Posted by Nicole Behnam
From birth, philosopher John Locke contends, human beings are born on a blank slate: tabula rasa. So from day one, we are being influenced by the society around us, our environment, and what we are learning, yet we are still different from one another. We are still individuals, and although our thought-processes may be different from our parents’ or teachers’ thought processes, we are somehow “independent thinkers.” American author Mary Higgins Clark, argues the following:
“. . . the best hope of humankind is to maintain as rich a diversity of social types as possible, with the expectation that each of these experiments in the human future will cross-fertilize with others, and thus maintain the vital diversity essential for indefinite survival…Competition for ascendancy in world trade, power, or military might are simply empty, meaningless concepts for the future. By encouraging diversity elsewhere, each society ensures a rich source of ideas and techniques for its own future.”
Her point is that even though societies have different tendencies that unite the people who belong to them, if diversity is encouraged, then critical thinking skills, which are essential to human thought processes, will help people’s mental development. In this way, we can understand how unity and diversity are both existing together, and we can continue to absorb information from our surroundings (teachers, parents, religious affiliations, etc.) and still maintain critical thinking skills which will help us become good debaters. And let’s admit it, good debaters are good winners. They prosper.
In understanding the concept of unity, we need to acknowledge that universal principles exist according to nature. These principles bring birth to values and morals that apply to each and every human being, but there is one problem: separating factors. Every religion, culture, and society maintains different values. In America, for example, we value brotherhood (eg. “I am my brothers’ keeper), love for our neighbors, and treating others as we ourselves wish to be treated. In fact, these values seem to be universal for the most part, but are not necessarily valued by each individual person (eg. murders, priests who molest children, Michael Jackson).
These values espouse social union and friendship—an Aristotalean priority—and at the same time, are thought to make each individual person a moral person. Some philosophers, however, will argue that morality is relative—that each person has already adopted a sense of what is right and wrong, and will create his/her own values and act on them. But science, which is like mathematics in the sense that there are proven theories, cannot be ignored.
Scientist (microbiologist) and author René Dubos, asserted in one of his philosophical essays that:
“The remarkable compatibility between all fields of science, whether they deal with inanimate objects or with living things has implications that affect deeply the culture of our times. The validity of these implications is supported by the fact that the various scientific disciplines strengthen each other when, perchance, they can establish contact. Despite the immense diversity of creation, we all accept that there exists in nature a profound underlying unity. The search for this unity provides the motivation for the lives of many different men--some who, like Einstein, search for it in general natural laws and others who, like Teilhard de Chardin, would trace cosmic evolution to a divine origin.”
Einstein abandoned school, which is our society at least, is a social “must.” Like Einstein, if we want to see ourselves as “one,” we must ignore whatever separates us, because the interdependence implied by the notion of the oneness of humanity requires the abandonment of any idea or activity that contradicts what society wants.
Einstein went against social norms and even conquered “Natural Law” by questioning it, and benefitted everyone through his research, which helped mankind further their understanding in physics and math. He abandoned social morality (going to school) and still succeeded—and we all benefitted from it. In essence, he was different (diverse) in that he abandoned social laws, but he was similar, in that he was just like any other human being—he wanted to survive and succeed. And he did both.
If we examine and understand unity and diversity from a medical perspective, we can see how the existence of both simultaneously, is not only possible, but essential to our prosperity as humans. When a person receives an injury to one part of the body, the entire system of that person is affected as the body attempts to heal itself. In fact, if the injury is severe enough—like cancer—doctors will tell you the whole body, not just the affected part, will become debilitated, and thus the doctors’ treatment will become multifaceted. Not only will the injured area be treated with specific remedies (in cancer’s case—chemotherapy), but the whole body will also benefit of nutrients that are provided to assist in the healing.
Understanding religion and religious differences will also assist human beings in their quest to survive and prosper. Even though we are all religiously diverse, we all feel like we have a moral duty to be good people (except for murders, I suppose). Different religions, however, separate us and cause conflict, which creates hatred. We can see this in the Middle East, and particularly, Israel (or Palestine, for the sake of fairness).
Neither Jews nor Muslims are bad people, but their religious differences and assertion of which part of Israel’s land belongs to which religious group creates hatred. However, understanding will create prosperity for both Islamics and Jews in this case. Each religious group clearly knows that their differences are threatening to the preservation of their own traditions, but if they truly understand and accept this fundamental truth—I guess I can even call it a “natural law,” the Islamics and Jews will *most likely* cease to fight and will be able to live harmoniously, and still practice their different religious traditions.
