Posts Tagged ‘ hollywood ’

PERSONALIZED OSCARS TO BEAT PREJUDICE!?

THE WILD AND WOOLLY HUMAN RACE

 

     DIVERSITY has many faces. They come in

different colors, creeds, genders, logic, ethnicity,

religions, prejudices, levels of narcissism and

variances of naivety. As the Academy of Motion

Picture Arts and Sciences proved with its Oscar

show on Sunday, we are an unpredictable species.

Each of us, in our own inimitable way, is a little

goofy. We tote these eccentricities wherever we go:

Showbiz, Wall Street, politics, the workplace,

into personal relationships, even sports. While

watching the Oscars and listening to comic Chris

Rock’s one-liners, the thought, loony as it may

sound, occurred to me: Why not create a dozen

golden statuettes each individually honoring white,

black, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay and

lesbian artists and technicians? Sure it’s a

logistical challenge. But the film industry has

a year to cope with it. To get them started, I

did a quick sketch of what these golden statuettes

might look like. Granted, it ain’t migraine proof.

But at least it’s a thought that might save the entire

celebrity industry from going bonkers.

 

Boots LeBaron

MOGULS LACK COURAGE! PROOF: SUNDAY’S OSCAR RACE!

A PEEK AT HUMANITY’S WILDERNESS

FOR SUNDAY’S OSCAR RACE: TALENTED WOMEN

AND OTHER MINORITIES GET THE COLD SHOULDER!

     Want a dose of truth? Watch the Oscar ceremonies on the ABC-TV Network Sunday, February 28. Think about the talented minorities who are being ignored by the motion picture industry. They deserve a crack at recognition despite the color of their skin, their ethnicity, the massive gender inequities, the indignities they must suffer as they climb the theatrical ladder en route to prove their creative and technological abilities in a celebrity-obsessed glamour world where all powerful schlumps, narcissistic moguls, and greedy decision makers reign supreme.  

     Are we so blind to our imperfections, unaware that we are devoid of compassion and lack the intuitive integrity to recognize and reward the talent that stands before us? Some minorities are struggling for recognition. Others deserve praise — even Oscar consideration.

     Are we so absorbed by our own insecurities that we fear makingwaves, using professional clout to enhance the recognition of those who deserve such praise?

     What a bunch of political bullshit! Such cowardess is not only a Hollywood felony, it is a flaw that affects the entire corporate and blue collar world.

     Hollywood is not the only industry that ignores and suffocates the hopes and dreams of highly talented men and women who have paid their dues bleeding, sweating and surviving in workplace environments to prove their worth.

     All levels of management, experienced in walking the corporate tightrope to power, are guilty of turning their backs on talented yet highly skilled, underpaid women and other minorities, who deserve recognition.

     Granted, there are capable decision makers in myriad businesses who have the integrity and foresight to evaluate the potential of an artist or up-and-coming financial wizard.

But at Sunday’s Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences’ TV fiasco hosted by a black man named Chris Rock, where are these self-anointed geniuses hiding? In a closet?

     Nevertheless: Hurray for Hollywood, the news media and the crusaders for justice and equality for bringing this slice of prejudicial outrage to the limelight in a world that could use an enema the size of Pluto (or Planet 9) to cleanse its tarnished soul.

                        — Boots LeBaron —

AMONG OTHER THINGS: ‘JOY’ TO THE WORLD!

BATTERED AND BRUISED, ‘JOY’ OVERPOWERS ‘LOVE’

           by Boots LeBaron

 

     Joy is a three letter word that’s fueled by fear, romance, humor, failure, triumph, even death.

