Archive for February, 2013

“In The Mood” put me In the Mood to Go to the RIverCenter More

February 25, 2013
CALL group touring the RiverCenter

CALL group touring the RiverCenter

In the Mood really put me in a good mood yesterday afternoon at the Bill  Heard Theater at the RiverCenter.  I enjoyed the tribute to the big band era of the 30s and 40s, not only because it was the popular music of my youth, but because of the top-notch performances of the orchestra and the singers and dancers. 

As you would imagine, the audience was made up of Columbus area seniors.  And there were a lot of them there.  I was glad to see that because some shows are the RiverCenter aren’t attracting large crowds.  This one did, and the audience loved it.

I think I enjoyed it even more because, along with my fellow members of the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning, I had just attended the RiverCenters’ backstage tour.  It was truly interesting to see all of the stuff that goes on to present a big show.  Just standing on the orchestra pit elevator as it was lowered and raised in front of the gargantuan stage and seeing how it worked with a unique set of jacks was worth the time spent on the tour.  

It is truly a wonderful facility with its three first-rate theaters, the Studio Theater for smaller intimate productions, Legacy Hall for mid-sized concert events – Professor Joseph Golden played a fanfare he wrote on the million-dollar Jordan organ for us –  and the world-class Bill Heard Theater that rivals anything in New York.

The largest share of money to support the operation is from ticket sales.  I hope you’ll do your self a favor and enjoy some of the shows, and support the facility in the process.

The famous Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta The Mikado plays the BH Theater on March 2nd.  It will be performed by the New York Company, a full-fledged production with a 17-piece orchestra.  The Mikado is one Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operettas.  It is touted to be a very colorful production, set in Japan, but it really satirizes Victorian Britain institutions. I plan to be there.  Hope you will join me. 


A Silent Movie and a Live Symphony Orchestra Create Magic

February 18, 2013

One of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever spent in a theater was on Valentine’s Day in 2010 when I saw Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights   accompanied by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra playing the movie score live.  The two things that came across the most that night were that Charlie Chaplin was a creative genius and Columbus, Georgia has a really fine symphony orchestra.  It was magical.

That magic was captured again when the orchestra played the score as we watched Chaplin’s 1928 hit  The Circus. Chaplin’s humor is timeless.  The 2013 Columbus, Georgia audience roared  at Chaplin’s 1928 slapstick comedy.  The two things that  stood out in the 2010 event did the same thing this time. Chaplin, who not only produced, starred, and directed The Circus, wrote the score when the movie was revived in 1967. That was the score that the Columbus Symphony played Thursday night. Again, Chaplin’s genius was obvious and the orchestra’s performance superb.  Conductor George Del Gobbo told the audience that he had watched the movie 20 times getting ready to conduct the score. It worked. 

Why do Politicians Lie?

February 11, 2013


I, like former comedian and present Senator Al Franken, “never lie, unless it is absolutely necessary.” Really, I do prefer telling the truth. All of that conditioning by my mother, the church, school teachers, and the Boy Scouts made its lifetime impression on me that lying is wrong.  However, as the old saying goes, actions do speak louder than words. Sooner or later, a person discovers that the very people who have told you it is immoral, or a sin, to lie, lie. Sooner or later you are going to catch your parents telling a lie.  A classic example is the Santa Claus lie. 

Of course there is a very practical reason for not lying.  People will trust you if they think you don’t tell lies. That’s a huge reason that I assiduously tried never to report a story on the news that was not, to my knowledge, true. Protection against news sources lying was to attribute their comments to them. If the comment turned out to be a lie, it wasn’t me lying. It was the source. My TV news ratings were quite good  on average, and I believe a main reason is that viewers trusted me.   Still, being a human being, I did tell a few untruths off the air.  I’m certainly not proud of it, but in an effort to be truthful,  I can’t deny it.  

There are different kinds of lies.  There are the outright ones  like President Obama being a Muslim (Pew research shows that 30 percent of  Republicans believe that) , and global warming being a hoax.  Probably, lies by deception are more effective..  To say, as some politicians do, that their goal is to “save Social Security,” when their real aim is to destroy it by “privatizing it” is lying  by deception.  The absolutely most effective lies are probably lies that are closest to the truth.  A Time article reported that, in the last presidential  campaign,  President Obama’s lies were worse because they were the most accurate.  

It is interesting to me that the news program on the air that, in my view,  best tells us the truth about the inconsistencies, doublespeak,  and double standards of political and other powerful people is the “fake newscast.” Yes, I am referring to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This program is presented as comedy, but it is very serious satire.

Now, all of this is not to say that lying is a good thing, or that a politician should be forgiven when he or she lies because “everybody does it.”   In fact, it can be a very destructive thing, harming the common good, causing catastrophes like wars.  The fact is there is a lot of it, and some believe that  the public is at fault for putting up with it.  Then, there are those who blame news media. No doubt, they must share some of the responsibility, though some do put in a lot of effort to fact check what politicians say. 

Camera1 Photographer Jim Cawthorne Puts Columbus on the Georgia Transportation Map

February 6, 2013
Photo by Jim Cawthorne, Camer1

Photo of Fort Benning Gateway Bridge by Jim Cawthorne, Camera1

Well, the I-185 entrance to Fort Benning was put on the map.  Jim Cawthorne, a friend and fellow Rotarian, got a big hand at Rotary today for winning the contest to determine the picture that would go  on the cover of this year’s Official Georgia Highway and Transportation Map. Jim’s Fort  Benning Gateway Bridge photo is on the cover.

Jim, owner of  Camera1, is also the photographer for the Rotary Club of Columbus.


You will soon be able to pick up a free copy of the map  at the Georgia Highway Welcome Center at the William’s Road exit on I-185.


February 6, 2013

So what. The way TV newscasts went on and on about this symbolizes what’s wrong with news media today.  It was worth a mention, but leading with it even the next morning and devoting so much time to it illustrates how sophomoric the media has become in its quest for ratings.  It’s disgusting. 

CALL Helps Keep Our Brains as Well as Our Bodies Active

February 5, 2013

The Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning, also called CALL, keeps growing.  More and more seniors in the Columbus area are discovering a place that provides not only continued learning, but the opportunity to socialize with  others who want to keep their brains and bodies active.

Not only are there classes on subjects as diverse as foreign policy and line dancing, but trips to  places like the Atlanta Aquarium,  tours of the River Center, and lunches  at places like the River Club.  Do I recommend CALL? Well, I have been attending for a number of years. Our classes are conducted at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center for Continuing Education at Columbus State University.