paul koretz

smallswingshoes  asked:

In regards to Billy the Elephant... are the animal rights organizations that are trying to get him moves to PAWS likely getting kickbacks from PAWS or something? Why are they doing this?

Straight to the hard questions! Nicely done. 

Honestly, I don’t know about this specific situation - because I’m not sure who it is that is lobbying the city councilman that is driving the motion. There have been mutterings that he’s funded by PETA, but I haven’t had a lot of luck tracking down his donor associations. (If anyone happens to have information, it’s Paul Koretz in District 5). When animal rights went after the Toronto Zoo elephants, it turned out to be ZooCheck that was whispering in city council ears. 

However, there’s definitely some politics that are in play. PAWS is a GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries) accredited facility. GFAS was created by the animal rights organizations and is very directly associated with both HSUS. What’s more, the CEO of Born Free - a super anti-zoo organization, and the one that runs the aforementioned ZooCheck organization - sits on the GFAS Board of Directors. GFAS is trying to get more exotics involved with their sanctuaries, because while they’re getting lots of attention because BCR won’t shut up about being a member most of their sanctuaries actually deal with domestics and farm animals. It’s also worth noting that GFAS is currently the main sanctuary ‘accrediting’ group, and most of the new AR legislation I’ve been reading has gone from talking about ‘sanctuaries’ to ‘accredited sanctuaries’ - it’s pretty obvious they’re setting themselves up to be the only accrediting group in existence when animals start getting confiscated and the legislation that’s getting passed says they have to go to accredited rescues and sanctuaries. 

So it’s not really that PAWS gets kick-backs from AR organizations, it’s that most of the sanctuary industry is in bed with them and GFAS sanctuaries are literally part of the animal rights machine. They try to not have a ton of association with each other publicly, but if you look at the groups pushing USDA petitions and lobbying for AR legislation, you keep seeing all the same names: HSUS, Born Free, and GFAS. 

Tim Curry

Celebrates Forty Years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

by Michelle Kacavas

“I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey." 

And so it began, in the beautiful Los Angeles City Hall Council Room, with a speech by District 5 Councilman Paul Koretz. He started by calling up the Nuart Theatre Shadowcast Company, Sins Of The Flesh, to do the "Time Warp”, introducing the council and all present to the world of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

One of the council members noted, “Oh, we have a naked golden boy here." 

Councilman Koretz, in a Rocky Horror tie, continued on with a heartfelt speech about the U.S. premiere of the movie being shown at the Festival Theatre in Westwood on September 26, 1975. He went on by elaborating on how the small film grew and grew, with audience participation and word of mouth, and that it is "without peer, the longest running film release in history." 

Of special note, Councilman Koretz also mentioned that "the film has also been helpful and began the bisexual rights movement, the acceptance of fabulous drag queens and has provided an essential community for people who otherwise may feel themselves on the fringe of society.”

Before he introduced the producer of the movie, Lou Adler, he officially declared October 30, 2015, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day.”

Adler began with saying he grew up in Boyle Heights and “if someone had told me I was going to City Hall this morning I would have been more scared than excited."  He said he never would have expected to be celebrating the movie 40 years later. He attributes the entire success of the movie to Tim Curry, saying "to those of us who were disappointed that in 1975 he (Tim) didn’t get the Academy Award, he is the reason that this started and has never ended.”

Tim Curry (who suffered a major stroke in 2012 and is still recovering) was given a microphone and said, “Thank you, councilpersons.  This is a great honor.  What a beautiful building this, this is…. So close to my favorite American holiday, Halloween."  There was a long pause and Marcia Hurwitz, his longtime agent, asked if he had anything more to say, and Curry said, "I don’t think so, just thank you.  Thank you, thank you.”

Up next was Sal Piro, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club founder and  President since 1977.  Piro was part of the original New York Waverly Theatre audience where all of the audience participation started.  He spoke about the fans who have kept this movie alive “week after week, year after year…. We didn’t need social media back in 1975. We were our own social media. We were the people who loved the movie so much that we spread the word, and we came, we saw and we conquered.”

After much applause and a wrap up by Councilman Koretz, we adjourned to a meeting room where we got to take pictures and briefly interview Curry, Adler, Piro and the Shadowcast.

Curry was asked what his favorite moment of the movie was and he joked, “When the check cleared." 

Curry looked for Hurwitz time and time again, and she would occasionally blow kisses at him, which made him smile. Hurwitz told me that her relationship with Curry was wonderful. She had been with him for many years and she was his "person.”

Curry was asked what he thought the difference was between the play and the movie and he said, “The film is, dare I say it, it is a tiny bit more subtle.”

About the movie’s timelessness, Curry said,  “I think it’s partly that it was beautifully lit, and beautifully shot.  It happened very quickly.  We shot it all in eight weeks.  It was very exciting for me because it was my first movie." 

He was also asked what city took the movie to heart the most. "Budapest,” he said.  “I’m serious.  I made a film in Budapest, and the crew came up one by one, practically knelt at my feet…. Film is strictly controlled by the government in Hungary, so they were very excited by Rocky film.”

Liz Stockton, the Sins of the Flesh’s Dr. Frank N. Furter, told me she has now has “been doing this for 25 years, so I’ve met him before, but this was an honor.”

Everyone then went to the Festival Theatre, where a plaque was presented, stating “At this site on September 26, 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show made its U.S. premiere,” with the words “Don’t Dream it…Be it!” written across the bottom. 

Much the same speeches were made by Councilman Koretz, Piro and Adler, but I did ask Councilman Koretz how The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day came to be.  He said he had known Lou Adler many years because he owns the Roxy which is in his district, and they got together and had this idea, so the councilman made it happen.

I got to get to ask Curry what his least favorite part of filming the movie was.  He said “The pool. It was cold. It took an hour." His most favorite scene was the floor show. And what a floor show it is, even after 40 years!

Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: November 3, 2015.

Photos ©2015 Cynthia Marie H.  All rights reserved.

L.A. bans painful tools used to train elephants!

Infuriating still from Peta’s “Elephants in Circuses: Training & Tragedy”

On Wednesday, Los Angeles sided with the elephants when the city council banned the use of “bullhooks, pitchforks, baseball bats and other goads that circus trainers use to control elephants and other exotic animals.”*

First of all, “pitchforks and baseball bats”?!

Secondly, thank you, L.A. The city council’s vote was unanimous (faith in humanity momentarily restored), and the ban takes effect in January 2017, a delay “meant to give circuses time to change how they handle elephants or remove them from the shows.” (You know which choice I’m rooting for.)

Naturally Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey spokesman Stephen Payne (insert snide remark about how much pain elephants are caused by this abuse), was pissed, and said the law was “completely unnecessary.” He went on to say that this new ban “would force the cancellation of Los Angeles circus events” (excellent!) and City News Service quoted him as saying that the circus may move to a venue outside the city limits. (I see a PETA protest happening.)

City Councillor Paul Koretz said using bullhooks is “inhumane and unhealthy,” and that “the circus is welcome in Los Angeles, just without the bullhooks. … We’re hoping that they follow the model of other circuses that don’t use exotic animals." 

Happy day for the elephants and other "exotic animals!”