Tag Archives: Moby-Dick

Christmas Ramblings

23 Dec

My wife and stepdaughter just finished wrapping gifts. My job was picking up the scraps. Now, they are in the kitchen making banana bread. Yep, Christmas is upon us. It is time for family gatherings and reflection. For me, it is a time for rambling ruminations.

The other day, my nephew and I went to the movies, which meant that we had to enter the danger zone of a shopping mall at Christmas. As I made my way through traffic, I thought about the wise men who followed the star to that manger in Bethlehem. They had gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus. I have often thought about that journey and its impact upon the world.wise men

Those wise men did more for our economy than they could ever imagine. Their bearing of gifts led to the shopping mania that accompanies this season. In other words, they created the traffic that bogged us down as we slowly made our way to the theater.

By the way, nowhere does it say how many magi journeyed to Bethlehem. It is the number of gifts that lead people to believe that there was the same number of gift givers. However, there is one thing for sure. The wise men were fireman. We know this because they came from afar.

Anyway, we saw In the Heart of the Sea, the new movie from Ron Howard. I was totally stoked for this one because I have my classes read the book. It is the tale of a whaling ship that was attacked by a whale. The men had to survive while floating in whaleboats. It is dramatic story of what people will do in order to survive. Unfortunately, the movie folks did not think it was dramatic enough.

I will not give up any spoilers, but the filmmakers added unnecessary embellishments to the story. The did it to create conflict between characters. Apparently, the conflict with the whale and the elements was not enough.

I understand that not all of history fits well on the screen. However, this story was an exception. The extras were not needed. Heck, they did not even talk about what happened after the survivors returned. Instead of talking about the true struggles of the survivors, they tried too hard to attach the story to Moby Dick.

Since I am on a movie rant, I will go ahead and talk about The Revenant. It is the story of Hugh Glass, the mountain man who was attacked by a bear and left to die by his fellow trappers. He did not die and pursued them to get revenge. It is another dramatic story. Once again, the filmmakers felt that being left for dead was not dramatic enough. They added the murder of his son, an event that is totally made up.

Oh yeah, Alejandro G. Inarritu, the director of The Revenant, stated that it is not a Western. He said that it cannot be a Western because there are no cowboy hats. Obviously, he is trying to distance himself from the genre, but he is wrong in his statement. The age of the cowboy lasted about twenty years in the American West. The age of the mountain men also lasted about twenty years. That means that a mountain man movie is just as much of a Western as a cowboy movie.

Oscar or no Oscar, I am beginning to think that Alejandro is all hat and no cattle.

I apologize for allowing the movies to get me off topic. This post was supposed to be a rumination of the holiday season.

The shopping malls are bad, and, at times, I wish the wise men had not been bearing gifts. However, Christmas is always a special time. Families gather. People talk and laugh. Great food is eaten. In the middle of all that, we remember that Christmas is a special time of year that cannot be ruined by traffic or bad movies. It is a time of love and peace.

From Juice Newton to Jethro Bodine

6 Oct

My wife called from the beach with a very important question. Who sang Who sang “Angel of the Morning“? She was in a huge debate with her mother. My wife said it was Juice Newton and my mother-in-law said it was someone else. My wife turned out to be right.Juice Newton

I am glad she was right because I thought it was Donna Fargo, who hit it big with “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA“.

I have no idea why I wrote about our discussion of country music trivia, but it is probably because I cannot think of anything else to write about. There is a post floating in my brain about long pants and socks. However, it would be a controversial topic and might offend some of my readers.

There is a stack of graded quizzes on our breakfast table. They were over a book that I had some of my classes read. In the Heart of the Sea is about the Essex, a whaling ship that was attacked by a whale. I will not tell you what happened because Ron Howard just finished making a movie about it. The only thing I can tell you is that the story inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick.

It is still quiet around the house with everyone gone. I am in one chair and Daisy Dog is in the other one. To tell you the truth, it is kind of boring. I guess that I could watch a movie or get back on the treadmill. However, those are not inspiring choices. There is a Monday Night Football game on, but that does not excite me.

I wonder how Juice Newton got a name like Juice.

(Pause)

After a quick Google search, I learned that her real name is Judy Kay Newton, but there is nothing about how that turned into Juice. However, I came across another song that I forgot she sang. In fact, I think “It’s a Heartache” is better than the other one.

For some reason, reading about Juice Newton makes me think of Bobbie Gentry. Talk about somebody who put out a great song. “Ode to Billie Joe” is one of the all time greats. Although, there was a terrible movie starring Robby Benson that was inspired by the song. It was directed by Max Baer, Jr., better known as Jethro Bodine.Jethro

By the way, did you know that Max Baer, Sr. was boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world?

Anyway, it is time for this post to come to an end. We have not covered much useful information. That long pants and socks post is still rattling around in my mind. Who knows? Maybe that will be the next one.