Friday, April 27, 2007

Greats and Grates

The biggest champion for the motion picture industry has passed…
Jack Valenti was 85.

He’s the guy that came up with the alpha rating system for movies.
Contemporaries are rating him “G” for greatness.

Here’s another Great that has just passed within the last few hours…a name you may or may not recognize:
Mstislav Rostropovich, and I will quote from the posting on Yahoo, verbatim:

“...the ebullient master cellist who courageously fought for the rights of Soviet-era dissidents and later triumphantly played Bach suites below the crumbling Berlin Wall..."
He was 80.

Sometimes you can be too close to a problem to fully appreciate all of its nuances. I am going to tell a story on my Producer, Buddy Cantu, as an example of what I am talking about—not to embarrass him. We came into the studio this morning to find one of our studio computers being stubborn.

It wouldn’t reboot, apparently.

Buddy fiddled with it for some time, growing more and more frustrated.
Finally he signaled to me he was having trouble.
Said the screen had gone dark after rebooting.

First thing I checked—because this has happened to me countless times as well—was the connecting cable on the back of the monitor.
As soon as we made sure it was firmly attached, the screen came to life.

Last night the Congress of the United States passed a bill that would require US Troops to be out of Iraq by October, in return for approving finding to pay their salaries, buy them food and bullets, and generally provide funding for what they do.
Not too different from blackmail, just on a grander scale.

The President has vowed to veto the bill because he believes, and I agree with him, that announcing we’re leaving simply gives a little breathing room for the insurgents, terrorists, thugs and all the rest of the rabble causing trouble in Iraq.

Can't you just hear them:
“The Infidels are out by October?
Wonderful, Shamir!
Won't you please pass me some goat cheese and a date, and let’s watch re-runs of “I Dream of Jeannie” until then.

"We’ve won.
We just wait for the extraction of the dogs.”

For some reason, most of the Congress are too close to the problem, metaphorically speaking, since they’re 2,000 miles away, to fully appreciate the gravity of the matter.

From Australia, the picture is crystal clear. Prime Minister John Howard says, "I think it is wrong, and I don't think it is doing anything other than giving great comfort and encouragement to Al-Qaeda and the insurgency in Iraq."

"If there is a perception of an America defeat in Iraq, that will leave the whole of the Middle East in great turmoil and will be an enormous victory for terrorism."

For the record, the War in Iraq has run longer than the Second World War, and has claimed over 3,300 lives of servicemen and women.
By comparison…292,000 US soldiers gave their lives in WW2.

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