Friday, March 04, 2005

Woodland Dance Academy

A compendium of the various shows I've performed with them, since 1993:

Dr. Faustus

This is the last weekend for Dr. Faustus at American River College. See it if you can!

Last night was my only chance to see Dr. Faustus, but because I was listening to Eric the DJ (I least that's what I understood) spinning turntables on Leetradio's Urban Chaos show, I *forgot* and missed it. So sorry!
Old Magazines

As FDR background for "Annie," Steve handed me a "Look" Magazine from 1940 to read. "Look" was the striving second-sister to "Life": both magazines of course are chock-full of wonderful Americana from mid-century. Besides a rundown of FDR's 1940 worries (including starkly-opinionated political commentary), this issue of "Look" (January 16, 1940) included new Sonja Henie ice fashions, promos for Walt Disney's "Gulliver's Travels," how women can reel in men like fish, how skinny girls can gain weight, a picture-biography of Stalin, protests against rigged boxing matches, and an analysis of Lou Gehrig's mysterious disease.

What I liked most was a four-page picture preview of Darryl Zanuck's new motion picture version of John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," starring Henry Fonda. What a good promotional device! Then I began thinking how we don't see these magazine previews anymore. Not only are the variety magazines largely gone, but today's magazines focus on the star, not the film. I guess the assumption is that everyone gets most of their information through TV these days, but we still have a need - a largely unmet need! - to learn about new motion pictures, and this simple promotional device is still a good idea.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Gay-Bashing in Santa Fe

And an excellent dancer too:
Court records indicate that the beating of James Maestas, 21, was motivated by his sexual orientation and that the three defendants who are charged in his and a friend's beating were shouting, "Let's (mess) these faggots up" at the time of the attack in the La Quinta Inn parking lot on Cerrillos Road.
The Sonoran Desert

Death by a thousand blades.
The Fed Emperor Has No Clothes

About time someone punched Alan Greenspan for his partisan hackery:
Asked Thursday his reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's insistence this week that Social Security must be transformed, preferably along lines urged by Bush, Reid replied:

"I'm not a big Greenspan fan. ... I voted against him two times. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington," Reid said on CNN's "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics."

Reid complained that Greenspan had decried budget deficits when Bill Clinton was president but he doesn't criticize Bush for turning a federal budget surplus he inherited from Clinton into trillions of new debt.
I didn't know Harry Reid is from Searchlight, NV (SSE of Las Vegas). About time we had more southwestern legislators in charge of things!

The federal government virtually created the entire economy of Nevada and the Mojave Desert. Having someone like Reid in charge will help keep the Republicans from ruining that economy out of sheer hubris.

Having pro-life, Mormon Reid as Senate leader instantly made the Democrats less shrill on abortion (closer to mainstream equivocation) and more forgiving of religious difference. It's good for the party!
U.N. Finally Responds

With violence. Sometimes that is what it takes!
U.N. peacekeeping troops backed by an attack helicopter responded after being fired on and killed up to 60 militants accused of terrorizing villagers and killing nine Bangladeshi peacekeepers, officials said Wednesday. It was the largest number killed by a U.N. force since the Congo mission was created in 1999.

I'm so easily provoked. I thought this was about Old Europe striking back:
New World's big brands 'taste no better than many cheaper wines'
But it turns out it's just about getting out of your rut:
Susy Atkins, the report's editor, urged big-brand devotees to change their habits. "People need to get out of a rut if they are not feeling inspired and taste something different...."

For wines costing between £5-£7 Ms Atkins recommended labels from Chile, South Africa, Languedoc in the south of France and southern Italy. Many of these countries and regions had made "enormous progress" in the past 15 years and their warm climates produced "reliable, ripe, fruity and modern" flavours she said.
More Tales of Sacramento at Night

Drunken customers at the AM/PM usually don't use language that well, but once in a while you hear interesting turns-of-phrase. Last night, one customer turned to his friend and levelled an accusation:
Your like a f*****n' salmon going to Capistrano!
I have no idea what he meant, but I like the pastoral image of migrating schools of plentiful, ocean-going fish, braving every obstacle (including a lack of water) to nest in the rafters of the old Spanish Mission.
Soot Over The Indian Ocean

