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Politics, Santa Cruz, 1972: A gathering in front of the real Cooper House. This is Julian Camacho, who was running for Congress, looking pensive, next to John Tunney, who was up from L.A. to help Julian. It's Aug. 20, 1972, and that's the day that Don McCaslin got Warmth together for the first time. That's Marilyn Faitz holding her son Kurt in front of Mr. Fuzzy. Mr. Faitz was running for California state Assembly at this time.

Bruce Bratton

HUGE BRITISH ISSUES. Over 400,000 folks paraded in London to show their support for saving fox hunting in England and Wales. We've seen several dead foxes squashed along the roads, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Prince Charles of Wales sez he'll leave the country and ski the rest of his life. Drugs and the problems of home robberies are growing at a rapid rate in the Cotswolds. Over 90 addicts per month are turning themselves in to receive free government treatment. That's been happening because they have a free needle and equipment exchange that works to break down the official barrier of communication. We stayed in Malmesbury for a few days and found many folks are now jobless due to familiar causes. Lucent Technologies laid off a bunch of folks. Dyson Vacuum cleaners laid off 590 jobs. But also we'll be hearing a lot about Dyson Vacuum cleaners because they just won a lawsuit against Hoover Cleaners. It seems that Hoover stole the main triple power vacuum secret from Dyson. Now that Dyson won the huge settlement they'll be marketing their better vacuums in the U.S. According to the paper, Hoover is owned by an Italian named Candy, which I thought you should know. No particular reason.

KINGDOM OF SHADOWS. I was here to watch, and I did, the first ever showing of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange on national English TV. Kubrick lived in England half of his professional life. He received so many personal threats when Clockwork was released that he banned it from ever being shown on Brit TV during his lifetime. The film took on an entire new vision seeing it here. The circular connections between it and Eyes Wide Shut, his last but unfinished film, startled me. I'd never noticed them before.

MARIN ALSOP REVIEW. The Cabrillo Music Festival better watch out. Music critic Geoffrey Norris in the London Daily Telegraph Friday, Oct. 18, gave her conducting of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra a rave review. He said Marin Alsop "is a thoroughly good thing ... Her appointment is a landmark for Bournemouth." He also said that "Alsop has been making waves throughout Britain, from Scotland" and her work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and in Dorset, Birmingham and London in between ... She injects "her conducting with personal ideas that have their roots in reasoned thought," and on and on. You can read it at www.arts.telegraph.co.uk. Believe it or not, that's after she conducted Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. She's probably doing all her Lenny material. Brits liking Bernstein is just like France loving Jerry Lewis or something.

TOP 100 BRITS. The BBC has been working on a list of "The Top 100 Britons." It was conducted over a year and includes 33,000 votes by telephone and Internet. The BBC will milk it for several hours of programs over the next year. The Daily Telegraph printed the list today, well in advance of the official release. Within the Top 10 (not in order) are Churchill, Shakespeare, Darwin, John Lennon and Princess Di. Down the list are such people as Paul McCartney at 19, David Bowie at 29, Boy George at 46, Charles Dickens, 41, Richard Burton, 96, J.R.R. Tolkein, 92, Charlie Chaplin, 66, Tony Blair, 67, Jane Austen, 70, Alexander Graham Bell, 57, and my favorite, Aleister Crowley, 73.

OTHER THINGS I'M LEARNING. There are at least seven Avon Rivers in England; we've seen about five. The village of Longborough on one of the Avons won the Bledisole plate for the best-kept village in Gloucestershire. Bledisole is near Stow-on-the-Wold, also near an Avon. The Avons are now discolored, but that's only because of an annual algae bloom. Rural country homes around the south of England, which is where we're concentrating, are as expensive as Santa Cruz. Firefighters in London are going on strike because they can't afford to live in London! The town of Lansdowne, including the mayor, is working hard to raise $55,000 to enlarge and improve its skateboard park. They love it, people living near it love it, they don't have the attitudes we have against them for some reason. Yes, I supported a permanent one in San Lorenzo Park, and still support the one over by Bay and California.

LOCAL ELECTIONS. I do miss being at home during this election time. I can't retrieve my emails very easily here in England, so I'm really out of touch. I read a lot about the good reasons to vote yes on Prop. 46 to allow funding for senior citizens housing. I'm sure only people like Steve Hartman and KSCO's Zwerling family are still saying anything good about Measure P. Sane folks must know by now that NO on P is the only way we can save all the very necessary police, fire and school needs. 150 California cities have similar taxes and they work, so for goodness sakes vote no on P.

JOLLY OLD ENGLAND. Tonight we hear Rachmaninoff's Vespers in the magnificent Norman abbey in Romsey, plus some Mussorgsky. The abbey is where Lord Mountbatten is buried and was built in the 1300s by the Normans. Must have been a lot of people named Norman because it's a huge structure.


Bruce critiques films every other Thursday on KUSP-FM (88.9). Reach Bruce at bratton@cruzio.com.

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From the October 23-30, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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