DATELINE January 12, 2015
ELECTING A MAYOR. We’ll be talking about the many advantages of voting for one person to be our Santa Cruz mayor in a few weeks on Universal Grapevine. As of right now no one knows for sure who our next mayor is going to be. The system of giving the office to the next higher vote getter has been ignored often….just for personal controlling reasons by other council members. District voting has other facets, but maybe we need to examine that too. And learning just how dependent our City Council is on the City Staff and their decisions. There’s a lot of work and a lot of potentail here…if only enough citizens get involved.
These two guys are having a fabulous amount of fun, dancing to an Indian song. The original song/video is below – I don’t know which one is more amusing to watch!
LETTING THE PEOPLE VOTE!!! You’d think that after our City Council screwed up so poorly on trying to push through that De-Sal plant they would learn to let the people know when a city changing issue needed the people’s input. If you watched the December 9 City Council meeting where the Council once again raced and snuck through the purchase of that Lenco Bearcat Attack Truck you would have seen the Council in it’s absolute worst shape. Immature, inexperienced, dumbstruck were only part of the problem. You’d have seen Mayor Lynn Robinson dashing over to Cynthia Mathews of all people, to get whispered advice on how to handle Robert Nourse and other citizens who were trying to voice their concerns about the fairness and secrecy and rush involved with our city’s new Attack Truck. Check out Lenco Bearcat at Wikipedia you’ll see it has “Weapon mountable rotating roof hatch “, “Multiple side gun ports” and will carry “2 +10 passengers”, it has ” protection against chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and high-yield explosives”, a “common remotely operated weapon station”, a “Battering Ram attachment”, a “tear gas deployment nozzle”, and “radiation detection systems”. That’s just what Santa Cruz needs for those Halloween Celebrations or that always fearful Do It Yourself New Years Parade.When as many groups such as CodePink Santa Cruz, People United for Peace SC, Veterans for Peace SC, the People’s Democratic Club, ACLU -SC Chapter, the Santa Cruz Quaker Meeting, the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom- SC Branch, Sin Barras, Peace and Freedom Party SC, Jewish Voice for Peace SC, the Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project, Food Not Bombs, the Palestine-Israel Action Committee, the ISLAH Reparation Project, Women in Black SC, and Media Watch/Youth Radio Project all organizing against this Attack Truck , you know something is wrong. And a 6 to 1 raced- through vote to get that Attack Truck immediately by our Santa Cruz City Council. Shame.And what about citizen feedback on the proposed Metro Center, or how about getting public feedback on the wharf remodeling?
THE BEARCAT ATTACK VEHICLE BY ANY OTHER NAME. Now that we know BEARCAT stands forBallistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck and now we all know how it’s really going to be used…let’s vote and change the name to “G.A.R.B.A.G.E” that would be Government Approved Reactionary Backstop Against Garden-variety Environmentalists.
Here’s that song I was talking about…
SANDY LYDON’S LAST HISTORY CLASS AT CABRILHO. I took Sandy Lydon’s Santa Cruz County History Class at Cabrilho back in the mid 70’s. Quite honestly, it changed my life. That class gave me all I needed to become completely devoted to living in Santa Cruz county for the rest of my life. Sandy and the class taught me the foundations, the background, and a deep appreciation of how this county developed and the enormous potential we enjoy from our lives here. He’s teaching the class just one more time. I asked him to sketch out some class details so that newcomers and old timers would understand the scope of the class. He wrote six pages…read every page, especially if you ever want to serve in office, or have served in office. AND don’t forget…any of Lydon’s graduates will tell you, the class is one hell of a lot of fun.
The title of the class… History 25A – Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay Region to 1880. Data… 8 Friday evening lectures beginning January 30 and ending May 8. Time: 6:30 – 10:00 PM. It’s in Room 450 “The Forum” on the Aptos Campus of Cabrilho/Cabrillo College. Yes, you have to register, and do it ASAP before it fills up (which it will)
GOOD NEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR!!! Sharon and I would always start the New Year with a walk at Sea cliff Beach, maybe even a breakfast with neighbors. This year was as wonderful as the rest, with lots of nice memories. Sea Cliff Beach Park is the best. The Cement Ship sinks a little lower each year, but will be there much longer than I will. Friends and neighbors still are there, walking and saying good morning. The Memory Wall decorated with tiles and names of those who no longer are with us is still there. Could it be the absentee landowner has had a change of heart and isn’t going to rip them down? Safeway also is no longer involved with the Rancho Del Mar “upgrade”. The property has changed hands at least twice since it was sold more than two years ago, from PDC (Safeway’s Property Development Corporation), to Cerberus, a larger shopping center conglomerate, to still another corporation. Could it be that these people are getting the clue that mega-stores don’t fit anywhere in Aptos? We’re also starting the year with a solid majority of environmentally committed citizens on Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors. THANK YOU SCWD VOTERS!!!
(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).
