25 Favorite TV Theme Songs…..Part 2

tvmusicWelcome to Part 2 of my Favorite TV Theme Songs. Please check out Part 1 if you have not already done so. I will remind you that these choices reflect my own unique taste and life experiences. You may agree or disagree with my rankings. Please leave me comments (be nice) suggesting your favorites that I may have skipped over. Now on with the show!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Frasier
Frasier’s theme song was actually played during the closing credits, which seems a bit counterintuitive. I assume there were two reasons for this though. First, jumping right into the show at the beginning rather than playing a theme song might possibly maybe kinda sorta provide a small advantage over the competition in gaining the viewership of people, like my Dad for example, who flip thru channels like a crackhead with the attention span of a gnat. Secondly, maybe it keeps the attention of viewers at the end of the show and helps whatever program comes next. Anyway, Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs was a nonsensical tune that had to have been written by someone who was high and thought it was h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. I spent a decade watching the show and trying to figure out exactly what in the heck it meant. I still don’t know. What I do know is that the tune, sung by series star Kelsey Grammar, is unique and obviously memorable.

 

 

14 The Addams Family
They’re creepy. They’re kooky. They’re altogether ooky. They are the Addams Family of course!! You’re snapping your fingers right now aren’t you?? The show was based on a series of cartoons that began appearing in The New Yorker in the 1930’s. It only lasted two seasons in the mid-60’s and was off the air before my father had even met my mother, but thanks to syndicated reruns in the 80’s I came to love it and its infectious & quirky theme song.

 

 

13 WKRP in Cincinnati
The WKRP theme song spins a tale. It’s about someone (presumably program director Andy Travis) who is writing to an ex-girlfriend hoping that maybe she thinks of him occasionally even though they weren’t meant to be. He has apparently had an unstable professional life of which he has grown weary but has finally settled down at this pugnacious little station in Cincinnati, OH. The song may not fully set up the premise of the show, but it does tell a story and I like that. These days listening to the WKRP theme makes me wistful. It makes me long for the days when sitcoms were funny and songs on the radio were awesome. Those were good times.

 

 

12 The Dukes of Hazzard
When I was a kid I LOVED The Dukes of Hazzard. I still do. Various TV stations broadcast reruns with some regularity and I watch whenever I get the chance. Country music has never frosted my cupcake, but I definitely dig the Dukes theme, which was composed & performed by the legendary Waylon Jennings (who also narrated the show). Good Ol’ Boys, which actually reached #1 on the country charts in 1980, solidly outlines the program’s premise, telling us that these two harmless guys are always in trouble with the law because they fight the system like two modern day Robin Hoods. They just don’t make shows or write theme songs like this anymore. Such a shame.

 

 

11 Friends
I’ll be There for You was a one hit wonder for a pop duo called The Rembrandts. It’s an upbeat, rockin’ tune that might have been a hit all by itself, but if not for Friends it would have never existed. The song was written by the show’s producers, who originally offered the opportunity to sing it to 80’s alternative rockers They Might Be Giants (who went on to do the theme for Malcolm in the Middle, which I never watched). After that didn’t work out the song was offered to REM, which would have been really awesome, but that didn’t happen either. The Rembrandts, despite their cool band name, never really achieved any lasting success, but I’m sure they are pleased with the residual checks that keep rolling in. The lyrics perfectly describe life for a 20-something (and in my case my 30’s and 40’s thus far as well). Your job is a joke, you’re broke, your love life is dead, it seems like you’re stuck in second gear, it hasn’t been your day, month, or year, and your mother warned you that life has a way of bringing you to your knees…but your friends will be there when it rains because they understand what you’re going thru. It’s a rather deep song for a television theme, and one that I really connected with back in the 90’s.

 

 

10 Welcome Back Kotter / The Facts of Life
Yep…you guessed it…we have another tie. Welcome Back Kotter is a criminally underappreciated program. Everyone knows it launched John Travolta’s career, but aside from that it rarely gets the attention it deserves. One fantastic element of the show that, along with the Travolta connection, has remained in the American pop culture consciousness is the theme song that was composed & sung by John Sebastian, former lead singer of The Lovin’ Spoonful, the band that brought us the 1966 chart topper Summer in the City. It’s a breezy, laid back, very 70’s tune that tells us that Mr. Kotter is originally from Brooklyn (as a matter of fact he was an alumnus of the high school in the show and an original founding member of The Sweathogs) and that he has moved back after his dreams were his original ticket out. I don’t recall if the show ever explained where Mr. Kotter had gone to, what those dreams were (getting an education? becoming a teacher?), or why exactly he felt compelled to return. I suppose that would have been a bit heavy for a sitcom. The Facts of Life was a spinoff of Diff’rent Strokes and lasted an amazing nine seasons. The theme song taught us all that the facts of life meant taking the good with the bad, that they were all about you, and that it takes a lot to get them right. The song was composed by songstress Gloria Loring and her then husband, actor Alan Thicke. Loring sang the Facts theme, while Thicke crooned the other song they’d written…the Diff’rent Strokes theme.

 

 

 

9 Laverne & Shirley
For the record, a schlemiel is what a clumsy blunderer is called in Yiddish. I suppose we may refer to them as a screw-up. Schlimazel is the Yiddish term for an unlucky person. Hasenpfeffer is German rabbit stew. I’m not sure which of Laverne and Shirley was the screw-up and which one was the unlucky one, or what rabbit stew has to do with anything. But let’s face it, that little bit of Eastern European gibberish takes what would have otherwise been an ordinary theme song called Making Our Dreams Come True and makes it one that we’ll always remember.

 

 

8 The Jeffersons
Movin’ On Up basically tells us the premise of the show. We know that George & Louise Jefferson had been neighbors of All in the Family’s Archie & Edith Bunker in Queens. When the spinoff was created George, the well-to-do owner of a dry cleaning chain, and “Weezie” moved to Manhattan. They moved “on up to the sky”, aka a penthouse apartment, finally getting “their piece of the pie”, their “at bat in the big leagues”. I’m not really sure about fish not frying in the kitchen or beans not burning on the grill. Maybe rich people were supposed to stop eating those things?? Anyway, anyone who grew up in the 70’s & 80’s and watched too much TV is familiar with this particular theme and likely recalls it with affection.

 

 

7 The Tonight Show (Johnny Carson)
A few weeks ago former Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen made a guest appearance on the Jimmy Fallon incarnation of the program. At 87 years of age Doc looks like he has hardly grown a day older than he was two decades ago when Carson abdicated his throne as King of Late Night and the entire television landscape changed. As a nod to Doc’s tenure with Carson the house band played the show’s old theme song, the one so closely identified with Carson’s reign. It was a brief but cherished trip down memory lane. The song itself has an interesting history. Toot Sweet was a tinny melody written by Paul Anka in the 50’s. Anka & Annette Funicello dated briefly and she covered Toot Sweet (with lyrics) in 1959, calling it It’s Really Love. When Carson took over The Tonight Show in 1962 Anka revamped the tune into Johnny’s Theme. You did not know that. Wacky wild stuff. Hiyoooooo!!!!

 

 

6 The Beverly Hillbillies
In the 1960’s CBS was home to a plethora of shows that catered to a rustic, small town target audience. The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, Mister Ed, Petticoat Junction, & Hee Haw were all set in rural areas with simple, goodhearted country folks as the centerpiece. The Beverly Hillbillies added a fish-out-of-water element to the mix, transporting its family from the hills of an unspecified southern locale to the posh neighborhood of Beverly Hills. The Ballad of Jed Clampett explains that the poor mountaineer had been out hunting when he hit oil (black gold, Texas tea) and became a millionaire. His family encouraged him to use his new wealth to move to California, because I guess back then that seemed like some sort of nirvana, as opposed to the economically & morally bankrupt cesspool it has become. At any rate, the storytelling lyrics combined with some really catchy banjo music has made this particular theme song one of the most beloved in television history.

 

 

5 The Andy Griffith Show
Did you know that the TAGS theme song has lyrics?? I had no clue until a few years ago when Andy Griffith passed away and my buddy Conner, as big of a fan of the show as myself, posted the song on Facebook. The Fishin’ Hole is pretty much what you’d expect…a story about chillin’ out at an idyllic fishing spot. I’m not sure who made the decision to not utilize the words for the TV theme, but it was a brilliant choice. Instead the song is whistled, which just adds to the pleasant & tranquil vibe of the show. I can’t whistle, but if I ever learn how I think I’d just have to perform the TAGS theme for myself on a daily basis. That’d make me happy.

 

 

4 The Flintstones
I wasn’t a huge cartoon fan as a kid, but I did enjoy a few, one of them being The Flintstones. It’s amazing to think that it was a prime time show back in the early 60’s. There is a scene in the 1987 Thanksgiving classic Planes, Trains, & Automobiles where John Candy & Steve Martin are riding in a bus and the rather extroverted (some might say borderline obnoxious) character played by Candy is getting everybody interested in a sing-a-long. He asks Martin’s somewhat aloof character to pick a song, and when he does his best to sell the passengers on the old Sinatra standard Three Coins in the Fountain they all look at him like he just escaped a mental institution. Candy takes over and immediately gets the crowd into a rousing rendition of the Flintstones theme. It’s just that kind of song. Like several other beloved TV themes it is an excellent introduction to the show itself, literally inviting us to meet this modern, Stone Age family from Bedrock and promising that we’re going to have a yabba dabba doo time, which of course we all know by now is a good thing.

 

 

3 Gilligan’s Island / The Brady Bunch
This is our final tie and it seems appropriate for various reasons. Both shows were created by the same guy. Gilligan’s Island aired for three seasons in the mid-60’s, while The Brady Bunch was on the air for five seasons in the early 70’s. I became familiar with both shows because they aired regularly in syndication throughout my childhood. Occasionally you can still find them today on channels like TV Land and Nick at Nite. Both shows are looked at with equal amounts of fondness & derision because thru the prism of our modern culture (the one that has made stars out of Justin Bieber & The Kardashians and thinks reality TV is cool) they seem hokey & trite. Each theme song outlines its show really well and introduce us to every character. The lyrics for both songs were written by series’ creator Sherwood Schwartz. And both theme songs are well-known and cherished by multiple generations.

 

 

2 Cheers
The older I get the more I appreciate class & sophistication. I suppose everyone probably defines those things a bit differently, but I think most people know it when they see it. The Cheers theme songs sets a tone. The show takes place in a bar, and that can mean a variety of things depending on one’s life experiences. This tune clearly establishes that this particular bar is a friendly, relaxed, pleasant, tasteful place to hang out. Where Everybody Knows Your Name communicates that Cheers is a place where people “are always glad you came”, where everyone understands that life can be tough and that sometimes you just have to “take a break from all your worries”. It doesn’t promote “partying” as most young people understand that term, and I can’t recall any character on the show…not even constant beer drinker Norm…becoming intoxicated and doing something stupid or illegal. Unrealistic?? Sure, but that’s fine by me.

 

 

1 The Love Boat
Finally…we’ve reached the summit!!
I’ve never been on a cruise, but I want to try it sometime and that curiosity is, in part, because I grew up watching The Love Boat. I am comfortable enough with my machismo to admit that I never really enjoyed virile tough guy shows like The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, Simon & Simon, Miami Vice, Magnum P.I., or Knight Rider. I am a lover, not a fighter, and prefer the simple half-hour comedy, but occasionally I can be roped into dedicating an hour of my time to a program, especially if it has the kind of quirky charm present in The Love Boat. The theme song was composed by prolific songwriter Paul Williams, known to those of us of a certain age as Little Enos Burdette in Smokey & The Bandit but whose real career includes writing The Carpenters’ hit We’ve Only Just Begun, An Old Fashioned Love Song as sung by Three Dog Night, & the awesome Rainbow Connection for The Muppets. Love Boat was performed by jazz crooner Jack Jones and was meant to evoke the idea of a lounge singer on a cruise ship. Mission accomplished. The song has a disco undertone reminiscent of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, but also kind of a big band vibe. It doesn’t really detail the premise of the show except to say that the ship “soon will be making another run” and that “it promises something for everyone”. It advises us to “set a course for adventure” and get our minds on romance because love is a) life’s sweetest reward, b) exciting & new, & c) will float back to you if only you let it flow. Now I am old enough & jaded enough to realize that all that is a bunch of poppycock, but it does sound really cool. I am not ashamed to admit that occasionally…when I am alone of course…I will randomly belt out Love Boat, but you should be glad your ears will never be exposed to such cruelty.

