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A.H. Scott: Unraveled, We Fall

Illustration by Thomcat 23, Copyright 2019

 

 

Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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Unraveled, We Fall

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I have to say this and am going to be unapologetic when doing this; but, every time there are horrific events such as those that have recently occurred, public voices ALWAYS speak about having some kind of budgetary fix for the problem to deal with MENTAL health. And, that is wonderful and fine to hear. But, maybe just maybe, instead of chalking it up to being a problem of a mental health breakdown as being the reason behind why these things keep happening to describing the root of the situation as a singular word.

Some people ain’t ‘crazy’ or ‘sick’ which I am not even diminishing a person who may have psychological problems on using such colloquial terms. I am using it because it is used casually by many of us. I mean no offense to anyone who is reading this. I just needed to find ‘umbrella terms’ to make my point.

At this time, I don’t want to even go down that road of words like psychopath, sociopath, or any other kind of pathology that is rendered from the scads of mental health professionals doing their varied levels of analysis.

Or, it could be the word HATE, which seems to be a considered probability of how some people in this country treats one another. Dismissive interactions and cruelest of words targeted at our fellow Americans exude a staleness of the soul. But, that isn’t the word I am thinking about at this time.

And no that word is not GUNS, although it should be and would be quite fitting to place into the mix.

Guns and their cultural existence is an ongoing debate and debacle in the United States, which turns to be a vipers’ nest that is really in the background of my mind right at this moment.

So, if it isn’t mental health, hate, or guns, what could it possibly be? Hmm, I think I know what fits the bill.

The word I am looking for is one as old as time and maybe it is just seen as controversial.

The word is EVIL. And, yeah, of course it is a hard word to say and use. But, I know I am not the only person that might be thinking of that same word.

I believe there is evil in this world. And, damnit, some people are just EVIL!

There are not in need of being held by the hand in some way shielded from a legal anvil or public damnation by being labeled or mentioned in ‘understanding’ tones of why did what they did.

Or, their frustration with a current issue or some slight they think they’ve been diminished by with the changing demographics in this society. 

Fuck their motivations!

They are just EVIL.

Using that single word just obliterates philosophical puffery and drills directly into the core of what emanates within the barren heart of some people.

No multi-leveled explanation needed or given beyond that word.

I know that’s hard and seemingly cold-blooded to say. But, from many of the mass shootings covered wall to wall by the media, there seems to be a certain type of playbook that unfolds. I call them the 7 Tiers of Tears:

Overly-dramatic music and flashing banner comes across the screen is first.

Breaking news alert and the breathless news anchor speaking is second.

Outline of the event is reported live by a correspondent is third.

On the spot interviews with the wounded, eyewitnesses, and law enforcement is fourth.

Manifesto online or social media rants of the shooter being uncovered is fifth.

Analysis by experts on-air of the shooter’s mental state is sixth.

Elected officials, both in person and on Twitter send along their ‘heartfelt’ support is seventh.

And then from there, the nation’s mourning (once again) begins.

Then, as then and as now (and sure as tomorrow comes after today) – nothing happens.

Wringing our hands and making proclamations of how we are going to make sure this never happens again is just for lack of better words, a verbal circle-jerk to mollify the public to make it seem as if something can be done.

Now, the cynic in me might just say it’s only my imagination in thinking if the shooter were not a white male, but a darker hued, male of Muslim faith who is the shooter in all of these mass shootings around the United States of America; that level of yearning to bridge a bullet-blitz to a mental health problem would never exist. But, then again, I’m not admitting my cynicism on this point. Just sayin’.

Now, for those of us who are rah-rah for getting tougher gun control laws, I am with you on getting something done in that vein. But, it is not the panacea of solving the level of perniciousness within the hearts and souls of some people in this country. 

In this country, we are awash in over 280 million guns; so, even with the most stringent gun control laws, our ability to stay afloat without drowning in tears and fears might be an impossible feat.