Focusing on the natural law, science, religion, or medicine to understand how the dichotomous existence of unity and diversity is actually beneficial to human beings is not enough. We are human beings—complex creatures who have a relationship to nature because we need nature to survive. At the same time, we have a relationship to each other because we need each other to survive. If we seek to understand how human interaction with nature is as important as human interaction with human interaction, we will be balanced. And by balanced, I mean happier and more successful.
Let’s admit it—isn’t this what we all want? We will learn to be interdependent instead of dependent on other people or on interaction with nature (though we must satisfy our biological needs, like eating and sleeping). And this balance will help us maintain our individual sense of self (which makes us diverse) while at the same time, will help us learn when to rely on each other in times of need. The understanding of the simultaneous dichotomy between unity and diversity is really that simple.
4.22.13 at 8:29 pm | As for the bouncers and promoters whose only form. . .
4.12.13 at 5:40 pm | We weren’t built to sit at our desks or scroll. . .
2.5.13 at 2:33 am | He tried to cut himself off immediately. He even. . .
1.15.13 at 2:18 am | Are antidepressants being prescribed too often. . .
12.15.12 at 1:45 pm |
12.3.12 at 12:23 am | Leah passed away due to a sudden stroke. I. . .
9.25.12 at 12:26 am | “. . . the best hope of humankind is to. . . (234)
2.5.13 at 2:33 am | He tried to cut himself off immediately. He even. . . (63)
4.22.13 at 8:29 pm | As for the bouncers and promoters whose only form. . . (31)
August 20, 2012 | 10:07 pm
Posted Arta Wildeboer, JD, Contributing Author
Because I’ve never made a bad decision or mistake in my life, I have decided to pen an advice column.
I’m anxious regarding what to talk about when I attend Persian family parties. What is acceptable conversation fodder to avoid social awkwardness?
Keep it light and keep it brief. Perhaps perplexingly, no one cares about your problems and everyone cares too much at the same time—neither is good. One must remember, a party is not the venue to splay open your soul to an unsuspecting aunt or to keep your mom’s dad’s sister’s son-in-law’s wife’s brother from getting to the bathroom with your sob stories.
People are there to do a few things at these gatherings, including, but not limited to, in no particular order: play backgammon, re-gift the same bottle of Chivas Regal that has been going around the family since 1986, wonder aloud why kids wear shalvar’eh goshad, eat tahdiq, and ask any relative in high school if he/she is going to go to Harvard or UCLA.
No one is expecting you to say “bad” when they ask how you are doing. Just say you’re doing well and move on. Which brings me to another point: If you are at any time dealing with someone over 60 disregard these rules and simply ask them how they are doing 300 times, then ask them if they have seen your mother, and get the heck out of there before you smell like Brut aftershave for the rest of your life.
For your convenience, I have complied a list of acceptable topics one can discuss at a party: Jokes about Armenians, jokes about Muslims, jokes about the opposite sex, jokes about Elat Market, jokes about how fat your cousin got, the Lakers, Downtown LA, living anywhere other than Beverly Hills, being a doctor, being a lawyer, or simply make a joke about how if you don’t get married within 5 years everyone will start talking behind your back.
For extra credit, if you end up getting cornered by a past-his-prime uncle, mention your multiple American girlfriends as often as possible, even if you’re 11, and they are a complete fantasy. Lindsay, Katie, and Vickie are example of names every Persian boy should memorize to aid in convincing your 20 years-married cousin that the gene pool is indeed thriving in your guise.
This is literally all these people want to hear and there does not have to be a shred of truth coming out of your mouth, nor should you feel bad for it. You know you’re lying, they know you’re lying; EVERYONE knows you’re lying. It’s ok, no one cares, they would rather hear a good story about some mystery blondes, or at least an allusion to one, rather than hear about how you can’t find a job, still live at home and couldn’t get into USC etc.
In fact, if you are ever in a jam and need to instantly impress/throw off any male relative, do what I do and simply say the word “Amsterdam.” After that, the less you say the better. No story you could hope to conjure up will compare to anything their imaginations will dream up and telling them anything will only serve to diminish the power of what you have just invoked.
