Posts Tagged ‘ Humanity ’

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 —

WHO LURKS BEHIND THAT FINAL DOOR?

CONTEMPLATING MORTALITY

What’s behind that final door?

Do I have the courage to open it?

Will I find a congenial St. Peter?

Or a menacing Satan ready to cuff me

and send me to the brimstone pit

without reading me the Miranda Act?

Or will there be a sorceress

with a ravishing smile sporting

a Miss Universe type sash with

OBLIVION printed across it?

I’m really not prepared

to leave this troubled World

where I’ve battled defiantly

over the past eighty-some years.

I still have unfinished symphonies

to complete before I open that portal

 to Valhalla where Odin might honor

me with a glimmering diploma for

a lifetime of writing meaningful

prose and creating soulful art.

Narcissistic as it might sound,

as a writer and artist, I’m proud of

of my work. So I’m not ready to take

that final step. My favorite Woody

Allen quote just about sums up my

feelings: “I don’t want to achieve

mortality through my work. I want

to achieve it by not dying.”

When I’ve finished my memoir

and published my illustrated book

of essays and human interest stories

that took me a half century to create,

I’ll  give ODIN a high-five and

welcome MISS  OBLIVION  with

open arms.

— Boots LeBaron —

WILL YOU VOTE FOR SUPERMAN OR WONDER WOMAN?

The Human Race

ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS WHO’S THE RIGHT CANDIDATE!

Who knows what skull-duggery lurks in the hearts

of politicians running for this year’s

presidential election? Not even The Shadow

knows. Some of you might remember the

spooky crime fighter who petrified radio

audiences before the advent of television.

He had the ability to “cloud men’s minds.”

Thanks to politics, it’s not a lost art.

Today on TV, politicians and other talking

heads constantly cloud voter’s minds.

For proof, tune in to the New Hampshire

primary and listen to mudslingers doing

the hootchy-kootchy as they compete for the

the world’s most influential position: The

U.S. presidency. The current political

extravaganza is not only a sad act to

witness, but at times highly entertaining.

How do we separate the incomprehensible

gobble-dy-gookers from trustworthy

political warriors? Who will be the most

prolific fighting for our individual rights?

         It ain’t funny. The challenge for voters is monumental.

Many these well-financed combatants are

brilliant debaters. Don’t tell me a scant number

of these political saints aren’t dancing the

waltz to garner votes. They focus on whatever

issue their target audience needs to hear:

Immigration, energy, the economy, gay rights,

taxation, separation of church and State.

a woman’s right to choose, stem-cell research,

gun control… You name it. We

fall for brilliantly conceived lines delivered

by TV’s talking heads, radio babblers and scores

of Internet twiddlers voicing their slanted

messages into the ozone. Who should we trust?

Remember, Superman and Wonder Woman are

are comic book characters. Yet U.S. citizens hunger

for the kind of conscientious integrity in humans

that such superheroes are identified with.  

Who should voters with such diversified demands

know which political barrister in the race

for commander and chief is the most righteous?

How do we convince voters to first do their

home work and then turn out to vote en masse

relying on keen instincts governed by

hearsay evidence?”

Got me!

                      

           — Boots LeBaron —

SOCIETY’S POWERBALL HUMAN GAMBOL!

PUTTING A FACE ON THE HUMAN RACE

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND SINKING YOUR LOOT IN POWERBALL

 

     The POWERBALL hysteria which ended Wednesday, January 13, 2016, revealed society’s hunger to fulfill their dreams of reaching instant billionaire status by at the very least purchasing a two buck POWERBALL ticket. Who are these millions of hopeful gamblers who lined the streets and jammed places like service stations and 7-Eleven type stores to hit life’s alleged jackpot?

     I don’t care who the new moguls are or what gold mine granted them a “promissory” existence in a better world for a two-dollar ticket to financial bliss. Sure I’d like to buy bundles of happiness. But this mass performance of men and woman who invested anything from a paltry $2.00 to as much as $10,000.00 for POWERBALL tickets, is one soap opera that exposes everybody’s psyche.

