Reflections

Kirk Douglas: Lessons from a legend

--USA Today December 2, 2014

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A big birthday is just around the corner. Kirk Douglas, America's Spartacus, turns 98 on Dec. 9, and he's releasing a work of poetry and stories of his life, Life Could Be Verse (HCI, out Tuesday), for the occasion.

"I've written 10 books," says the witty legendary actor, as sharp and impish as ever, despite navigating a speech impediment that remains from a severe stroke suffered in 1996. "But this was the first time I was looking over the things in my life, and I was surprised to know how many poems I've written."Douglas has worked to regain his speech, but he continued writing all the while, and in 2012 published an in-depth account of his most famous film, I am Spartacus: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist. Now, he's reflecting on a life spent in Hollywood, from his first audition with Mae West (a solid rejection) to his changing relationship with son Michael Douglas. USA TODAY's Andrea Mandell catches up with the legend on life at (nearly) 98.

On technology

"Technology frightens me. I don't have a cellphone. I don't even have a watch," says Douglas. "My wife insisted on buying me a computer. I know nothing about computers. But one thing: I love having a place to play solitaire. I play all the time." So who handles his correspondence? "I have a good-looking secretary," he grins. "But really, technology changed the world. People don't write. It's a different world I'm about to leave." Not so fast, a reporter protests. "I'm about to be 98 you think, maybe?" Didn't Moses make it to 120? "Yes, but when they said that he got to 120 nobody has proof of it." And what ofPeople magazine publishing his obituary by mistake online just this past weekend? "The announcement of my death is premature," Douglas said on Monday, via an assistant. "I'm looking forward to turning 98 next week."

On what he watches today

"I watch the news," he says, but not many movies, although he keeps a library of classics in his home. "I have mixed feelings. I feel like for me to watch movies now I would feel like an intruder. Because I don't make any movies (anymore). I thought about making a movie, I was going to have a script written for two people, me and my grandson (Dylan, 14, son of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones), but I said, 'Oh Kirk, too much work.' "

On romance

"I have been in love with my wife for 60 years," says Douglas of his second wife, Anne, 84, who is running errands during the interview. "And I wrote a poem about that. I think romance begins at 80. And I ought to know, because I live with a girl who would tell you so!" Does he still romance Anne? "Of course! I send her a note, and put it on her pillow. She likes that." In Life Could be Verse, "I tried to take the poems and put them in the story (of my life). And the story ends with my wife and me."

On fatherhood vs. being a grandfather

Douglas acknowledged he's evolved as a father. "I didn't remain so self-centered. When you're trying to be an actor you're just thinking of yourself," says the star, who was nominated for a best-actor Academy Award three times (1950's Champion, 1953'sThe Bad and the Beautiful, 1957's Lust for Life) and awarded an honorary Oscar in 1996. "But when you have had some experiences …you have time to think more about others. You think what you can do to help others. And I think that should be the core of every living (being), to help other people." Today he spends "as much (time) as I can," with his grandkids. "I find my grandchildren very interesting."

On the gridlock on Capitol Hill

"We will always have problems that we have to deal with," says Douglas, who fought to credit writer Dalton Trumbo (who was blacklisted during McCarthyism) onscreen forSpartacus in 1960. "But life goes on. I think the important thing is that people must have a chance. A chance to do something in life. I feel I was given a chance. And I like to help other people get a chance."

 

Kirk Douglas Remembers Lauren Bacall: She Was My "Lucky Charm"

--Hollywood Reporter August 20, 2014

bacall

With the loss of Lauren Bacall, whom we all called “Betty,” a meaningful part of my history has been extinguished.

I met Betty when she was 17 and I was 24. We were both studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I was on my own in New York with meager funds. That winter, Betty saw me shivering in my thin overcoat. She didn't say anything, but she talked her uncle into giving me one of his two thick coats. I wore it for three years. That sort of unassuming kindness was one of her most endearing characteristics. When I had the honor of presenting Betty with her honorary Oscar in 2009, I told the audience: “People said Bacall was ‘tough.' She’s a pussycat with a heart of gold.”

