ARTvision-5 is in full swing! Make sure to check it out... We’ve got Julia Murney’s photography, new artists Delia Cochran and Jason Maynard - and the list goes on! The below post is from one of my pieces, available now. Here is the related post:
(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA :: 13 DECEMBER 2010) Bullying in schools is on the rise. More and more soldiers return with PTSD from Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of inexplicable flashes of violence have soiled our social landscape - most of them random and bloody, tearing apart families and communities alike.
There are myriad reasons for this and the other, aforementioned issues - not the least of which is understanding, or lack thereof. Put simply: we do too much shouting and not enough listening. Without bearing true witness - to our surroundings, our family, coworkers, our environment, our internal balance, to name a few - our understanding becomes deeply diminished. Extinguished, in some cases, like a flame in a harsh wind.
And it’s to our societal detriment, for sure, this penchant for applause lines to an enamored audience; or a deaf ear to different opinions. Do we hear each other, even in disagreement, or do we just passively and disconnectedly tolerate each other when mystery or unfamiliarity arises? (Check out Frank Rich’s piece on the Smithsonian’s capitulation to just such a power.) Contrarianism is on the rise, and yet it’s not giving us the spark of change that the effort seeks.
Holding your nose while someone else opines just cuts off your breathing - and you forfeit the chance for greater learning. “The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” one of my pieces for ARTvision-5 this year, was created as a message to persuade those who might choose to bully, to invade privacy, to deny rights, or just simply be an asshole to stand down and rethink their actions. (It’s a reminder to me, too, to stay on the path I’m on, and to constantly improve.) People are not “haters” because they disagree with something you’re doing or saying; in the same way, someone isn’t likely to incite violence just because they own a gun.
”The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope,” by
Will Pollock “Carefully Orchestrated” was shot in Augusta, Ga., while on location at St. John United Methodist Church. While Jason’s orchestra was rehearsing for Westobou Festival, I listened to the gorgeous acoustics of the church and photographed a stained-glass window to capture the emergent glow behind the beautiful colors - and its understated illumination spoke volumes. It was at that moment that I realized how important it is to actively observe as a means to develop understanding.
This isn’t about political correctness. No, it’s about putting the English language to its best use. “Tolerate,” my friends, is a dead, nefarious and empty word when used this way. We should discard it like the ratty, used hanky that it is.
What should be in its place? “Acceptance.”
One tolerates chemotherapy - you do not tolerate someone’s lifestyle, someone’s opinions, someone’s soul. Some politicians and pundits proudly say “tolerance” is part of how they deal with differences as if it were badge of honor, and that’s a whole steaming pile of horseshit. And they know it, yet they keep using that word as if it were Gandhi-esque.
Even when well-intended, “tolerance” feels hollow and strange. We should retire it in favor of acceptance. Along the lines of: “I accept you. You are a child of the universe, and deserve to be here just like anyone else. I can disagree in quiet, direct ways without hurting you or others around you. I understand.”
From here on until after the New Year, I will be blogging mostly from the ARTvision Web site. We are working to raise much-needed funds for Atlanta’s own Positive Impact, and in the process, highlighting some very cool pieces of art: mixed-media, photography, painting, jewelry, music and much more. As always, your corresponding donations constitute purchases - so donors become collectors and vice versa. Folks are also encouraged to donate cash through the ARTvision’s event, of which 100% will go to the organization’s critical HIV counseling programs. You can celebrate this year’s artists without buying a piece!
Our new 2010 logo design (upper left) is brought to you by Kimber Herndon, who made her ARTvision debut in 2009 and will once again be offering mixed-media pieces - a few in collaboration with yours truly.
Here’s a sampling of some of our pieces from our fifth anniversary year, “XL: Style & Substance”. Enjoy!
(left to right: “Waterdance” by Vibecke Dahle; “"The Carefully Orchestrated Revival of Joy and Hope," by Will Pollock; and “Untitled Table” by Sean Mansfield)
The folks who entertain us on Broadway are some of the most generous, awake and kind people out there today - constantly giving of their time and energy to “make it better.” Countless “Broadway Cares” events from Actor’s Equity show how much they invest themselves in the community.
