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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 Feb 24, 2012/ 1 Adar, 5772

Oscar Reflections of a Smaller America

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you're tired of watching the Republican debates, tune in Sunday night to the Academy Awards presentations. The night will show off beautiful eye candy for both men and women, diversion with glitz. We once worried about protecting the children from "inappropriate" movies, but the candidates' talk about condoms and abortions and adultery scandals of the past that used to make a starlet blush. With pop culture awash in sex and violence, movie themes can hardly shock. This year's crop of Oscar movies are mild indeed.

One film critic finds the movies nominated for Academy Awards hold a lot in common with the candidates — small men reflecting a diminished America.

"The days of American specialness and bigness — whether you're talking about Cecil B. DeMille or Henry Ford or Gen. Douglas MacArthur — are pretty much gone, and voting for Tweedledum or Tweedledee in November won't bring them back," writes Andrew O'Hehir in Salon.com. "Our economy and society aren't what they used to be, and neither are our movies."

This is depressing, but hardly earthshaking, and we have to concede that he's onto something about what pop culture and politics tell us about ourselves. The men leading both the political and entertainment culture do seem smaller than life size. Ronald Reagan's "morning in America" becomes mourning in late afternoon.

For all of his good looks and emotionally affecting moments in "Descendants," George Clooney is ultimately a lightweight in his portrayal of a man who cries about being a lousy father and a cuckold besides. No George S. Patton he, or even a Godfather or a Rhett Butler. In his hokey, colorfully flowered Hawaiian shirt, he's supposed to be playing against type, a personality analogous to a lady's cocktail served in a coconut topped with a tiny pink umbrella. His real-life image on camera never suggests the masculine charisma of Humphrey Bogart or Clark Gable.

Alas, ours is the age when The New York Times tells us on the front page how hopes for the economy rise with the male shopper who buys women's accessories, bracelets called "wrist bands" and purses called "hold-alls." They're not talking about gay or transvestite shoppers, either.

A majority of the movies nominated for Oscars this season are about vulnerable boys and wounded men, except for "The Help," which is social criticism featuring women, and "War Horse" (at least the horse is a stallion). "The Artist" basks in the inevitability that Mitt Romney once enjoyed and is a better bet to win best picture than Mitt is to win Tuesday's Michigan primary. The movie is a parable looking for a lesson to illustrate, a tale about Hollywood in radical transition from the silents to the talkies and about a faded star who must retool or fail.

Robert Gould is up for an Oscar for set decoration for "The Artist" for authentic renditions of Hollywood in its silent movie days. His father was an assistant director of the 1950s television hit "Leave It to Beaver," so he is well acquainted with radical changes in tastes and technology. Hollywood doesn't yet know whether it will survive the proliferation of alternate forms of entertainment on the Internet and on home screens, and movie theater attendance is down by more than 4 percent. Higher ticket prices and foreign audiences make up some of the box-office losses, but the decline is significant. During the Depression, customers flocked to see escapist fare like "Grand Hotel" and "It Happened One Night," but the whining self-pity in some of the current movies can't draw flies.

There's still a lot of money to burn in Tinseltown, as suggested by the fundraiser for President Obama last week where "guests" paid $35,800 to dine with the president and guests like George Clooney and Jim Belushi. If Obama disappointed them in talking about the continued use of Guantanamo Bay and the fact that American soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, he mainly struck his class warfare theme, at which he excels. This thrills the limousine liberals of Hollywood.

We rightly associate Hollywood glitterati with left-wing politics, but it was not always so. Steven J. Ross, in a new book, "Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics," tells how the longer history belongs to conservatives.

It was Louis B. Mayer (of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) who initiated the political activism of Republicans in the 1930s, and this led on a straight line to Ronald Reagan, who famously said, "I don't know how anybody can serve in public office without being an actor."

That sounds about right. But if none of the current crop can give a performance worthy of an Academy Award, they're a lot like the leading man in "The Artist," who faces a career crisis and needs to stage a comeback. Pity they can't dance.

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