February Rambling: niece Rebecca Jade in a movie

My niece, Rebecca Jade, appears as a singer (typecasting, that) in a film called 5 Hour Friends, starring Tom Sizemore,

autocorrectFrom Jeff Sharlet, who I knew long ago: Inside the Iron Closet: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia. In 2010, Jeff wrote about the American roots of Uganda’s anti-gay persecutions. He notes: “Centrist media sources dismissed my reporting as alarmist; The Economist assured us it would never pass. [This week], Ugandan President Museveni is signing the bill into law.”

There was no Jesse Owens at Sochi.

Arthur’s letter to straight people: why coming out matters; read the linked articles therein, too. (Watch that Dallas sportscaster on Ellen.)

So Dangerous He Needs a Soo-da-nim. Racist homophobes who comment on Sharp Little Pencil’s blog.

With conversations about shipping potentially dangerous liquids through my area, here’s a recollection of a train wreck 40 years ago.

If you knew you were going blind, what would be the last thing you would want to see before everything went dark?

The mess of an answered prayer and talking about mental illness.

A Hero’s Welcome after World War II. On a lighter note, The Margarine Wars.

This school is not a pipe, or pipeline.

An alto’s-eye view of choral music.

Who the heck was Ed Sullivan. Plus, Meet the Beatles and what it replaced, and What the critics wrote about the Beatles in 1964, and Introducing the Beatles to America.

Evanier’s experiences with Sid Caesar. Evanier wrote a brace of followup stories here (which also talks about Howie Morris) and here. Also, Dick Cavett reviewed one of Caesar’s two autobiographies, plus an article about the ever-foldable Al Jaffee of MAD.

Leonard Maltin on meeting Shirley Temple.

There are several Harold Ramis films I haven’t seen yet, but the ones I DID view – Animal House, Ghostbusters, Analyze This – I really enjoyed. Groundhog Day was among the first movies I ever purchased on VHS. And his SCTV stuff was fine, too.

A reminder that this is why we are so touched by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, from Anthony Lane. As someone put it, “It’s not his celebrity but his art.”

An audio link to a 46-minute lecture by Charles Schulz.

My niece, Rebecca Jade appears as a singer (typecasting, that) in a film called 5 Hour Friends, starring Tom Sizemore, a 97 minute comedy/drama/romance. “A lifelong womanizer gets a taste of his own medicine.” It was made in 2013, but not widely released, if at all. It will be in theatrical release in San Diego March 28-April 4th. Here’s the trailer, in which Rebecca can briefly be both seen and heard singing.

After only an 18-month hiatus, Tosy and Cosh are back ranking every U2 song.

Why Tom Dooley was hanging his head. Plus hangman John Ellis.

That is NOT the way Dustbury remembers that song, and I don’t either. Plus the history of Unchained Melody.

Mark Evanier’s teacher from hell.

Lefty Brown’s Valentine’s Day post to Kelly. “The Married Gamers – Play Together. Stay Together.”

Maypo Cereal Commercial (1956) Yes, I DO remember it, so there.

The five-second rule, expanded. Very true.

One can count on SamuraiFrog for all things Muppet: Getting to the Big Game and Miss Piggy’s response, plus a meta ad for the upcoming movie and Rowlf getting ice cream and saying good night to Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night; I hear Fallon’s gotten another job. Fallon, BTW, went to school at the College of Saint Rose, about five blocks from my house.

Yet another version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Frog still torturing himself with 50 Shades of Smartass: Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 and Chapter 16. When I typed the title, I accidentally wrote “50 Years…”; read into that what you will.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

And now for the AmeriNZ section: Arthur’s linkage, in which he calls my Everly Brothers post “diabolical.” Arthur’s Law restated, tied to my Facebook unfriending. The law is a ass.

YouTube and AIDS deniers.

A long Super Bowl Sunday, Philip Seymour Hoffman edition

Interesting that the first comment I got about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death was “If it is true, it’s sad.”

philipseymourhoffmanMy church belongs to this entity called FOCUS, which, among other things, runs a food pantry. Periodically, there is a joint service of the congregations. Usually, I miss the one in early February, because I’m away at a MidWinter’s party Saturday night out of town. But the Wife had an all-day meeting on Saturday, and that rather put the kibosh on that. It was a good service, but it was LONG: at least 100 minutes.

Then the reception afterward. The service was at Trinity United Methodist, my church from 1982 to 2000, so it was interesting being there again. I could tell the visitors where the bathrooms were – they hadn’t moved. I recognized no one from when I was in the choir there.

The Daughter had a rehearsal all afternoon at our church for the Lion King performance in four weeks. I slipped off to the library to use the computer, where I saw fellow Times Union blogger Chuck Miller working on this piece.

It was there that I first learned on Facebook that the actor, and former upstate (Rochester area) kid, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead, news which I passed along. It is interesting that the first comment I got was “If it is true, it’s sad.” So much misinformation IS online, but I had checked four sources before passing it along.

I have seen LOTS of his films. I didn’t always love the movie, but always appreciate his efforts, and I was bummed. I thought he was one of the best actors of his generation, and at the age of 46, should have had a number of better pictures ahead. I so regret that his demons had gotten the best of him. The LA Times helpfully noted that he was found dead in his apartment with a needle in his arm.

I saw him in all of these movies:
Leap of Faith (1992)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Nobody’s Fool (1994) – a small role as a cop
Boogie Nights (1997)
Next Stop Wonderland (1998)
Patch Adams (1998)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
State and Main (2000)
Almost Famous (2000) – I bought him as Lester Bangs
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Capote (2005) – great as the title character
The Savages (2007) – possibly my favorite of his films, as Laura Linney’s sibling
Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) – that film got better the moment he was on screen
Synecdoche, New York (2008) – an unorthodox film about the arts in upstate NY described well here. Watch the funeral monologue.
Doubt (2008) – believable as a priest
Moneyball (2011) – convincing as Art Howe of the Oakland A’s

Plus a role on Law & Order in 1991 that I certainly must have seen, and a voice character on the children’s cartoon Arthur, which I KNOW I saw. The New York Times had a GREAT article about him, and CNN has a recent brief interview with him

Know who else died this weekend? Anna Gordy Gaye, Berry Gordy’s sister, and Marvin Gaye’s ex-wife, who was the subject of Marvin’s bizarre Here, My Dear album.

I get home, start watching the Super Bowl stuff right at 6 p.m. Eastern, 30 minutes before the game. But the game was a blowout by 12 seconds into the third quarter. (Those of you who do not appreciate the Big Game obviously have never heard Andy Griffith’s analysis of the sport from sixty years ago.)

Many of the ads – some of which are HERE – didn’t really stick to my brain, except the Radio Shack and one of the Doritos ads, but that could have been fatigue.

I do recall seeing Bob Dylan plugging American-made vehicles, which didn’t bother me as much as it did some folks. I love the Muppets, yet feel ambivalent at best about THEIR appearance in a car ad. There was a Masarati ad or two for which I did not understand the reason why I would want the car.

I’d already seen the Budweiser Heroes ad and the Cheerios Gracie ad. I shouldn’t have been, but I was, oblivious to the backlash the Coca-Cola America the Beautiful ad would generate.

Right after linebacker Malcolm Smith was selected as game MVP, I fell asleep, waking up in the middle of a comedy called Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so it was time for bed.