     Regardless of how Shakespeare, Frost, Browning or Dickinson might disagree — they’re all dead poets — I’m convinced that JOY is finally capable of coming off the ropes and knocking LOVE out of the scholarly ring of life! For too many centuries Joy has played second fiddle to Love. My mission, at the moment, is to prove that Joy, despite its diminutive literary stance, is now capable of steamrolling the schmoozy four-letter expression into second place on society’s sweet talk scale. For Joy, the feisty little twit has become what Rocky Balboa was to Apollo Creed, and David and his trusty slingshot was to Goliath: A victorious underdog. The hackneyed line, “I love you,” now belongs under glass at the Smithsonian. Granted, the phrase, “You give me Joy,” might sound trite to some hang’ers on. So what? Love has become an insincere cliché (ask any bartender) while Joy packs a powerful emotional wallop! SHAZAM!!!

 

For testimonial proof read on:


MOTHER WELCOMES HER NEWBORN

DAUGHTER INTO THE WORLD

 

Lori Pettinato works at the Village

Coffee Bean in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Recently she gave birth to daughter

Callie. “Joy,” she explained, “comes after

you’ve gone through the pain of childbirth,

screaming, grunting, gasping for breath,

forcing your child into the world…

That’s the ultimate joy of motherhood!”

 

 

MEN WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THE TRUE

MEANING OF LOVE FOR A BABY UNLESS…

 

Seated at an adjoining table

at the Coffee Bean, Emily, an

attractive brunette, cradled

Kai, her infant son in her arms.

“Men,” she said, “will never understand the

true meaning of love for a baby

until they’ve given birth to one…”

She got me there. The closest thing

to experiencing childbirth for me

was when I had a vasectomy. And that hurt

something awful. As Emily gently caressed

her baby, she added, “Kai is my JOY.”

 

JOHN YORK, RECORD HOLDING LONG DISTANCE

SWIMMER, DIDN’T LET A PARTY CRASHER RUIN

HIS JOYFUL BIRTHDAY BASH

 

John York is a swimming coach and

record holding long distance swimmer

from Manhattan Beach, Calif. He told

me about an unforgettable 40th birthday

he celebrated in October 2000. It was

a private affair unlike any ever staged.

Anywhere. He was completing a 22-mile

round trip swim from Catalina Island to

the mainland when he bumped into an

unexpected party crasher. “It was four

in the morning,” said John. “The water

was florescent when this Great White

brushes against me. It was big.

Maybe ten or twelve feet long.

I could feel its scales but I didn’t panic.

Just kept swimming. It did scare the hell out

of my sister Barb and dad (Bob) who were

in a boat watching. We get a lot of blue sharks

in the channel. But very few Great Whites.” It

was the sixth time York made that distance swim.

The good news, of course, was that the

huge predator didn’t attack, allowing

John to complete his birthday celebration

alive and unscathed. When he finally

touched shore at Palos Verdes, he

realized that not only did a Great White

make John’s 40th unforgettable, Jaws

didn’t gobble him up. “Joyful is an

understatement,” he said. “If a big

fish ignored you while swimming the channel,

wouldn’t that be reason enough to let joy

get the best of you? It did me!” he laughed.

 

JOY SUMS UP CARDIOLOGIST BRUCE

JACKSON’S MEANINGFUL PROFESSION

 

Here are a few words about life from

my cardiologist, Bruce Jackson:

“We reinvent ourselves every day! I’d

pay good money to do what I’m doing

right now,” said Dr. Jackson. “For

me, Joy just about sums up my line

of work.”

MEET ‘PROFESSOR’ LUKE BERTALDO CORTESE,

MY SPECIAL NEEDS GRANDSON

When I asked my daughter Brooke

Cortese to explain what joy means to her,

she said, “When I come across some mothers

with or without special needs kids, a few

of them just stare at my son, Luke, who’s

developmentally delayed. They can’t figure

why I’m so content, so happy. I tell them to

look for joy. If you don’t have joy in your life,

it can be very hard to find. Thanks to Luke,

I found it. So did my family. At times, I’ve

overheard [my husband] Rocco when he’s in

a room alone with Luke. More than once,

he’s told Luke, ‘I’m so lucky… I’m

going to keep you forever!’ It’s not an act.

He’s not blowing smoke. Rocco cares

deeply for all of our mischief makers.

