Tag Archives: social media

Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Review

At some point in our adult lives, we have to take responsibility for our actions.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is the directorial debut of writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo. Based on the story of a friend of his, Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell) is in her late 20’s and living in New York City. She has a job, but it is neither professionally or financially fruitful. She drinks too much, sleeps too much and is overweight. Her life, in short, is a hot mess.

Hoping to score a prescription of adderall, Brittany visits a doctor. Instead of receiving the prescription, the doctor recommends that she lose weight. She initially balks, but follows through and starts running. She is encouraged by her neighbor Catherine (Michaela Watkins) and Seth (Micah Stock), whom she met in her running group.

The running opens the door to other goals, including running a marathon. But doubt and insecurity gets in the way. Can Brittany succeed?

This movie has it’s pluses and it’s minuses. On the plus side, the characters and the narrative are realistic. Brittany speaks for many people, regardless of size, who are hindered by unseen emotional scars. We live in a world which is dominated by social media. The image that many of us put on our profiles may not reflect reality and may cause those who look at our profiles to compare their lives to ours.

On the minus side, the film is a little longer than I think it should be and is a little predictable story wise.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Life, Mental Health, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

Instead of Running the Country, He is Feuding With Bette Midler

When one is President, one has many issues on their plate to deal with. In an ideal world, the President or the leader of any country is focused on their job. But in America in 2019, our President is not focused on running the country. He prefers to feud with those who disagree with him on social media.

The newest name on the list of persons of whom he is feuding with is Bette Midler. Her response to his tweet (which I will not repeat on this blog) is spot on.

“I want to thank everyone who came to my defense last night during my personal Battle of the Bulge with he who must not be named. Your wit and good nature really lifted my spirits; as a newly washed up psycho, I am very grateful for your thoughts and prayers.”


Two things bother me about this “feud”. First of all, he was in Europe to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. One would hope that maturity and respect would be the feelings of the day, to remember the men who gave their lives for our freedom. But then again, you know who is not exactly known for either being respectful or mature.

Second of all, he is President of the United States. He should be concerned about doing the job that we, the voters hired him to do. He should not be concerned with feuding with others via social media. But after two and a half years in office, I expect nothing less.

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Filed under History, National News, Politics

Thoughts on Eva.Stories

One would have to be living under a rock these days to not see the impact that social media is playing on our lives. This is especially true with young people, who have taken to social media like a duck takes to water.

We live in a world where hate and prejudice are becoming not only more prevalent, but also acceptable. This year is the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust. When it comes to the Holocaust and other such massacres of minorities because they are different, we often say that to forget history is to repeat it.

As the survivors die due to age and waning health, it up to us to tell their stories and remember those who did not survive. We must also find a way to reach our young people so they can learn the lessons of the past.

Enter the Instagram page, Eva.Stories. The basic question of the account is what if a Jewish young girl living in Nazi occupied Hungary during World War II had Instagram? Based on a true story, Eva is a 13 year old girl who is no different than any other 13 year old girl. But she is living in a world that is becoming increasing hostile to her.

The best way to reach a young person is to speak to them on their level. This Instagram account is the absolute perfect way to speak to the kids today. It is also of paramount importance that we do so, if we are to hopefully prevent the Holocaust or any massacre of that ilk from ever happening again.

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Thoughts On The Calls for Ralph Northam to Step Down

Doing and saying stupid sh*t is part of life. Especially when we are young. The goal is to learn from that stupid sh*t we did so that we do not repeat the same actions or statements. These days, it’s not uncommon to relive the stupid sh*t we said and did via social media.

The most recent political scandal comes from Virginia and her current governor, Ralph Northam. Pictures from his medical school days in the early 1980’s have surfaced. In the pictures, two men are dressed up in costume. One man is in blackface, the other is wearing KKK robes.

When the accusations became public last week, Governor Northam initially admitted that he is one of the men in the pictures. As of earlier today, he has changed his statement, denying that he is in the picture. Despite calls for him to step down from the office of Governor, he remains in office and appears to ignore those who are calling for his resignation.

Of course, you know who had to add his own two cents to the conversation.

Should he be given a pass for making a stupid mistake that is often the mark of a young person? I don’t know. I don’t know because these pictures are offensive, then and now. The excuse of stupidity of youth can only go so far. By a certain age, we all know right from wrong. It’s matter of choosing to either do the right thing or do the wrong thing and face the consequences.

The fact that Governor Northam first stated that he is in the picture, then said he wasn’t is questionable. The answer to the question is a simple yes or no. Any other answer brings up more questions, including if he is able to do the job the voters of Virginia hired him to do.

I’m sure that some Republicans are literally jumping for joy that a Democrat has been accused of racism. This issue does not belong to any specific political party. Racism and prejudice, no matter where one stands on the political aisle. We are all Americans, we are all human beings and we all deserve the same respect, regardless of what we look like.

 

 

 

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Perhaps We Jumped A Little Too Fast To Judge

A viral video is defined as the following:

A video that becomes popular through a viral process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites such as YouTube as well as social media and email.

The latest viral video to catch the nation’s attention was a group of high school boys who appeared to mock Vietnam veteran and Native American elder Nathan Phillips as he chanted a traditional Native American song last Friday in Washington D.C.. The young man who is standing inches from Mr. Phillips and appears to be wearing a smirk on his face has been identified as Nick Sandmann.

