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CONDITIONING BEHAVIOR to begin accepting a new world order.

By Paul
Henrickson, Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION
This subject, even in the limited parameters of artistic production, criticism and appreciation is so complex it is a
matter of serious concern as to what facet of this brilliant, blindingly brilliant, culturalgem we might begin an
analysis of why, in faceted combination, the effect is so attractive.

In our midst there are traitors to our ideals. I sometimes think that I must be a slow learner for there had been a few
instances over the years when I had observed people in authority behaving in ways that were contrary to what I
had expected them, what I had been taught they should be doing in their positions. College Presidents who tell
prospective professors that they will not know people of color, as did Charles Knox Martin of Radford College,
Radford Virginia; Heads of Departments who expect their faculty to participate in faculty group sex ( I put him out of
my mind and didn’t tell my wife) and one who required a blow job as a condition of a successful interview, I don’t
remember his name either, but I do remember it was Tallahassee, Florida, so, I suppose I ought not to have been
shocked when the Palo Alto School system hired a computer technician, James Bravo, to protect them from spam
and who, taking the easiest way out decides that since a lot of spam comes from out of Malta that the whole
country should be blocked. What this technically proud and arrogantly unintelligent man doesn’t realize is that in
many cases he is punishing the children of his own community to say nothing of the teachers who also need an
education and generations of students upon whom, in his old age and infirmity, he may depend on to help him
survive. Even in the narrow area of self-interest the action was not very bright at all.

THE START OF IT ALL


On Mar 6, 2008, at 4:22 AM, Paul Henrickson wrote to the automatic response explaining why email was rejected from delivery to a teacher in the Palo Alto
school system

I am in a state of shocked disbelief that I have learned my country has determined that all its cherished teachings over the past two centuries should be
discarded on someone's whim. Who is the idiot who decided Malta should be silenced? What criminal is fearful of ideas? What additional suppression
might we expect?

THE RESPONSE
From: Frank A. Bravo [mailto:fbravo@embarcaderopublishing.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 4:14 PM
To: Paul Henrickson; Michael Camilleri
Cc: Bill Johnson
Subject: Re: censorship

Thanks for your e-mail and sorry that your initial e-mail was blocked, but it appears you have found an address that can get through.

Because we are a local, community media group, we have set up our SPAM filters to filter out traffic from mail servers that have IP addresses that are in
countries where either we get a lot of SPAM or we believe that we will not get e-mails from. I was the 'idiot' that decided that Malta, among a lot of other
countries, should be on this list as part of this set up. We are constantly modifying our SPAM filter and it's technology. I will keep Malta in mind as we
further refine our servers and algorithms.

Since this e-mail address can come through (the mail server must not be in Malta), please send your information to me from this address instead
of ntac@melitacable.com.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

\frank

SPREADING INTEREST
On Mar 6, 2008, at 3:37 AM, Michael Camilleri wrote:

Dear Sir,
We are an ISP situated in Malta. Our clients have been complaining that they cannot send any emails to webmaster@paloaltoonline.com. We are
receiving the below error. Is it possible to escalate this issue to your service provider?
Thank you in advance.

220 mail.embarcaderopublishing.com 999 Welcome to


helo me
250 Hello me
mail from: <ntac@melitacable.com>
250 Address Okay
rcpt to: <webmaster@paloaltoonline.com>
550 Your IP address is from a blacklisted country. Disconnecting..
Connection to host lost.

Best Regards,
Michael Camilleri

From: Network Technicians [mailto:ntac@melitacable.com]


Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 2:46 PM
To: prh
Subject: RE: frank bravo

Dear Dr. Henrickson,

Thanks for your reply, however to which paweekly.com users do you wish to
sendthe below email? Do you have a name or email address? Mr. Bravo is
apparently only the website administrator, so it doesn't look like he has
anything to do with teaching in this case.

Thanks,
Michael
From: prh [mailto:prh@tcp.com.mt]
Posted At: 05 May 2008 14:34
Posted To: Network Technicians
Conversation: frank bravo
Subject: RE: frank bravo

Michael: I am very pleased that you are following through. I was afraid you
mightthink to do so would be rude. What I am sending out to school
teachers are educational research reports based on my work. These reports
would have a direct bearing on how they see the educational process. Mr.
Bravo, it is my guess, is not about to cooperate with anyone for, it is my
guess again, he is an arrogant technician and feels he has the right to use
his power to inconvenience others. OR, and I think this possible these days,
he has received orders from elsewhere to limit human correspondence in from
abroad or even domestically that might bear on the success of programs that differ
idealistically from those of the present American administration.

