Dispatches from Ventboy Alcatraz
From inside the walls of the institution, Coler-Goldwater, I continued to create content, to blog, and we added video blogging from the inside.
I wrote the following blog posts about the institution, where I lived from August 28, 2008 to September 10, 2009:
- Hey everyone I almost died again – October 15th, 2008
- Lucky Unit 13 (Long Essay on Institutional Living) – March 3rd, 2009
- “That’s Not My Job” (Angry Rant) – March 24th, 2009
- Paramedics’ Hands So Tied By Liability Concerns They Hesitate To Save A Life – April 1st, 2009 unfortunately NOT an April fool’s gag but an actual incident
- More NYC Hospitals Lost To Economic Crisis – April 26th, 2009 the great economic ka-blooie of ’08 occurred mere weeks after I arrived in New York, and this meltdown led to terrible hospital closures
All nine video blogs can be found here: First Video Blog Series From Inside An Institution
these video diaries/rants are me speaking on camera about the institutional experience and related policies… the commentary on the formative “stakeholder meetings” that shaped the Affordable Care Act is one of my most important videos, I think.
Note: the respect I have for the staff and bond felt with the other patients is very real, and though these diaries vent frustration and the heat felt at the time, their intent is to shed light not heat and to educate about the real world conditions and actual lived experience of disability in public long-term care hospitals. Please understand that I blame policies not people. I want to give Love to the human beings within the surreal constructs I’ve described.
In addition, you should know that the unit A13 I describe and the hospital Coler-Goldwater itself no longer exist in the forms I encountered, having closed/dramatically shifted at the end-of-2013 without the best transition plan for the people there…
I collected everything here for convenient access for readers who’d like an intimate look “on the inside.”