Monday, December 17, 2007

1st\NW Quadrant 12\24 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of December 24, 2007

1968 with Tom Brokaw

In 1968, the fury and violence of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago propelled us toward a tipping point in politics. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, America suffered its bloodiest year in Vietnam and drugs seduced us. Yet idealism--and hope--flourished. Explore the significance of that turbulent year and the way it continues to affect the American landscape. Tom Brokaw offers his perspective on the era and shares the rich personal odysseys of some of the people who lived through that chaotic time, along with the stories of younger people now experiencing its aftershocks. Includes archival footage and interviews with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who was talking to King when he was assassinated and rushed to his side to try to staunch the wound; Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson, who wrestled RFKs' assassin to the ground; and Arlo Guthrie, best known for his song "Alice's Restaurant. (History)


Huckabee on AIDS Patients

The following was posted on the Say Anything blog by Rob - The Associated Press dug back through their archives and found some answers [Mike] Huckabee [The former Arkansas governor who is running for president.] gave to a questionnaire they sent him when he was seeking a seat in the House in 1992. He said some pretty controversial things about the AIDS issue it turns out. Here’s the three key quotes:

“If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.”

“I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”

“In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified. An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research.”


Plot Summary from IMDb (Warning: May contain spoilers!): 1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to lure the young cotton pickers and local Army base recruits into his juke joint, away from Touissants, the rival joint across the way.

After laying off his regular talent, blues singer Bertha Mae, Tyrone announces to his sidekick Maceo that he has hired the famous electric guitar player, Guitar Sam, for a special one night only gig: pack em in and save the club. On the day of the show, the train arrives and Guitar Sam is no where to be found. Tyrone is forced to take drastic action. He makes a deal with Sheriff Pugh to release Sonny, the kid who hopped off a freight car here in Harmony, and turned up in the club claiming he could play the guitar as well as any Guitar Sam.

Tyrone cleans Sonny up and launches a last ditch scheme to pass off the young guitar picker as Guitar Sam just long enough to cut the lights and run off with cash box. When Sonny takes the stage and launches into his first scalding electric licks, Tyrone will learn if its lights out for the Honeydripper or if his luck has changed: he might just be another man saved by rock n' roll.

Honeydripper features an all-star cast including Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Stacy Keach, Mary Steenburgen,Yaya DaCosta and Sean Patrick Thomas; as well as such notable musicians as Keb Mo and Dr. Mable John. It also introduces a major new talent, Gary Clark Jr. who makes his electrifying film debut as Sonny.


Manolo's for Men

This week [December 7, 2007], Manolo Blahnik, the Spanish designer famous for making women swoon over $700 stilettos, announced he's putting out a line of men's shoes. Among the styles: Afiyet, the aforementioned blue suede number, and Bir, a sandal made of leopard-print leather. "There are some simple sandals in beautiful materials, and a few classics -- with a twist," Blahnik said in a statement. "I thought it was time to bring back some color into the male wardrobe." suede slingbacks and leopard print sandals are about as likely to catch on as men's eyeliner and the murse (aka, men's purse).

"I wouldn't wear them. I can't imagine guys wearing them," said Tyler Thoreson, executive editor of "They're of limited appeal, I think. He's a master cobbler, and so you probably won't find a better made pair of shoes anywhere, but the style isn't going to be for everyone." (ABC News)

Nappers at Gustavo Dudamel
Philharmonic Debut

It's not unusual for members of a New York audience to leave early, but they stood their ground at Lincoln Center. And stood and stood. The audience gave 26-year-old conductor Gustavo Dudamel a standing ovation for five minutes Thursday [November 29, 2007] night after the dimple-faced whiz kid with a radiant smile and an emphatic baton finished his New York Philharmonic debut. (SFGate)

But according to the Approval Matrix some of the audience members took a nap during the debut.

The son of a salsa player and a music teacher from the Venezuelan city Barquisimeto, Dudamel shot to the top of the classical world last spring when he was named music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, effective September 2009. (SFGate)

Daniel J. Wakin of The New York Times related that Gustavo Dudamel is classical music’s hottest young podium property.

Squash = Ive League Admissions?

In an era of increasingly competitive college admissions — when Princeton, for example, turns down four of five valedictorians who apply — anxious parents are looking for some edge, any edge, to help their child gain entry through the back door of the nation’s most selective universities.

Squash pros and coaches say that in the last few years the sport has seen a sharp increase in participation by children and teenagers, some of whose parents seem to have one eye on the ball and the other on college applications.

ONE New York parent of a squash-playing daughter pointed out that college squash scholarships were still rare, vacancies few — often no more than a few freshmen on a squad — and players from squash hothouses like the Middle East and South Asia tended to fill many of those. (NY Times)
(Photo courtesy of Cheryl Senter for The New York Times)


Joe Wright, the BAFTA Award-winning director of "Pride & Prejudice," has reunited with his film making team and his Academy Award-nominated actress, Keira Knightley, for another classic British romance, starring James McAvoy (BAFTA Award nominee for "The Last King of Scotland") opposite Ms. Knightley. Christopher Hampton (Academy Award winner for "Dangerous Liaisons") has written the screenplay adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling 2002 novel Atonement.

Shot on location in the U.K., the film's story spans several decades. In 1935, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous mansion. On the warmest day of the year, the country estate takes on an unsettling hothouse atmosphere, stoking Briony's vivid imagination. Robbie Turner (Mr. McAvoy), the educated son of the family's housekeeper, carries a torch for Briony's headstrong older sister Cecilia (Ms. Knightley). Cecilia, he hopes, has comparable feelings; all it will take is one spark for this relationship to combust. When it does, Briony -- who has a crush on Robbie -- is compelled to interfere, going so far as accusing Robbie of a crime he did not commit. Cecilia and Robbie declare their love for each other, but he is arrested -- and with Briony bearing false witness, the course of three lives is changed forever. Briony continues to seek forgiveness for her childhood misdeed. Through a terrible and courageous act of imagination, she finds the path to her uncertain atonement, and to an understanding of the power of enduring love. (Written by Orange\via IMDb)


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