Trivia Tuesday…..Chapter 8.15

Greetings friends. Not much to pontificate about today. I’m not feeling quite as encouraged as I was a few weeks ago. It’s funny how perception knowledgechanges so quickly. Just trying to grind thru what now does seem like a long & miserable winter, as I’m sure most are. My local airport recently announced direct flights to Myrtle Beach, and I’d be tempted to hop on a plane ASAP. Unfortunately they are only offering “seasonal” flights beginning in June, so that plan ain’t gonna work. At any rate, for those of you who were smart enough to move to warmer climates like Florida, The Carolinas, Atlanta, & Texas many years ago…kudos. To those of you who, like myself, decided to live your days in a place where icy roads, school cancellations, & ear infections are realities of life for atleast 1/3 of the year…what were we thinking?? Ah well…c’est la vie. Enjoy some knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

movies&TVWhen SNL began it was officially known as NBC’s Saturday Night. Another show existed called Saturday Night Live, hence the iconic opening line being worded, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.” The other show was a primetime variety hour called Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell and only lasted one season consisting of 18 episodes from September 1975 to January 1976.

 

 

history&geography

 

The border between Mexico and the United States is the second largest border in the world. Only the U.S.-Canadian border is longer.

 

 

sportsThe America’s Cup yacht races originated as the Hundred Guinea Cup in 1848 and became known as America’s Cup in 1851 when a vessel from the New York Yacht Club christened America ventured to England and beat out 15 other competitors to win the trophy.

 

 

history&geographyThe Japanese kamikaze (“divine wind”) tactic was suggested on October 19, 1944, by Vice-Admiral Takijiro Onishi in an attempt to balance the technological advantage of invading American forces. Though the numbers are disputed, approximately 2,800 kamikaze pilots died during WWII. They sunk 34 U.S. ships, damaged 368, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded 4,800.

 

 

food&drinkDuring the Alaskan Klondike gold rush (1896-1899) potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners would trade gold for potatoes.

25 Favorite TV Theme Songs…..Part 1

I feel sorry for today’s youth on a variety of levels. I just don’t think their childhoods are nearly as cool as mine was. Of course I am sure parents said the same thing about our generation. Anyway, one of the things that kids miss out on these days is memorable TV theme songs. The powers-that-be figured out a decade or two ago that they could add 30 seconds or a minute to a show (well…okay…let’s be honest…it’s all about additional commercial time which means more money) by trimming down or eliminating the theme song and having the opening credits run during a show’s first scene. And even if a program does still have a theme song I’m not sure how memorable it becomes since everyone is watching things online or recording stuff on their DVR and fast forwarding thru the show. Certainly tvmusiccommercials have lost their value, but that’s a topic for another day. We’re here to talk about TV theme songs…the ones that were attached to shows that have been off the air for decades but we can still hum the tune and remember the catchy lyrics. These songs set the mood and in many cases explained the entire concept for the show. They will sometimes creep into your mind for no apparent reason and stay there for days, like an eel from Ceti Alpha V. The tunes listed here are, more often than not, affiliated with an equally awesome show…but not always. There are cases where a theme song is way cooler than the television program itself ever was. As with any kind of subjective ranking like this the choices are obviously influenced by the era in which I grew up as well as my personal preferences. Readers who may have perused my 50 Favorite TV Shows a few years ago will…understandably…recognize a lot of crossover.

 

 

 
Honorable Mentions: Peter Gunn (I never saw the TV show, and associate the song more with the movie The Blues Brothers), MASH (hauntingly beautiful but kind of a downer…I mean come on…the song is called Suicide is Painless), Mission: Impossible (I’ve never seen the show or the Tom Cruise movies), Barney Miller (a cool, jazzy tune that just didn’t make the cut), American Bandstand (an infectious song for sure), The Munsters (I’m not sure why a show about monsters had a catchy surfer theme song), Taxi (simple, elegant, but not as memorable as many others)

 

 

 

25 Happy Days
Happy Days actually had two theme songs. For the first couple of seasons it was Bill Haley & The Comets’ classic 1954 anthem Rock Around the Clock. hdAfter that an original song was recorded that is close enough in vibe & style that the difference between it and Clock is almost imperceptible.

 

 

 

24 Three’s Company / Full House
3This is our first tie…but not the last. Both shows…as well as their theme songs…are guilty pleasures. Many won’t admit that they full_houseenjoyed them but we all know that enough people did that they were each on the air for 8 seasons.

 

 

 

 

23 Star Trek / Star Trek:TNG
TOS’s theme is a bit…spacey & operatic, as if you are in the midst of an acid trip while intoxicated on champagne (not that I have trekany kind of personal experience, atleast with acid). It was composed during the 60’s after all. TNG’s theme, on the other hand, is orchestral & bombastic. Both include the familiar voiceover about space being the final frontier and explaining the mission of the starship Enterprise. I hear TNG’s theme often, as it is the personal ringtone assigned to my friend The Owl when he calls.

 

 

 

22 Night Court / Growing Pains
Growing-Pains_610Whatever happened to BJ Thomas?? I really enjoyed his 1970’s songs Hooked on a Feeling and Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (which won an ncAcademy Award). Anyway, he teamed up with duo queen Jennifer Warnes (Up Where We Belong from An Officer and a Gentleman with Joe Cocker and I’ve Had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing with Bill Medley were two other hits) to sing a slightly sappy, very 80’s-ish theme for Growing Pains. Night Court’s theme song is an upbeat jazz tune with a really cool bass line. It is vaguely similar to the Barney Miller theme only kicked up a few notches. This makes perfect sense when you know both were composed by the same guy.

 

 

 

21 Dallas / The Big Bang Theory
TV Nayyar 104902TBBT is still on the air and going strong, so I hesitate to include its ebullient theme song, but I will, a) because I think it’s cool, and b) the show has been on long enough for me to fairly assume that the tune will stand the test of time. It was composed and is performed by the fringe 90’s rock group Barenaked Ladies, who I think may have had a couple of semi-recognizable hits about 20 years ago. The lyrics are more about the actual Big Bang Theory that we all learned about in science class and don’t really tell us anything about the show, but it’s still a fun song. The Dallas theme is a funky orchestral-disco fusion thing. Unique and unforgettable. Fans of the show dallassurely have memories flood their brain when hearing it…Who Shot JR??, Pam’s dream season, The Oil Barons’ Ball, Ewing Oil, South Fork. Puts me in the mood for power, money, & BBQ.

 

 

 

20 Batman / Sanford & Son
batmanBatman has had multiple theme songs over the years, from animated TV shows to the superb score by award winning composersson (and former Oingo Boingo frontman) Danny Elfman for the Tim Burton films a couple of decades back. However, my favorite remains the simple yet catchy theme for the campy 60’s TV show starring Adam West as The Caped Crusader. Minimalism works. My late paternal grandfather loved Sanford & Son, a show that was cancelled before I started kindergarten. God bless syndicated reruns, right?? The theme song is entitled The Streetbeater and was composed by the legendary Quincy Jones.

 

 

 

19 The Golden Girls
Okay…a serious question. When did The Golden Girls become a cultural touchstone for homosexuality, and why?? Maybe I’ve missed something ggobvious, which is entirely possible since the show was originally on when I was a teenager. It’s no skin off my nose…I’m just curious. At any rate, the theme song belongs in any 80’s time capsule that one might conceive, alongside The Brat Pack, acid washed jeans, MTV, & big hair. It is all about friendship, and really, who could dislike a song like that??

 

 

 

18 The Greatest American Hero
I don’t think I ever watched a single episode of The Greatest American Hero. It only lasted for three seasons and during most of that time was on Friday gamnights at the same time as Dallas, and in my house we did not miss Dallas. If I had been a fan of the show there is a good chance the theme would have ranked much higher on this list because it is among the coolest & most unforgettable songs in television history. It was memorably lampooned on a classic 1997 episode of Seinfeld, which just adds to its credibility. Believe It or Not actually became a hit on the radio (which might explain its familiarity even to those of us who never watched the show) and peaked at #2 on the charts. One thing I do find interesting about the program itself: In 1981 a show was conceived about a high school schoolteacher who becomes a superhero. It got, at best, so-so ratings and was cancelled after three seasons. Almost 30 years later a show (Breaking Bad) was conceived about a high school teacher who becomes a meth dealer. It lasted 5 seasons and is often trumpeted by some as one of the best television programs of all time. That, ladies & gentlemen, is the living, breathing definition of going to Hell in a handbasket.

 

 

 

17 Saved by the Bell
I can’t recall exactly how I became a Saved by the Bell fan. That might be because it was on in the early 90’s and my memory of those years is a bit sbbfuzzy…for reasons I won’t go into. I certainly wasn’t the target demographic. I was a guy in college, not a junior high school girl. But for whatever reason I always liked the show, even though it was so cheesy it made the 60’s Batman show look like Shakespeare. The theme song is peppy and briefly encapsulates a lot of the angst of being in high school. Interesting trivia…the Saved by the Bell and Golden Girls themes were composed by the same person. That’s some impressive range.

 

 

 

16 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Is there a cooler 90’s theme song than The Fresh Prince?? It is still the best thing that Will Smith has ever done. I’m not into rap/hip-hop at all, but if I fresh-prince-outfits-9were 25 years younger and still into getting gooned on Jägermeister it wouldn’t be hard to persuade me to karaoke the heck out of this song. I’m surprised that never actually happened. The tune basically sets up the premise for the entire series and everything that followed for 6 seasons on television evolved from that.

 

 

 

 

That’s it. That’s all you get…for now. Please stay tuned for Part 2…coming soon!!

A Very Special Trivia Tuesday

Andddd we’re baaack!!
You may have noticed there was no trivia a week ago. Well, here’s the deal. On Christmas Eve 2014 there was a brief yet blustery snow & wind squall that knocked out knowledgepower in my building for several hours. It also blew my modem and prevented Internet access for a few days until I received a replacement. Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. More snow, more wind, & two brief power flickers…and another blown modem. The next day was Sunday and then President’s Day, but I thought I’d be back online no later than Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. I’m not sure who dropped the ball in the ol’ customer service or tech support departments, but I was offline for 9 days, and being snowed in off & on did nothing to help my mood. At any rate, we’re up & running just in time for a very special day. Today is my eldest nephew’s 22nd birthday, which is right about the time my life took a nosedive, so good luck dude. Okay okay…I’m kidding (sort of). In honor of Zach’s birthday today’s trivia is all about 2/24 and/or the year 1993. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

potpourri

Some average prices in 1993: first-class stamp = 29 cents, gallon of gas = $1.11, a dozen eggs = 87 cents, one movie ticket = $4, a gallon of milk = $2.86

 

 

 

movies&TVOn 2/24/38 MGM purchased the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum’s beloved children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into a feature film. The Wizard of Oz premiered on August 15, 1939 and went on to lose the Oscar for Best Picture to Gone with the Wind. Oz did win Academy Awards for Best Song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) and Best Music Score.

 

 

 

movies&TVThe Top 10 movies of 1993:
1. Jurassic Park
2. The Fugitive
3. The Firm
4. Sleepless in Seattle
5. Aladdin
6. Mrs. Doubtfire
7. Indecent Proposal
8. In the Line of Fire
9. Cliffhanger
10. A Few Good Men

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history&geography

On 2/24/81 Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer became engaged. And that worked out just fine, didn’t it??

 

-

 

 

 
movies&TVThe Top 10 TV shows of 1993:
1. 60 Minutes
2. Home Improvement
3. Seinfeld
4. Roseanne
5. Grace Under Fire
6. Coach
7. Frasier
8. Monday Night Football
9. Murphy Brown
10.CBS Sunday Night Movie

 

 

 

sports1993 in sports: the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl, Alabama beat Miami, FL in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day to win the National Championship, the Colorado Rockies & Florida Marlins were MLB expansion teams, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals for their first 3-peat and then Michael Jordan retired (the first time), the NCAA Basketball Final Four were North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, & Michigan with the Tar Heels eventually winning the title

 

 

 

books&musicOn 2/24/93…the exact day of the glorious birth of one of my two favorite nephews…Michael Jackson received a Grammy Legend award which was presented to him by his sister Janet at the 35th annual Grammy Awards. I could say something amusing yet creepy here but I’ll resist.

Superfluous 7 – Best Picture Winners That Matter

Did you watch The Academy Awards last night??

