Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This is my favorite version of the Tears for Fears' song 'MAD WORLD' from the movie Donnie Darko.


THE KEY TO SUCCESS: STEVEN SPIELBERG FOLLOWED HIS BLISS AND NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT MONEY... Spielberg was the target of anti-Semitic remarks and bullied at school for being Jewish

by Zac Champ

"Spielberg made his first film at the age of 13, as a Boy Scout merit badge project in Phoenix, Ariz. "It was three minutes long," he recalled with a faint smile. "One of my friends robbed a stagecoach and counted the money. It was eight millimeter, with no editing at all." (Klemersrud ). That was how it all started and now this directing genius’s name alone can sell a movie, it might as well be trade marked for "no director or producer has put together a more popular body of work. That’s why the movies we’re seeing now are made in his image." (Ebert "If money equals success then it is important to point out that his films have made more money than any other director. If success is critical acclaim, then you can point out that he directed more films in the AFI top 100 films of all time than any other director. If success is achieving something with nothing, than you can make the point that he never went to film school, wasn’t rich, and didn’t live in Hollywood when he started." Says Brian Young of Scruffles Steven Spielberg Directory. In this paper I hope to prove that Steven Spielberg’s works put him at the top of all directors and producers, and that film making and our American pop culture would be entirely different had it not been for his countless works.

"Spielberg’s childhood was unlike most children’s, when his father brought home a Lionel train set instead of playing with it the normal way, Steven would crash it over and over. "I would stage these very complex accidents on the rails," Spielberg said, "and somehow, intuitively, I would film these perfect crashes. When I got the film back, I would be amazed at how my little trains looked like multi-ton locomotives." (Sanello 15). When asked about Steven, mother Leah Adler had this to say, "He was my first, so I didn’t know that everybody didn’t have kids like him," she recalls with a happy shrug. "I just hung on for dear life. He was always the center of attention, ruling his three younger sisters. And me too actually. Our living room was strewn with cables and floodlights – that’s where Steven did his filming. We never said no. We never had a chance to say no. Steven didn’t understand that word." (Corliss Steven’s creativity seems to stem from his mother says Steven’s sister Sue "Mom was a classical pianist, artistic and whimsical. She led the way for Steven to be as creative as he wanted to be." (Corliss Steven’s father was more like his male characters in his movies either absent or a bit vague, less in touch with the forces of wonder. "His father’s influence contributed to the techno-wizardry which is the hallmark of most Spielberg films." (Sanello 1). "I’d help Steven construct sets for his 8-mm movies, with toy trucks and paper mache mountains." Says Steven’s father (Corliss "Arnold Spielberg had mixed feelings about his son’s filmmaking endeavors, and he pushed for a more practical, scientific career. During a quite successful career, Arnold Spielberg worked for IBM, RCA, and GE. He holds a whopping twelve patents in his name." (Sanello 15). "The combination of his mother’s artistic bent provided the aesthetic balance which drove his low-tech character driven films such as Schindler’s List and The Color Purple." (Sanello 1).

In school, Steven was nicknamed "the retard," and once lost a race to a boy in the class whom was actually mentally retarded. Spielberg's tale is a great anecdote of his entire childhood as… a "nerd."

The height of my wimpery came when we had to run a mile for a grade in elementary school," he has said. "The whole class of fifty finished, except for two people left on the track—me and a mentally retarded boy. Of course he ran awkwardly, but I was just never able to run. I was maybe 40 yards ahead of him, and I was only 100 yards away from the finish line. The whole class turned and began rooting for the young retarded boy—cheering him, saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, beat Spielberg! Run, run! It was like he came to life for the first time, and he began to pour it on but still not fast enough to beat me. And I remember thinking, ‘OK, now how am I gonna fall and make it look like I really fell?’ And I remember actually stepping on my toe and going face hard into the red clay of the track and actually scraping my nose. Everybody cheered when I fell, and then they began to really scream for this guy: ‘C’mon, John, c’mon, run, run!’ I got up just as John came up behind me, and I began running as if to beat him but not really win, running to let him win. We were nose to nose, and suddenly laid back a step, then half step. Suddenly he was ahead, then he was a chest ahead, then a length, and then he crossed the finish line ahead of me. Everybody grabbed this guy, and threw him on their shoulders and carried him into the locker room, and into the showers, and I stood there on the track field and cried my eyes out for five minutes. I’d never felt better and I’d never felt worse in my life. (Sanello 18)

