Here is a recent and favorite Crusoe video. A police officer with the coffee and donut! This creativity permeates the Cru's blog!
From Lassie to Toto, Rin-Tin-Tin to Benji, animal characters have been around since man first told a story. They have taken over our hearts, fueled the pet business, and changed culture. It's impossible to imagine my own childhood without the sweet tug of the anthropomorphic friends I loved in cartoons, TV, movies and books. From Bambi to Bullwinkle to my very own teddy bear, animal characters have taught me respect for life and how to love. Real or imaginary, I am a better man for earnestly hugging and holding an animal. Gratitude is my offering to all the animals who have instilled gentleness within me.
Today's world is still wonderful, but in this fast-paced age, entertainment and pop culture's quest for high demographic ratings are fostering less warm and cuddly times. The seeds of human empathy, compassion, and humor need to find stories to bring out the kindest qualities in young children. Certainly the 24/7 news broadcasts along with the clamorous clacking gong of living in the 21st Century have left little time for the warm and fuzzy, but I believe that everyone has a minute or two for a sweet smile, or a loving laugh.
Bloggies winner for "Best Blog of the Year:2015" Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund (www.CelebrityDachshund.com) has taken over the helm of all things endearing across the web.
Crusoe is a six-year-old black and tan dachshund who lives with a young couple In Ontario, Canada. I suspect that somewhere along the line an initial innocuous video was posted, numbers ran seductively high so the puppeteer behind the his furry companion started making outfits and writing stories that challenge everything you've ever imagined that's adorable. Crusoe melts the heart.
Whether he's Bat Dog fighting crime, a noted Italian Chef, or simply traveling around George Clooney's Italian Riveria neighborhood Crusoe always makes me smile. Travel and amazing outfits permeate his blog having visited Switzerland, France, Florida, NYC, and a ski resort this past year.
My first Crusoe video was when he was visiting the Caribbean -- swimming through the turquoise water -- dressed like a shark. Ok, it might sound silly but the ingenuity --the attention to detail -- along with the overt humor in these videos is second-to-none. His short videos are inspiring, full of love, and addictive. I'm not the only one who's watching. This frisky fella has garnered millions of views on his videos. His inventive blog entries have been shared across social media countless times. Certainly among his human competition Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is an enviable force that draws loyal numbers of fans. Even the publishing world has noticed.
This week beginning in NYC, followed by LA, San Francisco, and down the line Crusoe and his not-so-celebrity "parents" are beginning a tour promoting his book which sees its release on on 27 October.
Based upon a preview of the publication, and the inventive and endearing videos the team has produced, I'm confident sharing the book with children and watching the blog's videos, or cooking up some of the book's recipes together would be a wonderful way to connect with a child or even a hard-boiled adult. If it's the little things in life that matter, this small dog is making a splash that can reignite the softer side in all of us.
Here is an additional youtube link to some of Crusoe's post popular videos, and be sure to check out the blog for its sweet stories and smart writing.
Museums are an odd business they make a star by hanging a painting on a wall or installing a sculpture in a gallery. We often accept a work is worthy simply because it is exhibited within a coveted institution. It is, after all, the museum's acceptance of an artist's work...
Between the protective in-house PR departments of Hollywood's Golden Age, and the in-your-face PR of today, lies the second generation of Hollywood elite: the post-television, Cinemascope, "in color" clan who bridged the gap between Monroe and Madonna, Brando and Brad, Double Indemnity and Double 0-7.
The "Cadillac or Lincoln" generation -- names like Rock, MacLaine, Beatty, McQueen, Eastwood and Mansfield -- experienced stardom under the bright light of the TV camera. Trip-ups and foibles were the name of the game. The public yearned for more. Survivors like Crawford tried to ignore the peering eye of the paparazzi of the 60's and 70's -- never going out looking "less-than," watching everything they uttered, chose, performed or kissed. Even then, the stark reality of age, urges, human frailty and meteoric desire led many into the mud of scandal or the glimmer of hope for an Academy Award. Enter the independent PR agent.
Dale Olson loved film. As a youngster up in the Northern Plains he ate up Garfield and Turner, Fonda and Davis, Bogart and Bacall, everyone who dared flicker in the flutter of THE FARGO theater in Fargo. Dale knew any lovers less than Gable and Lombard nicknamed "Hollywood's power couple" were simply from a PR agent's pen.
Dale Olson longed to be part of the movies. As an aspiring PR agent, Olson loved the pomp and controlled the circumstance. From his first major Hollywood position -- editor of Boxoffice Magazine -- to running his own agency, Dale Olson was a stalwart brick in the wall of cinema and American history.
As the fate of long-time friend and client Rock Hudson became public, Olson urged, poked and prodded pal President Reagan to act against AIDS. Reagan would move too little, too late. Olson acted on his own; he worked to set up the Rock Hudson Foundation for AIDS Relief. When pal Elizabeth Taylor set up the organization that became today's AMFAR, Olson threw his support behind her remarkable gravitas. With characteristic intelligence and compassion Taylor, Olson, and a handful of others put their money -- and their reputations -- behind their frustrated and angry words.
Olson continued to stand for his clients through his active involvement in The Actor's Fund. The Fund is a safety net for anyone in the entertainment industry who finds himself in need of housing, counseling, medical care, or simply a leg-up.
In 2004, The Actors Fund dedicated the lobby of its Los Angeles offices to Olson and fellow publicist Eugene (Gene) Harbin, his spouse of more than 30 years. Harbin survives him.
Dale was the voice of damage-control, the pen of Oscar campaigns, and the heart of a movement that cultivated compassion in modern Hollywood. Laughter and caring were Dale Olson's trademark, entertainment was his business.
In lieu of anything other than good memories and loving thoughts, contributions in Dale Olson's memory can be made to the Actor's...
This week's horrific story beneath the Hollywood Sign of decapitation, murder, and bloody execution is the latest layer of reality that appears when you look too closely at glamor mixed with the degradation of society. As far as I know dismembered body parts and a head in grocery bag are...
Growing up in Southern New Jersey -- a child of the first TV generation, I was assaulted by glamorous tales and images of Los Angeles, San Francisco and the warm, promising, sun-drenched promise-land of the American Southwest.
Earliest life for me in rapidly declining Camden NJ was far less than what I saw on The Beverly Hillbillies, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, or even The Waltons. My father worked hard. Mother worked outside the house maintaining the home, her sanity and the family's stability while helping Dad drag the American dream to our doorstep.
Eventually we moved one town east to follow our middle class aspiration. Stress grew as our family worked harder and harder for a bigger piece of the American Pie. A divorce split the income and nearly doubled the bills. In spite of their hardships, my parent's search for a better life was their gift to me. By today's rocky standards, my public school education was extraordinary. In today's world of poverty level pensions, inflation, and economic recession the lessons learned from my parents have served me well in subsidizing their current lives.
I remember at four years of age, after watching an episode of The Flintstones (there were palm trees everywhere in that show) standing at the screen door of our Camden, NJ home saying that I wanted to move to California. Twenty years later on the eve of actual departure, through the tear-stained eyes of a mother sending her son off into the sunset, mom swore to me that at THREE years old I had actually said "I want to move BACK TO California." "Yep," she sobbed, "I always knew you would leave to follow your dream." An afternoon later I was westbound in my old 1972 Impala, torpedoing toward my optimistic-unknown. I was certain the beachy, balmy, bougainvillea, tree-lined life the post-war generation had found in Sunny So Cal would become my life, too.
Why couldn't it? I had everything -- I was "free, white and twenty-one' -- the simple recipe I learned that contained the elements for unbridled possibilities. Success for me came in mass contentment. I loved Los Angeles -- the weather, the people, the vistas, the sights and the shadows of music legends I loved: Janis Joplin, The Mamas and Papas, The Doors and The Beach Boys. Everything was lined up for me; my security followed. Hell, I fight for my security to this day. For those lucky enough to fall on the right side of the border we even have the world's strongest army to safeguard our dream. America is a great place. Just ask a day-laboring illegal immigrant.
Chris Weitz' latest film, A Better Life -- recently on DVD -- is the story of Carlos' (Demián Bichir) fight to survive as an illegal immigrant working in the beating, bleaching Southern California sun. Through universal dreams and simple aspirations for a better life, Weitz leaves sermonizing about immigrant issues at the door. Whether we like it or not, Weitz forces us to watch a life unfold to reveal the angst behind the quest for the best a man can attain. Carlos is not a man of words, rather a man of staunch integrity. Through the connection of Carlos and his teenaged son, we see the potential erosion of the dream if we give into its inherent easy life. Unlike my own trek to the West, Carlos' problems are forced upon him -- surviving America proves hard and intangible. He fights against the law, the language and social walls of poverty and segregation. It's a sensitive film that jerks a tear and can change a perspective.
A well-produced film changes attitudes. Looking back into Hollywood's history, Susan Hayward in I Want to Live melted America's staunch opinion toward the death penalty. Convicts were no longer faceless below-the-fold headlines devoid of any worthy element. Hayward brought our justice system of death to its knees -- that's the power of film and the mark of an hour and forty-five minutes well spent.
A Better Life, may not end the death and heartache of those squeezing into America for a future, but it does tell their story. Ignorance does not survive in A Better Life. It can't survive in an evolved America.
Seven weeks ago I started running. Well, jogging actually - the runners are everyone else that pass me at breakneck speed. My run is changing my life.
I've always been active, heck I'm fifty-one, if I wasn't active I'd look like every other fifty-one year old out there. Usually my...
Last summer I was offered the opportunity to host a talent search for a young girl to play a character named Dorothy in a show entitled WiZaRD. WiZaRD's "Dot" wasn't the standard Wizard of Oz Dorothy, rather, a character by the same name in a musical...
Art, like language, morphs words and tones to describe the world. It can be a reflective, interpretive, literal, and/or emotional. Important art passes the litmus test of time. It remains in the pop culture lingo to mark the space from whence it came.
Postmodern art thumbs its nose at the...
L.A. INFLUENTIAL -- a lively panel discussion on the influence of Southern California's subcultures, scenes, and scenery on contemporary art
Panelists: Chaz Bojorquez, Brad Howe, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom, and Gary Wong, moderated by Mary Anna Pomonis.
Saturday, July 23, 2011 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Growing up, the tar-scented, humid summers, followed by the blue collar cold winters of Camden, NJ left me wanting for more. From my first memory, I longed to live in the world of Los Angeles I saw on TV. I was convinced, just like Veda Pierce or Vincent Van Patten, that tennis courts, sex, cars, fame, and great hair would be mine for the asking if only mom and dad had sense enough to move to Southern California -- that was my far-away dream. I remember what the fantasy felt like, but I never thought about what I might have become -- until I met Dave Tourje.
Born just weeks apart from me, Dave Tourje is out-and-out honest Los Angeles, natural and bred. Dave was the Vietnam era too, but with palm trees, skateboards, gangs, banana seat bicycles and the Malibu surf. He didn't live my SoCal dream, but he could run into the stars at the grocery store. Life was not a film to Tourje - it wasn't to any of hippie-era tots. Violence was our smoke; we suffered PTSD second hand via the nightly news. We grew up frightened and confused. Something had to give - we either learned to express our confusion creatively, or we would self- destruct.
As haven from social insanity, Dave Tourje grew up studying fine art, traveling, educating himself in color, design, construction, and history.
While I concerned my young mind around impossible questions about assassinations, war, and civil unrest, Tourje looked to POP art for more esoteric answers about society and the future. Answers led to more questions, defining Dave's vision. Today his work is fluid, with an underbelly of innocence, ethnicity, Earthiness, and polished cleanliness.
Dave's works on Plexi are saturated with whimsy and truths that demand the spotlight. Reverse painted with grit and exuberance, they are as smooth as mirrors reflecting only what Dave forces us to see in ourselves. These works are a rhythmic mix of cartoon, words and color. A smile, and we fall into the looking glass of our generation as Dave sees it. Tourje's work is loud but always comfortable, palatable, and clear.
In the show at GWG opening Saturday at 7PM, is a collection, too, of Tourje's found-object assemblages -- his "Accidentials." Broken pieces of cars, furniture, metal, tools -- anything -- become synergistic and fresh. These works are some of my favorite -- they are at once nostalgic and boldly futuristic -- like some Planet of the Apes irony made by a guy who might be making dynamite by candlelight. This dry, raw work emotes a sense that the truth is behind us -- if we take too long to look we will lose the messages our ancestors left behind.
Art can be confusing but in this show the overall esthetic fills in the blanks. It just works. Tourje's work is brillant, brave, brash, and very evolutionary.
The show opens at Gregory Way Gallery in Beverly Hills tomorrow Saturday at 7PM. See www.GregoryWayGallery.com
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