In Memory of Ned Beatty

For Through the Shattered Lens, I wrote about Ned Beatty.

Through the Shattered Lens

Ned Beatty died yesterday, at the age of 83.

Ever since I heard the news last night, I’ve been thinking about what an amazing actor Ned Beatty was. He could play it all. He could play a hero, he could play a villain, and he could play the quirky comic relief. He could effortlessly move from the movies to television to the stage and he seemed to instinctively grasp how to modify his style for each medium. Physically, he was instantly recognizable but he still managed to disappear into every role he played. You never thought you were watching Ned Beatty. Instead, you thought you were watching Bobby in Deliverance or Detective Bolander on Homicide or Otis in the first two Superman movies.

It’s amazing that, in his long career, Ned Beatty was only nominated for one Oscar and it wasn’t for his film debut in Deliverance. Playing the…

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Wayne Messam’s Opportunity?

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida has died. He was 84.

Out of respect for the dead, I’m going to refrain from criticizing Hastings’s political career. Regardless of whatever else you may hear about him, his constituents apparently loved him and he looked after them and that is, after all, what a member of the House is supposed to do.

I was one of the few people to follow the 2020 presidential campaign of Miramar, Florida mayor Wayne Messam. Messam didn’t get much respect from the national press, despite the fact that Miramar was bigger than Pete Buttigieg’s South Bend. I think the only time that he made national news was when it was revealed that his campaign had apparently only raised $5 during one of the reporting periods. Messam dropped out before the Democratic primaries.

At the time, there was some speculation that Messam’s main motive for running was to increase his profile so that he could run for Alcee Hastings’s seat whenever Hastings retired or died. I guess we’ll find out if that’s the case now. Hastings’s seat will be filled by a special election. Given that it’s probably a lifetime seat, the field will be crowded. Will Messam run? I kind of hope he does, just to increase the number of former presidential candidates currently serving in the House of Representatives.

According to RRH Election, another possible candidate is Gregory Tony, the sheriff of Broward County. Tony is a controversial figure but at least he kept the truly loathsome Scott Israel from reclaiming the sheriff’s office in 2020.

Trump Has COVID

Having lost my aunt to COVID in August, I take no joy in anyone getting it.

Our country is so broken.  At a time when we should be rallying together, we’re at each other’s throats.  One side is cheering the possibility of Trump dying and  I know that there are those on the other side who would be cheering if this was happening to Biden instead.

We’ve lost our way and I don’t know if we can ever find it again.

Police Academy (1984, directed by Hugh Wilson)

It’s come down to this. After being locked up for a month and a half, we were left with no choice but to watch Police Academy.

Through the Shattered Lens

God help us, it has come to this.  After a month and a half being locked down, Lisa and I watched the first two Police Academy movies last night.

The first Police Academy takes place in an unnamed city that appears to be in California.  Due to a shortage of officers, the mayor has announced that the police academy will now accept anyone who wants to apply, regardless of their physical or mental condition.  Naturally, this leads to a collection of misfits applying.  Martinet Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey) is determined to force all of them to drop out of the academy and he has a point because I wouldn’t trust Michael Winslow’s human sound effects guy to investigate any crimes that were committed in my neighborhood.  What’s going to do?  Make silly noises while I’m trying to figure out who stole my car?

The leader of the recruits is Carey…

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King Solomon’s Mines (1985, directed by J. Lee Thompson)

For Through the Shattered Lens, I reviewed King Solomon’s Mines.

Through the Shattered Lens

After her archaeologist father disappears while searching for the fabled mines of King Solomon, Jesse Houston (Sharon Stone) hires famed explorer Allan Quartermain (Richard Chamberlain) to help her find him.  After walking around in the jungle and exploring a nearby village, Allan and Jesse discover that her father has been kidnapped by a German military expedition who want to use King Solomon’s treasure to fund their war effort.  Working with the Germans is Allan’s old enemy, Dogati (John Rhys-Davies).  Allan and Jesse find themselves in a race against time to find the mines before the Germans.  Along the way, they steal an airplane, fight German soldiers on a train, and nearly get cooked alive in a giant cauldron.

Because this is a Cannon film and it was made at the height of Indiana Jones’s popularity and it stars John Rhys-Davies and it has a score that sounds like it was…

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Call It The Communist Virus

To be honest, I do kind of wish Trump would stop calling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus” because that does make it sound like we’re blaming the Chinese people instead of the Chinese government.

I’d call it the Communist Virus.  Or maybe the ChiCom Virus, if you really want to make clear which set of communist overlords we’re blaming.

But, as angry as we have every right to be at the Chinese government, we should always make it clear that we stand with the Chinese people.