I send out hundreds of emails to teachers. There is not just one person
involved thousands of teachers throughout the country and Mr. Bravo is not
alone in his actions. There is another webmaster in San Diego county who
feels that any address, email address, that is unfamiliar to the system (
which mine is, of course) is consequently defined as "SPAM" This one has
toldme he intends to block my address if I send more thereby depriving the
teachers in that system of valuable material. It is, in my view, a very
seriousmatter.

Below is my current mail out.

THE MAIL OUT INVOLVED

NB: Because of the down turn in the value of the US dollar the price as listed in the website is now changed. Please contact if you are interested in a
purchase.

THIS REQUIRES YOUR CLOSE ATTENTION


The Creativity Packet offers, as Michael Yamamoto has said, the chance for those unaccustomed to experiencing success in the
conventional way to do so in a way that may be ultimately more meaningful. Why? The answer to that is that tradition is what it is…that is, it is tradition, it is doing now what has been
done before. The Creativity Packet supports the concept that there is more meaning in the enriched new than in the perfection of habit.

The initial prototype of a puzzle was this one illustrated above, first designed, I believe around 1983. The color separations, in the order of the spectrum
as they appear in a rainbow were enriched by the addition of protrusions which would fit into corresponding cut out shapes. These were numerically increased in number by one digit
and it was anticipated that subliminally the child might gain a consciousness of numeric order.
However, almost immediately after that development the idea of the puzzles with a more involved learning experience built into the design evolved and the next big step was to
eliminate the convolutions of contour so characteristic of traditional puzzles in order not to keep feeding the player hinting information that he might just as well figure out for himself.
That is why the examples just below are simple squares rather than intricately contoured pieces that allow for one solution only.
By way of comparison the tradition 16 piece puzzle allows for 16 choices. The Creativity Packet Puzzles [there are 40 in the collection graded according to difficulty and designed in accordance with the principles of color and
composition theory], in the collection. each one of which allows for more than 600 choices and the opportunity to learn by making mistakes that the player can correct by himself. Actually, the

Creativity Puzzles do even more than that. They allow the player to make up his own design if he decides he doesn’t like the one the artist created or if his mind simply wonders off .
One of the more important experiences the child gets from working with these puzzles is the experiences of looking with an analytical eye.

1. 2. Here are two examples from the Creativity Puzzle Collection. No.1. is one of the more simple examples, No.2. one of the more difficult. You are invited to enlarge, print out
and reassemble these puzzles in order to gain some insight into the thinking processes involved…processes which are quite other than what one finds in the traditional puzzle.
The link below should bring you to a short two-minute video illustrating how children respond to these challenging puzzles. The video is only two minutes but the
children stayed engaged for 45 minutes,
Click here to view experimental video showing how the creativity packet puzzles are used. <http://www.tcp.com.mt/video.wmv>

There is a comment made near the end of this video which, by chance only, illustrates what the main value of these puzzles might be. The remark was. “At first it was difficult but when
I got into my mind what it could be then it was easy.” That comment demonstrates the value of what we call visualization.

The cost of the 40 puzzle collection in U.S. Dollars is $618, which includes shipping and handling. For charges in other currencies please enquire at: prh@tcp.com.mt

For additional information please contact Dr. Paul Henrickson at prh@tcp.com.mt <mailto:prh@tcp.com.mt> or Kurun Vella at puzzles@tcp.com.mt <mailto:puzzles@tcp.com.mt>

Yes, Michael: the schools often publish the names of the teachers together with their email addresses. Those
are the addresses I use.
I am aware he is the website administrator BUT HE would not say "only". In copies of earlier emails from him
which I had forwarded to you earlier he admits that he was "the idiot" who had programmed the system to reject
email from Malta. This is the main reason I think him an arrogant technician and somewhat drunk with power.

He shouldn't have anything to do with teaching. That is precisely my point.

But he does when he makes it impossible for someone like me to communicate with professional colleagues. He
should back off.

Even if he did not influence professional behavior he certainly influences the business interests of Maltese
and others as well. The principle stands against freedom and is not tolerable to Malta or to me.
If he remains unresponsive the matter should be brought to the attention of the United States Ambassador.

Regards,

Paul Henrickson

Dear Dr. Henrickson,

I understand what you are saying, but the reality is that each company is responsible for their
IT system and we have no authority over it. We can only ask for their assistance on the matter,
but at the end of the day we are at their mercy. We have no control over who blocks what - there
is only so much we can do.

