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Fast and Furious No More

Walker is gone after only 40 years (The News Tribe)

Walker is gone after only 40 years (The News Tribe)

Although I am likely the last to know, I just heard that Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker died in a horrible car crash yesterday in Southern California. He was 40 years old—younger than me—and I, for one, will miss him.

Walker was last seen leaving a holiday toy drive for his charity Reach Out Worldwide with his friend and racing team partner Roger Rodus. He jumped into the passenger seat of a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT—with Rodus behind the wheel—around 3:00 p.m. and sped off for Rodus’ shop.

Unfortunately, they never made it.

Only a few hundred yards from the shop—and likely traveling at excessive speeds, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office—the car flew into a Valencia office park in Santa Clarita, slammed into a light pole and burst into flames.

Antonio Holmes was at the same charity event as Walker, watched him drive away, got a call about the crash and rushed to the scene, but there was nothing that he or anyone else could do.

“We all… grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle,” he explained later. “It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing. They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried. We went through fire extinguishers.”

Firefighters and investigators worked hard to extract the bodies—or at least what was left of them—and Los Angeles Coroner Investigator Dana Bee said it could take as long as 48 hours to officially identify the remains from dental records.

Walker in the original Fast and the Furious (Universal)

Walker in the original Fast and the Furious (Universal)

Sadly, this doesn’t change the fact that on Saturday, Hollywood lost one of its “good ones.” Walker was a solid actor by any measure, of course, but his philanthropy off-screen was also well documented.

He once overheard a groom just back from Iraq—and preparing for another deployment—who couldn’t afford to buy a wedding ring for his bride. Without making a fuss, Walker had the ring charged to his account and quietly ducked away before his altruism could be praised. Granted, this isn’t a world-changing example to propel Walker into the charitable stratosphere of George Clooney, but he did change the world for that couple.

Yes, it’s rare to find a Hollywood actor who manages to keep his feet planted so firmly on the ground. You may not care for the Fast and the Furious franchise and you might not even like any of Paul Walker’s work. But you can’t deny one very important fact: he was a good guy.

And I would argue that in today’s world, good guys are the rarest of them all. Rest in peace, Paul.

The Assman Returns!

Kramer fingers the Assman… sort of (courtesy of Castle Rock Entertainment)

One of my favorite television shows of all time—and arguably one of the best ever—was the hilarious sitcom Seinfeld. For nine seasons and through endless episodes in syndication, I have planted myself in front of the television to enjoy the exploits of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer (Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards, respectively). Few shows feature such a talented ensemble cast, which made this particular situation comedy so special. Even years later, I still find myself laughing at jokes I must have heard a million times by now.

Perhaps my favorite episode of Seinfeld was “The Fusili Jerry,” which focused on one of my favorite body parts, at least on women: the derriere (or “ass” for lack of a better word). One subplot involves the crazy and quirky Kramer, likely my favorite character on the show. He visits the Department of Motor Vehicles to pick up his vanity license plate, but is mistakenly given one that says “Assman.” Rather than returning it immediately, Kramer decides to slap it on his jalopy and to reap the benefits such a title brings. And for a while there, things go pretty well. People pass him on the street and yell things like “Look out! The Assman’s in town!” He even visits the hospital and parks in a doctor’s spot without getting stopped by a suspicious security guard.

Being the Assman certainly has its advantages.

Later in the episode—and after Kramer gives Jerry a statue of himself made solely from fusilli pasta—George’s father accidentally falls and lands right on top of it. Without being too crude, let’s just say that the statue gets stuck in the one orifice exposed when he falls on his ass. I’m sure you know what I mean. If not, then consider one of Jerry’s comments from the show: “He had to use corkscrew pasta.”

Any questions?

The gang takes George’s father to the hospital, where he is examined by the one doctor most qualified to handle his procedure: a proctologist. As he’s delivering his prognosis to George, Kramer notices a picture of his boat on the wall. Emblazoned across the back is its name: Assman. Kramer asks the doctor if there was a mix-up with his vanity plates recently and he confirms it. “So you’re the Assman?” Kramer asks him. And with a wink, we learn the truth.