Over the years, I've seen a lot of disturbing information in the professional journals on just how bad airborne soot is in South Asia, to the extent that climate is affected, not just there, but over all the northern Indian Ocean as well. This just adds to what we already know, but sometimes fail to appreciate:
The burning of wood, agricultural waste and animal manure for cooking is the largest source of black carbon in the air in that region, according to the team led by C. Venkataraman of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

"We therefore suggest that the control of these emissions through cleaner cooking technologies, in addition to reducing health risks to several hundred million users, could be of crucial importance to climate change mitigation in south Asia," the researchers wrote in a paper appearing in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The effect of soot in the air over the Indian Ocean is some 10 times that of the so-called greenhouse gases, according to the researchers. The pollution causes the air to absorb more sunlight, warming the atmosphere and cooling the surface beneath.
Kill The Goose

The one that actually lays our golden egg of prosperity:
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Thursday embraced the notion of overhauling the nation's tax system and said that some form of a consumption tax - such as a national sales tax - could spur greater economic growth.
The Intellectual, and His Prey

Watch the plodding academic size up his nimble and fleet prey on the Serengeti Plains of public discourse, the one who gets the all the attention, the accolades, (the money), the girls, (the money). Watch the intellectual thrash uncomfortably in his sheepskin as he stealthily approaches the watchful foe. Wait! The foe knew he was there the entire time!

The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they can serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept. And in these realms there are exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who — with the help of advanced and demanding techniques of market research, of public opinion polling, of psychological testing, and so forth — dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word and image they produce exactly right.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mickey Kaus...

He be funny!:
The comments of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), made as GOP lawmakers returned from a week of trying to sell the Bush plan to voters, underscored the challenge facing the White House.

Frist supports the president's proposal for creating personal investment accounts but acknowledged to reporters that the plan is in trouble. "We are never, ever going to do this," Frist said. "But I wouldn't take it off the table yet," he added, noting that when he was a medical student "cadavers would often lie around on top of desks for weeks."
I sense a skit for "Saturday Night, Live" in all this:
(Knock at Door)
Who's there?
(Muffled response)
Bill Frist?
(Muffled response)
SSA Lock Box?
Flowers? Your no florist, you're George Bush with Social Security Reform, aren't you?
(Opens Door)AARRGGHHH! Land Shark!
So True!

From mjshep:

From the forthcoming book "Dem Strategy for Dummies":
  • If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.
  • If repubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.
  • If repubs snicker at a candidate (think Dean) they are afraid of him.
  • If repubs praise a candidate (think Lieberman) he's a loser and/or a spineless wimp.
Fighting Hollywood Values

Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler, whose song "Al Otro Lado del Río" (To the Other Side of the River) from "The Motorcycle Diaries" won him an Oscar, was not permitted to sing his song at the Academy Awards celebration, even though he sang the song in the movie. Drexler was not a big enough star - the honor of singing his song at the celebration was extended to Antonio Banderas instead. Drexler nevertheless used his acceptance speech to sing his song a cappella, in his own little protest against the Empire of Hollywood:

Clavo mi remo en el agua
Llevo tu remo en el mío
Creo que he visto una luz
al otro lado del río

El día le irá pudiendo
poco a poco al frío
Creo que he visto una luz
al otro lado del río Ciao!

Thank you! Gracias!
As The Wall Street Journal reported today:
That simple act has become an emblem of (Uruguayan) national pride. ...Newspapers praised his a cappella performance as an "act of revenge" and a "bofetada sin mano," an expression that translates literally "a slap without a hand."
Henry Segura (performing arts editor of El Pais, the country's largest-circulation newspaper), was quoted:
It's "the most significant thing to happen in Uruguay in many years,".... "It was a triumph of dignity."
The little guys of the world win one!
Sensible Reactionary

Is this the same Arnaud de Borchgrave: so conservative he makes paint peel? The refugee from the halcyon days of Henry Luce's "Time" magazine? Apparently so, although he must be pretty creaky by now. And why does he sound...well, sensible? I guess he stood still and the Bolsheviks of the Bush Administration ran past and outflanked him on the right. He sounds practically liberal in today's environment:
The House recently voted 411-3 to warn the EU if it lifts the arms embargo on China, the U.S. will halt technology transfers to Europe. The Senate will follow suit shortly. The Europeans are now drawing up a list of American "civilian" technology transfers they say have added muscle to China's military girth. Score one for rapprochement between the EU and China.

