IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH J. LAVERNOICH ON HER BIRTHDAY–7-2-18

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A FEW WORDS FROM YOURS TRULY-6-20-18

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My latest YouTube video should be self-explanatory — but just in case that alone somewhat confuses you — I’ll be expanding my YouTube channel output soon to include those promoting not only my Pictures Shop website, but also Chameleons, Inc. and Beyond The Unknown, in the hope of drawing greater attention to my creative projects, both now and in the near future.

And that’s only the beginning of what I hope will be a successful and all-out media blitz — a harbinger of greater successes soon to come.  (And I’ve already got several promotional videos planned for my all-new YouTube channels — some of which you’ll definitely see before week’s end!)

The best is definitely yet to come — so please visit my YouTube channels (and more) on the Internet.  (And — oh, yes — please be sure to spread the word to everyone else!)

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A FEW WORDS FROM YOURS TRULY-6-16-18

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   If you’ve already guessed that I’m promoting my latest literary efforts – with the book covers seen above serving as a not-too-subtle clue – then I’ve somewhat gotten your attention. (As for the why of it – all will be explained very quickly.)

   Both Beyond The Unknown: Special Edition (a re-issue of the very first BTU book published three years ago) and Twists & Turns Of Fate (the second BTU book) will soon be available for purchase from not only Lulu Books’ website, but also Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc.within the next week or two.  Granted, for right now, both books will be available in only print and PDF formats (the latter format you can only purchase from Lulu’s website) – but for those of you owning E-book readers – don’t worry: the E-book versions of both BTU: SE and T&TOF won’t be long in coming (as soon as I can figure out how to convert the manuscript files for both books to digital format).

   But that’s not all – there’s several things connected to BTU that’ll be forthcoming – including its own YouTube channel.  More on that in the coming days – in the meantime, keep on web surfin’!

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MY (SOMEWHAT) QUIRKY LOOK AT HUMAN NATURE

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   Based on the photo that you see in my latest blog article: I’m not in poor physical health – I had a haircut earlier today, after I got up.  Needless to say, reaction to it has been somehow mixed – at least for right now.  Of course, I had planned to get a haircut in the next few days – now I’m wondering if I should have waited a bit longer to actually do it.  On the other hand, after my experience earlier today, I’ve come to the realization that a buzz-cut haircut – extreme or not – isn’t part of the image that I’d prefer to show to the world, at least in the future.

   I’m sure that my haircut from earlier today isn’t the worst mistake I’ve made throughout my life – I’ve made worse mistakes before that’s resulted in the kind of consequences which tend to haunt, if not ruin, you for the rest of your life (to a certain extent).  But then, my present situation is just one example of human nature – and the various reactions that it can provoke.  We all make mistakes almost every day of our lives – and at day’s end, those who make a somewhat minor error in personal judgment (including having a somewhat less than perfect haircut) still have it a bit better than others who are less fortunate.

   Another aspect of human nature is learning from your actions (including your mistakes) – and those of everyone else – if nothing else, to avoid any further criticism and embarrassment in the future, or at least try to avoid them.  So is accepting personal responsibility for whatever actions you take (unlike those who end up damaging their reputations and refuse to accept the consequences of their own actions, like a certain comedienne who should’ve never staged a comeback on TV, if only because she voted for our present U.S. President almost two years ago – which makes my recent haircut look very minor by comparison).

   The basic truth is: life can be and is unpredictable – especially when we make snap judgments that turn out to be less than stellar – sometimes when the consequences prove to be less damaging, like my “bald look.”  And the other times?  Well, I won’t get into that – partly because I prefer not to dwell on them too much, which remains important, especially when we don’t know what further misfortunes we’ll come across next (though some of them are becoming painfully obvious [with the emphasis on “painfully”], for those of you who read, watch, and listen to the news on a daily basis).

   At least several things have resulted from my little “mistake” today.  For one thing, my “bald phase” won’t last forever – which is a good thing, since my hair’s not likely to fall out for the rest of my natural-born life.  And the next time I do get a haircut, I’m definitely going to avoid suggesting that I get a buzz-cut – because if I have my way, the buzz-cut I got today’ll be my last.  I’ve already got enough in my life to deal with – some of it more troublesome than me getting mixed criticism for opting for a “bald look.”  Even if it won’t last long.

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IF AN ICON FALLS FROM GRACE –?

In almost the past few years, a number of well-known personalities — Bill Cosby included — whose careers and reputations have already suffered greatly mostly because what they did in private was viewed as both politically incorrect and morally wrong.  In Cosby’s case, decades of sexually abusing various women in private which have been hidden from the general public until a few years ago resulted in him being found guilty in Norristown, Pennsylvania yesterday, and slapped with a thirty-year prison sentence — which might have been unthinkable even a decade ago.  Then again, many personalities in the past — including those in show business — have been involved in scandals which threatened their careers, with most of them hidden from the general public.

But this is the 21st Century, not the distant past, when the Internet and social media didn’t yet exist.  It’s technological advances which have, in no small measure, brought about the Me Too movement which emerged from film producer Harvey Weinstein’s secret abuse of women becoming public last year — and which have since tarnished (and, more often than not, ended) the careers of Weinstein, Matt Lauer, etc.  And now, Bill Cosby’s career is now in tatters — a major disappointment to just about everybody, including his long-time fans who’ve enjoyed his work since the early-1960’s.

