Bob Small Oscar Rules

Bob Small Oscar Rules

By Bob Small

These would be the new Bob Small inclusion/exclusion rules for the 2024 Oscars.  We would not try to bake in any “diversity”, though this should be naturally  happening as our society diversifies, not by any rules. My limitations are language and time. Nothing else. Much simpler.

We should add that we are DVD/VHS only people as we no longer have cable and do not stream, or philosophic reasons. (That is a separate post) We’re dependent on DVD Netflix, Delaware County Library System and Thrift stores.

Every year we try to sample at least a few of the recent Oscar winning films. We do have our criteria and/or prejudices. Whether or not this is cultural imperialism, my feeling is that any film nominated for an Oscar by the Academy of Motion PictureArts and Sciences should be in English unless it is for Best International Feature Film.

Now we do watch (Indian) Bollywood Musicals and Operas, most of which are in other languages, but we don’t really need the subtitles to get the gist of what’s going on.  But we tried to watch “Everything Everywhere All at Once” but were quickly and unilaterally defeated in that effort, in trying to follow the subtitles. 

We did get through ” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, but missed about one third, again due to subtitles.  We’ll pass on the other foreign language films, including All Quiet on the Western Front, Bardo, Full Chronicle of Truths, The Quiet Girl, and Triangle of Sadness.  We’ll still watch RRR because it’s from India.  Maybe we are cultural imperialists.

Another objection we have is bloated films over two hours, though there are exceptions such as  King Kong (1976) ,Twilight’s last Gleaming , and The High and The Mighty.  This is subjectivity from times of watch-watching  i.e.  watching the 1997 Titanic in a Delco Theater and thinking “did he drown yet?”

Among the winners over two hours were;  Avatar:The Way of Water, Babylon, Blonde, Elvis, The Fabelmans, and Tar.

Who is the 2023 Hollywood audience for these films?  Are there still people going to movie theaters or is it all cable, streaming, etc?

We still plan to see;


The Banshees of Inasbern

The Batman (“cause it’s a Batman movie)


Empire of Light

The Fabelmans (because it’s Spielberg)


RRR (it’s from India, isn’t it?)


What would be your inclusion exclusion rules for the 2024 Oscars.?

Bob Small Oscar Rules
Bob Small Oscar Rules

Memorial Day Shouldn’t Be Commercialized

Memorial Day Shouldn’t Be Commercialized

By Bob Small

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, to honor US Troops who have died in service. Its original name was Decoration Day.  Waterloo, N.Y. claims to be the first locale to  observe Decoration Day on May 5, 1866.  though other areas also claim that honor.  The mutation to “Memorial Day Sales”, can only be seen as a function of American Capitalism and a betrayal of its original intent.

See below for some related websites,  including one Joe Biden invention., Home | Veterans For Peace › brentwoodboropd › 17167 › post › national-police-week-2023 › memorial-day-2023

Memorial Day 2023 | Vietnam Veterans of America

We may just want to examine how often there are needless fatalities during war.

One of the best movies about this, which we just recently screened –we’ll miss Netflix DVD when it goes — was Tora! Tora! Tora! from 1970.

This under-appreciated movie clarifies that not all in the Japanese government agreed with the idea of attacking Pearl Harbor.

 It notes that U.S. decision makers were more afraid of sabotage than a military attack.

It points out the a tactical mistake of moving US Fleet from the relative safety of San Diego to Pearl Harbor.

This, like many bad decisions were made by the FDR Administration without consulting the major players in the Navy.  This lack of communication between the White House and the Military seems not to have an end date

Then there was the decision to leave the planes on the ground and others.

For a good summation of all these points, and many more, go to the trivia section of the IMDB Website on this movie.

As a comparison, to how we handle the day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Russia had it’s annual Victory Day celebration on May 9;

They don’t seem to have any “Victory Day Sales”, or start any vacations at their “Black Sea”shore which granted might be problematic at this time, but they do remember their losses in World War 2. 

Maybe they have the right idea.

Memorial Day Shouldn't Be Commercialized

Cowardice Is Hollywood Tradition

Cowardice Is Hollywood Tradition

By Bob Small

Hollywood has a sordid history of refusing to have a moral backbone, from racist films such as Birth of a Nation (1915) to the failure to oppose the 1934 Hays Production Code to acceptance of a blacklist to numerous other other things.

