Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Favorite Communication with God

"It is not necessary my child, to know much in order to please me much; it is enough that you love me fervently. Speak here to me then, as you would speak to your most intimate friend, to your mother, to your brother.

"So, you want to ask me to do something for someone? Tell me his name. Is it your parents, your brothers, your friends? Tell me what you want me to do for them now. Ask much, very much: do not hesitate to ask. I love generous hearts who somehow can come to forget themselves to look after the needs of others. Speak sincerely to me then, of the poor you would console, of the sick you see suffering, of the strayed you yearn to see return to the right path, of those absent friends you want at your side again. Say at least one word for each, the ardent word of a friend. Remind me that I have promised to listen to every petition that arises from the heart, and is not a prayer for those whom your heart especially loves such a pray? And for you: do you need a particular favour? Make a list, as it were, of your needs, and come and read it in my presence.

"Tell me frankly that you are prone to anger, that you love sensuality and pleasure, that you are perhaps proud, variable, negligent . . . Ask me to come to the help of those efforts, many or few, which you undertake to free yourself from these faults. Do not be ashamed, poor soul; there are in Heaven so many saints who had these same defects; but they prayed humbly, and little by little they saw themselves freed from them.

"Do not hesitate to ask Me for spiritual and material goods; for health, memory, success in your work, enterprises and studies; all these I can give and I do give -- as long as they do not hinder, but rather assist your sanctification. Precisely today, what do you need? What can I do for you?

"If only you knew how much I would like to help you! Do you have, right now, some project in mind? Tell me everything in detail. What preoccupies you? What are you thinking? What do you want? What do you want me to do for your parents, your brothers, your children, your superiors? What would you want to do for them?

"And for me, do you feel an attraction for my glory? Do you not want to do something for those friends whom you love much but who perhaps live separated from me?

"Tell me what in particular attracts your attention today, what you desire most ardently and what means you have of obtaining it? Tell me if your plans are not working and I will tell you the causes of your difficulties. Do you not want to interest me in your quest? My dear one, I am the Lord of hearts and I move them, without violating their freedom, to wherever I please.

"Are you perhaps sad, or in bad humour? Tell me, tell me, you inconsolable soul, tell me your sorrows in all their details. Who wounded you? come close to my Heart, and find in it a refreshing balsam for the wounds in yours. Then, you will confess that, like me, you forgive everything, you forget everything. In appreciation, you will receive my consoling benediction.

"Are you perhaps afraid? Do you feel in your soul those vague stirrings of sadness which, however unjustified, can be so tearing? Throw yourself in the arms of my Providence. I am with you. I am at your side. I see everything. I hear everything. I shall not abandon you for one moment.

"Do you feel ignored by persons who loved you once but who now have forgotten you without cause? Pray from them and I will bring them back to you if they are not obstacles to your salvation.

"And don't you have, perhaps, some joy to communicate to me? Why don't you let me share it with you, like a friend?

"Tell me what has consoled and gladdened your heart since yesterday, since you last visited me. Perhaps you have had an agreeable surprise; perhaps you have seen grave doubts dissipated, or you have received good news -- a letter, or perhaps a gesture of love. Maybe you have overcome some difficulty, or come out of a trying situation. All of this is my work. I have obtained this for you. Why not show me your gratitude and say, like a child to its father, "Thank you, my Father, thank you." Gratitude brings forth new gifts since benefactors, as you know, like to see themselves appreciated.

"Do you not have a promise to make to me? I read, you know, the bottom of hearts. Men are easily deceived, but not God. Speak to me, then honestly; do you have firm intentions of avoiding the occasion of sin? Of denying yourself that object that harmed your soul? Of not reading again that book which excited your imagination? Of avoiding that person who disturbed the peace of your soul?

"Will you be kind to that person who, because he offended you, you have regarded as an enemy?
"And now, my child return to your work, to your office, to your family, to your studies -- but do not forget these fifteen minutes of intimate conversation we have had in the privacy of the sanctuary. Keep as much as possible, silence, resignation, modesty, charity towards your neighbours.

"Love and honour my Mother, who is also your Mother. And please come again tomorrow with an even more fervent heart, to unite it to mine. In it you will find every day new love, new gifts, new consolation.

