Sunday, August 13, 2017

WWII Era Anti-Fascism Film from US - "Don't Be A Sucker"

"The world is a dangerous place...not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it"
-Albert Einstein

In the light of the horrific, fascist, white-supremacist violence against peaceful folks in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, I find this film produced by the US War Department during WWII to be instructive. Clips from the film are appearing on social media sites. The full film is presented here.

From IMDB:

"Financed and produced by the United States War Department in 1943, and shot at the Warners studio, although it was distributed through all of the major studios' film exchanges and also by National Screen Services free to the theatre exhibitors: A young, healthy American Free Mason is taken in by the message of a soap-box orator who asserts that all good jobs in the United States are being taken by the so-called minorities, domestic and foreign. He falls into a conversation with a refugee professor who tells him of the pattern of events that brought Hitler to power in Germany and how Germany's anti-democratic groups split the country into helpless minorities, each hating the other. The professor concludes by pointing out that America is composed of many minorities, but all are united as Americans."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stand in solidarity with Charlottesville

Heather Heyer is her name. She was 32 years old. She was murdered on Saturday, August 12th in Charlottesville, VA by Neo Nazis. May she rest in peace.

Stand in solidarity with  !

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Dancing at the Apocalypse: Jesse Malin's "Meet Me at the End of the World"

by Gregg Chadwick

"Anybody who says politics and music don't mix is, that's just in your face stupid." 
– Lucinda Williams

Jesse Malin: Fox News Funk from Meet Me at the End of the World

Jesse Malin's new EP, Meet Me at the End of the World, is out. Produced by Joseph Arthur, this collection of four new songs timely addresses our current Trumpian tribulation and is sparking some major conversations across the music world. Lucinda Williams was so inspired by Malin's Meet Me at the End of the World, that, as  reports in Rolling Stone, Williams "hopped on the phone with the D Generation frontman ... for a wide-ranging chat about their approach to songwriting, politics, Canadian electro dynamo Peaches, and a possible future collaboration." In their conversation Williams and Malin earnestly conversed about the mix of politics and music in their art. Williams said,"Anybody who says politics and music don't mix is, that's just in your face stupid." 
Malin replied,"You walk out your door and it's political. You're dealing with it. You need gas in your car, you need food, everything is always just class-related, and rock music has always had an awareness of class and separation in the downtrodden." Continuing this thought Malin expressed to Nate Herwick on that, "And [I thought about] how much the media is owned by the government, by the big corporations, so you're not getting the full story. I think [this song is] a call to people to go beyond that, go with their guts and their hearts. You have got to treat the people around you with love, but you also have to question the powers that be, because as much as I love this country and this planet, there are some people that are out to line their own pockets and have an agenda." 

Jesse Malin

Summing up the album Malin said to Williams,"the music is what brings us together, and we need it right now. We need each other. We need to stand together, and support each other, and give the message, which is really love. I mean, to me, Meet Me at the End of the World as a record is about survival. And you have to live your life like it could be the last day."

Jesse Malin: Revelations/Thirteen from Meet Me at the End of the World

Jesse Malin: London Rain from Meet Me at the End of the World

Jesse Malin: Meet Me at the End of the World from Meet Me at the End of the World

Friday, August 04, 2017

Happy August Recess: How to Make the Most of It

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Medicare and Medicaid Should be Strengthened, Not Gutted

by Gregg Chadwick

Fifty two years ago on July 30, 1965, in a groundbreaking act, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Both programs still stand as strong examples of the United States government at its best. Because of LBJ's vision and the thousands of health care activists that laid the groundwork before the bill became law, Medicare and Medicaid have brought high quality, affordable health care to seniors, people with disabilities and qualifying individuals.

The 1965 Medicare Act required that hospitals had to desegregate in order to get Medicare money. Medicaid, also, required the desegregation of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Both programs pushed the country forward towards a more equitable health care system. 

