Sunday, April 17, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 291

Friday, April 15, 2005---637 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 18 seconds
***If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.***
Rave: Robert Culp
Quote: “It’s not about talent anymore; it’s about a look, and a willingness to cooperate.”---Joni Mitchell commenting on the current state of popular music.
Rant: Strollers should be seized at festivals like nail clippers at the airport.
Call ‘em as I see ‘em: If Sandy Berger was a Republican, the media coverage of his document scandal would be relentless.
Rave: ESPN’s ninety minute special “Mornings with Shirley Povich” was just spectacular. He covered sports for the Washington Post for 75 years…when he began the Post was the number five paper in a five paper town.
Losing me: I am among those who likes Woody Allen best when he is funny---but I have enjoyed many of his films that were not filled with thigh slapping humor.
“Miranda and Miranda” will not be mistaken for a funny Woody flick.
I am not enamored with New York or New York living (quite the opposite), but this is the first time the Woodman’s NYC locale annoyed me.
And the characters were just way too neurotic for me to deal with…I like my neurosis with a dollop of Annie Hall. With this cast, I wanted to put them out of their misery ASAP…or put myself out of my suffering from watching them.
Come on Woody---be funny again!
Rant: Erin Andrews is just as pathetic on ESPN doing tedious sideline comments and interviews with college basketball and MLB as she was on TBS the past two seasons. She is awful.
Rave: Joseph Finder’s new thriller, “Company Man” is an elegantly engineered novel of corporate suspense.
From the start the reader knows whodunit…but no idea where it will go or how it will get there.
Stratton Corporation is a huge company that has supported its small Michigan town home base for generations. After being bought by a Boston holding company, the local hero/CEO (Nick Conover) is assigned the distasteful task of eliminating half the workforce.
Immediately his status as the favorite son dissolves and he becomes the least popular man in town…it appears everyone has a grudge against him.
Repeated home break-ins and graffitied messages escalate to the killing of the family dog.
Nick fears for his children’s lives…but who to trust? The police have no sympathy for the man who slashed all the jobs…and within the company; it looks as if everyone is out to betray him.
Then, one act by Nick sets in motion the chain of unintended consequences. Events rapidly spiral utterly out of control.
“Company Man” is not the run of the mill, in your face thriller. It evolves as the adroit plot escalates and the characters develop. You get to know the individual players, but are fooled more than a few times by the illusive nature of much of the supporting cast.
The Machiavellian conniving of so many keep you guessing and provide many “ah ha” moments.
It is a wonderfully deceptive novel. It hooks you early and keeps you there.
It is the prospect of disaster that creates the enormous apprehension, anxiety and tension in “Company Man.”
It is effortless reading.
Rave: As the History Channel runs “Band of Brothers” once again, I am convinced it only gets better with additional viewings.
Rant: The “Fox and Family” morning show is just as nauseating as the Today Show.
Stats: The 1957 Kansas City A’s led the American League in home runs by a margin of 166 to 153 for the second place team. They were dead last in runs scored…563, the next-to-worst offense scored 597.
That is all.
As you were.

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