Guns –as the pro-gun lobby likes to say– really do kill people, but those guns have to be in the hands of a person to do damage. The plea that gun ownership be kept in check so that the nutcase in your children’s high school can’t acquire one is largely being ignored by the officials in our government. The president and the nation’s attorney general agree that we need to do something about mental health. They are mum on the subject of gun control.
The fact that someone as clearly unbalanced as Nikolas Cruz could amass an arsenal of weapons should give us pause about the gun selling business. He was not exercising his Second Amendment rights; he was planning mass murder.
In an era of frankness (well not in the political arena or in our “civic” lives, but certainly in films), why do so many bio-pics present such a bowdlerized view of their subjects? Sanitizing and censoring the lives that the persons of interest led seems an unpardonable treatment.
It may be possible to excuse Hollywood for masking Lorenz Hart’s sexual inclinations in the 1948 film, Words and Music. But the times they are a-changin’ as Bob Dylan would put it. Shouldn’t we be more forthright about who Cole Porter really was in De-Lovely than we were in 1946 in Night and Day? The Kevin Klein version from 2004 hints only slightly at the double life Porter had.
The facts of a person’s life may not be as straightforward or as simply depicted as we’d like to think. Allowing for artistic license and interpretation as well as for the p.o.v. of the auteur, the life on the screen cannot replicate the life as it was lived.
The movie about Sylvia Plath’s relationship with Ted Hughes, Sylvia (2003) is based on a collection of his poems. To the survivor belongs the turn of the tale. Even the esteemable Richard Attenborough while harnessing the talents of the superb Robert Downey, Jr. misses the mark in revealing Chaplin to his audience. While I will confess to having it liked it, I agree that the movie underplays the dramas inherent in Charlie Chaplin’s rich and controversial life.
Adults have been given permission to enjoy pop for many more years than you imagine. In the soda market space, there’s the old standby, Orangina, a product I have always found equal to my maturity. Its proximate competitor is the very amusing San PelligrinoAranciata, available in small bottles or cans.
While in many ways the ultimate in adult beverages for my money is seltzer water, whether it be Perrier, Pelligrino, Polar, Saratoga Sparkling or Poland Springs, the flavored arena is a fulsome one. It also makes for a nice change.
GuS (aka Grown-up Soda) is pretty much a new kid on the block. A family owned business, these soft drinks have wide distribution in bodegas and fancy food stores.
Recently, I was introduced to another drink of “Sipperior” quality at the York Social, where Sipp is in the fridge. Like GuS, Sipp prides itself on its natural and organic flavors and recipes. The variety made with pear is an especially lovely blend, but the Berry Mojo drink is also lovely.
Some six months ago, I shut down one of my many blogs, Observations: Lest I Forgetand transferred much of its content to this one. I fully intended to put new content here and leave the …Lest I Forgetsite to history.
Truth is, I have a lot about which I wish to opine, and enjoy doing so in different fora and diverse platforms. So Observations: Lest I Forgetis being revived today, with fresh content all its own.
Most of us either never learned, have forgotten or misremember most of the American story. Much of what we learned was likely from popular culture, at the movies not in the classroom.
Films of Indians warring cowboys or cavalry don’t do much to fill in the blanks missing in our knowledge. Generally the American cinema portrays a heroic expansion because as Americans we like to think of ourselves as good. The ideal of perfection is hard to attain, and John Wayne or Pistol Pete don’t give us an accurate picture.
History does not always paint a pretty picture
The impulse to be just is also the impulse of perfectibility that has made America great. We move towards the better, hoping for the best. We progress towards the ideal.We want to be fair; we aspire to decency. Our history is one of striving for the better for all our citizens.
We need to see the forging of the United States of America as a picture of struggle and achievement.
Musicals, even the well-researched like 1776, Hamilton, and for a bit of worldliness, Les Miz, can’t make historians of us anymore than the movies can. Even when they are rooted in events, their focus is not sufficient to make up for the deficiencies in our education.
What we do learn from both Hamilton and 1776 is that it took a lot of smart men (no women, but I digress) many months of hard work to come up with our America. The Constitution is an unprecedented document, built on enlightment values. It was written for democracy, with diplomacy and compromise.
The Constitution was not perfect, and America, ever striving, has added Amendments to the original. These Amendments improve on the freedoms granted its people, her citizens. Progress requires that we keep improving. It is, by definition, a moving forward.
As Americans we should be steeped in the spirit in which our country was founded.
Out of the belief that we are each of us fascinating creatures whose every movement must be documented, the GPS call was invented.
But we don’t stop there. Many of us celebrate every step we take with an announcement. “I’m putting on my glasses,” I pronounced this morning, to my husband and to no one in particular. He said, does that mean something? I was at a loss to explain the significance.
At least the people on their cell phones on the bus can justify their sharing of intelligence with the possibility that the person on the other end of the call is going to meet them at the destination. The call is informational.
It is true that on a couple of occasions, I have overheard the GPSer giving false claims, but I can only think it was in the interest of not worrying.
My instinct to describe my every move just emerges from my ego.