Baby Boomers: Falling asleep anywhere we can

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Baby Boomers: Falling asleep anywhere we can
By Ray Hanania

Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were doing an interview with A FOX TV affiliate in Tacoma promoting their new movie “Now You See Me.”

During the interview, as you’ve probably already heard, Freeman appears to nod off as Caine is responding to questions from the reporters.

Freeman probably did wink off there for a few seconds. He’s 75 years old, for Pete’s Sake. (Why is it always “Pete” that we care about?) Anyway, at least the TV reporters were respectful and didn’t embarrass Caine or Freeman any more than they may have been just being broadcast on TV nodding off.

Of course, these days, the game is getting attention. And frankly, had Freeman not nodded off during the interview, seriously, would any of us had even heard or bothered to read anything about the new movie “Now You See Me?”

Maybe it was a clever publicity stunt to give the movie some attention. It’s not like a 75-year-old popular actor nodding off is a bad thing. Every Baby Boomer knows what it’s like to nod off.

When I was young, maybe 9 or 10, I was riding on the CTA bus on Jeffrey Avenue heading downtown with my mom and sister and I remember often seeing older people nodding off on the bus ride. That wasn’t the embarrassment, of course. What was embarrassing was when those people nodding off started to drool from one side of their mouth while they were napping on the rollicking bus ride with it’s fast stops, loud motor grinding, driver yelping out the major intersections, and the car noises from all over.

Actually, that that distraction creates a kind of a “buzz” environment making it easier to nod off. It is easier to fall asleep with noise in the background. I can’t sleep without the TV being on. And thankfully for technology, I can set the sleep timer. Or actually, my wife sets the sleep timer.

On the ride home at night after many hours of walking Chicago’s Loop and browsing through Goldblatt’s bargain basement, Marshall Fields window browsing, or hanging out at the little café in Woolworths on State Street, I was sleepy too and would doze off, too. And probably drooling as I dreamed, too.

So Morgan Freeman dozing off at 75 on FOX TV isn’t so bad at all. In fact, it did give the new film a lot of media buzz and news coverage.

The film’s main star is Facebook character Jesse Eisenberg. According to the IMDb online database of films, it’s about “An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.”

Sounds interesting.

Freeman is one of my favorite actors. Michael Caine is a great one, too.

Maybe a few more of us should take a moment to doze off. It could have some positive benefits, like preventing conflict or craziness that plagues our world today. If more of us were sleeping, maybe bad things wouldn’t happen as often.

I don’t know. I like to find something positive in everything, even something that really is insignificant, except to the mainstream media which can’t exist without exaggerating and twisting and beating up things and people.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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