Essay about life – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 21:15:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://optimalj.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2021-06-24T001514.613-150x150.png Essay about life – Optimal J http://optimalj.com/ 32 32 NYPD officer cried after shooting partner ‘fighting for his life’ https://optimalj.com/nypd-officer-cried-after-shooting-partner-fighting-for-his-life/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 21:15:34 +0000 https://optimalj.com/nypd-officer-cried-after-shooting-partner-fighting-for-his-life/ January 22, 2022, 10:54 p.m.Updated 4 hours ago Through: Associated press The 22-year-old NYPD officer who was shot while responding to a call in a Harlem apartment came from an immigrant family and grew up in a community with strained police relations, but joined the strength to make a difference in the “chaotic”. city,” he […]]]>

The 22-year-old NYPD officer who was shot while responding to a call in a Harlem apartment came from an immigrant family and grew up in a community with strained police relations, but joined the strength to make a difference in the “chaotic”. city,” he once wrote.

Mayor Eric Adams holds a question-and-answer session the day after the shooting

“I know that something as small as helping a tourist get their bearings, or helping a couple solve a problem, will put a smile on someone’s face,” Jason Rivera wrote to his CO in 2020 as he was a police officer on training.

Rivera and Officer Wilbert Mora were shot Friday night while responding to a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son. Mora, 27, was seriously injured and “fighting for his life” on Saturday, Mayor Eric Adams said.

Police say the man who shot them, Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, was also seriously injured and hospitalized, authorities said.

The shooting is the latest in a series of crimes that have angered the nation’s largest city.

Officers Jason Rivera (left) and Wilbert Mora (right) – NYPD

In the three weeks since Adams took office, a 19-year-old cashier was shot while working late at night at a Burger King, a woman was shoved to death at a gas station underground and a baby was seriously injured. injured when she was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in a parked car with her mother. With the Harlem shooting on Friday night, four police officers had been shot in as many days.

And the city is recovering from its deadliest fire in three decades, an apartment fire in the Bronx that killed 17 people.

“It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been three weeks, and it hasn’t stopped since,” Adams told residents during a roundtable on gun violence on Saturday. “But I want you to know very clearly that I’m more energetic. I’m not tired. I’m not stressed.

Rivera joined the force in November 2020.

Growing up in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood, he noticed tension with the police, according to a brief essay titled “Why I Became a Policeman,” a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

“I remember one day when I saw my brother being stopped and searched. I wondered, why are we stopped if we’re in a taxi?” he wrote. “My perspective on the police and how they really bothered me.”

But eventually he noticed that the department was working to improve relations and he wanted to get involved.

“I realized how much my role as a police officer would have an impact in this chaotic city,” he wrote.

Domestic violence lawyer Stephanie McGraw, who knew Rivera from his work with the precinct, said he was energetic and enthusiastic.

“He was so keen to make a difference in this community,” said McGraw, founder of We All Really Matter.

Mora is also dedicated to the community, she said.

Police said the weapon used in the Friday night shooting, a .45 caliber Glock with a high-capacity magazine capable of holding up to 40 additional rounds, was stolen in Baltimore in 2017.

Both Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul said federal authorities need to do more to collect stolen weapons like the one used in the Harlem shooting. Hochul, during an appearance in Buffalo on Saturday, called it “a scourge of illegal firearms on our streets.”

Authorities said the three officers attended the apartment after receiving a call from a woman in need of assistance with McNeil, her son. Officers spoke with the woman and another son, but there was no mention of a weapon.

Rivera and Mora walked from the front of the apartment down a hallway, and McNeil opened a bedroom door and opened fire, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

As McNeil tried to flee, a third officer who had stayed with McNeil’s mother outside the apartment shot McNeil and wounded him in the head and arm, Essig said.

“It was just not an attack on these brave officers,” Adams said Friday night. “It was an attack on New York City.”

Mora has been with the NYPD for four years.

McNeil was on probation for a 2003 drug conviction in New York. He also had several out-of-state arrests. In 1998 he was arrested in South Carolina on suspicion of illegally carrying a gun, but records show the case was later dropped. In 2002 he was arrested in Pennsylvania on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, Essig said.

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Clinging to a consistent life ethic remains a moral imperative https://optimalj.com/clinging-to-a-consistent-life-ethic-remains-a-moral-imperative/ Fri, 21 Jan 2022 10:21:33 +0000 https://optimalj.com/clinging-to-a-consistent-life-ethic-remains-a-moral-imperative/ March for Life participants kneel in prayer next to an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in front of the Supreme Court building January 24, 2011, in Washington. (CNS/Reuters/Jim Young) Today is the annual March for Life, when Catholics and others gather in Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling […]]]>

March for Life participants kneel in prayer next to an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in front of the Supreme Court building January 24, 2011, in Washington. (CNS/Reuters/Jim Young)

Today is the annual March for Life, when Catholics and others gather in Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling deer v. Wade, which asserted that there was a constitutional right to abortion. The Church’s opposition to abortion is rooted in that most universal moral prohibition, “thou shalt not kill,” and in that most basic foundation of all our moral teaching, the transcendent dignity of the human person.

Last week I had the pleasure of greeting the recent pastoral letter from Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, “Living in the light of the peace of Christ: a conversation towards nuclear disarmament.” Wester’s letter was also rooted in these two moral anchors, and he recalled the passage from Luke’s Gospel when the disciples ask Jesus for permission to call down hellfire on their enemies, and he rebukes them. Wester wrote:

Jesus rebuked the disciples because they wanted to bring down fire from heaven. It absolutely forbids even thinking about it. It rejects violence of all kinds, including retaliation and war. He will not tolerate it among His followers. Jesus wants us to be as nonviolent and loving as he is, come what may. We don’t have the right to kill people.

