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

A Little Advice for Hollywood: What current films say about the empire’s collapse


James Bond vs. Jason Bourne By Reese Erlich The East Bay Monthly, October 2016 Movies are both a reflection of our political culture and a means to shape it. For example, the James Bond films of the 60s and 70s helped maintain a distain for communists, whether a cruel Soviet spy or a machine gun … Continue reading

Moving and shocking: play condemns solitary confinement in USA


Reese Erlich, East Bay Monthly, July 2016 Sarah Shourd was held in solidarity confinement for 410 days in Iran as one of the three American hikers. The experience nearly drove her insane.   “I fluctuated between rages where I beat at the walls of my cell until my knuckles were bloody,” the Oakland resident told … Continue reading

The verdict is in on Northern California’s best politically correct wines


Reese Erlich, East Bay Monthly, June 2016 The right wing has hijacked the term “politically correct.” It has become a catch-all insult to hurl at anyone left of center who dares to stand up to their bullying.   The media mashers at Fox News, for example, propagate the myth that leftist professors enforce political orthodoxy … Continue reading

Why the Left Should Support Donald Trump


By Reese Erlich East Bay Monthly, May 2016   I know, I know, you’re thinking Erlich has gone crazy. But just hear me out. The U.S. political party system is in crisis. The Republican Party is fracturing into several parts. The Democratic primary has finally produced a real choice, but the establishment candidate will win. … Continue reading

Comedy is a serious business


The Monthly, December 2015 FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BALCONY Three comics discuss the art of standup, managing to work some funny one-liners into the conversation. By Reese Erlich It’s not easy making comedy from U.S. foreign policy. The policy may be a joke, but few people laugh about it. Will Durst is one … Continue reading

The Black Panthers Are Back


Wednesday, September 30, 2015 The Monthly by Reese Erlich   Seeing a documentary on the Black Panthers while sitting next to Bobby Seale is quite an experience. As we watch a press preview of the film in an East Oakland home, the co-founder of the Panthers sometimes calls out the names of old comrades as … Continue reading