Singing And Standing

I didn’t watch the Oscars — I’m more interested in the awards than the ceremony — but I was moved nonetheless by Common’s and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, which I first read about and later watched.

This song, which was written by Lonnie Lynn and Diane Warren and nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, challenges listeners to have the courage of their convictions, and it appears in a movie about a young Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. For their Oscar performance, Common and Day created the spotlight design and contacted to join them on stage.  Continue reading “Singing And Standing”

Advice And Consent

Ivanka Trump, in a recent interview, claimed that she shouldn’t be asked whether she believes the women who have accused President Trump of sexual assault. Such a question, she asserted, is “pretty inappropriate,” and she has the “right” to believe her father.

Others have connected Ivanka Trump’s responses to her advocacy of women’s rights as a member of her father’s White House, as illustrated by Trump’s recent social media post about “women’s incredible contributions to our Nation” (sic). Nevertheless, she seems to be suggesting in this interview that her status as a daughter trumps her role as an adviser.  While she certainly can claim certain conditions of propriety and credibility as a daughter, she cannot dismiss her duties as a presidential adviser, especially given that she hasn’t been elected or otherwise endorsed by the people whose lives could be affected by her advice.  Continue reading “Advice And Consent”

Grumpy and Grumpier

I apparently am a member of Generation Grumpy, or those, at least in its original designation as Grumpy Middle, born between 1962 and 1971, and didn’t even know it.

Those of us between 45-54, according to the Chicago Tribune editorial writers, have had “a remarkable mix of boom and bust, pleasure and pain” throughout our adult lives, including multiple recessions (e.g., the 1980 and 1982 double recession) and crashes (e.g., the 1987 stock market collapse), as well as have experienced the effects of globalization and the internet. Moreover, our gains, such as record stock market growth, have been limited by lingering losses, such as years or weak economic and wage growth.

Continue reading “Grumpy and Grumpier”

Meaning and Means

I can understand, after seeing All The Money In The World, how Director Ridley Scott could reshoot the Kevin Spacey scenes, but I’m mixed after learning why and how.

This crime thriller movie, which is based upon John Pearson’s (1995) book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, narrates Getty’s refusal to pay the ransom demands of his grandson’s kidnappers in 1973. Getty relents in the move only after he is criticized by his employee Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), a former CIA operative, when his grandson’s severed ear is sent to a newspaper. Even so, Getty is only willing to pay the amount that he can claim as tax deductible, and he insists that his former daughter-in-law Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) must relinquish her custody rights of his grandchildren, whom he hardly knew.  Continue reading “Meaning and Means”