It’s just wrong. Secret campaign cash should have no place in our American democracy. But now we are seeing huge sums of money from secret sources going into campaign advertising. Special interests are spending millions and millions of dollars in this election and it threatens to drown out the voices of individual voters. And because of changes in the law, there are no disclosure requirements- even foreign government corporations could be funding these ads.
Last week was a movie and play extravaganza!
Lorraine and I saw three movies and one play on consecutive nights. All four of these attractions were worthwhile, although they were worlds apart in their storyline and dramatic presentation.
1. The Social Network
The story of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, played ably by Jesse Eisenberg. We are thrust into Harvard in 2003 in a dark, melancholy time in Zuckerberg’s life. He is a sophomore on the lowest level of the social stratifications. We see him as super-bright but obnoxious. His jerky actions drive him away from Erica, a lovely, intelligent girl whom he desires. Computers are his life and he speaks like a computer, in short bursts. He is hostile to his environment as a method of self-defense. I was also impressed by the acting of Justin Timberlake who played Sean Parker, founder of Napster. We see the outsider as he succeeds and yet fails.
2. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
The old Woody Allen at his storytelling best. His venue is now London. An older couple has divorced after 40 years of marriage. He (Anthony Hopkins) chases and eventually marries a swinging younger girl, and she takes him for a ride. The wife (Gemma Jones), whose sparkling blue eyes represent eternal optimism, believes in fortune telling and seeks the tall, dark stranger. She finds a short, blond man and they go off happily together.
I was intrigued by their daughter (Naomi Watts), who is very beautiful. She is married to Josh Brolin (an unsuccessful novelist.) There is Allen’s usual bitter look at life, but the movie is fun.
3. The Town
Ben Affleck directed and starred in this crime story about a gang of thieves in Charlestown, Boston. The tension of the viewer being present during this bank hold-up is quite thrilling to the senses. The romance angle is interesting as Affleck and the bank-manager, who was his hostage, have a romance. Charlestown is a neighborhood with a long tradition of blue-collar crime. An exciting and well-done movie, and Affleck did a great job in his first effort.
Answers to last week’s movie quotes:
1. Shane- Brandon De Wilde (1953)
2. A Streetcar Named Desire- Marlon Brando (1951)
3. Citizen Kane- Orson Welles (1941)
4. Grand Hotel- Greta Garbo (1932)
5. Gone With the Wind- Vivien Leigh (1939)
6. Apollo 13- Tom Hanks (1995)
7. White Heat- James Cagney (1949)
8. The Wizard of Oz- Judy Garland (1939)
9. Sunset Boulevard- Gloria Swanson (1950)
10. To Have and Have Not- Lauren Bacall (1944)
I hope my readers enjoyed the movie quotes. I know I did!
Due to a typographical error, an incorrect e-mail address was printed in the last column. However, some of my readers persevered and managed to get the correct answers to me.
In September I watched the annual fall migration in three different places on the Island and Queens: a marsh, a hawk observation platform and a wildlife refuge. This is how that busy week unfolded.
Quotes From the Cinema
The movies just keep pouring forth from Hollywood.
They have become an integral part of our lives.
Even in our current political campaign, we are treated to the famous, galvanizing Peter Finch quote from the 1976 movie Network. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” That saying captured the feelings of America at that time.
(Howard Weitzman is the former Nassau County Comptroller.)
No matter who won the last county election it was clear the County would be going down a tough financial road. A difficult economy, falling tax receipts, an increasing structural gap along with the political difficulty in raising additional revenues have combined to create a perfect storm for all local governments. But the new Mangano administration seems to be drowning in a fiscal tsunami, without a tree to climb. His rescue plan is based on an old copy of Tom Gullota’s guide to County government – borrow, over estimate revenues, under estimate expenses, sell property, and if that’s not enough borrow more.
People who love showers always demean us people who prefer baths in this manner: “How can you lie there in your own filth?”
People who love baths answer, “Don’t be silly, a bath is so much more relaxing. You wash leisurely and carefully but you are rested and less stressed.”
There is no doubt that a shower is faster. If you are going to work or time is a factor, a shower is much more practical. Actually both are used to wash your body and rinse your hair. I prefer to shave in the shower as all that rushing water affords a better and closer trim.
The Election Inspector
Yes, I am an election inspector.
Every primary election and on the first Tuesday in November I do my patriotic duty. Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to be at the polling place by 5 a.m. is the most unpleasant part of my duty. Sitting at the desk until 9 p.m. this year was particularly profound.
About 20-years ago I was swimming in the ocean off Long Beach, where I live, and someone pointed to a cluster of girls that had drifted towards the jetty, the rock formation that helps to protect the shoreline from erosion. The girls must have been pulled out by the undertow and were unnoticed by the lifeguards.
As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prepares to hold public hearings on proposed fare and toll modifications that would be implemented on or about January 1, 2011, I would like to take this opportunity to express my staunch objection to any fare increases. Their plan includes an average increase of more than 8 percent in ticket and toll prices. Given the ways the MTA has already managed to tax the paychecks of New Yorkers, I find this measure to be completely unacceptable.
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