Monday, December 21, 2015

Party at the Hendon's!

Went to Linda and Jerry's last night for the famous (infamous?) boat parade traveling down fish river with lights aglow.

Over twenty people were there, with food galore - including Jerry's FAMOUS chili brewing on the stove.

Fun holiday party, but I understand (I left a bit early) that the boat parade was a little bit tamer this year - 12 boats instead of 30.

Oh well, it was cold, and the point was the camaraderie and not the boats.

Thanks Jerry and Linda!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

 Book Signing with T.Jensen Lacey

Met Theresa at the angel store in Fairhope today for her book signing. She is a New York Times best selling author and a great friend. Bought a book for my brother (one of the chicken soup books she is featured in) and sending off on Monday.

She is one of the Pensters of which I am now vice-president (not as glamorous as it sounds) . We are, I am told, the oldest continuous writing group in the country.

After lunch, I am walking down the street and who do I see? Snow White. Then Spiderman. Then a whole slew of characters. Turns out they are part of a new business that a company called Enchanted Forest Entertainment is promoting.
Seems like a fun idea. They can be reached at

Going to a boat parade on fish river tonight and then to my friend JoAnn's for visitng.
Is Christmas here yet?
Need to slow down a bit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Shame on Pixar
The Good Dinosaur propagates heinous cultural stereotypes
John O’Melveny Woods
VeERITAS Entertainment Group, LA
Point Clear, Alabama

I was finally excited about a movie. After a slew of movies I had no interest in, I met one of the animators of The Good Dinosaur at a film festival in Fairhope, Alabama. She said the movie was terrific. The trailers also promised a family friendly adventure, Pixar has a stellar reputation for putting out great entertainment, and I was hooked.

Sitting in the almost empty darkened theater the other night in Daphne, Alabama, my hopes escalated as the visual beauty of the movie grabbed me, with very well drawn out characters as dinosaurs and a typical and well crafted storyline based upon Joseph Campbell’s hero journey theme. One dinosaur family member, Arlo was always afraid. He would be thrown into multiple situations to find his inner strength and overcome this fear. It was set in some distant epoch of the Earth, in which humans were still cave men -- It took quite a suspension of belief, and it worked. (heck, the dinosaurs talked).

Great premise...

Imagine my shock and horror when the ‘bad guys’ in the movie, rustlers that are called Velociraptors were portrayed as being Southerners, with all the stereotypical attributes that are offensive -- deep accent, an obvious lack of education, implied inbreeding, and a total lack of concern for life or limb of anyone else besides themselves. I really was dumfounded. And just in case anyone misses all of the obvious clues, Pixar names the leader of the family ‘Bubba’

This was supposedly a family friendly movie, one that impressionable young people would attend. And what do they portray? Southerners, not only as the bad guys, but as ignorant rednecks. So all non- southern children will associate southern accents with ‘bad guys’, and all southern children will wonder if THEY are “bad guys” for having such an accent. What adult needs the unnecessary task of having to explain to a child that just because someone SOUNDS like one of the “bad” dinosaurs, that doesn’t mean they are “bad” people.

And this is 1,000,000 years ago - I am not sure there even was a mason Dixon line back then (I am checking that on Wikipedia as soon as I finish writing this article).

Even the name of the movie portrays these characters in a negative light; logically, the opposite of the ‘Good’ Dinosaur must be the “Bad” Dinosaur.

But, what truly confounds me are all the reviews from credible sources that praise the movie as family friendly while ignoring this blatantly stereotypical and exploitative  portrayal. Imagine if Pixar had made these ‘rustler’ characters speak like rappers. Or with Italian mafia accents, or made them sound stereotypically gay? Why not Bostonian accents? Why an accent at all? It seems obvious: They have purposely given voice and credence to ignorant and prejudicial misconceptions of Southern people by portraying them as ignorant, untrustworthy, stupid people. Even more troubling, the reviewers saw nothing wrong with this.

Pure and simple, this is cultural profiling and it is insulting and demeaning at its core.

And I would suggest that no southerner even consider seeing this film, unless you enjoy being stereotyped and insulted, or if you want to confuse your children and encourage them to have a lowered opinion of themselves. As a non-southerner myself, I would not recommend this movie to anybody.

And it is sad. Because at its core, the movie has a great message.

But the stereotypical portrayal of Southern people in such a negative light, in a movie made specifically for children, is unacceptable.

Disney, which should also know better, now owns Pixar. They, and Pixar, should be ashamed to have released it.

If you would like to contact Pixar, you may do so at: . No working phone number.

If you would like to contact the Disney Company you can do so at:
- you can email them from there. They provide no phone number.

Mr. Woods is a writer living in Point Clear, Alabama, and President of VERITAS Entertainment Group LA. He can be reached at