BRATTON…What a city, Swimming Pool, Library garage, election info, MAH matters. GREENSITE…on Placido Domingo and other sexual abuse stories. KROHN…DeLaveaga Park, good council meeting, city bail, corridor plan dropped, Water Street Bridge plaque…STEINBRUNER…More trees, fire tax postponed, being a leader class, Sustainable groundwater. PATTON…Earth alienation. EAGAN…Deep Cover and Sub Con classics. JENSEN…reviews Official Secrets. BRATTON…I critique Nightingale, Honeyland. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Alabama”
BURNING MAN 2019. Some year I’ll get there!!
MOZART AND PING PONG. Stick with it…it’s nutty!
DATELINE SEPT. 9
WHAT A CITY!
It’s impossible to place any of Santa Cruz’s issues in any order of importance. The re-call of two of our city council. Building a library garage. Watering and supporting our golf course. Opening and maintaining a city swimming pool. Creating lower and middle income housing. Dealing with the growing UCSC student problems and growing population. Losing the trust and culture in our County Museum of Art & History. The crush of Silicon Valley’s money changing the very nature of our city. The national and international problem of homeless and hunger. A BIGGER QUESTION— is Santa Cruz really changing or is it the gloom, doom and hatred coming from Washington, D.C. splitting us too?
HARVEY WEST SWIMMING POOL. Activist and involved citizen Fred Geiger tells us…
Just think about the Harvey West pool finances. It looks like the progressives want to keep it open at least 1/2 of the year. Apparently the previous arrangement had the Jim Booth swim school paying $75K a year for exclusive use of the pool, but the City costs were $175K? Now City Staff is claiming a much higher cost for its operation. Was this previous arrangement a sweetheart deal for some friend of a previous Council majority?
COMMUNITY COMMONS NOT A GARAGE. 10 Reasons why No Garage library. The Campaign For Sustainable Transportation’s email has some absolutely necessary points to make about why a new car garage won’t work… check it out…
ELECTION NEWS. A few pages below, Becky Steinbruner says “County Supervisors Zach Friend, John Leopold and Bruce McPherson are all up for re-election, and their primary election is in March, 2020.
MAH MATTERS CONTINUED. It seems that no County or city officials care or dare to take on the complex financial and management problems that exist at our Museum of Art & History. I continue to receive information from deep inside MAH, in hopes that what could and should be one of our most important and meaningful institutions might one day return to its important role in our community. Here’s one note from a MAH person last week… “Note that the MAH is “fiscally” supporting Nina Simon’s organization. Who knows about this? Note that the interim Exec. Director is on the Board Of Trustees of Nina’s OF/BY/FOR ALL organization.
Note that quite a few MAH board members are either on the board of Nina’s new venture, or listed as advisers—Peter Orr, for example, and all the MAH Exec. Committee are all advisers. It appears to me that all these people have been bought off, probably loath to criticize her—for their moment of so-called reflected glory. So it appears that the current MAH board will never do anything to effect change.
So is there a line item on MAH financials that shows how much “fiscal” support they give to Nina’s pet project, of/by/for/all? I’m sure the MAH Exec. Committee knows, but no one else?”
THE BIGGER THEY ARE…
The latest titan to be charged with sexual assault is Placido Domingo, the current general director of the Los Angeles Opera. I found the story shared by one of his victims to be particularly galling. I’m no stranger to stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment. As founder and head of Rape Prevention Education at UCSC for 30 years, my role was to encourage students to come forward, to listen to their stories and offer support and resources. Frequently I was the first person to hear their stories. This was long before the #MeToo movement. All stories were poignant. One theme was universal: shame. All who suffered sexual assault or sexual harassment at the hands of another, felt shame and self-blame. This is understandable only in a culture, which uses a different standard for women than it does for men for enjoying the same freedoms. If a female drinks too much at a party and flirts she is “asking for it.” The “it” here is the unexamined “right” of any man to sexually exploit her lack of decorum, her failure to protect her virginity, that eons-old control of female sexuality to ensure private property is handed down to legitimate heirs. That most men don’t exercise that “right,” says a lot of positive things about most men but nonetheless, many do. Not all cultures have historically defined female sexuality in these terms but the ones we have inherited do just that.
