Author Archives: Writergurlny

About Writergurlny

I am Brooklyn, NY born and raised writer who needs writing to find sanity in an insane world. To quote Charlotte Bronte: “I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.”

Mayor Bloomberg Took a Pounding Last Night

As the calendar moves us closer to the Presidential election in the fall, many of us will start to make decisions (if we have not done so already) as to which candidate we will vote for.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally joined the Democratic candidates on the debate stage last night.

To say that he took a pounding is an understatement.

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Unlike the other candidates, who have spent months, if not years on the campaign trail, Mayor Bloomberg is a recent arrival who has basically bought his way into the Presidential campaign. Spending millions of dollars on ads is one thing, but it is not enough to prove to the voters that you are the candidate to represent the party and lead the ticket in the fall.

To his credit, he did put up a dam good fight. He is obviously smart, tough and not afraid of standing his ground. One does not build a billion dollar company, govern a major city like New York for more than a decade or rebuild after an event like 9/11 without being having a brain and a backbone.

However, it is his record as Mayor that is troublesome. I am also questioning that after nearly four years of you know who, if America really wants another billionaire President who has bought their way into office?

Only time will tell who wins the nomination. But I have a feeling that it won’t be Michael Bloomberg.

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Filed under History, New York City, Politics, Thoughts On....

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman Book Review

Among certain people, the idea of a proper female is slim, conventionally attractive and compliant.

Lindy West is none of those things. She is also brilliant and not afraid to call out the b*llshit when she sees it.

In her 2016 book, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, West lays it all on the line. She rubs some people the wrong way just for being herself. She is not a size 2, outspoken and unlike many people, says what we all are thinking.

I loved this book and I loved how authentic she is. When confronted by jokes or comments that are distasteful or rude, most of us adhere to the rules of politeness that we learned as children. But not Lindy West.

That is why I loved this book and I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism

Throwback Thursday-Contagion (2011)

The story of humanity is chock full of stories of virus outbreaks that kills hundreds, if not thousands.

In 2011, the movie Contagion hit theaters. In the film, a virus spreads around the world like wildfire. It’s a race against time to stop the virus and save as many lives as possible.

It’s often said that art imitates life. Though this film is nearly ten years old, life has imitated art as the coronavirus is making it’s way around the world in a similar fashion. As a thriller, this film is well done, even if looking back now, it hits a little too close to home.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World Book Review

We all know that for most of human history, women have been at best second class citizens and at worst, property. When it comes to sexual assault and rape, the complaints, if they have been made public have not be received and responded to as they should have.

Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World is a new compilation of essays edited by Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman. In their own words, each writer answers the following question: what if we not only we believed women, we took their claims of rape and sexual assault seriously?

The best thing about this book is the variety of writers. Each writer brings his or her own experience into the essay, answering the question in a way that is both personal and profound. By attaching a human face and a unique story to these very difficult topics, these writers are helping to break down the barriers and start a conversation that should have started a long time ago.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism

New Randy Rainbow Video-NO RULES FOR DONALD – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

The job of the United States Attorney General is to be the country’s lead attorney. Though he or she is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, they are not the personal attorney of the President.

Try telling that to you know who.

Randy Rainbow’s newest video is entitled “NO RULES FOR DONALD – Randy Rainbow Song Parody“.

Set to the Dua Lipa song, New Rules, the song lays out why Attorney General William Barr is as corrupt as his boss. He should be doing what is right for the country. But he is doing what is good for his boss and his bosses’s ability to keep his job.

Just another reason to vote him out out of office in the fall.

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Filed under Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

''A Problem from Hell'': America and the Age of Genocide Book Review

After the Holocaust, many proclaimed “never again”. But the reality is that the phrase has become just words as humanity has proved that we have not learned from the Holocaust.

In 2002, former diplomat Samantha Power released her searing indictment of America’s attitude to massacres across the world in ‘A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. Re-released in 2013, the book covers various atrocities across the globe and how America reacted. She starts with the Armenian Genocide and ends with the war crimes in Kosovo in the late 90’s.

