Sunday, February 26, 2017

Twelve Famous Actresses You Didn't Know Were Republicans



1.  Shirley Temple -  Shirley Temple Black was more than just a pretty cute kid. She grew up to be a smart cookie. She was a lifelong Republican and was appointed to the ambassadorship of the United Nations and later served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia. While there she witnessed the Soviet invasion from the top of a roof where she took refuge. She saw soldiers shooting women and looting Prague from her perch on the roof. Later when Czechoslovakia overthrew it's communist government, it was Shirley that opened relations between the U.S. and the new government.


2.  Doris Day - When I was a young man, I always had a little crush on Doris Day. She seemed like such a nice person and was the sort of gal I was attracted to. Turns out she's an active Republican, participating in several presidential elections over the years. A Roman Catholic and staunch conservative, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2004. She's really big on animal charities as well and is founder of the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

3. Joan Rivers -  Joan was a longtime Republican. She was friends of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Steve Forbes, and even admired Margaret Thatcher. She was a rare bird -- a New York Jewish female comedienne. As the Washington Times noted, all of the New York, Jewish, female comediennes in the world would "...fit into one phone booth, and still had ample room to make some calls."


4. Phyllis Diller -  Phyllis was a standup comedienne when there weren't very many of them. Here comedy was self-effacing. She cracked jokes about her age and appearance, bad cooking and her husband “Fang.”  She supported her five kids spending most of her working life on the road with people like Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. She did two TV series and was regular on “Laugh In” and Hollywood Squares. She was friends with Joan Rivers and both voted Republican in a career that did not reward conservatives.


5. Claudette Colbert - The Oscar winning actress was born Emilie Claudette Chauchoin in France. Her family moved to the US in 1906. She worked her way through acting school in a dress shop and upon her Broadway debut, she changed her name to Claudette Colbert.  She also was friends with Ronald and Nancy Reagan and was a staunch Republican and what her IMDB bio called "a natural conservative."


6. Maureen O'Hara - My other youthful crush, Dublin born fiery redhead, Maureen O'Hara, She was a staunch conservative Republican like her flag-waving favorite co-star, John Wayne. Over time Maureen publicly supported the Presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush. She never was intimidated by the liberal Hollywood establishment and was completely comfortable with her conservatism.


7. Virginia Mayo - Vivacious blonde bombshell, Virginia Mayo graduated from chorus girl in MGM's Goldwyn Girls to leading lady best known for a series of films with comedian Danny Kaye. Over the years she played opposite Hollywood leading men including Kaye, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster, James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, George Raft, Rex Harrison, Paul Newman and even the Marx Brothers. A lifelong Republican, Virginai endorsed Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, and supported her longtime friend Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential race. An Arab Sultan once remarked that Virginia's beauty was "proof of the existence of God."

8. Barbara Stanwyck - As you can tell from the picture, Barbara Stanwyck was a second amendment kind of gal. She married fellow arch-conservative Robert Taylor and helped form the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in 1944. Their mission statement said, in part, "...in our special field of motion pictures, we resent the growing impression that this industry is made of, and dominated by, Communists, radicals, and crackpots.” Stanwyck was a fan of Ayn Rand and pushed Warner Bros. to buy the rights to The Fountainhead.

9. Jane Russell - No shrinking violet, Jane Russell hung with notorious Republicans like Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, Lou Costello, June Allyson, Dick Powell and Jimmy Stewart. She described herself in 2003 as, "...a teetotaling, mean-spirited, right-wing, narrow-minded conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist.”  She also had no problem with gay members of her profession, maintaining close relationships with choreographers and gay actors alike. She got along famously with liberal colleagues in the film industry including Marilyn Monroe who was just an inch shy of being a communist. The tough gal, Russell, helped Marilyn get through onset hysterics and prevented the directors and other actors from bullying Marilyn. Heavily involved in very conservative causes, something that appalled her liberal freinds, Jane was a complete mystery to liberal Hollywood, most of whom counted pistol-packin' Jane as a good friend.


10. Irene Dunn -  One of the most active Hollywood stars in Republican causes during her career, Irene campaigned for Richard Nixon in 1960 and for Ronald Reagan both times he ran for Governor of California and then again for both of his presidential campaigns.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower named her an alternate delegate to the U.N. General Assembly in 1959. She actively campaigned for him in the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections. Nominated for five Academy Awards, she starred opposite Hollywood dreamboats Clark Gable and Cary Grant, as well as Charles Boyer and Spencer Tracy. Irene was a hard-working gal, both in film and in politics. 

