Saturday, September 29, 2018

Beck At The Bowl - Where It's At!

Beck at The Bowl! You know I wasn't going to miss this one ... though I did miss opening act St. Vincent doing a D.J. set as "St. Vicious" ... but we weren't in a big rush to see someone spin records for their Hollywood Bowl gig + L.A. traffic = Sorry, St. Vicious.


We did hear a little Talking Heads being spun as we walked up the hill, but everyone around us kind of just shrugged when asked how it was, so I imagine it was just like listening to tunes on the radio as we drove up Highland. Good enough for us.

We had just enough to time to scarf down our picnic before the lights went dark and Beck took the stage in full Rock Star mode, all in black with a toreador-style hat, and plenty of dramatics. He and his backing band tore into "Devil's Haircut", and Beck was super animated, bouncing all over the place, and shouting "Odelay! Buenos Noches! How you doing, Los Angeles?!" We were doing awesome, and it just kept getting better. "New Pollution" was excellent, and Beck explained that this was a homecoming show, and that they'd been on tour forever (15 months), and were excited to play tracks from his newest album Colors for their hometown friends, family, and neighbors. "Hi Neighbors! There is no better place to be on a Friday night in Los Angeles!" We all roared in agreement, and were given "Mixed Bizness" as a reward. You could tell that they'd been on the road playing this set for a while, as the banter veered pretty close to rehearsed cheese at times, like when artists work the song title into the chat, it always feels lounge singer-y to me - but I don't think Beck minds being lounge singer-like sometimes ... as in the lead up to "Up All Night". "If I see boys and girls dancing, can we stay up all night?" Like that.

Then it got a lot more L.A.-centric ... "This song isn't appreciated in other parts of the world, but I think it will be here ... I'm from the East side, Pico-Union. My first studio was in Boyle Heights, and every day I'd walk down the street and they'd say 'Hey, Güero! Who do you think you are, Axl Rose?!" That, of course, led to "Qué Onda Güero", and people loved it. Speaking of the people - this was a VERY white audience, with some of the all-time worst white dancing I've ever seen. Like, shockingly bad. Wow. You can't diss it really, though. Music that gets people up and dancing should always be celebrated, it's just ... Wow. I think Beck is rock and roll that has been deemed "safe" for the older, whiter crowds that still want to feel cool, but will never mosh. Have never moshed. Safe rock. Having said that, Beck doesn't play it safe at all when it comes to his musical genres, doing exactly whatever he wants, when he wants. The entire night wound all over the place, from utter pop to deep gospel stomp, and everyone loved all of it, That's the beauty of Beck. He'll make them like kinds of music they might never have heard before,and gets them up and out of their chairs, FEELING it. That's a rare and important gift, and a delight (and comedy) to witness.

"The last time I played here was ten years ago! When I play songs here in Los Angeles, you get it and know what I'm talking about ... you're a product of your surroundings, and these are some strange, beautiful surroundings. This one is for the Lovers ... people don't talk about slow jams anymore, but I'm bringing that back." And Beck did bring slow jam back with "Debra" and its laughs-getting shout outs to places in L.A. like Glendale and Zankou Chicken. Beck is funny! And I'd never found him sexy before really, and both my friend and I were like, "Beck. Huh." with his swagger and playing stirring up new admiration for both his humor and total command of his show. Then he REALLY got into my heart with a lovely tribute to Prince, and a cover of "Raspberry Beret". The first time Beck ever came to the Bowl for a show was to see Prince - and I was there too. It was special, and now I love Beck even more.

"Nicotine & Gravy" was fly, and then "Hollywood Freaks" was brought out for the Hollywood weirdos in the house, complete with a big, trippy light show featuring lasers. Lasers really get the folks up dancing! The lady in front of us was losing her mind, and I was happy for her - even as her husband just checked Twitter and tried not to look at her going nuts. "I'm So Free " and "Dear Life" were both gorgeous, but up next was the highlight of the night for me. Beck brought out Fred Martin and his Levite Camp choir that blew the place apart with "Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods", and "Like A Ship Without A Sail". Holy (literally) Moly! It was something else, full of harmonica and acoustic guitar and piano and clapping and WOW. "That was something special for tonight!" said Beck when it was over, and just, thank you. It was fantastic. (It also begged the question, HOW is Beck a Scientologist?! Like, WHAT?! So smart, so talented, bringing up Christian choirs, but believing in E-meters and shit like that? I don't get it.)

