Women’s March LA – 2018

I arrived at the Women’s March VERY early with my staff because it was important to show support for what women, minorities and immigrants are facing in this country. While I was chatting with all of the wonderful men and women who came to march and protest, my god-daughter sent me a text that she and her friends were somewhere in the madness at 20 strong. I was more than proud of her because millennials are the group that will be negatively impacted the most with this administration’s policies. I was also proud of all the women, men, teens and younger kids gathering to make this year’s march a success, as well as to make their voices heard, not just in this country, but around the world.

If my mom were still alive, that first sign above referencing the 1960s, is the one she’d be holding. She believed in equality, was a staunch feminist and would have been at this march, or some march across this country. But she also would have been thoroughly pissed-off that we’re back at square one. But believe this, we’ll make it right mom, one day soon! We cannot and must not continue to allow history to keep repeating itself.

Today women and our allies, came together across this nation and around the world for the Women’s March. Let’s get something done. Rallies and protests are great, but we need to come together as a cohesive unit every single day and not just one day out of the year. I don’t want my nieces, god-daughter or any young girl in and outside of this country, to still be fighting the same fights we’re fighting today, and the fights our ancestors thought would be in my generation’s rearview mirror, against an extremist, patriarchal government who wants to have total control over women, our reproductive rights and how high up the ladder of success we can go. Our gender should NEVER be a deciding factor on any achievement in our lives, and our bodies and what’s inside of them, are our own to govern. The Handmaid’s Tale is a work of fiction and we should never EVER allow something like that to become a life imitating art moment.

As for immigration, everyone should be welcome in this country no matter what race, creed, ethnicity or religious affiliation. The Statue of Liberty says: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

There’s no caveat in that statement which says you’re only welcome if you’re White. This is only one of a multitude of reasons why we’re marching, protesting, resisting and signing people up to vote. The very heart and soul of this country is dependent upon reclaiming our right to call ourselves decent and moral people. We cannot and will not allow a small group of racist oligarchs and kleptocrats to reverse the progress we’ve made in the US regarding race, religious freedom, immigration and women’s rights just because they long for a bygone era of White Male Supremacy. The buck stops with each and everyone one of us and by now, we should have all had ENOUGH!

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Film Review: Proud Mary

I wanted to support Taraji P. Henson in her film “Proud Mary” and I’m glad I did. I know the critics savaged it and Rotten Tomatoes gave it 23%. But I’m veering off the freeway with this film. I think a lot of critics didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it, nor did they pick up on or appreciate the nod it gave to the so-called “blaxploitation” films of the 70’s. Another issue the critics appeared to have with Proud Mary is that it wasn’t filled with a ton of CGI, Special EFX and grandiose stunt sequences with the hero, or in this case, the heroine doing a lot of slow motion acrobatics, while mowing down 100 bad guys trying to kill her.

Proud Mary is a definite throwback to 70’s linear storytelling. It wasn’t filled with a multitude of subplots, random characters popping in and out, with no real connection to the overall narrative, and a bunch of not too subtle societal messages pounding the audience over the head like a sledgehammer. People in the theater also didn’t need a Ph.D in – “I think I’m so damned clever filmmaking”. It was a very easy film to watch and follow. The cinematography was clean, the action was just enough to move the story along and make you go WOW, the acting was good; Taraji P. Henson killed it as a badass hitwoman who can dispatch her targets without a second thought. Jahi Di’Allo Winston, who played the kid she looked after, was great. Danny Glover was also on-point as the crime boss Taraji’s character Mary worked for. Everyone cast in Proud Mary did their jobs well.

Were there some issues, of course. I thought the first half of the film moved a bit slow and there were a few small holes in the storyline, but it wasn’t enough to say Proud Mary is a bad film. The major problem with Proud Mary is that it wasn’t promoted enough, and for those who are addicted to slick, colorful, special EFX-laden films with an abundance of camera angle trickery, you’ll probably find Proud Mary boring and flat. But if you want a film that follows the screenwriter’s go-to, as in Freytag’s Pyramid, then you’ll find a warm place in your heart for Proud Mary.

As a sidenote: There were two films in the same vein as Proud Mary. The 1980 film Gloria with Gena Rowlands and the 1999 remake of Gloria with Sharon Stone. If you ever saw either of those films and liked them, then you’ll probably like Proud Mary.

Spoken Word Artist, Jennifer Thompson’s “The Mission”

On the Scoodie, I will occassionally showcase new and established artists, poets, spoken word performers, actors, singers, musicians and dancers. Today’s talent is spoken word artist and poet, Jennifer Thompson with her poem, “The Mission”.

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The Mission

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Showcasing Poet: Emilie Marie Blake’s “The Music”

On the Scoodie, I will occassionally showcase new and established artists, poets, spoken word performers, actors, singers, musicians and dancers. Today, I’m showcasing a very dear friend, award winning poet, Emilie Marie Blake.

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Emilie was at one time a very successful model in the 1960’s and 70’s,

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then changed careers and ended up in post production working on films by such auteurs as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Spike Lee. However, since a very young age, Emilie has had a passion for writing, especially poetry. So without further adieu,

“The Music”.

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Where is the Angel that came to me that night?
The trouble with reality is that its moments run out and need to be refilled
like a pen out of ink.

However, the music quenches
even without the new words.

Feeling… it will have to do.

While waiting for the favor to change

and become a
BLACK BERRY JUICE.

I’m BAAAACK!!

