Critics elevate the taste

“Art and culture also have a serious economic impact on this city. According to the most recent Otis Report on the Creative Economy, one in eight regional jobs in L.A. and Orange County are generated by the creative industry, which has a total economic output of over $230 billion annually.”

The LA Times recently laid of its arts and architecture critic Jori Finkel. In response, area art museums signed a letter asking the paper to re-instate her position, because her coverage is critical to the life of their organizations. I am so happy that the museums stood behind Finkel, and I hope the LA Times, and other newspapers will reconsider future decisions like this one. Critics are so important because they make people aware of what’s happening in their communities, provide context to arts events, expose audiences to new artists and art forms, and most importantly they elevate the taste level.

In our social media driven world, everyone is a critic, but everyone is not a good critic. Criticism, especially arts criticism, is a muscle that is strengthened by exposure to more and more art. The more you are exposed to, the more your taste evolves. The more your taste evolves the higher your standards get. What social media allows people to do is critique the art they choose to consume in a thumbs up/thumbs down sort of way. Arts critics have to cover everything, whether it fits their aesthetics or not. Arts critics have the strongest muscles. I hope the LA Times reconsiders this decision. I’ll be following this story.

Read the full article here.

Verdict in the George Zimmerman trial

The internet blew up around 10 PM on Saturday evening as news outlets reported that a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of manslaughter and second degree murder. It seems the whole nation has been on pins and needles throughout this entire trial, especially as we awaited this verdict. And in this era of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, opinions about this case and what the prosecution and defense could’ve/would’ve/should’ve done will be inundating news feeds for the next week, I’m sure. I’m sure there will be black hoodie vigils, protests for national holidays, and condolences cards sent to Martin’s parents. I’m sure there will be Zimmerman supporters shouting victory in the American justice system. And even some racists peeking around the corner of America’s turbulent racial past who are delighted to see that a white man killing a black boy is still okay.

Truth be told, the only people who will ever really know what happened that rainy February evening are Zimmerman and Martin. We can call Zimmerman crazy and Martin a troubled teen all we want, and that truth will remain so. But I must say, is that what troubles me most about the killing of Trayvon Martin is not that Martin smoked weed and got in trouble at school, or that Zimmerman, who had a past of crazy behavior, was found not guilty.

What Trayvon Martin really represented was the value we place on black lives in this country. If this white man can get away with killing this black boy then all white men can get away with killing all black boys. In turn, black boys will kill each other because society has told them that they are worthless.

From the very beginning, the media, pundits, legal analysts, etc. have framed the argument over this case as if Zimmerman killed the wrong black boy this time. (As if it’s usually okay to kill young black men because they probably are guilty of something) This struck such a chord with me because I have a brother who is 18 years old. I buy him a hoodie from Threadless.com every Christmas. He drinks strawberry Arizona and eats Starbursts with his friends as they walk home from school every day. Trayvon Martin could have very easily been my younger brother.

What now is stopping another white man from shooting my brother and assuming that he will be found innocent? If the court of public opinion, if the liberal media, can’t make a jury in Sanford, Fl. find a white man guilty of murdering a black boy, where is justice for black boys?

I personally am not worried about riots and violence against whites. I don’t think we are those kind of people any more. If we let the Occupy Movement die, then we surely won’t burn and loot for one child. I think the only white person who is in danger here is George Zimmerman, and he seems crazy enough to take his own life. What I am worried about, however, is how young black men will see themselves. No one deserves to feel disposable, and I think that this trial was a moment for the American justice system to say that despite slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights cold cases, beating Rodney King, and the whole spectrum of injustices against black men, we have evolved and we no longer thinks it’s okay.

Let me clarify by saying that I don’t think the majority of white people in this country are racist. I also don’t think all those who were rallying behind Zimmerman are racist. Those jurors only represent a few people’s interpretations of a tapestry of fact and fiction. Everyone has their reasons. The people who really suffer here are Martin’s parents who have had to relive the events of that night everyday for over a year.

I’m done for the night. I just pray that we can have peace instead of turmoil in the days to come.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving The View

Love her or hate her

Blonde or Brunette

Christian or Atheist

Liberal or Conservative

Whatever your binary, you can’t deny that Elisabeth Hasselbeck leaving The View is an end of an era, marked by everything from feuds with Rosie O’Donnell to campaigning for Mitt Romney. She came to the show to fill the seat left empty by Lisa Ling, who was as lovable as any. Her strong and often conservative point of view was fresh and so different from the rest of the left-leaning ladies. I think as a member of the “liberal media” it’s easy for us to paint all conservatives as heartless, but Hasselbeck is far from that. I will truly miss her sweet presence, cute kids, strong moral ground, big heart, and impeccable sense of style. I’m so glad that we will be able to see her keep pursuing her dreams and moving forward in her television career. Whoever comes in after her will have huge shoes to fill (likely Tory Burch flats :)).

I’ve noticed that Michelle Compos-Duffy, Kris Jenner, Brooke Shields, Jenny McCarthy, and Mario Cantone have been frequent guest co-hosts. I love Michelle Compos-Duffy and I think it would be nice to shake up the show with a strong Latina. As for who will replace Joy, that’s a whole other set of black kitten heels to fill.

Watch the last episode of Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View going out with “A Day of Hot Topics” (like her or not, you will cry)

Female inmates sterilized?!

This is your Terrible Thing of the Day. Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without the required state approval. Read the full article. 

In this country we call people in Asia and Africa abusers, murderers, rapists, barbarians, and uncivilized for sterilizing/circumcising women, and it’s happening on our soil in one of the largest states in the Union. This is a shame. We need prison reform like yesterday!