Artisan – Post 99 – Is Pot Better Than Prozac?

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 99

Is Pot Better Than Prozac?

Art99

The world at large seems radically opposed to anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication. Because so many people feel so strongly, does that make them right? Remember, at one time the world’s population swore that the earth was flat and that sailors who went too far out would fall off it’s edge. That seems to be what’s happening with advances in modern science and medicine. The population is falling off the edge with misinformation and guided motives. Let’s look at a couple.

Religious conservatives have always been opposed to advances in science from Galileo being put under house arrest for discovering other planets to John Scopes being convicted for teaching evolution as an option in a public school. Why? The answer is clear! They tend to prove the bible to be wrong. At least, not based on myth, which we accept other aspects of the bible to be. In the New Testament Paul writes, “Slaves obey your masters!” Nobody in modern America still yields to that, but to say the basic principles or history of the bible is questionable or maybe of a different meaning, gets the bible thumpers up in arms. As a result, modern science and medicine is in constant conflict with these reactionaries. Why would they oppose a medication that affects the mind? Because that would separate the soul from our thinking and from our control. Also, modern psychology makes spiritual claims less believable. In fact, they sound insane such as voices from the divine or religious visions that can be written off as hallucinations. We can’t take those away, can we? Especially when people under such spells are so easily persuaded into believing basically anything they are told. Remember when Charles Manson grew long hair and a beard then gave hippies LSD and convinced them he was Jesus? Traditional scientific logic is based on one thing, “Prove it!” If it can’t be proven it is still theory. If it can be proven, it is fact. Religion, however, says, “Believe it!” So if you just believe something enough, it is true and almost always something impossible to prove or disprove. However, when science disproves anything we assumed or “believed” to be true in the past, there is trouble. Also many lunatic religious leaders don’t want you themselves to believe their visions or light or divine auditory messages could also be called schizophrenia. While there may be a God, much of what we are lead to believe, at least in terms of proven science, is clearly false and that makes holy divine direction less believable.

The 12 step spiritual argument is that Prozac, any anti-depressant, anti-psychotic or mood stabilizer is a drug. “Pills are solid alcohol,” they claim. But which ones? Any pill? What about antibiotics? Or vitamins? Sadly enough, to many of them, it is all the same. The point they are missing is that the majority of psychiatric medications today are not sedating and not addictive. They are living in the middle of the 1900’s when most of their leaders were institutionalized for, oddly enough, mental illnesses. Now they lead large cultish “home groups” giving divine “direction” to hundreds of people on how to run their lives including choices of professions, marriages, denial of education and even hair style and grooming. With all that power over other people, how could they possibly be insane? Also, modern psychology, contradicts their core “faith healing” belief that God will cure all insanity. True, physical sobriety will obviously help, but the innate reasons they started flooding their brains to sedate them is still left untouched and still a little touched in the head maybe.

So with all these conservative arguments against modern psychiatry, why wouldn’t the liberals support it? They are paranoid! Most liberal information on the internet against modern medicine is pumped up by people who are angry that pot is still illegal. Yes, marijuana may cure cancer and help other ailments, but is it really that good for people prone to psychological illnesses? NO! Tons of cases are reported of paranoia, people claiming their computers are being hacked, their neighbors are spying on them or people on the freeway are stalking them at 70 mph. One argument is that it can alleviate depression. Of course, any intoxicant will! Just take a depressed person to a party and get them drunk to test that one. But what about the long-term chemical affects sedatives like marijuana? “People stalking them on the freeway” seems to be the common answer. So what are all these marijuana advocates saying to prove it’s unfair to legalize helpful medication and make their pot illegal? It’s a conspiracy!!! The government wants to control us! Rich people are trying to enslave us! The drug companies do it to make money off us! As is there is no money to be made off marijuana. Of course they wouldn’t listen to a psychologist, because if you asked any legitimate therapist or psychiatric doctor, they will tell you these crazy paranoid claims sound like symptoms of serious psychosis. Plus many of these stoners have prejudices against people with mental illness, because history has shown those people just can’t handle their drugs. The truth is there is no conspiracy to get you to stop smoking pot! It is bad for you like cigarettes. While it may have some medicinal purposes, clinics are prescribing it like candy and those who don’t need it are those that are getting it. There is your corruption you’ve been trying to prove all along! Do I care if you get stoned out of your mind? No! I do care if you are using it as an excuse to prevent people from getting necessary proven treatments for their own psychological illnesses. What you do with yours is none our businesses. Likewise, with the God argument, I don’t want to stop you or anyone else from loving your neighbor, but when you bring out your whacky medicine man with a bible or any “all inclusive all empowering” book, then I say enough is enough.

Science is proving that these medications not only work, but, in many cases are necessary. But like evolution or the old round earth theory, the general public just doesn’t want to admit it. It’s up to you which one you want to believe, proven fact or what everybody says?

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Artisan – Post 98 – Reggae Night

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 98

Reggae Night

Art98

Reggae Night

Chords: C G Am F C G Am

 

If you fly in the wintertime

Go south the birds and the eagles fly

Won’t you try on a Reggae night with me?

 

Time stands still as the snowflakes cry

And the beat is one and the three is mine

Did you know that the Reggae love is free?

 

Death beholds and the day will come

When the Rasta man will sing his song

Shine with Jah and the beat of one two three

 

Night will pass and the sun will rise

To a freedom we won’t compromise

All the world will dance when we know peace

 

When my love we will know life

That is better than we could ever try

Don’t you want to share this life with me?

 

All is one and one for all

And the government will hear our call

And the people shall then live forever free

 

Sing with me this Reggae night

And the constitution hears our cry

And the people stand for this will come to be

 

So, when you fly in the wintertime

Watch the birds as south they fly

Fly so high on a Reggae night with me

Fly so high on a Reggae night with me

Fly so high on a Reggae night with me

 

 

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Artisan – Post 97 – Practice, Perseverance And Passion

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 97

Practice, Perseverance And Passion

Art97

“Thanks for stringing my guitar, Derek!”

“No problem, just get me a gallon of milk.”

“Got it! Hey! Where’s your guitar?”

“I don’t have one. I don’t play anymore. Probably wouldn’t even remember how?”

“What? What happened?”

“Well, I was in a band and I just burnt out on the whole thing.”

“But music is a way of life! How do you just quit?”

“We started to get pretty big. We opened a The Palladium for some big names like Sonny and Cher…”

“Wow! You must’ve really been going somewhere!”

“Yeah, but it was too much. Setting up the equipment and going on the road.”

“Most people like that, the traveling.”

“I just got tired of it. It became too much.”

“What? Was it drugs?”

“We did that yeah, but I just didn’t want to play anymore.”

“But music is a passion! How can you just lose your passion?”

“I played everyday and practiced for hours on end. Then some other players came out like Stevie Ray Vaughan. He was so good…”

“Oh! You wanted to be the best.”

“Yeah.”

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Artisan – Post 96 – Hot Potatoes

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 96

Hot Potatoes

Art96

Hot Potatoes

 

Chords:  Em A Em A…  Bridge: D C G

 

I’m trying to make a trend

And I’m wondering what to send

And I’m nearing toward the end

And I’m trying to make a friend

 

In the warm spring time

Will you ever be mine?

