In honor of what I hope is a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY for one of my favorite women - my sister Lori - here's an article from Gloria Steinem in today's Times Style Magazine. As reproductive rights, health care, and women's rights in general have been taking some punishment lately (that's putting it lightly) we can take some small comfort (while continuing the resistance to such hideous attempts) that the Senate and White House will surely stifle the attacks (right??) and that there is also some really good news out there in terms of women in politics and policy that should not be allowed to be buried under the depressing weight of "reality" TV.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This is a bizarre time. There is something very much like a full-on attack on women's rights and workers' rights going on in the U.S. right now, but there are some heartening developments: the Justice Department backing away from the "Defense of Marriage Act;" widespread popular resistance in Wisconsin. (though I have to ask, as I did in November - where well all y'all on Election Day when your brothers and sisters voted those union busters in?)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
That being the title of the play we performed (well, in staged reading form) with the Hive Theater company a few weeks ago in Times Square. It was, of course, somber tragedy. Oh wait, no: it was a sex comedy. A ridiculous sex comedy. I have described it thusly: "Sort of a live-in-person cross of The Hangover, No Strings Attached, Twelfth Night, and that cable series Spartacus. Maybe a dash of Porky's." Like I said, ridiculous. BUT - with some good writing, some good acting, some good music, and plenty of laughs, if I may say so myself.
It was very staged for a reading, so there was also some skin. One purpose of a staged reading is to get a sense of how a show might work in full production, and this is one of those shows that you really just won't be able to tell how it works if there isn't a certain amount of boobage. And butts. And simulated sex acts. Cory came with our friend Joe and they were sitting at about the 4th table back (this happened in a comedy club with cabaret-style seating). One of her comments was something along the lines of: "I didn't have a very good view of that part where you were on the floor surrounded by those three topless muses and you had all those boobs in your face. Yeah, I was ok with that." It was a big mess, but legitimately funny, I think, and quite a bit of fun for a bunch of people.
And no, I did not show any excess skin of my own. Probably for the best...
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Yesterday was James Dean's 80th. Which is worth mentioning.
I don't know where this photo is from or what photographer to credit, but I love it.
And tomorrow is JP's b-day. And Laura Dern's. Pretty good company, friend.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Would it be curmudgeonly, in this era of Celebrating Reagan's Centennary, to remind people that his so-called Economic Theories were big steaming piles of (oh, let's be kind) error? I say 'so-called' to modify the word 'his' in that sentence, because I remain unconvinced that the Gipper himself ever did so much as pay attention through an extended, detailed economic discussion, much less come up with any actual theory, even one as elementally flawed as Trickle-Down. [He sure was good at selling those bullet points, though, wasn't he?] The term 'so-called' also applies to the word "theories" in that sentence too, because I think what we're talking about as far as Reaganomics is concernes is more of a Sales Pitch. Or maybe a Snow Job. Or a really really BIG Big Con.
You see, a real live scientific theory is based on logic, evidence and/or applicable principles, is proveable and repeatable. Trickle Down is based on made-up logic, has no evidence backing it up, and counts on specious principles involving an impulse among profit-driven corporations to share with each other and with the workforce out of the goodness of their hearts, or maybe some sense of patriotic responsibility. (I know, I know - but a lot of people bought it then, and buy it now.) And what's been proved, repeatedly, is that these sorts of policies lead, not to increased job creation, but to increased poverty, and to a big increase in the gap between rich and poor.
Along these lines, read this piece by Robert Reich. It doesn't mention our dear departed national treasure by name, but it does paint a picture of the indelicate balance between Reaganomics and what's starting to look like Obamanomics.
...I've been watching (and occasionally trying to deal with) the Chamber [of Commerce] for years, and all I know is it has a deep, abiding belief in cutting taxes on the wealthy, eroding regulations that constrain Wall Street, cutting back on rules that promote worker health and safety, getting rid of the minimum wage, repealing the new health-care law, fighting unions, cutting back Medicare and Social Security, reducing or eliminating corporate taxes, and, in general, taking the nation back to the days before the New Deal.
There's no secret to creating lots of jobs by reducing the median wage, slashing benefits, compromising health and safety at the workplace, and, effectively, reducing the standard of living of millions of Americans. We've been doing it for years.
Those people who consider this situation to be perhaps less-than-ideal should pay extra-special attention to policy developments that are presented as 'victories.'
And, oh yes, no disrespect meant toward the Great Communicator who restored everyone's faith in Democracy and made people Believe in America (all rights reserved) again. National Treasure, American Hero, God rest and keep him safe in Mary's bosom.
(Not much of an actor, though...)
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
What does Congressman Smith's bill even hope to accomplish? A show of opposition to abortion that would be laughable if it weren't so cruel? It approaches the very heights of cynicism; and I wish that the supporters of this legislation will each take on the experience of going up to an assault victim whose unwanted pregnancy would be 'protected' by this bill, and explain to her how what she has gone through wasn't 'really rape.'Please oppose this bill, immediately and loudly.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
As the weather wreaks havoc nationwide, we are seeing some fascinating things globally. Tunisia has experienced a 'Jasmine Revolution' (well, some people are calling it that) resulted in the ousting of Ben-Ali; massive popular movement in Egypt has already produced a commitment from Hosni Mubarak that he will not seek office again (i.e. extend his term beyond thirty years) in September, and may yet result in his resignation; and we'll be hearing much about how social media is playing a part in other contested areas (and those 'contests' will continue to take a wide variety of forms).