Misdirected Oscars and Reviews of Three New Movies - Politicrossing
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Society & Culture

Misdirected Oscars and Reviews of Three New Movies

None of distinction, however

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Well, the 2021 Oscar telecast is now ignominious history. Glad I didn’t watch it! With its all-time low ratings, beyond the inaccurate and condescending statements, the awards themselves were misdirected.

Francis McDormand wins for a third time? No way. Her performance wasn’t even in her top 10. Cary Mulligan in Promising Young Woman  and Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday got gypped, big time.

Woke and Broke

Nomadland is the best picture? What a yawner. The Trial of the Chicago 7, with all of its inaccuracies, Promising Young Woman, and The United States vs. Billie Holiday  were far better films.

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BTW, Glenn Close is now 0 for 8. Next year if she doesn’t receive a lifetime achievement Oscar award, then the woke Oscars are completely broken, given that the show and any awards are even scheduled for next year. 

Also, how long will it be before they rename the “Oscar” award to some ‘non-binary’ name to satisfy the idiot woke Academy members?

That said, here are three current films, each quite skippable, although the first has its merits:

Stowaway

Despite the bad reviews it’s receiving, I found this movie to be an intriguing think piece, wrestling with the moral dilemma, do you let one person on board your spaceship to Mars die so that three others can live, or do you act with imprudence and condemn all four travelers?

Shamier Anderson, as the unwitting stowaway, adds some spark to the movie.

The Virtuoso

With Anthony Hopkins in a bit part, this movie takes us behind the scenes with a hitman, and how he carefully plans his jobs. For about half the movie this is quite captivating. Then, slowly, inconsistencies begin to plague the film a little, but it’s still good.

Finally, the last five minutes upend everything in the plot: so many holes now become evident, that you wonder about the mental faculties of the script writer and the director.

Shiva Baby

This train wreck of a film, replete with every Jewish stereotype you can imagine, might be semi-amusing to some, for a few moments. To have an entire film, (held at a wake, following a funeral) essentially shot in the same few rooms of a house, with tired semi-plot lines that you’ve seen 1,000 times, is beyond disappointing.

How often can the protagonist be asked by nagging Jewish aunts, “How come you’re so thin?” “How come you don’t have a boyfriend?” etc. Don’t merely skip this movie, tell everybody you know to skip it.

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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

The Rightness of The Righteous Brothers

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Righteous

I was feeling a bit anxious about all the Orwellian absurdities going on in our country. Randomly, I began listening to The Righteous Brothers and suddenly everything seemed a little more ordered and honest.

Apparently, for me, there’s something about a couple of crooners singing Unchained Melody and other hits and using terms of endearment like “baby’ and “honey” and unabashedly embracing the glorious differences between men and women that’s surprisingly refreshing.

Until recently, artists like The Righteous Brothers felt no inhibition about writing and singing songs that celebrate love and attraction between genders. There were no pronoun police, no anti-machismo militants, no shame and no efforts to emasculate men and weaponize women. Refreshing?

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If some think our pseudo-infatuation with many genders and desire-over-biology transitions are good for us as a people—or are good for ANY people—I don’t see any shred of common good in elevating desire over basic biology. I think they’re stiff-arming reality and open-arming fantasy.

If others think The Righteous Brothers should be renamed, “The Righteous Persons” or that they celebrated what is now considered sexist, rather than natural, I disagree. If those who hold this view don’t value tradition and institution created through loving design, I think they’re either fooling themselves or are being fooled, or both.

In their defense, The Righteous Brothers ask their love interests, “Without you baby, what good am I?” At first blush, these words seem to be about worth or utility. I think they’re about more than that; I think they hint at a “lostness” and a completion.

Design and destiny

Speaking of completion, Jesus teaches about men and women fulfilling their design and destiny. In doing so, he describes the union of a man and woman as not merely a joining, but as a becoming. He does this when he defines gender and marriage thusly:

“From the beginning of the world, God made them man and woman. Because of this, a man is to leave his father and mother and is to live with his wife. The two will become one. So they are no longer two, but one.”

According to God, this becoming, this state of oneness happens between members of opposite (and equal) genders. It does so because it’s based on a built-in and glorious design. No amount of surgery or hormones can change it. We’re male and female. This biological and spiritual reality doesn’t lie, and neither does God.

In terms of gender, who we are is fixed because we’re permanently and perfectly designed. It’s also glorious because as men and women we’re made to reflect God’s image in all his glory.

