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Monday, May 23, 2011

David Hale's Jacket: Medicine in the Matrix

Medicine in the Matrix
On December 11th 2009, I wrote Medicine in the Matrix.  It was a post about the first Advocacy Jacket that I painted for Jen McCabe.  That jacket was called Data Prison.  In that painting a patient stands handcuffed within a data stream.
In that post, I mentioned red pills and blue pills and the NIH Pillbox project.  A little over one month later on January 15th 2010 I would present an Ignite speech at Social Justice Camp DC.  I would meet so many wonderful people that night: great advocates like Kelli Shewmaker, Aaron Ginoza, Ben Merrion and … David Hale.  I had heard of David Hale and knew he had something to do with Pillbox and advocacy, but that night I met a man with a vibrant personality who could talk medicine as well as he could talk poetry.

On May 21st 2011, David came by to drop off his jacket just as Ben Merrion came over to take Isaac and I to a concert at UDC.   We joked about how we keep running into each other, was it just a coincidence or were we seeing a glitch in the Matrix?

You see David belongs to a select group within the world of medical advocacy who refuse to accept the current reality.  We refuse to accept a system that treats patients with disregard.  We refuse to accept medical records at a rate of 73 cents per page and with a 21-day wait.  And we will not accept the platitude, “Well, that is just the way it is.”
Medicine in The Matrix: David Hale's Jacket
This is David’s jacket: Medicine in the Matrix.  In this frame Morpheus has given his ultimatum, “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
Two David's
But in this image Neo has been replaced with David Hale.  

The Red Pill
He stares with acceptance at the red pill, knowing he will eat it.  He knows that know matter how hard the path is to walk, it is more important to know the truth.  He knows this in his work and he knows it within every quantified cell of his body.
The Blue Pill
But, oh the temptation of the blue pill!  It would be so easy to give up the fight.  To be a regular working Joe, who punches the clock and does not spend weekends and evenings at medical conferences expounding on the importance of open data and information access.  His face is filled with longing for that simpler yet dangerous path.

I am glad that David is one of us. The red pills.   The ones who walk the hard path, the path down the rabbit hole that leads to a Walking Gallery.  

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Love the reflection in the sunglasses. SO MATRIX. Another great post.