What's the Deal With These People?

Posted by Randy David Friday, February 27, 2009 10:26 AM 0 comments

Image by M. Keefe via Flickr
Start preparing. The seventh sign of the apocalypse has appeared. Jerry Seinfeld is producing a reality show. That's right. The man who brought us nine seasons of a show about nothing, is bringing us a reality show.

NBC has announced that Mr. Seinfeld will attempt to become master of a new domain next year. The new show is titled "The Marriage Refs." The show's premise is based on married couples having arguments analyzed and ultimately judged by a panel of comedians.

What is this? Springer for the Comedy Central set? Who would actually volunteer to have their marital spats aired in front of a prime-time audience, opening themselves to ridicule by professional comedians? The same people who would appear on Springer, that's who. I thought the spread of reality TV was bad enough. Who would watch? The same people who watch Springer.

Keep in mind, I'm a huge fan of The Seinfeld Show, so I hold out hope that I'm wrong. Maybe they'll find a way to keep it cute and funny. Personally, I getting my asbestos suit ready for the rapture.

Prepare now!

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My Oscar Prediction: A Millionaire Will Take Home Oscar Gold

Posted by Randy David Sunday, February 22, 2009 1:42 PM 1 comments

Heath Ledger is a posthumous lock.Image via Wikipedia
The following statement may be sacrilege to any of my golf buddies: I enjoy the Oscars more than the Superbowl. I'm not not talking about the Red Carpet parade and all the celebrity gossip, etc. What I love is that it's a celebration of an art form; one that's truly popular.

During the 20th century, film replaced books as the most popular form of story telling. Now, we can argue whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it is reality. The people dedicated to making a truly good film, take just as much care and exhibit as much passion as any author.

I think it's fun to watch people who've worked a lifetime with that sort of vision and passion have that moment of ultimate achievement in front of an audience of over a billion people worldwide. My pet peeve with the Oscars is when the winning director for best documentary has their speech cut off by the orchestra. This person probably started making films when they were a kid. They worked hard to achieve this moment and then the orchestra cuts them off before can thank mom and dad? It's really quite rude. Get rid of some of the production numbers and the bantering that takes place between the presenters. It's not about them. It's about the artists and celebrating their achievements.

OK, now that I've got that off my chest, here are my predictions:

ACTOR, LEADING- Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler”
ACTOR, SUPPORTING- Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”
ACTRESS, LEADING- Kate Winslet in “The Reader”
ACTRESS, SUPPORTING- Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
ART DIRECTION- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
CINEMATOGRAPHY- “Slumdog Millionaire”
COSTUME DESIGN- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
DIRECTING- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
DOCUMENTARY SHORT- “The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306”
FILM EDITING- “Slumdog Millionaire”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM- “Waltz with Bashir”
MAKEUP- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
ORIGINAL SCORE- “Slumdog Millionaire”
ORIGINAL SONG- “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
SHORT FILM, LIVE ACTION- “Auf der Strecke (On the Line)”
VISUAL EFFECTS- “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

And finally,

BEST PICTURE- “Slumdog Millionaire”

Just a note, "Slumdog" is a tremendous movie but was my second favorite this year behind "Doubt". I loved the dialogue in that movie, but it shows what I know.

You can download your own ballot here

Tune in and see how wrong I am.

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Want to Know Where All the ARRA Money is Going?

Posted by Randy David Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:28 AM 0 comments

Image via Wikipedia
You can disagree all you want with the details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. But let me ask you this question: Do you really know what the details are?

Now, there's no excuse NOT to know, thanks to the President Obama and his administration. If you want to know where your dollars are going, just visit Recovery.org to find out. Want to read the entire bill, in all it's glorious 210 pages, for yourself? The link is provided.

This administration has really taken the "transparency" issue to heart. The hope is it will encourage people to look-up ACTUAL facts, rather than take what they hear on talk-radio or opinion shows as fact. This makes it very easy for us lazy citizens to do so. And think about this: it's a great way for Obama to keep either party from trying to tack on pet projects.

Unlike the first phase of TARP at least we will know where the money went. Check back frequently and watch the dollars flow.
Dollars Down the Drain
Hey, it might be going down the drain, but we'll be able to wave at it.

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Sad HBO Documentary

Posted by Randy David Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:42 PM 0 comments
Have you ever watched "The Office" and had that fingernails-down-a-blackboard shudder as Michael Scott announces another inappropriate and remarkably misguided idea? Well, I got it while watching real "Americans" in Right America, Feeling Wronged- Some Voices From the Campaign Trail on HBO Monday night. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or just feel disgusted at some of the people that Alexandra Pelosi uncovered.

