Benny's World

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Prediction & Catagory Overlooks

On the DU, one of my favorite weekend places to post (it's too taxing most of the time during the week since they have a ton of virtual messages posted almost any minute), there is the Oscar Winner Prediction Pool. My picks (even if I have other preferences):

Picture: Brokeback Mountain

Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Actress: Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line

Actor:Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote

Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener

Supporting Actor: George Clooney in Syriana

Animated feature film: Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Art direction: Pride & Prejudice

Cinematography: Brokeback Mountain

Costume design: Memoirs of a Geisha

Documentary feature: March of the Penguins

Documentary short subject: God Sleeps in Rwanda

Film editing: Munich

Foreign language film: Joyeux Noël

Makeup: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Original score: Brokeback Mountain (although Constant Gardner may be in close contention)

Original song: “Travelin’ Thru” from Transamerica (although I liked as well In the Deep)

skipping a few that I'm less familiar with.. and moving to:

Adapted screenplay: Munich

Original screenplay: Good Night, and Good Luck

Now for ones I thought were overlooked and were not nominated in their respective categories:

For best picture --Syrianna (this is the one that I thought should have won, but my next personal choice is Good Night, and Good Luck)

For best song(s)--"He Was a Friend of Mine" written by Bob Dylan, sung by Willie Nelson from Brokeback Mountain
"Nothing but the Wheel" sung by Peter Wolf--from Ice Harvest.
Aside: Why are there only 3 songs nominated this year? What's the rule on songs? Dylan wrote his tune a few years ago--is that why it wasn't included?

For best supporting actress--Connie Nielsen, Ice Harvest

For best supporting actor--Oliver Platt, Ice Harvest

For best actor--George Clooney, Syrianna

Aside: Maybe it is a plot for him to win best supporting actor or lead him to believe he'll win something for his acting (which I hope he does), although I am very fond of Jake Gyllenhaal's performance in Brokeback Mountain.

For best documentary(ies): Outfoxed Wal-Mart, the High Cost of Low Prices

Fightin' Because It's What's Right

I read an amazing diary on the OAC Blog that is so powerful and moving, that I promised the blogger I would link the story here: Reflections on a 4-Year Labor Strike

Intro clip:

When I was a freshman in high school in a little town in northern Wyoming, my stepdad, one of 200+ union mine workers at a nearby mine, voted to strike at 12:01 AM on October 1st, 1987. It was a strike that would last four years and in the process, change our family, our town, and our futures forever.

From the day he started working in his first mine, he'd been a union member. He believed in unions as surely as he believed in the Bible, and preached the virtues of the labor movement like it was the Word of God. By the time he met my mom, he was a strike captain in the United Mine Workers of America, Local #1972. He was also a hardcore Democrat and as far as he was concerned, union and Democrat were one and the same: they both championed the little guy, the one who didn't have the advantage of wealth or power or fame; they both valued the integrity of hard work; they both trusted in the power of the ordinary to do extraordinary things...they both believed that together, we are mighty.

Read the rest here.

This was one of the most inspiring stories I've read in a good while. I was thinking about the movie "North Country" in which women were sexually harrassed and the case took many many years to finally rule in favor of the plaintiffs. I'm certain she and others had a tough time supporting their families.

1987 was a tough year for me too. I was newly married (to my first spouse) when my spouse was laid off within a month after we got back from our honeymoon; I was laid off a few months later. It was another year before we found employment. With the help of my in-laws and some friends, we got by, but after that, I always worried about layoffs again, and they did happen to us 2 more times. My spouse and I separated; I couldn't afford to live by myself for long because my rent and utlities took over half my paycheck, and the debt mounted up. I realized I would have to move in with some other people. At the time, it seemed so strange to move in with other people I didn't know, but in the end, those gals became two of my best buds in the world. I thank the Universe for them, as they encouraged me not give up the struggle--because at times, I wanted to. In the end, my spouse and I divorced, but we are friends today because at the time, I didn't want to divorce someone who was down on his luck at the time. It wasn't right.

Writerscramp's conviction most resonated with me with her self-evaluation:

I've always been an activist at heart, either because of the way I was raised or the way my DNA lined up or a combination of both. But in the years since the strike, my natural tendency to tilt at windmills has been tempered by the understanding of what it means: you fight every day, not because of what you hope to achieve, but because it's the right thing to do. You'll never be guaranteed a win, no matter how righteous your cause; fighting the good fight doesn't mean you get a happy ending. But you fight for what's right anyway, because it's what's right. And if you're very, very lucky, others will stand to fight alongside you.

