LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
The world has become a very chaotic, even bizarre place in the past few months. Nothing is surprising to me anymore. The news was about a woman named Stormy Daniels who has been all over the TV landscape because she supposedly had an affair with President Donald Trump. She was offered $130,000 to basically go away. She is a porn star and was all over the news, with her attorney, stating that she was being forced to an agreement for her silence. The president’s attorney claimed that he took out an equity loan against his house in order to pay the money. The lawyer is very loyal to President Trump, but the porn star claims she was harassed by a thug one time in a parking lot. With her baby in the car. She claimed to feel very threatened by the encounter. There s a conflict about the original agreement, because President Trump never actually signed the document(s). Now the president’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, is under a lot of pressure by the feds. Will he remain loyal or will he flip on the president?
It parallels events here in California, where some elected legislators have lost their jobs for inappropriate behavior with their staffers. Harassing women seems to be the biggest danger these days on the political scene. But here in California, we’re always trend setters, so we have a female politician who is being charged with inappropriate behavior with male staffers. It boggles the mind!
Sadly, Bill Cosby has just been found guilty of sexual harassment of a woman acquaintance. He has battled accusations from several women who claimed that he drugged them, then took advantage of them sexually. Cosby starred in his own TV show for years that was hugely popular. I enjoyed that TV show myself. It was funny, fresh and presented a typical family getting through everyday problems.
For Bill Cosby to come to such an end is bizarre, to say the least. It reminds me that we, as citizens of the most powerful country in the world, can always be stunned by the behavior of some people here. I am amazed at some of our president’s ideas, his utterances, his unbridled anger, hatred of others. His name calling is ugly and persistent. He goes to rallies and spouts off to applause and cheers. He is incapable of ever saying he might be wrong, about anything. He’s become a president who must be tolerated.
Trump’s world, in the White House must feel like a three-ring circus with people being hired, fired, dismissed, ignored, vilified. Is he admitting only incompetent people as his “helpers’’? The discord and anger among the staff must be paralyzing. How do they get anything “reasonable” done? That’s what I am wondering myself. How can anything good be accomplished in such chaos? President Trump is damaging the reputation, leadership and future of our country with his anger, name calling, bullish behavior and nasty rhetoric. Why is he so protective of Russia and its leader, Putin?
We have policies and structure in place to investigate our concerns about the behavior of leaders. Presidents have had to justify or explain their behavior. It takes a lot of effort and time but the truth comes out. Bad behavior does get examined. Former President Nixon was forced out and former President Clinton was investigated and humiliated on TV for the whole world see and hear. American leaders can be chastised and booted out for bad behavior. Our current president is certainly on the brink of disaster all the time. His arrogance will eventually be his downfall. When it happens we’ll get through it. We may be a little battered but we will prevail.
Is there anything good going on? Yes, there are good things to enjoy, to make up for chaos in high places. We’re coming to the summer season, where events are plentiful. The Playboy Jazz Festival will be coming up in June at the Hollywood Bowl. For jazz fans, it’s essential. It becomes THE event of the year, where top talent is headlined over a two-day weekend. The founder of the festival and founder of Playboy magazine has passed away. He lived a long and interesting life and did a lot to promote jazz.
Sadly, we don’t have as many jazz clubs as we used to have in L.A. Running music venues is a lot of work, so many just couldn’t manage to hang on. Restaurants are the place where jazz is being featured now. We still have a few main spots, such as Catalina’s Vitello’s, Bar Fedora, Vibrato, Viva Cantina and a few others are still very active. There is so much competition now, in the L.A. area, with so many restaurants that many simply can’t afford to hire musicians.
This summer we can find all kinds of music in parks and at some beach locations. Grand Park, downtown, will have big events which often feature music. The L.A. County Museum on Wilshire Blvd. has had a long-running jazz series outdoors. The Autry Museum in Griffith Park has a Latin jazz & salsa program that caters to dancers. It’s a perfect location, with plenty of free parking. Pop music groups can be found all over our area so check with local newspapers for events. Many of these events are free.
The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival takes place on May 26 & 27 at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park. The lineup includes Eddie Money, Dave Mason, Devon All,am Project with Duane Betts, The Chambers Brothers, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band plus many more. For more info see www.simicajun.org and/or www.cajunbluesblog.com
There is an alternative to worry and strife…it’s called music!
Hang in there.