Posted in Quotes

Defense

Major General Smedley Butler Quotes. QuotesGram

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.    Smedley Butler

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.

 

By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (along with Wendell Neville and David Porter) and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. But a final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony.

In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.

Posted in Quotes

Humor

 

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Humor is just another defense against the universe.   Mel Brooks

Melvin Brooks (Kaminsky, born June 28, 1926) is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, composer and songwriter.

He is known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. Brooks began his career as a comic and a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows. He became well known as part of the comedy duo with Carl Reiner in the comedy skit The 2000 Year Old Man. He also created, with Buck Henry, the hit television comedy series Get Smart, which ran from 1965 to 1970.

In middle age, Brooks became one of the most successful film directors of the 1970s, with many of his films being among the top 10 moneymakers of the year they were released. His best-known films include The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. A musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers, ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007.

In 2001, having previously won an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar, he joined a small list of EGOT winners with his Tony award for The Producers. He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2009, the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2013, a British Film Institute Fellowship in March 2015, a National Medal of Arts in September 2016, and a BAFTA Fellowship in February 2017. Three of his films ranked in the American Film Institute‘s list of the top 100 comedy films of the past 100 years (1900–2000), all of which ranked in the top 20 of the list: Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.

Brooks was married to Oscar-winning actress Anne Bancroft from 1964 until her death in 2005.

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Posted in My Views On The Real World

Why The Oscars Don’t Matter, To Me.

oscarOkay the #Oscars So White is a big deal to a lot of people.  Claiming it is a symptom of a larger problem,  maybe it is but I think the overall question is why do the Oscars really matter at all.  It is a bunch of industry insiders, an business that is oversexualized and  hung up on the outward trappings of wealth and power.

Movies can be magical, movies can elevate you to heights you never knew existed.  Films can introduce you to new people, places and ideas that you never cared about and invite you care.  The silver screen can act as transportation to magical and incredible places or sometimes just let you take a few steps in another person’s shoes.

The big screen has the ability to change you both in good and bad ways.  Horror flicks can make you insensitive to others pain and suffering.  Watching westerns sometimes creates an idealistic and/or naive view of American history.  Romantic comedies fabricate an unrealistic view of relationships and sex. Too many science fiction movies can make you unattractive to the opposite sex .  (Kidding of course, it usually comes from a combination of poor hygiene, lack of confidence and the inability to have intelligent conversations without making an obscure pop culture reference which the opposite sex doesn’t get.)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes on a yearly basis performances by actors, the direction given to those actors, the technical and artistic aspects expended to realize those performances into a coherent product and the writers who dreamed up the entire story.  But the Academy Awards do not truly recognize what a movie means to a person.

One of my favorite movies The Karate Kid, was not anywhere near  a nomination for an Academy Award the year it came out.  (Terms of Endearment won in 1984, with the other films nominated being The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff and Tender Mercies.)   The Karate Kid story touches me on so many levels mainly because where I was in my life I was clueless about life and girls (basically the same thing to a teenage boy),  I had studied karate at the time so I could see myself in the movie, and everyone at that age feels like they don’t fit in. karate-kid2

Now the training stuff in that movie was outright crap, you do not learn to block a kick or punch by  waxing a car or painting a fence.  Those chores may increase your muscular strength and endurance but they do not teach you to place you hand in the right place at the right time to stop a blow from landing.  But the heart of good martial arts is there; only use martial arts for  defense, balance, focus, concentration and learning to walk before you fly. karate-kidThe Karate Kid taught me that you can learn something from anyone, whether it is a skill, history or what is important in life.  That friendship has nothing to do with age, background or race but about who stood by your side when you are going thru crap.  That skill and knowledge have nothing to do with the clothes (or belt) you are wearing.  Later on in life I have looked at the same movie and realized that everyone has a backstory:  Mr. Miyagi with the loss of a wife, Aliee not wanting to live up to her parents expectations at their country club, even Johnny trying to change is life by turning down a joint when you first see him then rolling one in the bathroom later on.  Any movie that lasts with you for thirty some years is truly a masterpiece, even if it only means that much to one person.

Another filmmaker that will probably never get an Academy Award is Kevin Smith, his movies are full of juvenile jokes,  childish sight gags and  way too much trivia, but at the heart of his movies is a celebration of friendship, love and life.

clerks  The black and white film Clerks may be about working a minimum wage job but it is also about finding and knowing what is important in life and that there are lot of beautiful girls in the world but not all of them will bring you lasagna.  Dogma may have a crap monster, a sanctified golf club, and the late great Alan Rickman, sans genitilia,  but it is also about believing in yourself and raising questioning about faith, god and religion in irreverent but smart fashion.

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An Angel Is Ill-equipped

My favorite filmmaker will probably not be recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  I love Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Army, Red State and even Jersey Girl.  I enjoy his movies, I have laughed and seen things a little bit differently, and in seeing things differently I have changed as a person.   Isn’t that what the movies, and art in general, are truly about?   Art is about the important things in life, not how many awards you do on do not win.   We need more art in this world, art that brings us closer together, art that helps us rage against injustices, art that keeps our sense of wonder alive and movies that display love in all its different shapes and forms.