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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, May 30, 2003

 

The Greats--and their noses
Yesterday was Bob Hope's 100th Birthday. The connsumate commedian, beloved by generations of deployed American troops--that affable, laughable he of the ski-jump nose and witty repartee--celebrated at home with his family while the rest of the world made its bow to one of the greatest men of the last century. It follows by three weeks what would have been Bing Crosby's 100th, the other half of the wise-cracking duo of the Road movies, who proved that two men could make the same movie seven times, never say anything of importance throughout the ordeal, and create some of the freshest, funniest films ever produced by Hollywood, much better than The Matrix: Reloaded could ever hope to be.

Why, you ask me, have I jumped from the King of Comedy to the World of Fake Black Leather Pants? Well, here is my problem: The latest Matrix will gross more at the box office than any movie Hope starred in. But compoared to the dumbest, zaniest, most re-warmed hash of a movie Bob Hope ever made (Whichever Road landed him in a missle silo), The Matrix stinks. I mean, really. Greasy, unsmiling heroes kung-fu-ing their way through a weak-plotted half-movie, led by a picture-perfect hero who always looks like the next syllable out of his mouth is going to be "d-uh...?" And yet millions are going to see it, because it's the best thing we can get our hands on. In a year that has produced Jackass: The Movie, what else can we expect?

Bob Hope entertained us for 70 years with a basic decency and self-deprecation that would never sell in Hollywood today. He was never off-color, raunchy, or in bad taste, and yet the man was funny. If Hollywood would remember its golden days, and hire talent, instead of looks, then maybe we'd see performers of his caliber again. Give me Hope, with talent and a ski-jump nose, over Keanu Reeves with the perfect hair and a semi-vacant expression any day.

So happy birthday, Mr. Hope. Long live the king of comedy. I wish there were more like you. And less like Mr. Reeves.
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