Women’s March on Washington: Watch Us Stand Strong

I didn’t go to Washington, D.C. today to the Women’s March, but my heart has been there and everywhere around the globe, as women, men and children all gathered together to march against Trump.

The myriad of social issues that intersect with women’s issues effect us all. We have come too far to be knocked back down by Trump and his administration. It is time for us to stand strong and heal the world.  Continue reading

Who Is Your Audience?

Writing copy for a website is like writing a paper for college, you always need to be cognizant of who your audience is. If you are marketing to a mixed demographic that might range in age from 18 to 80, it is important to remember that your tone and wording set the stage for how people view you online. Written communication is a powerful tool. If you set the wrong tone you fail to engage and will draw either criticism or disinterest.

Last night, I was comparing the issues statements and websites of two local politicians running for state office. I was struck by the word “my crystal ball leans” prefacing an important issue. Voters don’t want to know a candidate’s supposition, they want to know his platform on an issue and what that candidate will do to make changes. We can all make “crystal ball” predictions, but typically when voters go to the voting booth, they tend to vote for the candidate who has ideas, not predictions.

Communication is a powerful tool. If you set the wrong tone, you leave yourself open for a realm of misinterpretation. This applies in politics and business.

Just my two cents…

A Little Night Music: Compared to What

Every Sunday morning, I listen to Lisa Garvey’s show A-Train on UMass Boston’s PBR station WUMB. Every now and then Lisa will play Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ Compared to What. It’s one of my all time favorite jazz and protest songs. From Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ seminal 1969 live performance album Swiss Movement, recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival with trumpeter Benny Bailey:

Compared to What“, was a huge Billboard pop chart topper crossing into pop from the soul/jazz genre. The lyrics criticised both President Nixon and the Vietnam War. Written by Atlantic composer/artist Eugene McDaniels, the song first recorded by soul vocalist Roberta Flack, on her debut release, First Take (1969).

Lyrics: Compared to What

I love the lie and lie the love
 A-Hangin‘ on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
 that is hangin‘ up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby!

Slaughterhouse is killin‘ hogs
 Twisted children killin‘ frogs
 Poor dumb rednecks rollin‘ logs
 Tired old lady kissin‘ dogs
I hate the human, love that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
 Try to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby now!

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
 Tryin‘ to duck the wrath of God
 Preacher’s fillin‘ us with fright
 They all tryin‘ to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
 Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what?

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
Where’s my God and where’s my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

(Music break)

Tryin‘ to make it real — compared to what?

Film Review: The Celluloid Closet

We tend to watch films without much thought about how politics effects film-making. The documentary The Celluloid Closet gives an insight into world of film-making, politics, censorship and equality.

The documentary film The Celluloid Closet is based on the groundbreaking 1981 book, The Celluloid Closet, by Vito Russo, about the history of the depiction of gays and lesbians in the movies. Through film clips, interviews and narration, The Celluloid Closet takes us on a captivating journey back in time to show the audience the various stereotyped roles gays and lesbians played in film and how Hollywood censorship played a part in film making.

Narrated by Lily Tomlin, in the opening scene of the movie, Tomlin tells the audience, “For 100 years, laugh at, pity or fear, Hollywood taught straight people what to think about gay people and what gay people should think about themselves.”  Film critic, Susie Bright said, of the roles played by gays and lesbians if you were gay, “you felt invisible.” Hollywood relied on stock characters to portray gays and lesbians in film and those characters never showed realism. Continue reading

Nelson Mandela Dies at 95

The world lost a great citizen today… Nelson Mandela passed away today, he was 95. Mandela was a “freedom fighter, statesman, moral compass and South Africa’s symbol of the struggle against racial oppression,” who “emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid.”

U2 recently released this video for the film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”:

Watch the trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

The world mourns a very bright light that will shine forever in the heavens…

 

Narrative Essay: The Day I Met John Kerry

The Day I Met John Kerry

On a cloudy and rainy day, I find myself reflecting on my life, searching for an experience that changed who I am in the world. I have had more than a few life-altering experiences in my 56, almost 57 years that have influenced my life in many profound ways. As a woman of many stories to tell, that all seem to intertwine in the narrative of my life, the one that stands in clear alignment when I map them all out, is the day I met John Kerry for the first time, ten years ago this month, September 2003.  For that day ultimately empowered me and changed my life in many ways. Continue reading