Graham Greene’s “Monsignor Quixote”

Spent the last few days under the spell of Greene’s book and the faithful adaptation by the 1985 Sir Alec Guinness movie available for free viewing online.

What a treat! A gentle, thoughtful exploration of many topics: faith and doubt, Catholicism and Marxism with a dash of Descartes, authority and rebellion, society and the outsider individual, and spiritual questing in a serious, mock-heroic, humorous way. Both works are probing, entertaining dialectical entertainments. To boot, there is an excellent simultaneous spoof of Cervantes’ original book, plot, and characters.

The adaptation by Christopher Neame, the gentle, playful direction of Rodney Bennett, the outstanding casting including Guinness as Quixote and Leo McKern as Sancho, the wonderful musical soundtrack, and the on-location Spanish settings make this unusual work a mini-masterpieces of sorts. Both works are very impressive and thought-provoking from beginning to end.

Recommended, especially for anyone Catholic or anyone wanting to learn more about the two aforementioned belief systems. One of Guinness’s best films.

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Perhaps, along with Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, one of the most important inspirational black leaders who ever lived, and the most important black hero to ever live in the U.S. Truly a great man and on my top 10 list of real-life inspiring heroes.

The following resources are highly recommended.

The 15 CD boxset of speeches and sermons is very uplifting and spiritually inspiring. Is there anyone, who’s heard it, who is not elevated and impressed by his mountaintop speech delivered before he was assassinated?

For a truly inspired, uplifting response to his life and works, Google James Taylor’s song “Shed a Little Light” from the his Squibnocket live video.

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Robert MacNeil’s “Machine-gunning with scraps”

which he used to describe tv news pretty much covers all that is broadcast on e-media everywhere. We are all under siege from news outlets, social media, governments, Madison Avenue, corporations, companies, websites, and innumerable individuals and groups with agendas.

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One can never give too many hugs.

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The best you can do as parents

is to be there for your kids and grandkids in the case of emergency.

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The New Outdoor Picnic Table

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The Need to Connect:

To hear one’s name softy/gently/kindly spoken.
To be hugged, kissed, and touched appropriately.
To be listened to. To converse with others.
To be part of a group.
To be understood and appreciated.
Simple stuff always in any situation.
Guaranteed to work.

The total opposite of:
Being ignored or misunderstood.
Being instantly criticized and trolled.
Being rejected on the basis of appearance.
Being irrationally hated or excluded without being known.

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The Power of Mentors, For Sure.

When we take time to listen to someone else, care for them and what their lives are like, and actually help them to get better, improve, or move ahead.
Some of the best teaching I did involved one-on-one advice, counselling and mentoring.
It if foolproof stuff, occasionally with a hug when appropriate.
What the world needs now is more one-on-one mentoring.

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The terrible, horrible things that people

do to one another aside, the unnecessary, gratuitous, dumb things are often those that we do to ourselves.
Too often I have had to say “We do it to ourselves.”

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Death of a Rock Guitar God

(Jeff center, Jimmy Page–the 3rd guitarist to his right; taken during the brief months in 1966 when the band had two lead guitarists!)

Obit: Jeff Beck, 78, meningitis.
The lead guitarist who gave and immortalized The Yardbirds’ legendary sound on songs like “Heart Full of Soul”, “Mr. You’re a Better Man Than I”, “Shapes of Things”, “Over Under Sideways Down”, “Jeff’s Boogie”, “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”.

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