Daily Archives: September 22, 2010

DVD Review: Temple Grandin

First published at Blogcritics.org 9/21/10

Holy autism! Temple Grandin weighs in on a hot topic: how to raise the successful autistic child. We meet Temple and her mother in the psychiatrist office. Her mother is well educated and her home middle class. They struggle in the family-oriented 1950s—a time when autism was known as infantile schizophrenia; the doctor recommends permanent institution. Julia Ormond (determined mother) recoils at this suggestion. She resists and Temple stays home, nonetheless Temple will live a life apart from family and friends. 

Christopher Monger (Welsh writer) recounts Temple’s tale with care. She loves cows and will not be kept away from them.  Her photographic memory opens the door to a lifetime of research because Temple teaches herself to draft after watching an architect draw up plans just once. She has the tools now to create blueprints for what will become her signature contribution to animal husbandry.

British born Mick Jackson won best director for the biopic: Temple Grandin. An HBO film that garnered 5 Emmy nominations and won five, including outstanding movie made for television. Claire Danes (she should have played Amelia Earhart) won an Emmy for her portrayal of Temple.

An effective performance that required a sojourn on the island of autism where its victim isolates the world with a laser-like focus that becomes second nature Researchers have postulated that the emotional tunnel vision exhibited by Miss Grandin was the engine that drove her near-genius abilities. While there is no perfect consensus on its actual mechanism, the real polemic wave these days is the genesis of autism. Is it something in the genes or in the vaccines? We will leave that to the experts to hash. We do know that most autistic sufferers are deprived of life as we know it filled with hugs, emotions and close relationships. Temple survives this terrifying tradeoff. And in spite of shortcomings she seeks to understand the world she inhabits and tries to leave it a better place. One thing’s for sure–Temple’s contribution to science is something to crow about.

I am probably not alone in saying that II had no idea what this woman had accomplished so I got the DVD and a pleasant surprise. I discovered we had something in common. Because I have spent time in a slaughterhouse, while a total vegetarian. It was a bit unsettling at first to watch whole hogs slaughtered just inches from where you stand on a slippery perch, but I did it for the sake of science, reproductive physiology to be exact. My job: to bring back fresh mountain oysters from Kentucky (testicles) for the research lab. That can make you nervous. This film also takes the audience behind the scenes of the slaughterhouse. Temple enlists for a challenge to change and gate crash the original all-male turf–the beef industry, where women were not welcome.

This biographical study peels aways some of the mystery surrounding autism and the savant hidden in all of us. If you have not seen yet, then you are missing a time-worthy little saga.


Rev. Eddie Long: Of course he’s not guilty–updated

Rev. "Reddie" Eddie Long

The smoking gun? Here’s ready Eddie sending a pic of himself in a red muscle shirt. I could not find it online so I took it from the TV.

Here’s someone defending the indefensible: did Pastor or bishop Eddie Long coerce and use his position to obtain sex from young men at his church? Well, they have filed a lawsuit. The story is not really new but the filed lawsuit is. I mean it is not only Catholics and priests who have this problem with pedophilia or with sex gone wild, it seems to have infected many in the pulpit. If these allegations are true then he would be what black folks call on the downlow, and bisexual, which is not as rare as you think.

He is a proud black man from Atlanta who attended the funeral of Coretta Scott King.  But that does not make him a saint nor do the charges make him a bearded sex offender. No, he’s just a man with a greedy heart.

Eddie and his ilk are class-A hypocrites. Just for living off the people he serves. I mean take a salary if you need to, but jet setting? I don’t think so.

 Should they be jetting around on monies obtained from followers? That’s the first giveaway. Never follow a pastor in his own private jet.  Following quote from the above CNN link

Franklin: This is actually, John, a case of retaliation and a shake-down for money by men with serious credibility issues trying to mount their own defense. This is something that went from 48 hours of contact with the attorney flinging outrageous demands to this dog-and-pony show we are seeing that began yesterday.

Chetry: Can you explain what the nature of the relationship was prior to the allegations being made, prior to the alleged break-ins? What was Bishop Long’s relationship with these two teens?

Franklin: They were young men part of the program at new birth and outside of that I can’t speak to a relationship they had with Bishop Long. They also were employed by the church.

He knew them. We can establish that fact. They were at or over 18. Did they have reason to steal if they were employed by the Bishop? Motivated by money? These allegations are hard to prove unless others come forward. Or unless they can describe this guy in his birthday suit to at T. Ouch.