Opinions on ‘Madam Secretary,’ 3.6MM French March after Hepdo, and Clooney

Having already sent out two more resumes with cover letters this morning, and knocked off the 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 my first time watching ‘Madam Secretary’, and I’ll offer kudos to the writers who nailed Tia Leone’s struggle about going to the funeral of a slain prep school classmate.

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, her bind was obvious:  How could she acquiesce, knowing it would certainly be viewed as accepting another cultures regard for women (slavery was a major sub-topic to the show) as less worthy than any other man’s ability to pay their respects?

In a 1-1 post-private dinner discussion she’d convinced this Bahranian prince to honor certain beliefs he’d espoused years before. Given recent events in the real world, that he’d be killed by someone who felt the direct opposite about what he said back in his own country wasn’t surprising.

I appreciated the Secretary’s solution, seemingly stuck between flying all night to speak privately with the grieving King vs. not paying final respects to a cherished friend at all, or causing a major furor by trying to bulldoze 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 still wouldn’t show up wearing makeup and pants.

3.6 million Frenchmen march for Hepdo

3.6 million Frenchmen marching over the slaughter of Charlie Hepdo cartoonists by Muslim extremists has to elicit a 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 – or that it will be repudiated by the masses that radicals pretend they represent? There didn’t seem to be any similar reaction to the Chechen  slaughter of 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 over a thousand) churches deciding to strap on an explosive device and kill believing-in-a-somewhat-different-way worshipers while shouting ‘God is Great!’

Bad news #3

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

(Harry Potter creator) J.K. Rowling’s succinct tweet about a Rupert Murdoch comment regarding Islamic extremism and the worlds Muslim population being represented by violent action didn’t actually convince me Murdoch was 100% wrong with what he foolishly tried to get out in 140 characters. On more than one previous occasion I’ve noted 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.”

I question his methodology more than any essential fact, because 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 is beyond scary for people. Explain how the distrust that living next door to someone who might just walk into your grocery store tomorrow and kill you and a dozen friends is engendered.

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?

Because I have this ‘soapbox’

On a much lesser topic, how could Dez Bryant’s catch in the Dallas-Green Bay game be overturned? I’ve heard the ‘control-going to the ground’ explanation of the rule, but he was CLEARLY controlling the ball in his 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.

And then, George Clooney, SuperGuy

As for George 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. While he was humble about “whatever alchemy,” he also wasn’t apologizing for taking 53 years to make the decision.

I have the utmost respect for the fact 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 the 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, is super stuff.

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’d he do?”

Glenn Shorkey

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