Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesdays with Paulie 2/27/07

Hey Wake Up!
The Oscars are still on

Oscar night has always been special to me. When I was a child, my mother would allow me stay up past my bedtime two Sunday evenings every year. The first night would be to watch the Ten Commandments, which ABC traditionally airs every Easter Sunday. The other was Academy Awards night. As a married man who no longer lives with mommy, I try to keep my share of that tradition alive, but it would be nice if the show was worth staying up for.

What is suppose to be Hollywood's big night when all the stars come out to honor the movie industry's finest, was comparable to a lame Bar-Mitzvah party in which the parents hired a second rate Master of Ceremonies. I have nothing against Ellen DeGeneres, but having a daytime talk-show host, who was at best a moderately successful stand-up comic host entertainments biggest night of the year, was doomed to fail from the start.

If you look at the Academy Awards 79 year history and look at the Hosting honors, you'll see the elite of the entertainment industry. Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and last night Ellen DeGeneres...do I need to say anymore.

Ellen wasn't bad, she just wasn't...anything. She did have one great line when she said, "If there were no blacks, Jews or gays, there'd be no Oscars." That may be the most factual statement to come out of Hollywood in recent memory.

Going into last night's awards ceremony, there was a couple of sure bets. British Actress Helen Mirren was going to win Best Actress for her performance in The Queen. Best Documentary was going to An Inconvenient Truth. Deserved or not, there was no way Hollywood wasn't going to give an ward to one of their liberal heroes, Al Gore. I didn't see any of the nominated films in the Best Documentary category, so I have no idea what deserved to win. Even people who dislike Gore or at least disagree with him on global warming say it was a very well made film. I guess congrats to the former VP is in order. I was disappointed that Hollywood decided to give the best song ward to Melissa Etheridge for I Need To Wake Up, which was from An Inconvenient Truth. The movie Dreamgirls had three nominated songs, which where all more worthy than the Etheridge tune. Can't expect Hollywood to miss an opportunity to grant the far left more air-time.

The highlights of the evening was undoubtedly Jennifer Hudson winning for Best Supporting Actress. Her speech was truly from the heart and her personal story is in itself movie worthy. Finally the best director award went to Martin Scorsese for his mob epic "The Departed," which also won best picture. Best director honors for Scorsese was in a way a lifetime achievement award. Scorsese who could of easily won for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or Goodfellas, finally received the recognition he first earned four decades ago. A long overdue award for arguably the greatest director in cinema history.

If early ratings numbers hold, Sunday's telecast will be the 3rd least watched Oscar broadcast in history.

Speaking of movies

This past weekend my wife and I had the rare opportunity to actually watch a couple of movies. The first flick was a rental, Everything is Illuminated starring Elijah Wood. The film, which is a Holocaust story, was adapted from the book with the same title. A young American Jew, journeys to Ukraine in search of Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather’s life during the Nazi liquidation of Trachimbrod.

I highly recommend this film. Besides great performances, the story is very emotional as well as important, since it is based on a true story. Many people stay away from Holocaust films because their content can be so horrifying and even painful for the viewer. This film is not one of those movies. Don't get me wrong, the movie does have some heart wrenching moments. However this film is about the importance of remembering the past and how you can't runaway from the truth. It also serves as a reminder of how the Nazi's not only murdered Jews, but in many cases successfully erased their existence from history. Check out this film.

The other film we saw was actually in a theater. Thank you mom for babysitting Sunday afternoon as the wife and I saw, Breach starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney. This film was also based on a true story of the greatest security breach in US history. FBI agent Robert Hanssen spent 22 years dealing information to the Russians. The movie is the story behind his personal life and the agents who worked to capture him. Hanssen is serving a life sentence in the Federal Supermax Prison in Florence.

I went into the theater with very high expectations and was not disappointed. Chris Cooper puts on a great performance as does Ryan Phillippe, who I have viewed as an acting lightweight in the past. If you are a history buff or a fan of spy movies, this film will not let you down. Don't wait for the DVD release, go see this film in the theatre.

Indiana Republicans do the right thing
National Jewish Democratic Council should do the same

You may recall last week I wrote about Indianapolis Mayoral candidate Bob Parker (R?) and his comments stereotyping Jews. The Indiana GOP has taken the high road and asked Parker not to file as a Republican. Your brilliant blogger wants to thank the Indiana GOP for not ignoring Parker's shameful remarks and serving as a great example of doing the right thing instead of playing partisan politics. I would hope the National Jewish Democratic Council, which was quick to criticize Parker’s comments when they became public, would show the same concern about the remarks which Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark made almost two months ago, which were based on the same anti-Jewish stereotype. I am also waiting to hear from them regarding recent remarks John Edwards allegedly made, when he was quoted as saying, "Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities." In all fairness, Edwards claims he didn't make those remarks, but reporter Peter Back adamantly backs his story. The NJDC needs to find the truth.

Former ACLU President Arrested for Child Porn
Networks, New York Times ignore story

Imagine if a religious leader or head of any conservative/Republican organization was arrested on Child Pornography charges. Such as story would receive front page headlines in most major newspapers as well as the lead or at worst second story on the network news. Now imagine a liberal organization leader, who has played an intricate role in opposing Internet filters at libraries to block child pornography, is arrested for possessing child pornography. That story would never see the light of day on the network broadcasts or in the New York Times.

Charles Rust-Tierney former president of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties was arrested Friday by federal agents, for allegedly possessing child pornography. Rust-Tierney has admitted to investigators that he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites and burned them onto CD-ROMs. The complaint states that the videos in question contain graphic, forcible intercourse with prepubescent females, one of whom can be "seen and heard crying," while another is apparently tied with ropes.

So where is the news coverage and the outcry? Nowhere to be found, except on Bill O'Reilly's program on the Fox News Channel. This is a great example of my biggest complaint with the left-wing media. I'm used to the bias reporting. However, when you decide to not even cover a story that is pertinent to public safety because it may has negative consequences for your political agenda, is just plain disgusting. Rust-Tierney has been a major advocate against libraries placing Internet filters so children as well as adults cannot view pornography as well as illegal kiddie porn in a public setting. Obviously this guy had a motive behind his activism that didn't serve the public interest. However, unless you happen to view the O'Reilly Factor, you would never know this.

Parents protect your children. God Knows the liberal-media has no interest in doing so unless it is politically advantageous, which means indicting conservatives or Christians only.



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