Well, the first issue of 3.1.1. zine seems to have gone over well. After five days of distribution for the first issue, we are damn near out of copies. We were going to do something clever like post a list of all of the businesses carrying the zine. Then we realized that sending our readers out all over town just to find out that the copies are out of stock is a sure way to get throttled. Also, poverty dictates that, at least for now, we can’t print many more, so one of us decided to have something like a thought: Why not put the PDF up online to download and print?
So we did.
The first issue is now available in booklet form in the Print an Issue section. No more hunting. Tell all your friends.
Welcome to the first online issue of 3.1.1. Take a minute to check out some of the great artists and writers who have submitted to the zine. This online publication corresponds with a print zine being distributed around the Bay Area.
If you are interested in being published, take a look a the submissions section and get in touch. If you would like to advertise your business, again, the submissions section will tell you what you need to know.
Enjoy the first issue.
In 1997, when Time Magazine picked Johannes Guttenberg’s printing press as the most important invention of the second millenium AD, it wasn’t just a nod towards the magazine’s progenitor, but rather homage paid to a machine that made free thought truly free. That being said, coming in a close second to the printing press is the internet. If the printing press made the diffusion of information and ideas quick and inexpensive, the internet made such content omnipresent. Up until the advent of the internet, seeking out specific information had been a process, while now one would have to make a conscious effort to remove oneself from the constant barrage of immediately available electronic media content. Wherever we go we find ourselves pursued by games to play, videos to watch, friends to add, and apps to use. In fact, it would not be so ostentatious to claim that the current mediums of electronic communication are very much like zombies.
Yes, zombies. Wireless and other electronic sources of information are in a constant state of growth as consumers increasingly seek faster, easier, and cheaper ways to read news, communicate ideas, and entertain one another. In many ways, these new mediums of communication are quite useful. Craigslist and Ebay have both effectively created a central location for any need that would have previously been fragmented through a hodgepodge of local or national newspapers and magazines. Websites for businesses, schools, and public services can answer a variety of questions efficiently and at a moment’s notice. That is to say that electronic media can be a convenient suppliment, but it should not by any means stand alone. Now, every major newspaper and magazine now has an online portal, and many of these publications are expanding their online content as more and more readers shy away from purchasing hardcopy and advertisers pull out from hardcopy sponsorships. Entire books are now downloaded onto Amazon’s “Kindle” e-book. Everyday new websites appear offering services that previously necessitated the use of printed media. Furthermore, the proliferation of the smart phone has given birth to the app, making it possible to access news, music, and other media anytime and from anywhere you can make a phone call from. The spread of new communication technologies is in epidemic proportions.
Much the same are zombies. Constantly expanding their population by biting humans, where people are balanced, rational, and coherent, zombies care nothing for the content of life, only about their growth in numbers. Where a publication may have once provided a wealth of information in hard print, the bite of declining profits dictates a new way of life. The nature of this new life is also part of the issue at hand. The speed and abundace of electronic media render critical thought and rumination hard to come by. There is always something new to consume which leaves little time for the gentle contemplation needed to really understand all aspects of a given matter. In addition, the influx of demand for immediately consumable content has led to a major loss of intellectual sophistication of said content. Hard-hitting journalism is much a thing of the past and is being replaced by a style rife with opinion and personal accounts. Popular music and video entertainment continue to lose artistic complexity due to an apathetic consumer base and the increase in user generated content. In essence, the forms of electronic media are becoming increasingly mindless.
