Saturday, March 17, 2007

Up the Republic!

Today is Saturday, 17 March 2007.

With apologies to the Irish,‘tis the day after My Lai, and, of many suffering people, the Irish can tell us how to do live with style and humour, as can many others.

So, I’m not makin’ a Paddy joke, which would be appreciated by a lass of Irish descent I once dated, and who had a frightening collection of Irish jokes, and, if I could find her a new one, she was always delighted.

Let us return now to those days of yesteryear.

The year is 1969, I’m a senior in high school, and the movie is, and Homeland Security will probably be headin’ to me house as I type this, The Assassination Bureau, based on an unfinished novel by Jack London, starring Oliver Reed, the divine Diana Rigg, and Telly Savalas.

I’ve not seen it since, and I’ll not fudge with “The Google”, so this how I recollect it.

The AB is an old public service organization, which takes out bad people too powerful to be dealt with by legal means. As our story opens, a hundred and a few pence years ago, the executives of the Bureau discover one of their number is subverting their activities in a bid for global power. Oliver Reed must stop it.

There’s a dirigible involved, and, other than the presence of the classically trained and beauteous (may I be permitted the remark) Ms. Rigg, I don’t recall much, except the finest line in the film.

The Russian member of the Bureau, in a lusciously semi-Feodor line: “To us Russians, life is no laughing matter, and death … isn’t all that funny either”.

(OK: so I went Wiki on this, and I’m pretty close to the plot details, all things considered, but not exact.)

And, as an old thespian myself, a good word for Diana Rigg, much better known on the other side of the Pond.

She has been a stellar performer in, among many, many other works of genius: distinguished in a Muppet movie, a Vincent Price movie (Theatre of Blood), and much Shakespeare, including a King Lear.

The other day, after I spoke well of Bobby Darin, a dearest friend, in a private communication, wrote: “Next we’ll hear you had a crush on Sandra Dee”. OK: it was the Fifties, and “further deponent saith not”.

But how could one not have an artistic crush on such artistry as that of Diana Rigg?

(Yes, I’m going overboard, but many of us American thespians have a thing about trying to convince our compatriots to discover the work of many, many Brits, compared to whom the work of such as Angelina and Brad are … here it comes, the pits.)

And death still isn’t very funny either.

And back to St. Pat's, and for all who recall their history:

All honour to the Easter Rising: 'Éirí Amach na Cásca'!

All honour to Michael Collins!

Up the Republic!


Anonymous Gráinne Ni Mháille said...

Sláinte - agus Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

9:51 PM  
Blogger HH said...

Well, you've got me there. Your Gaelic is far beyond my meager knowledge of the language, although I think you're wishing us all a Good Day of St. Patrick.

A translation would be appreciated by your humbled correspondent.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Grace O'Malley said...

Aye! Yer right:
Cheers - and a Happy St. Padraic's Day!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous RtR said...

I got this recipe out of the newspaper and made it in honor of the day. Easy and good. Substituted arrowroot for the corn starch due to a late developing intolerance for corn and its derivatives.

Guinness Beef Barley Soup

1-1/2 lb beef chunks cut 1/4 inch size
4 T Veg. Oil (divided)
6 cups beef broth
1/2 cup barley
3 carrots (1/2 inch dice)
3 ribs celery (1/2 inch dice - I omitted this one, I don't care for celery)
3 Onions (1/2 inch dice)
2 strips bacon - chopped
8 oz (or more to taste - more went into me directly without stopping at the soup pot) Guinness Extra Stout
1/2 t dried thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 t garlic powder)
2 t brown sugar
1/2 t salt (more or less to taste)
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper (see above)
1 or 2 T Corn Starch (optional)

1. In a large, heavy pot, brown beef cubes in 2 T of oil. Add beef stock and bring to a slow boil

2. Add barley and simmer, uncovered about 1 hour or until soft. (if using instant barley, 15 min will be adequate cooking time.)

3. In a large skillet, add remaining 2 T oil. Add carrots, celery, onions and bacon. Cook slowly over medium heat until vegetables are crisp tender and onions translucent. Add to stock.

4. Add Guinness, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and brown sugar. Simmer until vegetables and beef become tender, about 45 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. To thicken, if desired, mix cornstarch with a little cool broth then whisk into soup. Bring to a simmer. Remove bay leaves and serve in bowls. Makes 6-8 servings

Editorial note - at my house, we would be hard pressed to get 4 servings out of this recipe. (big bowls for big appetites)

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Grace O'Malley said...

Sounds like a tasty alternative to corned beef & cabbage, RTR.
Indeed my own hearty fare
tonight was somewhat similar:
start with a pint o' Guinness
to this add a pint o' Guinness
slowly pour in a pint o' Guinness
combine the above with a pint o' Guinness
top it all off with a pint o' Guinness
:) Sláinte!!!

11:24 PM  

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