Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank-you For Entertaining Me!

Way back "when" Robert Downy, Jr. had a serious problem with addictions. It appeared that he was self-destructive and spent much time between making movies getting into serious trouble, even spending time in prison.

I, for one, am so very pleased he did whatever it was he did to become the actor he is, today. I enjoy his acting immensely. I loved him in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and in     . When I reflect on the joy watching these movies brings me I am also saddened by the loss of another actor I enjoyed immensely, Heath Ledger.

Very rarely do I get emotional over the loss of someone who is not immediately connected to me, via family or friend. Just am not wired that way, I guess. I empathize with someone else's loss, but I don't become emotionally involved. But when Heath Ledger died I felt like the world had lost a great entertainer, and I cried to think that I would never see him act in something new, again.

 After Ledger's death I have begun really appreciating the new work each of my favorite performing artists does. Johnny Depp, John Cusak, Nicholas Cage, Mathew McConnehay, Luke Wilson, thank-you for doing what you do. Jodie Foster, Joan Cusak, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Anne Heche, Mariska Hargitay, Edie Falco, thanks for making me laugh, cry, moan, whoop and just take me away for the moment to somewhere else!

I think too often media centers their focus on tragedies. I think, too often, media centers too much attention on the private lives of those who "entertain" us. As if a $20 ticket to an event entitles us to be voyeurs into those people's personal lives.

Personally, I don't care about "who" these people "really are". Just like all of us, they will present to the world what they want the world to see, and I am okay with that. I don't care what one of them wears to whatever party is where ever its at. I am content to just enjoy who it is they are pretending to be while I scrunch down in my seat at the Gateway Theater, waiting for them to "take me away" to another place, another time, another point of view.

I made the serious mistake awhile ago of reading about Tom Cruise's perspective on "religion". Shortly after that he left Nicole Kidman and took up with someone half his age. This has ruined Cruise for me. I will watch a film inspite of the fact that he is in it, instead of because he is in it. So sad, for me. I am quite sure it is no great loss to him, lol!

It is with relief that I note, as I wait in line at the supermarket, that I rarely know anyone on the front cover of any of trash magazines. So my eyes can casually drift over the headlines without influencing how I am going to chose my next movie. In my perfect world, these kinds of magazines would disappear in a puff of smoke. I appreciate we live in a free-market world. I hope that, soon, people will just be happy with the two hours that their ticket purchased and stop with feeling like that "deserve" any "more" from these entertainers, whether they are on the stage, in film, or in an arena or on a playing field. I honestly don't think our entertainers owe us any look into their private lives any more than they "deserve" look into ours if they subscribe to a blog one of us writes on.

And, uh-huh, sports is entertainment. Players are entertainers. Where would we be if Downey Jr was banned from show business because of his drug habit? I don't care if some sports guy has a drug habit and think it utterly ridiculous that someone is banned from an entertainment field if s/he fails a drug test. While OWNERS of teams certainly have a right to have certain requirements for their employees a whole field of the entertainment industry being able to ban people from doing what gives them a sense of identity or is a grounding point for them seems highly barbaric and archaic to me. Get over yourselves, athletic industry, you are an entertainment industry. If your people don't entertain us, we will quit watching and you will quit "producing" your reality brand of entertainment. If our kids are looking at athletes as their "role models" that is our fault, lay off the bizarre rules that change from sport to sport.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stun of a Witch, its been one of those daze!

These last couple of days have been nothing short of weird, weird, weird leaving me walking around in a complete daze! People that I thought I knew, pretty comfortingly well, hit me upside the head with some philosophies(?) that must have been percolating for quite a while now but I have been quite oblivious to. While having differing viewpoints is what makes this world go around and life fairly interesting their viewpoint on what I do, as well as what others have done, was what stunned me and made me feel, well, weird. 

Then I had to deal with the fall out of that, phone calls of other people who found out and then the funny part (and sort of weird) from people who thought all along I was someone else. It began to feel rather like a Shakespearean "Mid Winter's Night Dream" and just when I thought it couldn't get any weirder, today dawns and I find out more "shenanigans" from Mr. Foster, a newly elected commissioner is also a realtor and he hired a woman whose house he can't sell to run some sort of retreat for the county commissioners, the private school my grandchildren were going to enter in the fall has been closed down and then AFTER five o'clock when the county offices close down so I can't verify, I hear that three people who thought they were commissioners and made some pretty spectacular decisions on January 12th possibly weren't sworn in properly and may have to be sworn in again!  I find out that this was discovered possibly Monday and yet an amended agenda hasn't been sent out to the media. If these folks weren't sworn in properly on the 12th what happens regarding the LNG Pipeline land use application that they voted to take back from LUBA? 

