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My friend Jeffree posted this on the Book of Face. It is a documentary film called I AM. Tom Shadyac is the director. He has also directed, Evan Almighty, Bruce Almighty, Platonically Incorrect (TV movie), Dragonfly, Patch Adams, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Frankenstein: The College Years (TV movie), among other things.

It looks amazing and is playing in NYC this month. I’m going to check it out. Here is the link to where and when it is playing for others so inclined.

Connect.

-Cara

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Day 128 - Blood The Last Vampire

Blood The Last Vampire

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 128th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

Blood: The Last Vampire, I can’t get enough.

-Cara

Zeitgeist Addendum, it’s a great Sunday night movie.

Part three, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is scheduled to be released in January 2011.

Who wants the poster? :]

Let’s do this.

-Cara

In describing his experience producing “Countdown to Zero“, Lawrence Bender says,

“Having produced An Inconvenient Truth, I witnessed the power of a movie to educate and inspire people. We need to make this movie a phenomenal success so we can engage the public in a big way and bring this issue to the top of the political agenda.”

Here’s the Countdown to Zero site where you can find out where the film is playing. Also, check out the Global Zero site to join the campaign…sign the declaration.

These are a few simple ways to do something forward. Why not?

-Cara

Marilyn Monroe 1953

Marilyn Monroe 1953 by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Never have been one of those Marilyn Monroe super fans… not crazy about Elvis, nor American Idol, etc, etc.  I have also not given any of them my time. I shun anything the majority loves too much. I am sure I have lost out that way, but that’s neither here nor there.  Point is I came across this Marilyn Monroe quote earlier today and like it, even though everyone else probably does to. :]

“I`m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

– Marilyn Monroe

-Cara

Billy (Dennis Hopper): Man, everybody got chicken, that’s what happened. Hey, we can’t even get into like a second-rate hotel, you dig? They think we’re gonna cut their throat or somethin’. They’re scared man.

George (Jack Nicholson): They’re not scared of you. They’re scared of what you represent to ’em.

Billy: Hey man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.

George: Oh, no. What we represent to them is freedom.

Dennis Hopper is dead. His was a journey for sure.

R.I.P.

-Cara

Still Bill Clip

I want to go check out this movie, Still Bill about Bill Withers. The clip on Vimeo is pretty sweet.  I can’t believe it was playing at the IFC up until 2 days ago and I missed it… What is this life??? :]

Here is a blurb about the flick from the IFC website, “The story of a 33-year-old Navy vet from Slab Fork, WV, who became, almost overnight, a ’70s soul legend, STILL BILL is an intimate portrait of Bill Withers, the artist behind the classics “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day” and “Just the Two of Us.” Through archival and new concert footage and interviews with music greats, his family and closest friends, the film reveals the man behind the music.”

I’ll let you know what I think when I find it.

-Cara

martha stewart

Martha chats with Robert Kenner and Joel Salatin about the behavior and impact of the commercial food industry.

That is right I said it, as someone who will be enjoying a delightful, sure to be delicious, vegan Thanksgiving feast at our friend Joanna’s abode today and has had the guilty pleasure of being a stalker of all things Stewart for many a year, this is great news. I know her daughter Alexis is a vegetarian and has helped Martha to see the light that fur is not cool, but still, the classic Martha Turkey Day blow up…vegetarian? That my friend is revolutionary if you wrap your mind around the whole picture.

I have heard about Food Inc as well. It looks like an amazing movie and sounds like a great Christmas (or Yule, Chanukah, Kwanza, Three Kings Day, Day of Ashura, Holiday…) gift! :] I will definitely check it out.

I hope at some point to be the person that does not have to keep watching these types of movies, videos, etc to remember why everything we choose to do is so important.  I am very tired of how people can not see what is right in front of them or choose to not be inconvenienced.  This show with Martha Stewart promoting this film, Food Inc is inspiring to me as I do not expect someone in Martha’s position to promote something so risky. This coming from someone that was previously set up for a fall just to be taught a lesson…a lesson it seems she thankfully did not learn.

Martha Stewart is a rebel!

-Cara

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

On Sunday,  September 20th, 2009, people of all walks of life will come together in New York’s Central Park for a bold creative action to tell world leaders that the TIME TO ACT is RUNNING OUT. More than 2,000 people will form a moving human sculpture of our world in a race against time—a massive, living Earth and Hourglass to be picked up by the media worldwide.

