The Kennedys – BBC 2

I am at-home in Westcliffe. Stop by.  Coffee is always at-the-ready, and if you prefer something cold, that can be arranged.

The drought is on-going with the town divided as to watering. I am torn. Obviously, in terms of water conservation, I shouldn’t be watering at all. During the best of times, our crabgrass lawn (that in Realtor-speak we call “grass”) is patchy at best. But this summer, the bare dirt and desiccated weeds are mighty unattractive, so I’m watering selectively -small islands of green surrounded by the dead and dying.

Greener times heading west on Co Rd 358  – wishing rain and rainbows

Tonight I will miss The Kennedys, a TV Mini-series that I started watching on BBC 2 in England. Here at home, you will have to wait for the DVD. The series was offered to and rejected by the History channel because of complaints from Kennedy family friends who, according to Alessandria Stanley in the March 31 New York Times, “accused the director of taking liberties with the facts.”

Which is quite the hoot. When have you ever seen a docu-drama that has not taken liberties with the facts? That’s what docu-dramas do. If you want the truth you watch a documentary – preferably one produced by Ken Burns.

I liked what I saw of the eight-part series. I wasn’t too keen on the acting: I guess my memories of the Kennedys are so ingrained that it is hard to see actors impersonate them. I did, however, think that Tom Wilkinson played a great Joseph P. Kennedy.

To me, the series was less about the “kids” than it was about the patriarch, Joe Kennedy – appointed as ambassador to the Court of St. James’s in 1938 and removed in 1940 by President Roosevelt who disagreed with Kennedy’s efforts to keep the U.S. out of WW II. Not a man to be thwarted, Joseph P. despotically imposed his political ambitions on his sons who might have chosen other lives.

If this scenario seems a bit familiar, you are probably thinking of Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, and Qaddafi among others.

A British friend wrote to me saying that he had forgotten the controversy surrounding John Kennedy, a Catholic candidate for president. I remember it well. As common wisdom had it, the Pope would be calling all the shots.

If there is anything to be said for one’s elder years, it is having seen so much history – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I remember John F. Kennedy’s election to the presidency well, and selective memory being what it is, what I remember most is his saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Personally, no docu-drama will tarnish President Kennedy’s call to pull on the oar.

If the History Channel was so interested in historical accuracy, they could have aired the series with a supplemental reading list. How about “Read More About It” at the conclusion of each show?

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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