Friday, 22 September 2023

Arts & Life


You’ve seen men wearing a T-shirt or ball cap that says “Old Guys Rule” and yet, none of them hardly ever has the physical prowess of Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone.

“Old Guys Rule” might as well be the title of Stallone’s aging superhero film “Samaritan” in which his character of Joe Smith may not exactly measure up to the standard of someone who helps a stranger, or at least not without some prodding.

Does it seem like a stretch for septuagenarian Stallone to be playing an aging vigilante who can easily toss a grown man across a room? Who has time to think about this when the action gets fast-paced?

Though it seems incredible that a man of Stallone’s age could be convincing in the way that superheroes half as old so easily pummel adversaries into a pile of human debris. Yet, he’s not gone flabby, and maybe that’s because his day job as a garbage man requires heavy lifting.

The introduction of Amazon Prime’s “Samaritan” has a lot of quick cuts of animation inspired by a graphic novel. The setting is Granite City, a dystopian hellscape that’s moving inevitably toward out-of-control chaos and looting.

Twenty-five years earlier, twin brothers Samaritan and Nemesis were so freakishly strong that the residents of Granite City grew to fear them and retaliated by trying to burn them alive by setting their house on fire.

The twins were unscathed, but their parents did not survive. At this point, Samaritan grew to fight as a protector of the innocent, while Nemesis, consumed by revenge, wanted the world to suffer.

Nemesis forged a powerful weapon in a hammer that he poured all his hate and rage into. His armament was like Thor’s, but his purpose was malicious. This was the only weapon that could destroy his sworn enemy, Samaritan.

Eventually, the brothers engaged in mortal combat at a warehouse that was consumed by a raging fire, and it was presumed that both of them perished, or at least, that’s the story for the citizens of Granite City.

Local journalist and bookshop owner Albert Castler (Martin Starr) has written a book about Samaritan that delves into conspiracy theories and speculation that the freakishly strong Samaritan is still alive.

A true believer of Samaritan’s earthly existence is 13-year-old Sam Cleary (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton), who suspects that his mysterious and withdrawn neighbor Mr. Smith is actually the legend hiding in plain sight.

Living in a tenement with his single mom Tiffany (Dascha Polanco), Sam is frequently bullied by local thugs led by the heavily tattooed Reza (Moises Arias) who goes so far that Mr. Smith intervenes, causing the kid to believe that he’s found Samaritan.

Meanwhile, a psychotic gang leader named Cyrus (Pilou Asbaek), a worshiper of supervillain Nemesis, decides to incite a street rebellion of rioting and arson to entice intervention from Samaritan.

Coming as no surprise to anyone, the reclusive Mr. Smith is inexorably drawn to the fight, though getting to that point requires a test of his patience with the inquisitive Sam who goes so far as invading his apartment in search of clues.

Because this kind of film calls for escapist fare, the climactic showdown between Samaritan and the wannabe Nemesis seems much like a live-action replay of the introductory graphic novel animation.

Even though a streaming service like Amazon Prime may have a decent budget, “Samaritan” is nevertheless a B-movie that may be forgettable the next day but in the moment of its urban chaos and violence offers entertainment value for action fans.


This column is about entertainment, and diversion can be found in places other than film and television. Who knew that riding the New York subway system, as I did on a recent trip, would offer amusement with its travel etiquette?

Handy guidelines appear on certain trains with an electronic reader. “Stay off the tracks” should be obvious to anyone. That’s a no-brainer. A better warning is not to stand too close to the platform.

The “Keep your hands and other parts to yourself” makes one wonder about lechers riding the rails. Avoid anyone wearing a trench coat during warm weather, or someone looking slightly crazed.

“Go before you go” is wise because even if you found a public bathroom in a subway station, the best warning would be “Enter at your own risk.”

“Don’t sell stuff without a permit” is widely ignored. Someone is bound to be selling packaged cookies or candy, or useless items like an 8-track player or VHS movies.

The one guideline of “Don’t smoke or set anything on fire” does have me worried. The ban on smoking is understandable, but has there been a rash of arsonist acts that should give one pause?

The subway is a great way to get to a Mets or Yankees game, but the best advice is to be alert and aware of your surroundings and don’t travel in the middle of the night.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Corine Pearce discusses baskets on display in the exhibit. Photo by MAC staff.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — The public is invited to “Conversations with Artists” participating in the “Earth, Sky, and Everything In Between” exhibit this Thursday Sept. 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at MAC and on Zoom.

