I am a registered Democrat. That said, I have been, like so many people, disillusioned with the Democratic party. It used to stand for fair labor practices, civil and gender and racial equality, funding education, and progressive thought in general. Now what does it signify? The Democratic party is a muddled, message-less mess, which has only strengthened the Republican party. Republicans know what they’re about and what they want.
A Review of Lee Grant’s Memoir is my latest piece on the Huffington Post.
Here’s how I begin the article:
Of late, meaning the last few years, coming to myself in the dark woods in the middle of my life, I read autobiographies of interesting women. They are my guides as I navigate a way that is lost only because it isn’t found yet—because I haven’t lived it. I read to see how these courageous souls made their way through the emptinesses and fullnesses that punctuate our journeys as mothers, wives, and people invested in their own careers.
Here’s a little more:
Along the way, Grant seems to have seized every adventure offered to her, displaying a wanton appetite for life at odds with her sometimes crippling stage fright and insecurity over her age. I was intrigued by the dissonance and heartened by it. I’ve long held that perfectionism is a virulent form of self-hatred. Grant’s openness about her frailties demonstrates the bedrock of self love that must have enabled her to endure the cruel devastation of being blacklisted when many McCarthy victims didn’t survive.
Find the piece here, and please do “like” it!
I go to the gym almost every day. With 4 kids and some novels under construction and a screenplay slowly gearing up into pre-production (contemporary romantic comedy-drama, not IMMORTAL, which is also in pre-production), I don’t have a lot of time. Sometimes I get in a focused 30 minute run on the treadmill, which I can polish off in 44 minutes: 6 minutes to walk to the gym, 1 minute to show my ID, 7 minutes to walk back in sweaty spacey splendor. OK, two of my kids are at college, but still. Time is at a premium.
There are many problems facing this country right now. Here are my top 3 on the hit list for President Obama:
ELYSIUM with Matt Damon
I like science fiction. I write science fiction, so there you have it. This is my disclaimer, so the gentle reader knows going in that I am wildly biased in favor of good sci fi.
ELYSIUM is good sci fi. In fact, it’s quite good. B+ good.
Matt Damon is an inherently likable, imperfect hero who harbors shadows in his past. He’s on probation. Right away we see him as a child, being tender with a lovely girl his own age. And then we see him as a tattooed man, getting creamed by a grotesquely unfair system.
Did I mention how hot Damon is? I’m biased that way, too, because he reminds me of a hot guy I dated in college. There weren’t a lot of those, so I tend to prize them.
The movie was fast-paced and visually interesting. It didn’t break new ground but it did tightly hold my attention. The characters were well drawn–Jodie Foster was an excellent evil rich protector–and the movie was well structured.
I have three rules for writing novels which I discuss openly: 1, story is how your protagonist does NOT get what he or she wants; 2, every story is an argument for a specific value; and 3, what are the stakes?
This movie sinuously answers all three of my rules. Matt Damon never gets all of what he wants. I don’t want to include a spoiler here, so I won’t say what that means. I will simply say that I admire the movie creators for not letting go of the story for a Hollywood ending. The value that is being argued for is an excellent one: the value of all human beings regardless of their net worth. And the stakes in the plot were always well defined.
I enjoyed this movie. I recommend it. It was a fun flick to see in the theater, and it would be an awesome rent at home.
I am on a spiritual quest. I am trying to understand the nature of life, to achieve communion with the divine, to better myself at every turn. I don’t always succeed in being the best person I can be, though I try. I am as prone to err and fail as anyone. But I have this goal. And along the way, I wrestle with the questions that come up, as an engaged and present human being, in daily life.