The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A matter of honor...

Let's see...a couple of months back, a male newscaster got fired for saying the Clinton's were "pimping" Chelsea Clinton. Worst case scenario: he was impugning her honor. Last week, a female Fox Newscaster joked about killing Obama. Let's see what happens. She MIGHT be fired...but if she isn't, I can hardly imagine a better example of what I've been trying to tell you: the chastity of white women is considered of greater value than the lives of black men (any men, actually). I wonder if anyone will notice.


The reason I chose the Tibetans was that pesky question: what is the least exercise you can do that actually affects health and fitness? The Five Minute Miracle approach addresses this--you can't do it without engaging with the body, and learning some very interesting things about the relationship between mind, breath, and stress. While the Tibetans don't work twisting and side-leaning motions, they provide a perfectly nice spinal flexion forward and back. What is meant by "speeding up the chakras?" Well, too many different ways to look at that question. On a spiritual level, it might mean just that: if there are literally energy centers, perhaps it makes 'em spin. Personally, I put the existence of the chakras half-way between truth and analogy. In other words, if you act as if chakras exist, some very interesting results follow. Visualizing the geometric shapes embedded in the chakras turns a physical exercise into a mental one. Warming up the spine, most joints, the tendons and ligaments, providing basic strength and integrity through most sections of the body, integrating the breathing...all in about ten minutes? That's entertainment. And considering that you can learn it from a book or DVD...even better. The Tibetans are open to serious modification, as well. For instance, the "Perfect Pushup" handles work great for Tibetans 4 and 5, and can take pressure off the wrists. Stairs can be used to adjust pressure up or down. So long as the basic spinal alignments create breathing pressure in similar ways, I see no harm.

Very nice, very smart. I'm still correlating results from you guys, so please let me know.


Saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Felt in some ways less like a movie than a family reunion. In no way the huge disappointment of the "Star Wars" prequels, certainly not on the mighty level of "Raiders," I would put it pretty squarely between "Temple" and "Crusade." After all, take the stunt casting of Connery out of "Crusade" and you have a pretty unimpressive film. Set in the 50's, Skull pits Indy against psychic commies in pursuit of alien artifacts. If that doesn't sound like fun, you should stay away. Harrison Ford is wonderful, and seeing Karen Allen again was...well, it was just great. I have to admit that I had a big silly grin on my face. There were spots that dragged, and a "Tarzan" bit that really didn't work. But I've thought fondly about it for four days now, and that counts. A solid "B." And an "A" for effort: thanks for trying so damned hard, guys. And thanks even more for mostly succeeding.


I can feel the plot for the third Tennyson novel shaping in my mind. It's a doozy, if I can pull it off, one of those "nothing is as it seems" stories which can devolve into bat-shit if you're not careful. But the risk is worth it.


My favorite "surprise ending" movie may be the original "Diabolique." The question of the day is: what movie's twist ending knocked you down hardest? There are so many goodies...


Anonymous said...

I'm not taking this position as correct, but Steve there is another interpretation to the two different reactions. One could say that today the smallest slip with respect to political correctness is sufficient grounds for dismissal of a white male, while a woman newscaster has to commit a total abomination before being fired. That is what we have is a case reverse discrimination against white male newscasters and affirmative action for female newscasters.
Again I'm not taking that position I'm just pointing out that one can always find an interpretation of events that fits ones own beliefs.

Marty S

Ed Greaves said...

Hmm...having some oddness with the comments. I'll try again.

Steve, regarding endings, my absolute hands down favorite has got to go out to Diggstown. It remains one of my top ten favorite movies, even so many years later.

Steven Barnes said...

Love Diggstown.
Reverse discrimination against white male newscaster. In truth, I do think one can detect a bit of such an attitude: not enough to balance the massive advantages of being a white male, but enough to make me uneasy, nonetheless.

Mike Ralls said...

The Sixth Sense ending blew me away, mouth open, "Oh, my god, I saw the movie but I did not see the movie . . . Wow!" Nothing else of M.N.S. has ever really compared, IMO.

mjholt said...

An article in Speigel Online from May 13, 2008 The Media's Mini-Truths

By Gabor Steingart in Washington
continues with many of the ideas that have been discussed here.

mjholt said...

A white male broadcaster can be fired for criticizing Bill O'Reilly.

CN8 has fired veteran TV journalist Barry Nolan for publicly protesting the decision by the local Emmy Awards to honor Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly.