Temples, churches, synagogues, movie theaters, malls, bars, community centers, schools, nightclubs; these places of comfort have become no more in the United States of America.

New and tougher gun control laws will only tissue paper over the problem that’s going on, because the people that want to do EVIL will always find a way to do EVIL. Yeah, fuck it; I’m gonna hit that nail again and again of what this situation in this country is – EVIL!!

Evil sits back and snickers when it is mistaken for a problem of mental health.

Evil just is there …..and waits …..for the next mass shooting.

We are America, but are we United States?

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-the-one/
 
 
 
 
Posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, News, Politics, Popular Culture

Bob Shell:

Deep Hate: Illustration by Thomcat23

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Illustration by Thomcat23, Copyright 2019

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INSANITY REIGNS IN AMERICA TODAY

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Many years ago Mark Twain said that America has no native criminal class except for Congress. Will Rogers said the difference between death and taxes was that death didn’t get worse every time Congress was in session.

What put these comments into my mind is that our government has devolved to the point that partisan bickering keeps it from accomplishing much, but what it does accomplish is usually bad. The ancient Greeks had a word for what we have today, kakistocracy. That means “government by the worst.”. And I think most of my readers will agree that we couldn’t get much worse than the current bunch of Bozos. No, wait, that’s an insult to Bozo the Clown, and these clowns aren’t the least bit funny.

But bad government is only part of the problem. We seem to be degenerating into a fractionalized society in which some fractions are always seeking to be offended by what other factions do. Nowhere in our constitution is there a right not to be offended. In fact, in earlier times Americans lived by the maxim, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Freedom of speech/expression is the most important right guaranteed by our Constitution. But many people obviously don’t believe in it. I’m sitting in this prison cell right now because twelve small town jurors were offended by my erotic photography. If they’d paid attention and done the job they pledged to do, they would have noticed that the prosecution never proved the key elements of its case against me, and none of my photography was illegal. But they ruled based on prejudice,, not fact, and were offended by the small sampling of my photos that the prosecution projected up to giant size on the courtroom wall, and those were personal photos never intended for publication.

This was brought back to my mind last week by a news story that I read in my favorite magazine, THE WEEK. To celebrate America, the Nike company planned to introduce a new shoe with the original United States flag, as designed by Betsy Ross, with a ring of thirteen stars, on the shoe back. Nike was forced to withdraw the shoe when people protested that the original United States flag was a symbol of slavery. Sounds ridiculous, iduotic, like someone’s idea of a silly fake news story. Something you’d see in THE ONION. But this really happened.

Now I could understand if Nike had used the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy, but the original U. S. flag? And so what? If Nike had any guts they’d have ignored protests from the ignorant and produced the shoe for those proud of our country to wear proudly. I’d have bought a pair if I was on the outside.

Certainly, there were things wrong with this country as first conceived, and slavery was one of them, but there were more good things than bad. Our history is a history of fixing what’s wrong incrementally, striving toward the impossible goal of perfection.

Women were repressed in this country far longer than any ethnic group, and in many ways still are, but we’re making progress on those issues. I didn’t hear women protesting Betsy Ross’s flag.

Communist regimes invariably try to rewrite history when they come to power, but history has a way of surviving to re-emerge when those regimes topple, as they invariably do. In the old U.S.S.R. they renamed everything, thus you ended up with cities named Leningrad, Stalingrad, etc., but when the U.S.S.R. collapsed the old names were restored because people had not forgotten them. The attempts nowadays to rewrite American history and wipe out all memory of the Confederacy are similarly due to fail. Knocking over statues revered by many is nothing more than vandalism, and is just another example of thin-skinned people looking for something to be offended by. Removing names of prominent Confederate generals from schools, highways, towns, etc. is more lunacy.

In Germany, they tried to wipe out the history of the Third Reich. They knocked down statues and monuments and renamed things named after Nazis. They went so far as to purge swastikas from the decal sets of plastic model kits of WWII airplanes, tanks, ships, etc., and banned the display of Nazi symbols. What did this accomplish? A generation ignorant of the history of European fascism, and the many skinhead neo-nazis and holocaust deniers.

