When the sh*t hits the fan, a wise person knows when to call it a day.
Yesterday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that in two weeks, he will be stepping down from his post. Kathy Hochul, who is presently Lieutenant Governor, will step into the job for what would have been the rest of Cuomo’s term.
It was the wise choice, if not the only choice. I have a feeling that if he would have continued to fight the charges, he would have been impeached, which given everything that is going on now, is the last thing we all need.
The sad thing is that this is how he will be remembered. Like Bill Clinton before him, his legacy will forever be tainted by his arrogance. During the worst of the pandemic, he used to come on TV everyday and talk about that day’s virus related figures. Compared to a former President, he was a reasonable and calming presence.
And unlike you know who, he knows when it is time to throw in the towel.
What bothers me is the following statement:
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate.”
If he was not aware, why then did he sign the anti-sexual harassment law two years ago? Or was he so full of it that he thought he was above the law?
The only way to end this chapter is to continue with the impeachment, even if he is no longer in office. If it is dropped, it says that one only needs to resign from their job. A message must be sent that there are consequences to such actions are unacceptable. If the Democrats upstate do not do this, they are as bad as the Republicans in D.C. who looked the other way when you know who was accused.
Soul: Though it is marketed as a kids movie, the subtext of appreciating life feels appropriate and potent this year.
Mulan: The live-action reboot of the 1998 animated film Mulan rises above its predecessor, making it fresh and relevant.
Emma.: Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Jane Austen‘s eponymous heroine, Emma Woodhouse, introduced as clever, rich, and handsome. Directed by Autumn de Wilde, this adaption is entertaining, funny, and a lovely addition to the list of Austen adaptations.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire: This LBGTQ historical romance between a young woman and the female artist hired to paint her portrait is sweet, romantic, and powerful. It proves once more that love is love is love.
Ordinary Love: Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) are your average middle-aged couple. When she is diagnosed with Breast Cancer, they both must deal with the rough road ahead.
The Assistant: Jane (Julia Garner) is an assistant to a Harvey Weinstein-esque powerful movie producer. She starts to notice things that don’t sit right with her.
I am Greta: This documentary follows teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as she advocates for the world to pay serious attention to climate change.
#AnneFrank-Parallel Lives: Narrated by Helen Mirren, this documentary tells not just Anne’s story. It follows other young women who survived the Holocaust. Parallel to the stories of the past, the viewer is traveling with another young woman as she visits different countries in present-day Europe.
He can cry all of the crocodile tears he wants. He knows what he did. He knows that he forced himself on those women, dangling career prospects and make all sorts of threats if they did not give into him.
Cry those crocodile tears all you want, Harvey Weinstein. Your going to rot in jail.
When we are children, we are taught right from wrong. We are taught that cheating and stealing is not the way to succeed. We are also (hopefully) taught that when we get to an age in which we start dating, that we respect the romantic and sexual boundaries of our partners.
The verdict in the Harvey Weinstein trial was delivered today. Of the five counts of rape and sexual assault, he was found guilty of the lesser counts. The three higher counts, which would have put him away for the rest of his natural life, he was found not guilty of.
In my opinion, justice was not served. He may get somewhere from five to twenty five years in jail, but that is not enough. It will never be enough. Even if he gets the maximum sentence possible, it does not compare to the emotional jails that the women he forced himself on will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
When the Houston Astros when the World Series in 2017, it was a time to rejoice. After the destruction that Hurricane Harvey left in it’s wake, the city, the team and the fans needed something to put a smile on their faces. Recently, it was revealed that the team cheated by stealing signs.
Winning the World Series is not something that is done easily. I can only imagine the blood, the sweat and the tears that it takes to be within reach of the title of “World Series Champions”. It dishonors the fans, the league and every other team that worked their butts off who could have only wished to have played in World Series. It’s not enough to have fired management. The team should be forced to give back their rings, their trophy, their substantial pay raises and forfeit their win.
It has been said that justice is blind. In the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Houston Astros, she was also deaf, dumb and somewhere else.
The first job out of college is never what we think it will be.
In the new movie, The Assistant, Jane is a recent college grad. Living in New York City, she is working as an assistant to a well known and powerful Harvey Weinstein like movie executive. The lowest employee on the totem pole, she does the work of many low level assistants: she makes coffee, accepts the mail, answers the phone, etc.
