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A Public Service Announcement for every demented person in America

Greetings kids; I am here to get your attention on something that should be important to us all. There is currently a level of chaos, confusion and disfunction going on in this country that is driving normal people nuts. If it is bad for normal people, it is pretty much a definition of hell for folks with dementia; just ask any of us.

To make things even worse, not only is this chaos invading every aspect of our daily lives but it is easy to fall into the trap that we are powerless to do anything to change our circumstances. That feeling of powerlessness is something that pervades your very soul.

Well I am here to tell you that while we are each individuals, there are an estimated 25 million people in the US with some form of dementia and as a group we actually CAN do something. November is just over a month away and what happens this November will dictate how well or poorly this country will do for years to come. Each of us can look into our own souls for guidance but this is a bit of simple logic that everyone can follow.

Maybe you might feel powerless to change anything and can't stand the fact that this is what we are leaving for our children and our childrens' children will be cleaning up for years to come. The thing is, we CAN change things, we CAN make a difference in our own and our families lives and very fates with a simple, single act: Vote on November 6th. Even of only half of the estimated population with dementia votes, that is still over 12 million votes that no one was counting on. With one single vote, you can help stop the chaos and insanity in this country; insanity is our own purview.

As a patient in the MCI stage of dementia, I view this as a way to remove some pain and chaos from whats left of my life.  I see this as a way to personally help clean up the mess our generation is leaving behind.

Thus, I am calling on all folks with dementia who can't stand the state of things to get out there and vote on November 6th. Note that I do not support one party or candidate over another; vote for who ever you like, just get out there and do it. The power to change things is in your hands one last time. Make good use of it.

I came up with a simple PSA to encourage folks with dementia to vote. It could be grand if we were able to mobilize more folks to help make that difference, so if you know someone with dementia who still is cognizant of the current world around us, pass the word. We could give the current political system a bit of a wedgie......


PS: I made this video by loading up each message text into my word processor, switching the font to MS Comic Sanserif, then saved each message "document" as a PDF file. Then I loaded each PDF file into the GIMP (graphics editing package for Linux), copied each message into a wide-screen shaped window, then saved that window as a PNG file. Next, I ran some software on each image that I wrote before I lost the ability to make such a thing,and each image file was converted into 10 seconds of video in MP4 format. To get the voice, I ran the text snippets through gTTS which is a Linux pipeline into the whole Google Voice engine, resulting in the female voice you hear. Finally, I loaded the whole batch (10 video files and 10 MP3 files) into OpenShot, a nice video editor for Linux. This allowed me to match each video file with its own voice file, It was then exported as MP4 format.

To make it smaller and more web-friendly I ran the final version of this through HandBrake, an excellent open source video converter. In this case I set the output to 430 scan lines and 30 frames per second and made the whole video less than 2 megs in size.  This is what you see above. I just love the fact that I can do all this with nothing but free software..


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