The Catholic Church, almost alone in the American cultural discourse, has always understood that the question of abortion and the question of war are linked. To invoke the metaphor first developed by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Catholics hold to a “coherent life ethic”, and we find morally reprehensible all threats to life, from the direct taking of a human life to the acquiescence to militarism that has killed millions and threatens all human life to our refusal to address the environmental crisis that also threatens all life on the planet.

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago makes a point in his September 9, 1996 speech at Georgetown University.  (SNC/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago makes a point in his September 9, 1996 speech at Georgetown University. In his speech, the cardinal stressed the need to establish a “coherent ethic of life” in America and to introduce religious values ​​into public life and the nation’s culture. (SNC/Bob Roller)

For 40 years, the coherent ethic of life has been the essential position of the Catholic left. This does not solve all the problems. As Fr. Charles Curran wrote here at NCR in 2010, while there is global agreement among Catholic theologians regarding the immorality of nearly all abortions – Curran believed it was morally permissible to perform direct abortion for save the mother’s life and in a few other rare circumstances, such as when the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest – there was widespread disagreement about how Catholics should approach the legal abortion issue.

Now, the legal issue is at the forefront of national debate, as the U.S. Supreme Court is widely expected to overturn deer after hearing oral arguments in December in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As I pointed out at the time, the case is technically only about the difference of a single week of pregnancy: Mississippi law bans abortions after 15 weeks, and the Jackson abortion clinic stops performing them. at 16 weeks. Why, then, is everyone at the barricades?

Unfortunately, the debate over the legality of abortion has become dominated by extremes. Pro-choice groups insist that the kinds of limits on late-term abortions found in most other Western democracies would be a catastrophic affront to freedom, and pro-life groups enact vigilante laws like that of Texas which calls for a collapse of our justice system. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in our political culture that makes the extremes move towards the center.

I have repeatedly expressed my belief that making abortion illegal is not the solution. We must first make it unthinkable, guarantee that women are never disadvantaged in social or professional life because of pregnancy, build a culture of life that welcomes children and respects women in the same way.

That’s not how it’s going to play out, though, so I hope the Catholic left will at least cling to the consistent ethic of living to remind our friends on the political left that no matter what state of the legal question, we Catholics will maintain our pro-life witness, on this issue as well as on our opposition to the death penalty, nuclear weapons and environmental degradation.

Re-read Fr. Curran’s careful reasoning – and remembering his insightful lectures when I was lucky enough to have him as a teacher in the 1980s! – the contrast with some rude extremists today couldn’t be more brutal.

How can any morally serious person ignore the fact that the pro-life movement was willing to get into bed with Donald Trump in order to achieve its goal of a more conservative justice system? When Marjorie Dannenfelser, of the Susan B. Anthony List, agreed to chair Trump’s pro-life re-election committees, who will ever consider her a moral leader?

Here is a challenge for our Conservative friends: Recognize that poverty remains the number one abortive factor in our country and the world, and propose policies that will improve it.

How can any morally serious person give credence to the theological gibberish offered by groups like Catholics for choice? It’s amazing that they seem not to notice the moral laziness of the “my body, my choice” slogan after watching anti-vaxxers adopt the same slogan for two years. You cannot baptize libertarianism no matter how hard you try.

Here’s a challenge for our Liberal friends: Liberals have rightly been keen to call out historical racism and demand accountability. Why is the racist eugenics of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, ignored? Alexis McGill Johnson’s column last year in The New York Times was the exception that proved the rule. Moreover, Johnson’s argument betrayed the fact that you cannot confront eugenics unless you confront libertarianism first.

The year after the launch of Planned Parenthood, Sanger launched the Birth Control Review, and one of his first published essays stated, “For the betterment of the race, the present differential nature of the birth rate must be modified. A spread of birth control to the less able part of the population will be an important advance for eugenics by reducing the racial contribution of inferior stocks.”

To be fair, Josef Mengele hadn’t given eugenics such a bad name yet. The Catholic Church has consistently condemned eugenics when it was fashionable, and the Church has been called obscurantist for this opposition.

Extremist organizations are the groups that will dominate the airwaves in the coming months, but liberal Catholics are well advised to ignore the rhetorical boxing match that proves nothing so much as the extent to which groups like Catholics for Choice and the Susan B. Anthony List have developed a strangely symbiotic relationship. They deserve each other.

The rest of us must seek creative ways to witness to our Catholic faith’s unwavering commitment to human life and insist that the Church continue to develop a commitment to equality for women in society that takes into account and embraces the fact that women can and do support children.

Witnessing can take many forms. We can support groups like Democrats for Life of America, who recently hosted a pre-walk breakfast canceled because the management of the bookstore-café where it was planned, Busboys and Poets, obviously thinks of granting a heckler’s veto suitable for a bookstore!

We can witness in our families, our churches and our neighborhoods by supporting those women who have chosen life and face the challenges of single motherhood, those women facing a pregnancy crisis and those women who have had abortions and who fight against the spiritual consequences that always accompany sin. If we are unwilling to support women in such situations, our voice becomes “a tinkling gong or a tinkling cymbal” (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1).

We can bear witness by our voices and by our votes, always bearing in mind that our Catholic moral tradition demands that we raise our voices for both mother and child, in all cases recognizing that abortion is the ultimate exercise in exclusion.

We can testify to the consistency of our moral beliefs by clinging to the consistent ethics of life, the only, repeat alone, a morally and intellectually serious position that I have encountered in researching and writing on the issue of abortion for 25 years.

We can witness with our ministries, especially our Catholic hospitals. At a time when many hospitals are close their maternities, that each Catholic hospital undertakes to keep its own open. Better to donate to your local Catholic hospital than to any political organization.

It may seem that such forms of witnessing will be ineffective, that our voice will be lost. However, testimony brings the grace of God into the equation. Remember that Western culture was at its height at the end of the 12th century and the corruption of the medieval church was both pronounced and widespread. Then, one day, Francis kissed a leper.