 

One two three what do you see?

Got hot potatoes looking at me

Four five six getting real sick

Won’t you grab my pick up stick?

 

In the heat of the night

Not a soul in sight

 

Everybody’s dancing round

Everybody’s talking bout

Everybody sing and shout

Don’t you want to scream so loud?

 

One two three what do you see?

Got hot potatoes looking at me

Four five six getting real sick

Won’t you grab my pick up stick?

 

In the warm spring time

Won’t you be mine?

In the heat of the night

Not a soul in sight

 

Moving to the summer heat

Dancing underneath the sheets

Don’t you love to feel so free?

Don’t you love the deep soul beat?

 

In the warm spring time

Won’t you be mine?

In the heat of the night

Not a soul in sight

 

Repeat and fade

One two three what do you see?

Got hot potatoes looking at me

Four five six getting real sick

Won’t you grab my pick up stick?

 

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Artisan – Post 95 – Another Kind Of Woman

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 95

Another Kind Of Woman

Art95

Another Kind Of Woman

Verses C G F G   Chorus C F G C

 

Everybody’s talking bout another kind of woman tonight

She’s gonna make it alright

She’s gonna let him inside

 

If you go out looking for a different kind of woman tonight

She gonna hold you so tight

She’s gonna be just right

 

Take her hand, be her man

She will understand

 

If you want a lover that’s another kind of woman tonight

You wanna make her all mine

No need to take your time

 

If you wanna chance her she’s a dirty kind of dancer to tonight

Get the rhythm just right

She’s gonna do it in time

 

Hold her now; show her how

It’s a kind of wow

 

Everybody’s looking for another kind of woman tonight

She’s gonna be there on time

She’s gonna be just fine

 

Everybody’s talking bout another kind of woman tonight

She’s gonna make it alright

She’s gonna let him inside

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Artisan – Post 94 – Let’s Make A Lynching – Play Outline ©2016 Dan Joyce

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 94

Art94

Let’s Make A Lynching

Outline

 

Act I

New Orleans 1964 Mardi Gras

 

Biggie Black is trying to organize a protest against segregation in the South. He meets Virginia White, a young college student, interested in his cause. Biggie has to urinate and uses the white restroom.

 

Psychiatrist’s Office 2016 Sunnyville, California

 

Vincent Hopper is discussing going public as an artist about his depression. The doctor warns him about social stigma and negative effects that may be caused by this action. Vincent is convinced that his illness is a cause and a civil rights issue. He argues that his action will bring people out to help them and that more may seek help.

 

Marilyn Monger’s bedroom Sunnyville, California 1976

 

Billie Joe and Marilyn are doing homework in her room. Marilyn, a touch overweight, is eating donuts. Billy warns her about her diet. They begin to discuss their interests in modern music, politics and religion. Marilyn is obviously attracted to Billy, but he shies away acting as a gentlemen. Billie is very handsome and somewhat masculine. The two continue to bond and vow to always be best friends.

 

Act II

 

Bruce’s bedroom Sunnyville, California 1976

 

Billy is talking to his lover Bruce Bronze. He suggests that gay people need to come out of the closet and stand up for their rights, in particular, the right to legally marry. Bruce argues that the cause is trivial, because many gays don’t want people to know they are gay. To him, the right to gay marriage is less important, however, masking a greater threat, gay bashing and hate crime.

 

Downtown Bar 2016 Sunnyville, California.

 

Vincent is drinking soda in a bar. An attractive actress named Cali Crywolf approaches and sits next to him. She already appears to be on a date. He tries to ignore her. The two discuss their careers, however, in the arts and local theatre. She invites him to a play in which she has a nude scene. Vincent agrees to attend. Cali then goes and joins her friends who are discussing her interaction. They inform her that Vincent is mentally ill, lives in a home for such people and takes “happy pills.” Cali, now afraid, accuses Vincent of following her.

 

New Orleans 1964

 

Rocky Small is screaming at his lover, Virginia White, regarding her association with a black man. She defends herself, but not Biggie. She is important in local politics and must defend her name. She accuses Biggie to Rocky of trying to rape her.

 

Sunnyville, Ca. 1976 Marilyn Monger’s Bedroom

 

Marilyn and Billie are studying biology. Marilyn intentionally spills water on her blouse, takes of her shirt and attempts to seduce Billie. Billie rejects her telling her he is gay. Marilyn quotes the bible and offers to reform him. Billie leaves the room.

 

Sunnyville, California 2016 Local Theatre House

 

Cali is naked on stage making offensive remarks regarding those who seek treatment for depression and other known mental illnesses. After the play, Vincent informs her that he found the play offensive, because he and several friends have such issues. Vincent is chased off the lot by the other actors and mocked as insane.

 

New Orleans 1964 The Public Square

 

Biggie has organized a rally speaking out against segregation in the south. Virginia identifies him to Rocky and to the police. Biggie is arrested for sexual assault.

 

Sunnyville, California 2016 The Town Hall Meeting

 

Vincent is discussing with the city council why mentally ill people should be regarded as equal to other citizens and why such a cause is important to the community. After the speech Cali and local political activist Stephen Studdard discuss his odd behavior in the community. Cali accuses him of being a sexual predator.

 

Sunnyville, California 1976

 

Billie is making a speech at the local college on gay rights and causes, especially gay marriage. He is confronted by a group of Christian activists led by Marilyn’s brother Paul. There is hostility and violence breaks out. The police come to the rally and arrest Billie.

 

New Orleans courtroom 1964

 

Rocky and Virginia testify to the assault claims against Biggie. Biggie takes the stand and accuses them and the community of racism. The jury is called.

 

Sunnyville, California 2016 local coffeehouse

 

Stephen Studdard and Cali rally the townspeople in anger against Vincent. They all march the police station to file papers against him. Requesting he leave the city.

 

Sunnyville, California 1976 courtroom

 

Billie admits to the courtroom that he is gay and is convicted of sodomy and unethical sexual activity. He is charged a fine and requested to no longer partake in such practices.

 

Sunnyville, California 2016 courtroom

 

Stephen Studdard accuses Vincent of being violently insane. While Vincent testifies he has no record of violence nor threatened anyone in the case with violence, Stephen argues that the potential violence rallied against him in the community was a passive act of violence in itself. Stephen is forced to leave the community.

 

Act III

 

Sunnyville, California 1976 Public Park

 

Paul leads his Christian friends to assault and batter Billie. Obscene sexual references are made as Marilyn watches. The group leaves Billie beaten and unconscious as the bible is read while they walk away.

 

New Orleans 1964 Public Lynching

 

Biggie is forcefully taken out of his home and led into the main square where his is hanged.

 

Sunnyville, California 2016

 

Vincent is at the bar talking to a local stranger. He says that he still believes that his rights as well as the civil rights of all citizens are important and that wherever he goes, he will take that with him like his art and that he just may be a little before his time. Stephen is listening in the corner, silently nods and takes a drink. Vincent grabs his luggage and leaves the bar.

 

The end.

