The cast from left to right: Amelia Foreman, Will Hennessey, Brandon Cepeda, Olena Hyrnovets, Andrew Guido, Celeste Reyes, Stephanie Larsson, Dwaine Brannon
SUNY Theater Department’s production of Sganarelle is scandalously good fun. From the fantastic costuming by Aletta Vett, blending over-the-top French elements with vivid 1980’ish florescent leggings and sneakers, to the little comic lagniappes (that’s French for “a little something extra”)scattered throughout .
Rebecca Rich as Gorgibus and the be-birded Olena Hyrnovets as Celia.
This troupe has got a lot going for them. Every single actor has a great sense of physical comic timing. Having a female play Gorgibus, the blustering father intent on bending his daughter’s will to marry, gave it a new dimension of irony. Rebecca Rich, who plays him, does so with such over-the-top gusto and maybe even some improvised karate moves (that’s what Moliere needs, a bit of karate). Dwaine Brannon plays a hilariously saucy Celia’s Maid. Olena Hyrnovets as Celia has got fainting with a mile-high Marie Antoinette-inspired be-birded wig on down to a science (Seriously, it’s incredible!). Amelia Foreman as Sganarelle’s Wife is a high-energy edgy delight. Will Hennessey and Andrew Guido as Sganarelle and Lelio have great antagonistic chemistry. Both have a stage presence and comic timing that brings this story of jealousy and mistrust to life.
Lelio riding his “trusty steed” Gros-Rene.
Throughout the show, there are comedic asides and little winks to the audience which make it almost interactive without going full Rocky Horror. The final bows are great and set to the perfect music, I won’t give it away. See it live for yourself.
Sganarelle’s Wife “rescuing” Lelio
There are two more shows with this Fall 2017 troupe,
The Standing Rock Sioux blog has been a source of news and a call to action for the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline being built near Native Land, half a mile upstream from the tribe’s only water source. Stopping the Pipeline is the cause itself, they give clear focused steps to help the cause, the blog’s visual layout is stunning and worth a look for inspiration. The background is a full-screen film loop of the tribe in their Native dress and on horseback with Native tack. It does grab one’s attention right away. There are links to their Tumblr and Facebook but not to their Twitter, which would be the only criticism I would have. There is an interactive link called “Map of Oceti Sakowin” which shows the map of the area and takes you through a step-by-step simulated explanation of where the pipeline plans to be built, where protest camp is located, and where the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is. Going through the breakdown on the map engages the reader and at the end of it there is a petition to President Obama to permanently reject the Dakota Access Pipeline. The final goal is to get it shut down and a Presidential decree would be a possible way forward.
The blog has a section entitled “Share on Social Media” which has a “Suggested Facebook” posts, “Suggested Instagram” posts, and “Suggested Tweets” for Twitter.
Grabbing the audience’s attention on social media has been vital to this movement as traditional media is hesitant to upset a possible sponsor (the oil companies or the banks which are financing the pipeline). Keeping current with posts and information on how people can take action to help has been the key to this staying in people’s newsfeeds: donations, petitions, and spreading the news.
Their Facebook page complements their blog by giving up to date information on the protests and a forum to discuss things like the police’s tactics against the protesters, posting pictures and video pertaining to such, and raising awareness of the ways which the Pipeline’s construction can damage the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply. Recent posts have been focused on showing precedents for their concerns, such as statistics and news on oil pipeline explosion frequency.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Twitter Page calls the audience to action by petitioning President Obama to stop the pipeline. It also engages the audience by keeping the most up-to-date, live stream of information by the protesters themselves.
Overall, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Stand With Standing Rock social media campaign is focused on their goal, to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. They are able to tell their stories on Facebook and blogs to engage their audience and explain why their land and their waterways are important for them and their children. On each of the social platforms, they give many options to help them take action: petitions, donations, and spreading awareness.
