Losing the War

/ Teaching / Society / Survival / Evolution /

Lose a War – To a Superior Civilization

I just searched K. for a favorite quote I heard in 1970 and can’t find it: another casualty of the US censorng my domains. I’ll repeat the story real quick here. Upon founding FLEX I spent a lot of time in churches trying to forge alliances with social ameliorists. This and that protestant group, and more Catholic groups than I’d ever heard of. I repeated something that had appalled me to one of the Protestants: NYC cops, on public pay, were raising funds for Catholic churches. No one seemed offended. I was outraged. The pastor said, “There’s only one thing to be done: lose a war to a superior civiliazation!

Put it differently: a god, a superior force, correct coersion, is only only hope. Humans in themselves are not capable of proper behavior.

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Russians’ Trump Pee Tape

/ Teachering / Society / Epistemology / News /

2019 04 13 What’s this? Now we have rumors of tapes floating around of Trump and whores in a Moscow hotel peeing on each other? I lived my life happily without ever hearing of such things until the late 1970s: then my artist Rothe wanted me to make friends with a gallery in Virginia she’d been developing herself. The gallery owner turned out to be a cat freak, bred a particular race of cats, showed them: had friends and customers who bred and showed some other breed. The women were flirting with me, so were her employees: her framer was gorgious, and buxom, and didn’t keep her pants on for teen seconds once we were singing to each other out in the woods with a guitar. Anyway, these ladies’ gossip was goiung to cat shows in NYC: how gay the bulk of the male cat people were: how the main activity in NY at the Waldorf was the fags playing “golden showers”. That’s what they like to do: pee on each other, and film it.
gallery owner’s friend was a fag hag: she liked to be with fags, active fags. She remained dressed, just watched. I thought she’d yield eventually to my embraces: she didn’t. But my gallery owner began to look like whe wanted the same thing her framer had: me. The fag hag vaceted, and Miss Virginia asked me to instruct her in fellatio..Gladly. And I kissed her too, plenty. Very nice. And I never again, till today, hear any more about golden showers.

It now occurs to me, one reason a hotel like the Waldorf may have to be so obscenely expensive is knowing to clean the run every time a gang of fags party there.

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Ex-Post-Facto Facts

/ Teaching / Tools / Reason / Facts /

Russell Westbrook is amazing. I don’t like him, he rubs me the wrong way, but he’s amazing: a kamikaze on the basketball court. Game 1 of the 2018 Playoffs the Thunder announcer got himself fired. Russ executed an impossible feat of athleticism, the announder said, “He’s out of his cotton picking mind!”
Huh? Oh, some people are reminded of industrial scale southern ante bellum agriculture: cotton crops, black slaves for labor. Black slaves for no unions, no opposition …
Right. We’re a racist nation with a racist history: still steeped in racist euphemism: and double-talk.
I watch as many games as I can with my love. She’s way-more sophisticated about basketball than any other woman I’ve ever met: and, far more race conscious. She’s always asking me how many blacks are on the court. I don’t answer, I hadn’t notices, I don’t want to start noticing now. But that’s her background; not mine. Her family was garden variety Emerican: better than average, but not altogether better: better Christians than average; but by no means good Christians. Not a common species on earth.
Anyway, the Thunder guy says cotton-pickin’, the Thunder guy is out of a job.
Maybe the Thunder guy could partner up with this impossible Fox News bitch.

Anyway, the world is filled with people who voted for war, claiming they were voting for peace: voting for the status quo, whil claiming reform. people who voted for Nixon, but stopped saying so after Watergate: people who voted for Roosevelt, then change their minds.

When Judgment comes I want to ask God to tattoo everybody with icons for their political persuasion from year to year. What was our position on Saint Cyril in the Fourth Century? what was our position on Jews in the Fourth Century?