]]> The Power of the Dog: A Visual Essay on the New American West https://optimalj.com/the-power-of-the-dog-a-visual-essay-on-the-new-american-west/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:36:37 +0000 https://optimalj.com/the-power-of-the-dog-a-visual-essay-on-the-new-american-west/ Those in the know may take note of a film released last December and currently trending on Netflix, The Power of the Dog, a gripping psycho drama, Golden Globe winner and poised to win the next Oscar, is worth watching and I will say why. It’s not the traditional kind of western without a gunfight […]]]>

Those in the know may take note of a film released last December and currently trending on Netflix, The Power of the Dog, a gripping psycho drama, Golden Globe winner and poised to win the next Oscar, is worth watching and I will say why.

It’s not the traditional kind of western without a gunfight or horse chase. A darker, grittier character-driven film, it belongs to the western genre as it resides on the frontier of contemporary America, not in Texas or Arizona, but in northwest America in Montana. It is nevertheless a western because it is a cattle ranch centered around an oversized and eerie ranch house set at the base of rippled hills on a stark mountain landscape with no shade of green, incongruous luxury with dark interiors surrounded by dry, joyless grass. Opening to an indoor shot trailing on rails with the camera traversing from one end of the dark house to the other showing the mountain across the harsh landscape in daylight through many windows, it gives the feel like it’s not the traditional Wild West and something more gothic is at play here.

A Western is traditionally a wide open space, endless blue skies, dramatic mountain scenery with cowboys running amok and shooting each other on horseback. The shots wander happily over the luminous landscape, sometimes stopping at a character or an exterior structure. The characters are as colorful as the landscape ready for the battle for justice between good and evil. The traditional western is defined by classics, John Ford’s The Searchers, John Lee Thomson’s Mackenna’s Gold and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West where the battle between good and evil was fought in a bright light ( more on the genre later). The Power of the Dog, however, is dark, complex and more psychological than physical.

The title of the film is inspired by the Bible, borrowing from a psalm with Jesus on the cross which says: “Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of dogs. The dog symbol is crucial to the plot as the protagonist sees the distant mountain across the ranch as the figure of a barking dog. Dogs are again seen in biblical times as unclean scavengers, a kind of substitute for the devil. This symbolism is amply reflected through the protagonist who is dirty, unclean and scavenges cattle hides. The Power of the Dog is about iron in the soul and its delivery by and the power of the dog.

The plot, which takes place in 1925 Montana, involves only four characters. Brothers Phil and George Burbank come from a wealthy cattle-owning family and recently moved into the ranch, an all-male stronghold save for two desperately needed women for housekeeping. Takeover of the business of the parents who returned to town for their old age. George (Jesse Plemons) is calm, gentle, tender and well-dressed while Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the complete opposite. Although a Yale graduate, he opted for a rough life on the ranch, refusing to bathe, castrating bulls with his bare hands, flaying hides and weaving ropes. He tramples on everyone and likes to control his little universe. He refuses to wash up to attend dinner with the Governor, shouting “I stink and I like it”. He uses his intellect by pretending to have a better understanding of farm life and sees things existentially that others cannot.

On a cattle drive, the brothers with all ranch hands stop at the local inn for dinner and physical entertainment where they meet Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst), recently widowed after her husband’s suicide, and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a sweet, methodical, sensitive boy with a pronounced effeminate taste and mannerism that draws cruel taunts from the aggressively masculine Phil and his ranch mates. Her son’s cruel bullying brings Rose to tears to which the more empathetic George comforts her. Later, George marries Rose and brings her to the ranch much to Phil’s dismay as Rose and her son disrupt his male universe. He accuses Rose of being a fortune hunter marrying her brother for his money. George, too helpless to protect the victims of bullying, sends Peter to study medicine. Rose, unable to resist Phil’s cruel domination of the environment, takes to drinking to the point of being an alcoholic.

The real drama unfolds when Peter returns home for summer vacation, sparking a national war of attrition leading to a shattering climax that’s best not elaborated on for the sake of those who wish to watch the film. The film being a slow burner is a bit difficult to watch requiring patient attention. Once you get into the layers of hatred, domination, and secret desires, especially in the scenes around Phil, the wits between him and everyone else are almost scary to watch. The film is worth watching for Benedict Cumberbatch’s intense and enticingly nuanced performance. He plays the Montana rancher with crass, menacing arrogance. His retreat to his secret hideout where he slips in to take a naked mud bath is breathtaking.

The film is a visual masterpiece with most of the images appearing like impressionistic paintings. It pulsates with friction between inside and outside with its constant juxtaposition of rugged, harsh exteriors and darker, more mysterious interiors. Much remains unknown until the last minutes when everything ends unexpectedly, leaving the spectators in a confused state between brutality and tenderness.

The film’s claustrophobia and its lack of a transparent exterior villain make it difficult to place it under the known trend of westerns. The genre has gone through three distinct phases in the history of cinema. Phase 1 was characterized by white men defining good and evil for themselves by bringing justice to the native world by taking on the Kiplingesque burden. This phase was dominated by impeccably clean white males embodying Christian virtues born to decimate the barbarian natives. John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Gregory Peck excelled in this phase of dispensing white justice.

Phase 2 is identified by spaghetti westerns with pronounced moral ambiguity where no particular race or ethnicity bears virtue exclusively. It was a dog-eat-dog world where neither whites, Native Americans, nor Hispanics had a monopoly on virtue. Anyone could be good, bad or ugly. This phase was dominated by Sergio Leone with obscure heroes like Clint Eastwood, Franco Nero and Terence Hill never knowing what they were.

