We the beast
Forum, September 22, 2013
Andrea Levy, photographer/illustrator
For some time Andrea tried hard to avoid two polar-opposite YouTube phenomena that had been making major headlines …
But when she finally did watch the videos of Miley Cyrus twerking and the Syrian gas attacks, Andrea — as usual — connected dots in weird and wonderful ways. She writes:
Unfortunately, these two videos drew an unwanted and nauseating parallel in my mind: Two bodies, one twisted from pain, the other from pleasure. Flesh gone bad.
Everyone now knows that our mouse clicks are observed and counted. Clicks equal revenue. It is we who set the hierarchy of the information we’re fed. So since we are all now editors, I’m thinking it’s imperative that we maintain the muscle to distinguish between titillation and genocide… (that’s a low bar, right??!!) Then even if it’s just mechanical at first, every time we look at junk, shouldn’t we look at something socially pertinent? It could become a discipline, like drinking a glass of water with every beer. We cannot allow the real monsters to slip from view. And with journalism endangered, this is an increasing possibility.
This work is part of a regularly occurring feature that we call OpinionArt. For other OpinionArt pieces, follow Andrea’s blog here.
Yet another rampage
Forum, September 20, 2013
David Kordalski, designer
Would that we never have to do editorials or Forum pages on this topic again, but as the nation stubbornly refuses to address the two fundamental issues that contribute to mass shootings — stigma over mental illness and easy access to weapons — we fear it’s lather, rinse, repeat.
Go here to link to the editorial.
Or simply wait to read one the next time. If history is any gauge, it won’t be long.
Changing face of work.
Forum, September 1, 2013
A Labor Day editorial makes the case that an imperative to better, high-tech jobs for Northeast Ohio is even more emphasis on higher education. Read it here.
Note: We at the not-so-plain have this transition thing down to an art form, if any of you powers-that-be are looking for a quick consult.
I heart my job
Special Business Workplace section, June 16, 2013
Not sure if it’s always true, but it certainly is when working with Levy’s illustrations. Plus, it made a cool headline for a best workplaces section.
Major nod to the inimitable Milton Glaser original, circa 1977.
Final thoughts on Ariel Castro
Forum, September 8, 2013
In the aftermath of the suicide of Ariel Castro, the man convicted of holding three women hostage for a decade or more, Andrea, Regina and Connie offered their rather nuanced takes. Individually, each were strong works; packaged collectively, the pieces gained even larger power:
Regina Brett: Almost every day at the end of my morning meditation, I offer up a prayer for whoever needs a prayer most.
Until this week, I never imagined it would go to Ariel Castro.
Read the rest of Regina’s column here.
Connie Schultz: It’s a question we all should be asking ourselves, particularly if we’re willing to cheer the suicide of Ariel Castro. Celebrations erupted on social media and in the comments threads of news sites. As though Castro’s death rids us of what created him. As though the circumstances that made it possible for him to hold those three young women captive in the same neighborhood, same house, for more than a decade, have magically evaporated.
We don’t want “closure.” We want amnesia.
Read the full text of Connie’s column here. She comes to us via Creators Syndicate now, but we’re proud she won her Pulitzer Prize with us!
Andrea Levy: In the brief span of time that his freedom was denied, could Ariel Castro understand the devastating injustice of his actions? Did the agony of imprisonment finally brutally penetrate him? Was the road from “I am not a monster” to self-destruction fueled by dark epiphany? Not just an escape?
Our hopeful speculation is all that remains.
Andrea’s full text and image can be seen on the OpinionArt above. To see other OpinionArt pieces, follow her blog here.
Note: With hope, this closes a rather dark chapter in Cleveland’s history — and the lives of the three remarkable women who survived the rape and abuse of their captivity can finally begin.