100 Artists for Change ~ Waco, Texas – 2013

**Stay in touch for information about Waco’s 2014 100Thousand Artists for Change Event**

We are thrilled to announce that Waco will be hosting a 100 Thousand Artists for Change writing workshop and open mic. Both events will occur in conjunction with the 10th Annual Waco Cultural Arts WordFest on September 29, 2013.  Please be sure to scroll down to read our participants’ original writings!  Find and like us on Facebook too!

Writing Workshop ~ 100 Thousand Artists for Change
Sunday, Sept.29, 2013
11:30-12:45 pm
Indoors: Texas Rm South 116

Held in tandem with the 100Thousand Artists for Change~Open Mic, this workshop affords artists of all ages, genres, styles, levels, and languages a chance to participate in a freewrite session on Peace, Sustainability, and/or Change.  Poetry, stories, songs, reflections, memoir, and essays are just a few examples of writings composed in this workshop.There will also be a time of discussion and sharing following the freewrite.

There is no registration required and no materials needed, paper and pens will be provided; if you have a favorite journal or notebook in which you write, please feel free to bring it with you.

Open Mic ~ 100Thousand Artists for Change
Sunday, Sept.29, 2013
3:00-5:00 pm
Outside: Waco Convention Center Patio

Held in tandem with the 100Thousand Artists for Change~Writing Workshop, this open mic invites artists of all ages, genres, styles, levels, and languages to share words and music on Peace, Sustainability, and/or Change.  Those interested in participating may sign-up at the event. Please visit our event page on Facebook by clicking here.

ORGANIZER: Jenuine Poetess
CONTACT: jenuinepoetess@gmail.com
PARTNERS: Waco Cultural Arts Fest | The Word GalleryIn the Words of Womyn ~ Heart of Texas

~ Original Writings by Central Texas Area Artists ~
All content is owned by each author; please respect the artists and do not copy without credit and permission. Thank you

My Experience with 100 Thousand Artists for Change

How does a poem happen?  This is the story of one of mine.

Last Sunday morning I reinstituted a practice that I have let slide for several months: getting up at 6:00 a.m.to listen to the Public Radio program called On Being.  This program, hosted by Christa Tippett, considers faith and the spiritual life from many different angles, but every week it offers something to challenge or inspire me.

I made a special effort this week because I knew Christa Tippett was going to interview Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist peace activist and poet*.  I have been an admirer of his life and teaching since the 1980s when I was introduced to his thought in a workshop given by Daniel Berrigan.  The same year a dear friend, Peggy, gave me a copy of one of Nhat Hanh’s books.  Though I have never been a close follower of his activities and thought, my admiration, for both the Jesuit rebel and the Presbyterian friend who introduced me to him, inspired me to pay attention to what he had to say thirty years ago, and to what he had to say today.

Nhat Hanh’s radio talk, Sunday, about learning to understand the other took on special significance for me when one of the groups of others for whom he urged compassion was the government representatives elected to run our country.  Even as I listened to Nhat Hanh speak, those representatives were pushing our county relentlessly to a financial shut down.  Why would I want to support them, when it is so much easier to demonize them or turn them into figures of fun, if only to release the overwhelming stress of living in this dreadfully politicized world of ours?  It would be much harder, I thought, to have compassion for a venal, in-my-face politician than for some innocent child, living unknown to me on the other side of the world.  I thought sadly a time, years ago when, at Nhat Hanh’s suggestion, I might have picked up my pen and written letters urging my representatives to do better.  Had our world gotten worse, or had I?  Where had my compassion gone?

After Thich Nhat Hanh spoke, Christa Tippett interviewed one of his disciples, the co-director of the Lotus Institute, Larry Ward.  She challenged him: What answer would he give to those who said his compassion amounted to nothing more than a drop in the ocean?  Her question was one that could have been taken from a hidden place in my own heart. “Yes,” Ward agreed, “I am a drop in the ocean, but I’m also the ocean.  I am a drop in America, but I’m also America. . .As I am able to transform myself, and heal myself, and take care of myself, I’m very conscious that I am healing, and transforming, and taking care of America, . . .and the change within myself is real.”

