Sunday, November 29, 2020

Essential Services and the Pandemic

The recent American Supreme Court ruling allowing mass indoor religious services has prompted this examination of what is essential. As this is being written a vaccine seems on the horizon and people are increasingly Covid fatigued 

Total lockdown is not possible or practical.  Humans need food, access to health care and much more to survive and be happy.  We also need social contact.  If all work were to stop, a lot of things are lost.  Consumers would be deprived of the goods they have taken for granted.  Workers of course would lose income.  Another seldom thought concern is what will the workers do with all that free time (and restricted in many of their favored activities)?  A big concern has to be the circulation of money to all levels of citizens, the rich and more importantly the not rich and poor.

I agree with some of the reasoning of the Supreme Court justices but it boils down to what is essential.  Supposedly we could not survive with out some goods and the supporting services.  Every jurisdiction has some control of how essential are defined and controlled.

No body could argue against food, but some "food" is not really essential, but we are addicted to unhealthy foods    Food is truly essential.  The production to some extent relies on imported labour, some of which is illegal and the same may be said of processing.  For most consumers it is the distribution that is the final link.  Maybe we will come to better appreciate the contributions of our rural cousins.  Consider http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2020/10/what-about-those-hicks.html

Medical services are truly a front line essential service.  We put them at daily risk and too many of us ignore their advice.  They need as much protective equipment as society can provide and should be first in line for the upcoming vaccines.

Is liquor necessary?  I would say that politicians know that is one area that would run up against strong resistance.  Prohibition taught us that.  Likely the majority of legislators like to drink from time to time.  So the problem is if they push too hard people will cut around the barriers and lose respect for the law.  Another concern is that alcohol can be linked to increased domestic violence.

Religious services have always been an important part of life for many people.  They see rules bending towards commercial interests as hypocritical.  Those with religious conviction find comfort in their faith.  While others seek solace in alcohol, pornography, overeating, etc. etc. they gain personal strength from their beliefs and yes, their rituals.  For any version of lockdown to work society needs to co-operation of all.  

Schools are critical to our future, but it turns out they are also important to our current economy  Trump's first pleas brought up a reality.  Workers (especially women) cannot work if their children are not being cared for.  The long term view is a country cannot advance without education.  Online has stepped up, but we are finding it requires a commitment from students and their parents that cannot be taken for granted.  Many households do not have access to online learning and that can lead to more inequality.  Children also need social contact and the lack of it in early ages can have unhealthy repercussions for the future.

My son in New Zealand at one time was asked to come in to class to teach the children of essential workers; a recognition of the value of the babysitting process.  New Zealand did get a much better handle on the pandemic and schooling is almost normal as I write this.  A lesson to the rest of the world as their students will have a relative advantage as a result of an early response to the pandemic.

Libraries are one of my crutches to keep my sanity.  I have read a few e-books, watch television including Netflix, but personally love an even wider selection of entertainment (and education) and can appreciate that for some people that is where many get access to computers and even books, DVDs, etc. The library is both a source of information tools, but also a source of entertainment.   Hours have been restricted, borrowing times extended, masks required, cards photoed for contact info.  Would add that some volunteer work I did helping immigrants practice their English has been cut for the time being.

A lot of commercial activity is stalled.  However computer connections have allowed much to carry on.   This is fortunate for those in a position to carry on, but accentuates the differences for those who are not able to carry on or are forced to curtail their normal way of working. 

We can see and evaluate a wide range of responses.  Earlier and tighter strategies work better.  Trump seemed to feel a stalled economy would be bad for his election prospects, but overlooked his strategies have led to worst consequences and we, the whole world will have a bigger mess to clean up.  It might be dangerous to defer to any authority, but it makes sense to rely on scientific medical advice and more people would likely co-operate.  Politicians whose judgment is critical can either encourage compliance or complicate co-operation.  It is their responsibility to draw a balance between human needs and medical necessities. 

