FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. The idea of a blogside chat with extraordinary people like Jan Perry proved to be blogging at its best. And I predicted Jan would be running for Mayor in print, before anyone else–go figure!
Jan Perry A Blogside Chat
It is late at night or early in the morning, hour fifteen of work has passed by some hours ago, and as the quiet of the night will often lead me to, I find myself reflective. My screenwriting obligations have precluded me from blogging the past few weeks as much as I would liked to have, but many of downtownster’s twenty-four writers / soldiers of truth and enlightenment, have made up the difference. And to them I say, THANK YOU.
The fact that I have not posted more than a piece or two a week does not however mean that I have been remiss in working on stories. Admittedly, I am backlogged, there is simply more to write about than I have time in the day and that would be true even if I were not busying myself with two screen adaptations and a television pilot. But one story must begin and that is the story of something I think to be unique to downtownster—I call it the blogside chat.
We live in challenging times. And if we are to be honest with our collective selves, most generations can claim such. Of course the challenges differ from generation to generation, but almost all are challenged nontheless. What are our difficulties? How are they resolved? These are questions that should be first and foremost on all Americans’ minds. The answers to these questions and their many tangents are rooted in our ability to communicate with each other. And for the purpose of this blog, and all to come, it is imperative to recognize that communication begins with understanding the concept of common reality.
Think of concentric circles at the middle of which is the greatest common reality. The one thing we can all agree on—perhaps gravity. I know of no one that will step off the roof of the fifteen-story building, which I live in to prove me wrong. Interestingly, those who believe that they can fly without the help of modern invention are usually considered to have broken from sanity—they no longer share in the same common reality as the rest of the world around them. The results of an individual jumping from a building such as mine, arms flapping to no avail, are not comical—they are ruinous. And such is the fate of a society that has lost its ability to communicate and broken with itself.
Today, it is incumbent on leaders, and those with vision to communicate their ideas in the way that people not only want to hear but trust and understand. The great leaders of times past wrote and delivered speeches. Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, and King all delivered leadership and vision with their words. Their words, the people knew these men through their words. In person, in print, on radio, on film, on television, past generations heard their leaders in their own words and they trusted and understood them.
And because downtownster is nothing if not intensely interested in all things—I started floating the idea to the business and political leaders of our world that we’d like to chat. Not interview—CHAT. An invitation, if you will, to speak to people in the way that they now listen. BEWARE: no recorded speeches, written by someone else, with no opportunity to be questioned will be passed off as real communication on downtownster.
Imagine an ongoing dialogue, that can take hours at a time to have, taking place in public places, sometimes over a meal and sometimes over coffee—my drink. Imagine a person of power in business or politics that is willing to talk to you, albeit through downtownster, no speeches, no teleprompters, no handlers, no questions in advance, no ground rules. Clearly, this person has said much about themselves before saying anything to us at all. But be sure much more will be said.
Because much of Downtown is encompassed by the 9th District, let us put this fact into a greater perspective, Downtown Los Angeles is the heart of the biggest city, in the largest state, of the most powerful nation on Earth, I could not think of someone better to chat with than 9th District City Councilwoman Jan Perry. Continue reading