Tag Archives: fribbit me wot

Chuck Berry and Creating Commercialated Culture

chuck berry sailor cap

Chuck Berry may be dead but you know he won’t stay buried.  He’s just too irrepressible for confinement to such a singular state.  He was like his music:  audacious and muscular.  His huge hands easily enveloped the fretboard of his Gibson ES-335 and pulled sounds from it that would electrify the soul.  Is it possible to remain still while experiencing the pure energy coming from ...

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The War On Science

Earth science climate

Are you a fan of NASA and the scientific output of our national laboratories? Better enjoy it while our open scientific culture lasts. President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty. President Richard Nixon, more cynically, declared a War on Drugs to indirectly target the black and hippie communities. And since taking office, Republican President Donald Trump has stepped up the unofficially declared War on ...

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The Responsibility of the Artist

protest pro99 fist

If 2017 already seems a little grim, well, it’s likely because it is  a little grim.  A lot of the country is miserable over the outcome of the presidential election.  Or, more precisely, what is presently happening as a result of that election.  Examples of unprecedented behavior include: Election Numbers:  Donald Trump falsely claiming he won in a landslide. Social Media Channels:  Donald Trump using ...

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Time To Rethink A Certain Reindeer Story

santa rudolph reindeer rankin bass

It’s December and the ubiquitous holiday music – playing since mid-November – reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ve always been troubled by one particular Christmas carol I first learned at the tender age of 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know the story, right? Young buck born with funny nose. Ostracized and bullied for it. Naturally, an extenuating circumstance (“one foggy ...

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The Divisiveness of Demographics

glass heart broken demographics

You remember the story of Solomon and the Baby?  Solomon was able to smoke out the true mother of the child by threatening to divide it.  The fake mother, who must have been awfully cynical, was down with his solution. That’s something I never understood.  I mean, what would this woman do with pieces of a baby? The de facto  motto of the United States ...

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The Season of the Scare

Scare halloween pumpkin glow in dark

Lately my thoughts have drifted to Halloween because we live in a culture where, the moment Labor Day hits, polite women stop wearing white shoes and grocery stores start pushing orange bags of candy. As with most things in America, sophisticated marketing has changed Halloween over the years. However, the essentials of the holiday are still there: the candy, the dress-up, and the scare. I ...

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Edward Albee: I Prefer Yes to No

Edward Albee writer

When an American playwright with enough interesting insights to win 3 Pulitzer Prizes – 4 if you count the one not given to him because the advisory committee didn’t want to give a prize out in 1963 – dies, it’s best to allow him to write his own column.  Especially for Edward Albee who always seemed to have something prickly – and honest – to ...

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When Intelligence is Artificial

eliza artificial intelligence footlights

If you follow the popular tech press, it’s likely you’ve seen a number of stories about artificial intelligence.  The term “artificial intelligence” is somewhat loosely defined.  It fits under the category of “we’ll know it when we see it.” The mathematician Alan Turing defined artificial intelligence as an “imitation game.”  If a human couldn’t tell if the origin of the responses on the other side ...

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Los Angeles and the Car Go Cult

los angeles car culture freeway

It’s summer!  That time of year when people think about relaxing, stress-free family car trips.  When oil companies think about increasing gas prices.  And, in Los Angeles, when we realize we live in not only endless summer but also endless traffic.  Here are a few helpful driving tips to navigate the city’s hallowed asphalt.  The astute motorist will note the average Angeleno follows these simple ...

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What’s the Motivation?

hitchcock provides motivation footlights

Understanding the moment-by-moment emotional drive of a character is fundamental to good acting. That’s why the most clichéd of all actor statements is “What’s my motivation?” (To which Alfred Hitchcock would reply “Your salary.”) When an actor judges a character – imposing their own world view on what the writer wrought – the ability to understand motivation is lost. Or as my acting instructor often ...

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