Page 4 Thursday, June 4, 1998 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
POPCORN POPCORN POPCORN POPCORN POPCORN ™
By Michael S. Goldberger
Director Beatty's Bulworth:
Truth Be Told
One Popcorn, Poor • Two Popcorns, Fair • Three Popcorns, Good • Four Popcorns, Excellent
3 & 1/ 2 popcorns
Excerpt from a textbook, Recent American History, circa 2076: "In the early years of the 21st century, a Bulworthian (i) movement embracing many of the ideals of the late 1960s once again gained momentum in America, ultimately leading to most of the enlightened political reforms we enjoy today." — (i.) In general, any brave reformist philosophy or movement.
From Bulworth, the title character in a highly controversial motion picture released just before the turn- of- thecentury.
Having a fit of conscience, J. Billington Bulworth, Democratic Senator from California, reacts to the stifling "political correctness" of the era. Suddenly, he cannot tell a lie and singlehandedly takes on the post World War II military- industrial complex which has come to compromise American democratic freedoms and perpetuate racism.
Pardon the fantasy. But how many movies sharpen their daggers and plunge them directly into the very gut of corruption that feeds them? Yep, even the fat cats back at the film studio — the ones who sign the checks. Cowriting the satirical epiphany with Jeremy Pikser, Warren Beatty directs and stars in one of the best political documents set to film in many a moon.
Given its mainstream movie origination,
Bulworth catches you off guard. Its reeling, take- no- prisoners indictment of the American sociopolitical scene proves a scintillating outrage. But while delivered with the jaunty meter of a fast- paced farce, its revolutionary message is as serious as a heart attack.
In the opening scene, on the eve of the 1996 primaries, a severely disillusioned Senator Bulworth (Warren Beatty) is about to come undone. He sobs as lackeys feed him the latest upbeat poll numbers.
They don't care that the political pundits have labeled their man an old liberal trying to pour himself into a conservative bottle. That's show biz. As for the Senator himself, every prepared speech he reads sounds like the same disingenuous baloney (" Today, we embark on... blah, blah, blah, and more blah"). Bulworth can no longer stand his own, well, his own bull. To boot, his marriage is a sham.
Then comes the magic, the kind that used to populate films in less cynical times on a regular basis. Addressing the congregation of a church in South Central Los Angeles, the weary politician finally lets loose his overly- wound spool. Asked why he hasn't helped the black community in recent years, he commits the unthinkable.
He tells the horrible truth. Indulging himself in a cathartic tirade, Senator Bulworth informs the crowd that their failure to buy his favor is all there is to it. Thing is, his lessons in political reality are articulated in the form of rap tunes: i. e. – "One man, one vote. Now, is that real? The name of the game is let's make a deal."
His shocked staff is nonplused. The C- Span crew, who will be following Bulworth throughout the campaign's
final weekend, does a double- take. But the tough black crowd takes notice, especially Halle Berry as Nina. The Senator's rap- delivered jeremiad is obviously liberating. The rejuvenated Bulworth also notices Nina, the dangerous love interest. He embraces her, as well as the ghetto.
After a wild night in a black afterhours club, the next stop is a wealthy film producer's manse. There, the born again liberal proves he is an equal opportunity offender, no less forthcoming with wealthy Jews than he was with poor blacks. He engages in insult, the painful kind that emanates from the mouths of babes, and lets the stereotypes fall where they may. His hosts are abashed.
But now, the same fickle press that was ready to paint the ho- hum politician as yesterday's news, suddenly decides to jump aboard Bulworth's loony bandwagon. Seeing the possibilities confirmed by the media, the Senator's beleaguered top aide, Murphy (splendidly played to worry wart perfection by Oliver Platt), does an about face and begins touting his boss' new persona.
Concurrently, the Senator does some fancy footwork in attempting to avoid the efforts of a contract killer. It seems that, among the handful of subtexts that keep this fast- paced, superbly edited film bubbling along, in his gloomiest hour the Senator had hired the hitman; in his own little variation of IranContra, Bulworth arranged for $10 million in life insurance in return for his stance on a bill favoring the haves over the have- nots.
But with meaning reintroduced into his life, he'd now like to call off the killer. You know how that goes, but watch for a twist. And a no cop- out ending that seals the movie's profound importance.