Instead of cutting back or repealing Medicare and Medicaid, which would give a massive tax break to the one percent, we need to build on the success story by expanding coverage and benefits. I am deeply convinced that we as a nation should make sure that every American has access to high quality, affordable health care. 

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare and Medicaid into law.
Courtesy LBJ Presidential Library

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Michelle Obama's Advice to College Students

A Message of Strength from Six DNC Speakers a Year Later

Good Morning Rabih Alameddine

 by Gregg Chadwick
Rabih Alameddine is a San Francisco based author whose most recent novel, The Angel of History,  is a masterful act of remembering. The scourge of AIDS ravaged the queer community in the 1980's. Alameddine honors the lost in his book that echoes Mikhail Bulgakov’s satirical, elegiac work The Master and Margarita. For those who have been asking me lately for book suggestions, these are both must reads.

Along with his literary work, Alameddine is a master at social media, especially twitter. If you are on twitter, follow Rabih Alameddine now. His feed is full of surprises, especially his engaging threads of artworks. Have a Happy Weekend!

Saturday Morning at Gregg Chadwick's Studio 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

First Reveal: Ask the Dust (Sergio Arau)

First Reveal - I have been working on this large painting 4.5 feet by 7.5 feet for quite a while now. Great thanks to @SergioArau and @YareliArizmendi for their art and inspiration. In process - "Ask the Dust (Sergio Arau)" #literature #art🎨 #artistsoninstagram #losangeles

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Transrights are Human Rights!

by Gregg Chadwick

On this day in 1948, President Truman ended segregation in the United States Armed Forces. Today in a hate filled series of tweets Trump brought it back. Trump's argument against transgender soldiers echoes one used against gays, women and blacks.  Even as I am calling my Senators and engaging in active measures to help preserve our healthcare, I am standing up against Trump's bigotry. Currently, thousands of transgender folks serve proudly among the 1.3 million active-duty members of the United States military. Brave souls who volunteered to put their lives on the line. Today, their commander in chief kicks them to the curb. The scale of this insult should not be underestimated. An unconscionable act by Trump. As the Women's March organization puts it:

"The care of trans people is not a "distraction"—it is a human right."  #TransRightsAreHumanRights

Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland is among the transgender service members presently serving in the military. (Photo courtesy of Logan Ireland)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Dance of Life

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Elvis Has Left the Building" at L Ross Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee

by Gregg Chadwick

My paintings Pink Cadillac (Elvis at Graceland) and Memphis Train (Arcade Restaurant) have just arrived at the L Ross Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee for my latest exhibition. They will join my painting Suspicion (Elvis Presley) in the exhibition Elvis Has Left the Building which runs from August 2 - 31. This group show, which has become a notable annual event for the L Ross Gallery, will kick off with an opening reception on Friday, August 4 from 6 – 9 pm.

In my recent Clark Hulings Fund podcast with Daniel DiGriz, DiGriz caught me implying that Elvis is alive. On the walls of the L Ross Gallery this August, Elvis does live on, but as Fredric Koeppel writes,"his memory is slowly fading and becoming the stuff of rumor and legend tending toward oblivion." The show title makes this poignantly clear. I have been reading Ray Connolly's new book Being Elvis: A Lonely Life which deftly examines Elvis' life through the lens of Memphis in the 1940's and 1950's. Childhood poverty and class aspirations spurred Elvis on in a way that left no room for error in his art but left his life dangerously open to misfortune and eventual tragedy. 

At the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in Tupelo, Mississippi on September 26, 1956, Elvis played a powerful, homecoming show in the town where he was born in a two-room shack 21 years before. Elvis had left Tupelo when he was thirteen. In the interim, Elvis had become Tupelo's most famous person. As Ray Connolly recounts in Being Elvis: A Lonely Life : "Elvis put on a special show that day...It was staged outside the fairgrounds in front of a large tent, and, as he sang in the afternoon show, he could see over in the background, a long freight train rolling past." Starting on that day, as the concert closed, Elvis and the band slipped off stage through a trap door. No encores that day nor in the future. Instead an announcer would express over the PA system that "Elvis has left the building." 

