So much to do . . . and Ben Shapiro explores a significant public commentary regarding family-friendly entertainment:

I’m feeling very melancholy right now.  I think I’m overwhelmed by the holidays and all the accompanying prep that must go into it.  I asked my husband last night “do you think we will ever have a quiet, peaceful Christmas?” and he said


A “quick” rundown on what’s ahead for us —

Dec. 2 — Rework quote for potential customer (not real optimistic about this one), laundry, cleaning house, install vertical blind for school district, Jami’s choir sings tonight at “Holiday on the Brazos” . . .

Dec. 3 — CLEAN HOUSE in prep for tomorrow.  Fix fabulous foods for tomorrow.  Bathe dogs.  CLEAN HOUSE.  CLEAN HOUSE.  CLEAN HOUSE.

Dec. 4 — Birthday party for my guy.  Was supposed to be a surprise, but the logistics forced me to spill the beans.  The theme, WILL, however be a surprise.  Look for an update as I’m very excited about this, even with the stress involved!

Dec. 9 — Jami’s choir sings at “Christmas in the Park”. 

Dec. 10 — 4-H Christmas party.

Dec. 12 — Goe Harley Motorcycle Toy Ride

Dec. 13 — Jami’s choir sings at “Christmas Extravaganza”.

Dec. 18 — AJ’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party.

          This is where it gets a little hairy.  I got the dates of her party mixed up and told my sister that I would ride with her to San Antonio to get the puppy that she’s giving her kids for Christmas.  So she’s going to try to see if a girl at work will switch shifts with her so we can go on Sunday.  If she won’t, then I will have to make an appearance at the party and then we’ll leave about 3 pm and probably won’t get home until 2 or 3 am.  (It’s a 5-hour drive one way.)  Pray that the girl will switch with her!

Dec. 23 — Christmas with AJ’s mom and step-dad.

Dec. 25 — Christmas at home in the a.m., Christmas with AJ’s dad and step-mom in the p.m.

Dec. 26 — Christmas with my mom, sister, and kids.

IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE MUCH WHEN YOU TYPE IT ALL OUT.  But, the thing is — in between all this stuff I still have to meet with clients, install products, try to finish the Christmas gifts I’m making and search resourcefully for affordable gifts I can’t make . . .

          Yes.  I’m whining.

My husband would say, “You’d get a lot more done if you’d get off your blog.”

He’s a list man.  Makes a list and works his way through it until everything is completed.  Except he keeps adding things to the bottom of the list, so he’s never really done.  But he does get things done.

I’m a type-A procrastinator.  I want it all done well, perfectly well, but I put it off because I’m worried about doing it well.  And so I stress about the things I need to do.  It’s a bloody blessing that my blood pressure runs on the low side, or as my mom and husband have said before, “You’d probably have a heart attack.”

Well, enough procrastinating.  I need to get to work. 

But before I do, please read the following column.  Ben Shapiro gives us hope that the majority of Americans are decent people who prefer family-friendly entertainment (could it be their VALUES?).  (My question is, if there are soooooo many homosexuals out there, why aren’t they supporting this movie with their $$$?  According to them, there are millions of them, and you’d think they would have sold out box offices for this flick . . .)

Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’ is behind the times
Ben Shapiro (archive)

December 1, 2004

    Oliver Stone had a really rotten week.  His huge-budget epic drama “Alexander,” starring Colin Farrell, Angeline Jolie, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Hopkins, premiered to critical raspberries and popular apathy.  “Alexander” reportedly cost over $150 million to make, and over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, it garnered a mere $21,837,517, finishing sixth at the box office.

    In all likelihood, Warner Bros., which produced the film, will still recoup its costs, despite the probability that “Alexander” won’t come close to $100 million in domestic grosses.  Europeans are expected to turn out in high numbers to see the Macedonian wunderkind; they turned out en masse to see the American box office flop “Troy” as well.

    What was the hold-up for American audiences?  It wasn’t the nearly three-hour running time – remember, each movie in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy ran over 178 minutes, with the most successful of the trilogy, “The Return of the King,” running at well over three hours.  It wasn’t the critical coolness toward Stone’s pet project – several of the movies that finished above Stone’s at the box office last weekend were critically panned (although none to the extent of this disaster).

    A large part of “Alexander”’s downfall is attributable to the moral distastefulness of the subject matter.  Alexander the Great is played as a mop-top, indecisive bisexual by Farrell.  During the course of the movie, Farrell kisses a eunuch full on the mouth, and exchanges numerous lingering glances with boyhood chum and grown-up gay lover Hephaiston (played by an eye-liner-wearing Jared Leto).  Anthony Hopkins, playing Ptolemy, intones: ““It was said . . . that Alexander was never defeated, except by Hephaistion’s thighs.”

    This stuff doesn’t go over well with most Americans.  Frankly, we don’t want to hear about it, and we’re definitely not going to pay money to see it.  Critics love films with homosexuality, but very few of those films go on to see great popular success.  Since 1994, 17 actors and actresses have been nominated for Academy Awards for playing gay characters; meanwhile, every movie nominated for an Oscar since 1994 containing substantial homosexuality has fallen well-below the $100 million mark, except for “As Good As It Gets” and “American Beauty,” both of which were fueled by Oscar hype.

    You can sense how much the critics wanted to love “Alexander,” too, primarily for its exploration of bisexuality, despite the fact that the movie is simply awful.  Manohla Dargis of the New York Times ripped into the film, but praised Stone’s portrayal of Alexander’s homosexual tendencies: “There are moments in ‘Alexander’ that show Mr. Stone in fine form, including . . . the aching tenderness between the ruler and his longtime lover, Hephaistion . . .”

    Meanwhile, most of the critics complained that “Alexander” failed because it didn’t do enough with Alexander’s sexuality.  Desson Thomas of the Washington Post complains that “Alexander’s homosexual side is only bashfully explored . . . . There are no thighs, just whispers.”  Likewise, Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe writes, “The nervous handling of the important relationship [between Alexander and Hephaiston] lays an absurd emotional dead spot over the picture’s overblown finale.”

    Unfortunately for the critics – and Stone — the cultural pendulum has begun to swing toward traditional morality again.  The five films that beat “Alexander” to a pulp were: “National Treasure,” “The Incredibles,” “Christmas With The Kranks,” “The Polar Express,” and “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.”  These films were rated, respectively, PG, PG, PG, G and PG.

    These are all family friendly fare.  That’s what Americans want to see nowadays.  That’s why Sharon Stone whined that social conservatism prevented the filmmakers from approving a lesbian kiss between her and Halle Berry in “Catwoman”:  “Halle’s so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. I said, ‘How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? It’s such a waste.’ But that’s what you get for having George Bush as president.”  That’s why Wayne Llewellyn, president of distribution at Paramount, blamed “Alfie”’s flop on President Bush’s re-election: “It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn’t want to see a guy that slept around.”

    With the shift in social values currently underway, here are a few predictions: “Brokeback Mountain”(2005), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as gay cowboys, will be a critical favorite but a box office dud.  So will “Brideshead Revisited”(2005) starring Jude Law and Paul Bettany as love interests.  Meanwhile, anything Pixar puts out will do big business.  Note to Hollywood: welcome to the backlash you inspired.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

5 thoughts on “

  1. I hope you find peace during the next few weeks.  I know it can be stressful, but try to find the JOY that fills our hearts in preparation for our coming Lord and celebrating His birth. 
    Quick suggestion.  Have you thought of doing gift food jars?  My wife has done them for two years in a row for most of our friends and family.  Last year, we did cookie jars.  This year is hot cocoa.  Get some wide mouthed mason jars; fill them with all the dry ingredients.  Print up a nice little cooking instructions card.  Decorate with a bow.  It’s really simple and the kids loved helping out.
    I had no idea “Alexander” had so much filth in it.  I wasn’t planning on going to see it until it came out on DVD, but now I’m not going to even do that.  Thanks for the heads up!


  2. Thanks for the suggestions about the food gifts.  Actually, we are going to be making food gifts for teachers — how easy is this:
    Lay small pretzels flat on a cookie sheet.  Put an unwrapped Rolo or Hershey’s Kiss on each.  Warm in a low oven until chocolate is softened.  Remove from oven and press a pecan half or other preferred yummy on top.  Cool.
    I had these at a Bunco party and they are delish!
    As far as “Alexander” goes, I remember reading history books and biographies as a grade-schooler about Alexander and found them fascinating.  I don’t know why it wasn’t possible for Stone to make a movie about Alexander’s geographical conquests without delving into the perversion of his bisexuality.  I don’t think it was his bisexuality that motivated him to conquer the world.  (Then again, it does seem to be the gay agenda to conquer the world . . . )


  3. ah how I love Ben Shapiro. I realize I say that about pretty much every Townhall writer that people bother to quote. But it’s true. in a very non-gay way, by the way.Until my friend told me online that she had walked out of alexander because it was so awful I hadn’t even heard of it. Then again, I watch almost no TV. I hadn’t heard of half the family films either, and I’ve got a brother in law with whom I live who is a manager at a movie theater. Maybe I’ve just given up on popular culture.


  4. I’m not going to apologize for having an opinion different from yours.  If you don’t agree with me you can either make an argument to illustrate your position or you can choose to say nothing.  I won’t tolerate anything else.


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