Stay classy

My dear demure miss henry, et al: go out and soak up some sunshine tomorrow. I’ll bet it’s been a while. If you have children, hug them and play with them. Eat an ice cream cone. Listen to the birds or cicadas sing. Take a leisurely stroll with your Significant Other. Get laid.

In other words, go enjoy your life OFFLINE. There’s a lot more to see and read than my tiny corner of the Interwebs.

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Honesty is not the same as hate

Why is it when someone changes their mind and says their opinion about something it is interpreted as “hate”? Just because I am critical of Taylor Hicks, it does not mean I “hate” him.

True, I’m not too happy with some of the “fans,” but hate is a strong word. I have other words for those people, but they would probably not understand who they are directed towards without me calling them out by name.

Seriously, Henry, you need to grow up and be honest with yourself. If you hate me so much and think my opinion is worthless, why are you expending so much energy on me? You need to take a look inside yourself for some answers, “little henry.”

Okay, you’ve all seen it

Time to get on with your lives, okay?

It was a post a long time coming; a post born out of frustration and grief; a post detailing my despair at seeing the realities of my misspent “youth.”

When I look at Taylor now, I don’t see what he should have been. He squandered the gigantic opportunity that was American Idol and national television exposure by not staying focused and partying too much (I still say the cigarettes and booze have wrecked his vocal cords). His talent is adrift. The album produced immediately post-Idol was tight, well-oiled, expertly produced, and fun to listen to. The Distance, imo, is none of these things. I liked one song on that CD.

On hearing rumors his next album will have a “country flair” it makes me think he doesn’t have his own sound anymore. Country music is soaring in this country and around the world right now, so he’s jumping on that bandwagon. I’ve said before and I’ll say again: just because someone is Southern and may speak with a bit of a twang it doesn’t make them a country singer. Taylor embracing country does not feel organic and real. It’s disingenuous. Sorry if that bugs anyone, but it’s how I feel.

He needs to buckle down, write some genuine tunes, and record an album true to himself rather than what the industry says is hot at the moment. Not that he asked me or cares, but that never stopped anyone else in the fandom from trying to direct his every move.

FYI: I’m still not a representative of any fan board. NOT an Admin anywhere, got it? It may not be official, but let’s face it – I haven’t done anything on any message board in ages.

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Superman: Man of Steel

A word of warning: I think most people going to see Superman know the story well enough that there shouldn’t be any huge surprises spoiled herein, however if you want to go in fresh, don’t read this.

I went to see Superman Sunday morning and I was blown away. This is the movie I was hoping it would be – Superman taken seriously, yet without being too heavy-handed. It has just the right amount of gravitas with a touch of humor to help lighten the atmosphere a tad. Zach Snyder and Christopher Nolan have produced a wonderful depiction of the Superman mythos, done with love and care for the character and everyone in his world. I don’t know Snyder’s work as well as Nolan’s (Memento, Batman, Inception), but Christoper Nolan is a cinematic genius. In 50 years he will be discussed with the same reverence with which we now discuss Capra, DeMille, and Kurosawa. The ensemble cast is outstanding. I had my reservations regarding Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, but they both put forth excellent portrayals of the fathers of Kal El/Clark. The film is about sacrifice and destiny, patriotism and old-fashioned values. As the fathers, Crowe and Costner sacrifice literally everything for the son they love so much – Jor El loved him enough to entrust him with everything that is Krypton and to release him to a new life on a distant world, while Jonathan loved him enough to protect him and teach him how to be a good man.Henry Cavill does an amazing job at appearing both the “man of steel” (invincibly strong, infinitely courageous) and the vulnerable, misplaced outcast. He is bullied throughout his childhood with people calling him a coward. If they only knew the strength coursing through that “weak” child – he could snap their neck with a flick of a finger – but Jonathan and Martha have taught him to turn the other cheek. When he is teaching himself to fly, Cavill’s Kal El is unsteady and hesitant, but quickly gets the hang of it and the joy on his face is palpable. It’s not like acting – he IS Superman.

Amy Adams is brilliant as Lois Lane. She is a wonderful actress who makes you believe everything that comes out of her mouth is truth rather than a script. Lois is fearless, scaling an icy rockface without hesitation and boarding an alien vessel without even blinking. She is pretty in the girl-next-store manner, rather than some knockout beauty queen. Lane also knows her stuff – she’s smart, feisty, and willing and able to join the fight. I’ve always loved Superman partly for his love for Lois. Superman sees the intelligent, witty, firebrand personality: she is his equal and he loves that.

The chemistry between Cavill and Adams is obvious. You can see the mutual attraction from the start, and the flirtation between them feels very real. You know how in pretty much every movie the male and female protagonists go in for the kiss when there is really no time for that and it feels forced? Yeah, didn’t happen here – There are at least three separate moments when they could have kissed, but didn’t. Their eyes lock, the space between them tightens, but they don’t do it. By the time they have their first kiss, you can almost feel it yourself. There’s a sigh of relief that they finally made contact.