Gregg Chadwick
Suspicion (Elvis Presley)
36”x36” oil on linen 2016

“Gregg Chadwick takes the opposite stance in the oil-on-linen Elvis Presley (Suspicion). Here, a familiar depiction of the singer is rendered in blurry, shadowy lines, as if his memory is slowly fading and becoming the stuff of rumor and legend tending toward oblivion.”
                          - Fredric Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal

Gregg Chadwick
Memphis Train (Arcade Restaurant)
Boxed and Ready for Unveiling
20”x24” oil on linen 2017

My painting Memphis Train (Arcade Restaurant), is steeped in the musical history of the city and pays homage to Jim Jarmusch's 1989 film Mystery Train. The Arcade Restaurant which graces the painting is a major player in Jarmusch's cinematic ode to Memphis and Elvis. Across the street from the Arcade is Memphis Central Station which opened for railroad service in 1914. My painting reflects the rich, diverse past, present, and future of Memphis. I listened to the Junior Parker song Mystery Train, which supplied Jarmusch his film title, as I painted. I also listened to Elvis' cover version of the song. Two brilliant renditions. 

The city of Memphis itself tells many deeply American stories. Memphis can claim an important role in the development of the Blues and Rock n' Roll.  The legend goes that W.C. Handy, who lived in Memphis from 1909-1917, wrote one of the earliest blues songs, St. Louis Blues, in a bar on Beale Street in 1912.  During the 1940s and 1950s, Memphis was  home to B.B. King, Junior Parker, Johnny Ace, and Joe Hill Louis.  R&B and gospel music label Duke Records began in Memphis in 1952. Also in 1952, Sam Phillips started Sun Records, the seminal early rock and blues home.  Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins,  Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner,, and Roy Orbison created powerful early recordings at Sun Studio.

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Gregg Chadwick
Pink Cadillac (Elvis at Graceland) 
Boxed and Ready for Unveiling
24”x30” oil on linen 2017

My painting Pink Cadillac (Elvis at Graceland), like many of my artworks, went through a process of change and revision. Like a time traveler drifting into the past, Pink Cadillac, began in our present era and shifted as the painting developed back into the 1950's. As if in a dream, I found myself in front of Graceland watching Elvis slowly walk away. Knowing that Bruce Springsteen had written his song Fire especially for Elvis, I listened to a mix of Bruce and Elvis as I painted. As Ray Connolly writes in Being Elvis: A Lonely Life"at the time of Elvis' death" Springsteen was trying to get the song to Elvis in Graceland. Springsteen never learned if it reached the King.

Springsteen when remembering his childhood expressed that "I couldn't imagine anyone not wanting to be Elvis Presley." Springsteen's fandom reached a pinnacle when after a concert in Memphis on the Born to Run tour in 1976, Bruce jumped the wall outside Graceland that night and made it to the front door hoping to meet Elvis in person. Security guards told him that Elvis was in Lake Tahoe and not available and then escorted him back to the street.
 Springsteen described the night, "'And it took us out there in the middle of the night, and I remember we got outta the cab, and we stood there in front of those gates with the big guitar players on 'em. And when we looked up the driveway, in the second story of the house, you could see a light on, and I figured that Elvis has gotta be up readin' or somethin'. And I told Steve, I said, 'Steve, man, I gotta go check it out.' And I jumped up over the wall and I started runnin' up the driveway, which when I look back on it now was kind of a stupid thing to do because I hate it when people do it at my house.
'Anyway, at the time, I was filled with the enthusiasm of youth and ran up the driveway and I got to the front door and I was just about to knock, and guards came out of the woods and they asked me what I wanted. And I said, 'Is Elvis home?' Then they said, 'No, no, Elvis isn't home, he's in Lake Tahoe'. So, I started to tell 'em that I was a guitar player and that I had my own band, and that we played in town that night, and that I made some records. And I even told 'em I had my picture on the cover of Time and Newsweek. I had to pull out all the stops to try to make an impression, you know. I don't think he believed me, though, 'cause he just kinda stood there noddin' and then he took me by the arm and put me back out on the street with Steve. 
'Later on, I used to wonder what I would have said if I'd knocked on the door and if Elvis had come to the door because it wasn't really Elvis I was goin' to see. But, it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it. And maybe that's why we're here tonight, I don't know. 
I remember later, when a friend of mine called to tell me that he'd died, it was so hard to understand how somebody whose music came in and took away so many people's loneliness and gave so many people a reason and a sense of the possibilities of living could have, in the end, died so tragically. And I guess when you're alone, you ain't nothin' but alone."
Elvis has indeed left the building, but the echo of his presence remains.