The story that I found particularly galling was described by the then, 28 year-old opera singer, Angela Turner Wilson to The Associated Press. According to her story, Domingo roughly grabbed her bare breast under her robe as they were preparing to go on stage for a production of Le Cid, the highlight of the Washington Opera’s 1999-2000 season. The opera was also being filmed and the performance was a huge career boost for the young second female lead. So far nothing out of the ordinary. What female hasn’t had to endure, laugh off, groan or feel scared in the face of a grinning male grabbing her breast or other bodily parts. Our president boasts about it. What made this story particularly galling for me was that Angela Turner Wilson, after enduring a rough grab of her breast by Domingo, had to immediately go on stage and “act like I was in love with him.” And her career was at stake! In my imaginary re-telling, Le Cid does not have a happy ending.
Such big-name men whose past and present sexual assaults have been exposed via the #MeToo movement have finally been brought to justice or at least the loss of hero-worship. I wonder at the other end of the socio-economic scale if the manager of a fast food restaurant has stopped cornering the new young female hire and making sexist propositions? Or if today’s younger workers are more respectful, more egalitarian? The research so far does not look hopeful. Over 60 percent of Silicon Valley professional female employees at big name firms have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination such as being asked to do menial tasks not asked of their male counterparts. Men are sometimes the victims and women sometimes the perpetrators, but overwhelmingly, the sexual abuse is instigated by males in positions of power over females. Domingo claims the norms in the past were different. He has a point there. In the past, women shut up and kept sexual assault and sexual harassment a private, painful secret, protecting their attackers with self-blame and self-doubt. That corner has been turned. New norms encourage females, males and transgendered to speak out and name their abusers. The biggest challenge is how to address potential abusers, preferably when they are young enough to learn new norms of respect and equality. Parents need guidance and skills on how to prepare young boys to transition successfully to manhood. Schools need to embrace sex education that goes beyond pregnancy and disease prevention and talks about sexual relationships. Having strong sexual desires is human. What we do with those desires is a social issue that reflects the relative status of women and men in any society. Prior to colonialism, rape was rare in most American Indian tribes.
I recently gave a lecture on rape for a Human Sexuality class at UC Berkeley. The prof. had asked some written questions in the context of the #MeToo movement and a sizable percentage of young heterosexual males expressed confusion on how to act in a sexual context. Would anything they said or did be taken as an offense? Sometimes that is used to discredit the movement but often its honest confusion. Talk about the need for a conversation! First, all genders need to be sexual subjects. It’s a norm to expect the male to initiate sex and cultural practices vary in how strictly that is practiced. So we educate males that they need affirmative consent. All good, except that advice keeps females confined in the role of sexual object. And consent means different things to different people. A smile is sufficient consent for Barry whereas for Brian, only an enthusiastic yes to a specific sexual request is consent. Brian is less likely to offend than is Barry. Hopefully Brenda also feels fine about asking Brian or Betty if they would like to be more sexually intimate…and listens to and respects the answer. If the downfall of big names like Placido Domingo brings us closer to more egalitarian sexual relationships, and inhibits those in power from abusing it, then we know we are moving in the right direction.
|Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association http://darksky.org Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.|
One too many meetings not long ago I heard our Parks Director let slip, “And then there’s DeLa…” I couldn’t hear anything else he said after that as those two syllables rattled me. The words rang in my ears for days after. I had not heard this reference before, that is the vagary substitution, a four-letter impersonation with a bit of onomatopoeic tonal pop, for our spacious, wild in places, and always a beatific local refuge, DeLaveaga Park. We’ll talk golf in a second, but what about naming rights first. DeLa, similar to Cali, Norcal, Frisco, and Sandy Eggo, all represent the linguistic cheapening of our local and state historical and cultural foundations. It’s perhaps a form of ‘pop-linguistic creep’ into our local and state lexicon. DeLaveaga Park, California, Northern California, San Francisco, and San Diego all spring from deep histories, part imperial and part descriptive, but all well-earned through blood and treasure. (Oh yeah, then there’s Midtown, but don’t even get me started there.) The park, named after its benefactor, Jose Vicente deLaveaga, contains six miles of hiking trails, numerous picnic areas, softball fields, a frisbee disc golf, and yes, the DeLaveaga Golf Course and Lodge.
Local historian, Ross Gibson, wrote:
His love of nature led him in 1887 to purchase a forested estate of hills and canyons, which had grown to 565 acres by 1892 and was valued at $81,500. He laid out a network of bridle trails and planted trees, vineyards, citrus and nut groves and rare plantings from around the world. The estate was watered by five springs and 14 streams plus a flume along Branciforte Creek powering a waterwheel. (First published in the San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 1, 1994)
Golf Course Deficits
Since at least the year 2000, the DeLaveaga golf course has been in the city budget conversation. It has run a deficit for much of that time. It is unclear how it went from the realm of “enterprise fund,” a city service that pays for itself and maybe even raises revenue, to now relying on the city’s General Fund to make ends meet. This year, more than $750,000 is set aside to fix the golf course hole in the city budget. This comes on the heels of our city shelling out more than $800,000 to remodel the restaurant that is also part of the golf course operations. Since fiscal year 2013 the golf course has sucked in close to $4 million of General Fund revenue. What?!? That is money that could have been used to underwrite other Parks and Rec. programs, or operate a 24/7 year-round shelter, or help fund childcare for working parents, or fix the showers at the Homeless Resource Center. Yes, there are a lot of needs in this city and as much as I might empathize with golfers–my Dad was a golfer, my brother was a golfer–I believe we could get a consensus from local residents that subsidizing golf should in fact be a low priority for this city. Can I get an “Amen?”
The military presence began in 1901. The armory took over the zoo site after 1933, blocking off the main entrance, and later the Naval Reserve blocked the Parkway entrance. (Gibson, 11-1-94)
Deep State Golf: Follow the Money
Who runs this business you might ask? It has been a family, The Loustelots, in control for almost 50-odd years, and they have been odd because the city for at least the past ten years has received no economic benefit from their business. The senior Loustelot, Gary, started at DeLaveaga in 1970 and was a revered figure in the local golfing community. But for now, my question is simple: why can’t the golf course balance its budget? While the community’s swimming pools’ open hours have been cut to the bone, as the weeds on parking medians continue unabated, and the bathrooms at Loudon Nelson Community Center go unattended and are locked to the general public, the golf course gets a pass and continues to go on in a sea of red ink. In 2010, a study commissioned by the city was done for the “purpose…to evaluate the performance of the golf course and develop strategies to make it self-supporting.” Deficit spending has continued. The bleeding of city coffers has gone on far too long and it is time for the golf course, aka The Loustelots, to allow the city to raise green fees, maybe even kick in a higher percentage of alcohol and merchandise revenue, and finally get the course off life support and into the black.
Over its lifetime, DeLaveaga has contained 14 park areas, including an 1894 covered bridge, three movie studios complete with false-front architecture, an amphitheater, rifle and archery ranges, and the “Flying Links” Frisbee golf course. (Gibson, 11-1-94)
The Buck Stops at the Council?
The city council will take up the golf course business operation at its Sept. 10th meeting. If 40,000 rounds of golf are played next year, like this year, then the average green fee must be raised by $18.75. We need a plan that raises fees at least that amount. There is no plan yet before the council that would see the golf course break even. The current plan is to only run lower deficits at least until 2023. I believe most would agree that the city does not have to subsidize golf, we can’t, and there are too many greater needs. Yes, of course, the high school teams should be given some leeway, non-profits allowed exceptions to run fundraising tournaments, residents given a discount over out-of-towners, but for the most part we need to the De-la golf course to balance its books.
