The Commonwealth Comment

Monday, February 26, 2007

"The Departed" Leaves A Winner

The Boston mob hit The Departed cleaned house last night at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. It took home the most awards of the evening with four, including Best Picture and Best Director.

When Martin Scorsese was announced the winner of the Best Director category he kiddingly asked the presenters: "Could you double-check the envelope?" This was Scorsese's sixth nomination for director and his first win.

Minutes after Scorsese left the stage it was announced by Jack Nicholson that The Departed had been named Best Picture. Nicholson starred in the film as the Boston Irish mob boss. The Departed also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing.

Many other categories had winners that were expected to win. Helen Mirren was regal in her victory for Best Actress for The Queen. Forest Whitaker was also royal with his award for Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland.

Of course it was a dream come true for Jennifer Hudson who won Best Supporting Actress for her outstanding performance in the movie musical Dreamgirls.

Yet, surprisingly Little Miss Sunshine star Alan Arkin beat out Dreamgirls' Eddie Murphy for Best Supporting Actor. Also nominated was Boston's own Mark Wahlberg for his work in The Departed.

Another upset came in the category for Best Song. Dreamgirls was nominated for 3 songs, all of which were performed in a Dreamgirls medley just prior to the announcement. While Knowles, Hudson, and the cast brought the house down with their powerful voices they were no match for the hurricane strength of "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth, which ended the dream and knocked Cars' "This is Our Town" right off the road.

Former Vice President Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth also won Best Documentary. Gore joked with Leo DiCaprio about the possibility of running for President in 2008. Gore was about to make an important announcement that began with "My fellow Americans..." but he was out of time and drowned out by the orchestra.

Here is the full list of the Oscar Nominees and Winners

Of course Ellen was a very funny host. She played on the fact that this was the most international Oscars ever. She also mingled with the nominees. She just so happen to have a screen play for Martin Scorsese to read, she vacuumed the front row, and took a picture with Clint Eastwood for her MySpace page. She mentioned Jennifer Hudson who America didn't vote for on American Idol and how great it was that she was nominated for an Oscar. Followed by a friendly jab at Al Gore who she said "America did vote for."

My Opinion: I enjoyed this year's Oscars. I was surprised by Best Song and Best Supporting Actor. Overall I believe I went 3-3 in the 6 major categories. I predicted Hudson, Scorsese, and The Departed.

Ellen was a great host. I really hope she is invited back for next year, she kept me laughing the whole time.

Congrats to all the winners and nominees! I'm going to go re-watch The Departed now. When you live in Boston and watch that movie you find yourself looking over your shoulder as you walk down the street a little more than usual. It's fun, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deval's New Duds

Deval Patrick has spent $27,000 refurnishing his new State House office. Expensive new drapes, a new desk, and new chair and other furniture. He also ditched Mitt Romney's old Crown Victoria and leased a new $46,000 Cadillac DTS.
Initially these things were being paid for with tax money. But, after intense criticism from the Republican minority and the local media, Patrick has announced that he will be paying for all of the changes to the corner office. He will be paying the difference between the Cadillac and the Crown Victoria which come out to about $540 each month.
Patrick defended his spending on the office pointing out that the furniture that was in the office had belonged to Mitt Romney and had since been removed. The new car was leased because State Police suggested that Patrick have a car with more power rather than a hybrid model he had originally said he would purchase during his campaign. Aides told the press that the new models of the Crown Victoria did not meet State Police security standards for the governor.
One local political editor sarcastically suggested that the governor visit IKEA.

My Opinion: Patrick has done the right thing by paying back the cost for his office and car. I really don't see what the huge deal was in the first place. Mitt Romney used the State Police to escort a Red Sox catcher from the airport, through traffic, and to Fenway Park just minutes before the game was set to start. Talk about a waste of tax payer money. So, if you're going to point a finger at one politician, point at every politician. The governor's office is not a dorm room, IKEA just won't cut it.
As for the car I am reminded of a scene from Men In Black II. When reading this quote think of Deval Patrick as Will Smith the slick, smooth talkin' black guy, and Mitt Romney as Tommy Lee Jones, the old white guy.

Smith: What are you doing?
Jones: I always do the driving.
Smith: Oh, no.
Jones: I remember that.
Smith: No, you drive that old busted joint. I drive... the new hotness.
[pointing at Jones]
Smith: Old and busted.
[pointing at himself]
Smith: New hotness.

So let Deval enjoy his new hotness in peace. He's apologized and admitted his mistake publicly and he's paying for the makeovers with his own money. Now can we deal with real issues and not how the governor decorates?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Foul on Hardaway

On Valentine's day, a day of love, hate reared its ugly head. Another celebrity has opened his mouth and in turn inserted his foot. This time it's former NBA star Tim Hardaway.

Hardaway was a guest on a Miami radio's "790 the Ticket" show. He was questioned about how he would deal with a gay teammate. This question because earlier this month retired NBA player, John Amaechi came out. Hardaway's response was less than tactful.

"First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team. Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room. Something has to give, If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."

Radio host Dan LeBard told Hardaway that his remarks we bigoted and homophobic, to which Hardaway gladly agreed.

He went on to say that he hates gay people and that homosexuality shouldn't be in the world, or in the United States.
As a result of this the NBA has banned Hardaway from participating in the upcoming All Star weekend and other future appearances associated with the NBA. Commissioner David Stern released a brief statement against Hardaway's comments. "It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours."
Trinity Sports CEO Demetrius Ford, Hardaway's employer stated "Effective immediately, Mr. Hardaway is removed from the position of Trinity Sports’ Chief Basketball Operations Advisor, as well as all other duties associated with the Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries."

John Amaechi said in an interview with the Miami Herald that while Hardaway's comments were honest, they only hurt society. "His words pollute the atmosphere. It creates an atmosphere that allows young gays and lesbians to be harassed in school, creates an atmosphere where in 33 states you can lose your job, and where anti-gay and lesbian issues are used for political gain. It's an atmosphere that hurts all of us, not just gay people."

My Opinion: Hardaway deserves what he gets. It goes to prove that not all athletes are ideal role models for children.

Maybe Hardaway is gay. Let's analyze that. He plays a game were big sweaty men play with balls. Basketball players are always bumping one another. AND he played for a team whose logo is flames. Maybe Hardaway is just a self hater?

If we are ever going to be an all inclusive society we have to include homosexuals in all activities, including athletics. Amaechi has shown a great deal of courage by coming out, and even more by standing up to bullies like Hardaway.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Flip Flop Mitt in 2008

Mitt Romney kicked off his 2008 Presidential bid today in his home state of Michigan. The former governor of Massachusetts is just one in a crowded field of Republican candidates for the nation's highest office. "Innovation and transformation have been at the heart of America's success," he said. "If there ever was a time when innovation and transformation were needed in government, it is now."

Romney is known for his conservative stances on many issues, and has even been compared to the likes of Ronald Reagan (just look at that hair!). He is also a Mormon, an obstacle that may sway voters against him in his run for office. Romney would be the nation's first Mormon president.

Mitt has indeed left his mark on Massachusetts. There is a new universal health care system going into place, and gay marriage rights hang in the balance. But, if you ask the people of the Commonwealth what they think of Romney, you're likely to get a less than enthusiastic response. He was out of state in 2006 for over 200 days!

Romney has also been criticized for his stances on many issues now as compare to when he ran for the United States' Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. His views then were drastically different than they appear to be now; especially in the realm of gay rights.

Take a look at Romney's debate with Kennedy from 1994.

My opinion: Everyone has been all over the Democratic politicians running for president based on their stance on the war in Iraq, and how they voted. I'm glad to see this apparent shift toward calling of the conservative candidates as well. Mitt has flip flopped just as much as any political figure in the last decade or so. I'll call the GOP nomination now. It won't be Mitt. He has too much working against him. Unfortunately a part of that is his religion, and it shouldn't even begin to be a factor. The rest is his neglect of Massachusetts; the punch line for his jokes, his flip floppiness. Is that even a word? And his extreme conservatism. If the GOP hopes to win the White House in 2008, the had best find a moderate candidate.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Recap of Recent News

I'm sorry, I've been slacking off. So, let's do a quick rundown of what I missed out on. This will
be an opinion piece.

January 31, 2007; a day which will live in Boston infamy. We learned that light brites are enough to paralyze a city's highways, water ways, and subways. While some people have scoffed at Boston's reaction to the Turner Broadcasting marketing campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I, however, feel that the city's response was very appropriate. In a post 9/11 world it is irresponsible to perform such a stunt in a major city without informing local officials ahead of
As for the two people that put up the light up signs, I was compassionate for them at first. They were just these two people hired to do Turner's bidding. Then they acted like morons. So, I've concluded that they are terrorists and they should be locked up for good.
In the end, no one was hurt. Boston got $2 million.
Moving on.....
It has snowed in up state New York. In many towns over 100 inches has fallen. According to Stephen Colbert "New York got so much snow that some of the snowflakes are the same."
I want to know why Boston has had less than 2 inches this winter. I'm looking forward to a possible half a foot of snow on Wednesday.
"Astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak was arrested this week and charged with attempted murder after driving 900 miles from Houston to Orlando, Fla., allegedly carrying a knife, a BB gun, pepper spray, latex gloves and rubber tubing--wearing a diaper all the while so she wouldn't have to stop en route--and assaulting a romantic rival in a parking lot." - TIME
I think NASA seriously needs to examine is psychological reviews for it's astronauts.
Anna Nicole Smith died on February 8th at the age of 39. No one seems to know what caused the former Playmate's sudden death. There is now a battle over who the father of Smith's infant daughter is. It is becoming more comical by the day. A lawyer, a photographer, and Zsa Zsa's husband have claimed to be the father. Now there's speculation that Smith's husband had frozen his sperm before he died and that he may actually be the child's father.
I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. I'm the father. I'd also like to take this time to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.
That is what was in the news while I was busy slacking off. I apologize.....for the news, not my slacking.