Saturday, December 26, 2009

Avatarred and Feathered

Not again! Another Hollywood producer - James Cameron - uses a blockbuster hit as a vehicle to broadcast Hollywood's left wing anti-American agenda. This time the vehicle is the much hyped film Avatar. This 2 hour and 45 minute 3D film epic is pure idyllic eye candy with the ability to put butts in the seats. But do we popcorn munchers have any idea of the propaganda being sold in the storyline?

The main plot of the Gospel According to Cameron goes like this: in the future the American military will stop at nothing to obtain a new energy source on another planet - even if it includes murder and destruction of innocent men, women, children and animals, the mutilation of the environment and the dismantling of a peaceful culture. According to Avatar Americans are nothing but invaders and oppressors, and the military is keen to comply with a no holds barred attack on another planet in order to maintain America's corporate need for more petrol. Welcome to the world of Hollywood's left wing political perspective only now it's in animated 3D.

Avatar unfolds by depicting the U.S. military as an interplanetary enemy of the peace loving inhabitants of a tranquil planet called Pandora. Due to the discovery of a new energy source on the planet, our troops or "people from the sky" encounter the planet's inhabitants - the Na'Vi - in their attempt to harness the resource. Unfortunately, this energy source is located beneath a giant Home Treelocated at the center of the Na'Vi culture and an object of Nature worship.

The Home Tree must be uprooted so we can get at this new "oil." The mission of one Marine is to compel the aliens to relocate from the area surrounding the tree so our troops can uproot the tree to tap this new resource. The aliens are not so quick to comply, and the military has no other resort than to destroy the tree and allow for devastating collateral damage.

Does Cameron think moviegoers are so dull that we cannot see Avatar's underlying message that the U.S. invades innocent countries in order to take over their energy resource even with the resulting loss of life. Sound familiar? The radical left wing accusation since the Gulf War to our present day invasion of Iraq is that America's wars are only a coverup for corporations seeking oil in these countries. In Cameron's mind there is no such thing as a war on terrorism. Our true motivation is merely to take over the oil fields of the world.

I wonder why Cameron chose American troops to be the alien invaders in the future? Why not the French, the Chinese, the Russians, British or the Spanish? Of course, we are the epitome of evil on this planet. Yet this Hollywood producer profits from the American free enterprise system and capitalism while he lives the "good life."

To Cameron America is everything the president of Iran says we are - "the great Satan." Avatar will be a major hit in Iran! Thanks Jim. Is it not odd that Cameron could not even imagine a futuristic Muslim military force conquering a foreign planet in order to possess their "oil." Only America is the kind of country capable of committing such a dastardly deed. If America is so evil, why does James Cameron choose to be a citizen of the "evil Empire"?

Avatar is also touted as one of the most influential movies of our time and will change how we will be viewing movies in the future. Cameron' script is predictable and daunting. If you're familiar with the radical message of the Left, then you'll already know scene-by-scene where this 3D feature is going. Along with Cameron, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, haven't we seen enough of their proliferation of America hating cinema.

Had I known what Avatar was about, I never would have dished out nearly $30 for two tickets for a film that claims to made in revolutionary 3D, yet Cameron merely used 3D as a veneer for the larger message of exposing American imperialism and the United State's disregard for the environment. Actually, the 3D was more like viewing a children's pop-up book.

Oddly enough, Cameron never pulls off any 3D thrills. The Disney 3D short version of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," only seen at Disneyland, does a much better job showing us the marvels of 3D. Cameron has no idea what 3D films are supposed to look like. Despite an array of alien creatures on Pandora, not once did any of them pop out of the screen to send the audience scrambling to the concession stand out of fear of an alien creature on the loose. Who is Cameron kidding with his 3D antics? As my 14 year old son said, "the only thing that popped out were flowers and leaves." Perhaps a 3D version of Terminator II should have been done instead. Now we're talking . . . .

Should you see Avatar? Not if you care about how our troops are portrayed and how our country is dissed over and over by the Hollywood Left. I'm sorry I put any money in Cameron's pockets. Don't make the same mistake, but hit Hollywood where they hurt the most - their bank accounts. You're not going to miss some historic film that is going to change film history. Go see Blindside instead.

Stand up for our troops who put their lives on the line every day. Send a message to Hollywood that we're tired of their radical diatribes against America. Let the stars of the silver screen hear the voice of American people that we're not going to support their propaganda film making anymore. Instead of seeing Avatar, send your money to Wounded Warrior or Iraq Star or some other organization that supports the troops.

The result of boycotting Avatar? The next time James Cameron or any other leftist Hollywood mogul makes a film in which he assumes he is "King of the World," he will consider whether this time no one is going to show up to sit for nearly three hours of animated political brainwashing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here Comes Vic

On November 30, 2009 my Dad passed away due to congestive heart failure. There's a lot I can say about my father as I think about his life. Most people at his funeral spoke about their memories of Victor Lapides during the golden years of his life. My brother Michael and I share the most vivid memories of Dad when he was in his 30s and 40s.

Dad always displayed a quick sense of humor and never missed an opportunity to make us laugh. He made up names for everyday objects that I never heard anyone else say. He sprinkled his speech with Yiddish terms but he never made it sound Yiddish. A meshuginah was the nut hanging out on the street corner not the Yiddish term for a crazy person. I loved to drive with Dad on his auto parts truck while he did his his route because he always had funny names for all the gas station owners and attendants. However, he always treated them with kindness and respect. I would wait all day helping Dad on his route until we visited the auto mechanic shop where someone like "Tony Tremendous" worked. In reality, Tony was just some short, overweight guy. But when Dad spoke about him, I couldn't wait to see him.

My father was often daring and fearless. He convinced me to sneak out of Ft. Dix, N.J. Army base on a Sunday morning so he could take me to Atlantic City. There I was with my head freshly shaven, hiding on the floorboard in the back of the car while my Dad calmly drove past of the MP guards. I was technically AWOL but my father made it worth it as we spent the day in Atlantic City enjoying the amusements on the boardwalk.

My most touching moment with Dad was the day he dropped me off at the Irvington, N.J. induction station at 4 a.m. I was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam war, and my father drove me to the Army recruiting office. We said goodbye and I noticed a tear in his eye as he pondered his son's future during a very conflicting time. Even more than my Bar Mitzvah I think that was the day I became a man. I truly left home. I was prepared to fight for my country and I knew my Dad was fully behind me. And I didn't even receive a fountain pen!

Friends always think my love for professional wrestling is bizarre. Yes, I am a fan of the WWE. Do I think it's fake? Let me throw you off a twenty foot ladder onto a card table below and when your back breaks the table in tow pieces, tell me how fake it seems to you. But it was Dad who took me to see professional wrestling at Laurel Gardens located in the Newark Armory. I was probably nine years old wen he started taking me. I loved going with him and my brother. I even brought tomatoes and eggs to the venue to throw at the wrestlers who were the "bad guys." Yes, my father encouraged me as I ran up next to the ring and tossed a raw egg at the Sheik.

My father made sure the family spent time at the Jersey shore each summer or we joined a swim club. Those were precious times that I got to spend with him and my mother. Thanks to my father and mother I have a great childhood growing up in Newark, N.J. I remember every place he took me-the circus, the Roy Rogers rodeo at Madison Square Garden in NY, July 4th fireworks displays, Times Square, Niagra Falls, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. and Sunday evenings at Ming's Chinese restaurant or Jo Rae's Italian Pizzeria in Newark.

Even though Dad did a lot of wonderful things for me, I wasn't such an easy kid. I teased my little brother and hurt him badly on many occasions. This is when I found out what a strict disciplinarian my father could be. At age 11 I broke 21 windows in the neighborhood in honor of "Mischief Night." To me every day was mischief night. I got the whipping of my life for that stunt, and had to stay home on Halloween while my brother went out "trick or treating."

During my teenage years I gave my father more grief-hot wiring my friend's parents' car for a joyride around the streets of Millburn and Short Hills until the police stopped us, getting picked up by a stolen vehicle while hitchhiking and getting busted by the cops or ditching school and spending the day in New York. From the ages of 16 to 19 I spent my weekends at Greenwich Village exposing myself to beat music, art and poetry. I experimented with drugs and read everything I could about LSD experiments before I started using the hallucinogenic myself.

Despite my rebelliousness Dad always showed up with a lecture about how I was throwing my life away. He was right and it took me until the age 23 to learn the truth. And by truth, I mean accepting Jesus. Dad wasn't too happy with his messianic Jewish son. My brother Michael soon followed suit and became a Jewish follower of Jesus. Despite the rift Jesus caused in my family, I always knew that part of my maturity was making correct choices and living with the consequences.

Dad always stayed in touch. He loved it when I called and I tried to do that quite often. I could always make him laugh by reminding him of some funny times we enjoyed in Newark and all the strange people we knew. I would ask him about his odd vocabulary with words like manipretzel and pishocks. He gave my brother and I hours of tear jerking laughter. However, I think he probably thought these words were normal.

I miss my Dad a lot. I couldn't send him a Hanukkah card this year. I won't send him a Father's Day card. These emotions are new and unfamiliar to me. Upon reflecting on Dad's life, I always knew he loved me (even when he spanked my defiant butt when I was a kid). I kept a lot from Dad about my sins and wrongdoings. I also never told him about some horrible events that happened to me as a child. It's okay. I've survived. As he would often say, "Don't worry about it!"

I've been told I am a lot like my Dad. That's okay by me. He was always kind to people and everybody knew his name wherever he went. I hope I take after him when it comes to my treatment of people.

I thank the Lord I still have my mother in my life and my brother along with the rest of the family. My children, my sister-in-law, new daughter-in-law, and my niece and nephew and their families. But no one can ever replace Dad. I want to cry at times but soon I remember something funny he said and my tears turn to laughter. Thanks Dad. I love you and hope to see you on the other side . . . but not too soon.