An evening of art, philanthropy, and a 7Artisans lens.

My most recent collaboration. News to share.

The Lorien Academy of the Arts is a wonderful after-school art program that holds classes so that young people are introduced to art in varying forms. As put on the website:

EMPOWERS YOUTH TO ENVISION A BETTER FUTURE
&
EQUIPS THEM WITH THE LIFE SKILLS TO MAKE IT REALITY!

Continue reading “An evening of art, philanthropy, and a 7Artisans lens.”

Beautiful People: A Wonderful Photo Shoot

Recently was hired to photograph an event. Got to put a lot of my practice and experience to work for this event. Also learned a lot while capturing moments from this event. So goes this process and I will be following up on what I learned on KEH’s blog site in the upcoming weeks. But while photographing this event and while going through the post-event editing process I was struck by how beautiful these folks all were. Every one of them. Not only aesthetically, but a wonderful energy permeated the air. With so much behavioral ugliness on display in the world these days it was very refreshing. Here I present a few samples of the hundreds of photos captured and delivered to share some of the beauty that was on display. Continue reading “Beautiful People: A Wonderful Photo Shoot”

American Greed – Random Neural Firing

I watch very little TV. Two shows actually. One has two different names and is about 3 British fellows who drive and crash cars who also fall down fairly often. The other is American Greed. I binge watch and rewatch the latter from time to time on Hulu and it is my favorite treadmill distraction. It fascinates me even though it is very repetitive. It is a series of documentaries detailing failures of human character. Different people, businesses, and stories but there is a common thread. A common story arc most often.
1. A con artist creates an artificial air of success. Borrowed and stolen money, trappings and leveraged vehicles and dwellings. A larger than life persona and one heck of a fairy tale back story.

2. They and some witting accomplices con a number of high profile persons in to unwittingly endorsing the deceit.

3. These unwitting accomplices greedy for more convince other well heeled and well known parties to join in.

4. Others of means and those without see dollar signs and access and leave common sense at the door. Come on in! You don’t want to be left out in the cold with the witless, impoverished masses do you? Join our artificial excess jamboree.

5. Then through either a seminal event like a stock market crash, that bounced check and/or one person who sees past the trappings immediately and calls things as they are the fall begins.

6. But first those whose very being as a credible and reasoned member of society and whose very temporal and financial well being is now enmeshed in the lie cry foul. “It is a trap!”, they cry. “You are simply envious of his or her’s success. Leave him alone”, they will often bellow defending the very pied Piper that has led them to ruin.

7. The fall from Grace.

8. There are others hurt whose only crime was an inability to escape the financial ruin others charged with their well being put them in. Charities scammed. College funds ransacked. Healthcare expenses unpaid. Retirement permanently deferred as nest eggs fall to the ground and shatter.

9. Self examination by those who are left holding the bag wondering how they had been so blind.

But the reality is that they are often not done in by another. Their real villain was internal and in the very title of the show. Greed. Greed for not only money alone, but the power and sense of importance they believed they deserved. If not for this con man it may have been the next.

Why do I mention this? As I navigated the artificial hills this evening I realized that we as a nation are somewhere between steps 4 and 5 I estimate. 7 and 8 are inevitable, but I have doubts that the willful ignorant will ever reach 9. Instead they will simply look for the next person to blame and great scheme to latch on to.

-ELW

RNF – Bringing reality back.

I hear a lot of talk about “bringing jobs back” that used to be. Problem is that often times these are industries and professions that are or are on their way to being obsolete. To entice companies to do so corporate welfare is provided which may make for a good sound bite or photo op, but at most proves pointless by only delaying the inevitable.

Both sides of my family hail from small, rural towns. On both sides many saw the handwriting on the wall generations ago and left to pursue opportunities elsewhere often including the military and college and sometimes both.

Some moved to urban centers, others suburban, and some overseas.

Left family.

Left land.

Left familiarity.

Had to be done.

Home is where you make it.

They did not sit around lamenting the situation.

They were willing to change.

To move.

To retrain.

To get an education.

They did something about it.

They knew there was no cavalry coming to save the day.

They surveyed the situation and left. And the generations that followed benefited from their willingness to adapt.

There seems to be many who talk of wanting others not to benefit unless those others are willing to change, but are unwilling to change themselves.

-ELW

Hey! Get off my lawn!

Here is the underlying issue that I have not heard mentioned yet regarding the latest perceived societal slight or ginned up controversy causing many to clutch their hypothetical pearls in shock and horror. The blatant patriarchal nonsense often on display towards people of color (well not the color orange evidently) in this nation is what has chafed me from my earliest years. “Stop marching. Stop raising your fist. Stop standing with your hands down. Stop sitting. Stop complaining. Just stop.”How I position myself during any situation. Song. Service. Bus. Train. Dance party. And what I decide to do with myself, whether it be… Stand. Sit. Kneel. Hand stand. Cartwheel. Heck, criss cross apple sauce. Whether you like it or not as a grown man, regardless of your upset of which I do not have a single flip to give,.. None of anybody’s business, but my own. Someone trying to tell me otherwise delves in to Cedric the Entertainer’s “I Wish” spectrum of irksome behavior.
 
On what authority does one dare tell another grown person what to do with themselves? Mad? For what? An appalling show of insecurity and immaturity. I do this so he must do this or I am going to be mad, say mean things, call him names, shout, post imbecilic memes and destroy things. Burn a jersey? Really? What are you 9 years old? Heck, I just insulted 9 year olds with that comparison… Sorry 9 year olds. Hope we’re cool.
 
Do I care what Mr. Colin Kaepernick does? Not at all. Do I think he is right or wrong for his choice of protest? Who cares! Not a bit of my business, but I support his right to do as he sees fit. Because 1st amendment. Because common decency. Because prefrontal cortex and executive function granted therein. Do I agree with the basis, the core issue of his protest? All the way yes. This is ultimately a self proving exercise. The very act of protesting racism based injustice has wrought further displays of said same racism. That certain word is flying about more than the last Klan/Trump rally… or Tarantino movie… Anyhoo. I digress.
 
He is a grown man in what is allegedly a free country. It even says so in the song he is sitting down on. To repeat… The first verse of the very song he sits down on (Not going near verse 3 today. Whole other rant.) says he is free to do whatever in the heck he wants to do in this land. Take that patriarchal nonsense somewhere else. Hey look. I think I just saw some kids on your once ‘discovered’ lawn that you can go yell at.

RNF – The mind boggles at times…

Once I worked in Manhattan for MetLife in a nice 7th Floor Office in 1 Penn Plaza overlooking W. 34th near 7th. When close to the window you could see Macy’s across the way. I am so specific because one day by this wall of windows I had an exchange with a co-worker that is forever tattooed on my brain. Marcel, Continue reading “RNF – The mind boggles at times…”