Tom Cordle

Tom Cordle
Beeffee, Tennessee, CSA
June 16
There is your truth ... there is my truth ... and there is everything between. That leads to the better question: Is there an Everlasting Truth? I submit there is only the Everlasting Quest for the truth. __________________________________ I believe that in essence We are God. That is to say, humankind, for all it's faults, has power over Good and Evil. As the Eden Tale intimates, humans alone, in all Creation, have "eaten" from the the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and thus humans alone, in all Creation, have the ability and responsibility to choose between the two. Thus, each of us is in essence a god, and the Sum of us, through all generations past, present and future is God. By those choices, we are the creators of what was, what is and what will be. And by those choices, we, collectively, choose whether to exist here and now in the Kingdom of Heaven or in a Living Hell. _________________________________ "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence." Frederick Douglass _________________________________ "You can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any boots, and you can't put yourself in another's shoes -- you can't even try on their socks." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue." Albert Einstein _________________________________ Only in silence can your hear the voice of God." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr" ____________________________________ "Racists can hide in the closet, but the smell usually gives them away." Soulofhawk _________________________________ "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain ____________________________ "When we are young, Death comes as an unwelcome stranger; but as we get nearer the end of our own too-often rocky road, he comes more and more to resemble a long, lost acquaintance." Soulofhawk ____________________________________ “When monetary gain is involved, mans capacity for self-delusion is infinite.” Lord Byron _________________________________ "Where greed is good, need is great." Soulofhawk _________________________________ “And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of change. For he who innovates will have as his enemies all who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proven by the event.” Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI _________________________________ "if a man falls from a pedestal, who is really to blame -- the man or those who put him up there?" Soulofhawk ____________________________________ "The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners." Howard Zinn _______________________________ "The worst thing to be around a bigot is right." Soulofhawk ______________________________


NOVEMBER 9, 2011 3:29PM

The Lion in Winter

Rate: 30 Flag

"A king like you has policy prepared on everything. What's the official line on sodomy?" King Phillip to King Henry in The Lion in Winter

Joe PaternoHappy Valley is no longer so happy. Sadness and revulsion increase with each new revelation in the scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, who coached at Penn State from 1969-1999.

Sandusky has been arrested and charged with  40 counts of sexual abuse against eight victims. Another nine victims have since come forward, and no one will be surprised if others do so. One hesitates to think how many more victims will choose to privately bear the burden of Sandusky’s heinous acts.

Sandusky may have committed these crimes, but let’s be frank; they could not have continued without being aided and abetted by others at the University. In fact, former athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with lying to a grand jury investigating the crimes. They’re also likely to be charged with failing to notify authorities about them.

It as been widely reported that someone currently on the coaching staff at Penn State caught Sandusky in the act of sodomizing a ten-year old boy in a shower at a campus athletic facility. After that incident, Sandusky was forbidden to bring young boys on campus.

Surely, that suggests people in high places knew what was going on. But rather than report the crime and protect children, they chose instead to protect the image of their institution. That sort of reprehensible behavior is not limited to the Catholic Church.

• • •

The big question in all this, is what did saintly Joe Paterno know, and when did he know it? One hint as to what he knew and when he knew it was that in 1999 Paterno informed Sandusky he would not be his successor as head coach. Sandusky left his position not long afterwards.

That is supposition, of course; what’s been reported is that when Paterno was made aware of this specific crime, he passed on the information to his immediate superior. But for Paterno to have left it at that makes a mockery of everything we have been led to believe about his high moral character.

Surely a man held up as a moral exemplar should be expected to do more than the bare minimum in reaction to such a heinous crime. That begs the question: Is Paterno really a man of high moral character, or just another coach willing to bend the rules to succeed in the ultra-competitive world of big-time college athletics?

The answer to that question will be revealed in days to come, but surely no mortal man is capable of remaining unaffected by the kind of praise, nay adoration, heaped upon Paterno in that once happy valley – to say nothing of the rest of our sports-obsessed world.

That near-deification of Paterno kept him in a position of absolute authority long past his sell-date. It allowed him to operate as a dictator long after he was capable of making sound decisions. If he were capable of making sound decisions, he would have retired long ago.

But that’s always the way with old lions, so now he must suffer the same fate as befalls every lion in winter.