Now, one can’t discuss the proverbial changing of the guard without the idea of the “soul” coming into the mix. For example, classic blues or rock or jazz have soul. Classic and single speed bikes have more soul than the multi-speed perfomance bikes of today. Classic cars have more soul than the cheaply assembled models currently on the road. These are very familiar statements, and are such only because there is a grain of truth in the argument, somewhere. The idea of these things being more soulful by nature stems from them feeling more solid or organic or having more thought put into the creation process in some way, which in essence are all qualities related to an object’s sense of permanence. That is precisely what gives an object its soul: permanence. A thoughtful and laborious creation process using simple and solid materials (or ideas) ensures a long lasting and useful final product that will, over its lifetime, connect with many owners and mean something different to each one. A book can be dog-eared, written in, traded, sold, or rest on a bookshelf for years. A newspaper can block the rain or sun, be folded, have a crossword filled out, and eventually clean up your dog’s shit. The soulless quality of the quickly produced good comes from the lack of its ability to connect with a person. Its ephemeral nature prevents these bonds from forming because it wasn’t meant to be bonded with. It is meant to be consumed and then discarded. Though a piece of news or music or art in itself can have meaning, when presented through such media it cannot have the same resonance with a person as it would being presented through a more substantial means.
That leaves hordes of laptops, phones, and music players switched on day and night, blank screens waiting with supernatural patience for a face to appear in front of them. There they are on the bus, sitting in a pocket or a purse, these soulless devices waiting to be pulled out and used as soon as the bus stops. They are sitting on the counter in the middle of the night, so that when you walk down the street and pass by each window, you can see the faint static glow of a screen waiting, just waiting. Before you know it your toilet paper will go digital. Print media, however, can’t and won’t submit to the demands of the masses of mindless and soulless media zombies. There must be a place, a haven if you will, for local and thoughtful media content to have it’s say in print. A place for the soft fluttering sound of the pages turning. A place for the thick black ink to sink in like blood and take root and make its home. That’s what we’re here for. We vow to hold out, to fortify ourselves against the mob of brain eating, uncoordinated parasites to give you quality content and still make it to bed sometime before dawn.
Write Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Allison Sparrow
This is the first installment of my DIY column for the 3.1.1. zine. I started projects making useful, creative things out of found or cheaply purchased objects because I thought it would make more personal gifts for friends and family. I’ve also had a long time infatuation with finding something, a chair or table or strip of fabric, on the street or in a thrift store and transforming it into something completely different, new, and uniquely my own.
Up until recently my earrings were scattered around my apartment, and I was rarely ever able to put together a set. Luckily, the Madonna, one earring look kind of goes with my aesthetic. However, I do like to be able to put together a set of earrings every once in a while. So, I decided to make an earring holder. This is a super simple project with very little cost involved. The materials needed are as follows:
-paint (acrylic or spray paint)
-paint brush if using acrylics (most paint brushes will do, but you probably want to have a fairly small tip)
-clear coat or mod podge (this is optional)
-wire mesh or cute fabric
-sand paper (350-400 grit)
First, sand the two separate rings of the embroidery hoop with the fine grit sandpaper. This helps get the burs off of the raw wood and readies the surface for painting.
Next, paint the embroidery hoop. Be sure to take apart the two pieces and paint them separately. I had to do two coats to get a solid color on both sides. After the paint dries, put a couple coats of crystal clear over the paint. This is not necessary, but I like the look of the gloss coat over the paint.
After that, cut your fabric or mesh wire slightly larger than the embroidery hoop on every side. Stretch the material or mesh taught between the two pieces and connect the hoops. Screw the top in place. Hang your new earring holder on the wall and admire your work.
These little guys are inexpensive and easy to make in sets. If you are going to make one, you might as well make a few and give them away as gifts. I hope you enjoy the project.
So the morning routine had begun, and never had anyone been so positive about absolutely nothing. As he embarked on his daily, one-block trek from the parking meter to the office, his cell phone became a prosthetic ear. Today’s conversation with Nobody was particularly emphatic, and it filled the empty space between his three ears with the sounds of superlatives that were sure to turn heads…but they rarely did; it’s hard to steal attention from blaring horns and fender benders and traffic-induced expletives and crazy beggars and mammoth buildings and other people also involved in imaginary cell phone conversations.