Will we have deniers of slavery in our future? I’m sure we will.

In Italy, busts of Mussolini are illegal, but I could have bought an many as I wanted ranging in size from a few inches tall to larger than life size in San Marino. Who buys them? Italian tourists, of course, who take them home to display inside their houses. I could have bought Hitler busts, too, if I’d wanted such a thing. Was I offended that these things were for sale? No, I was not, because I know the history of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists, and that history must not be forgotten. The history of the American “Civil War,” similarly, must not be swept under the rug, but must be taught, and taught accurately.

Those who forget history are destined to repeat it. We must never forget the truth of that statement. If we want a future free from the evils of the past, we must remember them, and our children must be taught them honestly, even if the truth offends them. Not all history lessons are pleasant.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-objectifying-and-exploiting-women/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

 

Posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, History, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel

A.H. Scott: The One

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Poetry by A. H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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THE ONE

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What are you waiting for?

For that moment when everything will be just right?

For the moment you’ll be blessed with a kiss goodnight?

Or, when you walk into a room to have someone look at you with a gaze of perfect delight?

Pondering your worth in another person’s life?

What are you looking for?

What do you seek?

Is it something or someone that will tip your dreams to its’ peak?

Maybe all of it

Maybe none of it

When will that day come?

Thinking you can be the one

The one in the mirror that makes you smile

The one who finally sees you and wants you to stick around

The one who realizes strengths  within that will endure

The one that knows there’s more to this life for sure

The one obscured behind that internal jawboning of defeat

The one who compares to another in a race which we didn’t compete

The one who has settled in ways both large and small

Wanting to expand horizons, but afraid to shine

Affixed to that humble grind

Sitting back and watching seconds turn to years

And, stunted by fears

Staying in your own lane, you never complain

Hands of time can never unwind

Obsolete in stoking a fire within another

Inside of you there’s a yearning flicker of embracing something beautiful and new

Settling is safe, as is the shore

There’s so much more to life to adore

Maybe, it’s not another which you seek

It’s someone closer than you think

The one is you

Just look in the mirror

You will see it through

You will see it true

The one

You

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here:http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-madisons-key/

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Editor’s Note: To see more pictures of Alice as well as other pictures and films from Tony Ward’s erotica collection, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

Posted in Accessories, Affiliates, Art, Blog, Diary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Poetry, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Katie Kerl: Modern Mom

 

Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Modern Mom

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Life is complicated it takes real work to sustain a marriage, social life, and kids. At 35 I am not sure how some women literally do it all. I think life gives you what you can handle in your own time. I never felt the pressure to get married and have kids. I want that one day, but it took 33 years to come to that conclusion. As I got older I realized children keep you young. It is basically reliving your childhood as an adult and keeps you from becoming bitter. You learn greater patience than you ever thought you had. You also get the opportunity to mold a mind to be self-confident, kind, and resilient. That is actually a greater accomplishment; being good parents rather than just acquiring things with another person. Things do not take care of you when you are sick in the end of life. 

My friend Amy who I have known since nursery school seems to stand out as a go getter stay at home mom. Most people down women for selling beauty products at home, but Amy found the time to turn it into a real business winning a free tropical trip. She even had the fairy tale Cinderella inspired wedding that had a few interesting moments. Her Instagram: @rosegoldamy promotes easy time saving, organic, beauty, home, and child care products. Ones she actually uses in her daily life at home with her husband and two boys. The beauty short cut article I did has nothing on the information Amy puts out there.

I decided I wanted to know how she had the time to do it all, what life was like with two busy boys, and a husband with his own business.

1. How old were you when you met Dan?

I was 19. We met at a hotel party on New Year’s Eve (2003, going into 2004) that my friend and I threw. We actually didn’t hit it off when we first met. We didn’t like each other at all actually. He for some reason asked for my phone number any way, and I gave him the wrong one. He eventually got the right one, and things just seemed to just fit in place.