In celebration of National Coming Out day, “hate” is a four-letter word. This past July, Mary Grabar - somehow, inexplicably, professor at Clayton State University and conservative speaker and author - wrote a piece for the AJC entitled, “Freedom to Hate in College Shrinks.” With apologies for the dated material, it seems appropriate given recent events. In her piece, she led her pedestrian swat of ironic prose with this gem: “I tell my college students to feel free to hate.” In the piece she gets busy demonizing groups - the Anti-Defamation League, Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network, among others - that fight for the rights of marginalized youth and espouse understanding in schools, including use of emotional intelligence, for the advancement of society. Grabar bemoans that her students’ rights to youthful, exuberant, unencumbered hate have been systematically denied. They are “enjoined from hating” the people and behavior around them, and are, in her mind, neutered from expressing their opinions by evil feeling circles:
“Their teachers act as “guides on the side” for their little groups in which they are forced to expose their feelings and discuss historical examples of ‘hate.’ Creepy ‘emotional intelligence’ consultants make them show all the other kids how they react when they get angry or sad. They are made sissies in front of everyone when a big bearded guy asks them, “What was it doing to your heart?”
Some of them are even graded in a new subject called “Social and Emotional Learning.”
But I declare to my students, “Now that you are legal adults you may hate whomever you please!”
They look at me like prisoners who have forgotten what freedom is like.”
What’s “creepy,” Ms. Grabar, is you. Not you, specifically - your ideas. Do you see what’s happening in this country as it pertains to unchecked hate? In the past two weeks, we’ve had no fewer than five suicides related to bullying of gay teens. Is this a form of the hate you want your students to freely express? Why not teach them the perils of hate along with responsible self expression - rather than couch it in some form of social martyrdom where folks are let out of a metaphorical prison that simply, absolutely, doesn’t exist?
We had the situation in New York City where three men were allegedly sodomized, burned and whipped simply for being gay - at the hands of nine youth who, I think it’s fair to say, expressed their prejudice as free thought. We’ve had myriad other examples of hate run amok in this country - I, too, was bullied in school when I was a kid. It makes you feel small; like you want to die. Have you ever felt that, Ms. Grabar? I can tell you with 100% certainty, kids all around this country ARE feeling that. And your ideas put them in greater peril.
This weekend was Gay Pride in Atlanta. It’s one of the nation’s most festive celebrations of free expression and togetherness and non-hate you can find; this year brought a bit more poignancy because of recent events. I invite you to come visit and see for yourself what understanding an anti-hate looks like, and what good it can do. I drove down a Midtown Atlanta street on Saturday and saw a religious protestor’s sign that read, “I now pronounce you Pervert & Pervert.” Perhaps one of the sign holders is a former student of yours, Ms. Grabar? Why should you condone such speech when you have the opportunity to persuade otherwise? Not control, not imprison, as you suggest - persuade. That’s your job as a teacher. Do it.
Here is the latest installment of a semi-regular series on wp.com. Your all-travel version starts right now: ...on demeanor: your seat in first class is not your living room EZ chair. as such, if you’re not napping, don’t recline the chair to its fullest position and change your position as if you’re in a massaging recliner. yes, I’m talking to you Professor Douchebag in front of me in 4B.
...on seating preferences: if you don’t want a bulkhead seat, then don’t re-seat yourself and expect someone to accept it on your behalf. and a related point (from the same experience): if you’re seated in the bulkhead aisle, the seat underneath you is NOT your storage. let me introduce you to the overhead bin because that’s where your shit goes.
...on in-and-out: this bears repeating from my earlier post. the seat in front of you is NOT, repeat NOT, a handlebar for you to get in and out of your seat. do you realize how disruptive this is to the person in the seat? whether you’re in first, coach or you’ve been banished to cargo, you do not have the right to interrupt people’s sleep and comfort in order to brace yourself into your seat.
”Strewn” heads up wp.com for August... And it struck me as unusually bleak and yet beautiful all in one. I was at a wedding in Maryland with Jason and this was the moment there were three photographers shooting the moments following the ceremony - moments that were truly special. The feet in the picture are of the photographer of record, standing and switching the settings of her camera.
