Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

MASH star Alan Alda fondly reminisces about his friendship with the man who put the words in Hawkeye Pierce's mouth, the recently departed Larry Gelbart.

Also, check out this Vanity Fair presenting Gelbart's final interview, including (but hardly limited to) reflections on his part in shaping the classic series.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recommended Reading

The Obama speech on Wednesday helped staunch the bleeding, and put Republican belligerence on display for all to see. Sure would have been nice if the prez hadn't taken his sweet time to get there, though. Frank Rich agrees.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Larry Gelbart, RIP

On Thursday night I was having a conversation with friends on how amazing it is that TV's MASH remains as witty and intelligent today as it did when it first premiered in 1972. This morning I learned that Larry Gelbart, the man largely responsible for imbuing MASH with its comedic soul had passed away after a battle with cancer.

Of course, Gelbart's filmography goes wider and deeper than chronicling the TV misadventures of "Hawkeye" Pierce and "Trapper" John, including the Oh, God films and cross-dressing comedy Tootsie. Still, those first four years that Gelbart served as MASH's exec producer and head writer were so key in laying down the razor thin balance between comedy and pathos that it kept the show plugging along for seven more years after he himself had moved on.

In his latter years Gelbart, always the unabashed liberal, had taken to posting his insightful commentaries on the Huffington Post, which I was always glad to see and which I'm saddened to know are no longer forthcoming. The world has truly lost one of its great and wise wordsmiths with his passing.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Health in a Handcart

Between Republican ignorance and Democratic indolence, the health care debacle over the course of the past summer has really been excruciating to watch. President Obama is all set to deliver a big "muster the troops" speech in front of congress tomorrow, ostensibly to get the reform train back on the rails and into the station, but all signs seem to be point towards the same moneyed/corporate interests that have gummed up the works in the past working their mojo to ensure -- once more -- that nothing substantive gets done. How utterly expected. But hell, don't take my word for it. Click over and read Matt Taibbi's exhaustive analysis of the situation...and prepare to be depressed.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Recommended Reading

Robert Reich explains how the right wing managed to hijack the health reform message, and how the the ever complicit Dems did part of the job for them.

Mouth Breathers

A cross-section of the nutcase Beck-spawn currently showing up at various town halls across the country to protest against health care reform, and against their own interests. Pay special attention for the brain donor who proudly refers to having read the "U.S.S. Constitution."