Close Enough on ‘Madam Secretary’, 3.6MM French March, Rowling v. Murdoch

Having already sent out two more resumes with cover letters this morning and knocked off final third of a nursed-through-the-weekend terrific cigar brother Steve gifted me with for Christmas, it seems legitimate to put the end of a drippy, contemplative Monday afternoon in Charlotte towards honoring a New Years vow to blog 3x a week.

Last night was the first time watching ‘Madam Secretary’, and kudos to the writers who nailed Tia Leone’s struggle about going to the funeral of a slain prep school classmate, a Bahranian prince she’d convinced, in a 1-1 post-private dinner discussion, to honor certain beliefs he’d espoused years before. Viewers who didn’t see he’d be killed by *someone* who felt 180 degrees differently about what he said back in his own country must be blind to what would happen, especially given recent events in the real world and TV drama.

Her bind was obvious: Having been told that, even as the representative of the United States government, she would have to view the funeral from behind a screen with the other women, how could she acquiece, knowing it would undoubtedly be viewed as accepting another cultures regard for women (slavery was a major sub-topic to show) as less worthy than any other man’s ability to pay their respects?

I appreciated her solution, flying all night to speak privately with the greiving King vs. not paying final respects to a cherished friend at all, or raising a major furor by trying to insist on bulldozing the custom. One small detail: Even if the King agrees to meet with his dead son’s friend just before the event, and she wears a respectful head scarf, you don’t show up wearing makeup and pants.
3.6 million Frenchmen march over the slaughter of Charlie Hepdo cartoonists by Muslim extremists? Sacre bleu! Who knew they cared that much about anything? That the event caused such an over-whelming response, can we somehow start to think that killing of ‘others’– with the twisted notion it will cause events one group or another finds disrespectful to totally cease– will be repudiated by the masses that radicals pretend they represent? There didn’t seem to be any similar reaction to Chechens slaughtering 400 children in a raid on Russia what seems like soooo long ago, nor the 140+ killed at a school for the children of Pakistani military more recently.

I live in Charlotte, NC– ‘The Buckle on the Bible Belt’ as many proclaim it— and I am grateful EVERY DAY that I don’t have to worry about someone from one (of a couple thousand) churches deciding to strap on an explosive device and kill believing-in-a-somewhat-different-way worshippers while shouting ‘God is Great!’

The animals that call themselves Boko Haram, taking DAYS to destroy multiple villages and systematically kill over 2,000 is beyond comprehension; don’t even try to tell me there was a reason or God involved with that.

Rowling’s succinct tweet about Murdoch’s comment re: Islamic extremism and the worlds Muslim population being represented by violent action, didn’t actually convince me of anything being totally wrong with what Murdoch foolishly tried to get out in 140 characters. I question his methodology more than any essential fact— which has been noted above and on previous occasions– that seeing the words ‘Muslim extremists’ in front of so many brutally negative events doesn’t bring up the idea “they aren’t representative of the Muslim religion.”

Murdoch owns an un-Godly (?) number of media outlets around the world; screw a 140 character tweet! Put a thoughtful, double-truck message in the middle of all those newspapers about how that violence scares people, the distrust that living next door to someone who might walk into your grocery store tomorrow and kill you and a dozen friends engenders! Have your FOX network people throw 30 seconds of your minimally expressed thoughts out for consumption on a massive scale, or are you afraid ‘they’ will punish you?

On a much lesser topic, how could Dez Bryant’s catch in game vs. Green Bay be overturned? I’ve heard the ‘control-going to the ground’ explanation of the rule, but he was CLEARLY controlling the ball in left hand and took two strides after the catch before it bounced off the ground on impact. I watch a lot of TV football, scream regularly about ‘defenseless’ 6’5″, 260 lb. behemoths getting whacked at the instant they make a catch because they shouldn’t be hit when a QB squeezes a throw into the foot of space between defenders. Not a catch? Sorry Cowboys, you got stiffed.
As for Clooney’s comments, including how glad he was to be Amal’s husband after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, it was one more large brick in the huge personal Manhood he represents. He got married when HE was ready, to a beautiful, smart, All That Woman, and while humble about “whatever alchemy,” he wasn’t apologizing for it taking 53 years to decide.

I respectfully submit three moments that cement my own regard for him: Above all, that he took his DAD into Darfur to “make it less possible for the world to ignore that situation,” knowing full well if the bad guys somehow showed up, they wouldn’t think twice about shooting everyone in that convoy, movie star or not. Second, his grip on fame while defending his aunt (Rosemary Clooney), with comment that “she didn’t suddenly lose all her talent,” when parts that involved her signature singing vanished, pretty much from one year to the next.

Lastly, and I smile at the super cool guy-ness of it, was after Danny Devito went on ‘The View’, still pretty well lit after a night out with Clooney doing shots of Lemongello. Told that Devito had talked about their night out, George gave that killer grin and one-lined it: “Yeah? So how did he do?”

Glenn Shorkey


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