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Artisan – Post 93 – Meetings And Medications

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 93

Meetings And Medications

Art93

Straight from the entrance doors of most AA meetings, newcomers usually get confronted by swarms of uneducated alcoholics wanting to play doctor. Anti-depressants are always high on the taboo list as the spiritual psychology of AA is promoted to replace well-trained and researched scientific methods. Usually, an AA member is conning the doctor to get some anti-anxiety pills like valium or xanax, or something extremely addictive by faking a condition he just doesn’t have. Painkillers are also popular on the list of scripts an alcoholic just might want from the doctor. Sadly, the blame for this is always put on the doctor rather than the doper con artist. As they claim, the doctors don’t want to heal us. They just want to trick us into getting addicted to something. This is, of course, assuming that the patient is not already addicted to something like say… alcohol and is completely oblivious to the side effects of known addictive drugs.

Today, my problem is different. On a ninety-degree day, I had to wait on hold with the doctor’s office for about an hour and later will have to take two buses to the pharmacy to get my stomach medicine, prilosec and reglan. Being fifty years old and having spent my whole adult life in AA meetings smoking cigarettes and loading up on strong coffee, I am not in the best of health, especially my stomach. In fact, I can’t even drink a beer without barfing anymore. But because of the danger of addiction to other drugs, I still attend my meetings.

As far as my bad stomach goes, acid reflux is not an easy condition to deal with. Basically all the acid from your stomach comes back up nearing your throat and burns most of the organs in your upper torso. It can be very painful. Guided by gravity, it is worse when you are lying down and trying to sleep. Because your stomach is so upset when untreated, you rarely eat much. Now the obvious answer to this is smoke less, diet and maybe exercise. But I don’t have much money and live in a boarding home run by a quaint Mexican family. I shouldn’t have to tell you that that old Mexican woman cooks some excellent spicy stuff that I’m not about to give up! And I’m not about to take what little money I have to go to the health food store to buy tofu and vegan cheese just to tell you guys I’m taking one or two less pills!!! Just try to stop me next time I pick up a chip!!!

Thank you for letting me share!

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Artisan – Post 90 – Death And 12-Step Spirituality

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 90

Death And 12-Step Spirituality

Art90

On the way to the meeting last night, I texted a woman I had been starting to see. After I asked her how she was doing, she responded, “I’ve been doing well. I’m just waiting to get the results from some tests to see if I have cancer.” Being the selfish, self-centered guy I am, I immediately thought, there’s goes that hope for a long-term relationship! I didn’t know and felt selfish not to notice. It’s not something you ask someone on the first coffee date. Then, I did something even worse. I told her I would pray for her and that I’d keep my fingers crossed. “Keeping my fingers crossed,” is considered cute in female lingo and texting. What was wrong with this is that I probably won’t pray for her. In fact, I hardly ever pray for anyone including myself. I find the experience awkward, like rambling in the dark and not getting any answer. Some say they are answered, but atheists consider that borderline psychotic. I was raised Catholic with preset memorized prayers, the Hail Mary, the Our Father and some others if you were really bad and brutally honest during confession. AA’s do have some preset prayers – the Serenity Prayer, the 3rd step prayer, the 7th step prayer, the 13th step prayer “God get this guy away from me!!!” I heard that from a woman running from a meeting once. For men, the 13th step prayer sounds more like, “OOPS!!! What the fuck did I just get myself into???”

When I do to pray, it is somewhat different and maybe just a little more spiritual. I pray by feeling it in my heart. Empathy – the sensitive ability to feel the pain of others. I first noticed this when my sponsor, Carol, got cancer and was dying. Normally, women don’t sponsor men or vice versa, but nobody in the men’s group would put up with me anymore. So, she took me on. Carol had sponsored dozens of people, women and men, for dozens of years and through, trial and error, she seemed to know the answer to everything except how to quit smoking. Which she admitted, she chose not to do. I was in college at the time and surrounded myself with a lot of intelligence, but Carol had wisdom. Admitting to her, I found verbal prayer awkward, I told her I would pray for her in my heart. She understood. When she was dying, the women in the meeting surrounded her to protect her like an old Indian. It was a beautiful death if you can call it that.

I was near the meeting and still worried about my friend’s cancer. I wondered how I could blame this on the world and AA. Then I lit up a cigar with the other members in the smoking section during the coffee break. It dawned on me how much death is prevalent in AA from overdoses to suicides to cancer patients to old-timers being hailed off as they make the grade. There is a saying newcomers have, “I have a sponsor that has a sponsor that has a sponsor…” But did it ever occur to them that if they follow that hierarchy up the ladder of longer periods sober to older age, they are eventually going to find someone who is… DEAD!!! That means his next of kin, who is basically in charge of everyone in the home group, is telling his problems to and taking direction from a block of marble at Forest Lawn! He may tell you what the graveyard is telling him, but I’m willing to bet he’s making some of that shit up himself! If you every meet this old geezer in a meeting and he does just happen to be senile, just give him his cake and coffee and pretend to listen! Look him in the eyes and nod a lot. “Yeah… you were in a meeting today with Eleanor Roosevelt! I didn’t know she was a drinker!”

Thank you for letting me share!

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Artisan – Post 92 – The Universal Laws Of Logic

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 92

The Universal Laws Of Logic

Art92

The other day, I walked to the smoke shop to buy a pack of cigars. On the way there, a homeless man asked me for change and I told him I didn’t have any. Then I walked past him and he seemed upset. After buying my cigars, I purchased a can of iced tea for only a dollar then left the store walking past him again trying to ignore him. When I got to the parking lot nearby, I realized I could afford just one more can of tea. Being a hot day, I turned around and walked back into the store, again passing the disgruntled man. As I grabbed the can of tea from the refrigerator, he stormed into the store fiery red. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he screamed at me, “Why you have to keep walking by me like that?” He obviously wanted to provoke a fight and no one was really sure what to do.

In a calm voice, I said, “I came back for a second soda.” He looked around, calmed down and walked away. Although the customers of the store were concerned, they were amazed at my handling of the situation.

While we have several ethical bases in our society, religion, Christianity, spirituality, hippie “love,” or just good old-fashioned brotherly love, the strongest ethic in life I have found is just plain old reasoning and adult conversation. People universally respect honesty and truth when it is put in front of them. There are many distractions to this, racism, sexism, violent threats, all intended to anger the opponent and always offset one’s ability to think rationally. Insanity is more harmful when invoked by another than in it’s natural illogical state. We all get crazy! Just get cut off on the freeway. To distract from the main claim of an argument by saying they won’t understand because someone is black, Mexican, gay or in my case, treated for bipolar, only offsets the valid reasoning attempts of another to win an argument or conflict rather than seek a just resolution. Sadly, it usually works. Because this man was homeless for whatever reason, many may have not attempted to answer his question in a rational adult manner. But when we reason with one another successfully, conflict and unethical behavior can easily be avoided. Likewise morality prevails.

Like mathematics and based on mathematics, logic is a universal language and can be used as a superior ethical principle. We all have it. We all know it. Whether here in Southern California or in New York or even some place as far as Pakistan, people respect people who respect people. Reasoning and rational conversation, I find, is the best way to accomplish that. Something to think about!

