Tag Archives: history

Challenge of the Ages

When my grandfather Norman T. Finlayson was born, his hometown of Dundas, Ontario, did not yet have electric lighting. In fact, the notion of electrifying a city, let alone homes, was brand new.  In the eighth grade, my grandfather stopped his formal education school, so he could get a job at a machine shop. He started as the janitor. Nearly 70 years later, he retired ...

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We The People

How often have we heard some say, “Why do actors have to give us their political opinions? They’re paid to act, not tell me what to think!”  That’s a paraphrase, but I’m sure we’ve all heard something along those lines.  Aside from the fact that actors are always making a political statement by the very way they create a role,  it’s inherent in the process.  ...

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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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Native American Voices at The Autry

footlights fairly traceable

Native Voices at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, CA is giving a loud voice to the stories of Native American people in Fairly Traceable a romantic dramedy, currently being presented as a world premiere, written by Mary Kathryn Nagle, Cherokee citizen, playwright and partner at Pipestem Law, a firm specializing in the sovereignty of Native tribes and peoples. The story follows two law students ...

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Is It Enough?

Recently, I had the privilege to see a performance of Zoot Suit, the revival at the Mark Taper Forum. While I often speak of theatre as an important tool of cultural consciousness, I also look forward to being entertained when I see a play.  And I can unabashedly say that both my wife Michelle and I both loved the show. Charles McNulty of the L.A. ...

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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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Privacy Please

condom privacy sex

Though hard to imagine today, federal law once prevented anyone from using the U.S. Postal Service to send contraceptives. In fact, the same law prevented people from using the Postal Service to send ads of contraceptives or even educational materials  about them! This law was finally deemed unconstitutional in 1965. In Griswold v. Connecticut,  the U.S. Supreme Court found the law violated not the right ...

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Updated: Playing the Trump Card

united states us presidential seal

The hashtag #NotMyPresident is quite popular right now.  I can’t get behind it.  Whether or not a person voted for Mr. Trump, he is now the soon-to-be Chief Executive of the country.  So he will be  our President as defined by the Law of the Land, the United States Constitution. And, because he is our soon-to-be President, there are many legal ways to interact with ...

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Historic Armenian Musical Is a Love Story

Armenian Genocide Wedding

On September 10, for one weekend only, native Angelena and three time Emmy award winning composer Denise Gentilini and recording artist Lisa Nemzo will mount their original production, I Am Alive,  for an exclusive showing at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.  Gentilini, who is of Armenian descent, tells the story of the Armenian Genocide through the account of her grandparents who survived the systematic killing ...

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