The color of the yellow rose petals against the grain of the dock was truly a sight to see. hope you enjoy.
(ATLANTA :: 19 July 2010) Tomorrow is election day here in the city of Atlanta and across the state of Georgia. We have been barraged by a litany of ads that tout the conservative cred of our candidates - including a now-infamous slam on Karen Handel’s previous support on “gay-partner” benefits and adoptions. Here’s a sample:
This is a multifaceted political trainwreck in that, since this charge, Handel has renounced any and all progressive values as she seeks the GOP state of Georgia gubernatorial nomination - and the conservative Deal appears to think he can score points with voters here in our state by calling her on it. (He trails in the polls.) John Oxendine, also a GOP candidate in Georgia, tried to outdo Deal by associating himself with a mailer that basically used the same message.
Seriously? You’re so married to your conservatism - and so desperate to win at all costs - that you’d blatantly ignore and foment disgust within a segment of your constituency by maligning support of it?
My problem is that there are NO issues discussed in these mailers - NONE. Zip. Just a fraudulent indictment of someone who bucked her party on progressive issues in the past.
I am an independent voter who can at least appreciate when Roy Barnes, Democratic state candidate, calls out the GOP for its state shenanigans about succession and rejection of stem-cell research.
Get real, Mr. Deal, et. al. If you are to be considered for governor of this state, you must realize that you ALSO are asking to preside over the city of Atlanta, its people and its surrounding environs. The city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia’s relationship has only gotten more adversarial under the leadership of Sonny Perdue, who has thwarted key city funding and development, and even disturbingly lead a prayer in front of the statehouse for rain. I object to those and other of his policies, although there is evidence of a thawing in relations of late.
If I am to swallow your bitter advertising pill, Mr. Deal - and if you make it into office, or even if Handel does - YOU are also required to accept, acknowledge and nurture the moral, civil, cultural and commercial center of this great southern state.
Here’s a hint: it’s NOT the statehouse, nor does it live under the Gold Dome. It’s Atlanta. And we will be voting this season.
Atlanta - cited as the “gayest city in the nation” by the Advocate (a story picked up by the AJC, NPR, and our own ProjectQ Atlanta) - is a national treasure that includes gays and lesbians, Mr. Deal (Miss Karen, I’d pay attention to this, too). Your advertisement is disgusting and offensive, and will hopefully be ineffective as a dual-discriminatation, negative-attack ad.
I’d like to remind you that Atlantans - gay or straight, black or white, liberal or conservative - will continue to speak up and seek the gay-partner spousal rights and gay-adoption benefits you malign in your ad. We will ALWAYS try and speak truth to your pursuit of power, and keep you honest at every point in the process. In other words, the more the state of Georgia tries to marginalize and diminish this great city and its people, the taller we will stand in reminding you not to mess with us.
As an intended gay parent myself, I represent the opinions mentioned in Deal’s ridiculous ad or in Handel’s comments or in Oxendine’s direct-bigot mailer campaign - and I object to all methods AND the content of the argument. They are all, down to their very core, false promises intended to scare people into voting for you. And it’s utter nonsense.
Mr. Deal, Ms. Handel, Mr. Oxendine: I invite you to take 10 minutes to speak to a candidate like Graham Balch - he has a mature and open worldview and an understanding of urban life that seems to be lost on you (and he’s in a tough race of his own). He rejects the status quo. He sees a city and state where EVERYONE thrives, where all people are accepted and encouraged to enter into partnerships and parenthood if they so choose. He is fiercely protective of our environment and wants us to pay teachers fairly and create superb learning environments. He is the Democrat for Georgia State Senate District 39, so feel free to look him up.
This Atlantan will be in the voting booth tomorrow, and I will select those candidates who understand me, my friends and my family, and whomever can celebrate diversity - not use it to malign your opponents. (This post was sent to both the offices of Mr. Deal and Ms. Handel; I will update if I receive any official comment.) (Photo courtesy of 11Alive.com, Atlanta.)
“We are soft-wired to experience another’s plight as if we were experiencing it ourselves.”