Grabbing attention has been the most difficult thing for them to do. They have been an invisible people in their own land, shuffled to whichever plot of land the government deemed useless to their own purposes. They have to compete with whatever Tweet Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, or Kanye West has crapped out of their heads at 3am and then every Facebook post, analysis, and Meme which comes out of it for the next two weeks. People fighting for their land and the health of their children isn’t as exciting to Americans. Around Thanksgiving, famous people started stumping for Standing Rock, such as, Mark Ruffalo, Joss Whedon, Neil Young, Alyssa Milano, Patton Oswald, Katy Perry, and Orlando Bloom. They’ve posted the hashtags #StandWithStandingRock and #NoDAPL on their Facebooks and Twitter feeds, but not many have actually gone there. Rubber bullets and tear gas may be a deterrent, but there is also a certain trendiness to hashtag activism. Wearing a Lance Armstrong bracelet was cool for a while, but it really said, “I gave $2 to cancer research for a piece of plastic to show how committed I am to cancer research.” It is difficult to make people do the right thing for the right reasons. Some of these celebrities may have a genuine interest in the cause. However, I wonder how many know that the Standing Rock Tribe is Sioux? Motives aside, this is the only time when the major media has given attention to this issue, when a celebrity gets involved it winds up in a fluff piece on the evening news. Everyone marvels at their generosity and goes back to ignoring the cause itself.
I had to go into “search for your account” since it has literally been years since I made my MySpace page. I had it all Gothy and tricked out. It was great. I picked out the perfect background and curated my mostly comedy and music clips. The funeral of Graham Chapman, a lot of Tim Minchin stuff, and whatever depressing music I was into back then. Now I come to think of it, it’s possibly a decade. I really expected it not to have me in their system at all. Holey moley, I’m still there, sort of.
I was kind of excited at the prospect of szushing my profile page and customizing it again. The creative expression it allowed was one of my favorite aspects of it. It is now a customizeable media stream. If you ever wanted to have complete control of your Facebook feed, this is for you. Well, I’m going to start clicking on stuff and see what happens. Aha! Eureka. The way to access your profile is on the deck on the bottom of the page. Exactly the opposite of every app ever made. I have been looking on the left-hand-side’s index and the top for it. Alright, this is getting better. Profile pic and background later, I’ve added the Toccata and Fugue in D minor as my background music, alright. Okay, the page is customized but how do you actually get media clips to show up on it? Time to Google “how to make media show up on MySpace personal page”. Ah, there’s a MySpace Help site which I cannot see any way to access from my actual page. So, what is it I’m looking for “embedding and sharing”, “making a post”, am I making a post, am I “managing your video”? No, the video I’ve searched for is “Graham Chapman’s Funeral” and I found it. It’s now in a Queue but no matter what I click on it never shows up on my page. It’s also not technically “mine”. This used to be a lot easier.
MySpace used to be a quick way to have a personal bulletin board to share what you love with your friends. It may work now as a Portfolio of one’s own work but Facebook is way easier to navigate, way more intuitive, is more social, and uses less technical jargon than MySpace. I may go back and try and figure MySpace out when I have unlimited time and patience to look through every single entry in their “help” site. Right now, it’s finals time and life is short. Enjoy!
I found this on Youtube and pasted it into WordPress in roughly .09 th of a second. Maybe some day I’ll love it and it’ll make a big comeback, but for right now MySpace can bite me.
Luckily, I keep a diary. My entry for the 9th of November was thus.
“The election was yesterday and Trump won. It reminds me of when Bush won, except that Trump is a different animal. Bush could pretend to be decent, Trump is seen as their savior but he’s a mean-spirited bully. Oh well, start saving money, I got a couple of things today. I’m still trying to put together the Blog post on it. It’s too fresh and painful. Yay, I finished my blog. More important, I went into photoshop and threw in a lightsaber on my favorite selfie. It looks noice. Gilles says it’s like the new Mona Lisa.” Not exactly pithy stuff but it keeps me sane.
