New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.
Please, also, check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, problem solving, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.
Television…Get over it! If you think television ratings are related to the quality of the show, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Advertisers do not care if the show is critically acclaimed if no one is watching it. If their product is not being seen, their money will be spent somewhere else. Cases in point:
- Critics that said Seth MacFarlane was not a good 85th Academy Award host failed to notice the one million extra viewers he, Adele, and Jennifer Lawrence brought to the show. Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games, is the most hit subject on the Internet. That translates into millions of looks. Adele is number one on the pop charts. The movie audience, except for cartoons (that’s MacFarlane), is the fifteen to thirty-eight age group. This group came to see Lawrence, Adele, and MacFarlane not Bob Hope. The dead people tribute is an appropriate memorial each year. How about candid shots of first time young actors and the movies they made? Different sometimes is good!
- The Walking Dead, cable’s most watched series, drew an audience of eleven million going against the Oscar telecast. Guess there is quality in gore, because advertisers who back that show with their money are smiling. There is no quality in gore, however, the creativity scale peaks during some shows.
- The Daytona Five Hundred’s audience was up thirty percent. It wasn’t because of their best drivers. It was Danica Patrick who brought a huge audience to the telecast. I repeat: I would have scripted the race like wrestling does. Dana Patrick would have been the winner and I would have watched a million more fans join the sport. They are there to see her, not the racing. Pocket this huge sum of money NASCAR owners in next week’s race by letting her win. It could happen!
Music…American Idol has to be given kudos for grooming and coordinating the music for forty singers in their four-day sudden death sing-off these past two weeks. Just organizing that many musical arrangements would drive you crazy. The X Factor, The Voice, and Duets have far fewer contestants to groom. Duets had Jennifer Nettles, Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, and John Legend as the judges and co-singers this year. Each newcomer sang with and for the star that adopts them. Teams are formed as the contestants from each host are eliminated. Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland was amazing in a song range far beyond the country and western crossover mode that she is known for singing. She was a new mom in December and that won’t affect that later start of the show this year.
Children’s Literature I…The Art of Reading with a forward by Leonard Marcus is the fortieth anniversary issue saluting reading and one of America’s great non-profits. The Art of Reading was developed by the Reading Is Fundamental staff. RIF is an organization that has put millions of books in children’s hands and a million more ideas in the minds of creative parents and teachers. For this anniversary issue, the Reading Is Fundamental organization asked forty illustrators to select a favorite book from their childhood and discuss how the book made a difference in what they are today. Mentioned before in a quick passing in a previous column, this book is a beautifully illustrated eye-opener.
Previous columns have talked about people making a difference. The stage now changes as authors and illustrators tell how books have made a difference. Each story is different and every time you pick up the book you see something you didn’t see before. Steven Kellogg talks about loving the monthly book that he received from a book club gift. His first book was Black Beauty (1877). He explained: Black Beauty told what was good about the horse industry and what was bad. Cruelty to animal’s groups rallied around this book and changed the horse industry.
Tony DiTerlizzi talks about carrying Winnie-The-Pooh around with him in high school remembering nighttime readings that included he and his sister bundled next to each other. He related how the same characters in the book walked his high school: grumpy, excitable, and meek all striving to get along or not get along in the halls and classrooms.
Buy the hard copy of this book and gift it as a present. Like yesterday’s suggestion with Rosa Parks books, donate The Art of Reading to a local library or classroom.
Poetry…Modeling The Poetry Of Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes died in 1967. He was given the title of “America’s Black Poet Laureate”. His poem ‘My People’ is an excellent model to analyze and then rewrite. Try his technique describing your mother or father. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are arriving soon. A birthday is a good time to present your parents with your illustrated composition, too. Make a list of descriptors in two columns. You could write general descriptions in the left column (the brilliance of the sun) and in the right compare it to the person who you are honoring (so is your fantastic mind). Practice writing a few lines and then talk them over with a friend or family member for additional ideas. Now proceed to the challenge of modeling Langston Hughes’s poem’s form featured below in your own writing.
My People By Langston Hughes
The night is beautiful.
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.
Beautiful, also, is the sun,
Beautiful, also, is the souls of my people.
Just Frances My Mother By Tom Palumbo
The sun’s rays are warm and comforting
So too is your smile.
A Broadway ballerina is graceful.
So too is your walk.
A colorful sunset is calming.
So too is your hug.
New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.
New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.