Monday, December 12, 2016

"All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace"-Timbuk 3

First of all, I would like to apologize to the spirit of Casey Kasem, For the past two Christmases, I've been keeping his memory alive by counting down the naughtiest and nicest newsmakers of the past year by sharing information about those newsmakers in the good-natured style that was his trademark for nearly five decades, but, as I mentioned in my last blog, the events of the past year have made it impossible. When President-Elect Trump called TODAY after he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, he denied any responsibility for the division that has struck this country. Since he won, maybe "stole" is a better word, the Presidential Election of 2016, there have been incidents of protests against our uniformed officers, random shootings, attacks on people trying to stay true to their faith, even people walking up to people who are just doing their job, be it delivering food or packages or reporting news, and whispering something in their ear which is definitely NOT sweet nothings. (It could be something as comparatively benign as "stupid" or an F-bomb.) 

This is supposed to be not only the season to be jolly, but also the season of Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Man. Contrary to popular belief, this is not unique to Christianity, but it is also one of the tenets of ALL religions, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or Humphrey Bogart's birthday. We recently marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and the irony of it was that it was so close to those holidays that pray for the day when we all stand together as one. (Even John Lennon, who believed God was a concept by which we measured our pain, sang of the day when we were all united. Personally, I prefer Cee-Lo Green's version, "All religion's true.", but that's just me.) By his actions, Donald Trump is making Peace On Earth an even more unattainable ideal. 

Don't get me wrong, it's still the season to be jolly, so celebrate with those you love, but when you get a minute, use it to pray, whether to Adonai, Jesus, or Allah, for a world where people are not judged by what they wear on their head, their uniform, or profession, but, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, "the content of their character."  Peace On Earth does not have to be only a dream. No one man can truly Make America Great Again. First of all, America is already great because of those who challenge the status quo and share their ideas with the rest of the world, from the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Secondly, and I know that this point has been made a million times, but hear me out, people are like snowflakes in that no two are 100% alike. (Since 9/11, I have been guilty of sizing up Muslims too quickly, especially when they take notes before boarding a New York City subway. TRUE STORY!) 

Right after 9/11, we proved to the world that we can truly be "one nation under God", but these days we've seemed to forget it. Well, we should remember it a little better. We should stop saying nasty things to people and return to the good old days when we used to say Hi, Hello, or "Nice day, isn't it?" 

Hillary Clinton would have been the right person to guarantee Peace On Earth as our POTUS, and, at this time, we need a motherly presence like that of the late, great Florence Henderson, or, as the world knew her, Carol Brady, so we nominate them the two Nicest Newsmakers of 2016, and we will make a 50-50 donation (Total $100) to the Garden of Dreams Foundation (The Madison Square Garden's non-profit organization benefiting New York City children facing obstacles such as homelessness) in each of their names.

Happy Holidays, and remember, by Peace On Earth, we mean ALL the Earth, and Goodwill Toward ALL Men and Women.

We'll back in 2017 with another pulse-pounding, sense-shattering Steve's Blog, but, in the meantime, stay tuned for the Second Annual Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music in Welcome To Steve Country and a few surprises in Steve's Book Blog and In The Ring With Steve as well as a Steve Special that will knock you for a loop! (You never know what I'm going to say next! And neither do I!)

I WILL honor Casey by ending this blog the way he ended his many radio and TV shows: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

For now, friends, the blog is over! Go in PEACE!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Merry Christmas, Mr. President-Elect, Ya Filthy Animal!

Two movies that have become Christmas traditions are the first two HOME ALONE movies, starring McCauley Caulkin as Kevin McAllister, a resourceful young boy who has this peculiar habit of being left behind on Christmas family vacations. The movie I would like to discuss is HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992). As the movie opens, our Chicago-based hero is about to leave the Windy City for Christmas holiday in (OF ALL PLACES!) Miami with his family. His dad trusts him with his flight bag which includes his credit cards and a lot of cash, but as the plane begins to leave O'Hare International, Kev gets left behind and makes a mad dash for a plane which, like the one his folks and siblings are on, is American Airlines, but UNLIKE the McAllister family plane, is BOUND FOR NEW YORK! Recalling a coattail (a promotional consideration ad) for The Plaza, "New York's Most Exciting Hotel Experience!", he reserves a suite using Dad's credit card and creates the illusion that Dad is in town for a convention. Suffice it to say that Kev goes on to meet up again with the "Wet Bandits" (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) from the first movie, have a beautiful encounter with a bird woman (Brenda Fricker) who tells him of her love for Carnegie Hall, and get a present from a kindly old toymaker played by Eddie Bracken, but he also has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it meeting with the then-owner of the Plaza, a certain Mr. Donald John Trump who gives him directions. IRL (or, In Real Life for the social media challenged), the Donald bought the Plaza in 1988 and installed his wife Ivana as Chief Operating Officer, but in November of the year HOME ALONE 2 was released, he sold half of the hotel to a banking group led by Citibank as a prepackaged bankruptcy. With this bankruptcy, and so many other bankruptcies on his permanent record, it begs the question: How can he run the country successfully if he can't run a business successfully? I AM going to give him a chance for the first one hundred days, but still.

The highlight of HOME ALONE 2 happens when the hotel staff finds out Kevin has paid for his hotel room with a stolen credit card and the family flies to New York to set things right. Kevin has taped the sequel to his favorite (spoof) gangster movie, "Angels With Filthier Souls," and, with the help of his trusty Talkboy, (a tape recorder created by John Hughes and Tiger Electronics for the movie before it was made available to the general public), orders the ready-to-evict-him staff to kneel down and tell him they love him. They comply, and his tape recorder says, "I believe you...BUT MY TOMMY GUN DON'T! YOU BETTER GET YOUR CARCASS OUT OF HERE BEFORE I COUNT TO THREE! ONE...TWO...(BUDDA-BUDDA-BUDDA) THREE! MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMAL!"

That last line could definitely apply to our PEOTUS. I'm sorry if I'm offending of my friends who voted for him, but anyone who boasts of his sexual conquests, insults important trading partners,criticizes everybody from Alec Baldwin to NBC's Hallie (or, as he calls her, Haley) Jackson (no relation to Michael, who called Trump Tower home), AND violates a sacred trust with China, deserves to be called a filthy animal. As he would say, "Believe it."

In a break with a longstanding Steve's Blog holiday tradition (See Naughty Lists for 2013, '14 and '15.) I'm going to cut to the chase and name Donald J. Trump the Naughtiest Newsmaker of 2016.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! (BANG-BANG-BANG) And a Happy New Year! (HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, rated PG, is available from Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and also is scheduled to air on AMC and certain other national networks during the holiday season.)

Steve out!