This is an illustration of the denial and “self-care” that people in blue states, insulated by media predicting a Hillary win, have been dealing with. In another class, I’m doing a project on Anne Frank, of whom I’ve been obsessed since I was a child. My mother made sure I read her book as soon as I could comprehend the words and knowing my mother lived as an allied’s child in Germany after the war, it gave me an understanding of the aftermath that her six-year old mind struggled to grasp. It was through Anne Frank that I learned the true meaning of empathy as I cried to my mom, “Why would anyone kill her she was just a young girl?”. My mom didn’t have any answers and we watched every History channel WWII documentary back when the History channel actually taught history instead of making popular shows about truck drivers and aliens. We wanted answers, we wanted to know how Hitler (an obvious madman in hindsight) gained power. We ate up every documentary which explained his tormented childhood and tried to spot the moment when history could have turned a good corner. We listened to my grandpa (when he had drunk too much port) and he told us what he went through as a soldier fighting at Die Burenhaus, in Villengen-Schwenningen (known as “the Brown House” by my grandpa and the English Allies). His closest friend shot dead next to him, he had to wrap him in a blanket and put his dog-tags around his feet so that he could have a chance at being identified and maybe sent home to his loved ones. Two Polish boys from the Ghetto, barely in their teens, who joined the Allies when their entire village was murdered by the Nazis. Grandpa said that when the war had turned and the Allies were taking in the lower-level privates and the drafted Germans who were surrendering in droves, the two Poles notified the Sergeant in charge that one of the lower surrendering officers was in fact the S.S. Officer who they watched murder their entire family and village. Grandpa’s Sergeant then asked for TWO volunteers to “interrogate” the prisoner. The rest of the unit understood and only two hands went up. Grandpa: “Those Polish boys interrogated him within an inch of his life.” He admitted to being the S.S. Officer in question and provided more intel after that. While what the Sergeant did was probably against the Geneva convention, it earned him the undying respect from his men as a fair leader. That is the line I walk every day. I understand the draw and the attraction of unorthodox methods that fly in the face of convention, however, I also understand spin and ultimately how it can make monsters out of the ordinary man. Others have been feeling the same. On Youtube there are videos of everyday people expressing and processing this moment in history. I found this man’s sentiments lovely.
I hope that President Trump proves me wrong, but history leads me to worry about his methods and whether he will uphold the Constitution of the United States or look at it as another legal contract to weasel out of and get around. Many dictators before him have done this as soon as being elected. Whatever happens, we should all keep on journaling.
In her message of congratulations, Prime Minister Theresa May focused on the “special relationship” between the two countries. She said that she hoped that Mr Trump’s win would mean a continuation of shared values, including “freedom, democracy and enterprise”.
“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence,”
“I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”–UK Prime Minister, Theresa May
The United Nations- Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that “in the aftermath of a hard-fought and often divisive campaign, it is worth recalling and reaffirming that the unity in diversity of the United States is one of the country’s greatest strengths”.
“I encourage all Americans to stay true to that spirit. Today’s global challenges demand concerted global action and joint solutions. As a founding member of the United Nations and permanent member of the Security Council, the United States is an essential actor across the international agenda,”–UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Mr Ban added that “people everywhere look to the United States to use its remarkable power to help lift humanity up and to work for the common good” which included the battle against climate change, advancing human rights and “promoting mutual understanding… to achieve lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all”.
I love that this is how America is viewed officially on the World Stage. However, to get a little bit more info on Trump’s interests overseas and some of the problems he’s going to have Worldwide, Scotland’s The Scotsman Newspaper has a more personal take. You see, he has business holdings in Scotland. His portfolio in Scotland – comprises of Trump Turnberry, Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, and DT Connect Europe, a helicopter operations firm. While his legal battles with locals protecting their land has earned him a bad reputation in Scotland, that’s not where it gets sticky. “Such a scenario has invited widespread speculation over how the controversial magnate would reconcile a political life with his multifarious business interests. As an executive, trustee, director or member of around 480 corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, Mr Trump’s corporate empire would pose a unparalleled ethical dilemma in the 227 year history of the presidency. It is a network that spans the globe, with his interests and holdings in countries such Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey sure to be seen as particularly sensitive given they could clash with – or indeed, shape – future US foreign policy under a Trump government.”- What Would Happen to Trump’s Scottish Businesses if He Wins?- The Scotsman Newspaper
The one legal hurdle Mr Trump would face is the emoluments clause, an obscure provision in the US constitution which prohibits officials from taking money or gifts from foreign governments without the consent of congress. In practice, this could extend to bank loans extended to Mr Trump’s businesses by the likes of the Bank of China.