[DeLaveaga] died in Santa Cruz at age 50. His will left $775,000 of his $900,000 estate to charity, with bequests to his servants, friends, Protestant and Jewish hospitals and orphanages, the needy of Spain, Mexico and Switzerland, local societies protecting animals and children, and Golden Gate Park. (Gibson)
Pretty Good Council meeting on Aug. 27th
In case you missed it, we had a pretty good meeting with some significant results:
- We moved the city “bail” schedule–amount paid for fines–to the Public Safety committee for discussion.
- Voted to terminate the corridors plan and council directed staff to meet with neighborhood groups to discuss development in their neighborhoods and what a more effective plan might look like.
- Council approved the placement of an historic plaque on Water St. Bridge to remember the victims of lynchings that took place there in 1877.
- A Planning Commission subcommittee was dissolved because it had previously been shown to be too cozy with applicants thus compromising judgment on major projects coming to the commission.
- A resolution of support for Ocasio-Cortez and Markey’s Green New Deal passed unanimously.
- The council passed Vision Zero Traffic Policy with the intent of reaching zero bike and pedestrian fatalities (with direction to staff to come back to council if certain “projects would be delayed”
- The council ordered the public restroom at city hall to be opened throughout the day. It had been closed for at least the past couple of years.
- Finally, the city council voted to limit the existing policy that allowed parks director to close parks for undetermined amounts of time without council input. Now the council must be notified 7 days ahead of planned closure, or 24 hours after emergency closure and Parks director must come to council to for approval of any closure longer than 21 days.
REMEMBER, CLIMATE WEEK IS COMING, SEPT. 20-28!
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.
Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE TREES, PLEASE
I heard a very interesting report last week on National Public Radio (NPR) about the importance of large trees and the health of urban dwellers. The report talked about a study showing that when trees disappear from urban areas, the overall health of the people who live there degrades. Many urban areas are losing their grand trees to make room for dense, tall developments with reduced set backs from the streets and property lines. It is happening here in Santa Cruz County and in the City of Santa Cruz, too.
It makes sense that having large trees to shade and cool neighborhoods and commercial spaces is a logical solution to creating inviting places for people to live and work, while providing habitat for birds and insects. That is why Mr. Chris Berry, on behalf of the County Fish and Wildlife Commission, submitted a letter to the County Board of Supervisors at their August 6, 2019 meeting and asked them to strengthen and expand the County’s Significant Tree Ordinance. The current ordinance is only effective in the coastal areas. Many members of the public testified in support of that action then, but the Supervisors have taken no action.
Please write the Supervisors and ask that our venerable trees be saved…and to tailor new development to preserve the trees, not destroy them. That the Planning Commission approved the MidPen Housing Project on Capitola Road and had no problem with chain sawing over 100 trees on the site is unbelievable…even when local long-time residents showed them photos of hawks and herons resting in the tress at the site. CEQA-exempt?? Unbelievable.
Ryan Coonerty email@example.com
Greg Caput firstname.lastname@example.org
Zach Friend email@example.com
John Leopold firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce McPherson email@example.com
Jillian Ritter firstname.lastname@example.org
the Clerk of the Board is at (831) 454-2200 during business hours.
PROPOSED NEW FIRE TAX ON RURAL PROPERTIES POSTPONED AGAIN
The County Board of Supervisors were to have publicly discussed a proposed new public benefit tax on all rural properties to fund County Fire Dept. protection on August 27, but when people protested the idea during a Bonny Doon Town Hall meeting, the discussion disappeared from the agenda. It was supposed to be discussed this week, on September 10, according to Supervisor Zach Friend, but it still is not on the agenda for public discussion. HMMMM…..