The words come from his heart.”

     I’ve described my grandson Luke as

“the family professor” because throughout his

twelve years of life, he has taught all of

us so much about ourselves. He’s just learning

to walk. He speaks with eyes that smile.

His twin brother Max and sister Natalia, love

him. Because of Luke, the Cortese clan

are intimately acquainted with joy.

 

SHE GRADUATED MAGNA CUM LAUDE FROM THE DMV!

For my wife, JoAnne, joy was receiving

a perfect score on a California driver’s

exam she took recently at the Department of Motor

Vehicles. She crammed for that test like her life

depended on it. When she returned home,

she called all of our kids and grand kids

with the ‘breaking news.’ Joy for my mate

was an understatement.

 

A FATHER STILL SPEAKS TO HIS U.S. ARMY

MEDIC SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2007

 

At midnight, on many occasions,

Tony Rogue, an architectural designer

from Carson, California told me,

he goes into his backyard to talk to

his son, Cpl. Lester G. Roque, a

23-year-old US combat medic who in

2007 was killed during an intense

firefight with the Taliban. His

outfit, the 273rd Airborne Brigade,

was ambushed high on a mountainside

in Afghanistan. “Knowing that in

those last minutes of his life, my

son was trying to save the lives of

two comrades, that was a gift my

wife Liza and I will always cherish.

He left us with a feeling of pride,

even joy, that’s almost indescribable.

Lester knows we love him. That’s what

counts.”  

PARENTHOOD NEVER ENDS FOR THIS R.N.

Nurse Yvonne Hashimoto will

testify that “parenting never ends. As a

single parent, raising three kids you love,

it was an experience that occasionally caused

me to shed a few tears of joy. Of course,

there were times I developed a twitch.” Of course, Yvonne

was joking. In fact, she admitted that one of her

many joys was “guiding the little darlings through

their teen-age years. We all mature in different

ways. That includes mothers, too. But it’s no

secret: My kids brought joy into my life. And

besides,” she went on, “now they’re too old to spank.”

 

WORLD FOCUSES ON SPACECRAFT DESIGN

AND SPACE MISSION ANALYSIS.

Physicist James Wertz is a world renowned

authority on space mission analysis and design.

When we first met and I asked what he did for

a living, he replied, “We build spacecraft.”

When I asked, “What do the spacecraft do?” He shot

me a puzzled gaze and said, “They fly into space.”

What did he expect from a guy who flunked Chemistry

at Los Angeles High School? “If you weren’t

involved in all this outer space stuff, what

would you be doing?” I asked. The husky, white

bearded president of Microcosm, Inc. replied,

“I’d probably be driving a cab.” He didn’t

crack a smile until I laughed. Here’s a guy

with five published highly technical books

about spacecraft that fly into space, with

a hell of a sense of humor. So I pressed on:

How do you feel when one of your spaceships

reach the next stage of development? “Naturally,”

he said, “I experience euphoria, a feeling of

joy… Isn’t that what we’re getting at here?”

His wife, Alice, chief financial officer of Microcosm,

explained that “Jim is incredibly passionate about

his work. And that joy relates to the work you’re

researching.” When I told Alice that I hesitated

to ask her husband if he ever thought of naming

one of his spaceship projects a Wertzmobile? She laughed

and said, “He probably wouldn’t appreciate that.”

For scientific reasons, I decided not to ask the

magic question. I didn’t want to be sent on a one way

trip to Mars because it wasn’t on my vacation list.

Besides, Matt Damon who stars as an astronaut in

the newly released blockbuster movie, “The Martian,”

had already made that trip.

 

PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR MEETS JOY

Joy for Don Breem, a former professor of psychology

at UCLA and Whittier College, “exhilaration is a

reaction to internal and external events. After a

heart attack, when I was released from the hospital

and discovered I was still breathing, for me, that

was a joyous occasion,” he said with a smile.

