Hands Up | best 2015 Oscars speeches | from the vocal chords of winners of Best Original Song | John Stephens & Lonnie Lynn |

Hands Up, marcher,Climate March, nYc 2014

Hands Up gesture from a marcher at the Climate March in nYc 2014

Though it’s already almost ancient history, 36 hours after the event, there were several individuals who stood out. The Guardian has the full List of Winners. I have not seen any of the films yet, and hadn’t looked at any trailers either. And because it is quite a marathon show, I have to admit that rather than being glued to the TV screen, I was continuously going back and forth to another room, troubleshooting some functionality obstacles of two music programs I’m working with (and still learning) which I did actually achieve by the top of the morning!

So given the fact that I had missed a number of speeches, I have to say that ‘Hands Up’ the most provocative and articulate messages came from the vocal chords of the two guys who won ‘best original song’ for the Martin Luther King Jr. documentary, Selma; Lonnie Lynn & John Stephens. Here are their acceptance speeches.

Composers John Legend and Common, their legal names John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn.

The award was given to the composers John Stephens a.k.a. Legend and Lonnie Lynn a.k.a. Common. Their speeches were powerful. Legend talked of how the bridge in Selma, Alabama is symbolic of peoples’ struggles all over the world today. Common mentioned that the bridge was built on hope and welded with compassion – and that the struggle continues – “We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today [in 2015] than there were under slavery in 1850.

The Rolling Stone have their descriptions of Oscars 2015’s 20 Best, Worst and WTF Moments.

I was quite impressed with Lady Gaga’s performance of the “Sound of Music” medley, though i personally as a rule don’t like medley’s, I understand that for time constraints and the range of songs of the original movie, that it played its part. For the first time Lady Gaga paired down to mere glitter (eyeshadow, cinderella gown) revealed that beneath all of the fanfare, she has a fantastic voice. She pulled off what the icon, July Andrews, manifested.

Lady Gaga, Academy Awards, Oscars 2015

Lady Gaga dressed down to cinderella Academy Awards 2015

And as I appreciated several other speeches for human rights, woman’s rights and the recognition that this is a country built through immigrants, the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay of The Imitation Game, writer Graham Moore, had the most bold declaration of the stark naked truth.

Graham Moore, naked truth

Graham Moore the naked truth

In my opinion his speech will be felt by many, and probably save lives: empowering those who are on the fringes and/or excluded, feeling outcast from the majority because of their sexual identities and unique ways of living in society. Right on for speaking with stark naked honesty!

“Battle for the Elephants” documentary speaks Louder than Words

I’m getting closer to figuring out what it is that I am here for in this lifetime. Though I am not sure where I will go next, having just watched a documentary featured on PBS http://www.pbs.org/programs/battle-elephants/ about the near extinction of elephants due to the skyrocketing pricetag of ivory on their heads primarily coming from the demand in China, I just had another realization.

wildlife_conservation_society_battle_for_the_elephants

I returned from a city that rarely sleeps – Berlin, Germany – to this sleepy town in Pennsylvania where I was raised. The impetus was to spend time with my father and reunite with my family, an homage to my parents. In this quiet place, I have maintained health and physical and intellectual fitness; doing outdoor sports, being in nature, playing musical instruments, reading, attending classes and taking in a lot of information. I’ve read plenty of articles in magazines such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, UTNE Reader, Christian Science Monitor with worldwide scopes on social unrest, inequalities, imbalanced values, environmental hazards, greed (and some positive things ‘-) … I have been very fortunate that much of the information that has presented itself to me through local classes has been completely in synch with subjects that I have interest in. I believe it’s synchronicity or synchrodestiny, that I chose to return at this time. It has been a time and place of going inwards and absorbing – so that I could distill all of this information about the heart, spirit and mind…without distraction. Though I am absolutely pulled in many directions because of my interests, I realize that I very much adore and value the creatures that share our planet, many of which are nearing extinction. Something about this particular documentary, this evening lead me to believe that my purpose is to make a commitment to be a voice for those who have none. I don’t quite know how to effectively influence a population of a billion people to have empathy for the creatures that are being sacrificed for their commercial use of ivory – that has been going on for a thousand years – to satisfy their need to display wealth, taste, fine art, uphold religious iconography, meet their health needs or extenuate their impotence… but outside of joining a rebel force in East Africa to fire weapons at poachers, I will, to the best of my ability, convey information and tune whatever means I have with my body, mind, creativity, word, music and art, to raise the awareness and consciousness of the world to the plight of the creatures that we share it with, and to speak, for those who can’t speak for themselves. Statistics on Elephants in Africa

http://www.wcs.org/elephants/ The Wildlife Conservation Society provides you with various ways to help.

Stop the Demand


WCS plans to utilize Chinese social media platforms to encourage public engagement to reduce demand for ivory and influence how government agencies respond to the illegal ivory trade. We will support the creation of a social media hub in Beijing that focuses on information sharing, opinion mapping, building partnerships, and mobilization.

How You Can Help

Elephants can’t protect themselves against organized, armed criminals. To face down this tremendous threat, they’ll need the help of dedicated ecoguards who can intervene immediately. They’ll also need you.

http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/films/2013/02/26/battle-elephants/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/world/africa/africas-elephants-are-being-slaughtered-in-poaching-frenzy.html

nytimes_poaching_frenzy_africas_elephants_wiped_out

National_Geographic_information

“Law enforcement officials say organized crime has slipped into the ivory underworld, because only a well-oiled criminal machine – with the help of corrupt officials – could move hundreds of pounds of tusks thousands of miles across the globe…Like blood diamonds from Sierra Leone or plundered minerals from Congo, ivory, it seems, is the latest conflict resource in Africa, dragged out of remote battle zones, easily converted into cash and now fueling conflicts across the continent.”

Another recent article in the New York Times just appeared on the subject, with respect to the illicit trail of African ivory to China. Here is an important resource with many articles on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/africa/the-price-of-ivory.html?ref=asia

new york times article illicit trade of ivory to China

new york times article illicit trade of ivory

Here’s more information on the subject. http://www.care2.com/causes/will-african-elephants-be-extinct-in-ten-years.html

elephant_shot