Gabrielle Bourne SMARTWomen

Society, in particular the media pundits, have called the timing of Mr. Markle’s heart surgery “suspicious.” Victoria Arbiter had reported the same on HLN/CNN. Other experts, including a Cardiologist (not involved with the surgery) was brought in to dissect the situation and reported that Mr. Markle was not subjected to “open heart surgery.” He was receiving a stent, and therefore could attend the royal wedding.

This reporting of Mr. Markle’s heart surgery, and consequent criticism, stems from the fact that he would not be involved with the wedding of his daughter, Meghan Markle (a future Duchess, NOT a Princess) to HRH Prince Henry of Wales. In addition, it was reported that Mr. Markle was involved in some “staged” photos, perhaps not the SMARTest use of one’s time.

Whilst society at large and the media pundits are all circling around the same pond, it should be dully noted that Mr. Markle lived a reclusive life in Mexico, away from the glare of Hollywood, where he was once a well-respected lighting director. Has it occurred to anyone that thrusting such a person onto the world stage without any preparation, was perhaps the greatest disservice to this man?

Unlike Mr. Markle, The Duchess of Cambridge, nee Catherine Middleton, was able to prepare her family for at least a decade. Mr. Markle had less than one year from the royal engagement. Even so, no one thought to prepare this man, not the Windsors or his own daughter, Meghan Markle.

Whilst not an expert in psychology, but one who understands culture and have advised executives and commanders on the subject, Mr. Markle might have experienced a phenomenon called Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), better known as “Social Phobia.” I have seen this first hand among friends, colleagues and family members who felt they did not “fit in.”

Some symptoms of SAD includes excessive sweating, trembling and even heart palpitations, which mimics a heart attack. A typical behaviour is that of avoidance of certain social situations, i.e. a seven course banquet. I had friends cancel and later reveal that they did not know exactly how to successfully process such a social situation.

The world lives in such a bubble that we forget there are distinct social classes still in existence. Not everyone will fit into the mold. Whilst some people succeed through trial and error, others completely avoid it. Many people, even the so called “experts” forget that avoidance is a natural reaction to unpleasant social situations.

You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole without first training. Even the Duchess of Cambridge had to go to“Royal finishing school” to fit in. I have taught many friends how to use their utensils and set a formal table; how to have afternoon tea and; greet guests in queue.

When we approach LIFE from a perspective of helpfulness, we can better everyone in the process. We must not have our heads in the sand and always look for sensationalism to fill the void. Instead of TMZ capitalising on Mr. Markle’s faux pas and taking advantage of his lack of social graces, perhaps they should have encouraged him, even prepared him to endure for his daughter’s entry into the Mountbatten-Windsor family.

END OF COMMENTARY

©2018  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Thomas Markle

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One of our favourite films of 2016 was The Hundred-Foot Journey, directed by Lasse Hallström. The film’s title comes from the distance between two rival restaurants in a rural French countryside.

Our favourite quote from that film was, “Asking for a discount doesn’t mean I’m poor. It means I’m thrifty.” This line was stated by “Papa,” the Patriarch of the Indian family who owned one of the competing restaurants,  in his response to Madame Mallory, this restaurant rival.

In some cultures, “haggling” in the marketplace is the norm. Requesting a better price is not out of the ordinary, as it might be in “Western” or “Anglo” societies. Being frugal is often mis-characterized  as having no funds, when in fact, it could be the exact opposite.

It is ironic that society ignores the fact that celebrities get “free stuff,” but are critical of “average” people receiving the same. It might not be a $100,000 gift bag from the Oscars, but scoring a free meal or getting a great bargain for clothes, travel, hotel or special events is a wonderful feeling!

Some of the wealthiest members of society are very frugal, but no one ever made light of their frugality. Rose Kennedy, for instance, shopped at the five and Dime. Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett does not need a fancy address, designer clothing or bling. He plans to give his billions away when he passes onward.

The secret of being the “The Millionaire Next Door” (reference: Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko) is no secret at all. It is to know the value of your wealth and how to maintain it. TRUE net worth never make excuses for why we prefer sensible $50 shoes over an $800 Jimmy Choo; but then the latter could be a $50 “value” for those who could truly afford it.