Nolan tells MediaBiz he was fired Tuesday following a two-week, unpaid suspension.
The rest of the story is at Comcast fires Barry Nolan over Bill O’Reilly protest. Where is freedom of speech, intellectual integrity, or old-fashioned decency? No where in today's corporate propaganda media centers.

Michelle said...

The Prestige . . . best. movie. ever.

We saw Indiana Jones this weekend as well. It was great. Really just great. They included a lot from the TV series as well.

Oh and that reporter...should be should O'Reilly. I doubt they will though.

Kukulkan said...


In considering the comments made by the anchors, you also need to consider the networks who employ the anchors. NBC employed the anchor who made the comment about Chelsea. Fox employs the anchor who made the comment about Sen. Obama. Fox will be much less concerned about offending a liberal politician than NBC was about offending the daughter of the last Democratic President.

As far as twist endings, probably "The Usual Suspects." It is - IMO - a much better movie than "The Sixth Sense" which also had a great twist ending.

Josh Jasper said...

The ending to Angel Heart hit me pretty hard. I mean, they came up with lots of hints, but Mickey Roarke's acting carried off his shock, self-disgust, and utter helplessness.

Anonymous said...

I hear a lot of people talk about context on this comment section when it cones to Rev Wright or Mrs Obama.

Context becomes Pretext depending on your point of view.

I believe some people want to hate Fox news, and they wait for Huffington post or the daily Kos to provide them with the sound bites to justify their preconception.

I doubt these people have ever watched Fox news other than these sound bites. Why should they?

Pointless to argue.

My favorite movie with a twist ending is Lone Star. It gives you several twists at once.

John M.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a favorite movie with a twist ending, but I do have a favorite twist ending that is from the Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man. To anyone who has not seen it and can get a hold of the episode I highly recommend it.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

take a look at this

Dan Moran said...

With Josh on "Angel Heart" -- I read the book it was based on first, but it's just as appalling in the novel.

Favorite, though -- "Jacob's Ladder." Not an at-the-ending huge twist, there's a scene with Danny Aiello 2/3rds of the way through that pretty much lays it out, but it's wrapped in such a brilliant movie otherwise, it gets my vote.

And yeah, you can't expect the same conduct from MSNBC and Fox. Just can't.

AF1 said...

Another Tarzan homage from George Lucas that didn't work?

You'd think he would have gotten it out of his system after the Wookie yell in Revenge of the Sith.

Pat Logan said...

My favorite has always been the ending of The Sting.

Josh Jasper said...

Of course I can't stand Fox News. But I don't watch it any less than any other TV network. I don't own a television.

But the reason I can't stand them is that they provide a giant platform for homophobic bigots. Some other perspective might label them god fearing folk who're trying to protect marriage. But not mine.

Dan - Jacob's ladder had a good ending, but the acting and the cinematography wasn't as good as Angel Heart.

What about the ending to Pan's Labyrinth?

Brian Wood said...

The Usual Suspects. Spacey at his greatest. And what a supporting cast. Wow.

When I get through reading the rest of the comments, I may have something to add. May. Especially about O'Reilly.

Dan Moran said...


Watching "Angel Heart" tonight. Haven't seen it since it came out.

Watched "Jacob's Ladder" within the last year, though. It's a hell of a movie.

Christian M. Howell said...

I'd moreso call it the perceived chastity of women.

I would bet you can't find one woman who hasn't been seriously disillusioned by the change from "Daddy's Little Girl" to residing under the glass ceiling.

This group mentality is he main problem in America. People place the worse members of their group ahead of the best members of others.

The solution is a government that will punish its citizens for "not trying to get along."

It's 2008 and people still have Jim Crow syndrome. Sure, you may want to have the abusive powers of your ancestors but you also want to complain that "certain groups" aren't pulling their weight.


What's needed by individuals is the understanding that you will freeze to death in the snow even if you have Bill Gates' money.

Althea said...

Favorite surprise endings:
it's a tie between "The Sixth Sense" and "The Usual Suspects."
When the Usual Suspects ended, I remember thinking, after I picked my jaw off the ground, "that movie is going to win best orginial screenplay." And it did.

Favorite ending period, surprise or not, was "Toy Story 2." Perfect. I don't like the fact that Pixar is working on Toy Story 3. They have a fantastic track record, but TS2 ended perfectly.