Thursday, June 30, 2011

America's nightmare is over!

The nightmre that has engulfed America is finally OVER! Glenn Beck is no longer on the air, after today, on Fox News Channel. He's gone and might well be forgotten as soon as possible.
No more tin-foiled conspiracies to babble about for an hour; gone will be the talk of survivalist preparation, anti-Semetic/racist rants and labeling everyone NOT in alignment with Beck's strange religious vision as anti-American.
Our national discourse is better for his disappearance.
Don't let the bomb shelter door hit you in the ass, Glenn, on your way out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The most subversive new show on TV

Without question, th most subversive new show on television this summer, or any other season, is FX's dark comedy, "Wilfred," about a troubled man and the neighbor's dog, whom he envisions as a pot-smoking, swearing Aussie man.
It is brutally funny, nasty and intriguing - the sort of stuff that actually belongs on HBO. It ain't "Lassie" and it ain't a version of "Harvey" ... unless it's penned by the guys who give us "South Park."
FX has grown by leaps and bounds as a network, and includes one of my top five shows - "Justified." Keep up the good, nasty, work.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The man who was 'Columbo' dead at 83

Our fading generation lost another fine actor when it was announced that Peter Falk, best known for his TV role as "Columbo," the dithering yet undaunted detective, died at the age of 83.
He was more than "Columbo," having earned two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor, including his role in a great yet unappreciated Frank Capra movie, "Pocketful of Miracles." People might remember Falk also played the story-reading grandfather in "The Princess Bride."
His work with the best buddy, John Cassavettes produced two brilliant pieces of cinematic acting, "A Woman Under the Influence," and "Husbands," with Cassavettes and the other mini-Rat Packer, Ben Gazzara.
He WILL be missed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Charlie Brown' sings no more...

The world of rock and roll music lost a great pioneer with the announcement of the death of singer Carl Gardner, leader of the LEGENDARY 50s group, The Coasters, at the age of 83.
A native of Tyler, Texas, Garner's distinctive voice was heard of such classics as "Charlie Brown," "Poison Ivy," "Young Blood," "Searchin'" and "Yakety Yak." They were great rock and roll songs, wonderfully humorous and were the standard bearers for one of the all-time greatest songwriting duos, Mike Leiber and Jerry Stoller. Each song was like a small vignette and The Coasters, on stage, were often more comedy troupe than quartet.
But make NO mistake, they could sing. Originally formed in Los Angeles as The Robins, doing two of the great old R&B numbers, "Riot in Cell Block Number Nine" and "Smokey Joe's Cafe," they changed to The Coasters in 1955.
How important WERE they? They were the first R&B vocal group inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Rest in Peace, Carl Gardner...

Friday, June 10, 2011

The passing of the "Gray Fox"

Detroit Tigers fans, of which I am one, are mourning the loss of 1968 World Series hero/outfielder Jim Northrup, who died Wednesday at the age of 71, following a long battle with arthritis and Alzheimer's.
The man called "The Gray Fox" by his teammates was a mainstay for the 1968 Tigers, hitting 21 HRs and driving in 90 runs; his play forced manager Mayo Smith to make a radical lineup change. Smith moved Northrup to CF, keeping veteran Al Kaline in the lineup and placin CF Mickey Stanley at SS (where he had never played in the majors) in place of light-hitting Ray Oyler.
The result was a spectacular Word Series for Northrup, slamming two home runs, including a Game 6 grand slam (one of FOUR on the 1968 season, including slams in back-to-back at-bats). But it was his seventh-inning drive in Game 7, which sailed over the head of All-Star CF Curt Flood, resulting in a two-run triple, that produced the World Series winning runs - called the biggest hit in Tiger history.
He was a Michigan native (Breckenridge) who went to a small Michigan college (Alma) and playd for the home state team. He was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and remained dear to the heart of EVERY genuine Tiger fan.
He was a childhood hero and part of the greatest sports team I EVER saw. Rest in peace, Foxy.

Friday, June 03, 2011

R.I.P. Marshal Dillon

God rest the soul of an American television legend - actor James Arness, alias "Gunsmoke" lead Marshal Matt Dillon, dead today at the age of 88.
His other claim to movie fame was his portrayal of the carrot-looking monster in the camp classic "The Thing from Anotehr World," and later in "Them."
But from 1955-1975, the 6-7 actor (brother of the late Peter Graves) reigned as lord over the American West in the mythical Dodge City - with the likes of Festus, Miss Kitty, Doc Adams and Chester.
His talent and staying power will never been seen again.