END OF COMMENTARY

©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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WONDER WOMAN

Stars: Gal Gadot, Connie Nielsen (Hippolyta), Robin Wright (Antiope), Chris Pine (Steve)

Directed by Patty Jenkins

Screenplay by Allan Heinberg

Story by Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs

Created by William Moulton Marston

In any film genre, it takes the right momentum and the perfect storm of director, writer(s) and cast. Film maker Patty Jenkins (Monster) has brought to light the pure essence of the Amazonian Princess. She does so without turning her into a superhero comic book. Gal Gadot is statuesque, SMART, beautiful and strong. She is neither a characterization or a footnote.

There were several incarnation of Woman Woman in live action format. Three comes to mind, Cathy Lee Crosby, Lynda Carter and Adrianne Palicki, or what I call the forgettable act, the revival act and the dreadful act.

Cathy Lee Crosby was a complete departure from the traditional look and feel of the Amazonian Princess. Her blonde hair and star spangle jumper did little to capture the imagination of the super heroine we all grew up to love and admire. She existed in one forgettable pilot.

Lynda Carter captured the essence of the statuesque beauty in the 1970s. She was SMART, strong and beautiful. The hair, make up and clothing of the inhabitants of “Paradise Island” was also true to the decade. There was no essence of the Amazonian lifestyle, dress or manners befitting “Warrior Women.” Still, Lynda Cater’s portrayal, with the lasso of truth (magic lasso) in tow, revived the essence of the super heroine.

Adrianne Palicki was a modern take on the super heroine. She fell way short of the mark, in a dreadful pilot created by David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal). In this incarnation, Wonder Woman / Diana Prince is head of Themyscira, a large corporation. Leave this incarnation to things that make you go hmmmm.

Gal Gadot is perhaps the closest incarnation of the Amazonian Princess, a demi-goddess, created into a society of strong, SMART and beautiful women. Gal Gadot’s multitude of emotional range, especially when she experiences death (spoiler not revealed) is raw and goes to the core. The film also brings humour and levity, which Gal also embraces, such when Diana “Princess of Themyscira” sees a baby for the first time.

Wonder Woman is an important entree for girls and women into the world of super heroes. While the character was forged by DC Comics and creator William Moulton Marston, Patty Jenkins has secured her stature on the big screen for a new generation.

Wonder Woman opens Friday, 2 June 2017

NUGGETS: Robin Wright (Antiope)

INTERESTING: Diana Prince sees baby for the first time

REVEAL: Who is Ares?

END OF COMMENTARY

©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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UNFORGETTABLE

Stars: Katherine Heigl (Tessa), Rosario Dawson (Julia), Geoff Stutts (David)

Directed by Denise Di Novi

WARNING: IF you are a victim of domestic violence, identity theft OR cyber stalking, this film may not be for you.

Julia is a successful Editor and a victim of domestic violence. She escapes her old life and moves to a new town and a new man. The relationship is complicated by the presence of his unbalanced and controlling ex-wife, Tessa, who is not happy about the relationship. She will stop at nothing to destroy Julia’s new found happiness. This film is rated R and opens on Friday, 21 April 2017.

The following is a commentary about the film based on the screening dated Wednesday, 19, 2017 at AMC Theatres.

What happens when a beautiful woman, a victim of domestic violence, meets and settles in with a balanced, well-adjusted and loving man? She encounters his equally unbalanced, cyber stalking, child abusing ex-wife.

Denise Di Novi is better known for producing than directing. Her films have included Focus with Will Smith, Danny Collins, with Al Pacino and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies with America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel. Unforgettable stars two of Hollywoods most talented actors, Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson.

Unforgettable, which is rated R for violence and brief nudity, should also have a warning label for Domestic Violence and Cyber stalking. These two troubling social issues permeates throughout the film.

We know Julia (Rosario Dawson) is a victim of domestic violence since the film starts in the present, but goes back six months to set up the storyline. Julia is constantly troubled by a man in her past whom she had to get a restraining order against. Julia leaves her old life behind to start over in a new town.

