Saturday, February 06, 2010

Paladin Trumps American Idol, Pocket Pool for Those Who Can Not Understand Billiards

I watched a nano second of American Idol and my brain hurt. I saw Jersey Shore on a TV news piece and immediately took a shower.

The vast wasteland of television grows nothing but tumble weeds.

There can be very good television entertainment, but it must be too costly to actually amass talented writers and actors.

I enjoy playing eight ball, or nine ball and I have played snooker (our British cousin) and billiards. Billiards is to pocket pool as chess is to checkers. Both are very fun, but billiards and even snooker require greater physical and mental dexterity.

Americans want things simple and fast and nothing is faster than television.

I forced my twenty year old son to watch an episode of Have Gun Will Travel on Chicago's ME TV. The program appeared on American television sets from the late 1950's through the early 1960's.

Richard Boone, a craggy faced baritone with the physical grace of Baryshnikov, played Paladin - an Old West Knight Errant who righted wrongs for a price usually $1,000 in 1877-1880 valuation. The character was a disgraced ( gambler) West Point educated officer and gentleman, who developed his own moral code and sensibility based on personal redemption. The episodes were stuffed with historical, cultural and literary allusions and themes.

Together, 57 year old Dad and twenty year old lad watched and absorbed the less than thirty minutes of Old West Morality Play. In this particular episode, Paladin was hired to protect the visiting literary genius Oscar Wilde from a gang of kidnappers. Oscar Wilde successfully completed his much awaited San Francisco lecture, thanks to Paladin's skills and genius.

My son, a Jersey Shore aficionado, opined, "That was long."

Stick to pocket pool kid.

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