Monthly Archives: June 2009

Singer: Reba McEntire

uploaded by fancyreba.com

uploaded by fancyreba.com

I dare anyone to find anything bad to say about Reba. Now, you don’t have to like her music. In fact, I’ve never owned or downloaded a single Reba song. But she’s wholesome, funny, friendly, and like the best country performers, dedicated to and appreciative of her audience.

She wasn’t planning on stardom when she entered Southeastern Oklahoma State University to be a teacher. Then she sang the National Anthem at a rodeo. Country singer Red Steagall (don’t ask) was there, and suggested Reba head to Nashville to pursue a musical career. Which she did. Did she ever.

uploaded by rtl.nl

uploaded by rtl.nl

She’s won each of these country music awards multiple times: Female Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Grammy, and People’s Choice Award. She’s had at least 33 number one hits. She’s sold over 50 million records. She’s been in several movies (including the cult hit Tremors). And she had a funny and successful tv show that ran for six seasons, and may be even more popular now as a second-run show.

I don’t usually quote others in this space, but I couldn’t describe Reba’s impact better than did Janis Fontaine of the Palm Beach Post:

There isn’t a female country artist out there that doesn’t owe McEntire a debt of gratitude. She taught women how to be successful, not only as singers, but as businesswomen, and she continues to take on new challenges. This is a woman who will never get stale. From her first number one, Can’t Even Get the Blues in 1982, to Somebody in 2003, you’ll find all the hits here in order of their release. What a way to look back over a truly stellar, but not finished, career.

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Film: The Shawshank Redemption

uploaded by starz.com

uploaded by starz.com

Uplifting. That’s a word you don’t usually associate with the writings of Stephen King. And it’s not often you associate that word with prison movies, either. But The Shawshank Redemption is a different kind of movie in a lot of ways. A lot of great ways.

You know a movie has been perfectly cast when you can’t imagine anyone else playing the characters. Tim Robbins was born to play Andy Dufresne, and Morgan Freeman is at the peak of his skills as fellow inmate Red.

uploaded by streeat89

uploaded by streeat89

The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for seven Academy Awards. It won none. It lost Best Picture to a little something called Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks also took the Best Actor award that in most years might have gone to Morgan Freeman. But readers of the Web site imdb.com have a different opinion. Right now Shawshank is number one, not just for 1995, but all-time. That’s right, it’s currently the popular choice as the best movie ever.

The movie’s final scene, which I won’t divulge to avoid being a spoiler, is one of my very favorite movie moments. And yes, I’m a sucker for happy endings, I’ll reveal that much. If you’re one of the few who’ve never seen this film, watch it this weekend. I mean it. You’ll thank me.

TV Show: Johnny Carson

uploaded by Eda Cherry

uploaded by Eda Cherry

With this week’s passing of sidekick Ed McMahon, it’s only natural that we remember his boss, the man who towered above late-night television. The man who made it look ridiculously easy, and despite others’ rating success, the man who will never be replaced.

Heeeere’s Johnny!

Though he hosted several other successful programs, Johnny Carson makes this list because of the Tonight Show. Or, as everyone called it, The Johnny Carson Show.

He brought his unique humor and style into America’s bedrooms for 30 years. Close your eyes, and you can almost hear his distinctive theme song and see him swinging that imaginary golf club.

Uploaded by mikeward46

Uploaded by mikeward46

He had a number of recurring characters, but the most popular one was Carnac the Magnificent, a psychic who answered questions in “envelopes that have been hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar and stored at Funk & Wagnall’s.”

From Ed Ames’s errant hatchet throw, to Tiny Tim’s wedding, to countless Don Rickles rants, to Bette Midler’s touching farewell, we loved every minute with Johnny. It’s been 17 years since he retired. And we will never see his like again.

The Arts: Mark Twain

uploaded by marktwainssecretary.files.wordpress.com

uploaded by marktwainssecretary.files.wordpress.com

We all know the contributions Mark Twain made to American literature. Instead of a biography, let’s enjoy some of his wit and wisdom:

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

uploaded by nalanda.nitc.ac.in

uploaded by nalanda.nitc.ac.in

“I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55.”

“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.”

“Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.”

“The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is deplorable. We have humble God-fearing Christian men among us who will stoop to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do for less than 2 millions.”

Travel: Lancaster

uploaded by Jeff Wignall

uploaded by Jeff Wignall

Lancaster has become a sort of hybrid community – part cultural and religious artifact, part Gatlinburg-like tourist gacker.

