Monthly Archives: October 2017

Arts and Entertainment News from Hollywood

“John Lennon & Yoko Ono Bed-In for Peace”

Ask any girl. Those rules were bent Friday night when I happened upon old flame David Goldman still going strong at his Boy’s Co exclusive opening of “All We Are Saying” – a fashionable evening featuring the original photographs of “John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace” by the late photojournalist Gerry Deiter.

These extraordinary photographs, providing the backdrop for the theme of the evening, were on display through the sagacity of the Elliott Louis Gallery’s owner Ted Lederer – who single-handedly dragged them out of Deiter’s vault for a first-time showing on May 26, 2004 – thirty-five years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono went to bed in a suite in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, and invited the entire world to join them in seeking an alternative to violence and war in solving global political and social problems.

May 26, 1969. That month the battle of Dong Ap Bia, a.k.a. Hamburger Hill was exploding in the Vietnam War. Race riots occurred in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. French Foreign Legion paratroopers landed in Kolwezi, Zaire, to rescue Europeans caught in the middle of a civil war. U.S. National Guard helicopters sprayed skin-stinging powder on anti-war protesters in California. It was two years after the Summer of Love.

John and Yoko were in room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Early in the Bed-In, a reporter asked John what he was trying to do. John said, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Putting sounds to the thought, he rented an 8-track tape machine from a local music store and, on May 31 while in bed, recorded the first solo by a single Beatle,” Give Peace a Chance”, – the recording was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory and Canada’s Tommy Smothers.

Gerry Deiter was there for the entire eight days. He was assigned to photograph the Bed-In for Peace by Life Magazine but Life never ran the feature. Ironically, it fell victim to a bigger story – the death of Ho Chi Minh, leader of North Vietnam.

Deiter kept the negatives and transparencies locked away for more than 30 years. He had been living aboard a classic wooden motor yacht cruising the wilderness of the British Columbia coast photographing and writing when Ted Lederer, with the help of family and friends, prevailed on him to bring this archive to life and offer the work to the public at the Elliott Louis Gallery in 2004. This amazing work offers up 25 images in colour and black and white that celebrate John and Yoko’s example of peace and love.

What brought the Boy’s Co show together were Goldman and Lederer meeting up on the field where their sons play soccer. It was a confluence that allowed for a new generation to have a special glimpse of an older one.

Disenchanted fan, Mark David Chapman, murdered Lennon on December 8, 1980. The world is still at war. This retrospective clearly speaks to Lennon’s prescience.

Good on Deiter, Goldman and Lederer for keeping his mission in our faces.

Devorah Macdonald is a freelance writer living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her professional career began as a disc jockey in California, Seattle and her hometown of Vancouver BC.

Vancouver Magazine, in an article titled ‘Video Vixen’, hailed her as having “the best female voice in radio locally,” going on to compare her world-weary delivery with Linda Ellerbee, formerly of the ‘Today Show’ and the award winning ‘Nick News’.

A ten-year retirement devoted to creating three children, “one of each,” according to Macdonald, now allows time write on music, movies and television.

Entertainment As Education and Training

Prisons should be rehabilitation centers. Inmates would be forbidden to watch commercial TV. Entertainment would be OK, but it would be good clean entertainment, not the sexual immorality, drug abuse and violence so prevalent on commercial TV.

Prisoners would also have a menu of cognitive therapy options available to choose from for their rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation and other educational opportunities will also be available.

Prisoner selection and progress in such programs will be monitored and considered in their reentry into society process.

I think Wyoming would be a great place to build prisons. Good jobs for Wyoming and placing them out in the relatively empty places in Wyoming would keep them away from society. I just think prisons and the whole rehabilitation industry would be good business for Wyoming.

Reforming Hollywood and other entertainment industry activities is another project we can work on to improve human nature and civilization. I am astonished that people think that murder and rape, and all kinds of human perversity is entertaining.

I guess the scientists who work in Hollywood have discovered how to push certain buttons in human nature and now they just keep pushing them, just like a pigeon will keep pushing the cocaine button in an experiment.

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it. Make sure everyone wins in all your business activities. Deliver more than you promise. Trade good stuff for good stuff. Never sell poison for money, whether its physically, mentally or spiritually poisonous. Much of the entertainment available today is mentally and spiritually poisonous. And when people act out the fantasies they are watching, it becomes physically harmful.

We are all responsible for this. Society is whatever we make it. We can make a peaceful and prosperous society, or we can make this mean oppressive society that Hollywood is selling.

I encourage everyone to help make the world a better place, be kind friendly and polite. Practice peace and prosperity in your own personal and professional lives. Practice unity in diversity.

Love and respect each other. We are not seeking uniformity. The diversity inherent in human nature is a strength of human nature. We do need a common set of moral and spiritual principles that we can all agree to and practice in order to live in harmony with each other and our
natural habitat.

Use of Arts and Entertainment

Your child has invited some playmates over. They started out laughing and having fun. Next thing you know, the kids are starting to fight over a toy that each one wants to play with. They can’t agree on an activity, and one child may start teasing the other.