The Lion in Winter

All hail the conquering hero, his broadsword in his hand
Is there anything we worship like the warrior in a man?
Hoist up the tattered battle flag and see his sharp salute
Misty-eyed at memories of a once and glorious youth

September's a seductive month, or so it's always said
Cascading in a symphony of brown and gold and red
One almost doesn't recognize the quickening of days …
The lion lifts his nostrils as the leaves are set ablaze

And December, ah! December, and the very first snowfall
Spreads an easy ermine blanket and makes virgins of us all
One almost doesn't recognize the cold chill in the air …
The lion looks on listless as he paces in his lair

And winds will howl and storms will rage
And drifts will block the door
And the lion roars inside his cage
And licks the wounds of war

The warrior waits in winter and denies his growing old
And no one ever told him it was going to be this cold
He swears that in the distance hears the sound of fife and drums …
The lion waits in winter for the spring that never comes

©2011 Tom Cordle


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i never liked jocks.
Very appropriate Tom.
I read the grand jury report. This guy Sandusky is a monster. A just punishment would be branding his genitals with a white hot iron.

The real shocker was this "graduate assistant," one of the eyewitnesses, who is now on the coaching staff. When the assistant walked in on Sandusky sodomizing a boy in the locker room shower years ago, he walked out, phoned a relative, then told Paterno a day later. Who does this? Why weren't the cops called within one minute? Or better, how about stopping the monster then and there? I'm sure he was rattled by what he saw, but come on.
Holy shit. I don't follow sports, so this is the first I've heard about this scandal. Disgusting.
I suspect the feeling was probably mutual

desert rat
Nice title. And probably all because they didn't want to taint something that was only somewhat real, and then instead, threw it all away, more or less.
I haven't the stomach to read the report. As for the GA, his behavior is incomprehensible as well as reprehensible. It's no excuse, but his failure to do more might be explained -- not justified, explained -- by the fact that at the time he was an underling not willing to make waves and disturb his chances of landing a good job on the coaching staff. From my perspective, the last thing I'd want is to work at a place that hid -- and thereby condoned -- that kind of behavior.

It's pretty damned clear that absolute loyalty to Paterno was high on the list of job requirements on the Penn State coaching staff. I'm reminded of the staffer who got grilled during the hearings on the Rove-mandated firings of DA's. When she testified to being a devoted Bush loyalist, she was reminded that her oath was not to Bush, but to the country.

In my book, Paterno deserves what will surely fall on his head from all this. He passed himself off as a moral exemplar, and that subjects you to a higher standard. That said, he's no worse than the supposedly even more moral "moral exemplars" in the Catholic Church who knowingly participated in pay-offs and cover-ups of sexual abuse of children.

Some are bemoaning the fact that this will sully Paterno's saintly image. Too damned bad if he participated in a cover-up either actively or tacitly -- and it's hard to see how it could be otherwise -- they ought to take down his statue as well as his image. If so, he has nobody but himself to blame for trashing his vaunted reputation.

Sorry to be the one to break the news
Sad situation... great verses!
The glory,pomp and circumstance of college sports is a contrived and heady world of giant egos, paternalistics rituals and rampant malfeasance. Goaded on by the adulations and donations of the monied alumni, the system persists seemingly unconstrained by the norms of most. Allegations or fact notwithstanding, it's a nesting ground for future fodder for the celebrity and glitz hungry voracious appetites of fans.
I confess to being a sports fan, and I confess to buying into the hype that Penn State was somehow different than other big-time football factories. I should know better; the idea of the "student-athlete" went out the window with the first TV contract -- if not before.

I suppose big-time college athletics is no more corrupt than any other part of the notoriously corrupt entertainment industry. But when it comes to being hypocritical, the only thing that compares is big-time religion, another part of the corrupt entertainment industry.
"Bury our illusions one by one" true indeed, and at my age, I'm afraid I don't have many left

Tr ig
Thanks, yes it is a sad situation, one without any heroes
The talk has been here in Pa that they have wanted Joe Pa out for some time. He reported something ( we are not sure how much he knew) to those in charge, I am waiting to see what else he knew at the time. I am sure there is a certain insulation to being JoePa too. This is in no way a pass for him or anyone else, how come the school itself is not being vilified? The people who were being paid to look into this were notified and ignored the information. A clean slate is what is needed but lets lay blame equally. The school was directly responsible, first line.
I've already confessed to being a fan, actually since as a sixth-grader I attended my first football game at Michigan State University. The illusions of our childhood die hard -- Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Student Athlete.

