Shanon Marie Norman
Who knows why we read whatever we read? Why did I like eating Chef Boy R Dee for fifty years and then decide it was gross last month? I don't even know why.
Gone With the Wind
I remember in 1980 when I was nine years old and living in The Galaxy Condominiums and attending Klien Elementary school, my mother sat me down in the living room in front of our television. She looked at me and said, "Shanon, I want you to watch my all-time favorite movie with me. I love this movie." So I put away my dolls, my piano lessons, my homework, and playing with the other kids and sat down with my mother to watch for the first time "Gone With the Wind" - her all-time favorite movie. I wanted to know why she loved the movie so much. At nine years old, my favorite movies were "Grease" and "The Jungle Book" but I didn't know much at nine years old. So I sat there and watched the masterpiece of film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's novel about the south and the civil war and slavery and survival. Why was this movie so important to my mother? I was sure if I paid attention, I would understand.
Introspecting My Soul
I was born to a family that spoke Italian fluently. Half of them were born in Italy. Their elder siblings were born in Croatia. Some of them remembered the slavic language, but all of them spoke Italian. Italians in the 70s in the New England region of the United States were stereo-typically racist. They resented the fact that in the Italian history, they lost their blonde and blue eyes because the Moors invaded and "raped" their women and turned the "look" of the Italian people from Swedish-like to Latino-style. It was a memory in the Italian history books that created a sub-conscious "racism" towards black people and created some Italian stereo-types which were exaggerated when I was a child. However, we still had the peace-loving hippies putting out stuff like Sesame Street and School House Rock. Those humanists who taught diversity and the benefits of embracing all cultures and peoples. Even the "gangstas" had their favorite "black" sheep for example Sammie Davis Jr. in one of the original old school mob gangs.
A Disney Fan, then and now
Before I ever moved to Florida or knew the joy of walking around Disneyland or Disneyworld, I was a child in New Jersey who loved television and movies. My favorite movies at that time (and maybe still today) were created by the Disney team. I have always been a Disney fan and probably always will be. Disney is a story lover, and so am I. The Disney team has brought to the screen the beauty of stories, art, and music for over half a century. I am forever grateful for all the Disney magic I have had the fortune of enjoying.
When Gen X was "Tubular" or "Rad" in the 80s
I am inspired to write about Gen X after reading a Vocal article about The Baby Boomers written by Joan Gershman. Generation X, also known as the "Me" Generation (born between 1965 to 1976) was not less "cool" than the Baby Boomers. Sure they had Elvis and The Beatles, but we had our own tough guys and the second British Invasion. The Baby Boomers were are parents. We knew they had been hippies. We knew they had either been on crazy drugs traveling in their bell bottoms or they were raising us to stay away from drugs and live life to the fullest being the best we could be. It was a tough act to follow, but we did our best.
2021 Oscar Winners
In 2018 I went to the movie theater to see the film "Darkest Hour" starring Gary Oldman. I thought it was a fantastic film and I was glad I got to see it before others. After that, my life took a turn for the worse and I didn't see another movie at the theater until this month, March 2022. I wondered what was going on in the movie world, and I wondered who was winning which awards at what award ceremonies. I usually pay attention to the Oscars, not because they are the oldest or best, but because I tend to agree with them a lot and they've helped me with recommendations for a long time.
Analyzing Rowling's Writing
Something has made me wonder for a long time in regards to a conversation between Dumbledore and Snape in the Harry Potter stories. I'm a huge fan of the series and Rowling's writing. No, I did not read all the books, but paid careful attention to the movies and to what most people say about Rowling's world. The conversation I'm bringing up took place in Dumbledore's office or quarters. He and Snape were talking about Harry Potter - the boy who lived - the boy was was saved - the boy with the birthmark. As a literature analyst equipped with an education that taught me to consider various details to understand plot and character development, I will state boldly that Harry Potter is the main character, the protagonist, and the Christ-figure of the first series of stories. That being said, I have often wondered why Dumbledore, Harry's favorite elder and the one whom Harry trusts the most, would tell Snape "Harry Potter must die." It seemed to be a very contradictory statement for Dumbledore to confide with Snape about. Even Snape, whose interests were not really about Harry, seemed confused by Dumbledore's theory about Harry.
Turning 50 in Florida
Is it coincidental that I started going through menopause two years ago and since I began menopause I've also been witnessing the world change dramatically? Maybe. New Jersey, two years ago was a new world to me, but I was mostly the same. I just wanted to go "home" and I thought Keansburg was my home. I wanted my apartment at Church street back. I wanted a do-over. I didn't get it. I just got a long "staycation" from February to September at a hostelish motel. It was okay. But had I known that's what it was, I'd have done things differently. They say hindsight is 2020, but looking back at 2020, my decisions and actions were all made and based on the thought that Keansburg was my "home". It wasn't and I was just a fool.
I went last night to see the newest Batman movie titled "The Batman" starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne or Batman. It had been hyped up and after being incredibly impressed with Joaquin Phoenix's performance in "Joker" I had to see "The Batman" movie to see how it would measure up. I was very excited to get to go the movie theater. I usually don't go anymore because it tends to be expensive and because I'm a smoker. There are not many movies that are put out that can keep my attention without a cigarette for 2 or 3 hours. I also don't have my own car at this time so traveling is a bit of a hassle. I got a ride and met with my friends (other comic fans who teach me a lot about comics) and we were all excited about seeing the film. I got my popcorn and soda, and was treated to the movie, and we sat down to watch. I enjoyed the viewing and out of 5 stars, I'd give it 4, but that's being really kind. I actually felt somewhat disappointed as I was leaving the theater. I wanted so much more from Pattinson and Kravitz. They weren't bad, they were good, but I can't say they were great. Maybe Kilmer and Keaton had it right when they played Batman flat. The little bit of depth that Pattinson contributed to Batman still wasn't enough. He looked good in the suit and his eyes were very expressive, but it wasn't enough. Maybe there is no way to give Batman the life that the villains get to express. Batman's best emotive line in this film was "I am vengeance." Which we already saw in the trailer. Besides that there was no significant dialogue or emotion-packed monologue. I found that a bit depressing.
I just looked up some statistics regarding incarceration in the United States and some of the things I found were very interesting. In 2011, there were 2,266,800 people incarcerated, 54% of these people had drug offenses, 13% had weapons charges, 11% were there for immigration problems, 10% were robbers or burglars, and the rest were violent, sexual, or miscellaneous. Most inmates test at the 6th grade level, and 72% have less than a GED as their education level. That average age is 33 years old, and the average length of stay is 45 days.
Cosmetics and Beauty Lovers
Beauty. What a word. Be Yourself, they tell us. Then why do I need make-up? What a dilemma? Animals don't smoke, drink alcohol, or wear make-up, so why should I? Animals are beautiful just being whatever God made them to be? Lassie and Flipper didn't wear make-up, why should I? You don't have to, but that doesn't mean that those who choose to wear make-up are "evil" or "unnatural" or "faithless".
The Budget Does Not Compute
For the past three years I've said over and over again to people complaining about wages, "It's not the wages. It's the Rent Prices." Some understood and some didn't. I was homeless for a long time and I searched high and low for affordable "housing" which means a rent that can be paid each month with the minimum wage. It was nowhere to be found. That is a serious problem. The minimum wage set by the federal government is at $7.25 per hour. I am a recipient of Social Security. A full-time minimum wage worker and I have about the same budget to work with each month. What does that mean to us? It means that unless we live with our parents, a spouse, or a generous roommate, we will be homeless. Something is very wrong with that picture.