Reports From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

I’ve been busier than usual with proposals, grants, a syllabus, back-to-school stuff, trying to finish a story that keeps speaking to me and won’t shut up.

And Ava attended her first day of preschool with lunchbox, backpack and everything. The first day report was that Ava was a “natural preschooler.” (*cue sniffles*)

Blogging has fallen off as a result. Conversations have gotten weird in my house, too, like everyone is in an alternate universe with a different language. Hence the crude sketch of me and the kids.

The Southwest Arts conference last week was a good break for me. Chris Jordan’s speech answered the question I had about writers and sustainability. He said that scientists have been wringing their hands trying to figure out a way to make the public care about their statistics on global waste. He said that artists (writers) can make the public feel something about statistics so that we remember and care about the facts. His photography really does that. It pulls you with an intriguing image or design, and then you get up close and learn the ugly statistics that he used to create it. Check out his work.

Writers can do the same thing.

Jordan’s speech also made me think about our present debate on healthcare reform. Proponents of healthcare use personal stories to get people to invest emotionally in their ideas. How many times have we heard politicians tell stories about people who were seriously ill but denied health care? This anecdotal reportage works for me and for many others, but it clearly ain’t working for those against reform. I’m wondering what difference art might make on such an issue.

Which brings me to Obama’s visit to Arizona on Monday. It was great to see hundreds of healthcare supporters marching the streets of downtown Phoenix with signs and instruments at 8 in the morning. It was a spirited rally. I know the media put a spotlight on the dude with the gun, but what I saw was more positive and meaningful.

No comments:

Post a Comment