Points of Ponderation…..Episode 1.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

FX just aired Part 1 of a ten part miniseries called American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, and I must say that I am ojhooked. As someone old enough to have lived thru the sordid saga (I watched the infamous Bronco chase at a favorite college watering hole with friends and may or may not have been somewhat inebriated) I’m interested to see how a fictional account of what was as dramatic of a real life tale as we’ve seen plays out over the next couple of months. I suppose it is kind of a macabre trip down memory lane, but after the first episode my initial reaction is that the cast (headlined by John Travolta & Cuba Gooding Jr.) is terrific and the story is well-written, although given the fact that the actual events were so…theatrical…it would seem difficult to screw it up too badly. For those that may be too young to vividly recall the Simpson case this show will be a great history lesson about the birth of reality TV and the beginning of our cultural descent into the abyss of voyeuristic mediocrity.

 

 

After the recent Hawkeye Cauci it is apparent that the race for the Republican nomination for President is down to three viabletrio candidates: Cruz, Trump, & Rubio. Oh I suppose one or two others might sneak back into the mix if they do well in New Hampshire, but ultimately I believe one of these three will be the nominee, and I’m okay with that. None are perfect but I can live with any of them. Trump has to have learned a lesson after skipping the last debate…I do believe it cost him votes. Rubio scares me a little on the immigration issue, but he appears to be somewhat more palatable to those bothered by the abrasiveness of his opponents. Cruz just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s the solid conservative amongst the crowd and his message resonates when he receives a fair opportunity to convey it properly.

 

 

smithI haven’t paid much attention to The Oscars since Billy Crystal was hosting and Titanic won Best Picture. That was almost 20 years ago. But quite honestly I think the recent controversy about the show’s lack of “diversity” in its award nominations is a bunch of poppycock. I don’t care whether you’re white, black, Hispanic, male, female, gay, straight, or whatever else…just make good movies. The biggest problem with The Oscars is that they too often give recognition to films that average moviegoers in flyover country just don’t care about. Right now at my local theater Dirty Grandpa and Kung Fu Panda 3 are playing, as is Academy Award nominee The Revenant. Regardless of what critics say I’m betting that the former two movies end up making oscar2more money than the latter. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with entertainment. As a football fan I don’t deny that concussions are an issue, but I have no desire to go see Will Smith berate me about the issue for two hours on the big screen. I don’t dislike Smith because he’s black…I dislike the fact that his career choices have sucked for most of the past two decades. It really is that simple.

 

 

hillaryEvery time I see Hillary Clinton on TV it’s a nails on a chalkboard moment. Her obnoxious screeching is sanders2horrendous. In listening to what she says I don’t understand how anyone with more than a grade school education could even consider casting their vote for her. I’m no fan of Bernie Sanders, but the major difference between he & Hillary is that Sanders openly admits that he’s a socialist. She should be extremely embarrassed that she could do no better than what was essentially a tie in Iowa. Part of me thinks it’d be hysterically funny if Hillary were to lose the nomination AGAIN to someone that a year ago no one had ever heard of. Of course the other part of me realizes that the first time that happened we got stuck with Barack Hussein Obama for 8 years.

 

 

Let me take a moment to highly recommend a 2013 documentary called History of the Eagles. It is a must see for any fan of the eagles3legendary 70’s rock band. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about or watched it before now. CNN was going to show it…presumably in the wake of Glenn Frey’s death…but it got pre-empted by…I don’t know…something they deemed more important. So I ended up checking it out on Netflix. Broken into two parts and coming in at about 4 hours it is an evening well spent. There is plenty of archival footage, snippets of home movies, and interviews with every band member as well as various associates. Some may say that, since Frey & Henley had a lot of control over the finished product, it is a bit sanitized and glosses over some of the more troublesome issues the group had over the years, and that is likely a fair assessment. However, it is probably just as well, especially considering Frey’s untimely passing. It is a shame that he & former bandmate Don Felder never reconciled, but maybe Henley will now get down off his high horse and make peace with Felder. Joe Walsh is the most impressive of them all in interviews. He’s had a long, tough road and made plenty of mistakes, but now appears to be clean & sober and, more importantly, introspectively grateful to have been provided an opportunity for a healthier life. If you like The Eagles you must check it out, and even if you aren’t a huge fan but just enjoy a really good documentary it is worth your time.

