Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Month: September 2010 (page 1 of 3)

Tony Curtis

Last night, one of our greatest actors – Tony Curtis – passed away. I was shocked. I know, he was 85, he lived a good life, but I just always thought that the world would have Tony Curtis in it.

I never met Mr. Curtis, but after watching his movies and seeing interviews with him, I felt like I knew him. I guess, a lot of people feel as if their know their favorite star. Strange, isn’t it?

I remember years ago watching a show about homosexuals in the movies. At the time I was struggling to come out and the issues surrounding all of that and there was Tony Curtis on this show, talking about his role in Spartacus. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never seen the movie.

Anyway, he was talking about how his character – a slave – was bathing another character – a master – in this pool of water and how the conversation between the two characters went. The master was prying to see if the slave was or leaned to being a homosexual. The memory is a little vague. I haven’t been able to find the show, but I remember Mr. Curtis saying about his character, “I always admired him for that.” I can still hear the voice in my head.

There was something about that interview that just struck me that if I came out to Tony Curtis, there wouldn’t be any problems. He’d tap me on my head and tell me, in that great voice of his, that it would be okay. I have no idea why I have this image of him, I just do. The interview made me feel better during a rough patch and that’s probably why this image of Tony Curtis as a great father resonates with me. Even now, as I know, he probably wasn’t the world’s greatest dad.

I met Jamie Lee Curtis years ago, a little while after her mother – Janet Leigh – passed away. I told her quietly how sorry I was to hear about her mom. She patted my arm and gave me a smile, while I walked away. I wish I could tell her that today – how sorry I am that she’s lost her father. It saddens me, I don’t know why, to think that Jamie Lee Curtis is an orphan. Maybe, it’s because she reminds me of my friend, Linda, someone with whom I’ve lost touch.

Anyway, Jamie Lee, if you’re reading this, I’m truly sorry about your dad.

And, to Mr. Curtis, thanks for the movies, the paintings, the books. You will be truly missed – you were (and are) one of our greats.

Customer’s Turned Away From Bakery – for being GAY?

Just Cookies, which operates in a City run market in Indiana, turned away a gay student group that wanted to purchase rainbow cupcakes for a National Coming Out Day party.  The owner citied that the company is family owned business and that they have “two young, impressionable daughters and we thought that maybe it would be best not to do that.”

Okay, on one hand, I see a business owner turning away customers and that is his right.  If he wants to lose business because of his own morals – what’s the big deal?

On the other hand, I think if you’re in a city-run market space, then you’ve given up the right to discriminate against a customer because you don’t hold their beliefs.  Would the city tolerate a Christian business owner turning away customers because they want a Star of David on their cupcakes?

Finally, I think the business owner did more harm than good to his business.  Turning away this student group has brought him the kind of publicity that, in this economy, will do him more harm than good.  Did he really need people to know his own anti-gay beliefs?  He might have gay customers or gay-friendly customers that will no longer shop at his bakery.

For example, I love the kringle from O&H Bakery here in Racine.  I purchase it once every 13 weeks to bring to work on my treat day.  I spend around $30.00.  As far as I know, O&H Bakery is family owned and operated.  But, if they turned away a student group wanting rainbow cupcakes, I would switch to a different bakery or find something else to bring in on treat day.  Sure, they’d only lose $120.00 per year, but if other gay people did the same thing, that might add up to thousands of dollars.

I believe this business owner has made a huge mistake in order to keep to his own moral standard.

See the video here.

Still think the Republicans Give a Damn about You?

Then read this:

The Republicans blocked a bill that help keep American jobs from going overseas.  It “would have ended certain tax breaks for companies expanding overseas while giving new tax incentives to businesses bringing jobs home.”

The Republicans claim that this is just an election ploy.

I claim that the Republicans really don’t give a flying fig about you, me, our children and grandchildren.  They would rather grandstand and swing their arms screaming about a disaster than actually pass a bill that will help the nation.

Haven’t we had enough?

I keep seeing the polls that says Johnson is leading against Feingold and I hang my head.  It seems that my fellow Wisconsinites don’t know a good thing when they see it.  They’re fooled by the rainmaker.

If we give the keys to the nation back to the Republicans, we get what we deserve.

See, I’m not worried about myself.  I am a highly trained, highly skilled worker.  Unless the country completely falls apart, I’ll have a job.  I might have to cut back a little bit, but I haven’t been on unemployment since 2000 and that only lasted a few months.  I put money away into my 401k and my IRA, so retirement will be a breeze for me.

