Sweet Taste of Water

15 08 2008

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 3 Issue 4 August 2008

Summer in the Quad-State region is nearing an end and people all over are getting in their last-of-the-season beach vacations. Lisa Arroniz, copy editor extraordinaire was one of these folks that recently visited a favorite beach hot spot for residents along the east coast, and she is back with a Tour de Arts report from Nags Head, North Carolina.

Since Lisa’s article was submitted, something dawned on me that I never fully contemplated – I guess I just took it for granted and at face value. Isn’t it interesting how creative beach areas and their boardwalks are? When at the beach enjoying the sun, sand and water, we think only about how nice it is to lay back and relax or to view the great scenery. Or we just “be” in the moment and are able to stop all the thinking. Hey, who needs creativity in paradise? Yet, business people see the great potential of opening their so-called beachwear stores that have everything we don’t really need but feel the need to purchase as a souvenir. Selling everything from imported shells and dried-out water creatures to nets-for-your-basement décor, cheap jewelry, bumper stickers galore (most of them in bad taste), and a multitude of other knickknacks. Crap from factories in China sit in every beach shop along the major strips, often times making me think they are all owned by the same person. With this aside, though, isn’t it interesting how the beautiful sandy beaches – stretching as far as the eyes can see – call the creative juices in us to create something in the sand? Whether it is a full-blown sand sculpture, which some artists make a living at creating, or an age-old sandcastle that adults and children alike can appreciate making. Even if it is just to scratch our name or a message in the sand, there is something mystical to making a mark of creativity on a beach.

Isn’t it interesting, too, how we love to watch the airbrush artists at work behind large windows – spraying their colorful portraits of gangsta rappers and Hollywood stars or ripping off some great artist like Stephen Blickenstaff (Find out more about this monster artist in our next issue!) or creating a commissioned piece of the childish “so and so loves whosy whatsy” on white T-shirts? And why is it that murals are almost always accepted on the outside walls of boardwalk motels, but not so much in our local towns and cities – even along highways where there is no historical nazi committee breathing down hotel owners necks? Boardwalk festivals of all artistic genres are a given at nearly every beach in the nation – and galleries, of all sorts, can usually be found there as well. These, and more, are interesting contemplations on why the arts and creativity seem to flourish in areas where people are relaxed, less stressed and are ready to spend extra money.

Let’s allow this ocean/waterfront thing to bring me to another question? How can we be so complacent when it comes to ignoring the quality of the water that we love to photograph, play and swim in, fish from, and ultimately drink from? Would we be as enamored by the great sea if it were not water, but rather pure urine? I think to some degree, we would be. I can imagine the beautiful, golden color reflecting the sky and the sun would indeed be a sight to see. We might as well share this futuristic vision with our children, because polluting our waters with all sorts of waste is basically what our societies, on a whole, have been doing since the beginning of the industrial revolution – if not before. Can we save the waters so that they are chemical and waste free?

So, as you have probably realized, the theme of water is rippling through these pages. Water – the quality of it, the future of it and the benefits of it has been an issue to contemplate for generations. It has been an especially profitable topic for some science fiction writers and filmmakers to explore in their novels and movies. These sci-fi, futuristic stories that focus on wars over water have been quite successful sellers – not because of the great plot, but because of the reality of this serious issue that we all should be thinking about and doing something to fix. The future is upon us in so many facets.

I was also contemplating a second theme for this issue, which is one we have explored before – mental illness. I questioned, however, whether mental illness, as serious and relevant to the arts as it is, warranted having yet another issue dedicated to it – and just four issues after the previous “Mind” issue (Issue 2 Volume 6). In the end, content overflow for this edition made the decision for me – so another mental mind boggler will just have to wait until our next issue.

But while we are in a “mental” frame of mind, let me pose these pondering thoughts: Why is it that America has so many mental illnesses? Is it like this in other countries? Why are there such staggering numbers of people being diagnosed with one form of mental illness or another as well as bodily cancers? Are we all going to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder one of these days? If our fleshly bodies are indeed made up of something like 98 percent water, then why in the world are we not putting water at the top of our list of things to take care of – so, in turn, we are putting the very best water in our bodies?