Although I’m not a proctologist and can’t really understand why anyone would choose this profession, I do consider myself to be a serious Assman. As I said, nothing is more attractive on a female than a nice rear end, at least to me. Sure, I can appreciate women for lots of different reasons—and can always find beauty in the female form—but nothing makes more of an impression on me than a nice, shapely butt. I don’t even care about the size as long as the right curves are there. And though I hate to admit it, I often find myself fixating on women who have the booty to back it up. Pun intended, of course.

For an Assman like me, trips to the beach and the swimming pool in the summer are probably the best times to appreciate those nice behinds. However, I can always count on the media to cover celebrity rumps, most of which are beautiful thanks to personal trainers, butt implants and other resources these folks can afford. So for today’s post—which I hope doesn’t come off as perverted, demeaning or insulting—I want to turn my attention back to the back, so to speak. Here are the celebrity butts that impress me the most. I won’t label them as “The Best Butts in Hollywood,” but to me, they’re still pretty special. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do!

Welcome Back, Oscar!

The Golden Boy: Oscar (courtesy of the AMPAS)

Ever since I can remember, I have loved movies. In fact, I would go so far as to say I suffer from a scorching case of cinephilia.

And no, that isn’t a venereal disease.

A cinephile is obviously someone with a passionate interest in cinema, and that certainly describes me, at least in part. My passion for film runs much deeper and strikes to the very core of who I am, though. In some ways, you could even say that it defines me.

Like many of you, I have watched thousands of movies and love them for some of the same reasons you do.

On their most basic level, movies entertain and provide a much-needed escape from the banality of life. For the two hours that I’m sitting in front of that screen, I forget about the world outside and all the problems that plague me. I immerse myself in the visions of filmmakers who take me to new places, introduce me to new people and show me that the challenges I face are not as uncommon as I might think.

In other words, they connect me to the human experience in ways I might never imagine when I first sit down to watch.

Creativity is important to me, and few things are more creative than movies and the people who make them. So my love for films didn’t stop at watching them. I also learned how to create them. Initially, I just did a lot of reading about movie production, acting, directing and anything film-related that I could get my hands on. Then I tried my hand at screenwriting, even producing a feature film script and critical analysis for my master’s thesis.

Like many would-be screenwriters, though, I have rarely completed a screenplay and have not yet submitted one to a festival, production company or entertainment agency. It’s a hard world to break into and, honestly, I suffer from too much self-doubt to attempt it now. Perhaps someday soon.

Until that day comes, I will continue to watch as many movies as possible and to celebrate the achievements of the people I admire most in the industry. Luckily, the event best suited to celebrating everything “film” is scheduled for tonight: the 85th annual Academy Awards.

This evening promises to be a busy night for Oscar, that little golden statue that brings so much joy to those who receive him and draws so much envy from those who don’t.  With so many great people and films nominated in every category, predicting who will walk away with each award has been extremely difficult, even for the critics.

Just take at look at some of the nominations.

Best Picture

  • Amour
  • Argo
  • Life of Pi
  • Django Unchained
  • Lincoln
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Les Miserables
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
  • Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Best Director

Granted, there are some candidates I’ve never heard of before and some films I haven’t seen yet, but that’s what makes the Oscars so great. Sometimes the fact a movie received tons of awards makes watching it after the fact even more exciting. You just don’t get that when a film is initially released.

I am thrilled to see some of my favorite actors and directors nominated for awards. How can you go wrong with mainstays like Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Steven Spielberg? Sure, Joaquin Phoenix has been acting a little weird these last few years, but he’s no less talented as a performer. And the infusion of new talent like Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (who is sexy as hell) is like the cherry on top.

It should be an incredible, star-studded night both on and off the red carpet. I, for one, can hardly wait to enjoy every second of tonight’s broadcast. And regardless of where you are, I hope you have the opportunity to do the same!