Discussion will focus on artists’ work in 2-D and 3-D media including painting, digital imagery, printmaking, and installation. This unique opportunity to meet and hear from the artists is free/by donation, pre-registration is required at

“The works on view are of museum quality, but we are not people who live in museums.” said curator Corine Pearce, an acclaimed Pomo basket weaver and cultural educator. “It’s important for us to share our work and affirm that we’re still here living in relationship to the land we are a part of, making art.”

Earth, Sky, and Everything In Between is Lake County’s first exhibit of contemporary Native artists' work and the first exhibit in the county to be curated by a Native American.

Crossings and Triangles and Arrowheads by Wanda Quitiquit and The Colonizer’s Tools, and Blood Quantum is a Heterosexual Construct by Ryan Young. Photo by MAC staff.

Thirty-one artists across generations are featured — youth to elder. Their artwork, in a broad variety of media, celebrates traditional cultural arts and resilience while highlighting current, and long-time challenges and issues.

“My ancestors come from far across the ocean, yet I have no connection to the lands they are from,” reflected Laura Stalker, long time Lake County resident about her recent visit to the exhibit. “Moving about the gallery, I contemplated what it would mean to belong, not just to a group of people, but to a place. I imagined learning to weave a basket from my grandmother, who was taught by her grandmother, using the willow that grew in the creek beds next to our home. I could sense the stories that many of the pieces held like a faint whisper of something almost forgotten, and the pain of a people nearly wiped to extinction. I let myself cry, not just for what has been lost, but more importantly for what has survived.”

The exhibit is a culmination of MAC’s year long Weaving Baskets, Weaving Bridges cross cultural collaboration.

Pearce, who is also the project’s lead artist, taught numerous weaving workshops to Native and non-Native people alike.

She, alongside other Indigenous culture bearers, shared Pomo heritage, history, stories and an introduction to place-based ecological science and practice.

Learn more about Corine Pearce, her weaving practice, and her work in communities to revitalize, sustain and share cultural traditions at

Work by Ali Meders-Knight, Denise McKenzie (basket and painting), Denise Davis, Robin Meely and Meyo Marrufo. Photo by MAC staff.

Experience this unique and historic exhibit Thursday through Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free to the public. The last day to visit is October 10th, which is also Indigenous People’s Day.

School field trips that include guided tours and hands on engagement also begin this week. Educators are encouraged to contact 707-809-8118 to inquire about format and cost.

The WEAVING project and the exhibit Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between are funded in part by Middletown Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Big Valley Rancheria, Charlotte Griswold, and the California Arts Council, a State Agency.

The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 at the junction of Highway 29 in Middletown.

To find out more about Earth Sky and Everything in Between or other programs, events, engagement opportunities, and ways to support the MAC’s efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit or call 707-809-8118.

Work by Ashley Vaughn and Kilak Malicay. Photo by MAC staff.

The Telegraph Quartet. Courtesy photo.

UKIAH, Calif. — On Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m., the Telegraph Quartet will be presented by the Ukiah Community Concert Association in a performance that includes String Quartet No. 4 by Grażyna Bacewicz, String Quartet No. 6 by John Harbison and String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 by Beethoven.

The concert will be held at Mendocino College Center Theater.

Tickets are available for purchase at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online at

The Telegraph Quartet (Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violins; Pei-Ling Lin, viola; Jeremiah Shaw, cello) formed in 2013 with an equal passion for the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary, non-standard works alike.

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…an incredibly valuable addition to the cultural landscape” and “powerfully adept … with a combination of brilliance and subtlety,” the Telegraph Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2016 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Grand Prize at the 2014 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

The Quartet has performed in concert halls, music festivals, and academic institutions across the United States and abroad, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Chamber Masters Series, and at festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Emilia Romagna Festival.

The Quartet is currently on the chamber music faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as the Quartet-in-Residence.

“We are greatly looking forward to sharing our ‘Return to Life’ program with the Ukiah Community Concert Association,” The Quartet said. “Like so many other local bedrock chamber series, the Community Concert Association has had to adapt, innovate, and sometimes just weather the storm during the vicissitudes of the pandemic. Our hope is that, as we see the final light at the end of the pandemic tunnel this season, we will be able to share music that both mirrors the struggle of these challenges but also rejoices in the overcoming of them and allows us to appreciate how valuable the Association is for providing what we missed sorely during our isolation: real tangible music that you can feel vibrating in a space.”

For more information please contact Grace Farmer at 707-472-7969 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947.

This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also its goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.

The Full Moonalice Time Has Come Review featuring the New Chambers Brothers and the T Sisters. Back row, Roger McNamee, Jason Crosby, John Molo and Pete Sears. Front row, Chloe Tietjen, Erika Tietjen, Rachel Tietjen, Lester Chambers and Dylan Chambers. Photo by Bob Minkin Photography.


LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — KPFZ is excited to present another benefit concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at Cache Creek Winery, with Moonalice, a band of world-class musicians.

Moonalice features 82-year-old icon Lester Chambers, lead singer of the famous Chambers Brothers in the 60s and 70s, and his dynamic son, vocalist Dylan Chambers.

They play a unique blend of psychedelic soul, rock-tinged Americana, and 60’s rock, including some of the Chambers Brothers hits.

Tickets are $20 in advance through Eventbrite and $25 at the gate the day of the concert.

Bring lawn chairs. Gate opens at 5 p.m.

There will be wine, beer, food and water for sale. No outside alcohol and no dogs, please.

Moonalice is an exuberant Bay Area band founded by Roger McNamee (guitar) that includes Pete Sears (bass), a founding member of Jefferson Starship who has played with Rod Stewart (on four of Rod’s albums), Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Hot Tuna, John Lee Hooker and Jerry Garcia.

Sears has also written and recorded the original score for several documentary films.

Moonalice also features Barry Sless (lead guitar and pedal steel), who has played with the David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Rowan Brothers and Phil Lesh; Mookie Siegel (keyboards), who has played with David Nelson, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and New Riders of the Purple Sage; and Grammy winner John Molo (drums), who has played with Bruce Hornsby, John Fogerty and Phil Lesh.

Rounding out the 10 piece band are the T Sisters (Erika, Chloe and Rachel Teitjen), who add a refreshing, sassy and captivating presence, and flow seamlessly between styles and moods with their eclectic sound and soaring harmonies.

Moonalice has a renegade spirit and an ethos of love, peace, and happiness that permeates their music.

Their incredible chemistry shines through in their live performances and their most recent album featuring the Chambers Brothers classics “Time Has Come Today,” “People Get Ready” and “Let's Get Funky.”

The band’s single, “It’s 420 Somewhere,” has been downloaded nearly five million times and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has certified it as the song with the most downloads from a band’s website.

Don't miss this unique musical experience, and help support Lake County Community Radio, or KPFZ.

Cache Creek Vineyards and Winery, which has donated its beautiful venue, is located in Clearlake Oaks at 250 New Long Valley Road just off Highway 20 and 2.5 miles east of the Clearlake Oaks Roundabout (the roundabout is at the intersection of Highways 53 and 20).

Bring your dancing shoes!

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

In Heather Cahoon’s poem, “Shelter,” she manages, with simplicity and the use of deftly selected detail, to capture the mood of childhood delights that, in the manner of such things, always seem on the edge of danger.

One is transported to the invention of children who seem to find a certain pleasure in the complex combination of being lost and being hidden at the same time.

By Heather Cahoon

We wove hip-high field grass
into tunnels

knotting the tops
of bunched handfuls the drooping
heads tied together.

My seven siblings and I
sheltered ourselves

inside these labyrinths
in a galaxy of grasses.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Heather Cahoon, “Shelter” from Horsefly Dress (University of Arizona Press, 2020.) Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Roxane Beth Johnson’s elegy to her father is striking for the tender and intimate details that constitute the memory of him, especially his shirts, which become almost talismans for her to explore ideas of mortality and life: “first slick with water, last a bowl of ash.”

In the end, this beautiful sonnet, “In His Lover’s House, A Father Rises,” is an ode to persistent memory as an antidote to the existential void of death.

In His Lover’s House, A Father Rises
By Roxane Beth Johnson

The end’s always there at the beginning
Dad said, quoting a prophet who knew then
what we’d come to—beings held in two hands
first slick with water, last a bowl of ash.
As a girl, I ironed his shirts, seams stained
from sweat, hot-washed in bleach turned yellow, and grass
scent of clean white rose under the iron’s
scald and steam I used to press his shirts out.
How fitting in the end a heap were found
in his lover’s house, the last I heard
of him who told me always that the grass
and ants were ancestors come back to see
if we’d crush them, then forget them again—
like dust their lives so small compared to ours.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Roxane Beth Johnson, “In His Lover’s House, A Father Rises” from Harvard Review, 45, June 10, 2020. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Upcoming Calendar

09.23.2023 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
California Coastal Cleanup Day
09.23.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Lakeport Splash-In at Clear Lake
09.23.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
09.23.2023 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Passion Play fundraiser
09.24.2023 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Acme Foundation 25th anniversary celebration
09.26.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
09.27.2023 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Town hall on homelessness
09.28.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
09.30.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
10.05.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center

Mini Calendar



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