Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time and Space



10 years ago today saw the revival of my favorite television show of all-time.

Doctor Who has been a part of my life since, well.... since I was in short pants. A staple of PBS viewing, I watched it seven times a week (Monday through Friday at 10pm, and on Saturdays at 6:00pm and 6:30pm). There was a Doctor Who convention here in Champaign, in February 1985, where Sixth Doctor Colin Baker came to town. Charming man.

After 26 years on the air, Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989 after waning quality and audience numbers. An American-made TV movie in 1996 did nothing to revive the program, and it looked like Doctor Who was gone for good, relegated to reruns, DVDs, books and the occasional radio show featuring the old actors trotted-out to re-create their roles.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Three Score and Ten



Today is a day like any other. It's the day after the first day of Spring. It's a Saturday. Some folks are working, some folks aren't. Some folks are drawing their last breaths, others are being born into this glorious world. Here in Champaign, Illinois the weather is fairly nice. Lower-50s currently and, coming off of winter, it feels great. So, much like it does, the world continues to turn.

Today is also the 70th anniversary of my father's birth. Regular readers of this blog know all about Lewis Ivy Gladney. I've certainly mentioned him enough times. He passed away in 1997 and, as the years have gone on, things like the anniversary of his birth and the anniversary of his death have loomed less and less and large in my life. Some years, I haven't remembered them until days later. My world has continued to turn.

This year is different.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

To the Departed


You all cross my mind, perhaps more often than the dead really should. You are no longer living, breathing, thinking entities, though maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe the stories of so many religions across the millennia are true: maybe you all still exist somewhere, perhaps not alive (in the sense that we know it), but still cognizant of some form of reality?

All I know for sure is that I miss you and, for many of you, I feel like you were gone too soon. Along with missing you is, in some cases, a twinge of guilt. For those who took their own lives I wonder, "Could I have done more?"  For those who passed away naturally I ask, "Did I convey to you how much you were appreciated?" Questions with unknowable answers. That could be why they resurface far too often.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Live Long and Prosper


"I'm touched by the idea that when we do things that are useful and helpful - collecting these shards of spirituality - that we may be helping to bring about a healing."
                                                               -- Leonard Nimoy


It's not very often that a celebrity death rattles me. They are, after all, people I don't really know. For whatever reason, River Phoenix's sudden passing hit me hard back in 1993, and I was pretty sad this past November when author P.D. James died. It didn't matter that she was 94-years-old. She was my favorite writer, and had been active up until her death, often making the news. And, of course, there's Roger Ebert. I've written much about what he means to me already.

Now, dear reader, another celebrity death has occurred that has, frankly, left me gutted. Actor Leonard Nimoy -- most famous for portraying Mr. Spock on Star Trek -- has died today, aged 83. It is difficult to put down in words exactly what this man meant to me (or at least what his presence on TV, in movies and on social media meant). The death of Mr. Nimoy, such an icon in the science-fiction world, has left this sci-fi fan with a vague feeling of emptiness.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pic of the Week

Trying to stay on a more regular schedule with this, so, fresh from the debut of his new movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, our pic o' the week is none other than British actor Taron Egerton!




Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Films of 2014



The Academy Awards are a little over a week away, so I thought it would be a good time for the annual Matt Awards. Begun in 1998 (for movies from 1997), the Matt Awards are my personal picks for the best in film each year. So, when I say "best movie",  I really mean my favorite movie of the year.

As many of you know, movies mean a lot to me. Quite often, I disagree with what is nominated (and wins) for the Oscars, so this is my little way of seeing things done right (because of course Matt's way is the right way). So, without further adieu, here are the Matt Awards for Best-in-Film for 2014….

Friday, February 13, 2015

Picking Battles



The ad popped-up on my Facebook sidebar, and I both smiled and rolled my eyes. It was an ad for some Obama apparel, specifically a jacket and t-shirt, both deep blue in color, with the words: "I know, I won both of them" spelled-out in very big letters. It's a reference, of course, to President Obama's zinger during the most recent State of the Union address, when he mentioned that he has no more campaigns left to run. When Republican members of Congress applauded his 22nd Amendment limitation, the president shot back a reminder to them that's because he had, of course, bested their candidates in 2008 and 2012.

I smiled at the wording on the apparel because I liked the zinger at the time. Damn right Obama beat McCain and Romney. 'nuff said. It would be a lie to say that I didn't holler at his comeback line to the applauding GOP. I rolled my eyes, however, that folks would take it beyond that -- a one-line, one-time zinger. It may seem odd, but I feel like stuff printed on apparel and bumper stickers, etc. should be positive, and not some sort of "F--- You" to those with whom we disagree.