Have a good weekend.

Best Regards,

Michael

MINDSET WARS
I do not know whether Mr. Bravo feels at all reassured that there are others who share his views, but
consensuality is no assurance of a freedom from mental illness. The first half of the 20th century saw millions
of people following four madmen.

There are, now, in quite nearly full control of the dissemination, or the lack of it, of vital educational
material individuals who selfishly guard the technical powers placed in their hands by a structured system
unmindful of the insipient motives of an immoral mindset…that is, we have a cancer in the flesh of the
American educational system and that cancer can be found [was created] in that class of occupation that governs
who shall be allowed to communicate with whom and what that communication will be. It is hideous censorship
potentially destructive of that finely worked structure which represents the operations of a civilized
community. In the words of the Hopi this is Koyanisquatsi….a world out of balance. In short, is a world where
those who do not know, tell those who do what the reality is. As Scott Gomez, computer technician for the
Nuview elementary school system in California informed me ,

There are, now, in quite nearly full control of the dissemination, or the lack of it, of vital educational
material individuals who selfishly guard the technical powers placed in their hands by a structured system
unmindful of the insipient motives of an immoral mindset…that is, and I repeat, we have a cancer in the
flesh of the American educational system and that cancer can be found [was created] in that class of occupation
that governs who shall be allowed to communicate with whom and what that communication will be.

MR. GOMEZ SPEAKS:


but as I'm the one administering this particular system, for this particular institution, rather than you,
you're quite clearly in no position to judge. One can't dispute the facts: it's our system, and we've chosen to
strictly limit those we allow to email to us. I'd further submit that your knowledge of American educational
institutions from the remove of Malta is less than comprehensive, rendering your appraisal suspect in the first
instance.

From this comment we can understand how comfortable Gomez is in his ignorance. His rudeness as a civil being is
of no great importance and one might forgive him for surprising arrogance for praising himself for following
directions rather than using his mind.

Gomez’s behavior is not unlike that that female military person, England, who prided herself, at one point, in
her participation in the humiliation of nude Iraqis whom she forced to masturbate…she being too stupid to
understand how she had degraded herself.

VERY ODD PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDES


Perhaps the indifference to professional standards and goals has spread to teachers as well for the following
is not at all unusual. In fact, I have received similar arrogant rejections from student-elected “excellent
teachers” at such a renowned institutions as Valley City (NoDak) University. I also received an indignant
rejection from a cute little

teacher who didn’t understand that I got her email address from her school’s website and

let me feel she thought me a stalker. And yet another who simply couldn’t care less, as we
see below.

“Thanks, but no thanks!!” So says Mark Florentine of Paradise Valley Schools I imagine it is
possible that some teachers simply are not interested in enlarging the scope of the process…perhaps,
because they are really much too busy as it is. This “business”, not so by the way, is often imposed by
the school system which self-righteously assumes that day dreaming is not work.

MY VIEW
In the courts, I have been told, silence means assent. Such an attitude does injustice to those who are shy,
timid, or unsure of the proper response and easily intimidated by the myth of moral superiority encouraged by
the legal profession, or, like proper Bostonians, have been taught that engaging in verbal altercations is
characteristics of the badly bred.

The intolerable arrogance of those millions who have been trained to push buttons to bring about results…what a
sense of personal power! And how insignificant the rest of the world must seem to those who can achieve the
moving of mountains with a poke of finger.

What a profound disappointment for a once great civilization now, seemingly incapable of correcting the inappropriate behavior of those who, in
a lower division humanities class would be sitting with their mouths agape uncomprehending the significance of affective human response to

experience.
However, one of the more amusing. Ironically amusing, that is, is when in filling out the impressively formed and inquisitive ready-made email form one presses the
link “send” and gets as a reward the notice that the email address that has been yours for a decade is invalid. I wonder how these people can tell? What has been the
path to knowledge? What trauma might they experience were they to discover that the earth was round? Or, it is explained by the notion that who-else in the world
would need to communicate to us but those we already know? Does this illustrate the concept of a “new world order”?
Mr. Bravo finds it more convenient and efficient to eliminate whole categories, complete areas,
entire populations from participating in the one world some politicians expect us to accept…presenting an image of a union of many, but
operating to effect an absence of a differential existence…not even an homogenization…wipe Malta off the map of human experience.

The above pairs of photographs are included as a means of


stimulating the reader’s imagination and mental flexibility…if it is required.