Fascinating piece from Jeremy Rifkin, “The Empathic Civilization” - an animated example of why I’m writing “EIQ: Everyman’s Guide to Developing Emotional Fortitude” Because, in many cases, we as men act against what we’re born, bred and conditioned to do, to be.
According to the piece, “...we are wired not for aggression, violence, self-interest or utilitarianism - but for sociability, attachment, affection and companionship.
“The first drive is to actually belong,” he says in the piece. We ought to “extend our identities to think of the human race as fellow sojourners. ...We need to rethink our institutions of society and lay the groundwork for an empathic civilization.”
Make time to watch this groundbreaking video, here.
Fluff up your communication and intimacy with this critical end-of-day practice. In a painfully unscientific study on how my previous significant others have behaved before bed, let’s just say the setting has been far from communication-friendly: I’ve survived instant body twitching, waiting for hour-long primping, immediate freight-train snoring or the pungent whiff of heavy intoxication.
My current squeeze and I, though, have made a promise to toast the mystery-laden universe of sleepyland with pillow talk – known as quiet talking before bed, after sex, or both – a practice, say experts, that can bring lovebirds together and make a difference in how a day’s debriefing shapes your shut-eye. Among those experts is Dr. Scott Conkright, who has been providing psychotherapy services for more than 15 years and has served as president of Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Society. He says couples that have trouble dedicating time to communication at any time, let alone just before bed, should focus their communication on each other.
“How do you find time for each other that’s dedicated to the task of intimacy? Pillow talk is a great way to do that.” He says. “It’s about saying to each other, ‘The time now is not about watching TV; not about whether we should get the roof redone; or any of those sorts of things. I want to know what’s going on with you, what you’re feeling, what your week’s been like.’ You want to know let each other know what you’ve been thinking about.”
Conkright says men in particular – of all persuasions, gay or straight – tend to shy away from naming their feelings.
“Gay couples are not that much different than straight couples,” he says, adding that men are often the great offenders. “Most guys do not learn that the ritual of communication needs to be there. And for two guys in a relationship, they can both have busy careers and sometimes use it as an excuse for not connecting. Even the most sophisticated, highly educated guys who come into my practice have an incredibly small vocabulary for their emotional life. They have only a handful of words, and 90 percent of the time they’re not even sure if it feels good or bad unless it’s on the scale of really, really bad or really, really good.”
That very well may be changing, though, particularly if you look at where we’ve come in the past few generations. If we are in a shift in the way we discuss and dissect feelings and relationships (with EquallyWed as a product of evolving attitudes) just look at the way “Pillow Talk,” the feature film starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day, was promoted as “the most sparkling sexcapade that ever winked at convention,” and, “it’s what goes on when the lights go off.”
By today’s standards – where Lindsay falls out of limos and Britney flashes her hoo-hoo to the tabloids – it seems positively puritanical. The film was made in an era when a frank, literal interpretation of the concept of “Pillow Talk,” wasn’t viable; most of it takes place with both lead characters talking coyly, spinning the twisted cords of rotary-dial telephones. The movie also has become an odd precursor to Hudson’s revelation that he is gay, complete with him pretending to be gay while playing a skirt-chasing straight man while secretly leading a gay personal life.
You might need a scorecard for that one. If our society has moved leaps and bounds beyond “winking at convention” – which seems so “Little House on the Prairie” – our interpersonal customs, including pillow talk, should catch up. Conkright says all couples of all stripes should make best efforts to exclude distractions.
“Turn the damn Blackberry and TV off,” he says. “From say 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., there needs to be no electronic gear on – no iPhones or getting online.”
That’s certainly a tall order in my household, but one to which we can all aspire. A casual kiss, a TV shut-off, a pull of the shades, a sleeping-position adjustment, and… a debriefing from the day. Try out some of these practices and discover the softer side of communication.