Gregg Chadwick
The Alchemist (Elvis in Headphones)
monotype, oil, and pastel on paper 14"x11" 2017

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The gallery is located at  5040 Sanderlin Ave., Suite 104, Memphis, TN 38117

And the L Ross Gallery Website:

Gregg Chadwick 
Pink Cadillac (Elvis at Graceland) 
24"x30" oil on linen 2017

Gregg Chadwick 
Memphis Train (Arcade Restaurant) 
20"x24" oil on linen 2017

A Compassionate Lens: Art Through the Eyes of Gregg Chadwick

I enjoyed this chat with Stephanie Case. Recorded in my studio, it provides a hint of the theme of compassion that runs through my artwork.  - Thanks for listening.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Have you called your Senator today? Tell them NO on Trumpcare!

by Gregg Chadwick

On June 27th, I posted a criticism of the GOP led Senate's horrific proposed healthcare legislation. Their bill is back with a few revisions and it is just as awful as before. The New York Times reports that, "The revised bill is broadly similar to the earlier measure that Senate leaders hoped to vote on before the Fourth of July recess, though the new version includes some additional provisions meant to entice reluctant Republican senators with varying policy concerns. Like the previous bill, it would end the requirement that most Americans have health coverage, and it would make deep cuts to Medicaid, capping payments to states and rolling back its expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Though some Republican senators expressed concern about how the previous bill would affect Medicaid, Senate leaders stuck with the same approach in the new version."

Also, the proposed new bill would allow insurers to offer substandard insurance packages that were not allowed in the ACA. McConnell is trying desperately to recruit “moderate” Republicans that are holding out, but he also needs to get the extreme rightwing to support his bill. That’s why he’s pushing a proposal from Senator Ted Cruz that would allow insurance companies to sell plans that have fewer benefits and fewer patient protections than plans currently sold through the health insurance marketplace do. They’d be allowed to do this as long as they sell just one plan that complies with the ACA’s protections. Health insurance that does not meet minimum standards would be disastrous. People with substandard policies will of course turn to emergency rooms looking for care which will flood and destabilize hospitals. These enormous costs of treating the under-insured will be passed along to all of us in higher medical costs and higher insurance premiums. 

Indivisible sums it up well:
"People with pre-existing conditions, especially middle-income families who don’t get tax credits, will have no choice but to pay higher costs in order to get the plans that cover them. This could also create serious confusion for customers buying through the exchange when trying to understand which plans cover the services and prescriptions they need-- and which do not. The ACA created standards for what qualified as health insurance and this proposal tears those standards away."

Senator McConnell hopes to hold a vote on what many are now calling Treasoncare next week. There have been zero public hearings on healthcare repeal in the Senate.
The GOP is looking for any excuse to support this bill and claim it’s been fixed. Let’s be honest, this bill is unfixableThis is an historically partisan, secretive, and undemocratic process for one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of our generation.  The Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill's financial impact and how many people would lose insurance must is expected Monday. 

This is atrocious. So let’s fight it! As the husband of a cancer survivor I ask those who support Trumpcare- "How can you help pass legislation that you know will kill people? Where is your compassion? Where is your humanity?"
As Indivisible writes,"We are under no illusions that victory is assured here, but victory is possible. Every member of Congress voting on this bill will eventually have to get your vote to be reelected. That’s the source of your constituent power. That’s what makes them responsive to pressure. Remember in March when Paul Ryan embarrassingly called off his first TrumpCare vote? That happened because of public pressure. That happened because of you." The 2018 elections are not far off. 

