No, not THOSE 300 (the Spartans – “Molon Labe”, etc.)
Those of you who have read this blog for more than a week (poor bast***s) know me well enough to know I was raised on TV and movies. I’m still hooked, and love nothing more than wasting my time in front of the idiot box selecting from either live television or the DVR.
Besides, I cannot afford to do much else.
And television has evolved from my childhood in the 50’s (3, 4 or 5 channels, shutting down at night with The National Anthem, followed by a ‘test pattern’ – youngsters, ask anyone born before 1960!) to a multitude of cable and satellite networks broadcasting 24/7, numbering in the hundreds, visible on flat digital TVs, tablets, PCs and even smartphones. From pretty much anywhere in the ‘civilized’ world!
Of course, much of it is crap! 😛
Didn’t Steve Martin say, “147 channels and nothing’s on.” ?
Of course, I can watch Underwater Argentinian Curling at 0300, if I choose! (just kidding, but not by much.)
I didn’t pay much attention to the actors of my youth (except the character actors – love them!), specifically, the number.
The few shows from Hollywood, those from NYC, how many actors were in that pool in say, 1956?
Fast-forward to 2016, with all this technology, with all these networks and shows, all these choices…
How many actors in this pool?
I contend it’s roughly 300. Because of my largely unscientific but copious viewing habits, I’ve noticed actor A on that series (lead) when that series gets cancelled, shows up on a new series (as a second lead) almost immediately!
And if THAT series gets cancelled, they magically appear in a third, almost immediately. As a special guest. One week, the guy’s a federal special agent, the next he’s a city cop. And in 13 weeks (or less) he appears as a metrosexual TV reporter.
Of course, most of these folks are extremely ‘talented’, (or at least pretty people!)
Look at Ted Danson. He began as a murdered cop in ‘The Onion Field’, Went to ‘Cheers’, then ‘CSI’, then ‘CSI Cyber’ and now ‘The Good Place’. With lots more in between.
It just seems I keep seeing the same actors in different roles on different shows in different seasons. Sometimes, it’s the only way I find out the previous show was cancelled!
And watching reruns makes it even more confusing. I just watched an episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent (2001-2011), with Michael Emerson (as the main bad guy). He has an ‘affair’ with Cara Buono, whom he ends up murdering. (Victim #3).
Move to Person of Interest (2010-2015). Michael Emerson is now Mr. Finch, the creator of ‘the machine’ who spies on everyone, and Cara Buono guest stars as Martine, whose job it is to assassinate Finch and his agents. While I’m certain Mr. Emerson put in a good word with the casting folks, it further acknowledges the almost incestuous nature of the 300.
And why there are only 300.
Well, back to the idiot box…
The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.
She, of course, is correct.
I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example. Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…
But these martial faux pas go back decades.
The Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!) And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example). And the movies! James Bond to Dirty Harry…
And thousands of other TV shows and films.
Weapon technique is terrible! Cup-and-saucer. Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand. Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!
Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip! Because it looks cool…
And the gun hand up next to the face. Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!
And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!
And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’. This is why women are generally better students. They don’t have to unlearn as much.
We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.
But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy. Remember T.J. Hooker?
Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television. Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.
My roommate and I differ slightly in which movies we like to watch to commemorate the holidays.
My roommate likes everything Christmas, especially SANTA CLAUS related. The three Santa Clause films (Tim Allen), Miracle On 34th Street (two versions), It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife – you name it, we’ve (I’ve) been
subjected relegated thoroughly enjoyed them over the past week or so. Some multiple times.
On DVD or BluRay, in Stereo High Fi…
Don’t get me wrong. I like some of those, in small doses. Some even get me a little misty…
But over-and-over tends to be a bit much. (Sorry J.)
I blame commercial television. Most networks essentially shut down production for the holidays, having fall or winter finales, promising new shows in February!
And giving us fewer choice in the likes of reruns, cartoons and the stuff enumerated above for our viewing pleasure.
It’s like Steve Martin said. 127 channels and nothing’s on.
For television addicts like me, it’s dire.
But, I found a way to counteract the Christmas movie doldrums. I’ve included in the DVD rotation, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard!
As was recently stated on Facebook, it isn’t really Christmas until Hans Gruber is seen falling from Nakatomi Plaza!
Merry Christmas to all you movie fans like me out there…
Long-time readers of my drivel will recall I seem to have attracted an inordinate number of friends, relatives and acquaintances named either BOB or DAVE. (One guy was even named Robert Davidson!)
This is about yet another Bob…
I met Bob P. when he was a guard supervisor for B**** Security. The Captain. It was his function to travel to all the guard posts, usually at night, making certain the security guard had arrived for duty, was in uniform, awake and not intoxicated. And to obtain a replacement should a guard call in sick, or just not show up. Or, replace the guard himself, if no one was available.