“If you can remember any part of your trip other than the airport you probably wasted your time there.” That sentence has turned me into a living legend in my family. Of course, not everyone is so blessed to have engaged in their own European escapades and to those of you longing for a place to call your own to be the backdrop of your own lies, I have two words for you: Las Vegas.
August 8, 2012 | 4:04 pm
Posted by Nicole Behnam
Rarely have I spent a day out of the house without coming across a smoker. The surgeon general’s warning on the cigarette cartons mean nothing to them. The electronic billboards that count smoking deaths per year are overlooked. It doesn’t scare them when they are informed that every cigarette they smoke takes approximately 12 minutes from their lives. People have become complacent as a result of our culture’s ignorance and defiance.
In 1960, philosopher Ayn Rand delivered a lecture at Yale University about the “modern world.” She said, “What you are seeing today is the neurotic anxiety of an entire culture. People do not want to find any answers to avert their danger: all they want, all they are looking for, is only some excuse to yell: ‘I couldn’t help it!’”
I believe this explains the mindset of a smoker today, who, when asked why he doesn’t quit, replies with “it’s too hard” or “I’m already addicted.” Granted, that’s probably true, but instead of asking himself “what is required of me to quit?” he asks, “can I do it?” and then becomes crippled by his own uncertainty. Observe the unsuccessful quitter, whose every success only augments his anxiety and whose every failure confirms his belief that he will never be able to quit. It’s his mentality, not his inability to quit that keeps him addicted.
But the real question is, why do people—especially adults—start smoking when they are fully aware of the many detrimental health effects of smoking and of the difficulty quitters experience?
One of the most common reasons among teenage girls today is that they want to lose weight. This is understandable because the illnesses that smoking can potentially cause, like cancer or lung diseases, do propel weight loss, but who really wants to lose weight that way?
Others smoke because they think smoking is relaxing, because their friends smoke, or just because it gives them something to do. Smoking isn’t relaxing. In fact, it makes the heart beat considerably faster. Hanging around friends that smoke is a detriment in and of itself. The best way to deal with smoking friends is to ask them not to smoke in your presence. Also, having nothing to do is no reason to damage your lungs either. Try reading.
On May 31, 2007, NPR interviewed Lloyd Johnston, a social psychologist at the University of Michigan with 32 years of experience, who said “the decline in teen smoking seems to be about over.”
Cigarette ads targeting teenagers illustrate smokers as cool and hip, sophisticated and elegant, or attractive and sexy. Luckily, the government has passed laws limiting where and how tobacco companies are allowed to advertise in order to prevent young kids from smoking.
I decided to ask the smokers themselves—teens and adults—how they started smoking. They replied with various answers from “The first time, I just wanted to try it” to “all my friends smoked so I felt out of place being the only one without a cigarette.”
One girl replied with “I’m only a social smoker and I usually only smoke when I’m drunk.”
These excuses weren’t good enough. No excuse is good enough. The best way to avoid social traps or unwarranted cravings is to come up with reasons for why smoking is unacceptable and stick to them. The internet provides many resourceful websites that can help you choose which negative effects of smoking stick out to you the most.
From experience, I have found that coming up with responses to uncomfortable social situations with friends who smoke is very helpful. For example, you could reply with “smoking makes me cough” or “I have to stay in shape and I can’t breathe too well when I smoke.” Anyone who doesn’t accept your replies isn’t your friend.
We all know people who smoke, whether they are friends or family members or co-workers. This doesn’t mean that they are “bad people” or “immoral people” either. Smoking has nothing to do with morality, but it has everything to do with health. Let them know what you think or even try to help them quit. If they resist, let it go.
For smokers and non-smokers, just remember that staying smoke-free will give you more of everything you really want: more money in your wallet, more energy, better performance, healthier physique, good skin, and ultimately, more life.
July 12, 2012 | 3:17 am
Posted by Nicole Behnam
Every year we seem to accumulate more and more responsibilities. Sure, the feeling of independence is great and somewhat liberating, but this summer, as I drive around and watch children and teenagers interact, my mind races back to a time when summer merely meant beaches and road trips, not chores and appointments and dreaded Mondays. Remember those days?
The air always carried the same heavy, lethargic feeling, characterized solely with summer heat, as its humid moisture seeped into your every single pore. The scent of freedom would permeate your hair, your skin, your soul, waiting for a rebellious release. The day had no set agenda. There were no obligations, no due dates, a nowhere-to-go, nothing-to-do boredom that was somewhat satisfying and seemingly easy to deal with.