After World War II ended, I was honorably discharged from the Navy in San Diego. Betty had been discovered by Howard Hawks and was now in Hollywood preparing for her first film, in which she was to star opposite none other than Humphrey Bogart. I wanted to see her before flying back to New York, so I called her, and we arranged to meet for dinner. Of course, she was late. When I stood up to greet her, I noticed that she had the script for  To Have and Have Not under her arm. We talked about it, and she read me a few lines: “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together – and blow.”

“Betty,” I said, “you will be a star.” My prophecy came true.

Back in New York, I continued the frustrating task of looking for a job, hopefully in a play that would last for more than a few performances. I had a wife and two children to support. I succeeded in getting the lead in The Wind Is Ninety, and I got good notices.

Shortly after the play opened, Betty attended a cocktail party for the famous producer Hal Wallis, who was going to New York the next day. Betty was always a girl who spoke her mind. She said, “Hal, when you are in New York, you must see The Wind Is Ninety.  My friend Kirk Douglas is in it and has gotten rave reviews.” He actually listened to her— did I mention she was persuasive—and soon after I was on my way to Hollywood with a meaty role as Barbara Stanwyck’s husband in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.

Over the years, Betty and I never lost touch. We even starred together in a film [1950’s Young Man with a Horn] before she went back to New York to achieve the Broadway success I had always longed for. We tried to see each other whenever we were on each other’s home coast, and we shared many special occasions in each other’s lives, including my 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 2004.

Throughout our friendship, I wrote her letters, mostly typed because I have bad handwriting. She always penned her replies, and they were almost illegible—handwriting worse than mine! My latest note wasn’t answered, which was unlike her. I wondered why. Then, on Aug. 12, like the rest of the world, I found out.

 

It’s hard to lose a friend, especially one with whom you have shared your dreams and your journey. In the case of Betty Bacall, I also lost my lucky charm—the girl who believed in me enough to talk Hal Wallis into giving me a Hollywood career. That was my first lesson in helping others without looking for thanks. I will continue to think about her whenever I put it into practice.

Hollywood Legend Kirk Douglas, His Wife Delve Into Their 60-Year Love Affair

Please note: The interview is preceded by a commercial.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO INTERVIEW

--July 25, 2014

Their story is the stuff of Hollywood romance.

Legendary actor Kirk Douglas, 97, has been married to his wife, Anne, for 60 years, and in an interview with CBS2’s Pat Harvey, he shares the enchanting stories and secrets to keeping the romance burning.

The pair met in Paris while Kirk was playing the role of Vincent van Gogh in “Lust For Life,” and Anne Buydens was handling the PR for the movie.

Anne, 84, said she played hard-to-get. The two became friends, but she eventually fell for Kirk’s charms.

The couple married in Las Vegas the following year in 1954.

Kirk, who already had two sons — Oscar-winning actor Michael and Joel — with his first wife Dianna Dill, went on to have two more — Peter and Eric — with Anne.

Their union has endured the test of time, but not without the occasional argument.

“We argued a lot. But I will tell you about a big argument,” Kirk said.

The scene opens in March 1958, when the Douglases were living next door to Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Mike Todd in Palm Springs. Todd asked Douglas to join him on his private plane on a trip to New York.

“And he said ‘yes,’ and as soon as they left, I said to Kirk, ‘I don’t want you to go,’ ” Anne said.

“We had such a big argument and I finally said, ‘Oh, what the hell, I won’t go.’”

Taylor came down with a cold and didn’t end up going either.

Todd’s plane infamously crashed, and everyone aboard was killed.

“So, from then on, I never argued with her. She saved my life,” Kirk told Harvey.

“I have instincts, and I’ve been right too many times,” Anne said.

The couple has made it through their share of obstacles. In January 1996, Kirk suffered a stroke as he was getting a manicure at home.

He sustained lingering damage to his speech and struggled with depression. The actor credits Anne with pushing him to work with speech therapists.

Just a few months later, Kirk would accept an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

“I intended to just say thank you, but I saw 1,000 people. I felt I had to say something more, and I did,” he said.

The entertainment legend said he was proud to be a part of Hollywood for 50 years and dedicated the statue to Anne.

But what this actor, who’s appeared in more than 90 films, said he’s most proud of is the philanthropic work he and Anne have accomplished together. They hope it will be their legacy.