15 Freaky Celebrity Deaths

Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper (Photo credit: beatplusmelody)

Death has been called the “great equalizer” because it is the one thing people share regardless of their race, gender, political affiliation, financial status, sexual orientation or any other feature, trait or characteristic that sets them apart.

There is no escape. And death does not discriminate.

If we’re lucky, we will pass away quietly and peacefully in the twilight of our lives, nestled warmly in our beds and surrounded by friends and loved ones. The unfortunate thing is that simple probability makes this “gentle demise” impossible for all of us—some will face a more gruesome and painful end.

And celebrities are no exception.

When it comes to facing death head-on or falling victim to the worst possible crimes imaginable, the rich and famous often steal the show by dying with flair. The circumstances may be unsavory or disturbing, but there is usually some dramatic tale or mystery to entertain and intrigue us long after they’re gone. Case in point: the following celebrity deaths, all of which qualify as unforgettably “freaky” in their own unique ways.

Bob Crane of “Hogan’s Heroes”

Bob Crane

The star of television’s “Hogan’s Heroes”—and a well-known sex addict—was bludgeoned to death in an Arizona motel room in June 1978. His assailant—who was never found—used either a tire iron or camera tripod to bash in Crane’s skull, tied an electric cord around his neck and allegedly ejaculated on the corpse. Needless to say, it likely wasn’t a fan responsible for the gruesome crime.

Lupe Velez

“The Mexican Spitfire” starred in more than fifty films between 1927 and 1944, was married to “Tarzan” actor Johnny Weissmuller and had a well-known affair with Gary Cooper. At age 36, she was impregnated by actor Harald Maresch and felt ashamed to have a child out of wedlock. Velez decided to end her life and took an overdose of Seconal, a sleeping medication. Unfortunately, the medicine made her nauseous and when she went into the bathroom to vomit, she slipped and fell head-first into the toilet. A maid discovered her body there the next day.

Ramon Novarro

Ramon Novarro: Death by Dildo

In one of the most bizarre murders in Hollywood history, Mexican leading man Ramon Novarro—the original Ben Hur—died in an extortion attempt by several Chicago hustlers. The men suspected that Novarro had $5000 stashed in his home and meant to rob him, so they suffocated him with an Art Deco dildo he had received from Rudolph Valentino decades earlier. In the end, they stole only $20, making this one of the least lucrative and most bizarre murders in the world of entertainment.

Gwili Andre

The high-priced actress and model from Denmark—described by many as a “Garbo look-alike”—once dated eccentric business magnate Howard Hughes. When her acting career didn’t take off, Andre did something unthinkable: she used old publicity newspaper clippings to build a funeral pyre in her apartment building and burned herself to death.

Vic Morrow lost his head

Vic Morrow

Another bizarre Hollywood death involves Vic Morrow, American star of the 1960s television series “Combat!” and father of Carrie Morrow and Jennifer Jason Leigh. On the set of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film “Twilight Zone: The Movie,” a helicopter malfunctioned and came crashing down on Morrow and several others. Sadly, Morrow could not escape and the low-flying helicopter blades decapitated him on the spot. The pilot, Spielberg and producer John Landis were later acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, and Morrow’s daughters eventually settled out of court.

Carl Switzer

The actor best known for playing Alfalfa in “Our Gang” (or the “Little Rascals”) got into a drunken brawl with a hunting buddy over a $50 debt in 1959. Things went bad quickly and Switzer was shot twice in the groin by his “friend.” He died of massive internal bleeding shortly thereafter and, oddly enough, his murder was ruled a justifiable homicide by police!

Dorothy Stratten

The beautiful Dorothy Stratten

In the late 1970s, an up-and-coming beauty named Dorothy Stratten became a Playboy Playmate and embarked on what she hoped would be a successful acting career. This future never materialized thanks to her psychotic husband, Paul Snider, who tortured and murdered her in 1980 and even had sex with her corpse—he blew his own head off with a shotgun moments later. Stratten was only 20 years old. Her story was featured in the film “Star 80,” but I warn you it is kind of depressing.

