For many, the sign of the times is a piece of cardboard, held by a homeless person seeking food, shelter, work or perhaps just a smile. The 14 minute short film Good Karma $1 starts with an intellectual notion and follows it back to the human heart and a social dilemma without a clear solution.
There is much afoot, and I’ll be posting links here from time on work occurring across the boards, including footnotes on social—which filters through my twitter feed on these pages.
Happy spring and may your garden be filled with fragrant blossoms.
It started simply enough for me, Julia Butterfly was attending the 2006 Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Nevada City, California and I wanted to interview her. In that moment, my role shifted from attendee to participant. I knew it would be worth doing, but didn’t account for how incredible the stories of each film could be. These stories were the driving passion for filmmakers, often filling several years of their lives. There was so much that was brave, beautiful and hopeful going on out in the world — Wild & Scenic films bear witness to a type of engaged activism that is truly inspiring. Reviewing these underexposed films became a special project for me — a way to contribute.
1%, Amartya Sen, american economy, Anyway?, Batker, book review, Business books, de Graaf, Federal Reserve Chai Ben Bernanke, Gifford Pinchot, Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Stiglitz, occupy, Publisher's Weekly, What's the Economy for
Authors de Graaf and Batker take an unconventional look at how we tie ourselves into knots of anxiety over concepts that add little value to our lives. Their new book What’s the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness dovetails with current Occupy efforts—this is a time to question not only where we are, but how we got here and de Graaf and Batker are up to the challenge—they address themes of consumption, economics and the pursuit of happiness in an America boosting over 14 million unemployed with vast wealth being held by 1% of the population.
New California Writing 2011
Edited by Gayle Wattawa
Paperback, 320 pages, June 2011
Editor Gayle Wattawa sounds a note full of depth, resonance and diversity in “New California Writing” Heyday Books new anthology series. From Michael Chabon’s musings on everyday family life in “Manhood for Amateurs” or Rebecca Solnit’s enlightening description of bluebelly lizards, on through to the very last page, there is much to ponder, embrace and recognize as the great golden State of California.
Think of this book as a snapshot of a single moment, captured simultaneously by distant cousins who have never met—viewing these vignettes shifts the reader’s perspective, informing subtly, as the best writing does.
It finally felt like summer, with light and sun pouring in as Seattle’s ACT Theatre quickly filled for “Longing for the Light,” Copper Canyon Press’ Summer Solstice Reading, the devoted audience leaving the balmy evening for a dark urbane interior.
Notable poets from distant corners of the U.S. filled the stage, bringing with them considerable light and a summation of wordful colors.
About a decade ago I encountered Ann Patchett’s novel, The Magician’s Assistant. It was in a stack on a bookstore table and commanded my attention in the curious way that books sometimes beckon. When I read The Magician’s Assistant, I was captivated. How did this novelist paint such a curvy road with so much care and luminousity, yet still hold surprises until the very end?
I reviewed The Magician’s Assistant and then, re-reading the review, thought that perhaps the author might wish to see it—so on a whim, I drafted a short cover letter and sent it away, in care of the publisher, like my grade school teacher taught me.
What can be said about a man so calm and charming that it seems perfectly reasonable to store manuscripts in the freezer or plant a 38mm bullet through an unsavory book? The author himself demonstrates the answer when he reads from his upcoming novel, Canada. What can be said is the gentleman can surely write. In a few short minutes Richard Ford takes listeners down a windy path, introduces us to a family and splays open their history, from a happenstance beginning to the worn features of lives habituated by compromise.
As Dr. Jessica Burstein of the UW English Dept, introduces Joyce Carol Oates, the room grows still. Surely the credits are remarkable and even perhaps incomparable—over 50 novels and dozens of short story collections, the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. Her works Black Water, What I Lived For, and Blonde were all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2003, Oates was honored with the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature. For brevity, here I omit listing her purview at Princeton and other extensive recognitions…
Joyce Carol Oates’ quiet presence filled the room as Seattle’s Benaroya Hall audience sat in on a discussion of Oates work, skillfully and unobtrusively led by Dr. Burstein. But for starters, Oates took off the mantle of her achievements, making it clear that her role was not to distribute wisdom, rather it seems she casts sidelong glances at her worldly accomplishments, not owning them in a way that explains her light touch in discussing her writing process and the consistently unusual choice of topic for her works.
The March 24, 2011 Twestival Seattle—Tweet, meet, give—was a super event, bringing together Social Media Club Seattle and the international Twestival 2011 for FareStart—all at Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle.
“Twestival is a single day, global movement which uses the power of social media to organize offline events that mobilize communities in support of local causes. Since 2009 over 200 cities have participated by hosting offline events raising close to $1.2 million for 137 causes; most notably education and clean water.” from Twestival.com
Twestival’s synergy combines forces, and captures $$ for non-profits along the way….everyone was going to attend regardless to socialize and network, so contributing to good in the process keeps the ‘social’ in social media.