Friday, March 12, 2010


I saw him in the Vancouver Olympics, after the figure skating was over and done with. I was weary, tired of watching. For me, racing skaters are only momentarily interesting. I didn't know, still don't know much about the 5,000-meter short-track relay.

One of the final games in the Olympics, it appeared to be a mass of confusion. But I kept watching him, picking him out of the confusion. Was it the blue outfit? The easy going smiling look on his face? The kind, supportive way he had as he wended his way through the crammed-together bodies and moved, kept moving toward the finish?

Every time there was a station break, I saw film clips, and heard more about Apolo Ohno.

He's an eight-time medalist (two gold, two silver, four bronze) in the Winter Olympics. He is the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time. Ohno's 28.

He was the U.S. Olympics Committee's Male Athlete of the Month, and Speedskating's Athlete of the Year. Aside from that, he managed to win Dancing with the Stars in 2007. (I watched a film clip of the show -- he was fun, adept, energetic, a skillful and delightful dancer.)

Then, I watched this. It's a bit long -- give it a glance. (Exercise is my thing -- what Apolo says about it reminds me of what I said just the other day about chess, and dancing.)

Like Magnus Carlsen, the Mozart of Chess, (see my talk-blog 3/8), Apolo Ohno started at age 12; encouraged by his Dad, went into Olympic training; was nicknamed "Chunky" -- the hellishness of losing weight while training -- perhaps that's why he has such a laid-back, cheerful, positive, winner's energy.

He doesn't look Japanese, he lo0ks like a plain, ordinary American guy. He's into a lot of things that have to do with helping people. He supports HIV/AIDS charities, The Salvation Army, Clothes Off Our Back Foundation; he used his fame to raise funds for Japanese elders; he joined Senator Ted Kennedy in D.C., to show the importance of math and science education and helped launch the "Math Moves U Hippest Homework Happening," that gave students opportunity to do math homework online with celebrities and athletes.

Using his fame and his look-you-in-the-eyes personality, Apolo got himself sponsors -- McDonald's, General Electric, Vicks, and Coca-Cola. Ohno's dad, Yuki, said, "He's not a professional athlete with a multi-million-dollar contract with a team -- he needs sponsorships to pay the bills." (Alaska Airlines, sponsoring him at the 2010 Winter Games, has a Boeing 737 jet with Onno's image painted on the side.)

That man in the film clip, wearing the blue suit, headband and the Olympic Gold Medal, smiles. It's his last Olympics. He's thinking of going into the entertainment business. I like him.

I like him a lot.

Hey Media, Apolo Anton Ono is another guy you should tout and promote -- a hero for kids to emulate, for us to emulate -- he inspires us all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I saw a show last night that made me weep for what we are today -- "Scottsboro Boys."

A woman, whom we don't know (till the end of the play) remembers the story of the Scottsboro boys, nine teenage blacks who were accused of raping two white women. Back in thirties, they were tried, found guilty, and re-tried many times -- given death sentences, spent years in jail that destroyed their lives.

What Matthew Yglesias in his "Daily Beast" blog, "Here Come the Racists," said, (I read it a few times) rings loud and clear, as I recover today from the experience last night. The musical which sings and dances the story marvelously, tells the tale that hasn't been told for a while, tells us where we are right now in a way that no one has said much about -- except, perhaps Yglesias (and me, in posts on my blog, fearful that we are inspiring someone to be an assassin and kill Barack Obama.)

The infliction of pain, cruelty, the demeaning of blacks -- it's sickening --it's sad for America the Beautiful to become a nation that destroys its people.

"The Scottsboro Boys" -- music by John Kander and lyrics by the late Fred Ebb is ... wow ... toe-tapping, poignant, evocative, memorable.

The book by David Thompson is wow ... It penetrates, and makes you laugh, and cry. Kander and Ebb and Thompson's collaboration produced a minstrel show -- a perfect metaphor, ultimately in black face, which is ... wow ... right on the money dramatically.

