Friday, July 31, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Sunday, July 5, 2020
"Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.
Mankind.That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom.
Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!
Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"
Thursday, July 2, 2020
This next post comes from a friend I met many years ago, and, like many I've met along the way on my Journey, we've kept in touch solely on Facebook. I read his posts often because of his sarcastically-amusing sagacity that generates a depth very well worth the thought and consideration. I am most privileged to introduce him here on Coffee Pong, and hope that someday soon we'll be able meet again over the best java in Reno.
And now, I give you: Reno J. Dinero!
"How was your day, Dear?" I don't even have one of those at my house. In one sense, it makes answering all the more easier:
For those of you who might not know (or even care) my business is entertainment. More specifically, business management of union labor for entertainment, conventions, special events, etc.
I have been in this business for almost all of my adult life. I have managed production for arenas. I have been a Technical Director for a university theatre; I toured as a Stage and Production Manager. I now am the Business Agent for IATSE Local 363 "The Mighty #363" in Reno, NV. I started in this business loading trucks at the Lawlor Events Center for $3.38hr. in 1983. I have done television, movies, live sporting events including two Super Bowl pre-game shows and Thanksgiving Day at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI, with Third Eye Blind. That was the first live televised performance at halftime of an NFL game, other than at the Super Bowl, by a major artist ever.
In all that time, and in many different capacities, I have seen a lot of things... but I have never seen anything like this. Period.
Our industry was shut down March 17, 2020, like no other.
Coincidentally, that was the day my Mom passed away. Suffice it to say, I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. But there are many days from my life that hold that same distinction. Both good and bad.
Right now, I have 300+ people sitting on the sidelines unable to work. There are countless numbers of my friends and colleagues around the world who are at home instead of being out on tour. Performers, production folks, ticket takers, CEO's, truck drivers, from top to bottom our industry has been affected like no other. We need large crowds, large working groups, many of us are in the high risk groups for COVID-19. Devastating doesn't even begin to crack the meter as to where we find ourselves today. Tomorrow? My crystal ball is on PAU as well. No one has an answer for us.
I understand my business. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I know what it takes to be successful for just about any production you can imagine.
After 36 years in the business, like anyone who has been in their chosen field for that long, I kinda am getting the hang of things. I understand.
What I don't understand is all of you civilians out there who have become contrary. You fight about everything. Wouldn't matter who was in office, or popular in culture, which team is hot; you argue vehemently about trivial pursuits daily.
This is not public discourse. This is not standing up for civil liberties. This is not exercising your right to assemble or free speech. This is ignorance. Willful ignorance.
You talk about shooting each other. You argue whether to mask or not to mask. You rage at a percieved hoax or question each other's validity in the facts of your arguements. All the while, situations have gotten way beyond what's acceptable or should be acceptable. You lash out at those that oppose your viewpoint, or worse, take violent action against them. You riot. You damage innocent businesses. You steal. Then, you leave. It's out of control...and it's got to stop. Or be stopped.
Because the only thing I see stopped right now is my people. My industry. Your entertainment. Get it together. Think about someone besides yourself for a change. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. We have no time for sidetracks, if you want to ever return to seeing concerts or the Super Bowl or anything entertainment-related, ever again as you knew it, start doing. Or you can kiss that and "How was your day, Dear?" goodbye. This ain't about your or my day. This is about us our existence.
Reno J. Dinero
Saturday, June 13, 2020
I was just listening to a song that had the phrase, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride..." I didn't understand how profound that phrase was until I read your post. I believe it takes a lot of work to make that "American Dream" come true. Unfortunately, we have several generations who have been raised to believe that they can just get a free ride on the work horses. At the same time, there are those who have been raised in privilege (regardless of race) saying: "Let them eat cake." and have no clue or understanding as to what it means to be homeless, destitute and looked down on because of the color of their skin. Myself? I feel as if I've lived a thousand lifetimes in my meager [almost] 54 years, and Life has always come down to choice. Decide what you want to do, and what kind of person you want to be...and then do the work to achieve it. No one else is going to do it for you...and there is no shame in asking for help, as long as the goals and objectives of the Dream is clear to both giver and receiver. Two (or more) heads are better than one!
