Today’s Gag

January 27, 2015

1501:EKG-BlogClick image to enlarge. To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Sizemore.

WPA Color, 1939-1943

January 23, 2015

Kids

The first photograph in this WPA (Works Progressive Administration) series is a time machine, shooting me back 70 years. We did a lot of “visiting” between families in the mountains of south-western Virginia in the late 1930s, 40s and 50s. It was a social event, entertainment, a cheap vacation. But at those gatherings it always seemed there were too many kids and too few beds. So I spent my share of time taking a quick nap after being played-out, sprawled out like the group in this image. Or, with the addition of a thin blanket, down for the night with lots of close company. Being somewhat shy, perhaps like the wide-eyed girl in the photograph, I was usually the last one to go to sleep and the first to wake up. But always, whomever we were visiting, my family was made to feel welcome. And when the time came to go home, our host’s warm sendoff usually went something like:  “You’ll come back real soon.”

(Click images to enlarge.)

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A collection of photographs like the ones above, on a wide range of subjects, are in the archives of FSA/OWI (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information). These rich color images, taken within three years of the invention of Kodachrome, serve to inspire as much as to document. To see more, tap the WPA link in the sidebar window marked “Photography.”


A Visit from POTUS

January 19, 2015

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My name is Amanda Rothschild and I’m the manager of Charmington’s, a café in Baltimore City.  That’s me to the lower right of President Barack Obama in this picture.

(Click image to enlarge.)

The president visited my restaurant because our workers get paid sick days, even though Maryland law does not require employers to offer them. Because our employees have paid sick time off, they can take the time they need to get well or take care of their families. They don’t come to work sick, spreading germs to their co-workers or our patrons.

This year we have the chance to pass the Healthy Working Families Act in the Maryland General Assembly and give more than 700,000 Maryland workers paid sick days. Sign our petition and tell Maryland legislators that you think workers should be able to earn paid sick leave.

When the president dropped by yesterday for a sandwich, we talked about our paid sick days policy.  I shared with the president that having paid sick days makes our employees healthier and reduces our staff turnover, saving the business time and money. He told me about his work to pass paid sick days legislation in the U.S. Congress and that he is encouraging every state to give workers earned leave.

President Obama cannot do it alone, he needs for people like you and me to make our voices heard. Please join me in signing our petition to tell Maryland legislators that you think workers should be able to earn paid sick leave.

Thanks for your activism and visit us at Charmington’s soon!


Today’s Gag

January 15, 2015

1501-Abides-BlogClick image to enlarge. To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Sizemore.

WPA Color, 1939-1943

January 12, 2015

Labor

For those struggling throughout the Great Depression, the New Deal WPA (Works Progressive Administration) promised not just employment, food and shelter, but hope for the American dream.

From 1939 – 1943 workers participated in massive public projects from building roads, to making art across the country. A collection of photographs depicting this period are in the archives of FSA/OWI (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information). They show not only a monumental time in American history, but a still applicable vision of American fantasy.

While most of us are familiar with the Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photos, this particular era of American life has been largely forgotten. These rich color images, taken within three years of the invention of Kodachrome, serve to inspire as much as to document.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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Today’s Gag

January 9, 2015

1501:Anymore-BlogClick image to enlarge. To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Sizemore.

Sam Shepard on Play Writing VI

January 5, 2015

Adapted from: The Pathfinder

By John Lahr, The New Yorker, February 8, 2010

Shepard-6The male influences around me (growing up) were primarily alcoholics and extremely violent. I listened like an animal. My listening was afraid.

I  just dropped out of nowhere. It was absolute luck that I happened to be there (NYC, 1963) when the whole Off-Off Broadway movement was starting. I think they hired everybody. It was wide open. You were like a kid in a fun park—trying to be an actor, writer, musician, whatever happened . . . . For me, there was nothing fun about the sixties. Terrible suffering . . . . Things coming apart at the seams.

I had a sense that a voice existed that needed expression, that there was a voice that wasn’t being voiced. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start. I felt kind of like a weird stenographer . . . . There were definitely things there, and I was just putting them down. I was fascinated by how they structured themselves.

When you write a play, you work out like a musician on a piece of music. You find all the rhythms and the melody and the harmonies and take them as they come  . . . . Break it all down in pairs. Make the pairs work together, with each other. Then make ‘em work against each other, independent.

I preferred a character that was constantly unidentifiable . . . instead of embodying a “whole character,” the actor should consider his performance “a fractured whole with bits and pieces of character flying off the central theme,” . . . . to make a kind of music or painting in space without having to feel the need to completely answer intellectually for the character’s behavior.

Character is something that can’t be helped. It’s like destiny . . . . It can be covered up, it can be messed with, it can be screwed around with, but it can’t be ultimately changed. It’s like the structure of our bones, and the blood that runs through our veins.

(I was) dead set against revisions because I couldn’t stand rewriting . . . . (The plays) were chants, they were incantations, they were spells. You get on them and you go. Plays have to go beyond just working out problems. (They have to move) from colloquial territory to poetic country.

I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing, and endings are a disaster.


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