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Monday, February 11, 2019

AZ Quotes: Bill Parcells- 'This Is Why You Lift All Them Weights, This is Why You Do All That'

Source:AZ Quotes- Bill Parcells, when he was head coach of the New York Giants 
As someone who grew up just outside Washington in Bethesda, Maryland and still live there, I grew up a Redskins fan and still am, ( even though Dan Snyder makes it harder for me to remain a Redskins and NFL fan each and everyday ) it gives me great pain to say anything nice about anyone who has ever worked for the New York Giants. Especially someone who not just had great success with the Giants, but had great success against the Redskins while with the Giants. The Redskins and Giants, are great rivals.

The only team that the Giants hate more than the Philadelphia Eagles, are the Redskins. And the only team that the Redskins hate more than the Dallas Cowboys, are the Giants. Welcome to the NFC which is just one small, but great family where everyone hates each other. Which might not be that untypical of the modern American family, especially with the current political situation and division. The NFC East is one of those places that's not that different from the modern American family. For example ( pardon my language ) you can all your brother an asshole or even make fun of your father or mother, but if someone else does especially outside of your family does, you want to kick their ass to set them straight. We don't actually hate each other, we even respect it each other which makes it easier to acknowledge greatness from another team in your division when you see it.

When a car company makes a great car, you bet your life that your competitors will see that and respect that. Perhaps even take notes of what makes that car great and why it's so popular. And when another team in your division does something great, or produces someone who is great like a player, or in Bill Parcells case a great head coach, other teams take note of that to see what made that coach so success with that team.

You could argue that what made Bill Parcells a great head coach was his knowledge for football and the NFL. A great ability to see talent and get the most out of the players that he had and of course that's all true. There are maybe 10 different NFL head coaches that knew enough about football and both sides of the ball that they could've been either a successful defensive coordinator or offensive coordinator: Don Shula, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, perhaps Bill Cowher, maybe Bill Walsh who gets credit for being the great offensive mind that he was, but the man had a great football mind as well and the San Francisco 49ers played his defenses and defenders were his players, not the defensive coordinator's. But one guy who really sticks out as a great football mind at least post-Tom Landry is Bill Parcells.

But as great a football mind that Bill Parcells was in the NFL and especially with the Giants where he won 2 Super Bowls in 5 years in New York ( or New Jersey, depending on your perspective ) and his knowledge of the game both defensively and offensively is an important factor, there's one more factor that I believe is more important and a bigger reason for his success in the NFL and that's his honesty. Like with the Giants ball control power offense where they almost told the defense what play they were going to run, because they only had a handful of both running and passing plays, there was no deception with the Bill Parcells Giants, they were either going to power run or perhaps pull a sweep outside with Joe Morris or someone else, or QB Phill Simms would go play action and hit a post to his TE Mark Bavaro or WR Lionel Manuel and there was also no deception or bullshit ( to be frank ) in how he treated his players. They always knew where they stood with him.

The classic Bill Parcells quote where he's on the sidelines I believe talking to his offensive line during a game and he's trying to motivate them and get them to play harder and he says, "this is why you lift all them weights, this is why you do all that shit!" Telling them the reason why Parcells makes his players work as hard as he possibly can, is not to punish them and to wear them down, but to make them as strong as they can and to make them as great as they.

It's that old Chuck Knox quote when he was the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1970s when they were at practice and he tells one of those players, "to be a champion, you have to pay the price." Coach Knox, was also famous for working his players very hard. Bill Parcells, wasn't interested in being popular even in New York, but wanted to build champions and he did that they only way he knew how to which was through blue-collar bluntness and hard work and he was very successful with his approach.
Source:NFL Films: Bill Parcells- Mic'd Up- New York Gants head coach Bill Parcells, being carried of the field after winning Super Bowl 25 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Politics and Prose: Dr. Eric Motley- Interviewing Elaine Pagels: 'Why Religion'

Source:Politcis and Prose- Eric Motley and Elaine Pagels at Politcis and Prose, in Washington 
Source:Politics and Prose: Dr. Eric Motley- Interviewing Elaine Pagels: 'Why Religion'

As someone who is Agnostic and proud of it who believes in reason, science, facts, and only has faith in people, things, institutions that I trust based on the evidence that I've seen from being around them and talking to them, I can actually see why people would be attracted in religion. As someone who believes in the First Amendment which includes the Freedom of Religion in America, ( sorry Hippies, I'm not spiritualist and I'm not a Communist either ) I can see why people would want religion, be involved in America, and even need it. I guess the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist, especially a fundamentalist Atheist ( and yes, there is such a thing ) like a Communist to use as an example.