"I was skinny and unpopular. I was the weird, skinny kid with acne. I hate to use the word wimp, but I wasn’t in the inner loop. I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority." (Sanello 19). Other events included the failed attempt of dissecting a frog in biology class where he left the room to stand outside with the other weak stomached students "They were all girls." Spielberg later said. It was a scene that was later echoed in ET. He even cut off his knuckle while trying to demonstrate how to sharpen an axe in boy scouts, before 500 peers." (Sanello 19). Taking all of this into consideration would you have expected this young unpopular, awkward looking boy to become the most successful director and producer of all time and the creator of such films as Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan?

Assorted photos I found in my files: The Red Tide ~ Demon Island starring James Earl Jones, Lydia Cornell, Jose Ferrer, Lila Kedrova, Marty Kove, Deborah Shelton. James Earl Jones and I played smuggling buddies and partners in a salvage boat. Beneath this photo is Christopher Cerf, Emmy-winning creator of PBS' "Between the Lions"; founder of the Harvard Lampoon, son of Bennett Cerf who founded Random House.

I am almost finished with the biggest writing project of my life. I apologize to all our radio fans of the Basham and Cornell Show. We have been on hiatus and will be back soon.

I also apologize to readers of this blog. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter. But the BLOG will be back bigger and better than ever before.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, here is an article I wrote after Too Close for Comfort:

After the series ended, I went to hell and back. I really went through some terrifying dark days, months, years. But then I had a "catastrophic awakening." A supernatural force literally lifted me up and installed into me a peace of mind I never thought possible. When I gave up alcohol, drugs, worry and fear — a veil of anesthesia lifted. Amazing coincidences started happening; I found a key to the door by simply surrendering the intellectual habit of being arrogant. You have to become as innocent as a child to let this gift in.

I want to clear a few thing up that I said about religion. I’m not putting down the fundamentalists — but the most vocal ones do not act Christian at all. In fact, they are anti-Christ. Fundamentalist Christianity is in many ways, anti-Christ. Christ is LOVE, the love born into each soul. Jesus did not want us to worship him or his personality or his Jesusness. The Christ is the love in each of us. We are all to abide in love and never to judge others. We are to love our enemy, love our neighbor, and to meet hatred with love. How can any Christian call himself a Christian and condemn anyone for being different? Did God make a mistake? How can they deprive gays of the right to marry each other? Have they taken the plank out of their own eye?

You know how when you’re in a room with a terrorist or someone who is extremely hateful, you can actually feel the resentment coming off the person? Well, quantum physicists have have discovered that enthusiasm and courage actually change your brain waves, which changes the molecular structure around you. Positive energy has an invisible charge, just like the invisible molecules of electricity. Our thoughts have true, tangible energy.

String theory is exciting to me because it proves harmony (beauty, truth, love = God) on a molecular level. All the most important things are invisible to the conscious eye: love, beauty, joy, thought. If we only believed in what we could see, then we would still believe the earth was flat — and not spinning. Galileo, who was condemned by the Catholic Church for saying that the earth revolved around the sun — and forced to state that it stands still, muttered, “Nevertheless, it does spin!”

I believe our primary purpose in this existence is to learn to love and accept ourselves and then transfer that love and acceptance to others. Spirituality for me means smashing the ego. It’s about human kindness, seeing the good in others no matter how badly they are behaving. It’s not sitting on some mountain top in a self-centered quest to find God. But the only solution to personal agony is to start focusing on love, which is a power greater than yourself.

