Archives May 2019

THE TROUBLE WITH LGBTQ

I have no problem with people who identify as a different gender than how they were born. In today’s world, it is certainly more acceptable than when I grew up in the 1940s and 50s. If a man feels more like a woman, and a woman more like a man, and they prefer to live those lifestyles, it is not only acceptable in 2019, it is also protected.

     But have we gone too far?

     No matter what mentality exists within a man or woman, and regardless of surgical procedures, nothing can ever change the fact they were born with the genetics and body parts of one sex or another (with rare exceptions). It’s no secret that male athletes will naturally develop higher muscle density and heavier bone structures. That’s nature.

     I would be uncomfortable seeing a male adult, however altered, enter a ladies bathroom knowing my female child was inside. That’s not being a bigot, that’s feeling protective. No matter how a transgender adjusts the human body, some are naturally very tall and muscular, obviously male. In public places, the doors to rest rooms are designated by gender. Gender doesn’t change just because someone “feels” like the other sex.

     Now, the issue of transgender rights is entering the world of sports. In 2018, two transgender high school sophomores Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood came in first and second place, respectively, in the 100-meter race at the Connecticut State Open Finals angering some parents who complained they had a competitive advantage over non-transgender students. Miller also won the top prize for the 200-meter race representing her High School in Hartford. They were both born male, but they now identify as females. How unfair can it get?

     If I had a super athletic daughter who was defeated in a power competition or speed race by two male-born athletes claiming to be female, I’d be angry too.  And I worry that this trend will spread via intimidation of sports systems that do not want to be labeled as bigots.

     On the racial side of things, this is not different than the scandal about Rachel Dolezal of Washington State, who rose to become president of the NAACP chapter in 2014. The woman claimed to be African American when it was proven she was a Caucasian imitating a black, in order to acquire benefits. No matter what efforts were made to change her hair and darken her skin color, she is still Caucasian.

     One wonders in the next fifty years, how will people be labeled according to race or gender, when the markers become blurred and anyone so inclined can be anything they wish so long as they claim it their “right.”

     Homosexuality is an historical reality. Great artists Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci are believed by historians to have been gay men. Revered personalities on planet Earth have been gay, including people like Rock Hudson, Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Johnny Mathis, Ellen DeGeneres, Jodi Foster and Florence Nightingale. They would all come under the modern umbrella known as LGBTQ, (Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning).

     But, why queer? According to my research, this is supposed to identify all other sexual orientations beyond the first four letters, which basically means anything and everything.

     I find “queer” to be a pejorative term which, to my sense of identity, does more to denigrate than to designate people who attach to a multi-sexual label. As a youngster in school, I experienced a series of horrible experiences, bullied repeatedly by kids circling me screaming “Queer.” For anyone, no matter their orientation, to be called a queer is the most denigrating of all labels. If I were gay, I would insist that the letter “Q” be removed from the acronym.

     Sports is all about fair competition. When it comes to athletic achievement, I think we need to draw a line and stop giving artificial advantages to athletes because they “identify” as another gender, but still make use of the body they were born with. 

 

(I have authored 15 books, half fiction, half-non-fiction. Best seller has been my book of memoirs titled, “From Violins To Violins.” Signed copies available, just send me an e-mail) For more details visit www.marshallfrank.com

 

 

    

    

    

 

 

CAFOB Prodigy 1 – Dorothy Gal

 Meet Dorothy Gal, soprano, Houston Opera Company.

     We first met Dorothy when she was 15 years old, auditioning to compete in Brevard’s Got Music Talent at the Henniger Center.  The Creative Arts Foundation (CAFOB) was new in Brevard County then, a non-profit group that seeks out special talents among young music students of the region. As one might imagine Dorothy was a stand-out, singing the Laughing Song by Mozart.  I know, because I sat in as one of the audition judges. We were all “wowed.”

Since, Dorothy has continued to study music, piano and voice, plus learning a number of foreign languages. She participated in many of the CAFOB Music on the Hill series, plus she won first place in the third season of Brevard’s Got Music Talent competition (winning $1000). A native of Cocoa Beach, she is surely a local treasure.

She eventually went on to complete her college studies a Rice University and is now a full-fledged operatic performer at the Houston Grand Opera, one of the most prestigious in the United States. We are all very proud.

      Here is a recent performance by Dorothy in Houston:

Ho perduto, il caro sposo from Handel’s Rodelinda – YouTube

     Here is a duet rendition of “O Holy Night.”  you don’t want to miss this.

