Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A repeat of 500 years ago? Francis 2017 and Leo X 1517

Our blog primarily started in Catholicism, and although we have many Protestants and Catholics that both read this blog for its numerous other issues, we have to reflect on the corruption of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis and our articles we've posted regarding his corruption of the Church itself.

Damon Linker noted the current Pope wants to liberalise church doctrine on the sanctity of marriage and the family, lacking support and institutional power, so he attempts to sow seeds of change by undermining doctrinal enforcement.  The way the Pope is attempting to do so is reminiscent of the 19th century Anglicans in the United States, as Anglican Church in North America minister Frank Larisey has referenced when liberal professors were teaching in Episcopal Church seminaries.  What Rev. Larisey noted could be a repeat of what we'll see in Catholic schools to bring such liberal seminaries, hiring more liberal professors, and develop the faith and also the mind of future clergy.

The Catholic Church's splintering now could be a repeat of the exact circumstances that led to a Theology professor at the University of Wittenberg to release a statement which its quincentennial is being observed October 31, after a series of incidents with Pope Leo X, including sales of indulgences to pay for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.   You could pay money for forgiveness of sin, and that infuriated Mr. Luther, who noted people were no longer worried about sin since they could pay for forgiveness instead as part of this fund-raising scheme.  That, of course, led to a major schism in the Catholic Church 500 years ago.  Could the actions of the Pope create a repeat of this legendary document at Wittenberg's All Saints Church sent to Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg?

And what is the document that angered Catholics 500 years ago, but the hatred has somewhat softened in recent years?  Furthermore, Luther's anger at Leo X could be similar now to many Catholics' anger with Francis.  Let's observe this all important document from a half millennium ago.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Man and Superman?

I was never a fan of Mike Tyson, back when I used to follow boxing, although I'll admit that the idea of Tyson playing himself as an animated character in Mike Tyson Mysteries is just short of very, very cool.  What Tyson was good at was being a villain, and having a villain around always makes drama, whether of the sporting kind or not, more compelling.

I've never been a fan of Tiger Woods either, not once I came to know more about it.  His first major victory, at the Masters, was awesome, at least in the sporting sense (and that's not a word I use lightly), and while there were other golfers I preferred, I could at least appreciate his talent. However, the more I got to know about him, the less I thought of him.  While I don't rejoice in his current tribulations, I do often think that what goes around comes around.

And that's the most I would have thought of either Mike Tyson or Tiger Woods, but in this column Joe Posnanski draws some real parallels between the careers of the two men, and in the process takes a look at how we regard greatness; I think it tells us a lot about how we look at our own mortality as well.  The punch line:

Call it Tysonography, our refusal to believe that even the most extraordinary talents fade quicker than we expect. There are a lot of “What’s wrong with Tiger Woods” stories out there right now, and some of them are interesting, but I still suspect they miss the point. Nothing’s wrong with Tiger Woods except that he’s human and he’s fading and it’s the most obvious thing in the world but, like with Mike Tyson, we willfully refuse to accept it.

Very true.  Some people just refuse to believe that Woods can't win it all again.  Hey, maybe they're right.  But if they are, it's not because they have the odds in their favor.

But doesn't this speak to our views on our own mortality as well?  I don't mean the "invincible" stage that teens go through when they think there isn't anything in the world that can hurt them, although that certainly is a part of it.  No, I think it's the way we look at life in general - unable to believe that we aren't the people that we used to be.  That's why we buy Viagra, and color our hair to get the grey out (or buy new hair, which is even better).  It's why we gravitate towards fast cars and trophy spouses, why we dress and talk and act like we're decades younger than we really are.  A perpetual adolescence, some call it, an unwillingness to accept the responsibilities of adulthood.  And that's true, but I think it's also our unwillingness to accept mortality, to think about what happens on judgment day.  There's a lot of whistling past the graveyard going on nowadays, but as Harry Reasoner once said, no matter what man does, no matter what he gives up or avoids, "he may get one day extra or none; he never gets eternity."  Not on this earth, at least.

Anyway, read Poz's column.  It's really good, and not nearly as heavy as I make it out to be.