Julia’s fear of being discovered by her abuser is multiplied when Tessa (Katherine Heigl) steals Julia’s identity and uses it to communicate with the abuser. Julia is unaware of the deception or what is in store for her next. Tessa assumes Julia’s identity, even setting up a fake social media site using Julia’s information and photos hacked from her smartphone. Tessa draws the abuser closer to his victim with every communication she initiates pretending to be Julia.

The film does not bring any surprising revelation or closure. It provides very little information about Tessa’s strange behaviour, other than a sealed juvenile record. We also know very little about Julia’s abuser (Simon Kassianides).

The film wraps up in an ending that may be satisfactory, but unsettling. A bit of creepy irony sweeps over as the film comes to a close….whether you knew it was coming or not.

NUGGETS: Cheryl Ladd

INTERESTING: Katherine Heigl sports a new “Ivanka Trump” hairdo.

END OF COMMENTARY

©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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GOING IN STYLE

Remake of 1979 film of the same name

Stars: Michael Caine (Joe), Morgan Freeman (Willie), Alan Arkin (Albert)

Directed by Zach Braff

Going in Style is a heist comedy film with heart. It is a remake of the 1979 film starring George Burns. It also provides social commentary of the times; the plight of the working class person and; society’s forgotten elderly population. The film co-stars the zany Christopher Lloyd in an unforgettable role and the always gorgeous Ann-Margret. The film is rated PG-13 and opens on Friday, 7 April 2017.

The following is a commentary about the film based on the screening dated Thursday, 30 March 2017.

Joe, Willie and Albert are best friends who discover that the steel company they worked for over 30 years was cancelling their pension. They were told by the steel company executive it was due to restructuring and moving operations to Vietnam. In truth, as they learned in the media, the company was cancelling everyone’s pension to pay off their own debts.

Joe has more worries when he receives a “yellow” envelop from the bank. He was also in danger of losing his home too. When he meets with the banker who sold him the worthless mortgage, he is told to wait for the “red” envelop, then he would only have 30 days to pay or vacate. Joe worries for his family. He was supporting his daughter and grand daughter. Losing the house would put all of them in serious jeopardy. The banker ignores Joe’s concerns.

Meanwhile…three robbers in feline masks walk into the bank and fires off machine gun rounds. Everyone at the bank are forced to assume a feline position, with their hands and legs up in the air, while tellers are forced to load cash into bags. Joe and the banker assume the feline position too, but Joe is having a difficult time due to cramps. The banker becomes agitated of being robbed and draws attention to himself.

One of the robbers approach to investigate the commotion. He becomes annoyed at the vocal banker and tells him to be quiet. He also notices Joe having a difficult time and releases him from holding the position.

Joe hands the robber the yellow envelop received from the bank. The robber was all too familiar with the envelop and sympathises with Joe, acknowledging that greedy institutions rob the hard working. Joe then hands over his wallet and tells the robber to “Take it,” it was all he had. The robber refuses, making a statement that we in society are responsible for the elderly. The robber then turns to the banker and steals his wallet and cash, knowing all too well that the banker was responsible for Joe’s financial predicament.

The robbers make an exit and warn everyone not to call the police, since shootouts never end well. The banker relieves himself due to the stress.

The audience gets a close up expression of Joe’s face…a smile….a recognition….a brilliant thought…a plan….

The rest of the film could be summarized as Ocean’s 11 meets Now You See Me. The music sounds familiar too, as if we heard it before. The montage of the actual planning of the heist is brilliant. It will draw the audience in, as we see the three besties timing their moves, taking surveillance photos and getting in shape.

Even more impressive is what is revealed to the audience later in the film, when Joe and Albert are brought down to the police station and questioned by an over zealous and pompous detective played by Matt Dillion, whilst Willie provides his “cover story” to the FBI agent.

The audience will want to stick around for the finale. Anyone who has seen the George Burns’ version knows that no crime goes unpunished, even if you are robbing the bank that is helping to dissolve your pension. In this latest version, Joe, Willie and Albert’s humanity, humour and decency will get you to root for their success in the end. You don’t want to miss it!

