“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

everybody knows

"Haight Ashbury Victorians" by Kevin Roach of Creativity Explored (digital media (c) CE 2006)

Early in our honeymoon we visited Creativity Explored, a nonprofit where "artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art," my new wife and I weren't particularly burdened by the well-meaning condescension favored by most visitors to such places. We've both been around mentally challenged people for so long that we can remember when they were called just "disabled"-- or worse. Basically that means that we didn't talk to the artists like they were children. (Hell, we're both educators so we don't talk to children like they're children, but you get the idea.)

So we had a good conversation with artists like Peter. Peter was- how do you say?- fairly "high-level" it CE, he had a good grasp of what was going on around him and even, to a large extent, in the world. That would make him "fairly high-level" on the streets of Amarillo, but you know what I mean.

When we told Peter we were from Texas, he naturally recoiled in horror. We were used to that reaction by now from San Franciscans. What made his reaction more, um, honest was that Peter had fewer-- how do you say?-- "filters". So he said just what most merely thought. "Bush!" he hollered. And then he embarked on a reasonably well-informed rant about The Emperor W's many, many sins.

We lowered our eyes in an approximation of meekness and said, yeah, unfortunately.

We should have taken from that experience a lesson about our mouths and discretion, but we didn't. Later, as we left the big room another artist asked where we were from. We did the same meekeyes act and said, again, Texas.

The next thing we knew, a roomful of developmentally-disabled artists were shrieking "Bush! Bush! Bush!" and shaking their fists and doing the thumbs-down thing and and stomping as we hightailed it out of there. So even though I've laid kinda low and concentrated mostly on hearts&flowers&love&stuff this summer, it was nice to know that I could still start a halfway decent political riot.