Artisan – Post 42 – Dying In A Dream

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 42

Dying In A Dream

Art42

 

“I woke up this morning writing a suicide note in my sleep.”

“How do you do that?”

“In a bad dream. Then I woke up to one.”

“Why?”

“I was raised in a Catholic family, a very punishing belief in God. No matter what has happened in life, I was conditioned to believe I can’t win.”

“Some religion is just plain wrong.”

“But in the dream, it was so real. It was as though I was living my everyday horrors, but asleep.”

“You seem so content in the daytime now. What was different?”

“That’s the reality of the surreal. Sometimes the subconscious knows more than one can speak, more than one wants to admit. I think in daylight we live in more fantasy than a dream, struggling, hoping that it’s all ok, that it’s all going to change, that one can win and beat this horrible game that is family, that is society.”

“That’s what to you were writing?”

“No! I wanted them to know that they were the reason I was doing this, dying in my dreams. I wanted to wake up and do it, take my life. It was horrible.”

“So you just slept.”

“Yes, I just lay there as usual, hoping that I never wake up.”

“So what can you do about it?”

“Nothing, I can’t win. That’s what makes those bad dreams so real.”

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Artisan – Post 41 – Donut Dating

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 41

Donut Dating

Art41

ATTENTION ALL!

Hi! I’m Dan!

Do you like donuts?

I do and there’s a wonderful donut shop only blocks from my home. B&B Donuts is located on Harbor Blvd. across the street from Costco in Fullerton, CA. and is open for your every donut desire from 4am to 11pm everyday or you can use the 24 hour donut drive through. Why? You may ask, would I want a donut date with Dan? Let me tell you. First off, the average cup of coffee at Starbucks or any other coffeehouse is around three or four dollars. Donuts are only a dollar! And there’s lots to do at the do at the donut shop! You can meet for breakfast, drink coffee, play the lottery and unlike Starbucks, the donut shop has a smoking section outside. Although donuts are cheap, don’t consider yourself a cheap date! A cheap date usually puts out and I’m not expecting anyone to do that for a donut.

The donut shop is silent and serene, a good place to get to know one another and engage in deep discussion. Talk about your favorite artists, what trends in music inspire you, cover heavy political ambitions or just enjoy your donut with that special someone. ME! B&B donuts is a family run mom and pop donut shop just like the good ol’ days kind of businesses that make America great again, but run by Asians.

Please comment on this post or blog or Facebook message me to reserve you special donut date with Dan. Contact soon for dates and times! Cheers!

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Artisan – Post 40 – Fifteen Minutes Of Facebook Fame

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 40

Fifteen Minutes Of Facebook Fame

Art40

When I was living in Los Angeles, I bought a digital camera and started to make my art available on eBay. It was then I first notice the extreme communication power of the Internet. On my first item sale, I photographed a watercolor painting and within an hour I heard a comment from someone in China. Suddenly, my art was available all over the world without doing much at all.

Many saw the immediate problems of the Internet, women being stalked by strangers, pedophiles seeking children and idiots randomly insulting everyone’s personal values. But it wasn’t clear to me how bad this could get until the new millennium brought us social media. Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes,” and with facebook, twitter and google, the day was soon to arrive. Now it is so easy to speak and be heard, that the younger generation simply takes that for granted. But there are unspoken guidelines and etiquette to consider. What can and more so, what can’t be said. We can freely criticize the president, talentless celebrities like the Kardashians, politics of local government, but what about our neighbors? Do slander laws apply or have they even yet been established? Do we have the legal right to criticize anyone publicly?

Of course there are social consequences, talk about your boss or your job and get fired, talk about your significant other and lose a relationship, talk about family and become disowned… But what about the random people who react when seemingly not involved at all? I first noticed the danger, when I was promoting a book criticizing some of the problems I had run into in 12 step programs. Yes, I was removed from some of the groups, but worse, they were getting a hold of my phone number and personal information online and I was getting death threats from people in AA who fanatically believed I was going against their God. The police said all I could do about it was file restraining orders, but how do you do that legally with what seemed an entire organization? Also, the individuals making the threats were part of an anonymous organization and there was no way to locate them or serve such papers.