The play on the stage wipes me out. Perhaps because I am guilty -- we are guilty, and we haven't cried for the Blacks, probably can never shed enough tears for them. And find a way to embrace them for giving us good men -- more and more every year -- educated, articulate, practical, trustworthy reliable, loving good men -- teachers, politicians, and a leader like the President.

The cast of "Scottsboro Boys" -- each one is a name to remember, thanks to Director Susan Stroman's careful casting and knowledge of dance and drama. All of them dance (with flexibility, rhythm, footwork, dynamic intensity, exciting unison) and yet they are individuals. The cast is ... wow ... as is the way Stroman collaborated with Kander and Thompson, and the designers (set, props, costumes, lights, sound) and made the musical into entertainment and drama.

Matthew Yglesias -- your blog is so right on about where we are in terms of ugly racial hatred, our confused predilection for helping Blacks, compensating them for the past, while destroying them, undermining them, attacking the White House.

I hope this musical gets seen by the world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


She's an ordinary girl who made herself a queen -- big dreams -- enormous drive -- all encompassing ambition -- big talent -- for singing, dancing, producing movies, Dvds, albums, clothes, jewelry, fragrances, beauty products -- remarkable talent for self promotion -- talent for seeing what she wants and GETTING IT.

Here she is at the 2000 Grammy's, in a Versace gown.

Wow! She was THERE. She was just a "presenter." I actually didn't know who she was. But her gown, the body -- seeing that body neck to crotch -- completely upstaged who was getting that award.

Whewy! That body -- the look of her -- the nerve, outrageous NERVE of who ever she was -- then and there, made an unforgettable impression.

It's ten years later, and SHE'S THERE -- THERE showing us and the world how SHE can get any man she wants (except Ben Affleck) -- THERE displaying how she can make twins -- THERE wearing extravagant jewelery, stunning clothes -- THERE utterly perfect, gorgeous, delectable, fabulous, casting her spell on everyone (except Ben Affleck).

I didn't know her name in 1998, but I thought she was amazing and interesting and superb in the movie "Selena." But after the Grammy's, learning her name, seeing her THERE on TV singing, dancing, performing ordinary, mediocre show biz stuff super well, I found myself cringing, thinking -- Wow, she's great! Why don't I like her? Why do I shake my head and look away, not watch her in awe?

Well, maybe because again and again, she repeats the Versace gown "I LOVE ME" routine.

Whatever role she's playing, in her many, many moments in the center of the stage -- I see -- NO -- I feel used -- forced to open my eyes in amazement, because she is such a tip-top, marvelous, I LOVE ME -- YOU LOVE ME -- WATCH ME -- APPLAUD ME performer, who intrigues me (intrigued Ben Affleck).

I can't survive, retain myself and my opinions and feeling, my own drives and ambitions (like Ben Afleck), when J Lo is center stage, turned ON.

Ben Affleck's got another woman, a wife and child, and a loving gaze -- a lovely "for real" feeling emanates from him when he's with them. I can't evaluate where he's at with his career. (Aside from screenwriting and winning an Oscar for "Good Will Hunting," he's a handsome leading man who's starred in many films. I imagine there are offers -- he's definitely still a name -- his "for real" feelings will probably permeate his acting, in a positive way.)

What about Mark Anthony, J Lo's famous, singer-performer husband?

Mark Anthony's there, but much less, smaller, with much less impact than he was before he married J Lo, the magical, excessively amazing, talented, gorgeous, singing, dancing, movie producer, creator of Dvds, albums, clothes, jewelry, fragrances, beauty products -- this brilliantly talented girl of forty, who's getting, and getting, and getting more famous, more money, more power, getting everything she wants. (Except ... me. )

I've said it before. I can't help it. I have to say it again: Jennifer Lopez gives me the creeps.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


When I'm hit with bad news, I can turn myself inside out like a sock -- not hear it, not feel it -- throw the sock in the laundry and let it be washed.

Here's Jenny Sanford, about her husband, the Governor's affair with the Argentinean woman.

Quietly by herself, this grown-up, elegant woman has God -- her strong belief in Him -- and her self-esteem.