"Here I await you."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

THE GIFT-GIVER

It's been a while since I've posted here, as I've been busy creating alternate blogs (such as The Healthy Reporter, The Economy Dechonomy, The Legal Brief, and others). I've also decided to recommence my Acting classes, and will soon re-start my Writing classes, as well. Ultimately, I seek to establish The Herbie J Pilato Performing Arts and Literary Center, at which I will offer various courses in acting, writing, dance, music, and directing. I am very excited about this venture, and I have finally decided upon a base business that will keep me rooted (and routed) in Rochester, while still allowing me to work on various scripts, TV shows, films, acting gigs, etc., around the world.

It has taken me quite some time be at peace with living in Rochester. After several years - and various moves back and forth to LA, I have realized that Rochester is and always will be my home; that I have acres of wonderful family members and friends here - and that I am SUPPOSED to be here. It's where my artistic talents are best utilized, while - via the Internet and telephone - and periodic flights to LA and NYC, I am still able to be "connected to Hollywood." Clearly, I have the best of all worlds, and I extremely grateful to the Universe for its many gifts to me.

I have for far too long, however, ignored or not even acknowledged one of the greatest gifts that I have been granted. And it's not my acting techniques, not my singing or dancing talents, not even my writing ability. But rather it is my gift to GAB...and communicate in general with others, along with my sense of humor. They represent my passion and compassion as a human being...my open heart...my generosity, and so many other great aspects of my personhood that I am NOW only beginning to appreciate as the MOST important parts of Herbie J (and please forgive the third-person speak). We EACH have aspectal gifts that we have been granted, and The Universe is merely waiting for US (which is short for the Universe) to acknowledge them as well.

All I can say is please DO acknowledge them, and yet don't so much love THEM, as much as you should love the Gift-GIVER behind them. And that would be God, however you so choose to name Him or Her.

Be well and be blessed....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Love

Hello, Everyone -

Thought it was time to send out a completely direct and simple message of pure love.

So here goes:

I love you.

Herbie J

Friday, August 19, 2005

Are There No "Peanut Butter and Jelly" Communities left in the world?

Are simpler days really gone forever?

Are there any small towns, communities or neighborhoods left in the world - the kind that still have corner stores where you can buy candy and ice cream? The kind where kids come home from school and there's always someone there to greet them with a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, as opposed to an instructional note from a working parent? The kind where everyone sits on their front porches (if they have them) and speak with their neighbors as they pass by? The kind where people get together once a week to play "Bridge"? The kind where not everybody is rushing around to go every which way to see every which event? The kind where, you know, everyone was happy with just Bingo Night once a week at the local church hall?

Or how about the kind where everyone was just happy, period?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Message from Arch-Angel Michael (via Near-Death.com)

Your forefathers created one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. These were men of high ideals, spiritually guided and inspired to create a nation and a civilization to be admired and respected, to set an example for the rest of the world. In exercising their free will under God's guidance and direction, they created a Constitution and a Bill of Rights for every man, woman, and child to live in freedom in the pursuit of happiness. Yet these high-minded and spiritual men were soon replaced by others who, in the exercise of their free will, chose to put their egos before God and to joust with God's plan.

You became a nation of spoilers, man against man, brother against brother, government against citizens, and the chosen nation became a warrior with and against other nations. You have become a nation of criminals and murderers.

You murder in wars. You murder the innocent. You murder your children. Your leaders create laws to justify the murders, to attempt to make wrongs right, to rewrite morals and ethics to support your own earthbound greed and desires.You have become a nation further and further from the spirit and the influence of God. You have created sciences and philosophies to support activities that only recognize earthbound realities that not only refuse to recognize the spiritual nature of man himself, but refuse to recognize even the existence of God.

You have taken God and his works of prayer and meditation out of your government, out of your institutions, out of your schools. You have done everything you can to deny his existence, and you find yourselves in a world filled with wars, hatred, starvation, and death, and you do not understand why the rest of the world does not follow your shining example.You are a nation at war with itself, filled with hatred, prejudice, crime, drugs, and murder.

Yet when the few of you who do look to God ask him why all these things are allowed to happen, you do not hear his answer.You are members of the human race, universally created by God and given free will individually by divine right, and you would not wish to have it any other way.

Yet every little act of free will that man has exercised from the beginning of time that was not in accordance with God's plan, multiplied in its impact and its negativity on the future of man.

Every simple act of aggression multiplied into acts of world war. Every simple act of greed multiplied into worldwide human suffering and starvation. Every act of destruction of God's environment on earth multiplied into destructive forces of nature - earthquakes, floods, pestilence, nuclear destruction and nuclear waste. Every act of violence escalated into acts of murder and the extermination of ethnic people for their appearance or beliefs.