I found a few pros and cons about contemplating billionaire station in life. For example:

     Sally Stowe, an actor-director and stage producer, who soon intends to be greeting friends at her own memorial service while she is still kicking, told me, “I don’t think that my Maker could care less if I stood in line to buy a two dollar ticket that could make me a billionaire. The life I’ve shared with my husband, Charlie, and our kids, can’t be bought for ten billion. My life has been a priceless gift.”

     Bob Aaron, a retired mechanical engineer from Torrance, Calif., had never bought a LOTTO ticket. “I have no idea how much money I have saved over the decades,” he said. “If I failed to buy

a ticket and learned that I would have become a billionaire, I guess I’ll live with it. Sure, I’d take the money and run. On the other hand, if my wife, Sue, who’ve been my best friend for many years, drew a winning ticket at POWERBALL, first thing she’d do is trade her husband in for a newer model.” Bob laughed at that joke.

     Widow Marilyn Hofferlin, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, said, “The world if falling apart. The headlines are focusing on POWERBALL. It just goes to prove how greedy we are. I didn’t buy a ticket. At the moment, biggest, most frustrating loss I can think of is when Stan Kroenke, who owns the Saint Louis Rams football team decided to move the team to Inglewood, California.

     “Right now, they are pulling down the banners at the Dome, where our Rams packed the stands. That breaks my heart more than losing out as a billionaire. My husband, Richard, if he was alive today, would totalle agree with me. I know the odds of me winning at POWERBALL is laughable. I’m 84. Life is short. I’m not so naive to think I can beat the odds.”

     Marvin Thurman from Rushville, Illinois, who buys and sells farming machinery, didn’t purchase a ticket because, “I don’t think that would be too smart of an investment. When there’s millions buying a chance, one ticket isn’t worth a hill of beans,” he said.

     Entrepreneur Tom Ruff, who years ago maxed out three credit cards to create the Tom Ruff Company, which is now a long established national head-hunting organization, said this: “I’d rather earn an honest wage than gamble against the odds trying to win a billion dollars.” Ruff, who lives in Main and enjoys a comfortable yet busy life with his fiancee, Meg, and dog, Tank, obviously wasn’t compelled to buy a POWERBALL ticket.

     Roland Hueth, an avid fisherman and former paint company executive, asked, “Do you really think you’re going luck out against hundreds of thousands of other dudes who all want to make a quick killing? It’s like casting a hook with yummy bait into an ocean that’s bubbling with fish, and not coming up with a single nibble. Donald Trump can keep his money. I don’t envy him one bit.”

                        — Boots LeBaron —

http://www.amazon.com/The-Human-Race-Boots-LeBaron/dp/1494218526

 

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

MEET PROF. LUKE BERTALDO CORTESE, A SPECIAL NEEDS KID

THE HUMAN RACE

THIS MOM EXUDES AN ABUNDANCE OF JOY,

THANKS TO HER DEVELOPMENTALLY- DELAYED SON

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 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.

 

                     — Papa Boots LeBaron —

 

 

 

 

 

TWO UNIQUE VIEWPOINTS ABOUT HOMELESSNESS

HOW TWO VERY DIFFERENT MEN SAW LIFE ON THE STREETS

 

     I’ve had the opportunity to spend time learning about life from two very different homeless men: The late Mitch Snyder who spoke for our nation’s homeless, and Doug Grindeland, who spoke for himself.

     Mitch, in his forties, was a tough, angry, pensive activist. He had gained notoriety when he went on a 51-day fast losing 60 pounds, reaching an emaciated 118 pounds.

     That same year, 1983, the CBS-TV show “60 Minutes” made his plight famous. The objective of his fast was to force the Reagan Administration to renovate an empty federal building into an 800-bed shelter for homeless people in Washington, D.C. It worked.

     Several years before he committed suicide (1990) he told me: “Human beings are basically decent and caring creatures. But because we are a highly competitive and individualistic society, we’ve learned how to step over the broken bodies of our neighbors without seeing them.”

