Does new TV widen political boundaries?


East Bay Monthly, June, 2017 — Berkeley actor Ann Hallinan and friends were excited about making a web series of their own: no Hollywood producers, no boundaries, no censorship. These veterans of the Bay Area theater companies combined efforts to make a web series NEXT about women in the high-tech industry, available on YouTube. Technology … Continue reading

Media Culture Wars: Who’s right in these turbulent culture-clashing times?


By Reese Erlich, East Bay Monthly, June 2017  Politicians and reporters should operate in separate cultures. Journalists should be suspicious of politicos, who in turn, will claim media bias when they don’t like articles written about them. But now Donald Trump has raised this culture clash to a whole new level. Trump says The New … Continue reading

TV IN THE ERA OF IMPERIAL DECLINE


A look at political trends in streaming TV By Reese Erlich The East Bay Monthly, April 2017 The 1950s were once considered the golden age of television. Comedies such as The Honeymooners and Harvey graced the airwaves. Some shows were classics, such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. On the whole, however, the … Continue reading

3 Important books on Mideast crisis


East Bay Monthly, March 2017 —   The East Bay has a strong culture of political resistance. We take pride in our history of opposing U.S. military interventions, from Vietnam to the Middle East. In January, some 100,000 people marched against Trump in Oakland. Now that we have President Donald Trump—I still have trouble writing … Continue reading

Comedy in the Era of Trump: Who gets the last laugh?


East Bay Monthly, Feb. 2017 —   Comedian and solo performer Sandra Tsing Loh says Left Coast theatergoers were in a state of shock after Trump came to power. So at the beginning of her recent Berkeley show, she invited the audience to let out an inner scream against Trump, whom she lovingly refers to … Continue reading

 Julieta and Manchester by the Sea – film reviews


  FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BALCONY The Monthly,  January 2017 By Reese Erlich Two films opening this month in the Bay Area, by some cosmic coincidence, deal with the same theme. One finds a mother trying to unravel the mysterious disappearance of her daughter. The other finds a daughter searching for her mysterious … Continue reading

Cheapskates Unite to Save Environment


 The Original Cheapskate  Thoughts on environmentalism and the shocking election outcome. By Reese Erlich East Bay Monthly, December 2016 As the holiday season gets into gear, many East Bay residents spend far more than they can afford on gifts that end up in closets. So let me put in a word for the much-derided Ebenezer … Continue reading

Quaterback Kaepernick makes history


  Going Down in History | Kaepernick effectively quarterbacks an antiracism movement.  By Reese Erlich East Bay Monthly, November 2016 When San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem, it appeared to be a brave but futile protest against racism and police brutality. The professional sports machine started a … Continue reading

Barbara Dane still singing progressive music


EAST BAY MONTHLY – OCT 2016 Oakland’s Barbara Dane Gets Around | Plus Bay Area bassist and composer Jeff Denson promotes a new CD. By Reese Erlich Barbara Dane is Oakland’s musical icon. Her career as a folk, blues, and jazz vocalist goes back more than 65 years. And she has just issued a new … Continue reading

What’s a jazz festival with almost no jazz?


FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BALCONY By Reese Erlich The East Bay Monthly, August, 2016 At the recent Oakland Jazz Festival, most of the performers weren’t jazz musicians. The event featured fine R&B and soul groups but only a smattering of jazz. I see the same phenomena at such famous events as the North … Continue reading