We would lounge pool side with our friends, the venomous rays of sun branding our skin with tan and pink tints, and streaking our hair with baby strands of blond. The stench of chlorine would replace our usual perfume, and sunburned cheeks required no rouge. We would sit on the rooftops as we watched the fireflies ripple around us, and we blew dandelion seeds into the air, to be carried off to mysterious lands. We swore to be best friends forever and always.
Our daylight hours were a regression back into childhood, filled with cut-off shorts, straggly ponytails, melty ice-cream cones, and water balloon fights. Come night, we would attend the party of a friend of a friend, and leave with a ringing in our ears caused by music that was too loud. We would come home late, disappointing our parents, and would spend way too much time thinking unnecessary thoughts before we slept.
As adolescents, hidden in some deep crevice of our minds, we were somehow convinced that the whole entire world revolved around us—an eternal display of theatrics starring us as the lead players. We would pine for accolades to add color to our transparent lives. And now we have it—the splash of paint on our biographical canvases: a degree, a job, an engagement ring, some kind of validation.
Now we are all adults, but are we really all that happy? I hold in contempt the individuals who become so absorbed with their futile attempts to conform to what others think they should be, because they have forgotten themselves. But who am I to judge?
Let us be realistic. There are six billion people alive today, and I know, I mean I really know, maybe ten. That leaves an anonymous five billion, nine-hundred ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety souls out there. What is the probability that you, or even I, at 23, are where we should be in life? Which one of us has it figured out?
My mind is only able to capture my twenty two years of knowledge and experience, thus excusing my unrelenting insistence that I have all there is to want, right here. However, I must question this, as it explicitly contradicts my theory that humans were created to yearn, to crave, to desire.
Because of this insatiable instinct, it is virtually impossible to reach a place of satisfaction with what you have or what you are given. It is a handicap, this wanting, but it is also the basis of our day to day survival, for in the want, there is room for hope, and in the hope, amity, and in the amity, love, and in love, life.
This summer is different. To make change a success, one must embrace it. I will continue to help out around the house and commit to my chores and job. I will enjoy it. I will cook for my family and hope they taste the love in my intricate dishes. I will secretly hope for much praise—my adult gold star. I will lounge in the sun half as much as I used to, and wear twice as much sunscreen, because the threat of skin cancer doesn’t appeal to me.
There will be a clock, a constantly ticking reminder that I do not have all the time in the world. I will make my own coffee and wear slacks with a button-up. My hair will be in a ponytail so as to prevent me from playing with it. I will be the new, adult me.
“Nothing gold can stay.” This is true. The new, the treasured, will not survive unscathed. But who is to say gold is what we want? I believe it is the tarnish that makes it worth treasuring. The battle wounds, the age, the marks of love—these are the tools of preservation. I will be different. And when I look back on the productive summers 10 years from now, I will feel proud and accomplished. I will have benefitted from the adult me.
This summer I have finally said goodbye to blowing dandelion seeds into the wind. They just fall to the ground anyway. I have switched from ice cream to frozen yogurt, and I have distanced myself from a summer carelessly spent. Of course, we all still have careless moments where there is nothing to do, but not for months at a time.
This summer I have learned to take in every minute, to taste it, to turn it over in my hands, and to catalog each precious moment. And each precious moment I will cherish as a memory. I will take more pictures with my iPhone than I ever did with my disposable cameras, and it will save me later when I want to remind myself that while I worked hard, I still enjoyed myself—I still had love and friendship and art around me.
I have grown up. In 20 years, there will be children, barbecues, and reunions. I will have slightly conformed to a new mold by then. I will inhale the scent of Los Angeles smog and sand as I escape into the dark blanket of night that is my savior, my shield. I will see the stars, iridescent time tunnels back to another place. And I will jump onto a dandelion seed that is passing by on a hazy gale and let it carry me back to a time when I thought I knew who I was. To a place where it is summer and I am allowed to be careless.
December 22, 2011 | 1:31 am
Posted by Nicole Behnam
People often joke that a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
If you type “most popular new year’s resolutions” into the Google search engine, you will notice that most resolution lists stay relatively static from year to year.
Are we convinced that only a small handful of the same determinations will transform our level of happiness? Or are we just becoming less creative?
