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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Ferguson isn’t the only one who’s figured things out

I watched a video by late-night talk-show host Craig Ferguson that, in a rant that was as funny as it was perceptive, explained why everything today sucks — being a bit of comic hyperbole, but you get the point. I laughed when I watched it, though I admit I was feeling a bit guilty while doing so.

I work very hard, despite my advanced age, not to come across as a bitter oldster decrying everything new.

Yet while I really don't think that everything today sucks, some of what goes on does tend to make me grind my teeth in irritation. And I'm not talking about VMA hijnks by the likes of Miley Cyrus (which was a pointed attempt by Cyrus and her handlers to make over the former "Hannah Montana" star into an adult performer in, apparently, all senses of the term).

No, here's an example of what pisses me off. When I'm surfing the many cable channels on my TV and I see, say, a sports event that advertises a "classic" event, I expect to see something truly old. And truly classic. If golf, then maybe at least highlights of the great Jack Nicklaus-Tom Watson British Open duel in 1977. Or if college football, then maybe the 1984 Orange Bowl matchup between Miami and Nebraska. Maybe even Villanova's unbelievable upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship.

What I DON'T expect to see is something from, say, 2012. Which happens more than you might expect. "Classic," it seems, is defined these days as something that happened, oh, a couple of years ago.

And it's not only television producers who are at fault. I was reminded of that new definition of something that should be applied only to "a work of art of recognized and established value" while writing a review of Woody Allen's new movie "Blue Jasmine." When doing research on great actors who have never won an Academy Award, the first three names I kept running into were: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise.

Here, for example, is one of the funnier examples.

Uh, what? Where was the listing for Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, Deborah Kerr, Cary Grant and Glenn Close? The reason is fairly obvious: These actors are, in a world, old. Far older, at least, than Depp (50), Cruise (51) and DiCaprio (38).

When my daughter was growing up, I would go on the occasional rant — "lectures," I called them. And just to try to lighten things up, when I was finished I would announce, "End of Lecture 377." And we would laugh.

So, end of rant 377. Time to watch Craig Ferguson again. Then I'll laugh.