Monday, July 22, 2013

What we do is secret

This piece for the Boston Globe's Sunday Op-Ed section was a really quick turnaround. Last Wednesday afternoon/evening, basically. The op-ed is about the Senate meeting that took place out of view of the public, behind closed doors, at night. And something was actually accomplished! The GOP agreed to confirm Obama's appointees for various posts, in exchange for the ability to filibuster. The author suggests that transparency in politics may not be such a good thing:

It's an interesting thought, and I was eager to try my hand at representing the idea visually. Here are the other sketches:

I liked the idea of showing the Capitol blurred, obstructing public view. I also tried using the "off the air" screen over the Capitol, since the meeting took place late at night, off camera- although that may have worked better had this piece been in color. The last sketch shows how the politicians' statements being redacted leads to agreement. The point of the article is that our leaders grandstand and ape for the cameras far too much for any compromise to be achieved. SOAPBOX ALERT: While I do agree that playing to the cameras, and offering sound bites instead of solutions can be extremely frustrating (and this was a meeting about confirming nominees and filibuster rules, not drafting some specific legislation), I personally disagree with the premise. It all seems so backwards nowadays. Private citizens' every electronic communication can be collected, stored and analyzed, with barely any oversight, much less a warrant, and we're expected to allow our elected officials- whom we've hired to work on our behalf- to conduct business in the dark?
Thank you to Greg and Dan for the assignment!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back in the USSA

Yes, I know that it's USA, not USSA, but that wouldn't have worked as well to reference the Beatles song. We'll pretend it stands for United Surveillance States of America. But anyway, I'm back in the States after visiting Costa Rica. A few out of the four of you who read this blog already know that I recently got married, and went to Costa Rica for the honeymoon. It's a beautiful place, and the trip was much too short, but I'm back home and ready to post again...

I was able to squeeze in some assignments right before the big day, and here's one of them:

This Village Voice edition came out last Wednesday, as my wife and I were probably enjoying some gallo pinto and eggs, with fresh watermelon and papaya for breakfast in San Jose. The story details a case in Manhattan Surrogate Court involving a wheelchair-bound, severely autistic man who inherited a few million bucks from his mother after she passed. The problem is, he's been stuck in an institution, and had barely seen a penny of his inheritance, all while the managers of his trust fund (which include JP Morgan Chase) collected thousands of dollars in fees. If you're in NYC, the issue should be in stands for a couple more days, otherwise you can read it online here.

I think that showing the fat-cat banker pushing around a wheelchair of cash, instead of the trustee he's supposed to look after works well. Thank you to Tom for the assignment!