Tag Archives: celebrities

Money Monster

Earlier this week we drove to East Hampton to see a show. Aside from the movies that we watch on television in Cabo, we don’t get to theatres until we’re either on the road to or from the Hamptons or while we’re here in the Hamptons. The show we decided to see was Money Monster directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.


George Clooney has had a house on the corridor (between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo) at a development called El Dorado for several years. The villa is on a compound shared by his best friend, Rande Gerber, and Rande’s beautiful wife, Cindy Crawford, and is known as Casamigos (which is the name of their tequila brand, by the way, and means “house of friends”). Both villas were recently sold in April of this year for $100 million to an unnamed Mexican billionaire (the infamous Carlos Slim, owner of Mexico’s cell and landline phone businesses, perhaps?). Ron has played tennis on the El Dorado courts next to George and his wife, Amal, and our good friend, Steve, was the head pro at this resort for many years and has played tennis and basketball numerous times with the star. We hope that they build in our area again as they have a reputation for their warmth, generosity and kindness when dealing with the local people and businesses (unlike many other celebrities).

In the movie, George Clooney plays a character named Lee Gates, a Wall Street guru who picks hot stocks as host of the television show Money Monster. Suddenly, during a live broadcast, disgruntled investor Kyle Budwell storms onto the set and takes Gates hostage. He tells Lee that he lost everything because of one of his stock tips. As Gates tries to plead with Kyle, he’s also using an earpiece to communicate with his longtime producer, Patty Fenn (played by Julia Roberts), in the control room. Together, they must figure out a way to defuse the situation and disarm the angry young man.

Hating Wall Street, greedy corporations and their corrupt executives have become popular themes in movies and this film certainly embraces all three. We found this film to be a bit predictable but definitely entertaining. I gave it 3 1/2 stars and Ron gave it 4 (out of 5).

Bill’s Big Lie

I remember being saddened, disgusted and deeply disappointed when I first heard the charges made against Bill Cosby for the sexual assault (and other charges) of over 50 women. I was an ardent fan of The Cosby Show growing up and thought that he, as Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable, set such a brilliant example as a comedian, actor, and father figure. Guilty or innocent, his reputation will be forever tarnished by the accusations against him, just as so many other celebrities before him.

Even sadder is the fact that Bill Cosby holds a doctoral degree in education from the University of Massachusetts and is a prolific author, of both books for adults (including Fatherhood, Time Flies, Love and Marriage, and Childhood) and an entire series of books for children (The Meanest Thing to Say, The Best Way to Play, The Treasure Hunt, Super-Fine Valentine, Shipwreck Saturday, Money Troubles, and One Dark and Scary Night). Another children’s book, which I borrowed from our friends, Sue and Tony, when we recently visited them in Glenwood Springs, CO, is entitled My Big Lie.

Bill Cosby's Book "The Big Lie"

Bill Cosby’s Book “The Big Lie”

Ironic isn’t it, that Mr. Cosby wrote a story that they describe on the back cover as “What started as a tiny fib, grew and grew and GREW into a BIG lie. And now Little Bill is in BIG trouble!”. I wonder if he wrote this story from his own experience? As Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School, wrote in the books’ preface, “It’s a story that shows why it is wrong, even dangerous, to lie…”.

Mr. Cosby dedicated his Little Bill series of books for beginning readers to his only son, Ennis, who was murdered in 1997 while changing a flat tire on the side of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. Mr. Cosby will, no doubt, have hired the best defence attorney(s) available and will have his day in court, but I feel very bad for the shame and humiliation faced by Mrs. Cosby, Camille, their four daughters and three grandchildren. Mr. Cosby’s behaviour, if he is found guilty (as I’m sure he will be), is abominable, not only against the women who he assaulted, but in the memory of his son, and for his wife, children and grandchildren, and to people everywhere – especially the children who read and believed his words.

Who do children and people have to look up to as heroes and heroines in our society? I remember feeling the same sadness and disappointment when Lance Armstrong’s doping was revealed, Tiger Woods’ sexual addiction scandal, and so many others. I find it tragic that when these stars’ lights have the potential to shine so brightly, now and for all time, that they lose control and then fall precipitously from grace, from celebrated to reviled and from deity to disgrace.

When You Point Your Finger At Others

I’ve always said that you need to be careful when you point your finger at others because, when you look down at your hand, you’ll see there are three fingers pointed back at you. The reason I bring this up is that, while driving past the oilfields south of King City, California, I am reminded of the finger-pointing so many celebrities have done towards Canada and the Canadian oil sands.

While the open pit method of extraction is not pretty and the area of the oil sands currently appears like a lunar landscape, Canadian remediation and reclamation is among the most stringent in the world. Those areas will be cleaned up and returned to a standard that other countries can only aspire to, including the United States. I have always been appalled at the lack of regulatory control in the U.S. as this field of pumpjacks and surface pipeline, with no spacing control or apparent standard of maintenance, amply illustrates.


How do celebrities travel while they’re criticizing other countries’ practices? I’ve always said that, unless we’re prepared to live like the Amish and renounce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to support North American petroleum operations and reduce our dependence on the Middle East for supply. We all need to do our part to find alternative energy sources, but while we’re still highly dependent, let’s not point our fingers at others unless we know we aren’t being hypocritical.