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Pop Culture

Roger Ebert's righteous rant on Asian filmmakers’ self-expression is a poetic time capsule

"They do not have to 'represent' their people!"

roger ebert, justin lin, better luck tomorrow

Movie critic Roger Ebert speaking his mind at the Sundance Film Festival.

It’s been ten years since the world lost Roger Ebert to cancer, and his voice is sorely missed. Ebert had a pure love of cinema, and even though he was a film critic in a sweater with a Pulitzer Prize, he wrote and spoke in a way accessible to every man.

He didn’t care if a film was a Hollywood blockbuster or art-house fare; what mattered was whether it deserved his highly-coveted “thumbs up.”

Ebert was an extremely gifted communicator whose interests went far beyond film. In his later years, he often mused about music, politics, and American cultural events with the same eloquence, thoughtfulness and wit.


A great example of Ebert’s passion for film and artistic expression is his rebuke of a heckler at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival after a screening of “Better Luck Tomorrow.” The film, directed by Justin Lin, who went on to direct multiple films in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, is about a group of Asian American teens who are perfect students in class but do morally reprehensible things for money in the shadows.

The heckler lashed out at the filmmakers for showing Asian Americans in a negative light.

“Why, with the talent up there and yourself, make a film so empty and amoral for Asian Americans and for Americans?” the heckler yelled.

As the filmmakers gathered their thoughts, Ebert stood up to defend their rights to artistic expression. He also passionately spoke up for an artist's right to depict people however they like, regardless of their race.

"What I find very offensive and condescending about your statement," Ebert lashed out, "is nobody would say to a bunch of white filmmakers, 'How could you do this to your people?' This film has the right to be about these people, and Asian American characters have the right to be whoever the hell they want to be. They do not have to 'represent' their people."

The crowd broke out to thunderous applause as Ebert passionately supported the young filmmakers. Sadly, Ebert would lose his voice to thyroid cancer just four years later.

Ebert’s response was also a bold statement about civil rights. Even though, twenty years ago, Asian Americans were severely underrepresented in American cinema, that shouldn’t limit a Taiwanese American filmmaker from portraying them how he saw fit, even if the portrait was unflattering. What gives the heckler the right to tell Lin how he should depict Asian Americans on the big screen?

Ebert further supported “Better Luck Tomorrow” by giving it a glowing 4-star review and naming it one of his top films of 2003.

“‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ is a coming-of-age film for Asian-Americans in American cinema. Like African-American films that take race for granted and get on with the characters and the story, Lin is making a movie where race is not the point but simply the given. … Lin, who directed, co-wrote and co-produced, here reveals himself as a skilled and sure director, a rising star. … His film is uncompromising and doesn’t chicken out with a U-turn ending.”

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Family

'Broke mom' gives the 'holiday gift guide' that everyone struggling needs to hear

"Maybe we should all be a little bit more honest this holiday season because you don't know who you'd be helping."

@shawtgal49/TikTok

A broke mom" explains her personal "holiday gift guide."

Almost everyone, at least once in their lives, enters a holiday season with very little money to spend on gifts. Unexpected medical expenses, job loss, everything breaking down all at once—we’ve all been there to some extent.

And yet, when December 25th makes its way into the periphery, many put themselves further into the red by buying items that no way match their budget. Or, there’s a sense of shame when telling family and friends that it simply can’t be done this year.

But one mom is perfectly unfazed about owning up to whatever financial realities exist for her and her family, and she is encouraging others to have the same mindset.

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Secret millionaire left behind millions to his tiny hometown

The humble groundskeeper asked that the money be used for education, health, recreation or culture.

Canva

Geoffrey Holt left behind $3.8 million dollars to his town after his death.

With a never ending flurry of headlines recounting sordid tales of the wealthy, out-of-touch elite, it’s refreshing to see a story of personal riches truly being used to benefit others.