The most popular resolutions include, but are not limited to:
Drink Less Alcohol
Get a Better Education
Get a Better Job
Manage Debt & Save Money
These resolutions sound mundane and cliché. In fact, they don’t even sound like resolutions. They sound like goals that almost everybody strives to reach every single day, or at some point in their lives.
If you really want to make positive changes in your life, change the way you think by implementing the following, more unique resolutions:
1. Reevaluate your relationships. Accept only what you DESERVE. Take a look around you. Which friends do you interact with on a consistent basis? Are they supportive, generous, and understanding, or do they often make statements characterized by comparison, jealousy, or doubt. Like I said previously, people can be supportive and loving, but they can also be cruel and condescending. The moment you develop self-respect, you will begin to eliminate the people who disrespect or doubt you. Friendship is a two-way street, and people should be as selective about their friendships as they are about their spouses. In 2012, uplift yourself with the spirited people who inspire you to succeed and persist.
2. Motivate yourself. DAILY. Have you ever sat through a commencement speech, mesmerized by the speaker who you were convinced would change your life forever? Or have you ever read a book and paused because the last sentence you just read completely redefined your mindset? Just for a moment, you think “wow, I’m going to start thinking this way from now on!” and you envision a better version of yourself in 5 years that you will grow into. The thoughts can get grandiose. Within weeks, every goal you set for yourself seems unattainable. You tell yourself that eventually, you will have it all figured out. And eventually gets closer and closer every day, and you’re still standing in the same spot, wondering why your motivation has dwindled so drastically.
The answer, once again, is to motivate yourself daily. Read books, watch movies—watch the news. Interact with positive people and learn from their stories. If they say something you admire, write it down. Allow positive words and affirmations to play a pivotal role in your success. In 2012, be constantly inspired.
3. Practice being a skeptic, not a cynic. I stole this concept from Pulitzer Prize-Winner Thomas Friedman, who wrote:
Skepticism is about asking questions, being dubious, being wary, not being gullible but always being open to being convinced of a new fact or angle. Cynicism is about already having the answers—or thinking you do—answers about a person or an event. The skeptic says, “I don’t think that’s true; I’m going to check it out.” The cynic says, “I know that’s not true. It couldn’t be. I’m going to slam him.”
Cynics say no to the world. They not only doubt, but completely close themselves off from people. Skepticism fuels creativity. It fuels you to inquire, to constantly seek knowledge. And that way, you will always be ahead of the game, because you will always be learning. In 2012, be a curious skeptic.
4. Nurture your negative feelings, then MOVE ON. Face it, you’re not always in a good mood. You have good days, you have bad days. Your life, like anyone else’s, will be like a roller-coaster forever. In fact, it always has been. You’ve experienced highs and lows—feelings of elation and feelings of despair. But are you brushing off the negative feelings or are you nurturing them? If you feel guilt, for example do you brush it off, or question and nurture it? This is an important distinction.
Treat your negative feelings like wounds that need healing. If you scrape and pick at your scab, it will start bleeding again, but if you nurture the wound and take care of it well, you will experience minimal scarring. Negative feelings are like wounds. Don’t let them bleed through tomorrow’s joys. Address them at the brink, and move on. You can’t continue driving if you keep looking at a car-crash in your rear-view mirror. In 2012, identify and nurture your negative feelings before they consume you.
5. Reach out to someone who could use you as a Role Model. Most people are reluctant to seek help when they’re down. In much the same way, they are reluctant to ask for advice when things are going well. But everyone needs a role model to look up to and seek advice from, and at some point, everyone needs to be a role model to someone else. Knowing that somebody looks up to you and wants to follow in your footsteps will encourage you to always be your best self—to develop an impeccable character and set a standard that you will always strive to live up to. In 2012, set an example for someone else, in order to bring out the best in yourself.
And if your number one goal this year is to be successful, always remember the wise words of Bob Dylan: “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
December 17, 2011 | 8:02 pm
Posted by Nicole Behnam
Issues regarding the privacy of old posts are becoming a primary concern on Facebook for users who log in and post statuses or pictures frequently. Now that Facebook is introducing a new feature, people are becoming frantic.
Facebook began with a simple mission: to connect friends. Seven years after its launch, the social network enjoys over 800 million users who communicate, share, and interact through the site.
