Archive for December, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR

December 31, 2013

2013 had its ups and downs.  My prediction: 2014 will have its ups and downs.  Hope you have more ups than downs.

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Two Movies Worth Seeing

December 10, 2013

Philomena and The Book Thief are examples that show that intelligent, meaningful,  moving,  serious dramatic movies are still being made.

I recommend both of them.

Judy Dench turns in another Oscar worthy performance in Philomena.  Some consider the film anti-Catholic and anti-Republican Party.  I get the anti-Catholic charge, but not the anti-Republican one.  The film does depict the cruel practices of  some nuns many years ago in Catholic convents in Ireland where unwed mothers gave birth to babies that were sold to adoptive parents, but It doesn’t assert that all Catholics are bad, and it does assert that the convents were reformed.  And I just don’t get the anti-Republican charge stemming from a reference to the Reagan administration.  It’s a great film.

The other one, The Book Thief, is a World War II film about what a young German girl who loves books goes through as she risks her freedom by defying the censorship of book-burning Nazis.  It is also about her relationship with a young Jewish man who is being hidden in a cellar to prevent his capture by Nazi’s who would kill him. It is a very well performed and produced piece of cinema. 

So if you’re looking for movies that rely on interesting stories well told instead of special effects and a lot loud explosions,  I think  you will have found them in these two.  

    

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

December 4, 2013

IT’S JUST A GAME?

When an Alabama  football fan allegedly kills another fan because she made light of Alabama losing to Auburn, it raises the question of why people take a sports game so seriously. 

If you are making $7 million a year for coaching a team, as does Alabama’s Saban, you perhaps have reason to be concerned.  But, how many people are doing that?

A lot of people are having a rough time economically these days.

Healthcare and education costs are going through the roof.

America is ranking lower and lower among the developed countries of world in education, to say nothing of the fact that Georgia and Alabama are ranked near the bottom in the country.

Our country is still involved in its longest war in its history. 

Our country’s infrastructure is deteriorating.

And yet, taxpayers are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to build sports stadiums for private businesses. Papers like the Ledger-Enquirer are giving banner headlines to the outcome of a football game. The font size of the headline on Auburn beating Alabama was probably as large as the one proclaiming the end of World War II.

What the hell is going on?