Daily Archives: November 6, 2017

Thoughts On The 22nd Anniversary Of Now And Then

Twelve is one of those ages that always stands out. At 12, we are in that in between stage of starting to grow up, but are still in a sense a child.

On November 1 1995, Now And Then hit theaters. It was the story of four best friends living in an average American suburb. The film takes place in two different time periods: 1970 when the characters are 12 and 1995 when the characters have grown up. Roberta (Christina Ricci/Rosie O’Donnell), Teeny (Thora Birch/Melanie Griffiths), Samantha (Gaby Hoffman/Demi Moore) and Chrissy (Ashleigh Ashton Moore/Rita Wilson) have been friends forever. They reunite to relive that memorable summer of 1970.

In Hollywood, it’s rare to to see a film where female characters, especially young female characters are the focus. It’s not about boys, it’s about their relationships with each other and how important female friendship is, especially at the age of 12.

I have fond memories of this movie and I absolutely recommend it, especially to young girls growing up now. It is worth the time to watch.

 

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies

Get Out And Vote!

Across the nation tomorrow, multiple towns and cities will be holding local elections.

I urge my fellow citizens, if there is a local election in your area, regardless of where your land on the political spectrum, to get out and vote.

It is our right, it is our privilege, it is our responsibility. There countries around the world where the simple act of voting is tantamount to revolution.

My fellow New York City residents, if they are still up in the air about whom they are voting for, can find more information here.

I also want to remind any woman who is ambivalent about voting, what it took to get us the right to vote.

Alice Paul was tortured in prison, just for protesting that women could not vote. If we don’t vote tomorrow, we dishonor her memory and the memories of the women of that generation who suffered so we could vote.

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Filed under Feminism, History, National News, New York City, Politics, Television

If Not Now, When?-Thoughts On The Texas Church Massacre

One of the most famous questions that the philosopher Hillel the Elder asked is:

“If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14

Every time there is a mass shooting in this country, decent minded citizens have asked when we can finally talk about gun control. The answer, the last few years, have been predictably that this is not the time.

Yesterday morning, there was a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  26 people were killed, many of them children.

My heart hurts. My head hurts. We say the same thing in the aftermath of every mass shooting:”Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.” But at this point, the phrase has become meaningless.

I will not state the killer’s name on this blog, he’s receiving enough press. I will only say that mass shootings will continue to be the average news story in America until real change is made.

Back in 1996, there was a mass shooting in Australia, 35 people were murdered. Instead of waxing and waning (and giving into the gun industry, lobbyists and the NRA), the Australian government enacted sweeping and strict gun laws.  Since then, the Port Arthur massacre is the only mass shooting in recent Australian history.

Whether or not the gunman’s mental health played a part, only time will tell.  I’m just tired of hearing of another mass shooting and the loss of innocent lives.

P.S. I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that Donald Trump’s responses to shooting are different based on the shooter. He called for the death penalty for the accused and the removal of the diversity visa program in response to the murder of 8 people in New York City last week, but his response to this shooting (where the killer was white) was markedly different. Just an observation.

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Filed under History, Mental Health, National News, New York City, Politics

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right Book Review

An optimist would say that democracy is pure. Freed from the hands of the rich and powerful, a democracy is the voice of the people. A pessimist, or at least someone who reads the news would say otherwise.

In 2016, journalist Jane Mayer published Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. In this non-fiction book, Ms. Mayer writes about the Koch Brothers and other ultra-wealthy families who have used their money and influence to influence Washington D.C. and push their politically conservative views on the rest of America.

This book is nothing short of a revelation, especially those whose political views are more to the left. It is also quite scary because it reveals that our democracy is not as pure as we would think it to be.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Politics