Another Reason I Love Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

(image found on our beloved interweb)

Because – oh, you know – he so often shows that he thinks like me.

For example:

Why Seniors Don’t Care About Technology

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

It’s a common joke in pop culture how inept seniors are when it comes to technology. They mispronounce GIF (it’s “jif,” according to GIF creator Steve Wilhite). They type their names at the end of text messages. They need help programming anything that needs programming. Ha ha. Silly old coots. (Remember, this is just a stereotype; many seniors are very capable when it comes to tech.)

Some defend seniors’ lack of tech-savvy as a result of how quickly technology changes. Today’s iPhone is tomorrow’s Blackberry. No sooner do you learn how to transfer data from your old computer to your new laptop then they change the ports and cables and you have to start all over again.

I have another explanation. Technology symbolizes optimism for the future. It exudes the promise, however hollow, of solving any and all our problems—eventually. Plus, using the latest tech is a kind of rite of passage into the generation on the fast track to the wondrous future. It is tribal fetishism. Like using slang that old folks don’t understand.

But oldsters like me aren’t interested in acquiring, we’re in the process of decluttering. Youth gathers mementos, gadgets, trendy clothes—the flotsam that both memorializes and invigorates their journey through life. We, on the frozen shores, waiting to step aboard our inevitable ice floe, wish to shed ourselves of the distractions and digressions. Sure, an app on my phone can make life easier, but will it be that much easier than the hassle of learning how to use it, update it, understand the new functions? Usually not.

This is not a screed against new-fangled technology. I actually enjoy the technological innovations. Any song, any time. Love it. Favorite movies in an instant. Wonderful. But, while I once was the first in line to purchase new tech products like the VCR, 8-track tape, flip phone, etc., I have seen them float by on the river of time like the conquered soldiers of a relentless army…

Read it all at Kareem’s SubStack Blog



Speaking of the 4th of July…

(The last battle of the Revolutionary War? via CNN)

If the article below is for real – as in presenting “true facts” versus the “alternative facts” we’ve learned to live with since 2016 – then I’m either a naive fool or generations of historians and history teachers have betrayed not only me but almost all of us.

In other words, for me, this long-ignored worldview not only is fascinating, it’s also terrifying.

Whatcha think?

Was the last battle of the American Revolution fought in India? A growing number of historians think so
By Brad Lendon, CNN

(Updated 9:40 AM EDT, Tue July 4, 2023)

 Final Jeopardy category: the American Revolutionary War.

The answer is: The last battle of America’s war of independence was fought on this continent.

Cue the familiar music, and write down your response.

If you said “What is North America?” and wagered your entire pot, you’ve lost. At least that’s what a growing number of historians will tell you.

They’ll say the correct response should have been, “What is Asia?”

Ummm, what?!

Listen to Kathleen DuVal, professor of history at the University of North Carolina (one of the 13 original states, just saying).

“Americans and almost all historians of the United States until just recently focused almost exclusively on the Revolutionary War within the 13 colonies that rebelled against the British. The focus was almost all on Massachusetts and Virginia,” she says.

“But in just the past decade or two, historians have broadened their focus and started to write about the Revolutionary War as being, as you say, a world war,” DuVal says.

Scholarly works back that up. In 2018, Smithsonian Books published “The American Revolution: A World War,” a collection of essays from 17 authors from eight countries that gives “a multifaceted but coherent account of the American Revolution’s international geopolitics,” according to a review in the Journal of American History.

DuVal and others say two key protagonists of the Revolutionary War – Britain and France – actually fought the final battle of the conflict in Cuddalore, India, in June of 1783….

Read it all at CNN



Kareem’s Villain of the Week

via Reddit.Com

Many of you already know that I’m a huge admirer of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s intellect and writing. Today he hits the target again – and again and again.

Yep, it’s a long post. Here are just a couple of the highlights.

12m Americans believe violence is justified to restore Trump to power
(June 16, 2023)

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I’m going to start with a favorite quote from Dorothy Thompson, the first American journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934: “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict.” Seeking creative alternatives to violence is what intelligent, civilized, and compassionate people do.

But for some Americans—at least 12 million anyway—violence is their default setting for conflict resolution.

We have to be aware that these people probably can’t be dissuaded from their eagerness to violence. The gun is to them what a microphone is to a singer on amateur night: a way to amplify their voice to an audience they believe doesn’t hear them. To be fair, we do hear them gleefully spouting their drivel on social media, but we ignore what they have to say because, so often, it’s nonsense. Ten percent believe the government is run by Satan-worshipping pedophiles? Twenty percent believe the election was stolen? They proudly hold tight to opinions unsupported by evidence that has been repeatedly debunked. There’s no reasoning with them.

Which is exactly why the GOP pursue them so diligently. They will vote loyally no matter what you do or say, like cult members.

Suppression breeds violence. Usually, it’s those being suppressed that have no other path to freedom than to violently revolt against their oppressors. In this case, it’s the oppressors who want to resort to violence in order to maintain the status quo of being oppressors. Of minorities. Of women. Of non-Christains. Of LGBTQ+. To justify their violence fetish, they cast themselves in the role of being oppressed by a society hellbent on righting past wrongs and maturing past a morally and economically bankrupt philosophy of “Greed is good….”

LB: And, a bit further down, he gives us this:

...I’m not sure when GOP hardliners became that belligerent bozo in Westerns who whips up the drunks in a saloon to kill the sheriff and lynch the accused. I’m not sure when, but I am sure that’s who they are now….

Read it all at Kareem’s SubStack Blog



An Interesting Look into the Current Writers Guild Strike


I didn’t write this article, but I wish I had. I find myself agreeing with Zack Arnold (below) as much as I did with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a few weeks ago. And that was a hell of a lot of agreement.

What do you all think?

Guest Column: If Writers Lose the Standoff With Studios, It Hurts All Filmmakers
by Zack Arnold

No matter the job title or craft, the writers strike is the inflection point for the future of how all filmmakers will make a living (or won’t) in the entertainment industry. As artists, creatives and storytellers, this is our last, best and final opportunity to refuse the way we currently do business as “normal,” because as we learned three years ago when the world shut down, “normal wasn’t working.” If we want things to change, It’s now or never.

Whether it’s the acceptance of 16-hour-plus days (and “Fraturdays,” late Friday shoots that go into early Saturday hours) as normal, rolling lunches with no actual meal breaks, wages not even remotely keeping pace with inflation, the expectation anyone working from home is available 24/7 for notes and revisions, the Uberfication of mini-rooms (a small group of writers assembled before a formal series order) that exploit writers’ time and ideas, hiding residual pay in mysterious streaming data, and the complete erosion of any boundaries between work and life — we are dangerously close to the extinction of filmmaking as a sustainable career path….

Read it all at the Hollywood Reporter


Laughing Eagle