From the Editor

What Do You See



Do you need a closer look? I did. In fact, as I drove through Boston, a city I have been visiting for a life time, having lived in Brockton, as a child, and then making my way to Boston  again, before Hannah was born, and then repeatedly since that time.  On this day, as I drove through Boston, I felt an odd urgency – I needed to take a closer look, while I still could.



The sculptures you are seeing are in front of the rear entrance, to the Boston Museum of Art. The pair are both by American artist, Paul Manship (1885-1966), whose work, Prometheus, sits in front of Rockefeller Center, in New York City.  The piece closest to the right is called Pronghorn Antelope, modeled 1917, cast in 2002, in bronze; while the piece farther to the left is Indian Hunter modeled 1917, cast in 2002, also in bronze.  The pair was obviously made to be displayed together.

As I drew closer, my first thought was that I had seen these two sculptures before, though I had not photograph them, as the subject matter does not particularly interest me; not because I do not love deer, I do, and am always quite thrilled when I seem them alive and in nature, but I am not interested in hunting deer. (That statement is not political, rather personal.  I do not want to go hunting for deer or anything else.)

This deer has been wounded by the hunter. I walked around the statue, deciding I best photograph it; and wanderd who might find this piece of public art objectionable, in this day and age.



Initially, I thought the piece is safe, because it depicts a Native American hunter not say an Anglo Saxon hunter, like Buffalo Bill or President Theodore Roosevelt; but then it occurred to me that vegans and vegetarians and animal rights activist may well take offense at this deer being killed. I took more pictures of the deer.

I then walked over to the hunter, and noticed the paws that draped his legs, what did they belong to, I wondered? A large cat, of some sort – maybe a mountain lion or puma – I am not sure; but suddenly I thought this display is in trouble, after all.  Not only is this hunter depicted shooting the poor deer, but he obviously has another kill hanging over his leg.  What does the double kill mean?  Perhaps, one could justify the deer as food, but the cat?



Forgetting for a second that I may well be observing an endangered object – public art; I actually began admiring the movement of the sculptures, as well as how smoothly the poor dead cat draped, over the Indians leg, and the sleekness of both statues. I saw beauty in both pieces, even though I did not like the subject they portrayed.  I then thought about the people who had purchased the pieces and donated them to the museum, Ann and Graham Gund, and in case you are wondering, Graham is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, an architect, collector of modern art, and graduate of both Kenyon College and Harvard University, and finally I wondered if Pronghorn Antelope and the Indian Hunter would survive this current “book burning” that is overtaking our society.

I do not want to live in a world where public art is being assaulted by any mob – right, left, or center, white, black, Latin, Asian, or Middle Eastern, rich, poor, or middle class, protestant, catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, agnostic, or atheist, short, tall, fat, or thin, below average IQ or above average IQ, born in America, immigrant, just visiting, or illegal alien, young, middle aged, old, or dead, brown, blue, or green eyes, bald, blonde, or brunette, right handed, left handed, or opposable thumb texter, well-educated or never read a book in their life, carnivores, vegetarians, por-pescado, or vegans.

You name it, today, in America, we have plenty to separate us from one another; and it does not take much to come up with even more reasons to be divided; but I keep wondering if there might not be some reason to come together?

Boston is a city well adorned with public art; it is one of the oldest cities in the United States, thus they have a lot of history to cover and people to commemorate.

Is it possible to imagine some well-meaning soul, thinking they should erect a public monument to commemorate something like Robert McCloskey brilliant children’s book Make Way For Ducklings?  Might that be a good idea?  Would it be worth using public funds to maintain a set of ducklings, following close behind their mother, where Bostonians and visitors alike, would come across the sculpture, stop and smile – whether they had read the book or not?  Could the display be put in a public park, where strangers might engage with one another, offer to take pictures of each other around the ducks, and end their encounter by wishing each other well?  Might such a display help promote reading and art and thinking?

Or would the sculptures somehow be viewed as subversive – why Robert McCloskey’s book? Why honor a book written by a white man, why focus on ducks, or why a children’s book?  I started to feel very sad, not a new feeling of late; but as I walked away from the hunter and his deer, I started to think about the beloved ducks that live in the Commons (my link below) and decided if anyone comes after those ducks, I am hitting the picket lines; but I am not hitting any person or defacing any statues of chickens or turkeys.

