Writing Is Hard Work for An Amateur

DSCN2894

My blog posts have been few lately because of a project I began a few months ago. Last July I saw a documentary movie called America, Imagine the World Without Her? Written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza the movie is a very good chronicle of how Obama is changing America. I walked away from the film thinking D’Souza failed to answer the title question for me. I came home and wrote a movie review. I poled my readers and asked if they would like to hear my version of what the world would be like if America (USA) never existed. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of hearing my answer.

I began write a short story of what I thought might have happened if the Revolution of 1776 had failed. The intent was to make it a simple blog post. This story is not simple, there is too much history to consider. Instead of writing a bunch of boring historical facts and theorizing what would be different had they not happened is mind-boggling. My story has evolved into a novel and is absorbing me completely. I am not a novel writer, in fact, I have trouble writing short essays for this blog, but I will answer the question. The working title for my work is British American Colonies. At this point I am about forty percent complete and dreaming up plots and sub plots, with lots of characters. I have so many twists in the story, that I had to draw maps, keep character logs, and a chapter summary log to keep myself focused. I don’t know if any other writers do that kind of stuff, but I do. When you begin without an outline or any type of organized approach the story evolves as the words flow.

My goal is to complete the book by mid-year for publishing. The least I will do is self-publish on Kindle. One way or another this story is going to the public, that is, if I live long enough to make it happen. At my age anything can happen in a single heart beat.

Wish me luck.

This Story Left Me Crying

During the course of my years on Earth I have seen many war movies. Beginning with WWII to Korea to Viet Nam, To Iraq, to Afghanistan, and some I have forgotten. Many of the WWII films were rah-rah propaganda movies that formed my opinion about the Germans and the Japanese.  Nevertheless, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Rory Calhoun, all became super heroes in my mind. Today, I saw American Sniper and cried. In December I watched a short promo clip on the movie and decided this is one I had to see. My intuition was correct. I am glad I saw the film. The story is true and chronicles a true American from Texas. Raised in the country by strict parents who taught their sons not to start trouble, but if they were in trouble, or if one theirs was in trouble to come to their defense, and to end it. Kyle watched the twin towers fall after radical Islamists flew commercial airliners into the building. The incident caused him to serve his country, the rest is history.

It was easy to understand why this film has six nominations for Academy Awards including best picture of the year. It is easy to understand why the Academy nominated Bradley Cooper for best actor. I’ve seen Cooper in a couple of films, and each time I liked the way he played his character. In American Sniper he plays the role of Chris Kyle believably. To me if an actor can make me believe he is the character in the story he has succeeded in his craft. Cooper does so expertly. He also had to gain a lot of weight and muscle to look like a Navy Seal. He did that too.

His story is not all peaches and cream. Kyle’s drive to protect his fellow Marines from harm comes with a price to his own psyche. It became very clear that he progressively changed with each of his four tours of deployment. I give the VA doctor who finally out-physched him by suggesting that there are plenty of vets at home that he can protect.   The Doctor convinced him to use his energy to help fellow veterans disabled with PTSD. Kyle threw himself into the effort and that is what finally caused his death.

The Marines used Kyle as a sniper, and he was very good at it. However, Kyle did not think sniping saved enough people and he also served to conduct ground missions to clear the enemy from local hiding places. He was a well-rounded soldier.

There have been several people who made themselves news worthy by jumping on the Kyle story for their own benefit. It is my opinion that these people should lose their citizenship in the USA and be given one way tickets to live with the enemy in ISIS held territories. Who are these People?

1. Jesse Ventura, ex Navy Seal, professional wrestler, and former Governor of Minnesota accused Kyle as a liar. “Kyle wrote in his book, also titled American Sniper, about an incident in which he punched out a man in a bar for badmouthing the U.S. military. In a subsequent appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Kyle identified Ventura as that man.” Ventura sued the Kyle estate for defamation, and won. Jesse continues to bad mouth Kyle as a liar, and not a hero. Leave it alone Jesse, the man is dead and your wrestling career is over, find a job shining the shoes of Liberal politicians.

2. Michael Moore, Documentary film producer and over eater made derogatory comments about Kyle. Still upset over his uncle being killed by a sniper during WWII, Moore resents making snipers into heroes. I have news for you Mr. Moore, a sniper is a weapon just like a hand grenade, or a bomb. The military uses the most effective weapon to get the job done. Kyle was acting out his orders. Oh Sure he could have turned down the assignment and been court martialed, but why even join the military if you refuse assignments.?

