Weekly Twitter Digest

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Jan 312015
 

Weekly Twitter Digest

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Jan 242015
 

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-A Movie Review

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Jan 192015
 

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie PosterSeven elderly Britons, for a variety of reasons, respond to an online ad and travel to Jaipur, India, where they find run-down hotel with a young, exuberant, and optimistic host. Evelyn, newly widowed, wants low-cost experience, Graham seeks a long-ago love, Douglas and Jean have lost their pension in a family investment, Muriel needs cheap hip surgery, Madge seeks a rich husband, and Norman is chasing women. India affects each in different ways, enchanting Douglas and Evelyn while driving Jean deeper into bitterness. Their host, young Sonny, has dreams but little cash or skill; he also has a girlfriend whom his mother dismisses. Stories cross and discoveries await each one.

Runtime: 124 min; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Comedy, Drama; Released: 25 May 2012
Director: John Madden
Writer: Ol Parker (screenplay), Deborah Moggach (novel)
Stars: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Patrick Pearson, Hugh Dickson, James Rawlings, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith, Liza Tarbuck, Paul Bhattacharjee, Lucy Robinson, Ronald Pickup, Celia Imrie

Lay had to work Saturday, so after chores were done, I watched this. I found it to be a grand and fun movie, with adorable characters who made me want to see more. Continue reading »

As Usual Methodist Episcopacy Missing in Action

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Jan 182015
 
Bishop B. Michael Watson, North Georgia Conference

Bishop B. Michael Watson, North Georgia Conference

It will come no surprise that members of the Georgia legislature have introduced model legislation like that introduced in other legislature where marriage equality has either passed or been instituted by judicial action. This one of those “Religious Freedoms” bills designed to allow “christians” to discriminate against anyone they don’t like…because, you know…who would Jesus hate.

In this instance, a group of religious leaders in Georgia have banded together and issued a letter denouncing the bill, and explaining that no one, besides certain Republican members of the legislature has actually asked for the bill. I was heartened to see that a number of United Methodist pastors from Georgia had signed the letter. But as usual, the Methodist Episcopacy was missing in action. Continue reading »

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Jan 172015
 
Jan 172015
 
Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

Kelvin Cochran, Former Atlanta Fire Chief

The story is based on a recent action by the City of Atlanta in which they fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for the publication of a religiously themed book, and how it was distributed within the department. The book included some pretty strong anti-gay comments, so of course the main characters in anti-gay, inc. are all grifting on Cochran’s martyrdom. I’d like to offer some reminders to these staunch defenders of “free speech.”

Let’s lay out the facts of the case (and not the overwrought screeching of the ‘phobes). First, as part of taking an executive level job with the City, Mr. Cochran had to agree to and sign a work agreement. One requirement imposed by the work agreement was that Cochran (like anyone else in a similar position) had to get the City’s permission for anything he might publish. This is not at all unusual. Cochran didn’t bother to get this approval.

The grifters have tried to make the claim it was all innocent, as the book was written for a bible study group in his church (in one explanation), or, was just given to a couple of friends who asked for it. Actually, it was given out by Cochran to several of his subordinates in the fire department. Let me remind you, he was the Chief, therefore had direct influence over the employment status of these people. This just isn’t acceptable in any work environment, let alone in the public sector. Continue reading »

The Imitation Game – A Movie Review

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Jan 112015
 

Imitation_GameBased on the real life story of legendary cryptologist Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Runtime: 114 min; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller; Released: 25 Dec 2014

Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Andrew Hodges (book), Graham Moore (screenplay)
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear

As the movie begins we hear Alan Turing saying, “Are you paying attention? Good. If you’re not listening carefully, you will miss things. Important things. I will not pause, I will not repeat myself, and you will not interrupt me. You think that because you’re sitting where you are and I am sitting where I am, that you are in control of what is about to happen. You are mistaken. I am in control. Because I know things that you do not know. What I need from you now is a commitment. You will listen closely and you will not judge me until I am finished. If you cannot commit to this, then please leave the room. But if you choose to stay, remember that you chose to be here. What happens from this moment forward is not my responsibility. It’s yours. Pay attention.” Continue reading »

