Enough Said

Enough Said
A sampling of my columns and why the hell is my picture SO big?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Memorable baby movie moments (original title)

Watching movies with young ones creates ‘baby’ movie moments
When it comes to watching movies my daughters and I mentally catalog those we consider required watching for females. It’s not a sexist thing, males enjoy the movies too, but we think it’s important to recognize when entertainment sends a message to girls that females are smart, strong, we’re heroes, saviors and we can have it all; we just can’t have it all at the same time.
One of the best movies to watch, for anyone who thinks they know what they want in life, and have forged a serious path toward it, is Baby Boom with Diane Keaton. Released in ‘87, it was very successful and spawned a TV show. The movie I’ve seen many times, TV show, not once.
The movie is about a high-powered woman, Diane Keaton, on a fast track to financial success within the power-brokers of a huge New York City consulting firm. She is known as the “Tiger Lady,” a take-no-prisoners member of management when it comes to making and closing deals. Due to a family tragedy Keaton’s executive type-A personally, accepts, make changes and flourishes as an accidental mother; she inherits her cousin’s 1-year-old daughter. This isn’t a movie review, it’s about how this movie, and a simple circumstance in life initiated an unforgettable moment for me — times two.
My oldest daughter was four when I slipped a video tape of Baby Boom into our late ‘80s VCR for the first time. My youngest, at not quite 2, was napping. The movie fit my mother/career and parenting philosophy, perfectly. My daughter loved it too. When the movie ended, and as the credits rolled, my 4-year-old climbed onto the coffee table, launched into my arms and we danced around the living room to the wonderful Burt Bacharach music. I cried then, because those deep emotional and connective moments with children are rare. That little girl, who held onto to me so tightly as we danced is now 30, with a little girl of her own. Where has the time gone and why are those special moments so few? Back then life for us, as a young couple with two little girls, was very hectic. For families now, moments like that whiz by barely noticed.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was babysitting my granddaughter Sydney, “Baby Boom” was on TV. I switched it on not even thinking that a 16-month-old would want, or have the attention span, to watch it. I just wanted the sound of it in the background because I was a bit weary of Curious George. That Sydney cuddled next to me for the entire movie, identifying and mentioning each time Elizabeth, the “baby” was in a scene, was astounding.
When the movie ended Sydney wrapped her arms around my neck, hugged hard and we danced around the living room, very much like I did with her mother, over 25 years before. It was a connective moment passed from one generation to the next, this empty nester felt beyond privileged to experience with the littlest member of our family. Yes, I cried again. How could I not.
Now when Sydney comes over, and even at home, she points at the TV and says “baby.” We watch “Baby Boom” often. Sometimes Syd lasts through the whole movie and sometimes only the “baby” scenes. But each time, that little sprite and I dance to the magical movie music because there’s less time to let wiz by. Soon the world will reach out and Sydney will be off to forging her own future, maybe as a high powered woman seeking financial success, maybe not. She’ll have to accept change and I believe she’ll flourish, (in a small part), because of some very special movie moments she shared with her Nana.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What if hippies had cell phones

Published June 29. 2015 2:59PM
When I think of how today’s society relies on technology, I shudder. My mind floods with the what-if-consequences of technological failure. How would we communicate, conduct business, build things, get tested and receive medical results and stay nationalistically safe in a world of horrifying threats?
How would we survive without our computers, tablets, Kindles, cell phones and those fancy-schmancy watches that actually tell time too? Today’s youth has been raised on the ease of communication, and social networking, and mammoth amounts of information available in seconds. We’re just now learning the consequences, both pro and con, regarding social media and its misinformation. When it’s good, it’s really, really good and when it’s bad, it’s like your best friend, told her best friend, you stole a pack of your mother’s cigarettes, and an hour later you’re trending as the youngest felon incarcerated in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
This whole good and bad media thing got me to thinking, what if we had all this technological, Facebook, Twitter and whatever communication when I was a teenager. That was the ‘60s, the hippie generation, a time when we rose up against the system, made a lot of noise, and demonstrated for the kind of change, which at the time, made about as much sense as banging our heads against the Berlin Wall. Change did happen and then somewhere along the line we became the establishment. How proud are we of that?
But, what if in 1963, when the March on Washington was being organized, we had Facebook. When 200,000 showed up then, it was a very big deal. With Facebook, the amount of demonstrators would have emptied out half the states east of the Mississippi and the rest of the country would have been circling over Reagan airport, when it was Washington National and Reagan was "The Gipper."
Think of how Facebook would have impacted Woodstock, when 400,000 hippies, listened to music, danced in the mud and got high on Max’s 600 acre dairy farm on a rainy weekend in ‘69. And that was by word of mouth. With social media, it would have been over a million.

The availability of cell phone videos is just beginning to affect how we witness and broadcast events as innocuous as cute kittens stuck up a tree or as serious as Robert Burns’ “Man’s inhumanity to man.” Vietnam brought the first images of war to our TVs during dinner and dessert. I know now, what it would have looked like then, if technology had been available to the kids who didn’t flee to Canada. Maybe the war would have ended sooner and there’d be less than 58,000 names on the wall in Washington.
Imagine cell phone videos of Birmingham in ‘63, Selma in ‘65, or Kent State in 1970. When I think of what we would have seen on that searing day in Dallas, November 1963 my mind wretches. The Zapruder film was horrific enough.
To chronicle history is a good thing, I guess. To become a part of something greater than ourselves, via a device allowing us inside the lives of those we admire, is quite admirable.
I would have worn out You Tube after The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan’s really big show in ’64 and I would have followed the Twitter account of the Beach Boys after they appeared in ‘65. Heck I probably would have followed Ed Sullivan on Facebook.
We conducted business, went to school, graduated from school, got jobs, married and had kids with only a princess phone, a portable radio and three channels on TV. We didn’t need all that technological stuff then but now, it’s as necessary as pen, paper and a handshake.
Carolynn’s Princess phone is broken. You can reach her at cp.enoughsaid@aol.com