Love Actually IS All Around Us

December 7, 2013

loveactuallycover

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It’s that time again. The time of year when we dust off the old classic Christmas films and view them again as if for the first time. There is a reason for the season of classic Christmas movie watching, it makes us feel festive, it harkens (Harkens! Like in “Hark, the herald tribune rings, advertising wonderous things!) to an earlier time of Christmas joy and good cheer; peace on Earth, goodwill to bargain shoppers. They remind us of a time when Christmas made a special memory in our lives… or not. But still, Christmas movies are not about reality, they are about a FEELING. And what better feeling is there than love? Love your neighbor, love your family, love your church, love your political party (wait! separation of church and state nullifies that last one, sorry). So imagine my surprise when I got this message:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/12/-em-love-actually-em-is-the-least-romantic-film-of-all-time/282091/#disqus_thread

Now, you know, we are not talking rocket surgery here. Movies, especially Christmas movies, suspend belief in anything tangible and real as we know it. Christmas movies are meant to make us FEEL GOOD, not make us feel depressed. If we want to be depressed, we’ll watch the news or glance inside our checkbooks. Reality does not need to be part of our Christmas movie watching because, well, let’s face it, Christmas is not about reality. Christmas is about the hope of something better though not yet realized. It is no different than the hope of some political figure making the world a better place with no actual ways or means to go about it. But still we hope and continue to do so each time we vote. Hope sells us on an idea and as long as we never run out of hope, people like Rob Ford will lead us. But let’s get back to the non-reality of the movie, Love Actually.

Love Actually is not a movie that promises to do anything but make us believe that love actually is all around us. How we find it varies from person to person and each situation is different, but it is love and only love that holds the human race together. Christmas reminds us of that, even though it has been diluted to mean nothing more than finding bargains on Black Friday after giving thanks for what we have the day before. That doesn’t diminish the impact that the Christmas message has if a person cares to take a look. Love Actually takes several different accounts and ties them all together under one theme and that is, No matter who you are or where you end up, love makes the difference and circumstances being what they are it is best not to fight it, analyze it or try to explain it. When you have love, give love or are IN love, the world is a better place. No one will argue with the fact that we need more love in the world.

So I defend the movie, Love Actually AS a romantic, Christmas comedy. The movie I saw said that in spite of all the sadness in the world, the mishaps, disappointments and unpredictability of life… Love Actually is all around us. Granted there are things in this movie that are not put in there to cheer for, in the end the lesson is All You Need is Love. It isn’t a reality flick, though the situations can be very real. It is a message for all of us, admonishing us to have faith, hope and to endure. Love Actually is a Frank Capra film for the new millennium… It’s a Wonderful Life retold and reaffirmed.

Enjoy it!

This is Justice?

June 8, 2013

I’ve been reading a lot of cases on the Internet lately, but this one has got to make you think that justice is truly blind.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52137989

A woman, Christine Padilla, runs a red light killing a pedestrian and seriously injuring a child. Her defense? Being “sleep deprived”. Because the judge deems her “remorseful” he sentences her to two days in jail. Did the fact that the driver was an attorney weigh on the outcome of this trial? 48 hours for a killing certainly re-enforces the idea that “life is cheap”. When there are cases of people shoplifting and spending more time in jail than this person, you have to question the capability of this judge.

There is no doubt that Christine Padilla is indeed sorry and that it was an accident, but what message does this case send? Is there no accountability for our actions? If you are “sleep deprived”, should you be driving a vehicle that can kill and/or severely injure pedestrians? I would think no more than a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol should be driving and yet her defense satisfied the judge in this case. Mrs. Padilla is young, attractive, well educated, financially stable and a mother. One has to wonder if it were an old, ugly, illiterate, dirt poor farmer, would his being “remorseful” carried the same clout? The loss has to be accounted for, or does it?

With this kind of “justice” making headlines, is it any wonder that criminals are becoming more brazen in committing their crimes?

I didn’t think so.

The Perils of Beauty’s Burden

May 26, 2013

I’ve never been told I am too attractive to work, but one woman in the UK says she is. This is nothing new. Several years ago a woman claimed she was fired from her $70,000 a year job because she was “too sexy”. (See: I’m Too Hot for this Blog, June, 2010) Recently, a woman in Iowa was dismissed after 10 years of service because she was “a distraction” to her boss. Another thought her boss fired her because her breasts were “too large” and inappropriate in a lingerie store. (?) Can a person be too attractive to work?

