Sunday, August 31, 2014

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL

Last night my wife and I celebrated her birthday at a performance of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. The show was excellent. As I watched the portrayals of the Motown acts, the thought that just kept coming to my mind was how far we have dropped in terms of entertainment class. This thought kept coming to me as I watched the dress and choreography of that time and compared it to what might as well be nakedness on stage today. I am no prude by any stretch of the imagination; however, there is a stark contrast between the gowns, suits and tuxedos worn by performers in the Motown era compared with the ripped and torn clothing, pants hanging down, body parts exposed, etc. etc. seen in 2014. Yes, sex has always sold and been a part of the acts, but there was just something different when some things were left to the imagination. Something to critically think about. Hear The Critical Thinker live on The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and you are invited to follow along on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Jest, There Is Truth - "But That's None Of My Business"























W
illiam Shakespeare once said “In jest, there is truth,”and never have I seen it more to be the case than with the latest "But That's None of my Business" photo captions atop the images of Kermit THE Frog. I find the creative captions placed on the images to be hilarious and in most cases true. We are able to say what we know others are thinking and really want to say by placing the thoughts above the facial expressions of Kermit while finishing with the tag line at the bottom of "But That's None Of My Business." There are various Kermit expressions and scenarios and funny enough, they fit just about any situation imaginable. As you enjoy the imagined quips of Kermit, I am sure you too will agree that many a true word hath been spoken in jest. Something to critically think and in this case laugh (or cry) about. You are welcome to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and listen live to The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

That's An Expensive One Night Stand - Part II (Back to School Costs)

"Spending this year is expected to average $634.78, according to the National Retail Federation. In total, families are expected to spend a total of $26.7 billion for K-12 children, although that number reaches $72.5 billion when college-aged kids are added to calculations." 
Source - National Retail Federation


 This is Part II of That's An Expensive One Night Stand. To do it right, it costs to be a parent. The children are worth it, so please don't short change them. If you plan to have children, please plan to do it right. Frivolous and careless sex can be costly. Something to critically think about. You are invited to tune into The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org worldwide and locally in Northern New Jersey on WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

That's One Expensive One Night Stand

These figures ought to be incentive enough to stop with these frivolous one night stands or just careless sex in general. As shown in the photo below, it costs to correctly meet the needs of a child.Unfortunately, nowhere near that amount is spent on too many children who are born from reckless decisions and acts.
So, please keep these figures in mind before you bring a precious child into the world. A child does not ask to come here, so if you are going to have one, please be prepared to give him/her everything he/she deserves. Something to critically think about. You can hear The Critical Thinker live on The Reading Circle each Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET on WP88.7 FM and worldwide on gobrave.org. You are invited to also follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritcal01.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Tears Of A Clown - Robin, You'll Be Missed


As always when something happens to a celebrity who the world knows and almost feels like a family member, those of us who are bloggers express ourselves through our respective blogs. The death of Robin Williams is no different. 

When I am away on vacation I tend to "unplug" by not watching any television, reading newspapers or accessing the internet, so when I returned from vacation yesterday (Thursday 8/14) to learn of the tragic death of Robin Williams, I was stunned. I knew I would post in The Critical Thinker about it, however, the only words that kept popping into my mind were the lyrics written by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Henry Cosby for the song The Tears of a Clown. Rhonda B. Graham writing in The News Journal (delawareonline) eloquently expressed her thoughts about Mr. Williams utilizing lines from the lyrics as well. It is absolutely amazing how one who made so many of us laugh was so sad himself. I loved the Genie in Aladdin and of course Mrs. Doubtfire (I can't count the number of times I have watched Mrs. Doubtfire). I can remember watching Mork and Mindy as a child and his performances in Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society and many of his other work.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and all is done and said, it once again goes forth to show that we just do not know what anyone is going through regardless of fortune, fame or the smile on his/her face. We none are in a position to judge anyone else because we none know what others are going through. Robin Williams will surely be missed as one who had the gift of making others laugh. Something to critically think about.

Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject
But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I'm sad, oh sadder than sad
You're gone and I'm hurting so bad
Like a clown I pretend to be glad
Now there's some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around
Oh yeah baby, now if I appear to be carefree
It's only to camouflage my sadness
In order to shield my pride I try
To cover this hurt with a show of gladness
But don't let my show convince you
That I've been happy since you decided to go
Oh, I need you so, I'm hurt and I want you to know
But for others I put on a show
Now there's some sad things known to man
But ain't too much sadder than
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around, oh yeah
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room cry
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around
Oh, yeah baby
Now if there's a smile upon my face
Don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Don't let the smile I wear
Make you think that I don't care
Really I'm sad I'm hurting so bad

Songwriters
WONDER, STEVIE/ROBINSON, SMOKEY/COSBY, HENRY
Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing



Monday, July 28, 2014

No Hand Signals In The Picture Please

Last week I participated in a professional development institute where a group photo of the cohort was taken at the end of the session. The institute was a part of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and what I found interesting was the fact that the professional photographer felt the need to ask the one hundred and twenty or so of us being photographed to please not flash hand signals in the photo. Think about that for a minute. School leaders from across the country were assembled at Harvard University and when we were taking our group picture the professional photographer felt the need to ask us not to display any form of hand gestures in the photo. I thought about this for a couple of minutes and my mind reflected upon pictures I had taken recently of students, friends, and family members and more often than not, someone would have his/her fingers/hands positioned in some sort of gesture or sign. As you know this blog is called The Critical Thinker in an attempt to cause you to stop, pause for a few minutes and think about
an issue regardless of how significant or insignificant it may be. This seemingly increased need to flash hand signals in every photo is one of those issues. Probably one that no one would stop to think about unless someone brought it to your attention like I am now or like it was for me when the photographer specifically requested that no one flash any hand signals in our group photo. The question I have is, what is this need to always have something going on with some sort of signal in a photo? Do we not know what to do with our hands when we take a picture? Is there a message that everyone is supposed to receive from the signal?  Or maybe, it's just the reverse, only a select few will know what the signals mean when they see the photo. Either way, in many instances all of this hand gesturing can mess up a what would have been a good photo. The age old two fingers behind someone else's head in the photo is still alive and well, but there now is a plethora of other signals that seem to be cropping up. The fact that a
professional photographer on the campus of Harvard University taking a photo of school leaders from around the country had to literally say to us, "Please no one flash any hand signs," tells me that once again we don't know when to say when. That once again something that may be appropriate in one setting  is not appropriate in another and too many  of us do not know or act like we do not know the difference. I am sure the flashing of hand signals in a photo in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, however, when every time you take a picture a hand signal has to appear, that is a problem. There is a time and place for everything and apparently the photographer has had prior experiences with groups to the point that he felt the need to ask us up front not to flash any sort of hand signal in the photo.  This is right up there with signs having to be placed
in movie theaters and churches asking that cell phones be turned off while during the church service or while watching the movie. There are just some things that ought to be common sense, but as you know, in many respects in 2014, common sense is not too common.  Just take a look at any of the social media sites and you will find yourself asking yourself does anyone take a picture any more without having some hand signal displayed? Take a look on Instagram or Facebook and see just how many hand signals you see. The truth be told, all of these gestures are not good. Many are gang affiliated that are indeed intended to send a message. These hand signals like anything else need to be used responsibly and the fact that a professional photographer at Harvard University had to
make it a point to tell us before he clicked the shutter button not to flash hand signals, tells me that too many of us are abusing something as simple as taking a photograph.
We are messing up people's pictures. As always, something to critically think about. Let us be more responsible with everything, even as simple as when to use hand signals in a photo and when not to.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Two Books That Will Change Your Life

I highly, highly (did I say highly?) recommend that you read these two books. Both author/reporters Michael Moss and Melody Peterson perform an outstanding service that unfortunately most people will miss because it is in a book. The two industries tackled are the food industry in SALT SUGAR FAT and the pharmaceutical industry in OUR DAILY MEDS.  If you are like me, reading these two books will make you angry at how we are manipulated for the "Almighty Dollar."  In both books you will find that company executives might as well have weapons and be charged with murder for the decisions that are made concerning human beings and the bottom line. As uninformed consumers, we follow along blindly like sheep to savvy marketing campaigns that are designed to sell the poisonous decisions/products of the industry execs. If you do not read any other books this year, please invest the money and time in these two investigative exposes. They will both give you something to critically think about.