Monday, February 27, 2012

A Recent Image

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

StoryCorps And The Homeless

I received an email recently from the good people at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a great program where average citizens from every walk of life can have their life stories recorded for posterity. It's a project of the Library of Congress, so it's no joke. You can learn more about it at http://storycorps.org.

The email I received asked about homeless people, and how StoryCorps could get homeless people to participate. This is what I told them.

Thanks for writing. I think the StoryCorps idea is a great one.
I'm glad it's being done. With homeless folks though, there should
be a caveat. A problem can and often does occur when the general
public "listens to the stories of the homeless." The majority of
homeless people on the streets, the chronically homeless, have a
difficult time with the reality of their situation, and so the
"stories" they tell about themselves are not often true, or accurate,
in any demonstrable way. There is also the problem of non-homeless
people's prejudices towards the homeless. The homeless feel motivated
to tell stories they think non-homeless people will want to hear. So
for this also, the stories the homeless tell often mislead the
public about the realities of homelessness. When people with good
intent attempt to help the homeless, they often start first by
listening to the stories of the homeless, looking for ways they can
help. These well intentioned people then address the issues presented
in the stories of homelessness, instead of addressing the realities of
homelessness. These inaccurate stories become obstacles towards
creating real solutions to the problems homeless people face - they
become stumbling blocks to people actually trying to leave
homelessness.

Now, after all that, you still wish to reach out to the homeless for
their stories, the best location, and best people to help you with it,
will be the folks at http://roomintheinn.org

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making Art In Second LIfe

Below is a recent creation of mine, made in the virtual reality environment of Second Life. Below the picture is a quick video of how I make such images.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Nashville Way

When someone moves to Nashville, one of the first things they do is set up their utilities for their home. One of the questions the Nashville Electric Service asks people is what their profession is. The number one profession in Nashville, not surprisingly is "Singer/Songwriter." Even more interesting is that the number one vocation of people shutting off their utilities and leaving Nashville is "Singer/Songwriter".

Most people who come to Nashville so to try their hand at the music industry have unrealistic expectations. Many of them set a timeline. They tell themselves, "OK, if I'm not "discovered" in Nashville in 6 months (or a year or whatever time they set) then I'm going back home." Well, those people seen to always go back home.

The people who make it in Nashville are those people who come here more out of love for music, than out of a love of fame or "success." They don't come here to be discovered, they come here to live. And they live here because music is their life choice. They come to Nashville to stay.

Of the people I've known here in Nashville, it has taken them about 10 years of hard work before actually making headway in the music industry. Ten years is a long time. Just what do musicians do in that time? Well first of all it should be said that they never give up. And again that's because for them music isn't some goal to achieve, but a life to live. With that kind of mindset, patience isn't a necessity, neither is "paying your dues." That's because stardom, as nice as it may be, really isn't what these talented musicians are focused on. They just want to make good music.

This video unintentionally tells the story. The names mentioned here may or may not be known outside of Nashville, but listen to the music. You'll know there is nothing better.

Downtown Nashville

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Knowledge for What?

Dear people of Occupy. If you are to read just one book this year, make it "Knowledge for What?" by Robert Staughton Lynd. The book is hard to find cause it was written in the 1930s. But the information within will boaster your cause and your ideals with facts - facts that are just as true today as they were back then. This guy is the antithesis of Ayn Rand, and should be just as well known.