During this time an unusual set of circumstances had a personal connection.  My wife had a very close relationship with a woman friend, Helen who developed cancer in a life threatening manner.  Helen had a daughter, Janet in Florida who was also very concerned and spent time in Canada, undergoing a quarantine.  The cancer was relentless and she could foresee she might miss her family (a daughter, Kristen and son in law Rob) and so arranged for them to come up and go through a quarantine.  One big concern was that meant they would be here for several weeks and Rob had a job.  He was an engineer, but did most of his work already online.  He was able to get access to the necessary specialized equipment to his work from Ontario.  Unfortunately all the efforts and sacrifices of the Floridians and my wife were to no avail and Janet had to prepare for a memorial celebration.  Helen had accumulated a lot of friends in her life and it must have been difficult to include some and not open up for others.  The venue selected could combine indoor and outdoor, required masks and temperature checks at the door  encouraged social distancing to a small number of people and as a sort of visitor page we were directed to a contact page.   My daughter, Heather had also had a close relation with Helen and although she is vulnerable because of MS she attended.  The border crossings were a little more cumbersome than usual, but allowed some critical people to cross over to give comfort to Helen.

The future will be very different.  More of us have become comfortable with online shopping and that requires fewer labourers and entrepreneurs, fewer commuting networks and less brick and mortar infrastructure.  These trends have been in progress, but we can expect an acceleration that will cause significant disruptions for many.   Perhaps these trends will tie in well with our upcoming campaign with climate change.  It is hoped that more people will recognize the value of co-operative and understand that we are truly in this and other global issues together.  Inequality will be a challenge as automation will  result in fewer jobs as we know them.    

An earlier blog dealt with the future offered by automation, both dangers and opportunities.  The pandemic with its hygenic issues and displacement of work/leisure habits will accelerate the matter.  If these issues concern you please read:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2015/08/rise-of-robots.html and get back with your thoughts and we can create a sort of forum.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Enslaved

We have just lived through an election where over 72 million Americans voted for Trump who is considered by many to be a racist.  For some his appeal is said to be that whites feel threatened by the increasing demographics and influence of minorities.  African Americans are seen as inferior beings--the inferiority may be difficult for some to pin down, but they are convinced.

 The reality is African Americans have been around for centuries and have contributed to the wealth of European settlers all over North and South America.   One group wanting to preserve the heritage of slavery was Diving with a Purpose formed by African American divers who had been asked to help with an archaeological project and have expanded their range and members---including training  to explore sunken ships that proved the presence and treatment of captured Africans.

How did slavery as we know it begin?  The film said Portugal was responsible and brought up the name Henry the Navigator.  Checking further I learned that Prince Henry was neither a navigator or a sailor, but had sponsored many sea expeditions.  He set up a navigation school near Lagos in Portugal.  By 1418 his ships had reached Madeira (where Madeira wine comes from) and by his death the Portuguese reached as far as modern day Sierra Leone.  He sponsored expeditions that captured Africans and brought them back to Portugal.  One of captives was able to negotiate his return in exchange for offering more Africans.  The Portuguese became more involved in slavery originally based in Lagos.  Brazil was the destination for most enslaved Africans with the port of entry being Rio de Janeiro.

What drove slavery?  One example comes when you follow the money.  Tea and coffee tended to be bitter and required sugar to sweeten.  Calculating the cost of sugar and the cost of  slaves.  Indigenous were used first, but died from European diseases.  A good book explaining how slave power increased wealth is "The Half Has Never Been Told."  American capitalism, including banks as well as landowners and manufacturers was boosted very significantly by slavery and I would add stolen land from the indigenous.  More details at:   http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2016/12/the-half-has-never-been-told.html

Samuel L. Jackson adds his presence attracting more attention even from non blacks.  He acts as an executive producer, but also an interviewer of different experts.  He presented a painted portrait that included Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of Captain Sir John Lindsay and a slave.  She was educated and apparently had some small influence in the slow process of abolishing slavery through her Great Uncle, Lord Mansfield and later her husband John Davinier.

The film uncovers many episodes that reveal the hardships of the Africans and the perfidy of many Europeans.  I hope to whet your appetite with a few instances.

In Surinam a Dutch ship, Leusdon missed a turn 1in 737 and in the end barricaded all the slaves on board and sunk the ship to their deaths.  From further exploration we learn more about the price of sugar.  We are shown a machine that cuts sugar cane and learn that a slave sometimes would get his hand stuck in a machine pressing down on the stalks.  When that happened the solution was to chop off the hand so the machine could continue the sugar process.

Bristol, England profited from the slave trade with the family of Edward Colston became very wealthy.  A modern day survey of Bristol reveals many prominent businesses under the Colston name including a large statue honoring him.

