Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This, That and a Movie Review of ‘The Post’


This past month I recorded a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head on topics I probably should have kept to myself. The Bachelor? Oprah? Who really cares about how I feel about pop culture and celebrities besides me and often times I wonder about my own level of interest in what goes on in between my ears. It’s called ‘editing’ Jean. I know how to do that when I’m face to face with others but I could use a refresher course in editing my thoughts when I write. If you rooted out an apology in this paragraph, au contraire. I'm just saying that a self-imposed commitment to write a 1,000 words twice a week might be good disciple and a useful teaching tool for would-be writers but there's a fine line between forcing a topic and finding one. Sometimes I forget that.

The January thaw has brought my social life back into the realm of possibilities which is always good for journaling fodder. This week’s choice: Should I go to the rescheduled-for-the-3rd-time Red Hat Society Christmas party or go on an outing with my Movie and Lunch Club? I chose the latter because I was totally out of the mood to stretch the holidays out past the middle of January. From the photos they shared online, I was the only one who didn’t make it and I didn’t feel even a tinge of regret looking at all those smiling ladies all decked out in their gaudy best. Ever since they changed “management” over a year ago, I’ve lost interest in the group. One power-drugged person---even a nice, church lady power-drugged person---can change the whole dynamics of a group. Dictatorships, whether in a group of twenty or in a country, creates the dissident class. That’s me, Ms Dissident.

I skipped the ‘lunch’ part of my Movie and Lunch Club because I still felt a little weak from being sick not long ago and I didn’t want to over-tax myself with a stretched-out social afternoon. The movie we saw was The Post with Tom Hawks and Meryl Streep taking the lead parts and directed by Steven Spielberg. You can’t go wrong with that combination of talent at the helm. Rotten Tomatoes.com sums up the story like this: It’s “…a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers - and their very freedom - to help bring long-buried truths to light.” 

For anyone who lived through that era when the Pentagon Papers were exposed and The Times and The Post ended up in an emergency Supreme Court hearing charged with treason via a suit filed by the Nixon administration, for any history buff or political junkie, for anyone concerned about our present administration’s attack on the press this is a MUST-SEE film! All the glowing reviews this movie has gotten are well deserved. But I wish more younger people were interested in see it. My niece saw it on a Friday night and she noted the same thing I did about my afternoon audience. We were all older, well dressed people who looked college educated or at least smart enough to follow the complicated and fast-moving true story and the importance of the Fourth Estate in our democracy. 

Near the end of the movie they quoted Justice Hugo Black’s argument for ruling in favor of the two newspaper’s right to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers and against Nixon’s attempt to control the press and I was able to google his words. They’re important words, words that matter today every bit as much as they did in 1971 when the court ruled 6 to 3. He wrote, “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.” 

And that’s why Trump’s attempt to erode the credibility of the press is so dangerous. It’s why we need to remain vigilant against his corrosive, dictatorship-inspired tactic of calling any news he doesn’t like “fake” news. It’s why we all need to put on our dissidents hats and stand up for this basic building block of our democracy. ©

 This is probably the most comprehensive movie trailer I’ve seen in ages. The 2:32 minutes sums up the two hour movie and the historical event it covers with near perfection.   



A fun and fascinating interview of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep on CBS This Morning about the movie. 


“Katharine Graham stepped into a moment in history where she made history.” Meryl Streep

“The news is the first rough draft of history.”
A line attributed to Katharine Graham in the movie, who was quoting her father.

26 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading your biweekly posts each week *precisely* because of the reasons you give in your opening para! Unedited, open, frank thoughts and comments on all issues. I am usually reserved, but love the freedom that chatting with close friends provides - I can talk without editing my thoughts! For example, on abortion, women rights, current politics, etc. We may not agree (generally do!) but we have a mutual respect.

    Thank you for the recommendation for 'The Post' - i look forward to watching it on TV. The print media has a lot of power that I only fully understood this last year. I no longer check out online the NYT, but do the Washington Post still. The bias of some newspapers is very apparent. Fox TV is beneath my contempt. I find Rachel Maddow commentary fascinating and well researched, although occasionally I find myself muttering "get to the point, dammit". I'm sure I'm not the only one! ~ Libby

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    1. I am constantly amazed by your comments---that someone in a country so far away from the U.S. seems to be better informed than people right here. It doesn't hurt that you and I think very much a like on our politics. LOL

      Here, at least in 95% of the circles of people I come in contact with I have to edit my words on the big topics---abortion, women's rights, politics, religion---which is all the more reason why it's great to have a blog where I don't have to be so guarded.

      I don't see Rachel every night---maybe 2-3 a weeks---but she probably has the best and smartest researchers on TV. When I go on politic sites Trump supporters hate her and try to dismiss her because of her sexuality.

      Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts and time here. Makes the world seem like a smaller place when people from other countries can share with one another.

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  2. I recently saw this movie and loved it! And yes we are living in dangerous times with Trump and his supporters. Some of those supporters are the rich and powerful who know and approve of what he is trying to do, but the majority are clueless and ignorant and probably wouldn't approve, if they would only open their minds and THINK!

