Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm a million miles away from the person who worships celebrities, feels like he knows them, etc. That said, I acknowledge the profound effect that creative arts and entertainment can have, and have certainly had on ME. Every once in a while, someone in entertainment will die before his time (to the extent that expression really means anything), and I feel, as one journalist said about the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, as though I've been robbed – that journalist nailed it, because the feeling of being "robbed" is precisely the way in which Hoffman's death strikes me (on a related note, I STILL miss Sam Kinison).
I realize that a lot of people in this realm who go relatively young do so because they reached the end of a self-destructive path, but I can still look grimly at that path while acknowledging the void created by the loss of the talent, as well as that which now exists in the personal human space of the loved ones left behind, and I do so here. Hoffman put his own unique and heavily-sought imprimatur on just about every role in which I remember him, and one of my favorites was his portrayal, in the film Charlie Wilson's War, of true-life CIA operative Gust Avrakotos, a two-fisted, "everyman" super-patriot who constantly butted heads with the CIA establishment elite while trying to rid the world of communism. What follows here is perhaps my favorite scene of that movie, as well as one of my favorite Hoffman scenes in ANY movie. RIP.