The County Charter, Chapter III Section 2 states
Term of Office.
(A) The term of office of an elected County Commissioner is four years and begins on or after January 1 of the year following election upon administration of the oath of office.
(B) Commissioners serve until the succeeding Commissioner has taken the oath of office
 It will be interesting to see what others make of this and what County has to say in the morning,  and if there is an amended agenda. Surely they won't just have the commissioners arrive at 4:45 before the work session and slip it in then? I don't think they can do that without notifying the public about why the commissioners are meeting each time they meet. 

Then, tonight, to top it all off personally, I went into Warrenton to buy a used vacuum cleaner because 1) I like to reuse whenever possible, and 2) I am cheap. It was a nice Bissell and it was only $25. Mom and Dad are headed home after being in Hawaii for two months and they are depressed enough coming home to the weather so I wanted to make the indoors as nice as possible. 

After picking up the Bissell I was driving home and came to a stop at the stop sign at the corner of SW 9th and Cedar and you know what happened? A DEER hit me! YAH, a DEER HIT ME! And that deer hit me so hard that it popped my passenger side window out and rained safety glass all over me! I was so stunned and it made such a loud pop when it happened I really thought someone had shot the window out and any moment a bright light was going to shine and Grandpa Roy was going to be there, calling to me to follow the light!

No such luck. Instead the deer springs up, looks in at me and takes off again with a freaking german shepherd dog chasing it! Of course my little malibu is all paid off so the only insurance we carry on it is the kind if we hit someone or if someone is hurt. Now, maybe, if that deer was to sue US there might be some money! I called the police anyhow to let them know that there was a deluded deer running around Warrenton hitting cars with a german shepherd chasing and that glass was all over 9th street. 

The officer came and took pictures in case they catch the dog or someone else has a run in with this dynamo duo. He was very nice and helped me get the mess off the road and drape a blanket in the window so I wouldn't have such a cold drive home. I had also called the hubby so he was outside waiting for me. He couldn't believe that a deer had done that much damage and walked away. He kept asking me if I was sure it was a deer. YEAH, it was a deer and I wasn't moving. The officer can testify to that. Glass all over the street right by the stop sign. On the side by the stop sign but no paint on my car so NO I DIDN'T HIT THE STOP SIGN! My husband laughed, remembering when a deer chased me in Jewell in my sister-in-laws truck and hit that! 

Yes, deer hate me. Not the vehicle, me. They look up and see me and say, "Hey, I think you used to hunt us all the time and I think you shot our great great great granddaddies." Never mind that at least a quarter of the county has done the same. For some reason the deer have decided to take all their angst out on me. You just watch, tomorrow, at the Board Meeting, either right before it or right after it, a seagull is going to deposit a load on me. I'm bringing an umbrella. I don't care if its a beautiful day tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now THAT'S Entertainment!

Have you noticed that when you criticize a television show, even when it is your admittedly favorite one, no one says (or writes) to you, "Why don't you take up acting if you think you can do it better?" or "If you think you can do a better job, why don't you try coming up with a better script?"

Isn't it odd, though, that if you criticize a sport team or player someone will, invariably, tell you that if you think you can do a better job why don't you go and do it? 

No one calls anyone an "armchair director" when they criticize the way a movie is developing, but criticize the way a play was ran and you are scoffed at as a "wannabe coach." 

Some people wonder where the "rash" of "reality tv" has come from, under the delusion that it is a new phenomenon breaking the screen as we crested into the 21st century but the truth is that "reality tv" was just about all that television had to offer beginning back in 1939 with the first televised sporting event, a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton.

According to The Museum of Broadcast Communications:
"Television got off the ground because of sports," reminisced pioneering television sports director Harry Coyle. He coninued, "Today, maybe, sports need television to survive, but it was just the opposite when it first started. When we (NBC) put on the World Series in 1947, heavyweight fights, the Army-Navy football game, the sales of television sets just spurted." With only 190,000 sets in use in 1948, the attraction of sports to the networks in its early period was not advertising dollars. Instead, broadcasters were looking toward the future of the medium, and aired sports as a means of boosting demand for television as a medium. They believed their strategy would eventually pay off in advertising revenues. But because NBC, CBS and DuMont manufactured and sold receiver sets, their more immediate goal was to sell more of them. Sports did indeed draw viewers, and although the stunning acceptance and diffusion of television cannot be attributed solely to sports, the number of sets in use in the U.S. reached ten and a half million by 1950.
 Sports, the first "reality tv" shows have continued to bring us all the drama, excitement, mayhem, murders, mysteries, tears, dreams, glory, underdogs, champions that any "reality" show has done. And, yet, talk to many a sports enthusiast and they are loathe to call sports "entertainment" or athletes "entertainers". 

