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Social Consciousness

December 5, 1989 | BRUCE HOROVITZ
Stephen Garey is still haunted by one ad campaign that he wrote. The Los Angeles ad man received a phone call from a buddy at General Electric's nuclear systems division back in the mid-70s. GE wanted an aggressive campaign aimed at shortening the 8-year waiting period that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission required before approving new nuclear power plants. Garey, who was just beginning to build his career, jumped at the chance to make a lot of money.
November 5, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Toms, the Los Angeles company known for donating a pair of shoes for each set it sells, has a new do-gooder initiative: an e-commerce hub dedicated to socially conscious goods. The marketplace, which launched Tuesday on Toms' website just in time for the holidays, features more than 200 products from 30 companies and charities. Consumers can search the site by cause, region and brand, perusing descriptions and videos explaining each group's mission. There are some big names attached.
August 1, 1993 | BILL KOHLHAASE, Bill Kohlhaase writes about jazz for Calendar
A persistent current of political and social consciousness runs through the music of Charlie Haden. Whether leading his Liberation Orchestra in jazz arrangements of songs of revolution or Quartet West, a cross-cultural combo that looks to a nostalgic ideal of Hollywood's glory days for inspiration, the bassist-composer is always making a statement. "Music can't be separated from politics," Haden declares. "The two are intertwined whether one likes it or not."
August 25, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
UC San Diego and UC Riverside are first and second in the annual "socially conscious" ranking of national universities being released Monday by Washington Monthly magazine. For the fourth year in a row, the San Diego campus topped the Washington Monthly list , which emphasizes such factors as enrolling and graduating low-income students, supporting research and encouraging students' public service. The 10-campus UC system once again did very well - with four campuses in the top 10 and six in the top 25. UC Riverside moved up to second nationally from ninth last year.
March 15, 1990 | NICOLE D'AMORE
Adrian, Barbara and Tina may not be beautiful, but people react to them, and that's what their creators, Michele Chapin and Mary Beth Hanrahan, intended. The three larger-than-life wire sculptures loosely based on mythological subjects are at the Momentum Gallery in Ventura through April 5 as part of an exhibit called "A Convocation of Spirits." The exhibit combines mythology, nostalgia and social consciousness through a conglomeration of recycled appliances, plants, live goldfish and trash.
September 18, 1989 | KEVIN THOMAS
"Heart of Dixie" (citywide) has nailed down its time and place right to the last detail, as anyone who was attending a college in 1957 within shouting distance of the Mason-Dixon Line can attest. It was a time when fraternities and sororities maintained an iron rule over campus social life and were a primary force in shaping values, for better or worse. It was an era when most women felt a tremendous pressure to be engaged to be married by the time they were graduated.
March 2, 2003 | Lynell George, Times Staff Writer
In the between-the-acts dimness of Temple Bar in Santa Monica, Donnie and his band scurry to find their places on the cramped stage. There's no curtain, so all eyes are on this do-it-yourself effort. Wide-eyed, wiry Donnie settles behind the mike. Instead of a "one-two, one-two" to test the levels, he grabs hold of the bridge of Erykah Badu's "Apple Tree," the incidental music pumping from the P.A. system.
Del Shores' best-known comedy, "Daddy's Dyin' . . . Who's Got the Will?" was abroad satire of life in the deep South among a family of what might be termed "trailer trash," even if they weren't living in a trailer. Shores' follow-up, "Daughters of the Lone Star State," features a somewhat snootier rung on the class ladder and brings in a bit of social consciousness. In the Plaza Players' current production, it's the (more or less) serious part that works best.
July 15, 1985 | ROBERT HILBURN, Times Pop Music Critic
The press here may be the most competitive in the world. Local papers strive so hard for fresh angles that they can't even agree on something as simple as the weather forecast. So, Londoners were surely surprised Sunday to find the normally suspicious, cynical papers all declaring that Saturday's Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium was--literally--the Greatest Show on Earth. "Rock's Night of Glory," proclaimed the Mirror in a front-page headline. "Rock's Finest Hour," agreed the Mail.
May 26, 1996
Re "Forecast Stormy for Graduation Day at Yale," May 17: I would suggest that one reason the Yale administration will not settle with unions is that the fat cats who so heavily endow the university would be extremely upset. Many of these CEOs give big bucks to Yale and other universities and are loath to have them set a precedent that actually represents a social consciousness. ARTHUR HOBERMAN Thousands Oaks
August 5, 2013 | By Susan King
As both a producer and a director, Stanley Kramer was fearless. As a scrappy young independent producer in the late 1940s, he bought the rights to Arthur Laurents' "Home of the Brave," the hit 1946 Broadway play which exposed anti-Semitism in the military during World War II. But Kramer decided to up the ante, transforming it into a drama about racism, casting young African American actor James Edwards as the soldier who must battle discrimination in...
