The Children Act Book Review

Sometimes, the simplest interaction can change our lives in ways that are completely unexpected.

In the 2014 Ian McEwan novel, The Children Act, Fiona Maye is a family court judge who has not one, but two major conflicts in her life.

At home, her long time marriage to her American husband Jack is on thin ice mostly due to Fiona working constantly. At work, the newest case on Fiona’s docket is the case of Adam Henry. Adam is a 17-year-old boy who is only a few short months away from his 18th birthday. He is also suffering from Leukemia. Because he is a Jehovah’s Witness, his religion prevents him from receiving a life saving blood transfusion.

The hospital takes Adam’s parents to court to force them to accept a blood transfusion to save their son’s life. It is up to Fiona to determine what is the best course of action. She visits Adam in the hospital to help her make her decision.  What neither Adam or Fiona know is that this brief encounter will change both of their lives.

I saw the movie last weekend, so then, I could only judge the narrative and the characters based on the film. Now that I have read the book, I still have the same feeling. I was left with the same questions that I still don’t have an answer to.

I recommend it.


Reasons Why Christine Blasey Ford Should Be Believed

Throughout much of human history, women have been second class. Seen only as submissive help meets to the men in their lives, they had no rights and were often viewed as property. Part of being viewed as property or second class was being forced into an unwanted sexual act that very often left the woman in an emotionally and physically traumatized state.

Thankfully, things are starting to change. One of the women who is helping with this change is Christine Blasey Ford, a high school acquaintance of Judge Brett Kavanaugh who accused him of forcing himself on her when they were teenagers.

Below are the reasons why Dr. Ford should be believed:

  1. Her testimony will have a way in determining if Judge Kavanaugh is ultimately confirmed to join SCOTUS and possibly change the course of American history for the better.
  2. Her testimony will undo the damage that was done to Anita Hill testified about her own sexual assault experience at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing 27 years ago.
  3. Her testimony will prove once and for all that the time doesn’t matter. Those who force themselves sexually on another person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of whether it is 36 hours or 36 years since the attack.
  4. It will encourage past and future victims of rape, sexual violence and sexual assault to come forward and be public in their accusations.
  5. It will make those who are thinking of committing such acts think twice, knowing the repercussions of this kind of offense.

As of today, Dr. Ford is scheduled to testify on Thursday. Until then, we can only wait and maybe speculate as to what Dr. Ford may or may not say.

I believe her.


Fahrenheit 11/9 Movie Review

The ideal of the American democracy has been alive and well for 242 years. The question is, does the reality match the ideal?

Filmmaker Michael Moore asks this question in the new documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9. The film starts off recounting the 2016 Presidential election and takes a hard-hitting look at the current state of American politics. Referencing Nazi Germany, the water crisis in Flint and the school shooting at Parkland earlier this year, Mr. Moore shows how broken the system truly is.

Above all, Mr. Moore points out two important facts that hover throughout the narrative of the film. The first is that despite the spotlight being on you know who, he does solely place the blame on the Republicans. Democrats also have used the political system for their own needs as opposed to the needs of the voting public.

The second (and more important point) that Mr. Moore makes is to vote. Far too many Americans did not vote for either candidate during the 2016 Presidential Election, feeling put off, angry or frustrated. We can only ask in hindsight what the results of the election might have been if every American had voted in November of 2016.

The overall message that I got from the film is clear: we can fix this broken system. We can live up to the Democratic ideals put forth by our Founding Fathers. But that requires stepping up the political plate and there are far too many in this country who are not doing that.

I absolutely recommend it.

Fahrenheit 11/9 is presently in theaters. 

Thoughts On the 14th Anniversary of the Lost Premiere

Sometimes, a television show is so popular, that it’s popularity exceeds well beyond the original air date of the program.

Lost is one of those shows.

Airing from 2004-2010, Lost is the story of a diverse group of survivors of a plane crash. The tropical island where the plane crashes is in the middle of nowhere. They are forced to work together to survive until they are rescued. However, the island is not quite what it seems to be and reveals the sometimes painful past of those who were able to walk out of the wreckage alive.

Lost was one of the programs that had the ability to suck its audience in and not let go until the closing credits rolled down the screen.  As the seasons rolled along, for any questions about the narrative or character development that were answered, two or three more were asked. And of course, there is the series finale, which in my book, is one of the finest series finale I will ever see of a television show.

To the millions of fans around the world who still remember this show fondly and to the cast, crew & creative team, may we all raise our proverbial glasses to one of the finest shows that has ever aired on television.


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