Make America Hate Again

Make America Hate Again

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” Maya Angelou

It turns out that it was not just the economy that brought out the Trump supporters but the shame that the white working class had previously felt about themselves. The Right was very successful in campaigning on the premise that it wasn’t the white working class that failed but some other villain – Muslims, Jews, Liberals, African-Americans, Immigrants, Gays, Feminists, the Media  – the list keeps growing.

The liberals and the media did not understand this deep level of classicism between the haves, have less or have-nots.

Right or wrong Donald Trump gave them back some pride. In doing that, he gave license to their rage and has done nothing to stop that.

I now live in an artsy, racially mixed (and by that I mean interracial couples)  neighborhood. I am at the beach and there are many visitors on the weekends. I was walking my dog and  there was a truck double parked facing in the wrong direction. A man driving by got out of his car to ask him what he was doing.  They were both white. The truck was an Escalade type thing. The car was the cheaper Mercedes model. The Mercedes driver wore a Hawaiian flowered shirt. They were arguing and it was getting ugly. As is my New York custom,  I crossed the street to avoid trouble. The truck driver yelled, “You are such a fucking faggot. You are a big loser. Did you vote for Hillary?”

The racism, sexism and xenophobia that Trump used to advance his candidacy had found its way to my street. When things happen right in front of you,  it is hard to stay open and indifferent. White hate speech against white people in a very liberal neighborhood is new. It is nothing new for black or gay people anywhere. Venice is the kind of mixed arty community that people move into to avoid this. The big conversation among strangers here is how are the waves today or look at that sunset. The lid against hate has been blown off. 

I still say that I wasn’t brought up to hate. I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, McCarthyism and my parents’ fears.  I was raised not to sign anything, peacefully protest but not call too much attention to yourself by leading the march.  

A younger couple had heard it as well and they walked up to me. He is blond. She is Asian. They asked how it started. “Stay safe,” they say when they walk away.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Politics At the Academy Awards In Los Angeles

Politics at the Academy Awards In Los Angeles

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” Winston S. Churchill

First part written on Saturday

I do usually cringe when celebrities use award shows to promote their political views. Trump is all Americans talk about these days anyway so I don’t think we will get though the Academy Awards without him. The Trump supporters will be disgusted by the out of touch Hollywood elitists who are trying to tell the normal people what to do. The liberals will say the overpaid celebrities are making it worse. The ceremony takes place in California and Hilary won easily here so we pretty much know how they feel. I think a few will be brilliant and most won’t. Something political will happen with best Foreign Film.  I liked Salesman the best  so I’m hoping for a win. It would be cool if Moonlight won.  Jimmy Kimmel is a given for political commentary, though he will probably tone it down for the event.  I hope it doesn’t turn into and the best anti Trump moment is. I think the speeches will be more about inclusion and diversity. Some of us are still PC.

To be continued tomorrow

Sunday

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. The show was a bit more stripped down and low-key than usual. It was going along smoothly and predictably. Everyone I wanted was winning. Jimmy Kimmel was the Greek chorus. A lot of it was expected  but he had a few really funny lines. In his praise of Meryl Streep for  her many overrated and underwhelming performances (Trump tweet), he asked if she was wearing an Ivanka? He told  all the people who worked for CNN and anyone with the word Times in their job – even Medieval to leave the room.

Viola’s speech was better than even I thought it would be. August Wilson would have been proud. Salesman won which it should have. The most powerful political statement of the evening  was read for the film’s director Asghar Farhadi who did not come in protest of the travel ban. All the “immigrants’ (I know because they said they were immigrants – I wasn’t judging)  expressed their disapproval and solidarity.

 Hollywood did what it does best at the Oscars. Hollywood celebrated its own with beautiful dresses, humor, reverence and appreciation. The attention was focused on the people in the room and the magic and healing of movies. Candy was flying everywhere. 

The reality is that I’ve always been a fan of the simple thank you at award shows. It was a simple thank you kind of night.

