Monday, March 21, 2005

Dear Frankie - Movie

This past weekend I finally had a chance to go to the movies. I tagged along with a group of friends who were seeing Dear Frankie. Now, just from the previews I was not terribly interested in watching this movie, but I figure I could tolerate it with good company.

Dear Frankie is about a single mother and her deaf son, Frankie, on the run from her abusive husband. The boy doesn’t know that his real father was like that but thinks he’s a sailor on a freighter ship. This is due in a very large part to his mother who has been writing her son posing as the father.

The mother’s mendacity comes initially from a somewhat twisted sense of love for her son, but we learn that the letters were more for her benefit than for her son. This is only one of the perplexing parts about the film that the director never develops fully. In fact, there are several plot holes and story inconsistencies that leaves you feeling less than satisfied at the end. For example, there is obviously a budding relationship between the mother and the stranger she hires to impersonate the father. The stranger (we never find out his real name) is bold enough to request another day with Frankie and the mother, but never pursue the relationship any further than a kiss goodbye. That brings up the whole issue of the stranger in the first place. If the mother truly wants to protect her son wouldn’t the truth be safer than finding a strange man to play the father?

The one part of the film that actually satisfied me was the resolution of the mother's lying to her son, even though it was resolved with the biggest plot hole in the movie. (Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what happens). The son, through sheer magic knows that the stranger was not his father. The audience is never told how the boy finds out, but by the boy knowing that his mother made up the story it doesn’t justify her actions in the lest. I felt the movie was leaning towards justifying the mother’s action, but in the end, without being judgmental, the movie resolves that issue and kind-of-sort leaves a happy ending.

All in all I would suggest waiting for the video. It’s definitely a Hallmark Made-for-TV presentation, and that’s probably were they should have stuck it.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Cowardice or Conscientious?

I just read an interesting article in the NYTimes. It's about the soldiers who are deserting for various reasons during this war. As a Naval Reserve officer on inactive status this article hits home. Even though I'm on inactive status, if the President calls my number I could be going to Iraq.

Maybe I'm tending to look at life in simply black and white. These soldiers signed up to serve our country. Now that a war has ensued they want to back out for what ever reason. What about their oath? What about duty? Not to mention honor? I wonder if it's death that they really fear. The reason why I say that is because the article mention soldiers that served in Iraq who are now conscientious objectors. They know first hand the face of death, and like Marlow in The Heart of Darkness, they have witness true darkness. It's probably a very frightening thing to come so close to mortality and a sense of your finitude face to face.

I wonder would it have been appropriate to ask, "Are you afraid to die?" And what would be their response. That would have been interesting, very interesting to find out.

Friday, March 11, 2005

African American Leaders

I have to agree with LaShawn, there is something patronizing about the claim that African Americans need African American leadership. The RNC’s move to set up the African American Advisory Committee for the sole purpose of bringing together African American Leaders together as a "sounding board for Republican outreach efforts" is commendable, but who are the so-called ‘African American leaders’ that will speak for me?

I live in the Los Angeles area, probably considered the second most liberal part of California next to San Francisco. And as an African American conservative Christian, I can say with pretty much absolute certainty there are no African American leaders that speak for me. Personally, I don’t need one either. First of all just because a supposed leader has similar skin color to mine does that automatically mean we hold to the same values or ideas?

Granted, historically Blacks had specific leaders that I would consider true leaders. But these leaders focused on improving the conditions of blacks based on the common ideas that all humans are created equal in the sight of God. Frederick Douglas comes to mind as one of these true African American leaders. Douglas came along during a time where the concern of any social reformer was the abolition of slavery and the equality of the African people in America. First, slavery and then equality focused Douglas. To read more on Fredrick Douglas click here.

Now compare that to today’s supposed African American leaders. First of all African Americans are not galvanized behind civil rights anymore. We have overcome that hurdle. Read La Shawn’s article to understand why we don’t need Black leaders.

Blacks come in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, and confessions. We are as diverse as the Jews are in America, but you don’t see the need for Jewish leadership only African American leadership. If other racial groups don’t have leader, we don’t need them either. So why doesn’t somebody ‘lead’ that idea?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My First and Last Words on Michael Jackson

I truly don't understand the brouhaha about MJ. I mean I loved the Thriller album when I was growing up, and respected MJ as a pop icon. But is his trial worthy of being front page news?

Let's look at the face value of MJ. He is a pop singer. His influence beyond his music is minimal. There are no ideas, knowledge, concepts, or discoveries that will be passed down from him to future generations; he will have no significance in 30 yrs.

So again why the brouhaha over his trial? I personally feel sadness and disgust about his situation. On the one hand, disgusted at the implications of molesting children to the sadness that he was blessed with a gift to entertain people but will be remembered for this spectacle.