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    1. The excuses they make for him! One of the high up officials in the Evangelical church was interviewed yesterday and asked about that "giving Trump a Mulligan" comment regarding having an affair with the porn star. The way he twisted morality around to fit Trump is disgusting. As long as he gives them another Pro-Life Supreme court judge his supports in the church will forgive and forget anything, including starting another war.

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    2. Yep..they are trying to turn America into a theocracy. It's strictly power and control. We are losing America as it was originally founded

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  3. Kept to yourself, never Jean. That's what makes you the wonderful lady that you are. I love reading your blog because of what you write and your honesty.
    I haven't seen " The Post " yet but it sounds very interesting. I do agree with you that Trump is scary but I hope that the press will continue even with dictator Trump.
    Have a wonderful day my friend. See ya when I come back from my cruise.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I was surprised to see your comment because I thought for sure you'd be on your cruise by now! Half my husband's family is so my Facebook pages have been filled with the photos and I've been looking for you in the background. LOL Hope you and your wife have a wonderful time!

      Awww you are always so quick with the kind words. It's an Italian thing, I think.

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    2. Yes we Italians love............ with words. Ciao.

      Cruisin Paul

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  4. I have yet to see this movie. Like you I lived it. I was in high school but I recall discussing this a great deal in our Logic class as well as in history class. This is on the top of my list to see!
    Thanks for the great idea - I am now going to google Judge Black's words. I need that as does this nation right now.

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    1. I was out of school by then but the movie sure answers a question I've had since I sent my Vietnam pen pal letters off to the center for war letters. I couldn't figure out when my attitude about the war changed so much. I never became a war protester but I sure remember being totally confused.

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  5. It would be a shame if you guarded or edited your thoughts/words when writing here. This should be Your Place, not the Readers'.

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    1. I'll bet your students loved you. You always know the right things to say.

      There is a scene in the movie 'A River Runs Through it' where a boy brings his essay to his father to read and his father crosses out words and tells him to do it over. When he does the father crosses out more words and phrases over and over again until the writing it 'tight.' The boy grows up to be a newspaper reporter. I love that scene and think of it often when I'm near the final draft. Of course that kind of editing isn't the same as I was talking about in my first paragraph of editing whole topics off the list, but I have diarrhea of the mouth this morning so you get what you get. LOL

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  6. Jean :

    I love your writing style, your blogs are tools for me learning US history, spirituality, everything, I haven't seen the movie will make a plan to see it now with hubby since I know we both will love it.

    Asha

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    1. Asha, if I could I would MAKE everyone see it. And I am ashamed to say that because that would make me a good dictator. LOL I will warn you that the first five-ten minutes are kind of confusing but it gets easier to understand what's going on as the movie moves along.

      Been meaning to ask, do you still work at or blog on the site where we first meant? I haven't checked in there in ages.

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    2. Jean :

      I retired from the site we met before but I still blog there & pay it forward by giving support to other bloggers & posters but its allas an member

      you made me blog junkie & I have never looked back lol

      Asha

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    3. I'll have to stop by some time. It seems like I left a lIFE time ago.

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  7. Thank you for that review and you have put that movie on my must see list. The sad part is that I lived through that era and know little about the story. Guess I was busy entertaining Patti during those years. The phrase "The press was to serve the governed, not the governors." is something we all need reminded of today as screams of Fake News fill the air.

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    1. Patti, I can say the exact same thing about me living through the era but not really understanding the importance of what was going on. In fact, I left the theater with a sense of understanding why the protests about the war got so intense and wide-spread. It was an uh-huh moment for me. Leaks and humors were around long before the Pentagon Papers where published.

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  8. This move is on my short list for all the reasons mentioned. Im surprised they never made something earlier considering the success of "All The President's Men", I mean, Ellsberg is still among us. I'm hoping to see the Darkest Hour before it leaves the theater, but we have all been pretty punky around here.

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  9. "The Darkest Hour" is on my short list too. Elisberg is an interesting person! He has a website but he hasn't posted on it since November...still some interesting things there.

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  10. One of the things that keeps astonishing me is how time has moved on, and so many events we lived through aren't even known to the "young'uns." It's hard to believe that the Viet Nam war ended over forty years ago -- it's no wonder the twenty-somethings aren't packing the theaters for The Post.

    It's even more interesting to consider the timing of the film, given WaPo's new ownership, and the conflicts that are developing there because of it. Bezos has been an interesting study since he took over; I thought this article was timely. Suffice it to say, Jeff Bezos is no Katharine Graham.

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    1. It is hard to believe it was so many years ago. I think even though young people won't see the movie in the theaters I'll bet a lot will see it as part of a class down the road.

      Man, I didn't need to read that article about Jeff! I hate union busters types.

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  11. This is definitely a film I want to see. Thanks for the review -- and the video trailer and interview. -Jean P.

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  12. AMEN! I saw the movie too and that quote is perfectly suited to our current state of affairs. I join you in dissidence!

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