Arts & Literature

Mandalorian’s Gina Carano: Inside Disney/Lucasfilm’s Culture of “Bullying” of an Independent Thinking Woman

Gina Carano was fired from the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian, after she posted messages on social media that the company claimed were “denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities.” In reality, Lucasfilm according to the Daily Caller, had reportedly looking to fire Carano for some time, due to her refusal to intellectual kneel and bow in obeisance and pay homage to left-wing views. Says Carano:

“My actions towards other human beings have spoken for themselves … I am the one that, on sets, people come and cry to. I’m the one that sticks up for someone … like, ‘Hey, this is enough, this person needs out of this, like, they can’t breathe.’”

“And I’ve always been like that. I’ve stuck up for, like, minorities everywhere. I’ve gotten in fistfights. I’ve been in actual fights growing up in Las Vegas because I cannot stand bullying.”

“I was prepared at any point to be let go because I’ve seen this happen to so many people…I’ve seen the looks on their faces. I’ve seen the bullying that takes place, and so when this started, they point their guns at you, and you know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve seen it happen to so many people, and I just thought to myself … you’re coming for me, I know you are.’”

“They’re making it very obvious through their employees who were coming for me, and so I was like, ‘I’m going to go down swinging and I’m going to stay true to myself.’ ”

“My body still is shaking, you know? It’s still devastating.”

“But the thought of this happening to anybody else, especially, like, somebody who could not handle this the way I can? No.”

“They don’t get to do that. They don’t get to make people feel like that. And if I buckle, then little girls and little boys, who are not getting … a good fair shake at growing up right now, if I buckle, it’s going to make it okay for these companies who have a history of lying to be lying, and to do this to other people. And they’ve done it to other people and —”

“And I’m not going down without a fight.”

Though I do not agree with all her posts and views, from the interview, Gina Carano is clearly a genuinely good and thoughtful person. Disney’s portrayal of her in the press and “excommunication” of her from the Star Wars universe on the other hand is disgusting, dishonest, and immoral.

Poem: Thought by Berton Braley

You say “I think” ten times a day
Or fifteen times, or twenty
And even more. Well, anyway
You sure repeat it plenty.
But pause and ponder half a wink
And start your brain-cells clinking;
“I think” you say, but do you Think
Or only Think you’re thinking?

How often is the thing you’ve thought
Out of Yourself created
And not a dictum you’ve been taught
And simply imitated?
Into a reverie, you sink
And like an owl, you’re blinking,
But do you actually Think,
Or only Think you’re thinking?

“I think,” you say – and ladle out
Some fusty old opinion
That probably was known about
In Pharoah’s dominion.
Do new ideas ever slink
Into your cranium’s chinking?
I wonder – do you really think
Or only Think you’re Thinking?

Traditions, customs, fill your head
And some of them have virtue,
But most of them have long been dead
They fester there and hurt you.
Son, chuck that clutter in the drink,
Wake up – don’t sit there blinking!
Wake up! And then perhaps you’ll Think
And not just Think you’re Thinking!

Lando Calrissian: Uniquely Individual

“Lando is not black or white, he’s just Lando. Above and beyond the arguments or discussions of bygone eras, he is of the future….I love Lando! He is simply Lando Calrissian: swashbuckler, gambler, entrepreneur, and survivor. Handsome, interesting, romantic, iconic, and uniquely individual.” -Billy Dee Williams

Quoted in the introduction to Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. New York: Marvel Comics. p. 4. comic book adaptation.

Hap Tip: Bosch Fawstin

Legal Challenges to the Lockdowns

From Pacific Legal Foundation:

Napa, California; May 27, 2020: Faced with an imminent legal challenge from a local retail art gallery, Napa County officials said late yesterday that retail art galleries may open for business as part of California’s Stage 2 reopening plan.

Quent and Linda Cordair sought to reopen their gallery, Quent Cordair Fine Art, using social distancing, masks, and limiting the number of customers. But Napa County ordered them to remain closed and threatened the Cordairs and their landlord with fines if they reopened ahead of California’s reopening plan. The state’s reopening plan classifies retail businesses Stage 2, while art galleries are Stage 3.