To be fair, student athletes do exist, especially in sports that are little-watched. They also exist in big-time sports, tho that is getting rarer.

I'm old enough to remember when football players stated their major when they were introduced on TV before the game. On one such occasion back in the 70's, a burly behemoth from Utah State stared into the camera and announced "Merlin Olsen, Nuclear Physics". Merlin also carried a high 3 point average, despite that major and the demands of football.

Much more typical was the introduction of another team on which every player announced his major as Social Studies. Can we guess some football-friendly profs were handing out grades in those classes?

These days, the major of a lot of athletes seems to be cashing in on student tickets and memorabilia, and the only tests they take are for drugs. It is really sad what that says about college athletics -- and about us.
Well said and I love The Lion in Winter. The DA involved in this case when it was first reported went missing in 2005 and no trace of him since then. Those close to him say they doubt his disappearance had anything to do with this. Strange though.
I have the same feeling

The fatal flaw always seems to have something to do with hubris, and anyone who fancies himself indispensable surely shows signs of that character flaw. That Joe had it is evident from the fact he didn't resign a decade or more ago.

I don't wish to pile on an old man, but the fact remains he set himself up for a fall by accepting the accolades as someone above reproach. As for his culpability in the crimes themselves, what can be proven is one thing, but if he didn't know, he certainly should have -- no way that kind of repeated behavior stays undetected over thirty years,

I see no way for Paterno to escape a fall, and from such a pedestal as he was on, it will be a very long -- an possibly fatal -- fall. I'll be very surprised if this scandal doesn't hasten his departure from coaching, and it may well hasten his departure from this Earth.
another idol falls.

when idols fall, boys (and girls) are confused and
cannot trust anymore.

sports is thrust upon us men like a moral imperative,
as boys. morality and sports are a wild combo.

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.
George Orwell,
Yes, that is strange, and it will certainly be fodder for conspiracy nuts. But as the scandal proves yet again, conspiracies are almost always exposed. That millions still believe JFK was murdered by the CIA or LBJ or some other such nonsense flies in the face of the reality that not one person supposedly involved ever spoke up. And that defies human nature, as well as logic.
Thanks for the Orwell quote, apropos -- as he always is. The saddest part of this is I do believe sports help build character. At their best, they confirm what Kipling pointed out:

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same"

Unfortunately, the "win at all costs" mentality corrupts young men -- just as it corrupts sports. But let's not kid ourselves -- that mentality is everywhere in our society, and nowhere more so than on Wall Street and in Washington. Case in point? Mitch McConnell.
Very good post and use of lion in winter
What the hell is wrong with these people? How do you catch a guy actually raping a child in the shower and not, after making sure the kid is safe, run for the nearest phone to call the police? I can't imagine how the pope was able to close his eyes to such stuff, and this is equally incredible. It just blows my mind.
Excellent post, Tom, and it added to my knowledge and perspective on the scandal. As I'm sure you know by now, Paterno got fired tonight. But just as I start to feel sad for the ignominious end to his illustrious career, I think of the young boys who wouldn't have been assaulted if Paterno took more forceful action. I'll save my sadness for them.
The university and their lawyers need to stop playing the "they're innocent" nonsense, apologize and do whatever it takes to pay recompense. I went to Penn State and and I really enjoyed all the football games. But the safety of children is WAY more important than ANY game. No matter where you went to school.

The comparison with the Catholic Church is informative in many ways. Don't know about Norway, but in the US many fans of teams exhibit what can be categorized as religious fervor. And just as it all too obviously is with the Church, those who see their Institution as being above reproach and beyond criticism are willing to excuse all manner of evil to protect that which they deem even more important than the protection of children.

In short, for such people, it is more important to defend the Institution than it is to defend that which makes the Institution worth defending.
No, I had not heard that Paterno was fired. Good riddance, I'd say, tho I hate to have to say it. At least that's a sign someone at that school is coming to their senses. But the head of Joe Paterno will certainly not be the end of this matter.

