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The death of good Christmas movies


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


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.

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