UK writer Samantha Brick thought so. She lamented that throughout her professional career men kept buying her drinks and sending her flowers because she was so stunningly gorgeous. She started to feel the natural attractiveness she was burdened with became an obstacle. Samantha lamented and languished her plight; her good looks stood between normal relationships with men and women. The attention and jealousy was apparently caused by her being “too beautiful”. But it didn’t keep her from being employed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html

Dental assistant Melissa Nelson worked in the same office for ten years. She was married with children and had a great working relationship with her boss, co-workers and the clientele of the clinic. But after her employer’s wife discovered e-mails between Melissa and Dr. James Knight that she felt were inappropriate, Melissa was canned (though nothing of a sexual nature was even hinted at). Dr. Knight declared Melissa was a “distraction” and because she was so attractive, he had to fire her to preserve his marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court agreed. Melissa wanted to work but was denied the privilege because of her appearance.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/melissa-nelson-dental-assistant-fired-for-being-irresistible-is-devastated/

Recently Laura Fernee has come forth to declare that the reason she has been unemployed for the last two years is because of her beauty. The 33 year old woman, who declares “she is not a bimbo”, lives in an apartment paid for by her parents and is writing a book that she hopes will shed more light on this increasingly perplexing problem in our society. Beautiful people can’t work with commoners!

Here is an excerpt of her logic:

After discussing how she felt with her -wealthy retired -parents Catherine, 65, and Alan, 70, Laura quit and, apart from occasional modelling, has not worked since. Her mum and dad, who inherited -money from Laura’s grandfather, pay £2,000 rent and bills for her flat in -Notting Hill, London, and pick up her credit card bills.
During the day she works out at her £80-a-month gym to maintain her size six figure and spends £1,500 a month on -designer clothes, shoes and handbags, plus £700 a month on blow dries.
In the evenings she eats out with friends or her boyfriend, spending £1,000 a month on socialising.
Laura, who earned around £30,000 when she worked, also loves to travel, saying: “I’ve visited Tokyo, New York, Paris and Germany in the past 12 months. I’ve spent more than £6,000.”
She adds: “I know people will judge me for choosing not to work but they are underestimating just what a curse good looks can be in the workplace.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/im-pretty-work-graduate-says-1897010

We all need understanding parents like Laura’s, don’t we?

http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/london-woman-laura-fernee-says-shes-too-attractive-to-work/story-e6frfm9r-1226647294922

Have we become so enamored with beauty that the work force grinds to a halt when an attractive person passes by? Are the beautiful people to be pitied, perched high upon the popularity pedestal? Or does an employer have the right to say, “Your appearance is not conducive to a good working environment” ? There are all kinds of distractions in the workplace and employers who want peak productivity have to be aware of them.

When Debrahlee Lorenzana went for several breast enhancement procedures, she declared she wanted to attract a wealthy husband by being “tits on a stick”. Her goal was to appear like a Playboy Playmate. After accomplishing this, she decries the attention she was receiving and her subsequent firing as “unfair”?

But sometimes the courts see it differently, as in this case:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1213397/Prison-guard-forced-job-sexy-wins-unfair-dismissal-case.html

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Apparently not your average working class, which John Lennon always declared he was.

It is something to be… and be proud of, no matter how great you think you look.
~
Peace.

Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Rich

May 25, 2013

Cabin
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Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers”, he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20″. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!” “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

http://music.msn.com/michael-jackson-the-wrap-pt2/story/feature/?gt1=28102

After the Boston Marathon Massacre

April 15, 2013

Today is April 15th. 4-15-13. Like every American, I am very angry and frustrated. The news is out all over the various media outlets about the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Images flash across the screen reminding us of another tragic event on 911. When will this stop?

 

I watch and hear things that we seem to pre-occupy ourselves with. Stupid things, worthless, tedious, idiotic drivel that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans while conspirators seek to wreck havoc on our way of life. We seem oblivious to it because we are so caught up in the mundane pursuits of vice, profit, self-delusion and self-indulgence. Until we rid ourselves of these elements that threaten us, there can be no peace. Until we hold different governments accountable, there can be no security. Until we say, “If you so much as threaten us, we will respond with force.”

