Trigger Unhappy

Trigger Unhappy

You could argue that guns kill people or that people kill people; it’s semantics mixed up with semi-automatics. What cannot be denied is that people kill themselves… with firearms… a lot. in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,078 Americans were killed by firearms, a depressing statistic, for sure. However, did you know that the same [...]

May 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm 0 comments

About face

About face

Learning to appreciate ourselves for our flaws as well as our strengths is a hallmark of self-compassion. Of course being self-compassionate can be extremely challenging as our inner critics are vocal, persistent and, too often, cruel. Courtesy of Upworthy comes a video that demonstrates our common incapacity for honest and kind self-assessment; a forensic artist sketches people based on their [...]

April 17, 2013 at 10:55 am 0 comments

Do teachers make the (pay) grade?

Do teachers make the (pay) grade?

Education advocate Barnett Berry swears: “Teachers need to transform teachers.” In order to do so, we must first transform our opinion of teachers which has devolved to the point that teachers now serve as under-paid, under-appreciated baby-sitters despite the fact that many deserve battle pay… and credit for saving lives. Yes, like firemen and police and doctors, teachers save lives, daily; [...]

November 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm 0 comments

Get your game on?

Get your game on?

“Game over, man. Game over.” I hear Bill Paxton in ALIENS whenever movie-makers and movie-lovers start bitching about the rise of the video game industry. As revenues continue to rise for the latter, ticket sales at the multiplexes keep dropping. Maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but you just got your asses kicked, Hollywood! Rather than bemoan [...]

July 12, 2012 at 8:27 am 0 comments

How do you *SAVE* 11 million people?

How do you *SAVE* 11 million people?

Q: How do you nurture political activism? A: By preserving critical thought. Q: How do you preserve critical thought? A: By asking how do you kill 11 million people? Q: How do you kill 11 million people? A: By failing to nurture political activism.   In his quick read, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters [...]

June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm 0 comments

Prosit! Raise a toast to The High Bar.

Prosit! Raise a toast to The High Bar.

Is it time for The High Bar to build a trophy case? We are proud to announce that our Season 2 episode with Oscar®-winning actress and filmmaker, Jodie Foster — in which we raise the bar for mental health — just won a national Communicator Award. Directed and co-produced by Owen Richard Kindig of Ztoryteller, the show claimed top honors [...]

May 4, 2012 at 9:41 am 0 comments

Suds, Buds, and The High Bar’s bloods

Suds, Buds, and The High Bar’s bloods

Heady news for craft brewers: in 2011, their sales increased 13% while the “top 10 major brewers continued to see their sales decline,” according to The Daily. None of this comes as a surprise to the Elysian’s master-brewer, Dick Cantwell who visited The High Bar during Season 2. You can pull up a stool and listen in on what he [...]

May 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm 0 comments

Voter ID(on’t?)

Voter ID(on’t?)

American leaders like to proclaim that we get into wars either to bless other countries with democratic governments like our own or to protect American freedoms. Some would argue, we succeed at neither. One such naysayer, is former Marine Tim Thompson, a native of Tennessee appalled by the state’s new voter ID law. In this short film by David Earnhardt [...]

April 20, 2012 at 1:21 am 0 comments

A LOT (to) LIKE (about) YOU

A LOT (to) LIKE (about) YOU

A-list stars are swell; I’ve enjoyed my conversations with Jodie Foster and Gary Oldman and Naomi Watts and Woody Allen. (Well, I didn’t enjoy Woody, but it sure was an, well, edifying hour.) That said, some of the most endearing and enriching chats are with authors and artists and activists who are working their way to the top of their [...]

April 18, 2012 at 10:39 am 0 comments

Three cheers for Season 3!

Three cheers for Season 3!

If I were to place my personal points of pride on a blank sheet of paper and connect the dots, I like to think they would form a small, simple smile. Or, at least a straight line that went from A to B. Tonight, I add another point with the premiere of Season 3 of The High Bar on KBTC, [...]

February 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm 0 comments

Two for the road

Two for the road

Sundance may be the most important American film festival, but that doesn’t mean it’s infallible. In fact, the Park City programmers seem to get as many wrong as they do right, sort of like the Academy Awards®. The good news is that when Sundance falters, SXSW takes advantage. This year, the annual Austin bonanza will feature tow films by filmmakers [...]

February 2, 2012 at 9:04 am 0 comments

Oscar (G)Oldman

Oscar (G)Oldman

Finally! Today Gary Oldman received his first Academy Award nomination, for his subdued star turn in TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY Despite many great performances in the past, he has now received a nod for one which is easily his least showy role, a soft-spoken re-imagining of George Smiley, the beloved operative originally assayed by the late, great Sir Alec Guiness [...]

January 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm 0 comments

Einstein’s got my vote

Einstein’s got my vote

As we enter an election year and the loathsome campaigning that accompanies it, I think it wise to consider Einstein’s theory of intellectual relativity: “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” Of course, while stupidity is rampant, it is possible that genius could be discovered anywhere, even among the grassroots championed by filmmaker/poet Stephen Gyllenhaal [...]