Nevermind that the athlete would cease to be paid if no one cared to watch their sport. AH-HA, says the sports enthusiast, THAT'S WHAT MAKES AN ATHLETE DIFFERENT, S/HE WOULD STILL CONTINUE IN THE SPORT! And how is that different than the actor in the off Broadway show, or the local town theater? 

Can a college violinist get paid a cadillac, while still at school, if he promises to play in the Portland Symphony instead of going off to Philadelphia without being penalized in some petty manner? Why is college/university sports dictated to by some petty organization that makes babies out of full grown adults? People old enough to die for our country but not old enough to know whether or not someone is taking advantage of them by buying them a car while they are still in school? What the heck kind of rules are those? Really! 

Why have we made gods of our athletes? If Tom Cruise was raising fighting cocks would they take away his actors guild card? Should they? Of course not. If you or I do something illegal we shouldn't have our means of regaining our position in society stripped from us. Why, in the name of sanity, would someone who has paid their debt to society (ie served their time in prison and are now out) have to beg for their license to continue in their occupation?  Especially an occupation like ENTERTAINMENT! If the people want to punish the person they WON'T COME TO WATCH. And whoever hired him/her knows "whoops".  But the licensing organization has no right to keep the card from the person.

It comes back to a whacky society. A society that, on one hand, bemoans the fact that "kids nowadays refuse to take responsibility for their actions" and on the other hand, this same society will say, "Reparations? Why in the hell should I pay for something that happened before I was even born?" Because, dumbass, it wasn't before your country was born and its your country that owes the damn debt! It says so in the damn precious federalist papers and every other founding father paper that the reason they kept slavery is because without it our country would dissolve and be bankrupt! 

Anyhu, this gets back to sports. Its just an entertaining game. There, I said it. And when the entertainers screw up or displease me (whether or not I loved them on some other night) I'm gonna say so. Monday night I didn't see the big "OH", I saw a bunch of little uh-ohs. Yeah, it was nice they got that far. Its just too bad their coaches didn't play in a bowl game last year so they could be prepared for the bowl game this year, like Auburn. OH! Whoops. Erase that, reverse. Auburn didn't play in a bowl game last year, did they? Which team DID play in a bowl game?

Thank goodness we have Beaver Baseball and Jordan Poyer to look forward to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Black Monday

Sigh, sob, sigh, sob. ...


The Ducks lost and ... we have the same governor. The sky reflects my heart.

Sob, sob, sob.

No, that isn't me crying.

sigh ... yeah, I see the fog rolling in. It'll hit about 8:45 am, Wednesday morning. Yippy skippy.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Keep The Wave Going!

GO°¨¨°º¤ø¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø¸DUCKS¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GOº°¨¨°º¤ø
¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø,DUCKS¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¤GO DUCKS!!
¤GO°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø¸DUCKS¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø
¸„ø¤GOº°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø,DUCKS¤ø ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø ø¤º°¤
 Yep, Sorry such a boring post for those of you not "into it" but this is harmless, mindless,  FUN and probably one of the few things that my family, around the world, can agree on! We make allowance for the in-laws (and out-laws!). 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Call Me A Duck

Next Monday night our family is decked in Green 'n Gold from Japan to Hawaii. Skype and Ustream all ready to go, we'll do The Wave around the world!

That is the neatest thing about the new technology, when it works. We spend more time talking to one another using it than we ever did when we all lived in the same town. Maybe we are just getting older and recognize how precious our time together is? I don't know. It is fun when we have all five laptops running skype and the sixth one running our Ustream channel, showing whatever it is we are all commenting on, be it a family party or a football game, or a wedding. We feel more connected, the far away less left out.

Having Charter Cable for our internet server makes it rather difficult, as we tend to be the hub of it a  lot of the connections and Charter tends to suddenly quit on us for no apparent reason. Don't you just love calling  Charter and getting that automated system? Do you even bother unplugging and plugging back in the modem anymore when you know darn well the tech that gets on 10 minutes later is going to ask you to do the same thing?

I am thinking of going to Virgin Mobile broadband and its MiFi 2200 hotspot.  Does anyone have any comments on using Virgin Mobile in our area? It would be the same network as Sprint. It says that it will cover our home as well as all of Astoria, Warrenton and Seaside. Anyone have any comments on that?