Now, this same Hollywood, has created “new inclusion rules” for Oscar consideration.

The standards are requirements for on screen representations 30 percent of smaller roles are played by women, LGBTQ, disabled people, or ethnic minorities.

Also, creative leadership with similar quotas.

Also, industry access.  Again these are quotas for “under-represented groups”. 

But whose definitions are we using?

There is also an audience development standard.

The late Kirstie Alley responded by saying  “Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his paintings.?”

Richard Dreyfuss has also spoken in opposition to these new rules extensively

“It’s an art. No one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is,” he said.

Let me just add that the 2004 version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino is tremendous.  Pacino, it should be noted, is not Jewish.

Guess this should be remade with Woody Allen, Larry David, or Paul Rudd  or…….

Cowardice Is Hollywood Tradition

Cowardice Is Hollywood Tradition

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

By Bob Small

The program notes from an April 29 Swarthmore College student concert noted that Mozart had written over 50 Symphonies.  My previous understanding, from my first attempt at a college education, was that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had written 41 Symphonies, no more and no less!  I understood this the same way that I understood our universe had a total of nine planets.

However, prior to sending an angry email to the Chair of the Swarthmore Music Department, it was time to use Duck Duck Go for some independent research.  

What I found was that Brittanica lists “50 odd” symphonies, while Wikipedia says there were sorta 56.

Neither of these agreed with my understanding of 41 Symphonies.  Then again, in August 2006, Pluto was “deplanetized”.  

Assuming this is not “wokery”.  Could Mars, the planet of war, be next to be removed? Shouldn’t we all support peace?

Seriously, some of what was “social knowledge” of half a century ago, has changed.  For one instance, though many of us had a permanently single relative, we may have thought the term “queer” but rarely used it, in my family at least, as that would be “impolite”.  Now we acknowledge Gays and Lesbians do exist, and have a right to.

However, social knowledge wise, we still do not “normalize”  pedophiles, despite NAMBLA as the general agreement that minors do not have the maturity to make this decision.

This leads to the question of what other commonly accepted social knowledge of 2023 will have been reconsidered in say 2033 and how do we decide what should and shouldn’t be?  All responses welcome.

Back to Mozart, Patricia Johnson of Curtis, one of four Musicologists who I contacted, said “it’s unlikely we’ll ever have a definitive answer”. As to the number of symphonies.

Which leads to the question of will there ever be a definitive commonly accepted social knowledge?

And should there be?

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

Swarthmore Republicans Out Of The Closet

Swarthmore Republicans Out Of The Closet

By Bob Small

In Swarthmore, we pretty much believe “everything is everything” and do not question most desires.

Drag Queen Children’s Story Hour?


Five story condo in the middle of town?


You may even start seeing “Joe Biden again, I guess” signs popping up. 

But even “woke” Swarthmore can’t sleep on this. 

Nikki Haley Campaign signs on Swarthmore lawns that are not No Mow May Lawns 

This means that there are active Republicans living in Swarthmore. And we thought we had driven them all underground. Well, they have “come out”

Many see Nikki as an “antidote” to Trumpism and a reply to Bidenism.

Nikki Haley was born as Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, the daughter of (Sikh) Indian Immigrants whose business thrived in South Carolina.  She became a Methodist at some point in her journey.  She was the first female governor of South Carolina (2011-17).  She then became the US Ambassador to the UN (2017-18) under then President Trump, with whom she sometimes agreed. In 1996, she married then US serviceman Michael Haley.  At age 51, she is one of the youngest “declared” GOP Candidates.

Among her positions, she backs Congressional Term limits.

On abortion, she says  “Let’s find national consensus”, a truly radical position. › politics › 2024-election › nikki-haley-2024-candidate-pledging-federal-abortion-ban-not-honest-rcna84365

Nikki Haley: A 2024 candidate’s pledging a federal abortion ban would

This stirred up the SBA (Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America group)

If you want to read more on Nikki Haley, consider this 86-page article in

Or this one.

It’s only 22 pages!

Who knows what other candidate signs might pop up in my borough. Chris Christie? Venture Capitalist Vivek Ramaswamy? Miami Mayor Francis Suarez?

This isn’t the Swarthmore I thought I knew.

