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Found 17 results

  1. DonRocks

    Dec 7, 1941

    When you hear the date Dec 7, 1941, two words instantly spring to mind: But something else happened on that date also. From the very first scene in the film, "Shoah" ...
  2. ESPN SportsCentury Documentary on Stan "The Man" Musial - the legendary hitter from "way out west" in St. Louis - perennially underrated due to his distal locale, but beloved by connoisseurs of the game as one of the all-time greats. Stan Musial: superstar, role model. In case anyone notices the discrepancy between the duration of Musial's Career (22 years) and that he's a 24-time All-Star, it's because from 1959-1962, MLB played two All-Star Games a year. "Stan Musial is geographically challenged - had he played his career in New York, we would have called him Lou Gehrig." -- John Thorn
  3. Today is Virginia Woolf's 136th birthday. She has been a great inspiration to my style of writing (when I begin a sentence, I almost never know how I'm going to end it), and I owe her a debt I could never repay. Google has a doodle to commemorate this great writer's 136th birthday here. Please feel free to chime in with your own Virginia Woolf stories and inspirations.
  4. I just noticed to my horror than neither I nor anyone else ever started an Otis Redding thread. Well, now I have. Let me say up front that I don't like, and never have, "Dock of the Bay," Otis's biggest hit which was released just weeks after his death in a plane crash. The plaintive tone of the song and the fact of the singer-songwriter's recent death are what propelled the song to the top of the charts in 1967. I think it's really a ho-hum piece of material, and it has never ceased to bother me that, contrary to what I was taught at home, it uses "dock" to mean "pier" or "wharf" --an eternal no-no, like calling "foot and mouth disease" "hoof and mouth disease", or calling Welsh rabbit "Welsh Rarebit", or saying "My name is Mr. Browne". ("They call me Mr. Browne" would be perfectly acceptable, but "Mr" is part of no one's name.) If someone cares to link to "Dock of the Bay" they may go ahead and do so, but I won't. But among my favorites:
  5. I'm sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, but people may had noticed that our flags were at half-staff. President Obama ordered this to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941 ("a day which will live in infamy") - the attack killed 2,403 Americans, and directly led to America entering World War II Within one hour of Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech on Dec 8, 1941, America issued a formal declaration of war against Japan (as I write this, today is the 75th anniversary of America's entry into World War II - something which was entirely justified, and has not been repeated since (and I say this with *full respect* for the victims of 9/11 - both events killed about 3,000 people). The reason I said it "has not been repeated" is because Pearl Harbor was an act of war; 9/11 was an act of terrorism (there is a fine line between the two, but 9/11 changed how we must think going forward; WWII was much "cleaner" in terms of defining the job which needed to be done). This post is written in honor of our military personnel, with an emphasis on those with relatives who died at Pearl Harbor, and a strong emphasis on all those who died that day. God bless all of you. and thank you for saving my life by giving up yours. (I apologize for my awkward writing in the previous sentence, but I'm a bit addled right now, as I've been up since 3:30 AM, and am getting very sleepy.)
  6. Since I recently watched "The Maltese Falcon," I decided to have a go at "Suspicion," both films being from 1941. The glass of milk scene was my favorite part of the film - it was Hitchcock at his best. *** MINOR SPOILER FOLLOWS *** I didn't realize until after the movie that Cary Grant's menace is developed by Hitchcock by never having him walking into a scene; he merely "appears" - I'm not sure if that hold true for the entire film, but apparently, it happens quite a bit. Grant's performance was terrific - both childish and increasingly creepy as the film progressed. Will he or won't he?
  7. Strictly speaking, Eric Burdon was the lead singer of "Eric Burdon and War", not of "War", which existed outside his participation with it. Eric Burdon had no role in "The Cisco Kid", which was recorded by War, on their great album The World Is a Ghetto, which was entirely Burdon-less. Don't get me wrong: I love Eric Burdon, but only for the work he actually did.
