Archive for May, 2010

Rest in Peace, Dennis Hopper

Actor Dennis Hopper died Saturday at age 74, after a battle with prostate cancer.

If the afterlife at all mimics life on earth, somehow I don’t think Mr. Hopper will be resting much.

Say what you will about Dennis Hopper’s lifelong lawless antics – as an actor, he was sublime.  I have always loved watching him … I believe my first glimpse was when he portrayed a charismatic Nazi in a 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone.

Hopper was fearless.  He attacked every role – the good ones and the stinky ones – with zeal and creativity.  It made all of his characters real and interesting, and it made him so much fun to watch.

There is way too much to say about Dennis Hopper’s prolific career, so I’ll just include his filmography, and you can click away at the links.

A fond farewell, Dennis – see you on the screen!

Filmography of Dennis Hopper


What it means: imagined future society characterized by misery, oppression, or squalor; opposite of utopia

The word is modified form of the neologism utopia, coined by Sir Thomas Moore in his book of that title completed in 1516. Dystopia was first seen in 1868, in the writings of J.S. Mill.

From Gk. dys– “bad, abnormal, difficult”  + utopia lit. “nowhere.”

Why I chose it: In a conversation about movies (what else?) with a friend and colleague, I was rattling off some of the films of Terry Gilliam, and I described Brazil (1985) as dystopian. Like the main character on her beloved show Bones, she uttered, “I don’t know what that means,” prompting a discussion of the term … and inspiring me to include it in this blog.

A dystopia often includes  an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government and may feature repressive social control systems. Examples of dystopian literature / film include Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, A Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451, Logan’s Run, and V for Vendetta, all featuring futures in which we would not want to find ourselves and offering insights into the paths that led humanity to these dire circumstances.

Source: ZOOM’D update email by Cynthia McEwen, Avastone Consulting

ZOOM’D Leadership explores the importance of changing the way we pursue the future. ZOOM’D is on the air live each Monday, 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time, 11 a.m. to noon Pacific.

Upcoming Guests:

May 24 Guest: Dr. Frank Alcock on “Slick Possibilities — Gulf Oil Spill and Beyond”
AlcockDr. Frank Alcock, Director of the Marine Policy Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory and Director of Environmental Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida, joins ZOOM’D for a direct and unbiased look at the BP/Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and implications for the future.

Frank reflects on the near- and long-term environmental damage and the impact on both energy policy and regulation going forward. With responses to the disaster ranging from calls for an American “Operation Dunkirk” to seizing of the moment with possibility of an “Obama End-to-Oil-Addiction Act,” all sides and potential outcomes of this tragedy must be understood and acted upon.

Join Frank and ZOOM’D host John Schmidt for a clear look at “what is really going on” and suggestions for how we might all engage our leadership in responding to this tragedy and building a more desirable future.

May 31 Guest: Dr. Lawrence Lessig on “Fix Congress First!”
Avastone LogoDr. Lawrence Lessig, Professor at Harvard Law School, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, and one of America’s top visionaries, joins ZOOM’D for a frank and compelling look at a central facet of change for the future: restoring public trust in government by addressing the flow of big-money lobbying in politics.

With special interests funneling millions of dollars into our elections–and a new Supreme Court ruling giving corporations and unions even more power over our government–confidence will not be regained until this flow of money is curtailed. Right now, a fortunate few, neither dependent on nor accountable to the people, control the direction of our government. This isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue; it’s a fundamental question about what kind of democracy we want.

Join Lawrence and ZOOM’D host John Schmidt as they explore why and how to “Fix Congress First,” including legislation to support public financing of elections and small dollar donations.     Continue reading

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