I worry about you and your family.  You there – yes, you.  The one who has been out of work for six months with three little mouths to feed.  How much is in your children’s college fund?  How much is in your 401k? Savings?  How close is your house to being paid off?  What is your education level?  Your skill level?  If you find a job, will it pay enough?

Think long and hard about the person you give your vote to.

Is he rich?

Does he understand that if our jobs keep going overseas, there won’t be anyone here to tax?

Does he understand that the Department of Education ensures that poorer Americans can get a good education, so they can move up one more rung on the ladder?

Does he understand that a family shouldn’t have to choose between medication and eating?

Did he vote to extend unemployment benefits?

Does he support Social Security?  Because, you’re going to need every dime you can get from Social Security.

Does he understand how the economy works?

Does he understand that by allowing banks to branch out into investment banks caused the Wall Street crisis?

Does he get it?

Can you trust him to get the job done?

Will he honestly look out for you? Or, is he just going to make promises he can’t / won’t keep?

Think about it.

This isn’t a fight about gay marriage and family values.

This isn’t a fight about socialism and true conservatives.

This is a fight for our future and who is going to do a better job of ensuring the AVERAGE American a good future.

Look at the Republicans’ record on their votes for the AVERAGE American — under their reign, the gap between the top tier and the bottom tier grew exponentially.  Do you think they give a rat’s ass about you?

He doesn’t.  The Republicans haven’t cared about the American Public since Theodore Roosevelt left office in 1909.

But, go ahead, give them your vote.  You’re not hurting me – they’ll never really pass a law that will put gay people in jail – like Montana and Texas Republicans want.  They would lose a huge wedge issue that motivates their “base”.

So, I’ll be all right.  I’ll keep right on working, like I always have, but you – you don’t need your job to go overseas.  You need to support your family.

Good luck with that when the Republicans take over again.

Lack of Republican Solutions

Did Republican Leader John Boehner really say on Sunday we can’t “begin to talk about potential solutions”?  Honestly?

Why not?

Are we really going to allow the nation to fail for the next two years because the Republicans don’t want Obama to succeed?  How does that work?

High unemployment?  We’re sorry, but if everyone who wants a job had a job, Obama would get the credit.

Is that there answer?

Is anyone paying attention?  Or, are we all drinking tea?

Unemployment really just 6.5%?

I saw a very quick blurb in last week’s Businessweek.  I’ve been a little busy, so I’m behind on my reading.  According to the blurb, there are 2.3% of jobs out there that cannot be filled with the right people.  2.3%  — that would bring our unemployment rate down to around 6.5%.

But, why can’t these companies find the qualified people — here are two my quick and dirty off the top of my head ideas.

  • We have a huge disconnect between out secondary education and our business needs.  We need to get business and higher education better aligned.  How we can do that or where we can start — that I don’t know.  But, it’s sad, isn’t it?
  • We have a huge housing problem because qualified people are now locked into homes they can’t sell, so they can move to the jobs.

Anyone else have any ideas?

James Dean and Donald Turnupseed

On Sunday, while the rain poured down, I was cruising the Internet and headed on over to Find A Death.    The site is run by Scott Michaels, who runs the Dearly Departed tours out in Los Angeles.  Every once in a while, I’ll go spend the day on the site – guess that makes me a Death Hag – to learn on a famous or infamous person died.  On this visit, I ran across the piece on Donald Turnupseed.

I know what you’re thinking:  Who is Donald Turnupseed and why is James Dean mentioned in the headline?

I’ll answer both:

Donald Turnupseed is the unfortunate man who literally changed James Dean’s life into death.  He was the driver of the car that Dean hit on that fateful night where a brilliant young actor was called to the stage in the sky.

Mr. Turnupseed passed away back in 1995 according to the article.  And, here’s the best part – he never publically discussed the accident.  Never.

Doesn’t that seem strange in this day and age?  Can you imagine someone NOT using his fifteen minutes of fame?  Nowadays, a guy will stand in line at a coffee shop with Brad Pitt and will discuss it on every talk show out there.  Okay, maybe, that’s a little bit of a stretch.  But, look at how long we paid attention to Joe the Plumber.

I guess my whole point is that sometimes, I wish things could be like that again.  Yeah, I know, if they were, I wouldn’t have much about which to blog.  But, maybe, I would.

