Smith-Rock (Round 1)

The big news story today is not the war between Ukraine and Russia or Ginni Thomas or the Final Four teams decided for the NCAA Championship. It was a physical altercation between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. I did not watch the show but I have seen the slap administered by Smith to Rock a few dozen times on social and broadcast media. I have also heard Smith’s profane threats to Rock to keep his wife name out of “your fucking mouth.”

Everyone has an opinion and here is mine that is a bit different than what I have heard on Twitter or elsewhere.

  1. Smith is 6’1. Rock is maybe 5’7. Smith looks like he is in pretty good shape. He needs to be to garner action adventure roles and movies like Ali. Smith picked on a guy who was not capable of fighting back. Smith was a bully.
  2. Smith slapped Rock hard. What intrigued me was that Rock did not fall or go down. For all of Smith’s anger and physical prowess, he was no Ali. Rock took the hit and quickly regained his composure.
  3. I did not see Smith’s acceptance speech live for Best Actor that he won shortly after this incident. He apologized with tears coming down his face to the audience and the Academy but not to Rock. A spineless crowd reportedly gave Smith a standing ovation. That may have been Smith’s best acting performance.
  4. Smith claimed he was defending his wife from a joke that Rock told and that Smith initually laughed at. Jada Pinkett is no Meryl Streep. Pinkett has courted interest and controversy due to the couple’s open lifestyle and extramarital affairs.
  5. I expect that some loony copycats may assault other comedians at clubs or other venues. Smith got away with it. Rock, to his credit, has not pressed assault charges.
  6. Incidents like this give racists ammunition. They’ll argue this was an example of black on black violence shown live before a national audience.
  7. It will be hard for the Academy to find comedians as hosts with this kind of crowd and fears of retribution if an audience member is offended by a joke.

Who is our Zelinskyy?

We exist in a game of lifelong dodgeball. Life throws a lot of challenges and problems where we have to bob, weave, duck and adjust. However well we dodge what is thrown at us, the last throw always hits us and eliminates us from the game.

Antidotes for anxiety and depression: a warm shower, a long walk, favorite music, and leafing through old family pictures.

I had a conversation with my 95-year-old uncle a week or so ago. He mentioned to me that he never feels angry anymore. He views it as a waste of time and given how short of time he may have left, he has downsized useless emotions and feelings. Anger does seem to be one of the top items that all of us should downsize no matter what our age.

If I had a choice and given the unity and bravery of the people and leadership in Ukraine, would I prefer to identify myself as an American? Or as a Ukrainian?

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) at Trump’s Save America Rally in Commerce, Georgia tonight: “And you know what? Pete Buttigieg can take his electric vehicles and his bicycles and he and his husband can stay out of our girls’ bathrooms.” The crowd actually applauded this line…

List of women (Trumpunts) who have me reaching on my remote for the Power Off, mute or change channel buttons…
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Lauren Boebert
Ginni Thomas
Laura Ingraham
Jeanne Pirro
Kayleigh McEnany
Maria Bartiromo
Marsha Blackburn
Toni Lahren
Candace Owens
Ann Coulter
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Soundtracks of My Life

Most movies, documentaries and TV shows skillfully incorporate musical soundtracks to highten various scenes or stages in a story. If I made a movie about my life, here are the songs I would include as the soundtrack.

Solitary Man Neil Diamond (Title Theme for my Life—fatherless boy goes it alone)

You Belong to the City Glenn Frey (growing up in Camden)

What’s New Pussycat? Tom Jones (My lullaby to get my sister Monica to sleep and not cry when she was a baby.

Break My Stride Matthew Wilder (High school days)

I Can’t Stop Dancing Archie Bell and the Drills (playing basketball)

Love Her Madly The Doors (college dorm life)

Ohio Neil Young (Vietnam politics)

Superstar The Carpenters (first love, lost love)

Honey Please Can’t Ya See Barry White (discos and trying to find a girlfriend)

Christine Ben Jelen (girlfriend and wife found)

You Take My Heart Away Bill Conti (wedding)

Theme from Rocky (running, tennis, basketball)

She Believes in Me Kenny Rogers (wife’s faith in me as I struggle)

I See Your Smile Gloria Estefan (Sandra’s death)

Running Down a Dream Tom Petty (career struggles)

The Lonely Bull Herb Alpert (going it alone)

As Good as I Once Was Toby Keith (getting older and accepting limits)

I Am a Rock Simon and Garfunkel (protecting myself from hurt and disappointment)

The Greatest Love of All George Benson (self reliance)

One Moment in Time Whitney Houston (achieving a dream)