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Artisan – Post 91 – Suggested Conditions Of Negotiation

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 91

Suggested Conditions Of Negotiation

Art91

To Michael Magoski of the Magoski Arts Colony,

My suggestions for fairness on the Stephen Baxter issue:

  1. Ban him from the colony until successful negotiations can take place!
  2. Choose a moderator that will be impartial! You will not do as you are too influenced by the majority to protect a minority in a democratic community!
  3. If sexist or non-feminist language is not allowed, then issues of Mental Health Awareness and appropriate social behavior for such afflicted should be considered. That includes Rene Cardona! I have been appalled by his constant play of that card against me since I have met him some 25 years ago. For someone that stoned all the time, he should be more considerate of others’ mental states!
  4. When negotiated agreements have been met, they should be posted in The Colonist’s Lounge and displayed visibly to all members in the colony.
  5. I expect to someday return to the gallery after an agreement has been reached and negotiations settled! This will be determined by the conditions of the negotiated agreement.
  6. If legal action is still taken by either party, it will remain to be decided by the courts.
  7. As of seven days ago, I have surrendered my attacks. No matter what the outcome, I will maintain my decision. This decision was made for business purposes only and not ethics. As neither party is showing any!
  8. The chosen moderator will be agreed upon by both parties. Until such moderator is appointed, no negotiations will take place!
  9. Negotiations will not be publicly held nor in person for the sake of safety. It is up to you to develop the best multi-user method of communication. Both parties and all involved witnesses may partake as long as neither party is overly outnumbered.
  10. Communication regulation and appeals to speak will be determined by the moderator.
  11. No attacks, harm to nor public humiliation of either party’s businesses or reputation will take place before or during these negotiations.
  12. All references to religious, spiritual or ethical principles, of or lack of, by either party will not be mentioned during the said negotiations.

If the negotiations are successful and an agreement is reached, I will leave it to you to draw a contract honored by the colony to be signed in agreement by both parties.

You must take this into consideration, because both parties have declared a state of war and at least his side is threatening violence!

Thank you,

DAN JOYCE

P.S. In 30 years as an artist in this city, I have never had to deal with anything like this or him before!!! Please take that into consideration!

“Democracy is best served when it is designed to protect its minority.”

– The Courage To Change The Things I Can –

May God bless you Michael, and may you continue to live a fruitful life!

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Artisan – Post 89 – Humility

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 89

Humility

Art89

Humility is a very important word and concept in the twelve step programs. I would like to share a little story regarding this. The other day I went to an NA meeting that I had only attended a couple times before. Being excited to meet and get to know the group, I raised my hand to share. I started off arrogantly by telling them how great I was, how I had had 18 years of sobriety in AA before relapsing, how I had been to college and attained several degrees, how I had a successful art business and felt I had an exciting life. I was on a roll and even had prepared my share by writing it in advance. I even brought my MacBook to share to share it with them. I lifted the cover of the laptop and asked if anyone would mind my reading it. A woman at the end of the table belted out, “I want to know how you stayed clean today!”

Figuring they weren’t interested, I closed the lid of my laptop and answered her nervously, “Well… I woke up late, took a shower, lost my belt. I looked in the hamper. I couldn’t find it, looked in the bathroom, still not there. Then some guy in the house loaned me a belt. I owe him two Mountain Dews. I called my sponsor then came to a meeting.”

She shouted, “Did you pick up?”

I said, “No.”

“That’s how you stayed clean today!” she said. “Thank you” and shut me up.

Now for a man my size to be belittled by a woman so badly in front of all those people is not humility. That’s humiliation! What was humility is that I continued to sit there embarrassed through the rest of the meeting listening to people share without getting up and leaving while making a big scene and maybe starting a fight. I did try to give her a couple dirty looks, but she just sat there smiling.

After the meeting, I ran into her on the side of the building. Both her arms were tacked down with tattoos. She was wearing a tight black t-shirt that said, “Validated Sinner” and she was tending her motorcycle. Now, I never met this kind of woman in college nor did my mother ever want me to bring her home with me. But mom wasn’t’ talking to me after the relapse, so I took a chance.

I said to her, “Thank you for stopping me from further embarrassing myself!”

She said, “I wasn’t trying to embarrass you. I just wanted to know what you did to stay clean today.”

“I came to the meeting to stay clean. But after meeting you, it’s going to be that much more difficult.”

In a soft tough voice, she said, “Good! Maybe that resentment will keep you clean and sober!”

I sarcastically replied, “… or make me go out!”

Then I walked around the corner and threw my hat in the air like the Breakfast Club kid and said to myself, “Wow! I just met the coolest girl in the meeting!”

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Artisan – Post 88 – Sobriety And City Hall

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 88

Sobriety And City Hall

Art88

As part of my focus on a mentally healthier community, I believe sobriety is important for many as well as the whole of the community. While many can handle alcohol in moderation, many cannot and this needs to be addressed on a larger city scale. Studies show that many start drinking at younger ages, because they feel there is really nothing else to do for entertainment. Since my grandparents moved here in the mid 1940’s, Fullerton has always been a largely schooling town providing many educational resources. We now host several colleges with several students starving for weekend entertainment, but what options are we giving them? If we let our college students develop poor drinking patterns at such a young age, many will continue into more severe problems in later adulthood causing unnecessary difficulties for them, their families, the police and the community as a whole. We have to look at the long-term investment we are making into our students and our city.

It is no debatable estimate that downtown Fullerton now hosts over 20 bars and alcohol related businesses in its small radius. This has not always been the case. In the national art boom of the 1980’s we hosted several art galleries instead, The Sarah Bain Gallery, The John Thomas Gallery, Gallery 57 and The Edge, to name a few. These businesses slowly fell out do to the collapse of the art market and were followed by antique shops. During this time, I counted only three bars in downtown Fullerton – Mulberry St., a dive bar called Mikki’s and a Mexican cantina. Now the city is flooded with an onset of alcoholic businesses in what I call, “The Bourbon Street Takeover.” Our students and others are hitting the city every weekend and other nights in a massive downtown party that is ruining other businesses and questioning the safety of our community. Not only are Fullerton’s college students going out to drink, but residents of other communities are driving in from Riverside and L.A. counties including those with known gang affiliations. This “night life” scenario has become a mad house and I feel Fullerton needs more options other than alcohol for entertainment. With the problems that alcohol and alcoholism creates, it will only harm our students and our citizens in the long run. Do we want Fullerton to be a community for families and education, or do we want it to waste away into a party town?

What other options do we have other than a party bar night scene for Downtown Fullerton? Ironically, in this same small radius, I have counted ten or eleven churches whose parishioners are probably not getting drunk in the bars every weekend. Certainly, we can offer them some avenues for entertainment other than just a Sunday sermon. As far as other business options go, of course, I encourage the arts. Fullerton and Orange County have a long historical art community that could still be developed further with minimum drinking involved. Coffeehouses are still popular, vintage record stores, comic book stores, antiques, classic film and live theatre, etc… These can also create a more cultural element for our colleges. Our very own Fox Theater could be a great investment for this while providing a much more appropriate and quaint date night for young students. There are many options besides booze.

