better when you're alone.
Barrientos grew up on the shores of Lake O'Higgins but after his 11 siblings moved away and Pinochet started rising up the ranks of power, he moved to Argentina.
While travelling around the country and working at construction jobs, he picked up the skills to sustain himself when he returned to the craggy, mountainous Patagonia of Chile.
Lake O'Higgins is one of the most remote areas of Patagonia and is the least populated region in Chile. It is also one of the world's most sparsely populated places outside Antarctica.
Barrientos's land has two buildings - a small hut where he sleeps, eats, listens to the radio and pours over stacks of newspapers when they are delivered to him twice a year.
The other building stores boxes of food - tins of soups and desserts, bags of sugar and flour, tubs of lard - which are delivered by a boat that has started passing his quiet corner every ten days.
He also survives on cows and sheep reared on his land, and he keeps track of time with a calendar that he marks off everyday.
Read the full article here

Thursday, January 29, 2015

From the Blog of David García Goñi

Some very interesting (and beret-related) personal histories can be found on the blog of David García Goñi.
The story of grandfather Esteban, for example. Born on a very cold Boxing Day, 1919, Esteban grew up in a harsh and poor environment, taken to work the fields with his father at an early age. 
The Spanish Civil War broke out when he was 16 and he fought at, and survived, the Battle of the Ebro, returning to his village and the only way he knew how to make a living. 
There, he married Rufina and created a family; two boys and a girl. Grandfather Esteban simply never took off his beret. If he had done so, he would have felt more naked than after taking off his clothes. He always seemed serious, but if you were throwing a little joke, it always drew a good smile.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Many berets in the short film Résistance, made in 2009 by Cyril Lorin. The movie describes real events that took place in the forest of La Double in the Ribéracois in 1944.
Against the backdrop of flashbacks between storytelling and war film "Résistance" depicts the violence from the troubled period of the Second World War and especially a beautiful story of friendship - that's more inspired by real events - between a communist resistance fighter and a German deserter in the wild scenery of the forest of La Double in the Perigord region of France.
The film is much based on local memory and many dialogues are in the Occitan language.
30 technicians, volunteers and professionals, were mobilized continuously for 10 days of shooting, as well as forty extras.
Have a look here for much more information. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jean-Claude Pertuzé at Parrapean

The first Basque Comics Days (ParrapeanPremières journées de la BD basque) were held in Bilbao, last November.
Apart from Basque authors like Adur Larrea, Miquel Begoña, Iñaket, Zaldi REMO Ion Iñaki Artetxe, Asisko Urmeneta, Manel Skull, Pinturero, my friend Jean-Claude Pertuzé also attended, representing the Occitan comic writers and speaking about the comics in Occitan. 
Occitan is an official language in Catalonia, where a subdialect of Gascon known as Aranese is spoken. Occitan's closest relative is Catalan. Since September 2010, the Parliament of Catalonia has considered Aranese Occitan to be the officially preferred language for use in the Val d'Aran.
Across history, the terms Limousin (Lemosin), Languedocien (Lengadocian), Gascon, and later Provençal (Provençal, Provençau or Prouvençau) have been used as synonyms for the whole of Occitan; nowadays, "Provençal" is understood mainly as the Occitan dialect spoken in Provence.
To me, it is still a mystery why comics (I hate the word; much prefer the French bande dessinée, or if anything in English graphic novel) are so unpopular in the English speaking world. Apart from some superhero- war and "wild west" comics, very little seems to happen. Much unlike France, Italy and Spain (as regular readers of The Beret Project know).
And man, aren't there many berets featuring in all these south European comics!  (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 to list a few...)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ed Harris - The Truman Show

The Truman Show is a 1998 American satirical social science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Peter Weir and written by Andrew Niccol. The cast includes Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich and beret wearing, Ed Harris
The film chronicles the life of a man who is initially unaware that he is living in a constructed reality television show, broadcast around the clock to billions of people around the globe. Truman becomes suspicious of his perceived reality and embarks on a quest to discover the truth about his life.
The genesis of The Truman Show was a spec script by Niccol, inspired by an episode of The Twilight Zone called "Special Service". The original draft was more in tone of a science fiction thriller, with the story set in New York City. The majority of filming took place at Seaside, Florida, a master-planned community located in the Florida Panhandle.
The film was a financial and critical success and has been analyzed as a thesis on Christianity, metaphilosophy, simulated reality, existentialism, and the rise of reality television.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Peter Andre

Peter James Andrea[(born 27 February 1973), mostly known as Peter Andre, is an English-Australian singer, songwriter, businessman, presenter and television personality best known for his successful chart-topping singles "Mysterious Girl" and "Flava", especially in the United Kingdom.
Andre gained further publicity when he appeared as a contestant on the third British series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. During his time on the show, Andre developed an on-screen romantic relationship with glamour model, Katie Price. He made it towards the finals, reaching third place overall and losing out to eventual winner Kerry McFadden. However, Andre married Price two years after the show's finale and had two children with her.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kees van Dongen