Dorothy gal – YouTube

 

(A non-profit organization, the Creative Arts Foundation’s sole purpose is to help advance students of music in their chosen instruments. Since 2008, over$90 thousand has been awarded to youngsters from age 10 to 19, for partial scholarships, travel and audition expenses, instruments, solo performances, private lessons and much more. Over three hundred student have been featured in our programs. All tax-deductible contributions are aimed toward assisting students of music. For more info, visit www.cafob.org )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: "BOLDEN" – 7.5 (M.Frank)

“BOLDEN” – Rated  R  (nudity, language) –
     Rating:  7.5
     In a word: Frenetic
     If you are a lover of old-time jazz music, you’ll love this movie. While I do enjoy jazz, this movie offers an overdose, with constant repetition of horns from beginning to end. Nevertheless, it certainly fit within the plot structure, focusing on the pathetic life of Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Louisiana-born kid who happened to develop a unique talent playing sounds and rhythms that were new to the music industry at that time. The opening credits for the movie claimed Buddy Bolden to be the inventor of jazz music.
     Bolden formed a band that was well-known in New Orleans between 1900 and 1907. That’s when he lost his marbles and began episodes of lunacy which culminated in being locked in a cell block within a mental institution for the next twenty-five years until his death in 1931. During his “hey-day” playing jazz with his band all over Louisiana, Bolden embarked upon sub-life of using drugs and alcohol to a point where it apparently damaged his brain and he was deemed hopelessly insane.
     This was his story, as much as we know about it. Jon Cornick is quoted on IMDB: “A mythical account of the life of Buddy Bolden, the first cornet king of New Orleans,” which suggests some of the story is embellished, or partly fictitious.
     The acting, led by Gary Carr as Bolden, was excellent across the aboard. Settings were as authentic as can be in the late 19th century and after, including a few scenes in 1931 featuring a young Louis Armstrong deftly portrayed by actor Reno Wilson.
     My primary criticism would be focused on the director, Dan Pritzker (also the screenwriter) who had the viewer shifting scenes back, forth and around, from era to era, childhood, adulthood, later years, and back again, in and out of the dungeon-like sanitarium. That was needlessly confusing, especially without a remote to review the scene over again. I also believe he over-used close-up shots of Bolden head and face, over and over until it slowed the pace of the movie.
     All in all, it was a learning experience for us folks who love the history of music – all music. And if you really like horns and jazz, this is not to be missed.
     I give this a 7.5 out of 10.
Bolden (2019) – IMDb 
Buddy Bolden: The insane life of the founder-father of jazz
 

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “BOLDEN” – 7.5 (M.Frank)

“BOLDEN” – Rated  R  (nudity, language) –

     Rating:  7.5

     In a word: Frenetic

     If you are a lover of old-time jazz music, you’ll love this movie. While I do enjoy jazz, this movie offers an overdose, with constant repetition of horns from beginning to end. Nevertheless, it certainly fit within the plot structure, focusing on the pathetic life of Charles “Buddy” Bolden, Louisiana-born kid who happened to develop a unique talent playing sounds and rhythms that were new to the music industry at that time. The opening credits for the movie claimed Buddy Bolden to be the inventor of jazz music.

     Bolden formed a band that was well-known in New Orleans between 1900 and 1907. That’s when he lost his marbles and began episodes of lunacy which culminated in being locked in a cell block within a mental institution for the next twenty-five years until his death in 1931. During his “hey-day” playing jazz with his band all over Louisiana, Bolden embarked upon sub-life of using drugs and alcohol to a point where it apparently damaged his brain and he was deemed hopelessly insane.

     This was his story, as much as we know about it. Jon Cornick is quoted on IMDB: “A mythical account of the life of Buddy Bolden, the first cornet king of New Orleans,” which suggests some of the story is embellished, or partly fictitious.

     The acting, led by Gary Carr as Bolden, was excellent across the aboard. Settings were as authentic as can be in the late 19th century and after, including a few scenes in 1931 featuring a young Louis Armstrong deftly portrayed by actor Reno Wilson.

     My primary criticism would be focused on the director, Dan Pritzker (also the screenwriter) who had the viewer shifting scenes back, forth and around, from era to era, childhood, adulthood, later years, and back again, in and out of the dungeon-like sanitarium. That was needlessly confusing, especially without a remote to review the scene over again. I also believe he over-used close-up shots of Bolden head and face, over and over until it slowed the pace of the movie.

     All in all, it was a learning experience for us folks who love the history of music – all music. And if you really like horns and jazz, this is not to be missed.

     I give this a 7.5 out of 10.

Bolden (2019) – IMDb 

Buddy Bolden: The insane life of the founder-father of jazz