In truth, most of us know this is so, and those who say otherwise likely know deep down that they’re pretending. It’s quite an irony. They want something to be true, yet they’ve convinced themselves that truth is relative. They’ve chained themselves with inescapable logic.

If one accepts that we’re made in God’s image and that he made us male and female, one is free to embrace reality and his or her destiny. This truth brings light and clarity in the midst of the chaos and cacophony of our loud and silly mixed-up culture. Loving design becomes an unchained and beautiful melody.

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Business

Post Lockdown: Are You Juggling Too Many Tasks?       

Concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking

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As traffic starts to mount up everywhere, and more people are heading back to office, is the ill-advised practice  of multi-tasking regaining a foothold? Considering all that you need to do personally and professionally, are you attempting to handle too much?

These days, we all seem to be human doings, not human beings. Unfortunately, we give short shrift to concentration and focus. Indeed, concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking.

Consider this: A magnifying glass held up at the correct angle to the sun will quickly burn a hole through a piece of paper: concentration and focus. Meanwhile, no matter how much sun shines through your office window onto your desk, none of those tedious memos are going to catch on fire.  The lack of combustibility has nothing to do with the way the manufacturer engineered this flat piece of glass.

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Multi-tasking is occasionally helpful and satisfying but, along with the shower of information and communication overload, represents a paradoxical impediment to getting things done. Let’s see why.

Faster and Less Attentive

The term multi-tasking evolved from the computer industry, the early mainframe computers designed with parallel processes is perhaps the prime example of automated multi-tasking.

In many respects, the computer has accelerated our inattentiveness.  Personal computers achieved critical mass in 1981 with the introduction of the Apple Computer designed as an alternative to the IBM PC.  The affordable technology enabled us all to engage in sequential activities and elevate our propensity to become task-switchers.

Then for many reasons, and some so bizarre that they defy description, over the next 40 years we began to emulate our computers, multi-tasking while they multi-tasked.

Today, with the typical office professional sending or receiving more than 200 messages a day, counting all forms of communication, and all of them coming and going at shorter intervals, a generation of career professionals are being driven virtually to distraction. A number of the messages are fleeting, the meaning often unclear, and the result a listless and confused workforce.

Against the back drop of information and communication overload, ever-advancing technology, and more choices than anyone needs or even wants, an entire workforce generation has been taught to multi-task as if this is the way it has always been, needs to be, and always will be.

Continuous Partial Attention

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of use! Multitasking has become a norm giving rise to “continuous partial attention,” where nothing gets your true and undivided focus, and everything is homogenized to the point of carrying nearly equal weight.

We offer our attention here, there, and then somewhere else. Like a one-man band, we get our strokes from strumming the guitar, tapping our foot, and blowing on the harmonica. We equate accomplishment with flapping our wings, stirring up commotion, and making a lot of noise.

We can barely tolerate stillness. For many, silence doesn’t appear to be golden; it seems more like a dark space, lacking productivity that can yield nothing useful.

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of popular use. Generally, we feel guilty if we don’t multi-task! We contemplate our increasing workloads and responsibilities and how they are subject to continual shifts, and justify multi-tasking as a valid response to a world of flux.

Despite the temptation to do otherwise, focusing on the task at hand is vital to getting things done. Whether there’s a handful of tasks confronting you, or ideally only one, give all your time, attention, energy, focus, concentration, effort, and all that good stuff to the task at hand, and then turn to what’s next.

Over-employed, and Undesired

It’s likely that people have always sought to handle many things simultaneously, stretching as far back as cave dwellers. Their multi-tasking effort probably seemed crude by comparison. Someday, somewhere, someone may discover that we are hardwired to continuously attempt to economize our use of time.

Our age old “flight or fight” response to perceived stressors in the environment works well, at intermittent times. The small jolts of concentrated energy and vigilance helps us to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones, and our possessions.

As a species however, we are not wired to effectively handle continuous streams of two major stress hormones — adrenaline and cortisol — on a daily basis.

Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., director of the neuroendocrinology lab at Rockefeller University, observes that while we can apparently weather stresses and rapid hormonal changes in the short term, about 3 to 15 days, soon thereafter chronic stress begins to ensue.

The result is a weakened immune system, aggression, anxiety and a decrease in brain functioning which results in burnout. Dangerously high levels of cortisol can result in poor sleep patterns and insulin resistance, which can open the door to bad eating habits and weight gain.

 

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