LikeTelevision Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics, Old School

While today's annoying rancor might seem somehow new or different, a quick look at some older political films, tv and media clips give a slightly different picture. Why, ye olde school politics was just as nasty and dirty as it is today. I mean, who knew? For example, if you think the media messing in politics is something new, check out Frank Capra's Meet John Doe, starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The corrupt newspaper creates a folk hero named John Doe, and in a flash - the political parties are both looking to use this guy for their own ends. A great story and let's hope our current limbo in the divided we fall hole we find ourselves in.... ends up like a happy Frank Capra movie. Hey, one can hope. Another classic tale, Angel on My Shoulder with Paul Muni, not only has some shady political stooges - why it even has the general of the Axis of Evil, Satan himself trying to inject himself onto the political landscape. Claude Rains does a terrific job at playing Lucifer, though i doubt he is as diabolical as he would be if they ever redid this film. It is a great movie and totally worth the time and effort. Co-stars Anne Baxter too.

And if all the political yelling gets too loud, please check out presidential graft at its finest in Popeye for President. It seems the race is tied, with only one vote left - Olive Oyl. Watch Bluto and Popeye promise her everything under the sun to win her vote. Why they'd even sell out the country it seems. And sure, Popeye is running on the Spinach Party ticket, so that would make him the green candidate.

Plus, there's a lot of clips related to historical politics - with such notable characters as Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill, and Hindenburg to name but a few. Just search for politic and see what comes up. (a bunch of them are also for politically incorrect... like Amos and Andy, but most are related to the world of political intrigue. Happy viewing, and don't forget to vote. Unless you are voting for the other guy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Dies

Paul Newman died today, September 27,2008 at the age of 83 after a battle with cancer. He was born on January 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He was known for a great combination of being handsome, with steely blue eyes - and for being a great actor who starred in countless different roles and interesting characters. He was certainly one of the best actors in Hollywood for decades.

To honor Paul Newman's life and all he added to the history of film, tv and theater, we suggest you check out Bang the Drum Slowly, with a terrific Paul Newman live tv performance as Henry Wiggin, an ace major league pitcher. It also stars Albert Salmi as catcher Bruce Pearson and George Peppard as Piney Woods. We really liked this sad baseball story and the acting and live element made it exciting to watch.

Here's a few more short video clips that either feature Paul Newman, or have his name mentioned in the text description.

My hat's off to Paul Newman. I had a great deal of admiration for him, not only as a good actor, but also for his efforts to be a good man. He was quiet about it too. Which was refreshing and gracious of Mr. Newman. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Charlotte is gas free

Today, Charlotte NC is a real mess. For some reason, i suspect a lot has to do with the recent hurricane hitting Texas, we have a very limited supply of gas. The trouble started brewing last night, when supplies were already low, and a TV station put out the word, advising folks who have a half tank, to NOT fill up. And they broadcast a list of who was still selling gas. So here we are on Thursday, and a little problem turned into a bigger one, and we have gas lines and are only allowed to buy $20 worth of gas. Premium, Plus or regular - you get what you can. It took me over an hour to finally get to my spot in line where i finally was allowed to put in $20. (and my gas light was on - yikes). Remember ye olde 1970s. OPEN, & the oil embargo? I do, seemed just like yesterday, and today was a re-run.

And with all the recent financial turmoil, we get to see who loses their cool when times get tough. Perhpas Frank Random's re-mix of Duck and Cover (called Duck and Die) will give folks the incentive to pick up a little more trash around the homestead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oprah at the EMMYs

At the EMMYs last night, Oprah began the ceremony by saying, "Nothing connects us quite like television." Wow. Cool Oprah, I never knew you were such a big fan of the site. We're honored and wish you the best. Don't believe me? Check out the LA Times or the New York Times. I agree Oprah -

Nothing connects us quite like television.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hockey Moms and Patriotic Taxes

IN 1997, we created a silly character called Antoine DuFleur, who was the enforcer on a pro hockey team. The enforcer is the guy who is a dirty player who creams the other teams best players, often with cheap shots, like cross-checking or an errant elbow. Anyway, over the course of Antoine's career, he was slammed so many times by the opposing team, he kind of lost his head. And started becoming very effeminate, and was later called the Paisley checker, for his outrageous outfits. And it got worse, when he retired, he became the Poet Laureate of the NHL - a position he felt was sanctioned by the commissioner, but in fact was a creation of his own mushy brain. Anyway... we thought he might actually be one of the first - Hockey Moms... so somehow, this made the clip timely. Check it out - it is really really weird, and pretty dang funny too. Go Antoine DuFleur - with a reading of his amazing poem, Goosey Goosey.

Also of interest, is some background of my family's history. A long time ago (January 1954), my grandfather, Babba and his company, Stearns Magnetic was sued by the commissioner of the I.R.S. It seems he and his dad, the only shareholders of the small Wisconsin manufacturing company, had a special dividend that spun off a patent he had to the shareholders. They valued the dividend fairly, and paid the tax on the gain. BUT... it seems, due to the war, this proved to be a very shrewd move, and allowed him and his father to keep a lot more money after taxes, than if he had done nothing. Oddly enough at the time, it was deemed that it was patriotic to pay more taxes, and this was basically the argument of the IRS (and Joe Biden too I guess). That my Grandfather and his dad should be paying more in taxes, and that the special dividend, though perfectly legal and above board, resulted in a lower tax bill - and this was just wrong. Here's the case at the 7th District court (i think it went to the 10th district court ultimately). In any event, the outcome of the case changed the tax mentality of the people, and in many ways, helped to create the tax advisor industry, which seeks to structure your affairs in a way to minimize taxation. (like deducting your mortgage for instance). The outcome basically stated - it is not a crime to structure your financial affairs in a way that reduces your tax burden, as long as you us legal ways to reduce your tax bill. Thanks Babba! By the way, he also shared with me, that if he had lost, he would have been wiped out, and in fact spent a ton of money to attorneys to win the case.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Peter Sellers Birthday

Happy Birthday to Peter Sellers! Born today in England, on Setember 8, 1925 (Richard Henry Sellers), Cheers to Peter Sellers. He was one of the greats - a terrific actor who was also funny. and lovable, in the way Buster Keaton was lovable. Check out a Peter Sellers movie or short film today if you like. One of my favorites. Happy Birthday Peter Sellers.