You’ve suffered through the hype, and you’ve probably browsed the Apple stores in search of one. And if you believe some of today’s TV commercials, iPad users will inherit the earth. Sliding our finger across a touchscreen has fused technology with a singular emotional experience that is, even with all its success, still in its infancy. My friends and I have gone down an iPhone or iPad rabbit hole after buying these cool, obsessive products, completely transfixed by the UI (user interface). We fingerslide our way to new apps, new connections and a new way of computing and thinking. But have you noticed that our relationship with touchscreens - the iPhone, iPad, Droid and others - have begun to infiltrate the way marketers are selling their products? To wit: ads that take the personal-device experience and mesh it with other products, as with this Land Rover 4 ad:
Not convinced? How about this snippet for Lawyers.com, in which an actor is enlightened with what looks to be a 7-year-old Dell laptop that can somehow expand and reduce its touchscreen images:
These ads are more than a fad. They are emblematic of a cultural shift away from the one-dimensional, boring, top-down, “this is what you want to buy” strategy to getting in the head of a hyper-active user who is in total control of their surroundings.
Rest in peace, oh soda jerk: Coke Freestyle elevates individuals to instant mixologists by using a zesty touch-screen system to mix selections from over 100 choices into a custom beverage, all while delivering a geeky high-tech thrill.
Coke spokesperson Helen Tarleton certainly thinks so, calling it a "complete departure from a traditional fountain machine." (She even reports that a gal was caught on security camera fondly embracing and kissing the machine.)
Tarleton expects 500 new Freestyle machines to pop up soon in Southern California, Atlanta, Dallas and Salt Lake City
We decided to take Coke Freestyle for a test drive at a local McDonald's in Atlanta, where we came up with some crazy combinations using the machine's 100-plus flavor options.
While Freestyle's club soda can help cut the sweetness of some of the machine's more intense flavors, you are likely to go crazier with the combinations than you think -- and you're virtually guaranteed to forget whatever it is you put in your cup.
But we were able to document a few of our greatest hits for posterity: "Doogie Fanta, M.D." (Combination: Dr. Pepper, Vault Peach, Cherry Fanta)
"The Red Wolf Blitzer" (Vault Red Blitz, vanilla Diet Coke)
"Lima-berry" (Grape Fanta, Lime Dasani Sensations, Club Soda)
"Customers love them," says Stephen Cordell, McDonald's on Cheshire Bridge's first assistant manager, who seems like a proud father reporting that his two Freestyle machines connect via Wi-Fi to the Coke mothership every morning at 2 a.m. for software updates.
Freestyle feedback was largely positive. "Wow, this is cool" and "How neat" were thrown around McDonald's by customers while we were testing it out.
So go forth, soda geeks, but make sure to keep track of your mix for next time -- and keep some Tums handy for the inevitable sugar-stomachache.
And check out our video from our Coke Freestyle recon mission:
From my recent Yelp! review of the Apple Store @ Lenox Square:
Will the persons who believe Apple can roll out their products properly please raise your hands?
Thought so. No hands. My last review of this place remains the same: why don't we dial down the smug, the pretty, and the fanciful-whimsy, and amp up the speed and common sense we use to help customers? I'm thankful for the Genius Bar, and while I was here I was able to talk to an expert and solve an issue a friend was having with his MacBook. I appreciate having that chance, believe me I do. But overall, the very environment that made Apple what it is today, its retail spaces, is now its most mind-numbing albatross. The stores have become the in-person, big-for-their-britches experience that I can no longer tolerate. I can really only speak to the Lenox Square location, but really people - move your customers through with better pace and stop trying to be iTiffany. Putting people on these vague, long iPad waiting lists that don't go anywhere just irritates, frustrates and causes your fans to act out with rage, rabid frothing and poor manners. The folks in front of me today shopping for iPads were about ready to have a meltdown - and I with them. I got so frustrated after being on a waiting list for a 1/2 hour that I walked out - and, totally unwittingly, mind you - with a five-user, family-pack of Snow Leopard. Without paying. Oh ethereal-white Apple Store (“futuristic Swedish hospitals,” according to Jon Stewart): you turn people into shoplifters with your fancy design and tantalizing products! Does it have to be so? To review: I got a package of the newest, snoozer Mac OS version and not the finger-sliding slice of goodness I came for. (The software will be returned, FYI.) No product, all frustration, and a sour taste in my mouth. Like Jon Stewart, I have been a Mac Head since the Apple IIe, and I swear, I'm just so sick and tired of the attitude. We get it, your products are cool. You have consistently won the "gorgeous OS war" with Microsoft and even survived the dark days of OS9.
