a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Music Matters

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

What came first – the music or the muse?

Since the sixties and perhaps earlier, music has been linked to revolution, counterculture, the dawning of a new age. Unlike Hollywood celebrities, musicians are also referred to as artists and you know what they say, Make Love Art. Not War. Todays musical artists are no less restless, enraged and willing to speak and sing out for Change.

Grist lists 15 Green Musicians of 2007 as: Pearl Jam, The Root, Sarah Harmer, Green Day, Jack Johnson, Thom Yorke, Willie Nelson, KT Turnstall, Guster, Perry Farrell, Sheryl Crow, Bare Naked Ladies, Cloud Cult, Bonnie Raitt, Moby. How and why? Go here. This list is only a short version of the many performers playing a new green tune. In fact, late in 2007, Peter Garrett, the former lead singer of rock group Midnight Oil, was named Australia’s environmental minister.

Live Earth spotlighted this voice for change and perhaps tipped other artists into a greener arena. When you live by using your voice, your gift and your passion, it’s only a matter of time before the [CFL] light bulb turns on.

Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll.

Epilogue: Above is a post i wrote in 2008. I had just tapped into the idea of how much “Music Matters”. Live Earth had just happened. More and more artists were arriving on the music scene all over the world. Older mainstream artists were resurfacing (some straight out of rehab) with the same passion and energy to share and show the world.

There are still more local music shows and festivals. There is more acceptance and integration of different styles and musical genres. What I think is different is that some of the rage has been transformed to a more authentic love and lightness. Kind of a surrender to the journey. Although the world needed and still needs practical measures to bring change and healing, the music seemed to become the place to go to refuel the sacred activist within. And, I know i needed refueling.

As I said back then, this is not new phenomenon. But it is interesting that what I thought was a peak in the musical world then has risen to higher and more meaningful depths 2 years later. We continue to seek what is transformational – looking for the creative energy in the midst of chaos.

All I can say is thank the Universe.

Thrift-Love, it’s not just about the clothes

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Reported on, Actress, Thandie Newton, on clothes – “It is grotesque how out of control manufacturing has become, and the excess, the pollution that’s caused by it. Vintage (clothing) is not only glorious and stylish, it’s also the way forward in terms of recycling. Whenever I go into great vintage stores, I wonder why we ever buy new things.”

Some celebs walk the walk – red carpet and otherwise – and Thandie gets going green.

The Change founder, Jerry Stifelman, knows the consumer end of fashion, and he loves all aspects of thrifting, especially the new clothing and accessory swap site, At Swango, you can find quality and style for a few dollars and the price of shipping, and you don’t have to leave home. Here’s more from Jerry on the experience of thriting:

For the core thrift customer, it’s a conscious, highly valued choice. For them, the glossy sterility of The Gap or Banana Republic pales in comparison to the possibilities of used clothing. The foundation of the thrift experience is that it is AN EXPERIENCE.

These assets include:
– DESTINY. Everything at a retail store is calculated to appeal to people. There is no thrill in buying a pair of jeans that a marketing department has predicted that a half a million people including yourself will purchase. At a thrift store, if you see a sweater, or a hat that appeals to you — it’s the only one there. It has taken its own path across space and time to reach you. It’s meant to be. It’s special. It’s meaningful.

– STORY. A new t shirt comes to you from a factory where it was made alongside thousands of others. A thrift store shirt has an utterly unique story — you don’t necessarily know what the story is — but you know it’s there.

– COMMUNITY. Like anything that involves a choice that deviates from the mainstream, there is a sense of community associated with the thrift experience. You know that others feel similarly and it creates an instant connection. The exchanges between thrift store employees and customers are more intimate, relaxed and less businesslike than between typical retail employees and customers — in fact, they are more apt to be genuine conversations — not just polite exchanges.

Fashion doesn’t get any better than this.

Maher, Letterman, Barker

Monday, February 18th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

What do Bill Maher, David Letterman and Bob Barker have in common besides television? When it comes to how we treat animals, they get it.

In the Ecorazzi news, Bob Barker donates 1 million dollars to his Missouri alma mater to establish a undergraduate animal-ethics program that will teach about animal advocacy. Mr. Barker closed every telecast of his long-standing game show, The Price is Right, by urging people to spay and neuter their pets. He doesn’t feel it was enough. At age 84 and recently retired from his day job, he plans to commit even more time to his activist work for the animals.

Bill Maher, in response to criticism that PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sometimes “crosses the line” in their activist efforts – Says Bill, “It’s not the worst thing in the world to cross the line. To me, a much worse thing is to never even approach the line. ”

David Letterman, late night TV host, on the circus – “What is more American than eating cotton candy and watching animal abuse? Am I right?”

My closing reminders: Adopt from shelters and rescues, don’t buy from breeders. Spay and neuter. Train don’t restrain. Don’t visit the circus or urban zoos. Don’t eat animals raised in feed lots. Support animal advocacy with your words, your actions and your wallet. Animals have a lot to teach and share with us. Let’s pay attention.

Cultural Shock and Awe in Hollywood

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Morgan Freeman says “Our situation, with global warming and air quality and all of that, has gotten to be catastrophic.” Yet, he also tells us he commutes 1,800 miles in his private 7-seater jet to work in movieland of CA. Nicholas Cage owns 13 homes, Tom Cruise uses and abuses a ton ‘o fuel for 4 jets, while John Travolta travels in his own 5 flying machines, including a Boeing 707 airliner.