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Jog Log

/ Personal / Chat / Health

2018 04 16 I walked, jogged, and ran when I was dieting a decade or so ago: 2006ish. I’ve done crunches sporatially since: and walked, and biked; but not jogged or ran since then. Dance? I’ve danced my ass off for the past decade, but less so since Carole got sick and Jan knees and back have been bothering her. When I was driving I could dance with or without them, but not how. So: when my belly discusts me (as well as Jan) I have to respond locally: or kiss my ass goodbye. Good.
So I resumed jogging a bit upwards of a month ago: 2018 03 10: to now. I’ve exercised everyday but one; jogged every day but two. And I so humiliated. I’ve done it, but I don’t feel strong. Disgusting feeble runner. I walk a few hundred yards, then begin a slow, careful jog: for one, two, three hundred paces: scant yards. But I don’t feed stronger, I feel weeker. Wobbly, vulnerable.
It’s easier to measure effort on the bicycle: I can time myself on the odometer, by the clock: I peddaled for a half hour: that’s bound to be abut one miles.
Typically I bike the length of Brunns Road, following every curly que uclt de sac: Brunns Road, Sebring Gardens, Woohaven Estates, Fernway Street, Whispering Pines, Hammock Estates: about 5 mines.

Anyway, the proof is in my belly: and on the scale: one-sixty-soemthing? That’s not great but it’s not bad.My pants are falling down? That’s good: cinch them up with a safety pin.

2018 04 23 I’ve readded crunches: alternate side situps. I’m still weak, and a little rubber legged. a little accident prone: but I’m probably still better off with exercise than without. If I have a fatal accident with exercise, then it’s time to check out regardless.

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Vision Scrapbook

/ Stories / Themes /

Low Vision Lighthouse
2019 04 06 I was told I had “early-onset macular degeneration” twenty five years ago. My vision loss didn’t bother me appreciably till the lat few years. About a year ago The Lighthouse, a registered “charity”, called me, told me there’d be classes for coping with low vision coming up that I qualified to attend. Such classes with room for me finally arrived: now, after eight or so weeks, they’re about to conclude. I thank them and commend their efforts to help people losing their sight. I’m going to develop this module to tell low-vision stories. I used to have extra-good vision: maybe I’ll add a good vision story or two as well.

Some of my classmates are “legally blind”, others have “low-vision”. None of us are totally blind. But “blind” I realize is a condition of many degrees; it’s a continuum, not an either-or.

Watch me, I won’t look “blind” at all in some respects, then you may suddenly see: he’s worse than we thought.

I had the pleasure this Tuesday of telling one the faculty members that the main benefit I was getting from the meetings was the discovery that I’m very fond of the participants, on both sides of the “desk”. I’m especially fond of the stories fellow classmates tell against themselves and their disability: there’s humor (and humility) among the afflicted.

Nearly all the “faculty” members, our teachers here, are victives of low-vision themselves. I have the impression that all faculty members are themselves alumni of these classes.

One gal had us all laughing the other day a she narrated an adventure she had at home recently. She explained how she maps in her mind where her landmarks are: “the tree with the puddle at its baee is in that direction: if I keep it on my left I’ll be moving north …” Brenda’s husband calls her. She answers. “Coming.” Het feet start getting wet. Sure, she’s near the tree. Then her feet get wetter. Well, maybe it rained. Then her whole self is wet: … She’s walked into the pond!

For the last year the VA has been dragging its feet with respect to providing me with the proper eyewear.. They promise new glasses but don’t send them. They say I’m entitled to quality magnifiers; but havn’t sent me any such. It’s unbelievable to me to discover that one needs a prescription to buy strong magnification. I need 3x or 3.5x; opticians sell only weak magnification. Walmart will sell me whatever I need but wants to test me themselves, won’t take my word or the VA’s word.

Do you realize that once upon a time anyuone could buy arsenic? or opium? or cocaine?

Well, Lighthouse didn’t breat any speed records getting me mine. Just the lat two weeks.
Ah, finally, I have all the magnifiers I need. Why didn’t I have them a year ago?

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Movie Scrapbook 1

/ Movies /

Businesslike Beauty
2017 03 19 Jan and I willl watch Les Damoiselles de Rochefort, Jacques Demi, this evening. I’m really looking forward to it: Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, Jean Kelly … Michel LeGrand. I’m reminded of a favorite TV moment from around 1970. TV had an ad that promised Catherine Deneuve as a guest on the Dick Cavett Show. Oh goody, I like him and I love her.

thanx tasteofcinema

The hour arrived, Cavett announced her, she walked out, and Cavettt’s face froze. Deneuve didn’t miss a beat: she said, “You’re startled that I’m not very pretty.””Um, er, yes, said Cavett, missing only a fraction of a beat himself.
“The camera likes me,” explained the most beautiful silver screen star of the 1960s.
Fantastic. No ego. She knew who she, she knew what she was, she didn’t waste time worrying about what she wasn’t.
Photogenic, a first-rate actress. Move on. Bravo belle.