VIRTUAL PERSONALITIES (VP)


I have read that “virtual personalities can be described as post-human, post-biological constructs. Their "virtually real" manifestations are living and
experiential on-line - usually through a textual description -so called handles- , through 3D manifestations -as so called Avatars or VIDs (Virtual
IDentity). or a combination of both textual description and visual design.“ which it seems, will be the new definition of mankind…a kind of man…
something other than “humanoid”….to an extent.
“Their nature is hybrid; part digital, part human. Although they can only be "digitally" experienced as on-line, fantastical constructs of (more or less)
poetic constitution, they are symbiotically living with a real, physical human being. This modern centaur is an instable construct, a fluid character, lightly
schizophrenic, likely to morph into other manifestations/personalities parallel to the will and emotional condition of its human "parent". The virtual "I"
can have any sex, any shape and any qualities allowed by the Net-medium. On the anthropomorphic MUD "Furry Muck" all handles are met in
animalistic form and acting with animalistic qualities.”
Virtual personalities are essential to interpersonal communication in and through Cyberspace as they allow their human component to slip into the
virtual role model needed to interface to others. Interpersonal communication over the Net can be defined as a phenomenon grounded upon fantastical
constructs interfaced together within consensual hallucinations, and rendered real through their human counterpart. “
What is unacceptable in the above scenario is the result these virtual personalities have on the non-virtual personalities who drink bear, are late for
their weddings and use an underarm deodorant, Mr. Bravo may find it distressing to receive so many spam items from this small Mediterranean island
but as a “virtual para-educator-teacher” the proper response is not to erase them from the list. Besides, one might consider that naughty boys are
naughty boys (sometimes) because not enough attention has been paid them in the first place and one way of getting the attention one needs is to
send out spam. I am NOT that kind of naughty boy. I am another kind.
In this regard I would accept the notion that to be noticed one has to do something “worthy of notice”. However, regrettably, that something is often
misguided as one increasingly sees in those news columns devoted to celebrity misdeeds. Our collective attention, it would seem, has been captured
by the literary talents of the superficial journalist who knows that the expression “did you hear….” Are the three magic words that will get your column
read. Significance (i.e. “meaning”) is of little consequence it seems and this fact is quite well understood by those who know a little but refuse to use
what they know because the one’s whose attention they seek know even less…which is why in the area of the visual arts we get phenomena like Katz,
Brach and Labro.
One of the more tragic observations was seeing the psychic pain of Paul Brach trying to fend off the attack of reality when confronted with his disbelief
in his own public relations scam where even if the real person is aware of the virtual person’s hallucinatory constitution. In Brach’s case Leo Sternberg
said it excellently when asked to describe Brach’s work in a then recent exhibition: “the invisibility of an encompassing, undifferentiated
homogeneity,"What a wonderful testament to the values of a Talmudic education.

Even in the relatively esoteric area of fine art production, criticism and exhibition one finds , these days, a vast
collection of self-important personalities parading their nakednesses before an audience of uneducated, unaware
and largely obtuse, social-climbing believers. What they tell us all is their would-be sophisticated awareness is
largely focused on building a structure of public relations fraud. The following photographs, I believe, illustrate the
point.

GIOVANNA DEBONO, MINISTER OF GOZO with Raphael Labro Charles Bonelo. Dr. Hubert Zeitlmeier

Jean Marc Rives, ambassador from France and the woman in the lace top and red pants
Dame Francoise Tempera.

Jean Marc Rives, ambassador from France Dame Francoise Tempera. Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, ThePrime Minister of Malta Minister Giovanna
Debono

Mr. Ado Rieger, Chargé d'Affairs of the Austrian Embassy in Malta

Personally, I am much more interested in the development of the human being…the path the individual takes and what he does with it.

Prime Minister of Malta Dr Lawrence Gonzi inaugurated the Rotta ta’ l-Arti 2007, a collective
exhibition of works by Maltese artists which is being held in various venues at Mdina until September 28th. A small
abstract work by Mark Sagona, named Untitled MMVII, is currently exhibited at Il Gattopardo Art Gallery together
with works by some of Malta’s leading artists. Incidentally, Sagona’s painting has been hung next to a painting by
Antoine Camilleri (1922-2005)*, one of Malta’s greatest 20th century art icons. The exhibition was organized by the
Nationalist Party to commemorate the 43rd anniversary since the attainment of Maltese Independence in 1964.

*This statement, one could suppose, was intended to convey the idea that “being next to” was something,
somehow, like the protocol of precendents associated with academic marches or nobilary or royal stations in
organizations such as The Knights of Malta. In the decision making process associated with the presentation of art
in exhibitions decisions as to placement generally are determined on the over all effectivenss. Depending on the
aesthetic accomplishments of one’s neighbors in an exhibition one might either benefit or suffer.

Mark Sagona and a BOV (Bank of Valetta) representative

“Vision of light” by Mark Sagona. Mark had, on three occasions, asked me to criticize his work. I had
refused and each time found I had to battle with myself as to why I had refused. I will say it now. At that time, and now, I feel that
his focus is so misaligned with what art is all about I felt he lacked the awareness necessary for him to understand were I to tell him
that the development of an artistic talent is as serious a matter as the creation of the world, that the techniques used to secure the
approval of one’s fellow man are very definitely NOT those that allow for personal growth in the area of the creative arts. I can no
longer remember what artist told a student who had complained about not being taught an art technique but his response, I felt,
was right on. “Which of the many techniques would you like me to teach you?” I doubt the student understood the answer and was
probably even further mystified by the indirection of the response, but what it really has to do with is this. The technique is
something that develops our of the individual’s need to express. A technique in the matter of the creative arts (as opposed to those
who simply “manufacture” art) arises out of the artist’s direct experience with the impulse to create and the material used in its
creation. The impulse dominates and one can create with whatever material is at hand. I couldn’t answer Mark’s request and be
assured he would understand it, for I felt he was already too imbued, marinated as it were, in his society’s expectations that my
words would have made no sense to him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9prXuNeRVVA I have, here, inserted a clip of Bill Mahre’s reaction


to the question why so many Americans were unable to find The United States on a world map which
was asked of the Miss Teen candidate from South Carolina. Both her comment and Mahre’s comment
about her comment illustrate my concern as expressed in this essay for the dismantling of a once
viable culture. Of course, we might adopt the view that what we are dealing with are two stand-up
comics with different comic accents, but that won’t do because Mahre is sitting down as much as he is
standing.

Now, I feel I must modify that comment to the extent of admitting that what seems viable now may not
have seen viable a century earlier and there is sufficient documentation to prove that observation
correct. What comes to mind most immediately was the reception on the part of the then
contemporary public of the Impressionist painters, most notably Monet. This reception illustrates and
equally interesting phenomenon which we might label “cultural expectations”. A public that expected
this Bougereau might have had difficulty in accepting this Monet.

From my own personal experience I can attest to the fact that after having
seen one of Monet’s landscapes every day, several times a day for over a period of six months I was finally able,
after what appeared to be a mental adjustment of an understanding of the visual order able to see the subject for
what it was. This inability to comprehend symbolic visual systems is not limited to me as an 18 year-old, but, we are
told by anthropologists, characterizes whole cultures which have accepted one symbolic visual system over
another.

FUNGUS

Evan Montvel Cohen. I am including the image of this man in part because he is the son of
someone I would not care to know any better than I do. The father is now dead, but like the father the son felt free
to use the father, though dead, as a reason for his need for money to pay his father’s medical bills. Resurrection
cost a great deal of money these days, and fraud characterizes both their lives. I knew the father to be a fraud and I
have lamented my having had anything to do with his having been associated with the University of Guam when
he, in collaboration with the now Guam representative to the U.S. Congress, Madeleine Bordallo, conspired to frame
me in some mythic construction. Madeleine’s motivation was high, however for, as the then Governor of Guam told
me, my efforts to bring world-class performing artists like Isaac Stern to the community was too envious an
accomplishment for her, with her political ambitions, to ignore. I had to be done away with. Well, their efforts
worked for nothing had ever been told me by any official what the difficulty was. But having been prevented from
working, I left.

Evan had expanded upon the work of his father and having assisted in the creation of radio free America somehow
managed to convince the Gloria Weise Boys and Girls Club charity out of 875,000$ and another organization for a
total of something like !,200,000$ and, I understand, Evan is now on his way to Europe, Germany actually, to see
what chances of conning there might be there. It is this sort of behavior which takes the efforts of others to
visualize a truth, at least symbolically, and to turn a striving effort to achieve an ideal into a deadly poison for the
individual involved that I liken to the devil’s work.

We have been told that “in the beginning there was the word and the word was with God”, We are also told that
Lucifer, who wanted also to have a say in things created a rebellion which apparently is still continuing for we have
Labro’s word in the following descriptive report of his latest exhibition.

