Well, at long last, someone has found a good use for old phone booths*. Botanical designer Lewis Miller ambushed the streets of New York City recently to adorn an otherwise ordinary corner in swaths of floral color and energy. A few years ago Miller transformed the notoriously banal empty garbage cans into vases of sumptuous flowers. In this most recent endeavor to make a gritty urban area appear palatable – a project he dubs “Flower Flash” – Miller and his crew filled a Manhattan telephone booth with a plethora of flowers and greenery.
“What initially began as a Lewis Miller design experiment to reinvigorate and reconnect us to our craft, turned into a beautiful shared experience in a city of millions,” the group stated. The “reactions to our flower flashes emphasizes the basic goodness in all people and prioritizes compassion”.
The results are more than a little impressive, and I feel we
need more of Lewis Miller’s works in our increasingly crowded and convoluted
*To the under-30 crowd, phone booths are tall glass structures where people would have to make phone calls if they weren’t at home, at work or in jail. You’d put a quarter into a little slot towards the bottom of the actual phone; wipe the receiver as best you could so you wouldn’t catch germs like herpes or gingivitis; and press little buttons on said phone to make the call.
As the 2020 elections approach – almost too quickly – here in the U.S., I’m almost amused at the thought of who’s going to grab the Democratic presidential nomination and how they will combat (faux) President Donald Trump. Key word here – almost. A lifetime of watching political battles rage across the media spectrum and nearly three decades of making every effort I could to register my own vote, along with discussing a variety of issues with family, friends, coworkers, gym partners and strangers, have perhaps left me cynical and jaded. I feel that usually happens once you get past the half-century mark in birthdays. Not only is my body now wanting to lead a life of its own, so is my mind. Can I get a new persona?
But, despite the anguish and
frustration, I realized something crucial a while back. Every election cycle candidates for whatever office
rushes out to visit potential constituents; shaking hands, kissing babies (born
or unborn), eating virtually everything that approaches their lips, and – of course
– dishing out a cadre of promises. Then,
as often happens, they get into that designated office and find out it just doesn’t
work out that simply. So they disappoint
us and shove their spokespeople and p.r. reps before our faces to explain why
things didn’t go as planned. So, what’s new
Nothing, really. Yet, I know THEY seek our votes for a certain
high-profile position and – if elected – they will get paid with OUR tax
dollars. Ultimately, THEY work for
US. We DON’T work for them. WE employ them, in fact, based upon their
qualifications for the job (in theory), and THEY are assigned specific duties,
according to that particular role. These
are not full-time, permanent roles for them; they are CONTRACT jobs. In other words, they are nothing more than
glorified TEMP WORKERS.
Whether it’s the U.S. presidency, a
governorship, a judgeship or a spot on a local school board, they present
themselves to us as job candidates and ask to be hired. WE, the People, analyze their skills and
experience and make our decisions afterwards.
We are charged with the complex responsibility of assessing their
viability for the job and choosing whether to grant them that role. In all cases, the majority rules; regardless,
WE, the People, are essentially their employers. Again, the salaries for those positions comes
out of our tax dollars.
They are contracted out for an X period
of time, and when that term is up – if they’ve chosen to continue – WE, the
People, review their job performance and decide if we want to renew their contract. We look at what they’ve done and how they’ve handles
themselves during their tenure. Both work
performance and attitude matter equally.
As with the initial hiring process, the majority rules. So, while some of us may be thrilled to see
the official re-hired, many among us aren’t.
Sadly, that’s just how it is.
These election events are always
difficult and frustrating. It’s not that
they can be difficult and frustrating; they ARE difficult and frustrating! Things don’t always turn out clearly. Evidence: the 2016 U.S. elections.
And no official in their right mind (and
understand many of them aren’t from the very beginning) will take their
contract renewal for granted. Evidence:
the 2018 Senate race here in Texas. Republican
Junior Senator Ted Cruz almost lost to Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke. Cruz had coasted easily to his 2012 maiden
run and perhaps assumed last year’s contest would be equally undramatic. As I always love to see happen to such arrogance,
Cruz assumed wrong and won by literally a handful of votes.
It is such an unpleasant task to sort
through the chaos and the rhetoric and determine who is best equipped for that
designated position. But it is what We,
the People, have to do to keep our society functioning properly and soundly. Democracy is one thing that can’t be
Just remember, my friends, the people
who run for office are asking for our votes.
That simply means THEY work for US.
We, the People, hire them and we can fire them. They all have to remember that. But so do we.
“The writing is — I’m free from pain. It’s where nobody tells me what to do; it’s where my imagination is fecund and I am really at my best. Nothing matters more in the world or in my body or anywhere when I’m writing.”
I’ve lived in the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area all of my life and have seen more than a few oddities. But, on the morning of July 22, a driver captures this fool locomoting down I-35E into downtown Dallas. Sadly, it can mean only one thing: we have yet another Darwin Awards candidate.