Ah, the glory of the city! And he reveled in it — loved to say he lived in it, loved the clear view of it through the tinted windows of his Luxury Edition Monstrous Machine with Wheels (MMW to those in the know). As he cachinnated and complimented Nobody’s wit, he looked around at this beautiful place. What a gem of humanity! The genetically-engineered fruit of our advanced intellects at their ripest. And so full of people! Who could ever feel alone? he thought while nodding at the comments of Nobody under the watchful eyes of concrete, glass and steel.
As if the obese beads of sweat now dripping into his eyes from the taxing walk were not disruptive enough (fast food is another “fruit” of the modern intellect), he suddenly happened upon an edifice of the offensively rudimentary kind: an anthill. What a repugnant roadblock, the antithesis of this glorious modernity!
“My god, Somebody really should get rid of that!” he huffed aloud. That turned heads. He quickly resumed the intriguing conversation with Nobody as he sloshed his way into the office building.
So the morning routine re-began, and this morning he was even more positive about nothing than he was the previous day.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt!” he exclaimed, evidently in the midst of a law-related delusion. Perhaps he was a lawyer…or maybe even a judge? Certainly his new suit could defend this fantasy — he caught his reflection in the mirrored window of a building and my, he looked smart! Lost in the day’s victorious start, he hardly noticed that, once again, he was failing to attract attention. He also did not notice his change for the meter tracing a trail behind him as it discreetly exited his new jacket through a designer hole. And he almost did not notice that damned anthill, but it was such a jarring break in the uniformity of the environment that the self-appointed judge was compelled to drop his gavel in the form of a patent plastic shoe.
Disgusting, primitive creatures! he thought, crushing the anthill with clumsy contempt. Building with DIRT. His thoughts flashed to the beautiful concrete, glass and steel that surrounded him. Surely in this modern era we have some kind of poison that can rid our streets of such eyesores! As if in response, his signature bead of pungent sweat punctuated this angry musing, dripping off his downturned face to soak one of the ants.
“If Somebody else won’t get rid of this, I will!” he blurted. This unusual display of initiative was a surprise even to him — but not quite enough to shake him from his rant. In fact, he would hardly have noticed the heads that had turned to watch this spectacle had his phone not rang…and it did, directly in his ear, where it was still propped up for fake conversation.
With a new day came a different tone: he was consumed by a thought other than his morning pageant. He was fixated on the previous day’s destruction of the anthill.
Ugly, nasty, flimsy little thing. I showed them! He congratulated himself and almost forgot his cell phone on the seat of his MMW. Today he held it not to his ear, but rather in his hand, wielding it like some strange weapon…today he was a soldier, ready for combat (less G.I. and more G.Q., of course). He approached the spot on the sidewalk, expecting the wreckage from the previous day. And he did not notice the people staring at him as he walked, nose to the ground, “weapon” in tow.
Closer…closer…surely the anthill was gone! But as he grew nearer he caught it in his sights — the new hill was twice as big as yesterday’s, a legion of blood-red ants working in robotic synchronization as they excavated yet more dirt from the crack in the concrete. He quietly fumed, surveying the scene with contempt. They had managed to rebuild…they worked together like a machine…look at them all in line…
“Commies,” he grumbled under his breath. “Communists in EXOSKELETONS!”
His tone exploded to a yell, the shrapnel of his rant assaulting the ears of passersby. He stomped the hill and its little, armored architects. “Take that! And that! That’ll teach you to invade my space!”
Invaded space, indeed. That afternoon brought a most unexpected occupation: dirt and leaves lounging in fancy cars, branches sitting alongside their more refined cousin, the pencil, on desks in executive suites. As if in retaliation to his morning attack, the separation between man’s world and the natural world was redrawn by a moody fault line. Concrete was mere talcum. Beautiful glass was shattered across the street like crumbs. Sturdy steel was mangled and tangled. And his world had collapsed around him.
“Why?” he whimpered, staggering across the street. His shirt was torn and he was missing a shoe — his stomping shoe. Disoriented, he looked up and around…and around…and around, spinning clumsily like a warped LP. His daze was abruptly broken by acute pain in his big toe, numbness supplanted by a sudden panic — was the toe broken? He’d been stumbling around on it, probably did irreparable damage by now! Or had he stepped in glass? Surely it was deeply imbedded! He half expected to see blood when he looked down at his foot.