What can you as a local governing agent do about this? I learned from my father in early adulthood that 90% of politics is economics. We need to provide greater incentives for sole proprietorships and small business to start up and grow in this community. Other than “Stray Cat” and “Black Hole Records” I have seen very few such businesses survive on Harbor Blvd. in these past 30 years. That is a sad statistic. Also, we need to discourage the bars economically by further regulating and policing them regarding who they are serving to and more importantly, who they are letting drive home. If we are getting this bad element from other cities, as I claim, then legally stop this traffic through enforcement of drunk driving laws.

One last note, I am not just a party-pooper. I am a small business owner and resident for decades in this community. As such, I would like to see a better safer and healthier Fullerton by providing other options for entertainment for ourselves, for our families and for our students. May God bless you all and may you all live fruitful lives!

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Artisan – Post 87 – Rat Park – A New Theory Of Addiction?

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 87

Rat Park – A New Theory Of Addiction?

Art87

Drug addiction and alcoholism is a serious problem in our society. Many will agree and it may be getting worse. However, a new theory is floating around the Internet and the news questioning its causes and nature. The traditional experiment claims the drug causes the addiction. For example, a rat is placed in a cage and given two options – a dangerously addictive drug and rat food. The rat always passes the food and goes for the drug until he dies. In the 1970’s a scientist noticed something wrong with this test. The rat has nothing else to do! So, he formulated a series of other tests in which the rat was in a cage with other rats, wheels, balls and lots of rat toys as well as offering them the food and drugs. He called this new environment, “Rat Park.” What happened? None of the rats used the drugs. In fact, they ignored them completely.

What’s wrong with this picture? It’s saying people become alcoholics and drug addicts because they have nothing else to do! Let’s look at a famous drug addict. Keith Richards is the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones. He has traveled the world more times than imaginable and socializes with the most notable people in society. He has had a wonderful and exciting life that he can write about and share with people someday if he can only remember any of it. Keith Richards is in no great debt of entertainment. In fact, he entertains people for a living. We see this all over the celebrity world, Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, lots of addicts with lots of things to do.

Other than celebrity addictions, why don’t I agree with this statement? Over the past 30 years in recovery programs, I have studied another group of rats – the members of 12 step programs, AA and NA. People’s stories never start with nothing to do. They are teachers, doctors, lawyers, students, my sponsor was a successful architect… from good families and bad families, from good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods. They come from literally all walks of life. They are lots of kinds of people with lots of things to do. But the end of the story is always the same. They lose jobs, families, loved ones… and end up with nothing coming to the meetings to start their lives over. The sad fact of the story is that alcoholics and addicts don’t drink or use because they have nothing else to do. But the true alcoholics and addicts will drink or use UNTIL they have nothing else to do!

One famous comment the study makes is that Vietnam Veterans used heroine in the dark environment of war, yet they quit when they came back to the states. Where are they getting these statistics? In the seventies, I met tons of Vietnam vets in bars and in the eighties, I saw even more in rehabs. While many adapt to society, many still remain addicted. In fact, from the Vietnam war, to the Gulf wars, to police actions like Serbia and Libya, I have seen so many soldiers make their way into the rooms of AA, they might as well start a new group, VAA! And the VA knows this providing several supportive treatments.

Saying drugs don’t cause drug addiction is kind of like saying guns don’t cause gun murders. But if it isn’t the drug alone doing it, then why would some people do them addictively and some shy away. I have another theory. Historically, drugs and alcohol were used for medical purposes. The cowboys of the 1900’s didn’t have anesthesia, so they just used whiskey. Nearly all are painkillers of some kind. Even rats know about physical pain, but what about emotional pain, depression, bipolar, PTSD? Do rats really get this?

Lets take a hypothetical example. Carol suffers chronic depression. The cause is unknown. To alleviate her emotional pain, she goes to bars to socialize and drinks alcohol to lift her spirits. It works temporarily. However, alcohol, being a depressant, only causes her depression to become worse in the long haul. The cycle begins. Psychiatrists and psychologists call this “self-medicating” as they are aware of the prevalence of substance abuse for people they treat in their field. Twelve step groups may provide them with a supportive social group, but often ignore the need for psychological treatment replacing that with a spiritual need for God. Sadly, there are large numbers of suicides reported in either case. Addicts may have either a low tolerance for physical or emotional pain or they may simply have higher conditions of them. From the many alcoholics and addicts I have confronted over the years, on a scale of highly elated feelings to lowly negative feelings, the common answer is that they would simply prefer to feel nothing.

To take this example of Rat Park to a ludicrously literal state, in the 30 years I’ve been in 12 step programs, I have never heard anyone stand up and say, “I came here because I was locked in a cage with nothing to do and forced to chose between doing alcohol or my drug of choice and rat food!!!” The argument for predisposition is still too strong. Something to think about!

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Artisan – Post 86 – My Day In N.A.

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 86

My Day in N.A.

Art86

Every day has a moral and a lesson. This day’s message was clearly “Patience.” I started out at the Target trying to buy two bottles of diet soda and three candy bars for my overweight roommate. It was a common errand for him, but it did make me wonder. Why does he always have me buy 2-liter bottles of diet soda, when with all that chocolate, he can’t be on a diet. Holding the heavy bottles, I got in the shortest line. Then I watched as what must have been a 107 year-old Mexican woman stood there forever trying to figure out how to use a debit card for the first time! Speaking no Spanish at all, I couldn’t help her as she just stood there staring at the buttons. “Come on!” I mumbled to myself, but was heard. Eventually, the woman with her just paid cash. I paid for the sodas and candy, but the checker who had heard me egged me on by slowly unrolling three paper rolls of coins one by one just to push it.

I got home, checked the schedule and realized I had just enough time to catch the bus to my book study. The bus was taking forever to come and I heard a homeless man mocking me from the table in front of the donut shop. I turned around and he silenced. Then with my back to him, he started taunting, “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot…” I’m on probation and I can’t just go off and get charged for battering a homeless man so I let him go on irritating me. Not only was this troublesome, because I’m not gay. But even if I were, it wouldn’t be politically correct. Finally after 40 minutes the bus came.

The bus stopped at every stop and hit every red light. Further, not just one, but two wheelchair people, got on and off the bus. The bus driver knew both of them and held long conversations with both of them as he strapped them in. I wanted to help STRAP THEM IN MYSELF!!! At this point, I almost used, but neither of the wheelchair people had any drugs. It was an intelligent guess, you must admit. With both of them in wheelchairs, one of them was bound to have painkillers! And with two of them, the odds were much better. I quickly said a prayer.

By the time I got to them meeting hall, I rushed into the bathroom, then came out and filled my cup with water. I guess to make sure I would have to go to the bathroom again. As I filled up the cup, I looked behind me and saw that a meeting had already started. I don’t remember this part of AA, but they were all taking turns hugging each other. Then I realized where I was. It was the Huggie Meeting… and it was a men’s stag! Pardon me if I just wasn’t into this at the moment. In fact, I felt more like the Grinch watching Whoville on Christmas… as they all just stood there loving each other!!! Maybe it was my attitude. Maybe it was my upbringing. It may be genetics. Maybe my heart was ten sizes too small. I got the Hell out of there and went into the back room for the N.A. meeting.