R.I.P. Mr. Turnupseed.

Mike & Molly

Did you catch Mike & Molly last night?  If you didn’t, you missed a great sitcom.  This is a great sitcom.  I’m really hoping that this show lasts.

The story is about Mike & Molly – two large people who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love.  Mike, played by Billy Gardell, is a Chicago police officer and Molly is a school teacher.  Molly, played by Melissa McCarthy, lives with her skinny mother, Joyce, and sister, Victoria.  Swoosie Kurtz is brilliantly playing Joyce.  Katy Mixon plays her pot smoking sister.  Reno Wilson plays Carl McMillan, Mike’s single, lives with his grandmother partner.

I liked the characters and the script was hilarious.

Try to catch this show – it’s wonderful!

Ron Johnson

Another robo call came into my house from the Johnson campaign.  I absolutely hate them.  Why not use a real person?  Oh, I know why, because you don’t have enough volunteers on your staff to call real people.  Or, you think by calling someone who is listed as an independent – will convince them to vote for you.  Why not hire people?  You have millions of dollars to pay for them.

Not going to happen.  Guys like Ron Johnson scare the crap out of me.  All big talk about rights and caring about the Constitution, but nothing but tax breaks for the rich.

I love this line from Johnson’s website: “Ron grew up in a family and in a place where one of the greatest compliments you could give a person was to say that he or she was a hard worker. This belief in a strong work ethic has been a core principle that has guided Ron’s life.”

Really?  I’m willing to bet that at least 95% of us grew up in a place where being a hard worker was considered a compliment.  The site never says – not that I saw – where this magical place was.  Ashamed of anything, Mr. Johnson?  Don’t want the people of Wisconsin to know where you’re from?

Johnson likes to portray himself as an everyman, but I don’t think he’s like the rest of us.  I don’t have 4 million dollars to put into a campaign for U.S. Senate – do you?

GOP – Lock up the Homosexuals

I have never been so scared in my life. I truly believe that if we let the Republicans take over in power that gay people will slowly, but surely, be locked up in jail. These far right wing people – who spread hate and fear – will gain power and change the laws that allow us our freedoms. This isn’t the fringe, people, the following quotes are actually from the party platforms of Montana and Texas.

First, Texas:

“We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”

“Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have beenordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

“Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.

Now, Montana:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

Do those sound like people who can be reasoned with?

And, if we’re not locked up, perhaps we can be “cured” like Christine O’Donnell is insisting.

Until the Republican Party stands up and says NO to the “fringe”, I don’t think any of us can vote Republican anymore.

I support lower taxes and smaller government, but these people are a threat to my very existence.  They threaten my livelihood.  It’s one small step from outlawing homosexual acts to making it illegal to hire a homosexual.

Remember this:

They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

It can happen here – we’ve done it before.  Remember?  We locked up all of the Japanese during World War II.  They lost everything.

We can do it again.  It didn’t take much for Hitler to convince an entire country that Jewish people were evil.

It won’t take much for the O’Donnells and Ravndals of the world to pass the laws needed to round up all of us gay people – one at a time.  It’s what they want and if we elect them, it’s what they’ll get.

I think I’ll go purchase a gun, because I’ll need it in order to protect my family.

Palin vs Schwarzenegger

Did you hear about this?  When flying over Alaska, Governor Schwarzenegger tweeted “Over Anchorage, AK. Looking everywhere but can’t see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues.”

Well, Sarah Palin who apparently can’t take a joke, fired back: “Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What’s he been up to?

When I read about this last week, I just rolled my eyes.  It was just Palin being Palin – attacking instead of just shaking her head; grabbing for yet another headline.  And, that’s fine.

Until I read this line from Republican Senator Candidate Joe Miller: “40 percent of our economy in Alaska is somewhat derived from the federal government.”  How hard is it to have a state surplus when you get 40 percent of your economy from the Federal Government?  And, then, I was mad.  Alaska gets $1.82 for every dollar they send to the feds.  I realize that Alaska is one of those states that requires more federal defense dollars then the rest of us, but it also means that it shouldn’t be all that hard for the governor of Alaska to keep their budget in a surplus.  Throw in a $1.5 billion tax increase on oil companies and a budget surplus is almost guaranteed.  (The oil company tax increase was a done deal when Palin was governor.)

What Governor Schwarzenegger has been doing is holding his state together by a thread.  At least, he didn’t resign from office to go seek out money elsewhere like a certain governor did.

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