Phase 3 was launched exclusively by Clint Eastwood with his own film The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), which for the first time showed white men as evil. These films became revisionist westerns where the moral superiority of white people was gradually diluted in films like Hang Them High, Once Upon a Time in the West and My Name is Nobody through heroes like Eastwood, Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson . It all culminated when Eastwood made Unforgiven (1992) where Little Bill Dagget (Gene Hackman), the white sheriff of a town oddly named Big Whiskey, came to embody every evil white man ever perpetrated in conquered land and had to be beaten down. by forgotten old outlaw William Muny (played superbly by Eastwood himself). He fully exposed the dark underbelly of white frontier men where society must be rescued from decadent lawmen by overwhelmed outlaws! It was seen as the end of the Western genre and even Sergio Leone moved to the city to create his masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America, a lyrical saga of the city’s organized crime replacing outlaws. Westerners by urban gangs. However, with films like The Power of The Dog, we may be witnessing a fourth phase of westerns where the lens has moved away from the bellies of American frontier men and into their guts and brains.

The Power of the Dog comes highly recommended for those who enjoy the genre and can focus for two hours on a wonderfully crafted visual essay by director Jane Campion, masterfully exploring the toxic masculinity of the American West.

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The strange blackish saga of Mackenzie Fierceton against Penn https://optimalj.com/the-strange-blackish-saga-of-mackenzie-fierceton-against-penn/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 17:50:37 +0000 https://optimalj.com/the-strange-blackish-saga-of-mackenzie-fierceton-against-penn/ Earlier this month, The Chronicle published Tom Bartlett’s “The Dredging”, an investigation into the strange and sad story of Mackenzie Fierceton’s battle with the University of Pennsylvania. The story revolves around a dispute between Fierceton and the university over the veracity of her college application essay, in which she describes a deeply troubled childhood plagued […]]]>

Earlier this month, The Chronicle published Tom Bartlett’s “The Dredging”, an investigation into the strange and sad story of Mackenzie Fierceton’s battle with the University of Pennsylvania. The story revolves around a dispute between Fierceton and the university over the veracity of her college application essay, in which she describes a deeply troubled childhood plagued by severe abuse from her mother (including a beating so severe that it resulted in a long hospital stay) and time spent in foster care. Fierceton’s life story, as well as her self-identification as a “first generation” student, came under scrutiny by the university when an anonymous email alleged that Fierceton was not who she claimed to be.

The details are almost black intricacy. Fierceton spent time in foster care and she was hospitalized after a confrontation with her mother, although the court was unable to determine whether her mother had harmed her. She was not of the “first generation”; his mother, in fact, is a radiologist. But its supporters say, perhaps correctly, that the university went too far in its investigation and punishment. Fierceton’s exaggerations, if that’s what they are, had real consequences – a Rhodes scholarship was withdrawn and his receipt of a master’s degree from Penn remains in limbo. What exactly happened here?

I spoke with Bartlett about what this story means. Here is part of that conversation.

There’s so much going on in this story, and some of the key facts remain compellingly unresolved – what really happened between Fierceton and his mother, and why she was hospitalized for so long. But I think the story resonated with our readers for reasons related to something else: it has the quality of an allegory or a fable about the kinds of self-disclosure that teenagers are asked to perform. in the admissions process to elite colleges.

If you listen to admissions officers, they’ll tell you, “You don’t have to sell your pain. They will say that they are not necessarily looking for these trauma stories.

At the same time, the competition to enter these elite schools is extremely tough. These are students with outsized test scores, with GPAs of 4.0, and they seek opportunities to stand out – and this is one of the ways they feel empowered to do so. There is a pressure to stand out and, rightly or wrongly, some students feel that emphasizing the many obstacles they have overcome is a way to get a head start.

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that’s what Mackenzie Fierceton was doing in this case. But it’s a real dynamic.

“Writing about personal trauma,” you write, “in your college application is common enough that there are guides on how to do it.” I remembered a test on Review directed by Matt Feeney a short time ago, in which he compared the elite college admissions process, particularly the dissertation part, to the kind of institutionalized soul-training done by things like the Catholic Confession – mechanisms designed to extract and produce the deep interiority of a subject. In his opinion, it is both true and truly strange that college admissions professionals are now such an institution – not the professors themselves who might be involved in soul-shaping during the educational process, but the admissions officers at the time of application, or even the guidance counselor at fancy high schools.

It makes me wonder if, as some institutions move away from standardized testing, they potentially put even more emphasis on self-testing. In the Penn Undergraduate Application, the essay prompt asks you to describe a transformational event in your life. They could asked a different type of question. If what they’re looking for is just a writing sample, they might ask about something more general and less in-depth.

One could say that it is an invitation to confess. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, but it raises broader questions in the culture beyond college admissions: what’s acceptable for a personal essay in this about how the facts are framed and what context is left out? Are the rules the same as those of journalism? What genre does this kind of writing belong to?

These prompts are meant to elicit a certain type of response, and it’s no surprise to me that a student can focus on the trauma.

One of the most surprising things I learned from your article is that the “first generation student” can be defined, in places like Penn, as the first in his family to “pursue a higher education in a elite institution.

Penn would point out that this quote is from a student-run campus organization. The other quote we include in it, about how college students can be called first-generation if they “have a strained or limited relationship with the person(s) in your family who hold a bachelor’s degree,” is actually from Penn First Plus, the university’s official organization for first-generation and low-income students. It is probably worth considering whether it makes sense to broaden the definition of the first generation in this way. Maybe they need to find another descriptor or another category. At the same time, if that’s the definition offered on the university’s website, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that some students adopt this term, even though their parents actually went to college.

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Britney Spears has a new message for her sister Jamie Lynn after an interview https://optimalj.com/britney-spears-has-a-new-message-for-her-sister-jamie-lynn-after-an-interview/ Sun, 16 Jan 2022 01:02:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/britney-spears-has-a-new-message-for-her-sister-jamie-lynn-after-an-interview/ 5:02 p.m. PT — Jamie Lynn has responded to Britney, asking her sister to call her and stop publicly expressing their differences. She also refutes the idea that she hasn’t been there for her sister and even offers examples of when she has reached out many times. Britney Spears once again tells us how she […]]]>

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Who is Cecily Strong dating? The comedian’s romantic life explored https://optimalj.com/who-is-cecily-strong-dating-the-comedians-romantic-life-explored/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 09:17:20 +0000 https://optimalj.com/who-is-cecily-strong-dating-the-comedians-romantic-life-explored/ Recent SNL Cast Member Cecily Strong View interview has fans wondering about his love life. The star appeared on View on Thursday, January 13 and covered a variety of topics. She not only discussed her SNL character “Goober the Clown”, but also talked about her SNL Segment where she talked about her abortion. SEE: What […]]]>

Recent SNL Cast Member Cecily Strong View interview has fans wondering about his love life.

