100 Words on Colassal

Anne Hathaway and Jason Sedekeis take on an interesting mash-up of film styles with “Colassal” — an apt title in many ways. What starts off as the break-up section of a rom-com quickly morphs through a “can’t go home again” stage to an “Iron Giant” light comedy before doing a simultaneous plunge into dark comedy and darker drama concerned with mass destruction, relationship abuse, and a hero’s rise, all with an indie feel.

Pretty impressive.

And like some indies, a moment or two are a slightly off, but overall, this outrageously far fetched premise works better than you might expect. 


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A Few Short Words: Did Lady Gaga Move America Toward a Serious Third Party?

I’ve held this post for a week thinking I may be suffering from incurable Washingtonitis, but … 

Did Lady Gaga actually role model the foundational concept for a new political party during the opening of her Super Bowl performance? 

Hear me out before you claim that yes I have, in fact, had a politics-induced breakdown. 

Gaga opened metaphorically on top of America’s passion, sang a calmly gorgeous mash-up of positivity: “America the Beautiful”, Woody Guthrie’s subtle protest song “This Land is Your Land” and then recited an excerpt from the embattled “Pledge of Allegiance” simply stating, “One nation. Under God. Indivisible. With liberty and justice … For all.” 

She did this in front of patriotically lit drones (we mostly use drones for war) invoking our flag, and then leapt into the heart of Americana … all while wearing purple, the color that results from a true blend of red, white, and blue.

The Gaga then went on to both sing of LBGTQ rights and say hello to Mom and Dad.

And for the past week I have been thinking that, in a very real way, she may be the answer to the question, “What ultimately emerges from all these protests and marches and calls to elected officials?”

Perhaps this entire, historic movement is the birth of a new party, a Purple Party, one that actively recruits and supports centrist Democrats and Republicans who demonstrably and reasonably discuss and support “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice … For all.” 

Perhaps we are seeing the birth of a party which shuns politicians who subsist on smear campaigns and fear mongering, who instead embrace realistic, reasonable progress of the glorious tapestry that is America. 

Maybe we are seeing the formation of a party which runs a blended ticket of those who were Democrats and Republicans but now opt to be Reasonables, a party that supports only those politicians and businesses who promote down-the-middle, reasonable American ideals. 

And Gaga may have given that party its foundational philosophy. 

Is this where this New American Revolution is heading? I don’t know, but the marches and protests in front of the homes of elected officials from both parties, and The Gaga American Prayer… all of that gives me hope.

Whatever the answer, I remain awed that we live in such a great country. Right here, right now. No matter what others say.

Let’s move forward.

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100 Words: On Five Ways to Cope With the Trump Tsunami

It has been a fast paced few days since Trump took office. Many feel an unease unparalleled in our lives.

More people are posting about stress, depression, and/or anxiety.

So how do we cope? Here are a few ideas:

1) Don’t OD on News- hours of watching changes nothing.

2) Choose your issues- focusing on one or two is more efficient

3) Call your legislators, often- it makes a bigger impact than email

4) Pursue other passions- geek out on what you love; it helps balance you

5) eat, sleep, move- your health is your first defense

Above all, remember you are not alone.

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One Hundred Words on Endangering Our Troops

Just a few days in, the President’s accomplishments are piling up, for better or worse depending on your politics. However, one lingers as a troubling issue most Americans should agree needs attention. 32

On Saturday, before the hallowed Wall of the Fallen at CIA headquarters, Trump said this about the War in Iraq: “I always used to say, ‘Keep the oil’… maybe you will have another chance.” 66

Keeping the oil would have be a war crime. Worse, saying that we might keep it “next time” endangers troops currently in oil producing countries right now.

Our troops deserve better from their Commander-in-Chief.

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One hundred words on Presidential Trump

I am challenging myself to see a path to ending this second civil war we have been waging, wherein Republicans hate Democrats, Democrats loathe Republicans, and both sides refuse to hear anything the other side says.

So, after yesterday’s wondrous worldwide women’s march, this happened:

Is this a tiny moment dwarfed by more alarming statements? Sure it is. Did we expect this from him? Nope. Is it a presidential moment? Yes it is. Should we encourage him to be reasonable more often? We should.

So, bravo. Let’s see this as the start of something.

It is possible? I hope so.

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So the Circus Came to Town … And It’s Gonna Stay

Welcome to the New America, sometimes referred to as Making America Great Again, other times as #NightmareAmerica. Whatever it is, Ringling Brothers has got nothin’ on this.

On Tuesday night eloquence took a curtain call and on Wednesday the circus tent went up. Big top. Three rings. The show was large on spectacle and slight of hand, and it was scary as hell.