“Labro's Revelation is a revelation. Being held at The Ursula Hall, Cittadella Art Centre,
Citadel, Victoria, GOZO - it is a sight and experience to behold. A wonderful backdrop for
Labro's vibrant art extravangza. Saturday evening whilst Gozo was alive and bursting with
joy, celebration and pride in its culture, was visited by thousands, the majority from its
sister island Malta and delighted visitors from overseas.

Labro's exhibition was the venue for an event of 200 people. Labro's exhibition was visited
by the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and his wife, attended the soiree celebrating the
fantastic Gozo 1234 weekend on the top of the bastion with Labro's latest creations as the
pick of a living culture. The exhibition was also visited by the Minister for Gozo, The
Honorable Giovanna Debono, The Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, The Honorable Dr.
Mario deMarco and The Parliamentary Secretary, The Honorable Dr. Chris Said. The Mayor
of Victoria Mr. Robert Tabone and the Mayor of Gharb, Mr. David Apap also visited the
exhibition.

One cannot help but wonder. Knowing all the while the depth of cynicism involved in emphasizing the presence of
politicians at this Labro “vernisage”. The reality is probably that these politicians recognize that there are very few
highly educated people, by and large, in any population of voters so those who are offended by this tasteless
exhibition of clownish behavior will not affect the vote count by any significant amount. The difference, however, in
Minister DeBono’s presence at an opening in 2003 where she not only did not know anything about the person she
was introducing despite the fact that she read from a prepared sheet of paper what she did read was read badly
and reflected badly on her more than it did on her lack of interest in the artist which was quite evident. Evidently
the pernod did the trick and at one time, if I recall correctly pernod was illegal in France. One wonders if there might
not be a paper trail leading back to pernod and a secret conspiratorial plan to reconquer Malta by hooking the
Maltese politicians on this narcotic.

I have come across, periodically, through the past, some odd claims to fame. There was one incident involving the wife of the
County Engineer in Valley City, North Dakota who, wrapped in her overcoat that had been well-used by her cats telling me that she
was a descendent of Queen Elizabeth I and George Washington. I think she must have had a sense of humor for there are no known
descendants of either one of them so George could not have been a descendant of Elizabeth and the two children bearing
Washington’s name he did not father, but had been fathered by Martha’s first husband. I have no idea why the wife of the county
engineer did this since, I would suppose, she knew the facts or otherwise would not have chosen them. She invited me to her house
one time and from the front door to the kitchen there was a hallway to the right of that hallway there were two rooms roped off as in
some museum installations showing a collection of attractive antique furniture. Those two rooms were set aside for viewing and not
for everyday use.

In all fairness to those who have managed to secure for themselves positions of comfort and minimal prestige such social slots
probably do serve a valuable function, although I don’t think I have yet discovered what it is. For the moment, however, I will
assume that the value exists. Their necessary functions in the system, however, remain debatable except, perhaps, to make those
of more limited approachability somewhat more divine. The social game of put down and raise up is effective even though there is
often no rational basis for it whatever. Personally, as a teacher I have got great joy in watching the birth of newly found self-respect
on the part of a person who had, up to that point, accepted the inferior position assigned him by “superiors”. On the other hand
there is a very serious other side to that coin. It is not advisable to allow those who think themselves superiorto get the impression
that competition from among the uninitiated masses exists. Consequently, success in this world of appearances can be a very tricky
matter and quite probably explains why I have found, through statistical analysis , there to be a functional difference in behavior
between the creative and perceptive personality on the one hand and the academically and socially successful personalities on the
other. The difference being that the second group tells lies. This, in terms of society on the whole, works because most people are
uninformed and do not care either to change or to challenge. They find it more comfortable to live with the mythic fiction. I find it
uncomfortable to live with that fiction and so have been forced to look for an alternative.
Unfortunately, I have placed myself in a rather risky position for having severely ridiculed the behaviors of members of this
establishment and, coincidently, the unintentional victim of the misbehavior of an immigration police woman who was discovered
stealing from the department. Lost her job and the record of my application for permission to remain here in Malta, I am,
consequently, by definition “illegal” and, perhaps a “man without a country”. Well, there have been a few of those before now, but I
would really rather continue my work without the harassment of a bureaucratic mindset.

That search , that is the search for an alternative to kowtowing to authority, has taken almost a life time and while it hasn’t been
easy, not one bit easy, it has been truly rewarding.

