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Malibu Arts Journal October 20, 2017 Issue | Tom Petty Issue

It is with bittersweet tears that I find myself writing this letter. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Malibu Arts Journal. At the rebirth of this magazine, we find the man we planned for the cover of our magazine, a Malibu resident, is still on the cover, just not in the manner we intended. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers were out celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut album. This is the rebirth of this magazine. It was going to be a celebration. Now we find we’re celebrating the late Tom Petty’s life.

Writing this cover story felt like etching in the letters on someone’s grave stone. Arranging the years of someone’s life under their name drew tears for me. Here we are at a wonderful revival for Malibu Arts Journal, yet we find ourselves writing about the death of an iconoclastic music man. I don’t remember a time when Tom Petty wasn’t a music influence on my violin playing, or my vocals. He was earthy. The violin is acoustic. He was iconoclastic from the beginning. I learned from him and his generation how to tear down the establishment through art. Once again I find myself influenced by this man. Amid a day’s flurry of reports about Petty’s demise by numerous news outlets who were greedy for ad revenue clicks while he was actually still alive lying in a UCLA hospital bed, I find it necessary to once again take a stand against the establishment. Those news outlets could and should have waited until they heard from Carla Sacks, Petty’s personal publicist, before they reported his death. Then they would have known he was not yet dead. Being competitive in the news world is one thing. Being callous is quite another.

Malibu Arts Journal is an independent press. We print the iconoclast, the independent, the unusual, the elegant, the punk, even the vulgar, those who seek social justice and activists who speak out against the establishment. In short, we fight authority.

If you think Malibu and Topanga aren’t about fighting authority, think again. Look at your neighbor who fought a Diablo style nuclear power plant being placed in Malibu in the 60’s. Look at Will Geer who fought against McCarthyism by establishing Theatricum Botanicum after being blacklisted as an actor. Look at your other neighbor in either Malibu or Topanga. He or she was someone like Petty who fought the establishment in a very classy way, through lyric and song. Then there’s the average person like your Malibu city council member or Topanga Town Council member who has lived here for ages. In Malibu, that person too fights authority by banning the plastic bag and smoking in the city limits. They’ve also made Malibu environmentally friendly. Not bad for a small town of nearly 13,000.

We cover Malibu and Topanga and often reach outward to events, people and places of note. In this issue and as we move forward, we hope to bring you emotive and visual content that tell human stories. In this cover story and the other stories in this issue, we bring you a sampling of what you can expect to find in future issues.

I would like to thank Pulitzer Nominated Photographer Jeff Widener for re-engaging with Malibu Arts Journal. His talents are very much appreciated. I’d also like to thank everyone else who decided to work with the Journal again. But most of all, I thank you, the reader. Thank you for reading Malibu Arts Journal. We appreciate you.


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Author Bio
Kriss Perras
Author: Kriss PerrasWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Publisher & Editor
Kriss Perras owns Ruptured Media where she publishes Malibu Arts Journal. Ruptured Media is also a story development company. Kriss has been tenacious and fought authority from the very start of her career in journalism. Kriss' first story as a journalist was for her college newspaper covering George W. Bush and Steve Forbes in the Iowa Caucuses during the 2000 election. She showed up at the hotel where Bush was to speak with her editor's letter of assignment in hand. She credentialed at the press desk like every other press person. She had questions in hand she had prepared to ask the Presidential candidate. She walked into the speaking room to find the press was roped off from the candidate. Being new to election coverage, and journalism, she was disappointed. She stood next to a seasoned AP photographer on the press platform. She asked the AP photographer if she could get out from behind the ropes and ask Bush her questions. The AP photographer said, "Well, you can try." So she did. She stepped out from behind the ropes and waited in line behind the people seeking the candidate's autograph. When it was her turn, she introduced herself to Bush as a college journalist and started to ask her questions. Bush said, " Wait, are you a journalist?" She said, "Yes." Bush nodded to his Secret Service team. They promptly came over on each side of her. She was 5'6" tall and weighed 127 pounds. The Secret Service men were well over a foot taller than her and obviously guys who worked out often. They could pick her up with their pinky fingers. They quickly picked her up by her arms, carried her over the ropes and plopped her back down on the press platform as she was still asking Bush her questions. Bush to his credit said, "Please give her one of my books. The answers to her questions are in my book." So she had to read his entire book, but she indeed found the answers to her questions. She also drew political cartoons for her college newspaper and still does today. Her next big break came in 2002, still as a student, with an interview with former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski. Kriss went on in 2006 to found PCH Press, Malibu's daily newspaper. With PCH Press, she had extensive coverage of the battle against LNG and the fight against the placement of an LNG port being placed off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard, among other local news. She has covered Olara Otunnu, former United Nations Undersecretary General and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict when he spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She covered Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman when she spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She has interviewed Progressive David Swanson and numerous Malibu Mayors. In 2007, She founded Malibu Arts Journal magazine. Kriss built Malibu Arts Journal from the ground up. She has taken the magazine from an unknown dot com to a respected title. She earned the magazine digital distribution through Magzter and the iTunes App Store where it now enjoys broad based readership across the globe. She is a member of the national honor society Who's Who In American Universities And Colleges. Her photogrpahy has aired on CMTV channel 14 Spokane, Washington. *Photo Copyright 2017: Alan Weissman
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