Yet, God created a nation of high ideals for you to survive other empires and civilizations that crumbled into oblivion, for their leaders placed themselves as men above God, and now those empires and civilizations are but piles of dust or buried under the waters. You sit on the edge of the new millennium, poised for the future of humankind, and you are headed, like all great civilizations of the past, to be reduced to piles of dust, to be covered over by the waters.

Yet, God comes to you again, to appeal to you as a people, to appeal to you as a nation, to appeal to your leaders. His army of angels is visiting upon you with a life force of energy, a spiritual energy radiated by the Creator to all humankind. Many of you feel the vibrancy of his energy and his divine presence. He is communicating with you spiritually, telling you to raise yourselves to the level of spiritual transformation that is necessary for those of you who hear him to spread his message and his energy, to recognize that he is coming.Guided by prayer and meditation, all men, women, and children may answer his call, but it must be soon.

Time is running out! The angels are coming! Do you hear them? Are you listening?

Are you listening?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Origins of AMEN, what Jesus really meant when he said BORN-AGAIN, and the truth behind His Name.

Part 1: THE ORIGINS OF AMEN


Years ago, Shirley MacLaine caused all kind of controversies when she told the story of how she stood upon the rocky seashore in Malibu, and exclaimed, "I Am God!"

Everyone SO took it the wrong way, and thought that Ms. MacLaine was proclaiming her superior awesomeness.

Well...no.

That's not what she was proclaiming at all. What she was indeed proclaiming was OUR EQUAL superior awesomeness WITH God.

Truth be told, "I Am God" is a translation of AMEM, which is a translation of the Himalayan chant, "AUM," which is a translation of the Indian chant, "OM."

That's right, everytime you say, "AMEN," your saying, "I AM GOD."

And that was and is exactly God's intention.

We are ONE WITH God, and each time we say "AMEN," we are confirming that. And Ms. MacLaine was merely introducing mainstream America to the fact that "I AM GOD" is simply another way to say AMEN.


PART 2: WHAT JESUS REALLY MEANT WHEN HE SAID WE ARE "BORN-AGAIN"

Being "Born-Again" means something totally different in the Christian Fundamentalist arena than to what Jesus really meant in the New Testament (John 3:1-7). Jesus was actually referring to the state of REINCARNATION. That's right. Being "born-again" - which, along with the philosophy behind "karma" - is really the only logical explanation for the dreadful things that happen to us, individually, and as a collective consciousness.

Why do "bad" things happen to us?

Because, in a previous life, we were once "bad" to others. It's really that simple - and it's not very complicated at all. We are reaping the karmic "punishments" or "rewards" of our previous lives. All we have to understand is that the ANSWER to EVERYTHING is LOVE, with a whole lot of FORGIVENESS.

I once had a medium give me a past-life reading. And this medium (who was a strict Catholic, by the way, who had visions of the beloved Blessed Mother) told me that, in one previous life, I was a very tall Jewish rabbi, with very curly black locks. And I had a beautiful wife and three beautiful daughters. But I wasn't very respectful of them. All I cared about was the "Tora" - and ignored them.

And in THIS life now as "Herbie J," I was told, I am making up for the previous one. (Apparently, too, when I was that tall rabbi, I made fun of those shorter than myself - and I am reaping the result of that insensitivity, as "Herbie J" is ow only 5', 7").

So, yes - REINCARNATION was indeed part of the ORIGINAL Biblical writings and teachings - but these references were DELETED from the Bible (along with SO many other truths) by those who were more concerned with placing the CHURCH at the centre of the universe - instead of GOD.

PART THREE: The Truth Behind Name of JESUS THE CHRIST

One of the other major deletions from the original Bible was the direct and correct name of Jesus. We know him as "Jesus Christ," as if "Christ" was his last name or something.

This is not the case.

The original and legitimate way to refer to Jesus is to say, "Jesus THE Christ," which, when translated, means, "Jesus the Enlightened One." As we are ALL enlightened - which is what Jesus' true message is to each of us - which is why our dear GOD sent Him to us - to show us that we can do the things that he does (and MORE) - to show us the way we all can be and must aspire to be.

What many Christians and/or Catholics do not know is that St. Augustine attempted to restore the Bible to it's original state, inserting all the references to "Reincarnation," and to correctly insert the "the" in between every reference to "Jesus Christ."