He saw a red mass. It was not liquid, though it flowed with the same urgency. It was a throng of ants, surging from their hill like lava from a volcano. The anthill was bigger than ever, an empire at the height of its prosperity, and his foot was planted at its perimeter — too close, obviously, for comfort, as a single ant was perched on his toe, steadfast mandibles chomping at the flesh exposed by a rip in his sock. Surprisingly, the rest of the army was headed not for the fetid meat treat, but was instead busy expelling the last of the dirt that had disturbed their dwelling during the morning attack. The “primitive” creatures seemed to somehow sense that now was no time for petty action; there was real business to tend to, and his foot, though a repugnant roadblock, was but a peripheral concern.
He did not make an effort to rid his toe of the ant or to destroy the hill — it was his only compass, and its familiarity was strangely comforting in this newly-remodeled world. The sensation of pain subsided and he became lost in what seemed to be reflection — in the absence of mirrored buildings, it can only be theorized that the empty space between his ears was, for the first time, filled.
Something else familiar survived the quake: his phone, which was ringing in his pocket. Force of habit overtook him as he fumbled to remove the irrelevantly hip, modern device. He began to check the number…hesitated…
He let it keep ringing. It was Nobody important.
*Image by Tasica Singleton
Born and raised in Green Bay, WI, Robert became interested in art at an early age. By the age of 11, he had picked up his first 35mm camera and began shooting images of his friends, family, pets, action figures and more. He studied painting with Steven Schultz for 3 years and gained a thorough understanding of color and composition before he switched his focus to photography. By age 17, he was shooting professionally full time, freelancing all around Northeast Wisconsin doing everything from ad-work to journalism. Still having a strong interest in art, he pursued galleries and had many solo exhibitions displaying his work. He now lives in San Francisco, CA.
A cling and a clunk
And I bust this old town
A rip and a rant
And I write it all down
A cascade of kindness
An old metal pot
A rock in the trail
And a nail in the rot
With Softly layered pitfalls
We call all our catcalls
And lick all our windfalls
While jumping in waterfalls
The orc’s and dragonfly’s
Tear up all the bar walls
While a parade of “These guys”
Tell stories about the old days
And I got away even without my family and friends
I’m stuck back here climbing a eucalyptus
Hiding from the Eclipses
At the little cold de’ sac at the world’s end.
6/4/01 New York Greatly Altered By AIDS
No more dancing in the streets
No more fucking at the turnstiles
Now all we’ve got is the straight dope
Hookers who faint at the sight of blood
And the soldiers who love them for it
A founding member of both Sleepwalkers Theatre and Bay Area arts collective Mishap Productions. Damian’s achievements include Proms for High School Drop-Outs, Plays for people who don’t like Theatre and histories of things that never existed. He’s still best known for the fact that he writes on t-shirts with sharpies. Go figure.
Calamity Cole is a fine artist and political cartoonist out of Oakland, California. She was born in Los Angeles and has studied at The Art Institute of San Francisco and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently pursues a career in the arts. She’s produced and collaborated on collections ranging from photography to oil paintings. Figurative or portrait in nature, her work describes society, culture, and religion with an ironic sense of humor. Calamity Cole’s work is an ode to the old masters while being innovative in the same stroke. She paints about the tragedy and comedy of being human.
About four in the afternoon or so is when the fog started rolling over the hills of the peninsula, at first just sending out whispy fingers that crept down the east side of the slopes. It was as ifit were hesitant to commit, feeling its way along slowly and nervously before gaining momentum and finally sprawling over the lower lands like rumpled flannel sheets. Up along the few mile stretch of beach there were no hills to stand in its way and it began to crawl freely between the perfect square blocks of drab one and two story houses. The fog came more often than not, yet was not always expected. One might look up at the dwindling sunlight to see the thick cords of vapor tightening across the city’s skyline and feel surprise, if only for a second, before turning away and thinking “I guess it’s gonna be foggy today.”
