Refugees in a mass. My girlfriend is for open borders. I must say that makes total sense from a compassionate human being. I think "compassionate human being" would be the ideal person to strive for. Most religious people, mostly christian, that I've talked to through the years seem to have this theme that they strive to be a better Christian, a better Buddhist, a better Muslim... Maybe not in such direct words but the "struggle" is a common thing. In a non religious context a struggle to be compassionate seems to be a comparable term.
Unfortunately the world has many people in decision making positions who come from different points of the "struggle". I think people start out with good intentions. I have watched a lot of sci-fi movies with aliens and thought, like in "Independence Day", people from different countries, religions, and families, or whatever would put aside their differences to resist the alien invasion. I'm not so sure anymore.
I guess if you look at the refugees in this context, you can either see them as the invading aliens and the different countries are all on different pages on how to deal with this. Or the refugees are a world wide problem (not evil aliens) that everyone in the world needs to come together to solve this problem.
Some people choose to blame things that have already happened. This is not a solution for the present. What we can learn from the past is that we've done a horrible job in most cases. No country seems willing to take in refugees, and if they do, are willing to spend the money needed to help acclimate them into their society. Germany has made a good attempt, and I've seen what Turkey is doing first hand. Turkey seems to treat them pretty well unless they are Kurdish. But still, it's no way to live. No country seems to have an end goal, so whatever camp situation a refugee finds themselves, that is as good as it will ever get until you die or until you can't stand it and you try to risk everything to go somewhere else.
Open borders seems like a good solution. As an American, I can go almost anywhere in the world if I can get a plane ticket or whatever. Many Syrians could easily afford plane tickets. Let the airports sort out any bad apples in the bunch. But know there might be some people that slip through and that's the price we pay for being the better human being. Watching people lose hope and wait out a miserable existence until they die when this doesn't need to be, makes us horrible people.
Cover for The Week (cropped) Syrian refugee crisis.
Cover for The Week. Oregan massacre. A few people killed in America and it's a national vigil. Thousands killed in another country and we just blame others. Not that our national vigil changed anything.
Cover for The Week. I guess I should have replaced Obama with French President François Hollande. Or maybe have Obama in there with Putin also beckoning Hollande. Or replace Putin with an Daesh member beckoning Hollande.
One of the things I'm doing are these little warm up sketches every day. Caricatures of the presidential candidates for 2016. No favorites for me other than who is fun to draw. So far Bernie Sanders is the funnest to draw for me. Here is a collection so far. I began on Friday, so these are the first three. The Hillary Clinton fits in to my personal "rules" of how I'm going to be working. Pencil, sketchpad, and maybe a tone or ink and white gouache here and there.
College. Art school. I'm immersed in student behavior. Homework, coffee, Mountain Dew (this was before Red Bull), Zingers, Ramen noodles, and a lot of no sleeping. I was very focused on art. After design class I'd have to psyche myself up before going outside so my brain wouldn't melt at all the disorganization in the real world. I had the wonderful timing of graduating art school the year before my school opened a new wing full of the latest computers for design etc. Computers were not in-bedded in my way of life. Along with that, writing, and promotion, were never an emphasis.
Here I am 25 years after I graduated college and I'm on the computer tweaking art in Photo Shop, writing a blog entry and ravenously checking all my social media for feedback and messages and cat pictures. I think I do OK. I just mailed a little over 200 postcards to art directors all over the US. Physical cards! Of course they contained my e mail address, and my website so you can get a hold of me electronically. Just for you, I personalized all of them in case you ran in to a colleague and compared messages and you'd see yours was unique.
Postcards are fun to walk around the city with even after the mailing. You meet someone cool and then you can give them this small piece of paper with what you do and how to get in touch. Then watch and cringe a little on the inside as they fold it up several times and stuff it in their back pocket as they walk away. Soul is sufficiently "dinged" and you move on with full knowledge that they will never call you and that card is going to end up in a homeless person's hands as he rummages through a landfill. Fortunately he won't call either.
Drawing in my sketch pad at a bar. Not the greatest lighting conditions. I'll call him "Jimmy"... because that was his name. He owns a bar. I was in a different bar when I drew this. I'm working on a project with a friend at The Week Magazine. Ii like to collaborate with people. New York is full of dreamers. I've met them since the first time I set foot here. I don't think they are any different than the dreamers I've met in other places but there seems to be a lot more of them here. The range of the dreams is long too. From main stream-lets-take-over-the-world!!! to obscure meteorite orbiting a small-barely-a-planet in a tiny galaxy in a remote corner of the universe dreams.
I used to get bogged down in other people's dreams. I have a friend, Steve, who put it in perspective. Something like, "why am I spending so much energy and time working on other people's dreams when I could blow all that time and energy on my own projects??" Ultimately that is more satisfying and rewarding. So I collaborate on projects I like. Of course if there is a paycheck involved, I'll do that too! Rent is pretty over the top in NYC!