Saving Darfur April 30, 2006 Washington, D.C.

You know, I think we Americans are a very fortunate bunch. We do our fair share of complaining, be it about politics, leadership, or lack thereof, about the price of gas and the lack of good public transportation outside of the major cities, about religion in the public domain, too much, too little, about the right to smoke cigarettes and the right to breathe air without second hand smoke, about too much censorship, too little censorship, about too many immigrants, not enough immigrants, about too high taxes, too few social programs. We Americans, as my grandmother might have said, "have what to complain about." But we are lucky all the same. We go to bed at night without fear of our neighbor turning against us, as they did in the former Yugoslavia where the Croats, the Serbs and the Muslims turned against each other, and in Somalia where the clashes occurred between the Hutus and Tutus, and in Ireland where Protestant and Catholic neighbors turned one against the other.

The United States continues to be a work in progress where a huge number of heterogeneous people live, if not side by side, in close proximity and remain united as Americans, be they Black, White, Jewish, Christain, Muslim, Hindu, be they descended from Italy, Germany, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Poland, Roumania, Egypt, Israel, China, Japan or the Puritans who came over on the Mayflower. We do not see things eye-to-eye and we do fight amongst ourselves, but so far the plan, put in place all those years ago when the founding fathers sat and wrote our Constitution, has continued to work. We do not have ethnic wars. We do not have one group murdering, rapeing and systematically eliminating another group, without fear of reprisal. We live in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious society and though we may not always celebrate the differences, we do always tolerate them and remain one people under the Constitution.

On Sunday, April 30th, I went with some friends to the Rally in Washington DC to "End the Genocide in Darfur." It happened to come at the same time as the large rallies and marches in NYC and around the country regarding Immigration and this, I believe took away some of the thunder of the Darfur rally. Still, it was a memorable day and one which I believe had some influence on our leaders, as can be seen by the actions that were taken shortly after the rally. As of May 5th, a final agreement between the Darfurian rebel armies and the genocidal government of Sudan was reached. The US government had a major role in this plan. And many thousands of Americans had a role to play, as well, in their outcry against the genocide. Let us pray the peace plan is carried through.

I hope these pictures tell the story of the day...

To see all of the pictures of the Rally in DC on behalf of Darfur, click here.


Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

I just got home from the theater and I am reminded of what theater is all about and why I love going. Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well first came out in the late 60's early 70's when the country was polarized by a war and students were marching and there was corruption in the White House and, wait a minute, does any of this sound familiar??? That's the thing about this show and Jacques Brel's lyrics, they are timeless, because no matter how much we progress technologically, we humans seem to keep the same foibles and make the same mistakes. Each song was like a complete story, told with eloquence and drama and humor and frequently an intensity of emotion that left me and probably much of the audience in tears. The theater is called the Zipper Theater because it is a renovated zipper factory. The seats are car seats. It is small and intimate. The whole experience was more than worth the price of admission, which for Off Broadway wasn't cheap ($65/ticket.) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. See it before it closes. It is sure to be nominated for best revival in the next Tony Awards.

This was the Broadway.com Review:

Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris by Edward Karam and with
Robert Cuccioli, Gay Marshall, Rodney Hicks & Natascia Diaz



I am never so happy as I am with a camera in my hand, especially when I am travelling hither and yon. I hope you enjoy the pictures. There are more to come....

The Atlantis Hotel in The Bahamas

Sunset over Aruba
If these pictures strike your fancy,



Dedicated to Johnny Carson

What do these people have in common? ? ? ? ?

Chris Albrect, Carrot Top, Todd Glass,
Jason Alexander, Billy Connolly, Judy Gold,
Hank Azaria, Pat Cooper, Whoopi Goldberg,
Shelley Berman, Wayne Cotter, Eddie Gordetsky,
Billy the Mime, Andy Dick, Dana Gould,
Lewis Black,David Brenner, Frank DiGiacomo,
Alan Harvey, Mario Cantone, Phyllis Diller, Eric Idle,
Drew Carey, Susie Essman, Dom Irrera,
George Carlin, Carrie Fisher, Eddie Izzard,
Mark Cohen, Joe Franklin, Jake Johannsen,
Amazing Johnathan, Alan Kirschenbaum,
Jay Kogen, Sue Kolinsky, Paul Krasser,
Cathy Ladmar, Lisa Lampanelli, Richard Lewis, Wendy Leibman,
Bill Maher, Howie Mandel, Merrill Markoe, Jay Marshall,
Jackie "The Jokeman" Matling, Chuck McCann, Michael McKean,
Eric Mead, Larry Miller, Martin Mull, Kevin Nealon, Taylor Nagron,
"The Onion" Editorial Staff, Otto & George, Rick Overten, Gary Owens,
The Passing Zone, Penn & Teller, Peter Pitofsky, Emo Phillips, Kevin Pollack,
Paul, Reiser, Andy Richter, Don Rickles, Chris Rock, Gregg, Royell,
Jeffrey Ross, Jon Ross, Rita Rudner, Bog Saget, T. Shean Shannon, Harry Shearer,
Sarah Silverman, Bobby Slayton, Tommy and Dick Smothers, Doug Stanhope,
Carrie Snow, David Steinberg, Jon Stewart, Larry Storch, Rip Taylor, Dave Thomas,
Johnny Thompson, Peter Tilden, Bruce Vilanch, Fred Willard, Robin Williams,
Steven Wright AND Tim Conway.

Hint: Consider this the next in my line of movie rental reviews.