Thursday, October 05, 2006


Suppose it were 1974 and you could save four persons from the burning roof of the skyscraper. Would you choose:
(1) Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, and Fred Astaire
(2) An average Joe, an average Jane, Ernest Borgnine, and the widow who works at the dry cleaning store
(3) To rush into the anachronistic future and pluck from the annals of the 1990s Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Gennifer Flowers, and a fourth Jennifer who knows how to spell her own name
(4) To dodge the ball and think very serious thoughts such as "This is the last time I will be five years old. It is 1974, and it will not always be 1974."
Such an epiphany happened to me though not then, for the "I" you read here and the "eye" you think you see through are neither the same nor opposite -- and yes, I am aware of what William Blake had to say on the subject. A semi-colon salutes you, Susan Sontag, an unfinished sentence in a lecture that keeps going and growing even after death, like hair and fingernails.
I never liked John Wayne until I saw "Cast a Giant Shadow" and he was so much taller than everyone else and someone was just commenting that John Wayne died in only one movie, I'm not sure which, maybe "Sands of Iwo Jima," and I remembered the headline on the Daily News when John Wayne was quoted saying he "Beat the Big C" -- cancer -- late in his life.
So here's to you, John Wayne. I nominate you to play Bill Clinton in the movie even though you are tactiturn and he verbose, but then I like casting against type and I will always admire Susan Stamberg for saying her favorite Marlon Brando moment was his singing "Luck Be a Lady" in the movie version of "Guys and Dolls."
The correct answer by the way is (e).


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