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Monday, December 24, 2012

Petitions and Remembrances

I am outraged by the petition posted on the White House's official website, seeking the deportation of television host Piers Morgan.  The petition was started by gun enthusiasts after Morgan vehemently expressed his support for strengthened gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. 

To be clear, I heartily support the petitioners' cause: What right-thinking American DOESN'T want Piers Morgan deported?  But I am outraged that I now find myself agreeing with sociopathic gun nuts.

Incidentally, do these petitioners, who claim Morgan's anti-gun comments represent a "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution," recognize the irony of defending the Bill of Rights by punishing someone for exercising his freedom of speech?  Or do they just assume that the Second Amendment trumps the first because. . . .because. . . I don't know, because two is bigger than one?

On a somewhat more reverent note, I was saddened to read of the death of Jack Klugman at the age of 90.

When I was a child, one of my favorite afternoon pastimes was watching reruns of "The Odd Couple" (7:00 on channel 11)--a perfectly written, perfectly cast show that retains its charm even forty years after its original airing.
Klugman, of course, played one-half of the titular couple, the slovenly Oscar Madison, perpetually at odds with his best friend and roommate, the persnickety neat-freak Felix Unger (Tony Randall).  While both characters were well-written, Oscar was clearly the one viewers were meant to identify with: His Everyman enthusiasms (sports, gambling, beer) more accessible to most people than Felix's upper-class tastes.  The only thing "unrealistic" about Oscar was his extreme slovenliness--and after spending a year with my sophomore roommate in college, I realized that even that was more plausible than I had originally thought.
Klugman had numerous other roles, including the title role in "Quincy, M.E."--basically "CSI" without all the DNA sequencing.  But Oscar Madison is the role for which he will be most remembered.  And frankly, that's not a bad thing at all.

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