Now, I had never been to an N.A. book study before, and honestly I had never even cracked open the N.A. book. I do remember owning one that was given to me customarily from a $60,000 rehab program in my early 20’s. What I do remember about it, is that they have a whole chapter called, “Relapse and Recovery.” Relapse is very controversial in all 12 step programs as to whether it’s part of the process or even necessary at all. I never read the chapter, but I did think it took a lot of balls to put that in.

So, I sat down late. They were reading a story about a guy who goes to Israel with the US military and ends up on a lot of drugs. Of course, his life gets worse and he wants to, or doesn’t know, if he’s going to die. Yep, it was pretty depressing! Then he said something that caught my attention. He wanted to buy cocaine, but instead ended up doing heroine. I got that! I totally got that! In the late eighties, cocaine was very popular and very expensive. Heroine addicts used to buy it with their stuff and mix it with the heroine to shoot it up, something called a “speedball.” Most of them were into the downer effect of the drug and only used enough cocaine to pick them up and keep them awake. So, one day I went to buy cocaine and accidentally bought heroine. Then I purposely shot it up! I never did that again and did not become addicted to it. I remember an older artist in my youth once told me, “If you’ve tried heroine and did it only once in your life, you are an extremely lucky person!” While it was a pleasurable high, heroine has a skull and crossbones stigma that I desperately want to avoid. Likewise, my friend eventually died from it. Addiction is so powerful that you may find yourself doing things you swore all your life you’d never do. I shared about my day and others laughed and felt a strong message. One more day, I stayed clean and today I claim recovery as well. Much thanks to all my supportive friends online and in the meetings! You may be anonymous, but you know who you are.

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Artisan – Post 85 – Insanity And The Arts

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 85

Insanity and the Arts

Art85

For the past ten years, I have been avidly studying the fine art marketing and techniques of pop art superstar Andy Warhol. From his silk screen prints to his music production even film and video, he has been somewhat an idol and example for any post modern artist still wishing to succeed. I read about, with less interest, the life of Warhol, his gay lovers, his cold candor playing dumb while appearing to walk himself through fame and fortune with ease. Obviously some, I don’t and really don’t care to relate to, but it has distracted me from another master whose role I have by chance and maybe genetics horridly fallen into.

Marshall Vandruff, a tremendous illustration teacher never said it, but Marciano Martinez, I believe Erin Scott, my AA sponsor, the guy who works at Starbucks, Perry G, the bass player of Agent Orange, nearly everyone who has viewed my work and knows me make the false stereotype but haunting analogy, “All artists are a little crazy, aren’t they? Who was that guy who cut off his ear?” Now, I see the similarity surely, especially in life and lifestyle, but not wanting to commit suicide in my 30’s with half a lobe hanging down, I’ve made it a point to closely study Rivera, Da Vinci, Pollack, Dali and even Picasso striving for a happier ending. “Don’t artists only make it when they’re dead?” Not always! Especially not if they live to be really old. Then, why the Van Gogh syndrome? Simple, some feel odd and out of place.

I remember in my early teens looking through an old book we used to call the encyclopedia and browsing through paintings as nothing interested me at all. Suddenly I saw it, the nighttime I know so well, the warmth and the wind, the mind and the shadow, the beauty and the loss, talking to me saying somehow it was all ok, speaking to me in a painting one-hundred years ago. I had never thought of it, but instantly saw the comparison and he made it all look so easy to do. That was when I realized the power of art. I filled my room with pastel on newsprint for months to follow. It is strange being insane, but it is odder to know it. I don’t know if I was already seeing a psychiatrist, but if I was I certainly wasn’t compliant.

In 1996, after being released from Sierra Vista, a treatment facility located across the street from Patton State Mental Hospital (for the criminally insane), I took a creative writing class to bounce of a style of writing I called a Poemstory. I later learned that a novel like poem is called an epic. Sometime then, I learned of a great poet, Allen Ginsberg’s overdose on pills, commonly considered a suicide. The Internet was new then and I researched him to read the lines that described and defined my life, “Howl. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical naked…” A line that comes to my head sometimes several times a day as a deluded mantra, not because it is insane, not because I am insane, but because in a terrible traumatic way I’ve seen it. Forced into the long-term locked ward for demanding cigarettes, after a struggle with the guards, I looked across the hall and standing there stark naked, I saw Julie. She saw me staring, smiled and in several days we were making love and continued for the months to come. I thought that Ginsberg had written about drug addiction. Instead it was an ode to his friend Carl Solomon who he considered the smartest man he had ever met surprisingly in Rockland Mental Hospital. The staff not only approved of our sexual relationship, but they provided protection. She hardly said much, but mildly came to tears when I left as she said, “I’ll miss you.” That shocked me, because in all our sedated repression, I didn’t think we still had feelings at all. Months on end, I tried to form a rational coherent conversation with anyone I could. Many times I just bothered the staff. People battering and assaulting each other for reasons they themselves tried to explain, but really, your guess would be as good as mine. That being all governed by a state conservator who only spoke to me twice on the telephone in one year. I later spent time in the county jail and asked many inmates why they wouldn’t go that route. Even the toughest convicts confided, it would be too much for even them to man up to. “If you’re not crazy when you go in, you will be when you come out!”

When I got to Venice Beach around the turn of the millennium, I was in such of a lack of treatment and without medication that the hippies and the homeless artists literally thought I was on drugs and not sharing them. I wrote in my journal, painted and played guitar, writing and illustrating one of my happiest memories of homelessness, complete freedom. Actors took to my writing, others to illustrations and I soon landed a job in the entertainment industry as a background actor. It amazed and saddened me that people were coming from all over the world just to end up doing what I was doing to raise some cash. I did well though. I even consulted with character actors and studied Stanislavski in case they ever gave me a speaking part. One more time I was playing a lottery every day without having to buy a ticket. In fact, they were paying me for it and serving catered food. I told a gay friend and somewhat successful actor, “You know, Jeff, I may be getting into acting just to get a job!”

He laughed and said, “Well, you certainly wouldn’t be the first one honey!”

Through hospitals, recovery programs and of course, my new profession, I managed to meet some of the most known entertainers in the industry. It is a traditional artist’s tale that in the eyes of society I was no one, yet still I dined with kings. Again, my mind got the best of me.

I settled into the local art colony in my hometown just painting and drawing women friends and selling them the paintings. I guess I was trying to make everyone think I was some great lover, but they just had to look at me and see through it. The artists and promoters were all adapting great causes as themes for their work and shows, feminism, police brutality, gay rights and gay marriage, autism, animal rescue, but I had none. Jan DeLoof, a known artist and member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, browsed through a journal type book I wrote and then several. Seeing that I wrote about my struggles with mental illness, she smiled and told me I was a great advocate OF A CAUSE!!! Although she felt the colony merely provided entertainment to the city and lacked profitability. For a short period of time before her death, she took me under her wing and showed me some of the ropes. It was all coming together. I had meaning and purpose to paint. I wore my badge proudly, until publically when I realized it looked to others like a Star of David in NAZI Germany. Yes, there were troubles, yes there were losses and unseen battles many thought were only in my head, but I am here to tell you I am not a loss. I will live as long as life breathes in me not to take it from me. My ears will stay with me only to hear the sound of music, sometimes even my own. If I can say to someone someday, maybe many years from now, it is all going to be ok! As the poet wrote, as the actor’s read, as the master painted many years ago and many years to come, we may not seem to win, but we shall overcome! Through the agony and the ecstasy of it all, I am a child of God and a gift of his creation! And as long as I’m here, as long as I can say it, I will shout from the highest mountaintop until heard, I have a right and a reason to be here! God bless you all and may you all live fruitful lives!

