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Friday, October 12, 2007

Uncle Sam ain't helping, so it's up to US.


Note: The location of this event has been changed to Heartland Cafe at 7001 N. Glenwood Ave. due to flooding at the Wishbone.

If you're anywhere near Chicago this Sunday, come out to the Wishbone restaurant at 1001 W. Washington to help support local musician Micki Croisant whose mother got blindsided by an illness that cost her her job and health insurance. There will be great live entertainment, a chance to win amazing prizes in a raffle, and lots of awesome articles for sale in a silent auction. All money raised will go to help pay Mary Ann Croisant's medical bills, because as the poster above (designed by local artist Christine Cozza) says, we've got her back even if the government doesn't.

In an interesting bit of serendipity, I donated a limited edition print of a painting by acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross to the auction, and I found out yesterday that he graduated from the same art school as Micki and frequently spoke to classes there, becoming quite the local hero to the students. The artwork itself was also particularly appropriate because it was taken from the Uncle Sam comic book that Ross created with writer Steve Darnall for Vertigo comics.

It's the story of a down-and-out Sam wandering the streets homeless, plagued by troubling flashbacks from his past, trying to understand exactly who he is and how he got there. The painting shows Sam in ragged clothes, with his top hat extended looking for a handout. It's a startling look in the mirror for we Americans. Unfortunately, until we fix our broken health care system, more and more of us will be relying on the kindness of strangers just to survive.
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