Published April 19, 2013
BRYNNA BLOOMFIELD, Boston scenic designer and educator is reporting here on the dark events of April 15.
It’s a gorgeous day, blue, not too hot, a fine breeze. On most days, you sweat away in a tiny workshop. Perhaps your weeks are a continuous blur of patients and their woes. Maybe you are forever cooped up with a computer, a client, and a deadline. You might be the girl with the beautiful smile who hands us our coffee with a quip. Or, you toil tirelessly, keeping other peoples’ homes or rooms clean. You may be the 24/7 parent, overwhelmed by appointments and carpools, with no thought for your own needs. Whatever you do, you work hard.
Today, though, is your day to forget the other days. You are out with your pals and you are all laughing at the sharp remarks the wittiest one in the pack is making.
There are some people who think that you do not have the right to this day.
You do have the right to your beautiful day. You are a wonderful person, with hopes and talents and flaws. You make love and you make mistakes. Live. Your. Life.
Published December 27, 2012
Tags: AK-47, gun control, gun violence, Newtown
NEWTOWN offers no new lessons regarding gun violence in America. No one really has a definitive answer. If the NRA is promoting an armed guard in every school, then why not every hospital, day care center, nursing home, grocery store, movie theater, concert hall—the list is endless. Does this mean there should be armed protection everywhere we go from the time of our birth until the time we pass on? If we have the right to keep and bear arms, then perhaps weapons like the AK-47 should be available for purchase in the very same locations previously listed. Realistically these rapid-fire objects of desire will become so prevalent that all of us who survive will bury a father, mother, brother or sister.
CLICK ON THIS GRAPH to see a compelling interactive information graphic published in partnership with Slate to lean the names, ages, locations and dates of new deaths. Since this summer, an anonymous creator of the Twitter feed @GunDeaths has been doing his best to compile those statistics, tweeting every reported death he can find. We might all agree that knowledge is power and potentially work by artists, designers, information architects, musicians, writers and dancers may have the capacity to transform negative and violent behaviors.
THE NEW YORK TIMES reported the events of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass 74 years ago on November 11, 1938. The lives of German and Austrian Jews were forever changed. After two days of rioting and terror, 1000 synagogues were burned, 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed, 96 Jews were killed and hundreds injured. Approximately 30,000 Jewish men and boys were deported to concentration camps. The cost of the destruction was 5 million marks approximately 1 million dollars. To make matters worse, the Nazis forced the Jews to pay for all of the damages. It is very interesting to note that the reports by the New York Times and other news venues were read by millions, somehow the events of November 9 and 10, 1938 failed to resonate with civilized people inside and outside of Germany. Newspaper journalism and reporting in the first third of the 20th century was state-of-the-art, “the news traveled fast.” Would there be a difference between print media in the 30s and contemporary social media today? The horrible atrocities elicited no call-to-action. American luminaries such as, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh (also New York Times headliners) were more than happy to align themselves with Hitler, the Nazis and anti-Semitism. Unfortunately The Night of Broken Glass is timeless and remains a night of recurring silence.
Published October 13, 2012
Tags: Allah, heaven, hell, humanity, Malala Yousufzai, Pakistan, Taliban
THE TALIBAN SHOULD ROT IN HEAVEN. Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck when Taliban gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley. It is almost impossible to comprehend this absolutely treacherous act against a young girl who wishes the freedom and access to an education. Crimes against women are unforgivable crimes against humanity no matter where they occur. It is heartening to witness the masses rising up in Pakistan against the Taliban’s most recent violence. Concepts of heaven and hell are turned completely upside down when one ponders the consequences of Taliban actions in the name of Allah. 72 virgins await them with open arms in their afterlife. One hopes when murderous gunmen meet their maker they will drown in the blood of a heaven filled with hell.
Published April 15, 2012
Tags: choices, dilemmas, Eli Wiesel, ethics, holocaust, morals
THINKING ETHICALLY and making good decisions challenge our psyche so often that at times we begin to feel completely incapacitated. Moral issues create dilemmas at every turn—we confront secular and spiritual musings that wage cerebral conflicts within us. Interpersonal relationships, politics, social issues, financial choices, medical decisions and historical events can set the mind ajar. Reflections on historical crises can turn inquiring minds upside down when pondering dark events. In 1968, Eli Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and literary activist wrote a single one-act play originally in French. On the brink of destruction in a ghetto a Nazi commander randomly picks three Jews out of a crowd giving them the incredible task of sealing the fate of one of his fellow Jews. Will he be prepared to sacrifice one of his brothers for the good of the community, or will he choose to rebel against his oppressors which would destroy the ghetto itself? Moral and ethical decisions are decisions that cannot be made in haste.
Published March 3, 2012
Tags: Callista, candidates, elections, Gingrich, Newt, politics, presidents, puppets, republicans, theater
NEWT AND CALLISTA GRINGRICH are two very interesting political creatures, they form the first in a series of Political Collectors Puppets. Bill Moyers interviewed film historian and culture critic, Neal Gabler “who painted a compelling picture of politics as heroic cinema and theater. He articulated an engaging argument of how representations of heroism in the movies shape our expectations of a US president, and how our real-world candidates are packaged into superficial, two-dimensional personas designed to appeal to both the electorate and the media. As a result, says Gabler, we never get to the true pressing questions and issues of America.”
Gabler also pointed to very real differences between the politician as campaigner and later as elected official who is responsible for decisive governance. We as audiences are seduced by the larger than life characters layered in lights, cameras and actions. One wonders what kind of characters lurk below their polished surfaces. Would we be comfortable with political all-stars and their spouses chatting warmly with us around our dinner tables? Puppets become perfect imaginary creatures instantly manipulated back and forth between candidacy and governance. This couple was caught between scenes.