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What Would People Think?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Greatest Movie Speech

In a world of tragedy and heroism, of men of power losing control, there's lots of deeply serious things I could say. As I look at my friends and fellow bloggers, they offer defiance, deep thoughts on religion, celebration, and good headshots. All inspirational blogs that raise the bar for an increasing blog slacker such as myself.

So, naturally, it's important that I talk about movies. My topic for today is movie speeches/monologues.

This time, I'd like to offer my opinion on what is the greatest movie speech of all time.....in my opinion.....at the moment.....until I change my mind or remember something better or see something better or just get fickle. (Problem with being a lawyer is your language is filled with caveats....for the most part.)

There ain't nothing like a good movie speech to give me that joyful feeling inside. A speech can make you stand up and cheer, or it might perfectly encapsulate some memorable character....or maybe, if you love it, it says something about you. I dunno.

Anyways enough of my rambling, here's my favorite speech: Marge Gunderson, the pregnant cop from Fargo, has just captured the cold-blooded murderer, Gaear Grimsrud. She's driving into town with him cuffed in the back seat. And she says....

So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money .There's more to life than money, you know. . . . Don't you know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well, I just don't understand it.

In a movie (and a world) full of greed, violence, stupidity, and deceit, Marge Gunderson is a beacon of virtue, love, intelligence, and determination. She is everything most Coen Brothers characters (including just about every other character in that movie) are not. And after all these desperate, violent characters are scrambling for money, she - the pregnant woman, the most unlikely of heroes - captures the killer and then gives this speech putting things in proper perspective. What I love most about this speech and this character is that she can't even understand the mindset of these criminals. It's not that she's stupid or naive. She was smart enough to tear down every smoke screen thrown up by Jerry Lundegaard and to methodically track down the killers. She knows her police work. But she's so far removed from the criminals' twisted values, so full of love and goodness, that she can't comprehend why they would do such things. She values things like love and family far more than the riches so many of us vainly scramble after.

And she's right. If I were a movie character, I'd far rather be Norm Gunderson, with a wife like Marge, than James Bond.

So, what about you? What is your favorite movie speech? I know comments aren't usually a good medium for quoting speeches verbatim, so feel free to respond on your own blog, in the comments of this blog, whatever.

If you're having trouble thinking of a good speech, or simply want to review some of the best before you decide, Tim Dirks Greatest Films site is - as always - an invaluable resource. Even with the annoying pop-ups. Here's his section on Best speeches.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Honor of Gary Jensen

I never met Gary Jensen, one of the three rescuers who perished trying to rescue those six trapped men in a collapsed Utah mine. I had never heard of him until he was already dead. But part of me still feels his loss.

I know little about Jensen, but I know this: he and I were on the same "team" - the Department of Labor. We both make a living fighting for the rights of others, but Jensen did so in a much more immediate way. He was a member of the Mine Safety and Health Administration's rescue team.

I don't know much about him, but I know he chose a dangerous job - one where he willingly put himself in harm's way to save others' lives. I know he was trying to do exactly that when he died.

I don't mean to elevate Jensen's death above the other two who perished in the rescue effort. All died tragically in the midst of a noble effort to rescue others. But Jensen's death hits closer to home because he's "one of us." I didn't know him, but I work with men like him every day. It's weird to think I could still send him an e-mail right now in our DOL Intranet...and he'll never answer. I'm staring at his work phone number (again, via the DOL Intranet) and I have this absurd notion I should call him and thank him.

But that's just bizarre. This blog post is the best chance I'll get.

So this one goes out to you, Gary. You worked honorably, died tragically & nobly, and inspired love in those who knew you and admiration in those who didn't.

I don't know you.......but, dammit, I still thank you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Is Apparently My New Method of Posting

I no longer seem to have the time for sustained thought in my blogging.

1. For the Christians or theologically curious among my blog readers, Kenny's been posting a fascinating series of posts on his blog re: the book of Genesis. I really need to read them more in depth and comment on them.

2. Dick Cheney in 1994: "Invading Baghdad would create a quagmire." What happened? [Hat tip: Mike.]

3. On this day 1 year ago, I was having my honeymoon. Yes, Christy and I just celebrated our first anniversary. And after a year, I have one thing to say: "Yes, marriage IS everything it's cracked up to be. It ROCKS!" Had dinner at The Melting Pot on our anniversary. Crazy good. Crazy expensive.

4. Anybody out there have clean air? We'd love to borrow some in Atlanta. This running to the car while holding my breath thing isn't going to work much longer.

That's all for now.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

An Even More Lightning Quick Assortment of Thoughts And Life Updates

I have nothing interesting to say. Or rather, I have plenty of interesting things to say and never the time to say them.

1. Christy and I - along with 50 to 100 other Atlantans - spoke to the Atlanta City Council on Tuesday. It didn't help. They still didn't restore the funding to the homeless shelter.

2. You know you run in small American evangelical circles when you recognize an old college acquaintance in an ad in Christianity Today. (Sorry, you can't see the ad on the website.) I was riding the train to work flipping through the magazine when I thought "that picture on that ad 2 pages back looked like Meryl Cantley." So I flipped back and realized... "holy [word an evangelical probably shouldn't use] that IS Meryl!" I haven't spoken to her in years and missed her wedding - though I was invited - because it took place on the same day as Lori and Bradley Metrock's wedding. So it's just kinda surreal to see her face in a national magazine after all these years. Her name's Meryl Herr now. Any of you Vandy folks remember her?

3. Damn, it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry about that.

4. Lion King 1 1/2 - yes, it's a Disney direct-to-video. By all rights it should be terrible. It's actually pretty funny. Best watched soon after seeing The Lion King. Lion King is to Hamlet as Lion King 1 1/2 is to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

5. Well, there goes the republic. Thanks, Senate Democrats. You make me so thrilled that we elected you last year. Way to make a stand for checks and balances.

6. In music video news Eisley (new album coming soon!) has a creepy video with "Invasion" based on....well, if you don't get the movie that inspired it, there's just no helping your ignorance of pop culture. (If you check out their Myspace, Eisley's new stuff sounds VERY different from their old stuff.) White Stripes (new album kicks @$$!!!) have a booooring video with their otherwise excellent "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)" I'm still holding out for them to release "Little Cream Soda" as a single. Because only the White Stripes can make spoken-word poetry ROCK! Finally Tegan & Sara (new album just out!) have an inexplicable video and even more inexplicable hairstyles in "Back In Your Head."

Finally -- If you don't click on any of the other random links in this blog post, click on this one and see why Tegan and Sara rock so much.