I realize that some of you may have a knee-jerk reaction to the daughter of Nancy Pelosi doing a documentary on the McCain campaign. Let me just point out that this is not her first documentary. In the others I have seen ("Diary of a Political Tourist" and "Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi") she gives people who feel their voices aren't being heard, a chance to speak their mind. Despite that fact, because of her name, she was spit on and harassed at many of the events she covered. She is quick to point out that she was also thanked at many of the events. Many recognized her effort to give voice to people who feel they weren't being given fair coverage by the "liberal media"; a term that clearly covers everyone with a press pass that doesn't say "Fox News" on it.

In one scene, a McCain supporter pleads with the rest of America to vote for someone who's more "like us". The supporter goes on to point out that anyone who was raised in Hawaii and attended Columbia and Havard Law School just won't understand the needs of everyday "folks". Like who? George Bush? His father? A movie star from California? A naval officer who attended Annapolis and married into so much wealth he doesn't know how many homes he owns? Yeah, they all have everyday concerns. When hiring someone to run my country, I look at the resume. The education counts for something. Just because someone proved their heroism as a POW, does not ALONE qualify them to run the country. It qualifies them for a medal. It qualifies them to have stadiums, streets and schools named after them and as far as I'm concerned they should never have to work a day in their lives again. It qualifies them for my gratitude. Admiration for John McCain oozes from every pore of my body, but some of the people who show up in this documentary are foolish. One truck driver said he would never vote for a (n-word) for president. Welcome to the twenty-first century, folks! These "folks" should be tried, convicted and sentenced to watch the video of their own statements in four years. I mean, really.

Now, there were a few reasonably intelligent people who expressed their views, as well. It was nice to hear from them. I understand their disappointment and frustration, having lived it myself for the last eight years. They are entitled to their opinion. I'm obliged to disagree.

Truly, though, they have nothing to worry about. It will take at least that long to undo one-tenth of the damage the last administration did.

I encourage you all to watch this film and make up your own mind. It's at least worth an innapropriate chuckle or two. You might even think of Michael Scott or Dwight Schrute.

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I Really Hate the University of Michigan. No really...

Posted by Randy David Friday, February 13, 2009 1:04 PM 0 comments

Image via Wikipedia
Since the latest hockey match-up between the UNO (University of Nebraska- Omaha) and the University of Michigan Weasels takes place this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to express my sentiments on this subject. Instead, though, I'm going to tell you a heartwarming, touching story about my step-daughter.

In 2006 on the last day of regular season, I took Paige, then 13 years old, to a Cardinals game. Since the Cardinals were in a playoff race, the stadium was packed to the rafters, which is where our seats were. They were good seats though, in the very last top row directly behind home plate. We were actually at the top of an aisle with no one seated directly in front of us. It was a fairly hot day but we were in the shade with a nice breeze blowing from the open area right behind us. We got settled in.

After some discussion about the starting line-ups and the current standings, the game got underway and our focus turned to that. The Cardinals fell behind early, but the Braves were beating Houston. Everyone was keeping an eye on the scoreboard because a Braves win would put the Cards in the playoffs. Paige wasn't saying much at all. I thought it was pretty cool that she was so into the game and the atmosphere of a pennant chase.

Without a warning, this quiet, focused teenager bellows out in her best Boston accent, "Yankees SUCK!" loud enough to damage most eardrums within a 60 foot radius. As the entire section turns to look up at us, I see a college-aged boy about 10 rows down from us wearing a Yankees t-shirt and making his way back to his seat with some suds. As the entire section started to figure out that the line had been shouted by this heretofore unheard-from little girl they all started laughing, even the kid in the shirt.

After the laughter settled down, I turned to Paige and discreetly explained to her that I didn't think it was appropriate for her to use the word "sucks" that way in a public place, adding "unless, of course it's preceded by the word Yankees"! She smiled at me.

After about fifteen seconds, she looked at me and and asked, "Or Michigan, right?"

My heart melted and I gave her a big hug. Sometimes it's really rewarding to be a parent.

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I'm Ready for My Minority Status

Posted by Randy David Monday, February 09, 2009 9:06 AM 0 comments
OK, ladies, let's hear it: "Men! Who needs 'em?" According to the bureau of labor statistics, apparently not the workforce. Included is a link to NY Times article published on February 5, 2009. In it, author Catherine Rampell points that women were already on the path toward reaching a tipping point in percentage of the workforce. In November, by one measure, women held 49.1 percent of the nation's non-farm jobs. With more and more layoffs happening in the mostly male dominated industries of manufacturing and construction. The job losses are currently 82% male. Wow!

The truly interesting shift may be cultural. Slowly, over the last decade or two, it has become fully acceptable for the woman to be the breadwinner in a family. I don't mind saying it happens to be the case in my family. With the job losses occurring in some of the more male-centric industries, perhaps it will open the eyes of some of the more culturally conservative segments of our society. I'm actually quite proud of my wife's success and am more than grateful that she has such a terrific career.

So all I can say is, "You go girls!"

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