 

oscarNeither did I, but from catching up online it looks like the powers-that-be predictably followed their usual patterns. American Sniper, a film that normal people love because it celebrates American heroism and doesn’t try to minimize the evil of radical Islam, was overlooked. Some British dude won Best Actor because a) he’s British, and b) he played a handicapped character. Meanwhile, Michael Keaton…freakin’ Batman…gets squadoosh. Julianne Moore, an atheist who is all about abortion and wants to take away your right to bear arms, was awarded with a Best Actress statuette. The dude from the Farmer’s Insurance commercials was named Best Supporting Actor, probably in part because he’s old. A rapper won the award for Best Song. Presenters apparently included Kevin Hart (the only way he’ll ever be on the Oscar stage), The Rock (really??), and noted liberal assclowns Sean Penn, Liam Neeson, Gwyneth Paltrow, & Satan’s favorite talk show host. Tim McGraw took his lips off President Obama’s manhood long enough to perform a song, and somebody thought it was a good idea to give Lady Gaga a microphone, although to be fair the general consensus is she was quite good (see what happens when you toss aside the gimmick and just sing?). All in all I’m glad National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and a really interesting Billy Joel biography kept me entertained.

 

The truth is that I haven’t had Oscar Fever for several years. That begs the question…why??

 

There are a hundred different answers to that question, mostly to do with personal preferences & lifestyle, but one big issue is the huge disconnect theaterbetween Hollywood’s definition of quality and the public’s idea of popularity. A quick look at some of the highest grossing films in recent years is revealing. The Pirates of the Caribbean series. Iron Man. The Harry Potter series. Twilight. The Spider-Man movies. The Star Wars prequels. Popular?? Yes. Profitable?? Obviously. Award winning?? Not really. This isn’t a recent development though. Look back at the 80’s. Top Gun, Back to the Future, & Batman made a ton of cash and were all cool flicks in my opinion, but the “experts” didn’t shower them with trophies. Same deal for pretty decent stuff from the 70’s like Grease, Blazing Saddles, Dirty Harry, & The Poseidon Adventure. Meanwhile, The Academy has given Best Picture statuettes to the likes of Crash, The Artist, Dances with Wolves, The Hurt Locker, Out of Africa, The English Patient, & No Country for Old Men. What’s up with that??

 

So this train of thought led me to ponder…what films cross over?? What are some of the movies that I appreciate as a fan that were also rewarded by folks who (theoretically) know what makes a movie “good”?? There are only two requirements that qualify a movie for this list…a) I like it, and b) it won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Therefore, without further ado, it is my pleasure to present…..

 

 
from the home office in Hollywood, FL…..

 

 
The Superfluous 7 Best Picture Winners That Matter:

 

 

 

 

7 Rain Man
Rain Man won Best Picture for 1988. Dustin Hoffman won Best Actor and Barry Levinson won Best Director as well, among other awards. Hoffman beat out Tom Hanks rainman(nominated for Big) for his trophy, which in retrospect is pretty darn impressive. His turn as an autistic savant is poignant and amusing, but not histrionic. It is still one of Tom Cruise’s best performances, and the film itself holds up well thru repeated viewings.

 

 

6 The Silence of the Lambs / The Greatest Show on Earth
lambsI’m not generally a horror/suspense/thriller fan, and I still maintain that the book is even better than the movie, but the success of Lambs can’t be greatestshow5overlooked. It was the 5th highest grossing film of 1991 and won Best Picture, Best Actor (Sir Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodi Foster), & Best Director (Jonathan Demme). I became familiar with The Greatest Show on Earth many years ago because I am a big Jimmy Stewart fan. The film also stars Charlton Heston and is kind of a soap opera set inside the circus. It was the top grossing movie of 1952 and won Best Picture, beating out High Noon (starring Gary Cooper).

 

 

5 American Beauty
American Beauty is a strange film. It falls into that dramedy category that I seem to enjoy so much. It was the 13th highest grossing film of 1999, but when one realizes abthat the #1 hit at the box office was Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace the often stark contrast between quantity & quality becomes clear. American Beauty overcame competition from The Green Mile and The Sixth Sense to win Best Picture, and the brilliant Kevin Spacey beat the likes of Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, & Denzel Washington for Best Actor. Spacey is hilarious thru much of the film, making it exceedingly entertaining & watchable, but its darker elements (especially toward the end) and the weird next door neighbors, while adding the gravitas that Hollywood loves, intensifies the eccentricity.

 

 

4 Titanic / Rocky
titanicTitanic not only topped the box office in 1997, it is the 2nd highest grossing film in the rockyworld…of all time. On top of the obvious mass appeal & financial success it is actually a really good movie that pretty much swept the Oscars and made huge stars out of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and director James Cameron. Sadly there was never a sequel. Conversely, 1976’s Rocky spawned numerous sequels, but none were as good as the original, which was written by Sylvester Stallone himself. Good sports films are almost always treasured by the masses but rarely receive high critical praise. Rocky broke the mold and has stood the test of time.

 

 

3 Casablanca / The Godfather Part II
casablancaWhen folks converse about the greatest movies ever made there are a handful of names that almost universally get denirotossed around. One of them is Casablanca, a romantic drama set against the backdrop of Nazi controlled Morocco during World War II. Casablanca has an elegance & sophistication that almost all modern entertainment lacks and is as great today as it was 70+ years ago. Maybe better, if that’s even possible. No car chases. No explosions. No CGI. No illicit sex or celebration of deviant lifestyles. Just good acting and fantastic writing. Hollywood should try that more often. Some say that The Godfather Part II is superior to the original film. I don’t quite agree, but I understand the sentiment. Part II seamlessly tells two different stories at the same time. Al Pacino returns as Michael Corleone, who is determined to make his “family business” legitimate. Robert DeNiro also stars as the younger version of Don Vito Corleone, as we see how he came to America and rose to power as a mob boss. In essence The Godfather Part II is a sequel AND a prequel…a pretty neat trick. DeNiro and Marlon Brando are the only two actors to win Oscars (Best Supporting Actor for DeNiro, Best Actor for Brando) for playing the same character, and the film was the first sequel to ever win Best Picture. Al Pacino was robbed of the Best Actor statuette…one of the most criminal snubs in the history of film.

 

 

2 Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is kind of a divisive movie. Lots of people love it. Some people hate it. Many feel that, in hindsight, Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption were Forrest-Gumpsuperior films and one of them should have won Best Picture. Those same people think that either Morgan Freeman (for Shawshank), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction), or Paul Newman (Nobody’s Fool) might have been more deserving of the Best Actor award. I disagree on both counts. I adore Forrest Gump. I have watched it dozens of times and find it enchanting. Hanks has had a fantastic career, having been in a plethora of solid romantic comedies & animated features, but Gump remains his pinnacle.

 

 

1 The Godfather
For those familiar with my 100 Favorite Movies series the top two choices here come as no surprise, as they capped those rankings as well. I have called The GodfatherThe Godfather a “nearly flawless” film and I stand by that proclamation. Francis Ford Coppola is a legendary director. Pacino, Brando, James Caan, Talia Shire, Robert Duvall…all legends. The cinematography is brilliant. The music is extraordinary. The Godfather won Best Picture over Deliverance, which is kind of like saying the winner of a free meal at a restaurant chose surf & turf over cold pizza and a bottle of ripple. Brando had zero legitimate competition for Best Actor, but shockingly Francis Ford Coppola did not win Best Director. I am sure there is an “inside baseball” story about that, but I’m far too lazy to do the required research. Needless to say that The Godfather has aged more than well and it is a rare example of the rank & file in flyover country and the elitists in the film industry completely agreeing on something.

Celebrating VD

Observant citizens of The Manoverse may have noticed that awhile back I created a new category for the archives called Holidays & Celebrations. That celebrateidea came about mainly due to my love for Christmas, but I am also interested in the history of other special days on the calendar. I feel like society often pushes aside the meaning of holidays and looks at them simply as a day off from their job or as a reason to frivolously spend money. Don’t misunderstand…I am not anti-frivolity. Fireworks on Independence Day, costume parties & trick-or-treating on Halloween, football & cheesy parades on Thanksgiving, Christmas presents & eggnog…it’s all good. But we should always remember that there is a reason…usually a profound & significant one…that these became widely recognized annual celebrations in the first place.

 

vdValentine’s Day is tomorrow. It is my least favorite holiday, as it likely is for many single individuals. When most people think of Valentine’s Day I am sure certain images come to mind…heart shaped boxes of chocolate, red roses, & those little candy hearts with messages written on them like “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me”. Is Valentine’s Day just a conspiracy from Big Candy and the Flower Mafia designed to guilt married people into buying their products and drive the lonely & unattached into a bottomless pit of despair?? Surely there is more.

 

First things first…
There was indeed a Saint Valentine. He is an obscure priest known to have lived in the 3rd century and been martyred in Rome. That’s pretty much all that is known. There may have even been more than one Saint Valentine, but that just adds to the confusion.

 

So why is there a holiday dedicated to a guy that we know virtually nothing about?? While Saint Valentine was indeed real, the holiday dedicated in his saint-st-valentine_fbhonor seems to be built on a foundation of legends & folklore. Some stories indicate that he was imprisoned for giving assistance to Christians who were, at the time, being persecuted in Rome, and also performing marriage ceremonies for soldiers (who were forbidden from getting married). It is said that while in prison Saint Valentine healed his jailer’s blind daughter and converted the man himself to Christianity. Valentine was then beheaded by order of Emperor Claudius because he refused to deny Christ, but before his death he left a goodbye note for the formerly blind girl and signed it “Your Valentine”. No one knows if any of these things actually occurred, but it makes a great story.

 

The Feast of Saint Valentine was initially began by Pope Gelasius in the 5th century. It is believed to have been placed in mid-February to Christianize a pagan fertility feast called lupercalia, aka the Wolf Festival, named in honor of Lupa, a female wolf who was said to have suckled the twin infants Romulus & Remus, the mythical founders of Rome. The month of February itself comes from the term februum, which means purification. Romans believed that birds chose their mate in February.

 

chaucerThings got a bit of a boost during The Middle Ages, which lasted from the 5th to the 15th centuries, but in this case we’re probably looking at around the 12th century when things like chivalry & love became somewhat of a pop culture sensation. Author & poet Geoffrey Chaucer made a big contribution to the Valentine tradition with his poem Parliament of Fowls, which was written to celebrate the nuptials of two 15 year old kids…England’s King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. Twelve years later Anne died from the plague and Richard II became nuttier than a fruitcake, but at the time of their marriage they were the Middle Ages equivalent of Brangelina, Kimye, or Jay-Z & Beyonce. At any rate, in Chaucer’s poem he writes:

For this was on Saint Valentine’s day
When every fowl comes there his mate to take
Of every species that men know, I say
And then so huge a crowd did they make
That earth and sea, and tree, and every lake
Was so full, that there was scarcely space
For me to stand, so full was all the place

And as Alain, in his Complaint of Nature
Describes her array and paints her face
In such array might men there find her
So this noble Empress, full of grace
Bade every fowl to take its proper place
As they were wont to do from year to year
On Saint Valentine’s day, standing there

You know that on Saint Valentine’s day
By my statute and through my governance,
You come to choose and then fly your way
Your mates, as I your desires enhance
But nonetheless my rightful ordinance
I may not alter, for all the world to win
That he that is most worthy must begin

Saint Valentine, who art full high aloft
Thus sing the small fowls for your sake
Now welcome summer, with your sun soft
That this winter’s weather does off-shake

-

In 18th century England Valentine’s Day began to resemble the holiday that we all know. It became common to exchange Valentine cards & candy with one’s sweetheart. You can easily fill in the blanks as far as the rest of the holiday’s evolution.

 

Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide, but it is interesting that its religious origins have been minimized to the point that most don’t even realize that heartsthere was a real Valentine, that he was a priest, and that he was martyred for spreading the gospel and refusing to deny his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Only the Anglican & Lutheran churches retain any semblance of the day’s sacred significance. So enjoy your chocolates, flowers, & dinner with your spouse, life mate, mistress, boy toy, or “friend with benefits”. I am sure many will celebrate by heading to the cinema to see the romantic blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey. Like I said, frivolity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But also take a moment to appreciate the real reason for the season.

Trivia Tuesday…..Chapter 6.15

Greetings Manoverse!! Look, I know parts of the country are still covered in snow & ice. I fully expect that we’ll have another round or two here in Appalachia in the next knowledgeseveral weeks. But I am feeling encouraged. This winter hasn’t been nearly as bothersome as last year. We’ve had a lot of cold, grey days, but we’ve also had a few lovely days with sunshine & mild temperatures. Golf was on TV this past weekend!! The sports shows are beginning to talk about baseball & Nascar!! We’re gonna make it folks!! Just hold on for a little while longer, and while you are doing so please enjoy some semi-useful yet rather interesting knowledge. You’re welcome.

 

 

 
history&geography

 

The name Italy comes from the word italia, meaning “calf land”. Italy is approximately 116,400 square miles (including Sicily and Sardinia), which is slightly larger than Arizona. Almost 4/5 of Italy is either mountainous or hilly.

