HAPPY BIRTHDAY, U.S.A.!With all her flaws and tensions, with all her constant struggles over who gets which rights (or who gets more rights than someone else) and the acceptance of new forms of bigotry, with all her forgetfulness and rewriting of her own history, I still love this country.
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Total leap of thought into a new and unconnected topic: A Knight's Tale, the movie that you either "get" or you hate.
It stars the late Heath Ledger as the thatcher's son-turned-knight, and includes many other excellent actors -- Alan Tudyk as Wat, Rufus Sewell as the villain Count Adhemar, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Addy as Roland, James Purefoy as the Black Prince, and Laura Fraser as Kate the Farrier (a really cool character) -- as well as Shannyn Sossamon as Lady Jocelyn, the woman over whom the knight and the villain tussle. (She annoyed me, and I didn't see the attraction. But that's just me.)
Back to the movie: It's a taken from The Canterbury Tales and from history, and it adds modern music and a modern/futuristic twist to the costuming, and it all works. Ya gotta know a topic really well in order to mess with it intelligently, and the filmmakers knew their stuff.
I highly recommend its light-hearted, smart fun -- a rock-and-roll homage to the Middle Ages.