11. Vera Ellen - Lithe elfin dancer, Vera Ellen was a better dancer than the industry gave her credit for. She danced with all the best male dancers including Fred Astaire, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly, and (my favorite), Danny Kaye. Her dance number with Kaye in White Christmas was breath-taking. She once was fired from a chorus line for showing too much individuality. She was a lifelong Republican and a solid supporter of Ronald Reagan especially. Her later life was tragic, but she left a legacy of film behind a a whole lot of fun.

12. Margaret Hamilton - Well so long as Republicans are going to get a bad rap anyway, let's include our most infamous Republican actress, the Wicked Witch of the West her own self, Margaret Hamilton. Margaret Hamilton grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Hathaway Brown School and practiced acting doing children's theater. After several film roles in the 30s, Margaret was tapped for her breakout role in the Wizard of Oz as the witch that haunted childrens' dreams for more than half a century. Turns out she was a Sunday School teacher, a staunch Republican and conservative.

There are a whole batch of lists on the Internet featuring current Republican actresses out there, but there aren't many from the golden era of film. I thought you might like to see that not all of the classic actresses from the heyday of film were shrieking Communists and liberals. That's why I used to watch the Oscars. There wasn't much danger of having to listen to some speech about how terrible America is for not helping the Palestinians drive the Jews into the sea. They just talked about what a privilege it was for them to do their job and to be in this great country.  Note the number of immigrants up in that list.


Love those Republican gals!
© 2017 by Tom King



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How Many of These Movie Quotes Can You Identify?




We really don't have any idea how many movies we've stuffed away in our already over-crowded brains. It would probably astound you the number of hours you've spent in front of a screen watching films.  Don't believe me?  How many of these movies can you identify just from a quick quote from the movie. Caution: this quiz will be graded. You'll need paper and pencil or a blank word processor document to record your answers. This is not multiple choice (I am an English teacher).
  1.  Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
  2.  Go ahead. Make my day. 
  3.  My Mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'
  4. Where we're going we don't need roads...
  5.  “But without my voice, how can I…”
    “You’ll have your looks, your pretty face… and don’t underestimate the importance of body language.”
  6.  “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food."
  7.  Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, “I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead.” Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.
  8.  “Uh-uh! Don’t you think about running off doing no daring-do. We’ve been planning this dinner for two months!”
    “The public is in danger!”
    “My evening’s in danger!”
    “You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good!”
    “‘Greater good’? I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you are ever gonna get!”
  9.  "Aw, you're an action figure! You are a child's plaything!"
    "You are a sad little man and you have my pity."
  10. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
  11.  Attaboy, Clarence.!
  12.  It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage.
  13.  I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
  14. "We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!”
  15.  "I'll have what she's having."
  16.  "Are you crying? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!"
  17.   I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.
  18.   Here's looking at you, kid.
  19.  After all, tomorrow is another day!
  20.  Houston, we have a problem.
  21.   Hasta la vista, baby.
  22. "So, no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave." 
  23.  I feel the need - the need for speed!
  24.   Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
  25.  "Surely you can't be serious." - "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.
Groundhog Day - Bill Murray

Did you get them all? Check your answers below and give yourself four points for every one you got correct. 


1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Sudden Impact
3. Forrest Gump
4. Back to the Future
5. Little Mermaid
6. Finding Nemo

7. Up!
8. The Incredibles
9. Toy Story
10. The Wizard of Oz
11. It's a Wonderful Life

12. Raiders of the Lost Ark
13. Star Wars

14. Treasure of the Sierra Madres
15. When Harry Met Sally
16.  A League of Their Own
17. The Godfather
18. Casablanca
19. Gone With the Wind
20. Apollo XIII

21. Terminator 2
22. Serenity
23. Top Gun
24. Dead Poet's Society
25. Airplane

Score:  Multiply the number you got right by 4


0-59:    F (You are a person who has an actual life)
60-60:  D (You read books)

70-79:  C (You watch a lot of sports)
80-89:  B (You probably have kids and have some of the Disney flicks memorized)
90-100: A (You really need to get out in the fresh air and get some sun)



* I'm not saying how many of those I would have gotten. I'm supposed to have a degree in English and we English majors find movies beneath us. We're supposed to sit by fires, smoke pipes and read 3000 year-old heroic poetry for fun.

