Category Archives: Pop Culture

Mighty Fine Blog Tour and Movie Review

 

MightyFineposter

On Thursday May 3rd, I participated in an online movie pre-screening of "Mighty Fine" along with other mom bloggers through Mom Central.

I wanted to participate in this online screening for two reasons:

1. I think it's important to support independent films.

2. I think some of you could relate to the subject of the movie.

It was interesting to chat live during the movie and express our thoughts about the movie. I am a big fan of Chazz Palminteri so that was a plus for me to watch the movie.

The movie is written and directed by Debbie Goodstein and is a semi-autobiography. "Mighty Fine" is the story of Joe Fine (Chazz Palminteri), a business man who moves his wife (Andie MacDowell) and two teenage daughters (Rainey Qualley-MacDowell's real life daughter and Jodelle Ferland) from Brooklyn, NY to New Orleans during the 1970s.

At first, Joe appears to be a generous and loving husband and father. As the movie progresses, we get to see more of Joe's temperament and his anger problem. As a parent, you'll relate to communication problems and power struggles with your teen, however Joe's anger fuels the conflict in his family. He attempts to compensate for his behavior by spending money on his family and giving them elaborate gifts.

I think what was most disturbing for me was to see how unpredictable Joe is and how his erratic behavior nealry destroys his family.  Unfortunately, I think this movie's theme will resonate with those who have loved ones who have difficulty controlling their tempers and are emotionally and mentally abusive.

It was hard at times to watch how Joe treated and spoke to his wife and daughters and Chazz Palminteri did an amazing job of portraying this character that I wanted to despise but instead pitied. It was clear that Joe Fine had some mental health issues that were not recognized. Because of his emotional instability,. his family became prisoners of his emotional outbursts and immature antics. His desperate cry for attention resulted in him being incapable of being a loving and supportive husband and dad.

I urge you to go see "Mighty Fine" in theatres May 25th. The movie is well-written and the acting is superb. Most importantly, we need to bring more awareness to how anger and mental health issues can destroy a family.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating”

When Will Our Bullying Problem End?

October is National Stop Bullying Month. It's an unfortunate that we have to dedicate a month to help stop the hurt and pain that millions of children are enduring daily.

To the parents, who feel helpless and want to help their children stop hurting, the best you can do is be empowered and remind your children that just because their targets, doesn't make them victims.

To those parents who turn a blind eye to their children's bullying, wake up! It's not just kids being kids. Stop being defensive and get real about the pain your child is causing another child.

To the kids who have to face the taunting and harassment daily, please keep your head up. I know it's been said before, but it does get better.

To states like Montana, Michigan and South Dakota, where are your Anti-Bullying laws?  To advocates like Brenda High, thank you for sharing your painful story with others and empowering parents with information to take action.

To teachers who don't take action in their classroom, shame on you. You see what is happening and you let it happen. To teachers that don't tolerate the bullying, we thank you.

To the schools and school administrators who wan to maintain a stellar report and not report bullying incidents, you're part of the problem.

To all those who have lost loved ones to suicide as a result of bullying, may God's grace and peace be with you.

To moms and dads raising their children to have love and respect for others regardless of their differences, keep up the great work!

  • What are your thoughts on the bullying situation in our country?
  • Is your son's school proactive in addressing bullying?
  • What do you think are some solutions to stopping the bullying problem?

 

Is Your Son Gay? There’s an App for That

  Apps

There's an app for everything from the mundane to the moronic. Apparently, we have a need for an app to tell us how to live and what's going on with our children. The "Is My Son Gay?" app developed by French developers for the Android market is rightfully outraging many parents. Although the developers are claiming the app was created for fun, people are not laughing at the 20 questions that are more stereotypes than anything. I refuse to post the 20 questions because I don't want to give these questions any importance.

What I find disturbing about the development of this app and the "Gay Cure" app that Apple pulled from the market in March, is that these apps make light of a situation that is personal and serious.  Emmene Moi, the developers of the "Is My Son Gay?" app say that the app is more tongue in cheek and really pokes fun at gay stereotypes and anxious parents who worry if their son might be gay. The fact that this app has received a 3.3 rating is even more annoying.

