An excellent performance in an excellent movie, HUD, adapted from an excellent novel, Horseman, Pass By. Melvyn Douglas won an academy award for his portrayal of an old West Texas rancher facing a hard end to a hard life with as much dignity and integrity as a man can muster of his own accord. In a verbal lashing of a son who reflects the corrosive effects of a life lived gazing into a mirror, he tries to teach his young grandson that who and what a man admires says much about the man and his country. I was struck by this scene again today as I wondered what the people and objects that we desire in this country today say about us. My ruminations were not uplifting.