NUGGETS

The man in the feline mask

END OF COMMENTARY

©2017  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Hi Peeps,

There is a lot to be said about the “Human” condition. We all strive, to some degree, to manipulate and control the outcome, as in achieving our dreams of being on stage, starting a business or graduating from university. A pod of Dolphins would work together to capture fish, by striking their tale on the sand and encircling their meal. In both instances, manipulation and control was used to fulfill a goal or objective in a productive way. The main difference between animal species and humans is the former is about survival and we are about preservation.

Humans are predatory creatures that mostly hunt for sport, not for survival; whereas most animal species hunt to survive. We have a longer range plan, whereas other animal species take one day at a time. Other animal species manipulate and control to build resources and product such as food, shelter and off springs. Humans, however, have learned to use it as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources.

Humans have the capacity for “Self Control.” This learnt behaviour is not a natural occurrence. Those that lack this trait believe they are always right and everyone else is wrong. They waste so much time creating one outcome, forcing their view and will upon others, they miss the important outliers. They work diligently to prove their point, but cannot produce the evidentiary data when requested. Even when the data is clearly against their argument, they choose to ignore it.

In some instances, they “Over-work” to discredit someone else because they lack the abilities to succeed themselves. Their manipulative and controlling behaviour has no bounds; but their personality traits become more evident, with time. These personality traits include The Multi-tasker, the Interloper and; the Over-sharer. We call them, “Too Busy,” “The Fixer” and “Loose Lips.”

  1. The Multi-tasker strives for control outside of their “Too Busy” environment. They are also resolved to force the control on others, if necessary, because they feel out of control most of the time. They are bolstered by their self-involvement in keeping “busy” for busy sakes and ignore the fact that it is a diminishing return. They excuse their lack of involvement in other areas because they believe what they are doing is more important than “Showing up.”
  2. The Fixer wants to make things right, by meddling in other people’s affairs, even when s/he lacks the knowledge or resources to make it happen. They get all flustered when you refuse their help. Most times, they come “Uninvited” and like a bad guest, overstay their welcome. They compensate their lack of success by lashing out and; fail to understand that not everything can be fixed.
  3. The Loose Lips is responsible for sinking ships. S/he is the go to person to spread rumours but not to keep secrets. Both the Fixer and the Multi-tasker have the propensity to be the Loose Lips, through their lack of regard for other’s opinions, time and energy and; their consistent vigilance to their own task despite their lack of success.

People who use manipulation and control as a coercive mechanism to sway opinion, gain power and take resources,  DO NOT offer choices. They want everyone to see it there way or no way at all. People who cannot provide evidentiary data for their “Argument” should be viewed as “Dangerous” and “Egotistical” fools…plain and simply. The best course of action is to cut them off all together. It is more fruitful to take your business, your money, your resources and yourself elsewhere where it would be appreciated and valued.

The manipulative and controlling personalities will be one sided…their side. Regardless of what agreement you had with them, they will work to change it to their advantage. They will be closed to all argument but their own.

End.

©2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

Related: Interpersonal Communications Data & Privacy

Hi Peeps,

It is not enough for Starbucks to charge $5.00 for coffee, now they want you to spend at least $62.50 BEFORE they even give you a reward!

Starbucks Coffee rolled out their “New” rewards programme today which does not bode well for our frugal team members. The former reward programme allowed registered users of their smartphone APP or card to obtain a reward after 12 stars. In order to sweeten the pot, Starbucks would email opportunities for bonus stars for certain purchases. Users received a full year’s membership when they obtained 30 stars in a given year.

The “New” Starbucks Coffee programme states that users will only get a reward AFTER 125 stars. Users will earn 2 stars for every $1 spent. By our calculation, that is $62.50. The “Old” reward programme provided one star for ANY purchase made on the smartphone APP or card. A tall tea purchase of $1.53 would have the same star value as a $5.45 venti Mocha Frappuchino . The same tea would not be worth a full star, according to Starbucks’ “New” rewards rule. The “New” rewards programme favours those who spend MORE.

The only good news about the “New” rewards programme is that you can capitalize on an EXTRA membership year. Just make ANY purchase using your registered Starbucks’ APP or card BY MAY 2, 2016.

END.

©2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne