The Beguiled was Be Damned…

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The coach put me on the bench because I’m batting double OO with movies, the last string of films I viewed…All Eyez on Me, Transformers:The Last Knight and 40 Meters Down, were side-eye inducing without a doubt. But this weekend I saw the new Sofia Coppola film “The Beguiled“, which is based on the 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. Before I go all IN on the film, here’s a little tidbit about Coppola. She just won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and is only the 2nd woman in Cannes history to win in that category. Let that sink in for a minute. Now getting back to this film. Out of the gate, the pacing was extremely slow. So much so, that I actually started looking for which exit I could get to the quickest. But I’m a trooper, so I hung in there.

None of the characters were fleshed out, especially Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman’s caricatures of repressed southern belles. By the way, Kidman, Dunst, Elle Fanning and one other character in this meandering nonsensical film, kept losing their southern accents. I could have understood better if this were their first film (nervousness and all), but Kidman is an Oscar winner, Dunst and Fanning have over the years, gotten critical acclaim for their acting. They simply phoned in their performances and looked as if they couldn’t have cared any less if they tried. Now let’s get to Colin Farrell.

His once promising career really hit an all-time low with this schlock. He hardly had any dialogue and the dialogue he had, was comical and it wasn’t supposed to be. THAT’S how bad this film is. His best scenes were off-screen after Kidman’s character amputated his leg and he found out. Why Coppola chose for the audience to hear his tirade instead of seeing it, was puzzling to say the least. That probably would have been great to see because Farrell is a good actor and he does a lot of his best work when he’s in meltdown on-screen.

Coppola’s choices with how she shot this film left me and I’m sure so many others who’ve already seen it, wondering WHY? But here’s one choice she made I’m in full support of…the choice to NOT put the female slave character in this film that was in the book. The Black actress who would have been cast, dodged a bullet thank goodness. No one needs this incarnation of The Beguiled on their acting resume. The long and short of it is basically…The Beguiled didn’t make any sense at all. It was a story without any substance or direction. How Coppola won in Cannes in the Best Director’s category for THIS film is another mystery. To say The Beguiled wasn’t her best work is an understatement, and it also begs to question the legitimacy of her winning that award.

Coppola has done tons of applause worthy work such as Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, did the judges in Cannes see the same film as the rest of us? Did they get their eyes dilated that day and couldn’t really see the banality of this film….what happened? As one critic noted about the film “it was so unnecessary” and no truer words could EVER be said about this film. This was a good idea gone horribly wrong and Coppola, the writers who helped her create this puerile piece of tripe and the actors, had no clue how to make this film compelling enough to where it would hold your attention and the audience would become emotionally invested. Instead, it had the audience holding their breath counting the minutes until the agony was over.

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Russia DOES Matter…You’d Better Understand Why

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I’ve seen countless interviews with Trump supporters, and even when confronted with his abundance of lies, blame-gaming, FACTS and treating the presidency as a reality TV show, they’re still 1000% in his corner. Unfortunately, we all must chalk them up to a mystifying loss; not worth wasting additional time, energy and brain cells on…they’re heading toward the cliff, so at this point, we should mercifully allow them to take the plunge.

I’ve also encountered those saying that while we’re focused on the Senate Intel Hearings and Russia, the Republicans (our real-life Sith Lords) are in stealth mode, drawing up a newer, more deadly plan for their Death Star of a Healthcare Bill. YES, I firmly agree that we need to keep our eyes on what they’re doing because whatever it is, it won’t bode well for the American people. NOTHING Republicans in this modern era, ever does.

But to insinuate that the intelligent among us can’t multitask, is insulting. Most of us know exactly what we need to do to keep the pressure on the Senate, House and this administration. However, RUSSIA is an immediate, dangerous threat, and this should scare and alarm the HELL out of people. They were able to breach our security grid to the extent that it probably affected our 2016 election and severely damaged our Democratic process. Without Democracy and the rules of law and order, the US would be reduced to being a combination 3rd world autocracy and kleptocracy.

What the American people need to desperately and IMMEDIATELY understand, is if a foreign government got this far within our once thought-to-be impenetrable system, especially a government that is and will more than likely always be, an enemy of the United States, they will continue to attempt to breach our security until they eventually find a way to succeed. If the worst case scenario happens, it will shut this country completely down and life as we know it will cease to exist. That is not alarmist thinking, it’s a very real possibility.

These “hackers” aren’t some disaffected youths sitting in their bedrooms, breaking into random systems just because they’re smart enough to do so. These operatives are a network of well-trained, well-educated intelligence and IT professionals, whose only job is to infiltrate and take-over every system in their target countries, and the “big fish in the pond is the US”. Mull that over for a second.

