Wednesday, June 19, 2013

THe LuLac Edition #2450, June 19th, 2013

James Gandolfini. (Photo: TMZ) 


Since we dedicate a portion of this site to pop culture, this is something we have to make a comment on. James Gandolfini – who became a household name playing a semi sensitive, ruthless mobster with issues, Tony Soprano died this afternoon in Italy. The actor was there for the annual Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and was scheduled to participate in a few events there this weekend. 
The cause of death was a heart attack. Gandolfini was 51. 
Prior to “The Sopranos” the actor played roles in “Get Shorty”, “True Romance”, “The Mexican” and as of late, “Zero Dark Thirty”. The Sopranos only had a run of 86 episodes. Gandolfini played a complex character who had problems inside and outside of his two families. The mythical organized crime one that operaed out of Jersey and the family he was related to by blood. 
Gandolfini won three Emmy’s during the program’s limited HBO schedule. The show later returned on reruns on Cable. Many people felt that after playing Tony Soprano, Gandolfini would be typecast. He was too good an actor for that. 
This untimely death leaves us with the cruel irony that the show’s ending had people guessing whether its main character Tony Soprano died in the end. When the show ended in 2007, who would have dreamed that the actor who played him would be gone in less than a decade. 


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Man carried that show. He was in almost every scene and terrific.
What a shame. Far too young.
Bada Bing Bada Boom.
RIP James . You were one of the best actors of your generation.

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Good morning Students,

First off, I want to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Gandolfini. It is always a tragic event when a man goes before his time and I understand that many of you in this classroom more than likely tuned into his program when it was airing. Personally, I do not see any merit in television productions that promote and/or make heroes out of characters whom are vile murderers. For RESEARCH purposes, I viewed the Sopranos back in the day and found Mr. Gandolfini to be quite a talented actor. Indeed he was even likeable in his portrayal of Mr. Soprano. And yet, if you look at the full picture, all he did was to portray the “nicest” guy in a group of low life thugs who made a living out of the exploitation of others. Much in the way real life mobsters dating all the way back to Al Capone and to recent history’s John Gotti, were admired and even loved by the very people they were exploiting. It just goes to show why our culture is going down the drain. Nevertheless, once again, my sympathies to he and his family.
The work of this classroom moves forward……….
Students, As I viewed the President of the United States speaking in Berlin yesterday it brought back many memories. I recall that June day in 1963 when JFK stood before the largest crowds ever assembled in the square (even Hitler was not able to assemble such a crowd at his peak) and gave one of his most rousing, eloquent speeches in defense of West Berlin’s sovereignty. I understand that “Ich Bein Ein Berleiner” is the most famous quote, but I preferred “We have never had to build a wall to keep “our” people in>” . Pure and to the point. I additionally recall Ronald Reagan in the same spot in May of 1987 and his famous quote, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!!!!!”. And less than three years later, it came down. Thank You President Reagan!!!!!!
Yesterday, however, the speech made by Mr. Obama, compared to those of his two predecessors, was both predictable, boring and mundane. And the crowds assembled (all screened prior to “admission”) were small. Five years ago, when a Senator, Mr. Obama spoke to multiple thousands, evoking the “image” of JFK. Here he was, the great superstar who was going to be the next leader of the free world. But I challenge you ingrates, DO YOU EVEN RECALL A SINGLE QUOTE FROM THAT SPEECH???????? Give me your answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In a lecture which I posted on the Gort 42 Website (come back young Gort, we all miss you!!!) at the time, I compared Obama to the rock star Davy Jones. Mr. Jones at that time had made an appearance in Wilkes-Barre via an invitation by the inept Mayor (unfortunately still in office) Tom Leighton. I reflected that a mere 150 people at most showed to see the former member of the Monkeys. I noted that forty years earlier had Mr. Jones came to the exact spot on Public Square he had graced there would have to be massive police protection as the crowds would number in the tens of thousands weeping and hoping to see their “idol”. I cautioned the youngsters who loved the Senator from Illinois/Hawaii/ or wherever he is from to wait and see. I noted that the shelf life of a Pop Culture figures popularity was that of a housefly. Viewing the Berlin speech yesterday I see that once again my prediction has come to be truth.
Students, second terms for President’s can be hell on Earth. Yet, the problems usually begin 1 ½ to 2 years in. For our current President it seems that right from the beginning to term 2 he has been muzzled by scandal after scandal while our economy continues to decline and our defenses compromised. Once again, I miss Mitt Romney (and although you won’t admit it) I believe you do also.
Something to think about this morning………
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought only poor people with OUT access to health care died young.

At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

RE: 1:12 P.M. Answer: NOPE. Not if they had a history of cocaine use (lots easier to buy it if you are wealthy) and alcohol use on top of massive amounts of unhealthy food substances.

Just saying.


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