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Author: Lee Matz

Cinema as a surrogate parent: Outgrowing the shared experience for entertainment in a fragmented culture

Legendary film director Martin Scorsese has invited a lot of controversy in recent years over the definition of cinema, particularly with his view of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That opinion has a lot to do with the art of how motion pictures are made, and then experienced by the general public. However, two other forces more disruptive than Thanos are also at work altering the century-old form of entertainment and how it is consumed, streaming and COVID-19. The world of my childhood existed as a place with three primary television networks, and movie theaters as a place to escape...

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Remembering Denis Sullivan: Departure of Milwaukee’s nautical icon is another loss for our local heritage

It was suddenly announced in September that Wisconsin’s flagship schooner, Discovery World’s S/V Denis Sullivan, would be sold to a nonprofit educational sailing organization based in Boston. It was an unexpected end to a journey that began in 1991, and ran aground like so many things in Milwaukee due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a local ambivalence to preserving cultural treasures. The beloved Denis Sullivan launched in June 2000 after two years of construction, at a financial cost of $4.2 million and a labor cost of a million volunteer hours. It was originally proposed as a tall ship that...

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Marcelia Nicholson: A Day in Photos with the Chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors

Considering herself to be an educator at heart, Marcelia Nicholson made the tough decision to leave her career as a teacher in response to her community’s lack of fair representation. To become an elected official was her best chance to try fixing what she saw as a broken system. First elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in 2016 representing District 5, she was re-elected in 2018 and 2020. In April 2022, Nicholson was unanimously re-elected as Chairwoman of the Board for the 2022-2024 term. She was the first Black woman and Latina elected to that position. Born...

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Of ships and stones: A review of the political spectrum separating “Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon”

My relationship with childhood stories of fantasy has evolved over my lifetime, as the genre has also grown and matured into mainstream acceptance. Within the span of a couple weeks, two major fantasy franchises both launched on rival streaming services. After the first two episodes of each, it is clear that they could not be more different. They also reflect, perhaps unintentionally, major political and social narratives currently dominating America. I grew up with the old Lord of the Rings cartoon movie from 1978, and other Hollywood attempts to present the realm of fantasy to a mass audiences. They...

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From Irpin to Milwaukee: The price we still pay after six months of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine

As recent as August 17, just seven days short of six months after Putin’s unprovoked full-scale invasion to seize Ukraine began, two dozen bodies of unknown residents were discovered in the city of Bucha. Placed in freshly dug graves, their headstones were marked with only numbers for identification, no names. They were among the hundreds of civilians in the area who were brutally massacred in the early days of the war by the occupying Russian forces. August 24 is a bittersweet day, because it marks the six month anniversary of when the Russians launched their latest in a series...

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Escaping from Russian Terror: A reminder that war in Ukraine is not over as families seek safety in Milwaukee

For my assignment as a war correspondent in Ukraine I had the privilege to work with Yaroslav, who was my videographer and also provided security for my team. Near the end of my work, I had the chance to visit his hometown of Berezhany near the Polish border. I had a meal with his family and fell in love with smetana, which is a type of Ukrainian sour cream. His wife Nataliia made it fresh, and I originally thought it was a soft cheese sauce. As we ate, we talked about a future when the family might have to...

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