Monday, March 31, 2008

Nothing to forgive Sydney

The Cambodian photographer, Dith Pran, has died in New Jersey.

Dith Pran, whose life story under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime was recreated in the film “The Killing Fields”, was 65 years old and had been ill with pancreatic cancer since 2007.

The NY Times has recently put together this very nice short film entitled "The Last Word: Dith Pran".

Sydney Schanberg, a former New York Times correspondent (1970-75) who worked with Pran in the early 1970s covering the rise of Pol Pot and Cambodia’s bloody civil war, announced his death yesterday.

Pictured below is: (L to R) Sam Waterston, who portrayed Schanberg in the film, Dith Pran and Sydney Schanberg.

Not only did Sydney Schanberg credit Pran with coming up with the term “the killing fields”, but also he insisted on sharing with him the 1976 Pulitzer Prize, which he won for his coverage of Cambodia during that time.

I got a chance to work with Sam Waterston late last year when we shot the current TD Amertrade commercials.

Since I was the 2nd A.D. on the shoot, I had the great privilege of talking to Sam about the making of “The Killing Fields”. When he told me about the adventures they had making the film, his eyes lit up and I could tell that it was one of the great experiences of his life.

In the film, the actor Haing Ngor played Dith Pran.

Haing Ngor survived incredible dangers during his own life in Cambodia only to die violently in 1996 at the hand of members of the "Oriental Lazy Boyz" street gang in Los Angeles.

Prosecutors argued that they killed Ngor because, after handing over his gold Rolex watch willingly, he refused to give them a locket that contained a photo of his deceased wife, My-Huoy.

Ngor told a New York Times reporter after the release of The Killing Fields, "If I die from now on, OK! This film will go on for a hundred years."

The Killing Fields is a very important film. Both Dith Pran, and Haing Ngor understood the lasting impact it could have on future audiences.

I really think that you should all take the time to see it, not only for these two great men, but also for yourselves.

“Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.”

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cheap redefined

I have often blogged about my love affair with Wal-Mart in the past.

I mean ... who could not love a high quality department super store who has "Save Money. Live Better" as their motto.

Wal-Mart has always been tight with the big man upstairs.

Plus they have always been so generous with their employees.

When you put those two admirable qualities together, you get this.

If I was bleeding to death, and needed a gauze bandage to save my life, I would sooner die slowly in their parking lot before I would spend a dime in a Wal-Mart store.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Nothing says "I love you" like ...

President Bush declared today that "the successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable" as he gave a rousing defense of the war on its fifth anniversary before a receptive but not overwhelmingly enthusiastic Pentagon audience.

Has it been 5 years already?

Wow ... Time really flies when you are killing people.

It is traditional to give a thoughful gift on these major relationship milestones.

"Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home" by Emily Post, published in 1922, contains some suitable suggestions for anniversary gifts for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50 and 75 year marks.

In England and America, 5 Years = Wood

I think this would make a suitable gift for George.

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My Grandmother E-mailed me this story.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil --- he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other is good --- he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,

"The one we feed."

I think most of us feed them both.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I got a chance to meet Eliot Spitzer last year.

We shot a short interview with him at his East 40th Street office for the Children's Hospital at Montefiore.

I am a hardcore Democrat, and I had really looked forward to the shoot,
primarily because I admired some of the things he had been able to achieve as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Especially all of his work exposing the widespread corruption on Wall Street.

However, I must say that when I met the man in person, I found him rather arrogant, and not at all what I expected.

I really don't feel sorry for him.

I also don't feel much sympathy for the high priced call girl he slept with on Valentine's Day eve, Ashley Alexandra Dupre. (Pictured Below) Like Eliot, she made a conscious choice to go down the road that she did.

This guy has certainly fucked up a very promising career, but I think more importantly he has screwed up his entire life.

The four people I feel most sympathy for are his wife Silda and their three young daughters.

Can you imagine what must be going on in the Spitzer household?

I bet you can cut the tension with a knife.

However, there is a famous saying in Washington.

The only thing that can end your career in politics is to get caught with a dead girl, or a live boy.

By those standards, Eliot might still have a chance.

I think his next obvious step is to run for President.

If he does decide to run ...

I think I have the perfect VP choice for a dream ticket.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Their Better Halves

I must admit that I am a bit of a political junkie.

I stayed up late last night to watch the Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas and Ohio primaries, and I was very happy with the results.

I was a firm supporter of John Edwards, and I must also admit that I have spoken out against Hillary's electability in the past.

However, between the two remaining Democratic candidates, I am now backing and voting for Hillary Clinton.

Never underestimate the intelligence of the American Voter.

-Some Americans choose their candidate for their positions on the issues.

-Others vote for the candidate they think is the most able to lead this country.

-And others will cast their vote based on the past voting record of the candidates themselves.

Frankly, I think that is totally silly.

The obvious deciding factor should be the spouse of the candidate.

Let's take a look ... shall we?


First there is Janet Huckabee.

*She certainly is a solid woman.

*As a right winger, you are going to love her ability to handle a gun.

*It doesn't stop there. She also knows how to rock the big stuff.

Then there is Cindy McCain.

*There is no denying that she is a very beautiful and classy lady.

*Bonus: She stands by her man ... despite rumors that John might have been screwing lobbyist Vicki Iseman.


First there is Michelle Obama.

*I don't know about you guys, but this woman really scares me.
(I think she scares Barack too)

*I seriously think she could kick Janet Huckabee's ass.
(And that says a lot)

This leaves me with one very obvious choice.


*I need eight more years of Bill in the White House.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

"I Don't Like Mondays"

I’ll tell you why.

I woke up this morning, and turned on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

It wasn’t the Dow futures being down, despite Bush’s insistence that the United States is not heading into a recession.

In fact, I have a good portion of my stock portfolios in cash, and I look at these recent stock market drops as excellent buying opportunities.

What pissed me off was the commercial break. There was an infomercial for a Christian Rock compilation, and one of the songs got stuck in my head.

As a result of this, I have spent the last three damn hours openly humming “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord”.

Fortunately, thanks to the Boomtown Rats, I am feeling much better now.

Who says that writing is not therapeutic?

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