Warren Beatty, hip- hopping and rapping to a deliriously entertaining pitch, fashions a profoundly stylish outrage, an outlandish, heroic icon who quickly wins our empathy. Others who contribute substantially to his modern day morality play include, Don Cheadle (Devil In A Blue Dress) in a fine turn as the main ghetto gangsta, Paul Sorvino as big business incarnate, and Jack Warden doing his Runyonesque righthand man.
None of this is to say that Mr. Beatty's surrealistic fantasy is without fault. Some mechanisms are clearly suspect and merely plot expedient. But most of it works, thanks in large part to fine editing by Robert C. Jones and Billy Weber, an energized score by Ennio Morricone (punctuated throughout with indigenous rap songs), and spirited cinematography from Vittorio Storaro.
That the audacious Bulworth, a fine, seriocomic example of the First Amendment in action, was even allowed to be made is astonishing in and of itself. That some moviegoers may not avail themselves of its courageous postulations would be sadly unsurprising.
* * * * * Bulworth, rated R, is a 20th Century Fox release directed by Warren Beatty and stars Warren Beatty, Halle Berry and Oliver Platt. Running time: 130 minutes.
We work very diligently to assure that the facts upon which our research is based are impeccable. We certainly do not want to sin on the side of doing peccable research. As you might have suspected, peccabledid,in fact,precedeitssuffixiated (sic) offspring.
Join us as we travel back in time to the Latin word from which impeccable stemmed, and on the way we shall tell you about two interesting, though derogatory, words.
The source of peccable is the Latin word peccare, meaning "to sin." Impeccable, while it is the negative of peccable, is actually a very positive word and means "without a flaw." Peccable produced two naughty offsprings, namely: peccadillo, "a little sin"; and peccant (not to be confused with its homonym, pecan, a variety of American nut), defined as violating "a rule or acceptable practice."
Make certain that you are not peccant in terms of your use of words by always reading Take My Word For It.
I hate doing bills. It'snotbecauseI'm cheap.Thekidssay it is, just because I won't buy them individual computers. I think I hate it because I am tied to a desk for two hours at a time.
Luckily, my wife hates to do bills, too, though she's much better at it than I am. So we have made an arrangement. I do the bills one month, she does them the next month.
Ofcourse,Iam alwaysaccusedofbeing out of town on purpose when the eighth comes around.That'stheday wedoallthe bills at once. Anyone who comes in with a bill after that is out of luck until next month's eighth.
My wife accuses me of being out of townon purpose.ButasI pointout,Idon't get away with anything, because if she does them when I'm supposed to, she marks it on our calendar and I am stuck with doing two months worth of bills.
I also point out that she does all the purchasing, so that she can understand what the bills are all about, but that's never got me anywhere.
My method of doing the bills is simple. First, I arrange all the bills according to size — not the amount but the inches. The small ones are usually the most expensive, so they get out of the way fast. The large ones are relatively inexpensive.
After the agony is over with, I come downstairs with my calculator and say "Carol, we got you a private phone, but if you make any more long distance calls I'm going to have your call waiting thing taken out!"
"Junior, how come you need $125 sneakers? I'll bet the Knicks don't use those shoes and if they do they get them for nothing."
"Lily," I conclude, "there isn't a doll worth 50 bucks in the whole world."
The kids listen in silence. I always yell when I'm doing the bills. They realize this is my way of cooling off.
"How is it you never bawl out Mom?," Carol once asked when she was much younger. She never forgot the answer. "I wouldn't dare."
HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!!
By Milt Faith, Executive Director
Youth and Family Counseling Service
Mother- In- Law Seeks to Establish A Positive Rapport With Family
Afrustratedmother- in- lawwrites:
Mydaughter- in- law ispregnant.Myson told me she needs rest and no aggravation. He told me that his wife and I need to get along better (she feels I intrude too much) andthatunless I"cleanupmy act"Iwillnot be welcome at their home when the baby is born. That's a mean thing to do. My other son agrees I barge in with lots of suggestions. I'll do what I can to change; I don't wanttolosemy family.Anybookavailable to help me?
Yvette Strauss wrote a book on what to do and not to do. You will find it helpful. It is called "The Other Mother: How to be an Almost Perfect Mother- In- Law." Here is an example, from the book, of the seven deadly sins of mothers- in- law:
· Meddling instead of minding your own business.
· Being overbearing instead of cooperative.
· Talking instead of listening.
· Harping instead of understanding.