That day the fog came in especially heavy so that instead of resting at a distance above the city, it was within, oozing down from the rooftops and through the alleyways. It was so thick it seemed to be holding all of the buildings up and in place. It was so thick each person was like an island unto himself, occasionally brushing past one another, but able to walk freely in anonymity.
A young couple, fingers loosely clinging together, walked down past the Haight Street housing project. They were both dressed simply yet stylishly in thick wool coats, black leather shoes, and scarves that burst from the collar. They talked loudly and comfortably but there was a snap to their step that brought their heels down sharply against the sidewalk. As they were crossing Webster they heard sirens suddenly, as if popping through the fog once close enough to hear. As quickly as it had come it vanished, the ambulance becoming nothing more than faint red strobes in the milky cloud.
They kept going down Haight and didn’t see the figure standing there, halfway down the block, teetering a bit from foot to foot. He had on a black knit beenie rolled up part of the way and dark ratty braids dangled down from under it. His skin was as black as the beanie and where it was once smooth and tight along his strong cheekbones it now hung worn and wrinkled. He wore an overcoat a few sizes too big, open all the way down, and a red Christmas sweater with a photo of an Asian child dressed in a Santa Claus outfit printed across the front. He stood there in the fog, an island reaking of crack, and the couple didn’t notice until they almost ran into him.
“…I just don’t understand, this is the time when the third world is hit the hardest,” the young man was explaining, “with all the developed countries’ governments pulling back on aid and energy prices going up how can we expect them to build lasting stability…”
“HEY! Wanna know three times a hundred and twenty seven?” the tattered man interrupted.
“Three eighty one! How about a dollar?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t have any,” the young woman said as they both slapped their pockets and shuffled slowly past him.
“How about twenty three squared? Five twenty nine! I’m like a calculator. How about a dollar a figure?”
“Uhh.” They looked at each other quickly and then down at the sidewalk as they continued up the street.
“Okay, fine, two for one! How ’bout it?”
But they were already past him, his words struggling after them through the fog until they were too far and they were alone again. After a few blocks they stopped to look at the menu outside a small Indian restaurant. Content to keep searching, they walked on down the block until they were lost in the milky haze.
Andrew Ek is a painter who recently relocated to the Bay Area from Chicago, with his wife and two cats. He is primarily a self taught artist and began drawing early on. In the beginning, dinosaurs and anthropomorphic animals were his favorite subjects, but as he got older, he witnessed members of his immediate family deteriorate from schizophrenic psychosis. As a result, a peculiar darkness crept into Andrew’s work.
Today, utilizing his physical surroundings as fodder for imagery while incorporating strong emotional undercurrents within his enigmatic sirens, his work has culminated into a nexus of bedazzling magic realism paintings that seem to evoke an unsettling pathos, as if you are being pulled into a horror movie universe where darkness looms just around the corner. As Andrew Ek has said, regarding this aspect, “I am attempting to record reality as if it were a dream, translating it into a finely wrought, phantasmagorical sequence. My aim is to envelop the viewer into an unfolding narrative in a vivid, cinematic context, similar to a movie still.”
Visit his website to view more of his work: www.andrewek.com
Theresa Fong was born in San Francisco, CA. In 2002, she graduated with Honors from San Jose State University with a BFA in graphic design and a minor in illustration. Here are some words from Theresa about her work:
“Recently, I started drawing because of my desire to revert back to traditional art rather than generating it on the computer…
In my drawings, I create a small window for the viewer to peer into. A hint of the subject is all that is needed to connect the rest of the story. My belief in the concept of less is more is the inspiration behind my work…
The main medium that I use in my work is charcoal. I like the darkness and richness of the medium, as well as, the bold contrast that it creates. Occasionally, I incorporate ink and spray paint with the charcoal; however, I appreciate the simplicity of just black and white.”