Santa’s 34th Miraculous Theology
2018 03 03 I saw Miracle on 34th Street (1947) in its original run, saw it again this week. Nathalie Woods’s death again in the news dealt the prompt. I liked it as a kid; held it in contempt this time but loved the current exposure. The plot comes straight out of Dickens: David Copperfield mocks “education” obessed with “facts”; would prefer us all going mushy-mushy. Maureen O’Hara plays the “reality”-obsessed mother, says she honors the truth but tells noting but lies: truth is sacrificed to career. Natalie Wood is her Dickensian daughter: tells Santa to his face she doesn’t “believe in him.”
There’s a trial in Manhattan’s court house on Pearl Street. Everyone interrupts everyone, the prosecutions makes rulings for the court without consulting the judge, the judge is a sychophant to the pols anyway. The court deludes itself that it’s competent to decide on Santa’s identity: there’s a cute moment when a convoy of mailben deliver 50,000+ dead letter office letters to Santa. The PO is answerable to the fed, the state supreme court bows to the fed, no state’s rights here.
The movie is pitched to people who know better than to get into controversial arguments, especially where Black Friday is concerned. By a white whisker, commercialism is safe, safe as popp mythology: white kleptocrats are Christian, Christians are nice …
more in a min
Fed versus States
Versus the town of Appaloosa
2018 01 19 Appaloosa, the 2008 movie, is pretty cute. I make space here to try to say a couple of things about it, my difficulty being that I’m getting older, and blinder and deafer faster than I can compose new K. modules. So screw me, screw all of us, I’ll try anyway, ever repeating the same learning failures.

American easterns showed British Puritans, WASPs, thinking that WASP civilization had a right to displace “wilderness”. Westerns showed American WASPs, utterly innocent of memory, making the same wrong assumptions over again, and all over again: bumping rudely into the cosmos, and learning nothing. Appaloosa does a cute job of the same and with an intriguing cast. Ed Harris is so macho-photogenic; Ariadna Gil is so female in herself that she alone is a stellar excuse for exposing film and sharing the result. Plenty of other male thespians demonstrate that male character actors display multi-talents: Timothy Spall, Lance Henriksen …
But never mind any of that, here’s what I really love: the infinite set of wrong assumptions: WASPs being WASPs: grow a town: now fill it with violations of God-alone – trinity fallacies. Pretend that men have the political right to write laws: then divide: then repeat: write a constitutions, pretend to derive principals out of it, bump against experience, learn nothing.
Men write the Bible, blame it on God: lie, and lie, longer and longer, then write secular hubris: learn nothing.
Appaloosa reiterates fed vs state bull, over and over.
It all adds up to a display in a cosmic wax works, see? they learned nothing! But, boy, did they look good doing it!

Chapter Two
When I was a kid the idea that God had a right to declare laws seemed to simply come with human culture. The idea that humans lacked the knowledge, the wisdom to dictate laws also seemed to be mere common sense: until the “Enlightenment”: then, suddenly, Jefferson’s declarations seemed natural, sense saturated. Preposterous.

I just read someone’s online sarcasm that racism seemed to be OK so long as it was whites who were being put down. Yes, it’s ironic, indeed; but not unreasonable. I don’t doubt that non-whites have comparable capacities for evil, and, if you look around, there are bad behaviors everywhere; but: the Jew in the concentration camp can’t afford to worry about what the watusi might do to him, in a different universe; what you most want is the Nazi to stop what he’s doing, right now. Sure you can theorize about how the blond might rape the brute in a different world; but this world has some claim on coming first: to those tortured.

Anyway, I iterate: orthodox monotheism holds that man is no good, by nature. Even if you doubt that position, it still doesn’t follow that the human who maybe isn’t automatically so evil, so irrational is therefore now capable to writing philosophy and not looking like a horse’s ass.