It’s an amazing thing to have a strict, old-order religious community become a major tourist attraction even as it tries to go about its simple lifestyle. Apparently, the Amish are used to it now, and have even learned to profit from it. You can buy any number of locally handmade products (and some imitations probably made by the Shanghai Amish). In fact, you can even tour an Amish home, or farm.

uploaded by DCBits

uploaded by DCBits

Of course, there are many worthwhile things for tourists who are sincerely interested in understanding our differences with the Amish. You can see the countryside in a horse-drawn buggy. Browse through Amish-owned quilt shops. Or stop in the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society to gain a better understanding of Pennsylvania German culture.

Yes, that’s right, Pennsylvania German. It’s embarrassing, but I’ll admit this: Until a few years ago, I thought the Pennsylvania “Dutch” people were Dutch. Seemed logical to me. But I now know that they’re actually German – Pennsylvania Deutsch. I’ve read five explanations as to how this confusion came about, but I choose to believe it’s that lazy Americans asked the settlers what language they were speaking, and were told German – “Deutsch.” So the funny-looking foreigners became the Pennsylvania Dutch.

By the way, I just made up “gacker” in that first sentence, but I’m rather proud of it.

Actor: Steve Martin

"Not mother?" uploaded by growabrain.typepad.com

"Not mother?" uploaded by growabrain.typepad.com

Steve Martin has come a long way since his days entertaining crowds at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. He became a stand-up star, a Wild and Crazy Guy, an actor in bad movies, an actor in good movies, an Academy Awards host, a successful playwright, and a best-selling author.

uploaded by jimdayshow.com

uploaded by jimdayshow.com

Recently, though, he added another first that probably thrilled him as much as anything in his career. On May 30, 2009, Steve made his banjo debut at the Grand Old Opry. He performed songs from his new musical CD, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.

As for his movies, this is my blog so I get to say what I think of his choices. (You can disagree in the comments.)

The Good: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Little Shop of Horrors, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Housesitter, The Spanish Prisoner.

The Bad: Parenthood, The Pink Panther.

The Ugly: Pennies from Heaven, Sgt. Bilko.

His play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, challenged the idea that he was a lightweight comic. And his books have been funny and yet challenging.

Steve Martin could have remained the Wild and Crazy Guy, the stand-up comedy genius, and done quite well for himself. But he has so much more depth to his creativity. It’s time we recognized him for the multitalented genius he really is.

Food: Coca-Cola

uploaded by images.businessweek.com

uploaded by images.businessweek.com

Yes, I realize that a significant percentage of you prefer Pepsi, which is itself a Great American Thing. Shoot, probably two percent of you are holding out for RC Cola, and six aerobics instructors and a valet parking attendant in Santa Monica are clamoring for Tab. But the drink that holds the unmistakable claim for iconic status as the essential American soft drink is Coke.

Chances are you know some of the mythology surrounding Coca-Cola. Snopes.com, the urban legends folks, has a whole page devoted to rumors. Such as: “Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine.” Verdict: TRUE. And “Only two people in the world know Coke’s formula, and each knows only half of it.” Verdict: FALSE.

Here’s my favorite on the page, “Little Mikey of LIFE Cereal fame died from the explosive effects of mixing Pop Rocks candy and Coca-Cola.” Verdict: FALSE. (Darn, this would have been so cool if true.)

uploaded by Coca-Cola Art Gallery

uploaded by Coca-Cola Art Gallery

Now you can get a Coke almost anywhere in the world, from Atlanta to Djibouti, always in that trademarked contour shape. It’s used in recipes (a delicious cake, for example) and makes a delicious float. All right, I’m sure there are other things it’s used in besides desserts, but it seems my sweet tooth is particularly active today.

Oh, speaking of teeth. There’s another rumor on Snopes.com that says “A tooth left in a glass of Coca-Cola will dissolve overnight.” Curses, also FALSE. Why are the really good stories never true?

Travel: Blue Ridge Parkway

uploaded by sebastien.mamy

uploaded by sebastien.mamy

Now, this is what a stimulus project is supposed to be. Authorized by Congress during the Great Depression, much of the early work on the Blue Ridge Parkway was completed by New Deal Agencies. The Works Progress Administration, the Emergency Relief Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps all took part in construction and landscaping.

uploaded by StevenLPierce

uploaded by StevenLPierce

Although the work began in 1935, the full 469 miles weren’t completed for 52 years. The last stretch to be finished was near Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. Now the Parkway takes you from the southern end of the Skyline Drive through Virginia and North Carolina to Cherokee in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Or at least, you can drive the full route in warmer months. Because of the altitude and frequent ice and snow, much of the Parkway is closed for extended periods during the winter.