2.  Did Dan go to college, or did he just go right into self employment? 

Dan didn’t go to college, but seemed to learn a lot by going right into his own business… 

3. I remember your Disney Cinderella themed wedding. What is the fairy tale you hoped for?

We were engaged on Christmas in 2007. 
Then, we were married on November 11, 2011.
I wore a Cinderella inspired dress. Our wedding cake shimmered it had Hello Kitty/ Dear Daniel as the topper. The groom’s cake was super Mario themed. 


I only had about 3 break downs that day, so I was happy with myself. Let’s start at the beginning… I woke up with crest whitening strips on that I had put on the night before and forgot to take off. My whole mouth was insanely sensitive. I cried on the way to get my makeup done with my mom. We were arguing because I was running late. Fast forward into the afternoon Dan calls to let me know he took Damien to the creek to throw rocks. This may had started breakdown number two. Then, when we’re (bridesmaids, my mom, & I) leaving for the church about 40 minutes late mind you. We pulled up to the church and my mom remembers the programs were left at home. Since I was the last one in the limo bus I made the driver loop back home to get them for the ceremony.

The harpist was playing, all the guests are seated, and I’m in the front of the church trying not to pass out! My dad is calmly trying to get me down the aisle,  but I guess with the craziness of the day I  forgot to eat (and my mouth was still super sensitive from the crest strips) I felt super light headed and I needed the cold air to get my adrenaline going. After a few minutes (more like 20). I walked down the aisle and everything was perfect!

Since I was running so late we ran out of time to get lots of church pictures after the ceremony. The reception was a dream! Damien unbeknownst to anyone somehow hurt his shoulder and was fussy (in pain) the whole time. After our reception we took a mini honeymoon to Miami. As we are in a cab on the way to our hotel my parents call to let us know they took Damien to DuPont Hospital. His shoulder ended up being dislocated, and he was to remain in a sling until it was healed.

4. Now the two of you have two busy boys. How old were you when you had them and what age are they now?

 Damien is 11; I had him when I was 23 years old.
Paxton is 6; I had him when I was 28 years old.

5. How do you make being a stay at home mom work for you?

I help my dad with his work a few days a week, but I’m home mostly all the time.  I’m a complete homebody so I love it.

6.  What do you like to do for yourself besides being mother and a wife?

I love to go to the casino, shop, and sleep. Being a mom the sleep part is important.  

7.  What made you want to start your own home beauty business selling Posh products? 

I saw it as a challenge plus I loved the products. Some recent changes in the cooperation made me distance myself a bit. Once I earned the incentive trip; I knew that was what I wanted to achieve. It was time to move on.

8. Tieks seem to be your staple footwear. Stylish flats for moms on the go. How did you come across them?

Tieks are just fun. My mom introduced me to them.

9. What are your top three favorite best bang for your buck beauty boxes you subscribe to?


        1. Boxycharm is my one and only beauty box. I’ve had them all and this is the only one I will stand by. It’s definitely the best value for your money. 
        2. Monobox is not beauty products, but it is accessories and I love it! You get a monogrammed clothing item and 2 coordinating accessories monthly for $25
        3.  Can’t Clutch this is amazing! You get a unique adorable clutch every month. Pricing range $20-$40 depending on what you add on to your bag.

10. How do you have time to do it all through the day?

 I don’t, if I get one thing done I fell like something was accomplished. 

11. Tell me a few funny mom moments that even surprised you?

The whole Damien issue at the wedding; I never thought he could so easily dislocated his shoulder. My Parents are amazing, and made sure he was well taken care of while we were away.Then there was Paxton telling his teachers he’s moving to China, and changing his name to Optimus Prime.

12. What do you and Dan do to keep the spark alive with two little guys?

We still go on date night! Yes I am a mother; but I am also a wife. You should never stop dating your husband.