And then Oscar history was made. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally announced the wrong winner for best picture. I was worried when they came on. Warren always seems dazed to me and they are both way too vain to wear their glasses onstage. I was expecting some uncomfortable banter about that.  After La La Land’s producers made their thank you speeches, they were told it was a mistake and Moonlight had won. “This is not a joke.” and I quote.  Everyone was as dazed and confused as Warren (who apparently had been handed the wrong envelope).  It was a perfect Hollywood Ending with a twist.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Tip Jars In America

Tip Jars In America

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi

If you come from another country, one of the first things you notice is how much tipping is expected in the United States. Tipping at a counter when I’m ordering take out is not what I am accustomed to. I worked for tips, when I was growing up, so I am a big tipper for good service. We now have electronic tipping when you are paying a bill at a register. I’m not quite sure what I am tipping for – that you are ringing up a juice I took from the case and handed to you? The first time I was intimidated and did it but I don’t anymore. Tipping for limited service is definitely becoming part of the American culture. There are tip jars everywhere. It’s a conundrum. What is the tip for stuffing a bagel into a paper bag? or for an already overpriced five dollar latte? My personal rule now is that it just depends on the experience or the creativity of the tip jars. There is a website called funnytipjars.com. I am a sucker for a creative tip jar.

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funny tip jars

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M Cafe

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funny tip jars

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Daily Dose

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Starbucks

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Kreation

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Things I Will Miss, Things I Will Not Miss

Things I Will Miss, Things I Will Not  Miss
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter how much, how often, or how closely you keep an eye on things because you can’t control it. Sometimes things and people just go. Just like that.” Cecilia Ahern

Things I Will Miss

Wide open spaces, all my big art, large rooms, my kitchen table that I made from collecting sea glass on the beach with my family and friends one summer, walking down my driveway to get the paper on Sunday, high ceilings, green everything outside, nature, flowers, avocado and lemon trees, my stuff,  not needing window coverings, my big bedroom,  Chickenman, my garbage cans,  my gas station, Miripolsky,  my big driveway to park in, my photo albums, parrot sculpture, from old car parts, funny chair, Mandeville Christmas “kindergarten sex”, lights, all my record albums on the wall, Twenty Sixth Street Mart, my large wall construction,  quiet, walking my dog in the country, lots of trees and flowers, nearby hiking trails, cello, safety, smelling jasmine ( always reminds me of Greece).

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Things I Will Not Miss

Water damage, middle of the night coyote kills, screaming animals,  smoke alarm going off in the middle of the night for no reason, setting my burglar alarm off, rattlesnakes, more water damage, weird bugs, mice, lizards in the house, bees,  ants, dead animals in the driveway, big orange garden snakes, brush clearance, fire safety, broken pipes, even more water damage, phone problem that no one can fix, laundry problem that took weeks to diagnose and fix,  mold, mold testing, mold repair,  more ants, constant house maintenance, backyard and pool maintenance, big animals running alongside my car at night.

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Things I Will Miss

Vicente foods, neighbors, my gas station, my Dry Bar girls, art I will have no more from for, kid art, my gym,  Fear No Art, cute deer in driveway, morning light, family memories, living in the country in the city, Ernie, coming home to my beautiful house after a long trip,  nests with baby birds, my squirrels, the way the light hits my green vintage vases on my kitchen window in the morning when I’m making coffee, cheap art from our first house, the parrots that fly by around 5pm,  my juice bar, Brian Andreas, family memories, photographs I have no room for, walking my dog up on Westridge and watching the sunset, my kids stopping by to hang out in their rooms, my giant closet and all the other closets, the space to keep everything,

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Things I Will Not Miss

Coyotes in driveway stalking my dog, deer jumping in front of my car (sorry), the drive to Silverlake, actually the drive to anywhere I have to be, having to pass the 405 on Sepulveda, rush hour traffic on Sunset ( which starts at 230), 0possum, raccoons, seeing dead animals on the road every morning,  more broken pipes, BIKERS, house construction blocking the road- all the time, my air conditioning units, seeing prisoners do brush clearance,  weird refrigerator leak,  dark roads, driving up the canyon at night in the pouring rain, fallen trees blocking the road, something is  broken and needs to be repaired, fixed or replaced for a lot of money.

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Fly safe,

JAZ