The star appeared on View on Thursday, January 13 and covered a variety of topics.

She not only discussed her SNL character “Goober the Clown”, but also talked about her SNL Segment where she talked about her abortion.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Hulu

Who is Cecily Strong dating?

Cecily Strong, 37, shot to fame after joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2012. Despite her mainstream fame, the actress/comedian has managed to keep her love life private over the years.

However, the SNL star gave fans a glimpse of his personal life in his memoir It’ll all be over soon.

The book which was released in August 2021 saw the star open up about her newly formed relationship.

In April 2020, she shared some excerpts from the dissertation essays with Vulture. One such snippet saw her talking about her new relationship.

Cecile Explain how she met her beau at a Christmas party in 2019 after her agent introduced them.

She writes: “I’m talking to the man with the mustache. He is very cute. I have social anxiety, and I’m drunk and tired, so I have no idea what we’re talking about. He comes with me. The next morning, I’m a little more shy. He is less shy. “Can I give you my number?” ” he asks. I hand her the flamingo pen my psychiatrist gave me that week. I find an old receipt, and it says “Jack” and his phone number on the back.

Cecily also revealed that the two became “official” on International Women’s Day 2020. They would have gone to see the United States Women’s National Team play against Spain in the SheBelieves Cup, the same year.

However, in March 2020, the comedian said in a Instagram post, “a nice John I know who came to the game with me and ripped like a good man would.”

This story suits him Vulture extract. Therefore, she might be dating someone named John and not Jack.

The couple would both live in New York.

Cecily hasn’t shared any photos with her beau on her social media. Therefore, John remains a mystery to us until now.

Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images

What did the star say about abortion on SNL?

When he appeared on View, Cecily spoke candidly about her SNL segment which saw her admit to having an abortion before she turned 23.

The comedian would have criticized the Texas law that banned abortions after six weeks and opened up about her own abortion the day before her 23rd birthday.

She later revealed that it was not just a joke but a real experience for her.

“I know I wouldn’t be a clown on TV here today if it wasn’t for the abortion I had the day before my 23rd birthday,” Cecily had said in the skit. “It’s going to happen, so it should be safe, legal and accessible.”

The comedian’s recent appearance in The View explored

Cecily explained how she developed the sketch on View, reminder, “I had so much anxiety and frustration, and it was like, either I’m going to write, every night, essays for nobody, or I can finally put this on the show.”

She also praised SNL for its “support” saying, “And luckily… right away the show was very supportive. I think it’s the only thing I’ve ever done where I didn’t get any grades. I don’t think anyone wants to give us grades.

The actress also admitted that she was moved by the reaction the segment received from viewers of the show.

The Godfather | 50th Anniversary Trailer

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The Godfather | 50th Anniversary Trailer

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In other news, Yes it really is ‘Kiss a Ginger Day’ and here are 15 memes to celebrate

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Show these three great documentaries https://optimalj.com/show-these-three-great-documentaries/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 14:00:07 +0000 https://optimalj.com/show-these-three-great-documentaries/ The proliferation of documentaries on streaming services makes it difficult to choose what to watch. Each month, we’ll pick three non-fiction movies – classics, overlooked recent documentaries, and more – that will reward your time. ‘Luminous leaves’ (2004) Broadcast it on Amazon (with a Fandor subscription), Kanopy and Ovid. The personal essay documentary is a […]]]>

The proliferation of documentaries on streaming services makes it difficult to choose what to watch. Each month, we’ll pick three non-fiction movies – classics, overlooked recent documentaries, and more – that will reward your time.


Broadcast it on Amazon (with a Fandor subscription), Kanopy and Ovid.

The personal essay documentary is a fad that may seem navel-blue, but Ross McElwee (“Sherman’s Walk”) has a way of making his investigations of himself and his family disarming, accessible, and profound. In “Bright Leaves,” McElwee, a longtime Boston-area resident (he teaches cinema at Harvard), returns to her native North Carolina for a “periodic southern spirit transfusion.” After the Civil War, his great-grandfather John Harvey McElwee made a killing growing a variety of tobacco called shiny leaf tobacco. But he may have been robbed of his fortune by a rival, James Buchanan Duke (whose father Duke University was named). McElwee learns from a cousin that a major movie, “Bright Leaf” (1950), starred Gary Cooper as a tobacco maker, possibly based on their great-grandfather.

Although John Harvey McElwee did not have lasting success, McElwee is concerned that his ancestor may have made a substantial contribution to tobacco addiction around the world. In voiceover, McElwee looks back on the fact that his grandfather, father and brother all became doctors: “John Harvey McElwee may not have left money to my ancestors, but by helping to hang the local population to tobacco, he left a kind of agro-pathological trust fund. The filmmaker questions the contradictory place of tobacco in the culture of the State. On the one hand, these glossy leaves are a source of beauty and a valuable economic institution. On the other, he visits patients who have become addicted to a product that his great-grandfather helped popularize. (In a dark and funny running joke, two of McElwee’s friends – a couple – repeatedly swear on camera to quit smoking but never succeed.)

The director also reflects on the film medium and how “Bright Leaf” itself might contain traces of documentary. He interviews actress Patricia Neal, who starred with Cooper in the film, and film theorist Vlada Petric, who playfully insists on rolling McElwee on a chair to give her segment a “kinesthetic” quality. When “Bright Leaves” performed at the New York Film Festival in 2003, McElwee informed audiences that he had shot it on film; by this time, the doc landscape was turning to cheap digital cameras. Today, “Bright Leaves” looks even more like a timeless film.