END

EXPERIENCING SELF PITY? USE HUMOR AS YOUR WEAPON

PUTTING A FACE ON THE HUMAN RACE

EXPERIENCING SELF PITY? TRY TAP-DANCING

IT AWAY ON THE STAGE OF LIFE!

We are all starring in The Theater of the

Absurd. Look into the mirror. See yourself?

Even at your saddest moment of

wretchedness, study the character gawking

back at you. Notice the bloodshot eyes, the

twitch, the frown etched in deep furrows.

Pretty pathetic, huh? Now look deeper. There’s

a gladiator hiding behind that gloomy

facade. I don’t care how you’ve failed

or how your spirit was damaged. Give your

memory sack a good shake and there’ll be

an assortment of memorable moments spilling

out. Guaranteed, you’re gonna find something

to howl, growl or smile about. I know, I know.

You’re uncomfortable. But don’t hide. You’re

tap-dancing under the glare of the spotlight,

sharing the stage with billions whose tragedies

would dwarf the grief you’re experiencing.

You’re suffering an ego attack. Maybe a broken

heart? Everybody gets them. So stop fretting!

Even in the midst of catastrophic sadness,

there is humor. When my childhood friend,

Dick (Bumbo) Channon died at 52, I had his mother

and sister laughing. I dropped a handful of

bubble gum into his open casket. Memories are

made of happiness. Fun, never dies easy.

When my Irish pal, Frank Francis O’Leary

recently kicked the bucket, I wrote a

story turning the portly aerospace

physicist into a leprechaun stuck in a

tree. Death might be an emotional disaster for

many, but beyond those woe-be-gone tears lurks

the soul of truth that’s ready to spring forth

and bite you on the buttocks, infecting your

solemnness with happy memories. Truth harbors

a helluva sense of humor. You just gotta remember

the good times. So, if you want to temporarily

overcome those doldrums, here’s my suggestion:

Go into the bathroom and lock the door. As I

suggested earlier, find the mirror. You’re all

alone, right? Now bend over and give yourself

a kick in the ass. If you’re not double-

jointed, pull down your pants or panties and

“moon” the mirror. That act, I suspect, will give

you good reason to rise above self pity. You might even

realize what a pathetic looking asshole you are.

Remember: Laughter beats tears.


— Boots LeBaron —

A BROKEN PROMISE: CIVILIZATION’S MAJOR CRIME

THE HUMAN RACE

A BROKEN PROMISE AIN’T NO MISDEMEANOR!

 

A broken promise can scar the

soul of every individual who’s convinced

that trust is humanity’s cornerstone.

It’s capable of shattering the

confidence of any trusting person

whose confidence in another

has been desecrated.

In any court of

dignity where the indignant

act is exposed, the culprit

will either be exonerated,

mentally shackled with feelings

of guilt and anxiety for life,

stuck with a misdemeanor thanks

to the power of forgiveness,

labeled as a liar and a cheat,

or, depending on the severity

of the mental or financial anguish

inflicted on another. Of course, those

suffering from life’s broken-promise

syndrome, especially those whose lives

have been wrecked in the midst of a

lovey-dovey relationship, has every

philosophical right to reward that partner

with a seat on the electric chair.

Humanity consists of so many ridiculous

men and women in search of peace of mind

and a perfect life, which is never perfect.

No matter how benign or devious, a broken

promise can cause humiliation, hyperventilation

acute anxiety or psychotic short circuitry

despite the admirable intentions that kick off

any kind of human relationship. Yet, no matter

how intolerable the plight, a broken promise

should rightfully be labeled guilty as charged

on every victim’s shit list. Forever!

Boots LeBaron

SURVIVING LIFE’S INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS!

 

THE HUMAN RACE

TRUTH BE KNOWN:  THERE’S NO COUPON FOR MIRACLES

It’s the words that meld together

creating thoughts and fears reflecting

every person’s ongoing struggle to find

a semblance of peace of mind in an

over-populated world compacted by greed,

violence, desperate naivety, and a

a message of faith that inexcusably

guarantees the kind of miracles that will

fulfill our hopes, dreams and schemes.