It is yet to dawn on U.S. gatekeepers that 6.7 percent of Chinese defense imports come from the United States and only 2.7 percent from Europe. Humvees are mass-produced in China for the People's Liberation Army. Rolls Royce engines are in some Chinese fighter-bombers. Russia gets most of China's $15 billion defense market.
Bad Reception

Columnist George Will has taken aim at the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB), and I'm peeved.

First, Will starts his complaint with the establishment of CPB in 1967, and ignores the prior history of public television altogether. Public TV was a saving grace of the 'vast wasteland' of the 50's and early 60's television, well before CPB was established. I remember!

Disdainful Will asks:
Why should government subsidize the production and distribution of entertainment, and even worse, journalism?
That's easy to answer, Mr. Will. Being ubiquitous, the air waves are a public resource. To prevent their abuse (another 'tragedy of the commons') use of this public resource (like many others, such as water) should be licensed by the government, and the government has an interest in their proper use. The government can and should require producers of entertainment and news to use their skills for the broad betterment of the country, or to produce such goods itself, should it choose. Hell, even Herbert Hoover recognized that government had a role to play! Why can't Will?

This is true even if Cable (carried by wire, and hence not technically carried in the ether) is part of the media mix. Cable relies, after all, on satellite transmission for part of its delivery.

In a sense, the public's attention is the real resource, and it's dangerous to let a single agency, or group of agencies, whether public or private or both, to dominate that resource. "Tragedy of the Commons" can apply to how we use the fruits of entertainment, as well as how those fruits are transmitted.

George Will proceeds to bite the hand that feeds him in this laughable quote:
Furthermore, journalism and imitations of it have become social smog. Even in airport concourses you are bombarded by televised human volcanoes verbally assaulting each other about the "news," broadly - very broadly - defined to include Kobe Bryant's presence on Michael Jackson's witness list.
It is exactly this degradation of the news that Public Television is best able to combat (e.g., The News Hour on PBS). The unfortunate effect of the systematic crippling of Public Television with budget cuts over the last 25 years, however, is that some of the best, most informative news available anywhere on Cable TV today comes from Jon Stewart's Daily Show: a freakin' SATIRE of talking heads JUST LIKE YOU, Mr. Will, as well as the rest of the volcanoes in the 'Ring of Fire' of human boob-tube mouthpieces! Even in 'airport concourses' (one of the few places I'm sure where Mr. Will might find himself mingling with unwashed common folk and other hoi-polloi), can't he sense the seething contempt directed to opinion-floggers like himself? Is Will that insulated from reality? Doesn't the question practically answer itself?

Public Television still fulfills its basic function even in the Cable Multiverse we have today. Where else can you see shows featuring, say, Broadway songs, on Basic Cable? Nowhere else. Same with popular shows from Britain. "Austin City Limits:" there are many other examples.

Public Television is not 'vestigial,' as Will would have us believe, but rather beleaguered. Public Television is having a harder time of late, but that is because it has so many powerful, Republican enemies, and because media interests have an interest in killing it off.
Strange Creatures

The Cuban almiqui.
So Why Just Active-Duty Military?

Puzzling that Republicans want the exemption so narrowly drawn.
The Senate voted Tuesday to exempt active-duty military and some veterans from key provisions of pending legislation that would make it harder for millions of Americans to erase their debts by filing for bankruptcy protection.

...Democrats pressed Tuesday to protect members of the military from the bill's new provisions, saying that some service members called to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan had lost small businesses or been forced into bankruptcy by other financial hardship.

"Many men and women in the military are making extraordinary sacrifices," Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said. "It's unfair that they should come home to face this new harsh bankruptcy law."

But Republicans defeated on a straight party-line vote, 58 to 38, an amendment sponsored by Durbin that would have created a broad exemption from the means test for members of the armed forces. Instead, the Senate approved a more narrow provision, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), to exempt active-duty military, low-income veterans and those with serious medical problems.

Eight Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), crossed party lines to vote for the amendment, which passed 63 to 32. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) opposed it.

...Durbin and other Democrats who oppose the bill said it unfairly benefits credit card companies, which make billions in profits by enticing consumers into accepting credit they cannot afford.

"This bill is all about creditors winding up with more money at the end of bankruptcy," Durbin said.
Ain't Seen Nothing...

Ever eaten over at Hometown Buffet? Chucky Cheese pales in comparison! This story was carried by Drudge, of course, which means: Be very, very afraid!
AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora police have reviewed a weekend incident in which a man accused of stealing salad from a Chuck E. Cheese salad bar was hit with a stun gun twice by officers and said that proper procedures were followed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Hooray for Stella Liebeck!

Never accept conservative baloney about the U.S. needing tort reform. The Daily Rotten commemorates Feb. 27, 1992 and the tribulations of (Albuquerque's own) Stella Liebeck!
Trying to get the lid off her McDonald's coffee to add cream and sugar, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck accidentally splashes the 180-degree liquid on herself, causing third-degree burns to the thighs, genitals, and buttocks. After skin graft surgery and weeks of recuperation, Liebeck asks McDonald's to turn down the temperature of their coffee and pay $20,000 to defray her hospital bills. McDonald's tells the old lady to fuck off, as they had done for a decade of similar burn claims. Ultimately, a jury awards Liebeck $2.9 million in the resulting lawsuit, which immediately triggers a renewed call for legislative tort reform.
When it Comes to the White House....

When will the press get off its knees?
"Annie" in the Press

The Woodland Daily Democrat's 'Goodlife' preview.
Riding the Wave

The death of Hunter S. Thompson put Publius in a reflective funk:
As I get older, I’m beginning to fear that my generation has been cursed to live an age of no progressive victories – of waves rolling back.

...And then I read people like Hunter S. Thompson writing about the brief flash in history when they got to win, when they got the ride the wave. And then I wonder if I’ll ever get to do the same. I wonder if our generation will ever live to see its collective energy coming together for some higher progressive purpose – like the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. I have no doubt that progressivism will come back - all historical movements ebb and flow. But I’m increasingly afraid I may be an old man when it does – or worse.
I certainly understand Publius' frustration, especially after last year's election. What helps me at the instant is playing FDR in DMTC's version of the musical "Annie," especially in the Cabinet scene:

FDR: Harold Ickes, stand up.
Ickes: What?
FDR: You heard me, stand up!
(Ickes slowly stands)
FDR: Now Harold, sing!
Ickes: Sing?
FDR: Yes, sing. Like Annie. I've just decided that if my administration is going to be anything, it's going to be optimistic about the future of this country. Now Harold, sing!
Even better, though, is looking back in history. Many years ago, in a used book store, I picked up a battered copy of "What We Are About To Receive," written by Jay Franklin, an observer of contemporary events, and popular writer. Jay Franklin was the pseudonym for John Franklin Carter (1897-1967), Diplomat.

"What We Are About To Receive" was published in 1932 and serves as a snapshot of what an intelligent observer regarded as the signal issues of the day during that watershed electoral year. The New Deal was a veritable tsunami of Progressivism. But what did the American political scene look like just before the wave hit?

Regarding Progressive hero FDR, Carter writes:
If he gets into the White House, it will be as a blank cheque. Nobody has the slightest idea of whether he is "another Roosevelt" or just another Democratic candidate. No one knows whether he is a statesman or just another name. There is much to be said for the novel idea of putting a politician in the White House, after our depressing experiences with an engineer, a college professor and a judge in that august residence, but politicians can degenerate into wire-pullers, and a weak politician can do almost as much harm as a well-meaning plumber in national politics. If Roosevelt becomes President we will have to take him pretty much on faith.
So, Carter feels a nervousness about Roosevelt, despite his pioneering efforts in New York with old-age pensions and other Progressive reforms. Roosevelt, ever eager to please, had promised every faction at least a little bit, and as far as anybody knew, might be quite unprincipled:
On every other issue-tariff, farm relief, disarmament, foreign policy, banking policy, social unrest - (Roosevelt) is as hard to pin down as a live eel on a sheet of oilcloth."
Carter surveys the political landscape: stolid Herbert Hoover, divisive "Happy Warrior" Al Smith, William Borah, Charles Curtis, Hiram Johnson, Dwight Morrow - all the has-beens and wannabes, particularly the Democratic rising star I've never heard of, Newton D. Baker of Ohio. Looking to the past for inspiration, and at the Democratic platform fight to come, Carter observes:

Grover Cleveland stood for uncompromising honesty in public life - he was not a clever man, but he was a fighter. Woodrow Wilson stood for uncompromising intelligence in public life - he was not a good party leader, or even a nationalist, but he was a fighter. Both men won the nomination against stubborn opposition and carried the country because the American people like fighters and prefer a fight to coolly scientific statesmanship or to honest party leadership.