Dogwoods and wildflowers bring the roadside to life in spring, but the most popular time of year, of course, is fall. One of the most beautiful and inspiring outings a family can enjoy is a drive along the Parkway to view the breathtaking fall colors. From late September through early November, this National Park Service property is more than a Great American Thing; it’s a national treasure.

Music: Cole Porter

Uploaded by peterstoffers.com

Uploaded by peterstoffers.com

They had to invent a term to accommodate Porter’s contributions to the popular music canon: The Great American Songbook. Of course, there are other composers and songwriters represented, but when you look at all the great songs Porter penned, his impact on our shared culture is staggering.

“Night and Day”…”Anything Goes”…”I Get a Kick out of You”…”You’re the Top”…”Don’t Fence Me In”…”Begin the Beguine”…”It’s De-Lovely”…”I’ve Got You Under My Skin”…”In the Still of the Night”…”You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”…”From This Moment On”…”You’d Be So Easy to Love”…and dozens and dozens more.

Uploaded by allmusicals.com

Uploaded by allmusicals.com

Many of Porter’s hits were written for his Broadway productions. Among the shows he provided music for are The Gay Divorce (Fred Astaire’s last stage show, made as The Gay Divorcee on film), Anything Goes (which might be subtitled “Porter’s Greatest Hits”), and Kiss Me Kate.

While Porter loved the wild Hollywood life of the 30s, he had a riding accident in 1937 that crushed his legs and eventually led to both being amputated. He had more than 30 surgeries on his legs, and endured constant pain the rest of his life. He experienced chronic depression, and his work suffered.

Even so, who in American music has ever written a lyric that matches this:

You’re the top! You’re the Coliseum / You’re the top! You’re the Louvre Museum /
You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss / You’re a Bendel bonnet, A Shakespeare sonnet,
You’re Mickey Mouse.
You’re the Nile / You’re the Tower of Pisa / You’re the smile on the Mona Lisa
I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop / But if, baby, I’m the bottom you’re the top!

Film: The Godfather

uploaded by tech2.in.com

uploaded by tech2.in.com

Can you imagine anyone playing the part of Don Corleone other than Marlon Brando? Well, here are some of the people who wanted the part: Frank Sinatra. Burt Lancaster. George C. Scott. Orson Welles. Director Francis Ford Coppola’s first choice was Sir Laurence Olivier, but he was not well and unable to work. His next choice was Brando, but he was only 47 at the time and too young for the role. But this is the movies. This is Hollywood. And Marlon Brando turned out to be the perfect person to be the Godfather.

Real mob boss Joe Colombo threatened the movie’s producers in an attempt to keep The Godfather from being made. He objected to the depiction of the Italian-American community and to the use of the terms “mafia” and “Cosa Nostra.” The producers used a time-honored Hollywood tradition to thwart this threat – they hired mobsters as “advisors” and extras. And wonder of wonders, the threats suddenly ceased.

uploaded by leninimports.com

uploaded by leninimports.com

Is The Godfather the best movie ever made? You can certainly make the case. It was voted number 3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies. It won the Oscar for Best Picture, of course. And, in a completely unrelated but nevertheless important statistic, there are approximately 61 scenes in which people are eating or that that feature food.

One last fact, not one that will help the appetite. During rehearsals for the infamous “horse head” scene, a fake head was used. But in the actual take, they substituted a real head, purchased from a glue factory. Actor John Marley says his scream in the film is real, because he wasn’t told about the switch!

TV Show: The Cosby Show

uploaded by dvdmedia.ign.com

uploaded by dvdmedia.ign.com

It’s Father’s Day, and it’s not easy for dads to find a good role model on television these days. However there is one show that, although not on the air anymore, still gives us a picture of a loving father who raised his children with discipline and responsibility. That’s the Cosby Show.

There were solid lessons taught on this show, but they were brought with great humor and humanity. Cliff and Clair were professionals who raised the Huxtable kids to appreciate their heritage, respect their elders, and understand the value of money. (“No boy should have a $95 shirt unless he’s on stage with his four brothers.”)

And the show offered a refreshing blend of reality (“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it”) mixed with a healthy dose of humor.

