Reflections and then some…

For people that don’t know, my older sister Malinda or Mindy as everyone called her, aka Mango Jo was a character straight out of vaudeville when she was a youngin.  Always performing routines and dressing up including her kid brother of course.  It was this dressing up as a kid which would lead me to paint my fingernails during my rebellious teenage years (now I have E paint my toenails for me during my rebellious twenties).


So say I had an older brother instead and I probably would never have concerned my parents with the agony of whether or not their only son was gay because they would of had another, not all would have been lost surely would have been their reasoning.  Instead I have an older sister that was tough as nails and quite the mini Jim Varney.  Know what I mean Vern?  She grew up into a woman, had children got married and all that jazz.  Though recently shaking off the pleasantries to rediscover the tough as nails aspect while breaking bones in roller derby as MALicious and soon to be appearing in Zurviving the DEAD! as infamous bank robber ‘The Mango Kid’ Dillenger, only this time I’m directing the action.
ImageNow I never really considered Jamie Foxx a serious actor perhaps only because Malinda use to impersonate Wanda so much when we were young I couldn’t see anything serious about it’s connections but seeing as how both he and her favorite Jim Carrey have become huge stars, she must know talent when she sees it.  Still can’t believe Wanda became a Quentin Tarantino Bad Motherfucker named Django though.  No one saw that coming right?


I’m not sure why my sister likes Nic Cage so much though.  It’s one glaring pick in her tastes to be honest, but I did watch him in World Trade Center recently (as in last night) and found him to be a lot more tolerable when he is buried under slabs of concrete without the ability to move.  This could perhaps be misconstrued as me knocking his overacting in almost all of his films and it most certainly is that, though I am complimenting him for his ability to keep me watching as he laid flat, head tilted, barley speaking for most of the film covered in dust barley able to recognize him while performing what sounded like to me as a New York accent.  You could guess it, he still was able to perform his random moment of screaming chaos, that only Nicolas Kim Coppola could muster from his empty vault in the acting department.

ImageJoining Nicolas for the majority of his scenes was Michael Peña, who I became a fan of after viewing Buffalo Soldiers (2001) a few dozen times over the years.  Buffalo Soldiers stars Joaquin Phoenix in the United States Army in Germany during the eighties, what’s not to love?  I was there 03-05 in the Air Force and don’t feel this movie is far off target.  Perhaps you are an Anna Paquin hater though, still she’s too fine of an actress not to appreciate.  As for Michael Peña supporting Nicolas Cage during scenes of unimaginable hell I was left on the edge and ended up quite enjoying the performance that he too performed in a single position for a long majority of his scenes.


Also starring Maggie Gyllenhaal known for having said America was “responsible in some way” for the 9/11 attacks, offered to withdraw from the project but was given full support from her real-life counterparts that she and Peña portrayed in the film.  She contributed to the balance of the film by not being still very much at all and always giving a performance worth a viewers time.  Also being a native of Manhattan, she fit the part LIKE A GLOVE!
ImageHonestly what always gets me with Maggie is her ability to absorb herself in unlikable sometimes just flawed characters which we might or might not find redeemable considering our views.  I usually find she demonstrates an honesty about the character that most wouldn’t want displayed with their own image.  Jackie Chan won’t play villains.  Does that make me respect him less, yes it does.  Jet Li however does not feel this way taking villainous roles and is a far superior actor to boot.  Though to pull a little from Ric Flair, Jackie Chan is like a glorified stuntman in comparison with Jet Li.  Even Jackie deserves his respect much as Mick Foley deserves his for being completely insane with the desire to satisfy.  It might be a sickness for them both to please the fans.  Just the perfectionist I tell myself.
ImageOliver Stone directed an interesting take on the events of September 11, 2001 while following the families of two Port Authority police officers who became trapped under the rubble during the emergency evacuations of the Twin Towers.  I especially enjoyed certain touches that were put in there for the likes of me in particular.  Centering around the emotions of the day between the families as they dealt with the shock and disillusionment with their new realities, Stone managed to capture on film the feeling that resided inside me as I watched in horror on Sept. 11 2001 in the library of Columbus East High School as they broadcast the tragedy scaring the shit out of most in the school.

I’ll never understand how scaring people and instilling fear is considered news reporting or at least how we the people allow them to get away with it.  They removed ‘nigger’ from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and replaced it with ‘slave’, I suppose since we’re allowing that too I can get away with saying everyone is a slave but if you want my opinion I believe we are all one and the same and changing a word doesn’t change it implications nor does it allow us to grow past the social stigmas that strangle us with what to fear.

My father told me to never forget our history for it will repeat itself when discussing Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to me when I was in junior high.  So I dived into it for years studying Adolf himself, his generals most notably Erwin Rommel the Desert Fox, once heroic and highly respected general that despised Hitler.  He was known for refusing orders directly from Hitler and treating all enemies of war humanely unlike the orders to kill captured Jews and others, until a failed plot against Hitler led to his committing suicide.  If only more people stood up to injustice and not the small percentage all the time, the world would be a much more progressive society but we must not forget our history.  It will only make fools of us all.

During the actual attack on 9/11, I had been in the television studio down in the basement of the school and walked into the library ready to check-out some books typically of the revolutionary type at that point in my life when I walked up to some friends and made a joke.  I immediately received a negative reaction and was confused because I’ve always known I was funny and this reaction wasn’t appropriate.  Someone nicely pointed towards the television and I stood and studied the information trying to understand what it was I was actually seeing.

Honestly to this day I still can not explain the complete confusion my mind was experiencing.  The absolute shock of the situation.  I also had never heard of this World Trade Center (Isn’t true because I had listened {not heard Sidney Deane} to Michael Keaton joke about it in The Dream Team but never knew the significance) that they mentioned over and over again.  Only afterwards did I come to realize how much fame it had.  I just stood there and felt like none of this was right.  “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen, except in the movies like that one I had just watched recently with Bruce Willis and Denzel called The Siege.”  and wouldn’t you know it a substitute teacher would say this very thing the next day in sociology class, not sure where Mr. Bush was that day.

If Mark Twain was here, would he still consider himself the same as he did then a Sans-culottes only perhaps more so and be proud at the size of the movement itself and shocked at the spread of the ignorant drones across the grid.  He even considered himself more like Jean-Paul Marat, a radical journalist during the French Revolution and fate didn’t serve him well having been stabbed to death by a Sans-culottes sympathizer leaving Marat painted the villain.

O Liberté, que de crimes on commet en ton nom!
Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!

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Roger Malcolm

An absent-minded plothole, as far as narratives go, so it seems...

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