While young people know how to operate and iPad or iPhone with ease, they are also learning a social protocol the older generation never learned, never had and simply wasn’t expecting. While it’s silly for us to simply post pictures of our puppies, sexy selfies or our meals online, there is great responsibility that must be taken in the power of communication this century has brought about. I predict many laws will follow. What seems harmless can and is doing great damage. But along the lines of Warhol’s thinking, we have a great power in our hands today. You now have the ability to communicate with people all throughout your community and literally all over the world in portable devices that can fit in our pockets. But what are you going to say?

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Artisan – Post 39 – Some Days Seem…

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 39

Some Days Seem…

Art39

Some days seem flawless; some days seem unbearable. Today I learned a valuable lesson from a preacher not speaking in a church. He started by trying to define an old, and to me unwanted, phrase “terminal uniqueness.” But he made it clear that we are all different, we all have those parts of our identity that make us unique. The problem comes when one just holds on to those differences and fails to recognize the many things we have in common with nearly everyone else. I go to AA where, “I am an alcoholic,” or church where, “I am a child of God!” And while this is grand for fellowship, and for me basically a free and cheap way to get out of the house, to hold onto our differences that basically others tend to not understand in the first place, creates futility.

For so many years, I have felt the solution to mental health issues is through education. But so many, rightfully seeming insist on ignorance. Guess what? They simply don’t have to understand. It would be nice to live in a world where a minority of any kind, black, Muslim, gay or even in my case, bipolar, does not warrant any unnecessary reaction. However, history is proving this nearly impossible, and we ourselves make it such by not only refusing to understand the differences in others, but by expecting everyone else to understand the differences in ourselves.

One such gallery owner, I’ve often had great experiences dealing with, recently brought out the difference, my being mentally ill. I was appalled, but did I really rightfully react in being so? We can’t expect everybody to know everything, nor can we expect that they would want to. People have their own lives to go about and bring about happiness and nourishment in their own such ways. I am not defending racism, bigotry or stigma in any way. I am just saying that one of the greatest problems I have found in life is that, when communicating with others expecting everyone to know all of the individual facts that I know myself. For that reason, the average television news station is geared to the mind of a ten year-old and repeated frequently for those who may have missed earlier showings. We are all different in many fantastic and fascinating ways, yet from the red blood that flows through us, to our creative and provocative minds, in many beautiful and wonderful ways, we are all the same.

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Artisan – Post 38 – Policies Of Probation

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 38

Policies Of Probation

Art38

“Ok, I’ll be your new probation officer. Are you still living at the same address?”

“Yes.”

“Have you had any trouble with the law since your last appointment. Well I ranted about some guy on the internet and he threatened to sue me for slander. That’s not a criminal offense though.”

“No, that’s different.”

“Yes, he’d basically have to sue me in a civil court then try to collect the money. He’ll have to stand in line behind AT&T, T-Mobile, Capital One, my former landlord and the student loan people.”

“Ok, you understand you are not allowed to associate with other felons or people on probation. Have you been doing this?”

“Just at A.A. There’s lots of them there. I told a girl I was a felon and she said, ‘Join the club!’ I said, ‘Nope, we can’t have a club!’”

“So you go to AA?”

“Yes, just to get out of the house and do something for free. I go to church too.”

“Do you do drugs or alcohol?”

“Nope.”

“But you used to have a problem?”

“Yep.”

“When was the last time you did drugs?”

“One hundred years ago, in a former life. Some strong shit though! Still feeling a little drowsy!”

“How long has it been?”

“Several years.”

“Are you around anyone doing drugs?”

“Nope, but while I’m here I’d kind of like to narc off J.D.Simpson. He does a lot of them.”

“You understand that you are required to be drug tested and your home randomly inspected for search and seizure?”

“Yes, but it’s kind of embarrassing.”

“You also have to co-operate with mental health. You said you make poor decisions when ill, what other symptoms do you get?”

“I KILL PEOPLE!”

“Ok, we’re going to have you pee in a cup.”

“Now? I just went before I came in. I could try though. Got any juice?”

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Artisan – Post 37 – Conversation With Craig

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 37

Conversation With Craig

Art37

“Hi Craig! I see you got a pipe. I’ve been trying to smoke a broken one myself, but I keep burning my thumb.”

“Yeah, I can’t afford cigars till the first when I get paid.”

“Yep, it’s that time of the month. When we’re all out of money and feeling bitchy! Want one of my cigars?”

