They don’t write ’em like that anymore … gearing up for the Traverse City Film Festival

All next week Absolute Michigan will be On Location at the Traverse City Film Festival and I came across this in researching an article for Wednesday (tune in for sure!). I also coordinate online media for the festival and in 2010 we will be posting daily video digests, and the link above and are the place to get all that and much more!

What I’m doing instead of blogging…

Traverse City Wine & Art Festival posterI know that I totally blew the “Ben Wallace is back” NBA Comix … I probably could have done a whole week’s worth on that topic. Sorry about that.

I’ve been working on the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival.

It’s the first annual of what I hope will be many and happens Saturday August 22 from 5-10 PM at the Grand Traverse Commons in front of Building 50 on the lawn under the big tent.

The evening will feature wines from 22 wineries from the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas and a selection of Traverse City and Leelanau restaurants serving food & desserts along with fantastic music from Rojo Loco, Jay Webber and Thom Jayne and the Nomads.

I’m amazed at how much work there is involved in putting together a major festival and so grateful that we’ve been able to assemble such an amazing team of volunteers and staff to put this event on.

Things are really coming together and I think everyone who attends will have a fantastic time – hope you’re there! Here’s the headliner:

Traverse City Film Festival #5

Here’s a recap of the 2009 Traverse City Film Festival that was produced by Drago & edited by Ed Einhorn. Filmed by Mike McGee, Bill Latka, Jon Casey. I think Ed did an amazing job of getting this together in a short time and can’t wait to work with him again next year!

Also check out this video by Scott Allman of Jeff “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Garlin & Larry “Borat” Charles with yours truly as the interviewer


In Time to Reboot America, Thomas L Friedman remarks that (according to Fortune) General Motors “lost more than $72 billion in the past four years, and yet you can count on one hand the number of executives who have been reassigned or lost their job.” He says we can’t continue to be “dumb as we wanna be” and that:

…our present crisis is not just a financial meltdown crying out for a cash injection. We are in much deeper trouble. In fact, we as a country have become General Motors — as a result of our national drift. Look in the mirror: G.M. is us.

That’s why we don’t just need a bailout. We need a reboot. We need a build out. We need a buildup. We need a national makeover. That is why the next few months are among the most important in U.S. history. Because of the financial crisis, Barack Obama has the bipartisan support to spend $1 trillion in stimulus. But we must make certain that every bailout dollar, which we’re borrowing from our kids’ future, is spent wisely.

It has to go into training teachers, educating scientists and engineers, paying for research and building the most productivity-enhancing infrastructure — without building white elephants. Generally, I’d like to see fewer government dollars shoveled out and more creative tax incentives to stimulate the private sector to catalyze new industries and new markets. If we allow this money to be spent on pork, it will be the end of us.

The photo is Oval Office reproduction – Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library – Independence, Missouri by Marshall Astor – Food Pornographer. You can see some of that food pornography in his Flickriver, and over on his blog he has a cool video of Earth Kitt, who passed away yesterday.

I picked it because while Friedman sometimes upsets me, I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment that the next few months are critical to the future of our nation. We’ve been stumbling down a golden road for the last decade or so. I think as we start to slip and fall on it we are all beginning to see that the gold is just faded and peeling paint and we haven’t amassed any real riches.

I for one am willing to invest in America, to make financial and lifestyle sacrifices and to really work on the behalf of building a better nation and world.

I sure as hell am not going to give any money to people to develop new instruments of financial deception though.

I hope that the man who sits at that desk in just a few weeks and the team he has assembled feel the same and will make the same effort and inspire others to do so as well. I also hope that they will try and drag our governmental apparati into this century and out of the Truman era.

Michigan is burning

In Senate to Middle Class: Drop Dead, Michael Moore says that the Senate could have given a bailout tied to reducing greenhouse emissions, increasing fuel efficiency or just for the simple fact of keeping a few million people working in this difficult time.

But instead, the Senate said, we’ll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension, and health care. That’s right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers—billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever—the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

I understand objections to bailing out the Big Three. What I can’t understand is how there is no alternative plan offered by the luminous body of elected pulchritude that is the US Senate. What is Plan B, Senators?

Michigan has been sputtering for years … it’s burning now.