Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, & The Demise Of The Two-Party System


U.S. President George W. Bush meets with former Presidents and President-elect Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington
I think it’s a worthwhile question to wonder why Hillary’s efforts to run for president are always threatened by someone with far more left-leaning, progressive ideas than her. There’s a real progressive movement in this country and many voices who are not represented by the political culture Hillary Clinton was raised in. While it’s way past time for the United States to elect a woman president, it may also be way past time for a change from the type of politics and politicking that Hillary Clinton represents.

Obama ran on a very progressive platform. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he surrounded himself with more centrist and conservative advisers and that, mixed with the rampant racism that allowed politicians to block him at every turn and the reality that his voting record as a senator was more centrist than progressive, resulted in someone who ended up more like Hillary Clinton in the end. But what Obama tapped into during his presidential run is still out there. If anything, it’s grown even stronger and is seeking a voice. Right now, Bernie Sanders is that voice. Hillary can never be that voice. No matter how much she struggles to paint herself as progressive or equally as liberal, she simply isn’t. My personal opinion, she should run on her strengths — of which she has many — for those who share her political leanings. Give them voice. But understand that what the people who vocally support Bernie Sanders right now do not want is Hillary. She is not their voice. This is an important distinction when we’re talking about government reflecting the people.

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Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, & The Demise Of The Two-Party System

A Response to Gloria Steinem’s Guardian Article on Hillary Clinton


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I’m not a supporter of Hillary’s from a political standpoint, but I think Gloria Steinem’s analysis of responses to Hillary in her The Guardian article “Why the White House needs Hillary Clinton” is spot on.

Where I disagree with her is in that I believe there was quite a bit of difference on the campaign trail between Hillary and Obama. In fact, one of the things someone said to me that summed up my disappointment in the first half of Obama’s presidency was “Obama got elected, but we got Hillary anyway.” Politically speaking, that is.

I think having a woman president would bring to the surface the misogyny in this country in a way even more revealing than what we see now, which is already astronomical. In the same way Obama’s presidency brought America’s racism even more front and center. While terrifying, it has allowed us to address it more directly, call it what it is, and start responding to the need for change even more aggressively. I believe a Hillary presidential win would do the same for opening up the conversation about misogyny even more and allowing us to genuinely start to address this issue seriously as a national conversation. It would also offer an opportunity for many women – those Steinem terms “Hillary-Haters” — to address and recognize the role they play in that national conversation and start the healing process. No small thing. 

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A Response to Gloria Steinem’s Guardian Article on Hillary Clinton

Why Academy Members’ Lack-of-Diversity Is An Important Conversation


 

oscar_statueI’ve heard a whole lot about this topic from many different sides of the conversation lately. I come at this already not being a fan of the Oscars as a representation of film and cinema and I gave up watching them several years ago.

It’s been suggested by some (or many, even) that the reason for the complete lack of minority nominations this year may just be that the performances by non-white actors simply weren’t as good this year as the other’s nominated. Or that it’s a numbers game and there are fewer films and performances to choose from that highlight and showcase non-white actors and stories. While that second statement is certainly true for Hollywood and is something that desperately needs to change, it’s still far too easy an answer as to why most of the nominees this year are white. And it misses a crucial part of the point.

Here’s why I think the lack-of-diversity complaint that is taking place now is undeniably spot on: I know someone who has been in the industry most of their life and has been successful. This person is white. This person is older. And this person said to me that they walked out of the movie FRUITVALE STATION, not because it was a bad movie or that this person didn’t like the performances, but because, and this is verbatim, “I’m just not interested in movies about the black experience.” 

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Why Academy Members’ Lack-of-Diversity Is An Important Conversation

Disagreeing with Carol Cadwalladr’s Assessment of THE REVENANT


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I couldn’t possibly disagree more with Carol Cadwalladr‘s assessment of THE REVENANT in her recent piece in The Guardian titled “The Revenant is Meaningless Pain Porn.”

I would agree that our culture displays a whole lot of meaningless violence, yes, even to a pornographic level, but of all the films to accuse of this, THE REVENANT is simply not one.

Yes, there’s pain. Yes, human suffering and graphic violence. But to minimize this film and place it alongside the hoards of films spit out by Hollywood each year disguised as entertainment but, instead, offering us vapid exercises (in, among other things, killing and human suffering), is to completely miss the point of the entire film.

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Disagreeing with Carol Cadwalladr’s Assessment of THE REVENANT

New Year’s Eve With Dead & Company


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I finally caught up with Dead & Company live. It was at the Forum in Los Angeles for two nights closing out 2015. I’ve been watching and listening to the band’s entire tour online and have been incredibly impressed with the energy and communication happening up on that stage.

My experience of being there was pretty great, over all. AND it made me really miss Jerry Garcia. What I love about John Mayer’s contribution to this music is his profoundly contagious joy. This is a musician clearly having the time of his life and that spills out onto every member of the band and flows endlessly from there thru the audience. It’s an incredible thing to witness.

What makes the experience different for me from a Grateful Dead concert is Mayer’s lack of Garcia’s emotional depths. I don’t mean that as a slight against Mayer in any way. He is an extraordinary musician and has transformed this music into a whole new realm that is personal for him and allows the other musicians the incredible opportunity to re-explore this music in yet another context. One they are clearly relishing! And so is the audience! And so am I!

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New Year’s Eve With Dead & Company

STAR WARS: Another J.J. Abrams’ Jedi-Mind Trick


Contains Spoilers. 

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterI know people were very excited for this newest STAR WARS film. I also know that some people hate to be disappointed and will hold onto anything that feels positive and that perpetuates their most-cherished narrative. I also believe that audiences have become so accustomed to comic-book movies and Hollywood origin-story rehashes that they have essentially forgotten not only what good storytelling is, they have forgotten its importance to human society and development.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS suffers from far worse than a wholly unoriginal story, which on its own would be bad enough. Not only did J.J. Abrams decide that what the film, the franchise, and the Star Wars universe needed was a remake of the original STAR WARS, it now required a version of that story sans heart and soul. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is yet another mournful stop on the road map charting the demise of Hollywood storytelling. We’re past the death-throws here, we’re now in “I’m exhausted, will it just die already” territory.

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STAR WARS: Another J.J. Abrams’ Jedi-Mind Trick

Bernie Sanders & The Lack Of Media Support: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love Donald Trump


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I wish the media would cover Bernie Sanders as they do Donald Trump. Well, maybe not for the same reasons, but with equal interest and enthusiasm. And that goes for the “liberal media” as well. Sanders is currently the voice of a new party. Or at least the voice of a new wing of an old party. But unlike Trump, Sanders is more honesty than entertainment. It’s a crime that the mantra is “Bernie’s the best, but he won’t be president.” That’s a narrative that has no basis in truth unless we decide it does. The sheer numbers out there have proven him to be the real deal. And unlike Trump, he’s reaching people through speaking authentically and, even more importantly, factually. And unlike Trump, he is offering solutions and a genuine spirit of collaboration for our like-minded goals. Just listen to his recent speech given to a crowd of nearly 12,000 at the staunchly conservative, Jerry Falwell-founded Christian Liberty University. I’m including both the full speech and an excerpt — depending on your interest and time — at the end of this post:

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Bernie Sanders & The Lack Of Media Support: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love Donald Trump