In left ring we had Buzzfeed and Its Amazing Unverified Documents, casting aspersions and golden showers confirmed by no one at all. The Buzzfeed justification argued that the reports have been floating around so long even Harry Reid mentioned it, so the public has a right to know, but know … what? That a set of possibilities with no more substance than idle rumors was making the rounds in DC? When has that not been the case? Remember LBJ ordering his guy to spread the rumor that his opponent had sex with dogs? LBJ’s guy said, “Sir, we can’t say that, it’s not true!” And LBJ said, “Of course it’s not! I just want to see that sombitch deny it.” The more things change….

A wise and excellent friend said today that none of the golden shower rumors need to be true because as soon as the image is in our head, mission accomplished. Hooray for cannibal politics. He’s right, and that ritual dance of shame has led us to our current default setting, where we are continuously at each other’s throats, tearing into opposing views with all the unrelenting, thoughtless ferocity of a Walking Dead horde, all while the polar ice caps melt and animals key to our global ecosystem go extinct. 

However, in the long game Buzzfeed may have done the media a favor. So many news organizations demonstrated the professional restraint expected of the Fourth Estate because overwhelmingly, they didn’t publish unconfirmed information. One minor ray of sunshine was that Trump stopped attacking the media long enough to acknowledge as much. Whether this leads to a better relationship between the media and the President-elect is less likely than winning Lotto.

Meanwhile, over in the left ring, we have not one, not two, but three cabinet confirmation hearings going on at once. Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain, it is just Mitch McConnell, King of hypocrisy, rushing through confirmation hearings before paper work or background checks are even completed, in direct opposition to his own demands just eight years ago. Corey Booker and Marco Rubio  either asked hard questions or positioned themselves for their next  election, depending on who was watching, but ultimately, this immensely important process was overshadowed by the Main Event in the center ring. 

Mitchell has also announced that America needs and wants a Supreme Court justice appointment, after delaying one for a year. The sheer arrogant belief that America will not puke in disgust is impressive And again, overshadowed by the center ring.

And in that center ring, the Master of Ceremonies, with a table full of documents reportedly setting up some kind of trust that, according to ethics experts, will absolutely not absolve the president-elect of violating federal law so severely he’ll be eligible for arrest as soon as he takes the oath of office. And nowhere among all the files and allegedly signed documents was the one document much of America has clamored for – his tax returns. Trump said no to releasing any of that, and said he could legally run his business and the Oval Office simultaneously, and proudly claimed he turned down a two billion dollar deal because it wouldn’t look good, and announced any profits from foreign parties will go to the U.S. treasury. Whew, what a day!

And all of that just served as a warmup for DJT mocking and combating with the press, acknowledging that Russia “probably did it” and calling the U.S intelligence community Nazis. (Intelligence has only been dissed like that twice previously that I know of, by Kennedy and Nixon – enough said.)

And while the circus distracted with shiny objects and explosive phrases and mock battles and pronouncements on everything, Congress worked through the night to begin dismantling ACA, alias Obamacare, without a publicly shown plan available to replace it. Millions of Americans, conceivably including many who voted for this leadership, will soon be significantly worse off… Unless a surprise pops out of a top hat no one has seen as yet.

And this is only the beginning, folks. The Big Top is been set in stone, the acts are signed to a multi-year residency, and we’re settling in with our popcorn and Twitter feeds. 

It is gonna be a Hell of a show….

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Are Trolls a Pisser or the End of Social Media?

Remember when you were in elementary school and there were those guys who loved making fart sounds with their armpits? That was so funny, for awhile. Then it got tired and a lot of those guys moved on. But there was always this one guy who stuck with it, forcing it on us in high school hallways, hanging on to it at college frat parties, his audience growing smaller and smaller until people just vacated wherever he was.

It seems to me that social media trolls are getting like that, and if the alleged “Russian blackmail video of Trump enjoying golden showers” thing turns out to be just an outsized trolling incident, we may get to that point online.

Think about it; is Facebook anywhere near as fun as it used to be? How about Twitter? When asshats feel empowered to flex their lame sixth grade mysoginist tendencies or redneck racist anger or blind allegiance to elected officials actively working against their own best interests, who in their right minds want to be there?

But the tide may be turning.

I recently witnessed a jerk troll a witty woman on Twitter and then get absolutely buried by her followers, relentlessly talking truth to his lies.

And I got to see a Trumpian celebrating the oncoming demise of Obamacare discover that his ACA insurance WAS Obamacare.

And today, press coverage of the Russian reports or trolling was reported, mostly, with caution and restraint (the jokes online, however…)

Are we coming to a turning point when we are just finished with trolls and fake news? Are we ready to actively and aggressively reject trolls and trolling? 

I hope so.

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