We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, July 5. 2017
I could never figure out if Christopher Plummer was any good. He's been a fixture in movies I like to watch for a long time. He wouldn't get carved into any cinematic Mount Rushmores or anything, but he was always hanging around. He's more important than a That Guy in the movies, but I have trouble picturing people plunking down the shekels because his name was above the fine print on the poster.
He was Kipling and Arthur Wellesley and Rommel to good effect. He flounced around as Commodus pretty well in The Fall of the Roman Empire. The Sound of Music was approximately the most successful movie ever made, so it looks good on a resume, but he was just a bright moon in Julie Andrews' orbit in that one. The Battle of Britain is movie worth rewatching, but he's hardly the star of it. And no one pays any attention to anyone else when Peter Sellers is eating the scenery, so his turn in the Pink Panther series is also a secondary one. He and Cato have to fight it out for second place.
I got the impression he takes himself pretty seriously. Or, perhaps, wants us to take him seriously. That can be deadly. It leads to Charlton Heston trying to do Julius Caesar (shudder). Plummer has also declaims Shakespeare, but only in places where Canadian pigeons act as critics, so I have no idea to what effect. He's Canadian himself, and they ladle awards and titles all over him, but I don't know if that matters. They give statues out at random these days, based on a virtue-signalling order I can't bother to figure out.
So I get this movie Barrymore. It's a more-or-less one-man-play set to celluloid. Plummer is John Barrymore, a famous actor you never heard of if you're under the age of 93. Anyway, it's Barrymore ten minutes before his liver became an insuperable sea anchor. Washed up, bank account hoovered by Hoover and alimony. A man who made a bundle in bad movies, got serious about his work, and became a formidable Shakespearean stage actor. The movie is just Barrymore, wandering an empty stage with a reader offstage to give him cues. He wants to do Richard III, one last time, but he has to prove to some backers that he can still find the lines in the fog of his alcoholism. He still needs the work, every which way.
So Plummer plays Barrymore, a man born to a stage family, who works in Hollywood for dough and entree to the high life, but who wants to be taken seriously. Plummer has a chair or two, a drinks cart, a rack of costumes, and a basket of swords and flyswatters to work with, and a man in the canyon of the curtains to yell something back when he yells LINE! That's it. Plummer has to conjure up a man, bigger than life, then make him small, and somehow resurrect the greatness in fits and starts. He has to cook envy and pity for the audience on a hobo stove while they wait.
I now know if Christopher Plummer is any good.
On to the links!
People who have never been backstage think show business is glamorous.
Hmm. I was unaware that the British Seaside had a bright side.
Identity thieves don't honor HIPAA rules? And an obese clerk with Mary Tyler Moore clothes and Post-It notes all over her monitor isn't good at safeguarding your medical records? I'm shocked. This is my shocked face.
Whoah. Back up. There's a river in Los Angeles? Who knew?
I think Dropbox flummoxes the modern tech investor, because it appears to make money.
Proof positive the Democrats are in the wilderness. Oh, and a mobile phone video game designer is their Natty Bumppo. Good luck with that.
Have a lovely Monday again today.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"Germany should brace for further attacks given growing numbers of potential Islamist militants," that is strange, as a 30ish German guy assured me that Merkel was the savior of Germany. He also assured me that Germany didn't have an immigrant problem and that they had self deported. I informed him that many in the United States were afraid for the German people...............he got up from his seat so he wouldn't have to sit next to me.
What a terrific new idea, rethinking the Dem Party:
Didn't the Chosen One already take this slogan up back in 2012? I was savoring the irony then.
For the past 8 months I've been watching an infantile temper tantrum of plague proportions unfold, thinking to myself that this was the biggest and sorriest collection of sore losers our culture has ever seen. But more and more I realize these aren't just sore losers; they're losers, period. They can't even string together an interesting debate, a thought-provoking argument, or even just a constructive dialog any more. They've rendered themselves irrelevant.
It's about now they should be cannibalizing themselves, but for some reason there not. Perhaps they haven't even the fortitude for that.
Molossia- Makes me want to buy property right next to it and set up another micronation. History in the making right there!
Torchland Uber Alles!
Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
execratione maledicta congessit Punicis
Who groans beneath the Punic Curse
And strangles in the strings of purse
Before she mends must sicken worse.