On the cusp of the UN climate summit, our Human Countdown will urgently call for a fair, ambitious, and binding new climate treaty, and launch global actions for Climate Week NYC and the Tck Tck Tck Global Climate Wake Up Call.

We will assemble in two groups. The first group forms the living Earth and convenes at 9am in the morning to rehearse the movements. All others come at 1pm to form the hourglass. We will perform the Human Countdown together at mid-afternoon, hear from notable national and international speakers, and conclude by 4pm.

We need a global climate treaty. This is the time, this is the place to make history – we need YOU to join the HUMAN Countdown! All are welcome!

The goal is to show our leaders that time is running out to act on global warming. Video of the image we create will be broadcast the next night at The Age of Stupid global film premiere and delivered to world leaders.

Come to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park (Southern end of central park by 6th Ave) this Sunday at 12.30pm.

Click here to RSVP [I found all this stuff thanks to AVAAZ:

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

While action on climate is always urgent, this is an especially important moment for public action. This December in Copenhagen, world leaders will meet to negotiate a new global treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

I went to go see this movie, “The Cove” last Thursday night at the Angelika Theater (if you happen to live in NYC). If not, go here to see if it is playing in a theater near you. You may also request it to show at your local theaters by clicking here.  It is an amazingly, awesome movie. I am not one to handle any animals being abused on screen, real or fake. I really can’t handle it, but this movie is something that people need to go see, and if I didn’t leave, you can handle it. I won’t go on and on, but if you can see it do.

We can all make some sort of difference everyday for good and in turn the world becomes a better place to exist in.

Do something that means something.

-Cara

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an amazing organization. We need to get people to stop destroying these defenseless marine mammals.

Do this awesome (and simple) thing to help people to become more aware of what is going on.

See Below!

Speak Out Now to Protect Whales in the Pacific Northwest

Stop Dangerous Sonar

The Navy is about to begin five years of sonar training that could harass or injure marine mammals 650,000 times. Tell our government to put protections in place now!

Stop Dangerous Sonar

Dear World,

We only have a few days left to demand better protections for whales and dolphins that will soon be facing Navy sonar in the Pacific Northwest.

The Navy is about to launch five years of sonar training in some of the nation’s richest marine habitat, including the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary — home to 29 different species of marine mammals.

Click here and tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to put protections in place that could save these animals from harassment, injury or even death.

Your official comment must be submitted by next Monday, August 10.

The Fisheries Service has proposed a rule that would allow the Navy “to take” — harass or injure — marine mammals 130,000 times during each year of the sonar training.

That is a total of 650,000 acoustic assaults on whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals.

The Navy’s mid-frequency sonar systems are designed to detect enemy submarines. Its warships deploy underwater speakers that blast the ocean with noise in excess of 235 decibels — a sonic barrage thousands of times more powerful than a jet engine at takeoff.

That barrage of noise can disrupt biologically critical activities like feeding, navigating and breeding. And the Navy itself has admitted that sonar can even kill whales.

At risk in the Pacific Northwest: blue whales, gray whales, beaked whales, harbor porpoises and the very last endangered Southern Resident killer whales — only 83 of them left! — plus dozens of other marine mammal species.

These whales should not have to suffer needless injury or harassment for the sake of military practice.

The Fisheries Service must bar or limit the Navy from operating dangerous sonar in the most sensitive habitats, like the Olympic Marine Sanctuary.

Common-sense precautions like this will not compromise military training or readiness.

Click here now and tell the Fisheries Service to put safeguards in place that will reduce the harassment and injury of tens of thousands of marine mammals over the next five years.

Please make your voice heard by Monday. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Frances
Frances Beinecke
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

Here is some more on this…and yes there will be more to come!

We can do anything!!!

-Cara

Sicko…

You should check it out. I really think this one will reach a wider audience…if we can somehow get the people who need to see this film to see it. You know what I’m saying!

See more here. Do something about it here.

Be more than they expect you to be.

-Cara

All night time-lapse video of the sky in Fort Davis, Texas. The footage was taken with 15mm fisheye lens.  An array of stars, constellations, meteors and satellites can be seen passing overhead for most of the evening. The video ends with the bright galactic core of the Milky Way rising above the horizon and overhead. Higher resolution videos and astrophotographs here.

Hot stuff.

-Cara

OK, I admit this movie has nothing to do with being green or saving the world, but I love it. I, being somewhat gay, had heard of the film before, seen it around, you know the deal… It never drew me in, until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to check it out and that was a wrap…I fell in love.