“Sure, thanks.”

“I still have a little money from my online business, debating whether or not to get a haircut from Cindy.”

“Is Cindy your barber?”

“No, she works at a salon. She’s a friend of mine, so she cuts my hair and trims my beard for me real cheap.”

“Is Cindy married or single?”

“She’s single.”

“Does she have a boyfriend?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Then she’s open territory for you.”

“No, not every woman’s open territory for me. I have no car, no regular job, still waiting to get my Obama phone… For me, getting lucky is literally getting lucky!”

“Yeah, you can’t win them all! Do you know what we’re having for dinner tonight?”

“No.”

“I hope its spaghetti!”

“I bought a pack of Ding Dongs last night, if you want me to share them with you Craig.”

“Sure, that’d be great. It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Craig, it is!”

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Artisan – Post 36 – Atheism And Absurdity

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 36

Atheism And Absurdity

Art36

“Sartre called death an absurdity.”

“Why?”

“Because, it means nothing. We come from nothing and return to nothing, our minds, our consciousness…”

“I don’t get it.”

“It gives and takes away from the magic of the universe. Our lives, our perceptions are denied a grander cause. Instead, like a light bulb, it all ends.”

“But what about the self, self-fulfillment, self-actualization? How is that nothing?”

“Whatever impact, whatever contributions to life, whatever we learned from our whole existential experiment are all gone at once. How is that not ridiculous? The most profound argument for the existence of a creator vanishes to unreason.”

“Are you an atheist?”

“No, few people are. But you’d have to look at Sartre’s statement a little closer to understand, not an argument against a creator, but a more profound reason for one. True there is no way known to man to establish a divine being, but the purpose of life, what gives it meaning, we must chose a grander cause. Otherwise nothing can make any sense of it at all. And not only we become insane, but the chaos of life with no cause.”

“What was his cause then?”

“Apparently, through is writings, teachings and philosophical career, his cause was to find that cause. That was to live meaningfully for oneself and the ethical benefit of others.”

“That’s sort of beautiful.”

“It is, though. Isn’t it?”

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Artisan – Post 35 – James Joyce

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 35

James Joyce

Art35

When I was in my teens, I read an inspirational writing by a distant relative, James Joyce. The book was called, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce’s stream of conscious writing was different than anything anyone had ever read during the time it came out and eventually made him one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. He talked about Ireland and being Irish, religious and political discussions of the time that still seem true to Irish heritage today. I am much influenced by his writing and try to someday do as well.

Yes, I am an artist. My father, Larry Joyce, worked hard to put me through art school to give me, and all his children, the college education he never had. I remember days he would drive me to the galleries to install my art or to the museums to look at the masters and help me to do my assignments. Odd, he would comment to me on the newer artists, what they did that made them more successful that maybe I could try myself. I doubt he had great interest in art or poetry, but he tried in order to relate to me. He even helped me build a successful art business of my own that the family would later take away after his death.

I am proud to be an artist and a writer of Irish heritage, to do and create from such points of view as James Joyce. Now with the internet, I can share my work with other Joyce’s from around the world. While I am in no way as good as the master, I dream someday to go to the libraries in Ireland and give them for their collections a book of my own. And as for my father, who worked so hard to help me be the artist and writer I am today, I shall someday join him in heaven leaving much behind to remember in my writings on earth.

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Artisan – Post 34 – Fear And Feminism

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 34

Fear And Feminism

Art34

“Women are like cats. If you chase them, they run. If you smother them, they scratch and if you corner them, they fight bitterly. Then, when you are on your own and busy doing something else, that’s when they want the attention.”

“That’s so rapey!”

“Rapey? What’s that?”

“As a feminist, I’m identifying you with the language of a rapist.”

“I made a joke about femininity. How does that make me rapist?”

“As a feminist, I can say your joke makes you a rapist. Also, you are a white middle aged man and therefore a sexist.”

“As a white middle aged man I’m a rapist? How can you profile people like that?”

“As a feminist studying gender roles, my teacher informed me such statistics are true.”

“Interesting, have you ever heard of protective custody in the prison system?”

“No.”

“Those are the people convicted of sexually related crimes. They have to be kept separate from other inmates for there own protection. Interestingly though, they are not all single white males. Instead, there is an average sample of all races and ages, even some transgender.”

“Then, as a feminist, why would my teacher say differently?”

