The new book Woody Guthrie L.A. 1937-1941 includes an essay that revisits Guthrie’s racial views. When he was Growing up, Guthrie’s family was closely associated with the Democratic Party in Oklahoma at a time when the Democrats were closely associated with the KKK. The essay argues Guthrie developed his sense of racial justice during his years in Los Angeles.
A new book makes the firm argument that Woody Guthrie’s development into a political folk singer and indeed the connection between folk singing and politics began well before Guthrie settled in New York. The collection of essays focuses on Guthrie’s artistic development in Los Angeles in the years prior to World War Two.
On the second week of February, Santa Cruz shall be afforded a rare opportunity. On Wednesday February 10, Nigerian born Branwen Okpako will be present at a free public screening her widely acclaimed 2013 film, The Education of Auma Obama, about the Kenyan half sister of Barack Obama, at the Landmark Nickelodeon Theater, at 7:30 p.m. Director Okpako will be fielding questions following the screening.
The following day Thursday February 11 Okpako will be screening her 2000 TV documentary Dreckfresser, Dirt for Dinner at 10 am in Coll 8 240 for my History 30, The Making of Modern Africa. Dirt for Dinner is a 2000 about Sam Njankuo Meffire, son of a Cameroonian exchange student in East Germany and a German mother.
Both The Education of Auma Obama and Dirt for Dinner treat the subject of African emigration to Europe in general and Germany in particular. Branwen Okpako, herself of mixed heritage, is the daughter of a Nigerian father and a Welsh mother. After college in Wales and Bristol in the UK Okpako studied film in the German Film and Television Academy and lived in Germany before relocating to the US. Okpako currently teaches at Hampshire College.
At 6pm Okpako will be discussing her work and showing excerpts of her films for the Living Writers Series in Humanities Lecture Hall on the UCSC campus.
Few topics are of greater concern than immigration and Branwen Okpako has devoted years to the subject, not only intellectually, but as one who has lived in the space between Africa and Europe. Since embarking on her film career she has dedicated the majority of her artistic and family time to elucidating stories of Afro-Germans. Moreover, she is herself the mother of Afro-German children.
These details give a level of depth to the immigration debate that leaves viewers profoundly moved. Having seen both Dirt for Dinner and The Education of Auma Obama, I eagerly urge you to be present to witness the craft of this gifted cineaste.
By Rick Kleffel - Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen: “Creating and Teaching the Curriculum for The Healer’s Art”, Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman: “Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry” and Chef Dave Wells: “From Hunger With Love”.
Tonight on the Agony Column Literary Magazine, in a season of spectacle and special effects, we celebrate the power of storytelling and a single, soft voice with Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen. She’s the author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. She’s also a founder of the Cancer Help Program at Commonweal Institute, better known as Commonweal and the founder of a medical student curriculum called “The Healer’s Art” used in medical schools throughout the United States.
By J.D. Hillard | KUSP – Santa Cruz’s apartment and workspace complex for artists, the Tannery Art Center, has been healing after an eight year old girl who lived there was murdered. Artists at the Tannery say that healing involves continuing to teach classes and host art exhibitions – such as today’s First Friday Art Tour.
In preparation, artist Glenn Carter was putting final touches on Carter’s show, “A Specific Weakness.” The show’s opening takes place as part of First Friday. Carter’s highly complex paintings and assemblage works hang on the walls.
The pieces are all black, gray and white with carefully added instances of red. One series involved three layers of canvas, stitched and glued together with gesso. Carter then applied enough paint so the pieces record the flow of the pooled fluid. He then added ash to the surface and craftsman-like stitching.
“I see these kind of desert ocean expanse landscape horizons with kind of rain of cloud shapes,” he says.
Author and literary scholar, Alan Cheuse. Photo: Photo: Peter Hedlund-flickr-http://bit.ly/1Keg0Cx
Author and critic Alan Cheuse died last week at age 75. He regularly participated in interviews with KUSP Rick Kleffel. On this week’s Agony Column Literary Magazine show, listen back to a selection Cheuse’s insightful interviews.
Show. He sat down with host Dennis Morton to read from and discuss Troy’s newest poetry collection, titled Syllabus of Errors, which will be published on September 29. The title is perhaps partly a reference to a Vatican document by that name (1864), which comprised an extensive list of “errors” on a wide range of “modern” subjects.
The poems in this book have a lot to say about truth, lies, falsehoods, and authority – and the often problematic relationships among them. We should expect no less from a philosopher - Troy teaches that subject at Cal State Chico. At another point in the interview, Troy noted that his students sometimes complain that he answers questions with questions. These poems employ some of that same Socratic approach.
This is Troy Jollimore’s third visit to the Poetry Show. The first was was back in May, 2007, to talk about his first published book, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. Apropos of nothing, the timing of that visit made him the second earliest guest poet in our podcast library. Although the KUSP Poetry Show stretches back into the mists of the early 1970s, we only have podcasts from May, 2007. A second visit, in August 2011, coincided with publication of a second book, At Lake Scugog.
On his latest album, “The Monsanto Years”, Neil Young, is angry. Really angry. He’s unleashed a fiery burst of rock n roll fury aimed squarely at box stores, corporate farming and ag chemical use.
For the most part the premise works, but Neil does stretches his credibility with a few “you can see it coming” groaners like rhyming “GMO” with “Monsanto” on the whistling-snappy “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”. How’s that for a title?
Nelson Brothers Rock
Young, who will be turning 70 this year, has long championed the family farmer and protested the use of GMOs, donating money to various causes and years of gratis performances at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid concerts. Young’s new five piece backup band is called Promise of the Real, featuring guitar singer brothers, Lukas and Micah Nelson, sons of Willie. These young’ns are the perfect foil for Young’s style of frenzied guitar grunge and sense of urgency. The Promise certainly seems to be drinking their elder’s kool aid because they rock every bit as solid as Young’s old band Crazy Horse and seem just as upset about these earthly matters.
Young lets no one off the hook with stinging lyrics about Walmart, Safeway, Starbucks and consumers alike who all get their britches toasted on several songs such as “Big Box”, where the people “line up for more” at the expense of Main Street’s mom and pop small businesses.
In many ways, Neil Young and Promise of the Real have made “The Monsanto Years” his most energized political rock album since “Ragged Glory”. Despite the over all raucous, snappy hard driving rock and all eco-politics aside, not everyone wants to “realty check” along to four songs about Monsanto and 5 more targeting other corporations. And Young is fully aware of this and says so on “People Just Want to Hear About Love”.
Is Neil Young’s “The Monsanto Years” just an aging geezer’s rant or a rallying call for action? It’s both. What Young is saying loud and clear, is that we need to pay attention to what’s going on with the world’s food chain right now instead of later. Or there will be no more Harvest Moon.
- Eric Berg
Additional notes: Check out the album cover which is a takeoff of the “American Gothic” painting with farmer Neil and his current flame, actress turned eco-activist, Daryl Hanna, holding the pitchfork. The cd version of ”The Monsanto Years” includes a very good dvd of Young and The Promise rocking out in a studio setting.
Local poet and animal-rights advocate C. J. Sage visited the Poetry Show on August 2, 2015. She and host Dennis Morton read and discussed poetry primarily about animals. Ms. Sage edits The National Poetry Review, and has five published books:
In addition to poetry, Dennis and C.J. discussed a rescue and sanctuary center for dogs, focused especially on a group of hunting dog breeds known as “sighthounds”. The center is run by a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Hound Sanctuary Inc. Learn more at houndsanctuary.org.