Chadwick Boseman – Wakanda forever

learned to T’Challa

Chadwick BosemanI’ve been musing on why I found the death of Chadwick Boseman so affecting. Only recently I noted three films he starred in. “MARSHALL (2017) a biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall I had intended to see.” Ditto for the film GET ON UP (2014), about the Godfather of Soul James Brown that I had coincidentally recorded to the DVR last month.

I had started watching 42 (2013) the movie about Jackie Robinson. It was the day I was being discharged from the hospital after a health scare. I think I tried to stall my release time to finish watching it.

Cancer. As the Chicago Tribune noted, “The cancer was there when his character T’Challa visited the ancestors’ ‘astral plane’ in poignant scenes from the Oscar-nominated ‘Black Panther,’ there when he first became a producer on the action-thriller ’21 Bridges,’ and there last summer when he shot an adaptation of a play by his hero August Wilson…”

The South Carolinian died at the age of 43 of colon cancer, only a couple years older than my brother-in-law John when he died of the same damn disease in 2002. And while I knew of John’s struggle, most of us didn’t know Chadwick had been diagnosed at stage 3 in 2016. It was none of our business, but I’m always surprised when something can remain a secret in Hollywood.

A bit of Killmonger

I totally get this quote. Boseman said he “more easily identified with” Black Panther’s “antagonist, played by Michael B. Jordan, who had been cut off from his ancestral roots: ‘I was born with some Killmonger in me, and I have learned to T’Challa throughout my studies.'”

“‘It’s the place where you start. All African Americans, unless they have some direct connection, have been severed from that past. There are things that cannot be tracked. You were a product, sold. So it’s very difficult as an African American to connect at some points directly to Africa. I have made that part of my search in my life. So those things were already there when I got into the role.'”

In my review of Black Panther, which I LOVED, that Chadwick Boseman had the less showy part. That’s not meant as a knock on the actor. The “villain” often gets the juicier role.

Incidentally, the Howard University graduate noted on Stephen Colbert’s show his roots. DNA testing indicated that his ancestors were Krio people and Limba people from Sierra Leone, and the Yoruba people from Nigeria.

His unexpected death brought out tons of tributes. “Marvel Studios president and CCO Kevin Feige called Boseman’s death ‘absolutely devastating,'” and I would agree. “‘Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible.'” As a good friend of mine and I said when we departed last month, “Wakanda forever.”

Actress Kathy Bates turns 70

Kathy Bates took her first Broadway curtain call in 1980’s ‘Goodbye Fidel.’

Though Kathy Bates had been working regularly on film since at least 1977, and I undoubtedly had seen her in some of those shows and movies, the first place I really recognized her was in the 1990 movie Misery.

“I’m your biggest fan” undoubtedly affected readers of the Stephen King novel, but to see her Annie Wilkes interact with Paul Sheldon (James Caan)… let’s put it this way; I haven’t seen that movie since I viewed in the cinema, and it STILL makes me shudder. She captured the Best Actress Oscar and a Golden Globe.

My favorite scene of hers, though, was in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), the bit in a parking lot here or here, when Evelyn Couch got tired of being treated like an old davenport. The vicarious pleasure I felt was surprisingly strong.

From IMBD: “Kathleen Doyle Bates was… raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls… One of her ancestors, an Irish emigrant to New Orleans, once served as President Andrew Jackson’s doctor.

“By the mid-to-late 1970s, Kathy was treading the boards frequently as a rising young actress of the New York and regional theater scene… She took her first Broadway curtain call in 1980’s ‘Goodbye Fidel,’ which lasted only six performances. She then went directly into replacement mode when she joined the cast of the already-established and highly successful ‘Fifth of July’ in 1981.