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Artisan – Post 84 – Goodness Is The Best Part Of Life – LIKE if you agree!

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 84

Goodness Is The Best Part Of Life – LIKE If You Agree!

Art84

While it certainly is a recent technological phenomenon new to mankind, we are being swarmed and overtaken by social media. My father worked for IBM in the days it was planned and developed saying that they didn’t introduce it sooner because it would shock our culture. Well dad, the shock has come. We are being flooded with Facebook, Instagram and twitter pics, blogs and rants, as we know we never saw it coming. But what are these pics, blogs, videos and posts telling us? Let’s look at a few!

 

Religion

One of the more common early social media memes was the generic feel good say nothing post. I suspect it was developed to lure clients to pages to friend and like them to sell them something. I’ll give you a hypothetical example. Take a picture of a boy playing with a puppy – no a litter of puppies – and write on it “Goodness is the best part of life – LIKE if you agree!” Of course these got thousands of hits, likes and comments, because honestly, who in the world is violently opposed to goodness, little boys and puppies? But soon they died out! People caught on not to the fact it was a sales trick, but to the fact that it said nothing. Now they just paraphrase them by quoting that the pope or the Dalai Lama said something similar. Then the people who support those guys as well as goodness and puppies are drawn in. As far as the “say nothing” generic feel good meme goes, people no longer fall for it. Even in the advanced age of social media, stupid arguments to stupid people still don’t work.

One that does surprisingly well, however is the traditional generic religion post, “Prayer works! Share if you agree!” It never says what prayer or what religion or even what God if any it is promoting, but the stats go through the roof. Obviously an atheist is going to disagree, but by the time he sees the feedback this meme gets, he won’t say anything. That being that he is far outnumbered and in for a wildly biased group of irrational people to argue with. Again, businesses post this to get customers, not to get you to pray!

The one most shocking to me is the one-armed deformed girl that says, “Does God think she’s beautiful?” Of course any concept of God other than Satanism feels obligated to agree. What is my problem with this? Did she make the meme herself? No! She has one arm and sometimes can’t even see! Did anyone even ask her if it was ok to post her disfigurement online? We don’t even know that. The problem I have with it is that IT’S EXPLOITING THE GIRL!!! Many people aren’t going to think she’s physically beautiful, but maybe with a wonderful heart. But this guy is using her handicap to draw support for a religion whose God by their own rationale, may have created this deformity to begin with. The girl becomes a feel sorry poster girl to get people into someone’s church or again sell them something because they like handicapped children.

 

Politics – All in the Family

 

Hitler’s chief propaganda agent, Joseph Goebbels, once said that if you tell a lie enough times to enough people you make it the truth. Bernie Sander’s has been quoting outrageously unquestioned statistics regarding the top 1% of the population destroying the middle class. But do such unhampered statistics exist? I live in a Barrio and we seem to be doing ok. The problem isn’t in the accuracy of his claim, but that it is the only thing he is continually saying to the point we are inclined to believe it. Also, he provides no viable strategy to get any money from them. Claiming to be a US socialist is a brave campaign. However, typically throughout history if socialists wanted to take any significant amount money from the upper class, they had to kill them to do it. After which they simply created a new elite. His plan on terrorism, rarely mentioned, is to get other Muslim countries to ally and rid us of them. The only way to stop a bad Muslim extremist, I guess, is with a good Muslim extremist. It kind of reminds me of the NRA approach to gun control. No wonder we’re not hearing that part of his campaign on the net. As far as taking money from the rich, he intends legislation, but created by somewhat radical people. Opposing the system to fight the system from within the system doesn’t seem like it will work. Plus he has mostly a youthful audience not known for voting at all. The oldies are going to show up instead to make America great again.

Speaking of the top 1% Donald Trump is a lead contender trying to offend everyone! How does this work? In the 1970’s TV scriptwriters created an offensively conservative character to make the republican party look stupid. His name was Archie Bunker, a bigot, a male chauvinist, a gun advocating and a war mongering a-hole. The ratings went through the roof, but then they noticed something. People were watching the show because they actually liked and agreed with Archie’s immoral offensive approach. Discernment is a way the public naturally fights the impact of the media. Many of us are disgusted by the bigoted videos displaying why not to agree with Trump. But how many people are watching his racist and sexist shenanigans and agreeing with him? I’ll give you a clue! Watch the news! It’s already scaring the GOP!

I won’t leave out Clinton, but she seems to have left herself out this time. Online everybody still hates Hillary. Every now and then a woman posts Clinton as a feminist, but only by gender. What girl in America would want her rights represented by a woman whose husband constantly cheats on her? Sadly, she doesn’t seem to know or care about online activity at all! What has Hillary done? She’s taking large corporate campaign contributions, manipulating the mainstream media and politicking within her party to ensure a nomination she may very well get. We’ve all been watching her do this through posts from other candidates online! Maybe the only way to win this game is not to play!

 

Posts I Kind of Like

A very popular one on my page is “Drugs Kill!” Other than the marijuana advocate or social drinker, we know this. We were taught this in elementary school and watched it come to be growing up. The posts, however, aren’t just to stop people from trying drugs, but used instead as an often artistic and clever call to arms for those trying to quit. Of course, they know they kill, but it is a great reminder to someone desperately trying to change their lives. Also, they don’t often appear on people’s timelines, because of the principle of Anonymity and not wanting their bosses, teachers, pastors or the cops to know they are battling a drug problem. You will be reminded of them as support when you join any recovery group on Facebook. My favorite is a group called Rebel Rehab that has truly supported my own struggle.

A difficult post I agree with is “Depression and Anxiety are actual illnesses!” The problem is that this is scientifically being proven, but like evolution, the general public is refusing to admit it. You may get some likes from this one, but beware of the troller’s insults and debates in your Feedback. That may cause you more depression and anxiety than the disease itself!

Jokes are always good and fun to share, but I find others comment with more distasteful jokes that really aren’t that funny!

So from ranting and raving to blogging to video and musical representation, there’s lots to do these days if you don’t want to leave the house and have WIFI! I personally am in between jobs, raising money this way and developing a fun-filled yet delicate hobby.