Some other high points: Christopher Meloni in fatigues (oh yeah); Henry Cavill in practically nothing (swoon); Antje Traue as Faora-Ul (she is amazing!); the World Engine (I can’t even go into it, so let’s just say WOW!); Krypton; cameos by Julian Richings and Tahmoh Penikett; Clark being inundated by his own senses in the middle of class in elementary school; the many “Easter eggs” planted throughout the film for eagle-eyed fans to spot.

I got so excited during the penultimate battle that my body was tight and tense like an over-wound spring, holding my breath, heart pounding … when the scene reached its climax I couldn’t contain my shouts of excitement. It was a wee bit embarrassing, but I didn’t care – damn that was good!

I would be remiss to not mention the soundtrack. It’s beautifully done, swells in just the right places, pianissimo and sweet when necessary. There’s no ridiculously over-the-top booming, no sickeningly syrupy love theme. It’s subtle, yet noticeable (as a soundtrack should be) and I do intend to purchase it. Is it better than John Williams? I wouldn’t say that, but it is on a par. The soundtracks for both fit their respective films.

If you can listen to this and not get chills, well I just don’t know what to say about that:

All in all, this is an excellent retelling of a classic (a reboot done right, so to speak). I think Christopher Reeve would have been pleased. I know I sure am. :-)

Don’t read any more if you don’t want spoilers!

There are a few differences in this Superman and the Supes of the past (here are the spoilery parts).

Lois knows Clark’s actual identity. She hunts him down relatively easily and keeps his secret after he shares the story of his father’s death with her. Speaking of, I did not care for that particular alteration of the canon. In this version, Jonathan dies in a tornado, forbidding Clark to rescue him because there is a rather large audience and he doesn’t want his boy ostracized and feared for his abilities. In the original, he has a heart attack. I prefer that because there was literally nothing Clark could do to save his dad. It taught him that sometimes even Superman can’t save everyone. It’s a valuable lesson, and I suppose you could say he learned it this new way, too, but I believe it carries more weight in the original.

One of the huge topics of discussion is Superman’s killing of Zod. Kal El always avoided killing anyone if at all possible. He had no choice in this flick. Besides, it is my belief that Zod wanted him to kill him. As explained in the film, Kryptonian’s are born predestined: programmed to be the best at what they are assigned to be. Zod was a soldier. Everything he did, every thought he had was to protect Krypton at all costs. He had no purpose with Krypton completely gone, so he forced Kal El’s hand. Kal El was visibly shaken, devastated to his core. The scene that followed (Lois quietly and gently consoling and holding him) was as moving as any of the bigger moments.

Superman/Kal El/Clark (whatever you wish to call him) has always been a complex character, at once completely foreign and yet familiar. In a way he is the embodiment of the American dream – an immigrant to our great nation, embraced by its people as he adopts the U.S. as his home. It’s no wonder the legacy of Superman lives on in our hearts, no big surprise we feel a personal connection to the character. 80 years old this year and never looked better. Here’s to another 80 years and beyond! :-)

Paula Deen

Paula, Paula, Paula … I think it is just pitiful that a person anywhere would use such language.

Following this case: she tried to at first say she had said those words “a long time ago” implying it was when she was young and didn’t know any better because it was the 1950s in the South. However, she then copped to using such language (and telling racial/ethnic jokes) as recently as 2007.

A grown woman who is approaching her 8th decade may not feel in her heart that there is anything wrong with epithets, but she should have the sense to know that other people do not agree and will take issue with her usage.

I’ve never cared for Deen. I’ve always thought she was really phony and full of it. It bothered me for years that she purported to speak for all Southerners and for a lot of viewers she IS the South. Well, I’m here to tell you: We don’t put sour cream on everything, we don’t fry everything, the donut cheeseburger was invented in ILLINOIS, a good cast iron skillet can be had for less than $20 (not the $50+ that Deen’s line charges), and we don’t all use slurs/epithets (or want to).

Good for Food Network for severing ties with Paula Deen. Yes, her contract was about to be up anyway, but still it shows they don’t condone her behavior.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/21/showbiz/paula-deen-racial-slur/

Farewell, Marty Eagle

Rock ‘n’ roll Heaven has gained a new member. So sad. But I feel lucky to have met him and enjoyed his place. Anybody who makes room in a bar for a free library is pretty cool in my book.

Marty made everyone feel welcome.  He’d meet you at the door, sit at your table, make you laugh.  He carried around disposable FunSaver cameras and would take pics all night.  It wasn’t uncommon to find yourself on his website after a night visiting!  Marty truly loved owning and running Marty’s.  Not many people get to enjoy their jobs so much.

Marty Eagle, owner of Marty’s Bar in Birmingham, AL, has died
by Madison Underwood, February 1, 2013

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