February 24, 2001
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
1:30am. This morning, Phil followed me down from Fredericton, then came for the slide show at the prison, but he couldnít get security clearance, and had to wait in the car. The prison holds offenders serving sentences two year or less, "which includes some murders and rapists", said Rebecca, the guard who assisted setting up the show. She only allowed 25 inmates to attend. The two female inmates had to sit by themselves, separate from the men-- who strolled into the dim room with stone faces, expressionless, and sat down in silence, hardly acknowledging my existence.
Once all were seated, I stood and began, "SoÖ you folks have many people cominí to give presentations?"
"No," heads shook.
"Church." someone chirped.
"Yeah, church." another confirmed.
"Never anything else!?" I reflected.
"No," was the final word.
"Well thenÖ" I said, "this will be a treat!"
With each image, their expressions softened, and by the end, they were mellow as Jell-O. Rebecca appeared to be on the verge of tears. I turned off the projectors, but let the music continue followingóthe sound of a brook trickling and chimes tinkling in the breeze, and I sat down without saying anything. Five minutes went by, and no one moved. I nudged the man sitting next to me, "What did ya think?"
"That was a trip!" he smiled.
Then, everyone came to lifeósome smiled, others seemed sad. I was well paid with kind words and hand shakes. I wanted to join them for lunch, and was invited to sit at the table for cell block six, but Rebecca got word from above that wasnít allowed. I hope to return for another show. Touring to all the prisons would be a riot.
We are molded by our environment. We build the walls around ourselves.
Pew fillers professÖ
"Iím goiní to heaven!"
Mountain-top and ocean-side sunsetsÖ
Iím in heaven.
Not a placeÖ but a state of mind.
Finding time for journal writing is a struggle. After responding to email, which can take a couple hours, I just don't feel like spending more time at the computer. When I do write journal, it's often stream of consciousness-- random thoughts, and editing it for others to understand... it's just too much work to lose sleep over.
With more support, I can add storage space to the site, then start adding lots of photos again, so it will be like a tv show, but using still frames... until the digital video rolls.
Since the start of January, 4727 unique visitors have visited MAX @ School 6917 times, viewing 22077 pages. That's in less than two months! If every second person sent $5 I'd be laughing. I could charge an access fee, but those who benefit the most from my work are often those who can't afford it.
I need people who believe in the importance of this project and want to become part of it by investing their energy. I rather not depend on corporate sponsorship, cuz they don't like being associated with controversy. I see no point in discussing topics that are not controversial.
These are a handful of today's email:
Check this hot off the press: I just got this in.
[Dick, let's hope we can get some interest (at SONY)..
Robin is going to get the script in front of another
guy named Joe Silver, who did Die Hard and Matrix. I
will keep you and Lee updated as I get feedbqack.
Regards, Dan Shields.]
Can you believe this, Max. Owe it all to you, buddy.
And these people who are helping me now.
Hello Maxo (en espaŮol)
As these stupid mexican company doing or better not doing my web site havenít done a shit I created a new one.
O.K . the index.htm is the same - but look it up man - itīs almost ready - but for a taste...
let me know what you think - you are the webber.....
It was a lot of fotopaint, frontpage, FTP and whatever stress---
You were at our college on Thursday, (yesterday) to give your
slide show. I know that last night you also presented at UNB. I have a student
in my class today who would be very interested in what you are doing (she is
not a computer person, so that is why I am mailing you) Can you tell me
when you will be giving your presentation again in Fredericton or a place
nearby so that I can let her know.
Head of Fashion Studio
College of Craft and Design
I still haven't heard from you so I figured I'd send you an other email. Students are generating a lot of interest for your presentation and even people that don't come to the school are wanting to come see your
presentation. I can honestly say that it is a definite YES. All I need is for you to tell me when the best time would be.
As for accommodations, I will probably book a room for you in residence campus or if it's not convenient, I'll book you a room at a nearby hotel.
Anyhow, hope to hear from you soon and can't wait to see you again.
Chairman, Student Social Committee
NSCC - Truro Campus
My name is Alex LeBlanc. I am Peter Gross' son.
I was lucky enough to attend your presentation on the twenty second, after hearing about it from my father. I was interested in this the second I heard. I can say that it was one of the more inspiring and motivating presentations I've ever attended.
I'm going to explain a bit about myself and what I think I can
offer to the far out school: I am fifteen years old going on sixteen in March. I love to be involved and to interact with others. I have a really good understanding of language as I am studying in a French immersion program. I love sport and especially extreme sport. I skateboard, snowboard, and rock climb when I can. I am always coming up with ways to improve situations. I am an active member of a committee in charge of getting a youth center and skateboard park up and running on the North side of Fredericton. I am not a slacker, I work especially hard when I feel as strongly as I do about this cause.
I feel I have hundreds of things I want to tell you about myself, but like you (you said this in your presentation) I have trouble expressing myself through writing. Overall I just feel
as though I would be a really helpful person to have with you in Mexico; not only helpful but fun! I know I am young but you were young when you began dreaming of setting out on the western coast. I think
age means nothing in this situation; my heart is in the right place and I really feel strongly about helping those less fortunate.
Like you must already know it's extremely hard to sum up an individual in a small email message. I have many other strengths and talents I have not yet shared with you. I am very musical. I play the guitar and have a background in piano. I am own a video camera, and I am constantly making skateboard video's with my friends. I am always the photographer. Also I think that my being young can serve as an asset opposed to a handicap. You will be dealing with youth and I may be able to communicate and become friends with them on a more personal level because of my age. I really hope to get reply from you and hopefully we could meet.
Sincerely, Alex LeBlanc
Hi- I am sorry I have not write to you on a long time. First of
all HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!=)
On February 3 i celebrate my 15 year party I enjoy the with all
my friends and family. now I am looking on a school to study high school(I
am a little nervous) I NEED TO DO TONS OF EXAMS and I am studding. do you
believe on aliens???? I do because I am always thinking that if we are the
only ones is a waste of space. I start thinking on this since I saw my
favorite TV show ROSWELL I love this TV show. is very good.
PD. FEAR IS THE ONLY THIEF OF DREAMS
you must have the universe's biggest head; and it is clearly full
This is what Iíve written tonight so far... consider yourself
lucky, while keeping in mind that Iím a sea cadet (at the tying
I actually started writing a journal for tonight, but a lazy
stretch caused me to kick the power bar and kill the computer.
Cory was asleep beside me, on the couch. An interesting sleeper.
He wakes up a lot, talks and goes back to sleep. But he reminded
me of a kindergartner at naptime. "itís time to wake up for milk
and cookies, Cory". An evil beam in the shape of a smile had
crossed my face when I thought of his crossed feet. Are you
thinking what I was thinking? I wanted to tie him up, but figured
it prolly wouldnít have been the best idea. Especially if he woke
up in the process or after and got mad. So I left him alone until
it dawned on me that my parentsíd be home soon, and itís be a bit
of a surprise to find him sleeping on the couch. So I gave a
bottle to my dog to wake him up (Duncan gets pretty noisy with a
bottle) and it did the trick. So he leaves. And now Iím writing
I went for a walk on the beach tonight. Not my beach, but still a
beach. Walked and talked. About what? How Iím finding money to be
fascinating, his slide shows, people heís met, his trip to
Mexico. A bunch of stuff. I picked up lots of driftwood along the
way, which I later turned into a mobile which is now laying on my
bedroom floor, looking for a home. Perhaps hanging from my
ceiling or a tree in my yard. Maybe itíll go to a friendís house.
I dunno, got lots of time to make a decision.
Hey man ..just wanted to say a quick thanks for the place to
crash and the