Elisabeth Short

The 1947 case of Elisabeth Short—the so-called “Black Dahlia”—remains unsolved to this day. The aspiring actress was found in the Leimert Park district of downtown Los Angeles, her body mutilated, cut in half at the waist and drained of blood. The corners of Short’s mouth were sliced—creating an effect known as the “Glasgow smile”—and her body had been both cleaned and positioned into an unusual pose. The LAPD has interviewed endless suspects over the years, but none have panned out and for now, the mystery continues.

Alan Pakula

The 1998 death of Alan Pakula—the American film director behind “Klute,” “All the President’s Men” and “Sophie’s Choice”—could have inspired any of the more recent “Final Destination” movies. While traveling down the Long Island Expressway, the car in front of him hit a metal pipe and sent it flying through Pakula’s windshield. The pipe struck him in the head and killed him instantly, leaving his car to swerve off the road and into a fence. Pakula was 70 years old.

Steve Irwin

Wildlife expert and head of the Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin, made a name for himself on the Animal Planet hit television series “The Crocodile Hunter.” Irwin was known for taking risks and stirring up controversy, as he did in 2004 when he took his one-month-old son into a crocodile pen during feeding time. Irwin’s final performance came in 2006 while he was filming stingrays in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. One of the creatures he was observing felt threatened and stabbed Irwin in the chest with its barb. Irwin allegedly pulled the barb out, causing even more damage to his heart and killing him seconds later. At least he died doing what he loved, I guess.

Sharon Tate in the early years

Sharon Tate

Among the most famous murders in Hollywood is the 1969 slaughter of Sharon Tate by members of Charles Manson’s family. Tate was pregnant at the time, which didn’t stop Manson’s minions from mutilating her and stabbing her sixteen times. Her husband, filmmaker Roman Polanski, finally got some closure once Manson and his family members were arrested several months later.

Tennessee Williams

The writer and playwright behind “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Tennessee Williams, met his maker at age 71 in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. Williams was using some nose spray—holding the cap between his teeth as he tilted his head back—and accidentally choked to death when the cap fell into his throat. Talk about bad luck.

Michael Hutchence

The Australian musician and lead singer of the band INXS took a path oft taken by rock and roll superstars. Depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol, Hutchence used one of his snake skin belts to hang himself in a Sydney hotel in 1997. The strangest thing is that he was kneeling on the ground at the time, meaning he really wanted to die. It was a huge waste of an even-bigger talent.

David Carradine, King of Kinky?

David Carradine

Star of film and the television series “Kung Fu,” David Carradine died in 2009 in a Bangkok hotel room. At the time of his death, Carradine was wearing fish net stockings and a lady’s wig. He was also hanging in a closet with a rope around his neck, wrists and private parts. Some believe asphyxiation for sexual arousal was to blame; others claim Carradine was killed for investigating secret martial arts societies, a theory that echoes Bruce Lee’s mysterious death. Either way, this was not a pretty way to go.

Ray Combs

Once famed host Richard Dawson left the television game show “Family Feud,” producers struggled to find a suitable replacement until Ray Combs arrived in the 1990s. Despite his on-screen popularity, Combs experienced a string of bad luck off-screen. Beginning in 1994, Combs was nearly paralyzed in a car accident; experienced business problems that led to the repossession of his house; separated from his wife; and was admitted to a psychiatric ward. This is where he finally ended his pain by hanging himself in the closet with a bed sheet. Ironically, the very bar in the closet Combs used for support was designed to break away during suicide attempts!

The list of freaky celebrity deaths could go on and on, and more seem to be added to the list each year. If nothing else, this certainly leaves the door open for a follow-up post later. I only hope it’s much later.

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan at the Warner Brothers L...

Michael Clarke Duncan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54 – Yahoo! omg!.

After suffering a heart attack in July and being hospitalized as a result, 54-year-old actor Michael Clarke Duncan passed away early this morning in a Los Angeles hospital.

Duncan is best known for his role as John Coffey in “The Green Mile,” but also appeared in “Armageddon” and “Planet of the Apes.”