I love the campiness of it all, from the uniforms, to the sound effects, to Lucy Diamond and the lovely Ms. Bradshaw, everything.  I would also like to give a special shout out to the truly fantastical, slightly cleaned up John Watersesque actress Jill Ritchie (Kid Rock’s sister, which means former sister-in-law to Pam Anderson…what?).  She plays Janet the screamer and homie to Amy. Without her I feel this movie would not have been half as good. Jimmi Simpson (Scud) is fresh as well, in the same kind of way, but different.

Listen, I love pulp fiction novels and cult classic wannabe B movies and D.E.B.S. fits this bill perfectly. Wait, why am I making excuses for loving this movie…

I put it on my P2.

:-D

-Cara

BluePlanetEarth

Zeitgeist (n) – the spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation

Addendum (n) -something to be added

I never watched Zeitgeist: The Movie. I came across Zeitgeist: Addendum the other day and since my thinking hasn’t been the same. It has given me a better sense of focus, new ideas to think about and hope. Look, I am not saying I am drinking the Kool-Aide, there are things I don’t agree with; for one, their take on religion. I get where they are coming from, but I am enlightened to something else.

I will not go on and on about the movie. If you want to watch it for free you can here (although I am not sure why they would choose Google Video to host the movie. It is part of the problem, not the solution. Maybe they feel it will reach a bigger audience, but I am not too sure that is the way to go. UPDATE 1-22-2011 I JUST CLICKED ON THE LINK AND IT GOES TO VIMEO NOW. THAT’S COOL.). I myself downloaded it from someone else.  I am going to watch Zeitgeist: The Movie at some point, but for now I still have a lot to think about with Zeitgeist: Addendum, so I’ll wait. Addendum can definitely stand alone.

I would love to hear people’s opinion after watching the film. I have already had a few cool conversations about it. I have burned it for a couple of people. I would like to keep passing it around and then people can pass their copies around and see how fast it spreads.  I want a better world and I know it is possible.

Do not fear the robots.

-Cara

jeffe-me

That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc.  I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life.  Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“.  :]

What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]

I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable.  It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in  many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.

What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.

Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.

This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.

-Cara

Happy (Hopefully) 2009 People!!!

-Cara

crushed

I watched a movie tonight called, “Who Killed the Electric Car“. and it was a great documentary on the electric car and the auto industry’s, mainly General Motors’ relationship with the government and their consumers. There is definitely a lot of information in that movie that people need to be made aware of. At least so they can make the right decisions about their effect on the environment through their car consumerism. I mean it’s conspiracies theories coming true right in front of your eyes. General Motors is an anti-green company run by middle east controlled monkeys in love with money, which still hasn’t been able to fill that void within them.

After the movie I felt a bit overwhelmed and not sure what was that I could do about the issue of the auto industry’s insistence on keeping Americans addicted to oil, especially foreign oil or George Bush’s desire to take nature preserves in Alaska and destroy them by drilling for a minimal amount of oil. During “Who Killed the Electric Car”, they mention a web site called, Plug In America. It was there I found a petition you can sign to automakers stating, “Plug-in vehicles are in America’s national interest. They decrease fuel costs, greenhouse gases and our dependence on foreign oil. I want to buy a vehicle that runs on cleaner, cheaper domestic electricity. I want to be able to plug in my car! Please manufacture plug-in vehicles immediately.” You can even start your own petition drive by printing this form and getting people to sign. At Co-Op America they have a petition speaking out to Ford about the importance of produce plug-in hybrids. These and other things I found here can make a difference, you just need to take the few minutes it takes to do it. In the long run it is definitely worth it.

Be good.

-Cara

blue_vinyl

I’ve been watching movies more than usual, for example tonight it was Blue Vinyl. I know I talked about it before, but it is worth bringing up again. It is an amazing movie, done by a really smart, funny woman, Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold, the awesome Director of Photography. It you have never seen it, buy the DVD from the Docurama and watch it, then give it to someone else, then someone else, etc. It needs more attention.  Also, for information and support resources for organizing a public or targeted screening of BLUE VINYL contact Molly Ramey at Working Films mramey@workingfilms.org or (910) 342-9000.

Here is where you go to keep up to date with what is going on in the world of PVC, My House is Your House. Judith Helfand is also director of the prequel, “A Healthy Baby Girl“, which I have yet to see.

Let’s get the soy chips and dip and get this party started. : P

-Cara

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a documentary by Ben Stein I watched tonight. I am not going to review it here, but I recommend siting through the whole thing as there are super smart parts worth waiting for.

