Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quick Takes

Scattered thoughts from Paul's brain...


Can we just agree that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a weirdo, an egomaniac, and a visitor from a strange planet...and Barack Obama is too nice a guy to tell him to shut the hell up?


In a tax case in which Wesley Snipes and friends were convicted in federal court in Florida...Judge Terrell Hodges sentenced co-defendant Eddie Ray Kahn to ten years. Here's the exchange:

Kahn: "For the record, Your Honor, I don't accept that."

Judge Hodges: "You may not accept it, Mr. Kahn, but you will serve it."


Have you ever broken off a relationship or refused to enter one because the party-of-the-second part wasn't a reader? Or, he/she read what you considered to be crap?

Take a look at Rachel Donadio's New York Times Book review piece, "It's Not You, It's Your Books

Here's the lead:

Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”

When I was single, I dated some women who had trouble reading the menu at Joe's Stone Crab.

What about you? Are you a literary snob? Do you know people who are?

Do writers? Sculptors? Baseball players?

Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times takes great umbrage at movie stars who appear in crap films. In "How the Mighty Have Fallen: Pacino and De Niro are embarrassing, if enriching, themselves with film choices.".

Goldstein argues that these great actors should reject the big paychecks for lousy movies (Pacino in "88 Minutes," De Nior in (Meet the Fockers") and confine themselves to quality projects.

In an amazingly similar article (media conspiracy!), Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post writes: "My Career Has Fallen But It Can Get Up: If They Make the Right Choices, There's Still Plenty of Time for Older Stars to Shine". She, too slams DeNiro, Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and throws in Diane Keaton and Cher for good measure. (Don't know about you, but I've been anguished about Cher's career choices lately).

My view is that actors owe me nothing. If I'm going to see a piece of dreck like "Meet the Fockers," shame on me if I don't realize in advance that it's a lowbrow ripoff sequel of a lame movie. And maybe, just maybe, De Niro, Hoffman, and Barbra Streisand did the picture to hang out and have fun.

I don't think artists or athletes owe us anything, other than always trying their best. Yes, I understand how embarrassing it was to watch Willie Mays in his last days with the Mets. He couldn't get around on a fast ball. In center field, the once sublime fielder, stumbled and bumbled. He made us cry. But maybe Willie, who loved the game, still enjoyed playing. His choice, not ours. What do you think?


Another absolutely true letter:

Dear Abby,
My mother is mean and short-tempered. I think she is going through mental pause.

Have a good day and read whatever the hell you want...


  1. I've never dated a guy who didn't read, but some didn't read novels. Strange but acceptable. As for actors appearing in bad movies, if you were an accountant with a list of bad clients, I doubt that you would stop working. If an actor loves his/her work and juicy roles aren't offered, I say accept the ones that are. Somebody will watch.

  2. I told my daughter not to write Dear Abby.


  3. I've been going through mental-pause for quite some...

    What was I saying?

  4. God, yes! I can tolerate many things, but not being a reader is not one of them! I admit also that general cluelessness and a willful disregard for any current events is unattractive as well. As Ron White says, "stupid is forever!".

  5. There were several women I dated for whom I'd lost respect after seeing their reading choices.

    Of course, the fact that they were dating me meant they had no self-respect.

    As for Rev. Wright, this is precisely why I stay far from all things churchy. I may want to run for president some day.

  6. My first job, which lasted for fourteen years, was working at a local library. Our idea of a great time was thumb wrestling to see who got first dibs on the new Sue Grafton. In my senior year in college, not being able to "indulge" in fiction, I made a list, most of them mysteries, that passed my first chapter test. When I graduated, it took me six months to get through the list. During that time, I got engaged to a guy who thought the height of great literature was his comic book collection. He'd buy two - one to read, and one to seal up in a baggie for "investment" purposes. Needless to say, I dumped him, and married another history major who gives me new finds in the mystery section every year for Christmas and my birthday. Found Maisie Dobbs, and y'all through one of those gifts.

  7. I wouldn't be too tough on the actors, after all, one day they may agree to be in a film based on one of your books! ;o)

    But I have to agree that they're free to do what they choose with their lives, it's up to me whether or not I pay the money to see the movie.

  8. My Lillian didn't read much when we got together; she's ADD and dyslexic, so it was hard for her. And I didn't push.

    But I keep bringing home huge stacks of books, and it turns out that when the writing's good, she can find a way to read it. Now she's reading more than ever.

    Despite the fact that we're both having serious moments with "mental pause"!