At 6’5″ and 300 pounds, Duncan truly was a gentle giant. It’s a terrible tragedy to die so young and with so much talent. And he will be missed.

Rest easy, big man.

I love Natalie Portman


Furniture has all the fun! (property of Dior)

Natalie Portman sheds conservative image in nude Dior ad

Although this may sound a bit unusual, I first took notice of Natalie Portman when she was a teenager in the excellent 1994 filmLeon: The Professional.” Yes, she was underage, but I dare you to find a cuter and more talented young actress who can compare to her in that movie. She was completely precious.

Years later, Natalie took on the role of Queen Amidala in the mediocre pre-trilogy to the “Star Wars” sage. Thank goodness she wore a skin-tight outfit in “Attack of the Clones” because honestly, it more-or-less saved that movie. I still have nightmares about Jar Jar Binks.

These days, Natalie is a 31-year-old wife and mother, but she is still one of the sexiest women in Hollywood. And now I have proof thanks to none other than Dior and their new ad campaign for 169 Grege lip color.

Man, what I wouldn’t give to trade places with that loveseat!

7 Super Hero Movies I’d Love to See

Thanks to the swarm of comic book films in the last fifteen years, we are all too familiar with characters like Batman, Spider-Man, Thor, Superman, Captain America, Iron Man, the X-Men and most recently, The Avengers. And there are plans being made to expand on many of these franchises in the near future—Batman being the only one on the list likely to take a break. Of course, there are also discussions about where the next big hero will come from, and I have a few suggestions.

Some of these heroes and super teams may be familiar to you, while others may be slightly more obscure. My brother and I collected comic books when we were kids, so I have a working knowledge of both Marvel and DC characters. Marvel seems to be doing fine, so I’ll focus on DC characters here. A few may still pop up in comics from time to time, and at least one has been tossed around Hollywood for years and may soon be in development. Nevertheless, I believe all of them could be translated to the big screen with some degree of success. People love super hero movies, and I’m confident they would love these, too.

DC Comics' Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Okay. The film that I mentioned that might be in development soon is, of course, “Wonder Woman.” In a recent development, “Green Lantern” co-writer Michael Goldberg was hired to pen the new script, but that’s no guarantee the movie will be made. A number of different writers and directors have tried and failed to get the world’s most popular Amazon princess into theaters. So I won’t believe it until I see it.

But come on. Wonder Woman? Who wouldn’t go to see this film? She’s tough, smart and sexy at the same time; has an invisible plane and a lariat that forces you to tell the truth; and she uses metal bracelets to deflect bullets with lightning-fast reflexes. She is the total package! Men would drool over her, women would admire her, and teenage boys everywhere would… well, you know… to her. And forget about overseas revenue because it would be off the charts. There are men in every country of the world who would love to see Diana Prince kick some ass. Even America’s enemies couldn’t resist those star-spangled tight pants and striped corset.

Creeper (comics)

Creeper

This character is a little out there, but he has a certain maniacal, edgy charm that I just can’t resist. And I know he’ll look terrifying on the screen. It’s the Creeper, a DC comics’ character dating back to the late 1960s. His yellow skin, green hair and furry red cloak make him look like some kind of Rastafarian, reggae demon, but that’s a plus. I love reggae music.

Some background: Jack Ryder is an outspoken—and rather annoying—talk show host in Gotham City who gets fired for being an ass and becomes a security guard. He learns that mobsters have kidnapped a prominent scientist, Dr. Yatz, and dons a weird costume before attempting to rescue him. The mobsters shoot Ryder, so Yatz injects him with a special serum and places a strange device in his wound, which quickly heals over it.

It turns out this serum gives Ryder enhanced agility and strength, while the device allows him to switch back into costume. The catch is that every time he puts on the suit, he activates the serum, which in turn causes him to behave more and more irrationally. When the suit comes off, his psychosis disappears, but soon it’s like Ryder is two different people: himself and the half-demon, crime-fighting Creeper.

Tim Burton could make this film work very well, I think.

