Posts tagged ‘lit’

November 8, 2014

The List No. 3

It occurs to me that it’s high time I make a new list. I started the lists to share interesting cultural developments(usually) in Ventura County, stuff that currently impresses or moves me in some way. Here’s some stuff that has my attention at the moment.

 

make

1. MAKE Ventura

Once referred to as hacker spaces, maker spaces are community-centered, membership-driven industrial environments for nerdy creatives and other people who like to get their hands dirty and their minds expanded. Members of MAKE Ventura are afforded rare access to a variety of industrial tools and machinery related to woodworking, jewelry making, mold making and metalsmithing, including a 3-D printer, laser cutter and vinyl cutter in a cooperative setting. Sharing of tools, methods, ideas etc. is central to the ethos of these collaborative spaces that draw inspiration from the open source movement. MAKE Ventura is open to the public on First Fridays. Visit it online to learn more, or drop by.

hud

 

 

 

 

2. The HUD

A newish art gallery with resident artists and an in-house graphic design studio, the HUD is a cavernous showplace for up and coming regional artists. New artists are showcased every month during a First Friday reception but the venue is slowly incorporating other events such as a juried exhibition on Nov. 15. I especially like the street-inspired contemporary works I’ve seen and purchased there, but the curating is truly eclectic. Run, don’t walk.

butterflys

 

 

 

 

3. Sanctuary of Butterflies

There are 28 days left to raise $64,000 in crowdfunding for this massive film project spearheaded by photographer Cole Smothers and musician/artist Luis Perez. Smothers, who is directing the musical documentary “Sanctuary of Butterflies,” will shadow Perez as he travels way off the beaten path in Mexico’s back country to explore, document and ultimately preserve indigenous art forms that are on the path to extinction. Though the proliferation of crowdfunding campaigns has made many of us weary, this one is truly worth a few of our hard-earned dollars.

michele serros

 

 

 

 

 

4. Michele Serros

Oxnard native and literary wunderkind Michele Serros has been a little under the weather lately. Actually, she’s been quite heroically beating the hell out of cancer, with the undying support of her beloved husband and loyal fans. Despite her cultural influence, the author of the critically acclaimed Chicana Falsa and Other Stories of Death Identity and Oxnard as well as How to be a Chicana Role Model, is by no means rich and the cost of medicine, allopathic and alternative, is almost unfathomable for an extraordinary female from a city most famous for Nardcore the sugar beet and her. It’s not easy to ask people to pitch in on your healthcare, but she’s done so with her characteristic grace and humor. So maybe buy a book, throw a few dollars in the hat and help a sister out. A Latina en Lucha Needs You Mucha!

5. Linda Ronstadt

Early in my journalism career, I regretfully referred to her as part of the Holy Trinity of Trite (which included the Eagles and Jackson Brown). I made a friend out of that faux pas and I learned a lesson about shooting my pen off. Fifteen years later, I caught  the Eagles documentary on Netflix and found myself mesmerized by Ronstadt’s charm and talent. Sadly, she’s suffering from Parkinson’s and no longer able to sing, but wow hers is a voice for the ages.

January 21, 2013

Poetry: Red Verses Blue

Not to stoke the fire of division that keeps this country’s government in a perpetual stalemate (because my blog is that important), but today I noticed two things: the presidential inauguration may be the only time the reading of a poem will hold the attention of more than 25 people in a public setting (I say this as fan, not foe), and though the inaugural poem is a relatively young tradition, begun by John F. Kennedy when he invited Robert Frost to read, so far it’s only democrats who have felt it was one worth carrying forward.  (Though democrat Lyndon Johnson declined to invite a poet, stating that he hated them.)

Maya Angelou’s reading of her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” for Clinton’s inauguration still gives me goosebumps, as much for its beauty as her authoritative, soulful delivery. “One Today” written and read by Richard Blanco for the inauguration of Obama’s second term had much in common with Angelou’s, though it was perhaps more accessible and less preachy.  Why it is that conservatives are so averse to verse? I can’t think of a more meaningful way to connect people to each other and those they have placed in power. Art is a great translator, no matter the medium. I hope the next republican president chooses poetry for his or her inauguration. It will tell us more about his (or her) character than the speech that follows.

As much as I enjoyed Blanco’s poem today, as well as his reading of it, I think I may prefer the one that a handful of regular ol’ Americans wrote together as an experiment in crowd sourcing by The Takeaway for president Obama:

A People’s Poem for the Inauguration

Say “nation.” In the wake of quarrels, say “hope.”
Be not divisive nor divided.

Say “neighbor.” Say, “What can I do?”
Doors open. Together walk through.
In the hurly-burly of the day’s governing
remember the freedom of peace.

At the dawn of uncertain tomorrows, say “change.”
While darkness floods our spirit, say “light” and shatter
all our scattering shadows.

Dream, “neighbor.” In the face of fear, sing, “mercy.”
Hear unity from voices that speak.

Say that freedom, both the blessing and right,
remain the provenance of open minds.
Acknowledge the dreams that birthed a great nation — say “freedom.”
Speak it into action and watch our dreams reshape the future.

And heart in hand, for the sake of the young,
of the old,
of all those who
wade thru injustice’s tide, say “freedom.”

Say and shout and sing! Progress is a storm and our voices the thunder.

Say “peace” for the hearts of a nation’s people, in times of grief.
Say one, say all. To abandon hope is to further the fall
Say “take my hand” to the downtrodden, the lost.
Sing harmonies that blend in a spectrum of love.

In the dark of failures, say “try”; encourage, persist to light.
Say friend, my hand for your strength, your eyes for my light as we forward together.
Say hope is ours.
Wash away morose pessimism and the failings of the nascent.
Remember our virtue; remember our lofty intent.
In the wake of the struggle, speak, so that together we all may speak courage.

Say “hope,” eyes turned not to the gauzy sky
nor to the brassy gates of power
but to the frost-bitten grass beneath our feet.

I need to hear, again, those antiquated words
in this new light.

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February 19, 2009

Forbidden fruits

peni1

The newest issue of the Reporter came terribly close to including an artistic rendering of (gasp) the penis, in multiples, no less. But alas, at the last minute, space consideration forced me to pull it out. So, here it is in all its glory, from the “Some Like it Hot” annual erotic art exhibition at the Artists Unions Gallery. There’s some outstanding work included, I encourage everyone to take the time to drop by before it closes in mid-March.

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