Public art and public building projects speak of the society that created them; and if we so choose, we can use what they left to learn about them and us.

When I walked through the Colosseum in Rome, it never occurred to me that it should be torn down, because it is a monument to a pagan culture that murdered Christians for sport, torturing poor animals in the mix. Nor did I think that Teotihuacan should be raised because it is the site of people being sacrificed, again to pagan gods, with their hearts being cut out of their bodies, while they were still alive.  I remember being devastated when the Taliban blew up a 2,000 year old statue of the Buddha, in Bamiyan Valley, in Afghanistan in 2001, and not because I am Buddhist or Afghani, but rather because ignorance and intolerance were destroying a piece of art and link to the past forever.  More recently, when ISIS sat about systematically destroying ancient buildings and art, because they did not conform to their religious views; I remember waiting for world outrage and action, but none came and sadly this is where we find ourselves today – our society is taking their cues from the Taliban and ISIS.  Why?

Is there art that is offensive, yes – I for one have never appreciated Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, thus not only do I not buy even a post card or magnet of his art, I do not go see it; but does my dislike of his work mean that he should not be allowed to create his vision or that you should not be allowed to look at his work – no.

Are there buildings that should be raised? I find that question much harder to answer.  In recent memory, for example, there have homes where particularly evil crimes were committed that have been torn down, an act I have understood; but I have wondered, does tearing down the building actually heal the wound or does it make us forget that we allowed the evil to be perpetrated?

I do not have the answers, but what I do believe is that what we need is a public dialogue that leads to orderly action.

To me, it is an outrage that a statue of President Abraham Lincoln would be disfigured. If you have an issue regarding the President, then state your case and obey the law.  There is no community, in the United States, which does not have a legal way to express your opinions and feelings about public art, and a prescribed set of rules to change anything from a street name to a statue that sits on Maine Street.  I support everyone’s right to write their op-ed pieces, to generate flyers, pass around petitions, attend city council meetings, file a law suit, contact any and all elected officials and put whatever you want to a vote.  However, I do not support the rule of the mob that is now driving our nation.

Before it is too late, we need to find a way to listen to one another, and when it is our turn to speak, we need to present our arguments in such a manner that we enlighten our audience, not insult them and terminate the hope of finding a mutually acceptable solution.

Meanwhile, you do not have to go to Mount Rushmore, but I have been and it was an amazing experience, so please do not vandalize it or make it impassable for those who want to go; and let me tell you Crazy Horse is not finished, so what if instead of working to destroy Mount Rushmore, you set about raising money to finish Crazy Horse, and maybe add whoever it is you think is not being represented.

Maybe I would not buy a sculpture of an Indian shooting a deer or a deer that has been shot, but the great thing about America, is that I can still enjoy them, for free, if I so choose; and if not, I can keep going until I find something I do like or love – yes, those ducks! That is all for now.

The Making of a Millennial

Lifetime Guarantees



“A person who never made a mistake never tried something new.”

-Albert Einstein –


People are diverse, dynamic, divided, and destructive. Despite our differences and how we use them to define ourselves, we all come with the same set of lifetime guarantees. We are all flawed, we will all fear, we will all fail, and we will all fall (that is why we have Life Alert).

Through our problems we fight for a common goal: success, whatever that means. Maybe it involves running a profitable business, maybe traveling to every country in the world, maybe it is achieving true happiness through immaterial means, or maybe it is raising a semi-functional family; after all, what really is functional? Most likely, it is a much more complicated amalgam of desires determined by a culmination of values and perspectives accrued over the course of a lifetime. No matter the definition, a desire for success is universal, but victory is no guarantee.

Only someone flawless, fearless, who has never felt the stinging self-loathing of failure, would be guaranteed success. So then, would it follow that we as a people should minimize our shortcomings, in an attempt to maximize our odds of success?  To try and achieve some sort of pseudo-perfection?  I would say, absolutely not.  Striving to do the impossible means hauling an insurmountable mountain of pressure on our shoulders, a burden so heavy, it guarantees a life of disappointment.

