Saturday, February 19, 2011


Should we be afraid of Muslims?

Many Americans blame all sorts of wrongdoings on Muslims. Even before last September's hullabaloo over building a mosque across from the World Trade Center, anti-Muslim feelings were common. Since then, Muslims have been attacked, defamed, and rejected by many of their neighbors.

In Congress, the House Homeland Security Committee is currently having hearings on "the terrorist threat in the United States," and "the domestic radicalization of American Muslims."

Though I'm amazed and touched by the non-violent revolution in Cairo, I can't help but wonder what will happen as Egyptians formulate plans for a democratic government.

Meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood guys in Cairo say, "In the two weeks of peaceful demonstrations, we have persistently demanded liberation and democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to joining the national effort toward reform and progress."

Hmm ... "Hamas," an extremely violent group, proudly claiming they are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, continues to threaten God-knows-what, to the homes and lives of the Israelis.

Attorney General, Eric Holder Jr., is also, seriously concerned about the domestic "radicalization" of American Muslims.

"The threat is real, the threat is different, and the threat is constant," Holder said recently, referring to American terrorist suspects, who have revealed a chilling dedication to Jihad.

Last week the New York Times ran an op-ed column titled “What the Muslim Brothers Want.” The author, a senior member of Egypt's Muslim brotherhood, cites Turkey as a model of good government for having, like the Iranian government, --"a good president like Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is very brave."

Whoa! That's the guy who proudly says there was no holocaust and his country has no nuclear weapons.

Who and what do I believe? On three Internet sources, I read references to the Muslim tradition of lying about their own faith to conceal its true nature – a practice known as "Taqiyya."

Because I think the Islamic Center is a good idea, I've attached this recent video statement by Faisal Abdul Rauf. He's still trying to get the Islamic Center built.

Is what he says Taqiyya? I don't think so.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Keep away from the numbers.

Keep away from any food, food supplements, pills, talk shows, recreations, any advisor, friend, therapist, counselor, TV doctor, real living doctor -- keep away from everyone, except parents or a spouse who may accidentally use the phrase " At your age you should be ... at your age your shouldn't ..."

Keep away from specifics such as I should be earning a good living. That's deadly. Also historical summaries: At age ____other artists in my field were already established.

Banish those numbers, banish all thoughts like that. If one occurs, if you or someone utters it, reach for the floor, then stand tall, tall as you can, and then up another inch, and count 30 chimpanzees.

Beware of "a person my age shouldn't wear...." Beware of "a person my age can't ... "

If you' trying to sell a book, play, or style, or painting -- land a job, go to college, get a degree, learn a new language, craft, skill, technology, DO NOT THINK ABOUT age , do not wonder if ANYONE ELSE has tried AT YOUR AGE to become a famous, successful, income-producing anything.

Just do it.

Watch out for age-cliches, age-rationales, age as a factor.

Never think at my age I need a flu shot, vitamins, must keep my weight down, exercise, walk, jog and, while it's ok to be aware of bladder control, avoid why am I forgetting things, why didn't I hear that -- that lead to bad conclusions about how often you need to see the doctor, the dentist, the eye doctor.

See doctors if or when you absolutely need to.

Also, if you're registering or joining something that asks your age, lop off a large chunk of years. If you can't lie, then skip whatever it is.

The 2008 World Science Festival panel said "Age 90 Is the new 50.” I don't think 90 is even the new 70. But if age 90 IS the number that says you are old, think of Betty White, 89, and Warren Buffet, age 80, and if you're actually approaching that age bracket, don't utter, mutter, or murmur it to anyone, including yourself.

Finally, should you celebrate your birthday? If you get cards, glance at the return address, and throw them out before opening the envelope. You can't stop relatives from saying "happy birthday" but dear friends, people you grew up with should be studiously avoided.

Aging gracefully is easy if you do the things I've mentioned above, carefully, discreetly and gracefully.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


This video is composed of brief scenes -- moments of dance captured from films, moments that I will never forget -- they're the best of the best.

Why this You Tube video is great is not just the choreography, which is wonderful, perfectly done, -- and it's not just the performers, who are wonderful, and absolutely deserve the recognition that they've got. The way this video was put together, edited, synced with the music is simply super marvelous.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Bam! Say "porno" and what pops into your mind?

Do you shrug -- you aren't interested in porno -- or are your shoulders up around your ears because you have kids that are getting educated by what they see in films, see at home on laptops, iPads, or cell phones their friends have?

Cell phones are every day a more powerful, more magical magic-wand that can take you and bring you anything and everything, including sex. There's already porno for the Android -- it's available in Android app stores. And Apple, as of March, will have an app with issues of "Playboy." You can bet your bottom dollar that a "Hustler" app will be available soon.

Should we, can we, do we try to stop cell phone porno? It's a question like smoke in the air -- intensely visible, less intense, inevitably vanishing. Sooner or later there will be lots of porno on cell phones because there's a market for it.

Why? You can answer that question based on your own proclivities. Sex is being sold to us by the media and we're buying it -- maybe because moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year -- our lives are not sufficiently interesting.