Source:Good Reads- From Elaine Pagels 
This is not an official definition, but that might only be because there isn't any official definition of religion, but my personal definition of religion is basically basic set of moral values that people believe and follow, as well as the belief in God. Now, depending on what religion you are a member of determines what moral values that you believe in and follow that helps you in your life. I can easily see how people can get positive benefits from being a part of a religion and get positive benefits from attending church and listening to their religious leader every week give a sermon, especially when they're going through rough times and need help getting through those tough times. Even though religion is not for me and I prefer to use evidence and reason to get through those tough times in our lives.

Source:C-SPAN- Elaine Pagels, on C-SPAN 
Elaine Pagels, lost both her son and husband in the span of a year back in 1987-88, apparently wasn't very religious before those tragedies in her life, but found religion after that and I can understand someone who goes through those tragedies especially in such a short period of time would feel the need to get help from religion and learn about that and try to figure out for themselves why they're being put through those tragedies one following by another. Religion, has been used by alcoholics to get over their alcoholism. It's been used to help career criminals who are doing long-term prison sentences get their life going on a positive track so once they're finally out of prison they can become positive members of their community once they're free. As much as I might hate religious fundamentalism in all forms, ( and trust me, I do ) people should also understand and beware of the positive aspects of religious life as well.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Atlantic: Nora Johnson- 'Sex and The 1960s College Girl'

Source:The Atlantic Magazine- From Nora Johnson 
Source:The Atlantic: Nora Johnson- 'Sex and The 1960s College Girl'

At risk of sounding partisan and this is not the first time I've taken this risk as a blogger: as much as the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America, especially Christian-Nationalists put down and critique Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states for their interpretation of Islam in their government and Islam in general, they actually have a lot in common with Islamic-Theocrats and the Islamic-Right in the world and have for a very long time. 50 plus years or longer and share very similar if not identical cultural and religious views, especially when it comes to women's place in the world.

Source:IMDB- Sex and The 1960s College Girl film 
And why do I mention this? Because really from the time the American Republic was founded in 1776, up until 1963-64 or so America was the Christian-Right utopia for them when it came to the women's place in the world. They were basically servants of men who were raised to grow up, meet a good man who could take care of them financially, but spend their lives taking care of him at home, as well as their kids. As Joe ( or whoever the man was ) would go out in the world and make a career for himself and earn a good living everyday, while his wife Mary ( or whoever the woman was ) would be at home waiting for him managing the home and taking care of their kids.

According to the Christian-Right and the broader Far-Right in America, we as a country have been going to hell since the mid 1960s and have been destroying their utopia. With personal freedom and individualism running rampant around the country with so many Americans of all races and ethnicities, as well as religions, both men and women daring to have the freedom to make their own decisions. And no longer feel trapped and having to live in their parents cultural basement and feeling the need to have to live the way that their parents and grandparents lived in America. With women wanting to go to college and then get themselves a good job and get married and have kids later on, instead right away, she now had the cultural freedom to do that.

If men didn't want to get married at all and not have kids, or perhaps have kids and raise them, but not get married to the mother of his kids, he could now do that, because he had that same cultural freedom. And the same freedom for women as well.  This piece from Nora Johnson from 60 years ago and this video covers that. Women now had the same freedom as Americans as men do with the same freedom to run their own lives. Decide for themselves if they wanted to go to college and get a good job, or get married early and stay home to raise their kids. Wasn't like women were now required to get educated and go to work, it's just that now they had the personal and cultural freedom to make that decision for themselves.

