Thursday, July 29, 2010

A "View" to Kill Follow-up

Well, the whole episode of President Obama on "The View" isn't on yet, but here's this preview:

A "View" to Kill

Hello, everybody. For today's article I wrote a preview of President Obama's appearance on "The View."

A "View" to kill - Obama drops by daytime TV

I haven't actually seen the episode yet, I think I'll check it out as soon as this blog post is done.

Here are a few related links, where I got some of my information:

Lessons from The View - the piece in Time magazine that I quoted in my article

President Obama to Appear on 'The View' - a New York Times article that gets into Obama's use of unconventional media, like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno or The Late Show with David Letterman. I would have liked to talk about that point in my article, but I couldn't find a way to make it fit. Plus, my article was long enough.

And one example of political talk on "The View":

I surprised myself with how quickly I got the page done. By 5:00 p.m. yesterday, I had written the article, drawn two cartoons and put together the letters to the editor. Pretty impressive. (And it ensured Erin and I wouldn't be late to our prenatal class!)

Here is one cartoon:

For the other one that I finished a day early, you can go to the "sneak preview" here.

Only two more opinion pages until the end of the term! And probably my last two opinion pages ever. I'm not sure what will happen in the fall semester, but if everything goes according to plan I will be moving over to the sports desk.

There are a lot of pros and cons to both opinion and sports desks. I love being able to write basically whatever I want, lay out the page the way I want, and otherwise have control over the page. I was able to write a semi-weekly column, which wasn't a requirement per se but I made it a personal goal and challenge to write something for every page. The more I write, the more experience I get and the more I learn.

However, I'm excited to move to the sports desk (if that indeed happens). For one thing, I will get to actually work with reporters, which I haven't done yet. I feel like I have learned a lot about writing, and that I'm pretty good at it, so I'm really looking forward to passing on what I have learned. It will be a lot of fun to help other reporters become better writers.

Also, I won't have to work as late, since I won't be doing any layouts. (I will have to come in on Sundays, probably.) And even though I love writing, it will be nice to not feel like I have to write every day like I did for the opinion page. (I know that was pressure I put on myself for the opinion page, but it was still pressure nonetheless.)

Plus, it's sports.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sneak Preview!

This cartoon won't be in the paper until Thursday. But I got a head start on it and finished it today. And I might as well share it early, as a treat to all my blog followers and Twitter followers!

For Love of the Game

A low-key and laid-back J Squared column today.

No one on base - Take yourself out to the ball game

With my personal goal to pay more attention to Major League Baseball this season, plus going to most of the Orem Owlz home games with my wife this summer, I've had the idea to write generally about baseball for a column sometime this term. And today happened to be the day.

I had a really tough time figuring out what to say exactly. But after a long time of thinking I came up with the theme of feeling like one of the few baseball fans left in the world. Baseball is still very popular, but often I feel like it's not "cool" anymore. The commentators in the ESPN podcasts I listen to talk about baseball as almost an afterthought. And other sports writers and editors here at The Daily Universe only had complaints when it came to baseball. It sort of frustrated me.

Even after I came up with my main idea, I still had a hard time explaining why I love baseball. A lot of the ways I came up with to describe baseball's appeal were applicable to other sports, so they didn't work. In the end, I wish I could say more somehow but I think what is there will be enough to get the point across.

(Recently I'm working on being more concise. Most of the time, in conversations and articles, I feel like I'm not expressing myself exactly the way I want to, which means I tend to ramble. I'm trying to not do that as much.)

Thankfully, I've already had a few supportive responses. Donny, one of my bosses at my other job, is a big baseball fan and liked my article. And whoever was the first to comment on the Daily Universe website makes baseball a big part of life for him and his family.

I know baseball isn't going away any time soon. But I felt like defending it against anyone who forgets it or ignores it.

Here are two entertaining letters to the editor (they were responses to Thursday's letter about "celestial sandwiches"):

The Snack Zone truth

Abuse of alliteration

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Study Like a Scholar, Scholar

I've already shared this in other places. But it's awesome enough that I should include it here too.

And other stuff from Thursday, July 22

Another cartoon:

Sarah Palin was trying to tweet about the "ground zero mosque." If you read my article last week, you already know how I feel about that. But then, Palin set herself up for some good ol' fashioned ridicule.

Here are Sarah Palin's tweets that started all the jokes:

Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real
11:58 AM Jul 18th via Twitter for BlackBerry

Omission Accomplished

I don't know how long this Shirley Sherrod case will stay in the news, but for the time being it sure is interesting. It was another one of those topics that was easy for me to write about. I whipped out a column fairly quickly.