Shipwrecks were usually covered by insurance who considered the risks worth it.  Sometimes ship threw slaves overboard to save supplies.  In one case slaves were treated like horses (commodity) It was suspected that some traders concluded they could make money easier from insurance than actually selling the slaves and of course insurance companies were more careful and did not always pay if fraud could be proved

Shipwrecks drove some African slaves to Costa Rica  and after escaping they mixed with indigenous natives.  A Danish scholar traces some Danish slave boats and found one wrecked off the coast.  Divers were able to find Danish dinnerware and to meet some of the natives in the area who had mixed blood.

Another episode pointed out that from Jamaica some escaped slaves were able to join pirates where they received an equal share of booty.  Reggae music originated in Jamaica as protest songs and have spread around the world--I listen to a group in New Zealand.  

From some recovered materials from shipwrecks we learn about Fractals which are art designs from Africa that sparked the idea of binary codes which is the basis for modern computers.

The Africans did not all passively accept their kidnapping.  One segment showed specialized chains (manufactured in England )and ship designs to control them.  We learn of ship rebellions with some being  sailed back to Africa.  Amistad rebellion of 1839 was settled in an American court after captives had overturned a Spanish crew in Cuba and had been taken advantage of by Spanish sailors who had sailed to the Long Island area.  They were taken to court, but defended by former president John Quincey Adams and in 1841 sailed back to Sierra Leone.   Many others died fighting and still other committed suicide. 

The Underground Railroad was covered with some history of Harriet Tubman who really does deserve her spot on a $5 dollar bill.  .Noted that she helped some escaped slaves settle to the St. Catharines area about half an hour from where I write this.  There were many connections along the Great Lakes ships with abolitionists, including Lake Michigan.  The Welland Canal was Canadian on both sides which American ships normally went through to go from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. 

One interesting result of the Underground Railroad wast that the ancestors of Ferguson Jenkins, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher had fled to the Chatham area (Blenheim) from crossing at Amherstberg.  

Gospel songs were written to help direct slaves.  "Wade through the water" was meant to convey to escapees that they should go through water to throw off the scents of dogs.  Others pointed to the north and some for specific landmarks.  The Banjo was developed by African slaves, but attracted the attention of whites who played the instrument using blackface for the first time.

Abolition was slow in coming.  Most citizens had little idea of the role of African slaves to their economy or of the suffering they underwent.   Some people were aware in England.  Public support diminished after  newspaper campaigns with engravings cartoons.  The slave trade was officially  ended in 1807, but it was not until 1833 that slavery was abolished in all territories controlled by the English, but only after a huge amount was given to slave owners that apparently the loan was not recovered until the 21st century. 

 In U.S. Civil War Lincoln planned the abolition law which he thought would hasten the end of the conflict,, but wanted a victory before declaring.  Africans were already part of the Union effort and some of them asked for freedom.  After the 12 hour battle at Antietam on September 17, 1862 in which over 23,000 were declared dead, wounded or missing, Lincoln felt confident enough to push the abolition bill through issuing a proclamation on September 22, 1862 to take effect on January 1, 1863.   Africans officially joined the Union Army and Ulysses Grant was able to force a surrender.  

The real battle of prejudicial discrimination continued, but progress has been achieved gradually over time. 

Dedicated to the memory of John Lewis who had met with them as shown n the last episode.

The best way to undermine prejudice is to better understand the forces that brought people to where they are today.  This series is very good to explain many of the travels and motivations.

P.S.  To emphasize that the battle for acceptance and equality is not yet over I will refer you an earlier blog about an eight year period when blacks did have control in one state their progress was all undone.  In a more recent eight year period we can appreciate that a black president can only do so much and someone else can use resentment to set progress back.  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/12/we-were-eight-years-in-power.html

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Political Preferance for short term thinking

Georgian Flag

This is written for the benefit of Georgian voters none of whom are expected to read it.  Also a protest to the over 70 million who thought Trump was the best choice. with none expected to read my arguments.  The Georgian voters will have a chance to empower Mitch McConnell whose obeisance is to his donors.  Yes, the Senate could offer a check on abuses that the Democrats might try to force on Americans, but they are offering to impede as much constructive legislation as they can.