But please - give it a rest already. When you come up with a stunner of a product like the iPad, be ready for the response. Be ready for the customer clamor. You've had, like, six different trial runs before this product even made it to the drawing board, so dismount the ivory tower and help us buy your fucking products. Oh and watch for a package from me in the next few days. I might even slip this review in for good measure. # # #
UPDATE: Not that I feel vindicated, but “Appholes” is pretty app-ropos.
(ATLANTA & SANDY SPRINGS, GA. :: 14 April 2010) Atlanta’s own Sunday Paper just published “Cutting Across Racial Lines” - a piece I wrote on two African-American barbers with vastly different perspectives on race. So here is some bonus coverage of the piece: George Lollar (top picture, seated, right) with Nadine’s Triple Crown in Virginia Highlands is one of the piece’s subjects, and he says he uses emotional-intelligence skills to connect with clients. “You gotta be sensitive to everyone,” he says. “I always allow my clients to lead and I follow. You’re supporting them by listening.”
Kedar Ras (pictured top, standing, left) experiences flummoxed caucasian men and women entering his Clubhouse Barbers in Sandy Springs, only to turn around and walk out. He says customers often seek and expect a similar peer group in a barber shop; when faced with something different, they will oftentimes turn around and walk out.
“One of our biggest sins is color,” Ras says. “If we cannot get past the color thing, that’s what’s gonna separate us forever. For the majority, the color barrier is still an issue. They say, ‘I can’t get past who you are because of what you look like to me.’ “I practiced getting over the fact that everybody don’t look like me,” he adds. “Even with my kids, I teach them not to see color. When you look at color you put yourself in a box or under a glass ceiling. Look past color. Get to see the person, who they are. Then make your judgment on whether or not you’re going to allow them into your inner circle. Because, to be honest, there are more enemies that look like me than there are that don’t.”
Special thanks to Nadine’s stylist Allison Eaton (pictured here, far right) and receptionist Kira Naillieux, with apologies for getting her name wrong in the article. Also, I’ll share some feedback from a Sunday Paper reader, an African American woman, who enjoyed the article: “I read your article “Cutting Across Racial Lines” in the Sunday Paper. I am an AA woman and I can say that this is one facet of race/culture rarely talked about in open forums. Many still do not realize that churches and barbershops/salons are two institutions that still remain heavily self-segregated. I have been on the other side in which I have unknowingly walked into a “white salon” and had the stylists look at me with “surprise, paralysis and panic”. Seeing the picture of the Caucasian gentleman in the shop chair was definitely a sign of the changing times. Good story and great article!”
(SARATOGA SPRINGS :: 31 March 2010) Let’s face it, massaging the bite out of Triscuit Pollock has been no small task - and it is, of course, a process with no end. But as I continue to slowly coax her off of her Terrier-esque attack-mode pedestal, we have seen progress that has made my heart literally jump into my throat with joy. Because for the first time I saw a dog with deep behavioral and socializing issues actually look forward to horseplay with her new boyfriend, Fenway Clemmey.
Let me back up. A few weeks prior to our trip to Saratoga to plan our Skidmore Reunion Art Exhibition, Charley sent me a packet filled with all of Triscuit’s paperwork - including her original adoption notes. Her given name was “Whisper” and the adoption-card comments read as follows:
“Whisper is a playful, curious pup who gets along well with people but DOES NOT play well with other dogs.”
And we’ve seen that play out on the streets on midtown quite a bit, actually, much to my chagrin.
With that, my expectations throughout her training have been relatively low, marked by fits and starts of progress. Our recent trip to Saratoga was preceded by intensive collar training and even a one-on-one session. All that work, though, paid off in spades as I witnessed Triscuit actually sort out her protective, Napoleonic nature by actually not getting angry and allowing Fenway to be himself - all the while asserting herself as Queen Bee.
The lesson? Never give up. If you approach any project with love and intention, you’re upping your chances for a great result. She may have left her “Whisper” days behind, but she can still talk softly when the need arises.
Following is a review I did on Yelp - one that turned into an accidental rant on healthcare. What I wondered is what was going on for this woman to take her opinions out in the open, in a healthcare environment, where people are in emotional need? Makes no sense.
