The death of good Christmas movies

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For a while now, I've wondered why there haven't been too many new Christmas movies that stand out as being "exceptional" or have the potential to become classics.

The article in Esquire by S.T. VanAirsdale really caught my attention and has perfect timing considering we're already in the holiday/Christmas season.

VanAirsdale starts off with a great line about asking people what their favorite Christmas movies are. After that conversation has been "exhausted" he asks what they consider to be the worst Christmas movies of all time. The list grows exponentially.

I would have to say this feature deals with entertainment; after all we are discussing movies. Most people love good movies (although there are some of us that enjoy movies that are so terrible they're good.)

VanAirsdale starts the feature off with a great example. Everyone has been in that weird situation at a holiday party when someone asks what the best/worst of some genre of movie is.

He follows it up with how Hollywood attempted, and still attempts, to churn out movies that will either touch the soul or give you a good laugh as a family. They may succeed in one or both areas, but they fail year after year to make a Christmas classic.

VanAirsdale is right on the money, there aren't very many good Christmas movies as it is, so why add more bad movies to the list? As consumers, we should demand more innovation and imagination not only from Hollywood, but also from ourselves. Sooner or later a great Christmas movie will come out and become a classic. The only problem with that is that we love to be entertained, don't want to wait for it and if it's not good, we want a refund.

Why women can't stand Sarah Palin

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The feature about Sarah Palin in the New York Times Magazine is certainly a human-interest piece that I can relate to. It revolves around why women can't let Sarah Palin go.

Real women who once supported Palin had been interviewed and asked what the change was that made them dislike her. "She was uninformed; she did not do her homework. Do the men who run this country have so little regard for me?" Lisa Copeland, a former Palin supporter, said.

I don't know what to say about the structure. I became very enveloped in the story and with Palin's up's and down's through her political career.

I wouldn't exactly say the style is informal, but it really gives the reader the sense that they're following Palin. You can visualize her in her interview with Katie Couric and hear how she was unable to link nouns and verbs.

The part that stood out to me the most was when Lisa Belkin used the analogy of high school to explain Palin within our society.

"If life is like high school, then today's educated, ambitious women, on both sides of the aisle, are the student-council presidents and the members of the debate team -- taught that if they work hard and sacrifice something along the way, their smarts will be rewarded," Belkin says. "This makes Sarah Palin the head cheerleader. Pretty and popular, with no apparent interest in studying, she's the one who industrious girls were tacitly promised would not succeed in the real world."

The way we, as a society and not just women, have been programmed with this notion that if you work for something, you'll get somewhere. In the case of Sarah Palin, women were outraged at the stereotype she portrayed and some were happy to see her fail.

There are so few women in political office right now (about 17 percent of the House and the Senate are women) according to Belkin.

Although it would have been a step in the right direction for women if Palin had made it to a higher office, but supporting this particular woman in Belkin's words, "also felt like a step backward for feminism."

60 and going strong

The piece about Meryl Streep in Vanity Fair is a profile. It's only the preview for the story that will be in the next issue, but it still notes a number of exciting times in Streep's career.

The one thing I found interesting was how much they talked about Streep's age. She's 60, which apparently is very old for Hollywood.

One of the headers in the preview states, "There is no work for women over 40 in Hollywood." For this, she's broken a glass ceiling in Hollywood.

They say that because of her talent that she should restrict her work to dramatic roles. 

Streep has accumulated more Oscar and Golden Globe nominations than I can count on my fingers and toes!

People seem to think she doesn't have a lighter side because of the more serious movies she's been in, which would make you laugh if you've seen Mamma Mia! or if you recognized her voice over work on the animated show King of the Hill.

One of the last items they note is that there is no money in making movies for women, particularly older ones. Streep says it's not just about the money. "I'm very f---ing grateful to be alive. I have so many friends who are sick or gone, and I'm here. Are you kidding? No complaints!" Streep said.

Pakistan charges seven people over Mumbai attacks

BBC reported Wednesday that a court in Pakistan has charged seven people in connection with last year's attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai.

The alleged mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and the other suspects were charged under Pakistan's anti-terrorism act and criminal code. All seven have pleaded not guilty.

A total of 174 people, including nine gunmen, were killed in the attacks in November.

The attacks led India to suspend peace talks with Pakistan. In July Indian PM Manmohan Singh said talks would not restart until the Mumbai attacks suspects were brought to justice.

The only surviving attacker, Muhammed Ajmal Qasab, is currently facing trial in India.

The charges were read to the seven accused at a special anti-terrorist court set up inside the high security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi where they are being held.

Those in Rawalpindi's anti-terrorism court were Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi , Shahid Jamil Riaz, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal, Jamil Ahmed, Abdul Wajid and Younus Amjad.

Prosecutors say they are determined to bring convictions and secure the maximum sentence for those in the dock.

Following the attacks, Pakistan rounded up a number of suspects - among them the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, who spent some time in custody before being released due to lack of evidence. He has denied any involvement.

CNN reported Wednesday morning that the 13-year-old teenager spent 11 days in October wandering New York's subway system until a police officer recognized him from a missing persons' poster, according to police and the youth's mother.

Francisco Hernandez Jr., who has Asperger's syndrome, disappeared on October 15, after he thought he was in trouble at school, according to his mother, Marsiela Garcia.

Garcia told reporters that she contacted police when her son went missing, but didn't receive much help.

Garcia and her husband took matters into their own hands by posting missing persons' fliers around their neighborhood, public areas and even in the subway.

A transit officer found Francisco in the Coney Island section of New York after seeing the missing persons' fliers. He was returned home unharmed.

Garcia said her son wore the same clothes for 11 days, slept in subway cars and used the bathrooms in stations. He had $11 with him when he disappeared and she said he bought food in subway stations.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was asked about police actions in the case on Tuesday, during a news conference on other, unrelated subjects. He said proper protocol was followed to find the young man.

Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ reported Wednesday that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized over 17,000 counterfeit items from Twin Cities-area businesses, with an estimated street value of $643,000.

ICE Special Agent Claude Arnold said consumers should be on the look out for counterfeit items, especially at this time of the year.

The counterfeit items range from brand name purses and perfumes to football jerseys with fake signatures from Joe Mauer and Brett Favre.

Industry and trade associations estimate that counterfeiting and piracy cost the U.S. economy between $200 billion and $250 billion per year, and more than 750,000 American jobs.

Two weeks ago ICE agents seized counterfeit purses, clothing and other items from businesses in Duluth.

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Recent Comments

  • funkx077: This was a very good feature. VanAirsdale writes an accurate read more
  • salle014: That was a very interesting article, and since I am read more
  • odayx011: Reading the feature was really fun. We can all relate read more
  • toxxx017: I loved this feature, and your take on it as read more
  • toxxx017: I loved this feature, and your take on it as read more
  • radda014: First off, I like your conversational tone! It makes you read more

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