Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Theatre

I attended a performance of Midsummer’s Night Dream over the weekend at the Front Range Theatre Group in Castle Rock, Colorado. The crowd was good and the performances were great. The requisite energy between audience and performers was there in full measure and made for a strong and moving performance.
This kind of "little" theatre provides the life blood of the arts community across the country. The actors, for the most part, are not professionals (many are children) nor is the rest of the crew, yet they donate weeks and weeks of time to construct sets, design costumes, provide props, and experience long hours of rehearsals for the accompanying music as well as for the stage performances.

I am full of admiration for those who dedicate their time, effort and unconditional love to the arts in our community. There is vision here, a simple and effective way to bring together neighbors and neighborhoods. It is a lofty idea that is repeated in hundreds of communities across our nation. What could be more gratifying than to expose our children to the art of "giving back" rather than allow them to focus on "what you can do for me." And, how much more rewarding than watching endless hours of vacuous television.

Please make an effort to visit Front Range Theatre Group in their upcoming production of “The Wisdom Within these Walls – Wisdom in Uniform” at Tri Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake. As the program states, “Based on poignant, moving interviews, these stories have been beautifully rendered into a readers’ theatre production.” After seeing last year’s production, I have no doubt Anne McGhee Stinson and Sandy Haworth South will bring this to a reality.

Performances are November 11 through 13, 2011. See

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ode to Green

There's a chilling similarity in the disregard of public outcry for two projects in two separate hemispheres -- both of which have been home to me.  

Here in the US, the controversy is raging over a decision still pending regarding the Tar Sands Project (Keystone XL pipeline) -- a proposed 1661 mile pipeline from Canada through the middle of the US all the way to Texas refineries.

In Bolivia, an 185 mile highway has been proposed from Brazil  through virgin lands of the Amazon jungle all the way to the Pacific Coast of Chile.  This road is to be largely paid for by Brazil, to whose benefit it would accrue because of increased exposure to trade in the East.

The indigenous people of Bolivia to whom Evo Morales owes two terms in the presidency are protesting this road through their land. Morales wants the road to gain commerce for Bolivia, Brazil favors the road in order to gain access to the sea and the Indians want their land to remain untouched.

Through a temporary order on October 13, the Bolivian Judiciary delayed construction;  however,  the peasants still march in protest towards their capitol in LaPaz as they believe it could be overturned and is not binding.

Morales, the first indigenous president in the history of Bolivia, had promised his people upon re-election in 2009 that they would always have a voice in the development of the country.  It seems he has forgotten, but the people remember.  And Morales is in danger of losing the opportunity to win a third term in 2014.

To the north of them we, in 2008, elected Barack Obama in part to help put a stop to wanton development of our lands and to adhere to a reasonable approach to global warming.  Obama has dragged his feet and now has to make a stand or lose what popularity he still has and agree to a project that would  (by many counts), support 600,000 American jobs by 2035  (see below for source).

This of course is the good part -- we need jobs. But some environmentalists believe it would be an ecological disaster (James Hansen from NASA for one).

These are monumental decisions - both, and I do not envy these two progressive leaders in this strangely symmetrical dilemma who are both so eloquent in their defence of global warming and saving "mother earth."

A White House decision is forthcoming November 1, at which time we will see which way the political winds blow.

(This site is now closed)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Degradating End

Qaddafi will, along with Hitler and Hussein, take his place in the annals of history and crimes to humanity.

And how to judge them (and others of course)?  Are they devils come to wreak evil upon the world?  Or are they ordinary humans whose accumulation of power placed them in a position where they could no longer see the evil they brought.  I don't know the answer.

I thought I believed that we all choose the lives we enter into. That if our lives are difficult, it is because we've chosen that in order to work through some weaknesses.  I feel naive in that belief now as I contemplate what men like Qaddafi face ahead.  Will it all become clear to him, once he's made the "grand transition" and will he regret not using his tremendous power to enrich the lives of his countrymen rather than to drag them into poverty and dependence and degradation. 

I do not know the answer.

I do know that the Libyan people have brought about a revolution and thrown off the mantel of oppression.  They have won and I commend them. Now let them show us what they can do with the liberty they've won.