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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 24, 2008 / 21 Tamuz 5768

They Had Voices Then, Too

By Greg Crosby


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Whenever people compare golden age Hollywood stars to the actors of today it's often said that "they had faces then" - which is very true. Stars back then had individuality, each one a unique look, a distinctive personality. But they had something else, too, something that I was never conscious of until recently - the great stars had unique voices as well as looks.


Listen to Joan Crawford's voice, and then listen to Bette Davis' voice, then Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Lauren Becall, June Allison's voice - each one is unique. The cadence, the rhythm, the inflections - all different. Every one of these actresses had her own personality which manifested itself in her voice.


And just think how Clark Gable sounded. Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, William Powell, Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson. Each had his own voice. They didn't try to sound like each other, as it seems today's actors try to do. Each man sounded differently and yet each man sounded like a man.


Now think of Brad Pitt's voice. Think of Matt Damon's voice. Try to hear Ben Affleck's voice or Tom Cruise's voice or Leonardo DiCaprio's voice. Distinctive? Individual? Could a celebrity impressionist impersonate each of their voices so that you would know who it was? Think of Cameron Diaz's voice, Meg Ryan's, Sandra Bullock's or Julia Roberts'. How different do they sound from each other? Compare Lindsay Lohan's voice to any other young female actresses' voice and try to tell them apart. I dare you.


In voice, looks, actions, and personality there is a definite absence of individuality. This lack of individuality isn't so much the fault of contemporary actors themselves as it is the changing times in which we live. The "sameness" in people is apparent wherever you look. Walk into a shopping mall and check out the way people - all ages of people - dress, listen to the way they talk, how they act, etc. All the same.


People in general want to look, sound and act like everybody else. Conforming to the group is more important today than it ever has been. It was always important for kids in school to sound, look, and act like everyone else. Kids, especially teens, do not want to stand apart from their peers. They want to be accepted by their group. But in the old days, you grew out of it. You matured and began to realize that the most important thing is to be yourself. Now it's different. Now even adults want to be like kids, and that means looking and acting and talking like all the other kids.


Why a thirty-something woman would want to sound like a teenager is way beyond me. "I was, like, whoaaa! That is so cool!" is not exactly the sentence of a sophisticated woman, is it? Why a forty-something man would want to wear cargo shorts pulled down below his belly, flip-flops, and a baseball hat is something I have no answer for. It's not as though the clothing and jargon of youth is so attractive - au contraire, they're ugly! But never mind. It's "youthful" so we do it!


I've almost always been one to go against the grain, even in school. There was a period for me in junior high, however, when I did consciously try to conform to the other kids. I had a surfer style Pendleton wool shirt which I wore with my white Levis and huarache sandals. And I did let my hair grow long in keeping with the times.


But I think that was pretty much as far as I went, and I soon learned an important lesson - looking and sounding like the other kids didn't make me any more acceptable or popular. I also learned that being popular wasn't all that important to me. Ever since then I've taken a great deal of pride in being myself - which much of the time meant looking different from my peer group. I always preferred to be ahead of the curve as opposed to being part of the gang. I may not be popular, but that's okay - I'm not running for public office and I'm not trying to climb the corporate ladder to success.


It is much easier to go along with the group, I think. It isn't necessarily easy to be yourself. First of all, you've got to figure out just who you are. Then you've got to come to grips with it - do you really like who you are? If you don't like who you are, then you're kind of stuck. Although I guess you can change who you are - Cary Grant did it. He went from plain Archibald Leach to elegant Cary Grant.


For me, I kept my own identity. And for better or worse, I always had my own voice. Out of tune, off key, a little raspy, but it's all mine. Truth to tell, however, if I had a choice, I'd much rather have sounded like Cary Grant.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby

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