“Because those are the people of power, your teacher is not after sexual equality, she’s after political power. Many people agree with fair wages and sexual equality, what I am opposed to is profiling and targeting innocent people in a man hating witchhunt campaign. It affects us on our jobs and social status unfairly. Likewise, how do you expect anyone to believe attractive, wealthy, white women are being discriminated against in society? Don’t your studies show they do better in public dealings and even job interviews?”

“As a feminist, I have a lot of experience…”

“Experience? How old are you?”

“I’m 21.”

“From my experience, I’m 50!”

“THAT DOESN’T MEAN SHIT!!!”

“It means mathematically I have over twice the experience than you.”

“I have experience as a feminist and a woman, and being harassed and treated rudely!”

“Did it ever occur to you that as a feminist you were rude to them like falsely accusing men of being rapists unfairly as you just did with me and they were rude back?”

“As a feminist, no!”

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Artisan – Post 33 – Sunday Sermon

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 33

Sunday Sermon

Art33

Sitting in church and the service is starting. I had to hide my smoking outside and they took my water cup away when entering the main area. They don’t seem to take to kindly to the poor here. I’ve made very few friends and most don’t even talk to me unless I appear to be breaking some rule. The sermon is almost always political and quite conservative at that. But I listen to the gospel and question, what would Christ say? The man who spoke to help the poor, to heal the sick, to passively resist war. What has become of Christianity? Have we rewritten the words of God to be high jacked by a conservative republican political party? Yes, we want our freedoms to practice and pray, questioning modern values and trying to preserve what we call the word. But have we sold out?

Maybe I don’t believe, maybe I just come here to get out of the house, to meet people, to be entertained by the music and worship. When the sermon spoke in Sunday school, when the words I read in the bible are being drowned out by a message of money and politics. Who cares if we can’t pray in school? I thought God heard our hearts wherever we are, understood our struggles whatever they may be. Is that not prayer enough? Yes, we should have the right to practice freely, but are we going to sell that card to buy into economic injustices that help so few and harm so many. It seems less a religion of Christ and more like a political empire similar to that of the Roman Empire during Jesus’ time. Maybe there is no God, but then again, maybe there is. And maybe this God is hope for the individual and not the organization. As Christ said, “Peace be with you all!”

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Artisan – Post 32 – Poets Of The People

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 32

Poets Of The People

Art32

“When did you start writing?”

“I was in business school, but still practicing my art making photorealistic pencil sketches. I didn’t really care for business as solely a way to make money, I believed having a useful product was more productive, rather than being in the business of being in business. With large corporate interests and attention to the stockholder not the consumer, that is often the case these days. Anyway, I was in the gym and I realized there were two people within me a yuppie type of finance and business interest, and an artist who held ethics and aesthetics to be more important. I began two write my first novel illustrating and animating these two characters to see who would win. Most readers agreed with the artist saying the novel reminded of them greatly of Catcher in the Rye. The novel I wrote, Study of a Rose, has since been lost and few copies remain. I am still searching for one. Thinking writing a book would be a great way to embark upon a new profession, proved foolish. I knew little about literary agents or the publishing industry. Eventually, after graduating college in 2008, I started illustrating journal like books and self-published those.”

“What influences you in writing?”

“I am a socialist writer. I like Ginsberg, Steinbeck, Sinclair, Burroughs, etc… poets of the people. Having had difficulties financing myself as an adult, I have seen a lot of poverty. Although the wealthy don’t want us to believe this, there are many reasons people become poor. When you meet the immigrants fighting racism, children of abusive families, the severely disabled, or someone as noble as a veteran who has fought for our country, yet not entitled to benefits he deserves when returning from war, there I see my characters. I also like the great playwrights of the forties and fifties like Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. They make the characters the plot. They deal realistically with timeless emotional issues people still go through such as alcoholism and depression. Many actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando took on these types of roles with tremendous skills through method acting. Nowadays, all we see are special effects, things blasting into space and blowing up. It’s no longer about realistic characters or plights of ordinary people. We’ve really lost the art of theatre.”

“How do you know what you are going to write?”

“I just start writing and don’t finish until it actually says something. A poem can become anywhere from one line to a hundred pages. You can never tell. I don’t stop writing until I conclude, I don’t stop painting until I see something and I don’t stop listening until I understand. As I stated in the beginning of this book, I’m just going to write until it all makes sense. That is the way an artist or a poet thinks.”