Broadcast it on Apple tv, Kanopy and Mubi.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, slabs of the barrier traveled around the world. In the experimental documentary “The American Sector” – shown at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival but overlooked amid the vagaries of pandemic film release – filmmakers Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez travel to around 40 locations across the United States in the aim to film images of all the pieces that have been found here.

Certain places (the State Department, the United Nations, the George HW Bush Presidential Library) make sense as final resting places for the remains of a historic Cold War symbol. Other sites are much stranger. One coin made its way to East Berlin, Pennsylvania, which was incorporated in the 19th century. Another piece is at an El stop in Chicago, apparently as a tribute to that neighborhood’s German roots (although as a former Chicago resident who lived near this train line, I can attest that many passers-by don’t. never notice it). Then there are spots that are downright surreal. What has a Hilton in Dallas, a restaurant in Georgia, or a Universal Orlando Resort done to deserve their landmarks?

Stephens and Velez ask people what the fragments mean to them. A private owner with his own segment in the Hollywood Hills considers the graffiti-covered wall to be some sort of work of art: “the largest canvas in modern history.” In some places the concrete wedges have acquired a new metaphorical freight. An immigrant from Los Angeles compares the wall – which she says is a migrant in its own right – to the barriers she had to overcome to build a life in the United States. A Cincinnati man, noting that the Berlin Wall memorial sits across the river from the former slave state of Kentucky, says the risks East Berliners took to cross to the West have a parallel with the experiences of black Americans. Two University of Virginia students wonder if the slice of the wall on this campus is a way for the university to nod to someone else’s story while avoiding discussing the his.

At 67 minutes, “The American Sector” is minimalist but airy. Like the stone that one appropriates, it invites the viewer to make their own interpretations.

Broadcast it on Apple tv and Ovid.

Rarely does a documentary capture a whole cycle of idealism and disillusionment, but in “Lost Course,” one of last year’s most epic documentaries, Jill Li, a former video journalist directing her feature debut. footage, shows that she persists in following her story. it would shame many more experienced filmmakers. Spanning roughly half a decade, the film follows the uprising that took place in Wukan, China in 2011 when locals protested that village leaders improperly sold communal land.

The film traces the arcs of several leaders of the anti-corruption movement who have arisen in response. One is Xue Jinbo, or Bo, whose death in custody, an event that occurs early in the film, adds to the outcry. Other leaders of the movement, especially in the second half of the film (titled “After the Protests”), become increasingly pessimistic about the chances of bringing about change. A chief, who was jailed at the same time as Bo, resigns his deserved Reform seat on the village committee and sets up a tea room before eventually fleeing to New York. The film suggests he spoke after seeing “people take money.”

But the sharpest arc concerns Lin Zuluan, an older statesman among the protesters. After being elected director of the village committee at the end of the first semester, he seems to be undergoing a sort of camp change. Residents believe he hasn’t done enough to reclaim the land; he insists that it is a complex issue. It’s the kind of apparent character change that a documentary can only capture with real stamina; there would be no way to predict how he would behave at first. And for three hours, the filmmaker primarily allows her subjects to speak for themselves, using title cards to provide viewers with important context for the dense truth material she has collected. Casting a skeptical look at the possibility of democratic reforms in China, “Lost Course” is a grim illustration of the adage that you can’t fight town hall – or in this case, a village committee, if the committee is part of a much larger system.

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Can robots inherit human prejudices? Yes. Now evil has a face. https://optimalj.com/can-robots-inherit-human-prejudices-yes-now-evil-has-a-face/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 20:07:14 +0000 https://optimalj.com/can-robots-inherit-human-prejudices-yes-now-evil-has-a-face/ People might not notice artificial intelligence in their everyday life, but it is there. AI is now used to review mortgage applications and sort resumes to find a small pool of suitable candidates before scheduling job interviews. AI systems organize content for every individual on Facebook. Phone calls to customer services of cable operators, utilities, […]]]>

People might not notice artificial intelligence in their everyday life, but it is there. AI is now used to review mortgage applications and sort resumes to find a small pool of suitable candidates before scheduling job interviews. AI systems organize content for every individual on Facebook. Phone calls to customer services of cable operators, utilities, and banks, among other institutions, are processed by AI-based voice recognition systems.

This “invisible” AI can, however, make itself visible in unexpected and sometimes disturbing ways. In 2018, Amazon phased out some of its AI recruiting software because it demonstrated a prejudice against women. Like reported According to Reuters, Amazon’s own machine learning specialists realized that their algorithm training data had been pulled from resume templates submitted over 10 years when men dominated the software industry.

ProPublica found problems with a risk assessment tool widely used in the criminal justice system. The machine is designed to predict recidivism (relapse into criminal behavior) in the prison population. Risk estimates incorrectly identified African-American defendants as being more likely to commit future crimes than Caucasian defendants.

These unintended consequences were less of a problem in the past, as every piece of software logic was explicitly hand-coded, reviewed and tested. AI algorithms, on the other hand, learn from existing examples without relying on explicit rule-based programming. This is a useful approach when there is sufficient and accurately representative data and when it can be difficult or expensive to model the rules by hand – for example, being able to distinguish between a cat or a cat. a dog in a picture. But, depending on various circumstances, this methodology can lead to problems.

There is growing concern that AI sometimes generates distorted views of topics, leading to bad decisions. In order for us to effectively shape the future of technology, we must study and understand its anthropology.

The concept of distorted data can be too abstract to grasp, making it difficult to identify. After the Congressional hearings on Facebook, I felt there was a need for greater awareness of these concepts among the general public.

Art can help create this awareness. In a photographic project called “Human Trials”, I created an artistic representation of this distortion based on possible portraits of people who do not exist, created using AI algorithms.

Stay with me as I explain how I did the portraits.