Down on the farm - Sherrod's got it right

Here's a helpful video that explains the timeline of events:

Here's the edited version of Sherrod's speech that led to everybody's overreactions:

And here's the full version, if you have time (if you don't, you can just read my column):

Here are other aspects of this story that I didn't have enough space or time to cover in my column. (Which is what a blog post is for!)

- A lot of the news was about whether or not the White House forced Sherrod to resign. I'm not sure whether or not the Obama administration had anything to do with ousting Sherrod, and I'm not sure if it matters. I do know that Secretary Tom Vilsac takes full responsibility for the USDA's response to the video. And now, a lot of people are discussing topic of Obama's way of handling the power of angry conservatives this year, saying he's acting too scared and not taking action. We'll have to see if that's true for the rest of 2010 and for 2012.

- Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who started this whole mess, is claiming he did not post the video to try and get rid of Sherrod. He says his agenda is more against the NAACP, and the reason for the video was more to show the audience's reaction to Sherrod's speech. He argues that the NAACP audience was celebrating Sherrod's racist comments.

I suppose you could interpret it that way, if you're a numbskull (as Mitt Romney would say it).

The audience is merely responding with understanding nods and chuckles, just like every Sunday in an LDS Church sacrament meeting. They weren't endorsing Sherrod's immature biases from 24 years ago. They were just showing that they know what she was going through. But they also know about where Sherrod stands now. When Sherrod finished the story, and explained how she had overcome her prejudices, the audience was just as responsive.

So, nice try, Breitbart.

- One thing Sherrod talks about in her speech is that it's not about black and white people, it's about rich and poor. I agree with her about that. All of the great things and all of the terrible things in our society (crime rate, families on welfare, drugs and alcohol) depend less on race and more on economic status. And, I would argue, on level of education. I think if everyone got as much education as they could*, and took it seriously, that's what will fix things.

So, I could have gone into a discussion about affirmative action, but decided I'll wait for another opportunity. Maybe.

- Another issue I couldn't get into in my column is the fact that Sherrod and the white farmer (Roger Spooner) are now friends. Spooner credits Sherrod with saving his farm 24 years ago. So even though she admitted she wasn't as inclined to help Spooner with her "full force," she still helped him. And now, Sherrod and Spooner are not only on good terms, but have a sweet and warm friendship.

(Watch the whole video, or if you want to see my main point, go to 4:00):

No sign of racism here.

Oh, and here's something amusing that has come about from the Sherrod situation. Mike Pesca from Slate and NPR starting tweeting what summaries of movies and songs would be if most of their stories was missing. Or, in other words, the "Breitbart edit" version.

The Karate Kid - the story of a Japanese man who tricks a transplanted New Yorker into doing housework #theBreitbartedit

George Lucas totally knows what he's doing! the prequels are gonna ROCK! #theBreitbartedit

The Usual Suspect's Verbal Kint is nothing but a spastic loser. #theBreitbartedit

Psycho - the story of a nice Innkeeper who really cares about his elderly Mom. #theBreitbartedit

The first couple of verses of Cats in the Cradle indicate an a son who looks up to his dad, heart warming. #theBreitbartedit

Maybe try looking for other #theBreitbartedit tweets, and see if you find any more. That's where I'm going now.

*Go to the subheadline "Learn by Study and by Faith."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Emotional Roller Coaster

For today's J Squared column, I wrote about something a little more personal than usual.

Last Monday, I discovered that my bike was gone. The only explanation I could come up with was theft (especially after I found my helmet, which used to dangle from my bike's handlebars, lying in the lawn of our apartment complex).

It was a huge bummer, about as big as a bummer can get. Not only did I lose one of my few modes of transportation, but I lost a bike that has been with me through a lot. I have had that bike since I was nine, believe it or not, and even after 14 years it still had some life left. I wasn't done with it yet. The thought I kept repeating to myself was "I can't believe it's gone." You would have thought I lost a pet. But that's how I felt after the bike I've had for more than half my life was stolen.

Anyway, so I wrote about the incident for the Issues & Ideas page. I knew it might sound like a sob story and a cry for everyone to pity me, but I tried to relate it to the community and make it interesting. I also hoped it might provide some sort of "closure."

Biking into the sunset (go to page 3)

And then, the shocking twist of events.

