Archive for April, 2009

Do as we please? God says yes, we can!

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Martial arts film star Jackie Chan, quoted in The New York Times, said, “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we are not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

This caused a stir among some in the West, but, apparently, not so much in the East. A story at The Daily Beast informs us that many Chinese agree with the essence of Chan’s sentiments about freedom, preferring “Asian values” that prize social cohesion and stability over personal liberty. Chan may also have been trying to curry favor with top Chinese officials so they will reverse their ban on showing his latest film in mainland China.

Freedom happens to be a spiritual birthright that no society, no government, no religion, no organization whatsoever has the right to impede or deny or strip away. God gave all of us the unconditional right to do as we damn well please.

Keep this in mind as well. If we do as we please without regard to others, we will also experience the consequences of their reactions. So, how do we want people to respond to us?

The trouble with Kings

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

NBC’s ambitious series, Kings, is on hiatus until June, since the five episodes that aired in March-April never garnered the kinds of ratings that a broadcast network calls a success http://budurl.com/648e.

Probably the only reason NBC hasn’t axed Kings outright is the popularity of lead actor Ian McShane, who plays the king, Silas Benjamin. Someone in the C-suite likes McShane, so the suits are trying to help this limping bird finds its wings.

For those who haven’t seen it, Kings is an hour-long drama about a royal family running a nation called Gilboa in a thoroughly modern setting. It has lots of characters, multiple plot lines,  and plenty of palace intrigue: back stabbing, double-dealing, power-brokering, etc.

So far, OK. We like complicated drama with complex characterization. The problem? For starters, there are almost no likeable major characters in this series, and everybody’s motives are depressingly self-centered and neurotic. We get enough of this in real life, thank you.

There is a soldier-hero regular guy called David Shepherd, played by actor Chris Egan, but he’s just another straight white guy so unbiquitous on TV. Can we spell b-o-r-i-n-g? It’s old, old wine in a new bottle.

Even worse, the female characters are relegated to the back seat, as they usually are in any shows that do not focus on shopping and/or sex. Of course, they look terrific doing nothing of any consequence in their designer gowns and suits. All very 1980s Dynasty or Dallas.

Memo to network suits: Audiences these days want something else. This means heroes other than white males. This means characters who are quirky, maybe, but likeable — even admirable — in some significant way.

And it means a dash of the mysterious if not downright mystical. TV shows, movies, books, and other media that are doing well right now tend to have all of these elements. Examples? Medium or Heroes, Knowing, and Twilight are just a few.

Ultimate Twitter theme song

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Rockin’ Robin

To my Twitter friends. The ultimate Twitter theme song: “Rockin’ Robin.”

Left click on your mouse over the title above to access the mp3 file.

Enjoy! Keep tweeting!

While you’re listening, check out my speculative epic, the Green Stone of Healing(R) series. These novels combine action-adventure, palace intrigue, the paranormal, and romance that lives from lifetime to lifetime as favorite characters reincarnate on their spiritual journeys.

Sign up for my occasional free newsletter to download a free ebook (.pdf) on emotional and spiritual healing.

Buy the series paperbacks at any online bookstore or from BookLocker!

The Vision

Fallout

The Scorpions Strike

Buy the ebooks (.pdf files)! 

Iowa justices stand up for justice

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously overturned the state’s 1998 ban on same-sex marriage.

The decision makes clear that any religious organization is free to accept or reject requests to be married by same-sex couples. It applies only to legal recognition of same-sex marriages under the state’s civil law.

The court ruled that banning same-sex couples from marrying violated their civil rights under Iowa’s equal protection laws.

The same applies to the odious federal Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. It bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, so even though three states now permit same-sex couples to wed, they are still single under federal law.

This denies same-sex couples a while host of federal benefits, and also violates their rights under thre U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

Three down, 47 to go….