Hayek as Frida
2017 12 18 Jan and I rented Frida, Salma Hayek’s great bio pic. I’ve already mentioned it several times, but never with more love or enthusiasm than this time. One awesome thing is watching Hayek play Frida as a mischievous your girl. Switching back and forth between cripple and exuberant girl is no mean feat either. Meantime, seeing a little Rivera / Rockefeller history is welcome. I also commend the music track! Wonderful. I also urge everyone to read Salma Hayek’s oped piece on sexual harassment from Harvey Weinstein! Revealing look at the zillion classes of rape.

Safety Last
2017 11 27 One day I was walking from 52nd Street toward Time Square. On 7th Avenue in the 40s a burst of laughter stopped me. There was a ghostly silence, then another burst of laughter. I loked around. Apart from a uniformed doorman, there was no one around. I was in the space in front of a theater, day time, mid day. Another peel of laughter made me notice the sandwich board by a pair of speakers near the curb. The sandwich board read “The mike is ‘live, the laugher you hear is going on inside right now.” Another gasping silence, another peel of laughter. I followed the speaker cord to the curb, I looked up. There was animated mannikin of a man hanging from a clock. The marquee read Harold Lloyd Festival.
It would have been the early 1960s. Maybe I was in the army, stationed downtown at Whitehall Street, living uptown, Morningside Heights with my girl friend. Or maybe I was in graduate school: should be home, studying. But I bought a ticket, entered the theater. The laughter from the speakers blended seamlessly with live laughter. I looked at the screen and found myself laughing in perfect rhythm with the living audience.. I couple of hours later I joined the spill from the theater,exhausted, purged, by laughter.
As a kind I saw Charlie Chaplin again and again. I saw plenty of the Marx Brothers too. In the mid 1950s a feature made the rounds, silent comedy: plenty more Chaplin, Marx, Buster Keaton, a but if WC Fields, Ben Turpin … Fatty Arbuckle, Mack Sennet’s Keystone cops: laugh myself sick. But I’d barely heard of Harold Lloyd. Now there he was, I’d seen a couple of hours of him.
Now all you need is to go to YouTube, request Safety Last, and laugh to exhaustion.

2017 11 20 Masterpiece! Full of things to discover, genius, inspiration engulphment. I’d never seen or heard of Seraphine Louis: here we meet her and her many overlapping talents: painter, paint chemist chef. Her compositions evoke ideas about the cosmos and its structures way ahead of classical physics, anticipating chaos, fractals … The actress who plays her is a treasure. It’s also wonderful to meet her discoverer, her paytron, developer, manager, fan. And she wasn’t his only discovery: Rousseau I’ve known and loved since the mid 1950s. There’s great art and important history galore, the movies many types of makers head over heels with their subject.
How come so many early Twentieth-Century artists were institutionalized? VanGopgh, Claudel … Now I have to see Claudel 1915 again.

Arthur Penn Again
2017 11 13 The Chase, 1966: Marton Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, EG Marshall … and a whole bunch of Texas white party tush. It missed me altogether in 1966, I caught it last night for the first time, now I have to watch it again if I hope to follow the plot with anything like accuracy. My impression first time araoune, aided by my beloved Jan, holding her hand making it all bearable:
Robert Redford breaks out of jail, accompanied by a bad guy. The bad guy mugs some guy for his cash and his car, killing him. As the movie progresses it seems that Redford was serving his sentence for somebody else’s crime entirely. So: we have two types of convict: the innocent (or only slightly guilty) and the guilty. Redford tells his accomplice to take it easy on the victim: too late, he’s already killed him. Redfored gets fingerprints all over the fresh corpse. (Is that possible? Finger prints on belts and bucks, sure, on corneas, bot “all over”?)
Before I proceed let me assure K. visitors, reminding repeat visitors, that pk does not believe in human laws or human courts or human judgments: where guys are in jail it’s always society that’s the villain.
Notice, Hollywood in its automatic value systems is very like pk, all anarchist, but only for the belly of the movie, for climax, we’re all fascists, Nazis.
This movie is worth visiting for its cast: all these hippy, fat-bottomed women.
Redford and associate escape, associate kills driver, drives off, leaving Redford, “Bubber”, without money, transportation: an American Robinson Cruso.
Meantime, it’s Arthur Penn’s universe: the white people “own” everything, none of the ownership legitimate, none of it visibly endorsed by God. The blacks have clearly been pushed down, hard: so too the Mexicans. The society is conqueror, and conquered: conquered last year, conquered this year: and forever. (Except to watch Hollywood / TV revisions of culture: the remake will have to show Everybody’s best friend is a black couple: oh, and spics too.)
Everybody is very rich, about to get very much richer, or very poor, about to lose everything.
Redford’s wife is Jane Fonda, she’s having an affair with Redford’s best friend. Redford’s other best friend is a black guy: and we get the full panoply of racist sabotage from the very rich, about to get richer, kleptocrats. But dig it: maybe Redford’s “crime” was actually committed by his black friend? See? he’s no racist! The black guy, lives in a junk yard: lots of ald wrecks, nothing runs.
I’ll breathe for a moment, and return. Meantime, remember, this is Penn: Bonny and Clyde
And meantime, anticipate this question: who pays for the destroyed junk yard? All the drunken orgying white kleptocrats invade the black guy’s junk yard: it’s junk, but it’s his home: and he’s one of the heroes here. They sabotage the place, burn and destroy. How is the bill presented?
Or, like everything else, will it have to wait till Judgment?
When God presents all the bills, will God also see that they get paid?