I have only recently realized that this is the burden of pressure that I have been living with. An irrational desire for perfection that lead me down a road of self-destructive decisions, for the sake of protecting my ego, to avoid accepting that absolutely no one is perfect, and there is no way around it. Instead of putting the effort into a task, I would rather not do it or feign an attempt, so that when the inevitable failure comes along, I can accept it with the excuse that I did not actually try. It is a painfully ironic path paved with delusion and ever increasing dissonance between the life I want and the life I have.  The climax of which ended with me being kicked out of The University of Florida, due to utterly failing the last semester I was there.

Maximizing the rate at which personal goals are achieved relies on an entirely different outlook on life. The first step is acceptance.  We need to love ourselves for who we are holistically; or as they say: “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Only then can we be comfortable in our own skin, instead of inflicting psychological pain onto ourselves through self-deprecating thoughts and self-destructive habits.  It takes a clear mind free of inner hatred to believe we deserve a chance at success.

We must also accept that no matter what we want in life, there will be failure. Instead of trying to shield ourselves from an inevitable part of life, we need to view it as crucial to the learning process that takes us one step further in the right direction.

Once we can love ourselves for who we are, and embrace the role of failures on the road to personal growth, we eliminate many of the fears and doubts that hold us back from ever starting the journey. There will still be plenty to be afraid of, but we cannot be afraid of fear itself, we must be able to overcome it. Courage is not fearlessness, it is being scared and pushing on anyway.

Coming to terms with these realities of life is something I have always struggled with, and it has led to months wasted that can never be recovered. However, that is all in the past now, and cannot be changed, but as long as I can push through the inner turmoil, learn from my mistakes, and develop a healthy way of handling and overcoming fears, there will always be hope. Where there is hope, there is will, and if there is a will, there is a way.


Free this Month

National Public Lands Day



You can still enjoy this September the fee free park visit day, on the 30th !

Please go to the website to plan your free activities; this is a great way to go to a  park that you have wanted to visit, but were either held back by the entrance fee or unsure if it is something you would actually enjoy.

If you are wanting to expose your children to something new, but feel they may not have a long enough attention span, for some particular museum, with a hefty admission price, this is your chance to do it for the cost of parking and a peanut butter sandwich.

Film’s Recommended by Marcial

This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun, US, 2003, 113 minutes, Comedy

Les Comperes, France, 1983, 88 minutes, Comedy

Midnight in Paris, US, 2011, 94 minutes, Comedy

Moscow, Belgium, 2008, 102 minutes, Romantic Drama

Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy

The Help, US, 2011, 146 minutes, Drama

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Mrs. Henderson Presents, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Memoirs of a Geisha, Japan, 2005, 145 minutes, Drama

Vitus, Switzerland, 2007, 123 minutes, Drama

Children of Heaven, Iran, 1997, 89 minutes, Drama

Volver, Spain, 2006, 121 minutes, Comedy

Rashomon, Japan, 1950, 88 minutes, Drama

Guantanamera, Cuba, 1994, 104 minutes, Comedy

Little Miss Sunshine, US, 2006, 101 minutes, Comedy

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Russia, 1980, 150 minutes, Romantic Comedy.

The Pursuit of Happyness, US, 2006, 117 minutes, Drama

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France, 2007, 112 minutes, Drama

Thank You for Smoking, US, 2005, 91 minutes, Comedy

Big Fish, US, 2003, 125 minutes, Drama

No Country for Old Men, US, 2007, 122 minutes, Thriller

Dirty Pretty Things, UK, 202, 92 minutes, Drama

The Edge of Heaven, Germany, 2007, 122 minutes, Drama

There Will Be Blood, US, 2007, 158 minutes, Drama

The Wrestler, US, 2008, 105 minutes, Drama

Bottle Shock, US, 2008, 110 minutes, Drama

The Truman Show, US, 1998, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, US, 2008, 166 minutes, Drama

In the Wild!

In the Wild!

Follow A Bald Eagle! Photographed by Lois Robertshaw         “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31 ~ This morning,...

In Nature

In Nature

Follow Tobacco     There are moments when I am feeling...

~ Benjamin Franklin ~

Printers are educated in the belief, that when men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; and that when truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.



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