I’m too young to remember CIA Director Allen Dulles and his brother Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, nor CIA’s first successful Coup in 1953, which replaced a democratically elected government with our Shah of Iran.
I remember our American embassy breached; Fifty-two American citizens taken hostage for 444 days; Teheran Embassy Brits rescuing several Americans – unlike Ben Affleck’s cinematic fantasy; Carter’s helicopter dust storm; Reagan’s opting for his political fiction, over reality of freed American hostages.
I remember when Russia was the Soviet Union in a faceoff for the globe, eyeball to eyeball with America, over an island called Cuba. I remember Cuban missiles for Turkey missiles; a fallen Nikita Khrushchev and assassinated John Kennedy.
Trust all will remember corporate war profiteering, Too Big to Fail, Cheney’s “so,” and Netanyahu — each a bad mistake of historical proportion, and hold individuals accountable.
Remember Pope Francis speaking climatic truth to Corporatism’s Global Warming Power, and a President in his sixth White House year, earning Nobel Prize while redefining Lame Duck.
Remember readers from American Protestants to Sistine Chapel Red, united against Da Vinci Code, because Mary Madeline might have lovingly attended The Last Supper? Now fans forsake Harper Lee for doing what we all hoped one day she would: produce another book.
I for one would love a descendent of Jesus on earth, especially if I could but touch the hem of that garment. We know products of their conservative Republican environment, who during life’s journey, put away childish things, becoming people favoring equality and Justice for All.
Is it not possible in Too Kill a Mockingbird prequel, Go Set a Watchman, we see earlier stage of a man’s evolution? Perhaps Atticus was appointed because, despite being a bigot, he believed the law is the law. Or just maybe, Gregory Peck portrayed a fictional character and Dan Brown writes novels, not Dogma.
Remember wishing, if only The West Wing could be something akin to Aaron Sorkin’s creation? Remember how sensitively West Wing, weaved the 2005 death of Chief of Staff John Spencer into the fictional Bartlett administration storyline?
As for distinguished actor, Roger Rees, I remember, every West Wing scene in which he appeared, he and Martin Sheen demonstrated the contrast between our White House and their West Wing.
Is being Lawrence of Arabia on your Bucket List, or a funny grandmother Golda Meir tutoring us in the folly of war, or do you prefer, as I did, to be Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl?
On and off camera, life in the wings, or audience, chooses fiction over reality, but we need to know the difference: For one brief shining moment at breakneck speed on horseback I rescued an Asthmatic damsel in distress, but I’m not Zorro.
Relocating to NYC in 1978, ten years after Dr. Zhivago’s release, tourists repeatedly asked me for Omar Sharif’s autograph. I didn’t stop attempting to explain I wasn’t the Egyptian looking Russian physician, until 1980, when trying to cash an out-of-state check, a bank manager’s approval was necessary.
The petite woman in her sixties, entered from her office, quietly listened and then initialing my check calming commented, “Anyone who looks as much like Omar Sharif as you do, deserves whatever he wants.” I realized then, some will always prefer the fantasy.
Sometime later, I was cast as Martinez in an Erre Productions updated crime version of, Little Women, shot in Florida & NYC for Italian TV. When I met the director, Gian Carlo, he said I looked too much like the star to be in scenes with him. As Martinez, I played the brutal enforcer for, you guessed it, Omar Sharif.
Years later, while watching Zhivago at home, I caught a peripheral glimpse of me in the mirror. There we were united as one in mirrored reality and movie fiction.
I’ve missed him since The Tamarind Seed, but if ever there was a man who knew life’s entangled comedies and tragedies are often reflected in our fantasies, it was Omar Sharif. Those who manage to distinguish between fiction and truth, ultimately enjoy the peace that passes all understanding.