I have enjoyed her work in several other TV shows and films, including:

* a prostitute in Woody Allen’s Shadows and Fog (1991)
* the unsinkable Molly Brown in Titanic (1997)
* the villainous Miss Hannigan in a Disney version of Annie (1999)
* quirky, liberal mom Roberta Hertzel in About Schmidt (2002), for which she received a Best
Supporting Actress nomination
* well-to-do Jo Bennett in the latter stages of the US version of The Office (2010-2011)
* Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011)

Kathy Bates turns 70 on June 28, 2018, and by the look of her upcoming credits does not appear to be retiring any time soon, despite living with lymphedema. She has been the national spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is 70

“The guy has spent his life turning naysayers into spectators, skeptics into constituents.”

I always had mixed feelings about Arnold Schwarzenegger. On one hand, the whole Mr. Universe thing mystified me, yet he was obviously very good at it.

He came to the United States, knowing relatively little English, and become an actor. Many people said he would have to change his name, because “no one” would be able to pronounce it; he ignored them.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had an incredibly successful movie career. I have seen exactly zero of his films in the cinema, though I’ve bumped into some iteration of The Terminator and Kindergarten Cop while flipping through the TV channels. BTW, here are HIS favorite films.

He was clearly a Republican, yet married a Democrat, and a Kennedy, no less, in Maria Shriver. And then, for reasons I considered bogus, tied to Enron manipulation, the governor of California was recalled. Ahnuld decided to run for the office, and he actually WON, joining the tradition of Golden State performer-politicians such as George Murphy, Sonny Bono, and Clint Eastwood. Oh, and Ronald Reagan.

By most accounts, he wasn’t bad at the job, so much so that a contingent of folks wanted to change the Constitution so that the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger could potentially run for President.

As it states in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, “The guy has spent his life turning naysayers into spectators, skeptics into constituents. ‘I’ve always been underestimated, and that’s always worked to my advantage,’ he says. ‘It’s the most wonderful thing, to be underestimated.'”

Schwarzenegger had two boys and two girls with Shriver. “In 2011, it came to light that [he] had fathered a fifth child, Joseph, now a teenager, with the family’s housekeeper.” Shriver divorced him.

He agreed to become the host of the Celebrity Apprentice in 2016, formerly run by someone who was successfully running for another job. After that short-term gig, Arnold has been active in criticizing the United States’ departure from the Paris Climate agreement.

As Schwarzenegger said to University of Houston graduates in May 2017, he didn’t make it all on his own, and that it’s important for them to recognize the help they got and then give back to others.

The simple bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually a complex fellow. Happy natal day to him.

January rambling #1: Tower of Terror

50 Years Ago, the Wah-Wah Pedal Was Born

2016: The Movie

First BLOTUS Press Conference, Annotated

‘Gaslighting’ all of us

FLATUS Dossier Spotlights Russian History of ‘Kompromat’ – Diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats have been embarrassed by leaks of compromising material

The body language of FLATUS, and the 20 best nicknames; are you sorry yet?

FLATUS plan to keep his business is national embarrassment

How Populism Goes Bad

Gun silencers are hard to buy. Donald Trump Jr. and silencer makers want to change that

Regarding Simon & Schuster, Milo Y., and Booksmith

Nazis Celebrate As Ann Coulter Cites White Supremacist Code

The US has been hacking elections for more than a century

Transcript of Face the Nation book panel with Isabel Wilkerson (“The Warmth of Other Suns”; JD Vance (“Hillbilly Elegy”); actor Diane Guerrero (“In the Country We Love”); Amani Al- Khatahthbeh (“Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age”

Full Text Of Obama’s Farewell Address, or you can watch it

President Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Biden

ObamaWhiteHouse.gov is the future home of President Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov. This site will be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration and will serve as an historical archive of Obama Administration content.

Decency Is Not a Dirty Word

This way to the egress

Our brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

We don’t need Uber

The Prank of the Face: Unmasking the “Droeshout” Portrait of William Shakespeare

Actors seek posthumous protections after big-screen resurrections

RIP William Christopher; I watched him as Father Mulcahy for 11 seasons on MASH

Lord Snowdon dies aged 86; Anthony Armstrong-Jones was the first “famous” person who I knew shared my birthday of March 7

The Mysterious Virus That Could Cause Obesity


Shelterforce takes an in-depth look at the summer 2016 Sheridan Hollow mosaic project in which 3,000 City School District of Albany art students contributed their talents to help transform a city neighborhood.