Erin called me while I was at my other job. She asked me, "What kind of bike was it?" I thought maybe she found it on KSL or Craigslist, so now I had some information to give the police. But, no, Erin was calling to tell me my bike had been returned! It was lying in the lawn in front of our apartment. It came out of absolutely nowhere. I never would have expected that to happen in a million years.

I don't know if my bike coming back to me on the same day as my column being printed was a coincidence or not. But, either way, my faith in the world has been restored by the power of journalism.

When I first wrote the column, it was on track to be super long but I decided to finish it anyway and edit it down from there. Now, the long version can go on the blog!

So, here's the long version of my column. It tells a little bit more about how I got the bike 14 years ago.

"Police Beat is undoubtedly everyone’s favorite part of The Daily Universe. BYU students like to know what our campus police officers are up to, laugh at failed pranks, read about romantic endeavors gone wrong and take a look into BYU’s peculiar community.
"But among the strange shenanigans and 911 calls from overreactors, there are still legitimate crimes with real culprits and real victims.
"And now I have an idea of how victims feel.
"My case did not actually appear in Police Beat because it happened away from campus. However, over the past week I have felt a loss, regret and helplessness that I am sure many around campus can relate to.
"Last Monday morning, I left my apartment for work and was surprised to see my bike was missing from its usual place in front of my door. I took the car instead, texted my wife about our spur-of-the-moment change in the day’s travel arrangements and tried to remember where I had left my bike. But the more I mentally retraced my bike treads, the more certain I was that there was no excuse for my bike to not be at home. Something had gone wrong.
"I did not usually lock my bike up at home, because I figured no one would have the gall to steal a bike from a person’s front doorstep.
"But sure enough, when I came home later that day I discovered my helmet lying in the lawn of my apartment complex. The helmet had been hanging on the handlebars when I parked the bike at home the week before, but now it looked like it had fallen off my bike during a thief’s quick getaway.
"We may call this area Happy Valley, but BYU and Provo are not immune to theft. Just this spring and summer term, Police Beat has included 13 bicycle thefts on campus so far. And the Provo Police Department reported 259 thefts last year, which works out to almost five bikes stolen a week in our fair city.
"Even Provo’s Mayor John Curtis has been affected. Last month, Curtis’ bike was taken from his son’s friend’s driveway in Orem. Fortunately for him, the Orem Police Department found it before the mayor was even aware it was missing.
"No such luck for me. At this point, unless Provo police happens to come across my bike while attending to its higher priorities, I am unlikely to ever see my bike again.
"I had this bike since I was nine years old, believe it or not. When I was in third grade, my elementary school encouraged us to break away from the tube by celebrating “TV Turnoff Week.” For each day we did not watch TV, we could enter a ticket for the prize drawing at the end of the week. There were plenty of games and goodies to be won, but the top item was a brand new Trek 800 Sport mountain bike.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do You Suffer From Short-Term Memory Loss?

I was having a tough time coming up with something to write about for today's page. It seems like the only news I see these days has to do with the BP oil spill, and I've already said plenty about that.

But I did hear a little bit about Haiti again, now that it's been six months since the earthquake. And I saw a headline that said Bill Clinton was not only still in Haiti, but will be committed to its recovery for three more years.

So I talked about his post-presidential career as a humanitarian, something I think is impressive and admirable. And, ironically, it reminded me of the LDS Church.

Bet you'd never see Bill Clinton and the LDS Church in one editorial!

Long-term memory - Clinton doesn't forget Haiti

I really liked an e-mail I got from my good friend Bert (subject line: "I freaking love it"):

"Awesome article on clinton today.

"I think you're going to piss a whole lot of people off though.
Comparing bill Clinton to the church, instead of Satan, is just asking
for it.

"Just know that if everyone else gets really really pissed about it,
you made one person really happy.


Hahaha. Well, I haven't checked the inbox yet, so we'll see...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Mosque Next Door

On most of the issues I write about, I don't claim to be absolutely right about everything I say. I readily acknowledge that there are other viable opinions besides mine, and that there are strengths and weaknesses to every interpretation of an issue.

But with this one, it's really hard for me to see any strengths of the opposing view.

A Muslim organization has plans to build a mosque and Islamic center two blocks from ground zero in New York City, and many people see that as a threat and a danger or at the very least as the cruelest of ironies.

Which is ridiculous. This reaction is a prime example of the kind of generalizing and stereotyping that will set back society. So, because the 9/11 attackers falsely claimed to have killed in the name of Islam, we should be afraid of all things Islamic?

