Where has the year gone?
New Contributors: I am delighted to see an uptick of Pigtails readers making an effort to contribute new items to the site. I highly encourage these people because I am not personally able to produce or even know about all the material out there. So I would like to take the time to ask readers to not only share short leads but to put something together suitable for publishing. You are our eyes and ears out there, now let us use our hands. For those concerned about their weak matery of English, I am happy to do the editing necessary to achieve acceptable standards. Also, if you think you are a skilled editor but have no content to share, please let me know. We need people to take the leads we receive and produce them in an acceptable format.
Preserving a Legacy: I must sadly inform readers that my friend, Graham Ovenden, is in very bad condition and may be leaving us soon. To think that I may never again have an engaging conversation with this man is personally sad to contemplate. We have spoken on a wide range of subjects beyond that of the art world. The reason I am bringing this up is that I would like to preserve his legacy in part by keeping his two websites (personal and Garage Press) up for as long as practicable. I have no problem paying for this out of my own pocket, but I know there are others out there who may want to help out. In the next couple of months, we will be working out a way to receive monetary contributions for projects like this. Please let me know if you want to be one of them.
Consuming Children: In the world of fake news, it is hard to zero in on what is really happening and what can be done about it. The whole Pizzagate affair is a well-known example and it involved the shocking exploitation of children. This exploitation is a real problem except that malicious actors working to undermine the narrative in the US have got the story wrong so that highly-radicalized individuals behaved rashly. This tactic has succeeded to some extent in sowing discord in American society but does not address real child exploitation (nor was it ever intended to). Increasing unrest in the world and extreme wealth disparity has created a situation in which more and more children are trafficked. Being such a hot-button issue means that exaggerated claims abound and it behooves us to view such things with skepticism. But we should not be be naive and foll ourselves into thinking it is not a real problem. Of special interest is the efforts of Tim Ballard who has been working to actually rescue children who are trapped in this trade. Some of the details can be heard in the Jordan Harbinger Show and there is now a film (Operation Toussaint: Operation Underground Railroad & the Fight to End Modern-Day Slavery) outlining the details of specific efforts in Haiti. As grim as this subject is, there are some heartwarming moments as well including a remarkable little girl who did everything she could to protect her little brother. I expect that this will become a dedicated post in the future.
Instagram Interest: There have been a lot of leads lately about interesting work published on Instagram. One site is of particular interest and it is no surprise that it comes from an occasional contributor of this site, WCL. Readers can take a look here and I am delighted to inform readers that he has contributed a new item to Pigtails that will be published soon. Another reader has volunteered to scout out other interesting examples as well. Since not all readers (including myself) have Instagram accounts, some of the more interesting examples will be republished here as small posts.