But everything has to be taken with a dose of humor; laughter is the best drug.

Nothing breaks my heart more than abused, neglected and abandoned children. I am hoping to join the board of an orphanage soon. I am also mentoring teen girls in a new after-school program which will be announced soon.

More pix: Ms. USA at the Silverton Hotel in Vegas. Lydia Cornell (center, judge)
Lydia with husband at Leo's Barmitzvah in 2009


  1. Micheal Moore did a movie about the things wrong with GM .....

    People scoffed, but GM was in trouble, and Moore has been proved right in the basic thesis of Roger and Me.

    Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9-11 is a classic about the multiple problems we have had with the run up and incompetent prosecution of the illegal invasion of Iraq.

    Moore was also proved ahead of his time with Sicko .... which exposed the weakness and criminality of the health care system the republicans want to defend instead of actually allowing reform.

    His latest capitalism is also revealing things people in the MSM and large sections of the political elite (and their Wall street enablers) would like kept quiet.

    No right wing can claim that track record of exposing so much and being right for so long.

    Moore uses facts the right wing blowhards just try to obscurate the facts ..... El Rusho being prime example #1 and Glenn Beck the latest upstart at el druggo's crown.

  2. I ain't attended a formal religious ceremony since 1971, and I don't see that changing.

    Faith is one thing; faith is a personal beliefset that can be your guide through the storms of life. Religion and faith are not the same thing. Religion, far too often, is about congregants getting together to validate hatreds and clergy interested in power and influence.

    Keep it.

  3. Anonymous12:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Love Spielberg's earlier work and a few recent ones. Also looking forward to Lydia's book. I, for one, will always remember Bennett Cerf as a panelist on "What's My Line?"

  5. My goodness,the silence here speaks much louder then the usual bluster.
    CNN reported Obama is making another stop in New Jersey tomorrow in support of Corzine,but then again they always get stuff wrong.
    MSNBC is refusing to call Christie the winner,they are demanding a recount and are appealing for Obama to cancell todays results.

  6. Interesting that the Clifster is in hiding.

  7. Ahh,the talking points are out.Virginia and New Jersey did'nt mean anything the BIG results were in the New York 23rd,thats where Hairplugs Biden drew 150 people to hear him,while the head man was in New Jersey getting the vote out for Corzine.
    Oops there goes another rubber tree plant.

  8. I'm just guessing the boys will be upset that gay marriage was,for lack of a better term.shot in the ass in Maine.

  9. Sorry voltron, er I mean your sock puppet cosmic cowboy, kinda busy last night.

  10. What a week. Bullies, teenagers, roaming all over the house.

    Got a fixed gear bike for my stepson's birthday. My friend in the domestic violence head-bashing, now has two black eyes and a lump on her head.

    She is sleeping on the couch. God Bless her.

    She hasn't seen her children in 3 years for no reason on earth except the person with the most money wins, while the children lose.

  11. Clif - great article and great point!!

    “The problem with Glen Beck, then, is not his narrative, which is entertainingly foolish to anyone who actually knows anything about anything.

    The problem is the size of the audience in the United States that actually knows nothing about nothing.

    This mass (my guess, about 12 percent of the electorate) is easily moved, the past summer and its continuing silly rhetoric on all kinds of issues indicate. They wear know-nothingness like a badge.” – Charles M. Madigan, presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt University

  12. I'm posting my favorite song on the blog Best song and best version of this song.

    Listen to it please.

  13. Thanks Lydia, it was my take on the results from around the country that most don't know because of how the corporate owned MSM is cherry picking what they report.

    The tea baggers lost more then they won, but from the corporate owned MSM reporting you would have thought they won a landslide.

    From their questionable reporting you would have thought Obama was thinking of asking Joe Biden to resign so he could appoint Sarah Palin as VP. Then Obama could resign later.

