Sunday, February 24, 2008

Things I learned from tonight's Oscars

One of my favourite pieces of writing from the West Wing was lifted wholesale from Tom Hanks' Oscar acceptance speech.

"The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels..."

And here:
I would not be standing here if it weren't for two very important men in my life, two I haven't spoken with in a while but I had the pleasure of just the other evening - Mr Rawley Farnsworth, who was my high school drama teacher, who taught me 'Act well the part, there all the glory lies', and one of my classmates under Mr Farnsworth, Mr John Gilkerson.

I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age. I wish my babies could have the same sort of teacher, the same sort of friends.

And there lies my dilemma here tonight. I know my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.

We know their names - they number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all - a healing embrace that cools their fevers, that clears their skin, and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident, common-sense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all and was written down on paper by wise men, tolerant men, in the city of Philadelphia 200 years ago.


Alison said...

Don't you mean "Tom Hanks' Oscar acceptance speech was lifted wholesale from The West Wing"?

Or was I watching Hanks in a clip from a previous Oscar ceremony?

You know how it goes - I was doing six other things while watching the Oscars - did I miss the context?

john said...

It was Tom Hanks' speech when he won for "Philadelphia", in 1994. That episode of WW aired about 8-9 years later.