Accept the Gift

First posted 12/11/2016 as The Night Bobby Found Christ in an Abandoned Subway Car

I read the Nativity story as the story of a God who decides to incarnate as an outcast among the poor and oppressed people of a barbaric civilization with a static class system.

Life was brutish and short for the poor.

The warrior God of Israel takes flesh as an impoverished Jewish outcast whose
life is in danger from the moment of conception.

It’s a great story!

I wondered how it might look today and saw a homeless youth who finds
the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

Will he accept the burden of this gift?

An avatar that represents an alternate named Bobby is shown finding the Christ child in an abandoned subway car
A homeless youth finds the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

I used VR to make a video of it.

I got the idea for the subway car from Dark Days, a documentary made in the 1990’s about a tribe of homeless people who live in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York.

I use two photo-shopped frames from the documentary as an homage to it.

I first came up with this idea in 2011 but didn’t have the skill I needed
to make it work the way I envisioned it.

I’m going to remake the video for next Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the World!

May we find our way back to the light.

The video is a series high-resolution panels staged and shot in virtual reality and processed in multiple apps.

I cropped a cover of Silent Night  found at the Internet Archives.

To the best of my knowledge the recording is in the public domain.

Veterans Day, 2017 – Who Died?

First posted for Memorial Day, who died is just as relevant on
Veteran’s day.

We best honor the sacrifice of those who died by providing for
the men and women who  fought with them and survived.

‘Who Died’ is a five minute memorial to the young men who died
in the 1944 Invasion of France.

It speaks to the sacrifice of all young men and woman who give
their lives to preserve and protect American democracy.

Written, introduced, and narrated by novelist Betty Smith, author of
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” the film answers the question “Who died?”

Betty Smith: “I’ve just been told that over 3,000 of our American boys
died in the first eleven days of the invasion of France.

Who died? I’ll tell you who died.

Not so many years ago, there was a little boy sleeping in his crib. In the night, it thundered and lightninged. He woke and cried out in fear.

His mother came and fixed his blankets and said, ‘Don’t cry. Nothing will
ever hurt you.

He died.”

From the Technique newspaper

‘Who Died?’ – 1945

Description at National Archives: “Designed to sell war bonds, this picture requests the purchase of and retention of war bonds.”

National Archives Identifier: 11823

 

 

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Six Months in San Francisco and the Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Re-processed digitized image scanned from an oil painting by Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty, The Fugitive Slaves
A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves

American Democracy is a living political system, it evolves.

In 1776 ‘all men are created equal’ meant all wealthy white men who
owned land; by 1863, it meant most white men regardless of class and
a war with the South to abolish slavery.

American Democracy continues to struggle and evolve.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

Below is a slideshow made of photos taken at four of the major national and international marches against fascism in the past six months.

International Woman's March in London
International Woman’s March in London

The photos were taken at the International Woman’s March, the San Francisco March for Science, and the San Francisco National Tax March.

I included San Francisco’s Pride Day because it was really a huge anti-
fascist rally.

I’ve set the photos to a reading of Lincoln’s Address at Gettysburg, found at the Internet Archives.

The reading is by Britton Rea.

We are the future those honored dead fought to preserve.



The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Photo from San Francisco's Pride day 2017
Pride


Images of from the International Woman’s March by alans1948,  Mobilus In Mobili, and FollowYourNose, free to use with attribution.

All other images (c) Rob Goldstein 2017

 

 

 

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