“Do you think you’ll ever get there?”

“Not sure, but someday maybe. Someday, maybe, when it’s all over.”

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Artisan – Post 31 – Music Is My Mantra

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 31

Music Is My Mantra

Art31

“Did you go to the donut shop today?”

“Yes, Craig, I did.”

“Did anyone meet you there?”

“Naw, I just had a donut and some soda by myself. I like it there though. Maybe next time you could come. I can buy you something.”

“No, I can’t go that far from the house because it’s not safe. I can’t see. Maybe you can bring something back. I like the maple bars.”

“Sure, Craig, I think I can do that. I’m trying to learn a new song on the guitar, but my roommate won’t let me practice in the room.”

“Yeah, he’s fussy. He runs all his roommates out!”

“He’s not that bad, but he just lays there all day and night like he’s waiting to die.”

“You can practice out here on the porch with us. We like your music.”

“Thank you! I love music I can’t imagine life without it! I used to be a street performer. I wasn’t that good though. I didn’t even really know how to tune my guitar. I just danced around and acted like an idiot to make money. If they didn’t tip me, I just played louder. Since then, I’ve got better and wrote over a hundred songs. Sometimes, I put them on YouTube, but not now. All my recording equipment got stolen. People compare me to Bob Dylan, because I play acoustic guitar, have good words, but can’t sing very well. Music is my mantra.”

“At school, Brad comes in and plays the electric guitar for us. You should meet him! His son is in a band. They’re trying to get a record deal.”

“Actually they don’t make records anymore Craig. The new stuff is digital like iTunes and mp3.”

“I don’t know anything about that stuff. Hey! Next time you go to the donut shop, do you think you could get me a maple bar?”

“Sure, Craig, I can do that.”

“Thanks, it’s a beautiful day isn’t it?”

“Yes, Craig, it is.”

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Artisan – Post 30 – A-holes Anonymous

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 30

A-holes Anonymous

Art30

“Who are you?”

“We are Anonymous, an independent unstructured organization designed to free the people from corruption and unfuck them from society!”

“And how do you expect to do that? Whatever the hell ‘unfuck’ means?”

“We are activists online blogging, hacking computers and exposing Ku Klux Klan, child pornographers and members of ISIS as well as actively involving ourselves at protests wearing our anonymous masks…”

“But the people you are targeting and exposing are often innocent of your accusations like the openly gay congressman you accused of being in the KKK… there are scores of cases online where you have accused falsely and ruined reputations. Also, you are causing riots at what would be ordinarily peaceful protests. My experience is that you just invade people’s social media and make vulgar comments to them. What exactly is it that you guys are claiming to accomplish?”

“We want to establish freedom and equality for all and world peace.”

“Really? I have a question for you. How the hell is targeting innocent people through your witch hunt hacking, causing violence at peaceful protests and cussing people out online going to promote world peace?”

“Fuck you! You’re a cunt!”

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Artisan – Post -29 -My Brother And Best Friend

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 29

My Brother And Best Friend

Art29

I’ve always had many difficulties with my family. Coming from a large religious family background and that can be expected. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Nathan, prophesizes that there will never be peace in the house of David. Sadly, large families are like that. But I’ve had one member, my brother-in-law Nans, who has always stood by my side. Going back to my early struggles to overcome alcoholism, Nans has taken calls and emails from me constantly. Nans is a genius, a Mensa member and a physicist for NASA. It has always amazed him how I, with such difficulties as mental illness, can still have a usefully intelligent mind and that these struggles I go through have nothing to do with my intellect. What should be common knowledge regarding such issues, most people don’t realize. We have had long debates on politics and economics, and while these aren’t his field of study, we both find ourselves making equally valid points. I often joke that Nans felt I could be tested genius myself until he found out I’m a socialist democrat and not a republican conservative like himself.

Sadly, Nans has recently been stricken with a fatal and debilitating disease, ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He cannot speak to me on the phone and only chats with me Facebook now. It is difficult to watch my friend and closest brother approach death, yet his spirit remains strong. I see him online more and more, chatting and communicating with others as well as myself. I asked him a daring question we all ask approaching death, “What are your views on God and religion and what do you think happens next?” He said to me that while standard views may seem false, “When I go camping in Yosemite, I see the beauty of the world and cannot deny there has to be something to it.”