Announcing a New Folger Fellowship in Honor of Margaret Hannay

The Waxhaws, on the border between the Carolinas

Arthur answers my questions about pop culture and Arthur, plus writes about his mom, who would have been 100

How Not To Write Like An Archdruid

Disney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has taken its final plunge before it gets a Marvel Studio makeover

They surveyed Americans to see how familiar they were with the ten shows that were nominated for Best Comedy and Drama for the Golden Globes

Richard Thompson and the comic strip CUL DE SAC

Jim Cummings provides the voices for many cartoon characters

Now I Know: Selling a Better Way to Shop and Top Billing and The People That Have No Rights and McRefugees and The Lobster War

Obit: Mr. Oliver Larry Rickard, better known as “Paw Paw” the Clown, age 81, of Rome “Survivors include… a brother-in-law, the late Roger Green.”

Music

2016 Coverville Countdown of the best cover versions, Part I and Part II

Kubo and the Two Strings – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Highlights from “Bring It On: The Musical”

To Russia with Love – Matt Monro

If Moby Accepted Trump Inauguration Invitation, This Would Be His Playlist, plus Trump Is on Your Side – Moby and the Homeland Choir

Station to Station – David Bowie

Nat Hentoff, renowned columnist, jazz critic, free speech advocate, died at 91. I used to read him in the Village Voice for about 20 of his 50 years with the paper

Patti Smith Never Wanted to Be Famous (interview)

David Byrne on not being afraid to fail

The Kinks’ Ray Davies receives knighthood in New Year Honours List

50 Years Ago, the Wah-Wah Pedal Was Born in a Hollywood Hills Garage

Vinyl sales in UK reach highest level in last 25 years – with more than 3.2 MILLION LPs sold last year

A Fancy Guitar to Sell, but Hard to Play in Handcuffs

Why did CNN air a documentary about the band Chicago produced by band members?

Tommy Lee Jones turns 70

The Fugitive (1993) – One of my favorite movie trailers ever.

tommyleeJonesOn these Facebook ads I see often, one of the questions is which actor was former Vice-President Al Gore’s roommate in college. Yes, it’s the guy from Texas, Tommy Lee Jones.

In fact, “in 1970 he landed his first film role, coincidentally playing a Harvard student in Love Story (Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, said that he based the lead character of Oliver on the two undergraduate roommates he knew while attending Harvard, Jones, and Gore).”

“At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, he presented the nominating speech for…Gore, as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.”

He was a guest star in a bunch of dramatic shows such as Barnaby Jones and Baretta that I used to watch. But it was before I knew who Tommy Lee Jones was. I did see him in these movies, and almost always like HIM, even when the movie is not great.

Lincoln (2012) – Thaddeus Stevens. I was rather fond of his portrayal. Jones received his fourth Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor
Hope Springs (2012) – as a part of a couple aging.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
Space Cowboys (2000) – a bunch of aging astronauts

Men in Black (1997) – the movie that sealed Tommy Lee Jones as a bankable actor
Batman Forever (1995) – as Two-Face / Harvey Dent
The Fugitive (1993) – One of my favorite movie trailers ever. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford): But I’m innocent! US Marshall Samuel Gerard (Jones): I don’t CARE!” No wonder he won Best Supporting Actor for his performance
JFK (1991) – as Clay Shaw. If I’m remembering right, he was sleazily great. He earned another Oscar nomination

Lonesome Dove (TV Mini-Series, 1989) – he earned another Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Texas Ranger lawman Woodrow F. Call in the acclaimed mini-series, based on the best-seller by Larry McMurtry
The Executioner’s Song (TV Movie, 1982) as Gary Mark Gilmore. Chilling. He received an Emmy for Best Actor for his performance as the murderer in an adaptation of Norman Mailer’s book
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) as Doolittle Lynn; for which he earned his first Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn’s husband