Rape, Race and Rebellion: Nate Parker and the movie, Birth of a Nation

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to the scandal and drama that was triggered by Nate Parker’s new movie, here is a brief recap. Nate Parker along with his friend and co-writer, Jean Celestin, wrote, directed, acted in, and produced a film about Nat Turner and his rebellion in Southhampton County, Virginia during August of 1831. His movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to standing ovations, was purchased by Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million and is....   [Read More...]

Catholicism and Me

I'm Catholic. I'm a Catholic in my heart, in my morality and in my soul. I didn't practice Catholicism for a long time — it may well have been forty years. If someone asked me my religion during that time, I said, "I'm a recovering Catholic." Get it?

Flannery O’Connor, A Short Story Review

flannery_oconnor

O'Connor's metaphors and character descriptions are so vivid they jar the mind. Her writing is energetic and barbed with such naked honesty it initially struck me as rude or written by a rube but nothing could be further from the truth.

Racism, Life Lessons and Memorable Movies

There are more than one set of values and morals available to me in life. How do I choose the right one? And where did those values and morals come from. How do I decide which path to take.

I remember

Ganoga Lake
A poem about life and the memories we savor.

 

Birdman: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance-A Movie Review

I loved this movie. It had just the right combination of dark humor, zaniness and bookishness for my tastes. I laughed often and hard although it was the kind of laughter that explodes out of me when something bad has happened or almost happened. It's an embarrassed kind of laughter. Birdman was an honest and piercingly transparent look at the 55-year-old character of Riggan Thomson whose hope for a second chance at stardom propels the plot toward its resolution. Riggan's humanity is exposed and oozes out on the screen. How honest is this movie? When I prepared calf's liver in the past I used to surgically cut out the whitish bile ducts from the gelatinous mass of floppy burgundy flesh with a very small and very sharp knife. And this is what Director Alejandro González Iñárritu did. He took a small, sharp knife and carved into the psychic flesh of Michael Keaton to portray the character of Riggan, and Keaton, sensing that somewhere in this outpouring of emotion and intense acting there lay a renewal for him, acted his way into a portrayal of self conjoined with character that may well go down in cinematographic history. He sliced out the emotional bile ducts of his psyche and served him up to us on a platter. Salome has nothing on Iñárritu.

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Lucy’s Blackboard, A short story

She did cartwheels.

I was ten when Lucy and her family moved in next door. It was winter and although I had seen her, we hadn't really been able to play together. She went to public school where my father was a teacher and I went to St. Augustine’s, the Catholic parish school. We didn't get together until summer. I asked her to take a walk. I always walked then; in the summer I often walked ten miles or so a day. Our street was a dead-end and stopped two doors up with the McKay's house. It was quiet and there were woods and empty fields nearby. I wandered everywhere unafraid. Lucy's mother, Marta D'Angelo, wouldn't allow Lucy to walk in the woods or the fields unless an adult was present. My parents didn't care. The only rules were that I should be home for meals, do all my homework and help around the house when asked.

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Rikki, Tikki, Tavi, Part 2

Rikki's alive. He must be. The morning after I gave up and took down the signs, Petwatch, the microchip company, called to say he had been turned in to the Buncombe County Humane Society.