Points of Ponderation…..Episode 3.15

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 
mockingbirdSeveral months ago, when it was announced that To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee would be publishing a 2nd novel a half century after her one & only triumphant effort in literature, I was ecstatic. Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, as it is for countless others. However, the book is out and I haven’t purchased a copy…and I don’t intend to in the future. In the time between the initial announcement and the appearance of Go Set A Watchman in bookstores a few things came to light. First of all, Harper Lee is nearly 90 years old, in poor health, & residing in a nursing home. There is some concern that a shady lawyer made this book deal happen, that Ms. Lee doesn’t have the mental capacity to have made the decision for it to be published, & that if she had wanted it published she would have done so decades ago. Adult Protective Services in Alabama allegedly investigated the situation and weren’t at all concerned, but I’m still a bit apprehensive. The book is now out there being consumed by the masses, and I have read some reviews. It turns out that Watchman…though it is being billed as a sequel to Mockingbird…was actually the original idea, and a gifted editor basically told Harper Lee “This doesn’t work, but there is an idea within it that will be good if you revise & cultivate it” (or something to that effect). That modification grew into To Kill A Mockingbird. Now, why in the world would I waste my time with something that an editor didn’t feel good about in the first place, something that evolved into one of our greatest novels only after a major renovation?? Why would I pay money for something that very well could be the result of elder abuse?? And then there is the matter of Atticus Finch…one of the most beloved characters in all of literature. I’ve watchmanseen spoilers. I know what the Atticus in Watchman is compared to the treasured Atticus in Mockingbird. Some may see it as a fascinating and maybe even logical evolution. That’s fine, but I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. That’s the great thing about fiction…characters we love can stay frozen in time, always fondly remembered the way we left them. Sherlock Holmes will forever be riding hansom cabs & solving crimes in gaslit London. Santa Claus will always fly thru the air in his sleigh every Christmas Eve. Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer are still riding down the mighty Mississippi on a raft getting into mischief. And in my heart Atticus Finch will remain a man of deep character & unshakable honor fighting for the rights of the oppressed and teaching his children valuable life lessons.

 

 

lionI honestly couldn’t care less about lions or other big game being killed in Africa. It never ceases to amaze me what the media is able to manipulate people into stressing out about. I saw a story a few days ago about some 21 year old kid who buried his dog alive, and that incensed me way more than any situation in which a hunter bagged some prey. FYI the dog was thankfully rescued.

 

 

Let’s talk about baby names. No, I have not impregnated anyone and probably never will…unfortunately. A babiesFacebook acquaintance of mine is pregnant and recently asked for some ideas for names for her baby boy. I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned because I was truly stunned by some of the suggestions: Alonte, Killian, Easton, Boston, Ledger, Zade, Phoenix, Malice, Beckham, Canyon, Courtland, Maxim, Savon. These were (allegedly) serious responses and not ideas for an American Gladiators revival. Look, I understand gravitating toward less common names. The world is full of guys named Mike, John, Bob, Steve, Tom, Jerry, George, & Fred. I get it. But whatever name you saddle a child with is a burden that they’re going to have to carry for the rest of their lives. Legitimate studies have been done linking weird baby names to criminal behavior later on in life, and that’s not even counting the bullying a kid may suffer or the confidence & image issues they may have along the way. I apologize in advance if my opinion hurts the feelings of anyone with one of these odd names or parents who may have named their child something a bit outside-the-box. It isn’t my intention to offend. I just think that the world is tough enough and a person will encounter more than their fair share of adversity in the normal course of things…why start them off behind the proverbial 8-ball with a name that isn’t nearly as cool or hip as some may think it is??

 

 

gop2First impressions after the initial GOP Presidential debate:
• Donald Trump is style over substance. He’s entertaining and says what a lot of people would like to say & what many believe, but at the end of the day he doesn’t have the temperament, finesse, or applicable experience needed to be President.
• Marco Rubio & Ben Carson strike me as solid potential VP choices. Their stock could improve.
• Mike Huckabee is sincere, intelligent, & articulate…but not Presidential material. He could be a good cabinet member.
• If the GOP nominates Jeb Bush or Chris Christie it won’t play well with hardcore conservatives, a detriment that won’t be equalized with support from Reagan Democrats.
• Rand Paul is passionate, thinks outside the box, & brings some interesting ideas to the table, but I don’t see him as Presidential either at this point. I’m flexible though.
• I didn’t watch the undercard debate, but I hear that Carly Fiorina did well. Hopefully a few of those folks get an opportunity to make their case at the big table the next time around.
• Ted Cruz is my frontrunner, but Scott Walker has tremendous potential.
• Oh yeah…John Kasich was there too. I almost forgot. I’m not sure his campaign will make it to September.
• I wasn’t impressed with Fox News’ presentation or the performance of their moderators.
• This race doesn’t truly begin until the field is cut in half. That may take awhile.

 

 

My physician recently put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication and indicated that meds for high sodiumcholesterol could follow. I have 6 weeks to alter my lifestyle, and he suggested a website/app called MyFitnessPal to help track my dietary habits. In just a week I’ve already figured something out. I’ve been trying to eat low fat for awhile because I kind of saw these issues on the horizon, but one thing I’ve been overlooking is sodium. I am single, financially challenged, & can sometimes be lazy, which means I look for quick & easy eating choices. I am aware that fast food is mostly unhealthy, but in focusing on fat we shouldn’t ignore the contribution sodium makes to poor health. I have been paying more attention to such things and have been truly surprised at the enormous sodium content of a lot of foods. Pretty much anything that is prepackaged for our convenience is a minefield. Fruits & veggies have never been a big enough part of my diet, but going forward they’re going to have to be. That doesn’t mean I’ll never eat another cheeseburger, piece of chocolate cake, or bowl of pasta…it simply means that one should always partake in moderation.