Maybe the County Administrative Officer (CAO) Carlos Palacios, who tricked the County voters into approving the Measure G new half-cent sales tax last November with the claim that it would fund fire and emergency response needs, BUT WILL ACTUALLY PROVIDE ZERO DOLLARS TO THOSE AGENCIES is trying to figure out a new way to trick rural voters into accepting the proposed new fire protection tax.
Maybe the Board needs to be honest and admit they have repeatedly REFUSED TO FUND COUNTY FIRE WITH SOME OF THE $18 MILLION THAT COMES TO THE COUNTY VIA STATE SALES TAX MONEY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY UNDER PROP 172. County Fire Dept. gets ZERO of that. Law enforcement gets 99.5% of the money, and only a crumb of 0.5% remainder of the money goes to the County Fire Chiefs Association…and no one can provide verification of how that money gets spent. Those meetings are not public, so you and I cannot even go ask. The website is private, so you and I cannot send a message to ask: where is the money going?
Why is the County Board of Supervisors neglecting to fund fire and emergency response to the residents in the rural areas of the County?????
The wildland fire last week on Bear Creek Road should be a wake-up call for everyone, especially the Board of Supervisors.
This really needs to be investigated by the State Attorney General. Please write and ask for an investigation
WHAT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CAN DO TO BECOME A CERTIFIED FIREWISE COMMUNITY
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a program to help people organize at a grassroots level to improve fire defensible space and overall fire safety in their community, and some insurance companies recognize the benefit and reduce insurance premiums of those policyholders. Learn more about this at a FREE educational event at the Aptos Library on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7pm-8pm. You can contact me if you have questions.
Here is information about the Program and certification process: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA
FREE TRAINING TO BE A LEADER FOR THE PEOPLE
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) website has some great information for anyone interested in learning more about being a local government leader. The Institute only happens every two years, but there is a wealth of information on the website.
Candidates for local government office, such as County Supervisor, can begin this Thursday, Sept. 12, to collect signatures of people who support you in your candidacy and help reduce the amount of money you might have to file to run for office. Here is the website
County Supervisors Zach Friend, John Leopold and Bruce McPherson are all up for re-election, and their primary election is in March, 2020.
Soquel Creek Water District Directors Tom LaHue and Bruce Daniels are also up for re-election in 2020, but their election will not happen until November….you have more time to consider running for that critical office.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER IN THE MIDCOUNTY AREA?
Now is the time to take a look at the Santa Cruz MidCounty Groundwater Agency Draft Sustainability Plan and submit your written comments before September 19. Read the Draft Plan online here or in hard copy at the local libraries (you may have to ask the librarian to see it, as it is not on the reference shelves).
I am concerned that the Plan is biased in support of Soquel Creek Water District’s plan to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water for the area.
A VERY SAD LOSS OF A WONDERFULLY KIND SPIRIT
The tragic diving boat fire in Southern California claimed the life of a really kind woman, Vaidehi Campbell. She was passionate about helping people learn more about water, and was patient and kind. She once helped me access some important documents at the Soquel Creek Water District Office when I arrived a few minutes after their 5pm closing time and the doors were locked. She saw me looking in at the door, parked her car, and went inside the office to retrieve the critical document for me. Other staff there had passed by and looked the other way, but Vai went out of her way to help me. She was always so kind to me.
I will miss her, and am so sorry for her family, as well as for the families of all the others who perished in the fire. I am reminded of my good friends, Dave and DeeDee Houghton and their two young sons whose small airplane crashed into the medical offices near the Watsonville Hospital and burned. I still miss them.
Send good thoughts to these families and a gentle “thank you” to the kind souls of Vai Campbell, and the Houghton family.
WRITE ONE LETTER. MAKE ONE CALL. ATTEND A PUBLIC MEETING. BE KIND, AND MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
Cheers, Becky Steinbruner
Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.
Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com
#250 / Earth Alienation
On June 29, 2019, Roger Berkowitz published an essay he called, “Human Being in an Inhuman Age.” Berkowitz is an Associate Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights, and is the Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College. My advice is to subscribe to the Hannah Arendt Center newsletter, Amor Mundi, and to read what Berkowitz and other contributors have to say as the newsletter comes to your inbox each week.
In his recent essay, linked above, Berkowitz has this to say:
For Hannah Arendt, the launch of Sputnik … was … an event “second in importance to no other.” Sputnik meant that human beings had taken a real step toward actualizing a long-wished-for goal: to escape the earth. In Arendt’s telling of the story, earth alienation is part and parcel of the all-too-human dream of freeing ourselves from our humanity. Sputnik’s launch thus signified not simply the lowering of humanity’s stature, but humanity’s destruction of humanity itself.
By destroying humanity, Arendt does not mean the replacement of working people by robots or even the possibility of nuclear Armageddon. The danger Sputnik poses to humanity is something else. She names the danger “earth alienation.”
At the core of Arendt’s concept of earth alienation is her imagination of earthliness as an inextricable part of the human condition. As Arendt writes, “The Earth is the very quintessence of the human condition . . . ”
For Arendt, to be human is to be earthly. We are born. We die. We make our way in a world that is mysterious. While we humans can also make and remake our human condition, our earthliness remains as the simple fact that our lives on earth are ultimately subject to fate and fortune beyond our control. The earth is Arendt’s name for that one condition of man’s world—his being a free gift from nowhere—that has been part of the human condition since the beginning of human history.
I have advanced what I call the “Two Worlds Hypothesis,” which suggests that we cannot really understand our existence without understanding that we live in “two worlds,” simultaneously. We usually don’t make this distinction, and many of our most difficult problems come from the fact that we don’t. We conflate our two-fold existence to the idea that we live in one world only. This is the human world that we create, that “political world” that I reference in the title to this daily blog.
While we do, most immediately, live in a world that we create together, we ultimately live in and must depend upon the “World of Nature,” too. This is the “World that God Created,” to use a religious language that seems fine to me, but that many people might not like. That World of Nature is “mysterious,” as Arendt mentions in the quotation provided by Berkowitz. We didn’t create it, and yet here we are! We are totally dependent upon that World of Nature. In any ultimate sense, we are creatures, not creators.
To be honest – as Arendt always sought to be ruthlessly honest – we try to avoid recognizing that our human world is, in fact, wholly dependent upon a world that we did not create, and a world into which we have been most mysteriously born. Our world takes second place to the “World of Nature,” or the “World that God Created.” You can pick some other way to describe it, if you like, but by whatever name we call it, this is the world that ultimately sustains all life, and upon which we are totally dependent.
Since human beings have gone to space, we can now see that the World of Nature that sustains us is nothing other than Earth itself. Remember, if we are honest, we need to confess that human beings have always resented being dependent upon a Creator, or upon anything or anyone else. This is one of the points that Arendt is making. Call it arrogance, or call it pride, human beings arrogate to themselves their supposed right to determine what will and should exist. The picture at the top of today’s blog posting illustrates one of the things that Berkowitz is saying about Arendt’s view of how human beings regard the Earth. Human beings have always wanted to escape the Earth, and to escape our dependency upon it, and this is a dangerous very wish. The picture suggests that it is we who “take care of the Earth,” when the exact opposite is the case. The Earth takes care of us!
Alienation from the Earth is leading us to the end of our “human world,” the world that we usually call human “civilization.” Our efforts to escape from the constraints that Earth imposes, and to disregard its laws, are not a route (as we suppose) to liberation. They are the efforts that mark our doom.
Remember those two hundred dead reindeer. First the reindeer; then us!
