How Silly are Some of the "100 Greatest American Nominees?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Arthur S, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Just a few of those I think are very silly at best.

    Michael Jackson
    Barbara Bush
    Bret Favre
    Lucille Ball
    Tom Cruise
    Johnny Carson
    Ray Charles
    Bill Cosby
    John Edwards
    Ellen DeJeneres
    Clint Eastwood
    Mel Gibson
    Tom Hanks
    Michael Jordan
    Rush Limbaugh
    George Lucas
    Richard Nixon
    Arnold Schwarznegger
    Martha Stuart
    Sam Walton
    Dr. Phill

    I guess some people have no idea what people like Abe Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King contributed to this country.

    Who would you add to the list of silly nominees?
     
  2. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I would subtract 2 from your list and add some more that I noted while watching this incredible train wreck of epic proportions. I think Matt Lauer was embarrased to even be there.

    I would take George Lucas & especially Sam Walton off your list. Both have made radical changes in the everyday life of your average American. Sam Walton was given this country's highest civillian honor and George Lucas founded several companies (ILM, Skywalker Sound, Pixar) that have made the movies what they are today.

    Other crap choices: Barak Obama, Dr. Phil McGraw, Jimmy Stewart, Tiger Woods, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O., Laura Bush, Babe Ruth, Michael Moore, Donald Trump, Rudolph Giuliani, Pat Tillman (at least he gave his life for his country), Joseph Smith, Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, John Wayne, Helen Keller, and Colin Powell

    Where are Eli Whitney, Philo T. Farnsworth or John Adams? Why Babe Ruth and not Hank Aaron? I think America forgot that it was the 100 Greatest Americans, not who they like the most, who's the most inspirational, etc. This list has confirmed what I've suspected for a long time: That when it comes to, at the very least, history, Americans are f'ed in the head.


    [​IMG] All three made the final list of 25 nominees, of course seeing some of their fellow nominees makes me nauseous.

    Crap Choices from the Top 25: Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Bob Hope, Billy Graham, Elvis Presley and, let's not forget, Oprah Winfrey (Why?).
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    The true "greatest Americans" are people whose names most of us have never heard.
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    This is an idiotic list for the same reason that all such poll-based lists are idiotic. For most people history began the day they were born, their horizons of "greatness" are limited not just by the people/places/events they happen to have heard or, but those they've heard about recently enough that they haven't forgotten about them yet. That's why "100 best movies list" tend to skew heavily towards the last ten years before the poll was taken (with lip service paid to ]Citizen Kane and one or two other classics), "Best Presidents" list skew towards those presidents the poll sample remember personally (again, allowing for nods ot the indisputables like Lincoln and Washington) (Poll baby boomers and JFK will probably be on the "best presidents" list, but he won't make the list if the group polled is mostly of the Depression/WWII generation, or of Gen "X" or "Y" types for whom JFK is no more real or vivid a personality than Calvin Coolidge or Franklin Pierce.)

    I knew from the moment I heard about the project that it was going to be a train wreck for exactly these reasons and I've paid no attention to it. And having hosted by a mediocrity like Lauer was just one more indication of how little those responsible for the show appreciated greatness, or even understood what the word means.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    If George Washington doesn't top the list. I will have a problem. [​IMG]
     
  6. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    That's funny, I was about to say something similar. Just replace George Washington with Thomas Jefferson, who I think did more than any other American for this country. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    David

    You are so right about Dr. Phill! I agree with almost everything you said.

    Little discussion. From where I sit, Michael Moore has something of social importance to offer. He was on to GM 20 years ago, (Roger and Me), and now look, 25,000 more good jobs going down the tubes. Guns and violence, (Bowling for Columbine). National Security (Fahrenheit 9/11). Lucas has provided a lot of fun for people but how important are cartoons compared to jobs/guns/national security?

    Walton, I don't like his rabid anti-union stance. Closed a huge store in Canada after they voted to unionize.

    I am off my soapbox now.

    Joseph

    Very well said.

    Malcolm

    A lot of truth to that. I have been fortunate to know a couple of truly amazing people who have spent their entire lives trying to make the world a better place. Or how bout someone like Marla Ruzicka the 28 year old who got the US Govt to come up with $20,000,000 to help civilians in Iraq before she got killed.

    Todd

    My preference is for Lincoln. After all, he made the horrendously difficult decision to pursue the Civil War that killed 618,000 people to end the horrific evil of slavery and to preserve these United States. Can you imagine a divided continent: one with slavery and one without? Or worse yet, slavery throughout the country?

    Of course, great arguments can be made for Washington. Without Washington we might all be speaking with a British accent.

    I would like to see the final 5 down to: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, MLK, Thomas Jefferson, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
     
  8. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    Athletes, Actors and others from the film industry do not belong in a list like this.

    I like a good movie as much as the next guy, but making a movie doesn't seem like much compared to what Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR etc. did.

    It is demeaning to put Tom Cruise and Thomas Jefferson in the same category.
     
  9. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

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    1. Slavery was never the major focus of the 'Civil War'

    2. I have never understood what was so great about someone starting a war and use military might to impose his will on someone else.

    The original colonists did not agree with England, therefore they seperated themselves and declared independance. England tried to use the military to force their will on them, and lost. The separatists are honored.