While many people have God or other concepts to worship, sadly for some, money, Nans’ God from my experience with him has got to be “reason,” the power of the human mind to eventually accomplish and overcome anything it sets out to do. Through times of difficulty in finance and my relationships, he has always encouraged me to use my intellect to overcome them. Frustrating as these situations may be, he often proves himself right. Sadly time may come in the next few years when I won’t have my dear brother and left only to deal with a bitter family, but the lessons I’ve learned from the genius will be with me all my life.

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Artisan – Post 28 – The Spirit Of Society

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 28

The Spirit Of Society

Art28

There is nowhere in the U.S. Constitution that states we are a strictly capitalist country. It does however go to great lengths to establish a democracy, our rights to vote, who can vote, the Electoral College, etc… Amendments where later established to enhance this even more, black rights, woman’s suffrage… The power of the people written as “We the People,” is a basic American principle not to be bought and sold. Yet the dollar still threatens dictatorship. How can this be? Donald Trump, an American billionaire is running a racist campaign for president targeting Mexican and Muslim citizens. The likes of which have not been seen since Hitler overtook a democratic Germany.

Yet, more silently, we have for the first time in American history an openly socialist candidate, Bernie Sanders, running a grassroots political campaign for our country. Can he do it? Clearly Sanders is a brilliant economist recognizing the political plays of racial division as a matter of finance encouraged by the rich. “They don’t want to pay our workers well, but make them feel like they’re getting something by giving them more than the minorities.” He promises things like affordable education making our lower and middle classes smarter, so they’ll fight back. The upper class knows that if they can divide us, they can conquer us and that democracy is the people’s way to stop that. After all, with as many minorities as there are in the melting pot that is America, there are more of us than there are of them and Trump doesn’t want us to realize that.

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Artisan – Post 27 – Needing Normalcy

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 27

Needing Normalcy

Art27

“Why do you act so persecuted for being mentally ill?”

“For one, you keep playing that card against me by saying that you know nothing about my illness, yet start to tell me or define to me what that is.”

“I’m just trying to help you become normal.”

“Help me become normal, interesting argument. For starters, what is normal? Is a man abnormal because he thinks differently than the rest? Was Columbus abnormal therefore by thinking the earth was round? Are functional families more normal although dysfunctional ones are proving more common? Can good marriages be considered normal when most are failing in modern times? And what about the abnormal people? Have you ever had their keen common sense reasoning skills surprise you when debating with the developmentally disabled? Observed socially foolish behavior by “nerd” MENSA members and geniuses? Normal simply isn’t the norm of modern society. Further, why would you suggest for any good reason that I would even want to become normal? Mentally ill people often enjoy many facets of their disease. We are often playfully eccentric, out-of-the-box thinkers making us more musical, artistic and creative. For that reason many men of great genius were mentally ill, Van Gogh and Isaac Newton with schizophrenia, Plato and Lincoln with chronic depression… Normal is rarely our desire whereas functioning in society and acceptance more commonly is. Your effort to help me as a manic-depressive become normal is about as rational as trying to help a black man become white, a gay man to become straight, make a woman think more like a man, or force a Mexican immigrant to assimilate or leave the country. If being normal means not being me, if being normal means not writing my “insanity,” not enjoying the euphoria of my manias, not showing sensitivity and empathy to those who suffer, not painting or writing poetry with such passion… more so, if being normal means hating and fearing those who are different from me, then why would I want to be “normal” at all?”

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Artisan – Post 26 – The Sign Says…