DAN JOYCE

TTYL

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Artisan – Post 82 – Government

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 82

Government

Art82.jpg

What is government if it is not of the people? The pauper? The proletariat? Who reigns tribulation, who destines in his mind, who builds and creates with his hands, never to be mistaken… Who tears the strings of the capital puppet master… Who makes art to live within his means… Who is born and dies and is reborn again. Who is he, the poet? Who fights the bullied earth, the circus, the playground, the satellite earth. Tell me truly peaceful ones what troubles we have made. Fighting war, brutality, politics and cult religion. We’re buried in our graves. The graves we’ve dug, the graves we’ve made. Who is she, companionship that holds a deeper truth? Tell me once and loved and lost so many times before, filthy as a whore, dance the dance of come and go and still we dance once more. Tell me Mr. Government how even is the score? How evil deeds of evil men settle this again. Who is she my sacrifice, my heartbeat born again? Am I the fool to break the rules and waltz with love again? I do not care who mother loves; looks, money, Catholic ways. I am just a painter and settled in my way. My music stands before me… my palette without grey. I am a colored inspiration. To God, I am a slave. Tell me more Ms. Mystery the woman I adore. Speak to me my destiny. Bring spirit every shore. Who am I my mirror man that’s more than just alone? I am the dream romantic sleeping in my home. And now I hear the feminist talking in her sleep. The revolution communist pensive oh so deep… whisper as I weep… tainting as I dream… flooding fascination… sleep… sleep… sleep

What good is that a genius? A genius without ethics? the ethics of the dollar? Who is he to sink his brother in greed? Who is he to clarify, to justify, to starve those of need. In that is his power a power that is greed. How I can kill my brother, how I can bury his cloak, how far in such denial and denial is defense. That love is not among him, that love he is without, that jealousy of virtue breeds racism and hate. Who is he my brother, who kills in Christ’s name, who buries all his victims in his pathological game. Is it murder a sin? When taking such a man? And how easy to defame, the disgust of his name? Awkward odd and ill mannered, he lives alone in bitter soil like a worm that feeds on the dead. Where is this morality, the morality of hate, the moral of the dollar that casts into disgrace. That works and works and works the mother that works her into pain. That feeds and feeds and feeds the greedy the greedy in God’s name. That justifies the racist that sacrifices the lame. Who his he my brother? Why must I bear his name?

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Artisan – Post 81 – Give Us Work Or Give Us Welfare!

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 81

Give Us Work Or Give Us Welfare!

Art81

So many businessmen complain about their taxes being wasted on welfare and disability expenses. However, so few will hire us with training but without work experience. If they are so worried about wasting money on socialist expenditures, why don’t they just give us jobs and give us the money that way? Either way they are going to be spending the money. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I think we need incentives to motivate the businesses to consider us.

Tax incentives are my suggestion. George Bush Sr. put some in place during his presidency. I don’t know if they worked or if we still have some. Let’s look at this economically. I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Graphic Design and other somewhat technical skills. In the years after my graduation I was referred to the department of rehabilitation to find work. However, in those eight years, they only provided one job lead that didn’t even result an interview. Social Security paid my schooling on the PASS program assuming I could find work, pay taxes and therefore pay the money back. But no employer will consider me due to lack of experience. I do get leads from Monster, LinkedIn and some headhunters in my email, but most are so far away it isn’t feasible to get there on the train or the bus. Again, they require experience. Now, in terms of math – if the federal government can spend nearly $20,000 to get me a trained education in a needed field, (yes graphic design and advertising are near necessities in any business) If they can spend all that much money to train me for a job, why can’t the State of California, the County of Orange and what you call “the private sector” make a little better effort to help me find one. It seems economically, a better investment.

I am not the only person in this position

Yes, I did find 2 jobs as a concessions worker for Anaheim Stadium and the Honda Center. Both were low paid, but much better than minimum wage and wonderful people to work for. However, since they were both part time and seasonal, I found I still had to collect government income to eat and pay rent in low income housing situations. As far as paying it back in taxes, when I did my 1040 on both jobs I got so much money back from the IRS, it made me question if I had accidentally cheated on my taxes.

Now I may be the only guy you’ll ever meet who actually wants to pay taxes. But after all this, I really wouldn’t mind holding a position that requires it.

It’s not throwing money at the problem. You are going to be spending that money either way. My point is that you will just be reinvesting it into a better business and a better society.

It is the private sector that I feel needs to invest into American workers. Otherwise, we get the waste I just described. And while I had a good time in college, it certainly did no good after graduation.‬

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Artisan – Post 80 – Losing

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Losing

Art80

As I have stated
I am losing
and will lose. 
I can walk away
with my tail
between my legs
or go down fighting.
I can paint a portrait
of myself losing.
A painting of me
at the Alamo,
an oil of me
with Sir Han Sir Han.
A photo of me
in a car with Jackie,
A poem about me
having a dream
and I will lose
all that I have ever
believed in
for nothing.
I have come from nothing
and will return to nothing
and it will all mean nothing
The lessons we learn from atheists

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Artisan – Post 78 – Salute To Stan

Artisan by Dan Joyce

©2016

Post 78

Salute to Stan

Art78

Today I ran into my old friend Stan on the bus stop with his girlfriend. His name is actually, Cory, but I’ve always somehow called him Stan. Maybe because it rhymes with my name, Dan, and I can relate to him so well. I first met Stan in AA several years ago. He was a young kid that wanted to be a part of my art business and showed me a sketchbook of craft tattoo type ink drawings. I told him he was good, but if he wanted to work with me he would have to draw every day. He became angry, said he wouldn’t do that and stormed away. Later, he would often visit my booth in the street market, but become more upset when I would have to attend customers and ignore him briefly.

Stan is now trying to make it back to the east coast to be with his family. He is finally off parole, but for no serious offences, just a series of drunk in public charges and vagrancy violations that have added up. He tried housing through the services 12 step programs offered, but was always asked to leave. The laws on sober livings are that they can kick you out without notice, not just for drinking either, sometimes for not getting along with others, fighting over stolen food, even petty infringements like not making the bed. In fact the contracts of sober livings state that they can kick you out for nearly any reason without notice and refuse to refund your rent… and so we find Stan. With Stan’s temper, it’s easy to see he didn’t fit in. Sober livings just kept the money and threw him out. 12 step programs are strict. According to them quitting drinking is not just about quitting drinking, it’s also about making money and a lot of recovery home owners are making cash that way.

I’ve always wanted to do an oil painting of Stan as a young homeless Sid Vicious, but I can’t afford the oil paint or canvas since Baxter took over the local art scene promising to help people like Stan and me. He has a hard time finding work, so do I. I give him money and food when I can and he surprisingly never expects it. I tell him he owes me nothing. I guess a lot of people just aren’t that unconditionally nice to him. I suppose many people see me as I see Stan. He could do so much for himself in this society if he just wasn’t so damned angry. But honestly, there is so much to be angry about with all the bad cops in Fullerton, people turning a blind I to injustices, corruption on every corner and activists and civil rights leaders claiming equality yet only proving to be as selfish and discriminating as the bigots they oppose.

Sadly, all I can do for Stan is paint him give him what I have when I see him. I can see the problem. We can all see the problem. We see it everyday at the bus stops or doing business downtown. But the solutions are much harder to find. Yet, sometimes just identifying that the problem is there can be the first part of the solution. Maybe a little love and enlightenment when you see Stan, as my friend Magoski would say, is all that Stan could really use and maybe he wouldn’t be so damned angry. I salute you Stan. I salute you in the sober livings. I salute you on the streets. I salute you in the psyche ward. I salute you in Theo Lacy. I salute you in the county jail. I salute you in Rockland. I salute you with Carl Solomon. I salute you sleeping on the bus stop. I salute you for surviving it all. Today, my hat is off to you!

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