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End Notes of a Very Long Life by New York’s Oldest https://optimalj.com/end-notes-of-a-very-long-life-by-new-yorks-oldest/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 21:44:10 +0000 https://optimalj.com/end-notes-of-a-very-long-life-by-new-yorks-oldest/ “No, no,” Jonas replied. “The it’s good. It is here who needs help. The world needs a lot of help. I’ll be very busy, busier than I’ve ever been. It was a statement that what you did mattered, and that it just didn’t stop to matter even when everything else was lost. For nearly seven […]]]>

“No, no,” Jonas replied. “The it’s good. It is here who needs help. The world needs a lot of help. I’ll be very busy, busier than I’ve ever been.

It was a statement that what you did mattered, and that it just didn’t stop to matter even when everything else was lost.

For nearly seven years, Ruth and the other elders served as penpals for a country most of us have not traveled to, although many will. Their dispatches were generous, surprising, predictable, enlightening, contradictory and at times full of beans, worthy of what novelist Penelope Lively, born a decade after Ruth, called “this place where we come with some surprise – ambushed, or so it may appear.

They were, after all, stories of loss: accepting the loss, resisting it, living fully with it while acknowledging the pain it brings. That is to say, they have been life stories. And as such, the stories end in this final article in a Times series that began under the Obama administration.

At the end of each year, I asked the elders if they were happy to have lived it. Did the year have a value for them? The response was always the same, even from those, including Ruth, who had said throughout the year that they were ready to go, that they wanted it to end as soon as possible. Yes, they said, yes, it was worth living.

I haven’t been able to ask Ruth that question this year, so her last words will have to be her answer. When she couldn’t speak on the last day, surrounded by her family, she simply kissed her daughters’ hands. But before that, she turned to her nurse. – Thank you, she said without speaking again.


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Death notice of WALDO FIELDING (1921 – 2022) – Hingham, MA https://optimalj.com/death-notice-of-waldo-fielding-1921-2022-hingham-ma/ Tue, 04 Jan 2022 23:26:00 +0000 https://optimalj.com/death-notice-of-waldo-fielding-1921-2022-hingham-ma/ FIELDING, Waldo L. Boston’s Legendary Physician passed away at South Shore Hospital on January 1, 2022, at the age of 100. A distinguished physician, obstetrician, and gynecologist, Dr. Fielding began his four-decade medical career providing care in the Pacific Theater during World War II, developed his expertise in Harlem, established his practice in Boston and […]]]>

