Fiction has a way of reaching an audience in ways that the real world cannot.
True Blood (based on the books by Charlaine Harris) aired on HBO from 2008-2014. The core narrative of the series was the relationship between telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and gentleman/vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).
While I did not watch the complete run of the show, what I watched, I liked. It had fully formed characters, a compelling narrative and an underlying message about human rights.
When it comes to politics, news and television, there is no shortage of programs to choose from.
Real Time with Bill Maher has aired on HBO since 2003. Every week, host Bill Maher welcomes politicians, talking heads, newsmakers, celebrities, and others to discuss that week’s news headlines.
I don’t watch this show often. But when I do, I have a sense of peace. Using humor, Maher and his guests allow the audience to laugh, relax a little bit and not feel so overwhelmed/depressed by the week’s news stories.
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is one that can be construed as simple or complicated, depending on one’s point of view.
While I certainly recognize the shades of grey in this conflict, my perspective is that Israel is trying to defend herself and her people from neighbors who would love to her wiped off the face of the Earth. The BDS movement is just one of those complicating factors that makes this issue even murkier.
Aside from the implications for our political future, this statement I believe speaks the truth. It is a truth that many either refuse to hear or if they hear it, refuse to believe.
Speaking of Israel, the ban on Reps Tlaib and Omar entering the country last week were lifted after a fair amount of controversy. Representative Tlaib decided to turn down the invitation and not visit her grandmother. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was kid, my grandparents were my world. They are all long gone, there are days when I wish I could still see them and talk to them.
Others have said and I agree that she hates Israel more than she loves her grandmother. If I was in her shoes, I would be on the next flight out. Family is more important than politics will ever be.
I wish there was a way out of this conflict. I wish both sides would see each other as fellow human beings, instead of labels and political/historical baggage. But wishes don’t often become reality.
On June 25th, 2009, Michael Jackson departed this earth. Known as the “King of Pop”, Jackson was and still is one of the most influential musicians of the past fifty years. He is one of the few artists whose music transcends genres and breaks barriers. One would have to have lived under a rock to not know about Jackson and his music.
His music and his image as a performer is burned into our cultural memory. We have danced to his music, sung karaoke (some of us better than others) and dressed up as Jackson for Halloween.
While Jackson is revered for his art, his moral failings are another story. Accusations of sexual abusing minors and pedophilia followed him for years, even after his passing. Earlier this year, the HBO documentary Leaving Neverlandblew the door wide open about the allegations that up to that point, had not been clearly confirmed or denied.
Is there an easy answer to this question? I wish that there was. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and have faults. However, there is a difference between having faults and molesting young children. One is natural, the other is just plain illegal.
Readers, what do you think? Can we still appreciate Jackson’s music while condemning his moral failings?