Friday, May 12, 2017

Twilight Zone

The best laid plans of mice and men... and Henry Bemis... the small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis... in the Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling, closing line of “Time Enough at Last”
 Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis
Jerry Davich wrote: Today is The Twilight Zone Day, to pay homage to a true television classic, which won numerous industry awards and wide critical praise during its five-season run from 1959 to 1964 on CBS.”  A big fan, I recall the episode “Time Enough at Last,” where Burgess Meredith, the only survivor of a nuclear war, loves books but is left virtually blind when his lasses fall off and shatter.   Many actors got their big break appearing on episodes that ventured into bizarre areas of science fiction and fantasy, including “Star Trek” actors William Shatner, Lenard Nimoy, and George Takei, plus Robert Duvall, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Ron Howard, Carol Burnett, Jonathan Winters, Martin Landau, Dennis Weaver, and Jack Klugman.

Claiming that “the sky just fell on President Trump,” political analyst Ray Smock wrote:
President Donald Trump has precipitated his own downfall by firing FBI Director James Comey and then lying about how and why he did it. He sent his entire press corps staff and Vice President Pence out to tell versions of lies that he then completely contradicted in his incredibly self-incriminating interview with Lester Holt. Never have so many lies and distortions flown into the air with video tape to clearly demonstrate the inconsistencies coming from the president’s own mouth.
        It is not easy to watch this utter collapse of a president of the United States. There is no joy in watching this process, nor should there be regardless of strong partisan feelings we may have, one way or the other, about Donald Trump. It is not about him anymore, it is not about party loyalty, it is about salvaging the executive branch of the government and salvaging our adherence to the law. This is about country. This is about the Constitution and reaffirming that the rule of law is paramount and no one, especially the president of the United States, is above the law.
              Our guiding star should be the rule of law and the proper and careful administration of justice after a thorough and complete independent investigation. It is time for the rest of the U.S. government, especially the Congress, to make this the single most important task before the nation. All our other issues, important as they are, and all the partisan issues that divide us so badly, need to be put on hold while we address the major Constitutional crisis we are facing right now.
At 7: 26 A.M. this morning Trump tweeted: James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”  Does this threat imply that, like Ricard Nixon, the President is secretly taping conversations he has with others?  Chilling!  Chris Kern asked: Why would you write a tweet that threatens the FBI director you just fired? I guess I should stop being surprised in any way at what goes on -- this is the same WH that fired the FBI director and then later met with the Russian ambassador and Foreign Minister, closed to the press except for the Russian state photographer.
Inland Steel photos by Tom Hocker
Photographs of Tom Hocker, who worked in Inland Steel’s publicity department for 10 years beginning in 1975, are on exhibit at Purdue Northwest’s CHESS gallery.  Hocker told NWI Times correspondent Joseph Pete: I had the opportunity to be around scenes that were visually spectacular, even while hazardous.  Men and women were armored in protective gear to withstand the dangers present in the shaping of metal. These days the process is much more controlled remotely, but in the previous generation, personnel worked up close to the heat, smoke and grit. Threat of harm has always been present.
In the NWI Times sports section I spotted a photo of13-year-old Charlie Jones, Jr., and his dad and this headline: “Father/son duo help make Times/Pepsi Classic family affair.” Charlie, who bowled at Inman’s with grandson James, rolled a 237 and 643 scratch series at Olympia Lanes, hoping to be the youngest bowler to qualify in tournament history.  His grandfather, Chris Lugo, bowled with me at Cressmoor Lanes.  Reporter David P. Funk wrote:
       Baseball is Jones Jr.’s first love; bowling is just a hobby. The future Andrean 59er was in one league this year and does most of his competitive bowling in summer youth tournaments, often with older kids. Most of his baseball friends stick to the diamond.
      “I just like bowling in these (kinds of tournaments), to get scholarships for college,” Jones Jr. said.
      “I would support him in anything,” Jones Sr. said. “If he came to us and said he wanted to play the trombone, we would support him and we would put our heart and soul into it for him.  The fact that it’s baseball and bowling, two of my biggest loves, that’s just a bonus.”

Oral historian Jean Stein passed away at age 83.  In 1982 she published “Edie: An American Biography,” about troubled Warhol Factory groupie and actress (in Andy Warhol films) Edie Sedgwick. Her most recent book, “West of Eden: An American Place” (2016) is about Tinseltown.  New York Times reviewer Maria Russo wrote: “Stein gives a sort of aerial view of five Los Angeles clans that amassed fortunes in the 20th century: the Dohenys, the Warners, the Garlands, the Selznicks and Stein’s own family — her father, Jules Stein, founded MCA. Stein’s subjects largely shaped the public imagination of the city, but they formed an insular milieu, fast fading into history in current multicultural Los Angeles.”

In “The View from the Cheap Seats” Neil Gaiman wrote: “A writer in his eighties told me that what kept him going every day was the knowledge that his best work was still out there, the great work he would one day do.”  I can identify with that sentiment.

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