Larry Kramer on the Origins of U.S. Inequality

At the time, Larry Kramer‘s 2004 speech, “Tragedy of Today’s Gays,” inflamed the LGBTQ community on his harsh rhetoric on sex and drug addition within the LGBTQ community.

Gay Activist & Writer, Larry Kramer at Cooper Union, New York City, November 11, 2004

Looking at his speech years later, what is most prescient is his focus on “the elite cabal” that has organized in the US since the early 70’s. Licking their wounds from Vietnam, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, this “cabal” gathered and organized with lazar-like focus to shape an America to their beliefs. Those beliefs? Only people that look like them, are as rich as they are, can control the country. His message was not only for the LGBTQ community to stay focused and organize, but for anyone that believes in true democracy, voting rights, equality for all, to stay focused and get involved.

This portion of his speech could have been delivered last week and make perfect sense.

Surprisingly I was the only camera guy in the room. At the time I was working on a film, Rock Bottom: Gay Men and Meth, with Colin Weil and Joe Lovett, and wanted to hear Larry’s take on why so many gay men were self destructing after the acute phase of the AIDS epidemic had passed. This excerpt is from Kramer’s speech he delivered at Cooper Union, New York City, November 11, 2004.

Community Is Essential For Veterans To Feel Connected

We spoke with best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker, Sebastian Junger on helping veterans transition and integrate into the US after being overseas.   His interview will be used in FourBlock, a career readiness resource to help veterans find their calling.

In addition to Junger, the edX online course,  Find Your Calling: Career Transition Principles For Returning Veterans includes Columbia Business School Business Professor, Sheena Iyengar, author, “The Art of Choosing,” and one of the world’s experts on choice, and best-selling author, “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek,

Junger’s interview is so powerful and timely we want to share a few of the video highlights below.  The other videos, equally powerful and informative, are embedded in the course and available for free for veterans and their families.  Learn more here. Continue reading “Community Is Essential For Veterans To Feel Connected”

Former Eritrean Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons

Almaz Ghebrezgabher, Co-Owner, Massawa Restaurant, is feeling a great sense of relief.  After 30 years of cooking and managing the East African, Massawa Restaurant, with her husband, Amanuel Tekeste, she is expanding the restaurant, and turning the business over to her four children.

She has trouble articulating her happiness and feelings of accomplishment but when we watch her on the video, we share in her joy.

Continue reading “Former Eritrean Taxi Driver Turns Her Successful Restaurant Over To Her Sons”

Shanghai Fashionista Dogs Flaunt Pearls, Matching Shoes and Outer Wear for New Year’s Lantern Festival

Conspicuous consumption is everywhere on the streets of Shanghai, China these days.  From the Prada, Chanel and Tiffany megastores to the ubiquitous Starbucks signs and McDonalds motorcycle deliverymen.

Starbucks, Yuyuan Gardens, Shanghai, China

It is hard to fathom this is the same China we associate with the dire poverty from just a few decades ago.  For sure there are the one percenters v. 99-percenters, and there is rural poverty in Western China, (unfortunately these is plenty of rural poverty in the US) but it seems that for some in the Shanghai middle class, things are better. One tiny example of this upward mobility are the clothes these dog owners buy for their beloved pets.   Continue reading “Shanghai Fashionista Dogs Flaunt Pearls, Matching Shoes and Outer Wear for New Year’s Lantern Festival”