Happy Father’s Day!!!


“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”
Pope John XXIII

“I know that I will never find my father in any other man who comes into my life, because it is a void in my life that can only be filled by him.”
Halle Berry

“I’m always going to love my father.”
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.”
Sidney Poitier

“The first World Cup I remember was in the 1950 when I was 9 or 10 years old. My father was a soccer player, and there was a big party, and when Brazil lost to Uruguay, I saw my father crying.”
Pele

“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass'; ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.'”
Harmon Killebrew

“One of the greatest gifts my father gave me – unintentionally – was witnessing the courage with which he bore adversity. We had a bit of a rollercoaster life with some really challenging financial periods. He was always unshaken, completely tranquil, the same ebullient, laughing, jovial man.”
Ben Okri

 

Quotes of the Day: Heroine FREYA STARK and Director Marcel Pagnol

“On the whole, age comes more gently to those who have some doorway into an abstract world-art, or philosophy, or learning-regions where the years are scarcely noticed and the young and old can meet in a pale truthful light”
Freya Stark quotes (French adventurer and explorer 1893-1993)

“Most people, after accomplishing something, use it over and over again like a gramophone record till it cracks, forgetting that the past is just the stuff with which to make more future.”

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.” — Freya Stark

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”
Marcel Pagnol quotes (French Writer, Producer and Film Director, 1895-1974)

Happy Holidays, Merry Mass of Christ and Improbable Heights

‘When you strip everything away from Batman, you are left with someone who doesn’t want to see anyone die.’ — KINGDOM COME by Alex Ross and Mark Waid

When I think of humanity in general, and the holiday season in particular it strikes me that that should be our goal. The pursuit of a world, where nobody dies in vain.

But the reality, particularly in America, this time of year is that with the eyes of the media diverted; government sponsored mass-murders actually ramp up, bombings ramp up (now of the drone and unmanned variety, machines murdering men.. what an unholy road we walk), the terrorism of the rich… ramps up.

I’ll not forget the media celebrating the death of Bin Laden. Death and Murder and Torture are never things to celebrate, no matter the justification.

While I am savage enough to know that killing may be a necessary evil, I am human and moral enough to know it is never a joy, never a victory, never a cause for celebration.

Be the murdered Bin Laden, or Hitler or insert bogieman here, bringing murder to murderers is never anything less than a soiling, and a failure, necessary though it may be, it is a failure of reason. And as such is a solemn time, not a glorious one.

Because to do otherwise, to take joy from death, and celebration from degradation and horror… is to devoid you of moral high-ground, is to make you (in ways stark and true) worse than those you would revile, worse than your Hitlers and Bin-Ladens. It makes you a lynchmob, a coward, and an opportunist of carnage.

We must strive to be better than that, otherwise your protestations of Christianity, and Holy Nights, and piety are just lies, are hypocrisy and mendacity most foul, that you use to conceal your roman desire to see people bleed and suffer and die.

You become that lowest form of life, a gibbering coward among cowards, you become nothing more than a grasping claw, a rolling eye, and a screeching mouth… in the creature we call lynchmob. And there is no lower, and ultimately, more inhuman form of life.

Our goal therefore must be to reject that, to reject the easy lies and the easy hates, and work toward this wildly improbable world where no one dies in vain.

But humanity’s very existence is an improbability, so we can bend that already fanciful existence to either improbable heights of good, or improbable depths of evil. We just have to pick a direction.

‘We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. ‘ — John Fitzgerald Kennedy when imploring men into space

Here, on this holiday season, more fiction than fact, ‘goodwill to all'; look into yourself and find what is hypocrisy, what is lies, and find it in yourself to make truths, and truly believe and act on this idea…. of a time of peace.

Here endeth the lesson.

2013: Day 2 – Back to Work :)

With most of us getting back to work, the first work day in the freshly minted 2013, I thought a few quotes on work would be timely. So without further ado:


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
Maya Angelou

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.
Earl Nightingale

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.
Abraham Lincoln

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
Thomas A. Edison

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.
Lao Tzu


THE TOP 3 Actor Ad-Libs of All Time!!!

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, Actors, their salaries aside, tend to have to put up with more than their share of disrespect. Generally from people that don’t have anything close to talent, and their only joy is pushing people from pedestals. The unwashed masses that have nothing but venom to spout about the personal lives of the Cruises or the Woods or the Gibsons.

