Iron Lady Posted on January 31st, 2012
Everyone should see the movie Iron lady. Not just people who admire actress Meryl Streep but people who know remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – Iron Lady. In the seventies, I faintly remember the state of chaos in Britain, the precursor for Margaret Thatcher’s arrival at number 10 Downing Street. Labor unions were demanding unrealistic wage increases, more people than necessary were engaged in performing menial jobs and tea-breaks and feather bedding was the order of the day. Margaret Thatcher was a shop-keeper’s daughter. She knew from an early age that you could only spend as much as you earned. Margaret Thatcher’s political career has been one of the most remarkable of modern times. Born in October 1925 at Grantham, a small town in eastern England, she rose to become the first (and for two decades the only) woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive General Elections and served as British Prime Minister for more than eleven years, a record unmatched in the twentieth century. Let’s hear it for woman power!
With dogged determination, during her term of office Thatcher reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation’s foreign policy. One of few women in the British House of Commons, she challenged and did much to overturn the psychology of decline which had become rooted in the country since the Second World War, pursuing national recovery with striking energy and determination.
Margaret Thatcher became one of the worlds’ most influential and respected political leaders, as well as one of the most controversial, dynamic, and plain-spoken, a reference point for friends and enemies alike. The Iron Lady is the subject of a controversial new film starring Meryl Streep. The film, is shown through the lens of an elderly and nostalgic Margaret Thatcher, and tells the story of her rise and fall in British parliament through a series of flash-backs. Streep’s performance is so compelling, that you almost believe, that you are witnessing the actual Margaret Thatcher on the screen. Lady Thatcher, now age 87, increasingly frail and forgetful after suffering a series of minor strokes, lives out her declining years in her elegant home in London’s Belgravia district. I wonder what she would think of the film?
A Quiet Weekend Posted on January 24th, 2012
Have you been longing for a quiet weekend? Are you hankering to unplug and get away from electronic input? You are not alone. It seems that more and more people are taking breaks from the constant distraction of emails, texts, tweets, postings, faxes and the flat screen. Life is precious, and if it does not rejuvenate, it must be adjusted to create the balance we all crave. People in large numbers are turning to yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and other forms of exercise that include a meditative perspective. My favorite sans-electronic get-a-way is boating. A quiet afternoon on my boat, feeds my soul. I know people that adhere to a “laptop shut” policy at 5pm. When they get home, they make a commitment to leave i-Phones and Blackberrys in a basket by the front door, and conversation is the order of the day at the dinner table. Our high-tech and high-speed lives leave little time for human interaction. One of my favorite authors, Pico Iyer wrote eloquently about electronic input and the choices that people are now making: long walks without cell phones, visits to museums and libraries, pursuits like golf, cross-country skiing and sailing that require focus and a connection with the healing powers of nature. Such choices are becoming more and more necessary in our electronic age. Much of the stress about which we complain, is related to the never-ending barrage from our techno world. But would anyone want to trade it for the horse and buggy or the plough?