· Expecting attention instead of meeting your own needs.
· Rejecting instead of accepting.
· Spending money instead of giving of yourself.
A teen- ager writes:
My mother told me to write to you. My father coaches my baseball team. I am 11 years old and like to hit and pitch the ball. IknowI amnotgood,but Ienjoyplayingon the team. Whenever I don't hit the ball, or whenever I walk someone when I'm pitching, my father yells at me and says I could do better and I'm not doing well enough. He says he is disappointed in me.
On thewayhome,he saysIam"uncoordinated" and if I want to be a good player, I should get up early on weekends and practice a lot. I'm too lazy. My dad makes me feel bad. What should I do?
You seem like a very nice young man. Your father should realize that playing baseball, like all sports for youngsters, should be for fun, for camaraderie, for exercise, and for enabling family members to share in healthy activities. He should not call you names, because name- calling
makes a person feel that there is something wrongwith himorher.If youdon'twantto practice,that'syour choice;itdoesn'tmake you "bad" or "uncoordinated."
Your father has to calm down and realize that he is making a nervous wreck out of you. Please show this column to your parents. If I were talking to your dad, I would tell him to knock it off, and to enjoy youryouthbyfeeling goodvibesaboutyour activities — in which you just want to have fun.
It is possible that someone pressured him when he was young. I am hoping he will not repeat that pattern. These young years are the formative ones which help build one's self- image. Dad, please read this "answer" carefully. Good Luck!
A distraught sister writes:
My mother recently died and left her $20,000accounttome. Sheleftnothingfor my brother. She always thought that he made a good income and didn't need the money. She always thought women had it harder to earn a living. She felt I could use themoneytomodernize myhouseandhelp my son with college expenses.
The truth is that my husband owns his own business and does well financially. I love my brother and we have always had a special relationship. I don't want him to be angry at me or feel Mother preferred me more. She loved us both very much. What is the best approach to make my brother feel better? What can I tell him? I don't want to jeopardize our relationship.
Tell him about your observations and concerns, and give him $10,000 as his share of the inheritance.
A questioning reader writes:
Whydo peopleapologizeforsomething they did, but then repeat the same patterns of behavior? Doesn't this mean that they really don't change their feelings?
Answer: A "true" apology should indicate that the individual has accepted a senseofresponsibility forabehaviorwhich was inappropriate, wrong, or harmful. If the person recognizes his role, his future behavior (andaccompanyingfeelings)will change and not be repeated. If not, the apology has no meaning.
Trip Out of Town Proves No Escape From the Monthly Bundle of Bills
The Westfield Leader
Member of the New Jersey Press Association • Member of the National Newspaper Association • Periodicals – Postage Paid at Westfield, New Jersey
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— Established 1890 —
Official Newspaper of the Township of Scotch Plains and the Borough of Fanwood
— Established 1959 —
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THE WESTFIELD LEADER & THE TIMES
SUBSCRIPTION PRICE Joanna B. Marsh
Welfare Recipients Will Get Second Look Through Federal Grant Program
While Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside do not face a large amount of welfare recipients, these towns lie within the County of Union, a county which has the fifth highest welfare rolls in the state. Thus, reducing this figure will only enhance the regionaleconomy.
As part of national welfare reform, a program called Welfare- to- Workhasbeencreated. Outofthisprogram has come competitive grants in the amount of $184 million.Ofthis total,$5millionwill becomingbackhere to Union County. When one considers that only 49 grants, chosenfrom600applications, wereissuedbythe Department of Labor, this is a significant achievement by the county.
The Department of Human Services staff submitted the successful application which will create a program called Jobs Plus. The initial welfare reform was aimed attheeasier- to- placeindividuals —personswhomight have fallen on bad luck. The federal grants handed out last week go to the heart of the welfare problem by addressinglong- termrecipients.
These people have a number of problems — sub stanceabuse,pooreducation —whichhaveprevented themfromachievingany typeofemploymentstability.
JobsPlus willincludesocialworkers whowillgoout to thehomesofclients andseewhatneeds tobedoneboth from a health and a job skills standpoint. Wakefern, whose owners operate ShopRite supermarkets, has agreed to be a big part of the program by offering trainingandjobsto someofthe500 personswhowillbe included in the program.