The Cordairs sent a letter to Napa County, urging them to treat the gallery like other retail business and to allow them to reopen with other Stage 2 retail stores, but the county never responded.

After attorneys from Pacific Legal Foundation informed the county of an impending lawsuit from the Cordairs, county officials responded that retail art galleries would be considered Stage 2 retail businesses and that they may resume operations.

“We are delighted that Quent and Linda Cordair may now open their business,” said Anastasia Boden, senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “It was deeply unfair that the state considered art galleries Stage 3 when the Cordairs’ shop is no different than the dozens of retail stores permitted to open now. While the government can regulate to protect public health, laws cannot be arbitrary.”

As a result of the county’s announcement, the Cordairs are no longer moving forward with their planned lawsuit.

“We are happy that we can sell our art to willing customers, with recommended safety protocols in place,” said Linda Cordair. “But we shouldn’t have to go through all this trouble to get permission. We should be able to pursue our passion, earn a living, and serve our customers without having to threaten legal action.”

Elan Journo interviews Anastasia Boden, Pacific Legal Foundation’s senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, and Steve Simpson a legal scholar with the Ayn Rand Institute:

 

Civil Disobedience: Heroic California Napa Art Gallery Owners Re-Opening, Defying County Closure Order

“We’ve risked everything; we’ve worked too hard and fought too long to bring our business to life, to keep it alive, and to grow it over the past 24 years to sit passively and watch it die for the unwillingness of some in the community to permit others to live and work on their own terms, to accept and deal with any marginal risk at their own judgment and discretion.” — Quent and Linda Cordair, Quent Cordair Fine Art Gallery

 

An open letter to the public, and to officials of the city of Napa, the county of Napa, and the State of California:

We’re re-opening our art gallery in downtown Napa not later than 11 a.m., Monday, May 4th. Appropriate and adequate social-distancing protocol will be in place and observed. City, county, and state officials are being notified, with encouragement to adjust any policies and plans accordingly.

As of next Monday, our gallery’s doors will have been closed, by county and state order, for six weeks and three days. Over that span, the county of Napa, population 137,744 at last count, has recorded two deaths attributable to the COVID-19 virus, both from over three weeks ago, with 60 confirmed cases in the county total, of which 26 have recovered, by the most recent county report.

As of last Monday, according to the Register, there were three COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county, including the one in intensive care

We’ve been averaging fewer than two new cases reported daily since the first two were reported on 3/22. There were no new cases reported in the county this past Thursday.

Testing for the virus is now available. Our hospitals — Kaiser, the Queen, Adventist Health — are all fine. As of today, there is no extant emergency in Napa County, no evidence of an imminent crisis, no evidence of an impending situation that wouldn’t be well manageable with available resources. It’s past time to start re-opening the local economy, with care, sensible precautions, continued and increased testing, and attentive monitoring.

For those for whom art is essential, the experience of enjoying the paintings and sculpture in our 3,000-square-foot space — a limited number of guests at a time, observing our no-touching policy — will be as safe or safer than venturing to Home Depot, Target, Walmart, the supermarket, the mini-mart, the liquor store, the gas station, the dog park, or even the restaurant for picking up take-out.

We have 30 artists and their families relying on us for support. We have employees to employ. We have bills to pay. We’ve risked everything; we’ve worked too hard and fought too long to bring our business to life, to keep it alive, and to grow it over the past 24 years to sit passively and watch it die for the unwillingness of some in the community to permit others to live and work on their own terms, to accept and deal with any marginal risk at their own judgment and discretion.

We welcome other Napa business-owners willing to join us in re-opening next Monday, if and as they are able and deem proper — but we’ll open alone if necessary.

Public officials: know that we’re prepared to risk fines, arrest, or jail. We’re pursuing resources for any necessary legal challenge, up to the Supreme Court if necessary. Our constitution and system of government was created and established to secure the right of each and every individual in these United States to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There can be no life without work; there can be no work without liberty; and, with so many others, we’re increasingly unhappy being unable to work and live for lack of liberty. The present situation is untenable, unacceptable, unjustifiable. It’s unhealthy and unsustainable. Not dying is not living.

