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A Time-Traveling Car is a Good Stopping Point (or Starting Point?)

“On this day in 1925, John DeLorean, a maverick auto industry executive and founder of the DeLorean Motor Company, is born in Detroit, Michigan. The DeLorean Motor Company produced just one model, the DMC-12, a sports car with gull-wing doors that opened upward, in the early 1980s before going bankrupt…In total, approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were produced.”
–History.com

Imagine inventing and building only one car model, yet that singular act of ingenuity, by pure happenstance, is immortalized because of a science-fiction trilogy? Great Scott, indeed.

The beloved Back to the Future films are pop-culture gold that continue to flex its muscles iconic car, power-lacing shoes and World Series predicting prowess more than 30 years after the first movie’s release back in 1985. The fact that the futuristic-looking DeLorean was chosen for a ground-breaking movie about the past (and eventually the future) may seem conceivable now, but John DeLorean’s professional legacy will mostly be glorified as an American success story. Sure, the car isn’t the best performing automobile on the market then or now, but everyone knows his last name and it’s forever associated with blissful memories of imagination and childhood wonder.

We all remember that scene when we first saw that time-traveling DeLorean…

The power of film strikes again.

And the power of love is pretty great too.

The Movie That Will Never Run “Outatime”

“If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour…” 

(IMDB)

(IMDB)

Thirty years ago today, Back to the Future flew into our world and has sustained as a cinematic classic for its sublime story, characters, flying time machine and unforgettable catchphrases. This movie (and trilogy) sparked something truly amazing, permanently reserving a special place in our hearts and imaginations. It’s original, clever and patient, all while building throughout to an adrenaline-fueled ending.

Back to the Future premiered 30 years ago…now that’s heavy. 

Journalism: From A to Z

Information is gathered and presented in a non-stop cycle driven by the engine of speed. The invention of the Internet, and its digital revolution sidekick, has created boundless avenues for this information, with blogs as a primary example. Along with these developments into new media, there has been continuous concern over the future of journalism. Is journalism as we know it fading away? Is journalism, in the traditional sense, keeping up with the more independent, social media oriented times? How does this “wild west” (so to speak) of informal writing, with a myriad of perspectives, consolidate into a more perfect network of trustworthy journalism in the modern era? Who can do it?

A storyteller.

Jeff Bezos, of Amazon.com, recently purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. No big deal. Equipped with a successful background in technology, he represents a pivotal shift for the state of journalism in the ever-changing 21st century. His challenge: interweaving formal content with informal content to create a newspaper/news hub that appeals broadly and specifically to both the formal and informal audiences. Formal can be defined as traditional. Think of the likes of David Brooks of The New York Times and Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal. Informal can be defined as this very blog (Jimmy’s Daily Planet, in which its sole writer and creator has a Bachelors Degree in Communications with a Major in Journalism) and other websites that feature writers who individually publish with daily frequency while simultaneously involving popular media elements to their posts and articles.

Quality is not the major issue between the two sides as much as it is style.

Much like any good sitcom, movie or book, there are various characters with unique qualities, motivations and reactions. There need to be strong leads, but without the flamboyant supporting characters, the fun and thrill of the plot suffers. It’s reality. Words like “dull” or “stale” rise to the front of the viewer’s mind. When this happens, people cease to care, no matter the premise or leading voices. The leads provide the foundation and the richness, but every character is pivotal to telling a compelling story. Plot twists and surprises are always great content drivers as well.

No matter how small or seemingly “goofy,” any good puzzle needs a variety of pieces. Imagine the “Back to the Future” trilogy without the dumb-witted responses from Biff (“make like a tree and get out of here!”) or the eccentric hair, clothes and personality of Dr. Emmett Brown (“Doc”).

How good would those movies have been? Would there have been a second or third movie?

In the case of these two examples, recall that the content and quality always remained high with these characters. The writing was also supreme. It’s a balance that requires skill and intelligence, but it can and has been done with great precision and enjoyment.

The point is that when everything was put together, including the characters, sets and the undeniably cool time machine (“Wait a minute, wait a minute Doc…are you telling me that you built a time machine, out of a DeLorean!?”) the “Back to the Future” trilogy became an American favorite in the eighties that remains popular today. The film’s stock is still soaring as high as the time traveling DeLorean.

Two words to describe the three movies are classic and cool.

Bezos has the pioneering task of combining the traditional pillars of The Washington Post, with its distinguished staff, with informal staff members and their new content. The Post has the leads, but what it needs are vibrant colors that will attract viewers from near and far.

Good content remains a desired asset in our free society, but the style is changing. Bezos has his hands full with his decision to buy one of the premier newspapers in the United States. His personal reputation grants him space and opportunity to design his grand vision for the new newspaper. The answer to how he will enact his transformation, however large or small, is reserved within the brainstorming mind of Bezos himself for the time being. In the back of our heads though, we all know the great script he wrote for Amazon.com…

It will be fascinating to see his ideas come to fruition when the season’s right. Whatever they are, they will send shock-waves throughout the media universe.

The two words that Jeff Bezos will almost certainly hope people will use to describe his new Washington Post are classic and cool.

And if he can achieve this, then he will have successfully brought journalism back to the future.

Bottom of the Tenth

“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th

One of the best scenes in “Angels in the Outfield” is when foster caretaker Maggie Nelson stands up at a press conference regarding George Knox and his statements about his team being assisted by angels during their unthinkable winning streak en route to a potential pennant. Hank Murphy, the baseball club’s owner, had called the event so Knox would publicly deny any such spiritual guidance his players may have been receiving from above.

Maggie said it best.

Maggie Nelson: My name is Maggie Nelson. I take care of foster kids. One of these boys is the child who can see angels. He could stand up right now and tell you what’s going on and I’d know you’d just laugh at him. But, when a professional football player drops to one knee to thank God for making a touchdown, nobody laughs at that. Or when a pitcher crosses himself before going to the mound, no one laughs at that either. It’s like your saying it’s okay to believe in God, but it’s not okay to believe in angels. Now, I thought that they were on the same team.

Hank Murphy: Is it your belief, ma’am, that angels play baseball?

Maggie Nelson: Since the all-star break, yes. We all need someone to believe in. Every child I have ever looked after has someone: an angel. You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to believe. You have to look inside yourself. The footprints of an angel are love, and where there is love, miraculous things can happen. I’ve seen it.

(sits)

Mel Clark: [stands] I’d also like to say something. I don’t know if there are any angels here other than the twenty-five of us in uniform. But I know there is one thing I won’t do: I won’t play for anyone but George Knox. I believe in him.

Every athlete has experienced a moment during competition when your energy levels are depleted and exhaustion has spread from your head to your toes. In this case, Gatorade will not do the trick. This situation calls for more than an energy drink. 

With a full-count, this next pitch by the Angels’ Mel Clark is for the American League Pennant…

The ending/above two clips of “Angels in the Outfield” is the perfect ending to my favorite movie made about baseball of all-time! It’s fun, has heart and lots of laughs for people of all ages. This Disney masterpiece is a timeless classic that reminds us all about the magic of sports and the inspiring nature of the human spirit.

This concludes the inning-by-inning celebration of the best scenes from the best movies involving baseball.

Can miracles from the heavens transpire in sports and life in general? To quote the young, but very wise JP, “It could happen!”