Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

2013: Quarter- Assing my Resolution

Beckwith_Twain

“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week
you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his
last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious
and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our
reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings
considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did
the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New
Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as
a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions,
and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the
occasion.” Mark Twain – Letter to Virginia City Territorial
Enterprise
, Jan. 1863

 

It’s a new year! Time to make new resolutions and evaluate the huge embarrassing failure that became of last year’s pledges to change.  Yearly many people participate in this ritual. According to a poll in USA Today (the McDonald’s of newspapers) the three most common resolutions are to lose weight, save money and quit smoking.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Though I quit smoking 3 years ago it was not the result of a resolution, and I only miss it every single day. As for saving money, last year was the year I became an adult. A real adult in possession of a living trust, a will and a 401k. If I am to choose from the most common resolutions that would only leave losing weight. For me the decision to reduce my body mass would be the second worst resolution in recorded history; the first being when Abraham Lincoln resolved to take in more live theater. What, too soon?

I need a resolution with a very broad definition of success, one that lacks a traditional tracking metric and thus has little room for failure. A resolution that I can walk away from midyear and return to at a later time with little to no impact on the outcome. This may imply that I am half- assing the resolution process, but in reality it is probably more like quarter-assing.

So, for 2013 I have selected a foolproof and unavoidable inevitability as my resolution. In 2013 I resolve to become the answer to a trivia question. How will I achieve this? Who knows. Maybe I will discover cold fusion or set a Guinness world record for sleeping the least hours in a year. Perhaps I can write a song that could rival the lyrical wonder that is Gangnam Style or Call Me Maybe.

Bring on 2013–the Year of the Snake. With any luck, 2013 will be the year I am to finally achieve my resolution. Maybe that is the answer, I will become the first person to actually achieve my resolution. Thus becoming the answer to a trivia question.

Circular resolution = double points!

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I Wanna See Daniel Day Lewis in That

Already thinking about the 85th annual Academy Awards? Well first, that is just sad; and second, let me sum the coming awards onslaught up in a single word: Lincoln!

Best picture: Lincoln; best director: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln; best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln.

Only two people in history have had more written about them than our 16th president: Jesus Christ and William Shakespeare.  I cannot think of a film that has had more written about it than this year’s Abraham Lincoln biopic. Likewise, Daniel Day-Lewis has seen more press and acclaim for his short body of work than any actor in recent history. He inhabits a role often spending a full year getting into character. Day-Lewis is 55 and has only a handful of starring roles because of his intense approach to preparation.

In honor of Day-Lewis’ coming pile of trophies for Lincoln, I give you five roles I wish he would play:

Image property of RoyOrbison.com

5.  Roy Orbison

I am a huge fan of Orbison’s work. His vocals are unmatched in the pop rock music pantheon. Few people bother to develop the range that he possessed.

Orbison was also a dark, reclusive person, always hidden just below the surface or behind his ever present dark sunglasses. Roy Orbison has yet to receive the biopic treatment; many of his Sun Records cohorts already have. Though Day-Lewis is already two years older than Orbison was when he died in 1988, I think he could pull it off.

4. The Saint/Simon Templar

Please, if you have not already, try to forget Val Kilmer and the 1997 flop of an action romance that was The Saint.

The Saint was a master of disguise and a quick thinking con man who could create an  identity out of thin air. He walked the line between hero, spy, sleuth, and criminal.

There is so much for Day-Lewis to explore in this character! He could make Simon Templar something more than a James Bond or Jack Ryan ripoff.

3. The Shadow/Lamont Cranston

A very flawed Shadow feature film was made in 1994 starring Alec Baldwin. The character of the Shadow reaches all the way back to 1931 and has been said to have helped influence the character background of Batman. The Shadow has the power to cloud men’s minds; he can make them see things that aren’t there, and he can make himself appear invisible.

Think of this as the opportunity to see an understated superhero flick; less explosions and more cerebral warfare. Day-Lewis could do for the superhero genre what Gary Oldman did for the secret agent.

2. Mike Hammer

Mike Hammer was played most notably by Stacy Keach in the TV series of same name. Micky Spillane’s private investigator has seen no shortage of screen time. Hammer is a tough, sarcastic lady killer.

Film noir is in need of a savior, and I can think of none better than Day-Lewis to rescue it…along with any damsels in distress that show up along the way. Adding depth to this forgotten genre is certain to bring about more Oscar gold.

1. Fighting Jack Churchill

Probably the best forgotten hero of WW2 is the eccentric Jack Churchill. The British soldier was known to charge into battle carrying a claymore (Scottish broad sword) and was the only person in that conflict to kill an enemy combatant with a bow and arrows. Churchill, who was no relation to the Prime Minister, often played a song on the bagpipes before charging into battle.

If Day-Lewis were ever to make a WW2 picture, he would need the outsider perspective of a character like Jack Churchill. This could be the one action film that would make sense for such a fine actor.

 

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