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Thank God You Are Not A Celebrity. Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood a Grim Place.

by Chris Benguhe


The Harvey Weinstein scandal rocking Hollywood proves yet again you shouldn’t envy the lives of stars.



Do you ever hate your job or your life because it’s too much of a grind or not exciting enough? Does your family ever get on your nerves with all their daily demands and constraints? Do you ever wish you were king of the world and could do, say or be whatever you wanted?


If only you could live like those famous stars who seem to live the life. They are all living large and are dreadfully happy. Right?


Time to think again. There’s something “dreadful” indeed about the “happiness” enjoyed in Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood.


What if I told you Hollywood was riddled with sick, sociopathic, antisocial, borderline crazy people, where Harvey Weinstein fit right in?


Some of you might believe me. Most probably wouldn’t. And Hollywood certainly doesn’t want you to. But the truth is that in Hollywood there is a dark underbelly of unrestrained selfishness and hubris. It pushes people over the edge of decency and acceptability to do, say or commit unacceptable acts that would not be tolerated in the “real” world.


That’s why after a decade of living in and reporting on Hollywood, I left that world to tell everyday stories of everyday people. Folks who for all their flaws are primarily sensible and thoughtful, but most importantly are accountable to others.


And therein lays a deeper and more important discussion of culture, values and national identity.

The Culture of “ME”

For more than a century America has been in a fight with fame. On one hand we are obsessed with it. Americans love their celebrities, and falling over the lifestyles of the rich and famous is a national pastime.


However, the majority of us prefer and live simpler lives in which we realize what’s important – family, hard work and caring about our neighbors, our fellow citizens and being a good human being.


Still, we constantly see dangled before our eyes a world where everything seems attainable. It is beamed into our heads and our living rooms, and it is increasingly represented as more attractive and better than the lives we lead.


The result can be a case of social dissonance where we all want that life, where we all want that freedom, yet without a real understanding of the madness that a life of egoism creates.


When a scandal like Harvey Weinstein lumbers into sight, he exposes that life of hubris for what it really is – a nightmare. I’m glad that people get to see that. And it’s worth talking about for at least long enough to get through the commercial break of Access Hollywood.

Is Hollywood Bad?

Of course this doesn’t mean everyone in entertainment is a Harvey Weinstein, or one of his enablers. But his attitude of privilege is definitely entrenched in Hollywood. And just as there was a culture of indifference within the Catholic Church to child sex abuse cases, which had to be corrected, there is a culture of acceptance of narcissism, egoism and abusiveness within Hollywood.


This culture goes way back to the early days of Hollywood – with one of the most famous alleged cases being that of Alfred Hitchcock ruining actress Tippy Hedrin’s career and life, according to Hedrin, because she wouldn’t sleep with him.


Actress Lara Dunham confirmed in a recent New York Times op-ed that the abuse goes well beyond the allegations against Weisnstein asserting that he is not the only such “predator” in Hollywood.


“His behavior, silently co-signed for decades by employees and collaborators, is a microcosm of what has been happening in Hollywood since always,” writes Dunham, “and of what workplace harassment looks like for women everywhere.”


Dunham is right – and wrong.


The problem goes well beyond gender. Consider gay sex abuse and child abuse in Hollywood and you will open up a whole other can of worms.  The problem stretches well beyond Hollywood to an underlying egoism that feeds off and promotes modern fame and power in America and the world. It’s the idea that you are number one and everyone else is less than you. Therefore you can do whatever you want to whomever you want.


Hollywood feeds off that idea more than most other industries and cultures in America or the world. But it pretends to send out the exact opposite message.


Now to give people in the entertainment industry credit, maybe they’re not self-aware. Perhaps they are just so caught up in the fame, the money and the power that it fuels aberrant behavior.


And there are those in Hollywood – performers, directors and producers, and agents who are trying earnestly to change things. I have met and interviewed them. I wish them the best.


But the best thing that we can do to help them is to remember our common humanity, and the truths of the human condition. Whether we are in Hollywood or Ottumwa, New York or Nashua, we all have the same nature and the same human need and responsibility to love and respect others and to be respected by others regardless of who we are and what we have, or don’t have.


I hope that ordinary, hard-working, honest and self-sacrificing people realize that they are the real stars because of that and revel in their simple, accountable lives so to make them an example to others to behold.


Maybe Hollywood can learn from the firefighters, soldiers, honest cops, teachers, and small business owners out there how to shine.






Buy Chris Benguhe's books at Amazon.com at the link below.




I certainly would never disparage anyone from living in an area where they "have" to live, because of jobs, careers, family etc.  But when it comes to "choice," living and owning property in areas from the gulf coast to the Florida Peninsula to up the east coast is, in my view, dangerous.  

I spent 50 years in Broadcasting, mostly as a Broadcast Meteorologist, and for years and years, climatologists, meteorologists, NOAA and other government agencies have been warning about the proliferation of development  in these areas.  Everyone wants to live on the water, (  you ever watch "Beachfront Bargain Hunt or those other shows on HGTV?) but when a storm like Irma and now Jose comes thru, it's almost impossible to protect one's property and nearly impossible to evacuate.  How do you evacuate the entire state of Florida?  How can the federal government protect all these people?

