Friday, December 24, 2021

Gratitude for Life Because I Live in the USA

It is Christmas Eve and we are watching Dunkirk, a movie about the fight for survival of 400,000 soldiers stranded on foreign shores at the mercy of the German  military. It is a story of bravery, fortitude, survival, the collaboration of citizens to save British soldiers. It is uplifting, inspiring, beautiful, courageous, a paean to the celebration of freedom, liberty, idealism and the spirit of democracy. 

As we conclude our second year of COVID, I plan to celebrate the resilience of humankind and the beauty of life. If we consider the challenges we humans have faced in the last 100 years, this pandemic is just a blip on the radar. 

Consider before the discovery of penicillin, people died from being pricked by the thorn of a rose bush. That happens to me multiple times throughput a year. Humankind survived WWI, WWII, multiple regional wars, the Cold War, fear of nuclear annihilation, DDT, cyclamates, Red Dye No. 2, killer bees, Mao, Stalin, Amin, Noriega, Castro, Tito, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Brezhnev, Etc. 

Many people forget that western civilization was saved by everyday people who loved his/ her country; people who did not consider race, color, creed, religious affiliation, physical ability, or ideology when fighting to preserve freedom. 

Those members of the far  left in Congress should spend some time in a socialist state to enjoy the benefits they espouse before inflicting those  programs on others. Spend some time in China or Russia as an average citizen instead of a visiting dignitary. Then decide.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is Gloriously Captivating


I almost didn’t go. Too many members of the media described Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story as a ‘woke’ retelling of the classic musical, itself a mid 20th century retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. I’d read reviews that the dialogue had been altered to reflect 21st Century liberal sensitivity. That concept offended my belief in the necessity for artists to push boundaries. And…I believe that enhanced sensitivity has damaged the resilience of the American experiment. 

Just at the right time, Turner Classic Movies broadcast the 1961 movie version of West Side Story. Once again I was mesmerized by Leonard Bernstein’s score, Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, choreography by Jerome Robbins & script by Arthur Laurents. 


The dancing! The music! The lyrics! I couldn’t get the songs out of my mind. The ear worms cycling through my brain kept me awake~ Something’s Coming, Maria, The Jets Song, America, Tonight! 

Yesterday I went to a matinee at The Alamo Drafthouse. It serves really good draft beer. I had the time wrong and arrived just as the movie started. West Side Story 2021 maintained the feel of 1957 New York with a top notch cast, glorious dancing, and the music as memorable as ever. Yes, there were. Ganges to the script; but that did not distract in anyway. And newcomer Rachel Zegler was a new perfect Maria.

I would watch it again. If you love musicals and have the opportunity to see this in a theater, go. This West Side Story is glorious on the big screen.