Thursday, December 24, 2015

Politics, Theater, Water & Good News

Trying to move US to the radical middle

INNER TRUMP … No use denying it. As Americans, we all carry a bit of Donald around with us. Crypto-racist language. Mean sound bites. Impossibly simple fiats … Truth is, we are all embedded in the United States of America, the First World’s leading nation -- which has assumed neo-colonial guard duty for the Free World’s Market Empire. At least that’s been the vision, since the ‘50s, of the DullesBrothers/Eisenhower/Nixon/Reagan/Bush/Wall Street Journal wing of what many of us have taken to calling our nation’s “deep politics.” This is the same group of powerful men representing the 1% who, post-WWII, created the CIA, a Cold War strategy of mutual assured destruction with Russia, had Mossedegh, Arbenz and (it would appear) both Kennedys killed, and has been overturning as much of FDR’s legacy as possible and preventing any quasi-socialist proposals for money to be spent on society’s middle and lower classes … Look, we all need to move to the middle to get things done … Let certain pols make fools of themselves. It’s a free country, as my daddy used to say. But neither side of the political divide is going to close the gap by throwing rocks from the other cliff-face.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC … This was meant to run last week, but got crowded out by other items. But I have to comment. It’s amazing to me how a live community theater show is so powerful. Even with non-professionals, there’s something about live theater that grabs one in ways that even the most polished films rarely do … I don’t know exactly how Sara Doehrman manages to pull off such great community theater musicals. But corny, nostalgic, old-fashioned – little of that matters when you see neighbors and kids acting out a play, singing and carrying on, in a thoroughly convincing manner. Her adapted Rodgers and Hammerstein delight had us all charmed and entertained a couple Fridays back. There were so many standouts I can’t name them all. But I loved all the characters and the singing and the acting. It really amazed me how powerful theater is, even community theater with amateurs … There’s a reason I don’t miss ACE of Norwood shows in the Livery. They’re wonderful!

HAMLET … As you can tell, I love live theater. Theater on film almost always seems to lack the immediacy and wraparound embrace of live stage performances. But I had to make an exception for the Royal National Theatre’s production of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the Barbicon theater in London, and watched last weekend at the Palm, thanks to the good work of Jennie Franks and SPARKy Productions … It was nothing short of astounding. I can’t wait for the next production.

THE GREAT DIVIDE … April Montgomery of the Telluride Foundation and Laura Kudo of the Telluride Institute’s Watershed Education Program showed this wonderful primer on water in Colorado at the Wilkinson Library last week. Every Coloradoan ought to see this film. There’s probably no easier way to get up to speed on the issues associated with water in this state than watching The Great Divide. Not only is it well executed, but it’s enjoyable, balanced and thought-provoking. Peter Coyote does the narration … Plus, our own April M gets a couple marvelous quotes in the mix of water experts, and the documentary ends with a finale shot of Bridalveil Falls … Highly recommended.

GOOD NEWS … Kudos to San Miguel County for protecting the Forest Service’s Wasatch Trail up Bear Creek from closure by the Chapman gang. State Appeals Court shot down the Chapman legal challenge on all counts, upheld Judge Deganhart’s lower court ruling and released a written opinion, making it precedent-setting law -- unless overturned by the State Supreme Court … Kudos too to the Trust for Public Land, GOCO, Colorado State Forest Service, the federal Forest Legacy Project and Ouray County for putting the 2,248-acre Sawtooth Mountain Ranch into a conservation easement. That means water rights for the 11 springs and 20 ponds on the ranch will stay with the land, including two tributaries of the Uncompahgre River which run through the ranch property, protecting drinking water and irrigation water.

NOW WE KNOW … “We could question when we were young about the dead and whether they live on in heaven, or in the ground, or in molecules of air, or whether they return, or wherever it is they go. We can no longer question. We can no longer say we do not know … We look now into mirror and see them. Our mothers’, our grandmothers’ faces. Our fathers’, our grandfathers’ traces. Their gnarled old hands, their blotched and spotty skin. We see them in the postures of our bodies, their shape or stoop. Their sprightliness and grace … We see them in the predilections of our souls. The ancestors -- hear them in our stories. Stories of home, of lost love, of youth. Stories of victory or of loss. Echoing in us like ram’s horns, or tambourines with a beat in the movement of our fingers. Or words flowing through our hearts and the rhythm of our feet … On the great round now, winter. Darkest night. Abyss of night. Gateway to the dream beyond the dream. The very animals in us howl. And the moon, shining on fields, shining on sea. Shining, shining on ancient Earth.” –Amalia Sabatini, Clinton, NY


when the glass slipper
does not fit, learning
the joy of bare feet

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Western Slope Poet Laureate

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