The Douglases have sold pieces from their art collection to rebuild 409 playgrounds in Los Angeles.

They’ve funded the Alzheimer wing at the Motion Picture Retirement Home and started the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission, which gives homeless women a second chance.

All in all, Anne and Kirk Douglas have given $50 million to five nonprofit groups over the years. One such recipient is the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The couple’s generosity doesn’t end there, and it’s the bond that holds them together.

“Is there a formula [to staying together]?” Harvey asked them.

The actor responded with a smile: “Yes, there’s a formula. You have to fall in love.”

Correction: The Douglases did meet in Paris but it was during the film ACT OF LOVE rather than LUST FOR LIFE. 

 

Kirk Douglas looks back at 60 years of marriage

--Los Angeles Times June 20, 2014

1954: Las Vegas wedding

In 1953, I was a successful movie star arriving in Paris for the first time. I knew no one and spoke no French. It wouldn't be a problem. Beautiful Parisians might love to be seen with Kirk Douglas, the Hollywood leading man, even though they never would have looked twice at Issur Danielovitch, the ragman's son from Amsterdam, N.Y. The way I figured it, we both got pleasure from these fleeting entanglements.

So it was a big blow to my theory when I met Anne Buydens. She came in to help me with press and translation during the filming of "Act of Love." I offered her a job, and she said, "No, I can recommend someone else, but I will be going to New York soon." OK, I thought, I'll take this young beauty to dinner at the most romantic (and expensive) restaurant in Paris, La Tour d'Argent. She's sure to approve of my taste and my ability to get a last-minute reservation. Once again, she turned me down. "No, I think I'll stay in and have some scrambled eggs," she said.

The fact that I didn't impress her certainly impressed me, and I was determined to win her over. Anyone who knows my story knows the rest. She did join the production, and we courted in France and Italy. After I returned to the States, I invited her to come for a visit.

We had a wonderful time together. And then she announced she was going back to Paris. I'm not proud that it took me until then to realize how much I didn't want to lose her, and I'm not proud that I put so little thought into our wedding. I was making "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" for Walt Disney, working six days a week. I left the studio on a Saturday afternoon and picked up Anne, my lawyer and my publicist, and we flew to Las Vegas. Anne and I joined our lives before a hastily summoned justice of the peace. I was eager to get the vows over with so I could take everyone to my pal Frank Sinatra's show at the Desert Inn.

I don't know why Anne stuck with me through those early decades. If anyone I worked with is still alive, they will attest that I wasn't Mr. Popularity. I had a lot of anger matched by a lot of arrogance. Some people put up with me, I think, simply because I had such a wonderful wife. Everyone loved her, including my first wife and my two eldest sons, Michael and Joel.

Anne never tried to change me, but she never hesitated to speak her mind — usually gently and often with great humor and subtlety. But she did change me and very much for the better. I began to see my native land through the eyes of a naturalized American who had lived through Nazi occupation and the terrors of war. I learned not to take our rights and privileges for granted. Anne joined me as a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. Information Agency, and we traveled to more than 40 countries, paying our own way. I received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but she should have received one too.

Over the years, Anne has run my production company, raised our sons and encouraged me to join her in good works. We rebuilt 401 Los Angeles Unified School District playgrounds. Through the Anne Douglas Center at the Los Angeles Mission, we have seen hundreds of women turn around their lives. There is Harry's Haven (named after my father) for Alzheimer patients at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills and, of course, the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Kirk and Anne Douglas

 

Anne has saved my life more than a few times. With uncanny intuition, she refused to let me join Mike Todd on his fateful flight east. We stopped speaking over that one until we heard the news the next morning. Elizabeth Taylor became a widow, but not my Anne. When I had my stroke 17 years ago, she drove me to the hospital like a Formula One racer. And when I wallowed in self-pity because of my impaired speech, she made me get up and work with a speech therapist. To this day, I write her love poems; to this day, she continues to give me tough love.

On our golden anniversary in 2004, I finally gave Anne the wedding she never had at Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, with some 300 guests sharing our happiness. She surprised me by converting to Judaism before the ceremony, which was held under the traditional wedding canopy with our friend Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple officiating.