Sorry, I'm sure it must be troubling for a Penn State grad to discover their idols have feet of clay and souls of stone. You mention lawyers and recompense -- I suspect the lawyers are trying to put a lid on the University's exposure to lawsuits. Good luck with that -- this scandal could result in a considerable financial burden for the school. And the cruel reality is that burden will ultimately be borne by future enrollees and by the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
Good Thoughtful Piece Tom,
TY for posting, I do hope that when the truth comes out in the wash, it does clear JoePa's name; we have precious few hero's left in this world; and I do believe we need some. Blessing, BB.
Is there no end to things like this? I still can't help but shake my head over Jim Tressel's error in judgment and then this comes along. And all the rest both in and out of sports. I can't imagine what makes a man do what this guy (Sandusky) did. But for those involved who knew about it, it begs the question - does nobody do the right thing anymore?

"After that incident, Sandusky was forbidden to bring young boys on campus." That's it? That's all the action that was taken. I wonder where he took them then.

Love the poem, esp. this:
The warrior waits in winter and denies his growing old
And no one ever told him it was going to be this cold
Ever see the movie of the same title? Here's a quote that seems oddly appropriate.

"I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations - you've burbled every bit of strategy you've got. I know exactly what you will do, and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes, boy, that's what winning looks like!" -Henry II
One of the problems with this case are the particulars of the university system, which in many respects is like the Catholic church. Since it's a self-contained institution, there are mechanisms (like the university police force, office of affirmative action, etc) that handle crimes internally.

Thus, someone could have immediately reported the incident to the appropriate university authorities with a clear conscience, assuming that the powers that be were on the case (when in fact they were not).

The thing that is a firing offense for Joe Pa is that he kept this pederast on the payroll as a consultant for many years after the incident occurred.

One can only assume that after football, Mr. Paterno won't have many months left to live.
What a bizarre coincidence. I mentioned The Lion in Winter yesterday on Twitter. Today I see the title on OS. I haven't heard anyone mention that play or film in years... It's a small world. Amazing!
Tom~ this is very well done. I grieve for the loss of Paterno, and see that there was an age of a "Don't ask, don't tell" in this kind of abuse... Many of us are victims of that age. Since Paterno "ate, slept, breathed and sweated" football, it is no wonder this was not on his high priority of reporting.
And now the students are protesting against the firing of Paterno. Because, while the raping of ten-year-olds is unfortunate, it is obviously much less important that football. We have got to keep things in perspective.

I'm glad to see that the youth of America have not lost their moral bearings.
He looks vicious.Goo news : One dictator and child abuser less!
Tom,is the poem out of your feather?
I'm with you that we are standing in the need of heroes, but I'm afraid that Joe Paterno does not stand the test. He may not have committed a crime, but he has grievously, unforgivably sinned, whether by commission or omission.
What's so often missed is this:

"That near-deification of Paterno kept him in a position of absolute authority long past his sell-date."

That principle. That it's ALL of us. Is the one that's hardest to learn.
I was thinking about injecting Tressel into this piece, but in comparison his crimes look trivial. They're not, of course; they are born of the same twisted root, the childish need to win at all costs, a need evinced by the powers that be at The Ohio State University when they stooped to hire a man who clearly had a history of bending the rules.

How can any rational adult deny that big-time college athletics goes against everything we've been led to believe about how athletics builds character?

As for The Lion in Winter, it is one of my favorite movies, and what a cast! What acting! And what writing! This is the standard by which I judge films, and by this standard, today's FX spectaculars fall tragically short -- just as Joe Paterno and Penn State have fallen tragically short. Methinks there may be a connection there somewhere.
You're quite right that the insular nature of such institutions is unhealthy and makes cover-ups all the more likely. But for the individuals involved, the GA, Paterno, the AD among other co-conspirators sure to be named, that's no excuse.

Even if I had reported such a godawful incident to campus authorities, I'm pretty sure my conscience would have pricked me deeply the first time I saw Sandusky show up on campus or making chummy with Paterno -- as you pointed out, Joe Pa he kept this pederast on the payroll as a consultant for many years after the incident occurred..

