THE BEST OF THE BEST

Bedtime for Bonzo

Is it distinctly American to always ponder THE BEST?

Maybe not.

Pele was a God south of our borders.

I feel more comfortable with top ten lists but you miss so much even screwing around with these lists.

Matthews asked his panel this week:

Who was the best actor and actress?

And he chose Cary Grant.

I could not believe it.

Cary Grant never played anyone but Cary Grant.

Then it hit me.

As soon as someone gets into a discussion of the best, I get drawn in.

Stallone to me is a terrible actor. But when he played the NJ Sheriff in Cop Land, I was blown away. Totally unexpected.

I loved that movie.

Burt Reynolds is a terrible actor in my opinion but in Deliverance and a couple other roles, the guy just does the trick.

When I was younger I thought Clint Eastwood was a joke.

Now he has to be one of my favorite actors. His presence in films like Unforgiven blow me away and he has been in so many gems, he has produced and directed and starred in so many gems, I already know the movie in question will be good.

Meryl Streep has got to be the best screen actress I have ever seen, generally.

But when she plays Julia Child, I go nuts. I mean this comical figure—at least to me—comes alive and believable. Who’d a thunk?

But Helen Hunt playing a lonely single mother of an asthmatic and living with her mums in As Good As It Gets?

I cry and cry when I watch that film. Hunt is absolutely perfect for that role.

Tommy Lee Jones has taken some roles and just drew me into them emotionally and intellectually.

He has been in some clunkers like Batman, but I tell you, he can just look into space during some well written dialogue and I read his thoughts, I swear.

Jeff Bridges has been in so many roles and I swear I savor every one of them.

What lists do, to me anyway, is take away context.

When I watch a movie, some actor will appear whom I have never seen and come across with some message that will blow me away.

I recently did that critique of Pygmalion.  Stanley Holloway who portrays Doolittle in My Fair Lady is someone I will never ever forget.

Was he the best?

Well, I will tell you one thing, Holloway was the best on those days that he shot his scenes for that part in that movie.

At times I am sure that 2001 is the greatest movie ever made. But it depends upon my mood for chrissakes.

I am not always In the mood for 2001 and as a matter of fact I am only in the mood for 2001 once a year or so.

What happened to me today or yesterday?

How is my body today?

Am I pissed or elated or sad?

Many things attendant to being a human being, even a run-down human being, will have an effect upon mood.

And what else really counts?

I watched Samuel Jackson again last night in Jackie Brown.

The guy blows me away every single time.

Even when he has had it will all the snakes on the plane, it is extremely difficult to nap while he is on the screen.

I viewed Destry Rides Again recently.

I never liked Jimmy Stewart but in this 1939 flick, he just shines with Marlene Dietrich

Destry is a great flick even if it contains one of the worst over-emoted scenes of a bad guy dying in the history of filmdom.

Maybe anybody could have shined with Marlene.

Who was the best baseball player?

Duke Snider just died.

I read a bio/obit on him discussing how the talk of his day involved rating Mantle and Mays and Snider.

Even as I write this, I feel that the answer is simple: Willie Mays.

And I might go into his stats, his home runs, his batting average, his….

Who cares?

I watched Mickey Mantle and Harmon Killibrew and Roger Maris all hit homeruns on some sunny day in ’61.

For that one moment, when Harmon got up to the plate and hit that fast ball into the center field bleachers, he was the best.

We lost the game 22 to 6 or something. Hahahaha

Who is your favorite general?

From what I have read and seen, MacArthur was a prick, a real fascist megalomaniac.

That sonofabitch led the charge against his own troops when the vets made that march on Washington D.C.

But when he signed certain civil rights legislation in Japan while he was the conquering tyrant in that country, he was as close to God as you can get as far as I am concerned.

Imagine, Japanese women were given the vote and recognition as human beings with one stroke of a pen ending an attitude that went back thousands of years.

Maybe this all comes to mind because of the Oscars.

I certainly did not watch so much as one second of that four hour advertisement for movies.

Of course, I will not see any of those movies for a couple of years.

Maybe this all has something to do with democracy.

I mean some folks run for office, but only one ‘wins’ the post.

Ronald Reagan was voted the best President of all time in some recent poll.

That is just silliness to me.

Lincoln and Grant won the Civil War for chrissakes.

FDR and Ike won WWII-with a little help from Truman.

Lyndon Johnson instituted the greatest series of Civil Rights Laws in the history of this Country and gave us Medicare to boot.

In my opinion, 50% of our electorate has no idea who Lincoln or Grant or FDR or Ike or Johnson were or what they accomplished.

Of course that same electorate has no idea what Reagan accomplished or failed to accomplish.

You know, somewhere today, a father took some time off of work and took his kids to a museum.

For a brief period of time, that father was the best father around.

A mother lectured her daughter’s seventh grade class about practicing medicine.

A retired corporate prick worked in a soup line for an afternoon after he made sure that the fixin’s were delivered on time.

Sean Penn has spent a year in Haiti and for a week or a month or maybe the entire year, Sean Penn was the best American in Haiti.

The same could be said of George Clooney for what he has and is accomplishing in Darfur.

Jimmy Carter has spent decades saving millions of lives from needless diseases associated with dirty drinking water.

Bill Clinton has continued that tradition, saving millions of lives.

I think sometimes, we must reexamine what THE BEST really means.

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14 thoughts on “THE BEST OF THE BEST

  1. cmaukonen

    Lincoln and Grant won the Civil War for chrissakes.
    FDR and Ike won WWII-with a little help from Truman.
    Lyndon Johnson instituted the greatest series of Civil Rights Laws in the history of this Country and gave us Medicare to boot.
    In my opinion, 50% of our electorate has no idea who Lincoln or Grant or FDR or Ike or Johnson were or what they accomplished.
    Of course that same electorate has no idea what Reagan accomplished or failed to accomplish.

    Unfortunately DD, these people generally command a paragraph – if that – in some high school history book that usually does not get read unless there is a pop quiz on that section.

      1. EmmaZahn

        Better still, make passing a decent civics test a prerequisite for voting — with renewal testing required every decade or so.

        At least then we could find out if a semi-informed electorate would be better or worse.

        🙂

          1. EmmaZahn

            IIRC, the problem was not that there were tests but that the tests were <strike)unfair inequitable.

            We just have to make every voter has to take the tests and there is some provision for handicaps Oral, braille exams, etc.

            Oh, and everyone who has qualified to vote must in fact vote or pay a hefty fine.

            Australia has mandatory voting but that the fine for not is negligible.

        1. Em if you run for queen or something I’m voting for you (I’m bored with presidents, they do nothing for me anymore).

          We need this in a big way. But it’ll never happen. Besides, there is some proof democracy is actually working. We entitle stupid people the same as smart ones. See GWB.

          We might need to take this whole dam thing back to the drawing board.

  2. Great post! You really make a great point here, Dick. And I agree with the comments, too.

    On a lighter note, I love this comment you make about Tommy Lee Jones:

    …he can just look into space during some well written dialogue and I read his thoughts, I swear.

    Ain’t that the truth!! This line of yours immediately brought to mind a scene in “Thelma and Louise”, when he’s trying to catch (and possibly help?) the ladies before they do something stupid. He’s just missed them again, and he stares off into space wondering what they heck those two crazy ladies are gonna do next, and that’s when I suddenly realized that the film was not going to end well. Not only could you sense his frustration but all the fear he felt for the two of them, all the worries he had in his heart and mind, were visible for all to see.

    Great acting.

    Did you ever see him back in early 80’s in the TV movie that won him an Emmy, the story of Gary Gilmore? The Executioner’s Song. Wow.

  3. Clint Eastwood, Helen Hunt, Meryl Streep and all those you mentioned or didn’t mention…

    Like they say Dick, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All the trillion or so synapses in each of our heads never come up with the same answer twice. On anything. Never will.

  4. ~flowerchild~

    The best of the best or even just the best is subjective. Even knowing that, it’s still fun to make a pick and when someone agrees with you, the validation of your choice is a real joy.

    And also, Tommy Lee is hot. Hot, hot, hot. For an old fart, he is smokin’.

    Don’t tell Mr. flower I said that.

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