Jesus, Himself, was so pleased with St. Augustine's efforts, that He appeared to him and thanked him for attempting to properly restore HIS NAME.

But you don't hear this information in Catholic schools. But it happened.

Essentially, all religion began in INDIA...ALL religion.

And those thirty years that Jesus supposedly spent "wandering the desert"? Well, he was acutely studying with the monks of the Himalayas for those three decades.

SUMMARY/SUGGESTED READINGS:

There are thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of books that deliver these truths to the world. My suggestion is that you start reading them. Begin with anything written by or about EDGAR CAYCE, and yes - Shirley MacLaine's original OUT ON A LIMB publication.

But if you really want an awesome introduction to this new "old" thought (and by the way, guess to what Jesus was REALLY referring when he said that a "NEW AGE" was coming?), pick up the beautiful five-volume set of LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF THE MASTERS OF THE FAR EAST, by Baird T. Spaulding.

This incredible collections tells of an American team of interested individuals who journeyed to the Himalayas in the 1930s - and MET JESUS themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, too, grab and read anything you can by PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA - the great India yogi (and believer in Jesus) who helped to bring Asian thought to America in the 1930s...

Blessings,

Herbie J

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Move into a smaller house, and stop being so rediculous


Malnourished Children Face Harsh Future

By EDWARD HARRIS, Associated Press
Wed Aug 10, 1:59 PM ET

Weeks of treatment in a remote Malian hospital have saved tiny 26-month-old Tideye Alminawi's life, but she's showing signs of the long-term damage hunger wreaks on tender bodies and minds.

What appears to be a permanent gaping grin may be a sign of mental retardation, explains Dr. Yacouba Cissoko, acting head of pediatrics at the ramshackle hospital in the town of Gao, 745 miles east of the capital, Bamako. Three severely malnourished babies have died here in recent weeks.

Tideye constantly arches her back and nods her head compulsively.

"You can see she has mental problems, the way she holds herself. She's spastic because of her malnutrition," said Cissoko as he tests the girl's responses.

"All the babies you see here now will have problems later, that's certain," Cissoko said after making the rounds of nearly two dozen skeletal babies watched over by anxious mothers. "Most of the people you know who seem very intelligent were likely well fed as children and haven't suffered from malnutrition.

"Malnutrition affects peoples' long-term health, which hurts their productivity, undermines social structures and keeps the country from developing."

Mali, one of the world's poorest countries, usually has trouble ensuring all its people are fed. Hunger is worse than ever this year in Mali and across chronically dry West Africa because of a locust invasion last year, followed by drought.

Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania also are affected. An estimated 1.5 million of Mali's 11 million people are said to be facing hunger, including an estimated 144,000 children suffering malnutrition.

"The problem of malnutrition is chronic here, but this is a particularly grave moment," Cissoko said.

The French aid agency Action Contre la Faim - Action Against Hunger - set up a treatment center for malnourished children at Gao hospital last month, joining local medical workers in responding to the food crisis.

Dr. Clara Marti Mashooka of Action Against Hunger examined a new arrival, 9-month-old Djibril Allasane, twisting his loose folds of skin to see if they rebound as a healthy child's should. They don't, because Djibril is extremely dehydrated. He hasn't had the strength to nurse for days. He may be physically stunted for life.

"If he didn't come in now, he would have been dead in hours," Mashooka said of her newest charge. "He wouldn't have lasted the night."
Djibril was expected to respond well to an emergency treatment of enriched milk and medicine.

"In days, you'll see a big change. He'll start drinking milk and he'll be laughing. It's very rapid and fulfilling," said Mashooka. "But what kind of life will he have later?"

Cissoko, the pediatrics chief, said the solution to chronic malnutrition across West Africa is education first, then economic development.

Children at greatest risk are those recently weaned from mothers who aren't sure what kinds of solid foods to give to their babies, particularly in times like these when creating a balanced diet is even more difficult.

Tideye's mother, Safi Nihidy, said the future of children is not in human hands.

"If God wants them to be better, they will be," she said. "If God wants to give them health and a good life, that's in his hands."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mom and the 28 Quarters

As many of you are well-aware, my Father died of lung cancer on April 6th, 1995. I was his primary caregiver for 18 months before then and, as anyone who has lost a loved-one in such a way knows, it's a life-changing experience - on many levels.

Anyway, since my Dad's passing, it's been a rough road for my Mother, emotionally. They were very close, and she was very dependent on him, she's doesn't drive, etc. So I've tried to do the best I can for her, even once attempting to move her to LA with me (to disastrous results).