© 2017 by Tom King


Thursday, January 5, 2017

John Williams Says His Tunes Aren't Memorable


There have been a spate of articles recently complaining that movie scores are not very memorable anymore. Even the mighty John Williams has called his own Star Wars Score "not very memorable". One wonders if these guys just have seen too many movies or at least aren't looking at the ones that John Williams wrote the score for.  Here's a sampling of John's movie tunes. Most of these you'd likely recognize right off the bat. Others you'll swear you've heard it somewhere before and will only need slight prompting to remember.

Here are some links to samples from John Williams' movies. See if these tunes are memorable.

The Rare Breed - James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara

Jaws - Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss

Star Wars - Mark Hamel, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness

Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Richard Dreyfuss, Terri Garr


Superman - Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

E.T. The Extraterrestrial: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore

Hook: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman

Far and Away: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Home Alone: Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci

Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson

Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

As you can see, John's tunes are, in fact, kind of memorable. And I left off several dozen other familiar movie themes and his Olympic Games Themes.  When you hear the songs, you remember them. That's what I call memorable. So lighten up with the humility, John. You're good at what you do. I figure you're probably going to be right up there with Mozart and Bach given the depth of your work.

© 2017 by Tom King

Monday, September 5, 2016

Top Six Sci-Fi TV Series for People Who Don't Take Sci-Fi So Seriously

A lot of Sci-Fi TV series take themselves very very seriously. It's great if you just need to be serious all the time. Me, I like my science fiction with a touch of humor. So here's my list of the greatest TV science fiction series that didn't take themselves too seriously. If you have some others you'd like to add, let me know. So here's the list in no particular order:

  1. Firefly - Okay, there is at least one series I put in order. Joss Whedon's epic sci-fi series was canceled far too soon. It was quirky, funny and the characters were wonderful. It puzzled some people who were expecting Star Trek's tidy socialist federation and fuzzy collectivist economy. Instead, Firefly creates an interplanetary Wild West frontier in conflict with a powerful collectivist government and follows a band of smugglers making a dubious living out among the frontier planets.
  2. Star Trek the Original Series - What I liked about the original Star Trek vs the later versions
    was Shatner's lighter touch as captain. He never took things as seriously as the other captains. And he was a little bit randy too, which made him more interesting.
  3.  Stargate SG1 - Colonel Jack O'Neill and his merry band didlots of serious stuff, but Jack had a cock-eyed view of everything and quick, dry sense of humor. The series was a favorite early effort by the SyFy channel back when it was still the Sci-Fi channel. Dom Deluise's boys were heavily involved and Dom himself made an appearance. One of my favorite episodes was the one where the alien was hired as a consultant for a TV show called "Wormhole Extreme" which was a parody of SG1. Really funny. It gave the show a human quality and gave us more than a few laughs.
  4. Eureka - Another Sci-Fi channel original about a town full of geniuses doing work for the Department of Defense and the sheriff who tries to hold things together as the town's denizen's variously try to blow themselves up one day after another. The show is funny, poignant and smart and I was sorry to see it come to an end.
  5. Warehouse 13 - An interesting Sci-Fi channel series about a secret warehouse where all the magical and cursed items of the world were kept. Again, the team that took care of the artifacts were funny and serious and grumpy and chirpy and got into the most bizarre situations you could imagine. The show was fun and fantasy and yet overlapped on occasion with the hard science fiction world of Eureka. I loved the strange world they inhabited. 
  6. Chuck - While not exactly science fiction, this spy out ofwater series had a lot of science fictional elements to it and also had that sense of light humor and likeable characters that earned it the same kind of fiercely devoted fans the rest of the series in this list earned. 
What are your favorites? I know I left out a lot of people's favorite SF, but this was a very personal list and so I limited it to the ones that made me smile. Did I forget anything because I like to have lists of ten or twelve, so I have room to add more.  Just make your case in the comment section below.



© 2016 by Tom King

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Incoming and Outgoing - Top 25 Things Gone Bye Bye and What Is Replacing Them




In my lifetime a lot of things have disappeared from usage in America. Makes me feel old quite frankly, so I'll make this quick.