HOWEVER, for the record: Hi, my name is David. Yes, I am a soda junky. I have been free of any bubbly substances for about a week now . . . Boohoo-hoo, sniffle, sniffle, but I am so weak. I really love water, especially iced water, but in a former life I think I was a hummingbird and well, boohoo-hoo-hoo, it is just so hard to quit this addiction to pop – ya know. But I am trying. Thanks to you guys for being here for me. I feel the love.

 

Artfully Yours,

 

David F. Heatwole

 

P.S. Congratulations to two of our family: Sandi Valentine, our newest editor, gave birth to Luna Sae born August 19. Abby Sandy our new designer got married to Jeremy Hansford. Congratulation to you both and your families! Lastly, our condolences go out to Jen Newmyer and her family as she recently lost her mother who had been battling cancer.

 

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Speaking Out – Letter from Editor – Volume 3 Issue 3

1 07 2008

     With our well-planned themes of War and Dance for this issue, it is interesting to discover that the former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, just came out with his tell-all book about working with the current administration – explaining how they handled major national and international incidents.  Apparently, he goes into details about being misinformed by George W. Bush and other officials. 

     I have not yet read the book, and am not sure that I want to – although I am tempted.  My feeling, as many of you might already know, is that our country’s government needs a MAJOR overhaul – and not just because of this one administration.  (Not sure that pointing fingers at this administration will do any good.)  No politician that high up will be put behind bars in this country, and if they were … they would get better treatment than they get now – the only difference is that they could confirm their belief that they really are above the laws of the United States. 

     When watching the beginning of this story unfold, on CNN’s The Situation Room, it was interesting, and entertaining, to watch the show’s host interview people that were not speaking the same views or opinions about the administration’s actions as McClellan does in his book.  What was interesting was listening to one of the guests who used to be the former White House Press Secretary, before McClellan was moved into that position.  He was McClellan’s boss and friend, but he tried, sensitively, to debunk everything that McClellan stated in the book – not totally alienating his friend while hopefully pleasing the current administration.  This was just my feeling, in view of the question and answer dialog between the show’s host and this fellow. 

     But why would McClellan write a book that would put his life in jeopardy, and surely wouldn’t help him keep any friends?  My ears had perked up about this new book because of my own interests in the government that I am supporting with my tax dollars – this country, for which I am a son, that has its hands in everyone’s business, and because of some personal interest in Iraq, which I will share more about in this issue’s TAC IT UP section.

     I also need to take a bit of space, here, to thank a former columnist who was featured regularly in The Main ARTery.  Carol White used to labor for hours – mainly out of her passion for knowledge – reading, and then writing her critique on what she read in the column, Off the Bookshelf.  Her articles were always interesting and insightful.  She was always sensitive, thoughtful and passionate about what she wrote – sometimes challenging the general opinion of a particular book as with her critique of the infamous Richard Florida book, Rise of the Creative Class.  We are already missing her talents and book reviews.  Thank you, Carol!  Best wishes and, please, keep pushing the arts in Loudoun County.

     With this said, and as sad as it is to say fare-thee-well, the show must go on.  If you are an avid reader, have a lust for knowledge, enjoy critiquing other peoples views and opinions, and might be interested in becoming the new Off the Bookshelf columnist – please give us a call.

     More THANKS go out to Lisa Linn Arroniz, one of our editors, who flew solo in copy editing this issue – which is never an easy feat.  During the editing of our last issue Theresa de Souza’s father passed away, and she had to travel out West to be with her mother.  Sadly, her mother passed away a few days later.  So while Theresa was in Utah for two months, dealing with the family’s estate, Lisa took the bull by the horns and has once again made this edition of The Main ARTery a powerful issue.  If you find any mistakes that she may have overlooked or that I did not correct, please submit your application for an assistant copy editor position – and have mercy on us.

     To discover more about why this issue is titled WAR DANCE – read on, be inspired and, most importantly, let’s collaborate.