But to "force" our government(s) and work horses to continually give and give without oversight and responsibility is insane and it only sucks the Life out of everyone! Then it's no longer a dream, it's a nightmare. Also...where are the corporate churches and "ministries" that take and take tithes and offerings...for what, a "feel good" sermon, inspiring music and pat on the head? The poor are still among us...and according to Jesus, always will be (John 12)...so what wisdom does the poor have to impart? I think it would behoove us all to at least finally listen and understand. Thanks for letting me comment...Miss ya!
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Saturday, June 6, 2020
I recently posted a Candace Owens video on my own Facebook wall, and didn't expect anyone to comment or message me about it (a hot topic). It's been very tough being a Moderate these days. But my beautiful friend, fellow musician, and thoughtful writer, Lisa Montes, recently posted something on her own Facebook wall that sparked a response, and I wanted to share it with you all this weekend.
Everyone has the right to their opinion and beliefs, yes. And this is mine.
So many people just missing the point about true injustice and the history of racism and inequality and brutality that has lived and breathed and been acted upon for years upon years and is perpetuated and encouraged by people like these public figures with their words 😔... and then inevitably domino effect trickles down and is spread by those who support and believe in the same words these two speak... whether intentionally or not, it spreads. I just can’t...😢
"The problems ARE on both left and right, and there is so much the public does not see! Murder is a horrible thing. Rioting and destroying is a horrible thing. Injustice is a horrible thing. The White House "Resident" is the worst one ever. I agree and disagree with Candace Owen on some things, but one thing I do agree about is stark REALITY.
Races and cultures cry "Injustice!" and march, riot and murder...yet there is a truth that no one wants to deal with, and that is: Too many do not look inward. Too many use "injustice" as an excuse and not a spark for solutions. Too many watch Corporate media for their position on prejudice and racism. On the Wind River Reservation, I tend to observe those who are silent more than those who are in protest. Why? Because I know of the horrors every single DAY that our EMTs and Paramedics are called to...Native AND White! The media doesn't actually "see" the abused babies and children. The media doesn't actually "see" how women are treated by drunk, high Native [and white!) men with fists, knives and guns. No, they can only speculate and empathize. Then the media spins and influences, left or right to appease their advertising bases; the public blindly swallows their pills.
The public and voters DO choose the wrong people to put on pedestals! Several.bad apples...even just ONE...can ruin it entirely for EVERYONE. How are true, solid solutions supposed to be put into play when African Americans ignore the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.? When Native Americans ignore the wisdom of their ancestral chiefs and their Elders who actually experienced abuse and injustice, first-hand? When Native American Tribal Councils themselves reek with alcohol, drugs and corruption? When so many white folks glorify a "Resident" that openly embraces a Nazi-like character [and] "values"?
No...it's not about what is unjust. It is about what is TRUE! And no one wants to deal with the TRUTH and admit they very well may be a part of the problem than the solution. That's why we are where we are, time and time again...in protest, riots and murder. That's why the problems of injustice never get solved. No one wants to look in the mirror and say, "Am I a part of the problem or the solution...and what is the best approach to SOLVING the problems and contributing to the solutions?" Because we don't vote for leaders who are true and just! Because no one actually reads and studies their voter handbooks, they just get on bandwagons and blindly follow their party choices. They are easily persuaded by corporate media and some random Facebook posts. Marching and rioting has been historically proven to be UNproductive. Not a solution anymore. It has been proven to make things worse; not better. I'd rather actively focus more on those who bringing peaceful, positive solutions and make a difference for the cause of [what has apparently become a matter of] human survival. They are out there. (Thanks for letting me rant on your page!)"
I hear you and I respect you.
I think you speak and feel the emotions of so many of us who are frustrated in so many areas of what is happening in the world and to people.
And you’re right, there is a lot many of us don’t see or have access to so we may miss a portion or half of the story or miss it entirely if it’s not put in our focus.
Frustrations produce anger, and if used correctly anger produces desire for change and action - hopefully in the positive sense.
I think precisely because so many are ready for change and vision and justice in all these different areas, we are all expressing ourselves and taking the actions we see best to use.
Are our efforts always fruitful? Perhaps not always in the way we wish, but they are efforts and first steps, and they are evoking discussions and thoughts and actions towards positive change.
People who don’t feel heard or seen...want to be heard, seen, and counted when decisions are being made on their behalf or that affect them and others. So efforts are now being made by many in all ways and methods and directions to make that happen.
These are challenging times and if we are being completely honest with ourselves they always have been challenging times... we simply have not done the intrinsic and external work to truly always learn from them and make change. The time is now. ❤️