News for the ‘Creative’ Category

Gasoline Breakup

Gasoline Breakup

Lyrics by Franke James and Billiam James

The love affair with gasoline is ending
Soaring costs… forcing drivers
Abandon gas-powered
No matter where you live, gasoline prices are going up

You took me for a ride, and now we’re lost
I’m choking on your pollution trip
You’re making me cough. You’re turning me off
I’m breaking this relationship

Gasoline, Gasoline
You’re driving me insane
Gasoline, Gasoline
The world’s aflame
Gasoline, Gasoline
I found someone new
Someone better
Better than you

We had a good run, but now we’re done
You’re poisoning our atmosphere
You don’t even care, pumping dirt in our air
We gotta leave you in the ground

Gasoline, Gasoline
You’re driving me insane
Gasoline, Gasoline
The world’s aflame
Gasoline, Gasoline
I found someone new
And I’m leaving
Leaving you


Created by: Sound Activism
Lyrics: Franke James and Billiam James
Music: Franke James, Billiam James and Missy D
Featuring: Missy D, Francis Arevalo, Sejal Lal & Lindal
Saxophone: Lamar Alviar
Cameos: Bill McKibben, Jennifer Granholm
Music Production: The Beat Cave, David Tallarico

Executive Producer:
Produced by The James Gang Iconoclasts, Inc.

About Sound Activism
Sound Activism is a creative partnership between artists and activists Franke James and Billiam James. They are focused on creating songs and musical stories that raise awareness about environmental, health and social justice issues.
Twitter: @frankejames and @SoundActivism

About Coltura
Coltura is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization working to accelerate America’s transition towards clean alternatives to gasoline vehicles. Its goal is to spur adoption of clean, zero-emission vehicles, and phase out sales of new gasoline vehicles by 2030.
More information can be found at

Posted: October 5th, 2018
Categories: Creative
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Akathisia: What if your meds are making you sick?

Akathisia is a feeling of extreme agitation and restlessness associated with drug side effects caused by antidepressants, antipsychotics and other medications. Symptoms range from nervous twitching to a complete inability to sit still — an inner restlessness and anxiety so overpowering that it can lead to suicidal behaviour.

Our objective is to create awareness about potentially harmful “side effects” of prescription drugs used to treat mental health conditions. While these medications can be helpful, the side effects can also be debilitating.

However awareness about this problem is limited. Many people who are suffering from Akathisia, do not realize that it can be caused by their medications.

The health care system (with support from pharmaceutical industry) often prefers to ignore evidence that harmful side effects are caused by medications. As a result, problem is blamed on the disease, or worse — blamed on the patient — rather than the drug itself.

To learn more about Akathisia and other prescription drug side effects, visit


Akathisia, Akathisia.
You make me wanna
Make me wanna…

Thank you doctor for this little pill.
But the fact of the matter, it’s making me ill.
The fact of the matter is I can’t, can’t, can’t,
I can’t can’t sit sit still.

Akathisia, Akathisia,
You freak me out. You freak me out.

I’m tripping on my restless thoughts.

Have to admit I used to be sad.
Told the doctor I’s feeling bad.
Gave me these meds and I’ve been had.
The side effects are driving me mad.

Falling through the cracks, medicated dregs.
My heart is racing, as it begs,
Doctor please, you got to stop.
Stop these restless legs.

Akathisia, Akathisia,
You freak me out. You freak me out.

You make me wanna,
Make me wanna…
Kill myself.

You make me wanna,
Make me wanna…
Kill myself.

Cause I can’t, can’t can’t.
Can’t sit still.
Cause I can’t, can’t can’t.
Can’t sit still.
This pill, pill, pill. This pill
Is making me ill.

But I’m still here, trying to cope.
Doctors’ drugs, too much rope.
Reaching out, need some hope
Got to lose this prescription dope.

Akathisia, Akathisia,
You freak me out. You freak me out.

You make me wanna,
Make me wanna

Make me wanna,
Make me wanna

Make me wanna,
Make me wanna
Quit that dope.

I’m gonna quit,
Quit that doctor’s dope.


Song Title: Akathisia (I can’t sit still)
Music and Lyrics: Billiam James
Musical and Vocal Performance: Billiam James
Recording and Production: David Tallarico, The Beat Cave
Video Camera/Editing/Production: Franke James and Billiam James
Producer: The James Gang, Iconoclasts Inc.

Special thanks to Dr. David Healy

Note: Stopping or discontinuing any medications can be dangerous process. Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider before changing or stopping your medical treatment.