Shit on the Menu
2017 11 09 I’m watching an offensively vulgar teen flick, Jennifer’s Body. Mothers of teens say “shit” obsessively: ditto “fuck”. The lead girl, a demon apparently, dismisses the creep with the pierced lip slirting with her, aside to her friend, “My dick is bigger than his”. Fortunately I didn’t pay money to attend a theater, I’m just watching it on the Mac: therefore I can bailout at any time. And I have, more than twice; but thus far I keep going back. I like the friend, played by Amanda Seyfried: there are moments when the girl, Megan Fox, is attractive, sexy …
Meantime, I reminded oof an episode I had in a restaurant in the early 1970s. Manhattan, evening, Chinese cuisine probably. I was dining solo, three women were there, presumably as friends, and everyother word out of their mouths was “shit”: I’m tring to eat, and these girls are going “shit,” “shit,” “shit,” “shit,” “shit,” “shit” … “shit”. Liberated? or just plain filthy?
The trouble with liberation is how it enslaves passers bye.
After a while I said, “You say shit so often: is it on the menu? It should be the only dish served to girl-unrestrained by courtesy.:
Who else was discomoded? Maybe no one, just a buhch of Chinese waiters in the backc, English alien to them.

Something else I watch on the Mac is a series called Life Below Zero. I’ve been sampling it an episode at a time, in order, for months: I really like it. There’s a guy, Andy” building a greenhouse above the arctic circle with his long-suffering wife, Kate. Andy says they’re free: they don’t have to ask anyone’s permssion to build: they don’t need to ask for guidance: no one is within hundreds of miles. Right.
Freedom isn’t a matter of politics; it’s a matter of population. If Andy and Kate of the only ones around they won’t need nukes very often.

Broad Consequences
2017 10 29 I rented the DVD for The Fellowship of the Ring thinking I’d be seeing it for the second time. I didn’t much like the Tolkien novels; still I presumed I would have seen the leading movie sometime within a decade of its release. No: I’d never seen a foot of Fellowship, I bet I’d avoided all of them. There’s a telling moment in Fellowship I choose as a cornerstone for the whole schmear:
Our heroes are laboring to transport the ring to Mt Doom, there to destroy it, as a key blow against evil. They’re all armed, wear armor, carry shields: feudal military preparation: there are broad swords, a bow, an ax … chain mail … Understand please: the broad sword is for severing limbs at a blow: decapitation, amputation. The broadsword is not a foil: not a quick light stabbing weapon; neither is it an epee: a quick stabbing weapon: pierce the guy’s wrist, I guarantee you’ll slow him down, make him think twice.
Understand further, feudal militaries typically carried their own seapons to battle: if you had a broadsword, it was your father’s, your grandfather’s. If your father didn’t have a family weapon, then you cut a tree from the wood, fashioned a pole: use it as a spear, as a club, as a staff: ward off attacks.
So our Ring fellows are practicing the broad-sword. But they’re handling the broad-swords, 1) as though they were quick, light slashing weapons: a saber; 2) as though they were mass-prduced, replaceable. No, no: it took your family generations, centuries to acquire a broad-sword: your farmer-neighbors were arming with a ploughing stick, with a tree root.
Anyway, there’s a slip with one of the broad-swords-being-used-as-an-epee, somebody’s finger gets scratched: Ow, that hurts! All mock hostilities instantly sease. Oh, I’m so sorry, Gee, I didn’t know anyone could get hurt.
Christ, no: the broadsword is for separating a target from half his shoulder and all of his right arm: anything less doesn’t count, not so much as a scratch.
Soon the fellows find themselves amid an army of armoured, broad-sword-weilding arcs, an infinitude of them: clones, clearly mass created, with pointy teeth, snot-saturated nosey faces.
Sean Bean looks like he could fight with a broad-sword, maybe Viggo Mortensen could too, a little; but not the old wizard, not the elvin princesses, and certainly not the hobbits, who seem to be born middle-aged and over-weight.

