We Don’t Need a Leader, But We Need Something When the General Assembly in Woodruff Park in Atlanta declined to allow John Lewis, famed civil rights activist and sitting U.S. Congressman to deliver a few words of encouragement, I believe this movement made a curious and possibly detrimental turn toward the irrelevant. The reason for this is straightforward: I do not believe you can assault our broken democracy and our broken economic system simultaneously. By rejecting elected and aspiring representatives of the people from engaging in this movement and taking its message to city halls, state houses, and the impotent galleries of the U.S. Congress, there is a chance we could doom this protest to the alternate fates of destructive riots or perpetual but inconsequential unrest. <much more below the fold>
It seems like fuzzy math, to see a tiny crowd of mostly white youngsters with a spattering of legitimate community organizers claiming to be 99% percent of the population. Likewise is it hard to believe that a handful of redditors and youtube jockeys with their somewhat short-sighted stories about personal debt and unemployment could somehow embody the experience of almost the entire population of the richest country on Earth. On a day when everyone was making suggestions to these protesters on what their demands should be (including of course, yours truly) there were just as many people speaking out against the ‘dangerous’ ‘class warfare’ of a handful of idiot hippies who want to make us like the Communists. It’s just as easy for opponents of this protest to dismiss its participants and their desires as it was for liberals to dismiss the Tea Party in its early days. Back then, the Tea Party seemed like an over-hyped Fox News focus group, suddenly transformed from studio audience to vocal mob, chanting and waving signs about liberty and socialism and Sharia law. But just as the Tea Party grew into a legitimate social movement with electoral power, this movement has the same potential, and it’s because its concerns do really do line up with the desires of 99% of people in this country. (Much more below the fold)
The Counter-Counter Revolution I took a trip to Los Angeles City Hall last night because I heard a rumor that there was the start of something big going on down there. Since I have a full time job in business development (read: job creation) I couldn’t attend during the day. I was, thankfully, able to drive my $750 automobile and park it in a garage for $15.00 and make my way to the ad hoc camp that serves as the epicenter of a new wave of the ongoing populist movement in America. I expected to find a handful of stalwarts, sharing tamales and tugging on one-hitters, waiting for the next day of shallow media coverage to march and yell. What I found instead was a diverse village of individuals, mostly young, self-organizing as a spontaneous protest spurned on by a feeling of hopelessness and invisibility. But where is it going, and how is it going to get there? (There is an epic rundown below the fold.)
We all knew it would happen eventually. Last night, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage broke the news that President Obama rejected the opinion of Justice Department lawyers that continuing the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization was a violation of the War Powers Resolution. The President and his close staff (and presumably, the military and CIA) decided that the use of American air assets, logistical capabilities and remote drone attacks to blow away the President of another country didn’t rise to the level of ‘war’, and they said so in a letter to lawmakers and Speaker John Boehner.
[UPDATE: Apparently you can (and must!) vote for ShopLab everyday at the Pepsi Refresh Project. It’s super easy to sign in, especially if you’re already logged into Facebook. Keep voting and we can win! DOOO EEEEET NNAAAOOOO!] If you have ever produced a low-to-mid-scale play for a nomadic company in Los Angeles, or in any city for that matter, you know how expensive and inconvenient a temporary a shop/storage place can be. For companies without an existing space to store materials, build set pieces, or ways to move stuff around, these costs can drag down even a healthy budget. The time spent securing these resources also weighs on a production, and when it’s time to strike the show, there’s that sinking feeling you get when you watch perfectly good lumber, flats, large props or whatever can’t be stuck in the producer’s living room, get thrown in the dumpster and lost forever. The Solution. (click and vote, more below the fold.)
Some of you may know that for much of 2009 and 2010 I was a weekly writer for the upstart online publication LA Theatre Review. Each week I would accept a complimentary ticket to one of the dozens of live performances that are produced in Los Angeles each weekend, and in return, I would give my honest assessment of the show’s quality, vivacity, and relevance. And like so many ‘blogger-critics’ in this city, I did my best to distinguish myself from the pack by writing as insightfully and as brutally […]