Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Redneck Engineers:

      Bubba and Junior were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.  

      A woman walked by and asked what they were doing. "We're supposed to find the height of the flagpole," said Bubba, "but we don't have a ladder."  

      The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down.  

      Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, measured the pole, and said, "Eighteen feet, six inches," and walked away.  

      Junior shook his head and laughed, "Ain't that just like a dumb blonde! We asked for the height, and she gives us the length!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mommy On FaceBook:

07-25-2010 04;07;19AMOR
"...I'm not allowed one imaginary friend in the backyard but Mommy has 433 of them on FaceBook”

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Park and Peace Memorial

Uploaded on Jan 16, 2011

Pictures from the Park and Peace Memorial in Indianapolis. Dedicated to Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy who, on the night of Dr. King's assassination, delivered an impromptu speech that many credit with saving the city of Indianapolis from the violence that visited many cities across the country.                          GlennDL


Sunday, January 17, 2016

I don’t take candy from Strangers.

01-02-2010 06;32;32PM

“Saaaaaay, aren’t you a stranger in these parts? Well, I don’t take candy from Strangers.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

2014 [2015] Oscars: Glenn’s Picks, or, “Oscars! Oscars! We don’t need no stinkin’ Oscars!”

Re-Posted from: 3-21-2015

Best Supporting Actor/Actress: The nominees are: Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern, Keira Knightly, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep; Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Mark Rufflalo, and J. K. Simmons. 

I have not seen  Simmons or Dern’s performances, but if Mark Rufflalo is ever noticed enough to be Whiplashnominated I would be inclined to say, “Sure, why not.” Was expecting more. Like Steve Carell’s character the role alone doesn’t rise to the level of Oscar Nomination. See Rufflalo in “Begin Again” for his best performance of 2014 (a good performance and a better movie). What about Ed Norton in “Birdman”? Listen, I love him, I liked this movie, he has been so steady and so good he should be able to pick any movie he’s ever played in and automatically be given a Best Actor Oscar for it. Any movie, without a doubt, except this one.
For any actress/actors in the movie “Boyhood” please set down. I’ve always been fond of Arquette and have grown to like Hawke, but the movie was a ‘gimmick’ movie, artsy fartsy Boyhoodcrowd choice, it should be admitted that the only category it will fit in, maybe, is the ‘cult classic’ genre. I would prefer you stuck me with a pin before you even asked me to watch it. Made me want to punch a teen ager.
Emma Stone in “Birdman”? Oh My God (translation: OMG). In every performance, and there have been good ones, its hard to witness without being distracted by those eyes, both enchanting and distracting (yes I meant both eyes), but in this movie her anorexic appearance just drives you away from her performance and those eyes. You just want the other cast members to grab her and hold her down while you force feed her a big mac. They should have given the nomination to Naomi Watts and took Emma to to an all you can eat buffet to celebrate.
Keira Knightley, love her, always, in everything since I first saw her in “Bend It Like Bechman”, and she is, as always, good in “The Imitation Game”, a movie I loved. But, what was her character doing there? Her character was obviously relevant as a contributor to the real life project, was introduce as qualified as a team member, but she was only used as a romantic device that was a detour to the revelations of the third act. Her role as part of the team seemed to be that of cheerleader and  was obviously only meant to expose the main characters foibles. Something that was already being exposed through flashbacks. As a plot device she gave a fine performance , but the films writer and directors didn’t even endorse her role as more than a device in the story/movie.
There are some actors (many), that in spite of their abilities and great performances early in the career, seem to

become caricatures of themselves in later years. Examples of this would be De Nero, Pacino, Grant, Bussy, and Duvall. They end up playing the same character , with the same inflections, mannerism and expression no matter what the role. Until now I would have included Streep, but for a change she wasn’t the same old Streep. Give her the Oscar.     ACTUAL WINNER: J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette

I have never figured this category out. What does supporting mean? Second fiddle? Minor part? Short appearance? Who knows? I’ve seen great performances nominated for ‘supporting roles’ when the primary star of the movie gave a terrible performance that garnered no nominations. I’ve also seen nominations for ‘supporting’ roles where the nominee was only on screen for a few seconds. How does one qualify? No winner, instead:

If they ever establish an Oscar for “Best Short Performance EVER” my winner would be:

George Savalas (younger brother of Telly) in “Kelly’s Heroes” as First Sergeant Mulligan. He’s on camera in only two scenes. In one scene he says one word two times, end of scene, about 20 seconds. In the other scene he delivers 53 seconds of recognition, angst, fear, panic, logic, humility, desperation, understanding, determination, and scared defiance.

My lifetime achievement award in the “Best Short Performance EVER” category would go to Don Rickles, who is also in Kelly’s Heroes. It seems that when you look at stars in one field transitioning to another field comedians seems to be the more successful professions at crossing over to film. Don Rickles, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks and others seem able to transition to emotional displays so much better than singers, musicians, writers, athletes and politicians.

Best Actor/Actress: I haven’t seen any of the movies that star the female nominees, except for “Gone Girl”. So the only comment I could make is that I’m glad I got to see Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) on screen long enough to see her blink. Does she get Botox injections in her eyelids, take caffeine intravenously? I was beginning to think, from the few performances I’ve seen from her, that the only expression she was able to conjure was from some early horror movies she might have played in. If she ever told me, “Hey buddy look up here, you’re talking to me, look at my eyes.” I would run. No winner.
Steve Carell’s performance: other than to refer you to the comment above about comedian actors and to point out that this is his first nomination for his first serious role, so he probably doesn’t have a chance. Was expecting more. Steve Carell’s character, the role alone, doesn’t rise to the level of Oscar Nomination. Was the character an emotionless stiff or was it a choice to play him that way. Carell makes my earlier comment about comedians turned serious actors look stupid. If that was the way to accurately portray the character then no one could make it an Oscar level performance without making it the focus of the movie, the ‘lead’, and that’s the biggest problem with the nomination, it wasn’t the lead character. I’m not saying Tatum Channing's performance was not adequate, but what does it say that the secondary characters get nominations over him? It suggest that the nomination of both Rufflalo and Carell may have been sentimental choices from a movie with portrayals of otherwise uninteresting, stiff and repressed characters.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the prosthetic nose hiding that familiar face we would have all been longing for a punch line from Carell to wrap-up a long, painful, boring SNL type of ‘bad’ skit. (When they have a bad one it’s a bad one.)

Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”. I can’t help but feel his nomination was a sentimental one. So much of the movie was about the environment that he was in, but never demonstrated the internal struggles, demons, and angst the character had to endure. The character was so emotionally repressed, and Cooper played him so subtlety that Cooper’s talent and range were limited. His portrayal of the sniper Chris Kyle may have been dead on, but the character was not fleshed out enough to rise to the level of Best Actor. It was a typical good performance by Cooper, but not even amongst his best role or portrayal.
Cumberbatch, Keaton, and Redmayne were three outstanding performances. Keaton’s performance was so far above anything he’s done before, and he is the ‘old man’ in this category, so he may very well win. This might be his only and last chance to win so if he does I won’t complain, but I would have to watch that movie again before I would call it in his favor.

Cumberbatch and Redmayne are portraying two similar characters, flawed geniuses, one physically and one emotionally. People who contributed to the welfare of the world in there own way. One through his mental genius and the other by using his genius to save thousands of lives during World War II. One to be celebrated but imprisoned in his failing body, the other to never be recognized or thanked, but imprisoned by the society he protected. It makes you wonder if through the influence of “The Big Bang” theory this has become the decade of the nerd. The performance by Cumberbatch is extraordinary. 
ACTUAL WINNER Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore

Best Director: If the director is the creative genius who makes the movie doesn’t the Best Picture Oscar go to the Best Director? How can you be the best director in a given year without making the best movie? They don’t get Best Director for making the best two movies, or the most movies in a year.Who gets the Best Picture Oscar? The Producers?  Aren’t they just the money men behind the project? They pick the project, organize it, and then turn it over to the director? Isn’t their role in the actual making of the movie so indirect that they are often producing several movies at the same time? I’ve seen some movies list as many as ten producers. ACTUAL WINNER: Birdman (Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

I’ve come to see the Best Director Oscar as sort of a consolation prize. Sometimes going to the second best movie or the best ‘quirky’ movie, or the best movie not nominated for Best Picture.