13. What were two major things that you both have overcome that brought you closer together?

Major medical issues with both boys. Both have needed medical procedures and both have IEP’s which means:

Kids that have developmental/ learning disabilities.

Paxton’s IEP is for speech/language/ and his bilateral hearing loss.

Damien’s IEP is for speech/language/ and comprehension.

We go to DuPont  for everything. They have been so helpful, and the doctors are wonderful! We never had an issue with our insurance so far; knock on wood lol. 
We have been super grateful to have such amazing resources basically in our backyard ! 
 

14. What are your favorite parts of being a modern mom?

Watching the boys become cool little dudes. Seeing them act like good hearted humans in situations is all I could want/ask for as a mother.I think the best part about asking these questions is I received honest answers. There was no sugar coating her responses. I have known Amy for a long time, and am glad I started with her perspective of being a modern stay at home mom.

The reality is no one will have the perfect romance, wedding, and children. We all still stumble through life riding out the good and bad times with the ones we love. Family to me is the most important thing we have. Growing through problems when you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as a couple; just might be the perfect part.

To all my busy moms out there; do yourself a favor and follow Amy. She might just give you the home advice you are looking for.

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateEmail: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-atlantic-city-fun-guide/

 

Posted in Accessories, Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Gifts, Glamour, Health Care, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Romance With Horror

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Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

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Photography by Sabrina Galaviz and Alexandria Romain, Copyright 2019

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ROMANCE WITH HORROR

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  I, among many others, absolutely love horror movies. In fact, that is my genre of choice. I once screamed in a theater and had a 7 year old girl in front of me, no parents insight, turn around and give the most judgemental look. No shame. Many people I know claim to like it because they “like being scared,” but then when I jump out from behind a partially closed door on their way to the bathroom, I’m met with profanity rather than laughter of delight. So what is it really that draws us to watch gore and jump scares while also never venturing further from modern suburbia?

    Perhaps the answer is more obvious than we think. Søren Birkvad, film scholar of Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, says it’s simply an activity to avoid boredom. There is a trait called “sensation seeking” in which people with personalities that get bored easily score high on. Those are the types of people that typically like horror films. So if you find yourself easily bored and happen to enjoy scary movies, there you go. You can now add sensation seeker to your resume, with caution of course. The term could take an interesting turn.

    Another possible explanation can be found in the elements that make up the films themselves. Dr. Glenn Walters has defined the ingredients as: tension, relevance, and unrealism. I think this is the case for most exciting life situations. Horror films need tension to build, relevance to captivate an audience, and unrealism so said audience can fall asleep without salt lines or cuddling up next to their bedside handgun. In parallel, romance needs tension for heat, relevance for conversation, and unrealism to keep you wanting more. The same could be said for many more experiences, but I think for intensity purposes those three things make up only the best of situations.

    The most common answer found as to why we crave scary movies is to satisfy the “beast within.” It’s easy to say that we all have some measure of sicko. Maybe you like watching peoples’ heads getting bashed in, or the jump scare is what reminds you what it feels like to truly be alive, or maybe you don’t button and iron the back pockets on your khaki shorts. No matter how disgusting you are, horror films will always be there to comfort and remind you that there are freaks worse off than you. That’s all we long to know, right? That we aren’t the ones at rock bottom.

    I like scary movies. To others they may seem cliché or niche, but to me they are a reminder of how truly pleasant my life is. I have the privilege to not go about my day wondering if I’ll stay alive despite of a masked man or being held captive in a foreign country without the comfort of my family. The truth is that our world already has the scariest realities. Those happy endings in flicks aren’t conclusions. They are reminders that if we take action against our monsters from personal health to daunting tasks of speaking up and acting for those who are living their nightmares, then there is still hope. 

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Mikala Mikrut 2019

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a junior enrolled at Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here: http://tonyward.com/mikala-mikrut-minimalism-a-modern-luxury/

 

Posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Exhibitions, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women