Her living mouth shall breed blue flies
And maggots creep about her eyes
No man shall mark the day she dies. — Robert Graves
CNN has lost their mind: they are going after private citizens now for making joke memes. Blackmailing a person into compliance because they didn't like his pro wrestling meme.
Guess going after truly powerful people was just too hard for them so now CNN is going on witch hunts to destroy random people who annoy them. Nice work.
JM01: Blackmailing a person into compliance because they didn't like his pro wrestling meme.
The redditor's apology for trolling, including racist and anti-Semitic posts, seemed quite sincere, as was his request not to be identified.
I understand he is 15. I'm not surprised that having a billion dollar corporation come after you could be scary,
Mike-K: I understand he is 15.
You understand wrong. It's just something you heard in the right-wing echochamber.
Once again another fallacious red-herring. Your shtick is old, your trolling material tired.
"Racist" and "anti-semitic" by whose definition. Today almost anything can be described that way if it offends someone. The only standard should be is it free speech and thus protected under the 1st amendment. Not what some individual or organization decides is offensive. This is the slippery slope of thought crimes and so-called "hate crimes". If we had a honest Supreme Court with real judges this argument would have been put to rest soundly long ago.
I might add the largest purveyor of racist and anti-semitic speech is the left (BDS, SPLC, BLM, NAACP).
GoneWithTheWind: "Racist" and "anti-semitic" by whose definition.
By the ordinary definition. You know, the one you find in the dictionary. And by the redditor's own evaluation:
“I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and antisemitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life."
GoneWithTheWind: The only standard should be is it free speech and thus protected under the 1st amendment.
While racist and anti-Semitic speech is generally protected by the First Amendment, that doesn't mean that people can't express an opinion on its content. Otherwise, the First Amendment has no meaning.
Express an opinion! Absolutely but to coerce or blackmail into silence, NO!
""Racist" and "anti-semitic" by whose definition.
By the ordinary definition."
What 'ordinary definition'??? The one thing the far left has proved over the last couple of decades is they find anything and everything they disagree with to be racist or misogynist or sexist or homophobic, etc. The standard you refer to simply does not exist. It may have once but it clearly does not now. AND THAT is the point. The loony left has redefined language and words and flags and statues to the point that no one knows what is verboten and what is acceptable.
GoneWithTheWind: What 'ordinary definition'???
We told you already. The one found in the dictionary.
anti-Semitism, hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group
Oh! You mean like Obama did when he was president.
CNN is getting theirs. I saw over at Gateway Pundit a string of new GIFs and videos showing the CNN logo attacking the Reddit alien.
They are going to regret their thuggish behavior as those will live on the internet and are always going to be interesting to watch and rerun.
Amusingly, the Trump/CNN logo clip was of pro wrestling, which apparently many on the Left and in NYC (and downtown Atlanta) don't realize is a performance just like a play at Shakespeare in the Park. It's art, just like stabbing an actor made up to resemble Trump is also art. WWE is just a lot more entertaining if we go by fans.
JK Brown: WWE is just a lot more entertaining if we go by fans.
Perhaps, but a lot less enlightening. In Julius Caesar, the actions of the assassins are shown to be self-destructive of their aims. Pro wrestling is the rage of the mob without Shakespeare's insight.
This is CNN...
Not sure if it's a 15-year-old kid, most reports are saying it's a grown man, but CNN's strong-arm tactics do shine clearly through. Nice anonymity you got there. Nice privacy. Be a shame if sumpin' happened to it.....
I do know one thing for absolute certain. If CNN is withholding his identity, he can't be Russian.
I've seen the LA river, or rather, its concrete channel.
I don't know much about English short stories, but I do like short stories.
The Met tour was interesting. Even in passing it easy to see the leech trade union guys and their uncooperative attitude.
But most interesting is that capitalism and industrialization has created so much wealth so many can be employed in entertainment and supported well, by those who produce the things needed for all to survive.
Yes, the Soviet Union and Communist China had the "arts" but then those not privileged in their society suffered in misery for simple things like bread and heat.
I'm sure the socialists that no doubt prevail at the Met would be horrified if they realized their existence is a monument to the glory of capitalism.
"I don't know about how popular short stories are right now. I do know the covers of a Harry Potter book are too far apart."
