Unflinching, Unedited and Heart Breaking

Tonight, PBS aired Memory Of The Camps.

This documentary is the unedited and unflinching newsreels recorded by the Allies as they liberated Europe from Nazi control and were confronted by the horrors of the Holocaust.

Even for someone who is well versed in the Holocaust, I found myself torn. I needed to watch, but I had to look away at moments.

Man’s inhumanity to their fellow man was obvious to all.

This program is not for the faint of heart and not for young eyes. But it is very necessary to watch. If we are to say never again and back those words up with actions, we must remember those who were were murdered. One of the quotes that has come up very recently with this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (which is tomorrow) is that is if we do not back up our words with actions, it is as if the victims were killed twice.

My heart is breaking tonight and it will break tomorrow. When I wake up, I will say never again and I will continue to say never again (and back up those words with action), until we do not have to say never again anymore.



The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)-Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

Every generation has it’s childhood icons. These are the characters and the stories that defined our early years and stay with us long after we have grown up.

Hollywood likes to remake some of those childhood icons. Sometimes the remakes are good and sometimes they are not so good.

In 2001, Josie and the Pussycats, a live action version of the 1970’s cartoon was released.

Josie McCoy (Rachael Leigh Cook), Valerie Brown (Rosario Dawson) and Melody Valentine (Tara Reid) are a small town band who are trying to break into the business. The latest and greatest boy boy band, DuJour, has suddenly disappeared and the girls suddenly on top of the music charts. But what happened to DuJour and does the sudden success of Josie And The Pussycats have something to do with their disappearance?

This movie is just dumb. Unless your were about 15 at the time. But underneath all of that, there is an underlying message of being true to yourself and not simply following the crowd.

Were the critics wrong? I would have to say no on this one.

Equal Pay Day

I would like to start this post with what I think seems to be a reasonable question.

Consider, two employees who work for the same company doing the same job. Their educational and professional history is comparable to their colleague.  They are equally respected for their dedication, hard work and their ability to do complete the responsibilities of the position. Logically, one might think that these two employees should be receiving similar paychecks. But the world and the work place is not always so logical.

Today is Equal Pay Day.

I would like to add some additional information to that first paragraph. One of these employees is male, the other is female. The rest of the variables will remain as is. The female colleague will earn .78 for every 1.00 that the male earns.

That .22 may not seem like a lot of money. But over time, that gap grows ever larger.

Previous generations of women have been taught to be meek and subservient. Thankfully, that is changing. But change is not always easy. Many women still feel uncomfortable when it comes to speaking up and negotiating their salaries.

As women, we have come very far in only a few generations. Cracks are starting to appear in the glass ceiling. But the glass ceiling still exists and we must continue fight for what we want and need.

I hope that one day, Equal Pay Day will not be needed. But until then, we will celebrate our accomplishments and fight for what we believe in.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Tomorrow, April 15th, 2015 is Holocaust Remembrance Day. We remember the millions of lives who were needlessly taken and the survivors who lived with the emotional and physical scars that come with being a Holocaust survivor.

I can state with a fair amount of certainty that I am lucky. Like my parents and grandparents, I was raised in the United States. We were comforted and supported by the laws that guaranteed our rights as citizens and human beings.

That is where my luck ends. My great grandparents joined the millions who left their homes and families before World War I to reach for the opportunities that America represented. No one back then could have foreseen what was to come.

Imagine, if you can, ten people of Ashkenazic (Eastern European Jewish) descent in a room. If I were to ask them to raise their hands if their families were untouched by the Holocaust, I would guess that none of them would raise their hands.

My luck ends with World War II and the extermination of the family members that my great grandparents left behind when they came to America. On one side of my family, one of my great grandfathers lost his entire family. His father, his siblings, their spouses, their children and countless others perished in the Nazi Holocaust. Persuaded in his later years to write a book about his boyhood and the shtetl that he grew up in, it is not the stories of his youth that hits me every time I read it. It is the dedication before the story begins.

Dobromil Dedication

Tomorrow I will go about my business as if it was any other day. But my heart will be little heavier and I may shed a few tears.

Never Forget.

%d bloggers like this: