11/6/18: It’s Election Day in the US

 

four people holding green check signs standing on the field photography
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com 

Let’s Get Out the Vote, Kids!

Voting matters, but, like vaccinations, it only matters if a lot of us participate. This is your chance to affect public policy at every level of government. The votes you cast for candidates at each level will affect your life directly, from the funding of the schools in your neighborhood to the attitudes of the police officers who patrol your city streets, from the amount of college tuition and student loan debt future students will have to live with to women’s right to bodily autonomy in reproductive and sexual issues. These decisions aren’t just made at one level. They are made and carried out by elected and appointed officials and public servants from the town and city level right up to the presidency and the supreme court.

We only vote once a year, and collectively, we can make a huge difference. So if you haven’t voted yet, please get out there!

If you don’t feel informed enough to vote, the League of Women Voters create fantastic, unbiased, succinct local guides at Vote411.org. Enter your address, and they’ll show you your polling place, the races on your ballot, and side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ positions. Then you can print out a “ballot” with your choices as a reminder to take with you to the polls.

A little inspiration:

Continue reading “11/6/18: It’s Election Day in the US”

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It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)/ Or Maybe It Can

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Update 10/28/18: This seems like a good day to repost this audio, based on Sinclair Lewis’ brilliant, prophetic novel that warns against how easily fascism and white supremacism can overcome a country when people fail to take action against it quickly enough. Violence is on the rise against anyone who doesn’t fit the current concept of the master race, and the policies of the president of the United States encourage the violence and separatism. This is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Please make sure you vote in this election cycle.


On October 24, 2016, 2 weeks before Election Day, we both attended a local staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis. The novel, and the play, describe the rise and rule of a charismatic, dogmatic, conservative politician who is eventually elected president. He promises a return to traditional values, but reneges on his promises soon after he takes office, turning the country into a totalitarian regime within a period of a few months. Anyone who doesn’t offer complete, unquestioning loyalty to the new regime is imprisoned or executed.

This may sound like a drastic scenario, something that “can’t happen here,” but Lewis wrote the novel originally because he was watching this very thing happen in Nazi Germany at the time. The original stage adaptation was created the following year. The original 1983 TV miniseries about an alien invasion,V, was also based on It Can’t Happen Here (and the later reboot series). V’s creator, Kenneth Johnson, was inspired by Lewis’ work, but the network executives at NBC thought the story would be more interesting if the American fascists from the book were turned into aliens for TV.

Continue reading “It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)/ Or Maybe It Can”

Meryl Streep Makes Impassioned Speech Calling for Empathy and Vigilance at Golden Globes Ceremony (VIDEO)

Tonight (Sunday, 1/8/17), Meryl Streep was presented with the Cecille B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony for her decades of achievements as an actress. She chose to use the time set aside for her thank you speech to speak as a citizen of the United States and the world, imploring the artists in the room and the people watching to use the arts to fight repression of free speech and the press, and the humiliation and oppression of all types of people targeted by the alt right. She specifically brought up the 2015 incident when Donald Trump mocked chronically ill, physically disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski. Streep asked that we support the Committee to Protect Journalists,” an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed. For more than 30 years, CPJ has been there to defend them and fight for press freedom.” With far right conservative governments being elected in countries around the world, the repression of free speech and the free press are going to get worse before they get better.

A partial transcript of Meryl’s speech under the cut.

Continue reading “Meryl Streep Makes Impassioned Speech Calling for Empathy and Vigilance at Golden Globes Ceremony (VIDEO)”

It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)

itcanthappenheregraphic

On October 24, 2016, 2 weeks before Election Day, we both attended a local staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis. The novel, and the play, describe the rise and rule of a charismatic, dogmatic, conservative politician who is eventually elected president. He promises a return to traditional values, but reneges on his promises soon after he takes office, turning the country into a totalitarian regime within a period of a few months. Anyone who doesn’t offer complete, unquestioning loyalty to the new regime is imprisoned or executed.

This may sound like a drastic scenario, something that “can’t happen here,” but Lewis wrote the novel originally because he was watching this very thing happen in Nazi Germany at the time. The original stage adaptation was created the following year. The original 1983 TV miniseries about an alien invasion,V, was also based on It Can’t Happen Here (and the later reboot series). V’s creator, Kenneth Johnson, was inspired by Lewis’ work, but the network executives at NBC thought the story would be more interesting if the American fascists from the book were turned into aliens for TV.

Continue reading “It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)”

George Takei’s Allegiance: Post-Screening Thoughts

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I went to the Fathom Events screening of George Takei’s Allegiance at my local theater this evening. This actually wasn’t the first time I’d seen Allegiance, but I hadn’t seen the show since it was in previews. It’s been tightened up and improved a lot since then. I’m so grateful to Fathom and the Allegiance creators for giving us all a chance to see the Broadway version of this show with the original Broadway cast, and with the best seats in the house.

The cast were all amazing. Lea Salonga was no surprise, of course. George Takei was both moving and funny in his Broadway debut. Katie Rose Clarke  was charming as Nurse Hannah. Christopheren Nomura was especially powerful as the demanding, unforgiving father in the Kimura family, Tatsuo. Michael K Lee and Greg Watanabe also gave strong performances.

Continue reading “George Takei’s Allegiance: Post-Screening Thoughts”

George Takei’s Musical, Allegiance, Will Be Shown in Theaters Nationwide Tonight, 12/13/16 7:30 PM Local Time

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Their loyalty was questioned, their freedom taken away but their spirit could never be broken.