Swarthmore Republicans Out Of The Closet

Swarthmore Republicans Out Of The Closet Swarthmore Republicans Out Of The Closet

Firefighters Fight In 108th

Firefighters Fight In 108th

By Bob Small

After long term Pennsylvania 108th District Rep Lynda Schlegal-Culver  (12 years) won a special election on Jan. 31 for State Senate District 17, a special election was scheduled to replace her in the 108th.

It will be Tuesday, May 16.

Running are Trevor Finn (D), Michael Stender (R) and Elijah Skretching (L).  

The district  is In Montour and Northampton counties, including Rockefeller Township.  It has been a Republican seat for about 60 years.

For possibly the first time ever in a Pennsylvania State House race, both major Party Candidates are firefighters.

Trevor Finn worked at Finn’s News Agency, the family business.  He has been Commissioner of Montour County since 2004.  He has been operations chief and facilities commissioner if the Montour County Emergency Management Agency.  He has worked as an EMT and volunteer firefighter.  

He lives in Danville with his wife, Betsy, a kindergarten teacher.  They have two children who became teachers.

Michael Stender is a firefighter and a former emergency room technician.

Stender is a lifelong resident of Sunbury and he and his wife have three daughters. He is a Bloomsburg graduate and has done various volunteer work.

The Libertarian Candidate Elijah Scretching spent five years in the Marines. He lives in Northumberland Borough with his wife and daughter.

In a candidate’s debate,  he said “I want the people to have the power, not the government”.  He is in favor of having armed guards in the schools because “We have to stop being reactive and start being proactive.”

Firefighters Fight In 108th

Dem Incumbents Battle Challengers In Chester

Dem Incumbents Battle Challengers In Chester

By Bob Small

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

Eldridge Cleave

Incumbents William Morgan and Elizabeth Williams are facing challenges from Tamika M. Gibson and Fred Green in the Chester City Council in the May 16 Democrat Primary.

All participated in the League of Women Voters Forum available on YouTube.

“I hear a lot about plans that are supposed to be coming forward but you had six to eight years to put a plan in place and now because it’s election season, I hear what we’re planning to do,” Ms. Gibson said. “The plan has failed. We need a whole new administration to come forth to implement better plans to change the situation that Chester is in. The plans that you’ve already had don’t work. They haven’t worked. It’s time to get rid of the old and put something new in place so that we can move forward properly.” 

There are a number of YouTube videos of Tamika M. Gibson.

Fred Green is vice-president of Chester Upland School District, and has been a Salvation Army Board Member, a community liaison to Mayor and Council. For more information, see the following websites;

Councilman and Deputy Mayor William Morgan has a bachelor of science in communication from the University of Rhode Island. He was appointed to City Council, when Natis Nichols resigned in September 2016. He had worked for TD Bank as a Financial Services Rep.

Councilwoman and Director of Public Property and Recreation Elizabeth Williams has an associates in Early Childhood Education from Delaware County Community College. She has worked in various capacities for numerous insurance companies.  She is executive director for the Chester Democratic Party and vice-dhair for the Delaware County Democrats.

Dem Incumbents Battle Challengers In Chester
Dem Incumbents Battle Challengers In Chester

Ups And Downs Of Upper Darby

Ups And Downs Of Upper Darby

By Bob Small

The mayor’s race in Upper Darby has had numerous twists and turns. Incumbent Barbarann Keffer was arrested on Jan. 26 and charged with driving under the influence.

Since then, she has spent time in an alcohol rehabilitation program. She believes her drinking problem began during her time at Harvard, where she earned a degree in government.

On Feb. 7, Council President Brian Burke, citing a provision in the Upper Darby Charter, declared himself mayor while Ms. Keffer was undergoing alcoholism treatment.

Burke was not successful in his claim.

Mayor Keffer, a Democrat, had long been battling Burke, also a Democrat, along with councilmembers Matt Silva and Laura Wentz, also Democrats.

The Upper Darby Democratic Party had on July 28 taken Mayor Keffer’s side and issued a letter of condemnation against her three opponents.

The letter also criticized a perceived delay in the dispersion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money.

It’s penultimate paragraph read: Ensure that Brian Burke, Laura Wentz, and Matt Silva do not hold elected office as Democrats again in Upper Darby Township

On March 2, Burke, a life-long Democrat, became a Republican to run for mayor.

Ms.. Wentz is on the primary ballot as an independent Democrat, battling Edward Brown, the endorsed Democratic candidate. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Wentz has served as president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). She graduated cum laude from Rider Univesity in 1993 with a B.A. in theater, and since 2002 has been a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local # 8.  She is also a founding member of Delco Now.

