Archive for the TV Category

R.I.P. Maj. Dick Winters, American hero

Posted in Books, History, Movies, TV, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by macmystery

I first learned of Dick Winters’ death from a Facebook post by my friend Chris Otto of the York Daily-Record. He linked to a story Monday night from a Pennsylvania TV station reporting the World War II veteran’s death a week before. Here’s the Washington Post obit.

Winters became widely known, thanks to the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which followed the E company, second battalion (Easy Company), of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Infantry from their formation through the Normandy invasion and on through Germany’s surrender.

As a history major, I found the book interesting, but honestly, the miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, is where I, and I’m guessing millions of other Americans, truly came to know about Winters. It’s hands down the best television I’ve ever seen.

The book, culled from interviews with surviving members of Easy Company, is historically accurate, and the miniseries follows the trend of the past 15 years where filmmakers, instead of glorifying war, have tried to accurately portray the horror and savagery of conflict and illustrate the sacrifices of those who risked or lost their lives.

Winters wasn’t originally in command of Easy Company. But just like in so many other situations in the group’s story, Winters took the reins and led by example when he was called to. He was concerned about each and every one of his men. And his men respected him for it and loved him in return.

According to the Washington Post, late in the war, one of Mr. Winters’s soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.

“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote to Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”

We’ve reached a point in our history where the people who risked their lives and served their country are dying off and leaving us at an ever-increasing rate. Soon, what little first-hand knowledge we have of the great sacrifice the men like those of Easy Company made to, not only preserve our freedom, but to defeat the powers of evil, will have gone away.

I’m saddened by Winters’ passing, but I’m thankful he served. He lived to the age of 92 before losing his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. News of his death, more than a week ago, was kept quiet at his request. He didn’t seek glory. He exhibited class, even in death.

Thank you, Dick Winters. Though you may not have chosen the label, there’s no denying you are a hero.

He’s gay … he’s not gay … it’s none of your damn business

Posted in Family, Internet, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by macmystery

So a couple of nights ago, I’m sitting in the living room with my wife Brooke. She’s got the laptop with her on the couch and she’s reading some other people’s blogs while I’m watching an episode of Psych on Netflix.

And she comes across this blog post from a woman about her son who wanted to be Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. The woman talked about how much her son loved the character and his best friend, a little girl, also went as Daphne.

She also talked about the negative reaction the costume got from other parents.

She was very supportive of her son and basically told the other adults it wasn’t their concern what her son wanted to be for Halloween.

As my wife explained the woman’s blog, Nerdy Apple Bottom, and read the post to me, I found myself sympathizing with the mother.

So Thursday night, after work, I was working on the dashboard of my blog and noticed that her post about the costume, entitled “My Son Is Gay,” was the top post among all WordPress blogs.

(For what it’s worth, if you read the blog post, you’ll find that the title “My son is gay” is actually just the first line of the post. It’s immediately followed by “Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.”)

I didn’t think much of it, just thought I’d mention it to Brooke when I got a chance since it had sparked her interest.

Then at work on Friday, I was perusing CNN.com and found that her blog post had sparked an uproar. It was the top post on all the WordPress blogs because it had gotten more than a million hits in a day’s time.

She had gotten lots of feedback, mostly positive, but some negative and some downright ugly.

On CNN.com, there’s a video (click here) of her live phone interview on television. She holds her own with the reporter, who’s sympathetic, and a child psychologist.

I find it truly amazing the a 5-year-old child’s choice of a Halloween costume could cause such an uproar.

There are many people criticizing this mother for blogging about her son’s choice of costume. But that’s not what she did. She only blogged about her son’s choice of costume in response to the negative and ugly feedback she got from neighbors and other parents at her son’s school.

She told them to shove off. And she was right to.

It’s bad enough that we in this country spend a large portion of our time passing judgment on other adults.

But one 5-year-old’s choice of a Halloween costume … his choice to dress up just like his best friend … on a day, the one day every year, when everyone has the opportunity to pretend to be someone they’re not and it’s supposed to be OK … one 5-year-old’s choice of a Halloween costume shouldn’t cause this kind of furor. It shouldn’t draw venomous feedback from supposed adults and it shouldn’t make the national news.

In fact, the more I read some of the idiotic feedback she got, the more frustrated and angry I become, and he’s not even my child. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have to deal some of the people face-to-face.

And even after all of this, I’m at a loss of what to say.