"Any requests?" brought out shouts for everything in Beck's catalog, plus one clever older white man yelling "Sinatra!" (Told you. Safe rock crowd.) Beck and his backing band harmonized at the front of the stage acoustically for a sublime version of "Lost Cause" that almost made me cry. "Truckdrivin' Downstairs Neighbor" was more L.A. storytelling (about lost record stores like Aron's, Moby Disc, Peaches), and then right into "Blue Moon" that was so pretty I decided then and there that acoustic, pretty Beck is my favorite Beck.

Pop Beck was back next, and the techno lasers and electronica video game style backdrop was completely different than the tunes played right before, and that required a Beck costume change as well, now back in all white to play us "Dreams" and "Girl". Everyone was up and dancing again for his "Sun-Eyed Girl", and that led right into "Wow" from Colors, that really was WOW. This was the rapping, attitude, break dance moves Beck - and I think he's my second favorite Beck. The man wears a LOT of musical hats (and just hats in general), and cracked everyone up again here when he said, "Say it like Owen Wilson ... Woooow". A decent impression that slayed the crowd.

"Loser" was next, and everyone went wild. This was how we first met Beck, and it brings me back to such a time in L.A. ... just moved here, driving down the Wilshire corridor, feeling young and disillusioned at the same time - as the sun shined over it all. "Loser" is a bookmark on the timeline of my life, and it was a pure treat to hear it again live at the Bowl. And it was also pretty funny - and powerful - that Beck can get a whole crowd singing loudly "I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?" Calling themselves losers and asking to be killed is some serious lyric power, dude. "E-Pro" was next with its "Na na na na na na na!" chorus, that makes me think of E-Meter. No. At this point, my friend turned to me and said, "He's like a legit weirdo rock star. There aren't many of those anymore." True point of fact, and he also looks the SAME as he did when "Loser" dropped, for real. Rock keeps you young (if done the right way), clearly.

A quick little breather brought back Beck in a sparkly jacket and his whole crew on stage."Where It's At" was a total crowd pleaser, and also the answer to what was cool to be at on this night in L.A. THIS was where it was at. "That was a good drum break!" That led into band intros ("There's gonna be some preening!"), and each instrument did a little riff on a cover, from Talking Heads to Phil Collins (the drum standout) as Jason Falkner, Roger Manning, Jr, Dwayne Moore, Chris Coleman, Jake Sinclair, Cecilia Della Peruti, and Alex Lilly each got their well-deserved applause.

After a crowd singalong of "Happy Birthday" for Annie Clark (St. Vincent had her birthday this day, now I felt bad that we'd missed her spinning!), Beck got DOWN for "One Foot In The Grave" - a foot stomping, harmonica playing honky-tonker that the people loved. "He can do whatever he wants and everyone loves it", I said to my friend, and truly believed that he could have done polka jams and the crowd would have begun square dancing. Beck is a musical alchemist. "I think they're about to pull the plug on us, so the power might go out in the middle of this ...!" said Beck as they reprised "Where It's At" with full disco lighting and distorted vocals. The entire band electric slid sideways together off stage, and the crowd just kept on dancing. "That was some entertaining shit!" was overheard, and absolute fact. Beck puts on a SHOW.

Thank you, Beck! Thank you, Bowl! Another in a storied history of awesome shows. I'm so grateful for nights like these ... they really are what keep you going in this crazy world. It's like, WOW.

*Press photos courtesy of The Hollywood Bowl 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Vikings In Los Angeles!

