4:30 am on a Friday morning and I’m actually the third person up in the house. Daughter and wife just left for the high school to pick up a few other students and catch a flight to Washington.


My big concern is what to wear to the Frank and Eva party at the film festival tonight.


And there it is, American activism in a nutshell. How do we care about issues like gun reform when we have to get ready for a big party tonight?


The monkey is Donald Trump. My favorite movie of the film festival was, “The Square” a Swedish dark comedy with a scene so representative of America today, I’ve been thinking about it constantly and can’t wait to develop a curriculum around it. You can see the scene on YouTube but it’s better to watch the entire movie. It’s brilliant.


Also brilliant were Garret and Derek and Ruby and Cruz and Carlos and Edgar and Martin and Jordan and Gavin and all the students who worked on projects for the festival. My Creekside posse made putting up two 70×10 foot signs in the rain easy, and honestly kinda fun. And even though Jason Walsh’s snarky photo caption on the cover of the paper implied that I do all the work, I do not.


I laughed a lot (“Wormy”, “Life Hack”, “Funny Story”, “You Can’t Say No”, “Last Words”) and I laughed especially hard every time this year’s promo reel with dancing first responders played which was hi-larious (although I’m not sure it was supposed to be funny).


I cried twice (“Faces Places” and “Tulipani, Love Honour and a Bicycle”). Only walked out of three movies (usually it’s many more). And found out that I am in a video about teaching reform (https://www.outletstudios.net). Check out Reform Episodes 1 and 2.


“So, what’s next?” This is the question I posed to my daughter after her inspiring return from Washington. Will this be the Jo-Jo moment that inspires the masses and leads to change? http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2016/08/29/no-room-haters-island/ Or will the issue get put on the back burner as we deal with unjust police shootings and the flaming shit bag burning bright in the White House?


It’s time for the work. It’s time for a cohesive plan about gun reform (http://valleytalking.blogs.sonomanews.com/2017/11/20/357-million-guns/), it’s time to take action and vote out the bad guys, empower the good guys and motivate the apathetic.


I’m not a big possessions guy. A few paintings, car, house, adult toys (skis, a canoe, surfboard) functional stuff, stuff I use or at least keep around and aspire to use.


My greatest possession is a six-dollar mug that says, “Chico State Dad”. I bought it the weekend we dropped my daughter off at college. Even though it was less than two years ago, she was young. Growing up in a loving environment with a great mom and (kinda, usually, hopefully) an OK dad, she was entitled the way cared for American kids are.


But now, as a sophomore in college I’m seeing a change in her, the hard work is paying off. She is going through an awakening and an interest in finding her place in this world. An awareness that she has a voice and an obligation to change the bad.


In the monkey scene in “The Square” no one reacts to the bad craziness because they don’t know how to and they are paralyzed with fear. It’s the central theme to the movie: “When Will We Care?”


Will it take another shooting? Another war with North Korea or Syria or Russia? Is Stormy Daniels really the best place to put our attention?


Find a cause. Stop walking past the homeless living under the Verano Bridge, stop wondering what you can do and start doing it. Like today, like now, like put down this story and search “gun reform Sonoma”, or “homeless organizations” or “environmental groups, northern California”.


Don’t let the monkey win.





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