If you would like to take your theology (and political theory) by way of the music of Bob Dylan, you can watch this video of Dylan singing “License to Kill” on the Dave Letterman show. Dylan’s lyrics start out with this observation:
Man thinks ’cause he rules the earth
He can do with it as he please
And if things don’t change soon, he will
Oh, man has invented his doom
First step was touching the moon …
Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net
Email Gary at email@example.com
EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. More looking into our sub con depths and finding stuff you’ve only dreamed about. Scroll down.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” classic covers ” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Remember when bald-faced lying and corruption in high office could still provoke public outrage and moral courage? Those bygone days are recreated in Gavin Hood’s taut Official Secrets, about a lowly young translator standing up to political skullduggery in the run-up to the Iraqi war. (Opens Friday 9/13 at the Nick.) Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
NIGHTINGALE. Set in Australia in 1825, this is a tale of revenge, blood, race relations, and some early “down under” history. Very bloody, cruel, women’s power no, it’s more like a WOMAN’S power. A good but not great film. CLOSES THURSDAY Sept. 12.
HONEYLAND. A documentary set in today’s Balkans. Though on the surface it’s concerned with how to raise and care for honeybees, it’s actually about humans, community, money, family, love, health — and just about every human characteristic you can think of. Brilliant, touching, well-filmed, important, sensitive. Please see this film.
WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. It’s listed as a comedy because it’s an adapted from a book regarded as funny. Cate Blanchett makes the story of a woman looking for her place on earth and a settling of her life into a deep depressed saga. Billy Crudup is her over the top understanding partner who has to live with her searching. Kristen Wiig acts as her troubled neighbor who becomes one of a few good friends. By luck I also watched Ingmar Bergman’s Persona the next day and found a very sensitive revealing similar story of a woman in search. Both are fine films and well worth seeing.
AFTER THE WEDDING. Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Billy Crudup do excellent acting work in this re-make of a twisted marriage saga. Part soapy, part tragedy, it’s a sad tale of money, family, death, and child raising. Partly filmed in Calcutta it’ll keep your attention but won’t earn your praise.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. The more movies you’ve seen in your lifetime the more you’ll like Quentin Tarantino’s latest. With Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the leads and it all happening in L.A. in 1969 it almost can’t miss. Slightly under the cuteness of the relationship between Pitt and DiCaprio is knowing that the film ends with the Manson Family killings of Sharon Tate and four other characters at the house that she shared with her husband, Roman Polanski. Add Al Pacino for about two minutes to all of that and you’ll be forced to like it.
THE FAREWELL. Whew, 100% on the Rotten Tomato meter and 91% on their audience score. The cast is mostly Asian and handles the problem of how to tell Grandma that she’s dying of cancer. It’s funny, deeply sad, superior acting and will hold you to the unfolding story right to the unusual ending. Well worth seeing….and remembering.
READY OR NOT. A very worn out plot of a murder chase through a wealthy house is a sad way to waste your time and admission fee. No noticeable actors or acting, a futile poke at people with money being extra cruel, and on and on for 96 minutes. The plot holes are large enough to drive garbage trucks through and they should have. CLOSES THURSDAY Sept. 12.
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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. . Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan return on September 12 to update the Nissan-Soquel dealership issue. They are followed by Brooke Newman discussing the work and purpose of the Downtown Streets Team. Faisal Fazilat Appears on Sept. 17 to talk about the co-operative group CO-OPSC. After Faisal Vanilla Queen Patricia Rain talks about the Chocolate Vanilla Festival that happens Sept. 26. September 24 has John Hall updating us on The Downtown Commons Advocates and their plans. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… https://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fascinating stuff about the Victorians!
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts. Such a wide range of folks such as Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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.
“You know what the lowest rated episode we ever had was? Where Captain Kirk kissed Uhura – a white man kissing an African-American woman. All the stations in the American South – in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana – refused to air it. And so our ratings plummeted”. George Takei
“When states like Alabama and Arizona passed some of the harshest immigration laws in history, my Attorney General took them on in court and we won”. Barack Obama
“I started using sunglasses in Alabama. I was going to do a show with Patsy Cline and Bobby Vee, and I left my clear glasses on the plane. I only had the sunshades, and I was quite embarrassed to go onstage with them, but I did it”. Roy Orbison
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