With these thoughts on my mind I set out to attend the Word Fest, an annual celebration of poetry and the spoken word in Waco TX.  This weekend of discussion panels, free writing, and performance is part of the local expression of the international celebration 100 Thousand Artists for Change.

As I drove the 40 miles to my destination, I listened to the TED Radio.  The first talk that morning was entitled, “Can Rewilding Restore Vanishing Ecosystems?”** English writer George Monbiot explored the idea of reintroducing species into ecological zones where they had once lived.  He spoke about the effects a reintroduced species might have on its ecosystem.  Reintroduced wolves ate deer that had browsed plants almost out of existence.  When the trees, unmolested by deer, grew taller, songbirds reappeared.  Stop killing whales, Monbiot said, and contrary to expectations, fish increased.  Although more whales ate more fish, the murky brew of the whales’ feces provided habitat for more zooplankton which ultimately sustained even more fish than those that ended up in the whales’ bellies.

By the end of Monbiot’s talk, I had reached Word Fest.  The first activity of the day was a free writing with a writing challenge created the group facilitator, Jenuine Poetess, in honor of the 100 Thousand Artists for Change: What would you change about yourself, your neighborhood, your community, your school, church, organization, etc?

As I began to write, the two radio programs I had listed to earlier in the morning were still on my mind.  They began to speak to one another. I began to wonder if individuals could use the notion of rewilding to re-release compassion into the wild of our human struggles.  If compassion were reintroduced into our world, what trees might be persuaded to grow, stabilizing the banks of our rushing lives?  What slick thoughts might leap in the oceans of hope that we contain and are contained by?

When it was time to share our writing, I offered an outline of these thoughts.  Members of the group began to embroider on my idea with the responses it evoked in their own hearts.  Our facilitator, Jen, spoke of the need for “relentless compassion”, and of the importance of writing what she called “Victory Pieces,” those in which we envision the world as we would see it rather than the shabby thing that it is.

The poet Anne McCrady after remarking on the trembling voice, in which I had read my piece, suggested (correctly) that perhaps the connection between the two radio programs had not come to me until I had sat down with the group and had begun to write.  Anne started to enumerate the many factors that had inspired my notion of rewilding compassion: first, my familiarity with Thich Nhat Hanh and my willingness to get up early to listen to him (I could have added the gifts of Daniel Berrigan and my friend Peggy thirty years ago).  Anne went on to list the dedication of Christa Tippet who created the radio program On Being, and brings it to the air each week; the relentless compassion of Thich Nhat Hanh and Larry Ward who speak their convictions to a hungry world; Public Radio and its programming; the geniuses who have developed the TED Talks; and even the listeners whose donations bring such programs to the air.

Then she turned to the group gathered at our table.  It was because of these men and women’s being willing to reveal themselves by writing and speaking together, and being equally willing to listen to each others’ insights and convictions, that I had been in my car coming to Waco this morning.  Had it not been for all of our intentions to carve out a space for writing and reflection today, Anne said, I might never have put the concepts from the two programs together and created something new.

This led the authors at the table to a consensus: One answer to alienation is to form community, to write and reason together, with the proviso that our communities must be embracing and not isolating.  We picked up the idea of rewilding again, imaging how it might affect an urban area.  Could rewilding mean reintroducing front porches to houses in order to reignite community, planting sidewalks to stimulate walkers, reintroducing busses to ease the lives of poor or disabled people?

We spoke about the role of the artist in the rewilding of our world.  Artists may not have the technical ability to build busses, or set schedules, Randall, a woman in the group, suggested, but they might have the vision to see that a circle line could unite and make more efficient the linear cross town lines.

We spoke about the ways in which an artist’s vision is a curse and a gift.  We looked at the odd “outsiderness” of the artist that it is our responsibility to overcome in order that we may speak our vision directly.  Knowing that ours is never the only way, we agreed, is a gift that artists can bring to the world.  However, open-mindedness does not excuse us from offering our own vision as one option in the array others may choose from, nor does it mean that we can simply present our ideas with a take-it-or-leave-it mentality.  We must be strong, though respectful, advocates for the visions given us.  We must write and speak Jen’s “Victory Pieces.”