Several GOP senators, including Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia have made it known that they did not support the bill in its first form.  For the sake of our nation's future, voters across the country and especially in Alaska, Maine, Colorado,  Nevada and West Virginia need to call their Senators and demand a NO Vote on the healthcare bill. 

Remember - health care is a winnable fight. 
We’re not going down. Let’s stand together. Let’s win this.
Have you called your senator today?

Use the sample script below created by Indivisible for calls to your Senator’s office. This example is geared for Nevada. Find your state at:

Today, let Senator Heller know you oppose TrumpCare and this new Cruz proposal.
Caller:  Hello! My name is [name] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I’m calling to thank Senator Heller for announcing his opposition to TrumpCare. This bill would be terrible for Nevada and terrible for our country. I’m very glad he’s decided to oppose it. 
Staffer: Well thanks so much for calling. 
Caller: Senator Heller needs to continue opposing the TrumpCare bill, no matter what. There’s nothing he can negotiate with Mitch McConnell that would make this bill something he should support. I’m also strongly opposed to the new proposal from Ted Cruz regarding what kind of plans can be sold in the marketplace. Do you know if Senator Heller supports that proposal?
Staffer: I’m not sure.
Caller: That proposal would make things even worse for people with pre-existing conditions. It says that insurance companies can sell whatever plans they want -- no matter how low-quality they are -- as long as they sell just one plan that meets the ACA’s standards. That is a waste of taxpayer dollars because it means people will use tax credits to buy plans that don’t cover anything. And even worse, it means prices will go way up for people with pre-existing conditions, including 439,000 people in Nevada. 
Staffer: This bill protects people with pre-existing conditions. 
Caller: That’s not true. The bill allows states to let insurance companies sell plans that don’t cover essential health benefits, meaning people with pre-existing conditions won’t be able to get the care they need. And the new proposal from Ted Cruz makes it even worse. Someone who is in the middle class and doesn’t qualify for subsidies likely wouldn’t be able to afford the coverage they need because of the Cruz proposal. How could the Senator support that? 
Staffer: The Senator is waiting for a new CBO score to make a decision on the bill. CBO is scoring the bill with the Cruz proposal and without it. 
Caller: I see. Well I want Senator Heller to oppose this bill whether it has the Cruz proposal in it or not. There is no change -- not extra time, not extra funding, no policy tweak, and definitely not this Cruz proposal, that could make this bill something Senator Heller should support. 
Staffer: I’ll be sure to pass along your thoughts to the Senator.
Caller:  Thank you. Please take down my contact information so you can let me know how the Senator decides to vote on this bill.

Gregg Chadwick - Nursing Study: Post Op Recovery 
24"x18" oil on linen 2012
Collection of Theresa Brown

Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times reports that,"The Affordable Care Act had a huge impact in California. The percentage of uninsured in the state dropped from 17% before the law went into effect to 7% last year, the lowest rate ever, according to data released this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control." Noam N. Levey in the Los Angeles Times writes,"The coverage losses in the Senate bill would completely reverse historic gains in recent years under Obamacare. Over the last four years, the share of people without coverage in the U.S. has been cut in half, dropping to the lowest levels ever recorded, data show."

This is a raw moment for so many of us who have pre-existing conditions or who have children or family members who would be directly harmed by Trumpcare. My wife is a cancer survivor whose family is from Wisconsin, where over 400,000 stand to lose coverage if Trumpcare passes. Make no mistake - this is real, and this is scary. But we also know that we’ve succeeded for months because groups across the country have been fighting back on their home turf.

It’s critical that you’re showing up and that you’re calling your Senators every single day. All you need to pressure your Republican Senators, including DAILY scripts and new materials, is on our website.  Need more background materials? We’ve got ‘em for you here: