The Only Purpose For Watching The Oscars

I watched the Academy Awards for one reason.

Jerry Lewis was finally given a long overdue Humanitarian Award.

It's enough that the man has entertained generations of people all over the world for decades. He has deserved recognition for that alone.

However, 60 years ago, as a very famous young man, he decided to additionally dedicate his life to making the lives of people with Muscular Dystrophy so much better, and searching for a cure.

For those of you who think that all these years he shows up for one day to host the annual TV telethon and that's it--you'd better think again. The man spends months out of the year flying around America making pleas to corporations to support his efforts.

He has never asked for publicity for doing this and has never taken a penny.

Yes, other entertainers have donated large checks to various causes and have shown up here and there for a charitable cause. However, I don't know any entertainer that has given so much dedication and so much of their lives to help other people.

It was long overdue.

How to Ruin "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"

"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is the most beautiful, bittersweet and romantic film ever made. The 1964 French Cannes Film Winner and Oscar Nominated in 5 categories, is the story of a young love that never was meant to be. The entire dialogue is sung in French from a score from Michel Legrand and features the captivating song/theme "I Will Wait For You."

Originally released in 1964, the film set box office records worldwide. Before "Love Story," it became the ultimate film for any couples in love regardless of age.

Shown for only a few months in America, it would not be available again for viewing in the U.S. until the early 1980's when a washed out image, inferior mono sound copy became available on VHS at a price over $125. You had to rent it, but there it was.
Although the director died in 1990, he had stored away original negatives. In the mid-1990's, the director's wife saw that the film was restored to the ultimate color image with an updated soundtrack. It was again released briefly to theaters worldwide with an accompanying restored VHS and eventually a DVD version.

Only adults went to see it in 1964, and I remember seeing it advertised on the marquee of the "400" theater on Sheridan Road in Chicago, the North Side's Arts/Independent Movie Theater.

I had heard about it through the years and finally saw it for the first time renting it in the early 1980's. It was so wonderful that you can't forget it.

Since then, I've seen it over 25 times on VHS/DVD.

I was very thrilled to learn that Los Angeles' only "retro" theater was to show it this weekend.

I'd like to say that the experience was wonderful, but it wasn't.

"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is a captivating drama, sung entirely to music, with just a few lighter moments of the sung dialogue. It is accompanied by English subtitles.

The first time that a clever/whimsical line was sung, I was stunned.

The audience howled with laughter. "What's going on here?," I was annoyingly thinking.

And from that point, anytime even something remotely playful was said, the audience would break into laughter.

And if this was not bad enough to destroy the feeling of the film, we were treated to another reason for uncontrollable hysteria.

Yes, we know that one of the female characters is really in love with the main male character, and she shows emotions completely opposite from what she is feeling--yes---we get it--that does not require loud and extreme laughter. We're not watching "The Graduate" here.

My first-ever big screen experience of "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" was basically destroyed by a typical American audience. They are so used to watching TV sitcoms, talk shows, goofy game shows and laughing hysterically at every feeble attempt at humor, they have been programmed to respond regardless.

The only sound from the audience should have been sobs and choking, especially at the final heart-wrenching scene.

They did give an intense applause at the conclusion. So there is some hope.

It's back to the DVD. Why don't you go rent it from Netflix. You'll thank me.

What I Like About Our New President

Whether you agree or disagree with President Obama--you can't deny one thing--he is at his job everyday--working.

His predecessor, that Bush guy, spent over 800 days on vacation during his 8 years, setting a new record for Presidential playtime.

By comparison, Bill Clinton spent 150 days of relaxation in his 8 years out of the office. Plus one hour in the office.

Why don't you see if you can follow George W. Bush's example and take off 100 days every year on your job.

If you are lucky enough to have a job, you are working harder than ever. And our new President is setting the example.


As revealed over the last few days by the appointments/unappointments made for President Obama's cabinet, even those who had six-figure or more paying jobs have not been keeping up with their taxes. The cost of living in America has become difficult for people of all social classes--and they have decided that taxes will be the last priority.

Yet banks, financial institutions, automakers and other U.S. companies continue to get billion dollar gifts from the American people.

If the auto companies are given billions to hang in there another 90 days, and the American people don't have the money to buy a new automobile, what is the purpose?

If the American people do not have any money to buy the goods and services being offered by their neighborhood stores, everybody is affected. Layoffs by the tens of thousands weekly.

There is only one way of dealing with this at this point. And that is for the government to give all of this bailout money to U.S. citizens to spend on goods and services so the businesses can stay open and keep their employees who in turn will go out and contribute to the spending cycle.

Of course, that would be embarrassing to the U.S. system of Capitalism, but we no longer have Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Mao and Krushchev around to laugh at us. Although, Castro in his last days is enjoying the failure of our economic system thoroughly.

We need a special one-day federal holiday--Capitalism Helper Day. The U.S. Government will give every American, money to spend on one special day. The specially printed money is only good for that one day only. Paris Hilton will be the national spokesman and do the countdown. All businesses in America would be open for 24 hours.

It would be your patriotic duty to go out and spend, spend, spend.

Why Not?