Monday, February 23, 2015

My Private Oscar





Best acceptance:  Patricia Arquette.  Bad hair, bad dress, and heartfelt speech.  Since I wanted Boyhood to win best picture, she got the only moment for that great film.

Best performance on the show:  Hands down to John Legend and Common for Glory.  Just a wonderful song that I think will be performed for a long time to come.

Made me happy moment:  When they showed Harry Belafonte receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.  This used to be an important part of the Awards show.  It still should be.  And, seeing just a glimpse of Harry in Selma.

Cringeworthy cheap shot:  Neil Patrick Harris making a snarky reference to "treason" as Laura Poitras and Glen Greenwald were getting well deserved honors for Citizenfour.   Stay classy, Oscar.

Last Word:  The Golden Globes used to be a small time event you had to pay to attend.  Now, it is more fun and more entertaining than the Academy Awards.  You let it slip away, Oscar.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oscar Gets in the Game



Joe six-pack has arrived on the red carpet.  Here's how he got there:  Disney, the uber corporation, owns ABC, the network broadcasting the Academy Awards, owns ESPN, your sports authority.  I believe they call it cross-platform marketing when all of a sudden the Oscar nominees are being discussed on ESPN as earnestly as the NBA and MLB prospects.

On Mike and Mike, the national sports morning program, Adman Burke, one of ESPN's regulars, gave a very thorough summary of this year's Oscar contenders and favorites.  Then, this afternoon on a local sports radio call in show, listeners, by picking an Oscar winner, were able to win a gift certificate to (where else?) Ditka's restaurant. ( No matter that most of the callers hadn't actually seen any of the films.)

A contest is a contest, right?  It made this movie/sports hybrid feel right at home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bummer



The Jackie Robinsons have been stripped of the National Little League title.  It's a sad day around here.  Even the broadcasters who are reporting the news have that "say it ain't so" in their voices.The boys brought so much joy to a violence plagued Chicago.  We were eager to spread a very large red carpet for them and loved their stardom all the way to the White House.  I hope the boys won't be punished now . . . or in the future.

There's so much punishment going around. It seems that only the police are off the hook.  Thom Hartmann, the radio show host, says that when Occupy Wall Street protesters were booked, many were slapped with felony charges.  You know what that means:  no scholarships, no jobs, and no right to vote.  No wonder the student protest movement is non-existent.

And Brian William sent into exile.  Now we can all feel better.  Whew.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Hugables



The McDonald's on my corner is a nice enough place.  I still miss the diner which used to be across the street before it was replaced by a bank.

There's usually a group of Asian men at the big table.  Maybe they come in after doing tai chi in the park.  Since the corner is a turn over point, a lot of CTA workers drink coffee and wait for their next shift.  Then there are the shabby men from the SRO down the street on Sheridan. My father's cousin was once one of them.

When I go through the drive-thru (McD's spelling), the girls in the window are cute and friendly and wear amazing fashion on their long nails. 

 Did I hear that McDonald's Super Bowl ad encouraged hugging among the customers instead of paying?  Or, is the hugging supposed to be between the customers and the staff?  I'm going to call my friend Lisa at Leo Burnett to find out more about this latest incarnation of the "I'm Lovin' It" campaign.

McDonald's is regarded as uncool now.  My friend Addie calls it "McPoison." People are supposed to prefer organic wraps to bacon and fries.  I'm on the Pope's "who am I to judge" side on this one.  I'm not sure some hugs among this group of neighbors is going to help. 

If the suits in Oak Brook want some advice, I suggest talking to the girls in the carry out line.

Those nails are forever cool. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lies and Damned Lies






Brian Williams lied about being forced down by enemy fire aimed at his helicopter during the Iraq War.  I hope he doesn't resort to using that slippery word "misremember."  Let's save that one for the mental mishaps of us oldsters.

From exile, Dan Rather is supporting Williams, emphasizing his otherwise great career.  I'm inclined to forgive him too.  Didn't Hillary "misremember" something in Bosnia?  I think she is forgiven, at least for now.

Since we're faced with an epidemic of lying, I think the triage approach makes sense.  Let's pin our outrage on the most serious outbreaks of lying:  the Iraq War: the "banksters."  I'm sure you have your list.

From the triage point of view, Brian Williams has a bad cold.





Monday, January 26, 2015

Death or not





We're studying the death penalty in my class about proposed amendments to the constitution.  I'm sure most of the members in my class are against it. We probably wouldn't put it this way, but I bet we think that the death penalty is one of those things that happen in "bad" states.  The ones where we don't want to live.

Whenever I think about the death penalty, I remember that debate between Michael Dukakis and George Bush.  "What would you do if your wife were raped and murdered?"  It was so unfair to spring that on Dukakis,  And yet, even though I am against the death penalty, I don't know how I would have phrased an answer on the spot.

Revenge is a mighty temptress. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Down and out down under



Once a year the fact that I'm an early riser carries a little bonus.  Before dawn, I'm able to catch the end of the Australian Open matches while they are still live from Melbourne.

This morning, Rafael Nadal gasped his way to a victory over an unknown.  Only his championship experience and his great heart got him through.  His body is failing him, so who knows how long he will last.  

I'm tired of Serena. Roger Federer may have a little left.  Novak and Murray are still healthy.  Those are the names I still recognize. The rest are strangers or also-rans who I never got invested in caring about.

So, I'll have to get acquainted with some new players.  Too bad tennis is at such a low ebb here.  It seems to be as foreign as soccer.

It's sunny and hot in Australia, so that's a good way to start a grey day in Chicago.