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Showing posts from July, 2012

Johnny Dangerously?

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The Greatest Actor Alive Today has played an effeminate pirate; John Dillinger; an undercover Fed trying to bust the mob; a young man with scissors for fingers; the Mad Hatter; and that's just for starters.

What he hasn't done, despite all that range and the sometimes cartoon-like qualities of the characters he's portrayed, is sparked a whole lot of controversy.

Johnny Depp, The Greatest Actor Alive Today, will be appearing as Tonto in a new Disney movie about the Lone Ranger. It's a Jerry Bruckheimer project. And while that has many Deppophiles licking their chops, it has one group a little on edge.

Those would be the Native Americans, a segment of whom have been a little queasy ever since Bruckheimer Tweeted a photo of Depp in his Tonto garb, complete with face paint, feathers, the whole shot.

"The moment it hit my Facebook newsfeed, the updates from my friends went nutso," wrote Natanya Ann Pulley, a doctorate student at University of Utah, in an essay for…

What Would YOU Do?

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The question goes like this: "What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?"

I'm not sure what I would do, exactly, but I'd do some things.

I'd do some things, because there is something wonderfully simple yet with largesse about a Klondike bar.

You know what a Klondike bar is, right? It's that block of vanilla ice cream generously covered in chocolate, wrapped by hand, it seems, in foil.

When eaten immediately out of the freezer, before it gets a chance to get remotely soft, is the best way to eat a Klondike.

They have different flavors, but I think I like the old fashioned vanilla the best.

They come in packages of six and I start to get sad as early as when the third one gets lifted from the freezer, for that means it won't be long before we're out of Klondikes.

Mrs. Eno doesn't buy Klondikes every week, and that's a good thing, because absence makes the stomach grow fonder.

Klondikes wouldn't make me nearly as happy if they were constantly in …

Why (this time)?

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So add going to the movies as the latest in the list of perilous activities in this country.

That list includes walking down the street, filling up your gas tank, standing in line at the fast food joint, attending school, sitting at your desk at work, enjoying a picnic, driving down the freeway, and watching TV in your living room.

The tragic shooting in Colorado last night at a screening of the latest Batman movie again underscores, as if we needed it, that nowhere are we truly safe.

The examples listed in the second paragraph are, off the top of my head, activities that people were engaged in when they were shot, either in a mass shooting, a drive by, by a serial killer or something in between.

James Holmes, 24, is a former med student and he is in custody now as the alleged shooter. As I write this, 12 have perished and nearly 40 are wounded. All at the hands of one man---who was armed as if he was ready to go to war.

Maybe he was, in his twisted mind. Certainly, dressed as he was …

Mystery Solved! (Quickly)

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Donald Sobol knew his audience.

Sobol, who passed away the other day at age 87, wrote the Encyclopedia Brown mini mysteries for decades, which engrossed adolescent boys (mainly) with the adventures of Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia, who was the son of the police chief in the fictional town of Idaville.

Encyclopedia solved mysteries, and he did it in short order, both in terms of time and in pages.

I was a fervent reader of the EB series as a kid, and I fit Sobol's demographic perfectly; i.e. I wasn't exactly the most patient boy around, nor did I have the comprehension to "solve" a mystery that lasted much longer than five or six pages.

Sobol knew that I was not the exception, and so he made sure his EB mysteries didn't last long enough for the reader to lose interest.

That's pretty much how long, in terms of pages, each Brown mystery lasted. The boy detective often would begin his "investigation" at the family dinner table, and sometimes just closin…

Silence, Please!

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Do we have so much more to say to each other in the digital age, or is the digital age tricking us into thinking that we do?

Did we talk to each other as much as we appear to do nowadays, before there were cell phones to blab into?

If we did, then our every spare moment must have been spent in conversation.

I'm sorry, but I don't remember that. So I suspect something else.

Who is everyone talking to on their mobile phones? And what are they talking about?

And, most importantly, why is there so much to say in the freaking car?

I would have thought that, by now---well over 20 years since people began acquiring mobile phones---the novelty of yakking into a phone while driving would have worn off.

Apparently not.

Chances are that the next time you see an ill-advised move on the road by a fellow driver, or tardiness in responding to a green light, the offender has a cell phone pressed against his or her ear.

And it's happening a lot---seemingly even more than just a few years a…

Remembering Ernie Borgnine

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(in honor of the passing of actor Ernest Borgnine the other day at age 95, here is a piece I wrote about him on October 14, 2010)

The Importance of Being Ernest

The eyebrows have long ago gone gray but are still as bushy as the Serengeti. The nose is bulbous, the smile as gap-toothed as ever. The voice still sounds like it's coming out of a cement mixer.

Ernie Borgnine was never an attractive man, unless you're one of those who like creatures that are so ugly that they're cute, like a koala bear.

Yet here Borgnine is, 93 and still we see his mug on the big screen.

Borgnine is one of those actors who was always old. "McHale's Navy" debuted almost 50 years ago and Ernie looked old then.

It's been 55 years since Borgnine made his mark in the film "Marty," in which he played the title character, a warm-hearted butcher who was also a shameless mama's boy. The film was an adaptation of the great teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky and earned Borgnine…

Sending the Wrong Message?

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It's not rocket science to declare that, when running as a presidential incumbent, it's better to run on a campaign of "Look what I did", instead of "Just give me a little more time," i.e. four years.

It's looking like President Obama has been opting for the latter option.

It's said that people vote for president from the inside out, meaning that they assess their own personal situation first, before they consider any state, national or international consequences.

Makes sense. Taking care of Number 1 isn't necessarily a selfish, arrogant thing to do. Who else is going to do it?

The latest jobs numbers came out, and for Obama, less than four months away from Election Day, they could be better.

Just 80,000 jobs added in June. Unemployment rate stubbornly remaining at 8.2%. Economic experts suggesting that the brief recovery may have already petered out.

It's the economy, stupid. Isn't it?

It hardly matters that the president, in reality, ha…

It's Mourning in Mayberry

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When you think about it, there aren't too many people who are traipsing around this country who are beloved by the rest of us who are traipsing.

I use "beloved" deliberately because that's the buzzword in the wake of the death of actor and musician Andy Griffith, who passed away earlier today at 86.

Even President Obama, who came out with a statement today about Griffith, used the b-word.

There've been other words of praise, including an obituary I read online that said when you say Andy Griffith, you're basically saying a mouthful about Americana.

Was Griffith, best known for two roles---Sheriff Andy Taylor and lawyer Ben Matlock---truly beloved?

Let's just say that you'd be hard-pressed to find a TV actor who burrowed his way into as many generations and other demographics as Andy Griffith.

It didn't matter how young or old you were, whether you were male or female, whether you were married or single, whether you hailed from the country or were …