Telling that is as movies are just short stories. Sure sometimes they "adapt" a novel, which means stripping it down to a short story.
Harry Potter is an amusing diversion, but I've never understood adult fascination with a juvenile story that never obtains any mature complexity of the storyline or depth of characters other than Harry Potter. It's a child's view of the world with most ceasing to exist if it is not in the child's sight.
Christopher Plummer in the Sound of Music was dreamy for all of us young ladies. He was very nice to look at in his younger day and doesn't do such a terrible job in the acting department, so he works for me. ;-)
Not too shabby for lugging around stage crap.
From The N.Y. Slimes:
"The stagehands of Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees bring some of New York City’s most glittering stage effects to life, from the auditoriums of Lincoln Center to the theaters of Broadway.
Those high costs were underscored by a stagehands walkout in 2013 that forced the cancellation of this season’s opening night at Carnegie Hall and called attention to the hall’s five full-time stagehands’ total yearly compensation, an average of more than $400,000 each. An examination of tax records, contracts and other documents by The New York Times found that hefty stagehand salaries at many New York nonprofit performance institutions are more widespread than was previously known.
At nine top such institutions that have contracts with Local 1, stagehands make up 36 of the 98 most highly compensated employees, or about 37 percent. The average annual total salary and benefits of those highest-paid stagehands, at places from the Metropolitan Opera to the Roundabout Theater Company, is nearly $310,000, according to the nonprofits’ most recent tax filings."
"Tillerson calls for 'global action' to stop North Korea nuclear program"
I was watching the Korean news from Seoul last night (both KBS at 7:30 p.m. and SBS at 9:00 p.m.). Although South Koreans have pretty much ignored the prior provocations, partly because they were focused on their presidential election, this one now has them at the freakout level. Both half-hour news programs were 100% on the 미사일 (missile). My Korean is not good, but certainly I could hear "missile" over and over again. And it was nonstop video of the missile being launched, as well as video of the infamous North Korean lady announcer, 리춘히, going at it regarding the launch:
The concern is not so much this launch, but the programs emphasized that it is now clear that N. Korea has the present capability to attack the U.S. (Alaska, Hawaii or California) with a nuclear missile, so the likelihood of a U.S. first strike against N. Korea and large-scale war has escalated seriously. (I think the seriousness of the nuclear threat against America is largely still being hidden from us by our government.)
The situation is complicated now by having a brand new Korean president, President Moon, who is viewed as a liberal peace-nik and wants to negotiate with Kim Jong Un. The prior president, President Park, was much more of a hardliner. But she is now in prison for corruption (mainly turning a blind eye when her friends engaged in corruption).
The article talked about Seoul having a population of 10 million, but that's just the city center. Add in the surrounding areas and it's about 20-25 million; about 40% of the population of S. Korea lives in Seoul or commuting distance.
The article also talked about American service personnel in harm's way. Essentially, they are hostages and a "tripwire" in this dispute and have been so since the ceasefire, since any violence against them by the North would require retaliation against N. Korea by the U.S. But obviously they could suffer large casualties in the event of an invasion or artillery attack from the North. I know from what several friends tell me that American military and intelligence personnel have been on high alert for at least the last month, and a lot of folks are putting in very long hours already dealing with the possibility of a war.
China is still the key. Essentially, we need to have an understanding that they can send in teams to assassinate Kim Jong Un, and that we agree that they will have the primary responsibility for selecting a replacement leader. Unfortunately, the most likely candidate, Kim Jong Un's brother who was pro-China and lived in exile in China or Macau, was recently assassinated by Kim Jong Un. Kim also previously killed one of his uncles who was pro-China.
We may have our disputes with China, but there is no question in my mind that they are a very rational government and are just as worried about this as we are (or should be). An attack on Seoul would instantly destroy S. Korea's economy, and the resulting shockwave could probably take down the economies of much of Asia, including seriously damaging China. It would obviously also have a serious negative economic impact on the U.S.
One likely consequence of NK's ICBMs is that we will probably develop and deploy a anti-ICBM missile system. It's already being explored/tested. Needs work; not ready yet, but we can do it and we probably will. Now don't get me wrong it won't make the world "safe". BUT it will make it likely that we could survive a nuclear exchange (or partially survive or at least survive better than any attacker) and THAT is a game changer.