Monday, August 03, 2015

Better Theater Than Political!

There are two elements for successful theater.  Those who can - and the audience.  I am audience but one of the best - I can out laugh and clap with the best of them!

Yesterday we drove 8 hours total to take in a performance of "Chicago" at the Cutler Brothers theater in Hub's home town of Deer Lodge, Montana.  The town of has a storied history but fell on hard times with demise of the Milwaukee RR of which it was a major crew change hub and has been declining ever since.  Now it's largest employer is the prison, a growth industry to be sure but not one to make a town flourish.

But Montanans come from sturdy stock and when determined they are a power to be reckoned with.  Such it is with Kelly Cutler and his family of theater lovers.  And my oh my, what they are doing for Deer Lodge as we witnessed yesterday.  We've know Kelly since his high school days when he mowed my in-laws lawn.  Even then he was into filming skits starring his brother and doing gigs around town.  We've watched the emergence of a young man who I will be prouud to say, "I knew him when..."

Having taken over the town's video store, they converted it into a most serviceable theater that seats I would guess about 125.  Tickets were a mere $15.  The performance was a sell out plus.

Like Kelly and his family who all have a part, a lot of the talent is home grown and wonderful.  Absolutely wonderful. From restaurant owners to prison personnel to high school students to college drama majors they all share a passion for theater. And they are good.

Mr. Cutler can do it all.  He's plays a wicked piano, can dance, sing,  and of course direct.  Perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to draw the best from his actors, no small talent in of itself.

The progress of bringing live theater to small town Montana has been documented by Kelly and the basis for what he'd like to see become a reality show.  Isn't it time there's something on the tube for those of us who have a passion for something other than the self-absorbed, mindless drivel that's out there?  How about something that shows real creativity, passion other than physical and the march toward success?

I've embedded Kelly's trailer for the concept though it doesn't do justice to what he's accomplished. You can also find more on You Tube.

If anyone who reads this would or could help him get it to the powers that be to move it forward please let me know.  Or contact Kelly directly. He's good.  Really good.

Otherwise, if you're in the neighborhood, take in a performance.  You won't be disappointed.

  1. Cutler Bros. Productions 
  2. Performing Arts Theater
  3. Address: 301 Main St, Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mr. President, Don't Even Think It!

While speaking before the African Union President Obama patted himself on the back proclaiming that he's been a pretty good president.  He went on to say if he ran for a third term he expected he could win.

Other than being totally delusional it creates cause for worry.  As he continued with his self congratulations he explained that, alas, he could not run for a third term because the law doesn't allow it. And after all, the law is the law.

Have we heard that before?  Before, when he has changed written law on a whim, when he refuses to  enforce laws on the books, when he takes matters into his own hands whether or not he's in compliance with the Constitution?  Usually always prefaced by saying he couldn't because the law doesn't allow it.

I can't help  but wonder if this isn't one of those moments where he's testing the waters to see if he could possibly bypass law, Constitution and the wishes of the people to gain a third term. I hope not but his past history sure set the red flags a flyin'!

Don't even think it Mr. President.  Don't even think it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Defending Ted Cruz Again

I don't intend to get in the habit of defending Ted Cruz but today I once again must.  I applaud him for calling out Mitch McConnell for what he is.

Oh, the hue and cry!  How dare he.  The Senate is above such behavior.  It has it's dignity you know.  Well, they've been hiding behind tradition and false dignity far too long.

How can anyone say with a straight face that while Harry Reid was majority leader that he acted with dignity? Mitch McConnell is a different personality but no less a servant of the gods of  power and money.

I'm still waiting for some of these newer members of both houses to show their grit.  Some have and done so admirably.  Tom Cotton.  Trey Gowdy.  In his own way, Rand Paul.  They're not afraid to speak out for what they believe.  Some waffle a bit too much for my taste but are getting there.  Others are spot on.  Whether or not you agree with them, it is refreshing.

Both house and senate leadership are having difficulty in keeping their members in line.  There is a good reason for that.  Some of them actually behave as though they were elected to serve the people who elected them rather than the special interests of the leadership. The presidential election aside, it will be interesting to see if more of them step up to the plate.

For the moment we are watching the beginnings of a turning tide.  The old war horses are just that and like me are having a difficult time adjusting to new thinking.  They resist mightily because they see a future where they are no longer vital and stripped of the power they so enjoy now.  As for myself, I'll  cheer on any one of them that will put the country first while we still have one.

