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Miss America-bashing

So I guess the Miss America pageant was turned into an anti-Trump event, particularly with the Q&A section.  I didn’t watch — haven’t for years, but please.  Must we we constantly be talking about Trump.  It’s beyond ridiculous.

Even the Wapo says the competition has become political.  Why must it?

Manefort “raid.”

Other than the pure drama of it, why would the FBI do a “pre-dawn raid” on Paul Manefort, a witness in the Russia investigation who has been cooperating fully so far?  Hmmmm.  Maybe to push N. Korea off the front page and make everyone focus on Russia again?  The Russia probe is pure politics.

Are we going to freak out every time Trump does what he said he would do?

Good article from Investors Business Daily: http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/are-we-going-to-freak-out-every-time-trump-does-what-he-promised/

I’m back.

To the extent possible, I’m going to start commenting here on the arts and political matters.  I don’t intend to be incendiary, but the fact is, the political climate today appears to me to be the hysterical vs the less hysterical.  Donald Trump is not the best president we’ve ever had but he will not be the worst.  That honor, in my opinion goes to Barack Obama.  And, most likely, had Hillary Clinton been elected, it would have been her dishonor.  The Democrat Party has become a combination of warring factions, dishonest radicals, and opportunistic sleazeballs, all of whom really don’t much like America as a free-enterprise economic engine of prosperity.  The GOP has been a load of spineless (don’t fight with the black guy or they’ll call you a racist) cowards throughout the disastrous Obama presidency.  Trump, for better or worse, is changing the game.

So I’ll probably have some things to say about all this from time to time.


Somewhere in Elkhart County

Talking about bullying is the new bullying

David Cortman at TownHall.com makes a case for how the whole bullying discussion seems to be more than just concern about kids on the schoolyard. Check it out

I’ve been bothered by the discussion myself, suspecting that the real bullying is being done by those who are increasingly defining bullying as simply disagreeing with the left’s political orthodoxy.  Witness speech codes on campuses, and talk of “micro-aggressions,” a pseudo-science-y term if I’ve ever heard one.

We live in scary times.  Scarier if you’re not a liberal or leftist, because the powers that be in government, education and media appear to be conspiring to shut you up.  Bullying is not a big social issue.  People have been picking on each other for, well, for ever.  And people have been dealing with it.

It’s not a growing social problem.  It’s not even a social problem.  It’s a problem of individuals.  A bully is very often a kid who feels inadequate and has a hard time figuring out how to improve things, so he lashes out.  Or there may be deeper issues, including mental illness, drug use, parental abuse, etc. All of these are a problem.  But at its core, bullying is a problem for one kid at a time. And because it’s a problem of individuals, I’m very suspicious of those who try to frame in the context of a social problem — a problem of groups —  and try to make rules and regulations to deal with it.

Somehow, this kind of thinking needs to be corrected, because it’s terribly destructive, and gives power to people who make vague rules based on feelings and group dynamics.  You know.  Grown-up bullies.  We should be afraid of this, and fight it.

Flash: This Beatles fan didn’t watch the 50th Anniversary Special

I watched The Walking Dead

I didn’t watch the Beatles special last night because, frankly, I’ve seen it.  And so have you.  Many times.

If you didn’t live it (I did), you’ve seen Beatles retrospective after Beatles retrospective on television.  The Anthology mini-series, the documentaries (some good, some awful), and of course, the pirated stuff on YouTube.  We’ve all been treated to the juvenile entertainment reporters breathlessly speculating about a Beatles “reunion” at the Grammies, as well as at every other time Paul and Ringo have been within 50 miles of each other.  Nearly everything by, for, on and about the Beatles together and as individuals has been released, and we’ve sucked it up.  I’ve got it all memorized.  I don’t need to be told for the umpteenth time what a great group of moptop lads they were.  Enough already.

I was, and still am, a big fan of this band that shaped much of my musical sensibility. I show clips from A Hard Days’ Night in my visual communications class.  Their influence on popular music and culture is undeniable. But they were, after all, a band.  A band (not unlike Benny Goodman, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, and many others) that had a prodigious output for a short period that ended over 40 years ago.  The endless lionizing of the Beatles, no matter how much they have deserved it, has become somewhat comical and tiresome at the same time; it almost trivializes them at this point.

So I didn’t watch.  Many of you will say, “Oh, but Dave, you really missed a good program this time.”  Yes, well, I watched The Walking Dead, and you missed a good one too.

Jekyll and Hyde a pretty good show (shameless plug)

Mr. Hyde (Tony Venable) in his first meeting with love interest Elizabeth Jelkes (Kaitrin Higbee).

Dave is the director of Elkhart Civic Theatre‘s current show, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so there’s a little bias in this review.  But overall, it IS a pretty darn good show, if Dave says so himself.  A great cast, excellent lighting and stage management by Randy Zonker, appropriately spooky music and maybe even a little bit of the Halloween season come together to make this a nice fall chiller.

Interesting twist on this show is that Hyde is alternatively (and at some points concurrently) by four actors, who also play multiple other characters.  The minimal set keeps the action moving along as well.  So far audiences have been very responsive.  Even our normally staid senior-citizens night audience audibly gasped at the Act I closing action.

Anyway, consider this a biased recommendation, but if you’d like tickets, call 848-5853 during the week, or buy online at http://www.elkhartcivictheatre.org. The show ends next weekend.