The endorsed Democratic candidate is Edward Brown, president of the Upper Darby School District Board of Directors. An employee of Lockheed Martin as a Cybersecurity Engineering Manager. His  masters degree from Drexel University is in Cybersecurity and Business Administration.  He is the father of three children.

Crime is an issue in the race. On April 21, Michael Garr, a 15-year-old, 10th grader at Upper Darby High School, was fatally stabbed in 200 block of Bridge Street.

Ups And Downs Of Upper Darby

A Kennedy Runs Again For President

A Kennedy Runs Again For President

By Bob Small

Before I could  vote, the name of the Candidate Kennedy was in everyone’s psyche, some seeing him as a savior, others as a Ssocialistic threat. Sadly, he became the first President to be assassinated since  William McKinley.

Almost 60 years later, another Kennedy, the son of the also assassinated brother of John, one Robert Kennedy, has now announced his candidacy.

It’s safe to say he’s the most controversial announced Major Party Candidate, being atttacked from both the left and the right. He’s the author of The Real Anthony Fauci

Which is just one of his over 20 books. He is also the founder of The Children’s Defense Fund

A Kennedy Runs Again For President

And has also been involved with many environmental causes.

The New York Post has declared the “RFK Jr’s “disgusted” family unlikely to support his bid for the Presidency.

Unlike Hunter and all his family who unilaterally support Uncle Joe’s continued time in office no matter how it profits them.

At the time of this column, 10 percent of Democrats had already said RFK Jr had their vote. MSNBC and others with their ilkitude in the Dem establishment media are refusing to mention his name. Meanwhile, it’s getting up to 15 percent.

“If I run, my top priority will be to end the corrupt merger between state and corporate power that has ruined our economy, shattered the middle class, polluted our landscapes and waters, poisoned our children, and robbed us of our values and freedoms,” Kennedy said.” Together we can restore America’s democracy,”

Well, we surely wouldn’t want that, would we.

See also › 2023 › 04 › 05 › us › politics › robert-kennedy-jr-presidential-run-2024.html

Robert Kennedy Jr., a Noted Vaccine Skeptic, Files to Run for President 

The other members of the Kennedys who have held and/or run for office did not have this potential to provide real change.

A Kennedy Runs Again For President

3 Seek Dem Nod For Chester Mayor

3 Seek Dem Nod For Chester Mayor

By Bob Small

There’s a three way race for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Chester.  Incumbent Thaddeus Kirkland is trying to hold off the challengers; City Councilman Stefan Roots and Realtor Pat Worrell.

The primary election is May 16.

Kirkland’s tenure has seen numerous scandals.

The Pennsylvania Ethics Commission ordered him to pay back $2,000 to the state.  He also received $15,000 in campaign finance contributions from individuals and entities connected to PFS V11 which has a parking contract connected with the City of Chester.  There’s more but space is limited.

Kirkland, who was previously a state representative, is pastor  of Community Baptist Church.  He has a Bachelor of Arts from Cheyney University.  He and his wife have five daughters.

Pat Worrell is owner and operator of the Worrell Real Estate firm. She is a member of the Chester Zoning Hearing Board and had served as chairwoman.

She has run for magisterial district judge (2011), state senate (2012) and County Council (2013).  She has been endorsed by PMBR (Philadelphia Metropolitan Board of Realty), Frank Daly, Estate Attorney, and NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers.)

Stefan Roots is familiar to many of us from his occasional columns in both the Delco Times and The Swarthmorean.  In 2006, he launched the Chester Spotlight and currently edits the Chester Matters Blog

In January 2022 he was elected to Chester City Council.  He has a bachelors degree in electrical engineering  from Villanova.  He notes his campaign was championed by Todd Strine, co-owner of the Swarthmorean, and part of the wealthy Strine family.

He is crusading to shut down the Covanta trash-to-steam plant, which brings the city $8 million per year of 15 percent of its budget. It also generates electricity for 48,000 homes

He is not impressed with Kirkland.

“I work with the man every day and I haven’t seen or heard any vision coming from him,” he said.

There will be a virtual candidate forum on Wednesday, April 26.

Then again, none of this may matter.

3 Seek Dem Nod For Chester Mayor
3 Seek Dem Nod For Chester Mayor
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