Artisan – Post 35 – James Joyce

Artisan by Dan Joyce


Post 35

James Joyce


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


Post 34

Fear And Feminism


“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?”


“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!”


“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


Post 33

Sunday Sermon


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


Post 32

Poets Of The People


“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


Post 31

Music Is My Mantra


“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


Post 30

A-holes Anonymous


“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


Post 29

My Brother And Best Friend


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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