I don't have a strong religion; my self-esteem is based on observation and integration, wise words I picked up from a book by Bertrand Russell I read a long, long, long time ago -- so long ago, that all that's left is the habit, not a conscious philosophy.

I'm sad for Elizabeth Edwards, needing to write her book and letting it be published, because it turned her, as well as John Edwards, into a fake loving couple, who were playing parts in order for him to win the nomination. What's frightening about their lies, and how well they played their parts, is how it keeps me from trusting my instincts. (I loved them as a couple.)

Jenny Sanford lives in another world. Her religion is a wall, and I can't climb over it, and feel or care very much about the Sanfords, although I admire her honesty. (I'm hoping he'll move to Argentina and disappear from politics.)

Jackie Kennedy, a/k/a Jackie O. seemed to be a participant in another "loving couple" fraud (huger and even more disturbing than the Edwards). But Stop, L0ok Listen, I've said to myself, just as if I were seeing the STOP signs at a railroad crossing.

Who JFK was, and why he needed the sexual gratification he needed, is beyond my understanding. Why she went along with it has been told in books I've read, and I've concluded it was part of the "bargain," the "deal," the commitment Jackie made when she married him, made children with him, and learned who and what he was, and why.

I don't think the truth that comes out about their marriage is "dirty laundry." It's ordinary plain stuff that needed laundering to keep it wearable, fresh enough for them to wear in the world they lived in.

What about my laundry -- dirty, clean, or wearable? There are many things about myself that are private and personal, that I don't want or need to share.

"Me, myself, and I" was a phrase I learned. And what I observed and integrated became instinctive knowledge as I grew up -- and that knowledge sure does include what I've learned about sex and love, and what's right and wrong.

Stand back before you slam on an opinion of right and wrong. Jenny Sanford knows what's right and what's wrong because of God, and her self-esteem.

I know it, because I'm a very human human, who sees in others and myself, the need -- the passion/instinct/power of survival. I see it when I watch fish in the fish tank, pets on their leashes on the street, remember pets I've known -- see it hugely affirmed as I watch animals, and sea creatures surviving in their worlds, so marvelously filmed in documentaries.

I've seen how a baby learns to survive, and then the child, and the grown-up. As grown-ups, men and women do what they do, in order to survive. When the life force isn't powerful enough in you, you find it, learn it, grab on, or ... well ... you can lose everything.

Fidelity, infidelity, affairs -- in love and out of love -- you do what you do, and your partner does what your partner does, to survive.

Think on that. Go for a walk down that road before you throw out the person you once admired. Apply that to what we know about the Kennedy family, all of them, and Martin Luther King, the Clintons, and yes, John Edwards and Governor Sanford. And whomever else you have on your list.

Judge? Or launder? Maybe a little of both. But don't get stuck with judging -- it works against zesty good surviving.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


On Jay Leno's newly reborn show, March 2, with Sarah Palin -- well-well -- Adam Lambert was announced.

I watched the show, not to see Palin. I couldn't laugh at her you-betcha clever remarks -- she scares me -- her charm, the fear I have of her becoming more important, as she spews out ugly, wrong, ignorant views on everything the White House is working on -- seducing that part of America that falls for lies and distortions, because of its deeply ingrained race prejudice.

(Long sentence -- it's been a long year, during which I've seen, again and again, how anti Obama-isms, are stalling, and stopping Congress from doing its job.)

Yay Lambert -- flashing his overly-mascaraed eyes, gesturing with his flashy be-ringed hands -- not conceding or kowtowing to the screaming (yuck) female fans, not playing "straight" guy for the American audience that loves to see and despise homosexuality.

Were you waiting, sort of hoping for some bump-and-grinding censorable dancing? I was.

His abilities are way beyond the American Idol levels of last year and this year ( and the year before.)

Adam Lambert can dance as well as sing, and he sells gay sexuality, like a man. He is quite a man, a masculine man's man, lusty, interesting -- exciting just about everyone.

Good show Jay Leno!