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Brief Movie Reviews

Judas and the Black Messiah, The Father, and Nomadland

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Each of the three following movies have been nominated for several Academy Awards:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Starring the British Daniel Kaluuya, and Lakeith Stanfield, both of whom who have excellent futures in the movies, Judas and the Black Messiah is a pleasant surprise despite the ultra-clunky title. I was expecting a heavy philosophical overlay of how the Black Panthers’ experience then, somehow translates to Black Lives Matter today.

Indeed, 300+ movie reviewers fervently want to connect the two experiences but they differ vastly: 50 to 55 years ago the FBI, Chicago Police, and other police departments were verifiably hostile to black people. Today, the FBI knowingly and blatantly shields Black Live Matters crimes, be it rioting, looting, mayhem, and even murder.

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While a handful of regrettable “death by cop” cases arise each year, in general, police are not out to get black people, who are given more leeway and understanding than anyone from the 1960s could presume. And minority officers now represent 40% or more of many city police departments.

As Kaluuya is emerging as the new generation’s Denzel Washington, Martin Sheen hits a new low, not helped by the makeup director, playing an unconvincing J. Edgar Hoover.

Also, I wish someone had told me prior to my watching the movie that Fred Hampton is 18 years old, whereas Kaluuya at the time of filming is 30 years old; a major disconnect between the actor’s portrayal and the reality of the times.

The Father

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman, and Olivia Williams, The Father is a 93-minute movie that is 63 minutes too long. You could watch the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes and be no less informed.

We should all be thankful if our parents, or our future selves, do not suffer from the level of dementia portrayed here: He can’t recall what happened yesterday, sometimes an hour ago, and sometimes minutes ago.

The saving grace of the film is that it shows reality from the father’s perspective, which is a constant jangle of dates, times, people, situations, and places; and the reality of those around him who have to deal with his constant ramblings, false assertions, obstinance, proud declarations, and outright inaccuracies.

The set decorations are simple and monotonous: one apartment, one stroll outside, and one nursing care facility. That’s it. Sorry to seem terse, but this movie represents a strong statement for euthanasia — what is this point of lingering on for years in a mental state of total disarray? Save time, watch the trailer and read a long review.

Nomadland

Starring Frances McDormand, Nomadland offers a view of the American west and people who choose to no longer have permanent roots. The film presents one brief encounter after another, moving to the next scene, and the next.

It does impart the sense of loneliness and in some cases emptiness of the people who have chosen this lifestyle and so is somewhat engaging while watching it, but otherwise totally skippable.

McDormand has been nominated for an Oscar, however, this is not among her best. The film itself is regarded as profound by many reviewers, but then so was The Shape of Water and Roma (!).

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Society & Culture

Prevailing in Turbulent Times

You can remain confident despite the chaos all around you.

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Everywhere you look, proud and patriotic Americans are feeling forlorn over the worsening conditions in our society. Concurrently, many life-long career professionals are losing confidence in their ability to stay competitive in our rapidly changing world amidst a rocky economy.

In actuality, no one in society has a long-term lock on any market or inside niche, and no “body of information” affords a strategic competitive advantage for very long. The reality of our times is that everyone is feeling at least a little unsure of themselves, and in that sense everyone is in the same boat.

Besieged by information and communication overload, it is easy to feel anything but confident. After all, your ability to keep pace is all but impossible.

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Professionally, you can remain confident, however, despite the pace of change.

Taking Command

What do confident people do to maintain confidence, independent of the rate of change to which they’re exposed? And. how do they maintain a sense of breathing space along the way? Here are variety of approaches:

* Jump Starting: Initiating a small part of a project or activity in advance (getting a sneak preview) to gain familiarity just before the project or activity actually begins.

* Total Immersion: Surrounding yourself with everything you need to fully engage in the project. This could involve assembling resources, people, and equipment, as well as ensuring that you have a quiet, secure environment, free of distractions.

* Managing the Beforehand: Living with the ever-present realization that change is continually forthcoming and, thus, preparing for activities or events in advance.

* Leapfrogging: Recognizing that while you can’t keep up with every little thing that happens in your industry or profession, periodically you can leapfrog over the developments of the last several months and “catch up,” in a manner of speaking.

* Picking Your Spots: Related to leapfrogging, pick your spots in the future, say six months, whereby you want to have a new product or service introduced, or have some new technology fully integrated into your operations, and so forth.

* Go Cold Turkey: Simply suspend operations and engage in whatever it takes to incorporate a new way of doing things. This is enhanced by ensuring that you’ll have no disturbances, by bringing in outside experts, and by assembling any other resources you need to succeed.

* Days of Grace: After deciding to tackle a new project or to implement major change, build in “days of grace” and allow yourself to proceed at half to three-quarters speed. Acknowledge that assimilating the new challenges and changes will take time, and will likely involve some disruption. So, don’t expect to achieve your normal productivity or effectiveness… for now.

Small Victories

Finally, and this is vital, in all cases recognize the importance of continually seeking small victories.

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Faith

This is Why the Left Hates You

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Jesus

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It is obvious that the left has become a venomous mob, attacking anyone and anything in their path toward progressivism. Those who loudly proclaim themselves against hate, are indeed the worst perpetrators of it. There is a reason why. It is a Cosmic Conflict at its core. PolitiCrossing Founder Chris Widener takes five minutes to explain the following bible verses (Video below):

John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

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