Aren't you, like most people, curious? Maybe you're not actively seeking anything new and better, but you wonder about fuller, richer, sexual pleasures, don't you? Kids are too -- they feel what we feel.

And like television and movies, cell phones are everywhere, even in the most primitive parts of the world. I haven't read about or heard about what fantastically complicated or simple brand new device will replace the phone. Will it be an ear jewel, or maybe a plug that can create a virtual screen in your mind on which you can see the 700 wonders or 700, 000 wonders of the world?

Thinking like this makes me feel very out-of-date,
but giddily tickled about being of an age
that won't be around to see the world change,
and have to change with the world's changes,
and become a ... a...
A dodo ? An extinct non-flying bird?
A self-gratifying iPhone, circa 2080?
A happily non-reproducing sort of thingum?
A hermity humanoid?

Oh my God, I don't want to be that!'
I'm glad I won't be around -- I'm GLAD to be almost over the hill!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


If I bumped into Richard Simmons, I'd hug him. I'd instantly recognize him -- those nifty legs, candy-striped short-shorts, sparkling tank top, kinky curly hair, and his contagious smile.

He has joy in him and sends it out, shares and spreads it around with every hello no matter where he is. The boyish, not-young, sixty-two-year-old Simmons has a genius for giving himself, for being at the moment on the moment.

It's Zen -- being there -- being fully, utterly there, wherever you happen to be. The best dancing I ever did in my life was at the moment on the moment -- ditto with writing, cooking, or making love.

Simmons has credentials -- a Florida State University BA in Art. In NYC, after graduating, he was a waiter, a Maitre D'; in advertising, where he worked for Revlon and Coty Cosmetics. Meanwhile, he developed a diet, exercised, and lost 123 lbs, which he's kept off for 42 years. Even today, he's passionately promoting exercise-more-eat-less programs for public schools throughout the country.

This guy just does it and when you're near him you just join in. He calls his gym "Slimmons" -- his personal studio is "The Anatomy Asylum" -- daily exercise with music is called "Sweating to the Oldies."

Knowing all the secrets about staying fit, Simmons teaches, preaches, exemplifies -- "Love Yourself And Win," a title he created for a PBS pledge drive. He invents marvelously catchy titles -- Lighten Up, Super Sweatin', Never Say Diet, Fitness Fiesta, Wicked Workout, Walk Around the World, Shimmy Into Shape, Party Off the Pounds, and that's just a few of the titles you can buy and use by yourself -- 15 DVDs; 10 CDs; 10 cassettes, and 12 books.

Yes, he's a busy boy-guy-man -- a fantastically gay GAY? He's never said, but who cares? He lives alone in Hollywood Hills with two Dalmatians. He giggles and quotes the numbers -- he's been doing this for 35 years, and has probably helped humanity lose about 3,000,000 pounds.

The other exercise kings and queens -- including, Jane Fonda, Jillian Michaels of "Biggest-Loser" fame, Jack LaLanne, grandfather of U.S fitness, whorecently died, and others who have capitalized on what they know and what made them famous -- they are all people who help people, but Richard Simmons is unique, as a giver of joy.

Here he is, a spur of the moment, with a .group

Monday, February 14, 2011


Today's a good day to scrutinize love.

I sing "Lonely Heart" when my husband, JC, is mostly ignoring me -- watching sports, or fixing something that doesn't need to be fixed.

JC laughs and pays attention. We get along -- we're very different, but we know each other well.

OkCupid. com, a very successful dating site was recently bought by Match. com. for $50 million and they hired Ok's founder to run it. Here's what OK asks all potential "listees."

Recommended first questions:
Is it okay for two unmarried people to live together?
Are you open minded?
Do you brush your teeth? (Wow -- if a person said no, for me it would be a deal breaker.)

Second batch of questions:
Do you believe in God?
Can a racist joke be funny?
Do you like scary movies?
Do you believe in miracles?
Do you put more weight on science or faith?
Has Christianity made the world better or worse ?

JC knows how I'd answer those questions, and I know what he would say. We're not word for word identical -- but, for instance, that I don't believe in miracles fits with what JC understands about miracles. So our differences are okay.

Third batch of questions:
Which is more offensive -- book burning or flag burning?
Should evolution be taught side by side with creationism, in public schools?
Should the death penalty be abolished?
Wouldn't it be fun to chuck everything and go live on a sailboat?
Would you be comfortable being poor the rest of your life?

If I say no and JC says yes, we chat back and forth, and find similarities in why we disagree -- therefore even our disagreements bring us closer together.

When you try the three batches of questions are you closer, or further apart? If you and your potential lover are further apart, try "NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART."

Does your person laugh? (Maybe your person doesn't know the song.)

If you have a song, poem, or silly saying in your head that you think when you're feeling rejected, blue, or bored -- TRY IT OUT. Your partner's response will tell you where the relationship's heading.

Hey, I'm going to write the new and tell them their listees will make faster, better, stronger matches if they disagree, sing a silly song, and laugh. It's not an acid test, but it predicts the future.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


How to become an established actor and musical theater "star" is the question, Emily asks John Cullum.

Cullum tells what happened to him, when he arrived in NYC with a letter of recommendation from the head of the drama department at the University of Tennessee.