This year, I was superstitious about planning a celebration too far in advance of our May 29 diamond anniversary. After all, I am only three years shy of my personal centennial, and my Spartacus days are well behind me. But my son Michael and his wife, Catherine, were determined to help us celebrate our 60th anniversary in style.

They surprised us with a magical night with family and friends. Once again, we were at Greystone Manor, now transformed into an alfresco Cocoanut Grove-style nightclub. Anne looked as glamorous as she had the day she walked into my life in Paris, and I was proud to be by her side. A newly engaged friend asked, "Kirk, why did your marriage last so long?"

"That's easy," I replied. "I just told my wife, if you ever leave me, I'm going with you!"

Douglas, an actor-producer and the author of 10 books, lives in Beverly Hills. He recently completed a book of original poems titled "Life Could Be Verse."

 

 

 

Ace in the Hole – Philip French on Billy Wilder's masterly newspaper film noir

--The Guardian (U.K.) 7 June 2014

ace in the hole

Billy Wilder worked as a hard-nosed newspaperman on tabloids in Vienna and Berlin during the 1920s and brought this experience to bear on Ace in the Hole. Made immediately after the corrosive Sunset Boulevard, it was his first film as producer-director following the dissolution of his longtime partnership with the older, relatively conservative Charles Brackett, with whom he'd worked since arriving in California as an exile from Nazi Germany. Now regarded as an uncompromising masterpiece, it was a major box-office and critical failure in the States at the height of McCarthyism, despite a memorable performance by Kirk Douglas, who is at his most uningratiatingly forceful in virtually every scene.

Douglas plays Chuck Tatum, a flamboyant reporter fired from big city papers for his unscrupulous conduct, drinking and lechery, trying to make a comeback in small-town New Mexico, working for a dull, honest editor whose motto, embroidered on framed samplers in his office, is "Tell the Truth". After a year of $60-a-week tedium, Chuck suddenly finds his ace in the hole by exploiting the plight of a sad loser, Leo Mimosa, who's managing a run-down diner and filling station in the desert with his disillusioned young wife Lorraine (a tough, vulnerable Jan Sterling). Leo is trapped underground in an ancient Indian cave dwelling, and Chuck manipulates Lorraine and a local sheriff into helping him protract the rescue so he can transform the incident into a national news story that will attract sightseers and catapult him back into the big time. "I've met a lotta hard-boiled eggs in my life, but you, you're 20 minutes," Lorraine tells Chuck, half admiringly.

Like the tarnished heroes of Double IndemnityThe Lost Weekend,Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment, Tatum is a characteristic Wilder protagonist, a self-loathing anti-hero on his way down and eventually finding redemption or salvation as he approaches rock bottom. Shot in a stark, tabloid black-and-white by Charles B Lang (the interior darkness contrasted with the blinding desert light), the film is closely based on a sensational real event from the 1920s that also inspired Robert Penn Warren's 1959 novel The Cave, and is morally gripping and unsentimental in its refusal to give the audience an easy point of sympathetic identification.

Why Billy Wilder's 'Ace in the Hole' Is Still Relevant Today

--from filmschoolrejects.com May 6, 2014

Ace in the Hole Movie Newspaper

Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated.

Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now.

Today, Billy Wilder’s entertainingly cynical 1951 film, Ace in the Hole, gets a gorgeous Blu-Ray treatment from Criterion, and it’s a perfect movie to start this column with. In it, a down-on-his-luck reporter, Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) stumbles upon a story about a man, Leo (Richard Benedict), trapped in a mountain tunnel. Tatum decides to sensationalize, exploit, and manipulate Leo’s misfortune into a media frenzy to help resurrect his career.

While the kind of print journalism we see in Wilder’s film may be dying, its representation of media and its consumers translates perfectly to our age of pay walls, YouTube and digital subscriptions.

Here are five ways Ace in the Hole evokes not only its own time, but ours.

 

The Battle of Content Styles

There’s two kinds of journalism at war in Ace in the Hole. On the one side is Jacob Boot (Porter Hall), the editor of the Albuquerque Sun-Bulletin. He cares less about how many people read his paper than he does about the quality and integrity of what they read. On the other side is Tatum (Kirk Douglas), who cares only about how many people read his writing. He achieves that with sensationalist, manipulative content that’s cynically designed to draw as many eyeballs as possible.