 

 

 

sportsThe first sporting event televised in the United States was a college baseball game between Princeton and Columbia on May 17, 1939. Princeton won the game 2-1. It was aired on NBC, which still ticks off the suits at ESPN, even though it was 40 years before that network even existed.

 

 

 

plants & animals

Dolphins sleep with one eye open. It is unknown whether they grip their pillows tight or say their prayers not forgetting to include everyone.

 

 

potpourri

 

Bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were all invented by women.

 

 

 

history&geographyWorld War I, also known as the Great War, the War of the Nations, and the War to End All Wars, began on June 28, 1914 when a Serbian terrorist shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia and France sided with Serbia, and Germany supported Austria-Hungary. Other countries around the world were soon pulled into the fighting. WWI was fought on every ocean and on almost every continent. Most of the fighting, however, took place in Europe. The greatest single loss of life in the history of the British army occurred during the Battle of Somme, when the British suffered 60,000 casualties in one day. More British men were killed in that one WWI battle than the U.S. lost from all of its armed forces combined. WWI officially ended on November 11, 1918. Four empires collapsed after WWI: Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, German, and Russian. WWI was the catalyst that transformed Russia into the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), the world’s first communist state. Many historians believe this to be the most important consequence of WWI. The total cost of WWI for the U.S. was more than $30 billion. World War I is the sixth deadliest conflict in history.

Trivia Tuesday…..Chapter 5.15

Okay folks…I’m pretty much Super Bowled out. I didn’t care all that much for the matchup anyway, so I’m ready to move on. I’m willing to bet that most everyone outsideknowledge of the greater Boston area feels the same. So enjoy a brief respite from all the post-game analysis & debate with some sports free trivia. As always don’t hesitate to leave some feedback, and if you haven’t become a citizen of The Manoverse and started following me on Twitter please take a moment to do both.

 

 

 
food&drink

The world’s costliest coffee, at $130/lb., is called Kopi Luwak. It is made from the feces of a civet, a small mammal in southern Asia, whose diet consists mainly of coffee berries.

 

 

movies&TV

 

Though a popular myth persists that Marlon Brando padded his cheeks with cotton wool to play Don Vito Corleone in 1972’s The Godfather, he did so only for the audition. Before filming began he had a mouthpiece specially created by a dentist.

 

 

history&geography

 

The state of Florida, at 65,755 square miles, is bigger than England, which is 50,346 square miles. However, England has a population of over 53 million, while Florida has slightly less than 20 million people.

 

 

books&music

 

There are approximately fifty Bibles sold each minute across the world.

 

 

food&drinkMayonnaise was created by the French chef of the third Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon in the midst of the Hundred Years War, his chef was creating a victory feast that was supposed to include a sauce made of cream and eggs. When the chef realized that there was no cream in the kitchen he improvised, using olive oil instead. The chef named this concoction mahonnaise in honor of the Duke’s triumph.

Winning & Musing…..A Post-Super Bowl Wrap-Up

I know I said I wasn’t going to watch The Super Bowl, but I did…kind of. The Owl called me about a half hour before kickoff and we talked until midway thru the 4th quarter. The game was on but my TV was muted. However, thanks to modern technology I was able to go back and fill in some blanks so I could knowledgeably pontificate on all related matters. The things I do for my peeps. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

 
imI didn’t have any major issues with Idina Menzel’s rendition of the national anthem. I’m not a fan of Menzel’s distracting odd-shaped mouth or the fact that she unleashed Let It Go on an unsuspecting populace, but atleast she didn’t forget the words like Christina Aguilera four years ago.

 

 

 

It seems like the best Super Bowl commercial is the one that didn’t air. GoDaddy.com (a company I despise because of their idiotic name) produced an ad that mocked Budweiser’s sentimental puppy commercials, during which a little dog runs away but returns only to have the owner say she’d just sold him online with a website she created thru GoDaddy. It was a clever parody. But unfortunately we live in the United States of the Offended, a nation that seems to have lost our collective sense of humor. A bunch of pansies started an online petition demanding that the ad be pulled, a petition that stated that GoDaddy was “encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes” and also railed laugh2against online transactions involving pets because the animal “could be sold to someone who runs a fighting ring, someone who abuses animals, or someone who cannot adequately care for an animal.” Oh please…get a freakin’ grip people!! I could walk out of The Bachelor Palace and be struck by a meteor. I could go on a blind date and find out the potential mother of my children is a homeless transvestite serial killer with a drug & alcohol addiction. I could traipse all the way to the local grocery store specifically to purchase a gallon of skim milk only to find them sold out of everything but half gallons of 2%. It’s called life!! Look, I am not minimizing the value of responsible pet ownership. I know several people who have rescue pets and folks that foster on a regular basis. I’m down with the jive. I love my dog more than just about anything in the world. But this is a nationally known company that paid $4.5 MILLION for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl and because a bunch of bored bleeding hearts got their knickers in a twist was forced to hurriedly produce and air a subpar commercial. They certainly didn’t get their money’s worth. Can’t we all just lighten up?? Laugh a little. Learn to take a joke. You’ll live longer.

 

 

 

kpKaty Perry’s halftime show was…okay. Perry, a fallen preacher’s kid who has turned her back on The Lord and embraced 21st century whore culture, is a lovely young lady that has put out some catchy tunes (amongst the other things she has put out), but I’m not the target audience for her act. Lenny Kravitz wasted his time & talents by even showing up, and I didn’t know who that fat rapper dude was that popped in. It was a visually creative spectacle, especially at the end when Perry flew off on the star from the “The More You Know” PSAs that used to air on NBC in the 90’s. I am sure that teenage girls and massive amounts of 20-somethings with no taste are going to trumpet this as the greatest Super Bowl halftime show EVER…but I’ll take Springsteen, McCartney, Prince, dead pedophile Michael Jackson, or even Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson’s old saggy nipple any day of the week.