In the film when they talked about the complexities of a single cell, the intricacies, functions, the work that happens they show it with this super fresh animation. I guess the nerd in me loves any animated double helix. The movie makes one point that really resonated with me…simply put, what goes on inside a cell may be partially controlled remotely. :] I am explaining it poorly I’m sure, but even if that isn’t what was said…how cool is the idea? That all your cells that work together, the creators of proteins, which control our very being’s existence, may be remotely controlled??? That our existence is more than just our own to control. That we have no concept of our true greatness and the existence of an even greater entity than ourselves within ourselves. It is illogical and unscientific to only believe in yourself.

Look around, it is amazing.

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

That’s really good.

-Cara

I am selling some stuff on Half.com. Recycling it back into the world…some books, CDs, video games and DVDs. Get ’em while they’re hot.

It’s green.

-Cara

It is sad the way America is sometimes.

The way the elections are lately.

What our choices are this time.

I feel sorry for what an obvious tool McCain (this video makes me pity him), Palin, and corporate media are in this country (no, I am not naive, I am just saying).  I am not sure what the solution is, besides educating ourselves to who these people are and what is really going on, with these Democrats as well.

Wake up and look around.

-Cara

You see.

-Cara

It started with Producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous’s arrest. Here Nicole Salazar tapes her own violent arrest. They were arrested while covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. They had their press ids with them.

Then Amy Goodman came to the location they were arrested at to obtain more information on the arrests and this is what happened to her.

When people don’t think for themselves they arrest people without knowing why. These officers are not under control. Do you see the way they violently, without any thought, abuse Nicole Salazar and manhandle Amy Goodman? I mean these are large men, throwing women around, God bless America. They are too amped up. It is unprofessional and a shame they use these ignorant officers to control the public. They do not have the intelligence to think beyond what they are told. They are scared and not trained properly.

Here is what Amy Goodman has to say about what happen.

Here is what you can do about it from the Democracy Now! web site:

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office is in the process of deciding whether or not to press felony P.C. (probable cause) riot charges against Democracy Now! Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Please contact Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner by all means possible to demand that her office not press charges against Kouddous and Salazar.

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
RCA at co.ramsey.mn.us (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
651-266-3222

Susan Gaertner for Governor
info at susangaertner.com (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)
(612) 978-8625
(612)804-6156

The St. Paul police have already issued a citation to Amy Goodman charging her with misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace officer. Contact St. Paul City Attorney John Choi by all means possible to demand that the citation be dismissed immediately.

St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
john.choi at ci.stpaul.mn.us (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org) (651) 266-8710

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a photographer for the Associated Press.

IMPORTANT

Be sure to cc: dropthecharges@democracynow.org on all emails so that our team can deliver print outs of your messages to the St. Paul City Attorney and Ramsey County Attorney offices.

For updates: http://www.democracynow.org

Media Coverage on the Arrest of Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers

This is not my America. I will not allow this to happen. Will you?

-Cara

I know some people have a problem with Michael Moore, but I don’t so here’s what’s new…

You can sign up here to download this movie for free. FREE!!!

“This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans. The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November.” – Michael Moore

The free download is only available to those residing in the United States and Canada. In order to receive the free download on September 23rd, you must confirm that you are a resident of the United States or Canada.

Vote!

-Cara

If so Meet the Bloggers Dot Org is very pleased to tell you that Michael Moore will be their special guest this Friday, August 22.

You can suggest text question or video questions for Michael Moore here. The best questions for him will win a Moore trademark hat (signed by Moore himself), or an autographed copy of his new book Mike’s Election Guide 2008. You know I love a contest.

Hmmm…. I don’t have a question yet. I might watch it just to get Michael Moore inspired again. I haven’t really been super pro Michael Moore, like I used to be, not sure why. I remember I used to tell people I would intern for free for this guy and I rarely do anything for free. :)

Get inspired.

-Cara

Marine is designing a crazy cat palace of some sort, so we went to Home Depot yesterday to look for stuff and get ideas. One of the materials Marine wanted to use was PVC…

I almost fainted. :) Marine this entry goes out to you. :* You’re welcome!

There’s an awesome documentary, Blue Vinyl (Netflix has it…just saying…), I watched a million years ago, that schooled me on the evils of PVC.

The most informative site on PVC. – http://www.pvcfree.org/

PBS TV’s “Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report“, a documentary that exposes workplace, and environmental poisoning. Some stuff about PVC and other such things in this one.

