Preach! A veteran mom explains the importance of discipline for her child and for yours…“That’s right: If your kid shoves my kid, I’m going to speak up. If we are at a PTA event and your kid is rude to me, I will call them on their behavior. If your child is being a monster on the swings and my kid has been waiting for 10 minutes for their turn, you better believe this mama is going to say something. I’ve spent too many years drilling good behavior and discipline into my kids that I’m not willing to sit by and watch them get trampled for following the rules. I will be polite and respectful when I speak to your child, and frankly, I fully expect that another parent would call my kid on their poor behavior too.”

A call to all parents to let out children be children and relax with the helicopter parenting…”Today we live in a culture of fear—fear of pain, fear of loss, fear of strangers, fear of failure—and our children are the biggest victims. We want to protect them from everything, to keep them safe and happy and wonderful, but all that’s creating is a culture of helicopter parenting and a generation of children who can’t think for themselves.”

A refreshing perspective on cancer not being part of some divine plan that God has tailored for each patient in order to provoke a perverse glory…“Sadly, there are many self-professed Christians who are convinced in their utmost being that the God does indeed give people cancer (while also intentionally inflicting every other imaginable form of evil on creation). Which means there are countless other Christians who walk into their first session of chemotherapy treatment or sit beside a loved one with Alzheimers or survive a brutal sexual assault only to be told that such unspeakable evil is all part of God’s plan. That God willed their suffering for his own glory.”

As a kid who witnessed his family launch out of the lower class after his father suffered a freak accident helped pave the way for a healthy settlement, Kenya Barris grew up with the unique perspective of understanding the different rungs of the social class ladder. As a wealthy and successful father, he can’t help but wonder what his children are losing by growing up with little struggle and plenty of abundance…“My mom went through civil rights; my dad went through civil rights. My name was Kenya because they wanted to give me an African name. Subsequently, my generation sort of took more of … an intellectual sort of revolutionary approach. There was Public Enemy and The Autobiography of Malcolm X exploded; there was the Malcolm X movie; there was Spike Lee. We sort of became more of philosophical revolutionaries. Now, my kids and their generation … [when the] Trayvon Martin incident happened and my daughter came in and I was like, “How do you feel about this?” and she was like, “We’re really upset. Kids I know are protesting.” I’m like, “That’s awesome. What are you doing?” And she said, “Look, we’re doing it on Instagram.” And she shows me this Instagram picture and it’s just a black frame … and I’m like, “OK, so where’s the protest?” She’s like, “This is it. Look how many people are putting black on their Instagram.” I realized, this must be the most low-rent protest I’ve ever seen in my life. I was like, “I can’t get a small trash can fire? I don’t know, like, anything?” It really showed me the generational difference.”

A heartbreaking piece about the ones that let us get away.
The COO of Facebook and author of Lean In gave a commencement speech to UC Berkeley and how her husband’s sudden, unexpected death taught her about the seeds of resilience and the three P’s…“You will almost certainly face deep adversity. There’s loss of opportunity: the job that doesn’t work out, the illness or accident that changes everything in an instant. There’s loss of dignity: the sharp sting of prejudice when it happens. There’s loss of love. And sometimes there’s loss of life itself. The question is not if some of these things will happen to you. They will. Today I want to talk about what happens next. About the things you can do to overcome adversity, no matter what form it takes or when it hits you. The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”

When a British-Kenyan artist moves to Sweden for an artist’s residency, she cleverly keys in to the country’s racism through Tinder…”I began to swipe a smorgasbord of Swedish boys, testing out who — within a couple of kilometres from my studio — would swipe back. Each day of the residency, I would choose one to draw, whether they swiped me back or not… So the project began with these drawings, and slowly, as conversations started to trickle in, I started to document those too.”It’s the conversations Boswell had with these men that added a new dimension to her portraits. Among the messages she received were:
“You’d be interested to know there’s a really good reggae scene here.”
“It’s a huge fantasy of mine to be with a black girl….it’s a compliment :)”
“Wild thing, you make my heart sing….your hair’s cool, I wanna touch it.”

From the blog Southern Charm


Get your picnic baskets ready for some outdoor theatre. Mark your calendars for the FREE Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival starting June 25 with Richard III. With this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, be sure to catch plenty of Shakespeare starting with Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum lineup Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem will kick off its 2016 summer repertory season. Also for LA theatre, check out Gruesome Playground Injuries  at the Hudson Backstage in Hollywood, “pitch-black” comedy Dinner At Home Between Deaths at the Odyssey and be on the lookout for Eugene O’Neill’s Hairy Ape  at the Odyssey and not to be missed, Lee Blessing’s A Walk In The Woods at International City Theatre. Also, look for the Mini-Australian Theatre Fest this June at the Matrix Theatre. For a dose of historical fiction rooted in the hostile politics of the 1960s, Home Sick will premiere at the Odyssey Theatre June 9 – July 3. Interested in dance? Watch for  Royal Swedish Ballet’s return to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the West Coast Premiere of Mats Ek’s Juliet and Romeo June 10 -12.

NYC theatre-lovers can pack your picnics for the 54th Annual Shakespeare in the Park festival at Central Park starting May 24th with The Taming of the Shrew or Socrates Sculpture Park’s International Film Festival this summer. Be on the look out for Fountain Theatre’s Citizen: An American Lyric to get its off-Broadway production at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Catch some fun new musicals like Tuck Everlasting or Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway. And be sure to check out the Hallett Nature Sanctuary – four acres in Central Park – reopening after a massive restoration project. The section has been closed since the 1930s. For  quick art fix, check out the vibrant hanging art installation in the lobby of the Jewish Museum.