 

 

 

How big of an idiot is Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, not to mention offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell?? I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes topc football. I suppose spread offenses & dual threat quarterbacks are fun to watch, but at the end of the day if you can’t hand the ball off to your running back at the 1 yard line and ram it down the defense’s throat for a touchdown then you don’t deserve to win. Throwing the ball in that situation is insane, and no explanation can logically justify the play that was called. I am certainly no fan of Seahawks’ RB Marshawn Lynch. He made a complete jackass out of himself in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Having said that though, if Lynch is in your backfield at the 1 yard line GIVE HIM THE DAMN BALL!!!! And if that fails I think QB Russell Wilson is a pretty good second option. Get him out in space. Let him try to find an open guy, or if nothing is available he can throw the ball away. I don’t know how many offensive plays are in a typical NFL playbook, but I have to believe that in a list of options the play that was called would have to be dead last. Carroll can no longer be taken seriously as a head coach on any level, and Bevell…once thought to be a potential future head coach…may have just irreversibly torpedoed his career.

 

 

 

sb2You know who I feel sorry for?? Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Kearse made an amazing juggling catch that put the Seahawks inside the 5 yard line with about a minute remaining in the game. That catch should be…and would have been…remembered as one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history. It was spectacular. Sadly, due to the stupidity of the “braintrust” that called Seattle’s final offensive play, Kearse’s incredible reception will just kind of disappear into the ether, as if it never happened at all.

Heroes & Heels – January 2015

Don’t throw the past away…you might need it some rainy day. Dreams can come true again when everything old is new again. Or so says an old song by Peter Allen, best known for writing Olivia Newton-John’s I Honestly Love You and the Oscar winning theme for the 1981 film Arthur. At any rate, a couple of years ago I brought over the Person of the Month feature from the old MySpace incarnation of The Manofesto, with a tweak or two. However, once again my laziness got the better of me and the idea fizzled out halfway thru 2013. Since I’m not one to give up easily though I have decided to revive the Heroes & Heels concept. We’ll see how it goes, though it is likely…if I can keep it up…that the names you see here in the next 12 months will appear once again as part of the next Sammy Awards presentation. Unfortunately this month all I have to offer is rage & derision. I didn’t run across any heroes in January. Perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough, as my journey thru the middle stages of this thing we call winter has been wrought with darkness & melancholy, which is typical for me. Let’s hope for better things & a brighter outlook soon.

 

 

 

 
Liam Neeson
I do not currently own a gun. My disability never seemed conducive to hunting, and though I have pondered the idea of purchasing a handgun and becoming involved in the hobby of target shooting I haven’t taken that step. That being said, I 100% fully support the 2nd Amendment to The United States Constitution, which says that “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun rights have been a hot button topic for atleast a couple of decades, with a very vocal minority of Americans having a wide array of anti-gun opinions, ranging from seemingly innocuous government regulations all the way up to outright banning & confiscation of firearms, something which has already happened in England & Australia. Now I could put the spotlight on some liberal anti-gun jackass every month if I so chose. There is no shortage of them. But I am especially intrigued by hypocrites in Hollywood. Liam Neeson is a decent enough actor I suppose, although his particular filmography, highlighted by movies like Schindler’s List, Rob Roy, & Gangs of New York, isn’t really my cup o’ tea. Sure he was in the Star Warsfrowny-face prequels, but I’m not really sure that’s something to hang one’s hat on. The past decade of Neeson’s career has seen him turn into something of an action hero, with films such as the Taken trilogy, Non-Stop, & The A-Team. I haven’t seen any of them, but I know enough to understand that Liam Neeson is a gun toting badass in them, which is especially irritating considering what he said recently. While in Dubai promoting Taken 3 (ironic), Neeson stated that “there’s too many fucking guns out there” and that “the U.S. population is 320 million and there’s over 300 million guns privately owned in America…it’s a disgrace.” So wait…let me get this straight. Liam Neeson can shoot people ‘til the cows come home in his movies because it’s just make believe, but real Americans shouldn’t have the right to defend themselves, their families, & their property from criminals?? Mr. Leeson seems to think that crime is just make believe too. Oh…wait…no, he probably doesn’t really believe that because he…like most big Hollywood stars…undoubtedly has armed security anytime he steps out of his house. Either these elitists think that only people who can afford professional bodyguards deserve protection, or they have deluded themselves into believing that only they are targets of criminals because of their fame & fortune. How about this. Let’s make Liam Neeson (and all of his famous buddies that don’t think you & I are worthy of owning firearms) live in the poorest, filthiest, most dangerous drug infested & crime ridden neighborhoods in America for a month. No bodyguards. No weapons. Nothing except a bunch of cash & other valuables that would look attractive to your average street thug. Then we’d see how much they appreciate the 2nd Amendment.

 

 

 

Seth Rogen & Michael Moore
I have not read the book American Sniper nor have I seen the immensely popular, critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated film. I will eventually. I am, however, familiar with the story of infamous Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. I am not here to canonize Kyle. I am sure he was a flawed human being just like the rest of us. But the man had the testicular fortitude and mental strength to do what few people on the planet could do. John Lennon famously wrote “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for.” Lennon also wrote “Happy Christmas for black and for white. For yellow and red ones let’s stop all the fight.” That’d be great, but it’s not realistic, which is the problem with liberals. They’d rather live in their utopian fantasy land than face reality, which is that sometimes we have to kill people & break things. Sorry folks…it’s the cold hard truth. We had perfection until Eve frowny-facescrewed it all up (women), but now we just have to muddle thru the best way we can. Anyway, unlike Liam Neeson, I have enjoyed several of Seth Rogen’s movies. The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up are two of my favorites. He also has a very small role in Anchorman, which I love. But Mr. Rogen stepped in it this month when he compared American Sniper to a Nazi propaganda film on Twitter. He quickly backpedaled faster than an NBA player trying to play defense, but what’s done is done. I will very much hesitate to ever spend my all-too-infinitesimal disposable income to be entertained by Rogen again. And then there is Michael Moore, a man that many of us have detested for years. Look, I’m not exactly Sexiest Man Alive material, but atleast I don’t look like the love child of Jabba the Hut and a big pile of horse fecies. However, while Moore may be physically grotesque what really makes him ugly is the hatred that spews from his mouth. He has spent much of this month insulting Chris Kyle, American Sniper, & its director Clint Eastwood. He called snipers cowards and bemoaned Kyle’s opinion of Muslims as savages. Well Michael…let’s ask the families of those killed on 9/11/01 what they think of Muslims. Moore has also taken the opportunity to reiterate his opinion that the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11, an opinion that is demonstrably incorrect. It is impossible to argue with people like Michael Moore because they will never admit that they are wrong. It stuns me that anyone takes the guy seriously at this point. He has been little more than a public nuisance for years.