It's common knowledge that I love my Minnesota Vikings, so when they were playing in L.A. for the first time since I've lived here - I was there. And so were like a zillion other Vikings fans - WOW! The train down to the Coliseum was jam packed with folks decked out in purple and gold, but that was nothing compared to the sea of purple on the visitors side once inside the massive and iconic old venue. Lines were LONG to get in, and team chants went back and forth getting everyone pumped up for the barnburner of a game.

You could tell the Rams fans were kind of taken aback, because it was hard to tell who the noise was for because the Vikings were just as loud - if not louder - than them every time something good happened for us. Viking horns and braids were well represented also, and I had one woman marvel as I passed by, "Ooh, you have REAL braids!" Yes, and they're real blonde too - another rarity in Los Angeles. I've now lived in L.A. almost as long as I lived in Minnesota, so I would definitely be rooting for the Rams if they weren't playing Minnesota. But they were, and I bleed purple. You understand.

The popular Rams chant "WHOSE House?!" (which was kind of funny since it's really USC's house, and the visual looked like it was the Vikings' house) was often drowned out by the Vikings "SKOL!" chant ... but the whole thing was very civil considering. Stefon Diggs (whose jersey I was wearing) and Adam Thielen were awesome, and you'd hear Rams fans saying so. The Rams guy (Goff?) was also excellent, and we'd shake our heads in envy when they'd complete another long pass. All the ribbing seemed to be in good humor - even though everyone still thinks it's clever and hilarious to do an exaggerated "Oh Yah, You Betcha!" to you when they see you in purple. Hint: It's not. And it gets pretty old. But we're Minnesota Nice, so we smile tightly and nod, keeping our disses to ourselves (usually).

The Vikings were not victorious this time, but they could have been. The game was a slug-fest the whole time, and if not for a fumble late in the game (and for Cousins taking forever to make a pass every time so he always gets sacked), might have gone the other way. But as I told a Rams fan guy at work - we won in our hearts. Because when you see that much purple in your chosen second hometown, it lets you know that you're not alone out here, and that feels good. As does finding out that our new kicker (Dan Bailey) can actually make a field goal - even if the first one did clank off the goal post in a brief moment of horror for any Vikings fan. They'll know what I mean.

So, SKOL, Vikings in L.A.!!! That was awesome. Glad to know you're all here! See you next time!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Bandit Forever

Burt Reynolds died on September 6, 2018, and very shortly after that a new mural went up on South Venice Boulevard near Speedway to honor this Hollywood legend.

The Bandit has been immortalized by Jonas Never, whose work shows up all over Venice. It's nice to see am image of Reynolds there in his prime, and it brought a smile to my face. My brother Paul does an impression of Reynolds that always makes me laugh (it involves gum chewing), and when I heard that Mr. Reynolds had passed away, I made Paul do the bit in his honor. And laughed again.

RIP, and thanks for the laughs, Burt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

TV On The Radio And Grizzly Bear Rock The Hollywood Bowl

It had been a while since I'd been able to collaborate with my brother, Paul, on a show project, so when we heard that TV On The Radio and Grizzly Bear were teaming up for a show at the Hollywood Bowl AND Paul was free ... we were there. I've been to a lot of great shows at the Bowl this summer, but none of them really fell into the "Rock" category - and that's what we were in the mood for.

A beautiful Harvest Moon was rising as we took our seats in the Bowl, but the opening act was not rock. It was more like a little bit more upbeat spa music, with modern dancers interpreting it. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith handled the synthesizer, while three dancers jumped around acting it out. It was o.k., but the Bowl was still pretty empty at this point, and most were pretty well focused on their picnics at this point (ours was courtesy of Bay Cities, and was delicious, thank you). I like listening to anything at the Bowl, so I was fully entertained, if a bit head scratching.

KCRW's Anne Litt took the stage to welcome everyone to the last "World Festival" show of the season, and got cheers just for being Anne Litt - deserved. KCRW is a great curator of shows, and this one was no different. I had read an article in the L.A. Times earlier in the week where both TV On The Radio and Grizzly Bear hinted at this being their last L.A. show - kind of going out with a bang at the big landmark venue that the Bowl is. They both sounded kind of over it and crabby (it was even entitled "Navigating Grumpy Old Manhood" - so we didn't really know what to expect for this show, but we were happy we'd see them before they hung it up. If they do.

TV On The Radio was up first, and they were "Very pleased to be with you here tonight!" Tunde Adebimpe said, "We're gonna blow it that way, and we hope you'll blow it back this way!" It was  very atmospheric to begin with, and then they kicked into "Young Liars" and we got that rock we'd been needing. Adebimpe was dancing all stiff-legged in his style, and soon the whole place was - especially the dude right in front of us - FEELING it.

"Lazerray" went off, as did "Golden Age" and "Province" (that features David Bowie on its recorded version). Horns chimed in on this one, and man, the brass always elevates things, don't they? Love it. The Bowl's bandshell was all psychedelic projections during their set, and that also elevated things, as there was always something fun to look at. Little kids were dancing in the aisles during "Happy Idiot", clearly brought out on a school night by parents that dug these guys 20 years ago.

"Could You", "Winter", ("This is a song about the climate heating up, and affecting people ... but that's not happening") and "Red Dress" were all awesome (with Kyp Malone and his beard alternating lead vocals with Adebimpe), and "Shout Me Out" had them all shading their eyes and looking into the audience for their friends at this hometown show (as they've all since moved to L.A. from Brooklyn). "Trouble" is the song I feel like the whole country needs to listen to right now, as Adebimpe sings, "Don't worry, be happy ... everything's gonna be o.k." ... and for a moment at the Hollywood Bowl - it was.

"Is it the full moon? Can you feel it?!" asked Adebimpe, and we sure did. It was beautiful out, and we felt the good vibes absolutely. "Repetition" was amped all the way up, super high energy for a song "Loosely about an amoeba ... that climbed out of the ocean ... became human ... got thumbs ... and the thumbs are now on a phone ... but you can vote with your thumb! Thumbs UP to the People!" Well, the dancers gave thumbs up to that, and the energy was so full throttle you thought it couldn't get any more hyped, but then they did "Wolf Like Me" and it was bedlam - at least in the box right in front of me. Thumbs up to THAT dude, 'cause he didn't let up for a second. Their last one was their first one, the debut single "Staring At The Sun" ... and it got TV On The Radio a standing ovation, for what we very much hope won't be their last time. They were AWESOME.

Intermission. Picnic. Wine. Chat with box neighbors. Compare notes on shows you've been to. Ignore the guy that said he'd seen them before and they were way better (there's always one of those guys). Look up at the moon. Lights go down - time for Grizzly Bear!

Grizzly Bear took the stage with no introduction, and started things off with the trippy sounds of "Aquarian". "Losing All Sense" was next, and singer Ed Droste (in his "With Pleasure" tee) commented that all three girls from its video were in the house. Fresh. "Cut Out" and "Yet Again" were both "Fine For Now" (then), but their energy just didn't match that of Tv On The Radio's set. Not even close (though the guy in front of me was just as active - it may have been substance-fueled though). It didn't help that their backdrop looked like an asbestos spiderweb, and they didn't utilize ANY lights or projections on the bandshell, so it just looked boring ... and kind of rubbed off on the sound, if I'm honest. It didn't feel special. It didn't feel like one's last show - if it was indeed that. (Grizzly Bear has more shows scheduled, but they're as openers for Florence & The Machine, not headlining their own Bowl show). Maybe it IS time for them to hang it up, if their boredom with it all is this relatable? The little kids were now dozing, and their parents seemed close.

"It's such an honor to play here, let alone with these guys", said Droste in a shout out to their openers. "Ready, Able" - "Mourning Sound" - "Sleeping Ute" - "Two Weeks" - "Foreground" - "While You Wait For Others" (for contrast, TVOTR got Bowie to do backing vocals ... Grizzly Bear had Michael McDonald on this one ... and their sets felt that different) ... one was hard to distinguish from the next.