    Such is the very slanted views expressed on the corporate owned MSM today. Not all the facts but the ones that support their already decided opinions.

  14. Everyones coming up with reasons why the democrats lost several key races yesterday but the answer is hiding in plain sight.

    They lost because President Obama moved to the center and never looked back. He's not taken on the right wing, and that "de-energized" his base as well as the moderates who voted for him to undo the Bush regimes nonsense.

    Most liberals, moderates, etc have lost faith in him and the democrats, or at least lost interest.

    Its pretty much over by next year unless President Obama decides to start honoring his campaign pledges, and stop placating to the neocons.

    He has the power right now, and he's doing very little with it, and the voters just said screw it and failed to show up.

    Timidity, does not energize the voters.

  15. He's so worried about not offending anyone, that he's ended up offending everyone.

    I know we want to focus on some races, but come on. JERSEY? VIRIGNIA?

    Corzine should have won in a landslide and VA should have been able to hang onto its newly minted democratic base, propped up by moderates who voted less for Obama and more against McCain\Palin.

    If President Obama cannot find the wherewithal to stop resting on his laurels, and get out there and get something done then I'm afraid we'll be seeing more democrats and moderates\independents just "failing to show up".

    He has to do more than worry about offending republicans.

    He has to motivate his base.

  16. Ghost of Worf I agree with EVERYTHING you just said about Obama..... but another big factor in why people are losing faith in him is........he appears to be a fellow travelor with Wall Street and the corporatists and seems to care more for bailing out and protecting the Wall Street elites than the regular people.

  17. Lydia said "She hasn't seen her children in 3 years for no reason on earth except the person with the most money wins, while the children lose."

    Its both sad and disgusting that pieces of garbage can do as they please and crap on people just because they have lots of money..........any one that hits or abuses women or children is a piece of garbage!

  18. Lydia Cornell said...
    The problem is the size of the audience in the United States that actually knows nothing about nothing.

    This mass (my guess, about 12 percent of the electorate) is easily moved, the past summer and its continuing silly rhetoric on all kinds of issues indicate. They wear know-nothingness like a badge.” – Charles M. Madigan, presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt University"

    I agree that the number of ignorant fools being deceived and brainwashed by Hannitty, Beck and Rush is alarming but until we bring back a fairness and an honesty doctrine and start penalizing these idiots for spreading lies and propaganda just like the nazi's did it will NEVER stop.

  19. For a guy who says he was an officer the Clifster is pretty damn stupid.I mean come on blaming everything on the MSM.
    At least Worf and Mike have the correct take on this weeks elections.
    Corzine's loss was a real shot in the ass,an incumbent dem gov in a liberal state getting beat that badly.Obama carried NJ with about 57% of the vote last year.
    Deeds ran a terrible race,but getting your ass handed to you by almost 20% when the sitting president endorsed you,thats sad.
    The fact is Obama's base did not turn out to vote and I dont think hes on the ballot in 2010.If the dems dont see storm clouds they are blind.
    In Maine gay marriage went down in flames.In any state that the people have had the opportunity to vote on that issue its lost.
    I saw a recent poll where 52% of the population viewed themselves as conservative.

  20. Has anyone ever seen Debbie Wasserman Schultz? I'm here to say this is one friggin ulgy woman.I mean she's outright scary looking.
    Could you imagine if her and Henry Waxman had a kid together.My god the poor thing would look like the elephant man.

  21. What's really ugly is the little demonic sprite hiding behind the handle cosmic cowboy(voltron) who's sole purpose is to bring everyone down, spread hate and a foul spirit wherever he goes.

    This is why people don't come in much anymore.

    Who needs some loser who's life is so pathetic that it revolves around dragging others down?

  22. Ummm duncetron why is it the MSM has yet to openly report voters approved their referendum 71 in Washington state, they are all over prop #1 passing in Maine?

    Why haven't they questioned how the tea baggers and repubes were winning when two states turned back anti-tax initiatives both in Maine Prop #2 and #4 and Washington state Initiative-1033?

