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Sep 17th
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From the Editor

greg archerPlus letters to the Editor 

One of the pleasures of living in Santa Cruz County is, perhaps, knowing that we reside in somewhat of a protective bubble. (To some extent.) Most locals may like to believe that we are often shielded from the “outside world.” “Life is more more manageable here,” we think.

Or ...“We can relax; express ourselves.” Or ... “the pace is dramatically different than in larger cities.” All these observations may be true, but if we’re spending most of our time with our eyes glued to a small screen—smartphone, iPad, computer, etc.—what’s the point?

As a creature who craves real connection, I was reminded about all this recently during my interview with Jonathan Franzen (see page 14 and learn more about the Bookshop Santa Cruz event), whose new collection of essays, “Farther Away” often touches upon our relationship with modern technology and the ripple effect it has on our lives. The book goes into much more than that, but it was that topic that sparked something deep within me and got me thinking: How much do we really connect with each other? Recently, a friend/colleague admitted to me a significant health concern that arose in their life—it had taken this person weeks to reveal what was really unfolding to “close” friends. When I asked why, one of the responses really opened my eyes: “People lead busy lives and ... it’s so easy to hide right in front of people.” I thought about that for some time, and then thought about it some more the next time I asked somebody how they “were doing?” Did I really want to hear? Did I have the time? Was I really concerned? Was I really holding a space for them to share? Or, was I wondering how many “likes” a recent Facebook post received? Maybe I was rushing off to do something else ...

In the wake of so many life-altering events, such as the tragic murder of business owner Shannon Collins, we’re reminded that life is valuable and precious. But how willing are we to take it to the next level and really act upon that? I question this because I need to ask myself these very same questions. Franzen so wonderfully illuminates all this in his new read and it gives me hope ... hope that we can start to unplug [more] and relate to each other, eye to eye (even more).

Maybe that’s a good goal to have this week.

Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Burn Baby, Burn?
I read your cover story about Burning Man, and although I have never attended it, since I hate hot weather, huge crowds and it is too expensive, I still have a few comments on it as a social phenomenon. Burning Man is promoted as being a festival in which “there are no spectators,” that is anti-commercial, and as a “temporary autonomous zone” in which surrealism runs rampant and is a Dionysian free-for-all for everyone. I notice, however, that most of the participants are young, able-bodied and affluent and mostly white, unlike Mardis Gras in New Orleans, or Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, which involves people of all social classes and races, or the May uprising in Paris, France, in 1968, which brought students and workers together, and actual surrealist slogans were painted on the walls of the Sorbonne. Burning Man, like Las Vegas, is another example of the post-modern, in which the kuxtapositions may seem “surreal” but you still have to pay to get in, and everyone has to have all of their own camping equipment and assorted gear. And a gentrified surrealism is no surrealism at all, since the unconscious and the imagination are possessed by all people regardless of age, race, gender, or social class. “Poetry” must be made by everyone” as the notorious and dark poet Isadore Ducasse once said.

On another note, in response to letter writer Kathy Cheer’s piece demonizing the homeless in the aftermath of Shannon Collins’ tragic death: how would this community feel if some handsome, “normal looking” middle-class white male had perpetuated this crime? After all, serial killer Ted Bundy was a preppie and a white male, as well as a misogynist. Alas, it is the demonized “other” that people inevitably project their shadow onto. Erich J. Holden Santa Cruz


Online Comments

On ‘Santa Cruz Warriors’ ...
Why try to make Santa Cruz into San Jose or Oakland? This is a unique beach community with a lot to offer and many people like to live here. There are tons of cities that have sports franchises. Can't imagine why we need one here.
—Anonymous

On ‘Foreclosures’ ...
It is true that our mortgage system worked quite well for hundreds of years, but that was before MERS, Robosigning, & the creation of MBS (Mortgage-Backed Securities) which bundle many loans together, after first paying Rating Agencies to falsely rate them as AAA investments. About two-thirds of all U.S. mortgages have gone to MERS, where they can be securitized many times over, resulting in no one knowing who actually owns the loan. And only the owner of the loan has the legal right to foreclose. The bank servicers of the loan are often pretending to own the loan and starting the foreclosure process.
—Jeri Bodemar

On ‘Shannon Collins’ ...
If I can go online and find anyone's criminal history with minimal info, why can't the shelters and police combine together to screen the individuals at the shelter. If 39 percent of police calls in Santa Cruz involve the homeless shelter as a home address, then to me it seems like a simple and viable solution for them to work together to screen everyone who comes through the shelter.
—Doesn't Matter If You’re A Local

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A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

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From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

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