On that account, we don't worry much about the platform or the principles of our minority party, except as a political scarecrow. We know perfectly well that the Democrats can't control Washington long enough to execute a radically new national policy. So it happens that the Democratic platform fight will be a side show, designed at most to enable the party leaders to remain in good humor. Win or lose, the Democratic Party won't need a platform in 1932. Their experience in 1928 has convinced them that people vote against one candidate rather than for his opponent. For the Democrats, the platform will consist of two words: "Herbert Hoover."
Half-right, half-wrong Carter was! Even keen observers like Carter didn't have perfect powers of perception. Carter didn't forsee the New Deal. Carter was right about the slogan "Herbert Hoover," though. I distinctly remember, as an eight-year-old child, still hearing Hoover's baneful name being used in LBJ's presidential campaign of 1964, thirty-two years after 1932 (just as we are likely to hear Republicans use Jimmy Carter's name, in a less-effective way, even until 2012). But it's true, Americans like fighters. Think Howard Dean, who even today ruffled feathers, and for whom the Republicans feign shock:

And concluding his backyard speech with a litany of Democratic values, (Dean) added: "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

When told of Dean's remarks, Derrick Sontag -- executive director of the Kansas Republican Party -- said he was "shocked."

"My immediate reaction to that whole dialogue is, it's full of hatred," Sontag said. "The Democratic Party has elected a leader that's full of hatred."
Myself, I think the "evil" angle has legs for the Democrats, especially given Abu Ghraib. But I digress - back to Carter.

We are in a different era now - we are spendthrifts, when people of his era were misers - but just as some things change, some things stay the same:
The real reason for the depression was bad leadership, both political and business leadership, for generations. The leadership which produced the Great War - for which we are still paying - also produced the Great Panic. We are still, in the fourth decade of the twentieth century, being ruled by a group of men whose ideas were formed by the horse and buggy era. The underlying cause of this bad leadership, and of the disasters which it produced, was greed - simple, human greed, naked and unashamed.
Despite a new-fangled academic superstructure and publicity apparatus, and despite well-funded think tanks, conservative ideology still drinks at the disreputable trickle-down fountain. Greed rules today, and Democrats need to produce a fighting alternative, so that the fruits of labor reach the people who produce them!

We'll get that thrill of riding the wave soon enough, when we've dealt the electoral TKO, and not a moment before.
Casino Wages

A very telling statistic about the clout of the service workers union in Las Vegas:
"The unionization here has reduced the poverty rate; it reduces inequality," said C. Jeffrey Waddoups, an economist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

...Overall, Las Vegas casino wages are about 40 percent higher than in nonunion Reno, according to Waddoups, the UNLV economist. He attributed that solely to the union's bargaining power.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Chaotic Haiti

Aristide is gone, but no help comes for desperate Haiti, either from the American Right, who oversaw the coup d'etat, or from anyone else. The closer the country approximates a Malthusian nightmare, the less people care:
At times, Haiti's violence appears to be utterly out of control. Fights between rival gangs with political backing in the slums, or raids by the police who are accused of carrying out summary executions, result in corpses being left in the streets, gnawed at by dogs and pigs until someone comes to remove them.

Late last year, there were so many corpses arriving at the unrefrigerated morgue attached to the city's main hospital, where they lay in piles and were rapidly devoured by maggots, that the authorities refused journalists permission to visit out of concern about the bad image that would be portrayed. Since September, more than 250 people have been killed in political violence in Port-au-Prince.
Health Care and the Failure of Markets

Arnold Relman points out the weaknesses of markets in controlling the explosion of health care costs:
In 1963, a seminal analysis of the medical care system as a market was published in the American Economic Review by the distinguished economist Kenneth J. Arrow. He argued that the medical care system was set apart from other markets by several special characteristics, including these: a demand for service that was irregular and unpredictable, and was often associated with what he called an "assault on personal integrity" (because it tended to arise from serious illness or injury); a supply of services that did not simply respond to the desires of buyers, but was mainly shaped by the professional judgment of physicians about the medical needs of patients (Arrow pointed out that doctors differ from vendors of most other services because they are expected to place a primary concern for the patient's welfare above considerations of profit); a limitation on the entry of providers into the market, resulting from the high costs, the restrictions, and the exacting standards of medical education and professional licensure; a relative insensitivity to prices; and a near absence of price competition.

