January 30, 2005

Arrested Development, Clint Eastwood & Humphrey Bogart

Just another dose of assorted random thoughts about this and that. Arrested Development has become one of my favorite television shows. It is quirky and well written and the characters are fun. Most importantly it makes me laugh and one of Jack's most important rules is to laugh long and laugh hard.

Laughter is a tool that can be used for healing. Sometimes you can laugh so hard that it seems that you are expelling sheer madness from your soul, but there is something so right in the healing properties of laughter.

Many years ago when I was in my early 20s I grew upset and punched a hole in the wall. I hit it hard enough that my right arm went most of the way through it. If you looked at the wall it was as if it had swallowed my forearm and most of my elbow.

I started to laugh, shocked at how far my arm had gone in, amused and pleasantly surprised at my own strength. It was one of those moments that I realized that the long hours at the gym had paid off. On the other hand I began to wonder how to pay for the damage. Moments later it became apparent that I was going to have to use my left arm to destroy more of the wall to free my right arm. It was quite a night.

Two weeks later I was wrestling with another fraternity brother. He was 6'5 270 pounds and I was a mere 5'10 195 pounds. I managed to pull his legs out from under him and took him down. I was very strong for my size and could bench press more than 300 pounds, but he taught me a lesson that day, big truck versus little truck.

As we rolled around he managed to get his arms around me and lift me off of the ground. Before I could do anything I was airborne. I sailed through the air and went straight through the folding closet doors that stood next to the hole in the wall I had created but not yet repaired.

Because I am stubborn I jumped back up and ran back out. A moment later my body was slammed back into the hole that I had created, it was far larger than it had been and the closet doors had been added to the list of damage. I picked myself up again and this time jumped on his back. I locked my arms around him and began to squeeze as he slammed me into the wall again and again.

At some point we just gave up. It had all been in good fun and I think that he realized that unless he really hurt me I was not going to give in. Thankfully he demonstrated more common sense than I did, but if you ask me to tell the tale during daylight hours I just may tell you how I forced him to give in.

Clint Eastwood and Humphrey Bogart are two of my favorite actors. Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, The Good The Bad & The Ugly, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Any Which Way You Can- I loved these films.

Eastwood and Bogart were cool and tough. They didn't always come out on top. Their characters were often flawed, men who had been around the block, but who had tenacity and talent. There was something about them that I just loved. Not to mention some of the best quotes:

Casablanca
Rick: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for.
Victor Laszlo: You might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
Rick: Well, what of it? It'll be out of its misery.
Victor Laszlo: You know how you sound, Mr. Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart.

Captain Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.

Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I...
Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie?
Capta
n Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.

Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?

Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.
John Vernon (The Mayor): Intent? How did you establish that?
Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): : When a man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!

Classic, I just love it.

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