This thought returned us to the glimmering idea of rewilding compassion from which our talk had sprung.  Had I not sat down to write, in a community, after listening to those two programs, and had I not found the courage to write about the doubts and insights they had provoked, others assured me, this particular conversation would not have happened.  We thought of the 100 Thousand Artists for Change, writers, painters, sculptors, actors, and musicians, engaged that day around the world in similar discussions.  Jen’s final words were a reminder of our need to be about our work.  “Don’t give your leftovers to your writing,” she said.  “Give all that you are.”  The next day I wrote my poem with the help of Daniel Berrigan, Thich Nhat Hanh, Larry Ward, Christa Tippett, George Monbiot, Peggy, Jenuine, Anne, Randall, the other writers gathered at Word Fest, my writing mentors, fellow writing students, and 100 thousand other artists whom I may never meet.

*On Being.  “Thich Nhat Hanh, Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism.”  September 26, 2013

**TED Radio Hour.  “Can Rewilding Restore Vanished Ecosystems?”  September 20, 2013

~By Christine Boldt

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Peter’s Offspring

We’re all Peter’s offspring, you know,
sneaking around this courtyard called life,
so quick to deny that one
who looks, acts, is different;
pummeling with words and actions
under acceptability’s banner.
Half-cocked judgments
fool us into thinking
we hold omnipotent power.
Unearned entitlements
make us crow with pleasure
when strutting around
who seem woefully

Jesus weeps when truth
is scrounged, crucified, buried
Deep inside
our fear-filled minds,
false bogey-men
tether ignorance close,
distancing redemptive understanding
the longer denial
blinds truth.

From the book, Passion’s Zest: a collection
Copyright 2013
All Rights Reserved

Stealing Time

Change frightens her, you know
Same hair, clothes
Sentences her
to unchanging inertia
year after year
Narrow thinking
tightly intertwining
unresolved pain
Keeps her
running breathlessly
countless remedies
Designed solely
for angrily stomping
dreamy passions
dreary todays
and hopeless tomorrows
Making her
agonizingly selfish:
bitching and moaning
Never accepting
without her

~Marcie Eanes
From the book, Sensual Sounds:a collection
Copyright 2009
All rights reserved

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Earth is my Mother and her Dress is Green

Orange is vibrant, and shouts out loud
Purple is to be saluted, so says Alice Walker
Red brings thoughts of passion rushing to sacred swells
Blue covers me with unending hope from crest to crown

But GREEN, oh divine green:

covering my mother’s earthy browns and rustic reds
waving in fields of winter wheat
misty-verve, foaming at ocean’s edge

leaves clapping out, joyful in summer breeze
sacred sage, bursting holy scents at my feet
collards and mustards, melt in my mouth, taste of heaven

Brother Cedar and Sister Pine
stretching always for more life
and so it is with me

~Jan Benson
(c) Summer 2001

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bums Along The Way

When I am with my thoughts
They say my head is in the sky
What they always taught
Was to never question why.

What if, throughout time,
People had a different mission?
One to change their mind
Not merely their position.

If minds are a changing
Then whose is left to judge?
Our future rearranging
‘Tis repetition we begrudge.

What is new is always free
So let the past be passed.
We speed through uncertainty
We shatter molded casts.

But do not slow down
Or linger at the rear view
Or make your home in town
The still will always fear you.

You bums along the way
Hold fast and hug the turn.
Pitch camp, a temporary stay.
This life is but a sojourn.

Still Caged

If walls could talk
Who knows what they’d say?
If walls could feel
They would crumble in a day.
If they knew our thoughts
They would run away
But if our minds could rise
No longer mired in the clay
We could have a chance
Better yet, a parlay
To increase our odds
A perception payday
So face your fear
The one leery of change
The one that sees difference
As altogether strange.
Then float on by
Always out of range
To graze the fingers
Of those still caged.

