Social is the New Religion

"I think what frightens me about Twitter and Facebook and all other social media is that it peels back a layer privacy that we still have to assume is still there. We get to see people's thought processes, their motivations, and sometimes the downright terrifying way in which they see the world. Yet despite being given this glimpse, it's verboten to stop them, to say anything to the effect of "whoa, wait a minute... you think you're being radical, but you're being anything but. This is destructive."

"Now, I'll grant, at first blush, this seems elitist, vindictive, and perhaps most importantly, equally frightening being said aloud by me. Whenever I feel pangs about this, I recall a horrifying bit of logic I caught while up late watching the religious station, where xyz-denomination compared forcibly confronting individuals about matters of faith to pulling someone from a burning building, and about how being worried about offending them while doing so, and not being passionate, not being - I'd say pushy, they wouldn't, but I digress - would be tantamount to going into that building and saying "hey, I don't want to offend you, keep doing you're thing, but you know, your house might be on fire, you should really get out. If you want." No, they saw it as seeing someone in present danger, and needing to drag them, kicking and screaming, from an impending doom. And I suppose writing this, and wanting to do that with people I know, people who have revealed problematic things about themselves - I could see how that would be construed as the same thing.

"Now, remember for second that I actually do have some conflicting feelings on that, since I wouldn't hesitate to save someone from a fire, but if they told me "hey, you know, it seems nuts, but I want to see how this fire thing turns out" then I might think about backing off. I have to concede that sort of thinking [the thinking of our little evangelists, missionaries, crusaders, etc.] which comes to influencing, commenting on, and attempting to change people's motives, methods, and ways of thinking is deluded and horrifying. And I don't want to interject myself into people's business to save them - especially if they don't want to be saved.

"Yet sometimes I wonder, and I struggle. Because I think what bothers me about this extra layer of people we get to see sometimes is not the damage that it does to themselves, but the damage it is going to allow them to do to others."

"Stricken with Typhoid in Cambodia" - Help get a Lovely Punk Artist Home to Recooperate.

In hopes of getting this signal out there and just a little stronger.

A series of misfortunes has left an old friend and fellow Bennington Alum, Darshana Bolt, pictured above with some of her work, stuck in Cambodia and doing battle with a serious [as if there's any other kind] bout of Typhoid fever. With her already ravaged immune system, and the fact that despite all the proper vaccinations, she's still gotten sick, and she desperately needs to return home to recover properly, with her family and other loved ones in Vermont. But with mounting debt for less than spectacular medical care, getting home as been difficult for her.

And so, the vibrant artist with the huge heart, the artist, the teacher, the proper punker - has been spending most of her days like this:

In order to combat her debt and get her home, her brother has set up a account to help, with a rather meager goal of just $2,500. You can read all about it, and give here at

They've already raised over half of their goal, and if everyone who reads this or is a friend on face book were to give a couple of bucks, she's be able to go home. So if you can give just a little bit, please, do. I'd consider it a personal favor - I have fond memories of Darshana, always with her sketchbook, ever teasing me about my excitement-induced mixed-metaphors.

There's a fair chance if you're reading this, you're an artist or a world traveler yourself, with a penchant for getting out there, and not at all unlikely to wind up in a similar tight spot. Price we pay for being interesting, eh? But we've all got to help each other, folks.