So now, she's 84, and having memory issues.

However, for as long as I can remember, she's always prayed for everyone. And she still does, especially children. In fact, whenever she sees a child, she takes out her rosary beads and says a prayer, right there, at that moment, wherever she is, asking the accompanying parent if it's okay for her to bless their child. "Of course," they say.

Then, every Monday-Friday, my Mom goes to the Senior Center, which costs her about $6.00 a day; a price that includes lunch and service for the van (that picks her up and takes her home). Thirty bucks a week for a senior's regular activities? Not bad at all.

At this simple-treasured Center, she also plays cards, goes on picnics, and plays bingo. She especially loves the bingo. A whole lot.

I never realized how much really.

Until, one day, a few weeks ago, when I started giving her "extra" quarters with which to play the game. Not a lot of quarters. Just seven dollars worth. Not ten. Not nine.

Seven.

Every other day, I walk into her apartment, and interrupt her daily viewing of Seinfeld or The Golden Girls, walk over to her, kiss her, and ask her to open up her hand.

At that moment, I pour out the seven dollars in quarters, 28 in all.

As I'm doing this, her reaction is one of astonishment. She looks as if she's winning the lottery or the mega-jackpot in Vegas. "Oh, Herbie J," she'll say with so much joy, "...what a great son you are! I have to pay you back! I have to pay you back!!"

"Ma," I reply, "You just go have fun at the Center."

And she does, all the more...with that mere extra seven dollars. Not a million. Not a thousand. Not even ten. But seven.

Seven.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

She's Got My Vote

Grieving Mother's War Protest Draws Notice
Written by Angela K. Brown
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


The mother of a fallen U.S. soldier who started a quiet roadside peace vigil near President Bush's ranch last weekend is drawing supporters from across the nation.

Dozens of people have joined her, and others have sent flowers and food. One activist called her "the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement."

Cindy Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., says she was surprised at the response.

"Before my son was killed, I used to think that one person could not make a difference," she said Wednesday under a tent where she has slept since Saturday. "But one person that is surrounded and supported by millions of people can be heard."

But Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the Washington, D.C., chapter of FreeRepublic.com, which has held pro-troop rallies, said Sheehan's actions are misguided and hurt troop morale.

"She has a political agenda that goes way beyond her son's death in combat," Taylor said.

Although a few residents have complained about the protesters, no one has been arrested because the group has been on the public right-of-way, said Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday, two high-level Bush administration officials, the national security adviser and deputy White House chief of staff, talked to Sheehan for about 20 minutes.

Sheehan called the brief meeting "pointless" and still wants to talk to the president.

Her 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, in April 2004 just five days after he arrived. Two months later, Sheehan was among grieving military family members who met with Bush at Fort Lewis, near Seattle, Wash.

Since then, she said, various government and independent commission reports have disputed the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein had mass-killing chemical and biological weapons — a main justification for the March 2003 invasion.

On Wednesday, a coalition of anti-war groups in Washington called on Bush to speak with Sheehan, who they say has helped to unify the peace movement.

"Cindy Sheehan has become the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement," said Rev. Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus, an activist group. "She's tired, fed up and she's not going to take it anymore, and so now we stand with her."

At her makeshift camp in muddy ditches off the two-lane, winding road leading to Bush's ranch, Sheehan has spent the past several days talking to reporters, hugging fellow protesters and taking brief breaks to eat sandwiches and fruit brought by supporters. Her vigil has also become a hot topic on the Internet and blogs.

Although she doesn't expect Bush to meet with her in Crawford, she says if he did she would ask him whether he has encouraged his twin daughters to enlist.

"I want him to quit using my son's death to justify more killing," she said. "The only way he can honor my son's death is to bring the troops home."

Sheehan, a former Roman Catholic youth minister, formed a group called Gold Star Families For Peace earlier this year and has spoken out against the war across the nation and overseas.

Judith Young, national president of similarly named The American Gold Star Mothers of America, Inc., said she is concerned that the public will mistake her 76-year-old Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization with Sheehan's group.

Young's group, commonly known as Gold Star Moms, arranges for mothers whose children died in the line of duty to volunteer in veterans' hospitals and programs. Members don't do advocacy work, Young said.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ron's Near-Death Experience Summary (via nderf.com)

"Yes, I did recall some knowledge, here are some for you to think about.

"God himself acknowledges that yes, UFOs do co-exist with us and are not to be feared - HIS words.

"Man has space traveled before the 1960´ies, approximately 10.000 years ago. We did not build spaceships like we do today, we were picked up by UFO´s willingly - we would go to a pick up point, a large hill overlooking a vast plain, there were images marked on the ground to be read from the sky.

"There IS other life, beings, not microbes. They reside outside our solar system and into the next. Being in their spacecraft you are not subject to G forces, gravity or other limitations that ours are subject to. They can travel great distances in seconds, they can make their spaceships invisible at will.

"Time travel is possible. I was shown a blueprint and I asked what it is and he (God) said: It is for time travel.

"In the past man has been wiped out from the earth and forced to learn everything again and repopulate the earth. Man has achieved very high knowledge about space travel, science and mathematics, much more than we know today."

Monday, August 08, 2005

WOW: Remains of Ancient Church found in Egypt (via Associated Press)

The remains of an ancient church and monks' retreats that date back to the early years of monasticism have been discovered in a Coptic Christian monastery in the Red Sea area, officials said Saturday.
Workers from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities found the ruins while restoring the foundations of the Apostles Church at St. Anthony's Monastery. The remains are about 2 or 2 1/2 yards underground, said the head of the council, Zahi Hawass.
The monastery, which is in the desert west of the Red Sea, was founded by disciples of St. Anthony, a hermit who died in A.D. 356 and is regarded as the father of Christian monasticism. A colony of hermits settled around him and he led them in a community.
The remains include the column bases of a mud-brick church and two-room hermitages.
The remains of a small oven and a stove for food were found in one hermitage room, Hawass said. Another room had Coptic writing on the walls and a small mud-brick basin.
"These hermitages are the oldest in Egypt and they cast light on the history of monasticism in Egypt," Abdullah Kamel, the head of the council's Islamic and Coptic Antiquities department, told The Associated Press.
Kamel could not offer a precise date for the hermitages.
Christians account for an estimated 10 percent of Egypt's population and belong mainly to the Coptic Church, an Orthodox church that traces its origins to St. Mark.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The "Disability" Act

In reference to my previous post, "Insult to Injury" (August 1), please allow for a clarification:

Overall, again, my main protest is when actors of sound physical and mental health (for the most part) offer performances that they believe are of artistic merit. When, in reality, one can't help but think a part of them is actually "making fun" of those with disabilities - or that they may have done so in the past (off-screen) - and they are now merely employing their demeaning "joke" behavior to earn themselves an Emmy or Oscar nod/award.

This is an abuse of their talent, and an assault on the audience, be they disabled or not - and it just really pisses me off.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Insult to Injury

I find it absolutely insulting when I see celebrity actors portraying the mentally disabled.

Case in point: last's night's telecast of the feature film, I AM SAM, starring Sean Penn. And the TV-film, RIDING THE BUS WITH MY SISTER, which stars Rosie O'Donnell - and which was telecast on CBS last spring.

It's one thing when a perfectly healthy actor interprets a character who is physically disabled, and wheelchair-bound. But when someone like Mr. Penn or Ms. O'Donnell appears in said films, I find their performances in poor taste and inexcusable.

As the author of the upcoming book, LIFE STORY - THE BOOK OF LIFE GOES ON: TV'S FIRST FAMILY SHOW OF CHALLENGE, I feel a particular obligation to protest BUS, SAM, and the like. LIFE GOES ON was and remains a groundbreaking series that featured Chris Burke, a real-life actor with Down syndrome (and no, not Down's Syndrome), who played Corky - a teenager struggling with the challenge of the disorder.

BUS, SAM, and other such films, either for the large or small screens, not only insult the mentally and physically-disabled communities, but also many of the viewers who are forced to watch such drivel, clandestined behind good intentions or "spreading the word" on having legitimate compassion for the "less fortunate."

BULLSHIT.

Hollywood needs to stop making these insulting (and there is no other word for them) films with celebrities offering insulting performances.

Instead, actors with REAL disabilities (again, i.e. the amazing Chris Burke from LIFE GOES ON) need to be cast and employed.

THEY know the REAL story of their life challenges. THEY are the ones who deserve to shine in true films of compassion to properly display the strength of the human spirit. THEY are the ones who, when granted the chance, are really "able" to out-perform the performers.

As opposed to "celebrity" actors who attempt to earn some kind of universal brownie points under the false pretense of compassionate communication, seeking an Emmy or Oscar nod in the process.

Please.