Category Archives: Art

Abby Martin Renaissance Woman

The DISSENTING DEMOCRAT believes in covering Politics because it helps us to order our society but when we wish to pursue the more important things we look to the Arts. ABBY MARTIN, news commentator, is also an artist, a truly Renaissance Woman.


“Space Fire” by Abby Martin

Readers are encouraged to take a look at Abby’s work at


Chloe Grace Moretz to the Stars

The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Wars represent the unifying myths of our time. If one seeks to be understood a reference to one or another of these new classics of film and literature is the best way to relate to many regardless of nationality, race, culture, politics or age cohort. It is therefore no wonder that the net and many fan zines have been abuzz with rumors as to who may be accorded a place in the pantheon being planned for what will be episode 7 of the STAR WARS saga.

Our own favorite is the dynamic star of “Carrie”, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ who has evidenced such talent and work-ethic as to be worthy of comparison to Jodie Foster among other legends of Hollywood. The year 2014 will be the breakout year for the 17-year old who has a half dozen or more films in production or post-production including “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington, “Clouds of Sil Marie” with Juliette Binoche, “Dark Places” with Charlize Theron, “Laggies” with Keira Knightly and as the star in her own right in “If I Stay” which we project to become the sleeper hit and Oscar contender of the year.

Disney would be wise to sign her a.s.a.p. The Force is strong with this one.

CGM Star Wars

Chloe Grace Moretz, 21st Century Star


The DISSENTING DEMOCRAT is not ordinarily a place to read about the arts, and maybe we should be, but when something extraordinary occurs of cultural significance we are pleased to set politics aside for the arts. As John Adams has said, we study the arts of statecraft and war so that our children can study business and agriculture and our grandchildren can study music and the arts. As in many things, the Founders had it right, the purpose of politics is to so order society that we might attend to the really important things in life.

That being said I would like to recommend a sensational young acting personality to your attention. Imagine if you will if you had the opportunity to see the work of Katherine Hepburn in 1928 or Meryl Street in 1970 before they became the stunning talents they were in cinema and the theater. It would be truly exhilarating.

Although she has been working since she was 6, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ is probably best known as “Hit Girl” in the Kickass movies. She has also performed as the lead in several films that enable even the casual fan of the cinema the realization that the future of film has been seen and it is superlative.

As a teen in “Hick” running away from an alcoholic father and a promiscuous mother, she demonstrated a depth of emotion far beyond her years. Then as an aged vampire trapped in a little girl’s body in “Let Me In” she frightened the bejeezus out of me. More recently she appeared in the title role of “Carrie”, the part for which Sissy Spacek won an Oscar but which Chloe from here on makes her own.

Seriously, there is truly no comparison unless we live in a bizarro world where veggie burgers are compared to filet mignon. Although I mean no disrespect to Sissy Spacek, who is a good actor in her own right, Chloe Grace has the makings of transcendental greatness.

Chloe was eager for the Carrie role so much so that when she was told she was unlikely to get the part due to her age, she redoubled her efforts and her preparation. When asked if she was intimidated by Spacek’s prior success, Chloe was not bothered , other actors didn’t intimidate her only the work itself. She wanted to make her performance worthy of the masterful writing of Stephen King.

During the shooting of the film, Chloe practiced “the Method” as taught by Stanislavski and Strasberg, keeping herself in character even when not in front of the cameras. A method actor doesn’t merely “play-act”, but becomes the character, and Chloe made herself into Carrie. The cinematic product is proof of her accomplishment.

She has probably been offered many of the starlet roles but has determined to be a serious actor. She has opted frequently to work for her craft and not necessarily for the big money. Later this year, she will appear in “If I Stay” in which as a young woman she is poised between life and death after an accident. I have high expectations.

So if you want to see the world’s emerging best actor before she wins an Oscar and universal acclaim, beg, borrow or buy DVDs featuring CHLOE GRACE MORETZ. You won’t be sorry.


“Chloe Grace Moretz”, WIKIPEDIA

ONE PERCENTERS SAY: Who has little, let them have less

The hatred of the poor, is it guilt

gone rancid? That the rich have

so much and still conspire to steal

a baby’s medicine, a woman’s

life, a man’s heart and kidney.

When those Congressmen talk

of people who are counting

their last change for gas or eggs

choosing between cold and hunger

they snarl. How dare we exist?

If they could push a button,

if they could war on the poor

here at home as they do abroad

directly with bombs instead of

legislation, think they’d hesitate?

The righteous anger fermenting

in them boils over in cuts to what-

ever keeps people alive. They punish

those who have little with less:

a vast legal bus to run us over.


Madge Percy is a published poet and novelist. The poem above is republished from PORTSIDE news service

Pawnee’s Heritage Murals


[Click on to enlarge]

I had the chance to catch up with several seasons of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. One of the features of this classic comedy which satirizes government is the notoriously objectionable murals which hang in the City Hall. The one posted above illustrates a time in the history of the town in the series called “Pawnee”. Anything  or anyone strange was imprisoned at the Pawnee Zoo including a Jewish man visiting the town for the first time.

