Cher was always associated with my mom. Mom said she liked her style, and I assume that she was talking about the Sonny and Cher show. I don’t remember that show at all.

But a couple years ago, I heard Believe on the radio, and I had to have it. I liked how her voice was digitized. And I really liked the words. A beautiful woman, heart-broken but moving on.

I saw her in concert, too. Wowee! That was a great concert. A real show. Way more about the production than the music. Maybe Cher has always been that way. I don’t know, but I loved it.

I met a guy later who couldn’t STAND her. “She should never had made another album.”

She is unadulterated pop. But what’s wrong with that?

“BABY it’s all or nothing now!”

DisCO. Makes me want to find a mirror ball.

_Hot Pursuit_

I think every female who was young in the 80s fell in love with John Cusack after Say Anything. On the basis of the Cusack’s picture on the cover, I rented Hot Pursuit.

What a movie! all notmals boundaries of the plausible are thrown out the window. It starts with Cusack’s girlfriend sneaking into his all-boys’ high school and keeping him from passing his chemistry final. It ends with Cusack throwing grenades and firing a machine gun to save her from pirates.

He flunks his chemistry test, so he can’t go on the cruise to the Carribean with her rich family. BUt it’s true teenage love! So he finds a way to follow her and just miss her for the whole vacation.

As unbelievably cheesy as it is, Cesack still pulled off his ‘boyfriend’ role perfectly. Maybe that’s his whole genius. The man gives a perfect movie kiss. With the little funny, awkward wisecrack beforehand. It works.

There was also a good King Lear scene where he curses the storm (he’s in a boat).

Pink Floyd’s _Dark Side of the Moon_

“The 3 P’s: Pink Floyd, Pepsi and Physics”

That’s was my cute redhead friend said my freshman year at college. I’d run into him in the cafeteria, and had to get his attention away from his headphones.

This is the 30th anniversay of Dark Side of The Moon. I’d never sat down and listened to the whole album before.

But my cute boyfriend (not redheaded) came over with a newly remastered Super Audio CD, and we sat and listened to it the whole way through.

I asked him, “What’s it about?”

He said, “Nobody knows exactly. Everyone gets something different. That’s why it’s popular.”

I was suspicious, because I’ve never been impressed with the kind of music you’re supposed to be stoned to really ‘get.’

I liked it. It was evocative, and set my mind free to ponder what the music suggested. It worked in the same way that a classical music concert makes me think, too.

It’s nice that the lyrics or soundbites are not too rooted in current events, so that it doesn’t date itself.

I enjoyed the way the music flowed, without interruption between the songs. It was an entire experience, like a recorded concert.

I think it’s a work of art. Chris left the CD over here; I’m gonna listen to it again.

Community Protests Cutbacks to Community Colleges

On Friday March 28, thousands of protestors gathered at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. Unlike other recent protests, this one was about a very local problem. California community college’s budget has been reduced by Gov. Gray Davis. According to the California community college website, “Governor Gray Davis signed the mid-year budget cut bill for community colleges (SB 18X) late Tuesday evening, March 18.”

Although the state’s budget crisis demands that sacrifices be made, the belt-tightening is not equal. The same website goes on to say, “The cuts equate to a 3.3 percent decrease for community colleges – in comparison to a 1.7 percent decrease ($60.9 million) and a 1.5 percent decrease ($59.6 million) for the California State University and University of California systems, respectively.”

Members of the Los Angeles community came together to protest the cutbacks. Chris Covault, one of the volunteer event coordinators explained: “This event is permitted as a march and rally pertaining to the budget cuts coming from Sacramento.” A full range of people, of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, gathered to protest the reduced funding for community colleges. Groups from many local colleges banded together. Glendale College, Pasadena City College, and LA Trade Tech Community College and others were there holding banners and signs.

“No way! We won’t pay!” Shouting slogans, protestors carried various signs to make their point. “No Raised Fees-Equality and Access.” “Keep the doors open. Stop the Cuts. No Fee Hikes.” “I had a dream: Community College.” The people filled the entire breadth of Hill street and stretched on for more than four city blocks.