PATTON’S PROGRAM.Gary talks about another City Council “CLOSED” session about buying property at 521 Front Street. Then the Seaside Company wants to chop down a heritage tree….will the city Council let them (HA!!). Gary then talks about a joint meeting of Monterey and Santa Cruz county Supervisors and some “Working Lands Resolution” ie logging McPherson’s Scotts Valley and Ryan Coonerty’s North Coast. He describes the annual “Eco-Farm” happening Jan.21-24 at Asilomar. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net
More Bollywood… from the critically acclaimed and somewhat non-typical movie Dil Se, this song was an international success. I have my doubts as to whether this is how a young Indian woman would experience a train ride being the only female on board, but it’s a sweet video and wonderful song. Click the little cc icon – there are English subtitles to the lyrics.
CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Nipping skateboarding in the bud….scroll lower down a few pages.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. The race is to the swift…or something like that…check out Tim Eagan’s broadside below a bit.
SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Concert #3 in their series is titled “Evolution of a new Kind of Trio”. They are bringing the much lauded Black Cedar Trio here to perform music by Mozart, Paganini, Kolosko, and Chinery Ung. They play Flute, Cello and Guitar and that makes them pretty rare, right there. The concerts are Saturday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. Concerts are held in the Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, up behind the CHP office just off Freedom Blvd. Tickets probably at the door.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: ” Happy New Year to all! I’ve been on temporary hiatus from the blog, on deadline for my next book project while trying to keep up with the new movies and navigating the holidays. In the meantime, catch up with my latest film reviews at here, and look out for my Top Ten Films of 2014 in last week’s (Jan. 7) Good Times.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
THAT IS THE QUESTION
(IN ORDER OF PERFECTION)
SELMA. Given the state of racial affairs in the USA and the world today, this movie should be seen by every thinking human. It’s a powerful document of a shameful historic period in our history that should never be forgotten. There are many facts, lessons, and messages here that need repeating over and over again, no matter how well you think you remember or understand our Civil Rights issues. It gives us a real picture of Martin Luther King and David Oyelowo portrays him beautifully. Tom Wilkinson isn’t a great LBJ but he tries hard and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99, so there you are. Go see it.
THE IMITATION GAME. Excellent film, and if you care a lot about authenticity look it up on Wikipedia (much artistic license) but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a fine film Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightly as his best friend are nearly perfect. It’s all about breaking the code that the Germans were using during WWII. Turing invents a machine, and in spite of his extra odd personality, the Germans are defeated. The sub theme of Turing’s then illegal homosexuality, and the deathly consequences he paid for it are strangly underplayed, but significent. See this fine film asap.
INHERENT VICE. I can’t review this film fairly. I can’t “get into” Thomas Pynchon’s books and this film is an excellent adaptation of his 2009 Los Angeles themed novel. Like his books the film’s plot weaves and staggers leaps ahead and falls back. Here’s what a friend of mine who knows Pynchon as a friend said of the film…” Upon further reflection, I realize now that when I said the movie was schizophrenic, what I was feeling was that there was no coherent thematic feel (despite a cinematic unity/style) but that THAT is precisely the nature of Tom’s writing. His stock in trade is the mixture of high and low culture, profane/sacred, slapstick/goofiness with high art/glorious writing. This and his (consistent) paranoid/anti-authoritarian/pro-individual themes contributes to his status as a primary source of “postmodern” literature. We like our stories to be linear and with a consistent theme or tone, whether books or movies, despite our own experience that real life is a hodgepodge of conflicting occurrences and desires, successes and failures, punches out of left field, transcendent grace, whacky/strange/unpleasant thoughts, wistful memories of lost loves/opportunities, etc. creating a general posture of “Huh?” This befuddlement and all of society’s attempts to “explain” or provide coherency/context (religion, morality, philosophy, politics, etc.) at the expense of individual spontaneous expression and our general turning away from looking at the usually disastrous, and evil consequences and actions of these (corporate/fascist) control mechanisms is a central theme of Tom’s writing. That Yin/Yang “chaotic” nature is, I think, what I was feeling and it perfectly captures Tom’s writing style. So I think this movie is a resounding success not only in presenting the primary story line but in somehow capturing the quality of the writing in the film. It is not a film for everybody, nor are the books”. A complex review , a complex film, and a very complex writer.
UNBROKEN. More than a few critics have remarked about director Angelina Jolie’s focus on male torture in this near-true saga. It’s a Hollywood product, all heroism, suffering, payoff at the end, and unless you need to feel bad, think twice before you see this one.
BIG EYES. Thomas Kinkade must have picked up all his marketing of kitsch art from Walter Keane (and from Margaret Keane) Most of us who’ve lived in Nor Cal any amount of time remember the invasion of the Big Eyes paintings back in the 1950’s and 60’s centering in San Francisco’s North Beach and spreading all over the world. Both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz play odd roles and do it well. It’s an absolutely fascinating story, well worth seeing.