And last, but not least, a good read, PVC- A Health Hazard From Production through Disposal.

It’s a shame, I love the new shower smell, the smell of a new car. I can’t tell you how many times I inhaled that smell…deeply.

No PVC for us!

-Cara

Eco Bunnies in flash, spreading their carbon footprint message to the world. I can always use another carbon foot calculator, who couldn’t? Travelocity put this one together.

One day I hope to be named the official “Blog with the Most Carbon Calculators”…one day….

I love bunnies!

-Cara

Code Pink, who knows how I found this site, but I was cleaning up my bookmarks today and rediscovered it. You’re welcome!

According to their web site,

CODEPINK emerged out of a desperate desire by a group of American women to stop the Bush administration from invading Iraq. The name CODEPINK plays on the Bush Administration’s color-coded homeland security alerts — yellow, orange, red — that signal terrorist threats. While Bush’s color-coded alerts are based on fear and are used to justify violence, the CODEPINK alert is a feisty call for women and men to “wage peace.”

CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects the Bush administration’s fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead calls for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.”

In other words, they kick ass. They have a YouTube channel you can check out, Don’t Buy Bush’s War. There’s videos of these women getting arrested by Capitol Hill police and such. They’re no joke, and I’m glad they exist.

Represent.

-Cara

reversegraffitiproject.com

What a really great concept of something large we do on a small scale while thinking, siting in a dirty diner, shower, or car…or is that just me again?

:)

-Cara


anne sullivan and helen keller

[Helen and Anne]

When I was younger I found the story of Helen Keller interesting, but she never really grab my attention. Anne Sullivan, on the other hand, did. There has always been something about her I was drawn too. Maybe the hardships she suffered and the fact that she didn’t give into it. She pushed and achieved more than those who suffered little and those who suffered greatly.

Anne’s personal story remains relatively unknown. Although some of her letters still exist, it is primarily through the the words of others, that we know of her life.

Anne grew up poorer than poor in Massachusetts. She was the eldest of five children, and one of the only two of whom reached adulthood. When Anne was 7 years old she developed trachoma, a bacterial infection in her eyes. This infection went untreated. She had almost no usable sight and after numerous operations on her eyes, at the age of 15, success, her vision was restored.

Her father, Thomas Sullivan, was an alcoholic and her mother, Alice Chloesy Sullivan, died from tuberculosis when Anne was 9 years old. At first, Anne’s siblings, Mary and Jimmie, were sent to live with their uncle, and Anne remained with her father. A few months later, Jimmie and Anne were sent to the Tewksbury Almshouse (February 22, 1876), an institution that housed the poor and needy. Anne was 10 years old at the time and any semblance of a childhood she might have had ended upon entering Tewsbury. Mary (whom she never saw again after being sent to Tewksbury), on the other hand, was sent to live with an aunt. Supposedly, she didn’t end up in the institution because she was easier to handle than Anne and Jimmie. Anne had strong opinions, and expressed them passionately and poor Jimmie suffered from a tubercular hip, both were too high maintenance for the aunt I suppose.

When Anne and Jimmie arrived at Tewksbury, Anne wanted them to remain together and made it known. As a result, both siblings were sent to the women’s ward, where inmates were physically and/or mentally ill. Jimmie’s condition resulting from a tubercular hip weakened him and he died a few months later. Anne was all alone in this horrible place and in life. Imprisoned in an institution where complaints were made to the state in regards to cruelty, sexually perverted practices, and even cannibalism.

Anne, during an investigation of Tewksbury by the head of the Perkins School for the Blind, pleaded with him to allow her to go to Perkins. He agreed, and Anne excelled in this new environment. It was because she did so well that a teacher at Perkins recommended she become a governess to the unruly deaf and blind six year old Helen Keller. Helen’s parents, Kate and Arthur Keller, had contacted the famous inventor and educator of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C. for help. He, in turn, had put them in touch with the Perkins School for the Blind, and so began the relationship between Anne and Helen, that lasted throughout Anne’s life.

Alexander Graham Bell once said about Anne’s teaching skills, “You were at least not hampered by preconceived notions of how to proceed with your little pupil and I think that an advantage. You did not take to your task standardized ideas, and your own individuality was so ingrained that you did not try to repress Helen’s. Being a minority of one is hard but stimulating. You must not lay so much stress on what you were not taught by others. What we learn from others is of less value than what we teach ourselves.”

