Random Acts of Kindness

The world changed today as I turned on my TV.
There were random acts of kindness all over the screen.
For the first time in history these things became news for me.
An eagle scout built a nature trail in a local park close by.

A family adopted a child, and gave her a new start and home.
A father was laid off, and was able to start his dream job instead
Where he teaches local teens the values he wishes we all had.
An Israeli and Palestinian family live side by side in peace.

Volunteering has become America’s favorite past time, over sports.
Bike commuting has turned into a movement all over the world.
Healthy fast food joints are being built to fight our junk food courts.
And not a word was reported about spree killings, rapists or pedophiles.

These random acts of kindness were broadcast for all to see.
A new school was built in a village in Africa for girls to get a degree.
Fresh clean water is now available in the countries we made free.
Cancer research is advancing with the use of nanotechnology.

Different religions all over the world are living in peace and harmony.
Hard to believe these examples I’ve shown, but indeed it’s a reality.
Global initiatives on climate change, policy united
from every land to every sea.

Random acts of kindness have begun to be reported today.
To seek out the love and turn away from the hate.
To seek out forgiveness and turn away from vengeance.
To not focus on the fear injected into our culture for ratings.

Random acts of kindness, happen everyday and go unreported.
News media began to focus on the love and forgiveness that we can achieve.
So we may remember the good in life that is happening everyday.
Of course this is a fantasy, but one I’d rather live in and believe.

I am a strip mall

I am a strip mall.
Long and vacant.
Asking to be be occupied.
Everything is on sale.

I am a Super Wal-Mart.
Filled with imported goods and food.
Electronics and guns for all to buy.
Diapers and candy too.

I am an eight-lane highway.
Hauling ass is my game.
I’m always in a hurry to move you.
My skin is hard but needs to be resurfaced.

I am a Chevron-Wendy’s combo.
Consumption is my middle name.
Fill up both of your tanks on me.
Sometimes I want to just be a gas station.

I am a Football stadium.
Crammed with 80,000 screaming fans.
I dull your senses for a few hours each week.
My goal is to make you not think or blink.

I am a Starbucks drive thru.
I’m on every corner and border too.
I give you the energy to make it through the day.
You pay extra for me because I am your luxury.

I am your land.
The land that your ancestors stole.
You buy me but you will never own me.
I am poisoned with your garbage, but I still live.

I am your history.
You have always spoken of revolution.
You have all come here for freedom.
You don’t know me so you repeat me.

I am your heritage.
You don’t keep me but give me away easily.
You forget the stories and songs that I gave you.
You will want me the most when you don’t remember me.

I am your culture.
I have given you a black hole in your heart you can not fill.
I want you to buy more and to feel less.
I want you to forget and repress.

You are an American.

A Citizen’s Test

Freedom of speech will be our very undoing.
If we do not decide to become more aware of our course.
And of what this country stands for and what we have declared.
For we are a country founded by free thinkers and radicals.
People who were well versed and educated men.

Now we stand at a time of drastic division.
Separated not by our freedoms but by our differences.
As people continue to speak out about what they believe true.
We must remember our history and remember the fifty-thousand foot view.
That if we forget our history we will continue to become unglued.

For we are a country of free thinkers and always have been.
But what is a thought if it is blankly begot? Nothing but ignorance is all you have got.
On issues we should know and hold dear to our hearts.
Know them not because it is a chore, but because it should be our obligation.
To know where we came from and where we are going, we must remember the civics
that founded this nation.
Continue reading

140 Characters of Ignorance

We are studying the classics because we have lost it.
Lost touch of reality in this digital data surrounding us.
Lost touch with knowledge from sensory overload.
140 character tweets in eternal communal repeat.

We don’t thirst for knowledge or beauty like the Greeks.
We don’t hold anything dear or true on our virtual pathways where we meet.
Our only values are flung like mud out of the Good Book that we read.
Then we judge others too quickly and call them too weak.

Globatron has found that humanity needs to refocus and get back on its path.
That we can’t let the unevolved keep us from the awakening we seek.
That each man has as a duty deep down inside of him.
To not listen to that voice is a personal tragedy that cuts deep.
How can we call others Hitler or Fascist so easily?
We must read the classics to remember to think before we speak.

We must remember that our heritage is of great thinkers and philosophers.
That to forget that would be the grandest of mistakes.
One that is made with our liberty and freedom each day.
Opinions we are entitled to along with our freedom for sure.
But our tongues too often circumvent our educations we partake.
Are we not unjustly representing our forefathers we so often mention?
Continue reading

Making Marks exhibition at MOCA Jax

Making Marks at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville opened on 9-18-8.  The show features 34 local contemporary artists from Jacksonville, Florida.  I have nine drawings in this show from the Polar Brokers series.  I took photos of the show and did video footage of the opening night and my work is near the end of this footage.

This exhibition is arguably the biggest show to happen to local artists in Jacksonville’s art history.

