If you spend far more time Facebook posting and tweeting about how awful and racist Trump is, and far less time (if any) posting and tweeting about how neoliberal establishment Democrats support most of Trump’s policies and have actively supported and continue to support mass systemic racism, mass murder and actively fight against progressivism and humanitarianism at every turn, then, in my opinion, you are just part of the noise of political rhetoric. You will make no difference. You will, in fact, enhance all the things you claim to be horrified by simply by reaching for the low-hanging fruit instead of openly challenging the power-structure within the Democratic Party that serves the same donors and ideologies as Trump.
I catch a lot of flack from close friends and others when I choose to be consistent in my pointing out the deep racism, mass imperialism, and dangerous conservativism of establishment Democrats and Neoliberals. It’s so much easier to focus anger and horror at Trump, while almost completely ignoring or, worse, propping up or even celebrating conservative neoliberal candidates and politicians within the Democratic Party and their eloquent expressions of faux outrage.
If you prop up Dem candidates and politicians who verbally call out Trump, but don’t challenge why those same Dems not only don’t offer any actual opposition to Trump but, instead, quietly support and, in most cases, helped create and establish and normalize most of the same ideologies as Trump, then you are in no way, shape or form, actually opposing Trump or his life-threatening rhetoric. You’re just opposing his open-arrogance and cartoonish nature. The message you’re sending is that you prefer your racism and mass-murder and vast economic and social inequality to be offered under the less-obvious guise of benevolence and ivy-league-trained, eloquently articulated political rhetoric and faux social indignation.
We must do better.
Challenge THESE people.
New doc JAZZ NIGHTS: A CONFIDENTIAL JOURNEY’s sax player and composer extraordinaire, Geoff “Double G” Gallegos and JAZZ NIGHTS’ director Hal Masonberg were this week’s guests on Chet Hanley’s 3-hour TV show JAZZ IN THE MODERN ERA from April 5, 2016.
There’s a lot of music and extraordinary archival video to listen and watch on this episode. And weaving in and out of those, Chet Hanley interviews Double G and Hal Masonberg about both JAZZ NIGHTS and Gee about the saxophone and his lifelong influences.
Continue reading “Double G & Hal Masonberg on Chet Hanley’s “JAZZ IN THE MODERN ERA””
I’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.”
Continue reading “Why Academy Members’ Lack-of-Diversity Is An Important Conversation”
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.
Continue reading “Disagreeing with Carol Cadwalladr’s Assessment of THE REVENANT”
I 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.
Continue reading “STAR WARS: Another J.J. Abrams’ Jedi-Mind Trick”
You know things are off to a bad start when you can feel the writers’ fear more than the characters’.
I always thought the writing on THE WALKING DEAD was terribly inconsistent. Sometimes downright awful. But I love the zombie genre (saw NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in a movie theater at age 9 and it has been burned into my psyche ever since), and if there are some good visceral moments now and again, I find myself drawn back. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that the writing on THE WALKING DEAD improved in the last two seasons, it felt more consistent, more organic.
So when I read that there’d be a spinoff series, I hoped that the writers, creators and anyone else involved with the series had evolved in their storytelling sensibilities to offer something interesting, maybe even slightly provocative or, god-forbid, original. Instead, what I found was an hour of the kind of silly character reactions and scenarios I would expect from network TV at its most benign. Why is this?
Continue reading “Fear The Walking Dead Writers”
Filmmaker William Friedkin was recently interviewed for a piece in The Telegraph titled “Superhero movies are ruining cinema, says Exorcist director William Friedkin.”
I agree with Friedkin’s sentiment and I would take it one step further and say that it’s not “Superhero movies” that are ruining cinema, but that those films are a product of what has so dramatically changed since the 70’s.
The corporate greed and the paint-by-numbers mentality that has now driven cinema for many decades is, in itself, a product of a state of mind that has been vigorously taught, conditioned, indoctrinated and embraced in the U.S. Its impact is reflected in all aspects of our lives socially, culturally, politically and, yes, artistically…
Continue reading “Observations on Cinema vs. the Capitalist Feeding Frenzy”