The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

SrHelenPrejean, originally uploaded by willisgirl.

This evening I just got back from seeing Sister Helen Prejean speak at St. Ignatius Church on Calvert Street. Her presentation was called A Culture of Life and the Death Penalty An Evening with Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ. Sister Helen Prejean is the New Orleans Catholic nun who wrote the book, Dead Man Walking. Dead Man Walking gave readers an inside look at her relationship with one death row inmate, Patrick Sonnier. The book made the 1994 American Library Associates Notable Book List; it was also nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize.

The book also as everyone knows was made into a movie that starred Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as Patrick Sonnier. The movie version was written and directed by Tim Robbins. The film received four Oscar nominations including, Tim Robbins for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, Susan Sarandon for Best Actress, and Bruce Springsteens Dead Man Walking for Best Song. Recently, Dead Man Walking was made into an opera where is is currently being presented at the Baltimore Opera Company.

Sister Helen also has a second book that was recently published called, Death of Innocents.

As you can imagine I was very excited when learned that she was in town. I immediately purchased my tickets online to see her. I did this especially since tickets were just $5. I could not believe it! Just five bucks to see a real live famous anti-death penalty activist!

I admit that as I was walking on my way to see her I began to have apprehensions. Would her presentation be dry and boring? Would I fall asleep? What the heck was I doing seeing a presentation against the death penalty given by a little old Cathlic nun? How much fun could a little old lady be?

When I finally made it over to St. Ignatius I was surprised by the turnout. The place was packed. I ended up sitting accidently in the back row in an area that was meant for special guests. No one asked me to leave after I explained that I did not know that that particular row was meant for special guests. As it turned out there were not many people who sat in that row. So thus I did not have to move. I suppose they did not have many special guests that night.....

As far as Sister Helen went she was a very lively down to earth talker. She started off her presentation by saying that forgiveness is a path that should not be seen as weakness. During her presentation she also explained as I knew that the States reserves the death penalty for the worst of the worst murders. 87 percent of those who get the death penalty are more likely to receive it for for killing whites. She explained that in New Orleans police speak Black on Black murder is seen as a N-O-N crime. A N-O-N crime in New Orleans means Nigger on Nigger.

Towards the end of her presentation she went on to explain her wariness towards Justice Scalia, a fellow Catholic. She appears to feel that Scalia is a vengeful person because he often cites Romans as a justification for upholding the death penalty. She also said that Scalia believes that the more Christian a country is, the easier it is to kill people. Yikes! If Scalia truly believes this I feel he should be off the Supreme Court.

In conclusion I really enjoyed being enlightened and informed by Sister Helens presentation. Heck, she even sang a little from the Dead Man Walking opera. Sister Helen Prejean Rocks!!!!

link | posted by gail at 8:12 PM |


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