"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday 25 February 2018


I watched a documentary of Billy Wilder's career as a film- maker. His movies were in the habit of winning Oscars. He was said to be a stickler for detail. Right down to the style of the knot of a character's tie. 

It was interesting to watch.The ending stayed with me because I relate to it and I don't think I'm alone.  

Wilder lived long and although demand for his movies faded, he kept apparently kept working for the last fifteen or twenty years of his life. 

Christmas 2016, my girls gave me a subscription to Netflix. I hardly used it. I found no movie I wanted to watch. I told Heather I thought it might be my age. "No, it's not that mother" she said. 

Robyn and Kari, her girls, had  enjoyed a movie  and laughed so much they insisted the parents go 
see it, So they did . Five minutes after it started Heather turned to look at Andy. He was asleep. 

Our consensus was most movies are not made for adults any more. 

I was reminded of a story my mother told.  Movies were the magic in their lives.They thought nothing 
of coming out of one picture house and going into another on the same evening. They lived through silent movies, movies with sound, black and white movies ,coloured movies  ,3D , Disney movies, and whatever else was offered. They saw and enjoyed  it all. 

They never got used to life without movies. My mother and Aunt Jean were sisters ,of an age, and best friends. 

My grandmother and three other sisters were equally close. On cold.wet,blustery nights they would troop out of the house together,two by two, arm in arm. 

My grandfather ,who lived in a house of women, and  seldom heard to speak,, would shake his head and say " silly weemin"  leaving a comfortable hoose with a cosy fire, to challenge the elements for sic a thing as a movie. 

And it was a challenge ,every step into the wind was a battle, slanting rain seeped in every opening,
Shoes had to be enclosed in rubber boots . Umbrellas would not hold up against the wind. It was not unusual for an umbrella to be blown out of your hand. 

There was an ancient little charabanc of a red bus that waited at the corner. It moved off, on the hour, 
allseats taken,aisle full of standing passengers ,more squeezing in at every stop to unload in the centre of town with passengers dispersing in the direction of four picture houses. 

Years later,when my mother and Jean were the only two survivors ,they went one night to the only picture house left . The movie showing was notorious. The ticket seller wouldn't sell them tickets. She earnestly assured   them they would not like the picture. 

They were two small ,round ,white haired figures in hats  and gloves, carrying handbags. They demanded tickets. After further badinage,they were finally allowed in to see the adult movie. They wouldbe in their seventies

The ticket seller was right. But not for the reason she thought.They wanted to see the movie. 
It was all that was offered and they had to satisfy their craving. 

Movies aren't the only degradation of our time. My mother's was the last generation before televisio. Before all forms of communication and movie-making were deliberately ground to a colourless paste with flavour of the month added. 

A world where Billy Wilder's excellence is redundant. 

America elects a President like the one they have .

Children are shot in numbers in their classrooms to keep a lucrative industry lucrative.

And they  who claim the moral high ground , fight to preserve the right to own the machines that murder their children.

Their main claim to fame is military might. 

It's not the whole picture but it's the one they show to the world. 


Anonymous said...

It's always about the money. The gun problem in the US is a monster bigger than most can imagine. There is no fixing it. The gun industry is over 50 Billion US dollars and growing, and the NRA has a membership over 5 million people and growing. Both Democrats and Republicans have never and will never be able to touch this growing monster.

Anonymous said...

This is also about money.

In last week's edition of The Auroran Mayor Dawe announced that he would seek a third term so that he could personally see Library Square and the Armoury brought to fruition. There are no budgets or cost estimates yet so far as I know.

But is this the same mayor who served on the Executive Supervisory Management Committee in connection with the Joint-Ops Centre?

Do I not recall that he and his compadres made a complete hash of the project, from additions and deletions of substance and money to a general cost overrun of significant millions.

The town has had to see fit to call in a regional auditor to provide an analysis of what went right - not very much.

There probably was not enough of a lesson learned from Joint-Ops and I shudder to think of the bungle on the mayor's two pet projects and the related cost.

Anonymous said...

Someone took the fall for that disaster by losing their job. I don't know if it was specifically because of the Joint-Ops project or not, but more should have lost their jobs because of it. If this were a private project, it would have never happened. In fact they would have probably never bought the land. Government projects are always run this way, and each and every time, we hear that "moving forward" they have learned from these mistakes. They may or may not fire someone (usually not) and move on to the next disaster project. The words "accountability", "transparency" are just words used during election time. Once sworn in to office, these words don't exist.