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Archive for April, 2011

My brother Sean and Frank (the older brother of my best friend in grammar and high school) are big song posters on Facebook.  Mostly old-school, but sometimes more recent stuff as well.  To be honest, I prefer the old school.  I guess the things you grew up with have had the time to make the most emotional attachments in your life.  A while back they started doing a rally of old r&b tunes and I heard an old Impressions song I enjoyed.  I don’t think their back and forth was meant to be competitive, but it was (is) pleasant to see technology being used to reinforce the beauty which already exists if we just take / make time to remember it.  Of course I did what you’re supposed to do when this happens, I wiki’ed the song, group, writer, etc.  Along the path, I bumped into “People Get Ready“.  I then made a mental note to myself to include the lyrics on my Poems page, but then never got around to it.
 

What happens to a page deferred?  Does it dry up in the sun, overcome by the flow of other life events?  Or, does it come back – repeatedly by other artists – to remind you again and again of unfinished tasks in life?  (Apologies to Langston Hughes and his “A Dream Deferred“.)  In this case, the latter – resistance is futile.  The lyrics I’ve provided are from one of the many versions available on YouTube.  This version was Curtis Mayfield playing with a house band.  In any case, I had to choose between the original by the Impressions, one of many by Curtis without the Impressions, or one of the many covers.  The hardest choice was the one I remember best: The Chambers Brothers.  Normally, I would go with the one I remembered best, but in this instance I chose Curtis because his voice is more “haunting” to me.
 

The two poems I remember most from my early teens were Robert Frost’s “Fire And Ice” and Langston Hughes “A Dream Deferred“.  Probably because they were both short yet still able to express a tremendous range of emotion (“suffice” and “explode”).   “Fire And Ice” has been posted for some time.  “A Dream Deferred” was added today.  If you haven’t read them lately, take two minutes.  That’s about how long it will take to read them both.  Enjoy.  Highly recommended!
 

Thanks to all of my spirit brothers and sisters…

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First off, Happy Easter to all.  Christ is risen!!
I’ve been off work a few days this week with a viral infection in my throat which has made it very difficult to swallow (and sometimes breathe).  The result is that I’ve had some time (between sleeping) to watch a few movies.  Normally when I’m off work, I like to read, but I’ve found when I’m ill I can’t really concentrate enough to make reading enjoyable.  Anyway, the three movies I’ve watched are: “2012” (a disaster epic from 2010), “The Departed” (an undercover cop movie from 2006), and “Star Knight” (a science fiction / history – “They’ve visited us” – movie from 1985).
The first movie, “2012” was a very enjoyable disaster epic with fairly spectacular special effects (and some banal ones as well).  The acting is so-so, but the effects make the movie.  The best acting in the movie is done by Woody Harrelson – who I normally don’t care for mainly for his choice of roles.  In this movie, he is the predictor of the disaster, comes across as believably paranoid / crazy and is genuinely great in the role.  I guess I like him as crazy but not dark.  This was the third time I’ve seen this movie.  The first was at the theater, where the big screen made the SFX look fantastic (particularly Los Angeles sliding into the Pacific and the destruction of Yellowstone).  The second time I watched it was after the DVD came out and I watched it on my TV at home.  To be honest, the movie did not carry over well from the big screen to the home viewing.  I have a 48 inch hi-def screen, but a lot of the smaller SFX details did not come across when viewed from 8 to 10 feet away.  In contrast, this third viewing was on my 32 inch flat-panel connected to my PC and viewed from about 2 to 3 feet away, and it was terrific.  It didn’t make the movie better, but it made the viewing better.  I’ve noticed a similar viewing effect when I’ve watched some other films – most notably, “Avatar“.  So my recommendation is this is a very entertaining SFX disaster movie, but see it on as big a screen as you can and sit as close as you can.  Recommended.
The second movie, “The Departed” is a police / mob undercover movie with a number of major young(-ish) movie stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg and some oldie but goodies Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin.  The movie is set in Boston and the main conflict is between good mole (DiCaprio) in the mob and bad mole (Damon) in the police.  The movie is very well done as characters, plot and pace go.  I had some minor problems with the poor use of technology, but all in all it was a terrific movie.  I can’t honestly say it’s appropriate for everyone to view as there is a considerable amount of foul language, so there are age and sensitivity issues for the viewing audience.  Other than that, highly recommended!  Oh, and a shout out to my daughter Rebecca for recommending this to me.
The third movie, “Star Knight” is an alien visits earth in the middle-ages movie.  It was done in the mid 1980’s so there has to be some allowance for the SFX – which for that period are actually pretty good.  The movie, however is terrible!!  The best thing about this movie is it is only 91 minutes long, so you’re not wasting 92 minutes of your life.  There are a few movies I will see just because the actors in the films are known quantities and are predictors of quality.  The movie they are in may not be great, but almost without exception, their role is outstanding.  Among these are actors like: Bogie, Hepburn, Tracy (from the oldies) and Nicholson, Streep and (my personal favorite) Duvall.  There are some younger actors emerging though who I think will one day be in a similar category.  I like Damon, Wahlberg and DiCaprio.  Of these three, I must admit, Wahlberg seems to have the most limited range of characters.  DiCaprio is the most recent addition to my list.  I have seen very little of his work and did not enjoy him or the movies I saw him in early: “Titanic” and “The Quick and the Dead“.  Anyway, last year I thoroughly enjoyed him in “Inception” and I think he was also exceptional in the movie just above (“The Departed“).  Well, (that’s a long way to get to here), one of my other all-time favorite actors has been Harvey Keitel.  Again, I have not always liked the movies he was in, but I always liked him.  This movie is definitely the exception.  He is bad and the movie is terrible.  In fairness to Harvey, the movie, a Spanish film originally called: “El caballero del dragon (The Knight of the Dragon)“, was on sale for $4 and it had a pretty good DVD jacket and blurb on the back, but I bought it on the strength of his name.  As stated previously, this was both a waste of time and money.  I am hoping Keitel did this as bad camp, because it is almost – but not quite – so bad it is funny.  There is a vague nod to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (I hope that is what it is) in one scene, but even as camp, the movie fails.  I guess even the best actors will take any role just to stay active.  Sorry Harvey…  This is among the worst movies I have EVER seen.  Frankly, I don’t even have another movie to compare it to because I’ve blotted them out of my memory, too.
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I cannot approve of monarchs who want to rule over the conscience of the people, and take away their freedom of choice and religion.
 

—  William the Silent, aka William of Orange

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Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
 

—  Theodore Roosevelt

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Interference

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
 

—  Albert Einstein

[It’s hard to add more to a full closet.  —  KMAB]

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Giving

No person was ever honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
 

—  Calvin Coolidge

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My practical mindset knows that nothing I’ve written here will hardly change one iota of anyone’s opinion.   Still in all I pursue the truth of things as they really are, not as I wish them to be.
 

—  from the blog: http://informationforager.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/founding-fatherswhat-they-really-believed/

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