 

In today’s world, we cannot afford to take any threat lightly. We cannot resolve issues with rhetoric. We cannot ignore the fact that a threat is as good as a promise. It continues to be the case over and over again. Diplomacy is great for those who will reason. Some will not be reasoned with. They are blinded by hate, intoxicated with ambition and emboldened by our government’s failure to respond with force. We try to be patient, understanding and all encompassing with our compassion. They view us as weak, stupid and naive. Our enemies don’t want to change. They want to wipe us out.

Our we doing enough? When a leader feels comfortable and seemingly untouchable in their own back yard to freely make threats, we need to show them that we can reach them, we can flick their very eyeball. Fear is what they need to learn. Fear and accountability. Fear is what they preach, fear is what they resort to, fear is what they should be feeling right now, not impunity.

 

It is reported that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the early days of World War Two, Japanese Admiral  Isoroku Yamamoto uttered these now famous words,

 

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

Where is that giant now?

Boston, Massachusetts has the history of the American Revolution. It has contained the symbol of the American resolve to overthrow tyranny and fosters the independent spirit of freedom. No government, organization, faction, movement, coalition, brotherhood, clubhouse, gang or form of thuggery of any type should be allowed to tread on that memory, on that great history of the United States of America… without consequences.

The Song That Rallied a Nation, Won the War, Changed My Politics and Got Me the Girl

January 29, 2013

5F3A (2)

December, 1941. French Morocco is infiltrated by Nazi Germany. It is also the last outpost for passage to America and freedom for European refugees. The Germans are met with bitter resignation by the people who long to be released from an oppressive yoke. In a night club owned by a cynical American, Rick Blaine (who “sticks his neck out for nobody”), German officers with beer steins swinging, triumphantly sing their national anthem to a full but emotionally subdued house. Then underground leader, Victor Laszlo, approaches the band demanding that they play La Marseillaise. The band members look to Rick, who silently nods his approval (and in a defining moment sheds his passive non-involvement) and they begin to play. Laszlo starts to sing alone at first, but others join in. Soon their patriotism drowns out the Germans. At song’s end, the house is crowded with cheering patrons. This scene never fails to put a lump in my throat or bring a tear to my eye.

Most of these actors/extras were real life refugees from an dictatorial regime that had spread terror throughout Europe. When singing La Marseillaise, they were not acting. They sung with conviction, determination and hope. The viewer can feel the emotion. The first time I saw it, my life changed. No longer apathetic, I saw the pivotal role America played in the hope of other nations, both then and now. Though oppression still exists in various forms…

It is said this film did more for the Allied war effort than any other piece of propaganda. American audiences saw what fascist maltreatment looked and felt like. If our efforts had been lackluster before, they gained momentum after the release of Casablanca. By the end of 1943, the war had reached a turning point in favor of the Allies. Casablanca won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Years later I would meet and marry my French-Canadian sweetheart, relocating to Ontario. Ironically, I am now an American outside of my own country with a French-speaking wife, who is of a minority here. Occasionally resentment and prejudice rears its ugly head, but La Marseillaise raised an undaunted spirit in me that we both gladly share.

I found that love, like freedom, knows no boundary. Hope lifts the downhearted and is contagious. Justice, honor, morality and heritage are things that need preserving, even in Canada.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see
the complete report.
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~

Thanks to all those who visited AMRFP in 2012. I make a resolution to be more active in 2013. Happy New Year and stay tuned, there is more to come!

Check me out here as well: http://voices.yahoo.com/ordinary-sightings-celebrity-people-11955689.html?cat=2

Best “What the Hell in the NFL?” Moment in 2012

December 9, 2012

Check this out and see if you don’t agree:

http://voices.yahoo.com/best-hell-nfl-moment-2012-11929161.html

and let me know what you think… ;)

Bogie and the Cherry Tree (An American Apology)

October 19, 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve GOT to be kidding, right?

July 23, 2012

http://now.msn.com/entertainment/0623-joy-division.aspx?_p=2fff4d39-1b7e-462e-99d9-5b17701a59af&_nwpt=1

I read this, I heard this, I laughed at the absurdity of this.

Best of lists will come and go. This song should have never been a contender.

Meanwhile… check this out:

http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=744479&_p=9d4c26ac-e454-462c-844d-ea80a05ee698&_nwpt=1&_shr=0

Explains a lot, don’t you think?

Oh, and read the comments. AMRFP is there.  ;)


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