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I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

A Case Study: The I’m’s…..

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You know who they are — we work with them, we may live with them, we’re friends with them, they’re disbursed throughout our families, we pass them in cars and on the street everyday. Those familiar people who, for lack of a better word, are assholes who think the world revolves around THEM. They are what I comically call “The I’m’s“.

They can call or text early in the morning, late at night, at work, in the store, in the gym, in the car….anywhere at anytime when they need YOUR help. They sound the alarm and expect you to come running and, like the sucker you are, you answer the call to action. They will walk through a burning fire, scale the highest mountain, swim in the deepest ocean, fight the most abominable traffic, hop a flight, take a cab, get on the bus, walk, take the subway, go out into the hottest weather or the coldest blizzard to get to you when THEY need something.

But here is when they earn their title. You may be someone who rarely asks for favors and try to handle your life like a BOSS. But the second you ask one of these “I’m’s” for the teeniest, tiniest of favors, here it comes, wait for it…I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m too sleepy, I’m too hungry, I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I’m too exhausted (to drive), I’m not in your neighborhood, I’m stuck on the freeway and it’s too far out of my way, I’m working late, I’m digging a tunnel to China, I’m feeding the cat/dog, I’m washing my car, I’m picking my nose, I’m plucking my eyebrows, I’m scratching my butt (it may take a while), I’m involved with family commitments (family is never an issue for these people until it involves helping you, that’s their excuse), I’m inventing the cure for whatever illness I can think of that will get me out of assisting you, I’m too broke to drive because I need to conserve my gas so I can get to work, though they forgot their lie and posted numerous pictures on Facebook and Instagram of them out at a swanky restaurant or party, bragging about how much fun they had. This list could literally go on forever. But I think you get the point.

The I’m’s are basically narcissists with a little bit of passive/aggressiveness and egomania thrown in for good measure. Usually they’re innocuous and they’re not particularly bad people. But they are draining and infuriating. They have no idea that their actions affect their relationships with people in their personal, as well as their professional lives. They only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and everything else is white noise. They can pick other people apart at the seams, but when they’re called on their bullshit, they become extremely defensive, then try to flip the script and blame the issue on YOU. It’s Psych 101…..a classic move if there ever was one.

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So it brings me to this little sage piece of advice: if they’re in your life, you must make a decision if they’re worth the frustration, headaches and hurt feelings you’ll have dealing with them. Can you accept the mind-numbing fact that they are who they are and they won’t change. Or do you jump ship, swim as fast as you can to the shore, get to a safe haven, shower, change your clothes and catch the first thing smokin’ as far away from them as you can get. The choice is yours. I have some decisions to make of my own and it may be painful but I know what I need to do to preserve my sanity. You see, I’m not your garden variety woman, I have 1-800-FUCK-YOU on speed dial. I have very few problems with doing a surgical incision on relationships that are more of a liability than an asset. That’s just who I am.

So until next time, have a great weekend and I will keep everyone posted on my Winter cleaning. 🙂 Peace!

Hello My Name Is….SINGLE!

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Someone recently asked me if I ever plan on getting married again and the answer was a resounding NO! Not that I’m against marriage but I’ve been there and done that. And in all fairness to my ex, he’s not some bad, lying and cheating man who was the consummate evil. We just drifted in different directions but we’re still great friends. I’ve found that for me, marriage doesn’t agree with my personality nor my temperament. I’ve never been a woman who needed a ring, a piece of paper and a kid to validate me. I’m lucky, I grew up with parents who never pressured me to conform. My mom always said that my life was my life and no one else’s. I needed to do what felt right to me and if that meant never getting married and having kids or any combination thereof, so be it.
I’ve heard all the formulaic cautionary tales and musings about being single and childless and I say suck it. Being married and having kids guarantees nothing. Just look at the people dumped in nursing homes because those lovely children of theirs no longer want to be bothered. Well, that is unless there’s money involved but that’s another topic of conversation. Oh and there’s Peter and Polly Perfect. The ones you just want to smack, droning on and on about their perfect marriage, their perfect kids, their perfect dogs, their perfect home, their perfect car, their perfect job….just perfect…perfect…perfect!!!! Ugh!
I’m always very leery of anyone singing the praises of their perfect marriages and lives. It brings to mind, “doth protest too much, methinks”. Many times, sad to say, those marriages are the ones in the most trouble. It isn’t impossible to have a happy marriage and yes there are many people who’ve been married for decades. My parents for one. But society, family and friends need to pull their foot off the gas pedal and stop making the assumption that marriage is what everyone wants. Some people aren’t marriage or parent material. It doesn’t make them bad people, it just means they had common sense enough to know themselves. I believe fully, if you are unhappy in your marriage and you’ve done all you can do to salvage it, then leave. You can’t make someone want to be with you if they’ve emotionally or physically checked out. Far too many times people live on fantasy island and believe in fairytales. Fairytales only exist in films and books. Life is a different ball of wax.
I think the divorce rate would plummet if people started being real with themselves about what it is they truly want before they get married and have children. I also think society should back way off with indoctrinating people with the idea that the only way they will find true happiness and fulfillment is through marriage and children. That may be true for some, but not all. Marriage can be a wonderful joining of two mature people who know what they want and are working toward that goal. But life can also be a beautiful thing when people work towards their goals going solo. Not everyone does well land-locked and guess what…that’s okay too. You owe no one any explanations on how you conduct your life…it’s yours, so now go out there and enjoy it.
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