 

The Covid pandemic requires urgent short term attention, but should not overlook the lack of long term thinking that exacerbated the crisis.  Obama had been aware of the future danger of pandemics and taken some steps to monitor it and a strategy for dealing with the inevitability.  Brushed aside by Trump, anxious to cut unnecessary expenses to make room for a foolish tax cut.  The pandemic has also pointed to the importance of a national health care strategy that was behind Obamacare.  When one person is inflicted with the virus it is likely to affect others, especially if they are reluctant to seek medical attention, because they fear the expense.  We now know the pandemic not only causes the disease to spread, it impedes medical facilities from being accessible for other medical concerns.  Obamacare should only be seen as a step to a better plan and that is also urgent.

Arguments between politicians and scientists about the causes of climate disasters are serving the big fossil fuel powers.  Fuel economy is a football with the Republicans preferring to not restrict manufacturers.  Not only does his add to climate change it also increases asthma and other diseases.  We see increasing forest fires in North America, Europe and Australia and find other factors involved, at least conservatives do.  Hurricanes and flooding are causing more damage.

Some worry about riots and think the only solution is to clamp down on those with violent inclinations.  Happy people do not riot.  People given opportunities to better themselves generally avail themselves.  People who feel justice prevails are more confident about their everyday affairs.  Understanding the contributions and plights of others leads to co-operation and compassion instead of fear and resentment.  Again long term benefits flow from long term thinking

Education should not be for profit as it is necessary for national security.  Literacy is critical, but is only the beginning.  Critical thinking is crucial.  It is not just the elite that need to be educated, but everyone.  With a changing world we all need to understand more things and not just technology and job skills.  Knowledge (of all sorts) is still power for individuals and society.

At the risk of having all my previous arguments dismissed I would also like to tackle the abortion issue.  No one confronted with the reality likes abortion.  Some people go along with the suggestion that the best course is to make it illegal or as difficult as possible; it is horrifying and offensive.  They overlook some of the facts that opened up legal abortions--the deaths and consequent infertility of young women.  Better solutions are offered by Democrats--sex education, easy access to contraceptives, maternity and paternity policies, medicare for all. 

P.S. Run-off elections are a step in the right direction.  No politician should claim they have a mandate or even that they represent the will of the people unless at least half the people voted for them.  Some might go further and point out that some people didn't bother to vote and in fact credibility is at stake by the percentage of people who voted.  The initial vote gives everyone a chance to express their feelings and vote for the candidate that closest represents their values.  A second vote (if the first did not yield a candidate with 50%) gives everyone a second chance to evaluate their preference among only two choices.  

In the case of Georgia the circumstances have changed.  It now amounts not only to who represents Georgia, but also which party will have the power to legislate for the whole nation.  It is a sobering choice with long term implications. 

Informed  Comment posted something more specific to Georgia that Georgians really need to take a close look at: https://www.juancole.com/2020/11/georgias-embattled-emergency.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Loudest Voice

Donald Trump did not get elected in a vacuum.  One of the crucial factors was the support from Fox News and the key reason for its power is Roger Ailes.  Many years ago I recall reading a book written by Ailes which was either on sales or business and it impressed me enough.  The man does get things done.  Years later his name became associated with Fox News which by this time was associated with strong right wing politics.  He claims to have gotten Richard Nixon elected by pointing out the power of television.

My awareness of Fox News, its style and slant on the news came indirectly from many other sources.  A weekly or so check of their website convinced me that Fox News was distorting reality for their own greedy inclinations.  

Gabriel Sherman, a reporter decided to write a book and interviewed 600 people, but not Ailes himself.  The book which came out in 2014 was titled "The Loudest Voice in the Room:  How the Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News--and Divided Country." It was turned into a 7 part  Tv series under the guidance of Tom McCarthy and Alex Metcalf totaling just under 6 hours and ending just after Trump wins the presidency.  It covers Aile's career from when he was deciding to get involved with Fox News and Rupert Murdoch.

Ailes is portrayed as a dynamic character who built up Fox News from scratch to the dominant cable tv. network.  He did it by targeting a niche and giving them what they wanted.  Ailes strategies included sexism, bullying, harassment, humiliating his opponents, but also he could be charming and self-deprecating.  He browbeated staff to project a strong right wing agenda cherry picking and twisting facts.  Repeating often disproved points such as Obama being a Muslim and born outside the United States convinced many people evil politicians controlled the government..