  8. It's incredible that I'd never before seen "The Maltese Falcon" (it's one of those films where you're not sure if you've seen or not, but I hadn't). Turner Classic Movies has embarked upon a project where they're slowly releasing classic films in dribs and drabs onto the big screen - one, maybe two, a month - and out here in San Francisco right now, "The Maltese Falcon" is playing only four times (two days this week, twice each day). I am *so* glad I saw this on the big screen. I really wasn't expecting all that I got from this film, but I thought it was wonderful. It was Humphrey Bogart's first leading role. It was Sydney Greenstreet's first role period (he was in his 60s, and made his Hollywood debut). It was the first major effort in the film noir genre, and I can't imagine anyone but Humphrey Bogart playing Sam Spade. It was a delightful hour and forty minutes, and I simply cannot compare this with Star Wars: The Force Awakens I saw two days before because I liked this infinitely more. Stepping out of the theater, I felt like I saw a *movie*; not rode a ride designed by computer-effects specialists at Walt Disney. You can call this film noir if you want, but it was also a character study, with virtually no character being portrayed in black-and-white terms. This was the films 75th anniversary, and oh, how Hollywood has fallen backwards in so very many ways. (I'm not saying in *all* ways; when I say "no character being portrayed in black and white terms," I could have also said "no black character portrayed" except maybe a bellhop.) At one point in the film, Humphrey Bogart burned a piece of paper in an ashtray, and we couldn't figure out what it was, or why he was burning it - has anyone seen this film recently? This film is based on Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel of the same name, and was actually the *third* version of the film released by Hollywood (there was one in 1931, and one in 1936 (*) Bette Davis), but this is reportedly the best of the three by far. (*) To tie this post in with restaurants, I swear to you that the 1936 film, entitled "Satan Met A Lady," featured none other than Arthur Treacher. Yes, *that* Arthur Treacher.
  9. I can't handle much more than Dubliners (which I'd *love* to discuss with someone if they started a topic about it, hint hint hint) ) - I picked up Ulysses once, and put it back down after about ten minutes, realizing I'd never finish it.
  10. I almost posted this in "Who are you drinking to", but it's probably better here. Maurice White, founder and presiding genius of the group Earth Wind & Fire, died yesterday. They were among the great musical acts of the 1970s. Here's one of their greatest recordings:
  11. Pete Rose has apparently applied for reinstatement to baseball. Sorry, Pete, but it's called Rule 21.D. It's posted in every major league clubhouse. Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible. Please, Commissioner Manfred, do the right thing and tell him to suck ventworm balls.
  12. I love the effortless way these two sing this song, and how beautifully their voices blend. The message is timely, too. Peace on earth.
  13. I'd say "he's a smart guy" assumes facts not in evidence. But yeah, naming something after James Madison is just the same as calling a football team the Redskins. Please. Back before the Montreal Expos actually moved to Washington and acquired their current team name, there was a lot of speculation about what the team name would or should be. I always argued that, in the spirit of the name of the NFL team, they should be called the Washington Darkies. Would that have been okay with Will? If not, what distinction would have made "Redskins" okay but put "Darkies" out of bounds? Sorry to seize on this one point in your moving reflection on your young, lost friends. As to what Will would say about a school full of black schoolchildren named after Justice Taney, he would pretend not to hear the question.
  14. Our members seem to be attracted to strong females, so you all might be interested in this relatively minor, semi-decent, somewhat-obscure classical pianist named Mart(h)a Argerich from Argentina. Here she is at age 67, playing Scarlatti's D-Minor Sonata, K141. It's only 3 1/2 minutes long, so drop whatever you're doing and watch this: All kidding aside, if you don't know about her, learn. Learn as much as you can. I'll post more about her if you promise to do your homework.
  15. I promise this is not a political statement, but I have never been able to finish an entire George Will column. Speaking *only* in terms of his writing, I agree with Herschel: Will was incredibly boring to me thirty years ago, and he's just as boring to me today. There have been several times when I've started one of his columns, determined to finish it, but I've given up in the middle - even when the column has been about baseball.
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