Over the last day or so, more details have emerged about what really happened last Friday. Five men who are part of the Black Hebrew Israelite community taunted the boys. Mr. Phillips said that he stepped into de-escalate the situation before words turned into regrettable actions.

The Today Show aired the full interview with Nick Sandmann earlier today.

Right now, I don’t know what to think or believe. Regardless of whose side one is on, we all jumped a little to fast to make a judgement call without knowing all of the facts.

The problem with this quick judgement is that it reveals how divided this country is. It is those divisions that scare me and makes we wonder what we will say to future generations when they ask us about this era in American history.

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Filed under National News, Television

New Randy Rainbow Video-Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Though the First Lady Of The United States is not an elected position, she has a platform that few have, especially when it comes to activism. Most, if not all First Ladies have used their positions to shine the light on an issue that they feel is important to them.

Be Best is the cause taken up by Melania Trump, our current First Lady. The focus of this organization is to ensure that all American children grow physically, emotionally and socially healthy. One of the main goals of Be Best is to ensure that our young people use social media in a way that is productive, positive and healthy. The irony of this goal is that her husband uses social media as a bully pulpit to spread lies, half-truths and to make himself look good at the expense of the country.

This is the subject of Randy Rainbow’s new video, “Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”, uses Be Our Guest from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast to show how utterly hypocritical this idea is.

 

Thank you, Randy Rainbow. You have given something to laugh about and something to think about.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Do Not Underestimate The Youth, Mike Huckabee

The conventional political wisdom is that young people are either illiterate about politics or frankly don’t give a sh*t. They are more interested in the latest trends and spending time on their phones.

In this case, conventional wisdom is wrong.

The other day music superstar Taylor Swift publicly announced via Instagram that she is supporting Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, two Democratic nominees who are running for office in Tennessee. As a result, 65,000 citizens registered to vote. Former Presidential candidate and current Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sniped back via Twitter that 13-year-old girls cannot vote and threw his support behind Marsha Blackburn, Mr. Bredesen’s opponent.

We all know that 13-year-old children cannot vote. But they have older siblings, cousins and neighbors who are of age to vote.

What Mr. Huckabee forgets is the power of young people voting and using their political muscle. If the survivors of the Parkland shooting had not used their collective rage/voice to remind this country of the true cost of gun violence, it would have become just another school shooting that most of us would have forgotten by now.

Young people have the power to change the world, to fix the mistakes of their elders. They also have the ability to vote out any politician whom they believe is not doing the job that voters elected them to do.

While celebrity endorsements, especially of politicians can be a little iffy sometimes, they have the reach that a politician may not have.

I think, perhaps Governor Huckabee would be wise to mind his words, especially if he plans to run again for Governor. He may find out on election day that he is out of a job, because of the young people.

 

 

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Filed under Music, Politics

Thoughts On The Removal Of Alex Jones From Social Media And The Boundaries Of Free Speech

Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of any legitimate and thriving democracy. But while many will claim that they can say anything, freedom of speech has boundaries.

Last week, “journalist” and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was removed from most social media platforms (with Twitter being the exception). The removal was based on the determination that Mr. Jones violated the terms of service.

The issue as I see it, is that freedom of speech is a very broad and subjective phrase. Freedom of speech could be as simple as an average citizen stating that they disagree with a government official and not being thrown in prison or executed. It could also be as complicated as a member of a far right group using certain words that many would recoil from in disgust.

The fact is that Mr. Jones is entitled to speak as he pleases. Trying to restrict or compartmentalize freedom of speech is akin to a slippery slope that one cannot climb out of.

However, it should be also understood that when one signs up for a social media platform, there are rules that users have to follow. If the users don’t follow those rules, then the people running the platform have every right to close their account.

As simple as the term of  “freedom of speech” may seem, the truth is that the concept is complicated. The Alex Jones case, I think, has opened many of our eyes to this fact.

 

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Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump Book Review

In the history of humanity, the game of politics has never been clean. It has been dirtied by ego, money, greed, etc. But even among the dirt, there still a bit of clean optimism that exists.

Dan Pfeiffer was the White House Communications Director under President Barack Obama from 2013-2015. Having an insider’s view of the game of American politics in our modern era gave him a unique perspective. He chronicles his experiences and observations about his boss and you know who into the new book Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump.

Pulling no punches, Mr. Pfeiffer gives the reader not only the first person experience of working in The White House, but also gives those who still believe in the American democracy hope that it will survive beyond the orange snake oil salesman who is President.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Politics

Dear Mark Zuckerberg: A Response To Allowing Holocaust Deniers To Stay On Facebook

Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

You’re a Jew. I’m a Jew. You believe in free speech. I believe in free speech.

But I also know that the internet and your creation, Facebook, allows hate speech and lies about The Holocaust to spread at a rate that is quite scary from my perspective.

I don’t know about your family history, but I lost family in The Holocaust.

One of the reasons I am alive today is because members of my family took a chance when they left their homes and families for a new life in America in the early 20th century. I suspect your family at about this time in history did the same thing.

While I respect that Facebook is supposed to be a social media platform for all of us, a line has to be drawn when it comes to hate speech of any kind.

There should be no place for hate speech in this world in 2018. Unfortunately, Facebook allows hate speech to flourish.

Sincerely

A Concerned Facebook User

 

 

 

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Filed under History, Politics