Rupert Murdoch did not always condone Ailes decisions, but was grateful of him for his overwhelming success.  His son, Lachlan came to hate Ailes and was quoted as saying he came to applaud when Ailes was finally dismissed.  The Murdochs were conservative and appreciated that Ailes had propelled them to cable dominance.

Ailes used NDAs (Non disclosure agreements) and cameras in most offices to control the staff.  Nobody could stray against his dictates under his monitoring and punishing any miscreants.  He is depicted not only as groper, but also as one who regularly coerced a female staff to perform fellatio.

He tried his best to support John McCain and Mitt Romney with their candidacies against Obama, but encountered more success at state and Congressional levels. 

He targeted Trump as the one with the most potential of all the primary contenders, but also as the one who could boost Fox ratings.  He was told to treat all the Republican candidates equally, but on one such occasion he is depicted made his next call is to Donald Trump to advise on how to maximize the impact of his elevator announcement.  Basically told Trump how to fill the building by hiring people such as unemployed actors to be there.   He negotiated with Trump  and later discussed with Paul Manafort strategy for the convention.

Trump defended Roger when attacked for sexual harassment, but Ailes was forced to resign before the 2016 election.  The story only continues a short time after showing Roger and his wife watching Trump on tv.  Roger had developed prostrate problems and we are shown incidents of both impotence and incontinence.  He also shown using canes and even a wheelchair.   When sexual charges were made he brutally dismissed them and pointed out the NDA contracts.  Gretchen Carlson sidestepped the intended restrictions after she was dismissed.  In fact her career was permanently  hampered.

This series is impressive (and truly scary) because of the many talented people that contributed.  Here are only a few.

Tom McCarthy, was a creator, executive producer and writer.  Films he has contributed to as producer or writer include "Win-Win" (2011),  "The Visitor" (2007),  "The Station Agent" (2007) and "Spotllight" 2015) for which he won an Oscar.   He has over 40 credits as an actor.

Russell Crowe really plays the lead role.  Won Golden Globe for best actor.   As part of his preparation he interviewed some of Aile' acquaintances.  His mannerisms were mostly  bombastic, but also diplomatic when called for.  Physically he is transformed and his walking made one think of a powerful bear.  He won an Oscar for "Gladiator" (2000). His notable films include:  "A Beautiful Mind" (2000), "The Water Diviner"(2014) and "Fathers and Daughters" 2015).

Naomi Watts played the pivotal role of Gretchen Carlson who is the one who forced Roger Ailes to resign. Some of her notable films included "Mulholland Drive" (2001), "21 Grams" (2003), " Fair Game" (2010)" and The Impossible" (2012).

Roger's wife Beth Ailes was played by Sienna Miller, a woman who stood by Roger and had denied all the charges against him which at times must have been very difficult.   Had originally been cast as Maid Marion opposite, Robin Hood, Russell Crowe, but was replaced by Cate Blanchett.  She had ranked high in many fashion lists for her beauty.  Some of her noteworthy films included "Alfie" (2004), "Foxcatcher" (2014), "The Lost City of Z" (2016) and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (2018).

Is there a solution to misinformation being used to effect political (and social) outcomes?  The problem is both institutional and humanistic.  The First Amendment allows people to express any opinion provided it is not used for force, fraud or defamation.  Facts are sometimes tricky things to pin down and can be used to support a wide variety of views.  Human nature is the real core of the problem.  We have evolved to fight or flee.  We are distrustful of others and seek out people like ourselves.  Society has also evolved to more complexity than ever with some people having access to controls never conceived of before.

Education is critical, but has many political controls.  Universities pride themselves on independent thinking and that needs to be preserved.  Technology and job skills are considered to be the primary purpose of schools.  Critical thinking should be integrated as it supports both aims.  Cultural appreciation in the form of how different cultures have developed and inter acted.  Exchanges should be encouraged.  Respect for education.

A key strategy is to separate opinion from fact.   Of course the same facts can be twisted. to reach different conclusions.  One of my favorite twists was for a sales pitch in which the prospect proclaimed his bad fortune and thus couldn't afford insurance, repositioned by the sales man that he couldn't afford not to have insurance.  Nonetheless facts are the basis for any argument and need to be accurate.  False facts need to be denounced strongly which requires socially and legal tools.  False interpretations are in reality also false facts.  Easier said than done, but needs to be tackled before it becomes too difficult. Education (too often controlled by political forces) needs to be a forceful tool.

