Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Books · Hollywood Tell-Alls - Again
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Hollywood Tell-Alls - Again

Nancy Sundstrom - February 12th, 2004
Curling up with a hot tell-all about Hollywood isn‘t a bad way to pass a cold winter‘s night, and there are a few new ones out there that fit the bill quite nicely.

“Hollywood Animal: A Memoir“ by Joe Eszterhas
Hands down, this is the most entertaining of the bunch, and certainly the most outrageous. If his name doesn‘t ring a bell, then some of his credits should. Eszterhas has a reputation as a highly overpaid and moderately talented scribe who has made an indelible contribution to world culture with screenplays like “Basic Instinct,“ “Jade,“ “Jagged Edge,“ “Flashdance“ and, most notably, “Showgirls.“ As a result, he‘s become both the most famous - and infamous - scribe in Hollywood.
To get to that point, all of which is brought to quite a climax in this “raw, spine-chilling celebration of the human spirit,“ Eszterhas lays out his early years, which began in post-WWII refugee camps in Europe before coming to the United States in search of the American dream. Once here, he wasted no time before learning to steal cars and roll drunks. His saga has every cliche in the book, and as he battles his way to the “top“ to become the first screenwriter to be chosen as one of the movie industry‘s 100 Most Powerful People, he is seen as everything from a modern-day Shakespeare to the devil incarnate.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and Eszterhas, as presented by Eszerthas is a “complex and paradoxical figure“ - a devout churchgoer who purveyed new lows for gratuitous sex and violence in films. Along with the late producer Don Simpson and former bad boy Charlie Sheen, Eszterhas became a symbol of Hollywood excess and depravity. Redemption is always possible, though, and the end of this often jaw-dropping memoir finds the writer moving his family to Ohio, where they can all happily immerse themselves in the Midwestern lifestyle and values he says are at the core of his being.
Sometimes hilarious and sometimes excruciating (especially for some of the subjects in the book like Sharon Stone, who rewarded Eszterhas with a night of passion as a thank you for his crafting her the role of a lifetime), there are also a number of chapters that prove insightful and revealing on the inner workings of the movie industry. All in all, not a bad way to pass the time, but a real must for filmophiles who thought they‘d pretty much heard it all.

“Hollywood, Interrupted“ by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner
Bretitbart and Ebner‘s book is due out at the end of the month, but insiders have been buzzing about it for some time now, and given some of the world‘s recent, incessant, obsessive preoccupation with celebs and scandals that range from Bennifer and Michael Jackson to Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson, the timing seems right for a book dedicated to the often bizarre behavior on the part of celebrities and why the rest of us are so fascinated by it.
Until it is published on February 24, we‘ll just have to wait in anticipation, but in the meantime, here is what the authors are promising us, courtesy of the book description on its back jacket:
“‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ is a sometimes frightening, occasionally sad, and frequently hysterical odyssey into the darkest realms of showbiz pathology, the endless stream of meltdowns and flameouts, and the inexplicable behavior on the part of show business personalities.
Charting celebrities from rehab to retox, to jails, cults, institutions, near-death experiences and the Democratic Party, ‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ takes readers on a surreal field trip into the amoral belly of the entertainment industry. Each chapter -- covering topics including warped Hollywood child-rearing, bad medicine, hypocritical political maneuvering and the complicit media -- delivers a meticulously researched, interview-infused, attitude heavy dispatch which analyzes and deconstructs the myths created by the celebrities themselves.
Celebrities somehow believe that it‘s their god-given right to inflict their pathology on the rest of us. ‘Hollywood, Interrupted‘ illustrates how these dysfunctional dilettantes are mad as hell... And we‘re not going to take it any more.“

“Natalie Wood: A Life“ by Gavin Lambert
With at least two other respectable biographies in the form of “Natasha“ by Suzanne Finstad, and Lana Wood‘s “Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister“ having already been written, more than a few raised eyebrows about yet another take being offered up on Wood‘s short, turbulent life. In his defense, though, Lambert, a screenwriter with a number of other Hollywood biographies to his credit, seems to have real affection and sensitivity for his subject, and does offer some new perspectives on her, particularly in regards to some of her career choices.
While not one of her immediate circle, Lambert did know Wood well after she starred in the 1965 film of his novel “Inside Daisy Clover,“ and their friendship lasted 25 years. The story he tells is one of a genuinely talented actress who never knew a life beyond Hollywood, and because of that, had vulnerabilities, insecurities, demons and addictions that all ultimately played a role in her untimely death by drowning in 1981.
Perhaps because more time has passed since the other books were written, those contributing to Lambert‘s book seem to speak very freely and provide new information here, which gives this work its depth. Even notoriously reticent interviewees like actor Warren Beatty, director Paul Mazursky and actress Leslie Caron lend some valuable contributions here, making it a well-crafted, respectful tale of a star who knew the depths of despair as well as she did the height of success.

“Pictures“ by Jeff Bridges
While not a tell-all, this impressive collection of photographs, compiled by one of the Hollywood‘s most respected and talented actors, provides a unique and compelling look at the industry from an insider‘s perspective. Bridges has been taking on-set photos since the 1980s with a Widelux camera, an oddity because it has no shutter or viewfinder, but allows for panoramic images (about the same aspect as a widescreen film) and even for quick-moving subjects to appear twice on the same negative. The wide field, for example, can show an actor and director foreground while the crew is featured in another part of the print, all of which makes for photos that are rich in composition.
Fans of Bridges and his array of fine films, such as “The Last Picture Show,“ “Starman,“ “The Big Lebowski,“ “The Contender“ and “Seabiscuit,“ to name a few, are in for a real treat. Priceless and personal moments from those films are documented here, along with a host of Hollywood‘s finest actors and directors, and in defining his own style as a photographer, Bridges has captured images that show how he perceives the business he works in and those he admires who work alongside him. He also provides a hand-written commentary and captions throughout. There is yet one more reason to feel good about buying the book - proceeds from its sales are being donated to The Motion Picture & Television Fun, a non-profit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers. Isn‘t that about what we‘ve come to expect from Jeff Bridges?

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