My son and my daughter are free to pursue whatever dream they desire. I won’t dictate what road they take in life or who they love. I only hope that they grow up to be good people, they embrace their journeys in life and that they are lucky enough to find love.

I can’t imagine trying to dictate to them what should and shouldn’t make them happy. But I know I’m certainly not OK with anyone else trying to do it either.

So I guess if confronted with the same situation this mother was, I’d say the same thing she did in her blog post …

“It’s none of your damn business.”

Wow! Who saw this coming?

Posted in Journalism, Politics, TV with tags , , , on August 18, 2010 by macmystery

Fair and balanced? Why start now?

Apparently, some people, particularly Democrats, are upset because Fox News’ parent company, News Corporation, made a $1 million donation to a Republican governor’s group. (Read here)

These people believe, shockingly, that this shows a lack of objectivity on Fox’s part and that the network’s coverage of Republican agendas, personalities, ideas, legislation and candidates will be favorable when compared to that of the Democrats.

Wow. No crap. What took you so damn long? Welcome to the real world.

Funniest man on TV honored

Posted in Humor, Religion, TV with tags , , , , on April 1, 2010 by macmystery

Hail to the chief, Craig Ferguson.

Craig Ferguson, the host of the Late Late Show on CBS and easily the funniest man on television, has been honored with a Peabody Award, usually reserved for those a little serious.

Read here.

The award was for the episode where he interviewed Archbishop Desmond Tutu. That doesn’t mean it was serious.

If you haven’t watched Ferguson’s show, you’re missing out.

A political columnist submits to 60 hours of hell

Posted in Journalism, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by macmystery

Last week, PoliticsDaily.com columnist Walter Shapiro, who is recovering from surgery on his leg, decided to commit to watching nothing but cable news networks for 12 hours a day for five straight days.

To some, that may sound not all that abnormal. But Shapiro, something of a dinosaur, gets his news from print media, and therefore is in no way acclimated to what he found on the boob tube.

Shapiro blogged each day for five days about his new experience with cable TV news. It’s pretty interesting.

Here are the five parts of his series:

Day 1: A New Survivor Show: Watching a Week of Cable News and Living to Tell

Day 2: The Cable News Patrol: Rounding Up the Usual Suspects and Subjects

Day 3: The Cable News Patrol: Sound Bite Skirmishing Silenced (Mostly) by Real Life Tragedy

Day 4: The Cable News Patrol: Glenn and Rachel Become My New Best Friends

Day 5: The Cable News Patrol: My Long National Nightmare Is Over!

Someone had to say it … way to go Keith

Posted in Journalism, Politics, Religion, TV with tags , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

That was Keith Olbermann’s Wednesday-night response to the asinine comments from Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson on the liberal-slanted MSNBC.com show Countdown.

I won’t go over what Limbaugh and Robertson had to say on Wednesday and Thursday about the earthquake and relief efforts in Haiti. I’ll just say they’re making Sarah Palin look smart.

Heck, you know you may be out of touch when well-known social commentator Roger Ebert, … yes, that Roger Ebert, the movie guy, go off on you in his movie blog.

Here’s Olbermann’s Thursday-night response to Limbaugh when he acted even less human on Thursday …

Once again, for those who want to give to relief efforts, here’s a list of organizations already working in Haiti.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Stephen King is an angel … and he dislikes “Twilight,” to boot

Posted in Books, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2009 by macmystery

Does this man scare you?

Well, I know that’s not the way most people, even those who like his writing, would describe him.

But Stephen King recently did something pretty cool. He and his wife, Tabitha, donated $13,000 so that 150 Maine Army National Guardsmen training in Indiana can come home for Christmas.

The troops, from the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit, are training at Camp Atterbury and are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.

It’s a kind gesture that many of those soldiers and their families may never forget. Who knows how long it will be before they can return to their loved ones for the holidays … if at all. Those men and women shouldn’t have to spend their last holidays stateside a third of the country away from home.

The Kings actually gave $12,999 — because 13 is an unlucky number … who’d have though King was superstitious? — and a personal assistant chipped in $1.

If you’re a King fan, here are some other recent developments you may or may not be aware of:

Speculation that if King broke into the business today, he’d be less successful

A review of “Under The Dome”

SyFy turning King’s “The Colorado Kid” into a series titles ‘Haven”

King is considering a sequel to ‘The Shining”

King possibly teaming with Spielberg to bring “Under the Dome” to TV as miniseries

And my favorite … King trashes “Twilight” author Meyer, praises Harry Potter author Rowling