Kees van Dongen (Dutch, 1877–1968) was a leading member of the controversial Fauves group, whose members included French artists Henri Matisse, Henri Emilien Rousseau, Robert Delaunay, and Edouard Vuillard. 
Known specifically for his portraiture, van Dongen painted sensuous and often garish representations of the fashionable French bourgeoisie, and the wealth that permitted their leisurely lifestyle. His subjects included Arletty, Leopold III of Belgium, Louis Barthou, Sacha Guitry, Anna de Noailles, and Paul Maurice Chevalier.
With a playful cynicism he remarked of his popularity as a portraitist with high society women, "The essential thing is to elongate the women and especially to make them slim. After that it just remains to enlarge their jewels. They are ravished." This remark is reminiscent of another of his sayings: "Painting is the most beautiful of lies"
From 1959, Kees van Dongen lived in Monaco. He died in his home in Monte Carlo in 1968.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Earl Moran's Pinups

Earl Steffa Moran (1893 –1984), born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, was the 20th Century pin-up and glamour artist. Moran's first instruction in art came under the direction of John Stich, an elderly German artist who also taught the great illustrator W.H.D. Koerner. Moran studied at the Chicago Art Institute and later at the famed Art Students League in Manhattan.
Moran signed an exclusive contract with Brown and Bigelow in 1932 and by 1937, his pinups had sold millions of calendars for the company. In 1940, Life ran a feature article entitled "Speaking of Pictures" which mostly focused on Moran's work and made him a national celebrity. In 1941, Moran helped the magazine publisher, Robert Harrison, to launch a new men's magazine called Beauty Parade, and he later contributed pin-ups to other Harrison magazines such as Flirt, Wink and Giggles.
Moran lived in the San Fernando Valley from 1951 to 1955, hosting fabulous parties, directing and starring in short television films, painting portraits of Earl Carroll's Vanities Girls, and maintaining his position as a star of the pin-up world.
Moran died in Santa Monica, CA on January 17, 1984

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Caring for your Beret

I often get the question "how do I clean my beret?". Well, washing is out of the question (it would shrink!); dry cleaning is possible but not recommended and up till now, my advice was to spot-clean with a warm damp cloth or to apply sticky tape to the surface of the beret to remove dirt, dust, hairs, etc.
Using sticky tape is a perfectly fine method, but messy and time consuming. Now I have got hold of a much easier way: the Raven Beret Cleaner!
This is a roller with 50 adhesive sheets that easily peel off to expose the next. Simple and excellent at a very low price of $5.00!

Hippolyte Etchebéhère

Hippolyte Etchebéhère was an Internationalist and Anarchist, born in Argentina to French parents. 
He joined the Argentine Communist Party in 1923 and, in 1926, is a member of the organizing committee of the Argentine Workers Party. 
It is in Buenos Aires where he meets Mika Feldman who is as dedicated to the internationalist cause as he is. They remain a couple until his death in 1936.
They leave for Berlin in 1932 to join the group "Wedding" directed by the Austrian Kurt Landau, where they witness the rise of the Nazi's. 
In June 1933 they return to Paris, where he publishes articles for the journal Masses, under the pseudonym Juan Rustico. 
With Mika Etchebéhère
Just before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, they move to Madrid and joined the POUM. He died early in the conflict from a grenade in July 1936.
His widow Mika continued the fight at the front, becoming the only female Capitana in the Spanish Army. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Turning the Dream Around

With migration comes a myriad of touching stories; a never-ending list filled with dreams, desperation, hope, suffering, strength and death of countless people. For many of the migrants, the land left behind becomes a painful thorn in the flesh, but there are also other migrants who turn pain around, making a new dream out of it: a dream of hope for their people. Although the dream of Jamal Anejdam is not built miles away from home, but in his native country.
Jamal Anejdam is a dark-skinned, small, young man casually dressed in black. He wears trainers and tops his look off with a black txapela; typical from the Basque Country, where he now lives since about 10 years. When he reached Bilbao back in 2001 he was one of the hundreds of under-aged migrants that come to Spain every year looking for a better life. Before that, he endured a difficult journey from his hometown, in northern central Morocco, where he left his parents and a handful of brothers and sisters.
A story typical for millions of people; Africans crossing the Mediterranean into 'Fortress Europe'; Mexicans crossing the Rio Grande heavily guarded by vigilantes determined to deny them their part of human existence; Tamils and Burmese making the dangerous crossing to Australia (to be detained and "exported" to Christmas Island...).
Anyway, read Jamal's full story here. Good stuff!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The New Hispano Basques!

The end of the day, here in NZ at least, and finally managed to get all the new stock on the web site of my own Hispano Basque labeled berets!
Grey, Brown and Bordeaux are the colours, available in 28 and 29 cm diameter, as well as the 33 cm Plato Grandes.
Great berets at a very competitive price; great to experiment with, as presents or for those who always thought of buying a beret, but never quite dared.
Have a look here.

Service Jam

The Global Service Jam is a non-profit volunteer activity organized by an informal network of service design aficionados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience. The Jam has a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.
The first Global Service Jam took place in March 2011, where more than 1200 participants in more than 50 cities created around 200 unique service designs around the theme "(Super)HEROES". 
No guessing which design came from the Basque Country....

Monday, January 19, 2015


Yes, back! The holidays over, time to continue The Beret Project with more than just a daily picture.

To be honest, I have been back for a week now; started the daily Facebook updates a week ago, but needed a little more time to gather enough material for more "serious" Beret Project posts.

Thanks to all you faithful visitors and, to all customers who ordered over the last few weeks from South Pacific Berets: thank you for your patience - your parcel was posted on 12 January and should be delivered soon!
And from tomorrow: back to beret business as usual!