Unexpected Optimism

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

September 1, 2009.

Bought a new unlimited MetroCard. $89 gets me all the subway and busrides I want for 30 days. Sweet. Expensive, but sweet.

Got me something else today too.

Look what’s on the flip.  


Huh? What was that on the flipside of my unlimited Metro? I’m used to seeing some MTA promo or fun fact there.


some rounded sans serif font. clean and clear and simple. there it was: some optimism in an unexpected place.

On the lower right hand corner, I found the source of this “optimism”: Reed Seifer, artist.

It somehow worked–revitalized me–to find that optimism there so unexpected. That word. That word as an artwork, there on the back of a public transportation ticket.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that although I am a member of the Mean People Suck wing of the Democratic Party, I’m a member of the Ironic Ways and Means Committee. Cynical optimism is usually the way I roll. So, in another context, I confess, I might have greeted Seifer’s optimism project with a puff of air and an eyeroll, but there, as a word somehow more than a word, as an artwork in the public commons, transforming something as everyday as a metro ticket into a civic space, that optimism reinvigorated me by giving me pause, surprising me, perking me up.

Art and activism are often kindred spirits in their critical function and transformational potential. It has been said that politics is the art of the possible. If that is so, art and activism both work to transform the very field of possibility, the very ground of politics; they have the power to change and not just reflect what is.

So take your inspiration wherever you may find it, in hope or in rage or in cool reason, and fight, fight, fight, for a true public option, that is, for meaningful healthcare reform.

Go to a rally, go to a town hall, talk to your friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, everyone you meet, write a letter to the editor. Do what you can, your way, your style. But let’s make this happen.

Thank you in advance to my dear friend kath25 for letting me use this code from her diary Two Thousand Texans Stand Up For Health Care Reform!

Now It’s Your Turn To Rally For Health Care Reform!

From Organizing for America to MoveOn, from Health Care  For America Now to Town Hall events, there’s so much going on.  

There are over 2000 HCAN events scheduled! That means there must be something near you. If you can’t make it out to a town hall, head out to one of these huge rallies and make sure you show the numbers are on our side! Click Here to search HCAN’s website. Here are some upcoming events:

Wednesday, September 2nd

Hartford, CT

Health Care Can’t Wait Rally

4:30 p.m.

CIGNA Headquarters

San Francisco, CA

Congressional Send Off Rally San Francisco

5:00 p.m.

San Francisco City Hall

Denver, CO

Health Care Can’t Wait Rally

6:30 p.m.

Confluence Park

Thursday, September 3rd
Houston, TX

Let’s Get It Done: Health Insurance Reform Now Rally!

6:30 p.m.

Houston City Hall Reflecting Pool

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Rally For The Public Option

12:00 p.m.

Georgia State Capitol

Portland, ME

Health Care Can’t Wait Rally

11:00 a.m.

Rep. Pingree’s Office

For a list of more specific upcoming events, check out my friend mindoca’s diary listing tons more stuff going on.

No matter what, we can all take action at home with an LTE, and follow @OFAOnTheBus as they travel to rallies across the nation. Health insurance reform is too important not to stand up and be counted!


Skip to comment form

    • srkp23 on September 2, 2009 at 19:35

    Long time, mostly lurk here.

    Hey, y’all!

    I also made this in orange.

    • Edger on September 2, 2009 at 21:19

    Nice to see you back here. l! 😉

  1. I don’t need no stinkin’ card to remind me! In my town you fend for yourself like real Americans!  🙂

    Besides, what would I do with a Metro card, we don’t have a Metro and the Bus service sucks. We were suppose to get a train to Nola, but jughead Jindal f’d that one up. But I’m optimistic we’ll have a new Governor soon.

    I’m even optimistic about health care reform, even if we don’t get anything pretty soon my part of the country will belong to Mexico. I’m still thinking about moving over a couple of States and  be part of the European run USofA.

    See, no worries! Optimism rocks!

    • sharon on September 3, 2009 at 04:22

    so weird to find it on my desk optimism side up.  saw what?  good for you for looking more closely.  i figured it was some kind of ad campaign for citibank or something similar.

    thanks for your thoughts about the use of type.  it is what my friends and i talk about in class and socially – use of type, how it communicates (or doesn’t).  given that so much of design is about selling, i am still skeptical and won’t be surprised to see some kind of ad campaign emerge.  what will the next edition be – “spend”?

  2. …but when you do show up, you certainly do deliver.  Nice work.

Comments have been disabled.