Originally published February 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Opera Wednesday

A friend challenged us with this Tom and Jerry cartoon the other day. He'd seen it on TV while he was surfing around, and immediately thought of us. What, he wondered, was the piece that the orchestra was playing to Tom and Jerry's conducting? Did we know?

It sounded familiar, that was for sure.  I listened to it for a minute, but Judie was the one who came up with it. "That's the overture from Fledermaus!" And so it is. From Johann Strauss' famed operetta Die Fledermaus (which, by the way, has nothing to do with mice!), here's the overture - Tom and Jerry style.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A golf trophy that resembles

The trophy from last week's The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in the Republic of Korea had me looking at a 1970's (and also 1989) CBS game show which used Quincy Jones' "Chump Change" as its theme song because of the way the trophy was arranged.

According to the PGA TOUR, the trophy consists of movable type that was used in 13th century Korea, which the oldest surviving work is a Buddhist text.  Such classic movable type that is in Hangul.  When the tournament ended, one piece of the text was highlighted in gold, which gives it a feel similar to the Goodson-Todman Now You See It that I referenced above.  I've noted the section that was turned into gold by the engraver following Saturday night's tournament.

The trophy for the restricted invitational tournament consisted of the bridge on the 18th hole and a plaque consisting of the Korean printing press type.  On the trophy, as newsman Chuck Henry can see (he hosted the 1989 version of "Now You See It"), are the names of all 70 players who participated in the tournament.  It becomes a giant game of "Now You See It," and fans could virtually play the game by finding the names of their favourite golfers in the tournament on the press (though it is in reverse image because it is being printed on a piece of paper as a printing press).

As for the tournament winner?  저스틴 토마스, Column 20, circle vertically rows 1-6.  Now You See It . . . and a trophy that will change based on who plays every year.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Y.A. Title, R.I.P.

Yelberton Abraham Title Jr., better known to one and all as Y.A., one of the great quarterbacks in the storied history of professional football, died last week at the age of 90. Our own Hadleyblogger Steve had occasion in the past to use Title's legendary as a source for his "This Just In" news bulletins. You can read those pieces here and here, and remember that it takes a true giant (or Giant, if you prefer) to inspire such lunacy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Opera Wedneday

I have to admit being skeptical when the Metropolitan Opera announced plans back in 2012 for an HD broadcast of Philip Glass’ opera Satyagraha, based on the life and influence of Mahatma Gandhi. However, having already been surprised once by John Adams’ strangely affecting Nixon in China, we figured there was nothing to lose by checking Satyagraha out in the theater, and it proved to be the right decision.

Satyagraha is an unexpectedly compelling opera, one which is at once both minimal and lush, for although Glass's music is contemporary, it is never atonal, and the notes have the ability to strike at some inner chord. Combined with the effective staging by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, it proves to be, at times, a very moving presentation.

The opera is in three acts, named after people who influenced or were influenced by Gandhi: Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Here, from that HD broadcast, is the opera's final aria, the absorbing “Evening Song" (from Act 3; "King"), Gandhi is portrayed by Richard Croft; Dante Anzolini conducts the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Postmodern philosophy shown in Hollywood deaths

There seems to be a postmodern philosophy seen with many in the current generation that history of the past (such as that before they were born, or even their parents in some cases) does not exist.  Such was the case of contrasting Twitter feeds following two recent Hollywood deaths of two television programmes when their developers died within the past two weeks.

When CBS was informed Monty Hall had died, the social media pages for Let's Make a Deal posted a tribute to the 96-year old who developed the show as a tribute to him on social media.  Since the show was taping its Halloween 2017 episode and had two more episodes to tape when word came of Mr. Hall's death, CBS turned the last taping of the day into a Monty Hall Tribute episode, complete with Wayne Brady in an empty set to remember Monty Hall, in a manner similar to that of the pitch film pilot that Mr. Hall used in introducing the show to NBC executives (and it was sold, leading to the legendary franchise).

When MTV learned of the death of Hip Hop Squares creator Merrill Heatter recently, their VH1 channel's Twitter page for the show made no reference to his death.  There was no note referencing the death of the show's 91-year old creator.  It was Wink Martindale, no less, on his Twitter, who referenced the death of Mr. Heatter on Sunday morning.

MTV won't even reference the passing of the show's creator when CBS did with their classic game show's own creator.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jimmy Carter joins the Curses

The Curse of Jimmy Carter is alive and well following the US Failure to qualify for the World Cup last night.  Talk about so many things happening:

Curse of Jimmy Carter.  Jimmy Carter didn't want Americans marching on Luzinski Stadium in 1980.  Thirty-eight years later, an American Outlaws group will not be marching in the stadium.  It is now officially a curse on American teams at what was Lenin Stadium in 1980, and now Luzinski Stadium now.

For further information on the Curse of Jimmy Carter, this document is now officially part of the curse.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal.  Much of Mr. Weinstein's library is now owned by Al Jazeera through its entertainment brand.  The colossal failure of the United States aired on Al Jazeera, no less.

Worse Than NFL Ratings Disaster for Fox.  This isn't as bad as the price Fox will pay for the US failure to qualify for the World Cup.  It's a double whammy now since it makes all of what they've sold for the World Cup pennies on the dollar.  In effect, Fox is now declaring "bankruptcy" on their FIFA contract since the have to return billions in advertising sold for the games since the US failed to make it.  The colossal failure, which aired on Al Jazeera last night (now note Al Jazeera owns much of the Harvey Weinstein Library through Miramax) since Trinidad & Tobago's football federation has home game rights in the US sold to Al Jazeera, means Fox has a "white elephant" in World Cup rights for Russia.

The NFL ratings flop is not as bad as what Fox will endure all 2018 with the Curse of Jimmy Carter.  They may not make it up in the next FIFA cycle.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Throwback Thursday: On telling the truth

When I think of postmodernism I think of people who want to deny truth: There is no such thing as absolute truth. There’s relative truth, subjective truth … or like my friend Werner Herzog would call it, ‘ecstatic truth.’ … I have my own way of describing ‘ecstatic truth.’ I call it ‘lying.’”

Errol Morris, 2010 (H/T Grantland)

Originally published March 3, 2015

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Opera Wednesday

And now for something completely different, not to mention lighthearted. (And don't we need that about now?) The United Kingdom Ukuele Orchestra, which is actually based in Germany but is made up of British musicians, with a charming rendition of the William Tell Overture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The final "Big Deal"

We know Monty Hall from Let's Make a Deal most probable for the Winnipeg, MB native, who died Saturday at 96.  But there are some other well-known clips we've found of the great Monte Halaprin (as he was known) from other television shows besides the show that he is best known (and a statement was posted by the current version).  An ethnic quota ended his dream of medical school despite hard work during the Great Depression and World War II, but he turned to radio and became wanted in the United States.

One of Mr. Hall's first known shows that made him prominent was Video Village, a Heatter-Quigley game show where he was the third, and longest-lasting host, of the CBS Daytime and even Saturday morning (children's version).

Monty and business partner Stefan Hatos developed Split Second, a quiz show that aired from 1972-75 with James Narz (aka Tom Kennedy) and again in 1986-87 with Hall at the helm.

In this 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony where Mr. Hall was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, he was presented his award by Wayne Brady, the current host of the show he made famous.  Beware of the Zonks!

An ad for Glen Campbell:

An ad for General Motors with son Richard, now himself a well-known television producer.  Your humble writer owned that generation Cutlass Supreme that was his daily driver in college, and it was part of a series of "next-generation" commercials by the Rocket brand with many offspring of legends (Peter Graves and Mel Blanc were among the others in the campaign).

One of current Let's Make a Deal model Tiffany Coyne's favourite moments was when she and Carol Merrill appeared together to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary in 2013, which now was Monty's last appearance on the show.

But CBS put Monty as a "hostage" in a 2014-15 season ruse that resulted in a wild crossover between the network's two daytime game shows that allowed Bob Barker to host The Price Is Right as the storyline was Drew Carey had been kidnapped.  The Twitter war between the two game shows was Carey and the Plinko board had been kidnapped by Wayne Brady's crew, so George Gray and The Price Is Right crew responded by kidnapping Hall.

Mr. Hall will be missed.
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