We’re going back to work. We hope to see you in the gallery soonest, hopefully to enjoy the art. If not, know that we’re prepared to defend our right to live, work, and interact freely, and that we will indeed defend our right to do so, if and as necessary.

Let’s not make it necessary. Please join us in working our way back to living well and fully — living mindfully, sensibly, healthfully, and productively — while respecting every individual’s right to work and to sustain their own life and well-being as they may.

We have an extraordinarily challenging road ahead. Let’s get Napa back to being Napa, with hope and optimism that it isn’t already too late to do so. Every day and every hour counts. We must get back to work, back to living, as well and as quickly as possible, while continuing to observe reasonable precautionary measures. It’s time.

Quent and Linda Cordair
Quent Cordair Fine Art|
Napa

First posted online at the Napa Valley Register, 27 April 2020.

 

Amy Peikoff has an interview with the Cordairs on her podacast:

Movies: The Sex of the Lead Character Is Not a Selling Point

Reports John F. Trent on Erin Cummings to John Campea on The New Rumored Star Wars Series: “I Really, Really Loathe The Descriptor of Female Led” (April 24, 2020) Bounding Into Comics:

On The John Campea Show, his co-host and Spartacus actress Erin Cummings explained why she loathes the descriptor of female led while discussing the new rumored Star Wars series from Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland.

[…]

Cummings then points out the hypocrisy of how the series is being marketed,

“Can you read me that headline again, except take out female-centric and just put male-centric. But the point is these other shows that you talk about that are predominantly male-driven, nobody says, ‘Oh, we have this upcoming series, we aren’t going to tell you anything about it, but it’s going to be predominantly men, you wanna watch?’ That’s exactly what it’s saying.”

She continues,

“For me, yes, I want to see shows with more women, obviously. But you don’t have to say that’s the selling point. Tell me a little bit about the story. Make me fall in love with the story. Ultimately, if the show does fail, it looks like it failed because it was female-centric. Not because of a million other factors that it could have failed by.”

Exactly.

Give me a good story.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged featured heroine Dagny Taggart which inspired everyone from Martina Navratilova and Billy Jean King to Charlize Theron. Taggart was inspirational not because of her sexual anatomy, but because she was a heroic, larger than life character with a mind.

Hopefully, Disney won’t produce another Elizabeth Banks’ money-losing feminista “Charlie’s Angels” reboot that placed woke feminism over story-telling.

O Captain! My Captain! By Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman composed this elegy, or mourning poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Lisa VanDamme on Literature and the Quest for Meaning

One essential condition of fulfillment and happiness is the philosophic conviction that your life belongs to you. But it is only a condition. A truly fulfilled and happy life requires a sense of meaning. How to achieve that meaning is a question for which we have few tried-and-true, culturally established answers. Thankfully, one resource we do have for answering that question, or even knowing how to go about considering it, is great art. This talk explores how classic literature can contribute to the vital quest for meaning.

Recorded live in Cleveland at OCON 2019 on June 26, 2019

Also don’f forget to check out Lisa Van Damme’s amazing Read With Me app. Download it for free!

The Marriage

by Yvor Winters (1900-1968)

Incarnate for our marriage you appeared,
Flesh living in the spirit and endeared
By minor graces and slow, sensual change.
Through every nerve we made our spirits range.
We fed our minds on every mortal thing:
The lacy fronds of carrots in the spring,
Their flesh sweet on the tongue, the salty wine
From bitter grapes, which gathered through the vine
The mineral drouth of autumn concentrate,
Wild spring in dream escaping the debate
Of flesh and spirit on those vernal nights,
Its resolution in naive delights,
The young kids bleating softly in the rain––
All this to pass, not to return again.
And when I found your flesh did not resist,
It was the living spirit that I kissed,
It was the spirit’s change in which I lay:
Thus, mind in mind we waited for the day.
When flesh shall fall away, and, falling, stand
Wrinkling with shadow over face and hand,
Still I shall meet you on the verge of dust
And know you as a faithful vestige must.
And, in commemoration of our lust,
May our heirs seal us in a single urn,
A single spirit never to return.