Posted: August 29th, 2018
Categories: Creative
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Musical Eggs

“Musical Eggs” is a musical EGGS-perience composed and performed by Teresa Pocock. Played on a “Push 2” keyboard (and two dozen eggs).

Screened at SFU Woodward’s Emerge Festival Showcase for DTES Small Arts Grant Winners. Thank you to the Vancouver Foundation for their support.

Posted: June 29th, 2018
Categories: Creative
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Butterflies in My Stomach

Butterflies in My Stomach: The true story of a woman with Down syndrome who overcomes discrimination, and her own fears, to blossom into an artist.

“Butterflies in My Stomach” is Teresa Pocock’s video project. It’s a pitch to produce a video which tells Teresa’s story about overcoming discrimination — and her own fears — to blossom as an artist in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Here is Teresa’s 60-second StoryHive pitch:

Butterflies in My Stomach: Synopsis
This is the true story of Teresa Pocock, a woman with Down syndrome who has overcome discrimination and her own fears, to blossom into an award-winning artist and author. Four years ago, at age 49, Teresa was written off as “incapable” and was forced into a old-age nursing home in Ontario. Teresa did not want to live there. Her father and a sister rescued her, and Teresa moved across the country to B.C. to start a new life. “Butterflies in My Stomach” will tell her remarkable journey: How 26,000 people on, as well as civil rights organizations, and the media, helped Teresa get an apology from the government. And how Teresa’s new community in Vancouver, helped her to have confidence and emerge as a professional artist and a self-advocate.

Posted: April 3rd, 2018
Categories: Creative, Science
Tags: ,
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How Many Ships Does It Take to Kill an Orca?

How Many Ships Does It Take to Pollute Our Water?How Many Ships Does It Take to Poison Our Air?How Many Ships Does It Take to Kill an Orca?

The number of ships navigating through Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea is about to triple.

With Canadian government approvals for Kinder Morgan and the Global Grain Group (G3), and pending approval of the Centerm expansion near downtown Vancouver, the number of ships is expected to grow dramatically from 266 to 860 ships per year.

What are they thinking? How many ships does it take for something to go wrong?

One accident with a Kinder Morgan Oil tanker carrying diluted bitumen — dirty tar sands oil — and our beautiful coast could be destroyed.

With almost three ships sailing through the Burrard Inlet everyday,  the water will be contaminated with more ballast water and leaking engine fuels and chemicals.

With scores of giant industrial ships chugging through the Salish Sea constantly, marine mammals — like the endangered Southern Resident Orcas in the Salish Sea — will become disoriented and lost because of pervasive sound pollution from the ships, which harms their ability to navigate and communicate.

With hundreds of ships burning low-cost bunker fuel our air will be polluted with even more carbon and particulate matter.

How Many Ships Does It Take to Pollute Our Water?

How Many Ships Does It Take to Poison Our Air?

How Many Ships Does It Take to Kill an Orca?

How many ships? The numbers…

These statistics are based on the published estimates by Kinder Morgan, Trans Mountain pipeline and the Port of Vancouver.

Terminal (Link to source documents) Current Ships/Year Projected Ships/Year*
Kinder Morgan (KM) – Oil Tankers 60 410 (408)
Kinder Morgan (KM) – Barges 0 30 (36)
Global Grain Group (G3) – Bulk Carrier 56 170 (168)
Centerm – Cargo 150** 250**

* Projected numbers for ships are rounded to the nearest ten (10).

** Centerm terminal near downtown Vancouver is proposing to expand from “current 900,000 TEUs to up to 1.5 million TEUs”. A TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) is the unit of the capacity of a container ship. If we assume average docked ship carries 6,000 TEUs, then we can estimate that currently 150 ships/year expanding to 250 ships/year. In fact between Nov 20, 2016 – Dec 20 2016, DP World Vancouver has scheduled 26 Vessels docking at Centerm, which is about 300 ships/year!

The bottom line: Too many ships. Too much pollution.

We need to #STOPKinderMorgan. #StopKM!

We need to stop the expansion of Centerm, because we don’t more industrial accidents and pollution.

We need to stop the uncontrolled port expansion in Vancouver. It’s not worth the risk.

We all need to be #CoastProtectors

Posted: December 2nd, 2016
Categories: Creative, Science
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Lost on the Sea of Medicine

Sea of Medicine

Modern Myths: Doctors and patients lost on the Sea of Medicine, an illustration for a story by Dr. David Healy.

“The clinics were different now to what they had been… The woman with burning hands, the mother with the autistic baby or the asexual son, were in the same place as her — no-one wanted to know them. Was there any way to unite all these people, each marooned on their own island, this new Archipelago of the Shipwrecked?”

Read Dr. David Healy’s full story: “Crusoe, we say, Was Rescued“.