DC Hero Minifigs - Wave 10: Teen Titans

Teen Titans (Photo credit: levork)

The New Teen Titans

If you want to appeal to a youthful demographic, why not feature a super team of teenage heroes? And who better than the Teen Titans? What began as a small group of sidekicks in the 1960s—most notably Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad and Wonder Girl, the younger sister of Wonder Woman—grew to include young heroes like Speedy (Green Arrow’s former sidekick), Starfire (an extraterrestrial and very sexy lady), Changeling (a shape shifter once known as Beast Boy) and Raven (a mysterious empathy).

When I first read the New Teen Titans comics, I found myself drawn to the controversial issues they addressed, including drug use, violent crime, alcoholism and teen suicide. The dramatic possibilities are endless. Throw in some new talent, a love triangle, an alien threat and a Justin Bieber theme song and you have all the makings of a blockbuster. I know I’d pay to see it, at least once the teenybopper crowd thinned out a bit.

The return of Nightwing. Dick in his fourth co...

Nightwing

Christopher Nolan, the award-winning director of the latest and greatest Batman films—“Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and most recently “The Dark Knight Rises”—has already said he won’t make any more Batman movies. The way I see it, this leaves the door wide open for another dark night detective, Nightwing.

Batman’s original sidekick was Dick Grayson, a boy he adopted after criminals murdered his circus-performing parents. Dick adopted the mantle of Robin and fought alongside the Dark Knight until his teenage years, when he rebelled against his mentor and went out on his own. Robin spent time with the Teen Titans and eventually created a new persona, Nightwing. He and Batman are so similar that the transition could be seamless. Hell, Christian Bale could even do a cameo or two.

Plastic Man's shapeshifting abilities have oft...

Plastic Man

Although a great deal of CGI would be needed to pull this off, I would love to see a movie—likely a comedy—about the stretchiest hero of all time, Plastic Man. This guy could fight crime, of course, but the scenes of his character in normal, everyday situations could be hilarious. Plastic Man can stretch every inch of his body to great lengths, including some parts we dare not mention. Can you imagine him on a date or even being intimate with a woman? There are tons of laughs there, I assure you.

Deathstroke the Terminator

If it’s raw action you’re looking for, then look no further than Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator. This soldier turned mercenary isn’t your usual butt kicker. He’s taken on super heroes of unlimited power and always holds his own, even against super teams like the New Teen Titans. Of course, some of his strength comes from a super soldier serum he received during a secret army experiment, but that’s not important. What is important is that he is suave, debonair and, most of all, deadly. Deathstroke also has great crossover appeal, and we all know how important that can be these days. Last time I checked, The Avengers was doing quite well.

Black Lighting, cover details, Justice League ...

Black Lightning

A list like this deserves a little flavor, so I would suggest Black Lightning enter the mix. As one of the first African American heroes in DC comics, Jefferson Pierce—his “real” self and secret identity—paved the way for a multitude of diverse characters to come.

Pierce was a gold-medal Olympic athlete who returned to Suicide Slum—on the south side of Metropolis, Superman’s turf—as principal of Garfield High School. When a promising student named Earl Clifford is murdered by a criminal gang known as the 100, Pierce becomes Black Lightning and unleashes the metahuman abilities hidden inside him, in this case the power to absorb and manipulate electricity.

We all know someone like Quentin Tarantino would have a field day with this one.

These are definitely the “Big Seven” super hero movies I would love to see, but there are others I should save for a follow-up post someday. Like the Flash, or maybe Shazam. The point is that we don’t always have to settle for the so-called “big names” in comic books. There are smaller, equally rich characters in the DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and other comic universes. I guess what I’m proposing is an indie system within super hero movies. It’s a place where the little guys and gals can get their due.

They can’t all be Batman, after all.

Human Footprints

In terms of ecology, environmentalism and the Green Movement, the “human footprint”—or ecological footprint—is a “measure of human demand on Earth’s ecosystems” (Wikipedia). You normally hear the term tossed around by former hippies, tree-huggers, granola-eaters or other global crusaders—and I use these terms only because that’s how many describe people who have a conscience about nature and want to save our dying planet.