3. Seth Rogan, coward extraordinary who proudly made a movie about assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and then went into hiding when North Korea hacked Sony Corp computers. In response, Sony took the movie off the market because of fear of retribution from North Korea.  Rogan compared American Sniper to Nazi propaganda.

4. Howard Dean, former Doctor, Governor of Vermont, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and a failed candidate for President. Is an outspoken Socialist who is so far left in his thinking he cannot understand another point of view like Conservatism. He invoked a lot of furor when he said the following:

“There’s a lot of anger in this country. And the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry,”

He was referring to Tea Party people when he said there is a lot of anger in this country. I agree with him, but the anger came after his comment not before.

American Sniper is a biography, a historical perspective, a documentary on the effect of war on the soldier, and his family, and an anti-war film all rolled up in the story of one man’s life.

We should all be proud of men like Chris Kyle who lived to protect us.

Teaching Street Smarts

Kee-rraap it is cold outside. My walk today was longer than usual, but also faster than normal. Longer because the biting cold wind against my rosy cheeks stung to high heaven, and fast because my motor wanted to get me the hell into the warmth. It has been almost three years since I have enjoyed such extreme temperature. The past two years in Arizona conditioned me for a low of fifty-five. A minus two degree windchill is fifty-seven degrees lower than I can withstand. Nevertheless, I am staying in Frankfort this winter so I need to get out for some conditioning, and I got it.

st_vincent_ver6

Yesterday was worse because the high temperature peaked at eighteen degrees. At least today, it is a balmy twenty-eight. The wind chill has been the killer on both days. What saved yesterday was seeing a delightful movie. Peggy and I watched “Saint Vincent.” It is what I call a sleeper. I haven’t heard people talking about it, yet it spoke to me when I reviewed the films playing this week. I totally enjoyed the story and the characters. The actors were cast perfectly for their roles.

This film is a comedy, which is what I wanted to see, and I did laugh at some of the stuff going on, but I cried too. Somehow, when I cry, it cannot be funny. The theme of the story dealt with broken homes, bullying, family bankruptcy, aging, grief, desperation, and survival.

Bill Murray plays the part of Vin (Vincent Mac Kenna) a Viet Nam era vet who lives alone, and dislikes people. He smokes too much, drinks too much, and gambles too much, but he is the hero of the story. He becomes a caretaker for the smart kid Oliver who just moved in next door, and whose mother Maggie(Melissa Mc Carthy) works too much to get by. Needless to say, Vin’s tutoring of Oliver (the smart kid Jaden Lieberher) cannot be classified as politically correct. The education Vin gave Oliver falls into the subject of “street smarts.” Oliver handles it well, but his errant father doesn’t want Oliver to be near Vin, even though the father hasn’t donated a penny to his well-being. All the father did was to complicate the story, which I loved, but Oliver and his mother did not.

There are some lessor characters in the story like Father Geraty (Chris O’Dowd) who teaches Oliver at Saint Patrick’s Catholic school. There is also Daka, (Naomi Watts) Vin’s hired and pregnant girl friend who is his occasional underpaid companion, and Vin’s bookie Zucko (Terrence Howard) who only wants Vin to pay him back. Put these people into the mix along with a good storyline and one has a very entertaining story.

To me the star of this movie is Oliver. The kid is perfect for the part, and he is an excellent actor too. I nominate him for Best Supporting Actor for the 2015 Oscars.

See the movie on Tuesday at Marcus for five bucks. I saw it on Wednesday for seven, but it was worth it. Six-fifty for a small pop-corn is worse than three sixty-nine for a gallon of gas where is the Occupy Wall Street crowd on that one?

 

Needs a Bulldozer to Handle the Burial

0

Yesterday, Peg and I opened the 2014-15 movie season. We miss seeing good films, and finally, Hollywood has put out some good stuff. We also like to go when the prices are less than five bucks, the crowds nonexistent, and the showtimes are early. Our friends told us to go see Gone Girl, and The Judge, but the show times for both were late in the afternoon, and we ruled them out. Even though my buddy told me that he hated the actors in Gone Girl the story carried his interest. We’ll see Gone Girl on another day.

The film that met our requirements was The Equalizer with Denzel Washington.   This film is pure fantasy, super-hero, super-man, one man against an army, type of story that kept me riveted to my seat. Denzel is one of my favorite actors, and always has been. He chooses his roles wisely and does outstanding work in depicting the characters he plays. Don’t ask me to name any of the other cast members because I didn’t recognize any of them. All I can say is they chose a mean, bad-ass looking bunch to play the Russian villains.