No, there’s nothing new about the Facebook Login or Sign Up process, as usual. But pay attention to a new breed of Facebook Profiles.
The Facebook Wall is being replaced with a Timeline—a virtual scrapbook of your Facebook life (activity, photos, comments, et al.) since its inception.
Mark Zuckerberg says the Timeline creates a new way to share life experiences, but marketers see this as a way to gain brand exposure and loyalty through “likes” and shares.
So what does this mean for you? And what’s different? Your Facebook profile in its entirety.
Here are some helpful tips to help you adapt to this new, unwanted (or perhaps wanted) change:
Utilize your 7-Day Review Period. Click here to learn about and switch over to the new timeline. Once you upgrade your Facebook profile, you will have seven days to get accustomed to the new feature. Facebook, for the first time, is allowing users to “test” a feature before they launch it for everyone on the site. Use this opportunity to your advantage. If you don’t want people to skim through your old public photos, here’s your chance to change your individual privacy setting for each old and embarrassing picture or status.
Choose a “cool” cover photo. I suppose this is the new “Profile Picture.” A cover photo is the new photo that stretches across your page’s width. This doesn’t have to be a picture of you. It could be a picture of anything—your favorite band, your favorite painting, your grandmother, or something completely random and unique. Your “profile pic” will formulate itself into a square-like approximation on the left-hand side of your cover photo soon.
Edit through The Activity Log. Yes, Timeline is bringing back lots of old posts. But before, a friend would have had to click the “older” button several times to travel back to 2007. Now, users can just click on 2007 to see what was going on back then. Use the new “Activity Log” to hide certain stories or posts. If you don’t want to be associated with someone who wrote on your wall in 2007, feel free to delete that person’s post or click on the “Only Me” feature under “Who can see this post?”
Choose what you want to expand. Timeline already tries to guess which of your posts will be shared frequently through the amount of likes or comments it will, or already has, earned. If there is a post that you want to highlight or expand, click on the star at the top right of the post.
Switch over to Timeline NOW. Don’t wait. Trust me. You’re going to get annoyed when your profile abruptly switches over to the new look without your virtual “permission.” And better to get annoyed now than later. Learn about the Timeline BEFORE it launches. I switched over two days ago, and I’m still learning something new about my profile every day.
This isn’t a small adjustment. Prepare yourself for the best and the worst of this seemingly Myspace-like restructure. The change will affect each person’s public persona differently.
“For some, this will be a nostalgic trip through a social network that has captured much of who we are. For others, it will be a bit terrifying to see posts from the early days of Facebook, when it was limited to college students who often shared way too much,” said USA Today’s Mark W. Smith.
December 16, 2011 | 9:58 pm
Posted by Nicole Behnam
“I have never heard more anger and dismay than when we announced that the [Kardashians] were on our list.”
Celebrities are an integral part of our culture. The more we know about their personal lives, the more intrigued we become. The more they spend, the more we pay attention. The prettier they are, the more envious we grow. And the more they break fundamental moral boundaries, the more we talk about them.
The Kardashians were featured among moguls like Donald Trump and Steve Jobs on Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 special, which aired Wednesday on ABC. And everyone is wondering: Why?
People are more distracted than ever before from serious news stories regarding current events, politics, and society that are much more significant than shows like “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” which many would argue is a testament to the American culture’s degeneration.
Surely, we would never question why Trump made it onto Walters’ list, or why Amanda Knox, recently acquitted of false charges for murdering her roommate in Italy, is a fascinating candidate, but four women whose lifestyles and values are questionable at best—What was Barbara Walters thinking?
She described their appeal as “a strange mix of trashy sex, upscale excess, tabloid melodrama, and suburban family life.” But this allure goes beyond sex and excess. What makes them fascinating? Our culture’s obsession with their reality roller-coaster ride. They win, they lose. They laugh, they cry. They fall apart, and they fall together.
Perhaps what we really love about the Kardashians is knowing that behind all the glamour and fame and lavish spending are human beings who experience downfalls we would never dream of. I don’t personally know anybody whose marriage lasted less than 72 days, do you? Or someone whose sex tape leaked, for that matter. And Kim still kept moving.
What makes them fascinating is that beyond all the fame, they’re still human.
After all, this wasn’t a special honoring the most influential people—just the most fascinating.
December 14, 2011 | 8:47 am
Posted by Nicole Behnam
Judy Greer (“The Descendants”) and Regina King (“Southland”) were greeted with a mixture of anticipation and excitement when they approached the podium to announce the nominees for the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
“The Help” dominated as the #1 feature film nominee, with four nominations, while “The Artist” came in second with three nominations.
In TV, “Modern Family” emerged with an Ensemble nomination, and separate nominations for its actors: Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet.
The SAGs are held in very high esteem because the nominees are honored by their fellow peers. In other words, actors are nominated by actors.
Two nominating panels—one for television shows and one for films—each consisting of 2100 randomly-chosen Guild members from across the U.S.—selected this year’s actor and stunt ensemble nominees.
The nominees for each category are:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
DEMIÁN BICHIR / Carlos Galindo - “A BETTER LIFE”
GEORGE CLOONEY / Matt King - “THE DESCENDANTS”
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / J. Edgar Hoover - “J. EDGAR”
JEAN DUJARDIN / George - “THE ARTIST”
BRAD PITT / Billy Beane - “MONEYBALL”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
GLENN CLOSE / Albert Nobbs - “ALBERT NOBBS”
VIOLA DAVIS / Aibileen Clark - “THE HELP”
MERYL STREEP / Margaret Thatcher - “THE IRON LADY”
TILDA SWINTON / Eva - “WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN”
MICHELLE WILLIAMS / Marilyn Monroe - “MY WEEK WITH MARILYN”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
KENNETH BRANAGH / Sir Laurence Olivier - “MY WEEK WITH MARILYN”
ARMIE HAMMER / Clyde Tolson - “J. EDGAR”
JONAH HILL / Peter Brand - “MONEYBALL”
NICK NOLTE / Paddy Conlon - “WARRIOR”
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER / Hal - “BEGINNERS”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
BÉRÉNICE BEJO / Peppy - “THE ARTIST”
JESSICA CHASTAIN / Celia Foote - “THE HELP”
MELISSA McCARTHY / Megan - “BRIDESMAIDS”
JANET McTEER / Hubert Page - “ALBERT NOBBS”
OCTAVIA SPENCER / Minny Jackson - “THE HELP”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
LAURENCE FISHBURNE / Thurgood Marshall - “THURGOOD”
PAUL GIAMATTI / Ben Bernanke - “TOO BIG TO FAIL”
GREG KINNEAR / Jack Kennedy - “THE KENNEDYS”
GUY PEARCE / Monty Beragon - “MILDRED PIERCE“
JAMES WOODS / Richard Fuld - “TOO BIG TO FAIL”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
DIANE LANE / Pat Loud - “CINEMA VERITE”
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham - “DOWNTON ABBEY”
EMILY WATSON / Janet Leach - “APPROPRIATE ADULT”
BETTY WHITE / Caroline Thomas - “HALLMARK HALL OF FAME: THE LOST VALENTINE”
KATE WINSLET / Mildred Pierce - “MILDRED PIERCE”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
PATRICK J. ADAMS / Mike Ross - “SUITS”
STEVE BUSCEMI / Enoch “Nucky” Thomson - “BOARDWALK EMPIRE”
KYLE CHANDLER / Eric Taylor - “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS”
BRYAN CRANSTON / Walter White - “BREAKING BAD”
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan - “DEXTER”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
KATHY BATES / Harriet Korn - “HARRY’S LAW”
GLENN CLOSE / Patty Hewes - “DAMAGES”
JESSICA LANGE / Constance - “AMERICAN HORROR STORY”
JULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick - “THE GOOD WIFE”
KYRA SEDGWICK / Dept. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson - “THE CLOSER”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy - “30 ROCK”
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy - “MODERN FAMILY”
STEVE CARELL / Michael Scott - “THE OFFICE”
JON CRYER / Alan Harper - “TWO AND A HALF MEN”
ERIC STONESTREET / Cameron Tucker - “MODERN FAMILY”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
JULIE BOWEN / Claire Dunphy - “MODERN FAMILY”
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton - “NURSE JACKIE”
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon - “30 ROCK”
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - “MODERN FAMILY”
BETTY WHITE / Elka Ostrovsky - “HOT IN CLEVELAND”
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
THE BIG BANG THEORY
The SAG nominations announcement is particularly significant this year because it precedes the Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced Thursday. In previous years, The SAG nominations followed the Globes by two days.
The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. (PT) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.