They did "Knife" and the really good "Three Rings", and then Droste said, "The clock is ticking, so we can't have much banter, but thank you to the crew!" ... and rather than talk, they did another song, and "On A Neck, On A Spit" was probably the high point, with the bass player doing a quick change from bass to sax that was impressive.

"There's no encore, but we feel so lucky to live here! Thank you and good night!" and the house lights came up and that was that ... and we all ambled down the hill humming TV On The Radio tunes. No matter what you see at the Bowl, it's always a great time, and this gig was no different ... just less WOW than it usually is, musically. The venue and the stars (and that moon!) are always wow though, and as another season of wonderful Hollywood Bowl shows comes to a close, we can count our lucky stars that Los Angeles gets to have this special place to share these moments of togetherness and music. We love you, Hollywood Bowl!

Photos by Paul Gronner.

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Venice Saturday With Bikers And Burners!

It would be great if someone was visiting Venice for the first time this past Saturday, because they would have walked into what felt like good old Venice ... with fun and festivities for everyone - for free!

Clear blue skies and bright sunshine set the tone for the day. The roar of motorcycles woke the town early as the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club had their rally set for that afternoon, and they always kick it off with a group ride up the PCH, leaving bright and early - and loudly.

The rally itself felt a bit more sparsely attended than most years, with less bikes ... and for sure less babes, as there was no Miss Venice Vintage contest this year, so the venue was pretty dude heavy. I got there just in time to hear National Anthem rock the place, and split during the Cougar Getting, Jr. band that sounded a whole lot like AC/DC. People enjoyed checking out all the bikes, and the beer lines were well-attended. All looked to be a success ... but the beach was beckoning.

The Rayfield siblings (Dakota and Jackson) were tending bar together at Surfside, so we killed some time there until the sun started to set on the Venice Art Crawl Afterburn edition, which is when it got really spectacular to look at. The Burning Man burners brought a whole bunch of art installations to the beach at Windward Plaza, so the rest of us could get a little piece of desert Playa. The dragon was most impressive.

The Boardwalk was packed with partiers, and locals kept bumping into each other and couldn't stop smiling, because THIS is how we like to think of our Venice. Fun. Creative. Dancing. Art focused. Awesome, really. And PROUD - proud that visitors could be with us and see how Venice is supposed to be.

There was a big music box flame-thrower that served as headquarters for a Karaoke set, where someone was singing some buzzkill Adele when I walked by ... and quickly split down the way where more upbeat jams were being blasted.

There was a little pop up version of the great Rohitash Rao fake album covers show work.

If you needed some psychiatric help - you were covered.

If you felt like dancing in a big electric pineapple - no problem.

If you simply needed a hug - any variety of hug at all - someone would hook you up.

Of course, there were plenty of unofficial hugs to go around also, as every two feet you would bump into someone from Venice that you knew and loved ... even the Kosmick Krusader (Harry Perry) himself was there, looking right at home in front of a spaceship.

Several attractions had platforms for dancing on them, and one had to squeeze in real tight to get some dance partying in ... and it was a blast.

There were several things going on all over town Saturday night, but the more you hung out at the Afterburn, the more you realized you were staying put in Venice (Sorry, Bart Saric/Skatermade! Really wanted to be at the Everything Went Skate film release party ... but downtown!!). Moments like these, with the whole community dancing outside together under a huge moon surrounded by glowing art, are all too rare these days, and you have to stay put and soak them up!

There were little places to chill (inside the Yellow Submarine ... in a "Snailoon" ... on little hovercrafts), but most people were busy rocking out, many in their outfits leftover from Burning Man - only minus the dust. To glance around in any direction rewarded you with views of total and absolute fun.

There was a drum circle keeping time of it all, and that encouraged even more dancing around. Nights like this (and it was on all weekend long!) are truly why we live and love here in Venice, California.

