Tag Archives: President

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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Faudulent Reasoning: A Voter Indictment

My son turned 2 months old last week. Why are you cheering? Why does everyone cheer when I say that? Could it be because they see the look of pure exhaustion in my brown eyes? A two month old does not care for most things, and sleep is chief among them. While my wife takes a turn at sleeping, I stroll around the house with my offspring in whatever position is remotely acceptable at the time.

We talk about many different things, well I talk he mostly just stares at me. I speak of the world he has been born into and the people that inhabit it. Together we review my Twitter feed, and he listens or appears to listen as I complain about numerous and varied issues.

Last night as we repeated our nightly ritual I came across what may have been the most disturbing “tweet” I have ever read.  Long story short (shorter than 130 characters?) My friend, a conservative, feels that with the Romney nomination he is forced to vote for Obama. First, let me say that everyone is entitled to vote for whomever they wish. No one need state their reasoning for choosing a candidate, but since my friend chose to do so here we go:

So at the behest of my son (by behest I mean screaming fit aimed at getting me to shut up) I emailed my friend and asked him If he would explain his thought process on his selection for president.

He sent back four words “Romney’s not conservative enough”

It is good that I was already not getting any sleep, because the lack of logic in use by this gentleman would keep a sane person up for weeks. The GOP nominee is not conservative enough, so I am going to vote for the most liberal president in history? “Romney and I don’t see eye to eye on some of the issues.” Really,  could you list all of the  issues on which you and Mr. Obama agree?…no really take some time…I’ll wait. A conservative voting for Obama is like a cow voting for Ronald McDonald.

Then it occurred to me that our slavish devotion to a two party system has caused this problem. If there are only two choices one of them must be perfect. Right? Oh sure there will be third parties on the ballot but voting for them against an incumbent you don’t favor is statistically the same as voting for the incumbent.

I have no information that will help me sway the opinion of my friend. I can almost see him strolling through the polling place with his ballot. As he strides his way into the booth and stands there, pen in hand. Dangling the pen for just a second he lets out an evil laugh as he passes by the name of the politician that holds some of his principles and positions and marks the ballot for the opposite. Under his breath you can almost hear him mutter “that’ll show ’em”.

Our two party system is broken, but your vote should not be a tool by which you seek to punish the system. Casting a vote for someone you cannot remotely agree with just to prove a point is asinine and obnoxious. It is hardly what our founding fathers had in mind.  It is an insult to our country and to ones self. Have some self respect, at least try to sell your vote first.

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“Akin” for Understanding

 

Photo appears courtesy of Wikimedia commons

For a little over a month I have avoided writing anything too in depth about the wild and crazy world of partisan politics.  I see no need to assist either of the presidential candidates with the slinging of their mud. I don’t want to react to the newest soundbites or quotes from speeches designed to influence my opinion. I find the campaign stops and bus tours ludicrous. I have trouble believing that one millionaire truly understands me better than the other millionaire.

I could go into a few things that have moved me over the last month. Romney’s senseless comments at the Olympics, or Obama’s complete misunderstanding of small business and entrepreneurs. I could lambaste the president for saying he does not need to prove anything while arguing that Romney should have to prove…see how easy it is to fall into the trap?

There is no better way to understand our partisan bickering than the view of a complete political meltdown.  Over the weekend we were offered a perfect example of a politician making cringe worthy remarks and the media running with them. When Todd Akin went on a St Louis morning show to talk about his race for the U.S. Senate, who knew the six time congressman from Missouri would coin a new phrase and draw up battle lines all across the country.  The foolishly uninformed statements made by Mr Akin can be viewed here.

Akin for a clue Photo appears courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Two things happened very quickly following the “legitimate rape” fiasco. First Democrats tried desperately to tie these comments to the general belief of any pro-life politician. This opportunistic approach is exactly the kind of thing that makes me despise election year news coverage.  Second, anyone with a reputation to protect ran screaming from Todd Akin and were quick to point out his views were strictly his own and not the views of… well… anyone who has ever taken an eighth grade health class.

What amazes me is that people have come to Akin’s defense. Explaining that he misspoke…I see when he said that a woman’s body has ways of  “shutting that whole thing down” what he meant to say was “Rape is a deplorable thing and no one can question the choices someone makes after a traumatic experience like that.”

The current division in our society has left us in an odd place. We feel compelled to defend anyone who shares our beliefs regardless of how indefensible their actions may be. We also find ourselves too quick to assume that the thoughts and opinions of a whole group of people who disagree with us can be summed up by the raving of one mad man. (Joe Biden speaks for all Democrats, right?)

 

I long to view national politics the same way we do on the local stage. Outrageous claims are seldom made in attack ads on the local level, because you have to see that person and their family afterward. The expectations are higher with lower offices, sources must be named and comments explained. On the local stage Blind Faith is just a super group featuring Eric Clapton, not something we grant the members of our party– simply because they are members of our party.

In my next piece I will probably return to slamming the current administration, but for now let me appeal to you as a person. We have to be the difference! The standards we have for those meant to represent our beliefs and positions should be twice as stringent as those we place on others. We are judged by the company we keep both personally and politically.

 

 

 

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