Monday, August 8, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXI

I could tell you that a zebra is a carnivore but I'd be lion. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

A musical interlude

It seems that today is my birthday.


They also had another song about this:



But that's clearly wrong.  Why, I'm in my prime ...


Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Captain Blood

In a comment to last week's music selection from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood film, Aesop (who knows something about film) left a comment:

If Errol Flynn is in a movie with an Erich Korngold score, I'll be sitting twelfth row center, waiting for the overture to begin.
Yup.  And so to today's selection.  Captain Blood was the very first film to star Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.  It essentially founded the genre of swashbuckling adventures.  It began a long collaboration between Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone (later famous as Sherlock Holmes) who appeared together not only in Robin Hood but also in The Dawn Patrol.

And this film established the reputation of Erich Korngold, not as a great composer (he had already established his chops) but as a great film composer.  Shockingly he was not nominated for the Academy Award for this film; he got more write-in votes than almost any of the actual nominees.

He almost didn't take the gig, feeling that pirate adventures wasn't very interesting.  But the producers invited him to watch some of the filming.  Impressed, he signed on.  The problem was that the entire score had to be finished in three weeks.  To get the entire score complete he had to include a number of symphonic poems from Franz Lizst (remember, he was the first Rock Star).

Both Flynn and Rathbone were accomplished fencers, and justly famous for the well choreographed fight scenes.  Certainly Rathbone's fencing was more convincing than his french accent:


And the music is quite dramatic:



Next week we will close out our exploration of swashbuckling film music.

Bootnote on the actors:

Basil Rathbone was decorated for heroism on the Western Front in The Great War.  He was also the British Army's fencing champion (twice) and taught Errol Flynn much of what he knew.

Olympia de Havilland was cousin to Geoffrey de Havilland of aircraft manufacturing fame.  She only dies two years ago at the age of 104, the oldest winner of an Academy Award.  She is probably most famous for her role as Melanie in Gone With The Wind.

Errol Flynn got in a fist fight with his director during filming of Charge Of The Light Brigade.  A horse lover, he was infuriated by the intentional crippling of dozens of horses during filming.  He was a notorious womanizer and it is said that the expression "in like Flynn" originally referred to a successful seduction.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Gone shewtin'

I'm meeting Big Country and Wifey at the range for some recoil therapy.  It will be something like this:


And The Queen Of The World got me a nifty spotting scope so I can see just how rusty my marksmanship is.  Need to get out to the range more often.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Rest In Peace PFC Simanek

Awarded the Medal of Honor in Korea for falling on a grenade to save his buddies.  Lived another 70 years.  As you'd expect, Dwight has the details

Semper Fi, Marine.  Ave atque vale.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - The Adventures of Robin Hood

 Erich Wolfgang Korngold won the Oscar for this score in 1938 - the very first composer to receive the Academy Award.  Before that, the Oscar went to the head of the Studio's music department.  A child prodigy in Vienna be was a professor at the Vienna State Academy when the Nazis began their rise to power.  Invited to Hollywood, he became one of their standout composers, writing the score for some of Errol Flynn's great swashbuckling epics (this one and Captain Blood).

Back at State U the Fencing Club did a fundraising movie series of swashbuckling films.  They were all packed, and everyone had a great time.  Check them out on NetFlix or Prime (or you can probably score a DVD on the cheap) - they're still great fun.  And the music is top shelf.



Friday, July 29, 2022

Dad Joke CCXX - Special Space edition

The Queen Of The World says I need to get back to posting Dad jokes.  OK, to make up for the hiatus, here are two.

When we have a Moon Base someday there will be a restaurant there.  I don't think I will go, however.  Even if it has great food, there will be no atmosphere.

When we have a Mars Base someday there might be a riot.  The Government would have to declare Martian Law. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Good shoot or bad shoot?

I had missed that Denver prosecutors dropped all charges against Matthew Dolloff in the shooting death of Lee Keltner in October 2020.  Who is Matthew Dolloff, I hear you ask?  The dude holding the heater here:


This was a protest where two sides stood off against each other.  Words led to shoving and Dolloff shot Keltner graveyard dead.  You can see Dolloff's slide pushed back and smoke from the propellant making a bee-line towards Keltner's head.  If you zoom way in there's a black dot that may or may not be the bullet right above Keltner's wrist.

So was this a good shoot or a bad shoot?

To answer this we need to put aside which "side" each was on.  Keltner was Patriot Front, Dolloff may or may not have been Antifa but does seem to have been BLM.  But quite frankly none of this matters.  From the DA's statement:

As the case progressed - and a full analysis of the case details including materials provided by defense counsel was made - prosecutors realized that they would not be able to prove that Mr. Dolloff did not have the right to use deadly force to defend himself and others pursuant to Colorado law.
...  without provocation, Mr. Keltner verbally threatened and physically assaulted Mr. Dolloff and was the initial aggressor before being shot. Under Colorado's law, Matthew Dolloff had no duty to retreat and was legally justified in his actions. While I do not agree with Mr. Dolloff's decision to use lethal force, the fact remains he had the right to do so under our law.

This may be some of the reason that the DA said that (images from the UK Sun newspaper):


Just a face slap, right?  Well, maybe - Keltner had a can of bear spray in his right hand here.  Mace may or may not be considered Deadly Force (some places it is, some places it isn't).  But here's the thing - look at the vertical chain link fence support right behind Keltner in the picture immediately above, then look at where that same fence support is in the first picture: clearly both men had stepped back.  While Colorado law says you have no duty to retreat, both men backed up.

So bad shoot?

Maybe not.  Look at the position of both men as Dolloff was drawing his pistol:


Kelter has taken a step back as he sees Dolloff drawing, but Dolloff has stepped way back.  Kelter seems absolutely to have been the aggressor, physically assaulting Dolloff and holding what may (or may not) be considered a deadly weapon in Colorado, but which is definitely considered a deadly weapon elsewhere.

So good (justified) shoot?  Remember, these pictures are from the video which means that the first and last are separated by a second, maybe two.  When things go bad, they go bad all of a sudden.

I don't know whether this was a good shoot or a bad one, but the DA seems to think so.  Maybe the DA in on the side of the "bad guys" but I don't think we should "flip the scrip" because Kelter was "on our side" and Dolloff wasn't.  Rule of law is a street that runs both ways - or should, when the range goes hot.

Feel free to comment with your opinion.