A big bunch of Venice folks wrapped up the evening back at Surfside, with a performance from Jake Klassman, son of Bagel. RAD. Thank you to the V.A.C. and everyone involved with creating this wonderful gift to our Community! LOVE!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Last Days Of A Bohemian Paradise - An Evening With Dotan Saguy

I finally got to see Dotan Saguy's great photography show at Venice Arts last night for the closing reception and conversation that would kick off the four day Venice Art Crawl Afterburn extravaganza this weekend. Last Days Of A Bohemian Paradise shows off the Venice Boardwalk at its most beautiful and poignant, as we all know this last beach community of color is very much an endangered species. Saguy has been doing in photography what I have been doing with stories - trying to capture the beauty and originality of this place while it still exists.

Saguy's book of the same name was also being celebrated (and I'm creating a book of stories too!), and we got to see its wonderful photographs enlarged on the walls of the Venice Arts gallery, as local characters mingled and discussed the good old days - and what we still have. So far. Artists and hippies and all the character that has historically made Venice great is being evicted ... and we all have to ask, as the photo does below, Why are you doing this?

After an impromptu electric guitar set from Harry Perry that got folks dancing, we sat down to listen to Saguy speak on this fantastic photo project. It started super late (Venice Standard Time), but nobody seemed to mind, as Elisa from Venice Arts said, "Thank you for having a festive Venice attitude about the delay." Once the tech stuff got sorted out (maybe do that before the event next time, friends), Saguy shared the stories behind taking these photographs. He started shooting 25 years ago, and he knows that because he got a camera for a wedding present, and he and his professor wife just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. He took some classes and workshops, and assigned himself to go shoot Havana before it changed too much ... kind of like Venice.

Saguy won a National Geographic contest, and the prize was an assignment to South Korea, so he was now a real professional, and that gave him the encouragement to pursue photography as a full-time career. He was drawn to and felt connected to Venice (like most of us who chose to make it our home), and he showed a slide show of his progression in Venice. Saguy spent three years shooting the Boardwalk and its denizens, resulting in his beautiful book, completed in the summer of 2017. That was the year I reigned as Venice's Neptune Queen, and I was honored to be included in one of Saguy's photographs in the book (and am now coveting a print!).

Saguy talked about "how inclusive and generous (Venice) people are with each other ... with a tenderness to it all" ... and how that is all in danger. The project is so great that the press has been phenomenal, which brings an awareness to how special Venice is - and a responsibility to us all to preserve it. Saguy's method is best summarized by the acronym "D.I.E." - which stands for Design. Information. Emotion. - all of the elements he feels are necessary to make a great photo. And it's all there in every piece of his work. There was a photo of a surfer girl, that until he discussed it, I didn't really notice the organization and geometry of it all, and how he fills the frame with something interesting for the eye in the foreground, background, and the focal point. His pictures really are worth at least a thousand words.

Shooting in all Leica black and white lends a timeless quality to Saguy's work, and at times it's hard to tell if you're looking at the 60's or the future - should the future remain cool. That remains to be seen, and Saguy felt a responsibility and an urgency to document what still left of bohemian Venice, and create a record (same here, Brother). The Venice Freak Show, the homeless, skaters, body builders, surfers, gangsters, snakes ... they're all represented here, in all their glory. 

The Venice Boardwalk led Saguy back to Havana for his next project, where he will capture its own version of the Boardwalk, the Malecón. However, "I can't stop shooting Venice", so he's also at work on a project about the homeless and their pets, as well as one about Van Life. Awesome.

The Venice cast of characters celebrated with Saguy (seen below, the one who's not Harry Perry, Marcus Gladney, or Sunny Bak) until we got kicked out of Venice Arts and took it on over to James Beach, but I think we all felt happy to be together and to know that in some small way, we've all contributed to this creative mecca by the sea. With photos, stories, and each other - we'll always have Venice.

Last Days Of A Bohemian Paradise is available in book form and in photographic prints limited to 10 of each photo at Saguy will also be teaching a Leica master class in Venice, March 29-31, 2019 (information on his website).

Long Live Venice!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9 - A Must See For ALL Americans

Holy smokes. I just saw Fahrenheit 11/9 last night, and I can't get it out of my head. And neither will you. Because you simply MUST see it. There's so much in it that hasn't been in the news, that you don't know about ... I honestly am still having a hard time shutting my jaw.

