Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Shouldn’t I be suspicious, knowing the cancer medication injected into me was cited in more than a billion dollars in government fines and penalties against its pharmaceutical company for illicit and illegal marketing practices?
With this suspicion in mind as well as the great amount of complaints by others so injected, I’m visiting a holistic Atlanta, GA, area physician Monday to see whether alternative methods I’ve researched and use are effective substitutes, not just to keep the cancer in remission but to get rid of it altogether.
Keeping it in remission using the injection of the medication has required now a second-round of a two-year regimen, which I’m part way into. Keeping it in remission this way also feeds Big Pharma’s appetite for profits so high that a company can write off a billion dollars in fines and penalties as the cost of doing business. Why should it look for cures, then, with such profits?
And keeping it in remission only works for awhile. The cancer cells may eventually no longer need the bodily hormone that the medication blocks to thrive. Then one is shunted off to a medical oncologist for an even more radical and painful treatment. And more profits.
I asked my regular physician whether he knew of holistic urologists in the Chattanooga area and he said he knew of none and that one needs to go outside tradition-bound Chattanooga to find an M.D. with this approach. A woman urologist in the Atlanta area embraces a holistic approach, so I’ll see what her point of view is on Monday.

This way of addressing my malady has become a trope, but yet a healthy exercise. Getting it out, keeping a fighting attitude, working on taking charge of my own healing instead of passivity in the face of “expertise.”

Formerly mentioned:
The government agency that ultimately rendered the charges and fines : the Department of Justice. The drug: Lupron Depot, which shuts off testosterone, which itself nourishes prostate cancer cells. The pharmaceutical company: TAP, at the time, 2004. It’s gone under corporate changes since.
Reflection to be considered in book-in-progress, working title, The Cancer Hole.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


 I keep reflecting on C-SPAN’s Q&A interview with Anne Tannenbaum. This is a summation I wrote of one aspect:

Chewable thought:
Q&A Interviewer’s question to Anne Applebaum who wrote “Iron Curtain”:
What did Stalin do first in eastern Europe nations to control them (1944)?
1) Establish Secret Police - nationally and recruiting locals too who knew their region’s special distinctions.-- target potential opponents.
2) Take Over the Radio (broadcast media) - the efficacy of their propaganda would be best transmitted this way. The printed press, too, but the radio was paramount.
3) Completely Control Civil Society - totally under state control, clubs, churches, charities, volunteer associations, any self-organized entity.
-- (Mussolini’s definition of totalitarianism: Everything in the state, nothing outside of the state).--
Heard on C-SPAN radio.

Other points Anne Tannenbaum suggested:
-- total control evokes dissidence, even in the face of highly punitive reactions, when it goes underground.
-- the ideologues and true believers of the Stalinist system began to lose faith when promises of this type of total control failed to be realized, while many yet espoused the ideology (No doubt true for ideologues of any stripe).
-- Many collaborators “zigzagged” -- for example, only partially or collaborating in insignificant ways when it became apparent their children would be denied entry into schools or a job would be lost.

Letting this sink in more. One thing apparent though, civil society isn’t under total control of the state in the United States. And dissidence and its expression -- such as in demonstrations -- may be infiltrated and rebuffed by police force in some instances, yet it still has its obvious outlets, though these may be manipulated, for example, elections. Economic control and thought control and their ideologies are another thing, though.

Thoughts to start off a Sunday morning.

Monday, February 18, 2013


When I taught a university advanced photography course decades ago, I needed to work out a simply stated method so students could know where I came from when looking at a work, I said something like this: “Shoot what hits and fits, and remember that everything in the frame plays.”
“Hits and fit” refers to a person’s sensibility, how an image strikes a person’s authenticity. A better word could the Spanish “sensibilidad,” which includes both sensibility and sensitivity, still very nuanced words
“Everything in the frame plays” refers to how to compose, what to leave out and leave in, how to arrange what’s in the image. So “hits and fits” then is how an image presents to oneself and “everything in the frame plays” is how it’s presented to another from the artist’s viewpoint. A viewer attends the image similarly, in this view. The two can become simultaneous.
I’m now realizing I could have applied these two more diligently in filmmaking and now, as well, in writing, or authoring.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Morning Reflection 02/15/2013

Morning reflection 02152013
I'm going to make it a habit to write a reflection each day, like warming up before exercise, even if this is all I might write. I've decided to put filmmaking aside. The experimental work has only had a very narrow positive reception, the documentaries the same. Not enough to live on. So I've put a camcorder, tripod and large camera bags up for sale. I'll keep a smaller DVC tape camcorder which can double as a still camera. The effort and money involved in a production and the upgrading needed as the technology improves makes creating this way prohibitive, too.
Still photography is an interest, a love actually, I'll continue to pursue that, mostly in a documentary/photojournalistic way. I'm not going to chase after expensive equipment here, either. I can use a mobile device, a small Canon consumer camera and the camcorder I'm keeping for this. I've got prints from the '60s-on that record my history with this medium as well as a slew of digitized images, most snapshots. Telling a story with style is the main aim.
Writing I go on and on about, but basically, even though here again reception is sparse, I'll keep at it. In the long cosmic run it doesn't matter given how the universe churns and how stars and planets form and die - from what we know at this time, all human enterprise will pass on when the Sun does, the planet does. So will its creative (and destructive) work. In the short run, it matters, though. Still, the ephemerality is liberating. Or I can pretend it does.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Time and the passing of a friend.
There's a hint of Spring this February time in Chattanooga. An elm shows buds, daffodils bloom, the rosemary is green, and dormant grass that leaves a tan-orange hue to the front lawn displays greening blades.
Northeast in New England and New York, winter storm Nemo's ferocious snow and ice shut down highways, air traffic and power. Southwest of here, another band of weather will shed rain and perhaps tornadoes again to the Southeast. Extremes more prevalent, attributed to climate change, an arctic melting that brings a slight enough rise in the ocean levels to change the relationship of the planet to its atmosphere.
Rotating, orbiting, speeding around a small star, we ride a life on an orb probably 4.5 billion years old in the way we measure time. In this hint of Spring, I walked to a rose of sharon now taller than me to see whether it had budded yet, a gift from a friend, Ralph Anderson, who died of the cancer I know. It will bud, a life beyond his as trees surrounding here live beyond other human lives, of other friends who have passed on, even all of us who will share this day today.
Weathering the time. As the oceans rise.