Alive to Its Beauty
I was so excited to see Suzanne Daly’s photo essay on local cemeteries! (“Death Becomes Them,” Oct. 29.) As a resident of Bloomfield, I loved seeing the beautiful photos of our local haunt. It’s a peaceful spot perched on a hill (which on a windy day can make it reminiscent of Wuthering Heights). It faces west toward Bodega, and it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset and the moon rise. I walk through the Bloomfield cemetery every day, and am so appreciative of the people who take care of it. Our local “Forrest Gumps” are Ed Hansen and Dale Miller. They both grew up in Bloomfield, and Ed still lives here. They maintain our history out of love, since the job doesn’t pay well ($0). There was a time when it was completely overgrown, so thanks Ed and Dale—and all the other men and women out there who are taking care of these special places.
Art of Anger
Gretchen Giles neglecting to mention Christian Batteau’s Man Supporting a Cloud—one of the most prominent and important pieces in the Richard Carter Studio show—was a shameful exclusion from her review! (“Form Over Function,” Nov. 5). This work was one of the most difficult pieces in the show to fabricate, being cast bronze and minted nickel, and took over two years to create. It is also one of the most poetic works of the group. Having visited the gallery for the opening reception, I feel this oversight demonstrates a lack of experience reviewing art, particularly group shows. The work was one of only six major pieces in the main gallery—leaving it out of the review was an unfortunate mistake.
Millions, Billions, Trillions
Has anyone ever had the courage to total up all the money spent on elections in the United States? Presidential, congressional, state houses, governorships, mayors, judicial, city and county councils and even school boards. How many millions, billions, trillions of dollars does this add up to? What does it buy? Radio and television advertising; a variety of PR consultants; the manufacture of signs, buttons, bumper stickers; air and land transportation; rental of venues for rallies. Obviously, there are a lot of folks getting temporary, highly paid employment from campaign expenses.
But suppose all campaigns for any and all offices throughout the United States were limited to six weeks. Suppose that all candidates were given free access to TV, radio, meeting halls, etc. And suppose that the federal, state or municipal governing bodies provide the entire cost of these campaigns.
Suppose further that the corporations, industries, organizations and individuals who provide the millions, the billions, the trillions that U.S. elections cost were to put that money into the federal, state or local coffers. With that kind of money, our infrastructure could be repaired; our education system improved from preschool to college; our environment cared for. Full-time jobs would result.
Everybody wins. The campaigns would, thankfully, be short and less stressful on everyone. The economy would bounce back. Life would improve. Maybe the American dream can become manifest for everyone.
More importantly, instead of helping our man or our woman win, all that money will go for the common good—for all the people, for all the country.
Marylou Shira Hadditt