Russia has been interfering in government elections all over the globe, and being that the US is considered their equal in military might and intelligence, what better coup could Putin have than bringing this country to its knees? If his operatives are successful, they could shut down all of our communication and financial systems. Then turn their attention to aviation, utilities, government installations, intelligence and military operations…there are endless possibilities of what kind of havoc they could wreck, that will have far-reaching ramifications and repercussions not just for us, but globally. As the US goes, so does the rest of the world.

Hijacking our elections and healthcare would be way down on the food chain with what the people in the US would have to deal with in this apocalyptic scenario. NO, it does not sit well with me that 23 million people would lose their insurance and the disabled, seniors, veterans, women and those with preexisting conditions, would be negatively impacted by this inhumane and insidious Healthcare Bill. BUT, we are living in dangerous times and just as Angela Merkel said “Europe can no longer completely depend on the US”, and it is an absolute certainty that the American people CANNOT depend on this current administration to do what’s right for this country as it pertains to Russia or for that matter, anything else. We can’t even depend on our president to tell the truth. That is a testimony on just how far this country has fallen into the abyss.

I wish there were some gigantic mirror that could be held up so that each and every American could look at themselves and really see who it is we’ve become. There was a time not too long ago, that if 1/16th of what is happening in this country now had occurred then, the American people would clean house. If there was any hint that a foreign government and Russia being that government, breached our security and American politicians were perhaps involved in treason, collusion and obstruction of justice, the American people would be demanding, not asking, but DEMANDING either an investigation or swift and decisive action. Now we have heads buried in the sand, an abundance of excuses, rampant ignorance, blind loyalty and some segments of our society almost cheering for Putin. No words for that last one.

What happened America? You swore for decades you were better than this, only to find out that you actually weren’t.

Humankind Lost?

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We can no longer be sure who the heroes and villains are because they appear to inhabit the same space; coexisting as one entity to serve each other for personal gain and benefit. If good and evil have morphed into one, then what does that say about the future of humankind?

We’ve become a terminally destructive people who refuses to learn from past mistakes. We’re in a perpetual state of disruptive chaos and it appears that humankind is at its happiest when it devours the weak, destroys the helpless and decimates the human spirit. Why?

Are we simply genetically predisposed for mayhem or have we fallen victim to the constant indoctrination that tells us only the richest, strongest and most malevolent are fit to lead, because being kind and decent gets you nowhere? Has this way of thinking propelled humankind to create and lurch from one crisis or act of savage barbarity to another, in order for us to get some sick satisfaction with flexing our muscles and proceeding to destroy everything and everyone in our path?

It’s become abundantly clear that human beings apparently have no working on and off switch.  We don’t know how to maintain happiness, peace, calm and prosperity for very long. We say we want egalitarianism, yet our actions say otherwise. We say we hate war, yet will use any excuse to start one. We’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, that we want to save the planet, help the sick, the poor, the infirmed, the homeless, children and animals, but only if it’s convenient and we can benefit from our pseudo-humanitarianism and bourgeois charitable endeavors.

We look at good people either as those to fear, feel sorry for or take advantage of. We worship at the temple of money and excess, yet vilify the wealthy. We say we hate big government, yet we need everything that the government has to offer. We drone on and on about electing politicians that truly represent the people, but many will dismiss those who actually do and elect the ones who will do the most damage. We value our freedoms, yet will dictate to others about their personal choices and decisions.

So my question is quite simple: WHO ARE WE REALLY?

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I’m BAAAACK!!

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I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

A Case Study: The I’m’s…..

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You know who they are — we work with them, we may live with them, we’re friends with them, they’re disbursed throughout our families, we pass them in cars and on the street everyday. Those familiar people who, for lack of a better word, are assholes who think the world revolves around THEM. They are what I comically call “The I’m’s“.

They can call or text early in the morning, late at night, at work, in the store, in the gym, in the car….anywhere at anytime when they need YOUR help. They sound the alarm and expect you to come running and, like the sucker you are, you answer the call to action. They will walk through a burning fire, scale the highest mountain, swim in the deepest ocean, fight the most abominable traffic, hop a flight, take a cab, get on the bus, walk, take the subway, go out into the hottest weather or the coldest blizzard to get to you when THEY need something.

But here is when they earn their title. You may be someone who rarely asks for favors and try to handle your life like a BOSS. But the second you ask one of these “I’m’s” for the teeniest, tiniest of favors, here it comes, wait for it…I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m too sleepy, I’m too hungry, I’m too hot, I’m too cold, I’m too exhausted (to drive), I’m not in your neighborhood, I’m stuck on the freeway and it’s too far out of my way, I’m working late, I’m digging a tunnel to China, I’m feeding the cat/dog, I’m washing my car, I’m picking my nose, I’m plucking my eyebrows, I’m scratching my butt (it may take a while), I’m involved with family commitments (family is never an issue for these people until it involves helping you, that’s their excuse), I’m inventing the cure for whatever illness I can think of that will get me out of assisting you, I’m too broke to drive because I need to conserve my gas so I can get to work, though they forgot their lie and posted numerous pictures on Facebook and Instagram of them out at a swanky restaurant or party, bragging about how much fun they had. This list could literally go on forever. But I think you get the point.

The I’m’s are basically narcissists with a little bit of passive/aggressiveness and egomania thrown in for good measure. Usually they’re innocuous and they’re not particularly bad people. But they are draining and infuriating. They have no idea that their actions affect their relationships with people in their personal, as well as their professional lives. They only see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and everything else is white noise. They can pick other people apart at the seams, but when they’re called on their bullshit, they become extremely defensive, then try to flip the script and blame the issue on YOU. It’s Psych 101…..a classic move if there ever was one.

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So it brings me to this little sage piece of advice: if they’re in your life, you must make a decision if they’re worth the frustration, headaches and hurt feelings you’ll have dealing with them. Can you accept the mind-numbing fact that they are who they are and they won’t change. Or do you jump ship, swim as fast as you can to the shore, get to a safe haven, shower, change your clothes and catch the first thing smokin’ as far away from them as you can get. The choice is yours. I have some decisions to make of my own and it may be painful but I know what I need to do to preserve my sanity. You see, I’m not your garden variety woman, I have 1-800-FUCK-YOU on speed dial. I have very few problems with doing a surgical incision on relationships that are more of a liability than an asset. That’s just who I am.

So until next time, have a great weekend and I will keep everyone posted on my Winter cleaning. 🙂 Peace!

Where Does the Madness End? Do We Start Cutting Away Our Body Parts Out of Fear?

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First of all, what I’m about to say is not any sort of anti-Angelina Jolie diatribe, don’t know the woman personally. Nor is it a biting, hard-hitting treatise on celebrity worship by society and the media. There are elements in the blog, but they’re there to make a point about common sense and allowing fear to get the best of you. So here we go….

I have definite opinions on what Angelina Jolie decided to do about the fact that she found out she was at a high risk of contracting breast as well as ovarian cancer. Though I’m not quite in agreement with the choices she made, I absolutely feel she had the right to do what she thought was best for her and her family. That being said, what is more troubling is the idea that we can somehow get these genetic tests, consult with doctors, have the surgeries (provided you can afford the entire process, including reconstruction) and all will be well in your life forever. Somehow, you’ve become cancer-proof.

WRONG! Angelina Jolie has the means to consult with the best doctors in the world. She can take off from her acting, recuperate and then get breast reconstruction. But what people fail to realize is that reconstruction is considered by most insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure and they are hard-pressed to pay for it. Then there’s the invincibility factor–have the surgery and you’ll never have to worry about cancer again. Never-mind that there are many other forms of cancer you can still be diagnosed with. And some, you may not have a family history of.

This sets many women up to have a false sense of security. And where does it end? Melissa Etheridge, who is a breast cancer survivor said on People.com and The Huffington Post that she felt (and I’m paraphrasing) Angelina’s decision was made in fear. She also felt that maybe she should have just waited for a while because she doesn’t have cancer. Innocent statement…well not to Angelina fanatics. They’ve ripped into Etheridge as if she stole something. How dare she say anything against their goddess because well, it’s Angelina Jolie.

Many of us have been personally affected by cancer, either ourselves battling the disease, a colleague, a friend or family member. Yes cancer is an extremely scary disease. Yes it does kill thousands and thousands of people everyday somewhere in the world. But there are some cancers, if caught in their early stages, that are curable and you can go on to live a long happy life. Even in the worst case scenario and you’re diagnosed with one of the hard to treat ones in its advanced stages, I am a firm believer that if it’s not your time, you’re not going anywhere.

The celebrity of Jolie has set a terrible precedence and this is why. Most people can’t afford those procedures nor do they have insurance. Nothing in life makes any one of us immune to disease, not even some high-profile celebrity. And, with all the genetic testing that is at our fingertips and some out there on the horizon, are we heading in the direction of being a society that believes in unnecessary, major surgical procedures instead of just taking a wait and see attitude if you don’t have the disease yet? What Jolie went through was indeed major surgery. Yes I understand that her mother and aunt died of the disease. I also understand that she wants to live to see her six children become adults. But what Ms. Jolie  and many of those who are contemplating  having the procedure is completely glossing over, is that at any given time, a person can leave their home and get hit by a bus, a car, have some freak accident, die of some undiagnosed illness they didn’t know they had or just simply die of natural causes. We are not designed  to live forever and no matter what you do, we have a definitive amount of time on our life clocks and when that time is up, we move on.

I am by no means saying that people don’t have a right to do with their bodies what they will, but what is extraordinarily disturbing is when women look to these celebrities, pop doctors and various other health gurus as their beacons of extended or eternal life. That misguided mindset could have them feeling as if they’re little bullet-proof superwomen, which in my opinion, is more dangerous than the diseases they’re trying to prevent.

Melissa Etheridge Calls Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy A ‘Fearful’ Choice

Posted: 06/18/2013 8:48 am EDT  |  Updated: 06/18/2013 12:01 pm EDT

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Singer Melissa Etheridge called Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy a “fearful” choice.

At least one person doesn’t agree with Angelina Jolie’s decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year. Melissa Etheridge, who beat breast cancer in 2005, told the Washington Blade newspaper that Jolie — whose doctors warned her of an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer — acted out of fear rather than bravery.

The two-time Grammy winner, 52, said she suffered from the same gene mutation that Jolie claimed to have, but that she would have reacted differently. An excerpt from her interview is below:

“I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer. My belief is that cancer comes from inside you and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body. It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not. Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything but it never comes to cancer so I would say to anybody faced with that, that choice is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and to really consider the advancements we’ve made in things like nutrition and stress levels. I’ve been cancer free for nine years now and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything.”

The comments are similar to ones that Etheridge made to Shape magazine about being cancer-free. “Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore. I now have a different relationship with fear. There are only two things in our reality, love and fear. I try to make choices out of love,” she said.

When asked about Etheridge’s comments Monday while promoting his new movie, “World War Z,” Jolie’s husband, Brad Pitt, said he hadn’t yet formulated his thoughts. “I don’t know. Somebody just said that,” he told Us Weekly. “Melissa’s an old friend of mine. I’m sure we’ll talk over the phone. I don’t know what it is.”

Jolie, 38, announced her decision to undergo surgery in a candid op-ed piece for the New York Times in May. Less than two weeks later, Jolie’s aunt, Debbie Martin, died of breast cancer at age 61.

Flirting at 35,000 feet…Bad Idea.

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I was reading an article (see below) about Richard Branson coming up with this idea where if you see someone on your flight that you may want to get to know, you can send them over a drink, food…whatever is necessary to get their attention.

This is an extremely bad idea. As a woman who often flies for business, the last thing I want is some creepy guy I don’t know sending me a drink. Then if I decline, I run the risk of either having a very uncomfortable situation at 35,000 feet or being harassed as I’m walking through the airport after the flight. Been there…done that. Booze, horniness, women and men don’t mix in a closed, inescapable environment such as the cabin on a plane unless you’re with your significant other and you want to join the mile-high club. And even then, you really should hold it for the hotel.

Women have to be extra cautious and show due diligence when traveling alone as it is, then to be put in a position where if a guy is rebuffed and becomes agitated,  you’d have no recourse other than to involve the flight crew …oh HELL NO! I don’t even accept drinks in clubs while out with friends.

Unfortunately, there are crazy, unstable people walking and living among us and you can’t always spot one. Richard Branson may live in this type of hedonistic, hook-up, lets shag environment, but not everyone does nor do they want to. And guys, don’t think I’ve left you out. Some women can be just as persistent and obnoxious when in pursuit of a potential boyfriend, one-nighter or just because he’s hot! Not all men are whores nor do they all appreciate an over-zealous woman.

I think that Richard Branson had an idea that should have remained an idea in his head…the one on his shoulders and not the one due south. DONE!

Virgin America Wants Fliers to ‘Get Lucky’ at 35,000 Feet

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Published: Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 | 11:50 AM ET

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If you’ve ever wanted to flirt with passengers across the aisle and send them a cocktail — without corralling the help of a flight attendant — Virgin America has the answer.

The carrier on Monday introduced a cheeky new seat-to-seat ordering system. Without the assistance of an attendant, you can discreetly order a drink, snack or meal delivered to a fellow passenger on-board your flight.

(Read more: Road Warrior Tested: Virgin America First Class)

And to promote the new feature, airline founder Sir Richard Branson posted a videoon Virgin America’s Facebook page explaining how to “get lucky at 35,000 feet.”

How It Works

Your flirting begins on the airline’s touch-screen personal entertainment system, located on the back of headrests. Call up the flight’s digital seat map and send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler on-board  After selecting items and paying with a credit card, a flight attendant delivers the goodies directly to the passenger’s seat.

After the delivery, you can follow-up and chat with your object of affection with Virgin America’s existing seat-to-seat chat platform via its Red in-flight entertainment system. The chat platform allows travelers to send text messages to other fliers.

(Read more: Virgin America Extends Elite Offer to American, Southwest, United Fliers)

“I’m not a betting man, but I say your chance of deplaning with a plus-one are at least 50 percent,” Branson said in the Get Lucky on Virgin America video posted on the airline’s Facebook page.

So fliers… would you break the ice with a fellow traveler by sending them a drink?