More of Theresa’s work, including graphic shirts and wood panels for sale, can be found at www.theresafong.com.
LIMBAUGH! LIVE! NAKED!
Some things are best left
to the imagination.
He came storming into
the radio station that morning,
leaving even hardened
New Yorkers aghast
at the pink bulk
of his pulchritude.
Grabbing the gold microphone,
he urged all right wingers
to demonstrate against
the socialist taxation system.
A few of them actually straggled
down to the closest park
or city center and angrily
tossed tea bags onto the ground.
There were dozens of tea bags,
just laying there,
prompting one homeless guy
to mumble to himself,
It makes you wish
you had some hot water.”
It went poorly, this redux of
secession, President Perry
of the Second Republic
and (at last) Vice-President Palin
overestimated the sympathies
of the nation at large,
the number of Marines
who threw down their guns
was minimal, The Texas
Air National Guard
was nothing without
their ace, George W.,
and quickly succumbed to
federal forces, Texas and
Alaska found themselves in the
same leaky raft as Cuba,
dealing with embargoes
and shortages of Chinese
goods to stock the WalMarts.
The last straw, however,
was when the Dallas Cowboys
and Houston Texans were
denied travel visas to complete
their NFL schedules.
Jerry Jones, a warlord more
powerful than Santa Ana,
flew into a rage and
rank and file Texans agreed,
you can live without democracy,
but not without football.
HOMELESS CAMP NEAR THE LAMBORGHINI
DEALERSHIP ON VAN NESS BOULEVARD
A man is sleeping on the street
Cocooned in a gray bag
Surrounded by a fortress
Of two shopping carts
And a blue plastic box
Most prominent jutting
From the carts is a TV set
With a broken screen
Rabbit ears intact
Ten yards down the street
The quiet opulence of faded
Brown marble the building
A relic of times when buildings
Were made of marble and carved
Lion faces stare proudly
Into the passing traffic
Behind thick windows
The Lamborghini Murcielago
Stands like a low-slung
Space ship in shocking yellow
On a stand the $293,600 price tag
Strikes me as strange
600 extra dollars piled on
$293,000? Isn’t that rubbing it in?
For the bargain-minded
The Lamborghini Gallardo in
Sleek metallic silver is only $174,000.
Now that’s more like it
I think as I wait for a bus
And a man already drunk at 10:00
In the morning weaves down the street
A New Year’s Eve celebration of one
And the man in the fort wakes up
Stares intently at the broken screen
“Nothing on but a bunch of bullshit.”
He mumbles into the sunlight.
About Michael Shorb
Michael Shorb’s work reflects a satirical focus on present day trends and events. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Rattle, and European Judaism, as well as other publications and anthologies.
Kellyn Elspeth Planteen was born in San Francisco, California. She grew up in several different Bay Area locations, most notably, the San Francisco Presidio, where she was first exposed to the cypress forests, which make a reoccurring presence in her work. Kellyn moved to Chicago in 2005 to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her current work focuses on capturing split second memories and emotions. Mainly working in two mediums, her drawings allow her to capture emotion as it is happening, while sewing enables her to spend more time creating narratives that merge memory and fantasy.
Kellyn’s work can be perused at www.kellynplanteen.com.
Yes! Please touch my paintings! Ideally I would like everyone who observes my work to absorb it both visually and physically. Using your sense of touch to examine my paintings will allow you to better share my perspective, technique and artistic vision.
In my present series I am using mostly French symbols or writings. My French nationality comes out in my work. But now that I have started a new life here in California, I am becoming fascinated with American culture and themes. Once I have discovered my American perspective I plan to begin a series devoted to that as well.
We are almost done throwing together the first print issue of 3.1.1. We appreciate all the people that submitted- the turnout was outstanding, especially for a first run. Unfortunately, we can’t print a 100 page zine, mostly because we need to eat and have money left over for laundry. We had to make some difficult decisions, but the issue we have put together, we feel, represents a solid range of subject matter and media from the pool of submissions.