June 29, 2013 | By John Horn
Documentaries typically can be split into two camps. There are those designed to entertain - penguins in snow, Justin Bieber in concert - and sell tons of tickets. Then there are works - bleak stories about hunger, pollution, genocide - more intent on scoring partisan points than box-office records. Producer Bert Marcus wants to eliminate that division and has put together a $15-million fund to make nonfiction movies intended to be both financially and socially rewarding. His release this weekend, an indictment on the war on drugs called "How to Make Money Selling Drugs," is Marcus' latest effort to prove that documentaries can do good on both the civic and fiscal bottom lines.
May 30, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
When most filmmakers in Los Angeles feel frustrated by the movie business, they pick up a pen to write out their anxiety - or pick up the phone and call their therapist. Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij took a different approach. Upset by a series of Hollywood rejections four years ago, the then-aspiring actress and would-be director decided to spend the summer train-hopping with a group of idealistic drifters they'd never met. For nearly two months, they criss-crossed America, encountering strangers, diving into dumpsters and eating what they gathered, sans money.
January 15, 2013 | By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times
Season 2 of HBO's "Enlightened" finds Laura Dern as fortysomething executive Amy Jellicoe conspiring with an egotistical Los Angeles Times muckraker (Dermot Mulroney) to bring down her corporate overlords. Well-meaning but hopelessly naive - "I'm like the Julian Assange of Riverside," Amy boasts without a drop of irony - she is quickly in over her head. "She's missing so many pieces," says Dern, 45, shaking her head with weary sympathy. "Poor Amy. " Decked out in an elegant black cap-sleeved dress at a swanky restaurant off Central Park, Dern is noticeably more sophisticated than her on-screen counterpart.
June 16, 2012 | By Jasmine Elist
Even in a city as entertainment-oriented as Los Angeles, short films can be a tough sell. But one new player in the space - Focus Forward Films - is hoping to win over audiences with a socially conscious approach to short documentaries. Focus Forward is a series of three-minute documentaries that shed a light on innovative individuals who are shaping the world through acts or inventions. The program boasts a roster of 30 international filmmakers, and since its inception in September, nine of its films have been shown at festivals (five premiered at Sundance and four at Tribeca)
April 4, 2012 | By Mary Rourke and Valerie J. Nelson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Elizabeth Catlett, a sculptor and printmaker who was widely considered one of the most important African American artists of the 20th century despite having lived most of her life in Mexico, has died. She was 96. Catlett, whose sculptures became symbols of the civil rights movement, died Monday at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, said her eldest son, Francisco. Her imposing blend of art and social consciousness mirrored that of German painter Max Beckmann, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and other artists of the mid-20th century who used art to critique power structures.
November 10, 1991
After reading Hilburn's article, I laughed. People like Metallica, GNR and U2 revitalizing rock? These pretentious, whining "role models" package anger and rebellion for a disaffected middle-class audience while masquerading as social consciousness. Last year, The Times said rock was dead. Essentially, that was right. Why waste space debating it? Write about significant trends like world music, new age, and modern jazz and classical, where more important, influential new music is being created and more possibilities for expression exist.
February 4, 1989
In Robert Hilburn's Jan. 13 article, "Recording Academy Stays on Its Progressive Path," he praises Tracy Chapman. Chapman does indeed make powerful social statements, but she talks , rather than sings, about the issues. Her lyrics, although thought-provoking, are delivered in a monotone, heavily ethnic-accented voice to less-than-pleasing music. Maybe this delivery is part of her act. Fine, but it is not good music. Nominate Ms. Chapman for a Pulitzer or even a Nobel, but not a Grammy--which honors music, not avant-garde messengers of social consciousness.
October 13, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
Bearded and feeling misunderstood, Mohamed Tolba made a movie to tell the world he is not a terrorist. "Where's My Ear?" is a satire on the colliding passions and deep suspicions between liberals and ultraconservative Muslims like him, known as Salafis, who have become a pronounced political voice in the new Egypt. The short film has gotten more than 80,000 hits on YouTube and has made Tolba a celebrity and a curiosity among the Koran set. The plot is simple: A liberal invites a Salafi to his home in a comedy of errors and misperceptions.
January 6, 2011 | Ramie Becker, Special to the Times
Los Angeles, you're getting smarter. Or acting smarter, anyway. Judging by the runaway success of interdisciplinary idea-jam conferences like TED, intellectually spiked salons deLaB and farmlab, and the brainy bacchanal of Mindshare LA, the Los Angeles area has become a hub for gatherings that combine the social and the cerebral. It's a brave new world here for upwardly mobile Angelenos who want to simultaneously make business connections, feed their minds and fill out their virtual little black books.
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