Going into great detail, she uses historical documents, first hand accounts and press clippings to tell the stories of the massacres and the innocent lives lost.

When I finally finished the book, I noticed several things.

  • Though the details of each massacre are different, the overall story is the same.
  • The targeted group is a minority who has historically dealt with persecution.
  • There were individuals within the United States who were ready, willing and eager to save as many lives as they can.
  • However, the collective reaction from those in the halls of power range from cold indifference to talking about saving lives, but not actually doing anything to save said lives.

I’ve always believed in the greatness of the United States. More than a century ago, this nation welcomed my forebears and allowed them to flourish. But I ‘m also completely aware of this nation’s flaws.

We can do better, we must do better. While we cannot go back and prevent the loss of innocent life, we can learn from our past. Otherwise, we will repeat it at some point.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Portrait of a Lady on Fire Movie Review

When it comes to art, it is more than the materials that the artist used to create it. It tells as much about the artist as it does the subject.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire was released in the US this weekend. In 1760, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is a painter whose newest commission is to paint a young woman who lives on the island of Brittany. Her subject is Heloise (Adèle Haenel), whose marriage is pending on whether or not her fiance will like her portrait. Heloise refused to sit for the previous painter, leaving their work unfinished.

Marianne pretends to be a companion for Heloise so she can complete the portrait. As the women bond, they become friends and then something more. But the reality is that while they are becoming closer, they both know that the end date of their relationship is coming.

To the naked eye, this film appears to be an LGBTQ period drama with the standard narrative and character hallmarks. But it is more than that. The film shows a world in which men are in the background and true equality exists between women. It also reminds the audience of the severe limitations on women during the period in a way that does not hit the audience over the head.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies

For Sama Review

A mother’s love is endless. She will do almost anything in her power to ensure that her child is happy and successful. In a time of war, that includes nearly doing the unthinkable.

In the Oscar nominated documentary, For Sama, is the story of an ordinary woman who is merely trying to survive the Syrian civil war. As the war starts, Waad al-Kateab is doing what we all do. She goes to school, gets a job, falls in love, marries her husband and has a daughter, Sama. But the world that Sama is growing up in is not ordinary. Told through the perspective of Waad’s camera, this documentary takes the viewer into a Syria that few of us outside of that country will ever see.

Directed by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, this documentary is both personal and hard hitting. In telling the story of this woman and her family, the western audience is given a vantage point that only someone who is on the ground can provide.

I absolutely recommend it.

For Sama is available for streaming on Frontline.

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Filed under International News, Movie Review, Movies, World News

Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape Book Review

In the eyes of certain people (who shall remain nameless), when a women says no to sex, it does not mean no. It means yes.

Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape was originally published in 2006. Republished in 2019, the book is a compilation of essays put together by editors Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti. Open, sometimes hard to read and in your face without being difficult, the book explores how women’s sexuality is treated, especially when rape and/or sexual assault occurs.

This book is brilliant and a must read for anyone, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. It throws off the old ideas of about women and the misconceptions of our sexuality. By throwing off these ideas, it forces readers to take a hard look at how women’s sexuality is viewed and what must be done so rape and sexual assault becomes a thing of the past.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism

Thoughts On "The Day Democracy Died" Sung by The Founding Fathers

When this country was founded in the late 18th century, the men who stepped forward to lead this new country knew exactly what they didn’t want. While they did not have a crystal ball to see into the future, they also knew enough to insert certain boundaries to hopefully ensure that the republic would last.

The Day Democracy Died” is a parody set to the Don McLean song, American Pie“.

Regardless of where one lands on the political spectrum, we should all be concerned. This President believes himself to be above the law and therefore, able to do whatever he wants without being called out.

As anyone who does not live under a rock knows, we have a Presidential election coming up in November. If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few years, it is that democracy is not easily maintained. It requires hard choices, tough decisions and the knowledge that if it is to last, we must fight for it.

That means voting in November and getting you know who out of office.

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Filed under Music, Politics, Thoughts On....