This is one super-hero movie in which the super-guy, Denzel, actually gets nicked by some bullets. Most super-hero films leave the hero totally unscathed by  the hundreds of bullets flying past his head. The early part of the film begins slowly with a very good character development and a story that would have satisfied me even if it had stayed boring. About a third of the way through, however, things begin to heat up and the body count begins to rise. Clearly, this is not a film produced by gun control advocates. If it were, there wouldn’t have been a single gun shown in the film. Instead, the author, producer, and director chose to use every type of automatic weapon known to man to tell the story. Yet, there were still very many bodies turned lifeless by methods other than speeding bullets like twisted broken necks, knives, corkscrews, and some more. By the end of the story the author needed a mass grave, and a bulldozer to handle the burial.

Given the climate of our political world today, I actually believe that Black Ops characters like Robert Mc Call (Denzel Washington) may actually exist in the real world. If they do, I do not want to know any of them. I am completely satisfied knowing they exist to protect us from worldly harm.

In some ways the film was a comedy, because of all the Mac Gyver type situations the hero had to work his way through. Some were so predictable I laughed out loud before they happened. I loved this film, and will see it again someday after it becomes available on disc at the library.

Imagine the World Without Her

AmericaFlyer-WashingtonMonument

Last Friday, Peggy and I experienced sticker shock by going to the movies. I needed to see the documentary film “America,” produced by Dinesh D’Souza.

“That’ll be sixteen dollars please.”

“What? Do you see this white hair? What happened to the five dollar tickets?”

“This is Friday sir we charge the weekend rates. The five dollar ticket is for Monday through Thursday.”

I quit fighting, paid the money, and went to get Peg her bag of pop-corn. I buy a small bag because she eats one or two handfuls and then quits. I end up eating the rest.  “Six dollars please.”

“What? Would you repeat that I don’t think I heard correctly, I thought I heard you say six dollars.”

“It is six dollars sir.” During the week, I scream at an outrageous price of four-seventy-five for the same bag, and now they want six. Oh well that is capitalism at its finest.

We were the first ones in the theater and chose seats in the second row center. That makes it easy for me to sneak out for a whiz if I need to go. We sat and began watching trailers for new films to come. Peg and I shared the pop-corn. About mid-way through the third trailer, I had to fidget and eased my grip on the pop corn. PLOP! It fell to the floor. I saw my six bucks fly off with wings on it. Luckily I saved enough by carefully picking up the bag; Peg’s few handfuls saved.

The movie America, is an excellent expose of Progressivism and D’Souza points out the background for the Progressivist movement. In a nut shell, liberals hate colonialism, and that hatred permeates our society with arguments based on the premise that colonialism is theft. He briefly mentions that Obama’s father hated colonialism because his home country of Kenya was a British colony. Obama senior served as advisor to Jomo Kenyatta who ruled Kenya after breaking away from Britain. Unfortunately for Barack senior, Kenyata quickly saw through Obama’s scheme and fired him. (Evidently the Kenyans are much smarter than Americans.)

Here are some of the progressive arguments:

1. America stole the land from the native Indians.

2. Americans prospered on the labor stolen from slaves.

3. America stole land from Mexico.

4. America thrives on capitalism which steals from the average person to make business owners filthy rich.

5. America based its foreign policy on stealing resources (oil) from the mid-east.

The film very expertly examines the basis for each of these arguments then turns to debate each with sound facts. I have used many of the same arguments deduced from the faint knowledge of history that I have and some common sense. The problem is that the liberals teach their arguments in high school and college, and a Howard Zinn textbook is now used by fifth grade teachers. Zinn is most notorious for writing history textbooks that explain history from the viewpoint of the common man. Zinn does not offer a second viewpoint in his books, so our kids learn history from the viewpoint of socialism. In the film, a colleague of Zinn from the same school absolutely refutes Zinn’s perspective of history. (I wondered why this guy didn’t speak up about Zinn to University leaders. It must be the mindset of college professors to leave each other alone under First Amendment rights.)

During his defense of stealing land from Mexico, Dinesh interviews a young man of Mexican descent who lives in the U.S. on land purportedly stolen from his ancestors. The man loves America and has no desire for his state to be returned to Mexico. In fact he argued that the current Mexicans are upset that the U.S. gave back half of the land they conquered during the Mexican-American War of 1846 and paid the Mexicans for the other half. Had the U.S. kept all the land native Mexicans would have the same outcome.

America, kept me riveted to the screen from beginning to end, and I recommend  everyone see the movie. I especially liked the rock version of the Star Spangled Banner played by Madison Rising. It was a perfect way to end the course.

Yesterday, I sent a letter to each of my high school aged grandkids with a flyer for the film and a twenty-dollar bill. I asked them to take a friend to see America.

