Oliver Then

Commentary is very disappointed in the first day turnout results of early voting in person in Harris County in the Democratic Party Primary runoff.

Yesterday, 3,050 Democrats voted in person and 20,357 mail ballots are in. The GOP did way better. 8,049 GOPers voted in person and 20,733 voted by mail. What is up?

Democrats have four statewide runoffs, a state rep, county commissioner, JP, and State Board of Education runoffs, and some local countywide judicial runoffs. The GOP has three statewide runoffs, and a county judge, state rep, and county commissioner runoffs.

Granted, the GOP has TV ads running for AG, county judge, and Railroad Commission races, but still.

We have four days left of early voting. Dems really need to pick it up.


On “Today” this morning they had a feature on co-anchor Craig Melvin’s brother, Ryan, learning how to swim at age 36. The feature reported that according to the USA Swimming Foundation, 64% of African Americans have no or little ability to swim.  You should know that Craig Melvin is African American. I had heard a stat a while back that folks Commentary’s age who were African American didn’t get the opportunity to learn how to swim because of segregated public swimming pools back when I was a kid.

Commentary took lessons at a public swimming pool in Baytown when I was of elementary school age. I think most folks I grew up with learned how to swim. My house where my Dad still lives is less than a hundred yards from a body of water – Goose Creek.  They don’t call it Baytown for nothing – we are surrounded by bays like Burnett, Scott, Tabbs, Trinity and Galveston Bays. We are less than an hour away from Galveston. We kind of had to learn to swim.


I was at my Dad’s this past weekend and we watched Best Picture “Oliver” that came out in 1968. It is based on a stage musical that was based on Charles Dickens’s “Oliver Twist” that first came out in 1837. I had not watched it in a while. I do have the movie soundtrack because there are a few good tunes like “Food, Glorious Food,” “Where Is Love,” “Pick a Pocket or Two,” “Consider Yourself,” “I’d Do Anything,” “It’s a Fine Life,” and “Reviewing the Situation.”

Ron Moody as “Fagin” is one of my all-time favorites movie characters. In my book, he is right up there with Marlon Brando’s “Vito Corleone”, the four that went down the Yellow Brick Road along with the Wicked Witch, and Sigourney Weaver’s “Ripley,” to name a few.

The flick was certainly deserving of the Best Picture Oscar back in 1968. It beat out “Funny Girl,” “Lion in the Winter,” “Rachel, Rachel,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Sometimes when you watch an old flick, you run across a scene or dialogue that flicks wouldn’t use today, or it would not be cool or out of place, or you would shoot the scene differently. I mentioned it a few weeks ago when I saw Doris Day in “Calamity Jane.” In that flick, there was sexist language used in a one scene along the lines of the thinking like a girl thing.

In “Oliver” it was domestic violence.  In the flick, Bill Sikes, played by Oliver Reed – who is no longer with us – is in a relationship with Nancy, played by Shani Wallis. He hits her because she disagrees with what Bill plans to do with Oliver.  He hits her in front of Fagin and the boys, and their reaction is the proper one. They don’t like it and Fagin in fact tries to intervene – unsuccessfully.

After Sikes leaves, the next scene is Nancy going into song mode with a tune called “As Long as He Needs Me” and here is how the song starts:

As long as he needs me

Oh, yes, he does need me

In spite of what you see

I’m sure that he needs me

Who else would love him still

When they’ve been used so ill

He knows I always will

As long as he needs me

Needless to say, I was kind of uncomfortable watching and listening to that tune. Bill ends of murdering Nancy while she is trying to save Oliver. He gets his just due at the end. He gets killed.

Domestic violence has been portrayed in movies as long as there have been movies.  I am not a big fan of movie remakes, and I certainly don’t think a remake of “Oliver” is necessary. Maybe they should have had her sing the song earlier.

Just saying.


It was shocking to see Astros pitcher Jake Odorizzi go down last night at Fenway.  They had to take him off the field on a stretcher. Let’s hope it isn’t serious.

We lost after a lengthy rain delay.

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