The Onion Takes on the Sedgehammer

It has been recently brought to my attention that the Onion is stealing my material right out from under me.  Thank you, Alex, for this timely news.  Instead of being cheap and petty like that game empire has-been, Hasbro, I will refrain from suing.  Instead I will allow my own readership to grow by giving you links to their popular articles on American Gladiators and Scrabulous/Facebook.  Enjoy!

The Power of Dialogue, the Power of Action

I was browsing the interweb for items of interest when I discovered another little gem of religious discussion. The particular posting about Islam, feminism, and developing the congruence between the two (especially politically) can be read here. I highly recommend it, but I won’t reiterate what it has to say in hopes of encouraging you to look for yourself.

The World Council of Churches, which is one of the organizations, which participates in the Ecumenical Women’s coalition that wrote the article,  is an organization that makes me feel very much at home.  I’ve gone to their conferences before, and a part of what I admire in that organization is the way that denominational language, belief, and other barriers which cause us to be divided come together so smoothly within this group.  I like it – it makes me happy.  Not that I’m willing to give up those separate beliefs I’ve worked hard to determine.  But it’s nice to be able to dialog, and this women’s group is a further extension of that.   I like it.

In addition, the group seems to be concerned with the more active pieces of faith, the part that makes you aware not only of who you are but what you simply must do to make the world the way it needs to be.  I have tremendous respect for people who professionally pursue that end every day.  While I don’t personally see my life going in that direction at the moment, it’s something I should be more aware of.  I think we could all really do more living of our beliefs.

A Tribute to Heath Ledger

I was sad to hear yesterday about this actor’s death. I don’t feel the drama that most people seem to feel about it, but I do feel something. Maybe it is the lass of the on-screen charisma that many remember and love. Maybe it’s the lack of this hot-hot actor just a year older than me in any upcoming new films. I’m not sure, but it is a fleeting thing, not like the screaming annoyance I felt at the cancellation of one of my favorite TV shows back in 1997. Stupid Fox.

In the wake of his death, there have been conflicting reports, various statements by those close to him, and a variety of resources being published to both remember this actor and address the issues concerning his death.  A collection and analysis of the reporting snafus can be found here.  If you want up-to-the-minute information, check here.  As for me, what I’d really like to address is my beginnings with Heath, which were also the beginnings of his career, at least in the United States.

It seems I have a  history of loving those television shows that are doomed to failure.  Sure, i don’t mind watching the occasional episode of shows like Heroes or Battlestar Galactica.  And Friends and Seinfeld reruns are good once in a while as well. But the shows I seem really drawn to, that I HAVe to watch every week, are doomed to a few seasons at most.  Take Pretender, that wonder-of-wonders with Michael T. Weiss!  Not only is it addictive plot-wise, but you can get caught up just in the man’s extreme facial expressions.  Now that’s acting!

With Heath, it was that non-hit TV show, Roar.  He was a cutie worth following even then, and his Celts knew it.  For those who don’t understand the greatness, the wikipedia summary is here.   Basically, this was a show to end all shows – and it didn’t get all the way through its first season.  Why?  People are dumb.  It’s the only underlying law of human nature.

With the end of Heath comes the end of any hope of rekindling the Roar tradition, and for that I am especially sad.  I am grateful to discover the existence of Roar: The Complete Series, including the episodes that were not aired in the US, but that will never replace the fullness of what might have been in the rest of this actor’s young life.  And I think the types of shows he was involved in early show who he truly was as an actor.  They were not the most popular shows, or the most well-developed ones.  But his character still had something that we needed and loved on the screen – perhaps is was his humanness.  I hope that was something he didn’t lose, even in the end.

I leave you with a quote from the flickfilosopher: “It’ll be quite a while before we know how Ledger died, but I’m not sure I believe that there’s truly such a thing as an accidental drug overdose. I hope I’m wrong about that. Because it’s hard to imagine that someone so gifted and with, clearly, so much further still to go could imagine that life is not worth living.”

American Gladiators ONLINE!

In speaking with my sister, Shelly last night in our first of many future spontaneous and completely unpurposeful phone conversations, I was pleased to learn something new through her. NBC, that master of television networks, has decided to air a select few of their new American Gladiators shows online! Wonder of wonders!

I decided to check them out for you, to give you some idea of what is available, and to see if they have the episode I’d written about earlier here. Well, they do – it’s episode 1, part 2 on the NBC website. True, there are the typical ads you have to sit through before getting to the real grist of the show, but there are always other things to do while you wait to get past them. Me, I’m writing this blog as I wait for another episode to load. And this way you can avoid the ads unlike watching the show while it plays on TV.
Anyway, they have nights 1 – 4 online, if you need to get your dose of Gladiators some evening or weekend. Or if you have a very relaxed work environment. I think it’s really a good plan on the part of NBC – not only are they enticing viewers to watch further episodes each week, since not all are available online, but they’ve really reworked the gladiator show well, to make it more of a cumulative contest where people move on to future stages by winning. And Hulk Hogan really is an awesome MC to have. Not only does he have the machismo from his wrestling career, but he has those acting skills garnered from the hit TV show, Hogan Knows Best. And let’s not forget those early action movies that combined both machismo AND acting skills – Suburban Commando, and the not-to-be-slighted Mr. Nanny in the same vein.

Since I’ve gone through the second season of Pretender with Mike completely, it’s feels really good to know I have the Gladiators just there, waiting for me, should I need them.