The Fellowship‘s cavalier attitude toward heavy-weight weaponry reminds me of a terrifying casualness about armaments I grew up with but hadn’t encountered so much in recent decades: a dance friend and her husband invited me to one of their Tea Party meetings. I went cause I like her and hope we’ll socialize more once my Jan returned from Nova Scotia: I’m getting to like her husband too a bit. Anyway, I attended a meeting with them, the North Korans had recently been acting up, throwing weight around, trying a little rhetorical terror. One Tea Partier spoke up: “It’s simple! Nuke ’em!” We certainly have plenty of nukes, have for three-quarters of a century: it’s ineplicable how come we haven’t nuked the whole world yet: it’s simple!
What I have never understood, is, has, at least two faces: Americans seem to think that God gave us nukes because we’re special, God wants us to thrive, to prevail. Somehow “therefore” no one else could invent or build nukes: nukes are a “secret”. Einstein saw whet they could be, Einstein tried to convince Roosevelt that he should think about developing nukes to defeat Germany, give the Jews a cance, and make billions for the armorers.
The government bureaucrats who believe that treason and theft are the only possible ways for nukes to proliferate show that what we’re up against is a stupidity that may as well be infinite: intelligence is what cannot be replicated.: there’s no place for imaginative caution. That Tea Party guy imagined himself and his allies to be safe from consequences; I see broad consequences: broad and deep.

2017 10 02 Issued 1975, I only just saw it. Well, some of it was good: to very good; but overall … Actuall no, the cast is good, the females fabulous.

John Wayne/Ford
2017 08 15 Last night I watched The Quiet Man. The Irish setting had me instantly near tears. We associate Ford with his mythic western landscape, Monument Valley. But Oh, is he a wonderful painter of Ireland. I don’t like Ford’s patriotism: belligerent bullies. Then again, there’s something about Wayne: he so gorgeous, my eyes are misting.
He overdid it, for way too long. By the end he was a fat old man, abusing livestock by riding a horse. But oh, my god, from Stagecoach to The Quiet Man so was so gorgious: himself and his phis, the best propaganda.
I ordered the movie to resee it, after many decades of not having seen it; but I soon realized I’d never seen this movie. All the cast is great.

I catch things I don’t know when I would have first noticed them had I seen this mobvie in the 1950s: the John Wayne character is reluctant to fight his brother-in-law “because” a ring opponent is supposed to have died; but he too “quiet” a man to say so! Similarly his woman, boy oh boy, Irish redheads! gets away with murder on his hearth: he could break her like a twig, but he does’t: and when he’s perceived as being ready to it’s neighboring women who deliver whipping switches to him, with instructions, for its use and her improvement.

I was watching, at home, alone, but even had Jan been here, the whip might have slid by unremarked on.

Meantime, one other thing very interesting: This is a Hollywood movie wherever it was filmed.: and symbolically it’s Irish. But what Irish? Northern Irish? Norman Irish? Protestant Irish? or standard Irish, Roman Catholic Irish, a thorn in England’s side Irish.

If the Irish, the RC Irish, were marching on Charlottesville to honor lynch culture, would there be any ambiguity about what they meant?

Apparently Ford’s own life is ambiguous on the point: he was raised RC, but his wife was a divorced Protestant.
Note, these Irish priests in this fictitious Inisree, are married! That’s Church of England! That’s English Catholic; not English Protestant.