There’s no doubt that the Me Too movement has already changed the world — mainly because the present female generation was — to paraphrase Howard Beale from Network (1976) — “mad as hell, and weren’t going to take it anymore.”  Which is definitely a great thing, given what all women have had to endure throughout history — as well as the accomplishments of many women who’ve helped to move the world forward.

However, there’s a downside to all this that we shouldn’t forget and ignore.  Decades after Bill Cosby’s death, will we remember him more for what he did wrong in private than for his many show business accomplishments which captured the world’s attention — or will he fade into permanent obscurity?

It’s important to remember that we look up to celebrities as role models, and believe that they can do no wrong.  That belief has never always been 100% correct, and ceased to be so, especially in the past few centuries, as technology helped to shape the world we now live in — and most of us have come to realize that personalities like Bill Cosby aren’t perfect and that they can and do make serious mistakes, and not just from a personal perspective.  But then, the general public has never been 100% perfect either — and almost all of us are painfully aware of that fact.

It’s also important to remember that other major personalities throughout history have been vilified throughout their careers, partly because of their mistakes — Charlie Chaplin and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle being two examples.  Yet today, both Chaplin and Arbuckle’s careers have been redeemed by their career accomplishments which new generations have discovered and viewed, thanks in part to the technology which has helped make today’s entertainment industry possible.  Whether or not that’ll hold true for Bill Cosby, Garrison Keillor, and other personalities whose futures are already bleak decades from now — will be decided, in part, by how we and future generations decide both the present and the future.  That is, unless the end of the world that we live in comes sooner than we think — and that might be far more tragic than seeing the fall of a beloved icon.

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A FEW WORDS FROM YOURS TRULY – 4/4/18

What you’re seeing above this very paragraph is my latest Vimeo video, remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his violent and untimely death.  Considering the state of today’s world, it’s still important to remember Dr. King and his great crusade — which, in many ways, changed the world for the better.  Let’s hope and pray that the world will still remember him — and his accomplishments — long after the fears and prejudices troubling us have been banished, hopefully forever.

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TRUMP–ONE YEAR LATER (WILL THERE BE A YEAR TWO?)

Donald Trump is a terrible U.S. President.  Really.

Before you strongly criticize me for the above paragraph – or worse yet, e-mail me death threats less coherent than even the motives behind that senseless shooting spree in Las Vegas from a few months ago – please read what I’ve got to say, if only to respect my First Amendment rights.  Today marks the first anniversary of Trump being sworn in as U.S. President – the end result of many Americans voting him into office, while completely ignorant of his many shortcomings as a politician, which have been exposed and magnified to a sizable degree since, as proven by yesterday’s shutdown of the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C.

It’s clear, from looking back at the past year, that Trump leaves much to be desired as a politician – not helped by both his personality and ego, which also played roles in his many past failures as a billionaire businessman, and who almost makes the late J. Paul Getty look like a saint (with the emphasis on the world “almost”).  Trump has become a different kind of U.S. President – unfortunately, the kind who’s already upended almost everything that our country stands for, and which is no doubt causing the most stellar of our past leaders to turn over in their graves.  I’m already a registered Republican – but based on Trump’s first year in office, he’s already stained his party’s reputation, and made a significant number of people who voted him into office regret the folly of their actions.  No doubt, many Republican politicians who helped insure Trump’s election almost two years ago have seen regretted doing so – including U.S. Senator John McCain, who’s still feeling the sting of Trump strongly criticizing him for being a P.O.W. during the Vietnam War, while ignorant of what McCain was forced to endure.  If Trump ended up as a P.O.W. defying his captors – the captors themselves would have more than just the upper hand.

I can’t help wondering if Trump’s performance as U.S. President over the past year – and his overall attitude – was due in no small matter to him believing that fans of The Apprentice TV series failed to come to his defense when NBC fired him as the show’s host a few years ago, when he went too far in criticizing Barack Obama’s status as a natural-born U.S. Citizen (and yes, Obama was definitely born in Hawaii – two years after it became part of the U.S.).  But then, if I were a NBC TV executive (or an executive at the other American TV networks) when Mark Burnett first came up with the idea for The Apprentice almost fifteen years ago – I would have had ended Burnett’s producing career for good (and had him thrown him out of the Producers Guild of America forever, too), and The Apprentice would’ve never gotten on the air, insuring Trump’s fall into obscurity.  Of course, I would have also rejected the concepts of Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol, and any other Reality TV shows to begin with, considering how much they’d end up damaging the medium’s reputation since.

But real life isn’t Reality TV.  And sooner or later, the American public will realize that Donald Trump as President of the U.S. is no better than Richard Nixon was when his both professional mindset and conceit helped bring down his presidency almost forty-five years ago (made worse by a certain 1960’s TV series – three guesses what I’m referring to — in which Nixon himself made a brief cameo appearance, and which got him elected U.S. President in 1968).  And the chances of Trump’s legacy changing the U.S. for the better after he leaves the White House will no doubt be next or nothing, despite him being rich and famous.  One thing’s for sure – the next U.S. President who gets elected definitely won’t use “Make America great again” as a campaign slogan – at least for the rest of this century.  Providing that the world’s still intact by the end of this century, that is.

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