In our view, most everyone knows that treating wel fare symptoms with tax dollars does not help an indi vidual in a lasting manner or truly elevate society. Of course,the county'snottryingto dothat.Theimportant aim must be to impart vision, values and beliefs so that a lasting good results. Training and education are only some of the tools to the goal.
Many government programs have attempted this in the pastandfewhave succeeded.Perhapstheupcoming Union County initiatives can find a way to succeed
beyond that of others. We all should pitch in and help; if not materially, then at least intellectually in our areas of strength.We'refortunatein ourimmediateregionto have many good minds, talented people and a strong infrastructure. We are giving and motivated to share with others.
Certainly,it isfirstnecessaryto helpthoseonwelfare get on their feet so that their everyday burdens are alleviated. Then, they have some breathing room to be helped to grow on a permanent and continuing basis. Secondly,theyneedself- esteem,abelief anddesiretobe self- reliant andcontributory.Fearand doubtneedtobe erased. They need to believe that they can continue to growandto achieveontheirown astheirlivesprogress.
Creativity and ingenuity are required for the syner gism requiredsothatour welfareinitiativesaresuccess ful. The county has many stand- alone programs with lofty goals and difficult problems. Each program, set aside, can succeed only on a limited basis. However thoughtof inamasterplan andcoordinated,theachieve ment level of many of the programs can soar. There is commonality.
We have many regional initiatives and needs; for the arts, for a computer in every classroom, for pocket parks, for community college and for economic devel opment. Could "workfare" be arranged to build com putersintheWestfield NationalGuardArmory?Could this be done at a cost of $500 per computer rather than paying$1,500 tobuythemfor ourschools?Couldsome of themanpowercomefrom ourCountyCollegesystem or as community service in our schools? Can we view this using some of the principles of private enterprise? Would this motivate businesses to relocate to Union County? Could the graphic arts of county publications be produced from the program?
Let'sputour mindstowork.Think andactoutsideof the "bubble." Encourage each government and social dominionto jointhemastercause. Promotethe"Riskof Success" not the "Fear of Failure." Let's lead, not follow. Let's not make welfare, "A Second Chance." Let's make it real. If anyone can do it, our region can.
Letters to the Editor
Editor's Note: The following column, submittedbyWestfield cilman Neil F. Sullivan, Jr., is being
published as an information source for our readers due to the importance of the downtown parking issue in Westfield.
After at least eight different studies and manymorewell- intendedefforts,it'stime that we finally take action to improve our community's use of its parking resources.
Last month, the Transportation ing and Traffic Committee of the field Town Council, which I chair, began holding public forums for the community to learn about and give input on the work of the most recent parking study (1995 by WestfieldMainStreet andtheRBAgroup) and the Council's Transportation, ing and Traffic committee.
We need to act to ensure that we cate our parking appropriately among the three major groups that use it — shoppers and others who transact business in our downtown, "inbound" commuters; the employeesand businessownerswhodrive to work in our downtown; and "outbound commuters," who park their car in our downtown to access the trains and busses to other cities.
I assembled the list below of the major points made in the 1995 Parking Report, the proposed parking ordinance which wasendorsedby ing,andTraffic Committee,butwasnever
brought to the full council for a vote, and finally, some of my own ideas for moving forward on this topic.
I am asking residents to let me know what they think. E- mail me at nsullivan@ home. com or fax me at (908) 233- 3077 or write to the committee, c/ o Municipal Building, 425 East Broad Street, Westfield, 07090.
At the Transportation, Parking and TrafficCommitteepublic ing in the central business district held on
May 7 and May 20 a summary of mendations by the Westfield MainStreet Parking Task Force and The RBA Group (dated October 1995, presented to Town Council January 1996) were presented. These included:
1. Establish one "centralized entity" to establish policy and implement all parking functions.
2. Increase"effectivesupply"through more efficient enforcement, promotion and parking management.
3. Curtail meter feeding at short- term meters.
4. Ensure convenientaccessforshort term parking and also access to affordable alternate parking for downtown ees through reallocation of spaces to ate more long- term meters.
ThirdWardCoun5. Increase on- street meter rates to
$0.50 per hour (12 minutes costs $0.10) from $0.25 per hour.
