Monday, August 11, 2008

Razumijen, Flowers in the Cracks, Adrienne Barbeau, Isaac Hayes

Yeah. I have sort of left this blog out to dry for a while. Like many things in life, I am just picking up the pieces and reassembling loose ends.

The good news is that I have committed to two projects again:

Flowers in the Cracks Artists Alliance

Razumijen is taking on a life of its own. The scope of what is possible is growing so greatly that, in order to properly work on it, I am going to found the Global Understanding Institute (GUI), committed to monitoring, analyzing, and providing possible models for resolution of global crises and conflicts.

Flowers in the Cracks is going to be best served as a non-profit corporation too.

I feel that it is imperative to birth these as organizations so that they can continue to take on a life of their own.

I also talked to Ron Darcy today about the ol' Celebrate History ideas we had once. I've also been in contact with Dana Lombardy. Ron suggested we all get together at some point for dinner.

In fact, I started dropping into touch with a bunch of old friends. I found a notepad in the back of my Saturn station wagon. It was indeed the pad of paper I had on me when I was first filing for Celebrate History's 501(c)(3) status way-back when. A lot of contact info from when I was running Green Knight Publishing too.

I have been thinking of filing "The Green Knight" as a new fictitious business name (a "DBA/Doing Business As") just so I can build that up as my consulting gig.

It would fit into the activism I find myself in the midst of. For I went to the Department of the Environment this week to speak a few words for public comment to the California Air Resources Board representatives who were presenting the plan to deal with Global Warming in California. The folks at Environment California (CALPIRG) invited me to the meeting.

I was amazed. They brought thousands upon thousands of cards. Each one was a show of support from a registered California voter. They each represented someone, like me, who made the simple yet clear request: ensure the plan holds accountable those who emit greenhouse gases. Require they pay the cost to the environment for their emissions.

Democracy in action!

I am meeting many people right now who are brilliant neighbors. You would be surprised who drops into Books, Inc. on Castro Street. Today, I met Adrienne Barbeau, who was speaking about her new book Vampyres of Hollywood. I asked her during the Q&A if she believed that Escape from New York was the pinnacle of her career. After a bit of laughter, she shared some news, gently: Isaac Hayes, who had played the Mayor of New York in the movie, had passed away this very morning. "Chef" from South Park is how most people would likely know of him these days.

I just found out now, reading the news of his death, that Mr. Hayes was a Scientologist and left South Park for their mockery of his beliefs. Perhaps I will return to that issue another day. For now, I'll just pass on some other memories Adrienne shared of her experience on the movie set.

Issac Hayes, she said, was always a gentleman. She spoke well of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, and referred to Ernest Borgnine simply as "Ernie." From her smile of nostalgia, I could tell there was a great camraderie there. Yet of all the people, it was Donald Pleasance who had the best sense of humor. He was the sort of guy who would give her a quip before the cameras started rolling that made her bust up laughing.

I am usually automatically a fan of, or at least keenly interested in, any movie set in New York City. If one looks at that film's dystopic portrayal of the city in 1997, it is quite off from the actual historical outcome. The same way 2001: A Space Odyssey never lived up to its utopic or dystopic possibilities.

Thus, as the clock ticks towards 2:00 am, I am thoughtful about envisioning a future wherein the Global Understanding Institute may be solving for peace and security on a global scale. Or a world where the war and crises continue unabated regardless of the efforts of concerned citizens of the world.

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