I'm pretty sure I'd take things to another level of authority, and if that didn't work, I'd drop a dime on someone in the media. In short, I'd have to see Sandusky keel-hauled before my conscience would rest.
So Joe was fired last night and I think the same as you, I have been thinking that for about ten years, the gig was up and time to start a new era. I do believe Joe was probably isolated too much from his staff and probably thought he would never get canned. He even made a rather arrogant statement about the board not having to worry about him which seemed like a clear threat to leave him alone. However hours later he and the college president were fired as they should have been. He definately overstayed his effectiveness. Sad for the victims here. Nobody, but nobody cannot be replaced.
Charlie Kazfranco
I confess that film provided inspired the poem of mine I included in this post. It was actually written some time ago, but it seemed absolutely fitting for this bizarre scandal involving the once-noble coach of the Nittany Lions.

Brazen Princess
Thank you. I'm saving my grief for the real victims in this tragedy. To me, there is no excusing what Paterno did and didn't do. When football becomes more important than protecting innocent children, we -- like Paterno -- have our priorities tragically out of whack.
I'll cut nominally-adult students a little slack -- surely they are in a mild state of shock to discover their "god" has fallen from his lofty pedestal under such revolting circumstances. And, yes, there's no excuse for having deemed him a god in the first place, but boys will be boys.

I'll save my wrath for men who will be boys. The putative adults who turned a blind-eye to this horror get no slack. Instead, I'd say the noose needs to be tightened until anyone and everyone in authority receives a fitting punishment -- tho it's hard to imagine a punishment that fits such crimes.
No, the poem is not about my father, my poem Desperate Men was written for him. The Lion in Winter was written when I was 53, and the chill hand of Father Time began to touch my bones.
Our habit of deification of mere mortals isn't limited to sports figures. Clearly, it kept Ronald Reagan around long past his sell-date, too. I'd say one of the reason's Obama has fallen so far so fast is because so many put him on a pedestal long before he had done anything to warrant that placement.

The desire -- nay, need -- for a knight in shining armor to ride to our rescue seems to be wired into the human genome. Unfortunately, that leaves us susceptible to savage dictators, petty deciders, and various other villains -- such as those exposed in the Penn State scandal.

What the protests of the Sixties and their current Love-Child ought to teach us is that while our faults lie not in our stars, but in ourselves, so does our salvation.
Many good things being written on OS about this tragedy, and this is surely one of the best.
Thank you , your opinion is highly-valued by me.
Tom,my question had been if you created this poem,speaking poetic in a metapher:"Out of your feather"=quill pen
Tom,I am asking you again:What do you do with your talent?Are you a member in a pen club?
There must be an the States too.I like the idea of the poem you have written for your father.I'll go to your blog tomorrow.
My dog kept me awake all night because of indigestion due to solid meat his stomach could not take.
The poem is perfect. Awful and sad, but perfect. Well done.
I don't know why I find this story so shocking, but I do. I am not shocked that a trusted coach turned out to be a pedophile, but I just can't believe that so many adults looked the other way. Those who knew and did nothing deserve more than the punishment they are going to receive.
Sorry I missed your feather reference -- my poetic license should be suspended. Obviously, you and I are birds of a feather. Speaking of animals, hope your dog gets better soon.

Kate Geiselman
Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the compliment

Yes, I think most of us find the cover-up more shocking than the crime. And I think that shock is amplified by the fact that Paterno and Penn State have long enjoyed a reputation of being above even impropriety, let alone anything so awful as this.
The Lion in Winter is indeed brilliantly written and acted. YES! I'd of loved to see the play, but the film does have a "theater-esque" quality to it. If you have a post called "My Dinner with Andre" or "Five Easy Pieces" tomorrow I'll fall off my rolling chair. Or maybe one titled "I close the iron door on you!" -that wack-a-doo John Barrymore line from Twentieth Century. Obviously all I want to do is discuss old time cinema but there aren't any film posts around these parts. Your post isn't really about film so I better mosey on off and pester someone else! I do wonder if you like the screwball comedies: The Philadelphia Story or Bringing Up Baby? Hepburn and Grant (and Stewart)! YEAH!!
{sigh} This weekend pals are gathering to watch a 60's flick called "Morgan" about a nutball into gorillas. They have it on VHS. "vhs" -what? They are bragging about scoring a Video Player and "Morgan" at a church rummage sale. Show-offs. I plan to spring the Jimmy Stewart film Harvey on them. Gorilla vs. Invisible Rabbit *wee ha, got it at a church rummage sale too!*{sigh} I think I'll use this comment as a diary entry… You still there? You poor dear. You are going to CLOSE THE IRON DOOR on me. {sigh} ~Ciao and Happy Viewing!
Charlie Kazfranco
You may recall that in "The Lion in Winter" King Phillip beards King Henry with a line drawn that could be drawn from today's headlines and aimed at King Paterno:

"A king like you has policy prepared on everything. What's the official line on sodomy?"