Wayne Note
We all know John Wayne was called Duke. What I didn’t know till browsing wikipedia last night is that the young Wayne was inseparable from a large firehouse dog, an airedale terrier, called “Duke”. Wayne himself, soon to be 6’4″, was called “Little Duke”. I think that’s hilarious.

The Wayne character was born in Inisfree but raised in Pittsburgh: goes back to Inisfree as Home!
Ford was born in Maine: but I can see him going “back” to Ireland: both RC & P!

Shane Kung Fu
2017 08 07 I’ve now sampled the first five minutes of a kung fu chick flick. The girls battle on the roof of a Hong Kong skyscraper. They were beautiful, skilled, acrobatic, fine. Then we see one of the pair arm wrestling some guy: she pins him. But it’s fiction! So what? anything can happen in fiction: Alan Ladd can beat up all the bad guys in the bar, Alan Ladd can outdraw Jack Palance.
There are rules of course. and the studio has to guess what they are. Whether the investors earn or lose depends on those guesses: one year the chink can get a lick in, another year there better not be any chink at all! (And if it’s a North Korean, how could we tell?

I’ll suspend my disbelief this month, but don’t assume it next month. And don’t think it’s conscious. We “know” some of what we believe, we’re at least partly aware of all the propaganda we’ve been fed. This month we seem oh so liberal, but don’t bet the farm. And if you get away with it once, don’t try for twice.

Me? I’ve had enough of these chix fights for the time being.

Homer on the Half Shell: Hollywood Atheism
2017 07 23 Just wrote theMarcus: Think with me:
The Ware That Killed Achilles made me itch to see Troy again, however ridiculous some of the stars looked, Bama, Bloom, Brad Pitt looked and moved or seemed to move fabulous. But by the time Paris fights Menalaus something was bothering the hell out of me:
Hollywood showed Achilles by showing Brad Pitt in costume, Hollywood showed Helen by dressing Kruger in a role, Hollywood showed Troy by building a model on Crete or somwehre, but when it comes to Zeus reasoning with Hera or Poseidon planning this or that, atheist Hollywood showed nothing.
Achilles visits with his mother at the shore, she’s a nymph, immortal, but when Aphrodite whisks Paris home to bed in the middle of his fight, misting men’s eyes as Homer is so fond of doing, Hollywood shows Nothing!

Hollywood is hilarious, Jews tiptoeing around Christian toes. Why? How do they make their diceisions? are the bankers present at every decision? I wish Homer were.
How come you can cast a nymph with a human actress but can’t cast the gods and goddesses at all?
Let’s film the Passion again, but next time without Jesus!

2017 07 22 Reading Caroline Alexander’s The War That Killed Achilles whetted my appetite to see Troy again. I’d liked a number of things about it when it came out, especially Brad Pitt as Achilles. So I ordered Troy from Netflix. Now I’m still watching it, bits at a time, liking it, enjoying the hell out of the casting for the most part, but also hating aspects I’d swallowed last time. Hollywood here has plenty of gall but no nerve for Homeric theology. For instance, the gods play active roles in the Iliad, but not in the Brad Pitt Troy. Paris, the fairy, challenges Menelaus: females both diving and human are suckers for Paris, Paris is snatched from his battle, Aphrodite befuddling Menelaus’ senses, and deposits Paris in bed back in Troy amid all his damn women, bathing him, stroking him, tending to his wounds and his ego. Homer shows the goddes interfering, why won’t Hollywood show it? The gods are “half” of the epic.
At least they showed Thetis in dialogue with Achilles. His mother is not a goddess but an immortal nymph. At least they cast Julie Chrisie!
Hollywood doesn’t scruple to show an immortal, but balks at a divine immortal.

