Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Children of Hard Times

Today I flagrantly use the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog for a political message. Today the United States House of Representatives begins debate on the floor about health care reform. I urge you to call your representative. It’s this simple. 1. The system we have isn’t fair. 2. We can’t compete in the international marketplace because our competitors don’t pay for healthcare like US companies have to. Please call.

Today’s blog entry takes its title from my thoughts of how sad it is to think that we as a nation built have built so many things and now it seems like we are forgetting as a nation how to do that. I was also thinking how ‘Social Security’ was the child of that hard time. I so much hope that we don’t fall down like that again. Can't we reframe these problems. Let's take advantage of all that we have learned about early childhood care and preventative medicine. Let's incorporate advances in complimentary healing modalities. Let's make sure people in our country don't have to go bankrupt if someone in their family gets sick. Let’s make national health care the child of our own hard times.

We have opportunities galore all around us. We are just too busy fighting stupid foreign wars and knee-jerk domestic social wars. This song, sung so sincerely, by John Williams reminds us of just how bad things can get. The track is a recording of “Plank Road” singing “Brother (sometimes Buddy) Can You Spare a Dime by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney .” I’m biased, but even with the little flub at the ending, I think this may be one of the best versions of this song I’ve ever heard. Scot and John were able to weave such warm fiber into their arrangements—enough to hang a lot of mood on. This recording was engineered by Jerry Farnsworth from a session a “BC” host “Plank Road” session in 2005.

Today’s artwork is another piece Scot did in his editorial magazine illustration career in the 1990’s. This piece went to “E—the Environmental Magazine.” Don’t remember the story that day, but it sure fits our story today. This guy definitely has the look of a banker. This piece was done with pen & ink, then airbrush (spraying India ink), which he then copied on the magic copy machine at San Francisco State Library, the prints of which he colored in several variations with the airbrush. Scot liked to work with masking areas, which is how he achieved the tight lines on the border around the piece.

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