To me, the phrase “human footprint” also has an alternate meaning that I find equally significant: it represents the effect we have on the world and its people once we’re dead and gone. You can also think of it as the impact of our single life, the so-called “ripple effect” of a life lived fully and, in many ways, in the service of others. Take Martin Luther King, Jr. for instance.

MLK was a man like any other and had his problems, but he also changed the face of America and the world by supporting and fighting for African-American civil rights. As a clergyman and Baptist minister, MLK undoubtedly touched the lives of many others long before the cameras turned in his direction. And we all know—and hope—that his life and legacy will continue to transcend his mere physical presence.

Bob was a third grade teacher who was walking home from work one day and saw two young boys fall into a raging, flooded river. He immediately jumped in after them and somehow managed to help them both back to land. Unfortunately, Bob swallowed too much water, lost consciousness and drowned as the current dragged him away.

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King Jr.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regardless of what we do—good or bad—our lives will affect others and could potentially impact future generations. MLK was a very public figure who was able to use his “celebrity status” to affect change and to help millions. Bob was an “average Joe” who not only dedicated his life to educating our youth, but also sacrificed it to save two of them. Obviously, MLK’s contribution is the one people will remember most because it will touch so many lives. Bob’s sacrifice might only affect the kids he saved, their parents and anyone close to Bob personally, but it is no less valid. They both used their lives to better the lives of others.

Many of us will live honorably and pass way with a multitude of loved ones and friends, all of whom will remember us until they ultimately join us in the Great Beyond. The footprint we leave is like one left in the sand. It will stand for a while, but will soon fade and eventually be washed away. By then, no one will really remember we were here, at least not in a meaningful way.

On the other hand, a few of us—like MLK and even Bob, to some extent—will leave a footprint pressed in stone, like a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Because of our exposure, our influence or our extraordinary effort, we will continue to touch generations of humans to come.

I hope to join this second group.

Granted, it’s kind of a stretch because most of us live lives of quiet desperation, or so it’s been said. And I’ve managed to live for more than forty years without fame of any kind, so gaining celebrity status is unlikely. I will try, of course, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I will do what I can to affect others on a smaller stage—to leave my footprint in the sand. Work gives me the opportunity to help college students succeed, so I like to think that I’m making a difference there. And as long as I live my life with love, compassion, honesty and goodness, I know my time here is not being wasted. Gandhi once said you should “be the change you want to see in the world.” And you know what?

I couldn’t agree more.

Wheres Robert Pattinson Twilight Star Hides Out After Kristen Stewart Cheating Scandal| E! Online

Kristen Stewart at Hollywood Life Magazine’s 7...

Kristen Stewart at Hollywood Life Magazine’s 7th Annual Breakthrough Awards English actor Robert Pattinson at the Twilight premiere. November 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wheres Robert Pattinson Twilight Star Hides Out After Kristen Stewart Cheating Scandal| E! Online.

Is it wrong for me to think that this story does not belong under the “Top Stories” on Google News?

I mean, I know that the “Twilight” series is popular, a fact I’m still trying to understand since I found the films I’ve seen rather mediocre, but wouldn’t this fit better under the entertainment category?

It says something about our society when our “top stories” include presidential campaigns, mass murder tragedies, Olympic events and a story about some Hollywood nitwit who cheated on her boyfriend.

Give me a small break, peeps…

Mick Jaggers affair with David Bowie revealed in new book: They were really sexually obsessed with each other – NY Daily News

David Bowie 03

David Bowie 03 (Photo credit: Serjao Carvalho)

Mick Jaggers affair with David Bowie revealed in new book: They were really sexually obsessed with each other – NY Daily News.

Does this really come as a surprise to anyone? Just watch the “Dancing in the Streets” video these guys produced in the 1980s and the attraction between them seems very obvious. And given that they both flourished in the days of Studio 54, the Sexual Revolution and disco, it’s almost as if this was destined to happen!

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