But something is off about her boss. She sees a number of women come and go from his office. Her concerns lead to her to Wilcock (Matthew MacFadyen) in human resources. But HR is not exactly helpful. Can Jane continue to do her job or will her conscious get the best of her?
Written and directed by Kitty Green, the narrative is told in a real world, 24 hour narrative. The feeling of the film is very visceral. Lacking music until the very end, the sounds of an office fill up the space. Where music usually steps in to tell the story, the sounds of emails coming in, the phone ringing and typing takes the place of music.
If there was one thing that I noticed about the story is that the actions of the unseen but heard movie executive is not exactly a secret within the company. What is disturbing is that the employees either laugh it off or make side comments, but don’t do anything about it. Only Jane has the nerve to call out her the misbehavior of her boss.
This film is jarring, powerful and a seething indictment of sexism in the workplace.
To say that I am a bookworm is an understatement. As you might expect, I’ve read quite a few books this year.
Without further adieu, my list of the best books of 2019 is below.
The Women of the 116th Congress: Portraits of Power: This book is #1 because it represents how far American women have come and how far we need to go before we are truly equal. In celebrating the success of these female politicians, the authors are paving the way for the next generation of women to represent their country.
Sexual assault and sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, is sadly nothing new.
When the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal hit the press two years ago, it was nothing short of earth-shattering. After a millennia of women not being heard about sexual misconduct by their male bosses, it was revelation.
Yesterday, Weinstein sat down with several newspapers and complained about his ruined reputation.
His childlike defense was the following:
“I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!” he bragged.
Cry me a river. He knew what he was doing. He knew that he was literally dangling work over their heads in return for sex. He is only crying foul because he got caught and lost everything.
I have a message for Mr. Weinstein. Grow up, grow a pair and admit what you did. An adult admits when they did something wrong. A child not only refuses to admit their error of their ways, they blame others and cast themselves as the victims. Care to guess which one Mr. Weinstein is?
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in 2017, it did not break out of thin air. Getting the story to the public took time, effort and going against powerful people who would do almost anything to keep the story out of the news.
Ronan Farrow was one of those reporters. In his new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Farrow walks the reader through the process of reporting the story of the Weinstein scandal and the major barriers that were in his way. Back in 2017, Farrow was working for NBC. What started out as a routine investigation blew up into a news story that revealed a dark side of our culture that few were willing and/or able to expose.
Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like a spy thriller. The scary thing about this book goes well beyond what Weinstein did. The scary thing is that he had accomplishes who actively helped to bury the story. To my eyes, it says that men like Weinstein still hold all of the cards. The women he attacked and intimidated are powerless.
However, there is a glimmer of hope. There are good people in this world, like Ronan Farrow, who despite the challenges, are willing to stand up for what is right.
For decades, there were whispers within Hollywood about producer Harvey Weinstein. But as soon as reports surfaced of allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault, they were put down as mere rumor. That is until Kantor and Twohey started digging. That digging opened a Pandora’s box of truth, lies and the people who would do almost anything to close that box again.
This book reads like a fictional thriller instead of a real story. It is a heart pounding roller coaster ride until the very end of the book. We know how the story ends, but there were so many blockages for Kantor and Twohey that I started to wonder if justice would finally prevail. When I finally finished the book, I was relieved that Weinstein was finally getting what was coming to him.
The thing that strikes me about this book and this story is that it is universal among women. The women who come forward in this book tell the same story, with minor details changed for their specific narrative. They range from Hollywood A-listers to fast food workers to teenage girls assaulted by their drunk male classmates. If nothing else, I think that this book and others of this nature are a starting point for a conversation that is more than overdue.
Ms. Hirshman starts her book in the 1970’s, when women began to talk to each other and organize against men who took advantage of their female subordinates. She then moves forward in time highlighting a number of accusations of rape and/or sexual harassment against prominent men and the women who were brave enough to go public with the accusations. The list includes the 1991 Clarence Thomas Hearings and the accusations by Anita Hill, the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton Scandal, and the multiple women claimed that Harvey Weinstein took advantage of them sexually.
Reckoning is a perfect title for this book. While telling the story of these brave and bold women, Ms. Hirshman inspires the reader to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. She also pulls no punches, calling out politicians on both sides of the aisle, women who stay silent and men who continue to perpetuate this heinous act.