None of this is too surprising considering the lifestyles of the in-comprehensively rich and disproportionately famous. But, the denial of reason by many celebrities rarely stops there. Attempt to fathom our own Material Girl, revealed to spend approximately $124,000/year on bottles of water for her family – Kabbalah blessed, of course. At $5/bottle That’s 24,000 bottles annually, or 65 bottles disposed of every day. Recycled or not, that’s a whole lotta plastic.

We can’t complain too much – we’ve fueled the celebrity fire. The good news is that even Hollywooders can grow up and many are joining the green ranks – in style, of course. For better or worse, they have the uncanny ability to influence large numbers of the star-struck masses in endless ways. Thank you, Adrian, Ed and Darryl (and others) who are modeling consciousness as only a movie star can.

What Would Jesus Buy?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Walmart is selling a new set of toy action heroes that go by the names of Jesus, Mary and Moses. These and other “Messengers of Faith” series, from one2believe, has found a quickly expanding market – it’s been picked up by Target and online stores. Their best seller? Jesus of Nazareth. Faith sells, it seems – one2believe will soon offer around 75 products. It’s official, buying plastic stuff has become gospel.

Enter Billy Talen, humorist and political activist whose movie and book, What Would Jesus Buy?, produced and co-written by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. While Bill Talen’s evangelism is fake, his activist message is real. Reverend Billy and his “Church of Stop Shopping” regularly goes to rallies and into public spaces to pass on his important message – “We have an emergency here. This is the time of radical America. This is a time when we change things together.”

What Would Jesus Buy? was released in theaters last month. Pass it on.

Bright Lights, Green City – green tree for Big Apple

Friday, December 7th, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

You can call New York City a energy-consuming city, but you could also say that most of it serves a small footprint. Take away the autos and you have Venice – sort of. Whether you love it or hate it – when NYC speaks, many people listen. And a 84 foot lighted Holiday Tree speaks loudly.

The 75th annual tree-lighting happened on November 28th but their was more than sparkling lights to cheer. This year the 60 year-old Spruce held 30,000 L.E.D.s (light-emitting diodes) powered by solar panels on the roof of Rockefeller Plaza. Officials project will save as much energy a day as an average family uses in a month (or perhaps 4 Manhattan-sized apartments).

Tishman Speyer, the co-owner and manager of Rockefeller Center, says the carbon emissions created by cutting and transporting the tree will be offset and the lumber to be used later by Habitat for Humanity. Read more here.

White House – can you hear me now?

HO HO HO and Merry Christmas, Tao

Rolling Stone Rocks Change

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

What’s better than sex and rock ‘n roll? Sex, rock ‘n roll and changing the world. For many years, I have enjoyed Rolling Stone Magazine. It helps me be engaged in both the music world and the political climate, with their excellent coverage of the rock and roll scene and their weekly news features. This month, RS has outdone themselves with the third installment of this year’s Fortieth Anniversary issue (#1039). Find a copy and start reading! Or, go to the website and read it online.

This is a collection of 25 interviews on the future of American and the world with the artists, scientists and leaders who “helped shape our time.” No kidding – this is good and inspiring and thought-provoking dialogue from icons to idols to iconoclasts. The lineup is spectacular – I simply have to list them all: Al Gore, Bono, Bill Maher, Tim Berners-Lee, George Clooney, Eli Pariser, Craig Venter, Sam Harris, Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews, Cornel West, Jon Stewart, paul Krugman, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Billie Joe Armstrong, Kanye West, Chris Rock, Lisa Randall, Dave Eggers, William Gibson, Jane Goodall, Bill Gates, Bruce Springsteen, Bill Clinton.

In order to absorb it all, I’m limiting myself to two reads/day. There’s a lot to take in and take away – ideas, inspiration, amusement, outrage, ideas, information, along with a little fear, but much more than that – hope. Read along with me and give me your thoughts. Happy Anniversary, Rolling Stone and thanks.

Forget the Doom and Gloom – Heal Gaia

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

If you happen to catch the recent article and interview in Rolling Stone, “The Prophet“, you may have felt like calling in sick for a few days – or more. In an in depth and impressive piece by Jeff Goodell, James Lovelock, one of the most eminent and innovative scientists of our time, gets more than gloomy about the future of civilization. “Our future,” Lovelock says, “is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”

Although I know the extent of what we’re facing with climate change, I’m not convinced of any one absolute for the future. Still, my idealist nature took a hard blow after reading this interview. My normal state of optimism was thrown significantly out of whack. Thankfully, the letters of response, printed in this week’s RS issue 1040, helped me get climb back in the saddle. Wise words from one reader below:

“I do not get how Lovelock could suggest that we lock ourselves up in a tech bubble disconnected from the rest of the biological world. I will not be joining him to wither away in stagnant recycled air. I will be fighting the good fight with millions of others as a healer of Gaia. We will work to sequester carbon in ecosystems, not just in dangerous, uncontrollable sea-algae blooms. We will work to create truly renewable energy. We will capture fresh water and recharge aquifers. Lovelock should stop sowing seeds of hopelessness among the young people. Why not plant a garden?”

– John House Wilson, New Paltz, NY

Thanks John. I owe you one. Tao

THE TAO OF CHANGE [the way of a better world]

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