What is wrong with appealing to “authority” for their support in your efforts? By and large, this “authority:” is authority in name
only, for the most part, they only occupy positions, positions which they keep by playing the mythic game. Their power is not truth,
it is pretence, and those who believe them do so because of their own ignorance. As J.D. Lang suggested if one tries to deal with
non-truths, or half truths, or to put a better color on a bad situation one is in danger of becoming, by definition, mentally ill. In that
sense, then, most of the subjects covered in this essay describe mental illness. Since the Devil is said to be the father of lies…he
must REALLY be crazy!

I should clarify, I suppose, at this point, that I am aware that Malta is not the only place where pretense and fraudulent presentations
take place. It is just that this is where I am and I have become acutely aware of the occurrences which seem to be more frequent
here as well as extremely blatant. There is absolutely no shame in presenting one’s self as an authority in whatever field and, add to
that, when political officials such as Giovanna de Bono, the Minister for Gozogo through the motions of opening an exhibition of the
work of a non-Maltese artist she does it so badly as to convey to the listening public that she has no respect for the individual
whatever. There are only two intelligently aware commentators on the art scene in Malta. One of them is Joe Camilleri who until
recently headed the Nadur Dance studio in Gozo and the other is George Granville in Hamrun, Malta. The attitude of indifference to
excellence in either thought or workmanship is prevalent in every endeavor which may explain why those on the dole for the
government sweep streets carelessly and turn holes in the roads into bumps. Even one Gozitan remarked regarding Labro’s work
suggesting he came to Gozo thinking that here no one could tell the difference in a work that was good from a work that was bad.

Actually, from my point of view it is difficult for me to talk of works of art, that is, seriously produced works of art, on the basis of
good or bad. Only since about 1850 has it become clear that one of the more valid criteria for a creative work of art to be called that
is evidence of the artist’s search for solutions and that search is generally very evident, at least to those who are accustomed to
looking. Herein lies one of the more fundamental problems in many of the approaches to art education. Approaching art appreciation
from the historical/narrative point of view misses the point and leaves the student with the impression that art is and should be at
the service of some other interest. Those approaches which allows the child to experiment with materials is, at least, headed in the
right direction, but where classes are structured in such a fashion that work on the project must cease because it is now time to
change the study to spelling, or some other academic need also send the wrong message. Fortunately, there are classes and school
structures which allow a highly flexible approach and will consider inviolate the child’s concentration on whatever it is he is doing.

The adult culture is not much help in creating an attitude of respect for the arts when news editors bunch up art reviews exhibition
announcements of exhibitions and the like in the same section as entertainment and pastime. On the other hand one can hardly
expect a news editor to take a very deeply serious view about anything except, perhaps, in the editorial section.

Actually, the situation exemplified by Labro’s approach to self-promotion is prevalent throughout the western world and one can
hardly blame a community of 400,000 people from misguidedly emulating the bad taste of others such as Brach, Katz and Koons
since it seems to have earned them some renownand a great deal of money. Since money is the standard of success, rather than an
understanding of the subject, there is no doubt as to who among the hundreds of thousands of artists are the geniuses. If man’s
belief in the written word continues, as it seems to have done so far, then we have some foreknowledge as to who, among those
practitioners, will “go down in history”. I have often wondered, only wondered, what adventurous artists there may have been at
various periods who bravely experimented with the media and because of the prevailing social taste at the time never got to be
seen

The only antidote to this prevalence of aesthetic poison is serious thought, a great deal of introspection and a volume of willingness
to consider alternative points of view…most especially those supported by reasonable argument.

NATIONAL INSANITIES

By (Boston)Globe Staff

Saying that being bullied can leave a mark on a child for life, state public health officials today released a comprehensive guide to prevent bullying in the state's schools.

"Our kids deserve to grow up in an environment that is free from harassment and violence," Department of Public Health Commissioner Jon Auerbach said in a statement. "Bullying is not an
inevitable part of growing up and we need to do more to stop it."

In 2005, nearly one in four Massachusetts middle or high school students surveyed reported being bullied, health officials said. The officials cited research indicating that children who are
bullied are more likely to become depressed, more likely to have considered suicide, and less likely to succeed academically. They also noted that research suggests that bullies are more likely to
commit crimes as they grow up.