Roger Ailes was an exceptional man with strong opinions and abilities.  He used his intelligence and forcefulness for his own ends. There are many others wanting to build on his creation.  Society has become conscious of bully tactics at the school yard level and need to elevate to the worlds of business and politics.  A world in which reason is more respected should be our goal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

KARTINI , Princess of Java Feminist leader in Indonesia

Netflix is helping to make the world a smaller place with bigger minds.  The West has taken the lead in women's rights and to some extent have led women from the third world to more power.   Watching the struggles from an earlier time and a far away place helps one appreciate the obstacles better.  Kartini...." 2017) from Indonesia offers a view of one women's efforts to free herself from a rigid social structure that many of us cannot imagine.

Colonial powers are not often thought of as bringing benefits to the lands they had conquered.  In a real sense they have gained more than they gave.  In the English speaking world we might  not be very aware that the Dutch were a major colonial power.  They controlled much of what we know as Indonesia, one of the largest populations in the world.  In this film they appear benevolent and tolerant, but a documentary seen while writing this blog points out the Dutch were also heavily involved in slavery and just as cold calculating and cruel as anyone else.

Kartini grew up in a privileged family in Java, but that came with restrictions.  She had a brother who steered her to more knowledge and she made contact with Dutch educated women who encouraged her.  There was resistance from her extended family but gradually progress was made.  

Women were not allowed higher education.  When they started menstruation women like Kartini were secluded from outside contact.  They could be forced into polygamous marriages at an early age.  Deference to a hierarchy of powers was expected.  One example was women approaching royalty crouched and walking in a very awkward manner. 

Kartina was able to talk to a Muslim scholar and learned that he considered it a duty for both men and women to seek more knowledge.  He pointed out that most Muslims preferred to read the Quar'an in Arabic and failed to understand the full meaning of the words.

She and two of her sisters were able to set up teaching in their home for younger children.  She wrote books and articles that were published in the Netherlands and successfully promoted local engraving which increased her leverage.

In the end she kept being pressured to be married, to a man with a wife.  She finally agreed to the marriage if certain conditions were met--not be asked to perform many of the normal duties of wives such as washing her husband's feet, and to be supported in setting up a school.  Most felt he would not accept these conditions, however when they actually met it turned out his now deceased wife had admired Kartini and wanted her children to be taught by her.  He agreed and they were married and she was able to set up a school.

Robert Ronny, the producer and co-writer had graduated from the New York Film Academy and returned to Indonesia.  He wrote, directed and produced many movies and tv shows.   He formed Legacy Pictures, a production house to put out quality films in 2014.  An award winner.

Hanung Bramatyo, the director and co-writer  got his start as director in 1998 with a short film, "Tlutor" that won a local award.  His first feature film was in 2004.  He did mainly romantic, teenage dramas, sports films.  In 2011 he directed a film, "Tande Tanyo? that dealt with 3 different religions in a pluralistic manner, attracting some criticism.  He once said he wanted to be known as "a fighter against stupidity and ignorance."

The cinematography is by Fauzan Rizal.  An ocean sequence is captivating and there are other examples.  His work on this film was nominated for a national award.  He directed "Habibie and Ainun" (2012) which is one of my favorite films seen this year. 

Pleasant background music was provided by veteran composers, Charlie Meliala and Andi Rianto.   At the end credits is a tune by popular song writer, Mellyn Goleslaw, joined by Gita Gatawi.  You can listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C0ZtMMmi5c

There are some interesting edit cuts which were handled by Wawan I. Wabowo.  He had been nominated for a national award for his work on "Kartini and also "Habibie and Ainun."

 Dian Sastrowardoyo played the lead role handsomely.  She had to play a submissive young woman who asserted her will in male structured world.  She was a cover girl winner for a teenage magazine in 1996.  In 2005 at an Asian regional festival held in France she won an award as most promising newcomer.  In 2009 she started a foundation to promote education, women empowerment and Indonesian culture.  She has played a variety of roles, romantic, a refugee, and an assassin. 

During the pandemic it seems our world is closing in on us, but thanks to modern technology we have access to a much wider world.  It is my sincere belief you can expand your mind by searching out the best the rest of the world has to offer.  In the way of film entertainment "Kartina'"is a good example.  This is my second Indonesian film enjoyed this year, but thanks to Netflix and my local library I have visited many other nations.