     The gaunt face and those dark, narrow-set despairing eyes bore the conscience of a man who had slept with hunger and degradation. Mitch literally walked in the shoes of the homeless.

     When I asked, if there was one meaningful statement he’d most like to make to the American public, what would it be? Here was his reply:

     “I was about 48 days into my hunger strike and was prepared to die when ’60 Minutes’ asked me a similar question. I knew I had millions of people out there listening to my last words. After I thought about it, I realized it was something we always say.

     “The public must reduce the distance between themselves and the suffering and lonely. The next time you see somebody sitting in a doorway, on a curb or wandering aimlessly, someone you know is alone and hurting, do something. Reach out in your own way and say to that person, ‘I care about you!”

     Mitch, at least in my book, was a rogue angel and the voice of America’s homeless.

     Doug Grindeland could have beat Mitch handily in an arm wrestle. He was a tall, thick-shouldered man with a graying goatee, clear blue eyes, and a salty sense of humor.

 When I met him, he was sitting at the counter of a Manhattan Beach restaurant having a cup of coffee. He was in his mid-fifties and had a “Want to Neck?” badge pinned to his sweater.

     The two men had never met. Each had their own skeletons to rattle. Mitch was riding a newswave while Doug, with his own set of loose marbles, lived on the beach. After he was layed off as a packaging designer at Hughes Aircraft Company’s Radar Systems Corp., the twice-divorced one-time B-29 Air Force crew chief with three years of college, “just gave up.”

     He blamed some of his woes on industry bottom liners. The saying he quoted was this: The purpose of life is finding your gift. The meaning of life is giving it away.

     “Because of greed,” he said, “the financial community today is too busy lopping off heads not really considering what’s inside of them. Sure that bothers me. Sometimes in life, you are given no alternatives. I put my time in grade. I want to enjoy life. For me, being homeless is still an adventure. I have no complaints.

     “People come to California on vacation to sleep out under the stars. I do it every night. I live off my bike. It’s not that easy. I don’t think a lot of people could handle this. When I’m out of money, I’ll go into a bin behind Winchell’s and pull out about 30 pounds of doughnuts. I’ll eat a few and feed the rest to the sea gulls.”

     A few years ago I ran across Doug at the beach. He was no longer homeless. He had spent a year at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in West Los Angeles being treated as a manic-depressive. He was drawing disability and taking medication for what he describes as his “mental short-circuit.” But his opinion about the human race hadn’t changed.

     Here’s what he learned after living homeless for more than three years: “Before the VA took me in, I looked at people going to work every day, putting up with office politics, job abuse and other social pressures. They had to make a living wage to pay the rent. Me, I didn’t have to answer to nobody!”

     He admitted that surviving as a homeless person on the beach wasn’t Paradise. “I was mistreated, even bullied. One time three young men took my bike and the cans I was collecting, and threw them off the pier. Then they tried to egg me into a fight. I might have been a little touched, but I wasn’t crazy!” He laughed at that.

     As a homeless person he discovered that humanity has different faces. “You find good and bad. There are people who detest the fact that you’re not working. There are many more compassionate people than vindictive ones!    “So you learn humility. You learn how to survive on doughnuts. When you dig into a trash can because you’re hungry, you learn to discard your ego. Ego is such a handicap. When you’re homeless you see life from the streets on a day-to-day basis. The pretty little house with the white picket fence is like shooting for the moon.

     “There were a lot of things I appreciated,” he continued. “Every single day at the beach, you look up at the sky and it’s like a beautiful picture. Every day is different. People will see you digging for cans. They’ll come up, talk, give you some change. There were people who gave me twenty dollars. Despite the rotten eggs, you see a lot of caring people when you’re down.”

     Today, whenever Doug runs across a homeless person, he might say a few friendly words. “Usually, I’ll give them some money. Maybe a few bucks. Whether they spend it on food or booze, that’s up to them.”

     One time, during his homeless period, he met a woman in a saloon. “When she asked where I lived, I told her, I live at the beach. When I brought her home with me, was she surprised!”

 

              — Boots LeBaron

 

 

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