Thursday, July 01, 2004

Media Watch: That Bollywood crib of Strangers on A Train is called Soca -- The Thought That Kills "Soca to me! Soca to me! It ended up being a pretty lousy movie.
Speaking of "Sock It To Me!" I enjoy seeing Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In on Trio Network. The earlier shows are MUCH funnier than the later ones -- they started "Jumping the Shark" by 1970. Jump The Shark - Chronicling the Moments of When TV Shows go Downhill
Lily Tomlin breathed a little life into it, but she's critical of her contributions, saying: "I think there was something in the water then."
Ain't nearly as bad as Pink Lady and Jeff from the late 70's, which Trio is running as part of FLOPS Month. Jump The Shark - Click on SEARCH - they have this show as one of the WORST!
Tomlin was a major stage and screen star when that waste of video was on the air, but she damn near sank her career doing a crappy flick with John Travolta, though. Luckily she was in Nine to Five and All of Me before the 80's were over.

Charity Alert: The Hunger Site : Give Food for Free to Hungry People in the World

Weather: Thunderstorms and rain seemed to wake up EVERYBODY last night. More on the way!

Wildlife: Bears were sighted near the Old Steel Bridge public fishing spot on the Flathead River, about five miles to the east of us.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Wildlife: Four baby Killdeer birds were scurrying around on Buckboard Lane, near the bottom of our hill. There's a Killdeer nest two doors down from us, so we are hoping to see more of these tiny Plovers close at hand after the 4th of July.

Weather: These evening thunderstorms are getting noisier and drier. Drop some rain, if you're gonna make such a racket!

Charity Alert: The Animal Rescue Site : Feed an Animal in Need

Media Watch: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy featured an openly gay client for a change. As Carson Cressley once said about their straight clients (paraphrased): "They may do different things in the bedroom, but they're all just guys."
This episode was proof that straight folks do not have a monopoly on slobbiness.
Bollywood "Action" (i.e. violent) movies still have their share of singing and dancing. We were watching a rip-off of "Strangers on a Train." (Maybe intended as a tribute to Hitchcock's classic -- the acting is good at least.)
We've also seen a crib of "Body Heat," and a rather fun robbery of the "ET" idea.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Wildlife: A Great Blue Heron flew right over our heads as we paddled our canoe on Middle Foy's Lake. We counted at least four families of ducklings -- the only adult males we saw were a Redheaded Duck, and one Horned Greibe.

Charity Alert: C'mon, this is easy! The Rainforest Site: Help Save Our Rainforests!

Weather: Hot weather, for this place, with big thunderheads building up every day. There's less rain, but it's cooler when the clouds are overhead. Mugginess is an unfortunate trade-off. Dry thunderstorms mean forest fires -- keep raining, please!

Media Watch: A Book TV re-run yesterday evening on CSpan -- unusual. It was a panel of historians from January 2004 discussing, among several items, Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson. Yep -- many of HER kids are HIS kids. From the 118th annual meeting of the American Historical Association, a panel discussion on biography and history writing. The panelists are Joseph Ellis, Annette Gordon-Reed, David Levering Lewis, John Lukacs, and Robert Remini. Moderating the panel is Lynn Hudson Parsons
Mr. Ellis called the (absent) Christopher Hitchens a son of a bitch. Ellis' opinion happens to be true, and it's too bad he apoligized at the end.
Boy, the right-wing facists sure hate Prof. Ellis for his historical conclusions!
Here's one mistake he shouldn't have made, though: (2001) Joseph Ellis,historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, admitted in June that he led his students at Mount Holyoke College to believe that he had served as a paratrooper in Vietnam, when in reality his three years of service had been spent teaching history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was also accused of embellishing his role in the civil rights and antiwar movements. He was subsequently suspended from Mount Holyoke for one year without pay and stripped of his endowed chair. Ellis won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for history for "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation." In a statement Ellis said, “I deeply regret having let stand and later confirming the assumption that I went to Vietnam. For this and any other distortions about my personal life, I want to apologize to my family, friends, colleagues, and students.”
This was a good BookTV: June 27, 2004 Thomas Frank, author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?," argues that Republicans have been able to gain the support of large numbers of poor and working class people in America by tapping into their sense of outrage over liberal cultural values. He says that while Republicans almost never act in the economic interest of the working class, they are able to effectively overhype issues like prayer in school and abortion to convince the working class to vote for them. Once in office, says Frank, Republicans accomplish little on the cultural front, but have great successes when it comes to economically aiding the rich. Includes Q&A.
Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 was the box office champ over the weekend. That fact alone is significant. Fahrenheit 9/11 | In Theaters Now!
We also watched his 1997 film The Big One on IFC, and saw his interview on 60 Minutes. He has definitely matured beyond his old well-meaning stunts.

I recorded the Ouest for King Arthur on the History Channel -- a fair amount of "Dark Ages" history that was fun to see summarized: Quest for King Arthur
There's yet ANOTHER dawg-assed "Camelot" movie coming out, Clive Owen, the movie's leading man, diffidently introduced the "Quest" documentary, while Patrick Stewart boldly narrarated it. King Arthur -- The Official Movie Website
When in the heck is the movie industry going to tackle Mists of Avalon? Mists of Avalon
It would probably fail, like most novel adaptations, but maybe it's worth a try -- sometimes a good movie comes out of the attempt.
Rod Goodall of Footsbarn Theatre convinced the company to do another Arthurian romance around 1979. They'd previously tackled Tristam, the story of a Cornish knight who was part of the Arthurian legend cycle as well.
There's quite a tourist industry in Cornwall built around these old stories, and that's where we lived. After my time, Footbarn moved to Hallworthy, Cornwall, near Camelford, on the Camel River, where there are some real excavations dating from Dark Age Britain.
I guess I should mention the tourist traps of Launceston and Tintagel on the north coast of Cornwall, but we didn't have much to do with them. They have some impressive Norman castles that have served as romantic Arthurian backdrops for about a century!
Check out Footsbarn's website under PRODUCTIONS: Footsbarn - Welcome