My Favorite Maverick

, I don’t usually watch the Oscars, but decided to tune in Sunday night about 8:00. It’s fun to see all the gorgeous gowns (or non-gowns) and the antics of the host, et al. – like Jodie Foster blaming her crutches on Meryl Streep (they were reportedly due to a skiing accident). And this year I was curious to see what would transpire as a result of the “Time’s Up” movement.

But for me Frances McDormand, who won Best Actor for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, stole the show. She played the glamour game to a point, wearing a long dress and little if any make-up or jewelry. And Sunday night she was all business: “So I’m hyperventilating a little bit. So if I fall over, pick me up ‘cause I’ve got some things to say…”

After setting down Oscar on the floor beside her, she continued:  “And now I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honored, to have all the female nominees nominated in every category stand with me in this room tonight. Meryl, if you do, everyone else will… Ok, look around… ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell, and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them.”

From Variety.com: “She finished her speech by calling for contractually mandated inclusion across films: ‘I have two words to leave with you tonight: inclusion rider.’ Specifically, an inclusion rider is a clause in the contract of the top line talent on a film that requires a diverse crew to be hired around them.”  The article  continues with McDormand’s comments about how “trending” differs from what is really happening in Hollywood.

Frances McDormand has become my role model, and I plan to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, plus any of her other films I haven’t yet seen. She is my new favorite maverick. (Try and forget the Sarah Palin image that just entered your mind. I was going to call F.M. my favorite “renegade”, till I checked my definitions.)

Who is your favorite maverick, renegade, or iconoclast? 

33 thoughts on “My Favorite Maverick”

      1. I had a good picture of Garner as Maverick ready to go but then thought putting a picture of man maverick atop your piece on a woman renegade just wasn’t right.

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  1. Nikola Tesla. We have so much to thank the man for because he was willing to be out past the boundaries mucking about with electricity and physics (okay and pigeons it seems…though he just talked to them). Margaret Sanger and Elizabeth Blackwell (because women’s health owes them a ton).

    Alive, and close to home, Andrea Jenkins and Ilhan Omar. Two women out pushing the boundaries of identity and inclusion.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ll try to answer the first question. I’ve got four movie heroes who are distinctively themselves as they deal with a difficult world.

    1) Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, a sweet kid whose problem is that the government wants to turn him into a soldier. He’d just like to get along with others but his country has other plans for him.
    2) Lieutenant Columbo seems like a bumbling cop schlepping around in his rumpled raincoat and POS car, but he gets results. He is far more intelligent than he seems to be . . . which, of course, makes him my hero!
    3) Surrounded by angry, excited people, the Dude in The Big Lebowski is trying to keep mellow while coping with problems others create for him.
    4) In the movie 48 Hours Reggie Hammond is the black convict pressed into service as a cop’s assistant. Being a cop is a stretch for Reggie, to say the least, but he manages well enough by being brassy and mouthy.

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      1. I play that for the college kids often. None of them know it. I tell them to go ask their parents.
        “27 8×10 color glossy photos with circles and arrows on the back”… they just stare at me.
        The song came up on my playlist just the other day.You know he’s done a few different versions over the years. Including a more recent version where he talks about starting a movement.
        It gets to the end where you’re supposed to go into the office and tell the man “I want to Kill. Kill Kill Kill.” woah… better not do that anymore.

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      2. I also have parts of Alice’s Restaurant memorized. It’s amazing how often a quote from the movie is applicable in life. Of course, not too many people recognize those quotes anymore. Sad.

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  3. William Langer, the 17th and 21st governor of ND was quite a maverick and one of the most colorful politicians in ND history. Wikipedia says:

    “Langer was born on September 30, 1886 near Casselton, Dakota Territory, to Frank and Mary (Weber) Langer. His father, Frank Langer, was a member of the first legislature of the state of North Dakota. William was valedictorian of Casselton High School upon graduation in 1904. He obtained a bachelor of laws from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, but was too young upon graduation to practice law. He therefore continued his undergraduate education at Columbia, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1910. Although he was offered a position at a prominent New York law firm, he elected to return to North Dakota, where he practiced law in the town of Mandan before starting his career in politics.

