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A few days ago I heard that Desperate Housewives star Kathryn Joosten had died in her seventies, after a battle with lung cancer. This was a bit sad (it always is when a famous person dies) but not particularly noteworthy, as I hadn't ever watched that particular show.

I knew I recognized the name, though, and finally placed it. Joosten also starred as Dolores Landingham, the president's secretary in the first two seasons of West Wing. I loved her character and hated it when she left the show, because she was such a sense of strength and brought so much subtlety to her performance. So as a rather belated memorial, here are two clips from her.

First, a clip from just after her funeral when she talks to Jed about running for reelectiong. Quintessential Landingham.

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And then the scene from "In Excelsis Deo" when Mrs. Landingham tells Charlie about her sons. This is a masterpiece in powerfully understated emotion.

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What a class act, and what a great actress. RIP, Kathryn.

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
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I had every intention of blogging about deep thoughts this morning before heading over to campus. A conversation with Dan Fincke over at FB has me thinking about how some atheists characterize religion, plus some reviews of Sam Harris's Free Will have me thinking about the purpose of incarceration - is it to punish or rehabilitate or protect the rest of us, and does that goal make sense in light of the latest neuroscience, etc. Deep thoughts all around; I do want to write about them in more depth.

But I'm feeling thoroughly curmudgeonly this morning. Mostly it's medical (a yeast infection means I feel too sore to move) but also the heat and weird sleep schedule - all of which means I'm in no frame of mind to deal with difficult, complicated topics with grace. :-S

I can, however, post some videos. I'm sorry to report that Doc Watson at eighty-nine has sailed west. Even at that age, it seems too soon; his music was a staple of my childhood. And following my tradition, whenever a musician dies, it's time for some music in memoriam:

First, Doc Watson by himself playing Gershwin's "Summertime":

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And also a truly first-class jam session with Doc Watson, Ricky Scaggs, and Earl Scruggs:

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