He got to know me, as I was one of the ‘regulars’ who showed up for duty, knew his job, and had some kind of education. He obtained permission from upper company management to make me his ‘second-in-command’. I became a lieutenant, obtained a small raise, and while continuing to work at my regular guard post three days a week, was tasked with doing the supervisor’s job the other two days. The idea was so that Bob could get two days off. Many ‘adventures’ ensued.
Bob was a large man, and had a deep, booming voice. And loved to listen to and sing operatic music – in spite of the fact he had been born in the South. Seriously, in another life, he could have been a professional singer or an announcer.
But, as it is with many people, Bob had a phobia. His was getting up in front of groups of people(!) Doing a long stint in the Air Force and traveling the World failed to cure him of that.
I followed Bob from B****, to D******* Security, and ultimately to TMCCC (in 1987). He knew I’d both education and experience in investigation, and figured if he could do it, I could.
He loved movies, and was the first of the people I knew to buy a VCR! It was a Magnavox, ran on vacuum tubes, and weighed a ton! I believe it cost around $1000 (in 1975). It took VHS-sized tapes, but the recording system had yet to be standardized. He had hundreds he’d recorded off television that were unwatchable when the machine burned up in the mid-80s. Lot’s of sci-fi and John Wayne.
We also shot competitively together in a league of armed security guards he helped form. He reloaded much of the ammo we used. We engaged in friendly competition – sometimes he would win; sometimes I would.
We worked together @ TMCCC for a number of years as credit card fraud investigators. He became involved in a number of ‘beefs’ with management and left the company, returning to physical security. He divorced his second wife, and married a younger woman. Then decided to move out-of-state and return to his Southern routes as a farmer.
We lost touch with one another. Ultimately, utilizing the Internet, I determined he had passed away from a heart attack in Las Vegas(!?) in 2005. I never found out what happened to his wife.
The reason all this came to mind was I remembered celebrating his 50th birthday, with a few other close friends. He had been born October 30, 1939, simultaneous with the Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of The War Of The Worlds. He would sometimes claim he was brought here by the Martians.
He was certainly out-of-this world.
I miss you, Bob. You were a good friend.
Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.
Because a majority of founders of Western thought were gay, Black women…
BTW, have you noticed more ‘persons of color’, homosexual, transgendered or perhaps gender-confused folks in your favorite television shows of movies?
NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.
I remember my Father (who had some bigotry issues) railing against the infusion of Black folks in 60’s and 70’s TV in much the same way. He said it was much the same in the 40’s and 50’s with Jewish people. They went from being 3% of the population, to a significant minority of those in entertainment media. (He, of course, forgot that the only work many Jewish folks could get was in the entertainment field!)
And it was much the same with Black folks. 13% of the population, but represented numerically larger in the entertainment media in the 70’s.
NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.
My questions are these: Does the actor bring quality to the role, or further the plot? Or were they just added because of political correctness?
And now we have this infusion of gay/transgender etc. folks. Some are quite entertaining, but in my humble opinion, some are just over-the-top. And included for shock effect and/or political correctness.
Which does a disservice both to them in their sexuality or color, and to the audience by their inclusion for political reasons.
Stepin’ Fetchit meet Myra Breckenridge.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some folks I find clever, and entertaining, regardless of ethnicity or bent. Others are just plain annoying. I won’t give you specifics – you probably have your own.
A couple generations ago, Black people were largely invisible, or stereotyped, and gays (etc.) were just flamboyant characters. No mention was made of their sexuality.
But now it seems we’re out of the box, for certain.
There’s a popular cable series about polygamy.
What’s next, pedophilia and bestiality?
Where do we go from here?
We should be inclusive of different cultures and sexuality. As long as it reflects percentages and social mores.
Of course, I’m a libertarian. (Until mandated) I can always change the channel.
I also love to hear when they are still alive, and kicking! So often when I hear about them, it’s in an obit, or an almanac mention of years ago, when they passed young.
Then, last night I came across THIS on Facebook:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday photo (yesterday, with cake) of LARRY STORCH at age 92 (today)! Those unfamiliar with Mr. Storch by name might remember Corporal Agarn in F-Troop, or the Maharishi presiding over the funeral in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., or a wonderfully inept criminal in an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Or the voice of Mr. Whoopee in his life long friend Don Adams’ cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo.
So glad you are still with us, Larry! And such a rich life…(link)
(Courtesy of Fill Yer Hands, in part)
In a landmark ruling today (08-16-14) in the lawsuit against Cinemark by victims of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, US District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that because they are Gun Free Victim Zones,
“the patrons of a movie theater are, perhaps even more than students in a school or shoppers in a mall, ‘sitting ducks.’”
This means that the owners of the Century Aurora 16 Theater should have known its patrons faced a risk, and taken steps to protect them, which they did not.
Perhaps this is FINALLY the beginning of the end of forced victim, free-fire, targets-of-opportunity zones. Now, if we can extend this to all schools, colleges, churches and government buildings, we can take back some of our sovereignty!
And our right of self defense.
…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.
Betty, if you need anything, please follow your own instructions!
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