The printed zine should start showing up in local businesses in early August. We will post a list of locations carrying the magazine on the blog once distribution is finished.
By the way, today is Amelia Earhart Day. No shit. Have a good night.
By Deon Price
The entertainment industry mourns the death of a global mega super star and legend. The sudden and shocking passing of singer Michael Jackson exposes the hypocrisy of main stream media. We have seen a borage of dedication tributes on every media outlet from radio, T.V., in print and on line for the King of Pop, yet these same venues have done just about everything possible to destroy his image, demean his character and derail his career. Now that he’s gone there is a phony love fest displayed by the media that many people including his family clearly recognized. Michael Jackson endured years of image assassination attempts by mainly American media that forced him into exile. His recent career comeback tour that was planned this summer was a testament to his resilience.
As a society, we tend to rarely show sincere appreciation for people until they are gone. I can honestly say that I also allowed public perception to influence my appreciation for true talent. I was what you might call a closet MJ fan. I know I’m not the only one who would be reluctant to blast MJ music in public. However, I do have a few of his jewels stored on my MP3 player like “Human Nature,” or my most recent favorite, “Butterflies”. I also made a point over the years to share his genius and talent with my children by proclaiming Mike as the “King of the Stage,” taking the thrown over their favorites Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake or Usher. His videos alone convinced them that he has the trophy for all-time best performer.
If there’s a lesson in this it is to appreciate people while they are here. How many times have we seen t-shirts worn by people of their loved one who have passed away? I often ask, “would you have made a t-shirt” if that person was still alive. Most of the time the answer is, “probably not.” Don’t wait until I’m gone to show me love. Make a t-shirt of me now, while I’m here. We just celebrated a family event honoring my mother who is 75 years old. Prior to the event we had t-shirts made with her image on the front. The event drew a larger than expected amount of family members from all over California. The sentiments of many of the folks attended was, “We should to this more often.” Most of the time families only get together like this when there’s a funeral. Whether it’s quality time with your immediate family, calling your grandparents once a week or attending the annual family reunion, these gestures are sincere and everlasting.
Never pass on an opportunity to show love and appreciation for someone because you never know what tomorrow will bring. That holds true for family, friends or, in this case, a talented artist. Years ago I had a rare opportunity to see Myles Davis live at the Circle Star theater in Redwood City. I decided to pass thinking I’ll catch him next time. Unfortunately, he died a few months later. More recently, I had a chance to experience the God Father of Soul, James Brown in Cache Creek. I decided instead to go to the Berkeley Jazz festival. Little did I know, James would pass away on December 25th that year. How many people who were constant critics of Michael Jackson are showing appreciation for him now that he’s gone?
We’ve received a lot of great submissions, and we are accepting submissions for three more days. If you have work you would like to see in print and online, or would like to advertise your work or local small business, check out the Submissions page and get in touch.
To all of you who have submitted, thanks. We will take some time to review all submissions and then get to work on the first issue. We will contact the people behind accepted submissions once we are finished with the selection process.
Now go out and do something awesome.
By Deon Price
Congratulations class of 2009! You have just completed the first stage in your career endeavors. That’s right! I said, your career. I know that’s probably the last thing on your minds right now. At eighteen your priorities are probably upgrading your cell phone or getting a vehicle. Those of you with a bit more ambition may be thinking of finding a job or going to college. I encourage you to brace yourself for you are about to enter an extremely challenging adult reality. What was once an environment filled with plenty of opportunities regardless of your choice of direction be it the job market, military or advanced education, we are seeing unprecedented obstacles in every career path. You will need skill, talent, patience and endurance to overcome these obstacles.
