Well, I am officially back in the all-too-stressful and fearful United States of America. It is always a breath of fresh air to visit a part of the world, in my case Brazil, where there are numerous people who have never owned a computer and probably will never even look at the internet. The major difference I notice now when traveling to Brazil is how much the U.S. has changed in the last 10 years. I have been traveling to Brazil for a decade now and it’s just amazes me how much of a downturn the U.S. has taken. Right off when you board the first full Brazilian airline bound for Brazil, you are greeted graciously, treated like royalty, allowed to order any beverage, including alcohol at any time during your flight and you are served something to eat on every single flight. They start the flight by walking down the aisle and handing out caramels. It sounds hard to believe when you spend a lot of time flying in the states where you are practically strip searched and harassed at every turn in the airport only to be treated like dogshit by the flight attendants once you finally get the chance to board your plane. I was called sir by every Brazilian airline steward and asked things like, ‘Sir, would you like another drink?’ When I was back in the states I was asked, ‘Hey, want somethin’ to drink? and, ‘Want some water?’ Also when I was leaving the plane the American stewardess, said (and I couldn’t make this up if I tried), ‘See ya later.’
I was also harassed by customs because apparently I am on the bullshit list they have now of people they like to harass and then they rummaged through my wife and I’s luggage for about 15 minutes throwing the contents aside and then telling us to repack it when we were done. This was all after flying through Brazil and overnight for around 12 hours before we reached the U.S. I just couldn’t believe it. It made me sick. I wanted to turn around and go right back to Brazil. What has happened in this country? Have we become so afraid that we actually expect to be treated like this? I don’t see how this is freedom anymore and how we can even pretend that it is. Don’t get me wrong, Brazil has it’s share of serious problems. The crime is awful and there is real poverty there. I guess after growing up in an altogether different version of the United States, I just find this new one unfriendly and difficult to adjust to. I wish the fearmongering and the harassment would stop. It doesn’t feel like after a lifetime of incredibly hard work and paying taxes without ever asking where that money is going, that someone should be treated so inhospitably. Especially when this is your home.
Anyway, off my soapbox for now. I was happy to get back to blogging again and the Democratic National Convention is underway here in Denver and it is really exciting. I am selling large format Obama posters here all week and you can also buy them at the Manifest Hope show at the Andenken Gallery. I was there today and finally had the chance to meet and converse with Shepard Fairey. He is a truly nice person and I was really happy to learn that. He was very gracious and is absolutely respectful to his fans. It is always nice to meet someone you look up to and learn they are a nice person.
I did have a little time to create some new experimental illustrations that you can find in the Illustration section of the site. You can see one of my latest creations above this post. You will also notice images of the posters now on sale in the online storefront below the sideblog. Thank you sincerely for those of you who have purchased posters, it helps keep the blog running.
I hope all is well for you out there and I am glad to be back communing with you all again. Thank you so much for reading and supporting the blog. Also thank you so much for my bloggers for holding it down in my absence.