Islam itself is peaceful and benign, and most of its followers behave the same way. Some of their strict orthodox views are in conflict with Christian values, but no true Islamic teaching promotes violent jihad against anybody. The 9/11 attackers were not living by actual Muslim doctrine when they killed thousands of Americans. And so righteous Muslims should not be punished or feared because of the sins of others.

One person I talked to was not totally up in arms against the "ground zero mosque." But he thought he should point out to me that "Even though not every Muslim is a terrorist, every terrorist is a Muslim." And he even let me know that Timothy McVeigh had converted to Islam before striking Oklahoma City in 1995.

First of all: the idea that every terrorist is a Muslim depends on your definition of terrorism. If you use "terrorism" to label any violent attack by al-Qaida, then, yes, I suppose every terrorist can be considered Muslim because as far as I know every member of the al-Qaida network calls himself a Muslim. But when Joe Stack flew a plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, wouldn't you say that was an act of terrorism? And yet Stack wasn't a Muslim.

Second of all: So what? So what if every terrorist is a Muslim? Every Nazi was German. Every soldier who bombed Pearl Harbor was Japanese. So does that mean we should be careful with all Germans and all Japanese?

Now, I did find one small aspect of this issue that could possibly raise suspicion. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, is in charge of the "ground zero mosque" project. He is known as a leader in improving relations between Islam and the West, which is a noble cause. But he has said a couple things that Americans might be offended by, and might make them anxious about letting him build a $100 million mosque. However, the opposition against the "ground zero mosque" I have seen doesn't bring up the imam's comments at all. It's just plain old anti-Islam rhetoric.

I thought of a situation in LDS Church history that would be possibly parallel to Islam and 9/11: the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The 1857 tragedy was caused by a few misguided members of the LDS Church, but not by the Church itself. No blame or criticism should be directed at the LDS Church whatsoever.

The same goes for the 9/11 attacks. The attacks were caused by a few misguided men who call themselves Muslims, but not by Islam itself.

So I did some research and looked for the closest LDS chapel to the massacre site to see if there were any similarities to the "ground zero mosque."

Interestingly enough, the closest chapel is the Pine Valley Chapel, which happens to be the oldest LDS building still in use. I remember visiting the chapel one of our family vacations, it's one of the Mormon history sites to see in southern Utah.

Of course, I didn't expect to find any similarities between resistance against the Pine Valley Chapel and the "ground zero mosque," and I didn't. But it proved my point. If Mormons are allowed to build a meetinghouse near the massacre site and expand their church, shouldn't Muslims be allowed to do the same? So I used the Pine Valley Chapel as a theme in my column.

To be honest, I am proud to live in a country where a Muslim mosque can be built two blocks from ground zero. It is that religious freedom that lets the LDS Church build meetinghouses and temples, and we shouldn't keep that freedom all to ourselves.

I also think by letting a mosque be built somewhere, we are living what is being taught in Article of Faith 11, and taught by Joseph Smith in this quote:

"If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist or a good man of any other denomination. ... It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race."

Anyway, before I keep going I'll let you read the actual column:

The mosque next door - Let's learn a lesson from Pine Valley

Here are a few articles I used in learning about the "ground zero mosque":

Planned construction of Islamic center and mosque

Muslim Prayers and Renewal Near Ground Zero

Plan For Mosque Next To Ground Zero In NYC Moves Forward

Plan for mosque near World Trade Center site moves ahead

Mosque to go up near New York's ground zero

Near Ground Zero, a Mosque Moves In and Meets the Neighbors

Here are a few commentaries fueling the fire against the "ground zero mosque":

Mosque madness at Ground Zero

Glenn Beck: 9/11 mosque (He doesn't actually talk about the mosque until you scroll down to the end of the page)

And, a couple interesting articles about instances of cooperation between Mormons and Muslims (they both report that the LDS Church has even given financial support to Muslim programs):

U.S. Muslims share friendship, similar values with Mormons

Utah's Spanish fork has Krishna temple (not a Muslim group, but a Hindu group)


The other main feature of today's Issues & Ideas page is a response to last week's house editorial about the U.S. lawsuit against Arizona.

The rule of law, not will

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sugarcoating Oil

Hello, blog fans.

I really liked today's page. My column turned out better than I expected, and might be one of my favorites so far. I love it when I come up with a sentence or phrase that surprises me. I'm especially proud of this one:

"If all we do with news is sugarcoat it and look at it with rose-colored glasses, we will end up diabetic and color blind."

That's ready for the next edition of Bartlett's, my friends.

Sugarcoating oil - BP confuses news with P.R.

