Land of the Free?

“land of the free and the home of the brave…”

aspire posterAm I brave enough?  I ask myself this question constantly.  Am I taking the path of least resistance because it’s more convenient?  I see and hear from so many angsty people daily, in person, on my social feeds.  And sometimes, I’ve taken the primrose path of least resistance or sat on the sidelines or decided to be above the fray.

This week, I started questioning what would have happened if George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders had taken the path of least resistance.  Would I be here today, enjoying (for now) my freedom of speech and freedom of the press which enables me to have a Hollywood livelihood?

I was saddened by the shootings at the Capital Gazette, but it’s not enough to be saddened.  It’s not enough to have prayers and thoughts.  Almost everyone has thoughts.  It’s what you do with those thoughts that count.  What brave action have you undertaken lately?

For me, it’s been delving into an aspect of film making I know little about:  documentary.  I am currently producing and narrating “George Hobbs:  Stick Figure Wisdom“, about Los Angeles artist George Hobbs who uses his free speech to make art that pushes back against the powers that be.

There’s a swath of people in this country who are decidedly anti-journalist and anti-media, which is why those of us in fields that depend on freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of information must continue to offer the truth, whether it’s heard and appreciated or not.

This Fourth of July weekend, enjoy the fireworks, but make some fireworks of your own in your own life in a metaphorical sense.  Make a big bold statement.  Make a declaration.  Speak your truth AND act on your truth.

Happy Fourth!

Tell the FCC to Maintain Net Neutrality

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Net neutrality concerns all of us.  Actor friend Carl Bressler just gave me the scoop on Facebook on how to petition the FCC to keep the net neutral.

Here’s how to do it, courtesy of Carl:

1. On your computer, not your phone! – go to: www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express
2. Enter under Proceeding the numbers 17-108.
3. In comments, say you support Title 2 oversight of ISPs. Also say that you support net neutrality.

*Fill in the form carefully; they’ve made it less friendly and impossible to fill in by phone, on purpose. 

Here was what I wrote to the FCC:

 I support Title 2 oversight of ISPs. I support net neutrality. Like the printing press of the 1400s, the internet fundamentally democratized the way we communicate, make it easier for everyone to have a voice–not just leaders or the wealthy. Any attempt to de-neutralize the internet is deeply damaging to our freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of assembly and no “free market” consideration should ever infringe on our freedoms of speech, press and assembly.

So many of us actors and other creatives are now really in the business of content creation, just as much as we are in the entertainment biz or the movie biz.  The neutral net has created immense opportunities for us to showcase our talents and a net that is not neutral will limit what audiences we can reach.  It is important for every creative to fight for net neutrality.

Please do this today!