But, let's do change the subject. You're quite right, the film version of The Lion in Winter is definitely a theatrical production, but oh, what a marvelous film/play. I've never had the privilege of seeing the play, but I don't see how it could top the film.

Five Easy Pieces, you say? One of my favorite films. For one thing, it was Nicholson before he began to parody himself. For another, the scene in which he tries to speak to his father tore my heart out for reasons I'd rather not go into. Then there was my favorite scene, where he tries to get an order of toast at a HoJo's. Oh, how many times I would have liked to use the line in that film where he tells the snotty waitress where she can hold the bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Now since you're a film buff -- I'm really not, but I do have my favorites -- here's a test that only two other people I know have ever passed. Have you ever seen the Anthony Newley film Can Heironymous Merkin Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (I'm not making that up!)

Bonus Coverage: Here's a link to a post I wrote about one of my favorite film actors:

My Love Affair with Javier Bardem
Mephysto in real life.It surprises me that he could so long walk around incognito.The whole valley should have been shaken by the reverberation of the sreaming victims.
We love to put people on pedestals and then knock them off. I think this is a case where certain people climbed the pedestal that was offered and then fell of their own volition. I for one really like the fact that JP said he would retire at the end of the year and the school said "NO - not your call. Bye bye."
Very good piece Tom, as always.
It's difficult for me to believe that in an insular community like State College, PA, the other people weren't aware of Sandusky's proclivities as well. But this has to be one area in which minding one's own business does not apply.
Yes, pedestals are no place to be, and I've done everything I could to keep people from putting me on one. Every time they do, I know that sooner or later I'm in for a hard fall.
Tom - my apologies - I thought that I had commented here on Thursday but apparently it did not take. My views on this situation are fairly obvious from my posts about Paterno, and I couldn't agree with you more. This post is excellent, and an expert analysis of Paterno, the "Nittany Lion in Winter". Thanks for posting.
Thanks for visiting. Comments are not required -- but they sure are welcomed. Thanks for yours.
Tom, sorry for delay in continuing our film diversion away from the heinous crimes of Sandusky!

The Lion in Winter... I do recall the "sodomy" line and when I saw the film version of the play I had no idea who Anthony Hopkins was! You would probably love reading the play. I never "saw" the play. I spent a year reading plays (only plays) and Lion in Winter was one of them. Along with Glengary Glen Ross, Play it Again Sam, Waiting for Godot and all of Wallace Shawn's work... a whole year of reading plays, too many to recount. Some were horrible some were brilliant. One of the lines I loved in Lion was the imbecile hilarious words of Prince John: My God, if I went up in flames there's not a living soul who'd pee on me to put the fire out!

Five Easy Pieces: sigh. A stellar film! The scene you love, I do too! I saw that one during a year of seeing every 70's film I could rent. I was moved by that movie.

Years of inhabiting libraries, like a drunkard inhabits a bar, enabled me to gorge myself on all the good stuff that bored my peers. Haha… {sniffly sniffle} Like you I love the diner scene (oh so good). My fave though is when Jack frightens the rabid hitchhiker's "trash trash garbage filth" rant by saying Alaska had the big thaw.

You asked me [[here's a test that only two other people I know have ever passed. Have you ever seen the Anthony Newley film Can Heironymous Merkin Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (I'm not making that up!)]]]

No I haven't and now I'll search for it! Thank you! I think you and I would have a blast talking cinema and maybe finding some new ones to watch. Fun fun. And much better than the disturbing reality of Sandusky and other "trash trash garbage filth" perpetrated in this world :(

I'll check out your "My Love Affair with Javier Bardem" soon.
Don't read Wallace Shawn's plays ;) I read them because (shhhhhhh) I had a crush on him. What a cutie. Actually, his every play had a similar theme and all of it eventually culminated in a Mike Nichols film called The Designated Mourner. Oh that Wallace, sooooo cute. I'm sure you agree. {heh heh}
Great poem. Monsters abound and the innocent and the children continue to suffer. Thoughtful piece, Tom.