    In 1914, Langer was appointed state’s attorney of Morton County and was one of a few non-farmers on the Nonpartisan League Republican 1916 state ticket. He was elected state attorney general as the newly formed NPL party swept to victory in the 1916 election, but soon clashed with the party’s founder and mercurial leader Arthur C. Townley. By 1920, Langer was publicly accusing Townley of Bolshevism, and failed in a primary campaign to replace the incumbent NPL governor Lynn Frazier as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Langer’s break with the NPL leadership was a reflection of the infighting that limited the party’s eventual influence on North Dakota politics.

    Langer eventually mended his rift with the NPL and was elected governor of North Dakota in 1932. As governor, Langer in 1933 required all state employees to donate part of their annual salaries to the NPL and to the Leader, a weekly newspaper owned by high-ranking officials in his administration. Collecting this money was not prohibited by state law and was a common, traditional practice. However, when donations were made by highway department employees, who were paid through federal relief programs, the US Attorney, P. W. Lanier charged that the donations constituted a conspiracy to defraud the federal government. Brought to trial in 1934, Langer and five co-conspirators were found guilty. The trial was presided over by Judge Andrew Miller and was prosecuted by U. S. District Attorney for North Dakota P. W. Lanier, two of Langer’s strongest political opponents in the state.[2]

    The first trial was littered with procedural errors which made it invalid on appeal, including improper and rigged jury selection (the jurors were alleged to have had personal bias against Langer and hand-picked by the prosecutor) and heavily biased and opinionated jury instructions.[2]

    Because of the felony conviction, the North Dakota Supreme Court ordered him removed from office, and on July 17, 1934, the Court declared Lieutenant Governor Ole H. Olson the legitimate governor. Langer gathered with about ten friends, declared North Dakota independent, declared martial law, and barricaded himself in the governor’s mansion until the Supreme Court would meet with him.[3] Langer eventually relented, and Olson served the remainder of Langer’s term as governor.

    In 1935 the convictions were overturned on appeal. The case against Langer was retried twice in 1935. Judge Miller, following a recusal motion by Langer, refused to step down as judge in the first retrial, which resulted in a hung jury. In between the second and third trials, U.S. Attorney Lanier filed charges against Langer for committing perjury in his recusal motion against Judge Miller. This trial, unprecedented in its nature on perjury in an affidavit requesting a recusal, resulted in a directed verdict to acquit Langer. The second retrial of the original charges, finally presided over by a judge other than Miller resulted in Langer’s acquittal.[2]

    Throughout all of the trials, Langer maintained that he was innocent and was the victim of a political vendetta from Judge Miller and U.S. Attorney Lanier, and was returned to the governorship in the 1936 election. Historian Lawrence Larsen calls him “a master of “political theater.”[4]

    He eventually went on to become a US Senator and was equally disruptive in Washington. The NPL eventually merged with the Democrats. Langer remained a Republican.

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    1. I like how he barricaded himself in the governor’s mansion. We have a new one now. The old one is still standing and is just an old three storey house in an old residential part of Bismarck. I can’t imagine it would have been hard to get him and his 10 friends out.

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      1. My next door neighbor at the time was the head of the Office of Statutes when Jessie was governor. More than once she or her staff had to stand outside for hours on a Friday night because he didn’t want to sign some bill.

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  4. Rochester’s Mayor is not running for re-election. Kim Norton filed earlier this week. And Regina Mustafa, a terrific young lady who’s been active in the Rochester scene the last year or so. They’re my favorite local mavericks.

    I didn’t watch the oscars and didn’t know about the speech Francis gave. Good for her. We’ve wanted to see that movie as well and haven’t got there yet.

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  5. Rise and Shine at 8:30pm Baboons,

    All day I have been trying to come up with the Maverick, with little luck until I saw the StarTrib main story this evening. High School students are demonstrating at the state capitol about gun safety.

    I Love These Kids. They are now my favorite group of mavericks.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My dad was a maverick. He represented a conscientious objector (Vietnam) early in the war, before it became a more accepted choice. He left his job with the state of Missouri to open his own practice so he could represent the other side – people who were having their land taken by the state. He had large weather balloons raised over the airport once (an airport noise lawsuit) and when the airport objected he went on television to say if the planes weren’t coming in too low, the balloons wouldn’t bother them. And he sued more than one other attorney because it was the right thing to do at the time (lawyers are supposed to stick together). I miss him.

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