In 1904, Anne and Helen bought a farm and seven acres of land in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In Helen’s 1955 biography, “Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy“, she wrote that these were probably some of the happiest days of their lives.

In 1905, she married John Albert Macy, a young Harvard teacher (11 years her junior) and literary critic at the magazine “A Youth’s Companion”. Not long after they married, she burned her private journals for fear of what her husband might think of her. I am curious what such a strong woman would have to hide for her husband… Their marriage lasted only a few years and seemed to be more of a business arrangement (he was Helen’s manager and editor) to aide in getting Helen published, than a marriage. In the end, it is thought that jealously of Anne and Helen’s relationship was the reason Macy eventually left. For years after they separated (they never officially divorced) Macy would contact Anne for money, until eventually he faded out of the picture.

This picture shows Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan Macy, and Polly Thomson, with dogs Darky and Helga, circa 1931.

[Helen, Anne, and Polly]

In the fall of 1916, Anne stopped working for a period of time as a result of pleurisy and incorrectly diagnosed tuberculosis. On November 20, she and Polly Thomson (Polly started working for Anne in 1914 as her secretary) traveled to Lake Placid, New York without Helen in order for Anne to recover. While they were there Anne spotted an advertisement about traveling to Puerto Rico and immediately bought two boat tickets for her and Polly. Anne’s five months in the islands was one of the happiest times of her life.

Here is a letter from Puerto Rico she wrote to Helen in 1917,

Dear Helen:

I’m glad I didn’t inherit the New England conscience. If I did, I should be worrying about the state of sin I am now enjoying in Porto Rico. One can’t help being happy here, Helen—happy and idle and aimless and pagan—all the sins we are warned against. I go to bed every night soaked with sunshine and orange blossoms, and fall asleep to the soporific sound of oxen munching banana leaves.

We sit on the porch every evening and watch the sunset melt from one vivid color to another—rose asphodel (Do you know what color that is? I thought it was blue, but I have learned that it is golden yellow, the color of Scotch broom) to violet, then deep purple. Polly and I hold our breath as the stars come out in the sky—they hang low in the heavens like lamps of many colors—and myriads of fire-flies come out on the grass and twinkle in the dark trees! Harry Lake says that a beautiful Porto Rican girl went to a dance in a gown ablaze with fire-flies which she had imprisoned in black net.

Did you know that in tropical skies the stars appear much larger and nearer to the earth than farther north? I didn’t know it myself. Neither Polly nor I have ever seen such stars! It is no exaggeration to say they are lamps—ruby, emerald, amethyst, sapphire! It seems to Polly and me, if we could climb to the bamboo roof of our new garage, we could touch them. We lie on our cots and gaze up at them—the shack has no windows, only shutters and our view is unobstructed—we say over and over the names of stars we know, but that doesn’t help us to identify these. Is that long, swinging curve the Pleiades? We are ashamed to be so ignorant. If we could get hold of a book on astronomy, how we should study it here!

Do you remember the big globe in the rotunda at “Perkins?” Well, the moon looks as large as that sometimes, and often it is girdled with pearls as large as oranges, like the metal circle the globe hangs in. And several times we have seen it lighted as by lightning.

The place has cast a spell over me. Something that has slept in me is awake and watchful. Disembarking at San Juan was like stepping upon my native heath after a long, distressful absence. I will tell you more of these strange experiences anon.

Love to all,

Affectionately,

Teacher.

I really like that letter.

Anne, Polly, and Helen remained together, working and living until Anne’s death on October 20, 1936. Polly remained taking care of Helen after Anne’s death.

Anne some time before her death dictated the following excerpted message to Polly,

“I wanted to be loved, I was lonesome. Then Helen came into my life, I wanted her to love me and I loved her. Then later Polly came and I loved Polly and we were always so happy together, my Polly, my Helen. Dear children may we all meet to-gether [sic] in harmony.”

In Nella Braddy Henney’s book, “Anne Sullivan Macy“, Anne is quoted as saying, “How often I have been asked: “If you had your life to live over, would you follow the same path?” Would I be a teacher? If I had my life to live over I probably should have as little choice of a career as I had this time. We do not, I think, choose our destiny. It chooses us.”

Anne used her amazing abilities to bring the world to Helen and to bring Helen back into the world. In doing so it also opened up a world for Anne far from the place she began this life. It is true, we do not choose our destiny it chooses us, but I also think it is a person of strength who chooses to follow their destiny, instead of taking the simpler route.

That ended up being a few days of research and writing in between life, but more than worth it.

-Cara

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