~Joel Haesecke

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Let Us Be
(Citizens of the World)

government of the people
by the people
for the people

sounds good on paper….

lately, though, it seems to be
government in lieu of the people
instead of the people
in spite of the people

doesn’t matter if you lean to the left
or to the right
it’s time we all met in the middle

doesn’t matter if you’re from a red state
or a blue state
we’re all turning black and blue from the
beatings we take from our leaders

political parties
government bodies
special interest groups….
why aren’t they all interested in the common good?

it’s time to stop pointing fingers
and placing blame
it’s time to come together
for each other

for the hungry (let them eat)
for the homeless (let them find shelter)
for the sick (let them be well)
for the tired (let them rest)
for the unemployed (let them work)
for the war torn (let them find peace)
for the oppressed (let them speak up and be heard)
for the people….let us all stand up and be counted

let us break down the barriers
that stand between us
let us erase the borders
that divide us
let us hold hands
sing, dance, laugh and cry
let us be who we should be be….
citizens of the world

and let’s not do it for God and country
let’s not do it for personal gain
let’s not do it for the ‘feel good’ factor
let’s not do it because we’re told we should
let’s do it because it’s the right thing to do

let us the world over join hands
and, as citizens of the world,
march the streets of our nation’s capitols
let us in one voice demand that our world leaders
lay down their arms
lay aside their personal ambitions
for power and political gain
and join us, the people,
in singing a song of peace….

the song of peace
sung by our grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfathers….
we can only hope that one day
the song’s meaning will finally be realized
by our grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren….

~Chris Billings 18 Feb ’11

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


In the paleolithic garden
pearldrop petals float
by planets of midnight,
we gravitate, revolve
around her flowers.
Our mother goddess,
glorious in humble joy,
nurturing crops
sown in rainstorms
of sorrow,
we gather,
in awe of her gentle,
ample hearth, fueled
with love for us all.
Dianna, Earth Goddess
Beauty, ancient,
yet new-
Civilizations crumble.
She survives.

Changing Your Mind

A look inside the icy heart
of the mountain-
geologic time blocks,
shards set as diagonal heats,
fractalized, paint set of
metamorphic crystals, gems-
How hard is it to change direction?
How does the mountain know when?
Still, the laborious erosion
of the sky’s acid tears has
finally spoken to him.
He will be moved.
Tectonic plates give way.
Molten earth’s spray pulsing
along the fissures as
ridges grind and avalanches
of boulders roar down to
the gritty shore below.
Behold! The mountain has
moved by an act of sheer will!
Stranger things may happen still.

Farmers’ Market

Red Corn
Green Earth
the Farmer’s hand
Crops that fall
and rise again
roadside stand,
Gentle voice
guides the choice
Marriage of eyes
colors and seeds.

~Trier Ward

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


has it really been two years
two years
since the occupation
a moment
a place
in all of time and space
a dream
a vision
a movement

since the occupation of a

but it wasn’t just then…

I am remembering now
it began earlier
long before
spanning an entire lifetime

for years
the changes
were ever so slight
the merest of flickers
there were moments
flashes of recognition
yet never the freedom
to fully become

and then there came a time
for discovering
for moving in

I was tentative
untrusting of
new in my own skin
my own thoughts
my own understanding
learning how to take up space
all of the space within myself
no longer
timid in the
quiet corners of my being

clearing cobwebs from
my throat
learning to recognize
to listen for
the sound of my own voice

at first I faltered
when others questioned
laughingly mocked this me
new and ancient
all at once
a clumsy paradox
of deconstructed renovations

I practice trust
and compassion
learning to be kind with myself
for I am ever
but a babe
fresh and new
continually developing

the occupation of myself
was never hostile
no violent take over
it was a willing letting in of
a throwing open of curtains
in a too-long dark room
uncomfortable at first
making room for vision
blinking against
the brilliance
of abiding as


“I remember
when we had books,”

she mused mutely to the
her dearest friend
most trusted confidant
and ever loyal messenger

her communion with the Wind
they could never take from her
Wind was wily
able to trespass any
prison they had devised for
the Elder

She was the last of her kind
her kindred flushed out
and eradicated

so they boasted

but Wind was the wiser
carrying whispers among them
perpetuating the generations
continuing the line
of those who Know

“I remember filling blank pages
my pen racing to the end of every line
scrambling to keep up with my thoughts…

I remember
when we had thoughts.”