Many Los Angelinos have come to rely on the availability of community college programs. Tippy Briggs from Los Angeles Harbor College said that community college meant a lot to her: “Community college means a better education, a better job to support my kids. I’ve been a secretary for 20 years. Now, for me to be advanced, they’re telling me I need a A.A. or a B.A.” She is particularly worried about her daughter, who is approaching college age. Tippy is not sure her daughter will have a chance to get the education she needs without the availability of community colleges.

Staff workers as well as students are concerned. Tino Manzano, an administrator at Los Angeles Valley College was there “just to remind Gov. Davis that community college students matter.” According to a flyer passed out at the event, “Community Colleges are already canceling entire academic majors and job-related training programs and community college students needing to transfer to universities are forced to delay their education.”

Covault went on to say “Democracy requires education…Access to self-betterment is key.”

News from the absurd front

I never get a newspaper, like, on paper anymore. But this one was in the plastic wrap and sitting at my bus stop bench. Who could refuse

The front page was grim and scary. But a little deeper, in the California section, I found this story. Here’s the headline:


The story goes on to get to the main point:

“THE ONLY THING FRENCH ABOUT FRENCH’S MUSTARD IS THE NAME!” screamed the press release from French’s PR agency. “Recently there has been some confusion as the the origin of French’s mustard. For the record, French’s would like to say there is nothing more American than French’s mustard.”
This comes a a great relief.
If it’s true.

At last! They legalized it!

Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie. – SierraTimes.Com

This is what happened:
“On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. ”

This is yet another reason why I mistrust all the things on the news right now.

Thanks for this story, Tantek.


I finally watched the whole movie last night.

It’s funny, I can read a book for hours, but it’s really hard for me to sit through a movie.

Anyway, it is so real. It could practically be a home movie of the dorky guys around here. all those actor wanna-bees. It was amazing to see MY NEIGHBORHOOD all over the screen. Holy crap! The dude was even wearing an In’N’Out shirt.
Man…If I’d seen it when i lived in alaska, I wouldn’t have believed any of it. But now that i’m HERE, every line is true. Who could ever believe that people could act like such idiots? You have to see it to believe it.

The whole thing was that the guys just needed to let go of their desperate clench on self-importance.

The guy couldn’t get over his girlfriend, but that wasn’t the main issue. He just had to get over himself. Him and the rest of the guys.

Mr. Deeds goes to Town

Since It’s A Wonderful Life was adopted by people born in the earlier half of the 20th century as THE movie to watch at Christmas, movies directed by Frank Capra have taken on the same old-people smell we associate with grandma.

IWAL certainly seems to have that depression era “Just be glad you are as well off as you are!” feeling, making those of us who did not live through those hard times feel like rolling our eyes.

Most of his movies have a kind of preachy, American propaganda feel to them.

HOWEVER, on a little closer examination, his movies are not all advocating that we sit back in a rocking chair with our hands folded, our job of being American handily completed upon birth.

I wanted to see Mr. Deeds Goes To Town and get some more impressions about Capra’s style and message. I’m interested in American propaganda, and I wanted to see how well he fit into the genre.

Now that I’ve seen it, I’m not so sure Capra falls under that category. I’m seeing a message of “enjoy the real blessings in your life.” It’s hard to distinguish that message sometimes, because the iconic symbols of American kitsch (Kundera-style) get so wrapped up in it.

Those icons, like Apple-pie, ideal womanhood as a June Cleaver clone, men in suits and hats, people who know their neighbors, little houses all in a row, tree-lined streets with perfect tidiness…I don’t know what else. These get in the way of me seeing the story as real or credible. I just see a doll house.

Mr. Deeds is a sweet man, and the movie is really funny in parts. The Tuba cracks me up, and so do the Pixelated old ladies. I think that there is a lot that’s real behind the dolls…I could see someone I know, someone who really exists behaving the way that Mr. Deeds does. Heck, if you play a tuba, you wouldn’t stop just because you inherited a ton of money.

In a lot of ways, Mr. Deeds was going against expectation, not behaving the way the other little dolls did. He held on to common sense and didn’t lose track of what was important. He had compassion and humanity.

And naturally, Gary Cooper is great.