FIELDING, Waldo L. Boston’s Legendary Physician passed away at South Shore Hospital on January 1, 2022, at the age of 100. A distinguished physician, obstetrician, and gynecologist, Dr. Fielding began his four-decade medical career providing care in the Pacific Theater during World War II, developed his expertise in Harlem, established his practice in Boston and shared his expertise with the next generation of physicians, serving on faculty at Harvard, Tufts, and Boston University medical schools. In retirement, he returned to his first passions for singing and acting. Bright, wickedly funny, and socially active, he was known simply as “Waldo” by generations of friends, family, patients and colleagues. If you were lucky enough to share a bus stop bench with Waldo, he would tell you about a more interesting life than Forrest Gump. But Waldo did not take the bus. No, he drove his convertible BMW, too fast, with the top down and the stereo playing the Red Sox at full volume. Waldo rubbed shoulders with Babe Ruth and Louis Armstrong, was the closest friend of Frank Avruch (better known to millions as Bozo the Clown), owned a restaurant with a few Boston Celtics, and appeared regularly on local news, the Mike Douglas Show, 20/20, and Phil Donahue. At 19, he was ranked sixth in the country in table tennis. He is the author of two books on childbirth and pregnancy (“The Childbirth Challenge”, later known as “The Case Against Natural Childbirth” and “Pregnancy: The Best State of the Union”). Following Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court, Waldo has become a strong advocate for the availability of safe and legal abortion. Waldo was protested and vilified, but continued to practice what he preached. He devoured non-fiction books and newspapers, and claimed to complete the New York Times crosswords pretty much every day, though no one could verify it due to his doctor’s handwriting. He was halfway through re-reading Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” when he died. Waldo could whip up a martini, tell a joke, sing you a song, fight tennis, and deliver your baby, all before lunch. He was one of a kind. So many people he knew in his prime are gone, but the 150 who showed up to celebrate his 100th birthday all had stories to tell. Waldo was loved. Waldo was also a very poor cook, which worked well for the dozens of restaurants and bars where Waldo was a staple, an inexhaustible tap of wit and wisdom, the life of the party. He had the gift of communicating with people. At her 95th birthday dinner, a waitress asked Waldo the secret to her longevity. Waldo scratched his ear, as he always did when thinking about something, then replied, “Well, you just saw me ordering it – double vodkas, rare red meat, and extra salt.” ” They both almost fell out of laughter. Waldo loved nothing better than grabbing the mic and giving a bar full of strangers the chance to know and love him by filling the room with songs. “Alabamy Bound” and “Pennies from Heaven” were still on the setlist, and with longtime collaborator Eddie Scheer on keyboard, Waldo has succeeded every time. A successful evening ended with the crowd chanting, pushed by a drink, about Waldo, for his new friends. He was generous to a fault. O’Leary’s at Brookline gave him his own Tiffany tumblers, kept behind the bar, which he continued to sip very carefully after the rims cracked and shredded. The Chart Room in Cataumet has hosted his songs for years. They once opened for a day, off season, just to throw a birthday party for his wife Anita. He asked for this check for years. He was known to everyone at the Quarterdeck, and finally at the Pub at Linden Ponds, his retirement home, where he liked to complain loudly that the crowd was “too old.” Waldo Lewis Fielding was born July 25, 1921 to Harriet and Bennett Fielding in Worcester, Massachusetts. An only child, he had a close relationship with his father, who introduced him to the YMCA of Worcester at the age of six. A longtime member of the YMCA, he trained four times a week, swam and played tennis. The Boston Globe featured Waldo, training on his usual treadmill at the Huntington branch in Boston, 91. Bennett Fielding was “Everybody’s Doctor”, a highly respected general practitioner in Worcester and a surgeon for the Worcester Police Department, and who inspired Waldo’s choice of a medical career. It was not an easy decision for Waldo, who was very fond of the theater and shared his talent, warmth and humor with an audience. Medicine prevailed and he set himself the goal of becoming a doctor. “It was a big dichotomy in my life,” he was quoted of his actor versus doctor dilemma in a 1995 article for the Worcester Telegram and Sun. “My dad was very easy on this, but it was my mom who insisted that I become a doctor.” Waldo graduated from Worcester Classical Secondary School. “Doc” Fielding, as he was called in the first five minutes of his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth (class of 43, graduate of 42), continued his education as part of the College’s two-year medical program, followed by two additional years of medical school at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Waldo joined the Navy in 1942, trained at the Great Lakes Naval Base, and served in the Pacific Theater, caring for mothers and newborns in Guam, and later in Truk, a remote atoll of the Pacific. His service in the Navy continued until 1948. There, Waldo was lined up, in formation under the scorching sun, to meet a visiting dignitary on an inspection tour as the personal representative of the President Roosevelt. It turned out to be the former president of Dartmouth College, who spied on his former student Waldo and interrupted his inspection to discuss and ask what he could do for him. Within weeks, Waldo was ordered to report to his dream job at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Still the showman, he hasn’t completely cut the scene from his doctor’s life. While in service, he presented shows for Navy trainees, and in 1948 appeared regularly as a comic book on CBS’s “Mississippi Music Hall” radio show at medical residences in Bellevue, London. Harlem Hospital and The Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City. From 1950 to 1952, he was chief resident of obstetrics and gynecology at Harlem Hospital in New York. While working at Bellevue, Waldo met and married Suzanne Benjamin (Sue Bennett), a singer on “Your Hit Parade”, various network shows, as well as “The Sue Bennett Show”. After accepting a job at the Chelsea Naval Hospital, Waldo and Sue moved to Boston. Suzie has done voiceover work for radio and television commercials while raising their two sons, Jed and Andrew. Waldo then joined the Medical Associates of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital before entering private practice in 1954 until his retirement in 1990. Suzie died in 2001, but was kept alive thanks to Waldo’s many love stories at his subject. Providing medical care to women was her life’s work. Waldo was introduced to obstetrics in medical school and knew then that it would become his specialty. He loved his job and often said, “You can’t find a happier doctor than I am. Part of this care, after Roe v. Wade, was about providing safe abortions. Waldo opened and was the head of the Pre-Term Health Services Clinic, which offered a full range of OB / GYN services at Brookline. In 2008, when it emerged that the Supreme Court was becoming more conservative, Waldo wrote an essay in The New York Times, recounting his experiences with dealing with the legacy of illicit procedures during his first training at Bellevue and Harlem Hospitals, and advocating for women to finally enjoy “the full rights of first-class citizens”. He was a tireless advocate for women’s right to choose. He was proud of his appearance on the PBS documentary “No Choice”, in which he was interviewed by Pamela Mason in the summer of 2017. Waldo couldn’t get a parking ticket at Brookline if he tried, because there was so many officers among the thousands of Boston babies delivered by his hands. He once parked his convertible in two places, left the driver’s door open, the keys in the ignition, while he went to lunch. When he returned, all the maid said was “I waited for you Waldo, nice to see you!” After saying thank you and hello, Waldo turned to his lunch mate and whispered, “Who the hell was that?” It was after retiring from his medical practice that Waldo was able to devote himself to his other love, entertainment. Waldo’s connection to show business began with his first wife Suzie, and his own talent developed over the following decades. Waldo has performed in over 70 community plays and made many cry with his renditions of “Love Letters”. He was a valued patron of the Cotuit Center for the Arts on Cape Cod and donated many long-lost manuscripts to the center from his personal collection. It was around this time in his life that Waldo met Anita Mackinnon, organist, mother of six, and longtime nonprofit activist. From their first meeting at O’Leary’s they were inseparable and happy, always out in the theater, playing music and enjoying their friends and family. Anita is a member of the College Club of Boston, where Waldo has appeared in “Love Letters” and in several cabarets. Waldo and Anita tied the knot in November 2014 and split their time between Brookline and East Falmouth. Anita liked to sit in the passenger seat of the convertible and focus on the Red Sox show and knitting on her knees, or chatting on the phone, all to avoid seeing Waldo driving. Waldo and Anita moved to Linden Ponds in Hingham, MA, in 2018. In addition to Anita, he is survived by two sons: Jed Fielding of Chicago, IL, an internationally renowned street photographer; and Andrew Fielding of Pompton Lakes, NJ, radio talk show host and author of “The Lucky Strike Papers – Journeys Through My Mother’s Television Past,” a book about early television in the 1940s and 1950s. Waldo claimed which Anita added years to her life, and through their marriage Waldo became the eldest of a loving extended family, what he called “the tribe” including: Matthew and Linda MacKinnon of Bethlehem, NH ; DJ and Leslie MacKinnon of Hingham, MA; Laurie and John Fallon of Easton, MA; Robert Benjaminsen and Linda Blue of Annapolis, MD; Leslie MacKinnon of Dorchester, MA; Liza MacKinnon and Brian Knies from Hingham, MA. Waldo’s grandchildren are: Taylor and Andrew Howell of Hingham, MA; Alec MacKinnon of Allston, MA; McKay Blue of Miami, Florida; Lila Blue of Annapolis, MD; and Maisie Knies and Lachlan Knies of Hingham, MA. Used to babies, Waldo held his first great-grandchild, Avery Charlotte Howell, on Christmas Day. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Waldo would be happy to donate to the Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth and the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, MA.

Published by Boston Globe January 4-6, 2022.


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