It’s the very same battle currently playing out between two content models: outlets that value quality writing that compels with ideas, and places like BuzzFeed that value writing that props up GIFs and quizzes designed solely to generate as much traffic as possible. Tatum is a linkbait pioneer.

Our Love of Viral Sensations

When hundreds of people catch wind of Tatum’s coverage of Leo’s story, they flock in droves – in cars, buses, trains – to experience the sensation for themselves.

Consider this: picture the Mountain of the Seven Vultures (where Leo is trapped) as a piece of online content, each of the cars pulling into its parking lot as a click of a mouse button, and every person as a unique page view. Now you’ve got yourself a perfect visual representation of behavior around an online viral sensation.

Internet may not have existed when Ace in the Hole was released, but the movie understands how content that amazes or outrages ignites our interest fast. What’s more, it understands why: our insatiable need to be in the know.

The Dangers of Journalistic Overreaching

The degree to which Tatum in Ace in the Hole pursues and inserts himself into his story is undoubtedly hyperbolized. But it isn’t implausible. Even today. Watch Douglas’ character keep pushing his story until it eventually results in a death, and it’s easy to recall this year’s controversy around Caleb Hannan – a Grantlandreporter who kept pushing a story until it resulted in a death.

On a lesser scale, there was also how Jezebel made itself the news when they offered $10,000 for untouched images of a Lena Dunham Vogueshoot.  What should have been a worthy story about magazines’ tendency to digitally manipulate actresses images, became all about the outlet instead.

All of which recalls a point in Ace in the Hole where Douglas’ character says, “I don’t make things happen. All I do is write about them.” His eventual betrayal of that is perhaps the movie’s greatest cautionary tale. It’s a warning that’s clearly still worth listening to today.

“Everybody in This Game Has to Make Up Their Own Mind”

Towards the end of Ace in the Hole, Herbie Cook, the young Albuquerque News-Bulletin photographer, finds himself with a career choice: stay with Boot or go to New York with Tatum. The specifics of Cook’s decision may not readily apply to our media careerists, but the situation does. Aspiring writers now are presented with no end of diverging paths. One of the most significant ones was highlighted by Entertainment Weekly’s announcement that they would move toward not paying writers, but instead offering vague promises of prestige.

Some people argued it’s worth it for aspiring writers to work for free in order to build a portfolio so they can eventually move on to paying gigs. Others argued writers should never write for free and doing so damages the profession for everyone. Which is why Tatum’s sentiments feel truer now than ever. Increasingly writers – like Cook – are going to have to think hard about what they’re willing to do to achieve the success they want.

What’s News Today is Ancient Tomorrow

“It’s a good story today. Tomorrow, they’ll wrap it in fish,” says Tatum, predicting the fate of his own story. He’s proven right. The moment Leo dies, the army of rubberneckers – who gathered to be near Leo’s sensationalized plight – disappear as quickly as they appeared. Their return to their normal lives restarts the moment their cars hit the road.

It’s a familiar phenomenon today: our interest in news events can flare up as suddenly as they’re extinguished, moving on to the next outrage or story in the 24/7 news cycle. And then we forget so easily. How often do we think about the victims of a tragic event months after press coverage has dwindled? Or, consider this: are we as invested now in the horror of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as we were several weeks ago? It’s not a pleasant truth about human nature, but it is one Ace in the Hole understands, and one that’s grown all the more true: No matter how captivating a story may be, it can be quickly forgotten when we move on with our lives and stop peering into the keyhole of someone else’s.







Pope Francis Is a Good Man for All Religions

--Huffington Post January 9, 2014

 I am a Jew who loves the Pope. I have always said, "don't be too religious." However, Pope Francis is a good man for all religions. He is a humble person who identifies with the poor.

Those qualities are how the Pope has conducted his papacy so far. During his New Year's Day message he encouraged us all to "search for peace" and "build a society that is truly more just and united." He reprimanded a German bishop for his lavish spending. And, when asked about his views on same-sex marriage he responded, "Who am I to judge?" He has made hard decisions while also being kind and loving to those in need.