You might have a bias against Michael Moore, because you think he's slanted or bombastic or whatever, and he certainly can be (like when Trump's voice comes out of Hitler's mouth- but the point is made). But this one is equally critical about both sides of our government - and it SHOULD be. One talking head makes the point that we're still TRYING to be a Democracy, as how can you say we've been a Democracy when not everyone has even had the right to vote for very long. We're still working TOWARD a Democracy. And Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans sometimes.

I left this film with a whole different feeling toward Obama too. Did you know that he went to Flint, Michigan (Moore's hometown - it's personal), and they all thought he was coming to save the day and call their poisoned water a national disaster (with the funding that goes along with that), and he came to town and asked for a glass of water to drink to show that it was o.k (when it is literally killing people and making their babies' hair fall out from lead poisoning!)?! While sitting next to the absolute EVIL villain Michigan Governor Snyder?! Did you further know that after all they've suffered through, Flint citizens awoke one night to being BOMBED by our own U.S. Army - using their abandoned buildings as target practice - without telling anyone it was going to happen?!?! It looked like an Iraq style bombing. OUTRGEOUS. And the people of Flint are imprisoned there, because who's going to buy their homes so they can move? No one. It's enough to make you defect. But to WHERE? The whole world feels corrupt.

There are images and statements from the current Despot/President that make your skin actually crawl, and look for barf bags. Then, just as you're fully nauseous from that pig's face, you have to admit that it was the Democrats that put him in the White House. Some of us already knew that, because we tried with all we had to elect Bernie Sanders - who a thousand percent would have won. To watch the delegates (while people who previously thought their votes counted watched and sobbed) LIE and give Hillary Clinton the nomination from states that Sanders 100% won, was to watch corruption at the highest level - and the death of Democracy (that we barely even had yet). No wonder so many people didn't bother to vote - they were made to feel like their votes didn't matter anyway. I personally lost good friends over being for Sanders over Hillary (absurd), but now I feel like maybe I should have been the one to dump them over it. The Democrats blatantly CHEATED - and now we're all paying for it. On that note - we simply MUST abolish the Electoral College. It's outdated, and was created for slave states. The popular vote being allowed its victory would never have placed us in this situation ... going back at least to Gore.

People (including myself) were yelling at the screen. Laughing out loud. Crying out loud. Hissing. Booing. Clapping. Mortified. Inspired. Inspired because the PEOPLE really DO have the power, as demonstrated by the West Virginia Teachers' strike earlier this year, that had tears running down my face at how dedicated and in solidarity they all were. THAT is what it takes. And the marches. And the activists. And the young people getting involved. And the individuals that take a stand against all of this ... what a wonderful montage that one is. I wish Moore would have ended on that (it ends on a sad, but powerful note), so that we could keep the momentum of the PEOPLE in our hearts as we left the theater ... but you still can. I can't beg you hard enough to PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE. And then PLEASE take whatever action you can personally, because that is what it is going to take. VOTE - that's the very least you can do. DEMAND the end to the Electoral College. SUPPORT new candidates that REALLY want to improve this country - and it's obvious who they are. Only then will we be able to rightfully claim that this big experimental country really IS a Democracy. Because it sure ain't right now. It's in our hands, and history will not be a kind judge if everyone just keeps looking at their phones and thinking they can't make a difference anyway. YOU. CAN.

PLEASE go see this outrageous (in the truest sense) film as soon as you can. Even if just so I can talk to you about it.

Fahrenheit 11/9 opens everywhere tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Be You!

There is a long mural stretching down Lincoln by the Venice Boys and Girls Club, and it's great.

Be Love. Be Beautiful. Be Kindness. Be Life. Be YOU (that part got cut off, but it's there in real life). What a lovely reminder as you're sitting in traffic. Think about it. Practice it.

BE it. Think how much better this place will be when people can follow these very basic principles.

Thank you, Boys and Girls!