What do you do to save the day? Pair the children up with matching play. This is an activity that gives each kid a chance to do something alone, but near each other. As they work, the kids may begin to speak to each other, share their ideas and finally begin to play with each other harmoniously.

An activity that you should try is the shadow drawing game. It is creative, fun and a sure hit with the little ones. If weather permits, have the kids lie down on a sidewalk while you outline their figures with chalk. The children can then decorate their outlines. If the weather is not cooperative, open paper grocery bags and tape them together until your section is large enough to trace each of the kids’ bodies on it. Do the same thing, mark out the kids’ figures and let them color in their sketches with crayons, paints or collage materials. Let them show off their creativity.

For this and similar occasions, it is best to be always prepared. We suggest that you stock up on these staples to keep them busy and happy.

1. Pre-made cookie dough (to make a simple snack or for cooking activities)
2. Markers, crayons, paints and colored chalks
3. Paper bags (grocery and lunch)
4. Masking tape
5. Safety scissors
6. A variety of paper (and business-size envelopes)
7. Dress-up clothes and accessories
8. Glue, glue sticks
9. Collage materials (magazines, scraps of fabric, ribbons, cotton balls, feathers and so on)
10. Flashlights

Both Art and Entertainment

River North dance Chicago concert- March 2010- St. Louis

‘A poem shouldn’t mean but be”

Is ‘art’ justified if it’s simply loved? Tons of people love twilight but I’m pretty sure most English majors or serious writers across the country hate it- or at least hate the success it receives -why does everyone insist on being served lower form of art?

About a month ago the jazz company River North dance Chicago came to my hometown of Saint Louis. I had seen them perform once before and they were pretty amazing so I had high hopes for the show. It opened with a piece choreographed by Sherry Zunker who has had a diverse career choreographing for everything from contemporary companies to cruise ships. The piece was a good wake up call for the audience, with a lot of dancers onstage dancing all together to a high-energy pop song.

I didn’t dislike it, I would just call it more ‘entertainment’ than ‘art’. Next was a structured improvisation solo work that didn’t move around the stage very much but was dynamic and surprising. I have a pretty good handle of dance ‘steps’ and while I caught things like a perfect quadruple pirouette in the midst, it looked much more -I hate to use this hackneyed word- organic rather than choreographed and was only more engaging for it.

The third piece was three men showing strength, rhythm, and versatility in almost primitive-like movement to loud Taiko drum music. This seems to be a big trend with jazz and contemporary companies these days. I don’t know who it originates with, but my guess is either Alonzo King or maybe Cedar lake. I have the feeling that the audience appreciated the obvious strength and stamina the men had, but perhaps made the mostly older crowd of the Midwest a little uncomfortable.

In all honesty, sometimes the choreography was so stylized that though they still looked great doing it, with three scantily-clad men I was a little reminded of the SNL parody of Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ video where Justin Timberlake and two other guys prance about in leotards and heels imitating the pop icon. The most stunning piece of choreography and dancing I had seen in a long time was ‘Forbidden Boundaries’ choreographed by RNDC artistic director, Frank Chaves.

The piece was three movements, opening with what I can best describe as a ‘Tim Burton’ feel- eerie and melancholy. The dancers did intricate partnering in duets involving stretchy fabric somehow attached to their otherwise very simple costumes while sharing practically no visual communication. To me, it looked as if each pair was representative of a single being fighting with their own fears or limitations, holding themselves back (in this case, often with the fabric). The second movement was a trio of two men and a woman centered at all times between the two and carried, flipped, manipulated by the fabric.

It had a touch of cirque de soleil aerials but managed to not look ‘gimmecky’ or acrobatic. The three dancers managed to display beautiful lines, lyric movement quality, strength and grace through unconventional choreography and use of props. The effect was stunning. The third movement ended the piece and the first act with a sort of ‘battle’ between pairs contrasting the fluid quality and more balletic feel of the second movement with a more aggressive, finale that showed the dancers strong jazz training. It was incredibly touching and ultimately empowering. End act one.

Begin act two; the predominantly over 60 population of the saint Louis audience shuffled back in from the bathrooms and the curtain rose for three more pieces on the bill. I think there is little to say about any of these three. The opening piece was well danced, very contemporary, and had a very fitting title, ‘Suppose’- aptly named because I can only suppose what, if anything, the choreographer was trying to SAY (and if I guessed I would probably be wrong). The next piece was a tango-style pas de deux (dance of two). Very nice, seen stuff like it before. Closing piece: a big Cuban number complete with dance-team fouettes (the most commonplace trick for competitions) that I didn’t find challenging or even that exciting. I would have preferred just the second, third, and fourth piece and have called it a night.

Why was what I thought the best piece sandwiched between more accessible pieces- with a progression of challenging the audience to let us off easy by the end? It sort of felt like the parental routine of attempting to slip vegetables into your fussy kids by covering them in cheese or peanut butter. It really frustrated me that what I found to be communicative, technical, and innovative wasn’t featured as the last impression to take way from the experience.