Saturday, September 27, 2008

I am pleased to Renounce...

Toll Smoll.

Drek in; drek out.

Now, the Preem has taken to getting teary-eyed every time he announces one of his little pea-and-shell games.

Lord! Will someone take this poor fellow out for a quiet walk somewhere.

Moving Right Along

It's not often that I agree with a sitting government about much of anything.

But I am pleased to see the new permission by Victoria to allow pharmacists to renew some prescriptions without a visit to your local bones.

For many of us, these renewals are simple, harmless and necessary.

Why then add another $29.30 or whatever the tab is to say Hi to our family doctor. We need to eliminate useless expenditures in the medical system and this is one reasonable way to do it.

(Having nurses and other practitioners doing a host of jobs that do not need Mr. Seven Years is another reasonable way to cut costs.)

Of course, the docs are mightily upset and like good politicians everywhere, they warn of the dire consequences of asking pharmacists to be more than order takers and fillers.

Yes, this new initiative opens opportunities for mistakes and corruption.

But why should my neighbourhood pharmacist be more prone to these diseases than my doctor?

Not a Thrilla in Manila

One of our favorite sportscasters loves to shout over footage of running backs crashing towards the end zone, "Rumbling, stumbling, bumbling..."

We needed him last night at the McCain/Obama sparring match #1.

I suppose all those commentators must find "balanced" things to say after the nosebleed, but unless we were all watching very different channels, I gave Obama 15 rounds and The Old Guy zilch.

McCain was also undignified, whining repeatedly, "What Senator Obama doesn't understand is..."


Paul Newman

He should have been given a shelf of Oscars for "The Verdict."

His reading of Frank Galvin, the alcoholic Boston lawyer, was brave and unforgettable.

Redford had 6 directors quit on him when he tried to make the movie. Redford wanted the character turned into a tradional hero. That's Redford. The directors walked, and then Newman got hold of the project.

He lost that year at the Oscar's to Ben Kingsley's thorough reincarnation of "Ghandi."

He should have won a shelf of Oscars for "The Hustler." His portrayal of Fast Eddie Felson, the pool player who has to learn life's lessons at great cost is gripping and watchable year after year.

He lost unbelievably that year to Maximillian Schell in "Judgement at Nuremberg," a stolid, plodding docudrama that managed to make one of history's greatest tragedies almost boring.

(At the same ceremonies, George C. Scott and Jackie Gleason both lost in the Best Supporting Actor category for their astonishing work in "The Hustler" to George Chakiris in "West Side Story." Go figure.)

He was that rare thing - Paul Newman - a Huge Movie Star, who happened to be also a Great Actor.

And a philanthropist and social activist and a devastatingly charming handsome fellow.

We will search for some time to find his like again.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman: 1925 - 2008

27 September 2008 8:49 AM, PDT | From IMDb News

Beloved actor and humanitarian Paul Newman has died of cancer in his home in Westport, Connecticut. He was 83.

Newman, whose stunning blue eyes and immense capacity for generosity made him one of the most cherished personalities of his era, was an extremely private man and was rumored to have been seriously ill for several months. He had canceled some planned appearances in the summer.

Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1925, Newman first made his mark on the stage and TV but his startling good looks and undeniable presence destined him to appear on the screen. Newman often played troubled characters with streaks of nobility such as “Fast” Eddie Felson in The Hustler, and the eponymous, irrepressible roles of Hud Bannon in Hud and the imprisoned rebel, Cool Hand Luke.

But it was his role as Butch in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, opposite Robert Redford, that thrust him into the realm of super-stardom. He followed it with other classic films including The Sting, The Towering Inferno, Slap Shot, and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

Newman was a star right out of the gate, however, being nominated for an Oscar for his third major role as Brick Pollitt, the drunken husband locked in a loveless marriage with Elizabeth Taylor’s smoldering “Maggie the Cat” in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Newman’s real-life relationship was exactly the opposite. He was married to actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years. The two worked together in 1958’s The Long Hot Summer. It was the same year they were wed and that Woodward won an Oscar for her work in 1957’s The Three Faces of Eve.

It was not the end of their professional collaborations. Newman also directed her to another Oscar nomination in Rachel, Rachel (the film picked up four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay by their lifelong friend, Stewart Stern). Newman also directed Woodward in The Glass Managerie and starred with her in Mr. & Mrs. Bridge.

Nominated for seven Oscars (including Best Actor nods for Absence of Malice and The Verdict) Newman finally won on his eighth nomination for his reprisal role of Fast Eddie in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (he would be nominated two more times afterwards, for Best Actor in Nobody’s Fool and Best Supporting Actor in Road to Perdition).

But of all the trophies Newman won or was awarded in his life none seem more appropriate than his honorary 1994 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Newman’s charitable giving, from his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, a camp for seriously ill children or his proceeds from Newman’s Own, are legendary. As was the man. As will be his legacy.

Newman is survived by Woodward, his five daughters and several grandchildren. A son, Scott Newman, died of an accidental drug overdose in 1978.

Paul Newman