Kelly Thomas- July 5th, 2012

One year later and Kelly Thomas is still gone, but his memory lives on with all of us. He died one year ago to the day. Now on that sad night, I had the distinct privilege to meet Mr. Ron Thomas and Mrs. Cathy Thomas.

Ron is a brave father, unlike any other father I’ve met. He’s the calm in the middle of what most would call a terribly tragic storm.

I can say nothing else other than, keep supporting the Thomas family and live. Life is a gift, as cliched as it sounds-we all deserve to live.

-CV

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Kelly Thomas Update

 After seeing this horrible video, I stand by everything I said on NPR.

 I said “The police were the truly mentally ill ones,” i.e. they attacked and killed an unarmed man.

I honestly believe that every single one of these cops involved are all extremely disturbed sociopaths.  

Each cop deserves life in prison without the possibility of parole.

I have nothing else to say. In other words, I’m utterly speechless.

The LA Times & NPR

I’d like to thank everyone for reading my Op-Ed in the LA Times and for tuning in to me on NPR.

In case you missed either of them:

NPR: Click here: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/02/149857042/a-patients-perspective-police-and-the-mentally-ill

LA TIMES: look here: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-valone-police-and-mental-illness-and-kelly-t-20120311,0,7465544.story

I’d just like to clear up a few things:

1.I don’t write things in hopes of getting a pat on the back nor do I expect sympathy-more so I expect empathy. There is a big difference, and the empathy I expect to go for all of “us.”

2. After being called “Fantastic,” “Inspiring” and then being called “Lunatic” or “Insane” by complete strangers I am more apt to say this is the first and last time I will ever read my “online critics.” In other words, whether they be negative or positive feedback, I actually get my validation from my own self worth. (Although I do appreciate the positive support!) And now I really do understand why Woody Allen never bothers with critics. As critics are just that: negative critical people who probably would rather not be critics, usually with some sort of agenda attached to a number of their own personal issues. I can only imagine how lousy it must be to be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-I’d imagine they don’t even have a modem at home let alone any form of magazine subscriptions. Art is often subjective and some art works for some and some art works for others.

3. I don’t consider myself a “mentally ill” writer. I will give you that it is a topic in some of my creative non-fiction writing but I also write fiction, screenplays, and even stage plays. I also paint and am fond of existential writers, philosophers, and the Muppets-I have to mention the Muppets. Let me ask you, was Basquiat a black painter or a painter?

4. Yes, I am re-editing my memoir about my days of what most would call “being mentally ill.” It’s taken a while, but I think I have it under control.

5. I don’t let my past, present, or future define me as a writer. Nor do I let my race, gender, or sexual orientation define me as an author. To live inside other minds, hearts, and lives is the job of writer, not just to re-live one’s own experiences.

6. Thank you for reading my rant, which isn’t particularly directed at anyone at all, but more so just some things I wanted get off my chest that would not fit nor work as a tweet.

Here is Happy in the snow. Have a great week.