97. Harrison Ford, Lake Bell, And Forest Whitaker

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Harrison Ford, Lake Bell, And Forest Whitaker

In A World Of Social Injustice


Two monumental events in United States history are being remembered this week in Washington and throughout the country. 500,000 people will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream March’ on Washington. 1,000 people will be commemorating the 93rd anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution giving women the right to vote.


These themes of history and injustice are well represented in two new movies this week. The first picture is Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a movie written by Danny Strong. You might remember him from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. His epic narrative is a marvelous depiction of the events scanning eight presidencies and 34 years as seen through the eyes of a White House butler. This butler was Eugene Allen. He rose to Head Butler and worked in the White House from 1952 until 1986. He recently died in March of 2010.

KingButlerPoster KingButlerBook

Forest Whitaker is Lee Daniels. Oprah Winfrey is his wife. The acting support group that brought this biopic and civil rights laden walk through history to life would take up a notepad page. It includes amongst others (as they say): Cuba Gooding, LaJessie Smith, Clarence Williams III, Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Jane Fonda, and Pernell Walker.

You might be misled to focus on seeing who played the presidents and their wives through the time periods featured in this story. The real focus is the roles the black actors played and magnified. It is one of the first movies that really features history from the roles these black actors portrayed. This movie will be seen and discussed by millions.


In A World Women’s Rights And Equity

Lake Bell wrote, directed, and stars in….In A World. In a past television life and ten movies ago Lake played Sally Heep, a love interest of James Spader on Boston Legal. Her new movie, sadly, will be seen and discussed by thousands.

Can the insignificant in a seemingly insignificant occupation become the extraordinary is asked in this serio-comedy (serious comedy). Before seeing this movie, no one would have questioned the inequities in commercial and movie voice-overs. Voice-overs are a multi-million dollar occupation. This field is controlled and dominated by men. There is a sign over the door that says: no women allowed. Can you think of a single product or movie that is introduced by a woman’s voice? A resounding “no” will echo through your car or ‘after movie’ discussion at your favorite restaurant or pizza joint tonight.


Carol’s (Lake Bell) dad is The Voice. He gets every job nod and then throws the crumbs to his male friends. Carol doesn’t want to be The Voice. She just wants to be A voice. She has paid her dues and is still unnoticed. Slowly as the movie progresses and between sister and family antics, she begins to land important gigs. Can (a word used for the third time in this article) she compete against her award-winning dad for a movie trailer and future promotions? Dad’s respect and support may be another issue, too.


This is that little ‘artsy movie’ from a different point of view that non-epic lovers might enjoy. It is, surely, a discussion piece!

In A World Of Sell Phone Wars


Harrison Ford is back on the movie scene with Liam Hemsworth and Gary Oldman. Paranoia is its movie name (or misname). Ford and Oldman were former partners and, now, are bitter rivals. The two rivals are fighting for dominance in the world of technology, business security, mind-boggling applications, and cell phone supremacy. Liam Hemsworth (one of the “ hunk brothers”….Chris in Thor) and his movie love interest, Amber Heard, are caught in the middle of the two rivals.

ford poster

Liam, Amber, and the movie audience will have a hard time finding who is right in this battle after viewing some amazing advances in technology and cell phone mania. You think this is competition! Apple and Samsung are coming out with their new, application loaded “cell phone toys” in the beginning of September. The lines are already forming!


Here are the questions you will be asking after the movie’s credits and the gaffer’s name fly by the screen:

  1. Is the watch cell phone that far away? The cell phone watch proto-types in the movie looked like they were ready for the marketplace! Swear!
  2. How can companies that sell security systems have such poor security in place in their offices? It is like going to Comcast or Verizon to dispute an Internet charge and having them tell you their computers are running slow or are down for “some” reason!
  3. Was Harrison Ford’s bald head necessary and, if so, why didn’t they trim his eyebrows?
  4. Which Hemsworth is the better kisser? And why would you even ask that question?
  5. Why doesn’t Harrison Ford do a cameo in the Expendables 3 with every other new and old time action hero like: Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Arnold, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, The Rock, and a cast of thousands? He is in Expendables 3 action hero fans!


In A World Of Kings: The King Is Dead

In a recent “sexiness survey” of college men and woman, men said ‘woman with tattoos’ and ‘woman wearing baseball hats’ rate high on their ‘sexiness’ scale and in their somewhat warped minds.


Women said that ‘a man with a book in his hand’ is sexy. If this is correct then we men have to thank Elmore Leonard (1925-August 20, 2013) for making us sexy at least a dozen times. Leonard was the “King of Beach Reading, Crime Thriller” fiction.


There are many measures of a good book. One of them is how many of your books were turned into movies and television shows. His present television series, Justified, written at age 85, is just as riveting in character portrayal and predicaments as Jackie Brown, Gold Coast, Get Shorty, Glitz, and 3:10 To Yuma. All the action heroes above with the addition of John Travolta and Tom Hanks have or wanted to star in his movies.


Our picks if you can only choose one are Out Of Sight (movie) with Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney and Justified (television) with Timothy Olyphant as Marshall Raylan Givens.

In A World Of Poetry Lives The Ode To A Grecian Urn


Hey, poetry fans and teachers of creative writing!

Here is a change of pace activity to start the school year. The directions for beginning this writing challenge are as follows: Discuss with your class the odes and dedications that were written by early poets. Review Ode To A Grecian Urn and Blake’s Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright without killing this quest with over analysis.


Give your students copies of some easy to understand odes and dedications. Ask your class to mimic the style of a favorite while writing an ode about a fruit or pet as the theme. Use the examples below to generate some nice ideas of directions someone’s writing might take.

Apple, apple, so shiny and bright.

Oh! What a taste so late at night.

O’ sour lemon

A taste bitter and true.

My puckered lips tell me

Not to forget you.


To the grape__

You have made happy lips, healthy eating, and filled stomachs.

Spinach and other greens

How you have tormented me!

But healthy, I’ll grow up to be.

Cat, cat, what a great friend.

To your litter box,

I will tend.

To conclude this fruit discussion:

What is red, sits in a tree, and is dangerous?

An apple with a machinegun!

A ton of these will follow in future issues despite the boos.

Supporting Local Businesses

If you have a business, book, artwork, photography, or craft that you would like to have featured on this column, please send us a two paragraph write-up and a nice photo we can use. Send it to: tjpalumbo@aol.com.


We are featuring a new interactive company in this issue that is worth investigating. Here a look at Becky Shaw’s new technologies and what she said to us:


Hello Dear Tom

Many thanks for accepting my invitation.

I learned from your profile that you are making a difference in the way students, teachers, and parents read, write, think creatively, do mathematics, and interact with technology and social media.

I think there’s much potential for us to cooperate since we are a professional supplier of an interactive whiteboard and interactive all in one PC to schools. The products will meet your needs well.


We are Fitouch company, a professional manufacturer (“National High �Tech Enterprise”) of IR Interactive whiteboard, Interactive all in one, touch screen.

We’ve been supplying products to schools, commercial organizations, and government groups for a long time.


Please kindly get back to me for further discussion, thanks a lot!

Becky Shaw

Shenzhen Free Interactive Technology Co., Ltd.

T: 86 755 27559988 ext.821
F: 86 755 27881177
M: 86 15220284423
Skype: fitouch.sales22
MSN: fitouch.sales22@hotmail.com
E: sales22@fitouch.com.cn
W: http://www.fitouch.com.cn/en/index.asp

In A World Of Video Driven Storybooks Is Amelia Earhart, Once Again

WordPress allows you to insert video into your columns. Hopefully this works as the starting video for Amelia Earhart, Once Again is inserted in this column from the preview in your iBookstore search on your iPad. Local theaters are now showing this slide to help me promote this book and the new concept of video driven text that it introduces. Maybe one day it will catch on???

 Final Amelia Slide

Don’t forget to review aimtjp.wikispaces.com and catapultintopoetry.wikispaces for all your back to school creative ideas. These sites are filled with word for word lessons, creative PowerPoints, book talk videos, and links to the best sites to help students in the classroom and with their research and Internet investigations.