I think that is true for me and I certainly see it in John Edwards. Two years ago yesterday, he had to suspend his presidential campaign. But he never gave up--he was and still is the "little engine that could", as I mentioned in the previous post. He and Elizabeth have come a long way in fighting her disease, fighting for those in poverty, and still fighting for those to create a voice of the America that we believe in: one that works best for all of us.

I hope Writerscamp's diary will published in an article somewhere. Thanks very much Writerscramp for your courage and conviction in believing for our America, and mostly in yourself & your family.

JRE Media Events this Weekend

Last night, it was announced that JRE would be on a video segment of ESPN as a prelude to the UNC-Duke game tonight. Here's the link to the video. It may have been on earlier this week as the date reads 2/28. It's cute, although I think JRE should have worn his sports attire when playing HORSE with those guys. :-)

Then I received an e-mail from OAC this morning:

Dear Benny,

Senator Edwards will appear on Meet the Press on Sunday, March 5th. Senator Edwards and former Secretary Jack Kemp, co-chairs of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S.-Russia Relations, will discuss the findings of their upcoming report. Click here to find your local listings. [my note: the listing for my area is incorrect--so you may wish to double check on TV Guide)

Senator Edwards and former Secretary Kemp will present their findings to the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday, March 6th at noon and C-SPAN will cover their presentation LIVE.

Then, on Tuesday, March 7th, Senator Edwards and former Secretary Kemp will also appear on the Charlie Rose show.

We hope you can tune in for these appearances!


Kim Rubey, One America Committee

We also know that JRE will be on C-SPAN's Road to the White House, as I reported earlier this week.

My spouse sometimes wishes there was a JRE channel on tv; I've told him the blogosphere is as close it comes at the moment.

On another note, JRE suspended his presidential campaign 2 years ago yesterday. I remember I went home to watch it and it was so sad for many of us. But JRE never gave up. And today, he's busier than ever talking about issues ranging to US-Russian and US-Israeli Relations to poverty, to getting the kids involved for Opportunity Rock's collaboration with Habitat for Humanity spring break in NOLA.

"We have been the little engine that could, and I am proud of what we've done together, you and I. "--JRE, March 3, 2004.

You still are, John. We just need to make your engine a little bigger to match your heart.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Respect the Troops

In a recent post, Marissa was talking about Lakoff's reframing of political issues. One she brought up was "support the troops" and how the right wing keeps telling the US folks that progressives who are against the war that we don't support them. She suggested the following instead that articulates the doves' view very well: Respect the Troops.
Marissa logs this:

After a conversation I had with my conservative friend about “supporting the troops” it became very clear to me that he didn’t support them at all. His viewpoint was that they signed the papers and if they didn’t think they’d ever get called to war, they were wrong. Tough luck, that’s what you get for signing your soul for college tuition. I couldn’t believe it. I told him that wasn’t very respectful of the troops and he shrugged his shoulders. So, I think that Liberals should claim the phrase “RESPECT THE TROOPS” and that means: be careful with their lives, protect them from unnecessary harm, supply them with the proper equipment, extend their benefits, and care for their families. Most of all, appreciate them for putting their lives in danger and volunteering to do a job so that others are not forced to. I show my support of the troops by respecting them.

I like that phrase. And I'll be back to visit her blog again soon to see what other ideas she may have to offer. Hat-tip to Coturnix.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here is What You and I Believe

In Our America

we can trip the light

Check out his recent podcast here. Here's a link to a synopsis by Iddybud.

JRE 2008

The World is Watchin' Us-but We Ain't Waitin' Too Long

From the Midwest Road this weekend..thanks to all who contributed photos on the OAC blog and did some things to make them more poignant..

JRE is still get more input on problems of improving
to move 37 million out of poverty... ----->>>>

JRE reaches out to a Senior Citizen to get his viewpoint

Monday, February 27, 2006

Past Life Musings

Occasionally, I lurk over at Coturnix's blog, Science and Politics (also blogrolled here on Benny's World) and occasionally, he lurks here. Benny appreciates hat-tips!

As a panthesist, I discovered in of his posts in finding out what kind of animal any of us was in a past life intriguing. I went a site that quized me:

I typed in my birthday and what type of blog medium I engage in. Presto! Here's my past life.

You Were a Koala

You value living life at a slow, peaceful, meditative pace.
You give insightful advice, helping others to overcome obstacles.

I don't have a slow peaceful mediative pace at the moment. But I've been to Australia (although the real Benny has not; I wonder what he thinks about being a American short-hair tabby now compared to a koala?). Does this acccount for my affection for the place?