Sunday, March 17, 2019

PAPA DUKE & RONALD REAGAN







In early December 1978, Ronald Reagan attended an event in his honor at The Selfridge Hotel in London to address Republicans Abroad.

I covered Reagan's visit for a newspaper called The American and snapped a pic of my father greeting Nancy and Ronnie.








Saturday, February 23, 2019

THE ACADEMY AWARDS: IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN






The only thing worse than celebrity actors publicly espousing their political views is a self-congratulatory award ceremony where celebrity actors espouse their political views.

Thus, welcome to the 91st Academy Awards, which, tragically, has degenerated in recent years to a platform for bashing those political leaders despised by the Hollywood Establishment—and during which each award-winner tries to out-do the one before with vitriol and profanity in a competition called who can be the vilest.

These are the same people who role-play and recite lines for a living. They possess a talent for acting (some would say exhibitionism) and memorizing witticisms produced by screenwriters (the real brains of the operation). This occupation rarely equates to either a) high intelligence or b) knowing enough about government and politics to be taken any more seriously than a New York City cabbie.

That political pronouncements by thespians are taken seriously is a cultural problem begging resolution.

In the 1930s and 40s, the pop stars were magazine writers, like Hemingway.

In the 1950s… okay, for me it was Mighty Mouse.

In the 1960s the pop stars were, well, pop stars.

In the 1980s newspaper columnists ruled (think Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, Mike Royko).

These folks—aside from Mighty Mouse and actual pop stars—had well-reasoned political opinions worth expressing.

Today ‘s most famous “pop stars”—the Kardashians and assorted reality show nitwits—are famous for nothing more than being famous, yet their flatulent views are reported laxative-regular by the news media.  

But let us readdress Hollywood.

Actors are paid huge amounts of money to perform.  They protest about reporters prying into their personal lives (think Alec Baldwin) yet, as rookies, they once begged the media to pay them any kind of attention (think Alec Baldwin). Once famous, through media attention, they feel impelled to use celebrity status to issue lofty pronouncements (in front of a camera or on Twitter) because they somehow believe fame translates to genius (think Alec Baldwin).

Problem is, these self-presumed geniuses don’t even keep their word.

Case in point: Barbra Streisand and Rosie O’Donnell (and others) vowed to leave the country if Donald Trump won the presidency. (May we hand you your coats?)

Last time I checked, they were still here—every single one of them.

Where is the dignity in this?

And why should anyone believe what these entertainers say if they don’t even stick to their word and their principles?

The answer is, people should not believe them.

Why not?

Because these people are actors!

They were acting!

The people in our country who deserve awards and applause are scientists working to cure cancer, first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of others, philanthropists (no, strike that, for them it is mostly a tax write-off), and educators (but only the truly bright teachers who come to the classroom with knowledge and enthusiasm devoid of bias, agenda and—God help us—political correctness).

These are our real heroes. But the best they ever get is Employee of the Month, which translates to maybe a plaque on a wall near the restroom or perhaps a better parking spot for thirty days.

Actors and actresses memorize lines written by writers who have recreated the lives of heroes. And then they pretend i.e. act (beyond the lines written for them) as if they are the actual heroes—like Ed Asner’s ridiculous television commercials in which the audience is supposed to believe that the passionate, honest, hard-working Lou Grant is addressing them.

I leave you with this thought:

How long until the Political Correctness Brigade joins forces with Feminists to demand that the Academy’s iconic gold statuette be changed to…  Oscaretta?


Me? On Sunday evening, I’ll be reading a book. But if I’m tempted to switch on a TV set, it will be to laugh at the histrionics masquerading as entertainment.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

WINE VALLEY NIGHTS







One year since seeking refuge in the Santa Ynez Valley.

We could not have chosen a more blissful place to repair and restore—and will forever be grateful to the wonderful, empathetic people in this valley of bountiful food and wine.









Saturday, January 12, 2019

LONDON FLASHBACK







A trendy London boutique's winter holiday window display.

In the USA it would probably cause a public outcry, so weird we have become.

In England, crackers (the kind you pop and find a prize within) are associated with Christmas; snowflakes, too.  And women are free to be feminine.

It is tragic that the so-called "progressives" in the USA not only tolerate but promote reverse discrimination/ derogatory nicknames as part of contemporary culture's revision of the English language and banishment of writers whose only crime was using the vernacular of the period in which they wrote.

I am proud of my heritage, call it "snowflake" if it makes you feel better.  My grandparents (both pairs) lawfully emigrated to the USA and never wronged anyone, having suffered intolerance and injustice in their own homelands.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

POVEY BROTHERS, PORTLAND









Even in churches, Povey stained glass celebrates the spirit-force that is nature.




Reputed to be "Tiffany of the Northwest," Povey Brothers stained glass can be found throughout Portland.













Afterwards, to see more Povey stained glass, I strolled to First Christian Church, but could not get inside because it was locked up tight.

So I paused to assess a series of stained glass windows just below eye level, from outside, and though it didn't seem worth taking photos, I snapped just one, a close-up of a shepherd in the larger mosaic.

After arriving home, I uploaded the photos of Povey stained glass from my camera to my laptop, including the pic from First Christian...





This photo inexplicably depicts a  clear-as-day traditional Christ-like image (and, no, it is not photo-shopped, a program I don't possess and never use). 

Had it been there and I missed seeing it?  

I am certain not.  It was a blank orange piece within the leaded mosaic.