Today's column was a chance for another diatribe of mine about the high ideals of journalism. (And it was a perfect way to follow up what happened earlier this week.) There's another slight hint of "stickittothemaneosis" on my page today, similar to the way I utilized my column on the David Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.

More specifically, I talk about BP's "reporters" who are searching for the sunny side of this whole oil spill disaster. (Correction: the sunny side of BP's whole oil spill disaster.) It's perfectly fine to look for pro-BP stories in the gulf states, and it's fine to do P.R., but the squeaky voice piping up in favor of BP is overwhelmingly drowned out by what actual news services are reporting. I'm sure the stories from the BP "reporters" are true and legitimate. But they don't accurately represent the whole community.

Here are a few of BP's dispatches from the gulf (the ones I quoted in my article):

"Over about four hours we … enjoyed the spectacular ballet at sea. … Watching the captains weave the long black boom as seamlessly as a professional ballet troupe performs an intricate dance, I found it difficult to believe that the rehearsals only started some weeks ago.”

“Much of the region’s … businesses — particularly the hotels — have been prospering because so many people have come here from BP and other oil emergency response teams.”

“There is no reason to hate BP,” “business has fallen off sharply, suddenly,” “This is an oilfield community," "People understand.”

“Chaisson hasn’t yet made up her mind about what to say in the first editorial on the subject.”

Here's where you will find all of their blog posts:

Blogs from the Gulf

Now, some of the "reporters" bring up some points that are important. Even though oil is ruining the ways of life for many gulf coast residents, a lot of them are still against President Barack Obama's six-month moratorium on oil drilling because it causes six months of no work for many people. And a lot of tourism-type businesses are hoping visitors won't be scared to come down to the gulf. There is still plenty to do for tourists and they can still enjoy their vacation.

That being said, I hope you enjoy the many examples of mushiness in these BP gulf "reports."

And if you're interested in reading all of Vicki Chaisson's editorial (the editor from The Lafourche Gazette who one of the BP "reporters" talked to), here's that:

Where will it all end?

Here's a hilarious sketch on the BP "reporters" from Stephen Colbert:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Lube Job
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Other features in today's Issues & Ideas page:

There is a house editorial written by the Daily Universe's editor-in-chief and COMMS 321 instructor, Ed Carter. When he said he had a house editorial about the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against Arizona for its new immigration law, I expected that if he got into the controversy and the different sides of the issue, the editorial would be in favor of the opposite side I would support. But, instead of saying anything about racial profiling, Professor Carter stuck to the legality and constitutionality of the issue. And I happen to agree with the viewpoint he took.

Immigration and the Supremacy Clause

And, I totally drew a cartoon for the page and then forgot to include it on the page! I didn't have any room for it anyway, so it's not too tragic. And thanks to blogging technology, I can still share it to you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The process to put together today's J Squared column was a little more involved than usual.

I decided to say a few words about the Portland police reopening a case last week. A licensed massage therapist gave them a story in 2006 about a sexual attack by none other than Al Gore. Her story was filed away, but it has now resurfaced. Is it a coincidence that the massage therapist came to the National Enquirer with her story around the same time?

All of it reminded me of the National Enquirer's role in revealing the truth about former Sen. John Edwards. Thanks to the Enquirer, everyone now knows how much of a sleazeball Edwards is.

The subject matter is a little touchy, especially for a newspaper like The Daily Universe that maintains a strict G rating. But I think I wrote a good column and still kept it appropriate enough for fellow adults to read.

After looking it over, the editor last night decided it needed a few changes and needed to be "toned down." My article didn't bother the editor that much, but the editor thought it would be wise to change some things before the Department of Communications representative looked at it at 9:30 p.m. last night.

One of the things the editor said was that I shouldn't mention anything about a "sex tape." Can't say "sex" in the newsroom. Which reminded me of this:

Anyway, I made some changes to be safe rather than sorry. And even after that, the department didn't approve 100%. I was surprised to see the paper this morning and find one of my favorite paragraphs reduced to one sentence.

But thanks to social media, I can share all the versions of my article with the world.

I created a visual representation to explain all three versions:

1) my original article
2) the revised, "toned down" article my editor suggested
3) the version that was revised by the department and was ultimately published.

Red = What had to be changed in the next version.
Blue = Changes from the previous version.
Purple = Both (Changes that were made but then had to be made again).
Green = What I would have guessed might be questionable, but apparently no one had any issues with.

Here it is in four separate pages. (It used to be all in one image, but then the text was too small to read, even after clicking on it and zooming in.)

