Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review of MJ Movie "This Is It"

Perhaps more aptly titled than I first thought, "This Is It" is probably not a release MJ would have approved had he lived but it is fascinating and enjoyable nonetheless. For a fan, it's a must see. I'm not sure viewers more casual in their MJ interest would appreciate it as much.

Let me start by saying what the movie is not - It's not a polished performance by any stretch. The songs are frequently stopped for revision and there are many times when he lays off the vocals to save his voice. Nor is it a "full dress rehearsal" as I'd read previously. No one is in stage costume and the only glimpse we get of MJ's stunning costume for "Billie Jean" is on the tailor's table. Still, even "street clothes" for MJ are slightly brilliant - it's not as if he's in sweatpants and t-shirt.

What the movie does offer is a chance to see MJ at work which is truly thrilling. He has an extremely detailed vision of precisely how the finished production will look and sound. Watching him work toward making this vision a reality is captivating. If you never appreciated the genius of MJ before, this movie makes it clear.

The main event of course is MJ's singing and dancing. Despite his extremely thin appearance, and contrary to rumors that he was a shell of his former self, his singing and dancing are total A-game. His voice sounds as good as ever and as I expected, he had reinvented himself in dance once again, with a style appropriate for a 50 year old man. There are fewer dramatic spins and throwing himself to his knees but more fancy footwork and he's absolutely no less amazing to watch than at any time past. There is no doubt, despite the jaw-dropping performances given by his dancers (who are half his age), MJ is the King.

In the end, seeing how vital and brilliant he was in the days leading up to his death, I couldn't help but feel an extra bit of sadness that he's gone. Had he appeared weak or half-hearted in any way, it might have made his death a bit easier to understand. But clearly, had he not surrounded himself with corrupt doctors and yes-men who ultimately yessed him to death, MJ would have been able to realize his vision, execute his scheduled performances and carry on with his family life for a good long time. But now, well - this is it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Horror Film Classics: Sometimes They Call Back

So my parents just did something they'd never done before in their lives - they called one of their Senators. Joe Lieberman to be exact. They each called and told his office they want him to support the President's health care reform bill with a strong Public Option. I got the phone number for them and I gave them a script of what to say (at their request, they were nervous). My Dad copied down the script and then they each called. They called me afterwards, so proud of themselves. Then a few minutes later, my Mom calls me again. She wanted to share that after we last hung up, their phone rang and my Dad asked my Mom in all sincerity, "God but you don't think that's Joe Lieberman, do you?!" My Mom and I just about fell out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stop the Honor Killings by US Insurers

The health insurance companies have a stranglehold on the insured and women in particular have been garroted just for being female. (For women who are uninsured, fuggedaboutit.) Whether women are being told to get sterilized in order to obtain health insurance, or having their policies canceled after they get breast cancer, or denied insurance altogether due to a "pre-existing condition" of having been beaten by their husbands, it feels like insurance companies are misogynistic fat cats from Hell. Meanwhile our elected officials laugh at us while pocketing big bucks from the insurance industry and voting to maintain the status quo.

But enough about those of us lucky enough to still be alive despite what feels like a war on women by the insurance companies and their Congressional BFFs. Let's remember Crystal Lee Sutton who was forced to go without treatment for her brain cancer for months while she fought with her insurance company. She died in September 2009. 17 year old Nataline Sarkisyan's Mother fought with her insurance company over their denial of a recommended liver transplant which the insurer finally approved the day she died in 2007.

How are these different from so-called honor killings? A woman becomes a victim by virtue of her gender and "dishonors" the reputation (profit margin) of her family (insurance company). Therefore, she must die to restore honor (profit). This is tradition. This is the system men have designed for us and we must live by. Unless...

Take Action - Call your Representative and both your Senators and tell them you support President Obama's plan for health care reform. And get your sound minded husbands, partners and male friends to call too. We want an end to discriminatory practices against women by the insurance industry. Equal rights to health care for an equal chance to live!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Child Abuse?

The lawyer for the Balloon Family says making the parents do the perp walk in front of the media would be akin to "child abuse". I'm not so sure. Maybe child abuse might be better defined as telling your kids to lie to police so your family could get a TV show and then dragging them on a vomit media tour to promote the hoax. Perhaps seeing the parents perp walked before cameras might be educational for the kids, teaching them the concept of consequences for actions and providing a dose of true reality TV.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Action Alert: SC Senators Vote Against Constitutional Rights of Rape Victims

Both of South Carolina's Senators voted against the Franken amendment to allow rape victims to have their day in court, even if they work for a government contractor. It passed anyway.

Tell the Senators what you think of their votes:

It Does

The National Association of Free Clinics is a non-profit group working to bring health care to Americans who need it. Donate like someone's life depends upon it. Because, you know...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breast Health

It's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means:

Women are reminded to perform monthly self-exams

If you have health insurance, your plan probably covers mammograms. Get one.

If you don't have insurance and can't afford to pay out of pocket for a mammogram, find a program that offers low or no cost screening in your state.