I'll wrestle with my own ability to adjust to new thinking. I've already conceded the loss of the morality I lived with as I grew up.  That counter balances with efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancies leading to ruined lives not to mention lives lost to abortion.

See?  I can adjust.  So bring it on, ladies and gentlemen, do it for the good of the country as we all see it and I'll cheer you on.  Bring it on for your own prejudices without foundation and I will condemn you as Cruz did McConnell.

Don't think for a moment my generation isn't watching!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Republican Nominee Will Be?

As much as Trump is striking a chord, I don't think he'll be the nominee.  Voters will come to their senses.  One can hope.

At the moment my guess is it will be the candidate who can take Trump's broad brush on the issues and paint in the details.  I think the candidate most likely to  do this is Ted Cruz.

He is almost evangelical in his delivery.  He is passionate and articulate.  He also hasn't insulted Trump.  If he can say, "Trump is correct and here's why..." I think it would carry him a long way.

At the moment I'm leaning toward a candidate who probably has no chance because the media is giving her short shrift.  Almost to the point of being chauvinist.  If only they felt the same about Hillary! What I like about her is her business background and understanding of how businesses are run.  Exactly what our government needs - to be run like a business.  As it is now it isn't being run at all.  It's Camp Run-a-Muck. And like a poorly run company, doomed.

Realistically, however, I figure a politician is going to win the nod and it will be a matter of personality.  Not a good reason to be sure but with 16 candidates running personality is going to be a large part of what helps a candidate break out.  I think Cruz has that zeal.

They all are saying pretty much the same thing regarding policy.  So far I haven't heard a one of them explain exactly how they are going to achieve what they all agree needs to be done.  Especially if they don't have a solid majority in both houses.  Actually they are a pretty boring bunch.

Personality could push some one past Hillary too.  Hers is grating and fraught with ums and ahs. That is if she even succeeds.  With the rumors about Biden thinking seriously about jumping in and Warren reconsidering, she could have some real competition.  Webb, so far, has been a disappointment.

Of course my ideas change on a nearly daily basis as the jockeying for position continues.  Trump, on the Republican side, does, like it or not, have a huge amount to do with how things shake out.

Even if Trump goes 3rd party I believe a strong Republican can prevail.  Mainly because to date Trump hasn't said anything of substance either.  I'm not sure there is any from which he can draw.  Take note, Republican candidates. Get some personality and passion!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Figuring Out Trump's Popularity Isn't Rocket Science

Republicans should take a little more time trying to figure out the Trump appeal rather than trying to oust him from their ranks.

To me it's pretty simple.  He says what he means and means what he says.  When have you heard a politician do the same?  Granted he isn't always artful but a lot of what people "think" he's saying isn't at all accurate.

He has not disparaged our men and women in the military.  Not even close.  Basically he's saying McCain's "heroism" is over blown.  I'm not saying I agree, but I do think "hero" is applied far too often to far too many who don't deserve it.

What McCain endured while a prisoner of war was beyond comprehension, yes.  That he chose to stay behind when he could have left was heroic.  Yes.  Should that, however, give him a pass for the rest of his life even having not lived up to expectations?  I think something like that is what Trump was getting at in a very tortured manner.  Pardon the pun.

Rather than exaggerating the circumstances of gaffes, or bending them to suit their purposes, the Republicans should look at what's stealing their thunder.  Here you have a man who is beholden to no one.  No Chamber of Commerce nor Business Round Table is going to dictate to him how to think.  So far the other candidates, those who are politicians, not outsiders, still dance around everything that might be threatening.  Not so Trump.

What you see is what you get.  If you don't like him, fine.  He doesn't care.  If you do like him what you hear from him is the straight forward Donald Trump. That he is loud, egotistical and often just plain obnoxious is of no matter. To many his being the anti-politician is all they need.  A breath of fresh air.

One day soon I expect he'll have to come up with specifics.  He may have some difficulty with that.  Just as the politicians don't know what to do with him, he'll find dealing with Congress equally as difficult.  Maybe.

Don't forget Obama has set the precedent for going around Congress to get what he wants.  It wouldn't surprise me to see Trump do the same.  The difference being I think he would tell us first exactly what he would do and why.

One other consideration for the Republicans.  If they force Trump into a third party run they might as well kiss the presidency good bye.  Enough people will vote for him, no matter the label, to skew the results.

Perhaps they should tone down their own rhetoric and let the Trump flame burn itself out. If they don't tend to their own business rather than trying to end Trump's they may well find themselves on the outside looking in at their own territory.