A Fond Bond Farewell

I watched my first James Bond film at the age of 10 in 1963. That movie was Doctor No starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress and Joseph Wiseman who played Dr. No. And while I could tell you the plot of the movie what I most remember is Ursula Andress in a bikini on an island beach. I have watched all of the James Bond movies and some of them maybe 12 or 15 times. I have also read all of the James Bond novels written by Ian Fleming. I have also read the novels written by other authors including  John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver, William Boyd and Anthony Horowitz. I even tracked down a copy of Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis and read it.

On October 29, I watched the final movie of the James Bond series, No Time to Die. I enjoyed the movie. I don’t think it was the best Bond movie but it is certainly within the top 10. It was about 15 minutes too long for my taste and I wasn’t particularly happy about the ending. I might have written Bond off as 007 in a different manner but that’s largely because I am very loyal to the character whose adventures and exploits I have followed for about 60 years of my life.

I did enjoy the heritage musical and script references from earlier Bond movies that were incorporated into No Time to Die.

There has always been a discussion as to which actor played Bond the best. I’ve always been a supporter of Sean Connery as the best James Bond. But upon reflection and seeing Daniel Craig’s acting in the final movie, I have swung my vote over to Daniel Craig.

In today’s culture, the James Bond character does not fit in as a good role model. He was a leering, promiscuous and lascivious straight male whose appetite for conquering women was matched by his courage and dedication to overcoming the villains he faced. In No Time to Die, this was a softer and more respectful Bond. Bond met his match when he met a very young child who shared his blue eyes and as it turned out, his genes.

At the end of the credits of the movie there was a screen shot that James Bond will return. I don’t think he will. I will miss his character.

I have included my list of Bond memories and favorites below…

Clearing My Mental Cache 4

As I have grown older, I find that the terms “educated” or “smart” do not necessarily apply just because a person has higher degrees or educational credentials. For example, Donald Trump has a degree in Economics from the Wharton school. Ted Cruz wasted his education at both Princeton and Harvard universities. I think that a person becomes educated or smart based on how wisely he or she uses the information, insights and what they learn.

Civility is becoming as extinct as the American bumblebee.

The best professional female wrestler today and probably ever is Charlotte Flair. She can talk and she can walk the talk.

Like Archimedes, some of my best ideas and insights have come when I was bathing.

Two new words in the Burleigh vocabulary:
Blimbo: noun, a blonde woman of limited intellect. e.g. Many female Fox News commentators are blimbos.
Penced: verb, to emasculate or castrate oneself. e.g. Mike penced himself with his unblinding fealty to his cruel boss.

This is just from my own personal observation but I have noticed that over the past few years or maybe even decades that people don’t smile as much anymore. Are we less friendly to one another? Is smiling a sign of weakness? Have national and local events become so dire that people wear perpetual frowns? Or have I subscribed or generalized to others what my personal experience is?

Mark Twain quote that I enjoy and find wise:
“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” 

16 Things to Do to Be as Smart as Me

  1. Listen to the Pivot podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway for commentary on business, culture, tech and politics.
  2. Read Maureen Dowd (New York Times)
  3. Watch a Chris Wallace interview. (The only thing worth watching on Fox News)
  4. View a White House press briefing by Jen Psaki.
  5. Read tweets from John Pavlovitz.
  6. Watch “New Rules” by Bill Maher (Politically Incorrect HBO)
  7. View Doonesbury cartoon on Sunday morning.
  8. View tech interviews by Emily Chang.
  9. Read posts on business, marketing, tech and entrepreneurship from Seth Godin daily (seths.blog)
  10. Listen to commentary from Fareed Zakaria.(CNN on Sundays)
  11. Watch PTI for sports commentary. (ESPN)
  12. Listen to Paul Finebaum for best insights into college football.
  13. Listen to first 15 minutes of Colin Cowherd show for his sports commentary on professional sports. (FS1)
  14. Listen to economic and business insights of Andrew Ross Sorkin (CNBC)
  15. Watch past Christopher Hitchens debates, conversations and discussions about politics, religion, history and culture found on YouTube.
  16. View online Yale course “Financial Markets” by Professor Robert Shiller found on Yale Courses on YouTube.

Chuck Grassley: A Profile in Courage…Not!

88 Year old Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa demonstrating the typical courage of a Republican running for re-election.

“While the ultimate responsibility for this attack rests upon the shoulders of those who unlawfully entered the Capitol, everyone involved must take responsibility for their destructive actions that day, including the former president. As the leader of the nation, all presidents bear some responsibility for the actions that they inspire — good or bad. Undoubtedly, then-President Trump displayed poor leadership in his words and actions. I do not defend those actions and my vote should not be read as a defense of those actions.

President Trump continued to argue that the election had been stolen even though the courts didn’t back up his claims. He belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. He encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions during the Electoral College count.”

Statement for the Senate Record by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
United States Senate
On the Senate’s Acquittal of former President Donald Trump
February 13, 2021
“I was born at night but not last night. So if I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart. I’m smart enough to accept that endorsement.”

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley embraced Donald Trump’s return to Iowa on Saturday, October 9 at a Trump rally, standing by the former president as he repeated his false claims of voter fraud and a stolen election to a crowd of thousands.

October 9, 2021

With Apologies to Red Smith and Frank Deford

The more rabid the sports fan, the less rational the woman or man.

I have a personal abhorrence to all of the ads on the Internet, commercial television and other media promoting gambling websites. Online gambling is nicotine for sports fans.

NFL ratings are up 17% this season. The increased ratings are attributed to early attractive matchups plus fans back in the stands.  I would add that increased interest in sports gambling has also supported a ratings boost. All the pregame shows feature betting odds and discussions about points spreads and over/under totals.

Success in most college sports is not won on the court or football field but in living rooms of recruited high school students.

Stephen A Smith : sports commentary = Tucker Carlson : political commentary

Not very many sports commentators that I would stop and listen to but I’d stop for Tony Kornheiser and Ray Didinger who have my respect for their candor, research and insight.

Very few professional athletes leave “while on top.” Rocky Marciano, John Elway and Peyton Manning come to mind. Most athletes, like too many boxers, stay too long. Muhammed Ali, Willie Mays and Joe Louis are three of the most tragic athletes who stayed too long.

I am a huge fan of Roger Federer. I admire him not only for his achievements and talents playing tennis but the class that he exhibits off the court as well.

I’m showing my age but I miss the voices, personalities and announcing of old time football announcers like Chris Schenkel, Ray Scott, Keith Jackson, Curt Gowdy, Pat Summerall and Lindsey Nelson. Many football announcers and analysts today are just “white noise” while watching a game.

As an 8 year old third grader I remembered coming home from school and turning on my black and white TV about 61 years ago to see Bill Mazeroski hit a walk off home run to win the World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Sage 4

Past pearls of wisdom explaining what is happening today…

Current HeadlineWisdom from the Past
Jan. 6 Was Worse Than We Knew NY Times“We are a paper frigate sailing on a burning lake.” —Frederick Seidel
Republicans Shout Down Lindsey Graham for Pushing Vaccine“The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true deserts.” HL Mencken
Doctors grow frustrated over COVID-19 denial, misinformation“While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others.” Christopher Hitchens
Dow sheds 300 points as investors ditch technology stocks, Nasdaq drops 2% CNBC“you cannot cling to anything in a changing world.” 
Trump, talked out of announcing a 2024 bid for now, settles on a wink-and-nod unofficial candidacy Washington PostStupidity is knowing the truth, seeing the truth but still believing the lies. Richard Feynman