Uploaded by ginavivinetto.files.wordpress.com

Uploaded by ginavivinetto.files.wordpress.com

I especially appreciated the interaction between Cliff and son Theo. Here was a father who had high aspirations for his son, but who never expected more of the boy than his best. I was raising sons during that time, and appreciated seeing someone on TV with whom I could identify.

Yes, the Cosby show did great things for pride in the black community, despite initial carping that non-middle-class blacks wouldn’t identify with a professional couple. As William Raspberry wrote at the show’s conclusion, “It taught us as television has rarely managed – and as too few of our leaders even attempt – how much alike we really are. And how little money, class, and race have to do with it. Thanks, Coz.”

The Cosby folks have asked YouTube not to allow embedding of videos from the show. However, you can see the great family lip synch to Ray Charles’s (Night Time Is) The Right Time here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSvGdfOfLFw Continue reading

Sports: Tiger Woods

uploaded by assets.espn.go.com

uploaded by assets.espn.go.com

Back when I hosted a sports radio talk show, we had a running debate over what constituted a sport. Auto racing? (Not by my definition.) Synchronized swimming? (You’re kidding, right?) Golf? Do those who walk and swing a stick qualify as athletes? Reasonable people can disagree about such things, but there’s no denying that not only is Tiger Woods an athlete, he’s the athlete of our lifetime.

This is going to take a moment. He’s won 67 PGA Tour events, 14 majors, 29% of the tournaments he’s entered. He made the cut in 142 straight tournaments (Byron Nelson set the previous record of 113). In his 13-year career, he’s been number one in the world 10 of them. He’s the only person to have won all four major championships in a row. He holds the record for the greatest margin of victory in the U.S. Open and the Masters. In 2006-07 he won seven straight tour events. He’s been PGA Player of the Year nine times and the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year four times.

And that’s just the highlights.

uploaded by vonDrehle

uploaded by vonDrehle

He brings passion to the game, as seen by the fist pumping the air when he makes a clutch shot. He almost never loses a lead, especially in a major. And though he doesn’t play to the crowds the way Phil Mickelson does, people still love to cheer for him – no small thing when you realize how people love to root for an underdog.

This is the weekend of the U.S. Open, and that means watch out for Tiger Woods. Everyone knows his greatest goal is to pass Jack Nicklaus for the most major tournaments won. He needs only four more…will the next one come this weekend?

Travel: Lanikai Beach, Oahu

uploaded by Kanaka's Paradise Life

uploaded by Kanaka's Paradise Life

Lanikai means “heavenly sea” in the Hawaiian language, and I think we can all agree it’s an appropriate name. Waikiki, which of course is much better known and more popular, is only 25 minutes away. But I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would choose it over Lanikai.

Well, there is one reason I suppose, and that’s services. Lanikai has no huge hotels, no crowds, and none of the services provided for them. No lifeguards, no beach bars, not even waves. So what’s the big deal?

uploaded by threebestbeaches.com

uploaded by threebestbeaches.com

The incredible turquoise colors of the water. A calm sea bordered by a wide strip of powder-soft, pure-white sand. The two scenic islands (Mokuluas) just offshore.  And wonderful snorkeling, kayaking, and windsurfing.

Lanikai is universally considered one of the finest beaches in all of Hawaii. Which, ipso facto, means it’s one of the finest in the world. It’s probably a good thing I included this on my list in the summer. You’d have really hated me if I’d included it in February.

Food: Barbecue

uploaded by chow.com

uploaded by chow.com

First, I appeal for calm. Nothing stirs the passions, especially among Southerners, quite like a discussion of which kind of barbecue sauce is best. So let’s take a deep breath and start our tour.

Over in Eastern North Carolina, they prefer a vinegar-based sauce. Here in the western part of the state, we like it with more of a sweet tomato base. In Texas, they put molasses and Worcestershire sauce in theirs, Kansas City has it thick and sweet, and in South Carolina they want it with mustard. Shoot, we can’t even agree on how to spell the blessed food. Barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-que, b-b-q, and probably other permutations exist. Here’s the deal, though. No matter which you think is “genuine,” I think we can all agree on one fact:

Oh man that stuff tastes good.

uploaded by teamsugar.com

uploaded by teamsugar.com

I will take issue, however, with those who believe that any meat cooked on a grill or smoker is barbecue. Nuh-uh. True barbecue is pork. Not brisket. Not beef. Not chicken. Not even ribs. All those things are delicious, but don’t go calling them barbecue because it just ain’t so. I’m not making a call on chopped, sliced, or pulled pork, because I think all three have their place.

