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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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.