Reflections Blog

Reflections

The Terrible Dilemma We Face

Okay, I was wrong about Donald Trump.  I didn’t think he’d last through the primaries.  His surprising victory in securing the Republican nomination is as shocking to me as it was to most people, including the leaders of the Republican party.  However, I stand by my prediction that Trump will fall.  Eventually.  Sooner or later.  If he loses in the general election, he’ll no doubt find people to blame (except himself).  He’s already said that the election may be rigged, which sets the stage for his explanation of that failure if it happens.  If he wins in the general election, then I think his fall will be much more spectacular and ruinous, not for Trump but for the country, because Trump hasn’t a clue how to govern the richest, most powerful nation on Earth, and he is a dangerous and erratic narcissist.

 

 
Lance, We Hardly Knew Ya

Lance Armstrong’s colossal house of cards recently came crashing down during two well-orchestrated interviews with Oprah Winfrey on national television.  For the media, it was a ratings extravaganza fueled by the public flogging of a once-revered sports legend.  For cycling insiders, it was the lancing of a boil that had been festering for years.  And for many Americans and others around the world it was the humiliating discovery that the hero they had worshipped and cheered through one victory after another was a fraud, a little like learning that your favorite uncle is a crook and a pedophile.

What makes Lance Armstrong’s downfall so bitter for us is that we had elevated him to such stellar heights.  He was the celebrity cancer survivor, the solemn spokesman for defeating death. A fierce competitor, driven and strong, he exemplified what you could make of yourself if you were as focused and determined and disciplined as he was.  He created Livestrong Foundation, the cancer nonprofit that raised the hopes of hundreds of thousands of cancer sufferers.  He won the Tour de France, the granddaddy of cycling’s grueling races, seven consecutive times.  He was everything we hoped we could be if only we were more like him.

Peyton Manning and a Moment of Silence

On September 20, 2010, 23-year-old Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home.  Investigators have since called his death a suicide.  Like many Broncos fans in Colorado, I was saddened by the death of this young man and perplexed about why he would take his own life.  He was one of the few college athletes who had made it to the pros.  He appeared to be living his dream, but he must have been haunted by something that led him to make a desperate decision.

Six days later, my wife and I were in Denver to see the Broncos play the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field.  Sitting near us in the stands were two young men wearing Broncos tee-shirts.  They introduced themselves (I’ll call them Joe and Mike).  Between gulps of beer, Joe told us that he disliked the Colts and especially hated Peyton Manning.  (In case you don’t follow American football, Manning is the quarterback for the Colts.)  Some of what he said about Manning was so bizarre that we tried to ignore him and just enjoy the spectacle of the pre-game activities on the field.

By Terry R. Bacon
Tags: Denver Broncos, Kenny McKinley, Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning, NFL, football, Lincoln, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Civil War, Gettysburg, Chamberlain, Union, Confederate, Appomattox, Kyle Orton, Superbowl
William Shatner and the Art of Self-Reinvention

I was struck recently by a photo of William Shatner on the cover of USA Weekend magazine, which was enclosed in my local Sunday newspaper.  The caption beside Shatner’s photo read, “A panel of TV’s funniest stars, including William Shatner, reveals what will make you smile this season.”   William Shatner?  One of TV’s funniest stars?  When did that happen?

I first saw William Shatner in the 1958 film The Brothers Karamazov, which starred Yul Brynner, Maria Schell, Claire Bloom, Richard Basehart, Albert Salmi, and Lee J. Cobb.  If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend it highly.  Shatner played Alexi, the youngest Karamazov brother, who is a monk.  Throughout this drama of love, betrayal, crime, punishment, recklessness, loyalty, intrigue, and redemption, Shatner plays his role with the brooding intensity that befits a classically trained actor, which he was.

By Terry R. Bacon
Tags: William Shatner, Star Trek, Brothers Karamozov, Quebec, Shakespeare, Charlton Heston, Gene Hackman, James Dean, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, T. J. Hooker, The Practice, Boston Legal, Miss Congeniality, 3rd Rock from the Sun, comedy, television
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