And their place is in my mouth. Oh, put some baked beans and a few of those hush puppies on my plate, would you?

Actor: Cary Grant

Uploaded by grady.uga.edu

Uploaded by grady.uga.edu

Simply, he was Mr. Suave. What man wouldn’t want his good looks, his sophistication, his way with women? Cary Grant had it all. When told by a reporter that everyone wanted to be Cary Grant, he responded, “So do I.”

Of course, we know he was born in England as Archibald Leach. Hollywood wanted nothing to do with that name, so he chose “Cary Grant” because the initials C and G were working pretty well for Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. He changed his name legally and became an American citizen in 1942, which is why I claim him for this list.

The sophisticated man of the world persona came about later in Grant’s career, his earliest successes coming in screwball comedies. Mae West gave him his first big break by choosing him as her co-star in She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel. He then went on to make Bringing Up Baby with Katherine Hepburn and His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell. And he was the ultimate romantic leading man, as evidenced by An Affair to Remember.

Uploaded by Rebel Without a Cause

Uploaded by Rebel Without a Cause

He probably had his greatest success working in Alfred Hitchcock films. He was in four, the best being Notorious and North by Northwest. Hitchcock, who wasn’t particularly fond of actors, called Cary Grant “the only actor I ever loved.”

He was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1941 and 1944, but didn’t win. He was one of the first actors to buck the studio system, choosing his own films and negotiating his own deals, and it’s said that turned the Academy against him. He did receive a special Honorary Oscar in 1970 for his life’s work. He was named number two on the AFI’s Greatest Screen Legends Actor List, behind Humphrey Bogart. No disrespect to Bogey, who was indeed amazing, but come on.

If you’ve seen Cary Grant, you know that he was one of those men who got better looking as he got older. And if you haven’t seen his movies, get some from Netflix or search them out on Turner Classic Movies. He was one smoooooth guy. (Oh, and he never said, “Judy, Judy, Judy.”)

Singer: Jimi Hendrix

uploaded by ri.net/schools

uploaded by ri.net/schools

Time has allowed us to get a little perspective on this comet that briefly blazed across the rock and roll firmament. He was one of those musical talents that comes along from time to time and forces you to rethink what you thought you knew about music.

Jimi (born John Allen Hendrix) had a troubled home, and spent much of his childhood with relatives and acquaintances. He dropped out of school and joined the U.S. Army where he trained to be a paratrooper. But an injury led to his discharge, which worked out well because he knew his future lay in music.

After forming the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, he made his first splash in the U.S. at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. The band’s new album, Are You Experienced? had just been released in the U.S., and Jimi blew the crowd away with his blues-influenced rock. At the end of the set, Jimi set his guitar on fire before smashing it to bits, driving the crowd wild. He made a similar impression later that year at Woodstock, where his performance of the Star Spangled Banner was both revolutionary and riveting.

Uploaded by bballchico

Uploaded by bballchico

Hard to believe now, but Jimi’s run lasted only four years. He was a 60s musician, and that meant drugs. Lots and lots and lots of drugs. And in a script that became all too predictable, he died due to complications from an overdose. He was only 27 years old.

I remember where I was when I first heard the Are You Experienced album. I vividly remember thinking, “Wow. This guy is amazing.” Our musical interests diverged after that, though I still love “The Wind Cries Mary” and his version of “All Along the Watchtower.”

Want to feel old? Jimi Hendrix would be 66 if he were alive today. I can’t imagine him on one of those nostalgia revues that PBS airs for fundraisers, can you?

Kid Stuff: Superman

Uploaded by Xurble

Uploaded by Xurble

“Faster than a speeding bullet…More powerful than a locomotive…Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” Everyone knows that was the opening to Adventures of Superman, the TV series that ran from 1952-58. Although Superman came to this planet involuntarily, he clearly belongs on our list for preserving “truth, justice, and the American way.”

Superman made his first comic book appearance in Action Comics #1 in June, 1938. (By the way, if you happen to have an original one up in your attic, I’ll be happy to buy it from you for, oh, say $20. I want to be fair.) The Man of Steel was an instant hit, becoming a daily strip the following year, and a popular radio program the year after that. It was on the radio series that cub reporter Jimmy Olsen and Kryptonite were introduced.

