Sunday, March 18, 2012

Coming a Theater (or Some Other Venue) Near You!

Been waiting almost three years to type this out...and here it is:

The first-ever documentary about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, "The Entertainers," is about to make its debut.

It's going to happen at the Wisconsin Film Festival, an event held from 4-18-2012 to 4-22-2012 in Madison.

And yep, I'm on my way to Wisconsin's capital city.

Nick Holle's and Michael Zimmer's (they're the movie's codirectors) project gets two showings- each at a different festival venue: Friday, 4-20-2012 at 9:30 PM and Saturday, 4-21-2012 at 1:30 PM.

Afterwards, Mike and Nick (who did the bulk of the filming in 2009 and 2010...after shooting "The Entertainers'" trailer at the 2008 OTPP Contest) will aim to get the documentary shown not only at different film festivals nationwide, but also at various ragtime festivals throughout the United States.

And one of those ragtime festivals will be here in Omaha.

So if you don't get a chance to come to the Wisconsin Film Festival or to this year's World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest (5-25-2012 to 5-28-2012 at Peoria's Five Points by Sheraton Hotel), maybe you'll be coming to Omaha for the Ragtime to Riches Festival (7-8-2012 at First Central Congregational United Church of Christ)...and if you're in the Big O that day, you're in for a real treat.

Had a ball getting involved in said documentary...and I hope you'll have a ball seeing the movie, wherever and whenever it's shown in your town.

Oh, by the way...R to R's showing of "The Entertainers" will take place at 4:15 PM, right after Nora and Mark Hulse play.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Wouldn't Buy a Used ANYTHING from Any of These People

I wouldn't buy a new item from any of them, either.

They've had twenty debates thus far; I watch some of the discussion shows on TV...and listening to the four remaining Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012 makes me sometimes want to...sometimes want to vomit.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Willard Romney (I'm sorry; I refuse to use his nickname!) has been on both sides of far too many issues, be they REAL issues or the wedge issues Republicans have been dining on for decades. His father (that's right, George Romney, the one-time Michigan governor who ran for the presidency in 1968...only to become Richard Nixon's first HUD secretary) has got to be turning over in his grave over his son's desire to see the very industry that kept food on the Romney family's table go straight down. (Remember when Romney pere ran the old American Motors Corporation?)

Yes, I know, I know...Pennsylvania's old junior US senator, Rick Santorum, is being praised for his honesty and for the courage of his convictions.

Here's the thing about it, though: Santorum's convictions include having only the well-to-do (the GOP's main bankrollers) be able to see to it that their sons (and, just maybe, daughters) can get access to a real education. After all, he doesn't want state or federal government involved in schools.

And that leaves city governments and county governments. As strapped as they are today, how's it all going to look having them and only them bankroll public schools?

Oh, by the way, Mr. Santorum...not every parent in America today is equipped to homeschool his or her children. (Got that?)

I listen to one-time House Speaker Newton Gingrich and current US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and conclude that they're still in the race to massage their egos.

And all the ugly, racist things Paul and Gingrich (as well as far too many other Republicans, especially these last three years) have said- be they in newsletters or speeches- make me feel that, like Santorum and Romney, they're not fit to give the next (or any future) inaugural speech.

That's what the Republican Party amounts to today...and has ever since the mid 1960s.


Back then, the people in charge of the party courted the Southern Democrats who turned their backs on the Donkeys after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. (Strom Thurmond was one of those who switched to the Elephants at that time.)

The next time a presidential election came along, once Nixon got the 1968 GOP nomination, his campaign staff cooked up a "Southern strategy" to reel in all those Caucasian men angered over LBJ's decision to help make America live up to its proud promises.

One of Thurmond's trainees was Lee Atwater...the same Lee Atwater who helped Ronald Reagan get the greatest role of his career, then went on to enable Reagan's old veep, George Herbert Walker Bush, to become the first standing vice president since Martin Van Buren (in 1836) to win a presidential election.

It wasn't until Atwater was on his death bed that he decided, all at once, to 'fess up and admit that his racist views played a huge role in making that former CIA director into America's 41st chief executive.

Atwater's proteges are at work right now, 21 years after the former Republican National Committee chief died of a brain tumor. (And that includes ALL of the people who've taken out papers to get the opportunity to make Barack Obama the latest former president.)

Still wondering why Gingrich, Paul, Romney, and Santorum sound the way they do?

And then you've got these people's desire to tell women what to do with their bodies!

These four all are in favor of the amendment US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) wants to push where any, any, ANY employer can opt out of providing access to contraceptives for religious and moral reasons. (This bill, if it becomes law, would allow CEOs to use any excuse they can think of.)

It's going to be a disaster for women here in the United States.

I don't know about these current Republicans. I feel nauseated over their desire to push this country all the way back to 1912...if they can't shift it all the way back to 1612.

Think about this.

If you're a middle-income person or a low-income person and you're thinking about giving any of these four men your vote on 11-6-2012, ask yourself if there's anything in it for you if you turn to the very people whose policies and attitudes helped pave the way for the Great Recession.

If they care so much about you and me, why are they so much more interested in telling women what they can do with their own bodies than in repairing America's economy?