As long as someone’s personal life isn’t affecting my life, or is not changing the laws or policy I have to endure, I don’t give a good darn. Someone wants to be a Scientologist or Mormon or the last Scion of Zion… more power to em.

I tend to give people more leeway than most. Mostly because though I don’t believe in much, I do believe that ‘let him without sin, cast the first stone’. So Romney needs to shut the eff up. :).

And getting back to actors, in particular, they are often seen as primadonnas, who get paid much and bring little. And no doubt there are the ones for whom that belief is completely accurate. But on the whole I think it’s something of an impressive calling.

To give everything, your hurt and your joy, to crowd and stage and screen.

Writers particularly tend to view Actors adversarially, ‘Don’t you dare change my line!’.

But when you have a committed actor, feeling the part, living the role, being the moment…their ad-libs, their additions…. can be priceless. Can be in certain cases, the most memorable lines of a film.

Three standout cases come to mind.

And counting down….

#3!!

PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID- I’ve mentioned this before, but can never get enough PAT GARRET & BILLY THE KID. :)

R.C. Armstrong, born in 1917, (95 years ago, and by all reports still going strong) delivered one of the quintessential lines in Pekinpah’s PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID. As is well documented, Pekinpah had a way of riling up actors to get a performance out of them, he did that with the 6’3″ mean as a rattlesnake R.C. Armstrong and Kris Kristofferson had the bad luck of being the object of that realism. :). R.C. bringing his fundamental upbringing into the crafting of this line…

“Your problem is you don’t know about Jesus! I’ll show you! I’ll take you for a walk across Hell, on a Spider Web!”

What an awesome line, next up….

#2!!!!

THEY LIVE- Roddy Piper’s biggest step from the squared circle, into the lights of Hollywood came with this John Carpenter film, and the wrestler turned actor attacked it. Giving a great performance in a great film, opposite the always impressive Keith David. But even more than his performance, it’s probably this line he added, that stood out for a whole generation of people seeing the film—

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

heh, heh, heh, I never get tired of that line (A really close followup to that, from the same movie is..“Life’s a b*tch… and she’s back in heat!”. Aww that roddy Roddy Piper! :) And the number #1 Actor Added Line of ALL Time IS!!!!!

Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner!!!!!

BLADE RUNNER- Rutger Hauer seeing the climatic scene of Ridley Scott’s chaotic production needed something, came up with this, my favorite bit of ‘not in the script or the book’ writing, that anyone has brought to the table—

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Well all three actors take a bow. Your Awards are being kept safe for you, until you ask me for them :).

As far as you writers, you can all stand suitably chastised. And all you film fans… go out there and treat yourself to a classic flick!!

Enjoy!!! And remember (leaving you with one more Actor Added line)…

Who Loves Ya Baby? :)

WEEKEND UPDATE : ON THE HORIZON


“New Orleans, you should know, was a city tailored to my taste for the excessive, exotic fringes of life, a world port of such extravagance in 1829 when I arrived from southern Illinois — a newly freed bondman, my papers in an old portmanteau, a gift from my master in Makanda — that I dropped my bags and a shock of recognition shot up my spine to my throat, rolling off my tongue in a whispered, “Here, Rutherford is home.” So it seemed those first few months to the country boy with cotton in his hair, a great whore of a city in her glory, a kind of glandular Golden Age.

She was if not a town devoted to an almost religious pursuit of Sin, then at least to a steamy sexuality. To the newcomer she was an assault of smells: molasses commingled with mangoes in the sensually damp air, the stench of slop in a muddy street, and, from the labyrinthine warehouses on the docks, the odor of Brazilian coffee and Mexican oils. And also this: the most exquisitely beautiful women in the world, thoroughbreds of pleasure created two centuries before by the French for their enjoyment. Mulattos colored like magnolia petals, quadroons with breasts big as melons — women who smelled like roses all year round. Home? Brother, for a randy Illinois boy of two and twenty accustomed to cornfields, cow plops, and handjobs in his master’s hayloft, New Orleans wasn’t home. It was Heaven.