Odds are you haven’t heard of Geoffrey Holt. Holt lived a modest, frugal life, working as a groundskeeper to a mobile home park, where he also resided, in the tiny town of Hinsdale, New Hampshire.

Holt lived so frugally that he was known to wear threadbare clothes, ride his lawnmower about town in lieu of a car, and be more than content to spend his time either working or tinkering with his model automobile collection.

No one ever suspected this unassuming man was secretly a millionaire.

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@brett.gaffney/TikTok

Brett Gaffney recalls how his grandma's Christmas gift nearly got him arrested at the airport.

Look, when grandma hands you a special mystery gift, and tells you not to open it until you get home, you do what grandma says. Consequences be damned.

That was certainly the case for Los Angeles-based actor Brett Gaffney. Only his obedience made for some awkward moments at airport security.

In a viral TikTok video, Gaffney is seen at the airport, a large briefcase nestled beside him, as he explains how his Grandma had accidentally been trying to get him “arrested” with her surprise gift. Turns out, this gift had more than one surprise to bestow.
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Lilly and Evan share the joys of having 2 incomes and no kids.

The DINK phase of life is as carefree as can be. You’re with the love of your life. You have few responsibilities and that means more disposable income and time. So many people love the double income, no kids lifestyle that they are one of America's fastest-growing populations.

As of 2022, 43% of U.S. households were childless, a 12% increase over the past 10 years. Another study found that a majority of DINKs (51%) enjoy the lifestyle and say they have no plans for having any children.

This major change could be attributed to the attractiveness of having more money and time, but it also has a lot to do with the cost of raising children these days. A recent report from Lending Tree found that it now takes over $230,000 to raise a child over 18 years.

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Joy

Comedian's song about life in the 90s has Gen X giggling with nostalgia

Ah, the good old days, when you had to choose between the phone or the internet.

Sammy J took us on a trip down memory lane.

Those of us who remember life before the internet love nothing more than to share "back in my day" stories with today's youngsters who've never had to try to get somewhere without GPS. When we tell our kids about dial-up internet, they look at us the same bewildered way we looked at our parents when they talked about party lines. So much fun.

Nothing splits the generations like what was considered advanced technology during our formative years, and one comedian has encapsulated that divide in an ode to the 1990s.

Sammy J sang "You'll Never Know What It's Like" at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and had the audience giggling along with recollections of life in the 90s. Driving around in the car with a big book of maps? Check. Making a collect call to tell your mom to pick you up but avoiding the collect call charges by telling her where you were instead of saying your name? Check. Agonizing over whether to take a photo because you only have 24 shots in your disposable camera? Check.

Younger generations will never know what it was like to live so primitively, it's true. But Gen X does, and this song is like taking a cold plunge into a pool of nostalgia.

Enjoy:

People loved the musical trip to the past.

"Thank you for taking me down memory lane! It was a blast 😀" wrote one commenter.

But some couldn't agree on whether young people have it better today or had it better in the 90s.

"All true! If only our teenagers knew who good they have it!" wrote one person.

"Life was so so good in the 90’s I feel lucky it didn’t have to grow up in this era 😕," shared another.

"God I miss the 90s!" wrote another. "Both my daughters always say they wish they grew up in the 90s bc it seemed so much fun and it was!!"

Kids today really will never know what those days were like, but that's okay. They'll be singing their own "back in my day" songs someday and marvel at how much has changed since they were young.

Pop Culture

Taylor Swift praises 'gem' of a friend Beyoncé in a powerful display of female friendship

Swift was named Time's 2023 Person of the Year and used it to lift up other women.

photo by J.ébey/Wikipedia, photo by Angela George/Wikipedia

Tyalor Swift was recently names TIME's Person of the Year

On December 6, 2023, Taylor Swift was named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, not only for her achievements as an entertainer, but as a changemaker.

In an exclusive interview with TIME, Swift spoke on a range of topics, including overcoming challenges in her career, navigating being “raised up and down the flagpole of public opinion” and key relationships that made her who she is today—one being her friendship with Beyoncé.
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