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Miami Vice Redux?

I LOVE(D) MIAMI VICE! (the TV show – the later movie, not so much)

The girls, the guns, the music, the gritty (for then) plot lines.  Being a young married guy at the time, who was shooting I.P.S.C. on Thursday nights, Friday evening was just right for kicking back and imagining my suburban life rebooted as Sonny Crockett.

NBC program director Brandon Tartikoff had put out the request for a new show with the memo:  Give me MTV Cops!

I’d admired the lead actor Don Johnson since A Boy and his Dog, and the fact Michael Mann (the producer/creator who had done the film Thief) hired experts to show the actors proper gun handling and techniques made this TV show too cool.  The Galco custom holster, the Bren 10 pistol (used by Johnson one year, until they could no longer get magazines!), the ubiquitous Weaver stances, Jan Hammer’s music…

Now. Johnson (@ age 64) is himself envisioning a Miami Vice reboot!

The stubbled star talks about being showered with women’s underwear and why the Reagan-era series is ready for a reboot (Rolling Stone)

I loved the show, but, what are they going to call it – Geriatric Vice?

h/t Jerry the Geek

Ethics

We have been watching Madam Secretary, a new TV show this season on CBS.  At first, the idea of the show distressed me, because I was thinking it was a stalking horse for you-know-who, especially if it was produced in the manner of The West Wing (a show some years back with Martin Sheen as the Prez).

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to a stalking horse.  However…

Episode 3 (shown last week) dealt with ethical issues.  In short, the Secretary’s husband, a university professor, was placed in the middle of a diplomatic crisis when an American (who was caught spying for the U.S. in Pakistan, from info from a Snowden-like leaker) was scheduled to be executed.  The professor could stop the execution by giving a Russian diplomat’s daughter an ‘A’ instead of her earned ‘C’, so the Russian would be convinced to give their version of an American missile to Pakistan (under the table, of course).  (Ah, diplomacy!)

The professor’s course was (ironically) in Ethics, and he said he would be violating all he stood for by giving this bribe so the spy’s life would be spared.

The Secretary of State (who was trying to manipulate the Pakistanis, the Russians and her husband) finally convinced her husband he would not violating his ethics if he allowed the Russian’s daughter to take an incomplete (after the approved time for grades), thus her grade point would not be affected, and she could retake the course.

And ultimately, the American would be freed.  And he was.

Now, I recognize this is only a television show.  And I recognize in the real world, many times things are shades of grey, rather than black and white.

But, this is being sold as okay?  Ethical?

At least we know where the ‘real’ Madam Secretary’s ethics stood.  She was fired as an attorney on the Watergate Committee for “lying and unethical behavior”.

And the second episode of the TV show was entitled “Another Benghazi”.

Hardly a stalking horse!

Have Gun – Will Travel

I’ve been finding enjoyment on our satellite television with the On Demand feature.  While the choices are numerous, the quality choices are limited, however.

I just finished watching virtually all the episodes of  Night Court.  I met Harry Anderson once, he’s great, and it’s great stuff.  And John Larroquette won three Emmys for his roll as the slimeball D.A. Dan Fielding.

paladin1Having completed that, it was time for something different.  They do have Have Gun – Will Travel.  Not the first of the ‘adult’ Westerns in the 50s, but certainly the second.  (The first having been Gunsmoke).

Richard Boone’s hard living hadn’t yet completely ravaged his once handsome face.  And the stories are not just gratuitous violence, they are morality tales for a simpler time.

I do mean the 1950’s, not the 1880’s…

I often chuckle at a childhood memory surrounding this, though.   When the show started in 1957, I had just began school and was reading, reading well.  But there were many words I didn’t yet understand.  What kind of a stupid first name IS WIRE, anyway?  :-)

paladin

 

 

What A CRUMMY Week!

…and it’s only TUESDAY!

Personal stuff aside (higher humidity making havoc of my arthritis, for example) there’s Robin Williams gone.

And tonight, the news about Lauren Bacall…

She was the one woman who could tame Humphrey Bogart, and did so, giving him two children and a number of films together.  She was sultry, and had a sexy voice that sizzled off the 40’s movie screen.

And didn’t take any s*** from anyone, all while showing class today’s young actresses could only dream about.

R.I.P.

Betty, if you need anything, please follow your own instructions!

Suicide Is Painless

Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H.  It’s ironic.

It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people.  And caused THEM pain.

As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish.  You do, too.  As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.

And there’s the rub.

I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.

But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?

Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured?  Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?

When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children.  And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.

And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life.  And Vincent Van Gogh.  And so many others.

If you have such issues, please get help!  Know that there are people out there who care.  And that the World would be lacking without you.

h/t The Actor’s Studio

“What A SQUARE!”

When I was growing up, I wanted to join The Boy Scouts.  They seemed cool, but, I was too young.  There was The Cub Scouts, though!  And one could evolve into a Boy Scout from there.  I convinced my parents I should join.

I think I was in the Fourth Grade.  I became a Bobcat, a newbie.  My parents never even sprung for a full uniform, just the shirt, bandana and cap.  And I had to walk about a mile to my den mother’s house on meeting days.  At least I got to hang with other boys my age, and we sometimes did cool stuff.

But, soon, my den mother moved away, and no provision had been made for us to transfer to another den.  By default, I left.  No Boy Scouts for me!

