For several decades, I’ve collected volumes of historic coins and stamps. Especially coins.
I was honored to receive the Abraham Lincoln coin. And the F.D.R. coin, too. Those people were giants. We were blessed to have them occupy The White House at a critical time in our nation’s history.
I was delighted with the shipments that brought me gold coins commemorating the terms of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. That Washington refused the opportunity to become our first king — and Jefferson’s poetry inspired humanity to champion our cause — must balance out their antebellum slave-holding sins.
Opening the packages that contained the coins honoring Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter and Obama filled me with pride and patriotism. Promise, intelligence, optimism, compassion and forward thinking were the hallmarks of their terms. I smiled as I slid each of them into their plastic page covers and snapped them into my binder.
Along the way, I endured drunken, racist Andrew Johnson, hapless Herbert Hoover, and Dick Cheney/George W. Bush. I had no problem with my Ronald Reagan coin, even though I believe he was a malevolent influence on our body politic.
Then – today – a package arrived with a Donald J. Trump Presidential coin.
No way. I can’t accept a Trump presidential coin.
I didn’t vote for him – and I don’t want him. He’s a menace to the nation we all profess to love.
So, I sent this note to the coin folks…
It made me feel better. And it may affect someone on the other end.
The 2010 Academy Awards, celebrating the film industry’s best and the brightest, have been doled out to the winners and, for the most part, I can’t argue with the choices made by the Academy voters.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that I won last night’s Oscar Party poll. Because even though I managed to watch “The Hurt Locker” the day before the awards ceremony – and I knew at once that Kathryn Bigelow’s film deserved all the Oscar buzz it was getting – I still couldn’t resist voting for “Avatar” and the amazing world James Cameron created.
As it turned out, Cameron’s $300 million dollar film was amply rewarded for the stunning world it created with Oscars for Visual Effects, Art Direction, and Cinematography. But Bigelow’s much smaller budget war movie about an American bomb disposal unit working the shattered, nervous streets of Baghdad won for Best Picture, and not even James Cameron seemed to mind.
Who would've imagined that the first woman to win Best Director would win it for a war movie?
Aside from a couple of unnecessary lines of dialogue in a couple of scenes toward the end of the film, “The Hurt Locker” is a contemporary classic: something that every American should see. And now that it’s picked up a slew of Oscars, millions more will see the film in this country and around the world.
Think about it. What would a Best Picture Oscar have meant to “Avatar”, which has already earned $2.6 billion dollars worldwide? That’s more than 120 times what “The Hurt Locker” has done at the box office so far.
It can’t hurt to have more Americans watch Jeremy Renner and his fellow cast members portray heroic young soldiers risking their lives to protect their fellow soldiers — and an ambivalent, if not openly hostile Iraqi populace — from sudden, ultra-violent death. There’s no glorious war to be seen in this movie. Just serial carnage.
Bravo, Bravo Company!
As for the rest of the awards and the ceremony itself, the good far outweighed the bad. It was great to see one of my all-time favorite actors, Jeff Bridges, take home the gold.
And everyone in my family knew I’d be pulling for my cinematic sweetheart, Sandra Bullock – in a successful sports movie, no less! (That’s a two-fer!)
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were the kind of hosts for a major TV event we haven’t seen since the golden days when Bing Crosby and Bob Hope casually knocked out vaudeville one-liners with effortless comic precision and old school show biz bonhomie.
Bob and Bing show us how it used to be done, Back in the day, you had to be triple threat to be a star.
And who didn’t love the brilliant, recently-discovered Cristoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds” — playing the most loveably entertaining yet thoroughly evil Nazi we’ve seen since TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes”. This award was never in doubt. They could have handed Waltz his golden statuette right after Quentin Tarantino’s offbeat World War Two revenge fantasy opened last summer.
And did anyone seriously think that any animated feature film other than “Up” was a contender? Personally, I was happy to see “Up” win two major awards, just so they could keep cutting back to Ed Asner – which, I’m sure, gave right-wingers a conniption all evening. (Come to think of it, just about everything on Oscar night gives conservatives a pain.)
But, among the generally satisfying symphony of elegance and good taste on Oscar night, there were, alas, a few discordant notes. If you saw the show – you know what they were. But what was the most sour note of all? You may not have gotten a chance to vote for the Academy Awards, but you are welcome to vote in our poll…
And just so we’re not dwelling unduly on the negative, I also invite you to cast your vote on a positive note…