About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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2 Responses to 97. Harrison Ford, Lake Bell, And Forest Whitaker

  1. SHARON FUNK says:

    Hi Tom, Askia Davis, Sr., my boss in a previous life while working as a facilitator , NYC Chancellor’s Office, posts on my Facebook page, ranting about The Butler.  Askia dedicates his life to his race. His interpretation is quite different than yours (though he hasn’t read your blog.) Check it out and tell me what you think!

    Sharon Funk 516 456-4771 516 670-0303

  2. Oni Lasana says:

    Hey friend, Thanks for the newsletter…great as usual! Maybe you read it on my website…if not…a friendly reminder…

    I DREAMT, MLK, JR. © 1999 Oni Lasana

    I had a dream too, Martin Luther King Jr. that your dream came true & people looked inside of me not at the shape or size of me not at the color or style of me they looked at my inner reality not the outside fantasy

    I dreamt that your dream came true…Mr. King Marcus Garvey wasn’t ridiculed & called afool Ruby Bridges walked to school alone Malcolm wasn’t murdered by his own Miss Rosa enjoyed her bus ride home

    Emmitt Till was alive today Medgar Evers wasn’t murdered in his driveway Steve Biko lived to write another day 2 Pac represented the best of us Rodney King wasn’t beaten alive in front of us & Marvin was asking me “What’s goin’ on?”

    I dreamt that your dream came true Rev. King & young adults today were livin’ clean not smokin’ tobacco, cronic, droppin’ pills,hittin’ crack downin’ 40’s & gettin’ wacked dreaming stupid dreams nothing to do but get hi & lie…or so it seems living nightmares shooting down tomorrow’sdreams

    I dreamt your dream came true Minister King & in concrete jungles everywhere sons and daughters of criminals and righteousfolks were sitting at a table together learning & teaching one another to read& to LOVE

    I was dreaming and your dream came true TeacherKing & all children attended equally integratedschools where students were not judged by the color ofskin or the color of Nike, Dickie’s, Akademik but by the work they handed in on time to teachers who really cared

    I had a dream that your dream came trueBrother King & in my dreams I saw boys and girls of all races joining handsin agape love little children holding hands of baby daddies baby daddies married to & taking care ofbaby mommies & they both had good jobs, careers, andbusinesses.

    I dreamt your dream came true Mr. King & I heard that same freedom bell ring in every town from Africa to America, Europe to Asia, South America to the Caribbean starving children came running to dinner tables filled with pesticide-free fruits & vegetables BROWN rice, sugar, bread and molasses, UN-contaminated water & hormone free well-seasoned chicken

    I dreamt that TV showed real people livingtrue reality & “FRIENDS”…didn’t all look thesame Disney wasn’t another name for distorted history& modern mythology I dreamt that Eddie, Martin, Will & theWayans produced black history biographies &multi-cultural realities Black & whites & all “others”UNITED in mutual funds not only for sex, drugs & guns

    I had a dream too, that your dream came trueBrother King & two weeks after your vision in DC four little girls in Birmingham, Alabama. Addie Mae Collins, Denise Mc Nair, CynthiaWesley & Carole Robertson walked home from church to waiting mommies & the next day they went to a shiny newschool with smiling & loving classmates and each one of thoselittle girls graduated college and became a doctor to heal us A teacher to teach us, a lawyer for justice & Human Rights University

    Your dream came true Martin Luther King, Jr. Because in my dream, their you were… home with Mrs. King & your children, playin’ with grandchildren inside the not so-white house being the PRESIDENT of the United States of LOVE So brave…so intelligent…so blessed relaxing with your family & friends & everybody knew…without a doubt that they were “FREE AT LAST!” & are truly somebody. Just like I do, thanks to you Martin Luther King Jr., I dreamt your dream, came true.

    (C) 1999 I Dreamt, MLK Jr. ~ Words by Oni Lasana

    Looking forward, Oni http://www.OniLasana.com “Use the talents you possess for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang but the best.” Author ?

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