Archive for December, 2008

December 29, 2008

Charlie Brown and the war on Christmas

Last week while doing housework I heard what I thought was familiar dialogue from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Delighted, I turned on all three TVs in the house so as I went from room to room I could listen to it. I would almost be willing to bet my Vince Guaraldi CD that it was the same music and roughly the same storyline save for a few tweaks and the introduction of a new character.

It seemed this new character’s desire for a puppy had replaced the original plot which centered around the Christmas play. It was beginning to look a lot like the PC version of an American classic. And you don’t fuck with American classics.

Taking out the play was the neatest way to get rid of that pesky Bible verse at the end. You know, the one Charlie Brown, or is it Linus, uses to clarify the true meaning of Christmas. God Bless Charles Schultz. It was controversial even in 1965, but he managed to get it through.

Suffice to say I was mildly appalled. I mean, is nothing sacred? OK, I know scripture isn’t, but Charlie Brown? Come on! That they would actually modify what many regard as an essential part of holiday tradition to appease the morons who are offended by the use of Biblical references in a story about CHRISTmas, seemed beyond the pale.

Turns out I’m an alarmist, shoot me. Come to find out there is an entirely different and relatively new animated Christmas story featuring Chuck and friends. It’s called “I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown.” While my worst fears were unfounded, I wasn’t entirely off base: they’ve basically replaced the old one for Charlie Brown Christmas for the ever so gutless dog story.

In this week’s Reporter, our newest columnist Paul Moomjean proposes an inspired remedy for the war on Christmas.

They can take the Christmas out of the televised Charlie Brown, but they’ll have to pry the original version on VHS from my cold, dead hands.

December 29, 2008

Apocalypse, later…

san_andreas_faultIt’s an oldie of mine, but it got such a good review on Urbis, I decided to post it here fwiw:

We live on faulty earth in paper houses, subsist on the crumbs of a stale paradigm and pretend to be grounded.

California has a cruel streak about 800 miles long and if you’re not careful she’ll swallow you whole.

Today there was a question mark in the sky, I saw it with my own eyes. When it finally dispersed like the last wisp of foam in my coffee, a light rain fell.
But, it never rains in California, it only pours.

We live in extreme times in the extreme west. We have extremely good eating habits,  terribly attractive people and rattlesnakes.
On ordinary days we curse traffic, swim with sharks and pierce our tongues.

We know what it means to be alive. We are survivors. We’ve endured mudslides and scalpels and wheat grass.

We are evolved. We do pilates. We are like steel.
So, when California opens her big fat mouth and licks her collagen injected lips in anticipation of the likes of us, we’ll be ready.

We’ll say, “Bring it, bitch.”

December 14, 2008

Free music=nice

logo_smVentura’s own Beehouse Records is doing some year-end housekeeping and giving away music by some of the area’s best musical talent. Their family tree includes all the Franklin For Short peeps as well as the Spires, Tall Tales, Le Petit Protest and original Buffalo Records owner John Healy. BTW: fresh stuff from the Spires (a personal favorite) will be released in early ’09.

To download the freebies go here.

December 12, 2008

R.I.P. Betty Page


Thank you for exposing a different kind of beauty. Thank you for your courage to be an individual. Your example lives on.

December 11, 2008

6 and counting…

This week’s Reporter has my latest recommendations of local music downloads and CDs. I was recently challenged to find 25 “good” recordings of local artists. Bring it.

December 11, 2008

Ventura Film Festival

It was only a matter of time before the “New Art City” had its own film festival. The official launch of the first annual Ventura Film Festival took place at Candlelight Kitchen & Bar Sunday evening. Festival director Lorenzo DeStefano has the right idea by engaging the community through its neighborhood cinema program. As we become an increasingly visual and technology-driven people, the documentation of our life experiences is now a part of our every day lives.

The launch comes on the heels of the Ojai Film Festival‘s announcement that they are relocating their event to Ventura in 2009. Read about it in VCReporter.

It was a lovely night that included a performance by Emy Reynolds (shout out to Gwendolyn: I love Emy!) I was actually enjoying myself—which if you know me (INFJ) you know, I don’t do parties unless obligated and/or prodded—until I found myself face to face with Scott Jacobs who proceeded to harass me about getting coverage of his most recent flirtation with mediocrity and opportunism: a painting of a house burning in the Montecito “Tea” fire.

Suffice to say I was not amused, but I am pleased to hear he’s packing up his brushes and returning to the East Coast this month. Thank you for visiting Ventura, now go home.

December 4, 2008

Say it isn’t so

According to an article in the Star, Bonnie’s is closing. “You never saw so much crap in your life,” said Bonnie, and that pretty well describes the iconic downtown party supply store that’s been in business for decades. But oh, what beautiful crap it is. Floor to ceiling costumes, party supplies and decorations you couldn’t find anywhere else. I will miss the smell of it, the overwhelming sight of it. I’ll miss the Halloween rush and the cheap, old Christmas wrappings. ‘Tis the end of an era.

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