Two weeks ago before a video emerged of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally hitting his wife in a hotel elevator, I gave my students an assignment as a writing prompt. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said if a player is accused of domestic abuse moving forward, the punishment will be a six-game suspension for the first offense and indefinite suspension after the second. Is this penalty too harsh or not harsh enough?”
We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Our favorite actor, sports star or politician finds himself or herself in a bad place. Perhaps it’s an affair that stuns, domestic abuse that horrifies or – worst of all – murder to another human being. We, the fans, are burdened with the task of either choosing to condemn this celebrity with the media bandwagon or defend them.
“Think positive. Make a list. “One, I don’t live in Bosnia. Two, I never dated O. J.” I started to write a memorial for Joan Rivers and found the task more difficult than I expected it to be. Why? Celebrity deaths hurt, especially when we feel like we’ve known the personality for years. That concept is nothing new.
For those of us who grew up loving film, there are certain moments that are engrained in our minds from movies seen on the big and small screens during our youth. Remember ducking your head below the old theater seats when the raptors chased down children in a massive kitchen in “Jurassic Park”? Or how about shedding that first cinematic tear when Simba lost his dad in “The Lion King”? For cinephiles of my generation, these images remain just as … →
Have you ever heard a truly great preacher? I’m not talking about the stereotypical hell-fire-and-brimstone one the church of olden days churned out. I’m also not referencing the feel-good spiritual gurus who dominate the airwaves now, who seem to be OK with everything except not leaving a donation in the collection box.
“Everybody has to have a hometown, Binghamton’s mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive make-up of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat or a kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that’s familiar because that’s where you grew up. “When I dig back through memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling—and that’s one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have … →