Monday, January 26, 2015

Desire and Nothing

Desire originating within, influenced by outside forces, aiming in various directions. Survival instinct can go too far. Self awareness fights insecurities revealed around others.

The desire of the moment or of a lifetime: to create something positive. Driving oneself beyond basic needs can lead to threatening levels of excess. Power seduces and the true self fades away, hides away, sometimes too far gone to be found.

To just be can get lost. The privilege of survival and self awareness are often lost with it, but those who hold onto that basic knowledge are rewarded by the knowledge itself.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Between the Cemetery and the River

Mausoleums on the hill overlook the river and its parallel path, watching every boat race, jogger, biker. The cemetery's west end comes to an abrupt halt like a cliff over the road below: a narrow, busy road on which cars are known to double the speed limit. A high stone wall stands on the side of the road below the cemetery hill, holding the ground in place far beneath buried bones. A much lower stone wall runs along the other side, separating the river path from the busy road.

Large, old walk in tombs and gravestones like these are mostly a bygone tradition. But the winds of chance still blow through them as they ever would. On a sunny weekend morning, the mausoleums witness a car veer off the road below, straight through the low stone wall, across the jogging path and straight into the river.

Nobody jogged or biked past at that particular moment. No coxswains led oarsmen in the place where the car dove headlights first into the water. Hours before the accident, a young family had a picnic on the river bank. A six month old baby lay on a blanket while her two year old brother ran circles around their parents. They're alive and well. Like the rest of us who breathe, they're surrounded by ghosts.

Photo by Erica Smith for

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Beating in Suburbia - Part Two: A Hoax Unquestioned

By Dick Radley | Freelance Editor and Journalist

In the weeks since Katrina Dubin Ardely's story of police brutality in Cajoling Tone magazine exploded onto the internet, as most readers know by now, evidence has emerged proving the article entirely false. Here's a brief summary of what we've all learned:

Jack was never beaten by police
Jack gave friends mixed accounts of being beaten, sometimes blaming the police and other times blaming a group of random men
Jack, in fact, was not beaten at the hands of another, but rather beat himself up and subsequently invented a crime

Whatever happened or didn't happen to Jack, and whatever motive he had to create a false narrative, all of that is, of course, a big part of the story. But what I'd like to know is how Ms. Dubin Ardely managed to hear Jack's description of events without questioning it, and what, if any, fact checking and due diligence she conducted prior to reporting it all as if it were truth?

I spoke with the man in her article called Joe, who said, "She quoted me directly in her story, but I never talked to her once. I have no idea where that quote came from. I don't know anything about any kind of ritualized police brutality in this town."

I also spoke with Suburbia chief of police Ben Modano, who Ms. Dubin Ardely claims "declined to comment" for her story. "She never reached out to me or to anyone at the department," said Chief Modano. "Had she contacted me, I would've been able to clear this up for her quite easily." Regarding the song Ms. Dubin Ardely quotes throughout the article, "Fraternally Yours," Chief Modano specifically asked me to mention that neither he nor any of Suburbia's other police officers have ever heard it or heard of it, let alone ever sung it.

Finally, I spoke with Earl White, the only person whose real name appears in Ms. Dubin Ardely's article. "She bought a story about Jack getting beaten by cops because that's what she wanted to hear. She wanted to do a story on police brutality in an upscale, quiet town, and Jack gave her what she wanted." Mr. White went on to note, "Look how she quoted me! I told her my real name and told her Jack wasn't beaten by cops, so she put my quote in, but twisted the way she did it to make it seem like I was denying the truth. But she was the one in denial. She was the one who couldn't see the truth even though it was right there in front of her, because she either didn't want to see the truth or didn't care about the truth. Maybe she cared about victims like Jack and helping to prevent future crimes, but mostly she cared about advancing her career. From what I've read lately, now that her article turned out to be a hoax, all she did for her career was ruin it."

(Click here to read the inspiration for this two part series. Thank you, Richard Bradley.)