This report in The Boston Globe April 30, 2008 02:19 PM discussing the several disadvantages of an environment of bullying so encouraged
throughout the United States is, after three quarters of a century –old experience in the Boston area, apparently still an on-going experience.
Bullying was, in my experience, a life-style, promoted by parents, teachers and religious leaders, who thought themselves “great guys” and
“real men”, or attractive and effective women who wanted men willing and able to service their needs. This consensually agreed upon social
and sex role behavior led to the village-tribal practice of trying to make everyone like the dominant bullying types. This environment might
well describe the existence of the willing social depravity of a Florence (?) England, that military female photographed humiliating Iraqi
males, pregnant with an illegitimate child and the object of an attempt to make her a heroine, much like Monica Lewinski who was put on the
lecture circuit…after all, who wouldn’t pay to see the mouth that had surrounded a president’s dick?...and even hear descriptions of the event

emanate from that orifice?

I find the abuse of reason and aesthetic sensibility just as revolting when it encourages what it calls “The freedom of expression” which, in the
case of Raphael Labro and a host of other players on the board game of fraud, toying with the aspirations of an uninformed and ignorant
public and rejecting the truly honorable responsibility to enlarge rather than to diminish awareness. The burlesque exhibitionism of allegedly
distinguished people parading themselves for the limited social advantages it might offer a naïve and believing public, believe in actions not
at all unlike that of Paris Hilton being photographed without underpants.

Both of these scenarios are deplorable and the only way I know of to combat the very negative effect of them on society generally is to be
openly critical of them and to give reasons for the criticism. I have been warned, however, that if you criticize so and so and this person and
that you will make enemies. Well, so be it, they could not possibly be friends in any event if their standards of personal and aesthetic
behaviors are so abysmal.

My point is this: those privileged notables who are shown waiting upon the artistic efforts of Raphael Labroare doing a disservice to
humanity. It may take considerable intellectual and perceptive effort to understand art expressions in any of its varied forms, but it is one’s
responsibility to do so and the proper (and, perhaps, the few) venues for such evaluation has been and continues to be the written word and
the class or seminar discussion.

It is a slow and life-long process, but it is a process of great civilizing value in contrast to the bullying tactics encouraged by a sexual depraved
population or a fallacious support of every artistic effort without an attendant and critically observant comment. The formula, or the equation
for value is the following The Expression (the work)+The Criticism (description and meaning)= the social and educational value.

In speaking of education, as part of my work with the “outside world”, I frequently come into some rather peculiar situations, namely, and
most recently, the existence on search engines of schools and school systems, (public ones in the United States), that list email addresses for
their faculty, perhaps fifty or sixty faculty members with email addresses published on the site but when used turn out to be recorded as non-
existent….not just a few, but ALL of them.

In that same vein I find it incomprehensible that a school or school system which bothers to create a website at all fails to provide an email
address at least of a webmaster if not of all those connected with the school. In addition to questions that parents, relatives and related
professionals might have there are also those who, like good and honest educators, have something to share that might improve the result.
But, as was recently the case in a school district near San Diego the webmaster decided that since my email was unknown to anyone at that
school and that it originated from a small and insignificant island in the Mediterranean (Gozo) that he would not allow the distribution of the
information.

How, I ask, is it possible to overcome the obtuseness of some personalities in power? This parochial smart guy has decided, quite on his own,
that he, not a teacher, not an educator, but a technician given license, to prohibit both teachers and students from expanding their
understanding of the world. Taxpayers’ money pays that fool’s salary and the children in that large southern California community may
never know the difference.

Reject the ideas I may have, but never, never, NEVER forbid their expression! Ridicule me if you must, for whatever your reasons, discuss or
argue with me, or if it is possible, agree with me, but do not shackle me.

A rather novel website device, created, perhaps, to allow the school to say that it invites comments but imposes an incredible
burden on busy people reads as follows: The default log off for the web view is 20 minutes. Drafts of emails in
progress will not be saved if you are forced off. [the announcement on the website for the Douglas County, School District]

In the spirit of forgiveness I think it might be indicated that individuals display, at any given time, true evidences of the level of their developmental
awareness. Who and what they are is elucidated through what they do and what they say. As such, even if they know they are telling falsehoods and
think the rest of us do not, that situation is a fact with which we must deal…as frustrating as such an effort may be. We must be honest in our responses
as well and not lead them to believe that they are believed in the misguided acceptance of the democratic ideal that everyone has a right to their opinion.
The truth is that they do not have that right, if the opinion they hold is contrary to fact. A first grade class room experienced a difference of opinion as to
the gender of the classes’ pet rabbit. To solve the problem, they took a vote. Socrates had it right: deal with the expression of the person speaking with
you.

Enough already!

Paul Henrickson, Ph.D.


www.tcp.com.mt