The place where her hands
once gripped pens
once tended gardens
once nurtured in touch
were frail dead ends
where fingers ought stretch
each a blunt cul-de-sac
now gnarled and scarred
from crude amputations

They took her fingers
because she would not
cease to write

and when her hands
would not rest from making
they took those too

Long before
such freedomless times
She had begun exercising her memory
began a practice of making oral histories
oral presents
She knew there would come a time
for remembering
for committing into cognitive catalogues
all that must never be forgotten

She began telling
first to everyone
only to those who would listen
they sat in circles
telling and retelling
until each truth was remembered
with exactitude

They took her tongue
when she would not stop telling

so she began to sing
composing memories into music
the hymns of her story
of the entire universe
and the birds carried her tune
across the land
so his story
and her story
my story and
your story were preserved

But her vocal chords were dangerous
uniting people in song
creating movement
sending messages

they took those out too
so only a hollow whistle
blows through her throat

a song the Wind still sings

her eyes were next
for those without vision
had forgotten from whence it came
and pillaged her face
leaving two hollows

She let them take her eyes
shining defiantly even still
She laughed through
what would be tears
knowing her insight
was ever more keen

they had exiled her
to a remote
and deserted wasteland
declaring her
a danger to human kind
she had remembered too much
had remained impervious
to the distractions designed
for forgetting

no human contact
left to fend for herself
thought to die
surely within a month

no one tended her
for fear of her
they said she had powers
ways of making you
feel things
know things

how did she do it?

“The Truth will be
even when lost
for it is owned by no one
it’s own entity entirely
written in the stars
sung by the sea
known in the marrow
told by the rocks,

What is once known
can never be fully forgotten.”

her pulse beat
as she turned her face
toward the sun

All of existence
pounded out
in the rhythms
of her heart


It is beginning
I can see it coming
the way ripples in a water glass
announce the arrival
of something
bigger than a moment
barreling down like a freight-train
rolling in from the horizon
I can sense it crackling
the buzz of electricity just before thunder breaks
I can hear it groaning
giving way to the sheer force of the surge
It is happening

Change is alive
consuming ground
some stand transfixed
feet shod with concrete
unable to move
it is coming
roaring and foaming
it is inevitable

Change has been set into motion
there’s no calling it off now
those who refuse to see will be blindsided
those who refuse to move will be swept up
those who refuse to listen will be deafened
those who refuse to take responsibility will be culpable

It is upon us
we’ve ripped the gags from our mouths and are unsilent
we’ve awoken from our slumber
we’re shaking off the paralysis
is coming into focus
our senses are returning
and that rumble you hear?
it is the sound of
a million
souls roaring
churning and roiling
white water outrage
at being lied to
at paying for their privilege
at believing in their process
at falling for their empty promises
at being shackled to a broken system
it is the sound of a nation
that is no longer
for the people and by the people
but is
for some people to buy the people
whose power is for sale
it is the cry of the masses
who are hungry
and weary
and homeless
and sick
and jobless
and dying
who with their last
gasping effort
are shouting

~Jenuine Poetess

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Dress

He only wanted to make money. It would have been so simple.

Boris Ivanov could not believe his good fortune, the day his life changed. Truly Amerika was the Land of Miracles. It had taken him a decade to get here, another decade to reach Texas, but he had never questioned whether it was worth it. But that day, he knew …

It had been far worse in Bulgaria when he left in 2015. It was bad enough when Greece and Cypress went bankrupt, late in 2013. Then Spain followed suit in 2014 and the EU declared there would be no more bailouts, Europe became a disaster, frozen in mid-calamity. Half a dozen more countries did not go bankrupt, they simply went broke. Following the American mid-terms and the crazy new policies, the world recession became the world depression. And hunger turned into famine.

Being one of the world’s greatest hackers was fun, but it did not make ends meet. Fortunately, computer skills always have uses. The new travel restrictions as the EU fell apart were easy to circumvent: he forged new identities across Europe and left corroborating evidence in computers across the continent. Then he wended his way in person, avoiding the new border guards where he could and trusting his new documents when he had to.

From Portugal, he got a software job in Canada and traveled there, legitimately. A few years later, he had an American green card, working for one and then many of the “Baby-Bills”. The Gates family had fought hard, but Microsoft had been smashed by an American government who wanted more taxes. Divide and conquer meant more opportunities for Boris. Finally, a decade after reaching the US, he was a citizen in Texas.