Making Marks at MOCA Jacksonville

Road Trip

Baltimore is cool. It has history. Real history. It goes back hundreds of years. Has great universities. Has world class hospitals. And it’s convenient. And it’s not nearly as hot there with four seasons! Affordable too. Compared to New York and such that is. The architecture there is wonderful. Old and new. The harbor is great. Actually the inner harbor shares the some of the architecture of the Jacksonville landing. People are everywhere. Federal Hill is great. I have family that lived there decades ago. Their old brownstone is now worth over a million I’m sure. Really, Baltimore is a cool town. And it’s smack dab in the middle of the northeast. You’re a stones throw from DC, Philly, New York, and Richmond. If art is your thing that’s a good place to be.

And then we meandered down to Lynchburg, Virginia. A small little town. 65 thousand souls. It has a couple of universities. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University is huge there. And everyone
loves and misses him dearly, liberal and conservative. Seems he did a lot for Lynchburg.
The only thing I could compare it to is how Tallahassee would react if Bobby Bowden died. It would be a sad day in our states capital. Anyways. I really thought Lynchburg was going to
be lame but it snuck up and bit me. It’s affordable and historic. They’ve done a great job restoring their downtown. It’s thriving. Loft apartments and little cool restaurants. We ate Indian for lunch. A really great children’s museum called the Amazing Square. Also, I saw
a really great artists coop building across the street. Ten stories tall with contemporary art galleries and 25 artist’s studios. Also housing an art store. Really, really cool. Right on the water. And there are hills, and it’s really just a great little town. Liberals are thriving there. It’s a miracle.

And then we stopped through Asheville. I want you to know I’ve heard chatter about Asheville
for close to ten years now and have never had the chance to visit. I expected a lot out of Asheville after all of this talk, and it delivered. It’s just an amazing little town sitting right at
the foot of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. You can see wonderful scenes with billowing
mountains right from downtown. Breath taking really. Not to sound giddy. But it’s really
awe inspiring for someone like me who’s from Jacksonville to see mountains. And the architecture is great downtown. The very contemporary right next to the very old. People walking around all over downtown. All over. Musicians playing on corners. Jazz, blue grass, folk. Right there. Like waiting for a subway in Times Square. All free. All culture. We ate at a vegetarian restaurant that had an entire menu of wonder. Everything could be ordered vegan also if so wished. They even brewed 6 organic beers.

I mean if Jacksonville had a place like this it would be a landmark. And in Asheville it’s just another restaurant. The parking was affordable and easy to get to also. To sum it up I was so impressed with Asheville that it took me a day or two for it to register. They even have a really cool arts district in a warehouse area down by the river. The only thing negative about Asheville I might have to say would be that it’s too cool. One could easily feel uncool. I did feel a bit old.
But it really is made up of all types. Sort of like Atlanta, San Fran, or New York. A microcosm of culture at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains.

And then we had a little visit in Greeneville, South Carolina which was an absolute surprise. I had no idea that Greeneville was as frickin cool as it is. I mean for Pete’s sake they have a waterfall creek running smack dab through downtown. Kids and such playing all over swimming and screwing around. The river park goes for like half a mile! Along the stream are several band shells shaded by trees. The downtown is really developed. I mean many many blocks. Enough developed blocks that we were tired as hell after walking for three hours. There’s a trolley car that goes all the way down Main street. There’s even an arts district right on the river where several artists have rented studio spaces. I mean it’s developed. Big money. Great restaurants. Great hotels. Very historic. Historic markers all over with associated statues. And while looking at the real estate for the city I found houses for 150K. New construction. Really amazing to find deals like that in a city with that much culture.

And if that wasn’t cool enough after messing around in Greeneville for a few hours we drove only about a half hour or so and we were up in the Blue Ridge Mountains to watch the sunset. I want you to know those mountains are amazing. They aren’t as impressive as the Rocky Mountains, but they are gorgeous in their own right. Not a bad batch of mountains to have in your backyard. The mountain biking there must be out of this world.

So anyways. That’s it. A little road trip. Several cities with bustling downtowns. What are they doing that Jacksonville isn’t? How long will it take before we can catch up? Are we playing catch up? If so, why? Hope you all get to get out of Jax for a bit when you have a chance. Check out the other cities. Get an idea of what works there, and bring that idea back here and implement it. Our Southern neighbors are doing it. Let’s use them as examples of how it can be done here.

Cheers….

Office Chat

I dress up now for work. Tuck my shirt in. Whistle Dixie. Shave my face. Coffee buzzed. I toe the line. Everyone morning. I toe the line, but a different line. Cubicles are not the same. But it’s the same game.

Name blame. She said he said. What? That ain’t right. Why’d that happen? Who’s she? What did he do before? Did he retire from the military? Did you know that he swims two miles a day every morning?

I have a history degree. Then I worked for Bellsouth installing DSL for two years. Then I was a computer tech. I graduated in 1985. I’ve been here for 12 years. So and so is thinking about retiring.

Everyone loved him. He was so easy to get along with. I’m glad he’s making more money now. You have to pay for the coffee mess. Did you get your parking decal yet? You know my son-in-law is a pilot in the Marine Corp. I’ve worked here for thirty five years.

I eat popcorn sometimes for lunch. It’s not high on the weight watcher’s list. It’s low in fat. I have border line high blood pressure. I’m off this weekend. See you guys on Monday.