Monthly Archives: August 2014

Billie on Barnard

http://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/billie-on-broughton/Content?oid=2478375

I’m pretty proud of this article about the Billie Holiday-inspired show at Trinity! 

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Robin Williams’ suicide: Why depression is hard to see

It’s a sad irony that many comedians don’t experience the same joy they bring to their audiences. Comedy can be an outlet for the demons they face, from mental illness to addiction and anything in between. It can be startling to see someone who makes jokes for a living admit that they are not always happy.

That’s why Robin Williams’ death should serve as a reminder that you can’t always spot a person with depression.

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Thoughts on NASCAR’s new rule

As I write this, we’ve just seen the first incident covered under NASCAR’s new rule of not exiting the car. Kyle Larson hit the wall and his right front immediately erupted into flames. Larson stopped the car and got out, but a crew member told him to “take his time getting out,” saying the fire was out. Yet the fire continued to burn until safety workers put it out with an extinguisher, after Larson exited the car. 

I originally thought this was a good rule and tried not to criticize the rule-happy sanctioning body. A lot of people had a gloom-and-doom outlook of the way this rule would work out, and I felt certain that the teams would exercise good judgment in how they reacted to it. Now I’m joining the masses and saying: This rule sucks. 

I don’t know which crew member told Larson to take his time getting out of the car, but I’m guessing the spotter because that person would presumably know if the fire was out. Except, he didn’t. The person whose voice was in the audio clip shown on TV was misinformed. But Larson knew that the fire was still going because it was in the right front and he could see it. What if the fire was in the rear or somewhere out of the driver’s sight line, and his spotter couldn’t see it either and told Larson he was fine? It’s not impossible; try as they might, spotters can’t see everything. And if the spotter tells the driver not to exit the car based on a fire he thinks is out, and nobody else can see the fire, and the new rule forbids the driver from exiting until safety crews are there, there’s a plausible chance that the driver could end up being hurt by the fire or the smoke. 

This rule is bad. It’s removing the driver’s ability to exit his car and take his safety into his own hands and giving full permission to the sanctioning body to force a driver into the car. We all know that NASCAR’s penalties can be a bit excessive, and I think that in the backlash of Ward’s death the penalties could hover on the unreasonable side. I like that NASCAR is reacting to safety concerns, but I do think they approached it the wrong way. There should be a rule prohibiting drivers from approaching another car, not leaving their own car. 

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Edith Piaf Cabaret

I spoke with Natasha Drena about her performance in the Edith Piaf Cabaret, and the story appeared in this week’s Connect. Here it is. She was so lovely and sweet! Also, the Savannah Music Festival posted the story on their Facebook page, which felt pretty great. 

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Stewart, Ward, etc.

By now, I’m pretty sure everyone is tired of hearing about Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. (I even kind of am.) But there are just a few things that still strike me about this story:

1. The absolute vitriol that attacked Tony after it happened. People immediately called him a murderer and suggested that NASCAR ban him for life. Of course people are entitled to their own opinions, but it seems like these opinions are really strong and vicious. I followed the story as it was breaking on Twitter (totally by accident, I should have been asleep) and my God at some of the tweets. There were people saying that Tony should rot in hell before it was even announced that Ward died. Even the divisiveness of this situation is surprising.

2. Can we please get people who actually know about racing to comment on these stories? It’s so obvious that the regular sports anchors know nothing about racing. I even heard one confuse Sprint Cup and sprint cars. Shit, let’s just pay Ricky Craven to do all the talking about NASCAR on ESPN from now on.

3. I’m seriously glad, though, that this time nobody is trying to say that dirt car racing should be ended immediately because it’s too dangerous. That’s usually a response I hear when there’s a death in a racing series.

4. I like that NASCAR banned the drivers from exiting their cars after a caution. I’ve heard a lot of people playing the devil’s advocate and saying that this could lead to drivers staying in a burning car because they’re afraid of getting a penalty. I even heard one person say that the driver might be staying in the car with a gas leak which could kill them. I think we’re going to extremes on this and almost endorsing a dangerous practice that should have ended years ago. Nobody should be getting out of their cars to flip someone off or point at them (Danica, I’m looking at you.) It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this for people to realize that it’s dangerous to walk on a race track where cars are currently driving, but I’m just glad it’s over now. I hope there aren’t any drivers who try to be weird about the rule, like staying in the smoking car and being like “Oh, well, I don’t want a penalty so I’m going to stay in,” but time will tell. I don’t want anyone else to die because of a silly decision. 

I feel like everything else I could say has already been harped on. I just hope Tony does what’s best for him, whether that’s to keep racing or stop racing. I hope he’s able to find peace in whatever way he knows how. I’ll support him no matter what he does.

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Green Goddess

Ampersand Features Latest Works by “Green Goddess,” Caroline Rekowski

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About a week ago I sat down and talked to Caroline Rekowski and Nana Mtendaji, two sweet, sweet ladies who put on a great art exhibit at Ampersand. Caroline is the artist and Nana is her promoter, and they are both really friendly and get along so well. The exhibit looked great, and I love how Caroline uses so many natural elements, from her subject matter to the grass she actually places her stuff on. 

Above is the link to the story on the Savannah Art Informer, and below are some photos I took on opening night. (It’s empty because I showed up early; it was actually a packed house!) IMG_0700

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