Best wishes to all of the Dads out there on Father's Day. I got together with my Dad yesterday. We shared a pizza and then went to the movies to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We had a good time; more on the movie later in this post.
Over lunch, we talked about the untimely passing of Tim Russert on Friday. Last year, I called Dad before Father's Day and asked him if he'd like a copy of the new Tim Russert book about fathers, but he told me he'd rather have a copy of Big Russ and Me, so that's what I got him for Father's Day.
I knew, of course, that Tim Russert was a Democrat, since he worked for both Daniel Moynihan and Mario Cuomo. However, as an interviewer, he was tough but fair, both to Republicans and Democrats. Those are traits that are far too rare in the mainstream media today. The stories that are being told in remembrance of him by his journalistic colleagues uniformly show that he was a genuinely nice man as well. When the President, the presidential candidates of both parties, every journalist in the country and even the sports reporters on ESPN lament a man's untimely death, you know that he must have been a pretty good guy.
Now, to the movie: After seeing it, I can understand why the Russians were so angry about it. The Soviets made dandy villains, of course, but nobody ever looks in the mirror and sees a villain; that's not human nature. We can justify many evil acts by telling ourselves that we are doing them to attain good ends. From our perspective, the Soviets were indeed evil, murdering millions, but from their perspective, they were just doing what they had to do. This just shows that not all perspectives are equally valid and correct.
Cate Blanchett was a deliciously evil Natasha as Irina Spalko, and if you didn't know it was her, you wouldn't have been able to tell; she looked VERY different from Galadriel, for instance. The movie was entertaining, although for me, none of the sequels have quite matched the original, although Last Crusade came close. And with Indy eligible for Social Security, it probably would be a good idea for him to hang up his fedora and bullwhip after this one.