Plus Letters to Good Times
Are we there yet? Are we ready for 2011? Almost? Maybe? It’s been a full year, so when somebody recently asked me what the best thing about 2010 has been so far, I just laughed. I think I needed a week to figure that one out. The best thing? Well, good things have unfolded this year, that’s for sure. I entered my 11th year here at GT and the paper celebrated year 35. So, we’re both getting up there but, hopefully, not letting anything get us down (for long). That said, after filming several festive events, flying over the area in a Cessna and really getting a profound “Big Picture” view, as well as recently emcee-ing two local events in town, I was once again reminded of how abundant the spirt of Santa Cruz, and the county it sits in, actually is—from its agriculture to the amazing array of creative souls walking around here. I’m really not trying to sound like a keynote speaker at a pro-Santa Cruz rally, I’m simply feeling compelled to count my blessings.
Often, I hear people say, “You can’t make a decent living here” or “There’s not enough culture.” That may be true for some, but there’s plenty of living to be had, and just as much culture to experience and better still, create. My point? I’ve come to believe it’s good to celebrate what you have right in front of you rather than exhaust yourself pining excessively over something you insist on having, no matter what the cost. Something to think about in the coming week, perhaps.
Another something to note: the 50th Anniversary of the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz. A big soirree takes place atop the Rittenhouse Building in Downtown Santa Cruz at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are on hand for the fun, too. Expect great food, dancing, cocktails—and toasts. So, if you’ve forgetten how to celebrate something right in front of you, here’s your chance. Cheers to the DTA. (Learn more at downtownsantacruz.com.)
More to celebrate next week. Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
I loved Lisa Jensen’s recent column on art, but would like to point out that, in the case of Open Studios, someone is already deciding for us "what is good art." I think art is subjective and should not be juried.
In Oakland, if you are a member of Pro Arts you can participate in Open Studio. Patrons are allowed to decide themselves what is good art and what is bad. You can wander through hundreds of studios in a day and there is bound to be some piece of art that speaks to you (or matches your couch).
I wish Santa Cruz would do the same. Hold truly Open Studios—open to anyone who is a member (because membership supports the calendar/map and gallery space). Stop deciding for me what I like.
Art Attack II
I always enjoy Lisa Jensen’s diverse, humorous, sometimes profound and questioning opinion in GT. I never respond in writing, but felt I wanted to say "Amen" to your thoughts you shared in “Fear of Art.” I have always been an artist and gratefully have supported myself. I so strongly support the reason(s) you set out for the 'why' to purchase art. The art has to speak to you and you have to respond. "Yours is the only opinion that counts," as you said. Thanks for your words of wisdom. They are "right on!"
And Even More ‘Art’
Bravo Ms. Jensen! Thank you for your recent plea to potential art patrons. I have participated in numerous gallery showings and arts/crafts shows. Most passersby tend to even keep a safe distance from the display table; for what reason? On seeing some painting they like, one senses shyness or hesitancy as they contemplate possibly taking the piece home. It's like you say, people don't seem to trust their own taste ... what if their neighbor finds it silly or even ugly? They wouldn't hesitate, I'm guessing, over buying a new frying pan. That's an item they need and similarly, they need art hanging in their kitchen, living room or even bathroom.
Change the Question
I'm writing about the recent "Local Talk" question that was put to Santa Cruzans. I am hard pressed to believe that for all Santa Cruz's diversity, open-mindedness, and general weirdness you chose to phrase the question for the general public "What are your thoughts on building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero?" I can only ask: Why resort to this level of controversy? Why single out the mosque when the Islamic people want to build a community center two blocks from Ground Zero? If that is how you choose to phrase the question, I can only judge that you’ve been watching too much Fox News, and it is interfering with your objectivity.
Yes, it is uncomfortable to think that the Islamic people want to build a community center on the site of a massacre, that was committed by terrorists claiming to be fundamentalist Muslims; but, if Ground Zero is so precious to the American people, nine years after the fact, why haven't we already erected a monument or memorial to those who died there? Maybe you can see the way clear of posing that meaty question to the public in this column.
I would hasten to remind you that many of the early settlers (including the Pilgrims, the Acadians and the Hugenots) who established this great nation were escaping from religious persecution when they came to the New World. The founding fathers were seeking freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Best of The Online Comments
On the ‘Esalen’
Regarding commas, apostrophes and periods, your piece was CAP-tivating, en-CAP-sulating, not only the spirit of that place but that of the Santa Cruzian psycho-spiritual zeitgiest [please hold the dogma]. Masterfully done, in a kind of Zen-Hermetic stream of consciousness that tickled my fancy, and my funny bone in a frenetic fantastic fashion, at first. Soon it soothed my existential center as my mind read on—carried still within the speedy dance of your words.
I am now sufficiently intrigued regarding the Institute and have gained something unique from the description of your visit. I'll have to check out the Esalen website, posthaste. Here and Now, here I come. Thanks.
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