Monday, May 14, 2012

On This Date 11 Years Ago Today . . .

There are a number of cliches that we use when thinking about the past. We often say "time flies" when events that occurred some time ago seem to have occurred more recently. Or we may say "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Both of these phrases came to my mind a couple of weeks ago when I came across an old issue of Time magazine from May 14, 2001.


As I read through the issue, I was amazed at how things have changed with some of the people, products, and stories in the issue, while others were so familiar they could be written today -- the "same old same old," if you will. So, I decided it would be interesting to look back at some of the contents on the 11th anniversary of the issue. Here we go.

One of the magazine ads that week was for a cute movie that helped put Sandra Bullock on the Hollywood map: Miss Congeniality. Bullock's name would become synonymous with romantic comedies over the next few years.


Several years ago, however, Bullock starred in a dramatic movie called The Blind Side, which was based on the true story of a poor young African American high school student who was befriended by a wealthy white family in a Southern state. Bullock's character helps the young boy become a true man, and he in turn teaches her something about herself and life. The young man went on to play football in college and now is a professional with the Baltimore Ravens.


Bullock won an Academy Award for her role. However, while she was riding high on her own success, she was blind-sided by her husband's infidelity. Their breakup and eventual divorce was as shocking as a Hollywood breakup can be.


To add to the drama, Bullock had just brought an adopted child into her home -- an African American child named Louie. He seems to have brought her comfort as he has taught her something about herself and life. I hope Sandra and Louie's story ends as happily as did that of her on-screen character in The Blind Side.


The next ad worth noting is this one.


I am not sure where Lou Dobbs had gone such that he was coming back to CNN on May 14 of 2001. But, his subsequent run at the cable news network would not be "happily ever after." After the 2008 election of Barack Obama, Lou began to ask questions that obviously ticked off the "powers that be" at CNN and, no doubt, the White House.


Once pressure was applied by the network bigwigs and, no doubt, the White House, Dobbs did not stand a chance.


But, all was not lost. Lou soon found a new home at -- you guessed it -- the rival network of CNN and, no doubt, the White House, Fox. Can you say "irony"?

 

Then we move on to a series of ads in what I call the category of "you-won't -see-that-in-2012." Here's the first.


This ad may look harmless. It's byline is "The cure for midsize crisis." Starting to get the picture? Here is a close-up of the text, in case you cannot read it:


Now, perhaps, you get it. With an ad saying that you can now buy an airplane that is priced millions below the competition if you want to get away, who would it appeal to except the "1%"? So, needless to say, you won't see an ad like that ANYWHERE today! It would be suicide--the kiss of death--for any company that dared appeal to the 1%.

Similarly, you won't see these images in advertisements nowadays:

An airplane flying over tall skyscrapers ... since less than 4 months after this issue was published, 9-11 occurred.

A HAPPY serviceman and a HAPPY family . . . Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan and others demonized the military under Bush, but have completely ignored the loss of military lives under Obama.

Tiger Woods advertising much of anything, especially for kids.
Remember when Martha Stewart ruled the world of home decorating?


Her relaxed and poised image failed a bit -- okay, completely, in 2004--when she was convicted of lying to investigators about a stock sale and served five months in a West Virginia federal prison.


Many thought Martha would never recover and that her empire would crumble. But she came back as strong as ever, strengthening her empire by entrenching herself deeply in Kmart with her line of household goods.


And, as we noted, there is the category of "the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same." First is the ever-present Chinese, who were making their presence felt then, . . .


                                        . . . just as they do now.

And the story of a polygamous household then . . .



. . . and sister stories in the news cycle a few years ago, . . .


. . . and multiple television shows on the present TV schedules:

Sister Wives
HBO's Big Love
And what about this story about too much regulation and the way the nanny state is encroaching on our freedoms?


Somehow that story is not likely to be repeated in 2012 in Time about how we are being strangled by regulations under this administration, proving that the nanny state is alive and oh-so-well!

And then there was Tom Cruise, who, as the story went, had spent the better part of a decade denying rumors that he was gay. . . .


A story which is repeated this week about another lady-killing actor. Besides, how could you think a hunk like THIS is gay:



And then there was the former Mrs. Tom Cruise, who killed 'em in Moulin Rouge in 2001 . . .


. . . but since then has divorced Tom, married Keith Urban, borne him two children, won an Academy Award, and faded from the limelight as one of Hollywood's most-desirable actresses. Luckily, Tom's new wife, Katie Homes (over whom Tom jumped madly up and down in a display of "love" on Oprah's couch), has only borne him one child and is also not ranked among Hollywood's most-desirable actresses.

If I were to go into the title story about the study of nuns who have Alzheimer's and who donated their brains to science, it would take me a month to finish this blog entry. The School Sisters of Notre Dame of Mankato, MN, were the subject of the study. I will only say that the discrepancy between the average ages of death among nuns compared to lay women is no longer as as large as it was eleven years ago. They too are succumbing to the rigors of life at a younger age, in the mid-80s now that the new millennium is well under way. But I can tell you that there are now more nuns in America over age 90 than there are under age 50. Take that for what it's worth. Besides, some nuns now have jobs that are much more dangerous than they had before.


And then, finally, there was a story in the May 14, 2001 issue about the omnipresent issue of gay marriage.


Eleven years later, liberals continue to push, this time with the express intention to redefine "marriage." It does not matter them that the majority of Americans hold sacred the definition of marriage that has existed for some three millennia. Liberals to try to demonize those of us who oppose their re-definition attempts by calling us homophobes or accusing us of discrimination. It seems it is always we Conservatives who must bend and give and compromise our values and beliefs so that they can fell better about themselves. I know many Americans who are ready to fight -- our beliefs are not up for compromise.

So, in that vein, I now have found the next issue of a magazine (debuting this week, but dated May 21, 2012) that I will hold onto for eleven years before reviewing and commenting on the stories and ads. The cover story alone should make for interesting fodder.


Will we be saying "the more things change the more they stay the same" in eleven years? Or will it be "time flies"? Maybe by then we will have the true, full story of Barack Obama's life. Stay tuned for 2023. . . .