In 1963 or so with Baby Boomers graduating high school and now in college, they were let out of their parents basement and this cultural closet that they were living in now had the freedom to be Americans and live their own lives, regardless if their parents and grandparents approving of their lifestyles or not. And with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against people based on race, ethnicity, but gender as well we saw millions of American women of all races and ethnicities now entering the workforce. The sitcoms of the 1970s with show like Mary Tyler Moore and Maude illustrated that with how America was changing culturally and we haven't looked back ever since and probably never will.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Lana Turner Online: MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948

Source:Lana Turner Online- Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner 
Source:Lana Turner Online: MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948

When  think of Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner, ( which is exactly what she was ) I think of the Queen of the Hollywood Soap Stars. Meaning, her only real experience in soap operas, was being on Falcon Crest in the 1980s, but she lived the life of a soap opera character and star. What would be called today a reality star. She lived on the tabloids with all her different marriages and breakups, she dated an Italian gangster putting her personal as well as her daughter Cheryl Crane's safety always at risk every time she was seen with Johnny Stompanato.

Source:History For Sale- Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner 
Her daughter goes on trial for murdering Johnny Stompanato in the 1950s, even though it's pretty clear she shot him in self-defense at their home. Lana's whole life looked like one gigantic publicly stunt, except that it was real-life reality TV and not what's supposed to pass a reality TV today. It's as if her life and career was written by the best team of Hollywood script writers in the history of the world. You would have had to live her life to ever even attempt to try to believe the real-life that Lana Turner actually lived. And that it wasn't just the best written movie, soap opera, or reality TV show that was ever written.

And then before she gets Falcon Crest in 1982, she had already done at least three soap opera movies in the 1950s and 60s. The Bad and The Beautiful, from 1952 with Kirk Douglas, that looks at the lives of three up incoming Hollywood workers. An actress, writer, and director where's there's constant backstabbing and screwing over in that movie, mostly by the Kirk Douglas character. That movie looked like one of the best episodes of Melrose Place that was ever written. Peyton Place, that was both a TV soap opera and movie soap opera. Love Has Many Faces from 1964, where she plays a woman who falls in love with multiple gigolos in the movie, perhaps her best movie. Madame X from 1966, where the plays the wife of a diplomat where her mother in-law pays her to get out of town, because she doesn't want her around her son anymore.

Lana Turner, is very interesting for another reason. She's one of the most underrated, as well as overrated actresses ever. She's not the best actress who has ever worked, but not the worst either and when she hear people talk about her you get the idea that she could be the best or worst depending who who you're talking to. I believe she's one of the best soap actresses who has ever lived and a great comedic actress as well. It's a damn shame that she never worked with Alfred Hitchcock or Neil Simon, because she was a great dramatic comedy actress with great sense of drama and comedic timing.

The great soap operas tend to be funny and the great soap actors and actresses, also tend to very funny. Melrose Place, but General Hospital are great examples of that. I believe she was limited to do dramatic comedy and soaps, but is one of the actresses to ever work in those genres and should get the respect more respect for that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Newsweek: Katie Couric- Sarah Palin's: Five Biggest Gaffes

Source:MSN- The photo says everything 
Source:Newsweek: Katie Couric- Sarah Palin's: Five Biggest Gaffes

Similar to Michele Bachmann who said things like America should be less socialist like China, ( an actual Michele Bachmann quote ) it's hard to pick the five biggest gaffes that Sarah Palin has ever given. To use a sports analogy, she really is the classic case of not ready for prime time. It would be like a high baseball player even a star who gets drafted by an MLB club and is promoted to the Major Leagues the day he graduates from high school.

Source:Ranker- Bill O'Reilly, interviewing Sarah Palin in 2010 and trying to help her out 
Before Senator John McCain ( may he always rest in piece ) nominated her for Vice President when he ran for President in 2008, she was a mayor of a very small town in Alaska and Governor of Alaska for a 18 months. And before that she worked for a very small paper in Alaska. That's a huge leap to take coming from that rural, small town background into a race for the most important office not just in America, but in the world when you're talking about the President of the United States. Ten years ago, she wasn't ready for the spotlight and ten years later, she still isn't and probably no longer wants it given how quiet she's been even with her dream candidate Donald Trump ( another political reality TV star ) as President.

Source:Ranker- Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 
But if Newsweek can put together the five biggest gaffes that Sarah Palin has ever given, I can certainly comment on some of them.