The Miracle of the Chemical Cure

The Miracle of the Chemical Cure

Modern Myths: A trip back to the founding of the Church of Psycho-pharmacology, an illustration for a story by Dr. David Healy.

In 1957, interested in the fuss surrounding the new tranquilizers, she [Crusoe] dropped in to a World Congress of Psychiatry Meeting being held that year in Zurich. There was an extraordinary buzz — the excitement surrounding the discovery of chlorpromazine was growing not fading. It really did seem like a cure for schizophrenia or the harbinger of a cure that would arrive any day now.

The meeting was full of chatter about the next wonder drug about to appear and what it all meant…

It was openly accepted that the new College had been created by Sandoz, who had convened the Supper in Zurich. One delegate even joked that Sandoz’s boss, Rothlin, the President of the College, was the head of a new religion – a Pope. Rothlin though was a businessman – well maybe that’s what Pope’s were. Not someone anyone thought was likely to have had LSD himself.

Sandoz and other companies bankrolled the meeting, paid for the delegates to be there, paid for the delegates to be there, and put on the coaches that took them from Rome to Castel Gandolfo.”

Read Dr. David Healy’s full story: “Castel Gandolfo“.

Is There Life After Meds?

Is There Life After Meds?

After 20 years on antidepressants, is it possible to become drug-free? Psychiatric drug withdrawal symptoms — like burning feet, akathisia and emotional hypersensitivity — are daunting, but recovery is possible as shown by this story of one woman’s path (Katie B-T) to redemption.

“After 20 years on antidepressants, I decided I wanted to taper off. It was important for me to see what life was like without them and if I could claim more of my sexuality. I had no idea what I was in store for….

“I started SSRI’s when I was 12 years old. I haven’t gotten to try out and experiment with what I like and don’t like in relationships with the new feedback my body gives me. Some of my interpersonal dynamics related to my sexuality never got worked out because I didn’t know they existed. Now I have support to explore these concerns in therapy, playing catch-up, but knowing that I won’t have to go through life missing out on this important part of myself.”

Read the full story by Katie B-T on Girl on a Hot Tin Roof

Posted: December 30th, 2014
Categories: Creative
Tags: , , , ,
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I Don’t Belong In a Nursing Home

Teresa Pocock: I don't belong in a nursing home

I Don’t Belong in a Nursing Home. I have places to go. Things to do. People to meet.

Please sign Teresa Pocock’s petition

With the stroke of a pen, Teresa Pocock’s human right to decide where she lives was wrongly taken away.

In a heart-breaking move, Teresa, my sister-in-law who has Down syndrome, was forced against her will into an old-age nursing home, by the Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and two of my siblings. Four days later, she was rescued by my 91-year old father who was “adamant” he did not want his daughter living in a nursing home. But then the nursing home called the police, in a shockingly callous and bizarre effort to force her back.

Teresa is demanding an apology from these two institutions, the CCAC and the Rekai Centre. This is a sorry mess. Her records show that the crisis list was manipulated to get Teresa to the very top, and placed in the nursing home. Her profile contained false information which made her appear to need 24/7 care. See the presentation I made with Teresa, to the Ontario Government’s Select Committee:

Teresa’s story: Crisis, Capacity and Courage

On July 22, 2014, the Ontario Government’s Select Committee published their final report. It states: “Long-term care homes are pressured to accommodate young and middle-aged people with developmental disabilities without any medical need for this type of care or any training to support this group of clients.”

By signing this petition you can help Teresa get an apology for the harm done to her. Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for wrongly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. Teresa is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police in a completely unnecessary, intimidating and callous attempt to force her back into their institution.

Over three months ago we filed a 12-page complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Health. We have only heard they are “inspecting” the matter.

We need a full apology from both institutions because this is not just about one person — it’s about standing up for and protecting the human rights of all people with disabilities.

Please sign Teresa Pocock’s petition demanding an apology from the CCAC and Rekai Centre at

Thank you.

I Love My Human Rights

Teresa Pocock: I Love My Human Rights

Teresa Pocock: I love my human rights. Please don’t take them away just because I have Down syndrome.

Please sign Teresa Pocock’s petition demanding an apology from the CCAC and Rekai Centre at

Posted: March 29th, 2014
Categories: Creative
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Human Rights Should Be For Everybody

Teresa Pocock: Human Rights Should Be For Everybody

Teresa Pocock is my 49-year old sister-in-law. She has Down syndrome, and she is now living with Franke James and myself.

