I’ll spare you other details of “From Paris With Love.” It was painfully bad.


As this is written, it is the anniversary of the birth of President George Washington, born in 1732 and the only man in American history who can truly be called “indispensable” in terms of the 13 colonies uniting and beginning a country.

His birthday was once more of a national event. It deserves much greater recognition than it now gets.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President, and thank you!

*****

Mary and I hadn’t been to a movie for some time and on Sunday I suggested we try one of the films playing at Dover Mall. We looked through the line-up. Nothing really struck us as exciting, but then, we hadn’t been reading reviews of what was playing.

So we went online to find a few reviews and “From Paris With Love” looked as if it might be worth a try.

So we went to the Sunday afternoon matinee.

Our mission didn’t start out very well in that the information source we contacted indicated the movie was to start an hour earlier than the correct time. So we waited around, then got to the correct theater space after being confused by the wrong name being on the sign outside the door.
What we were subjected to before the movie finally began was a series of various ads and promotions for coming films. In buying tickets we didn’t feel we were being treated fairly by having paid to be assaulted by viewings we didn’t want.

All of this might have been somehow worth it if the movie had been a good one. It wasn’t. I realize my tastes may differ from many others but the main character, played well by John Travolta, just shot people left and right in a series of gun battles and, while he didn’t get a scratch, he killed dozens.

I’ll spare you other details. It was painfully bad.

And when we left the movie about 6:30 p.m. we were told that we would have to leave by the mall’s back door since the mall itself closed at 6 p.m. on Sundays. That meant walking around the huge building since our car was parked out front. Our final conclusion: never again.

Could it simply be a generational thing?

*****

Dover City Council on Monday night adopted a resolution asking the state legislature issue an apology for Delaware’s role in the nation’s slavery period. The resolution passed on a 5-3 vote.

With full recognition that slavery was a shameful time in U.S. history, I nevertheless feel that an apology — from people who never owned slaves to people who were never slaves themselves — serves no reasonable purpose.

What does count is our individual attitudes of acceptance toward all Americans, of all ethnic backgrounds, in our daily lives. I am comfortable with how I live my life in this regard. An apology doesn’t change things. Recognition by individuals that all citizens are just that — equal citizens of the same country — does make a difference.

*****

Always on the lookout for mentions of Delaware in out-of-state publications, I noticed prominent attention paid to a Delaware group in a Wall Street Journal article last weekend about the many political newcomers involved in the Tea Party movement.

Along with instances of new political interest in the state of Washington and in Pennsylvania was a section on what Lynn Brannon was doing in Sussex County.

To quote from the article, Brannon “was a clerical worker in a Sussex County, Del., hospital and talking regularly to doctors when the health care bill began in the House. She decided to read the bill for herself.

“One thing she says she knew from talking to doctors is that lawsuits and malpractice insurance had an impact on costs. The bill did not try to curb such lawsuits.”

The news story has relevance, of course, to the renewed attention being paid now to bringing up national health care reform in a new approach led by President Obama.

The WSJ story notes the “Tea Party” movement has a dislike for both of the establishment political parties. The newly active members of the movement generally back limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.

The group Lynn Brannon is associated with is called the 9-12 Delaware Patriots, a name derived from “the 9 Principles and 12 Values” emphasized by TV commentator Glenn Beck.

*****

This is not a restaurant review column. Even so, there is one place we have found that serves sweet potato pancakes regularly and if you haven’t tried them, you are missing something.

The Dover restaurant is the last place to eat on North State Street, just before getting to U.S. Route 13. That description should be enough.

Anyway, not only are the pancakes very good to eat and healthy, but they also promote a certain regularity which is helpful at times.

Good luck on trying them.

*****

It was my good fortune the other day to run into Dr. William DeLauder, who was president of Delaware State University for 17 years prior to his retirement in 2003.

In attending various functions around the Capital City in years past I got to know him and have always appreciated the fine work he did as president as well as the manner in which he did it. It’s a tough job. He served with distinction.

How did he happen to be in Dover?

Like many others, I am sure, who have lived here and moved elsewhere, he has kept contact with the city even though he now lives in New Castle County. It turns out we both have haircuts at the same place and it was there that I met him, affable and friendly as usual.

*****

This somewhat dizzy lady was driving to the store when she saw a guy pulled over to the side of the road. She stopped and asked if he needed any help.

“Yes I do,” he said. “My car broke down and I need to get these two monkeys to the zoo, If I give you $50, will you please take these two monkeys to the zoo?”

“Sure,” she replied. So she put the two monkeys into her car and drove off.

When the guy got his car fixed and was driving to the zoo he saw this lady walking down the street holding the monkeys’ hands.

“Hey,” he said when he pulled over. “I paid you $50 to take these monkeys to the zoo!”

“We did go to the zoo,” she said. “But we had money left over and now we’re going to the movies!”