He is a man who wants us to understand each other no matter what our differences may be and to do our best to help one another. And that is the core of what every religion should be.

Fiddler on my Roof

--Jerusalem Post  November 3, 2013

Chaim Topol 521

My old friend Chaim Topol recently came to Los Angeles for the day. We had lunch and reminisced about 1966.

At that time, I was making the motion picture Cast a Giant Shadow in Israel. I gave the young Israeli actor a job.

From then on, we kept our friendship alive with visits to London and New York. I think the most impressive thing about Chaim Topol was his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I saw him play it three times.

Of course, Fiddler on the Roof was a tremendous hit. The last time I saw Chaim in the play was a few years ago. He drew a wonderful portrait of me. I thought a long time about how I could pay him back.

Finally, it came to me – everyone talks about Fiddler on the Roof, but did they ever see a fiddler on the roof? I had the sculptor Aris Demetrios make a sculpture of a fiddler, and I placed it on top of my roof. At night the lights make it visible to everyone. Finally, fiddler on the roof is on the roof! Chaim Topol always makes me think of the many times I have been to Israel. I am unable to travel so far now, but I have wonderful memories of Israel. And it was satisfying to discuss them with my friend Chaim.

 

Strictly Speaking

--The Huffington Post, October 10, 2013

I had a stroke about 15 years ago. I lost my voice. Now what does an actor do who loses his voice -- give up? No, he waits for silent pictures to come back.

I can joke about it now, but it wasn't funny then. I work on my voice with a speech therapist, Betty McMicken. We get together at least once a week. Part of my homework consists of poems that she writes and sends to me. The poems contain many polysyllabic phrases. She expects me to practice reciting the poems out loud and exercise my speech. Many of her poems are very interesting. She wrote the poem "Words" recently. I want to share it with you:

Words

By Betty McMicken

It seems the word mediocrity
Would sum up our Senate and House
They espouse
Weakness, limitations failings, frailty
Feebleness, flimsiness, debility, fragility
The House of Bums
And
The Senate of Bunglers
We should join the party of Grumblers
To lobby night and day
Till the bunglers and bums
Are hauled away
With only penurious pensions
It seems the word injurious
Could be substituted for penurious

As in:
Harmful, damaging, adverse
Detrimental, deleterious, ruinous
That sums their effect on this land
Wouldn't it be grand
If we all started over
Held the bums for libel
They all swore with hand on Bible
To uphold the Constitution
They need a thorough ablution
As the government grinds to a halt 

Deadlock, Impasse, Stalemate
Gridlock, Standstill, Log jam
Words we wish would cram
Delegates collective ass
We need to vote these bums out
Without a doubt, we need a turn about
Of representatives with common sense
What we have now is reprehensible
Blameworthy, liable, culpable, and guilty

Will Technology Replace Thinking?

--Huntington Post, October 3, 2013

When you get to be 96 years of age the road ahead is short, so you look back at the road you have traveled for almost 100 years.

The first thing you come up against is technology. One night we took our grandchildren out for dinner. I looked around the table. Jason, the youngest, was playing games with his cellphone; Ryan, 12 years old, had his head under the table and I assumed he was watching his cellphone; Tyler, 16, and his sister Kelsey, 18, were both involved on their cellphones too. Lisa, their mother, was frantically searching in her purse for her ringing cellphone; and Peter, their father, was leaning back, laughing loudly, on his cellphone. I looked across the table at my wife. We both shrugged.

Outside is worse. People walking down the streets, holding objects against their ears, either listening or talking. When they're speaking it looks like they're just crazy people talking to themselves. They cross the road without looking, still talking, and people driving their cars are doing the same thing. Is what they're saying really that important?

I don't have a cellphone. I don't want one. But my wife secretly had a computer installed in my room. They taught me how to play Spider Solitaire. I quickly became an addict -- just solitaire, nothing else. I don't press any other keys because I'm sure it would cause an explosion.

What will become of our world in the next 100 years? Will our children and grandchildren even learn how to write or spell? Will technology replace thinking?

I just realized that you're probably reading this on your computer or on your cellphone while you're driving or crossing the street.

Watch where you're going!