It was true that the streets were not paved in gold, nor did people live like JR Ewing in Dallas. But maybe soon …

He had bought a lottery ticket in the hopes of paying his $4000 rent for his small Dallas apartment. He did not like being homeless, even in Amerika. Instead of rent, he had won $40 million. Even after 75% taxes, that would be seed money. He could become rich! He was glad he had not moved to California or Taxachussetts. Texas would not take his $10 million; he could work with it.

The first idea was simple: make a dress that any woman would want to wear by allowing it to change to match her desires. The last couple decades had seen some great advances. In 2013, some engineer had discovered he could spray a layer of carbon on a CD blank, one atom thick, and peel it off. Like any diamond, it had great tensile strength, and carbon was a semi-conductor. Add a couple layers of insulator and some doping, and suddenly that layer of carbon became an extremely powerful computer. Nano-computers and nano-bots became cheap: you could build all kinds of things if you could program them. A sheet of carbon also could be used to build a battery chargeable in an instant. That allowed electric cars that really worked !

It was amazing to think that the first electric cars took all night to charge, instead of less than a minute plugged in. He was glad he was living in the 2030s.

And with super-computers costing less than a dollar, the world wide web became truly world-wide, free to all. Of course, most did not go to the trouble of really using it; they just plugged in and tuned out. The populace ate up the free entertainment, whether it was the shows streaming across the web, or the massively interactive virtual reality games.

What was the old joke? No need to worry about the Zombie Apocalypse – they would not find any brains to eat. The web has sucked them all up.

However, the ladies did still like to look pretty. So he would make his fortune by covering carbon cloth with a layer of luminescent plastic. A thin layer of Kevlar mesh to prevent breakage, and nanobots to fix anything that did happen. Tiny solar cells to keep the batteries charged. Tiny audio sensors so that the wearer could say what she wanted, the vocal recognition software could convert that into a pattern of colors, and the supercomputer could tell the plastic what color to be. If she wanted rainbows to coruscate across her body, the dress could do that. If she wanted complex Mandelbrot patterns, the dress could do that too.

He could program that. It would be fun. Of course, he built the software with a good firewall … he was a hacker, he knew how bad it could be if someone hacked his system. After a sleepless night dreaming of some of his best hacks and how they could destroy his dress’s software, he added some more code to check for hacks and to notify him. At least he would know if someone was trying.

He added nanobots to keep the dress clean. Too small to be seen, they would collect shed skin cells, spilled drinks and other staining food, the occasional shed hair or dandruff. The collected detritus would be broken down into small usable bits and warehoused in the hem against future need. If there were breaks, the dress could fix itself. Details need not be advertised; “our spill-resistant dress never needs to be cleaned!” would suffice.

Of course, he did not want the dress eating the hair still attached to the wearer’s scalp. So he quickly added pinpoint cameras to watch around the dress, and software to tell the nanobots not to harvest the wearer’s hair, her purse strap, or anything else she might encounter. Just skin cells, spilled food, and liquids.

The dress sold, and sold big. He was rich.

But it left him feeling unsatisfied. He could do more. What was it, waiting to him to think about it, lurking in his sub-conscious?
He awoke one day, and he knew. When he was young he loved an American invention, the “mood” ring. The myth was that the ring would change color to show the wearer’s mood. He knew that the ring did not actually detect moods, the “gem” was a thermotropic liquid crystal. It changed color depending on ambient heat. Adding heat sensors would be easy … he could even factor out the ambient heat and have the dress respond to just body heat. But could he do more? Could he make it really detect mood?

That is what the web is for. People detect each other’s emotions and moods; with the right research, he could adapt the dress to. Body temperature, perspiration, pheronomes, subliminal sighs and other sounds, the list went on and on. The nanobots would build short, soft sensors on the inside, and the dress would learn what was normal, and react to what was not. The dress would need materials to build sensors and for repairs. So he added nanobots to collect organic material, reduce it to manageable size, and warehouse it in the hem.

The mood dress was a hit. He was not the only one who remembered the rings fondly. It astonished him the number of celebrities that were wearing “the mood dress”. It was practically selling itself. He worked hard on the built in artificial intelligence features, made it more creative in its choice of patterns, and rave reviews went hyperbolic. He included software to monitor the dress itself, to alert him if anything seemed wrong … he wanted no glitches.