“Dispassionate, curt, thoughtless and sloppy. Our visit here, from beginning to end (including an obnoxious, mealy-mouthed teabagger-rant from a staff nurse just before surgery) was an utter failure.
Before I highlight the nuts and bolts of this experience, I should say I wasn't the actual patron, but rather, an ardent supporter of a pal going under the knife for umbilical-hernia surgery.
In my important role, I wanted to be strong for the person going in to have this general-anesthesia procedure. It was no small event, despite being downplayed by the surgeon in the consult beforehand.
The universe continued to work its mysterious ways, too, because the House of Representatives passed healthcare reform the day before our visit to Doctors Hospital. President Obama was due to sign the bill the following day. We were sandwiched in between those two events.
So... Rule No. 1 of the "first do no harm" mantra: keep your GD political views of this legislation in the nurse's break room. Seriously. As we awaited the actual start of the surgery behind a keeping-room curtain, we had the misfortune of listening to an attending nurse verbally regurgitate Glenn Beck's talking points, at great length, about how healthcare reform is going to cause "armageddon" and that it was "rammed down people's throats" without consultation from all sides.
Aside from that point being utter fucking crap, I just simply do NOT want to be distracted from anything other than support for the person I'm with. Period. You, ma'am, are deeply and profoundly inappropriate in your expression of your views - thrown around the hospital common area as if everyone (other nurses, doctors, patients, family, et. al.) agreed with you, or even had the faintest desire to listen.
Well, let me break it to you in this public arena: we don't all agree with you. but that SO isn't the point: Keep your GD eyes on your charts and your patients and your schedule and your medicines and shut the hell up about politics. Do you want to change the way the system works? Then do THAT instead of trying to heal people. Period. Co-opting your workplace to espouse political views - ones that directly offend and undermine your place of business - is the height of irresponsibility. And it caused me and my friend a lot of consternation before an important procedure.
My suggestion to hospital admin staff is to take this Yelp review (which, btw, will be provided to them) to your next nurses meeting and let them know that festering, vitriolic healthcare diatribes should be left in Congress and have no home in ANY workplace, but especially a hospital.
Now, about the actual day. We waited 3.5 hours from admission to surgery wheel-in; the doctor skipped over us in his initial rounds; despite having my contact number, no call was made when surgery was completed; when I returned I got attitude from the receptionist who promptly implied that I was MIA when she called me in the waiting room even though she knew I needed to stop home before returning to the hospital; our discharge care was nonexistent and our instructions looked like they had come from a third-rate, Wichita doc-in-the-box.
Before this experience, I was center-left on healthcare reform. Listening to this nurse, though, catapulted me into a rabid, Air America socialist firebrand lefty who will, if any future visits call for it, stay the hell away from the OR at Doctors Hospital.”
(CHARLOTTESVILLE :: 8 February 2010) After boffo numbers for ARTvision-4 - to the tune of more than $7,000 - I am turning attention to new endeavors in the coming months. • In March, watch for the launch of WillofAtlanta.com - a viewer- and fan-derived site that profiles and collects some of the best sights, sounds, eats and attractions that Atlanta has to offer. • I am co-curator of my 20th reunion’s Alumni Art Exhibition at Skidmore College. We’re accepting submissions now so if you have one please let me know ASAP. • A number of projects are coming down the pike for The Sunday Paper, including a profile of Affairs to Remember and its green initiatives; and a story about race in the barber chair. • Continuing development of “EIQ: Everyman’s Guide to Developing Emotional Fortitude” - working on finding an agent, publicist, publisher and, ultimately, readers! • Relaunch of the Stone Four Media Web site and a new location for Stone Four Studios, both coming very soon. • More captures and posts here at wp.com. Now that ARTvision has concluded I have more time for posting. • Updated wp.com pages: reel, who? and tunes.
My great thanks to all ARTvision buyers, volunteers and artists - all of which came together in celebration of the arts to support Positive Impact.
(New header capture: “Answered.” purchased by Wayne Sun; thumbnail: “Absurd Alphabet” by Sean Mansfield, both in honor of ARTvision-4.)