But one of my fondest memories of The Cub Scouts was the Scout Oath.  Not the solemnity or the promise.  The language.

Maynard

Maynard

In the early 60’s, the counterculture wasn’t yet tipified by the hippie.  It was the beatnik that brought societal scorn.  As typified by the character Maynard G. Krebs on The Dobie Gillis Show.  (the G stood for Walter, it was silent!)

When something was mainstream, whitebread, uncool, the beatnik said it was SQUARE.

And The Cub Scout Oath (of that era) was:

I, _________, promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To be square, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.

Now, sometime after 1964, the changed the oath to read to help other people, instead of to be square.

I wonder if that was because every boy jack of us said the oath as follows:

…To be a square…

Not really comprehending what being square meant.

Being on an extremely limited disability income, I sometimes (often) find myself in a financially uncomfortable situation.  Often a week or more before my stipend is due to arrive.  I wish I could say it was because of extravagance, but more often than not it’s because of a math error.

Fortunately, I am sometimes assisted by my friends.  I am most blessed.

And yes, today, I AM SQUARE.

I AM ALSO A SQUARE!  I need one of these!

beatnik

The Tate-LaBianca Murders

sharon tate1Today is the anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of actress Sharon Tate and her friends.  Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the murder of the LaBiancas, also by The Manson ‘Family’.

You may visit the wikilink above for the particulars.  Make certain you are of strong stomach before so doing.

(I originally was going to post unedited crime scene photos here.  Decorum said to do otherwise.  Those with such an interest may find them on Google or Bing.)

These brutal and gruesome murders of West Coast elite took place in 1969 California.  By persons using guns and knives against others who had no means of self defense.  In their own homes.

And that’s my point.

These folks had no reason to suspect massive home invasions were about to occur against them.  And while California had restrictive firearms laws in place then, possession of them in one’s own home was pretty easy.

And none of those victims availed themselves of their rights.

This is not intended to scare you, unnecessarily.  It IS, however, intended to scare you necessarily.

Even if you don’t want to carry a firearm with you in your travels, it behooves you to get an ‘appropriate’ one, learn how to use it and keep it in your home.  Just as you would a fire extinguisher.

Home invasion crime is at an all-time high.  If it happens to you and your family, I hope the miscreants are just looking for valuables, not torture, rape and murder.

Guess you’ll have to ask them when you see them…

James Garner RIP

This just in…

garnerJames Garner, a TV and film legend whose career spanned over 60 years, just passed away @ age 86.

Of course, in my circles he’s most remembered as Jim Rockford, the reluctant private-eye who never made much money in The Rockford Files.  But there’s so much more.

Maverick – TV

The Americanization of Emily

The Great Escape

Eight Simple Rules

and one of my favorites…

Rest-in-Peace Jim.  You were loved by millions, and one of the few pretty boys who progressed from leading man to character actor with aplomb!

You will be missed.

Today in History, Again

Many of you know part of my daily routine is to visit Ref Desk and view the subheading Events, Births, History.  This almanac sometimes educates me, sometime shocks me and sometimes amuses me.

And some days just seems replete with events – births, deaths, famous stuff.

Like today.

A few select examples…

Birthdates which occurred on July 03:

1883 Franz Kafka Czech, author (Metamorphosis, Trial, Amerika)

1913 Dorothy Kilgallen Chic Ill, columnist (What’s My Line?)

1941 Gloria Allred feminist attorney

1943 Geraldo Rivera aka Gerry Rivers, nosey newsman (Geraldo)

1962 Tom Cruise Syracuse, actor (Risky Business, Color of Money, Rainman)

Deaths which occurred on July 03:

1969 Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns to death at 25

1971 Jim Morrison rocker (Doors), dies of heart failure in Paris

1981 Ross Martin actor (Mr Lucky, Wild Wild West), dies at 61

1989 Jim Backus actor (Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), dies at 76 of pneumonia

On this day…

1841 John Couch Adams decides to determine the position of an unknown
planet by irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus
(insert joke here)

1861 Pony Express arrives in SF with overland letters from NY

1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes “The Adventure of Black Peter” (BG) (insert joke here – I know, I’m a sick puppy!)

1898 US Navy defeats Spanish fleet in Santiago harbor, Cuba

1911 Ty Cobb hits in his 40th straight game. Does not get a hit next day

1915 US military forces occupy Haiti, remain until 1934

1939 Lou Gehrig day; Gehrig makes “luckiest man” speech

1950 1st time US & North Korean forces clash in the Korean War

1976 Israel launches rescue of 103 Air France crew & passengers being
held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers

1988 US Navy shoots down Iranian civilian jetliner over Gulf, kills 290

Other days, not so much.

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. R.I.P.

As Broderick Crawford represented the Highway Patrol, and Lee Marvin the M Squad (Homicide), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. WAS the FBI in the FBI TV Series.

During Hoover’s last years, when we had Cointelpro, Mr. Zimbalist played the G-Man to a T, the ideal J. Edgar only dreamt of.  He was even gifted by the Director with retired FBI Agent credentials!

Efrem_Zimbalist_JrOf course, he was also the head PI @ 77 Sunset Strip, first!

Mr. Zimbalist was 95(!)

We’ll miss you Lewis Erskine and Stu Bailey.  Remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

 

 

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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