But even paradise must have its back side too, and it is here (alas) that the newcomer comes to rest. Upstream there were waterfront saloons and dives, a black underworld of thieves, gamblers, and ne’er-do-wells who, unlike the Creoles downstream (they sniffed down their long, Continental noses at poor, purebred Negroes like myself), didn’t give a tinker’s damn about my family tree and welcomed me as the world downstream would not.”
— From MIDDLE PASSAGE by Charles Johnson

Middle Passage PB

Middle Passage Unabridged CD

Well hope everyone is having a great weekend. On the docket today, I’m going to make time to finally post the WHISPERER IN DARKNESS dvd review. That should be up around 5pm so come back for that.

We also have a wacky news segment that takes a look at entertainment on the horizon.

And finally we’ll be doing our Comic and Book Bonanza, and all of it kicks off at 5pm today, so come-on back now! Y’all here? :)

Best Comics Ever! John Byrne’s FANTASTIC FOUR!

I’m just going through some of my old comics, and am catching up on John Byrne’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR.

It has to be years since I’ve looked through some of these books, but some of the images and lines are ever quotable in my head.

But Byrne’s run, beyond the sound-bytes in my head, not only holds up, but reread it remains just fantastic comics (no pun intended).

John Byrne will be the first to praise Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s seminal run on the Fantastic Four, and I am a huge fan of that run, but John Byrne’s FF is all that magic just polished a bit, and is my personal favorite. It’s a phenomenal body of work with Byrne both penciling and writing. It does peter out a bit in his last couple years on the book, but those first 3 years from issue 232 to roughly issue 270, are just essential comics.

And all the more impressive because this was one man, writing, penciling, and often inking these comics, a crushing workload to try and do monthly… any one of those things, how he managed to do all three for YEARS, (and do all three brilliantly, this wasn’t today’s hack artist or writer just throwing anything at the wall. Byrne was bringing his A game every issue) is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Whatever you think of Byrne the man, for his often abrasive opinions, Byrne the creator is the real friggin deal. He’s the Iron Man (As in Cal Ripken, not Tony Stark) of comics, and Fantastic Four is the best of a lauded and laudable body of work.

If you’ve never read the issues, I highly recommend picking up the recently released John Byrne FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS here!

Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus – Volume 1

Like a Believer… SPOOKS Season 1


Tom: I pulled him.

Harold: You what?

Tom: He’s not reliable.

Harold: The great Peter Salter not reliable??

Tom: It was the way he said… “Obedience to the State”

Harold: What way?

Tom: Like a believer.

–From Season 1 Episode 4 of SPOOKS

SPOOKS was one of the wave of anti-terrorist shows that proliferated in the wake of September 2001.

And to a man, I had no interest in those shows then, and less so now. For the most part they were then, and are now the worst type of jingoism.

Very lowest common denominator, circle the wagons, storytelling.

However, SPOOKS offers something a bit more complex. The distance of the pond, the distance from America, offering a more mature level of storytelling that shows like THE UNIT or NCIS. or any variety of CIS or LAW & ORDERS, can’t touch.

That said the first episode was okay, but didn’t wow me. I wasn’t crazy about the casting or the general feel, so had definite doubts, a B- episode.

But with episode 2, I became a believer. As that episode, showed with decisiveness, this was a show that was taking no prisoners. One of the best episodes of Season 1. A-.

Episode 3- Sees a Turkish Embassy held hostage. Well done episode. B.

Episode 4- The team looks to crack down on any demonstrations during Bush’s visit. An episode that could have been awful, made strong because the strength of the show isn’t in the specifics of the case, but in the lives of those who must walk the line. B+.

Episode 5- A meandering episode, the main story never manages to quite captivate, about illegal arms dealing. However, The interesting part is the side stories, as both the Zoe and Danny storyline (my favorite part of the whole episode), and the Tom storyline take sharp turns to compelling and save this episode from a lower grade. B+.

Episode 6- Is where a lot of plot threads come together an excellent episode, about MI5 caught between two enemies, the old and the new, with a fantastic ending. B+.

Episode 7- The night of the long knives continues, as in the wake of last episodes insanity, the stakes get raised even more. An amazingly packed, dense episode that feels like a 2hr season ending movie, rather than just the standard episode. Very good. B+.

Episode 8- MI5 must find and stop angels. A nest of angels. The threat of suicide bombers in the heart of London. Man that was harsh. In previous episodes Tom has been through a lot, and this continues his… “long day’s night”. Great episode. B+.