Sunday, April 28, 2013

Live, Tonight Only

Barry Fey is dead.

barryfey_1367197482201.jpgIf you grew up in Denver, or arrived with the 70s wave (as did I) Barry Fey was the man. He brought the music world to Colorado. Big bands - The Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who. He made Red Rocks the place to be when it was just a bunch of seats in the hills. He saved live classical music in the Mile High City, reconstituting the Denver Symphony as The Colorado Symphony Orchestra. If a couple of people played guitar and sang, Berry knew about them.

Barry put us on the baseball map, planting the seeds that became the Colorado Rockies. His book was forwarded by Ozzy Osbourne and Peter Townshend.

Last stop for the crazy train.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Whose House?

“We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job that they did this past week. This is our fucking city, and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you.”

So said David "Big Papi" Ortiz, designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park during pre-game ceremonies that included salutes to the city's first responders. Later, explaining his expletive, he said "“I’m from the Dominican Republic and the one thing that I always say is me and my family are blessed by being in this country. And I love this country and I would do anything for this country. Everybody was one unit and that’s what matters.”

Read Julian Benbow's excellent article.

Whose house? This is our house.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Run It Up

"There ain't no doubt, I love this land. God bless the USA."*

Returning home from an early morning errand I saw the American flag in front of the Boy Scout office at half mast. It made me angry.

I understand why it flew that way, and that made me angry, too. Angry at the pointless, pitiless carnage in Boston. Angry at the lives taken, or forever altered. Angry at the pictures - the man with no feet, shin bones protruding from shredded calves, the tumbling runner.... Blood and clothing and carnage. Death within the lethal radius of an explosive device is as hideous and indiscriminate as any rendered by a madman with a rifle. I mourn the victims, pray for their families and then expect justice. That wasn't all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Simple Gifts

Sometimes, warm clothes, a juice box and an outing to IKEA with the mom who loves him is all a man really needs.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

You're Not the Boss of Me

So says good friend Tom Grady, jokingly repeating the classic schoolyard retort, when told to "have a nice day." Similarly, police officers sworn to uphold the law have repeated it to legislators who have ignored those law enforcement officials and - gasp - enacted laws they thought were prudent and appropriate,

The high-profile mass murders in the last year have begun a firestorm of frantic lawmaking, scathing accusations of indifference to the deaths of innocents and - shocker - political posturing of the most self-serving kind. Of course, the debates...such as they are...have spurred the usual suspects into fits of colossal, soaring rage.

Recently, President Obama paid a visit to our picturesque state to.... Well, he made a speech surrounded by a collection of prop-cops in support of gun control measures under consideration by the US Senate. The fact that, despite hectoring to the contrary, Americans seem of two minds about gun control hasn't dissuaded either side from the usual haranguing.

Across town, a collection of County Sheriff's gathered as a "prebuttal." Their stated aim was to refute many of the President's points. Along the way one of them called the Governor of Colorado a liar. They took the occasion to repeat their oft-offered positions that the new gun control laws, those proposed as well as those recently enacted, are silly, knee-jerk reactions to the murders of twelve people in Aurora and twenty-six in Connecticut. This in the shadow of several of these sheriffs having previously stated they would not enforce these laws.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Last Reel

"Caligula is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash. If it is not the worst film I have ever seen, that makes it all the more shameful: People with talent allowed themselves to participate in this travesty. Disgusted and unspeakably depressed, I walked out of the film after two hours of its 170-minute length. 'This movie,' said the lady in front of me at the drinking fountain, 'is the worst piece of shit I have ever seen.'"

Roger Ebert's Twenty Best ReviewsThus did Roger Ebert, who died today at 70, review the movie Caligula. One might conclude that he did not like it.

 He liked what he liked and eviscerated the things he did not. His show with Gene Siskel, an affable sort who played good cop to Ebert's bad, drew excellent ratings due, in part, to Ebert's sharp tongue.

Where Ebert really shined was in print. He was a writer's writer, a craftsman whose prose could snarl, dismember and disembowel.I learned to attend a movie first and then read his review - invariably I would love the movies he thought were average, and doze during ones over which he fawned.

I read him, nevertheless. He may have been a keen, insightful observer of the motion picture art form. His understanding of how to tell a story on the big screen might have been breathtaking. Maybe he was a great guy, or a prig. I don't have any way of knowing.

He was one hell of a writer, a giant.