Monthly Archives: May 2009

  • Star Trek and Spock’s haircut

    Being out of work gives you time to reflect, to ponder, to –as former Bulls coach Phil Jackson once said of himself — think deep thoughts, such as why Mr. Spock got such a raw deal with the bad haircut.I was outnumbered this weekend on a trip to the movies and so I found myself at Star Trek.  A boy movie. And a geek movie, at the risk of offending all geeks who might possibly stumble across my blog on their way to a Trekkie website or convention or something. As someone who is neither a stereotypical female moviegoer nor a stereotypical female, for that matter — i.e., I include Diner, Caddyshack, Dirty Harry, Scarface, Goodfellas, Stripes, Cool Hand Luke, The Longest Yard, and pretty much every other prison movie among my favorites – I was not pre-disposed to disliking this movie.And I did like it, on some level, which I will share in a moment. I would promise that I won’t ruin the plot of Star Trek, but frankly, I am not capable as I don’t really know what happened except there were more explosions at the end and more beaming up of people, and Spock still had his bad Vulcan haircut.I do not in any way want to suggest that I, nor any other woman, lacks the intellectual capacity to understand a typical guy movie such as this one.  This one was easy compared to others of its ilk. Star Wars? My daughter Amanda and I somehow thought we could stomach that one with her father and brother. But we bolted out of the theater about 10 minutes in, and ended up sitting through the final hour of a movie in which we did not recognize a single actor, couldn’t tell you the title or the plot line. But it was infinitely more enjoyable because – and this I do remember – it a) had humans in it and b) took place within a time period of 10 billion years from today.In the interest of societal and cultural significance, I believe it is important to delve into why men and women differ so dramatically when it comes to movies. Perhaps I should disqualify myself because as I previously disclosed, I am not your typical woman. Also, as I perused a list of “top 10 chick flicks,” according to “O” Magazine, I found myself instantly annoyed with the clichéd “chick flick,” expression and I discovered that I couldn’t stand most of the movies on the list.I mean, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The English Patient, and four others made before 1947? I was bored just reading the list. Where was Pretty Woman, Terms of Endearment, When Harry Met Sally . . ., Steel Magnolias, Dirty Dancing,  A League of Their Own, Titanic?But once again, I digress.I think about why a man – and for the sake of a specific example, my husband Rick – could not sit through, say, Terms of Endearment, without audibly groaning,  but he could and has, sat through Legally Blonde. Many times.And why did I literally sprint out of Star Wars but I sort of liked Star Trek?Could it possibly be because my husband has a not-so-secret crush on Reese Witherspoon (after once catching him pausing just a little too long while flipping past Legally Blonde 2, it wasn’t that hard to figure out) and I thought the guy who played “Captain Kirk” in Star Trek resembled a young Brad Pitt?I have no real aversion to explosions or your typical movie gore. I mean, Scarface is so bloody, it becomes humorous. Maybe I like it because I resent being pigeonholed or left out in the same way I resented not being allowed to play Little League as a child. But in the same way my husband watches the end of Titanic and yells angrily — each and every time — for Leonardo DiCaprio to grab the piece of wood that Kate Winslet is using as a floation device while I weep over the tragedy of it all; I watched Star Trek and all I could think of was why Spock’s mother, being human and everything, allowed him to have that haircut.In the end, we accept our differences, embrace them.Men focus on the superficial. Women have feelings.And we both like to look at the beautiful.There, that was easy.

  • Fame and fortune and Jon and Kate

    Pedaling away in spin class this morning, and when I wasn’t thinking about possibly hurling, I was considering how fame can ruin people.

    I’m not sure how exactly I made this jump from queasiness to Kris Allen and “Jon & Kate, Plus 8.” But oddly, I have been feeling sorry for the whole bunch of them.

    Maybe it is because I have seen fame relatively close up. And I have observed how, in this country, the more famous someone becomes, the harder, seemingly, they must eventually be brought down. In a broad sense, the profession in which I have made my living has been largely responsible for this.

  • Patti B. Won’t Last a Minute in the Jungle

    Took an early-morning power walk today with my friend Shari in which we walk really fast unless, a) Shari is waving to a passing car driven by someone she doesn’t know; or b) we forget to walk really fast because c) we’re talking about something important like how long Shari would last living in a jungle.

    This was not idle chit-chat. This was a current events topic initiated by the news story broken exclusively on the Today Show this morning that Patti Blagojevich, wife of disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, was taking her husband’s place on the NBC reality show, “I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here,” set in a Costa Rican jungle.

  • The Future of Journalism – Part II

    So it appears I filed the last blog a little too soon.

    I just discovered a report that the 136-year-old Harvard Crimson, which has turned out 12 Pulitzer Prize winners among its crop of future journalists, are “fleeing the ravaged profession.”

    According to the report, just 3 of 16 of the paper’s graduating seniors who were on the paper’s executive board, plan to pursue a career in journalism. Of the last 10 managing editors, only two are working at newspapers.

  • The Future of Journalism

    We were between innings at my son’s baseball game, yesterday. When he was younger, and the kid playing catcher needed half the team to help put back on the equipment, you could basically run home, have a snack, come back and not miss a moment of action.
    Now that Alec is 11, it has been cut down considerably. But there was still enough time for a glance at my Blackberry and the e-mail that had come in from an unfamiliar address.