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Sep 01st
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times
Sometimes, during large family gatherings, my Polish aunt would burst out into song—sometimes dance—and croon refrains of Bobby Vinton’s “Melody of Love.” She loved it because parts of the song were actually sung in Polish. She sang it so often during the ’70s that somehow it became embedded into my psyche. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Imagine whistling that at a junior high school dance when all you’re really wanting to do is impress somebody.

Flashforward a decade—OK, two—to June of this year, when I visited my family in Chicago. At a graduation party, I faced a new generation of female—my teenage thumb-happy niece, who somehow, by communicating via text (while I’m across the room from her) can express what she’s really feeling better than doing it face to face. (But don’t get me started on that one.) At one point, we were sitting on the patio of my brother’s home with her two younger sisters and their friend when the girls proceeded to hum several tunes from today’s current music canon. I had no idea what—or who—they were humming but found the utmost peace in the fact that, despite already coming out with a memoir, “OMG ... Justin Bieber isn’t as cool as everybody thinks he is, you know!” (They also told me Madonna was “so ‘Hall of Fame,’ to which I raised an eyebrow, but what the hell, a new generation is afoot, so I let them have that one. For now.) Why am I telling you this? Music, songs—they are a significant part of the culture. They influence us and sometimes a ditty just grabs a hold of the brain and doesn’t let go. This is what GT writer Damon Orion explores in his latest essay. Take note of some tunes—dubbed “earworms”—that made him “mad.”

In the meantime, things get really buggy in News, where writer Jenna Brogan reports about residents who are up in arms about insect issues at a local motel. Read what the locals are saying. And in between all your adventures this week, check out our blogs at goodtimessantacruz.com and also, GTv, where yours truly checks out a rather unique food delicacy.
Thanks for reading. More soon ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Not So Hard
As I read the movie review for Eat, Pray, Love (GT 8/19) I was struck by the pervasiveness of the American work ethic, which even manages to sneak its way into movie reviews in the Good Times. Mr. Archer's primary criticism of the movie is that it makes spirituality look too easy. He claims that "real transformation can be hard work." Yes, perhaps that is true. But it does not need to be that way. In my travels through India, I found a radical approach to spirituality that focuses on lightheartedness, humor, and play. One of the ashrams I visited had a pool table as its centerpiece. Repeatedly, I found spiritual practitioners who had devoted themselves to laughter yoga, chanting, ecstatic dance, and other forms of "divine play." What makes this approach so radical—at least from an American perspective—is that it circumvents our drive to struggle, achieve, and attain. I would suggest that perhaps personal transformation does not need to be such hard work. Enjoying this moment might be enough.
Victor Shamas, Ph.D.
Santa Cruz

Mosque or No Mosque?
I think the mosque at Ground Zero is a tacky idea. For people, or certain political avenues to garnish it as racist for New York, to not put a mosque at Ground Zero, is not freedom, it is fascist. It seems to matter a lot to Muslims, or mosque supporters, and they have yet to say why they want a mosque at Ground Zero, other than to humiliat the ones who died there. The fiasco has become reverse racism. It can be considered racists, when you accuse a group, or even a policy of racism. So for a foreign leader or Obama, or Oprah or Nancy Polosi to say that Republicans are holding back the building of the mosque because they are racist, makes Obama, and Nancy, and Oprah racist toward Muslims, because they are saying that Muslims need to be identified and respected. Just like the law that says you can't pick out people of middle eastern decent, when looking for people who could be a possible terrorist threats on a plane. This is stupid. That is exactly who you need to target, people of Middle Eastern descent. It would be comparable to saying, "Okay, a woman committed the murder, but we can't single out women, we have to search men too, otherwise it is sexist." So, you have to purposefully search someone who has absolutely nothing to do with the murder, just to be fair to another race? I guess what I am saying is that if you are sensitive to race, like liberals are and most of the media is, you are racist.  The media and liberals are segregating groups with their muscling propaganda. The definition of racism is to identify and put into a group by difference of appearance from color of skin or even regions from around the world where a person was born.
David Brumfield
Santa Cruz

Holiday Deadlines

Good Times offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 6 in observance of Labor Day. Offices will reopen at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept 7.  The following deadlines will be in effect for the Thursday, Sept 9 issue: Display and Classified Display,  5 p.m., Thursday Sept. 2; Classified advertising, 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 3, Music, Events and Calendar deadlines are noon, Tuesday, Aug. 31.


Best of The Online Comments

On ‘SmartMeters’ ...
I'm curious as to the independent and qualified proof that the wireless radiation from SmartMeters is more harmful than, say, having a cell phone charging on your night stand.
Somebody rightly said "No one speaks on a cell phone during the night when they are sleeping." However, cell phones emit radiation whether or not you are actually talking on the phone. So, if it's in your bedroom, plugged into the wall, and charging, then you are being bombarded by the wireless radiation throughout the night. Also, if you happen to work in an office building of substantial size, there's a pretty good chance the office has wireless access.  Furthermore, if you sit in (or in a building near) a Starbucks, a McDonalds or if you stay in a hotel or if you happen to live near a hotel, you are also being bombarded by wireless radiation.
In fact, if you have any device which can connect via WiFi, you can usually make it "sniff" for nearby wireless access points. Oftentimes, more than a dozen can appear within your own home, especially if you live in an apartment complex or in close proximity to other buildings. So, the ultimate question is: Are those who are truly concerned about this radiation living in a home alone, far from other civilization? Or, is there a certain amount of information that's being left out? 
If the information is true and wireless signals can really physically harm us, I'd say at this point, it's too late. We're already bombarded to a significant degree whether we're sleeping at home, staying in a hotel, sitting at work, sitting in a crowded movie theater, sitting in a restaurant, sitting at a ball game or at any place where many others (with their cell phones strapped to their sides) are gathered, etc, etc, etc. ... so, are these smart meters really going to make a big difference, or is it only one target of a much larger battle has already been lost years ago?
StareClips

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual