This weekend my musical collaborator, Angel Marquez, and I participated in the second Oxnard Performing Arts Convention Center Arts Festival, and I am so happy and proud to be able to say that this was our first ever arts festival! As a newcomer to Ventura County, I have been overwhelmed by how friendly and genuine its residents are, and at the festival in Oxnard I met a diverse and unique community of artists, musicians, dancers, writers, families, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. I am excited to see what the future brings and very much looking forward to the next one. Thank you especially to Ghislaine Smith of the PACC for going out of her way to help me navigate this new territory!!
Lots and lot of thanks also to Bell Arts Factory in Ventura, especially Maribel Hernandez and David Yoshitomi, for their enthusiastic support of crazy new ideas and for warmly welcoming us to the Bell Arts Family; C2 Designers for their non-stop encouragement and endless support; and of course thank you to our families for thinking that spray painting gradients and then playing ambient sounds with synthesizers under the table are of course a good idea.
Yesterday a Starbucks employee in La Canada (in Los Angeles County) typed the name "BEANER" on the label for a Hispanic customer's order. A couple weeks ago another Starbucks employee in Philadelphia called the police when black men came into the store to wait for a friend to have coffee. And at a Starbucks in Torrance (also in LA) a black customer was refused use of the restroom.
How does boycotting Starbucks bring us closer to world peace? The more that massive companies feel that people are spending less money as a direct result of racist incidences, the more they will see that people are no longer going to tolerate racism. And, the more other companies will learn from their lesson too. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Riverside, CA did the right thing, including from a business standpoint: a supervisor refused service to a customer who was harrassing another customer for wearing a niqab, and in so doing will earn new customers.
Companies that make sure employees are compassionate and kind should be rewarded. Companies that don't do enough to ensure employees aren't racist or hateful should be punished.
Vote with your money. Every vote counts!
When we ask questions, what are we doing? Is it only a request for information? Can it be something else? What is the point of a rhetorical question? Are there such things as rhetorical questions in all languages? Do they mean the same thing in all languages?
I think questions often communicate more information than they seem, mostly about the person speaking and about the context it's spoken in. Most people would assume that an art history professor asking "Who was Picasso?" is asking a different question from a 6-year-old boy asking "Who was Picasso?" In both cases the words are identical, but the meaning is (probably) very different.
So what do words mean?