The following quotation is from NBC’s website devoted to the murals from the series:

“Unfortunately, the muralist chose to depict a rather disturbing and isolated event in the history of the zoo: in 1914, a Jewish ornithologist who was headed for the Mississippi River took a wrong turn, and wandered into Pawnee looking for directions. The mayor at the time had never seen a Jewish person before, and, believing him to be some kind of rare alien creature, placed him in the zoo’s abandoned otter cage.

A few days later, the residents of Pawnee received confirmation that this was merely a human being with a different heritage, and let him out with great apologies. The mayor even invited the man to settle right there in Pawnee for good, an offer which the man politely declined.

Yes, it is a harsh image, but ask yourself: would it sway your opinion if you knew the mural was painted by a Jewish man? (It wasn’t.) Also, lest you feel that Pawnee as a town was unfairly cruel to Jewish people, there is evidence that people from many other religious minorities were also put in cages: Catholics, the Amish, and Unitarians, to name just a few.”

There is probably a cage for many of us at the Pawnee Zoo.

For the fun of it take a look at

Occupy America


Click On hyperlink for a montage of “Occupy Wall Street” photos accompanying Leonard Cohen. We truly hope and work for the day when Democracy comes to the USA

DEMOCRACY (lyrics) — Leonard Cohen

It’s coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It’s coming from the feel
that this ain’t exactly real,
or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It’s coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don’t pretend to understand at all.
It’s coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin’
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It’s coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It’s here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it’s here they got the spiritual thirst.
It’s here the family’s broken
and it’s here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

The For-Profit Education Industry Won’t Back Down and Your Kids’ School Is Targeted

The following excerpt is from a film review of “Won’t Back Down”. The film was funded by the private for-profit education industry which is planning a nationwide push to privatize public schools.

Now, (deep breath), here are some things that are not
good about this film:

The plucky band of misfits inflict their positive change
by invoking the “Parent Trigger Law,” which allows
parents to take over failing public schools and turn
them into charter schools. They essentially bust up the
teachers union and corporatize a public institution. The
film hits you in the face (and slaps you on the back of
the head and punches you in the gut and kicks you in the
ass really, really hard with a boot) with vehement anti-
public school propaganda.

As a public school advocate and self-avowed annoying PTA
lady, I had to pause several times during the film to
pick my jaw up off the ground in disbelief. I saw this
film the evening before helping to launch a major
fundraising campaign at my children’s PUBLIC school. I
saw this film after spending a day emailing and tweeting
around with other PUBLIC school volunteers about ways to
get California parents to vote in favor of PUBLIC
education this November.

I saw this film with an open mind and what I saw shocked

The political agenda of Won’t Back Down is as naked and
laid-out as Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary: Public
schools are terrible. The only way to make them better
is to take them over and turn them into charter schools.
Oh and teachers unions are evil, greedy, spawn-of-
Voldemort’s-demon-seed bastards. The end.

I watched scene after scene of tacky, cheating, cruel,
lying, selfish teachers in the union. I watched a rally
where the pro-charter school advocates wore green
(representing growth and hope in case you went to public
school and don’t get symbolism) and the pro-public
school advocates wore red (the color of blood and Satan,
of course).

I watched the school go from drab to fab, as grey and
brown clothing and classrooms magically transformed into
double-rainbows drenched in sunshine and Skittles. This
was only after the poor children were released from the
throat-crushing death grip of the Darth Vader teachers

My children’s PUBLIC school (which is awesome by the
way) was on the district closure list a few years ago.
And what did the parents do? Did they try to take over
the school and turn it into a charter school and force
out all the teachers who stayed with the union? No,

They wrote a grant and built a new playground. They
created a tutoring program. They started creative and
aggressive fundraising programs like DogFest to help
bridge the gap between public school funding and unmet
public school needs. They volunteered in classrooms and
on the playground and in the lunchroom. They went to PTA
meetings and School Site Council meetings. They started
a parent Coffee Klatch to create community. They were a
plucky band of misfits, by golly!

Some even went as far as forming legislative advocacy
organizations to make a difference in the lives of
children at the state and national level.

* * *

I’m not anti-charter school. I’m not anti-private
school. I’m not anti-anything. But this movie distilled
a complicated issue into simplistic, manipulative
platitudes to the point that the conspiracy theorist in
me wondered who the hell bankrolled the entire thing.

So….a friend of mine helped me do a little research and
we came up with some nifty insights. Such as the fact
that this film is funded by Walden Media, which is owned
by  Philip Anschutz, a right wing leader whose
foundation has campaigned against such things as same-
sex marriage and single parents. He is also part of the
conservative movement that promotes school “choice” and
privatization and corporatization of public schools.
This film is also produced by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News

Ah hah! The plucky band of misfits has quite the
corporate backer!

SOURCE: I Am A Public School Parent and I Won’t Back Down (Sorry
Maggie!) By Robin Dutton-Cookston
September 12, 2012