    The southern states did not agree with the way the Union was going, therefore they separated themselves and declared independance. The Union used military might to force their will on them. The separatists are villianized.

    Those two "same, but different" stories have always puzzled me.
     
  10. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Malarky. No slavery, no Civil War. Despite the South's main claim of "states rights", the states right in question was slavery. Without slavery, they had no other complaint worth seceding or fighting for. I'd say slavery was important enough for "someone starting a war and use military might to impose his will on someone else".

    Off my soapbox.

    George Washington has to be number one. Our country could have gone many ways and each was dependent on Washington. I think he choose the best course.
     
  11. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    Chris is right, Lincoln started the Civil War to save the Union, not to end slavery. Lincoln, although morally opposed, had no intention of ending slavery or disrupting the status quo during his presidency. At most he wanted to stop the spread of slavery, but ending it was not in his plans. It was midway through the war when he realized the North could win and he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1962 which shifted focus of the war from preserving the union to ending slavery.
     
  12. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    As far as the list goes, I agree with most here; it's ridiculous. You know it's a sad list when a non-american, Mel Gibson, makes the list, but yet the original master of horror and a Baltimore native, Edgar Allen Poe does not. Also on a totally different level, BRETT FAVRE??? That's the best football player they could come up with. What about Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Walter Payton? Even Dan Marino would have been a better pick.

    My vote for best Americans are Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, and George Washington. I would say Bill Gates, but he didn't actually invent his product. That's not to say he is not a brilliant business man, I just think the guy who wrote DOS should get the humanitarian credit. Thomas Jefferson would probably be my #1, but that would be a really hard call. [​IMG]
     
  13. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    You are correct - I can't argue with this statement. But the Union would not have been in jeopardy if slavery did not exist. No state would have seceded on any basis other than slavery; therefore, slavery caused the Civil War. That's my Yankee answer and I'm sticking with it.
     
  14. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    I have to agree with most other here. This show is just plain silly if not worse, meaningless. But i think that maybe the show is not trying to name people that have done the greatest thing or things for this country, but rather trying to pick the one person that most represents what it is to be an american. In that context you could conceivably go beyond the obvious choices of our founding fathers or truly great presidents (people who have the advantage of being in the position to do great things.)

    Now these would not be my choices, but for example, though John Wayne did not do anything to enhance our country in any real sense, there are many people who feel that through his image and the roles he played in his movies, he projected the essence of what it was to BE an american.

    While Bill Gates did not write DOS. What he did do is take that piece of rather ordinary software along with many other items being developed at the time and thru very shrewd business sense changed the world as we know it. What could be more american than that?

    In the most cynical opinion, the only thing that Neil Armstrong did was go along for the ride and when he got to the moon he had a real zinger of a one liner thought up. But to me what he really represents are the thousands of nameless engineers, designers, technicians and so forth that took the words of a martyred president and a real can do attitude and made a truly magical thing happen. What many would consider one of the shining moments in this countries history. Again if that isn't american than i don't know what is.

    What one really has to do is to define exactly what it is to be an american, something that I find is incredible difficult to do and probably very different from one person to another. Once you do that then you can start deciding which person fits your definition best. This is what I feel this show is trying to do.
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I believe that line was scripted, which is why he flubbed it.
     
  16. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    Mel Gibson is indeed an American, born in Peekskill, New York. He didn't move to Australia until he was 12 and still holds U.S. citizenship.

    BTW, I'm not trying to defend his spot in the top 100. I don't think he should be there, either. Heck, I don't even like his movies. [​IMG]
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Exactly. States started seceding immediately after Lincoln was elected, before he was even sworn in, and they did so because he was known to oppose expanding slavery into new territories and states - which was heresy enough from the Southern point of view. They hardly did this because they disagreed with Lincoln's position on the tariff, or because they had problems with his ideas about industrial policy. The South's "disagreement" with the North was about slavery and nothing else. The demographic changes in the North and the addition of non-slave states threatened the "peculiar institution" were eroding the south's power in the Congress and in the Electoral College and they knew that sooner or later the North and the West would have the votes to abolish slavery - unless they could keep parity between slave and free states as new territories joined the Union. The victory of Lincoln and the Republicans, the one opposed to expanding slavery into the territories, the other avowedly abolitionist, convinced the Southern leadership that the only way to save slavery was to leave the Union. Hence secession.

    Neal Armstrong did a hell of a lot more than "go along for the ride". He piloted the LM down to the lunar surface and a landing with only seconds of fuel left in the tank and a landing zone that didn't look much like the mission rehearsals. With all of the other astronauts he risked a very lonely death in a very nasty place, or a very nasty death on national televison. Not exactly tourist stuff. (Anybody remember Apollo 1? Apollo 13? The shuttles?)

    I think various lines were considered in meetings, but the final version may have been Armstrong's. And there's some disagreement about whether he "blew it" or if a word was just lost in the transmission to static, a drop out or a "pop".

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  18. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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  19. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Einstein, like Arnold, became an American citizen, and that's really all that matters. That's one of the great things about the place, that you actually can become an American, as much as anyone who was born here and whose family has been here for 50 generations, in a way that one can't quite become an Englishman or a Frenchman, much less Japanese, regardless of what it says on one's passport.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  20. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I believe he was also the commander of the mission.
     

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