Archive | September, 2014

Predatory Psychotherapists from Outer Space

Disabling the mind’s higher functions in the name of therapy.

The psychoanalyst had an agenda. Jonathan had been found to be too intelligent. Janice Williams, the therapist, had been told to use an intelligence reducing unit during the session. Janice’s commander, who went by a number and not a name — Alpha Centauri aliens didn’t use names — had ordered John’s intelligence reduced.

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Beautifully Composed Art with a Social Conscience

“Wet Night On Sutter Street.” A homeless person sleeps in a cardboard box outside an expensive clothing store in San Francisco on a rainy night. Painting by Christine Hanlon, oil on canvas, 20” by 32 1/3”

Christine Hanlon’s beautifully composed images of outcast souls struggling to survive in barren urban landscapes seem to be ripped from today’s news stories about increasing poverty in America. Yet, her deeply felt paintings also are timeless in their portrayal of classic themes explored by great painters through the ages.

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Artists Encounter the Poor in Image and Imagination with the Photography of Dorothea Lange

Today’s artists joined with Dorothea Lange to document the side of American life that is forced to live in the shadows — in the brush under an overpass. The writers in the Encounter with Lange project try to give voice to these images and to see the human faces of the poor.

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Shining New Light on the Desolate Streets of ‘The Other America’ — Dong Lin’s Photographs

A policeman tries to nudge awake a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco, but the man cannot be awakened. Photo by Dong Lin from his book One American Reality.

In one of Dong Lin’s chilling images, a policeman stops to nudge a homeless man lying on a San Francisco sidewalk, only to find he is already dead, just another accident statistic. The faceless fatalities in our midst are almost never seen. They live and die in a faraway place — the Other America.

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Photojournalism Hits the Streets: The Photography of Lydia Gans

A row of homeless men sitting on a San Francisco sidewalk. Photo by Lydia Gans

My sense of identification with the struggles and the dreams of people is as intense as ever. I am connecting with people right here in my neighborhood — the less visible people who are disabled or poor or homeless and whose images and stories need to be brought to public attention.

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Haunting Art Portrays the Human Face of the Poor

“Dumpster Dive” Art by Jonathan Burstein

Jonathan Burstein’s reveals the humanity of the homeless people, panhandlers, and down-and-out workers who appear in his paintings like saints walking among us unseen. His art is most beautiful and shot through with transcendence at those moments when it portrays people seemingly crushed to the earth by poverty and hopelessness.

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Berkeley Artists on the Fringe

cartoonist who is bound by a higher principle. Art by Ace Backwords

Artistic creativity arises from those trampled down by mainstream society. Artist Moby Theobald said, “There’s sort of a history of the starving artist. When a person is poor, they turn away from the outside world, or they feel turned away by the outside world; and so it maybe sparks their creativity.”

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An Invisible World Made Visible: The Art of Lenny Silverberg / Stirring Art from the Streets of Heartache and Loss

This close-up of a homeless man's face reveals the torment and suffering of a man sprawled on the sidewalk trying to live through a cold and fearful night. Art by Lenny Silberberg

Those on the street have been forced to live close to the bone of a profound and hidden meaning. In their presence, one is close to the truth of the terrifying yet liberating sense of transience which ought to teach us a generosity towards one another, a kind of care and love.

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The Poetic, Prophetic Art of Michael Creedon

Michael Creedon (at left) and Tim English speak at St. Mary’s Center in May 2008.

Michael Creedon poetically chronicled the lives of those exiled onto the cruel streets, until he himself fell victim to that same fate. His poetry was full of love and mercy for the poor and dispossessed, and expressed his deeply held belief that each one of those lives was of sacred worth.

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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”