George Reeves portrayed Superman in the TV series, filmed in black and white the first two seasons and in color the final four. The tone of the series seemed to shift with its color, from an almost film noir look with lots of action and violence to a softer series with caricatured villains and an almost campy humor.

Uploaded by carola hoo

Uploaded by carola hoo

After years in the cultural background, Superman came to the fore again thanks to the movies starring Christopher Reeve. Reeve starred in four films about the Kryptonian, the first two of which were quite good.

Since those years, Superman has been featured in another TV series, this one starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher. He’s still to be found saving the planet in continuing comic books, as well as in the adventures of others (Supergirl, e.g.).

Will there ever be a better opening to a television series than this:

Film: Field of Dreams

Uploaded by images.ctv.ca

Uploaded by images.ctv.ca

“If you build it, he will come.”

One of the most memorable lines in all of movie history, it’s what everyone knows about this movie even if they know nothing else. But there’s so much more. Ultimately, in a Hollywood that tells hundreds of mother/daughter stories, Field of Dreams is one of its few father/son dramas. And what makes it so fascinating is that it doesn’t dwell on that theme, merely alluding to it from time to time. Then it brings out the emotions at the end, when Ray Kinsella finds out what “If you build it, he will come” means.

Uploaded by ladiesdotdotdot.files

Uploaded by ladiesdotdotdot.files

This movie involves what in fiction is called “magical realism.” Forces are at work beyond what we’re typically able to understand with our physical senses. Only a select few can see these forces perform their magic, those who allow themselves to believe. One of the movie’s taglines was, “If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.”

A couple of interesting bits of trivia: The movie was originally titled “Shoeless Joe Jackson,” same as the book it was adapted from. However, test audiences didn’t like the name, and it was changed to the much more marketable Field of Dreams…Archibald “Moonlight” Graham was a real player, and the facts of his life as stated in the movie were true. He only played one game, and became a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota.

One other thing. Field of Dreams has some of the best, most appropriate music of any film I’ve ever seen. Very simple, and perfect.

The Arts: Norman Rockwell

Uploaded by gphat

Uploaded by gphat

Let’s get this over with first: Norman Rockwell is a serious artist. Sure, he created most of his works for commercial purposes. Yes, he’s remembered most for his Saturday Evening Post and Look magazine covers. But to pretend he’s not a serious artist because he painted in a realistic and sentimental style is to ignore the obvious:

The man was good.

Rockwell’s talent is perhaps best summed up by a this, from the ever-reliable Wikipedia: “In 1999, The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl said of Rockwell in ArtNews: ‘Rockwell is terrific. It’s become too tedious to pretend he isn’t.’”

His talent was obvious early, as he became an art director of Boys Life magazine while still in his teens. He created his first Post cover at 22, and he was to do 321 more during his career. Among his most memorable paintings were the following, from top to bottom: The Four Freedoms Series; The Problem We All Live With; and The Golden Rule.

Uploaded by uic.edu

Uploaded by uic.edu

Uploaded by wikimedia.org

Uploaded by wikimedia.org

Uploaded by hanneoria

Uploaded by hanneoria

TV Show: Twin Peaks

Uploaded by hollyneversleeps

Uploaded by hollyneversleeps

David Lynch is a frightening, obsessed, brilliant, self-indulgent, visionary director. He could create a television series as amazing as Twin Peaks, and follow it up with a movie sequel (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) that’s virtually unwatchable.

The show was marked by some of the most fascinating characters ever on the small screen. Special Agent Dale Cooper, who appreciated a damn fine piece of pie. (“This must be where pies go when they die.”) Deputy Andy, who cried at any provocation. The log lady. A one-armed man named Mike. A talking giant. A dancing dwarf. And the spirit that entered Leland Palmer, causing him to kill his daughter in one of the most harrowing scenes you’ll ever see. And this most evil demon’s name? Bob.

Uploaded by diebitter

Uploaded by diebitter

Twin Peaks ran for only two seasons, 1990-91. Thirty episodes. Lynch didn’t direct all thirty, but you could clearly tell which ones he did. He created a surreal world that was spellbinding. Unfortunately, once the central question — Who killed Laura Palmer? — was answered, Lynch and his writers didn’t know what to do, and neither did the audience. Many found other shows with more linear plots to watch, and Twin Peaks fizzled out.

But for all that, the music, the quirks, the characters, the dialogue, the supernatural elements made Twin Peaks an unforgettable show. Why not watch an episode today? Many are available online here: http://www.cbs.com/classics/twin_peaks/