(click on the pages to make the text bigger and readable)

What do you think? Is this blatant and oppressive censorship? Or did I really cross the line and deserve department revisions?

Again, I want to emphasize that my editor was not the bad guy here. Both the editor and I made changes for fear of the department's wrath. (For more information about the backstory of tension between The Daily Universe and the department, go here or here.)

Speaking of possible censorship ... anyone see a difference between these two pictures from the Stadium of Fire?

The photo as it was turned in to the copy desk, taken by the lovely Mariangela Mazzei.

And, that same picture on the front page of today's DU.

See any differences?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another Health Care Idea

(If it's too small, try clicking on it)

Suspended Reality

I didn't really know what to write about for today's page ... until Erin picked out a movie from the Redbox machine earlier this week.

We were both interested in seeing "The Proposal," because we're Sandra Bullock fans. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Bullock, Ryan Reynolds and (especially) Betty White were hilarious. But, I could also point out some flaws in it.

For some reason, romantic comedies are among the easiest movies for me to critique. I can only say most movies are either good or bad, and I can't dig much deeper than that. But with romantic comedies, I can pinpoint exact problems or strengths in the movie. Maybe it's because love and romance is something we think about more often than the themes and subjects of other movies.

In fact, when I took COMMS 101, we were assigned to create online magazines as a group project. I was with a group that did movie reviews, and I thought it would be interesting to be more specific and do reviews of romantic comedies from a male perspective. Although I'm no longer an administrator for the site, it still exists:

Anyway, I decided to ramble on about "chick flicks," ones I like and ones I don't:

In the name of love - 'Chick flicks' in need of a reality check

In the column, I mention "The Proposal," "You've Got Mail," "Sweet Home Alabama," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "Some Like It Hot" and "It Happened One Night."

And, for all you blog followers, I'll give my two cents about a few other romantic comedies. (Some of these include links to my reviews on the online magazine.)


"Marley and Me"

"27 Dresses"

"He's Just Not That Into You" and "Valentine's Day" - These movies are impressive simply by jam-packing so many movie stars into a single movie. (Especially with "Valentine's Day." Every time I saw a trailer or a TV commercial, there was some new actor I didn't know was in the movie.) And then, everyone loves to play the six degrees of separation game (who's connected to who and how). Besides the entertainment coming from so many sources, the stories of romance are realistic yet dramatic. Both movies more clearly mirror the sort of relationship stories we all have. And, you'll like who ends up together and who doesn't.

"The Notebook" - This one is definitely a tear-jerker, I'm not afraid to admit. And the point of view from James Garner's and Gena Rowlands' characters makes the love really mean something, instead of the artificial, together-because-we-look-hot-together kind of relationship most of Hollywood (on the screen and behind the scenes) depends on. However, the love scenes are a little bit dangerous, especially for any teen who is already inclined to think you're prepared for sex as long as you really really love each other.


"P.S. I Love You"

"Charly" - Sam just frustrates me so much! First, he's a super naive and sheltered Mormon boy. Then, he falls for Charly, who is much more urbane and worldly. Charly joins the Church and leaves her worldly ways behind ... but when Sam finds out she had "a past," he's angry. Of course she had "a past"! Virtually everyone outside the Church has the kind of tame "past" Charly had. Plus, she was baptized into the Church, meaning that "past" is erased and now meaningless.

The only time it really seemed like Sam and Charly make sense is the scene when they goof around in the grocery store. Before the real chemistry actually sinks in, the sad part of the movie kicks in, and it's sad the rest of the way through.

"Pride and Prejudice" - Actually, I really like this movie, both versions that I've seen. I love the old-time English dialogue (one of the reasons I also love Shakespeare or "The Lord of the Rings"), and the look at society 200 years ago. But, I'm sorry, I don't get what's so great about Mr. Darcy. He's mysterious, then rude, then a hero. Okay. But does that make him one of the greatest romantic heroes in all of literature? I guess I don't know what makes him stand out so much compared to other literary figures. Maybe I'll just have to read the book. (At least I'm more okay with women wishing their men to emulate Mr. Darcy than wishing them to emulate Edward or Jacob.)

"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" - Two words: Matthew McConaughey.

If you're interested, here are reviews from that online magazine about other movies.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
(And, here's an interesting look at the movie that takes what I wrote to a whole new level. Careful, there's some bad language.)


"It Happened One Night"

*Some of the online magazine stories have grammar mistakes or spelling errors. I wish I could go back and fix them! Sorry about that. Although, they probably don't bother you as much as they bother me.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...