If Virgin Mobile works out then I think we will get rid of Charter, pay whatever the early disconnect fee is, cause I think we signed up for some sort of cable & internet bundle, and then just go with their cheapest cable price. We don't watch their movie channels, we watch netflix. We watch a lot of tvduck.com and Hulu. All I watch is reruns. The only thing that the guys would miss is sports if we totally abandoned cable and we are just about this close, too.

Here's a little video I am sure you all have already heard it, but one can never get enough of it, eh? I hope we hear a lot of it not only up to Monday, but a whole lot of it next Tuesday, too! Come on, Beavers, ya' know we would be cheering for you (think baseball, we'll be there for ya').

Saturday, January 01, 2011

BANG! Happy New Year Michael Vick!

Let's start the New Year off with a BANG! Let's discuss Michael Vick and the US of A's fickle and double standard society at large. While having a butt load of meat, such as chickens raised in heinous conditions, veal from calves that have never seen the light of day and farmed fish that have never known the freedom of the open seas, in our freezers and on our shelves society continues to condemn Vick's past involvement in dog fighting.  

Vick was released from prison in 2009 after serving a 23-month sentence at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas as punishment for his involvement with the Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting operation Vick ran at an estate he owned in rural Virginia. While dog-fighting was a part of his cultural heritage he owned up to it as being illegal and he took his punishment "like a man," and while in prison didn't blame others, even when financial ruin followed shortly behind. 

He has since left prison and been re-instated in the NFL to playing status, hired by the Eagles and is doing very well for himself and that appears to really, really piss people off. Apparently, he was supposed to get out of prison, start shooting up heroin, and end up out on the streets having spasmodic flashbacks to the times when he was violent with dogs. Just as we all do with each bite of our Insert-the-State-Here Fried Chicken, right? 

 How many people watch dog fights? If this wasn't a popular event would it be a profitable one? Are we concerned that all those people watching these events are out there, walking our streets, probably policemen, firemen, teachers, childcare providers, bus drivers, and health care providers? Are we outraged about how they are just living "normal" lives right now? Maybe that item they just bought online from you came from their winnings after betting on a dogfight? 

Society is outraged at Vick not only because he picked an animal that many of us consider "cute" to treat like many of us treat the animals we eat, but because he also belongs to that station many of us have chosen to idolize. If it was an entertainer from another spectrum of  the talent pool, such as a movie star, would there be any doubt of him returning to the screen? Would someone suggest that his guild card be pulled? Vick is merely an entertainer, something a portion of society has yet to acknowledge. Sports are entertainment, people. When the sport they are participating in stops being entertaining people will stop watching. If people stop watching the money stops. If that isn't a definition of what entertainment is I don't know a better one. Stop making entertainers into gods and you won't be outraged when they are human beings.

Vick broke a CULTURAL law, folks. He hurt an animal that has a face, an animal that many of us choose to have as pets and choose to attribute human feelings to. He said sorry, and he had his freedom revoked for 23 months. He can never own a firearm nor can he vote. Forever he has the word "felon" on his resume. But that isn't enough for some folks. Nope, they want him to either continue living only if it is a miserable life, or to have been actually executed for conducting dog fights!

Everything that we do, as human beings, has an impact on life around us. Is the answer to this fact complex laws regulating all of our movements? That would seem to be what many people want to see happen. "One law fits all" society where we each take pleasure in tattling on each and everything that we see the other doing. I honestly see little difference between what Vick was doing and what happens to veal calves or fish. People talk about the horrors that deer go through being chased by hunters but no one sticks up for the fish being played out by the sports fisherman. Why? Because fish aren't cute. It's hard, even after Finding Nemo, to ascribe human empathy to fish. 

Over and over again those who want the environment, be it cultural, political or physical, to go their own way look for the short cut of doing it by force rather than by education but it is well proven that when people are educated and make a change because they own the ideas the change spreads and inspires more change, the changes feeding on one another. And yes, they are not controlled.and can be chaotic for a while. They are born out of the best in us which cannot be controlled, at the most it can be guided. 

When our educational systems join the 21st century and teaches our children how to learn instead of what to learn, when the system relearns what its ultimate goal is, then will our society begin to change in a profoundly different and deeper way. When we look at our children as gems waiting to be mined, and not by us but by their ownselves, our society will change. The cruelties that we see, manifesting themselves against animals, the earth, whoever or whatever is "different", will fall by the wayside of our own volition. 

Until then, our prisons will remain full of addicts, the mentally and emotionally crippled, the political dissenters, the cultural mores challengers and the very few real criminals that choose to inflict carnage on their fellow man to satisfy their own selfish desires.