    Could it be that both stories contradict the meme that the election was a loss for democratic principles?

    And ignorant dishonest trolls(like duncetron using a sock puppet after openly claiming he was leaving) like you never accept that the press is corporate owned (read not liberal) and does their bidding ALL the time, which is keep the hype up the gin the ratings, not report the news.

  23. O/T remember the wanna be runner up to the Miss America crown who beat the bible screeching all her holiness to claim she was right to deny civil rights and equality for all Americans,

    Well she ain't as squeeky clean as she claimed,

    Report: Racy sex tape ends Prejean’s lawsuit against beauty pageant

    ......she claimed the wind blew her clothes off during a photo shoot which resulted in topless pics ......

    I wonder what her excuse is gonna be this time?

    freakin' hypocrite, typical right wing bible thumper

  24. Cosmic Cowboy isn't Voltron, it's Rusty. UNLESS....maybe it is Voltron trying to frame Rusty. Oh my God, all this paranoia, it's contagious! LOL

  25. I love it, though - ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, etc., etc. - all are part and parcel of a RIGHT WING MEDIA!!!! I mean, you just can't make this stuff up. Well, you know what I mean? LOL

  26. Looks like the the Clifster is wearing his tin foil hat.

  27. Voltron? Not me.

    Rusty? Nope on that one.

  28. This place has become a troll toilet and it needs flushing.

  29. All the water in the world;

    However hard it tried.

    Could never sink the smallest ship;

    Unless it got inside.

    And all the evil in the world;

    The blackest kind of sin.

    Can never hurt you the least bit;

    Unless you let it in."

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  30. Obama needs to be PROGRESSIVE. Kucinich was perfect, but he got thrown out of the Nevada debate by NBC.

    Didn't you find that strange? NBC and Chuck Todd even went to the Nevada Supreme Court to prevent him from being in the presidential debate.

    And they marginalized him earlier by asking him if he believed in aliens.

  31. Why don't you accuse the blog hostess of fabricating Jim again.

  32. And, Clif, she's a frigging beauty pageant bimbo, for Christ. Why the hell do you care what she thinks?

  33. Cause like you she is a blatant hypocrite, just has a much larger stage then your measly little waste of bandwidth ..............

    Besides she is part of the reason some want to prevent the end of don't ask don't tell with her open bigotry against gays.

  34. I love it, though - ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, etc., etc. - all are part and parcel of a RIGHT WING MEDIA!!!!

    Never said that moron.

    I said corporate owned MSM

    read it r-e-a-l s-l-o-w

    move your lips if ya have to




    now do ya get it?

    Unless you are claiming the corporations are all right wing, ... and they push the media they own to only publish right wing stories, ... which I never said, just another dishonest claim by the blog's concern troll.

    Nice try at ignoring the basic fact I posted

    that they cherry picked which races to cover,

    and ignored ones that failed to fit their meme.

    Nice concern trollin', there son.

  35. Please leave comments on new thread about Fort Hood shooter.

    I posted a very serious question. Please let me know what your opinion is.


    I am debating whether or not to close comments completely, when this website becomes multi-blog. There will always be a political blog, which I was going to keep open for you guys who love to argue.

    Three strikes law: it has never been my intention to ban anyone unless they are lewd, deliberately malicious or subversive.

    I offered an ultimatum: that if you can't be civil, stay away from personal attacks; act as a guest and be respectful in my "living room" — be courteous and say you're sorry when you're wrong -- then you are not welcome here. No sociopaths or paid operatives wanted.

    Also, people who are here just to insult me, make trouble, prevent me from gainful employment in my industry and deliberately have it "in" for me or anyone else - are not welcome here.

    I don't have time to run another kindergarten class.

    I have enough trouble with teenagers.

  36. Whoever thinks it's appropriate to post as "Anonymous" when I have taken off the anonymous option, is not welcome here either.

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