Lunar Eclipse

There was a full lunar eclipse tonight. The sky cleared for a good portion of it, so I made sure to get my lazy butt out there with my camera. The next one doesn’t occur until 2033, when I will be 77, and I didn’t like my odds. My little camera did OK – zoom doesn’t seem to work so well on something 240,000 miles away, but some of the pictures look cool. It was really interesting to watch. What a world we live in.

Outing: Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum had a lego display and it is a gorgeous day, so a short road trip was in order!

Water Street Opening

A new exhibit opened at Water Street Studios on Friday. I brought my camera (not that I’m any good with it – but at least the snapshots will give you some idea of what is there). The show upstairs, in the Kane County Chronicle gallery, was really interesting. Susan May Moody took pictures of people jumping at the Bean, in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The pictures are cool, but the stories accompanying the pictures are also very cool. I encourage everyone to visit Water Street and, if you do, make sure you get upstairs to see “Who in the World is Jumping at The Bean?”! You can also see more of Susan’s exhibit on her Facebook page.

On-Air Shooting & Political Rant

DSCN0419Yesterday a reporter and cameraman were murdered on live TV. The gunman, a disgruntled ex-employee of that station, claimed he had been racially abused and this was his retaliation. There are lots of issues that this event could touch on: guns, crazy people out on the streets, and racial anger. But the issue that intrigued me the most was about the video itself. There were people that objected to the video being shared online. I suppose you could question the motives of some of the people clicking the share button, but overall I believe it’s time we stop being coddled. Maybe if we were shown the raw carnage of gun violence something might get done about it. Imagine we were shown the aftermath, in shocking, disgusting images, of the senseless shootings in the classrooms at Newtown. Would that have made a difference? Instead, we get interviews with distraught parents. We get documentaries about the kids lost and collages of their cute faces. This makes most people sad, but pictures of the carnage might make them angry. We don’t need sad to fix the epidemic of gun violence, we need more than that at this point, because whatever you call what we’re doing now is not working.

Where should the anger be directed? Like most things wrong in America, I think it should be directed at our elected officials. They just are not getting the job done. They are not fixing the problems in our country. They aren’t even trying! They don’t debate important issues. They don’t pass laws. They do nothing but collect taxpayer money and campaign for the next election.

And, we let them. As I’ve stated many times, the % of incumbents that get re-elected is a disgrace. We give Congress approval ratings in the teens, yet the vast majority of incumbents get re-elected. It’s always the “other guy” that’s screwing up, never our guy. It’s bad at the Federal level, it’s even worse here in Illinois. We don’t hold our elected officials accountable and they know it. They listen to the lobbyists and PACs that give them money, not the voters. And the reason they do that is they know they don’t have to pay attention to us. The money they receive virtually assures them re-election because most of us will just vote for the guy that’s already in office, the one with the most TV ads. We’re the victims, but we also have to take some responsibility for our own condition.

If they aren’t getting the job done, vote them out – even if you have to vote for a guy in the other party! And if he / she doesn’t get the job done, do it again. Keep doing that until they get the message that they cannot take us for granted. Stop being sheep!

Artist Talk – Saturday, August 22nd From 1 – 3 – Water Street Studios

DSCN0419I struggle with art. Sometimes I just do not get it. I have had frustrating discussions with artists on marketability. I haven’t always been shy about expressing my opinion on a particular piece. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from Water Street Studios to moderate their Artist Talk on Saturday, August 22nd, from 1 – 3 PM. Of course, I’m the moderator; I’m not there to spout my opinion about the artwork. But I have been thinking about art and the creative process recently. I read a play called Red, by John Logan, that talked about the role of art, the idea that art should be significant. I highly recommend this short play – it’s worth your time if you are interested in the creative process. I was talking with an artist earlier this week and she said that art is important because we are all attracted to beauty – we need beauty in our lives. She’s right, but I do not think all art is beautiful. But, I do believe people are universally attracted to stories and all art has a story. So, I’m looking forward to the Artist Talk. I want to hear the story behind the artwork, how the story developed. I find the creative process fascinating and if you do too, I hope to see you there!