Bigot and Singer and Collette, Oh My!

Toni ColletteOn this day in 1920, “commentator” James Kilpatrick was born. You probably remember him on 60 Minutes battling it out with Shana Alexander. This is the first example of I know of where the media provided a very clear skewing of politics. Alexander was the supposed liberal, but she was actually more of a moderate and even conservative. Kilpatrick was just a bigot. Balance! His main work over the years was as an apologist for segregation. He was a vile man, but fully inside the mainstream of Republican politics—then and now.

Singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett is 56 today. I just wanted to play this song:

Other birthdays: sculptor Antonio Canova (1757); painter Konrad Magi (1878); publisher Larry Flynt (71); actor Marcia Wallace (1942); and baseball player Fernando Valenzuela (53).

The day, absolutely by default, belongs to the great actor Toni Collette who is 41 today. She came to prominence with a brilliant performance in Muriel’s Wedding. And over time she became awfully skinny. But her acting was always great. She especially stood out as the fiercely protective but flummoxed mother in The Sixth Sense and the resigned but making the best of it mother and sister in Little Miss Sunshine. Here she is in about the only decent scene I could find of her from The Sixth Sense:

Happy birthday Toni Collette!

2 thoughts on “Bigot and Singer and Collette, Oh My!

  1. Yepers….. I have seen this movie 7 or more times. Less fond of it now, but that scene is my favorite in the movie. Her character is believable throughout the movie.

  2. @William Brown — The movie had good acting (Willis has always been underrated as an actor) and a clever script. I haven’t seen it since it came out, but one thing bugged me immediately. The kid is portrayed as going through what intensely bright kids go through when surrounded by other kids who are intimidated by his nerdiness.

    Any of us who were nerds can sympathize. (It’s taken me decades to realize that the mean kids who tormented me probably came from pretty lousy homes; I went to a bad school in a bad area.)

    It just annoyed me that this very sensitive writing and portrayal of a kid going through a very real-life pain was used in support of a silly faux-supernatural "ghosts and angels are among us" story. It soured me on the director, and I never saw any more of his films (I’ve been told some are OK, some not.)

    But then again, I’m a curmudgeon. I admire the middle act of "It’s A Wonderful Life," where George Bailey’s dreams of leaving his small town all fall to shit and evil banker Mr. Potter drives him to suicide. I don’t like the last third where the angel saves him. Although it’s a smart reverse-angle version of Dickens, I prefer the Black Adder "Christmas Carol" episode, where a nice guy learns how much more profitable it is to be a jerk.

    So, see? I like dark and dismal things. Must be why I keep paying attention to American politics . . .

    Hope to see you around here more!

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