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Jan 102015
 

Skeleton Twins – A Movie Review

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Jan 102015
 

Skeleton Twins Movie PosterAfter many years of estrangement, twins Maggie and Milo lead separate lives on opposite sides of the country. When both feel that they’re at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to face how their lives went so wrong. For Maggie, that means re-examining her marriage to sweet “nature frat boy” Lance and her own self-destructive tendencies, while Milo must face the pain of an early heartbreak he never got past. As the twins’ reunion reinvigorates them both, they realize the key to fixing their lives just may lie in accepting the past and mending their relationship with each other.

Runtime: 93 min; Rated: R; Genre: Drama; Released: 11 Sep 2014

Director: Craig Johnson
Writer: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman
Stars: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell

We had missed this at the theaters, even though it was something we’d wanted to watch, Lay especially. It was finally available in Redbox a few weeks ago, so we watched it. Continue reading »

Birdman – A Movie Review

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Jan 102015
 

BirdmanRiggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night performance. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it past opening night?

Runtime: 119 min; Rated: R; Genre: Comedy, Drama; Released: 14 Nov 2014

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu (screenplay), Nicolás Giacobone (screenplay), Alexander Dinelaris (screenplay), Armando Bo (screenplay)
Stars: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Kenny Chin, Jamahl Garrison-Lowe Continue reading »

Jan 092015
 
This entry is part 17 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

Boy oh boy, did I get a surprise phone call Monday. I live in Tampa, just south of Pasco County, and Monday morning I faxed a letter to Paula O’Neil, Pasco Clerk of Court about their discontinuing performing marriage ceremonies in deference to the bigotry of some of her assistant clerks. You can read the letter here.

About 3PM, I got a phone call from Ms. O’Neil. My letter had raised concerns with her, and of course, she started with the “misquoted and out of context meme,” and asked if she could elaborate. I was impressed that she called, and that we spent 45 minutes discussing the issue.

First, I will concede that the article, as is often the case, did publish some comments of Ms O’Neil out of context…big surprise, but she did, after some prodding admit that, while dropping this service had been under consideration for a few years because of budget cuts, it was the gay marriage issue, and the concerns of some of her staff (who came to her “in tears saying they just couldn’t do it”).

Paula O'Neil, Pasco Clerk and Comptroller

Paula O’Neil, Pasco Clerk and Comptroller

I put it to her this way, “Ms. O’Neil, if one or more of your assistant clerks ever came to you and said they just couldn’t conduct a ceremony for an interracial couple, that it just went against their personal beliefs, would you condone that or accommodate it in any way…would you have stopped performing all ceremonies because of that?” She said no, of course not. I asked her to explain to me the difference, from a civil and constitutional rights perspective, the difference between an interracial marriage and a same-sex marriage. After some sidestepping, and then a long pause she said, “I can’t, and now that you’ve presented it that way, I can see why this is a problem and why people would see it as discrimination.” She said she never meant to discriminate, but I explained there was no way it could be viewed as anything else. I really didn’t let her off the hook, and she really didn’t argue or try to make excuses.

I reminded her of the story  of the southern cities that filled in municipal pools rather than allow African-American Children to swim in them, and said, “Whether you meant to or not, you just backed up the cement truck and hit the dump lever, and that will be your legacy and that of Pasco County 100 years from now.

To her credit, I think she now understands the harm and damage she’s done, and has since gotten permission to waive the three-day waiting period, and had notaries and judges available at the Courthouse those first days to handle anyone wanting to be married there. It was the best we could come up with to try to mitigate the damage.

I have to give Ms O’Neil credit for being willing to have a very civil discussion, present her side, and listen fully to my side, and try to arrive at a reasonable remedy.

So I call that a good day.

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