6. Increase Lot No. 3 (South Avenue train station lot) to $90 per quarter.
7. Possible long- range goal to design and build a parking deck
8. Replaceall parkingandtrafficsigns in the central business district.
9. Create a position of parking ager. Park10. Create a parking committee Westprised
of Chief of Police, Town Engineer, Chair of the Special Improvement trict Board, member of public at- large, a
member of the downtown business munity, a member of the Council's portation, Parking and Traffic Parktee, and the parking manager. 11. Transfer revenues from meter and allopermit parking fees and penalties to the
newly established entity to fund ments, including a parking deck. 12. Amend ordinance to clearly ban "meter- feeding."
13. Remove meters that inhibit traffic flow and/ or restrict driver's view of destrians.
The list continues with the 1997 ommendationsofCouncilTransportation, Parking and Traffic Committee regarding fees for meters and permits for long- term lots are as follows: theTransportation,Park14. Charge comparable rates ($ 40 per
month) in all long term lots in the business district, except for Watterson Street lot.
15. Establish discounts for semi- an nual and annual payments.
16. Allow use of permit on more than one vehicle.
Additional ideas for consideration that I have proposed include:
17. Establish means of providing ing for downtown employees in unused "outbound commuter" spots. forumsonpark18. Establish "courtesy parking gram" to provide grace period for recomtime
parking at short- term meters. 19. Address delivery of merchandise and goods during business day by large trucks.
20. Install centralized pay stations to replace meters in lots, especially long term lots.
21. Pilot "pay for use" in short- term lot.
22. Pilot program with satellite lot with shuttle bus service to train station.
23. Restripe lots Nos. 1 and 8 (and consider combining) to increase number of available spaces.
A final forum will be held tonight, Thursday, June 4, at 7: 30 p. m. in the employCommunity Room of the Westfield crenicipal
Time Is Here for Action On Downtown Parking
See More Letters on
Cellular Phones for Crossing Guards manPoses No Cost to Westfield Taxpayers
I would like to respond to Michael comWolski's
Letter to the Editor (May 28), wherein he stipulates misinformation
Disas facts. Mr. Wolski's first piece of misinfor commation
pertains to his statement, "Af Transter
questioning several guards, I real Commitized
that I wasn't sure which 'selected few' had the phones."
Sergeant Carl V. Geis, Westfield Public Safety Officer, developed a pri improveoritized
list identifying which guards were in need of the cellular telephones first. The criteria used by Sergeant Geis to establish the order of this list dealt with the amount of traffic each
peguarded intersection carries. Those intersections considered "cru reccial
school crossings" receive the do nated telephones first, based on Ser geant Geis' list. Councilwoman Gail S. Vernick has nothing to do with this list.
Mr. Wolski then offers the follow ing, "Then I received word that Ms. Vernick was requesting that people donate their old phone. This was her way to improve the 'quality of life' in Westfield."
It seems Mr. Wolski missed the boat here, too. I have just reread the article
in which Gail Vernick informs our community that the Federal Communi cations Commission requires all wire less carriers to transmit any and all 911 calls, regardless of whether the cell telephone being used is connected to a service.
She further informs us that because of this regulation, an old cell tele phone, with a battery charger, can be donated for use by our crossing guards. No fees or charges are connected to this donation.
To my way of thinking, Council woman Vernick is correct when she states that the use of cellular tele phones by our crossing guards can im prove the quality of life for our chil dren and our citizens. If a crossing guard has the need to call 911, a quick response by our rescue squad and po lice certainly is in the best interest of our citizens, young and old.
I appreciate all the math calculations Mr. Wolski did to come up with his statement, "Wow! That is almost $5,000 per year!" Mr. Wolski obviously missed the many articles which discussed the donation of analog telephones through the "Wireless at Work" Program.
Perhaps this will make it more clear parkfor
Mr. Wolski: This program is cost ing Westfield taxpayers nothing! Not a single dime of our tax dollars is being
proused to finance this wonderful initia overtive.
I as a parent would like to suggest to Mr. Wolski that he could service our community much better if he dealt in facts and not misinformation.
Based on the fact that Mrs. Vernick's initiative is costing our taxpayers noth ing, his suggestion that our town could save $20,000 simply by purchasing two way radios, hooked up directly to po lice headquarters, is ludicrous.
I thank God that Mr. Wolski is not a member of the Town Council. Based on his math calculations, Westfield would be bankrupt all too quickly and the money he's so happy to have in his pockets would be nonexistent.
Joyce Goldstein MuWestfield
By Louis H. Clark by Councilman Neil F. Sullivan, Jr.