January 15, 2012 at 10:46 am 0 comments

Upscaling Fishbone?

Upscaling Fishbone?

RottenTomatoes.com has just unveiled their Golden Tomatoes for 2011, in essence, their awards for the statistically best-reviewed films of last year. In the documentary category, PROJECT NIM took the top spot, followed by THE INTERRUPTERS. In third place, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: The Story of Fishbone, is the only one of the three though that has received “ripe tomatoes”  — re. positive [...]

January 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm 0 comments

Follow my lead?

Follow my lead?

Today, Governor Christine Gregoire announced she will endorse legislative action creating a bill in support of marriage equality for Washington State. And while advocates suggest Ms. Gregoire has “shown tremendous leadership on this issue,” has she really? I do not wish to pass judgment of Governor Gregoire nor the merits of marriage equality. (I’ll let you handle the thumbs, up [...]

January 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm 2 comments

Our Idiot Kin

Our Idiot Kin

Window-shopping is one of the most enjoyable elements of the holiday season; family is one of the most trying. Window-shopping, whether for in-laws, off-spring or oneself, offers the promise of the perfect fit, the pleased smile, the “just right.” Family, whether blood or extended, is more akin to the checkerboard cardigan or the Hickory Farms cheese ball bought at closeout: [...]

January 3, 2012 at 11:43 am 0 comments

The genuine article

The genuine article

The High Bar would be closed for business, if not for the dedication and talent of an amazing crew, under the guidance of my fantastic, fellow executive producer, Jason Ganwich. It is rare for those behind the camera to get the credit they deserve, so I am delighted that Jenni Prange Boran crafted this portrait of my industrious, and only [...]

December 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm 0 comments

‘Tis the (third) season!

‘Tis the (third) season!

As happy as I have been with the second season of The High Bar, I am absolutely stoked about Season 3. There are many big changes ahead, thanks to the solidified leadership of my co-executive producer Jason Ganwich, pacts with two television stations to increase our audience by nearly 3 million viewers and a line-up of guests that makes me [...]

December 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm 0 comments

A sweet dilemma?

A sweet dilemma?

If I knew you were coming, I would have baked a cake. Uh-oh. That time-honored excuse won’t help me now. I know who’s coming and am too intimidated to do anything about it. This week, I’ll be shooting new episodes of The High Bar and welcoming Eric Lanlard, one of the world’s most renowned patissiers, the owner of London’s beloved Cake [...]

December 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm 0 comments

Swinging and swaying and records playing

Swinging and swaying and records playing

Are you ready for a brand new beat? Diego Stocco can find music, sweet music, playing everywhere. Even at the dry cleaners. Check out this video on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/29273575 What do YOU think? Too much starch in the melody? For more about music appreciation, pull up a stool at The High Bar along with Macarthur genius, Trimpin.    

October 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm 0 comments

Something’s brewing

Something’s brewing

There are now more breweries in the United States than there were just prior to Prohibition (1,759 today versus 1,751 way back when.) More dramatically, note there were only 50! across the country in 1980.* Is the increase a consequence of the loosening of regulations? An offshoot of the locavore movement? Or, just another indicator that Americans want to stay [...]

September 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm 0 comments

All the news that’s fit to scroll?

All the news that’s fit to scroll?

Marshall McLuhan famously instructed: “The medium is the message.” However, if you read Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man on-line, you might have already forgotten the phrase and its implications. Or so suggests a study done at University of Oregon. Researchers have determined that our reading comprehension and retention is severely minimized when we absorb information from websites and blogs [...]

September 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm 0 comments

Brand… spanking. New?

Brand… spanking. New?

(This article was originally published on Sparksheet.)     The next James Bond film will reportedly receive $45 million, a third of its overall budget, from high-end on-screen product placement. The sum is more than double the previous record for a single film (Steven Spielberg raked in $20 million for brazenly running ads for Guinness and the Gap in Minority Report’s “near [...]

August 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm 0 comments

A little more… BAD NEWS

A little more… BAD NEWS

Please don’t be alarmed, I won’t always lead with Bad News, but I just felt it necessary to revisit yesterday’s top story with another excerpt from Tom Fenton‘s Pulitzer-worthy denouncement of contemporary network journalism. The passage below provides good cause to reconsider the public’s reverence for HBO documentaries and the pay-cabler’s division leader and pedestal-topper, Sheila Nevins. One journalist friend of [...]

August 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm 0 comments

I’ve got some good news and…

I’ve got some good news and…

These days the best news coverage is probably found on the bottom of a bird cage. If you’re looking for actual information about current events, however, good luck. Newspapers are folding faster than an origami whiz kid on Ritalin and the news-weeklies are less relevant than horses at a water polo match. Cable news has devolved to partisan buffoonery and [...]

August 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm 0 comments