It was a good thing. One day all of the alerts went off. Fortunately he was on-line the first time it happened (when was he not), and even more fortunately, there were police close by. He quickly tracked down the source: one of his customers was extremely stressed. Analysis showed high fear levels. He requested visual feeds from the pinpoint cameras. Two muggers were threatening her. He pinpointed her location using GPS and called 911. When the police showed up, one of the muggers tried to stab her before running off. The wearer ended up with a bruise, as the police shot her assailant. Blood splattered across her body, but the dress was quickly clean. The nanobots repaired the cracks in the carbon layer, but the knife had not penetrated the dress.

Boris looked at the analysis streaming from the dress and thought about it. The central layer of the dress was a single sheet of carbon … essentially diamond. Very hard, but fragile. It cracked under the blow, but the knife had not gone through. Around the carbon layer was a Kevlar mesh. It had provided a flexible but tough surface … even bullets are stopped by Kevlar mesh. The combination of Kevlar and diamond made the dress nearly inpenetrable: the wearer was a little bruised but not cut.

Boris was rich; he could spend some money. A quick analysis of a few companies revealed a home protection firm he could buy 46% of the shares of. He’d get another 5% later. He programmed his system to place the buy orders under multiple names.

Then he crafted a letter to the victim, thanking her for trying out the new personal protection features of the dress. Asking her whether she had noticed any problems or gotten good use of the new features. Inquiring whether she would like to become a spokesperson providing testimonials in exchange for a free contract extending her personal protection service. After looking it over several times and verifying it with his legal software, he sent her the offer.

Not surprisingly, she accepted. He added several security features to the software, so that any similar event would trigger an immediate police notification. Another business was born. Even the fashion-challenged started buying the dresses.

Five months later, it happened … the ultimate success. King William’s wife, Queen Kate, was giving a press conference, and she was wearing the mood dress. Boris was ecstatic … you could not ask for better advertising. But then … 5 minutes into the press conference, his alarms started going off. Some hacker was trying to break into the Queen’s dress. He traced it to China. No Chinese hacker was going to break into his software ! He furiously worked on a new firewall on one computer while on another he started accessing the systems within the queen’s dress, trying to get details of the hack. Suddenly he noticed that the dress was extending tendrils. He ordered the microbots to clip the ones growing inside the dress; he did not want carbon fibers digging into her body. Meanwhile he quickly finished adding the new firewall, while looking over the code already modified by the Chinese. After a minute he found where the commands to grow the new fibers had been added and disabled them.

Her Majesty looked at her new furry collar in the monitor, felt the new, soft interior, and exclaimed in delight. Boris added two more nested firewalls before he breathed a sigh of relief. Ported the three new firewalls across the world … that would keep them at bay for a while. And looked up in amazement as Her Majesty complimented her wonderful, creative dress.

A good omen that, but Boris had to ensure there were no more incidents. He spent the afternoon hacking into the hacker’s systems, finding out all he could about them. Then he hacked into the local Chinese police computer and planted evidence of crimes the hackers had not committed, but had no alibis for. Triggered some alarms making it look like the hackers had been hacking into the police computers. And finally, planted some evidence on the hacker’s computer showing them hacking into the Police … and just before the Police broke into their apartment, Boris fried the rest of the hacker’s computer system.

The hackers would be going away for a long time.

It finally dawned on him that he could double his market. He analyzed the suit market, identified several styles that sold. And started a “Suits for Security” line of stylish suits with a built-in personal contract, with a small-print, built-in termination clause if the wearer committed acts of violence.

He had wanted to become rich. Instead, he had made the world safer. There would still be soft crimes, embezzlement, and the like. However, the number of physical assaults would drop and drop and drop. For even if the assailant managed to kill his victim, the clothes would log and report the crime. One inventor, running with a single idea, had made a world of change.

~Gary Lee Webb


This entry was posted in Waco and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 100 Artists for Change ~ Waco, Texas – 2013

  1. Pingback: 100 Thousand Artists for Change ~ Waco, Texas | The Word Gallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *