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Front Page » Table of Contents » Arts, Music & Film

By Angelo Lopez on July 29, 2011

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By Angelo Lopez on July 26, 2011

When I first opened up a Facebook account, I had a lot of fun connecting with other cartoonists and artists from around the country. I discovered a lot of cartoonists whose work I had never seen before, wonderful cartoons in local regional newspapers across the country. One of my favorite cartoonists who I met on Facebook is David Cohen. David Cohen was born in New York City, but has lived the last 40 years or so in Asheville, North Carolina- a liberal oasis in the Bible Belt.

His cartoons currently appear in the Asheville Citizen-Times, a Gannett owned daily. David is also a drummer/percussionist, and has played with a number of groups, including a seven year stint with 4-time Grammy winner David Holt and his band, the Lightning Bolts. He is currently playing with a Johnny Cash tribute band. David has a Facebook page to showcase his cartoons with a link here.

I decided to do an interview with him for Everyday Citizen. Here is the interview.

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By Angelo Lopez on March 31, 2011

Over the past month, the eyes of the nation has been transfixed by the fight going on in Wisconsin for workers to preserve their right for collective bargaining. Workers have gradually been losing bargaining powers as unions have been in decline for the past 30 years. As I read about the protests in Wisconsin, I began thinking of Charlie Chaplin's movie Modern Times.

When Chaplin was creating Modern Times, the United States was deep in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Depression had its starting point in the Wall Street Crash of October 24, 1929. From October 24 to October 29, 1929, the market lost $30 billion in value. In July 1933 some $74,000,000,000, or five-sixths of the value of the stock market of September 1929 disappeared. The American Federation of Labor recorded the rise in unemployment: unemployment in October 1930 was 4,639,000; in October 1931 unemployment was 7,778,000; in October 1932 unemployment was 11,586,000; in early 1933 employment was over 13,000,000. The nation's industrial production in 1932 was 47 percent below normal. Between 1929 and 1932, farm values declined 33 percent and farmer's gross income declined 57 percent.

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By Angelo Lopez on December 17, 2010

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By Angelo Lopez on September 26, 2010

This October I invite everyone to an art show that I will be having this October with fellow artist Woody Miller in Gallery Saratoga in Saratoga, California. The show will run from October 5 to October 31. They will display their whimsical and humorous paintings and sell cards and prints of their work.

On Saturday, October 9, they will have a reception from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. During that time, you will be able to meet the artists and talk about their art and meet many fellow art lovers. Food and refreshments will be served. Please come to their show.

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By Angelo Lopez on September 18, 2010

Aaron Copland is one of America's most beloved composers. Copland incorporated popular forms of American music such as jazz and folk to create music like Fanfare for the Common Man, Billy the Kid, and Appalachian Spring, which for many people epitomize the spirit of America. Just as contemporary artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Zora Neal Hurston, and John Steinbeck were using material from the American scene to create a unique American art, Copland was similarly mining the culture of America to create an indigenous American music. A great influence on Copland's view of America is his leftist political thinking and the political activities that he took part in the 1930s and 1940s. The book Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man by Howard Pollack has a chapter that chronicles the way Copland's left wing views influenced his life and work.

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By John Petty on September 8, 2010

"They talk about me like a dog," said President Obama at a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee on Monday. He departed from his script to throw it in, which we know because he told us that too.

Where did he get the unusual line? It could have been Jimi Hendrix, whose song, "Stone Free" included the line: "...people try to pull me down, they talk about me like a dog, talk about the clothes I wear..."

Mark Liberman at Language Log has found at least four other references. One is an interview with Bobby Brown in Ebony. "They (the press) don't know me," said Brown, "and they talk about me like a dog."

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By Weeden Nichols on August 15, 2010

Recently on these pages, I reviewed Tunes of Glory, 1960, directed by Ronald Neame, the fictional screenplay by James Kennaway based loosely on the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. A few weeks ago, a fellow member of Clan MacLeod, who had read my review of Tunes of Glory, called my attention to another film involving the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. I obtained To End All Wars from Netflix, watched it, mulled it over, checked a few things, and decided that it was worthy of a review.

Throughout, I was in a "compare and contrast” mode regarding this film and David Lean's 1957 epic, "Bridge on the River Kwai" (inspired by the same Japanese military railroad construction project through Thailand, utilizing Allied prisoners-of-war). My impression, despite Lean's film being both an epic and a classic, was that this film, To End All Wars, was most likely more historically accurate, and that it certainly contained more depth, more realistic ambiguity, and more complexity (appropriately reflecting a very complex social and cultural situation).

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By Angelo Lopez on July 1, 2010

From June 16 to June 19, I went to Portland to attend a conference of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. It was a fun time to meet cartoonists from all over the country and to learn more about the state of the political cartoonist trade in the U.S. During the 4 days, I attended many informative panels where various speakers talked about the local cartooning scene, and political cartooning in the web, political cartoons from across the world. We also got to hear from two legendary political cartoonists.

One interesting panel consisted of Mike Keefe, Ted Rall, Tjeerd Royaards, and Caroline Dijckmeester and they discussed possible new business models for editorial cartoonists. This is of special interests to editorial cartoonists, as recent years have seen many cartoonists lose their jobs as part of a larger trend of newspapers folding in the face of declining subscriptions and ad revenue. With the decline in newspapers, political cartoonists have been exploring other avenues to expose their work and earn some revenue. Mike Keefe talked about the website Sardonika as being a possible place to submit cartoons. Sardonika is a fictitious island off the coast of the United States that looks upon the U.S. sardonically and spoofs many of the late breaking news of the country. The Sardonika website is a bit like The Onion or Mad Magazine. I checked it out and found quite a few funny articles, although I couldn't figure out if there was a place that was just for the cartoons.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 25, 2010

From June 16 to June 19, I went to Portland to attend a conference of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. In the span of a few days, I met cartoonists from around the country and enjoyed many conversations about the state of the industry and about the craft of cartooning. I was initially nervous about meeting some of my cartoonist heroes, but once I started talking to them, they always turned out to be nice and engaging people.

The very first cartoonists that I met were Jesse Springer and Monte Wolverton. Jesse had attended his first convention last year and still considered himself a relative newby, even though he had been doing political cartoons for over 15 years. He does political cartoons for local papers in Eugene, Oregon, and during the course of the convention we got around to talking about the materials we used to create our cartoons.

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