New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.
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Children’s Literature…An Acquaintance With Darkness by Ann Rinaldi
is an historical fiction masterpiece. The book takes place in the time of Lincoln’s death. Readers will follow grave robbers, assassination plotters, and young girls trying to stop the mother (Mary Surratt)….who owned the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth plotters schemed….from hanging for Lincoln’s death. Ann Rinaldi weaves a number of connected tales while integrating the story of free southern slaves working in the White House for Mrs. Lincoln. The story is told through the eyes of a thirteen year old who is a best friend of Mary Surratt’s daughter. A similar rendition of these times can be found in the movie Conspirator starring Robin Wright. Revisit Wright in the Princess Bride before visiting Conspirator’s dark tale surrounding the plot to murder Lincoln.
Poetry…If your favorite son balks at poetry projects, try getting him interested through sports and music. In both instances you take a favorite in either subject and bring them to life in an easy to form four line poem.
Would Joe Flacco be Poe’s favorite Raven?
I guess, if he were a football fan?
He won’t break our Telltale Heart,
Following his present touchdown plan
Jennifer Lopez is a musical treat,
Her stint on American Idol was quite neat.
I liked Maid In Manhattan and Out of Sight.
Her role in Parker was a delight.
Careers…A recent article circulated through a number of papers reported that over 50% of the American workforce is over qualified for their jobs. This causes problems on a number of fronts. Employers are afraid of hiring the overqualified. They feel that might leave for bigger and better things in a short time. Job seekers might be inclined to dumb down their resumes to just meet job requirements rather than to overly impress their potential employer with resume flashes. What do you say when during your job interview your employer tells you you seem to be over qualified for this job? Tell them this new job is close to home which is very important to you and you feel that with your skills set, you are a good fit for their company.
Movies…Spring training starts next week with the rookies, pitchers, and catchers reporting. Derek Jeter of the Yankees is already at Spring training testing the foot he broke last year in the playoffs. Forbes magazine had an article about the ten greatest baseball movies. Forbes? Wow? Their site is worth visiting as you review their picks. Here are my top five picks and I am sticking to it!
Bull Durham is number one. Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins did baseball a solid.
Field of Dreams is two. It is a place everyone would want to be.
Next comes For Love of the Game (1999). I will talk about this great date flick for your living room or man cave in a second.
Fourth is The Natural with Robert Redford. It didn’t get good and understandable for me, until the second time I saw it.
Fifth is the musical Damn Yankees. Anything with a swear word in its title and Gwen Verdon is worth a big time vote.
For Love of the Game is a real sleeper and I hope you noticed my first three picks star Kevin Costner. He plays an aging ballplayer at the end of his career and Kelly Preston plays his love interest. Great stints by John C. Reilly as his catcher and Jena Malone as Kelly’s daughter move the movie at a comic and serious pace. Curt Gowdy should have won an award for the broadcast of Costner’s last game in a Tiger’s uniform.
Just in passing, I am the only one in America that liked Costner in The Postman. It is the story of the importance of the post office in a world that thrives on keeping its population disconnected.