Sarah Palin: "I can see Russia from my backyard."

When she said that to Katie Couric who was then the anchor of the CBS Evening News back in 2008, Katie asked her something like what makes qualified to handle foreign policy and what experience to you have there. With Governor Palin saying that she can see Russia from her backyard. Which would be like me saying I'm qualified to do home construction because I can see a lot other homes in my neighborhood. Or saying I know my next door neighbors very well, simply because  live next door to them. Governor Palin, obviously wasn't prepared for that question by her staff or she ignored their advice.

Governor Sarah Palin, getting caught looking at the palm of her hands for answers like a high school sophomore gets caught cheating on a test that he didn't study for and looked at a cheat sheet. Again, where is the preparation that could come from having a staff who at the very least is smart enough to know that their candidate needs to know what she's talking about before she gives an interview, but also know their candidate well enough to know that she actually might be dumb and immature enough to try to pull a stupid play like that.

Calling Joe Biden, who was her opponent for the Vice Presidency old in 2008, sort of speaks for itself. Especially since her running mate John McCain ( again, always rest in peace ) was not just 72 at the time, but 6 years older than Senator Biden. Perhaps Governor Palin, hadn't had the pleasure of meeting the man who appointed her to be his Vice President, before she called Senator Biden old. I doubt that, but I just thought I would throw that out.

Sarah Palin, represents to me at least the classic case of not ready for prime time when it comes to American politics. She should've never been in that position in the first place. She was the classic Hail Mary pick by a presidential candidate in John McCain ( once again, always rest in peace ) who was not just losing the election to Barack Obama, but was probably going to lose anyway and perhaps figured if he was going to lose the election he would go out with all his bullets being shot ( except for birtherism ) and nominate a VP candidate that the Far-Right of the Republican Party would approve of. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sony Pictures Entertainment: The Frontrunner 2018- Hugh Jackman as Senator Gary Hart

Source:Sony Pictures Entertainment- Hugh Jackman, as Senator Gary Hart 
Source:Sony Pictures Entertainment: The Frontrunner 2018- Official Trailer

I saw The Frontrunner not this Saturday, but the previous Saturday in Silver Spring, Maryland because I wanted to see it obviously, ( no, I was kidnapped and forced to watch it ) but because of the subject matter. I was 11 years old and in the 5th grade in Bethesda, Maryland in the spring and early summer of 1987. Gary Hart's presidential campaign for 1988 was so short that I'm not sure it even made it to the summer of 87, at least officially. It made Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign look like a Breaking Bad marathon on AMC. You would have to be familiar with her very brief presidential campaign, as well as Breaking Bad and AMC to get that reference, but it was very short.

Source:We Got This Covered- Hugh Jackman, as Senator Gary Hart 
So, when Senator Gary Hart was running for president in 1984 and 88, I was a very young kid and don't remember much about his two campaigns. Both were fairly short, but at least for 84 Senator Hart made to January before falling out after finishing third, ( I believe in Iowa ) but going into 87 Democrats knew that they weren't going to have to run against President Ronald Reagan again and the Reagan Administration had the Iran Contra scandal hanging over his head with a Democratic Congress in charge of it since they now controlled both the House and Senate and that those investigations could hurt both President Reagan and then Vice President George H.W. Bush, especially since George Bush was not only the Vice President, but was considered the Republican frontrunner for the 1988 campaign.

Gary Hart, was as very talented politician, as well as a very intelligent man both in foreign affairs and national security policy, but domestic policy as well. He was compared with John F. Kennedy for good reasons. He was very bright, good looking, and also had a tendency to tell people what he believed and what was on his mind. Very similar to Senator Joe Biden who also ran for President that year. He also had an ability to talk about serious and complicated issues, but do it in a way where you didn't believe you needed a Russian or Chinese translator to translate what he was saying. He had a very common touch not that different from Bill Clinton, Ron Reagan, or even George W. Bush. And if his 1987-88 presidential campaign was about what he wanted to be about which was new ideas and time for a new generation, instead of what it became about, maybe he not only wins the 1988 Democratic nomination for President, but defeats Vice President Bush as well.