With the recent suicides by boys (Jamey Rodemeyer, the latest) and young men who were taunted and bullied because of uncertainty of the sexual orientation, these apps give more fuel to the bullying situation. Many apps get downloaded by teens and who's to stop them from using this app to further harass another teen. Kids are also polarized thinkers, things are black or white. Therefore, they may not get that this app is a joke and think that based on these questions, perhaps they or another teen is gay. I'm more concerned about a kid downloading this app than I am a parent.

The app is ridiculous and I think that any mom who purchases it is a fool. If you think that your son might be gay, either ask him or wait for him to tell you. We live in a time of information overload and we are constantly trying to keep up with what is going on around us. For those of you who feel the need to download every app, it's time to get a life. You're losing  and wasting valuable time you can be connecting with people instead of downloading apps that tell you more about them.

Why Bert and Ernie Shouldn’t Get Married

Simple answer: Because they are puppets. However there is an online petition to "Let Bert and Ernie Get Married on Sesame Street". Last time I checked there were 6,006 signatures. Here's my issue with this petition. Although the petition sites "Let us teach tolerance of those that are different," most of the viewers of Sesame Street are intolerant of vegetables, baths and nap time, not people. I watched Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street as did millions of people for the past 40 years. As a child, it never occurred to me they were in a relationship. That is the beauty of innocence. Which is slowly being lost because adults feel the need to inject their views. PBS is one of the last stations to preserve innocence with real shows for children. Don't get me started on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.

But if we want to start teaching kids to be tolerant, why stop with Bert and Ernie? Spongebob and Patrick have a questionable relationship (only to adults).  I'm about to start a petition that The Backyardigans should embrace their African American heritage. For another absurd argument, read Are the Backyardigans racist?

We complain that kids are growing up to fast, but yet it's adults that are the ones pushing their own agenda.  If we want children to be more tolerant, as adults we need to set the example. Teaching tolerance starts at home. Marrying Bert and Ernie is not going to stop a child's parent from teaching their own narrow-minded and ignorant views about race, gender or sexual orientation. And honestly, have you tried to explain something complicated to a 3-4 year old? It takes time and patience.

Until you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you, you will be neither successful nor happy. -Napolean Hill

BTW, here's the statement from Sesame Street: "Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

What is Tyler Perry Teaching Black Boys about Black Men?

My son does not like Tyler Perry's movies. Granted, the only time he has seen Mr. Perry's work was when we were on a church sponsored bus trip and he was bored.  When I asked him why, he replied, "I don't like his characters."

I can't really say I blame him.  People are often shocked when I say that I have an issue with his plays,  movies or sitcoms. They gasped and clutch their chest like Fred Sanford as if Black Woman=Must Love Tyler Perry's Work. 

I applaud Tyler Perry's achievements and I admirehis philantrhopic work, I just don't agree with his representation of black men and relationships in his work.  My problem with Mr. Perry's work is that most women are always trying to sell me on the idea that Tyler Perry understands women's pain and can articulate that pain in the most artistic way. I say if you want to find a man who can relate to human pain, please read a book by Paulo Coelho (I suggest starting with "The Alchemist").

From my perspective, Mr. Perry's characters are usually one dimensional, especially the men. I don't personally know any man under the age of 70 who likes his work, and I can venture to say Mr. Perry doesn't care. He writes, directs and produces for women only,  as if to say, " I can relate to your pain. Let God and me help you through these hard times."

Well, what about men's pain?  I'm raising boys and if I believed that every black man was either abusive, a buffoon, or a blue collar working man who saves the day, my world would be limited to a Tyler Perry play, movie or sitcom.  BTW, why is the blue collar man always an afterthought? It seems  that the women in his movies are always going after men that are emotionally unavailable orphysically abusive. Yet, a good guy has to work hard to earn her love. There is always some good looking guy who comes in and saves the day.  Also, please stop throwing in eye candy to distract us from the truth. 

Although in reality there are men like Tyler Perry's characters, there are also men who are confident, self-aware and emotionally healthy. These men are rarely seen in Mr. Perry's work. His characters are caricatures of men and represent a percentage of dysfunctional men.

As a mom of boys, I feel obligated to stand up for boys and men who don't really get a fair share in Tyler Perry's work. 

I think it's time we saw more black men in a positive light and it  would be great if Tyler Perry would have a coming of age movie about a black boy that doesn't just focus on drugs and violence.