Forced into a Nursing Home at age 49

On November 27, 2013, at the age of 49, Teresa was forced into a nursing home against her wishes and against the wishes of her father. Four days later, Teresa’s father went to the nursing home, and as her Senior Power of Attorney signed the paperwork to have her discharged, and Teresa returned home.

Police Were Called to Force Teresa’s Return

But the police were called to force Teresa’s return to the nursing home. Luckily the police decided that Teresa was safe living with us.

Petition for an Apology

On World Down Syndrome Day, March 21st, we launched a petition asking the CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and the Rekai Center to apologize for the harm they caused Teresa. Specifically, Teresa is asking the CCAC to apologize for improperly taking away her human right to decide where she lives. She is asking the Rekai Centre to apologize for calling the police to force her back into their long-term care home.

Watch Teresa’s petition video:

CCAC Apologizes

On March 23, 2014, CCAC CEO responded to the petition and offered her apology. Teresa called it “beautiful”. See: Toronto Central CCAC Apologizes to Teresa

Rekai Centre Ignores Teresa’s Request

However, the Rekai Centre has still not apologized. The Rekai Centre CEO, Mary Hoare, has not responded in any way to Teresa’s petition. Are they trying to ignore Teresa? Hoping that the problem will just go away?

Teresa’s human rights should never have been taken away

That is why we need more people to sign her petition, and demand an apology from the Rekai Centre.

Please sign: Teresa’s Petition at

To learn more about Teresa, please visit:

No Sex Please! (We’re on Antidepressants)

Antidepressants = Sexual Side Effects

One pill makes you smaller.1
One pill makes you stall.2
And the ones your doctor gives you
Make you feel nothing at all.3
Just numbness4 and dumbness5 in bed.
Remember what your lover said,
“Lose your meds. Save our bed.
Save our bed.”

Antidepressant (SSRI) Sexual Side Effects:

  1. Erectile Dysfunction
  2. Anorgasmia
  3. Diminished Libido
  4. Genital Numbness
  5. Pleasureless Orgasm

Post Antidepressant (SSRI) Sexual Side Effects:
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction may persist years after quitting SSRIs, resulting in the complete loss of genital sensation.

SSRI Meds linked to Sexual Dysfunction: Lexapro, Cipralex, Cipramil, Paxil, Seroxat, Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft.

For more information of SSRI and Sexual Dysfunction see these stories by Dr. David Healy and the team at

Illustration: No Sex Please! (We’re on antidepressants). Based on 17th Century Kama Sutra and Ragamala paintings. © 2014 created by Billiam James.

The Heart of Medicine

Heart Of Medicine

The heart of medicine… Is it the caring concern of one person for another? It is detached statistical analysis? Is it motivated by love? Or driven by greed?

Read Dr. David Healy’s parable about about a sister and a brother, and the winter and summer of medicine… The Snow Queen

Illustration: The Heart of Medicine, © 2013 created by Billiam James. Based on original painting on Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga, circa 1770, José de Páez, Mexico, 1727-1790

Fear of Falling: A True Story about Osteoporosis Meds


When your doctor spends more time looking at your charts, than looking at you… You might wonder about their recommendations, especially if it’s medicated prevention strategy based on a statistical probability, like the way the health care system treats osteoporosis.

For example, if your bone-density is falls within certain guidelines, your doctor will automatically prescribe medication (in order to reduce his/her liability) for the rest of your life. Theoretically this will reduce your risk ofhaving a fracture, but the meds certainly come with a host of bad side effects, which may outweigh the benefits…

Here’s a story about one woman who decided not to surrender to her doctor’s fears.

My first bone-density scan… and now I have a label: Osteoporosis.

The primary care physician kept me waiting for 40 minutes after the time of the scheduled appointment. When she came into the office she sat down in front of a monitor and said nothing while she brought up my records. Then she spun the monitor around so I could see it. Displayed on the computer screen was my risk of osteoporotic spinal fracture – 12.4% – and hip fracture – 2.4%.

I was flustered and did not think to ask exactly how this risk is calculated and what it represents.

While I accept that I am at a higher risk of fracture than a young adult woman, I still feel my risk of fracture is not great and I don’t appreciate being made to feel fearful of my risk – or at least unduly fearful. I do not want to compromise other quality of life factors because of some very small risk of spinal or hip fractures.

She went into the risk of death from hip fractures. Yes, I am aware that a hip fracture is often the beginning of a downward spiral to death but this just doesn’t seem like the place where I am now in my life, while the risk of stomach upsets, oesophagus damage, and/or general malaise from a biphosponate seems much more immediate to say nothing of an increase in a risk of fractures in the extremities from this class of drug.

Read the full story on Fragile Doctors

Illustration: Fear of Falling, © 2013 created by Billiam James