Which is my lead in to what The Frontrunner is about with actor Hugh Jackman playing Senator Gary Hart. It wasn't the media, it wasn't The Miami or The Washington Post, or NBC News that brought down Gary Hart. Only Gary Hart with his extra marital affair and his political suicidal mistake of daring the media to follow him around to see that he wasn't having an affair. There were rumors going into 1987 that Senator Hart was a bit of playboy who cheated on his wife which was before he even meet Donna Rice the woman he had a brief affair with in the late spring or early summer of 87. And Hart was tired of getting those questions and truly believed that they were none of the media's or the American people's business what kind of relationship that he had with his wife and other women.

Gary Hart, perhaps in a split moment lost his cool at a local diner on one of his campaign stops having lunch with a Washington Post reporter and dared the media to follow him around to see if he was having an affair or not and that's exactly what they did. That's how they got pictures of him with Donna Rice on a boat together in Miami. As well as pictures of them together at his Georgetown townhouse in Washington. Because he invited the media to follow him around and didn't just shoot himself in the foot politically, but shot his whole foot off and perhaps his brain and heart as well. Thanks to 1987, Gary Hart has never ran for political again and has never even served a Democratic President again.

As far as the movie, other than not looking much if at all like Senator Gary Hart, I believe Hugh Jackman did a great job of playing him. But I believe the people who played the reporters and the media officials were the real stars of the movie. As well as Senator Hart's campaign staff including J.K. Simmons especially. Gary Hart, comes as naive when it comes to how the media reports on these stories about politicians and candidates and their relationships with women. Which is how Hart should've been portrayed because in real-life he wasn't expecting the media to cover his affairs, just the substance of his campaign. Which of course is not how the real world in politics works. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Claudia Christian: On Making It In Hollywood

Source:Quote Parrot- A very candid Claudia Christian 
Not all actors and actresses, but a lot of them and apparently Claudia Christian is a perfect example of this, but before they become stars they have bills to pay and have to support themselves. Especially if they already have kids and their spouse isn't rich yet either. Just because you haven't heard of a certain actor because become stars later in their careers, doesn't mean they just suddenly appear out of nowhere or were sent down form Planet Venus or some other planet to become a star in Hollywood.

A lot of actors before they became stars were already veteran actors and actresses. Dennis Haysbert, who played the President on 24, is a perfect example of that. He was already in his mid 40s when he got that role, but had already had big acting credits like appearing in Heat in 1995. George Clooney, was 33 when he became a star on ER, but had already been acting and supporting himself for 10 years before that.

And because all actors and actresses have to work to support themselves even if they're not stars yet, they have to go where the money is and where they can get roles. Even if that means doing movies that a few years down the line after they've already made it look ridiculous to them. Thomas Howell, who became a star in the movie The Outsiders, has a laundry list of b-movies on his resume, because those were the only parts he could get. Acting on Impulse, from 1993 which is actually a pretty good movie, but almost no one has ever heard of it.

So actors and actresses have to keep working at least until they become stars and have some financial security. 30 years ago or so almost ten years before he got the part on ER and was still on The Facts of Life, George Clooney was in a movie called something like The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or Flies. If you haven't heard of that movie, you're on a long waisting list of people who want to get into an overcrowded club of people who've also have never heard of that movie. But these are the roles that let's say developing actors and actresses and prices that these people will pay to become a star in Hollywood and never have to worry about getting work again and be able to get quality roles in movies and on TV.

As far as Claudia Christian's career, she's been acting since 1984, but didn't didn't get the Babylon Five role until 1996 which made her a star in Hollywood. She made guest appearances on A-Team back in the mid 80s, appeared on the soap opera Dallas during that period, The Hidden in 1987, The Chase in 1994, which were al great roles for her, but also on that same resume before Babylon, Maniac Cop 2, Hexed, and a lot of other b if not c-movies that almost no one has even heard of, but kept her busy and working in Hollywood and gave major directors and producers a chance to see her so when a great part came around for her they would know about her and she would be ready for it. B-movies and b-roles are the prices that people pay to make it in Hollywood and Claudia Christian is just one example of that.
Source:Quote Tanks: Claudia Christian Quotes- Life is worth working for