D’Souza left me disappointed in one aspect. In his intro to the film he asks us what would the world be like if there was no America? I didn’t see the answer to this question anywhere in the movie. I expected to see a version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where we see the outcome of North America had the American Revolution not succeeded. I’ve been thinking about the question ever since, and will write an essay based on my own visions.

 

As Old As Me

This week I had the lovely opportunity to spend time with my youngest grand-daughter who is ten. On elf her current activities is Tap Dancing. She is pretty good at it too. I gave her a  treat by watching a movie with her. The movie Care Free with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was a farcical and contrived story written around the dancing and singing abilities of two actor-dancers. Fred Astaire is in my opinion the most talented dancer that ever lived. He is artistic, agile, lithe, powerful, ballet-beautiful, and graceful in his dance moves. Ginger Rogers is equally adept and physically beautiful as well.

Care Free  debuted in 1938 the same year as me. Because of the age the film is in black and white, but the lack of color didn’t obstruct the beauty of the dancing. As I mentioned above the story contrived, but cute. Unlike today’s movies which are usually very strong and poignant based on life stories.

Although this movie is seventy-five years old and the story fanciful, it shows a history of the times, and culture; clothes, cars, homes, etc. are all dated to the era. I particularly enjoyed watching the vintage automobiles, all brand new at the filming scooting around metropolitan areas. The setting for the story is a large city. The characters are all affluent. All of them smoke, all drink, and they typically meet in a country club setting dressed in tuxedos and ballroom gowns. The lady’s hair styles were a hoot, but attractive still.

Jenna and I watched and chuckled throughout the entire film. We loved it, and she got to see tap dancing performed by some of the best dancers of all time, and I got to spend some precious moments with my Jenna Rose.

 

The dance in the clip below is from the movie and is the “Yam. ” The early part of the clip shows the dance sequence and in that last-minute Ginger sings the lyrics to “Yam.”

 

God Is Not Dead

GND728x90banner

It is Good Friday morning and I awoke to a headline reading “atheist war on Easter.” I didn’t read it. I celebrated an unholy atheist holiday on April first, better known as April Fools Day. What the headline reminded me of is a post I had in mind to write last week but never did. I went to see a wonderful movie “God Is Not Dead.” All my life I have fought to learn new arguments to prove that God does exist. The one thread that remains in my mind is how it all got started. Not even the greatest mind of our time known as Stephen Hawking can out reason that one. Stuff just doesn’t happen out of nothing unless there is a Supreme Entity to seed it.

http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com

I recommend this movie for everyone, even atheists, especially atheists. At first, I didn’t think a movie about the philosophical argument about God could be entertaining and I delayed going. Yet, a voice inside me said “go.” I was glad because the story is intriguing and one sub-plots is comical. I won’t try to explain the story because it would give too much away, but it occurs inside a modern university and shows them feeding our kids bullshit by liberal, arrogant, know-it-all-professors with tenure. In my opinion tenure is an outdated idea in any school. Why do these people hide behind work rules that protect them from being canned. We have First Amendment rights to speak as we chose. Teachers don’t need tenure to protect them further.

The movie is not about tenure, it is about a professor who forces his ideas on students with a threat of a failing grade if they refuse to buy his theme of “God is  Dead.” In doing so, he denies his students from using their God-given brains from using their free will to accept or deny an idea.

What surprised me at the end of the film was a rolling list of lawsuits filed to protect First Amendment rights against the bully tactics of schools and teachers. The number is staggering.

Peg and I have seen many really great films this season, and we commend Hollywood for producing so many good stories with great actors and even better effects, but “God is not Dead” is the best film we have seen. I give it five stars, and recommend everyone see it.

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and spirituality

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Henry Game

The Next Testament

Gamintraveler

Travel Couple and Digital Nomads on a World Travel

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site

blogsense-by-barb

at the Re-Birth of America!

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

THE WAKING GIANT

United States Second Amendment Pitbull

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

Aspiring Conservative

Conservative blog with articles about today's politics!

Conservative Kentucky

Reality From my Perspective

Hearing Aid News

HEAR it HERE first! The latest on developments in hearing aids and the hearing industry.

Socialism is not the Answer

Limited Government Is

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

Just Cruisin 2

Where Intellectuals and Rednecks foregather.

allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe

Greed is an ugly default... Sharing is Caring

Nhan Fiction

"Hope is my catalyst."

prophetbrahmarishi

Just another WordPress.com site

NuVote Reach

Political Co-Dependency Intervention

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

David Emeron: Sonnets

If I swore not to describe my heart, would it stop beating forever?