I don't even know why I'm writing this because I have no answers to this problem.  All I know is I "chose" to put my sailboat in Southern California, the water is too cold there for tropical storms, so all I need to worry about is earthquakes! 

Rick D'Amico

Lessons from Hurricane Harvey


If anything good is coming out of Hurricane Harvey, it’s this:  We as Americans, in spite of the socialist left wing media outlets, have compassion for one another.


The images of people helping people, whites helping blacks, blacks helping whites, Hispanic and white and black people and all people  having compassion for one another, aiding each other, this is the real America.  


It’s not about those extremist organizations that spew venom and hate, it’s about real people and love.


First responders, organizations, businesses, churches, and just people, people with trucks, people with drinking water, people with boats,  people with blankets, people with money.  Budweiser stopped production of its beer and is filling cans with water for the victims, is just one example.  The Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the firefighters from all around the county all pitching in.


Once again this nation comes through to help those in need. 


Despite the cruel, shameless, socialist CNN’s and MSNBC’s and CBS’s, who have found time to criticize the president’s wife for her shoes, or President Trump’s timing of his visit, or his demeanor. 


Can you imagine people are dying and/ or losing just about everything they have in this disaster and the mainstream media continues its hateful diatribe against President Trump and his family?


When will they do their job? Accept their responsibility to tell the truth and celebrate what this country is really all about.

One of My Guiding Stars.

One of my guiding stars, Jerry Lewis   March 16, 1926 - August 20, 2017

One of my guiding stars, Jerry Lewis  

March 16, 1926 - August 20, 2017

It’s funny because last night Ruth and I were sitting out on the patio, as we always do every night, and we watched a video of Jerry Lewis in his heyday with Dean Martin.  And we laughed and laughed.


If you read my book, “It Just Wasn’t Perfect for Me” you know I had the honor of doing some work with Jerry Lewis for Muscular Dystrophy  for our local station in Michigan.


It was of the biggest thrills of my career.  I can remember when I was a child lying on the floor watching our black and white TV on a Saturday evening, waiting for “The Colgate Comedy Hour” to begin.  The show had alternate stars, and you really didn’t know who was going to be on it until the announcer revealed it during the opening show’s credits.  I would lye there,  hoping, hoping, will it be?  Oh I hope so!


And when the announcer said, “It’s The Colgate Comedy Hour, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis,” I would just scream out in laughter and delight.  Jerry Lewis was the funniest person I had ever seen!


Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were the hottest show business act in the ‘50’s attracting humongous crowds of people rivaling that of Frank Sinatra and the Beatles, both before and after.


And when I got to sit down with Jerry Lewis a number of times, I was thinking, “I’m so blown away, so excited to meet this show business icon and to actually perform with him!”


Here’s an excerpt from my book, “It Just Wasn’t Perfect for Me” on meeting Jerry Lewis.


    " Another highlight working there was the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.  Every year we would go to Las Vegas and attend the local host seminars, a three or four day stay at the Sahara Hotel and then on the last day something very special.  Each local host got to shoot a local promo with Jerry Lewis! 


     Now, I love Jerry Lewis.  I can’t begin to tell you the joy I would have, when as a child, watching he and Dean Martin perform on TV and in the movies.  To do a shoot with Jerry Lewis was just out of this world for me.



I was very nervous sitting down next to him, he could tell I was a little shaky.  So he grabs my leg and starts to rub it and yells, “lady, lady, Rick D’Amico, a wop from Michigan is here, and I married a wop from Michigan and D’Amico is better looking!”  We all laughed.  By the way “wop” is what Jerry Lewis called Frank Sinatra, Sinatra addressed him as “Jew.”  So I was impressed, if it was good enough for Frank, it was fine with me!  He then whispered in my ear, “you’re nervous, that’s good, every time you’re nervous about performing, you’ll be good, that’s where creativity comes from!”  He was just amazing. A time I will never forget."


I found myself thinking and sometimes doing “Jerry Lewis” while I was performing on the Morning Show I hosted in Phoenix. He was one of my guiding stars, who helped shape my on air personality.


Recently I was approached to see if I was interested in interviewing Jerry Lewis for a documentary on his life and career.  I jumped at the chance, I would have done it for free.


He was always on my mind. 


Even last night, the night before he passed away at the age of 91.  

Here's more from AZCentral.

Jerry Lewis Comedy Genius - A lifetime of Comedy.


USS Fitzgerald Officers to Be Relieved of Command

August 17, 2017 by Reuters


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo


By Idrees Ali

WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) – About a dozen U.S. sailors are expected to face punishment for a collision in June between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippines cargo ship, including the warship’s commanding officer and other senior leaders of the ship, the Navy said on Thursday.

Admiral Bill Moran, deputy chief of naval operations, told reporters the ship’s commanding officer, executive officer and master chief petty officer would be removed from the vessel because “we’ve lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead.”


Moran said that in total close to a dozen sailors would face administrative punishment and left open the possibility for further action.

Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the USS Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.

The Navy also released a report that provided new details of the crash and its aftermath.

For more on the story go here to gCaptain.com