Saturday, February 01, 2014

Wonderful moments of "Justified"


This week the writers threw in two very funny moments in Justified.

The first one was when Tim, after jumping onto a car after a large dog had chased him said something to the effect of something coming "between me and my Calvins."

That got an immediate hoot.

The second one was when Tim and Boyd opened a scene with Boyd saying "You can challenge if you want."  They were in the middle of a Scrabble game. The juxtaposition of Scrabble with hard-scrabble Kentucky and the criminal element personified by Boys was a wonderful nugget of humor which is so often found in this very engaging television show.

Bravo writers and cast.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Eleanor McCullen--Saintly Grandmother or Harasser?

Watching Eleanor McCullen stride towards (or away from) the Supreme Court building last week, one is struck by her words, something like: "I speak with love..."

Really? Who says?  Ms McCullen?  The person seeking a legal medical procedure or someone accompanying her?

Ms McCullen's "love"--in case the Person doesn't feel it or want it or need to hear about it, what is she to do?

Not for an instant is it a question of Eleanor's right to speak her love; the question not being asked is whether or not Person has the right not to listen to Eleanor nor to have Eleanor harass her on her way to a medical appointment.

Pregnant women seeking an abortion should be protected from the Eleanor McCullens of this world. Surely the decision to seek the procedure is difficult enough without some termagant driving knives into the psyche of a woman in distress.

Eleanor might look elsewhere for a target to harass:
Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
Maybe Eleanor should look to nature to harry.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

He died in my sleep

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50 years ago, an elderly couple lived next door to my parents. One day my mother told me that the woman had awoken that morning to discover her husband, lying next to her, had died during the night. “He died in his sleep.”

Some 20 years later, mother was in the last stages of Parkinson’s disease. Her breath was labored to the point that early one morning, around 3 a.m., my father was awoken by the silence which filled the room when she had stopped breathing. My father never, to my knowledge, said, “She died in her sleep.”

Interesting concept that, “died in sleep,” isn’t it?

How do we know that either my mother or her neighbor died without awakening? Surely the possibility of a last second awareness of the finality of the process exists? Surely the brain, responding to diminishing stimuli could/does/must trigger  an alarm to itself that something major is amiss?

Surely there’s a good chance of a last “Ah,” “Oh,” “Hmm,” “No,” or “Yes, thank you.”

“He died in his sleep” is such a nice euphemism; it’s comforting. It allows an escape from dealing with the problem of final moments and how they should be—must be?—faced.

It would also be more accurate to say, as my father implied, “She died in my sleep,” and more realistic.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Euphemisms

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How can we not like euphemisms?  Shoot!  Fudge! Heck! Oedipus Rex!

A friend of mine came up with a new one recently.

He’s a person who loves to spend money, occasionally to the point of being unwise, occasionally needing a small boost from an acquaintance.

Here’s his latest:  “On Friday, could we exchange checks for $200.00?  Mine will be good next Wednesday.”

“Exchange checks.”  Excellent.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Brooks to the non-rescue…again.

Poor David Brooks. He just can’t seem to let go of the past.

Here’s a link to his latest The New York Times mini-screed.  In it, Brooks bemoans the individualistic times in which we live and years for a return, as Republicans these days are wont to do, to the 1950s.

Brooks longs for a return to “…commitments to family, God, craft and country.” Hm. Well, three out of four “ain’t bad.”

Family, craft and country one could understand.  God? The anthropomorphic God of the “Book?” Really?

We should commit to the metaphors of people who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago? Who dealt with life-threatening natural conditions the likes of which we have come to understand and deal with them successfully? The metaphors which wouldn’t stand the scrutiny of a skeptical analyst? Ask the families who are survivors of religious sectarian killings; what would they say about commitment to God? (Other people keep getting in the way that commitment, and no one can rationally explain why.)

Change the metaphors; use metaphors which fit the intellectual evolution of the species.

Then talk about commitment.

Otherwise, Mr. B., deal with the status quo, not the status quo ante.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

J’accuse!

A very simple indictment of the current Republican Party can be found in two elements, both provided by the Party establishment itself.

1). The “We Built It” logo

2). The absence of reference to Pres. George W. Bush

“We Built It” is in the past tense.  So, the question is What is the “it” the Republican Party has built?  Whatever it is, it must exist now, because they speak of its completion. They must be speaking of the legacy of past Republican administrations.

There is an odd leap, however, between today’s Republican claims and the previous administration most called-upon today. And that leap is from 1989 to 2010.

Missing from Tampa’s Republican history are the administrations of Bush père et fils, one of which raised taxes in order to have a legitimate, responsible history, the other…well, you know: he vastly enlarged the size of government, government spending, and presided over an illegitimate war which was the offspring of a matrix of lies.

WE BUILT IT  Indeed, you did. And you’re ashamed of it.

As well you ought.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Does Dave read his own work?

Poor David Brooks. He tries so hard, yet so often shoots himself in the foot during the effort.

Take this quote from his column today:

[Obama’s] economic advisers have generally touted the benefits of globalization even as they worked to help those who are hurt by its downsides.

All of Brooks’ argument in this column can be refuted by taking the final two clauses of the quote as a basis for your argument’s construction.

The difference between the visions of capitalism of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney which we see in today’s political arena is exactly that Mr. Obama is working to help those who are hurt by various policies which might or might not be necessary in a capitalistic system.

As Brooks writes, “[Romney’s] an efficiency expert.” He does best what is best for the business plans under which he works. His vision with Bain had not been broadened to include helping those who might fall to the dictates of a theory.

We live in a society with a social contract which demands we all take responsibility for our actions. Sometimes it means giving a helping hand to a person we knocked down.

Brooks knows that, and, in that quote, he inadvertently gives the strongest possible negative take on Romney he could have given. The question remains, Why didn’t Dave realize that when he published?

Trust, but verify.

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