Allegiance: The Broadway Musical In Select Cinemas Nationwide

Beloved “Star Trek” actor, George Takei, invites you to embark on an emotional journey into a chapter of America’s history that is more relevant today than ever. George was only 5 years old when his family was amongst the nearly 120,000 people relocated from the West Coast after the events of Pearl Harbor. This past year, at the age of 78, George made his Broadway debut alongside Tony Award®-winner, Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon) in a new American musical inspired by his own childhood experience. Allegiance tells the poignant and uplifting multi-generational tale of one family’s love, loss, and heroism who – much like George’s – endured unfathomable circumstances during the Japanese American internment of World War II.

Prepare to be moved by this vivid and deeply-personal musical during this one-night cinema event tonight, Tuesday, December 13th at 7:30 pm.

“An important show with a PHENOMENAL CAST, it deserves to be seen.”
– Entertainment Weekly

Fathom Events Tickets and Information

 

+Art and text from Allegiance/Fathom Events promo materials

George Takei’s Broadway Musical Allegiance Will Screen in Theaters Nationwide This Tuesday, December 13

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Allegiance Will Be Shown for One Night Only as a Fathom Event

This Show Is About One Family’s Experiences with the Japanese Internment Camps in WW2, an Important Part of American History That Is Being Forgotten

Trump’s Government Is Threatening to Revive This Practice with Other Immigrant Groups

Allegiance was developed by George Takei (Star Trek) with Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, inspired by Takei’s own experiences during World War 2, and those of his family. It stars Lea Salonga, George Takei, Telly Leung, Katie Rose Clarke, Greg Watanabe, Michael K Lee, and Christopheren Nomura.

Theater Locations Here

More Details from the Fathom Events page for Allegiance:

Date: Tuesday, December 13

Time: 7:30 p.m. (local time)

Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (approximate)

Ticketing: Tickets are available by clicking on the orange “Buy Tickets” button on the More Details page. If online ticketing is not available for your location, you can purchase your tickets by visiting the box office at your local participating cinema.

George Takei: They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims. (Op Ed Piece in The Washington Post)

Continue reading “George Takei’s Broadway Musical Allegiance Will Screen in Theaters Nationwide This Tuesday, December 13”

Straight Talk to Trump Voters from Occupy Democrats

https://www.facebook.com/pg/OccupyDemocrats/videos/

This Occupy Democrats video says so much of what we wish we could say to Trump’s supporters. It can’t be said enough times. I will never be ready to make nice. You take away my rights as a woman, my children’s health insurance, and their right to choose their romantic partners, for your own selfish gain, and we will never be okay with each other. The worst of it is, as the video points out, most Trump voters voted against themselves. They think he’ll bring back the jobs their fathers and grandfathers had, but those jobs are long gone to automation, corporate personhood, and globalization. Trump is only going to help wealthy whites, like every Republican since Reagan, who lowered tax rates for the wealthiest Americans by more than half.

Continue reading “Straight Talk to Trump Voters from Occupy Democrats”

Fewer Than 10% of the World’s Countries Are Led by Women, and the Washington Post Thinks This Is Good News

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Better Than Nothing Should Not Be Enough

This map is from an article on the Washington Post website titled Here are the dozens of democracies that have elected a female leader. The article is ostensibly an attempt to make women feel better about the fact that Hillary Clinton just barely missed shattering the glass ceiling separating her, and all women, from the White House by looking to other countries’ successful elections. I’m not quite sure how that article, or that map, are supposed to make me feel like the rest of the world is any more than marginally more advanced than we are.

The authors say:

But why hasn’t the United States had a female president? There may be as many theories as there are reasons, one of which may be that it is harder to achieve something without precedent. This map just asks that American girls and women look beyond their country’s borders, for the time being.

But this is meaningless. The first woman elected to lead her country in every instance has done something without precedence. It is not an explanation as to why it is harder in a country that likes to think of itself as one of the most advanced in the world.

Continue reading “Fewer Than 10% of the World’s Countries Are Led by Women, and the Washington Post Thinks This Is Good News”

Trump Supporter Proves What We All Already Knew at Hamilton Chicago

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Friday night (11/18/16) in NYC, Mike Pence attended the Broadway Hamilton performance. He was booed on his way in, then after the show a cast member read a prewritten statement asking Pence and the Trump government to respect the rights of all Americans, even the ones Trump and Pence haven’t shown any respect for so far. A twitter war ensued between the theater crowd and the Trump crowd.

According to BroadwayWorld.com, last night (Saturday, 11/19/16) a Trump supporter attending the Hamilton performance in Chicago decided to get his revenge. When the cast sang the line “Immigrants, we get the job done,” from the song Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down), he became enraged. During the song Dear Theodosia he allegedly shouted “We won! You Lost! Get over it! Fuck you!” from the balcony. He continued to shout profanities at the security guards that the other theater patrons got to deal with him. Cast members were reportedly crying by the end of the show, though they didn’t let their emotions affect their performances during the show, because they are professionals.

This guy was intoxicated and had an altercation with security guards that lasted through 2 songs as they were trying to escort him out. Who is it that’s rude? And do these guys seriously think they aren’t descended from immigrants themselves, probably more recently than the time of the founding fathers? Who is it that keeps crying whenever they are slighted in the least? Donald Trump’s little boy pout and temper tantrums have gotten old very fast.