The economy has tremendously affected the job market for the 2009 high school graduates. Even entry level front line jobs are being eliminated. I recently pulled up to a drive through at a local McDonalds. A very pleasant female voice greeted me through the speakers, “Welcome, to McDonalds may I help” After I ordered a happy meal for my baby boy and a number 6 for myself, I rolled forward to the window- it was a 30 something male who completed the transaction. I learned that the voice that I heard was a live person in an Arkansas call center greeting customers in California. I was blown away! Instead of hiring a local teen fresh out of high school, McDonalds is outsourcing its front-line jobs to a state where labor is obviously cheaper.
More applicants are willing to man-up and toe the line by enlisting in one of our Armed forces not necessarily for patriotic reasons but for gainful employment. Military recruiters have raised the bar on their requirements, including expecting a higher score on the ASVAB test. As recently as a year ago, recruiting was rough. They were accepting any able bodied individual with a high school diploma and a pulse.
Due to state budget cuts that may eliminate Pell Grants, there will be 200,000 students that will not have the opportunity to attend college. California State university will reduced the number of incoming freshman by 10 thousand students. This will be the first time in nearly 20 years that the California State University has been forced to reduce its enrollment.
If your first option is not immediately available to you, whether it’s the job you want or the college you applied to, do not get discouraged. Don’t let that “Thanks! But no thanks!” letter kill your spirit. You simply go with option number two which may be trade school or community college. I also encourage you to be an active participant in the direction of your life. Explore different opportunities to find your most prevalent skill set. We are in very critical times that require very careful and diligent decisions. Explore every avenue in order to find your niche, your passion or your true life’s work. You may have to leave your comfort zone and take the road less traveled.
Finally, one of the best skills you can develop that will help you succeed is one that you won’t find in any high school or college class schedule: Interpersonal Skills. The more you are able to maintain and retain personal and professional relationships, the more apt you will be at improving your quality of life. Congratulations and good luck, Class of 2009.
Deon Price is a youth advocate and freelance writer who lives in Suisun City. He can be reached at Deon.Price@comcast.net or
By Deon Price |
Engaging young people on a consistent basis is a challenge all too familiar for educators, counselors, youth program directors and school administrators. As state budget cuts take place in the form of terminating teachers and eliminating physical education, music and creative arts, we will face very difficult times for youth who are already being slighted by political decisions. Extracurricular activities are vehicles that help students remain engaged in school. Unfortunately, these are the first programs cash-strapped school districts will have to eliminate.
As arts, athletics and supplemental programs are removed, I fear more students will become disengaged and dropouts will increase. The last thing Bay Area students need is yet another reason to separate themselves from the already depleted public school system. Our public school institutions are falling short of preparing our youth for the world or in most cases a higher education.
The need for alternative educational institutions will be more critical than ever. Parents may decide to home school, or consider a performing arts school. Solano County is the only county in the Bay Area that doesn’t have a performing arts school either public, private or charter. The Solano Academy of Performing Arts and Technology organization is trying to be the first.
The mission of most performing arts schools is to empower a community of students with the academic, technical and social/emotional skills required to participate in the global society as professional life-long learners and leaders. The concept is achieved by providing an enriched art- and business-centered environment, which facilitates and promotes critical thinking, logical reasoning, literacy development and creative expression. The philosophy is to prepare students for post -secondary education and training in the various industries in the workforce by providing a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is relevant and flexible enough to be tailored to their unique needs, talents and interests.
The students will be motivated by connecting core academic subject matter to real life experience and creating meaningful and innovative ways of learning.
It is obvious to me the traditional educational environment isn’t effective for some students. This environment will excite students to become more resourceful so they continue to learn outside the formal school setting.
I am a huge supporter of this type of nontraditional educational institutions. There are several ways students learn which mean we should explore different types of teaching. The creative arts is a great tool for teaching that we should continue to invest in.
The concept of educational entertainment is proven to be successful. www.youtube.com/priceedutainment Students are inspired and engaged to perform well in academics through creative, performing and media arts. To put it simply, to deliver a curriculum in a way that reaches the spirit will inspire that student and will have a lasting effect.
Deon D. Price is a youth advocate and freelance writer. Reach him at Deon.Price@Comcast.net.