However, the emoluments clause also extends to banning payments from entities controlled by foreign administrations, meaning that Mr Trump’s dealings with Prestwick, owned by the Scottish Government, would invite close attention.
Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer under the administration of George W Bush, the last Republican president, told The Scotsman that Mr Trump would effectively have to run his businesses side by side with the nation. “The problem is, he can do pretty much whatever he wants as president, even though he has financial conflicts of interest,” he said. “The statute that applies to everybody else does not apply to the president.”
Such arrangements, Mr Painter said, would have to come under the microscope. “Every one of these holdings outside of the US would need to be scrutinized to make sure that money was not going getting into them via the front door or the back door from a foreign government,” he said. “Any effort to get money into his pocket from foreign governments or corporations controlled by foreign governments would be a violation of the clause.”
Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/what-would-happen-to-donald-trump-s-scottish-businesses-if-he-wins-1-4281303
Give this article, by MARTYN MCLAUGHLIN, a look-over, it’s fascinating stuff. Apparently, the emoluments clause could see Trump tied up with legal battles on all fronts from his overseas businesses while he should be “Making America Great Again”. Also, his idea of letting his kids run his businesses is in violation of the emoluments clause since they are his heirs. That won’t fly. This could get really nasty and really embarrassing.
I’ll leave you with a Tweet and a link from The Irish Times, the only of these countries I’ve visited and who have the Craic to call it how it looks.
The Graphic Art and Design students’ “We The People” Pop-Up Political Poster Show in Vanderlyn hall is definitely turning some heads. Some of them will be nods of agreement and others a vociferous “nope”, depending upon one’s view of the candidates and subjects in question. Its main goal is to get the student body fired-up to vote this Tuesday. It has certainly done that and more. What struck me as wonderful is that next to the display is a pedestal with a supply of Post-It notes for the student body to use: to write their approval or outrage on and place next to or on the poster responsible. This is not Professor Sean Nixon’s first time at the rodeo, as they say. The professor of Graphic Design understands that with controversial content there is also that urgent need to get the other side of the story out when one’s core values feel threatened. Realistically, this would probably otherwise be expressed in vandalism. An Example:
All of the posters were controversial, however, one had more Post-Its than the others. One poster “Secular Government Now” shows Jesus in front of the Presidential seal holding a stack of money. Powerful imagery, no doubt, but its message can be interpreted by each person so differently. One Post-It says, “Organized religion is a plague 10/10 poster”; that person really dug the message they received from it. Another Post-It says, “It’s not about Religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is offensive.”; this person took an entirely different message from the same poster. My favorite Post-It on this poster just says, “White Jesus?”. Well, it was an image of a white Jesus, which, him being Middle-Eastern is a keen observation. My interpretation of it? When politics (the Presidential Seal) combines with Religion (Jesus), it corrupts (the money) and uses its faithful to their own ends (back to the Presidential Seal). Your ideas about it may be completely different.
Go check all of the posters out, eighteen in all. They’re being displayed in Vanderlyn hall, and are thought-provoking and insightful. You may or may not agree with them but will definitely have an opinion on them. Check out SUNY Ulster Design Program Real World Classroom on Facebook.
Oh yeah, and on Tuesday, November 8th, Get out and VOTE!
This picture shows girls, of different faiths and backgrounds attending an assembly at the Mulberry School in Tower Hamlets, London. The all-girls’ school is rated as “outstanding” by The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). This is especially important to girls whose families might come from parts of the world where the importance of educating girls is traditionally forbidden. Girls like Malala Yousafzi , whose attempted assassination by the Taliban in 2012 made her an outspoken advocate of girls’ education worldwide. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring education to her native Pakistan and the world. That is why the girls in U.S. Embassy video is so powerful. Historically, there has always been backwards fundamentalists trying to keep them “in line” and subserviant, using tradition and religion to keep them from reaching their true potentials. No matter their background, each of these girls is like Malala, willing to change the world, one girl at a time. #LetGirlsLearn #whengirlsgraduate #DayoftheGirl