WHAT'S DISAPPEARED................WHAT'S REPLACED IT

1.  78 and 45 rpm records...................Digital CDs/Mp3s                       
2.  Slide Rules.....................................Calculators  
3.  Massive Mainframe Computers.....Personal computers
4.  The Rolodex...................................The Internet
5.  Car phones......................................Cell phones
6.  Walkie-talkies.................................CB radios
7.  Refundable glass pop bottles..........Plastic and aluminum soda cans
8.  Microfilm........................................E-books & data bases
9.  Ticker Tape Machines.....................Fax machines
10. Full service gas stations.................Self-serve gas stations
11. Bruce Willis’ hair...........................Bruce Willis' bald head
12. Burma Shave Road Signs...............Pop up interactive ads
13. Olympic softball.............................Olympic synchronized swimming
14. Kodachrome slide film...................Digital cameras
15. Flash bulbs/flash cubes...................Electronic flash
16. Typewriters.....................................Word processor software
17. Freight Train Cabooses...................End-of-train-device
18. The Single Screen Movie Theater...The Multiplex
19. Folding paper maps.........................GPS/computer map software
20. Cathode Ray Picture tube TVs.........LED flat screen TVs
21. Analog NTSC television stations.....HD Digital television stations
22. Pagers...............................................Smartphones
23. Dot-matrix printers...........................Inkjet, laser and 3d Printers
24. Film movie cameras..........................Digital video cameras
25. Wire recorders/8-track tapes.............Digital audio recorders

If you read a lot of science fiction, you'll recognize a few things on the obsolete list that sci-fi authors of just a few decades ago missed the call on. The futurists could be forgiven for missing the rapid obsolescence of wire recorders, computer memory stored on tape and film cameras. Occasionally, they catch it. Star Trek got the look and feel of the cell phone right and even the bluetooth. Portable data storage, although they went for cubes instead of cards, was one of the things they got right. One wonders what will come and go in the next 50 years. You will probably be surprised.


© 2016 by Tom King

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ten Reasons I Keep Attacking Trump


My friends are wondering why I am posting so much anti-Trump stuff on my blogs and social media? They say I need to shut up and get behind Trump.  Let me answer their question once again  It doesn't mean I'll stop hammering Trump...............EVER!  To wit, my ten reasons I keep attacking Trump.

1. I loathe bullyiing - whether by the actual bully or by his followers who say I should fall in line with the bully's will or else.

2. I feel compelled to stand in the breach and shout "The British are coming" only this time it's not the British, it's the socialist progressives and their three candidates (Hillary, Bernie and the Donald).

3. I instinctively distrust anyone who calls himself "The Donald" or suggests we call him "Wonderful Donald".

4. I instinctively distrust anyone who changes his positions daily.

5. I instinctively distrust strip club and casino owners.

6. I instinctively distrust people who use lawsuits and bankruptcy to wipe out their partners' businesses and their customers savings and who think "You're fired!" is a great personal motto.

7. I instinctively distrust anyone who uses the same campaign slogans as Adolph Hitler only changing "Germany first" to "America first" and "Make Germany Great Again" to "Make America Great Again." Won wonder if he's using the same playbook as the late Fuehrer.

8. Based on just the latest policies he's put forward, I can see no basic differences between him and your garden-variety Democrat.

9. He owns strip clubs, casinos, shady businesses and has even shadier relationships with bad people. He's been indicted for racketeering, he's a serial adulterer, brags about screwing his friends' wives and he's bilked tens of thousands of "investors" on Mexican land deals and bad real estate. On the character issue, he fails the sniff test.

10. He's a lifelong socialist/progressive with occasional lapses. His brand of socialism is based on jingo nationalism. The last time we had a national socialist leading a country it worked out very badly.

Just sayin'

Tom King

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ten things I Miss About Texas

...now that I'm stuck here in Washington State.


For some reason, God with his infinite sense of humor has placed me far from home under gray, cold and dripping skies. I miss the big old sprawling, boisterous and beautiful state of Texas where I was born and spent most of my life. Here are some of the things I miss about home.

  1. Texas sunsets and fields of bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes
  2. Canoeing Texas Rivers
  3. Sailing Texas lakes (we have actual wind there)
  4. Blue Northers (being that suddenly cold makes you know you are alive)
  5. The Alamo (Texas's #1 sacred place)
  6. Chuy's Mexican Restaurant  (Austin, Dallas and Tyler)
  7. Buffalo Creek Barbecue (Cleburne)
  8. Dinosaur Valley State park (Glen Rose)
  9. The San Jacinto Monument, Battlefield and the Battleship Texas (Texas's #2 sacred place) 
  10. Watching Tornadoes go past and miss me altogether (you know your angel is there beside you at times like these) 
There are lots of other things about Texas I like. Big Bend Country, the wide open spaces of West Texas, the Big Thicket, historic Austin, Ft. Worth Children's Museum and Planetarium, The San Antonio Riverwalk. Shakespeare in the Park in Fort Worth, The Caddo Indian Mounds, The North Texas Irish Festival, Padre Island, Jefferson River Port, Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant in Fort Worth, and Longhorn Caverns just to name a few. I love my state.

© 2016 by Tom King