INTO THE WOODS. By now we all know the cast, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden Johnny Depp, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick.We know too that Stephen Sondheim wrote the music, and yet it misses. It’s a clever mixing of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, and still it doesn’t hang together. The plot is crazy and lacks cleverness, the singing is what you’d expect fom that lineup of non-singing stars, and you’ll just sit there and watch the screen and leave unimpressed.
THE GAMBLER. Mark Wahlberg tried hard to re-create what James Caan did in this same film back in 1974 with Paul Sorvino and Lauren Hutton, and fails miserably. This is just another dirty crime, bloody action mess. What’s crazy is that we’re supposed to believe that Wahlberg is an university English Professor who either gambles—or teaches— on the side. Whichever!!! His class room scenes are absolutely insane. Don’t go.
THE INTERVIEW. Yes, I saw that desperate, anti-North Korea gross-out attempt at a comedy. More than that, I saw it Christmas night with daughter Jennifer at famed Hollywood theatre, The Crest.The Crest was built in 1940 and has been named a cultural landmark. Three TV Stations were there to cover any and all action as this indy theatre defied the SONY ban on distribution. James Franco and Seth Rogen should be very ashamed to appear in as ignorant, vile, unclever film like this. The only funny line in it was when Rogen said about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, “he’s gone to bed with more women than Ellen De Generes“.
STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
FROM BEST TO REALLY BAD
BIRDMAN. Great cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia.The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything, is a physicists’ jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.
WILD. Any Santa Cruzan will be totally sucked in when Reese Witherspoon starts hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and starts reading a copy of one of Adrienne Rich’s books. Somebody mentions Adrienne latsr in the film too. Cheryl Strayed did hike the PCT and wrote the book.Thomas Sadoski from HBO’s The Newsroom is in it too. Good acting, a few award nominations are already happening and it’s a very good feel-good movie. Not a great movie but a good feel good thing….especially for women.
FOXCATCHER. This is one of the most odd movies I’ve ever seen. You’ll spend almost the entire time just watching Steve Carell’s eagle beak fake nose. Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum look and act like a sequel to Planet of The Apes. It’s creepy, non-focussed and I’m not sure why they made the film. Carell will be nominated for sure for something. du Pont was a real psycho and thought he was Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama and a Russian czar according to Wikipedia
INTERSTELLAR. This over hyped piece-of-crap movie starring Mathew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Anne Hathway should refund every admsssion dollar it takes in. It’s pretentious, full of phoney intelligence, and uses such concepts as black holes, three dimensions and even five dimensions, singularity, string theory and voices from “them” who exist beyond Saturn. It’s not as bad as UCSC’s recent production of Birth Of Stars ..but almost. Once in a great while I’ll look up other critics to see who’s with me in disliking (or seeing) a film the way I do. Here’s what Critic David Thomson of the New Republic wrote…check it out
HUNGER GAMES, Mockingjay Part 1. A stunning cast, plus what has to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s really, really last role–forever. He’s joined by Julienne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks….and it’s a waste of your time and money. That is unless you’ve read the Hunger Games trilogy. Ashlyn Adams of Westside Video read the books, saw this movie, and even then said this new film is puzzling. I could not follow the plot, who’s good, who’s evil…and what is it all about anyways. And Jennifer Lawrence the star of the Games carries a bow and arrow while everyone around her shoots and kills things with future zap and zing future type weapons. I repeat DO NOT GO unless you’ve read all three books and even then Ashlyn says you can’t always trust anybody in the story.
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. This is supposed to end the Hobbit trilogies, but considering the huge opening weekend they’ll probably squeeze another dwarf flick and go for four. Yes, Martin Freeman is still in it as Bilbo Baggins, the titular lead of the little people. So is Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and good old Ian Holm for two minutes at the end. Like Exodus it’s all done with pixels, and it’s impossible to tell one army fromanother. It’s very bloody and violent as all these billion dollar money makers are. So if you want to support more of these torture scenes, just go.
A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. Not even Robin Williams in his last role gets a laugh here neither does Mickey Rooney in his last cameo appearance.Even with Owen Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Steve Coogan, Dick Van Dyke, Hugh Jackman, andmostly Ben Stiller in two roles, it’s not a funny film. They try very hard, but the joke material has run out on late night museum happenings. Save your money.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. January 13 has land use attorney Bill Parkin catching us up on issues and environmental law suits around the county. He’s followed by newly re-elected Bruce Jaffe director of the Soquel Creek Water District. On Jan.20 KUSP Opera spinner Jim Emdy and I talk about the Northern California Opera Scene. Then Michael Horne impresario of Pulse Productions tells us about bringing the stars to Santa Cruz. On January 27 Marilyn Citron O’Rourke former mayor of Benicia and Linda Bixby once councilperson in Benicia discuss some ideas and alternatives to our present form of City Government. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at email@example.com
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!
QUOTES. “My car only had one previous owner—Coco the clown“, Lenny Windsor. “If I’d known I was going to live so long I would have taken better care of myself”, Leon Eldred. “I’d like to be a procrastinator, but I never seem to get around to it“, Chris Dundee.
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.
Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.