But perhaps the most important of Arrow's insights was the recognition of what he called the "uncertainty" inherent in medical services. By this he meant the great asymmetry of information between provider and buyer concerning the need for, and the probable consequences of, a medical service or a course of medical action. Since patients usually know little about the technical aspects of medicine and are often sick and frightened, they cannot independently choose their own medical services the way that consumers choose most services in the usual market. As a result, patients must trust physicians to choose what services they need, not just to provide the services. To protect the interests of patients in such circumstances, Arrow contended, society has had to rely on non-market mechanisms (such as professional educational requirements and state licensure) rather than on the discipline of the market and the choices of informed buyers.
Halle Berry, Mensch

For showing up to accept her 'Razzie':
"I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit," she said as she dragged her agent on stage and warned him "next time read the script first."
Organisms From Icebox Not Ancient Life

Contrary to press speculation, recently-discovered novel bacteria were not in suspended animation from the last Ice Age, but rather came with last month's take-home from Joe's Crab Shack in Old Sacramento:
The bacteria resembled a group of microbes called carnobacteria that can tolerate cold and are often isolated from refrigerated food. The NASA researchers established that the microbes belonged to a new species, which they have named Carnobacterium pleistocenium in honor of its age. The bacterium is not poisonous, Dr. Hoover said, although some of its close relatives cause disease in fish. The researchers are reporting their finding in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Dr. Hoover said he believed the bacteria were not able to divide during the eons spent locked in the ice, so the specimens he thawed out would have been 32,000 years old....
The bacteria weren't able to divide because I kept opening and closing the icebox looking for snacks. A watched pot never boils (or something to that effect!)
Chuck Pineda for Congress

The March 8th election is approaching. Sacramento-area Democrats will choose a successor for U.S. Congressman Robert Matsui. Despite widow Doris Matsui's favored position in the election, I nevertheless support Charles (Chuck) Pineda, Jr. for the post. Why? Chuck was one of the 135 gubernatorial candidates in the 2003 Recall Election, and I got to meet him. Nice guy. Pineda is very concerned about keeping youths away from gang activity - he himself had faced similar pressures growing up in East Los Angeles.

An unfortunate consequence of any campaign is that candidates tend to define themselves and others in harsh terms. Pineda's anti-gay-marriage position has proved difficult:
Charles Pineda Jr. had to defend his Democratic credentials after Julie Padilla told him he ought to rethink his party registration when he said he opposes gay marriage. Pineda insisted later that many Democrats agree with him.
I've always believed that liberals need to concerned primarily with economic matters, not life-style matters. Pineda may be 'conservative' regarding gay marriage, but on economic matters, he is a solid liberal. Gay marriage is a godsend of a wedge issue that Republicans use to split Democrats apart. We should ignore Republican wedge issues and focus on what keeps liberal Democrats together. Gay marriage is inappropriate as a wedge issue, particularly when Social Security needs to be saved from the 'piratizers.'

Vote Pineda on March 8th!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Condon Memorial on Saturday

There will be a memorial at the B Street Theatre on March 5th for designer and theatrical costumer Kim Condon. Kim's husband Frank is artistic director at River Stage, and their daughter Chloe is one of the Orphans in DMTC's "Annie"):
Friends and family are invited to a memorial celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Main Stage of B Street Theatre, 2711 B St., Sacramento. Donations can be sent to the Kim Simons Condon Memorial Costume Program scholarship fund at Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95823.
"Annie" Opening Weekend

Well, we're open! Small houses so far, but things seem OK. Last night, Miss Hannigan's necklace broke at the very end of "Little Girls," and beads rolled all over the stage. Since the mansion scene was next, with the servants making last-minute preparations for Daddy Warbuck's arrival, it seemed only natural to have the mansion staff chasing beads all across the stage. We managed to get most of the beads off the stage before the scene started.

In this afternoon's show, I muffed a critical line. As President Roosevelt, I inform Annie that her parents have died. Instead of the normal dialogue:
Roosevelt: "Annie, your mother and father passed away. A long time ago."
Annie: "You mean they're dead?"
there was this dialogue:
Roosevelt: "Annie, your mother and father died. A long time ago."
Annie: "You mean they're dead?"
I felt like striking my forehead with my palm and saying: "Stoopid! Stoopid! Stoopid," but of course, being out-of-character for FDR, that wouldn't have helped anything.

Well, now we have the week off. I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, restful week, in anticipation of next weekend's performances! "Man of La Mancha" auditions are this week - starting tonight, in fact!