Shana & Luther

From the “I’m a week behind in everything” department:

I was disappointed that 60 Minutes failed to mention the death of pioneering journalist Shana Alexander last Sunday. Alexander, who had died the previous Thursday, was a Life magazine reporter and a Newsweek journalist before her most famous gig: being the “liberal ” voice on the regular 60 Minutes segment, “Point/Counterpoint” with James J. Kilpatrick, the “conservative”. This is the segment that inspired the Saturday Night Live spoof debate between Jane Curtin and Dan “Jane, you ignorant slut” Ackroyd, a piece which Alexander enjoyed, according to her niece. At least CBS Sunday Morning did a short report on her last week.

When Luther Vandross died, the line from the Paul Simon song “The Late Great Johnny Ace” came to mind. Paraphrased: “I wasn’t a really big Vandross fan, but I felt bad just the same.” The talented artist had over a dozen hit albums and two dozen hit singles, none of which I ever owned. I DID relate to his song “Dance with My Father,” which he recorded just before the stroke which he suffered a couple years ago. And that he died at 54, only a couple years older than I am, does bring one…pause.

Crash

If it’s true that “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”, as the Avenue Q song suggests, nothing lately has brought that home more for me than the movie Crash, the first flick Carol & I have seen in months. We both thought it was excellent, and we have been playing back scenes and bits of dialogue all week. In addition to race and ethnicity, it’s also about class, power and crime. I wasn’t at all bothered by the coincidences; I thought it was the conceit of the film. It was less violent than I feared, given its R rating, which was due largely to language, I’m guessing.

Coincidentally, I got an e-mail this week from the Tyler Perry fan club also touting the film. Don’t know Tyler Perry? How about the character Madea in Diary of a Mad Black Woman? He says that “CRASH is on a whole other level and will move you in ways which everyone should experience.”  

The real cool thing is that Carol & I used a babysitter for the first time in I don’t know how long. Oh, we’ve had people over, but we’ve (or at least Carol has) been there at home with them. But Lydia took to Anna really well. When we left, Lydia didn’t cry; heck, she didn’t even seem to care that we were leaving. And when Anna left, she stood at the door, watching her leave like she does for her mother when I’m home with her. So, perhaps we’ll have more films in our near future.