Since my second choice for Best Picture is not nominated for Best Director I will go with my favorite movie not nominated for Best Picture, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Best Picture: Ignoring my concerns about who gets the actual award here are the nominees and my choices for Best Picture:


American Sniper: I liked American Sniper because of the story it was trying to tell, but that is a ‘sentimental’ American Sniperreason. I wouldn’t rate it even the best war movie of the year. “Fury” with Brad Pitt this year and “Lone Survivor” in 2013 with Mark Walhberg and 2012s Zero Dark Thirty with Jessica Chastain were better war movies. The Hurt Locker (2008 Best Picture, Best Director) was a better look at the emotional and social struggles of war time veterans. As a matter of fact, watching American Sniper was like watching a movie after you’ve read the book. You can’t help making comparisons that are distracting. You also find yourself looking for events from the book not present in the movie. The sentimentalist label fits the movie as more attention has been giving to the politicians who are band-wagoning on its popularity because of their perceived believe that the movie’s popularity is an endorsement of their political beliefs. Along those lines you wonder where they were when the Hurt Locker failed to garnish their support and ended up being the lowest grossing movie ever to win Best Picture.

Selma: Probably my favorite movie of the year, but not the best picture of the year. Ladies and gentlemen here is Selmaa lesson in objectivity. Because you like a movie better than any other movie does not mean it was the best ever made. That applies to any given year. I love my kid. That doesn’t mean they’re better at basketball than Micheal Jordan, smarter than Einstein, stronger than the Hulk, funnier than Steve Martin, etc. My kid is not my choice for Best Actor or Actress in a motion picture.
As good as Selma is, and as much as I like it, it is not the Best Picture. Like American Sniper it has a semi-documentary feel about it. Both movies are sentimental favorites and unfortunately any discussion of the two movies degrade into an argument about the sentimental feelings towards the two movies and not the qualities of the movie. Selma is my favorite movie of the year, but not my choice for Best Picture.

Boyhood: Enough already said, just stick a needle in my eye. I didn’t hate it and I’m not saying it’s bad movie making, but I am saying it never rises above a gimmick. It rates as my least liked movie of 2014. Actually it ties with “A Million Ways To Die In The West” which should get a The Grand Budapest Hotelnotch up on Boyhood because it doesn’t pretend to be more than it is.

The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Quirky movies never get Best Picture, I give it “Best Director For The Best Movie Not Nominated For Best Picture” Oscar.

I loved this movie, but all through it I was trying to figure out where it was going, because no matter where you were in the movie it never seemed to have any direction. Maybe that was what the director was going for, but the truth is, when you got to the end it still hadn’t gone anywhere. I can’t help but think that if someone took it, re-edited and only changed the ending it would be a great movie. Maybe ending it with Emma Stone eating a Big Mac at McDonalds. ACTUAL WINNER

The Theory Of Everything: Great movie, but it seemed to gloss over so many things that should have been The Theory of Everythingfurther developed. If your going to spend so much time on how great the romantic love story was then you should properly address the significance and development of the complicated transformation from spouse to friends. The complicated relationships that developed following the divorce between Hawkins, his wife, her lover and Hawkins second wife should have been developed more.. Hawkins second wife was also his second physical therapist and his first wife's lover was his first physical therapist. You see what I mean.

Whiplash: Didn’t see it. Here’s why: worst salesmanship job EVER done in a movie trailer/preview. A wimpy drummer volunteers to be abused my a maniacal, duplicitous, music instructor. Watch it because it just about that, no romance, no based on a true story, no big stars, no action, no background story, nothing but how interesting music lessons can be. On the possible ‘plus’ side the movie has to be better than the marketing, right?

The Imitation Game: My winner -- What did it not have? Great story, performances, injustices and The Imitation Gametheir consequences. Based on fact, a war story where the hero seldom ventures from inside his lab. A hero who must live in anonymity without recognition or even acknowledgement of his role in saving lives and ending the war. A hero who is never rewarded for the enemy secrets he exposed, but punished for his private secrets. Forced to accept persecution and chemical punishment for his private sins. Cumberbatch’s performance is a great change from his performance as the rigid, self-regimented Sherlock Holmes on TV.

See Also:    A horse is a horse of course of course… that is of course unless the horse is a… mule.

see also: My 2014 Movie List

Friday, January 1, 2016

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