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 26

The Sign Says…

Art26

To the members and owners of the gallery,

Recently my standing as a member of the gallery has been threatened. Yes, because of my behavior, but I am hearing more, because of my mental illness. This bothers me. As an advocate, I have often suggested education as a solution to the difficulties we as sufferers endure, but instead I hear the argument that this is simply not your problem to have to deal with. Instead, you are telling me what my mental illness is, bipolar, a common form of depression. Instead, you are quoting media and fiction to tell me I’m a risk, that I’m violent, that I am a hazard to business. For someone who admits lack of education on the subject, you are telling me more about me than I would think I would already know. I understand that this is a place of business and you wish a simple safe solution. How about a sign that says, “We reserve the right not to do business with anyone?” Such a sign could keep us privately compliantly treated, mental health consumers, away from you. You could go after people who suffer all forms of depression, schizophrenics, sufferers of PTSD, etc… After all, it is your business. You could also use this sign to keep out the blacks. After all, in the years of business, the number of black fine artists I’ve seen represented has totaled zero and as a businessman keeping the community safe from scary people, I’m sure you feel you have every right to do so. You could use such a sign to keep out the Mexicans in town. I live in the barrio, the segregated section of our city, and I’ve seen none of my scary neighbors in your gallery either. Why not just make a sign that says, “It’s my damn business and I’ll do whatever I damn want?” and we can hold up a sign outside that says, “YOU’RE WRONG!” and you can call THAT sign socialism!

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Artisan – Post 25 – Love Lesson

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 25

Love Lesson

Art25

“What do you do when you can’t control your children?”

“Love is an old-fashioned remedy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mix well with control.”

“But if they get out of hand?”

“You mean like becoming independent? Like not accepting your religion or politics? Learning morality from others? Questioning you?”

“I won’t stand for rebellion!”

“I won’t stand for violence or abuse!”

“Sometimes they need to be taught a lesson!”

“I’ve been taught that lesson and I know what that lesson is. That lesson is hate. So, don’t disguise it as anything else!”

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Artisan – Post 24 – Veteran Vibes

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 24

Veteran Vibes

Art24

“I was in Vietnam, yeah, for a few years. It was bad. Then I was a telemarketer. I made really good money. You should try it! You talk a lot; you have the gift of gab! Then, after I went blind, I got on Social Security and moved to a board and care. I go to school every weekday, smoke cigars, drink Pepsi and I don’t drink alcohol anymore at all. I got a lot of drunk driving arrests when I was younger and could drive, so I quit drinking. It’s a good day though, don’t you think?”

“Yeah Craig. I remember we were in a group home together.”

“Yeah I remember, it was sort of clickish there, you know. Sorry, if I didn’t hang out with you as much.”

“That’s ok! I quit drinking then myself. I moved to Pasadena and started selling art on the street. Then I went to Venice Beach and Santa Monica and became a street performer. Eventually, I started working in the movies and TV as a background actor. I came back home and got a couple college degrees, started an online art business then worked for some companies doing that for them and eventually started selling art in galleries and coffeehouses. I even studied art in Italy, but when my dad died, he had half the business and my family took it from me leaving me broke. Now, I’m here with you in this room and board trying to regroup. I guess sometimes when your dreams are shattered, you just have to make new dreams. But really, it’s not so bad here.”

“Yeah, we live the life of Riley on social security. No worries nothing.”

“You know what’s amazing about you Craig. You are so happy, yet you really don’t need much. You have so much less than most people who aren’t even happy. They worry about having their neighbor’s car, the perfect family, the dream job, fashionable clothes, beautiful mates… but they’re not happy. Even if they get it all they just want more. I heard someone say once, ‘If you don’t want to be in the rat race, don’t be a rat!’ You are completely content with your life as little as you’ve done with it! Yet, you are one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.”

“Yeah, hey do you know we might have burgers tonight! I hope so!”

“Me too, Craig, me too!”

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Artisan – Post 23 – Chatting At Church

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 23

Chatting At Church

Art23

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrews 13:8

 

“Be sure to find a church that’s bible based!”

“I like churches that have good music with guitars, drums and choirs. Words on the wall that you can sing to, dance and clap your hands. I like that In some churches they call that worship, because song is a form of prayer. Have you ever been to a black church? They really get down!”

“The main thing is developing a relationship with the Lord.”

“Yep! And sometimes you can buy CDs of the music or look it up on iTunes…”

“And prayer. Prayer is important so God knows you.”

“I like to blast Christian music at home when I’m painting and rock out!”

“Don’t forget to read your bible everyday!”

“Sometimes I steal the songbooks, take them home and play them on my own guitar.”

“I’m saying this because some churches stray from the word.”

“Yeah! Christian Rock, folk, gospel… I like it all.”

“If you ever wonder about what anyone says, check your bible! It is truth!”

“… And sometimes they have concerts and festivals. I like to flicker my lighter at night during the slow songs.”

“Just be sure your heart is in the right place!”

“Ever hear of Jeremy Camp?”

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