Take A Knee

Just about a year ago, I posted about NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who had been in the news for refusing to stand during the national anthem – as a protest against racial injustice in the United States. I rather smugly predicted it was going to do wonders for his career, naively thinking of sports legends with political clout, such as Mohammed Ali, and not thinking how long he suffered, fought, and struggled to achieve that status. So here we are, a year later, and the apparently very talented NFL player still doesn’t have a job. Taking a knee has been in the news again lately as more and more players take a knee during the anthem, all while more and more people seem to misunderstand what it’s all about. Even Trump has given the topic more Twitter attention than he’s given to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico – an island with 3 million people, no power, and no running water. #ImWithKap

Fower Plower

This Friday, LA’s own HVW8 Gallery opens Fower Plower, an exhibition of new paintings by accomplished New York-based artist Mark Gonzales. “The Gonz” is also well known for being a pro-skateboarder, considered one of the most important street skaterboarders of all time. The HVW8 spot on Melrose will no doubt be packed during the opening from 6 – 10pm.

Patriot

It’s surprising how some of the best film and TV content around comes from relatively unorthodox newcomers now. My wife and I have been enjoying the Amazon series Patriot quite a lot. It is very strange and often painfully awkward. If you like Wes Anderson movies, I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.

Memrise

My wife told me about this free educational app for learning a new language, Memrise, and I’m enjoying it tremendously so far. I’ve been trying to learn Korean, and have made some good progress. The app is based around flash-card memorization with audio queues. The native speaker pronunciation is great. It’s available for mobile phones and for your laptop, and perhaps more importantly, it’s fun.

Open Studio

Kat and Roger of K&R Ceramics are having a very special Open Studio at their lovely space in Verdugo Village today. They don’t usually sell direct to the public so it’s a special chance to score some amazing pottery direct from the artisans/artists. Visit my friends next door at Hutch LA while you’re at it! I’ve posted about Kat and Roger’s great work before here.

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Stand Up Guy

I don’t really watch or follow sports so this is a bit outside my regular area of interest, but the fact of the matter is you can’t go two feet without seeing or hearing about NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who famously refused to stand during the national anthem at a game recently, stating he couldn’t stand for a country that doesn’t provide justice for people of color. Needless to say, people are up in arms about his statement and his actions (or lack there of). A couple thoughts from a humble documented immigrant:

1. Police brutality seems to be a nationwide problem and race relations in the United States are pretty miserable too; maybe more people should address these issues publicly.
2. It’s appropriate for people in positions of success and leadership to use their platforms to address major social issues. Muhammad Ali did so. Ditto Kanye West speaking out about George Bush.
3. My gut feeling is that this will impact his career positively in the long run. I really hope so. I probably would have never heard of Kaepernick if it wasn’t for this story.
4. If you are offended maybe you should ask yourself what it is about equality that upsets you so much.

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale

Chill

LA-based artist Benjie Escobar introduces a new body of work at The Seventh Letter flagship store and gallery in the Fairfax district tonight! The opening event includes the release of a limited edition The Seventh Letter T-shirt designed by Benjie, with the back room curated by local film photographers the Camera Creeps

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