In every conscience, such declarations

scour the most intimate corners of our

mind — not always in an enlightening sense.

To reach Valhalla, we must somehow find

strength as individuals to ignore our

fears and human flaws to reach that final

destination when Odin welcomes us to his great

hall. No matter how painful or debatably

misleading the promises, they are

convincing enough to satisfy any doubts

that linger before Odin’s final embrace.

All we need is a shred of truth

to fulfill our hopes and dreams

and fuel our trip to Valhalla.

Actors as well as other celebrities,

bless their charismatic and

artistic hearts, are members of a talented

gang of theatrical creatures capable of

articulating believable messages

that provoke self-examination.

Even Odin’s disciples must be capable

communicators. Otherwise, these

artists will anger the gods by not

bringing home the bacon.

The precious delivery of descriptive

observations, visual expressions, the

use of metaphors and similes, reach the

mind of those who are open to reason.

No person is honestly content with

what lurks in the dark regions of another

person’s mind. We all come equipped with

guilt as well as joy glands that

need massaging. Bullshit exists

in every member of the human race.

Literary craftspeople, essayists,

poets, TV talking heads or office moguls

who paint glorious promises they never

keep have been known to preach rewards,

then deliver nothing.

That’s their talent. They come armed

with words. And you are the target.

Never lose faith in strangers.

But be skeptical. Purity might be

believable, but is not always

attainable. Despite our self-disparaging

selves, the adventures we experience

en route to Odin’s palace, make life’s

challenges worth the aggravation.

Must we agonize over our questionable

wisdom? Should we ride with the anguish

we are spoon fed with daily doses?  

It’s up to you. Go figure!

 

— Boots LeBaron —

MY DAD BERT LeBARON: A MOVIE STUNTMAN WITHOUT A FACE

THE HUMAN RACE

 

  THIS  STUNTMAN HAD A LOVE AFFAIR WITH HOLLYWOOD

imageStuntman Bert LeBaron, with arms spread in flight,

was about to knock out a machine-gun nest manned

by prison guards in the 1947 Burt Lancaster classic

movie “BRUTE FORCE.” Esquire Magazine ran a full-page

photo of my airborne dad without giving the Hall of

Fame stuntman-actor credit. That’s the way it was

in Hollywood back then. Although today their names

are entombed with crew members in end-credits, stunt

people are still ignored by the motion picture and

television academies. Since more than 50 stuntmen

and women have died for Hollywood over the years,

don’t you think the survivors deserve Academy

recognition? At least for valor? What pisses me off

is to hear actors ooze B.S. (Don’t tell me they don’t!)

taking credit for “gigs” performed by athletes like

my old man. And now, digital animation is replacing

the acts of such stalwart guys and gals. After

35 years of proudly calling himself an actor-

stuntman, Bert LeBaron, who would never qualify as

another Laurence Olivier or Tom Hanks, developed

a heart problem that put him out of action physically

and financially. (His last stunt was doubling actor

William Bendix in a TV sitcom) When the film capital

of the world showed no compassion, he tried selling

encyclopedias. When that failed, he couldn’t even

support himself peddling newspapers on the streets of

Hollywood. Having nowhere to turn, he stepped into a

handball court at the Hollywood YMCA where he was renting

a room for $10 or $15 a week and purposely popped his

heart playing the game he loved more than women. He

died in 1956. I call Bert and his unheralded comrades

“stuntmen without faces.” I loved that womanizing rogue

whom my mother shed twice in divorce courts. My father

had so many ex-wives and girlfriends, they were lost

in the midst of his mind. Nevertheless, stuntmen and

women deserve to step up to the podium and accept a

golden statuette for their sensational athletic feats.

So tell the actors who, for the sake of publicity

or self-aggrandizement, to: Put A Cork In It! Their

crime is they continue to take credit for stuntwork

achieved by filmdom’s “faceless” others. In my book,

that’s a felony punishable by truth.

 

Boots LeBaron

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