Category Archives: Peter O’Toole

(Un?)Intended Consequences

In January 1998 John, Jacob and I visited the town of Canterbury, home to Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral

Image from Wikipedia because it was a damn good picture.

It is a a beautiful cathedral.  But part of the fascination with it is it’s history — the fact that it was the site of the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Beckett at the behest of King Henry II.  Sort of.

Reportedly, the King was famously infuriated with his former friend, the Archbishop for a number of transgressions, including excommunicating a bunch of English nobles.  He famously uttered:

“Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Being the King, folks took it as a command.  Wikipedia names the four knights, Reginald fitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy and Richard le Breton, either carried out the king’s command, or misinterpreted the king’s intention.  Either way, they assassinated Archbishop Thomas Beckett on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral Altar

Google Image

In case you are hiding under your bed trying to get away from news about the election, Trump opened his trap again today, and once again said something that should disqualify him for the presidency.

Today’s vomit from Trump can be heard here:

Yeah, I know you didn’t click on the link.

He said:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Now let’s see.  Did Donald Trump just call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton?  Or will one of his followers, you know, one of the disgruntled, racist, misogynistic white guys get out his gun(s) and do Donald’s bidding.

“Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”/

“Who will rid me of this troublesome girl?”

Especially since, in spite of the fact that Trump’s campaign is tanking and he is hemorrhaging in the polls, and he’s claiming that the election, if he loses, will be rigged.

What could possibly go wrong.

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You See, I DO Appreciate Art and Shit! 💩

With an artist brother and a sister-in-law, you’d think I’d be more involved in the art world. Sadly, I’m not.

I used to be more of a gallery girl, loved nothing more than spending time in any one of the wonderful museums and galleries near where I lived or worked.  And the galleries I got to visit while living in or traveling to Europe could fill a book.  Still, going to a museum with either Fred or my sister-in-law, with someone who knows a lot about art, well, it is a wonderful treat.

But with my Crohn’s disease as active as it is these days, I don’t go very often.

For anybody without access to art, though, I recommend following my blogging buddy Mark, of Exile on Pain Street .  He works in NYC and frequents museums, galleries and auctions and frequently writes about it on his blog.  Mark does it with wit and without the snobbishness that usually accompanies folks who talk about art.

But nobody posts about art quite like I do.  Or about art theft, because that’s really what this post is all about.  Art theft pure and simple.

How-to-Steal-a-Million-5

Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole in How to Steal A Million (Google Image)

The international art heist I’m talking about occurred in Spain, just outside Madrid.  I’m pretty sure it involved neither Audrey nor Peter.  Nor, probably, would the stolen object ever find its way into the Louvre.

Still, if you know anything about art, the beauty of an object is all in the eye of the beholder.  It may also be dependent on the species.  Or on the leash holder.

Torrelodones, a town near Madrid, paid 2,400 euros ($2,726; £1,885) for this sculpture:

Spanish Dog poop sculpture

Yes, it is a giant, inflatable pile of dog poo.  Photo from BBC (although they might deny it)

The article I read says:

The three-metre high inflatable bought as part of a campaign to encourage pet-lovers to pick up after their dogs went missing, El Pais newspaper reports. The bizarre inflatable disappeared after it had been packed away in its carry-case and the police are now on the trail of the 30 kilogramme dog poop, town officials say.

Speaking to the ABC newspaper, town councillor Angel Guirao said staff were shocked and perplexed by the theft, and a replacement excrement was already on order because “we know that the campaign has been a great success”.

I wish they’d asked me.  I could have provided plenty of models for this piece of art.

Why are you picking on me.png

Why are you picking on me.  Google, eat your heart out cause I took this one!

Don’t hesitate to ask me anything about art.  Or poop.

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So Long, Fred

This is a week for repeats here on FiftyFourAndAHalf.com.  Sorry.

But when I learned a little while ago that actor Omar Sharif died of a heart attack today, well, I thought I’d re-run this story, which isn’t mine, and which I love.

It’s a story that was told to me by Omar Sharif.  Sadly, it was in an interview on TV that I saw many years ago, and not in person.

“I was sitting there on the set of Lawrence,” said Omar of his first meeting with co-star and newbie actor, Peter O’Toole.  And this tall blond man I’d never seen before walked up to me and introduced himself.”

“‘I’m Peter, Peter O’Toole,’ he told me.

“I’m Omar Sharif,” I responded reaching out to shake his hand.

And then Peter responded, with an impish, Irish grin on his face:

“‘Nobody is named ‘Omar.’  I shall call you ‘Fred.'”

And with a toss of his head and a resounding laugh, Fred Sharif concluded:  “and he did!”

You’re going to call me WHAT??? Photo Credit, Irish Times

As the daughter, granddaughter and sister of Freds, I love this story.

RIP, Fred.  I hope you are off riding camels again with Peter.

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