For decades, at least six or seven decades, I’ve ranted against Hollywood unfamiliarity with war, with weapons: the combatants fail to harm each other with swords, say 36″ long, and never connect, never inflict hamr; so they punch each other in the jaw, with no extention but the fist, and always connect. In Hollywood prepubescent girls can shoot the bow, can be accurate; male archers always drop their bow-holding hand befor releasing the arrow: they would never hit anything, but they all live to make the same mistake tomorrow, and the next day … In Ivanhoe they drop their bow hand, in Troy: always, the bow-hand drops. They shoot themselves in the foot.
2017 08 19 I was just watching The Hunger Games, Mockingjay. Jennifer Lawrence plays a girl who’s supposed to have proved that she’s lethal with the bow. She’s introduced, takes aim, holds the pose: and, just as she lets fly, her expression dedicated, stoic, she drops her bow hand!
No, the stupid movie does not show her shooting herself in the foot.
You know, some of the movie toughies, Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, really were tough, really could fight: but can any of them shoot an arrow on a true course? There’s be an army worth of them if bows were still in use. As is, it’s all fantasies, for feminist females.
Jennifer Lawrence’s ass is from here to there. Her boson is always on hand, stentorian. And if she’s no on hand, Milana Vayntrub is. So bless us all.

Unique Genius
2017 07 19 I’m watching Creation: Charles Darwin fathering his beloved ten year old daughter Anne, while she’s still alive, bless her. Jennifer Connelly plays Mama. Now tell me, how can Jennifer Connelly be so heartbreakingly beautiful in so many brilliant people roles? Charles Darwin’s wife? Wife to maths geniuses … She’s not the genus, but it’s clear that she belongs: even if she sabotages the men’s work.
They love her: and we love her too. Extraordinary.

2017 08 08 Watching BBC’s Middlemarch I see Juliet Aubrey embodying similar talents.

The Devil’s Advocate
2017 06 24 The other day Jan didn’t recognize Charlize Theron: so I named a few of her titles: still no recognition: so I ordered The Devil’s Advocate: quality from multiple sources: and we saw it last evening: she for her first, me for at least the third time: wonderful casting, funny script … But there’s at least one thing I hate about it. No, not them duplicating a plot twist of mine from a story of 1969 or so; no: their lame brained indulgence in the illiterate confusion between lawyers as stadning up for the law and lawyers as disgustingly paid knights errant. A trial is supposed to establish facts: that’s a goal separate from whethr or not the facts are repugnant. This flick establishes a straw man and palms it as a heroic struggle. The math teacher appears to be an abuser of underage girls: the school fed the pervert a stream of victims. It’s our young-lawyer-hero’s first case: and he’s suffering a non-existent crisis / whether to deend the skumball. No, no, no, no: the law requires the scumball to be defended: that one of the most basic delusions of state-based government, centralized power.
Humans know that they’re not very good at determining truth and that truth-telling is punished, not rewarded: a Jesus needs an outside source of energy. Simultaneously humans fall for the same state/church trick every time: if the people doubt that the church has a special relation to truth, then the king does: if this king doesn’t then that king does: revolution, revolution, revolution, with nothing important every changing for long. And if we put Newon in the palace then Newton’s son will be an idiot, or his daughter, his friends. If the republicans have about as much integrity as a Mississippi gambler, then oust them and enthrone democracy: or believe in communism instead: the early Christians did.
The early Christians believed a lot of balderdash, just like the later Christians.
Anyway, the current imbecility believes in rituals of law: if the communists and the royalists are similarly stupid then our survival will be entirely the result of luck: bad luck, we survivce.
Well this flick has Al Pacino as a Satan, Satan has a son, the lawyer, Satan steers resources to his son and heir: he wins case after case as prosecutor, then wins case after case as defense attorney, Satan always seeing that the guilty win, the guilty get off, the no-good lawyers live in the pentshouse.
That’s funny: Satan up top; just the reverse of usual theo-cosmology.
Anyway, our bed of delusions preaches that “fair trials” are a constitutional right, descended from all those churches, palaces, political parties. Satan’s son is good at it, his wife isn’t so sure, and … never mind; the accused’s defense attorney is still supposed to work to see that certain core rituals are observed: stack the jury, then declare the schmuck guilty: or innocent.
So what’s duplicated from my story? I had a solipsist being driven crazy by the noise of civilization: a neighbor is dragging boxes, the solipsist freaks out: “I know how to stop you!” And he blows his own brains out.
Steven King used the same gag: decades after I did.
Note: civilization doesn’t know what’s what if it allows the liars and the cheaters control over the “facts”.
We say we tried this and that: we don’t know what we tried: the media, the Times, the Library … something sould have to be truthful. Infallible.
But never mind: Charlize Theron is gorgeous, so is Satan’s daughter, the lawyer’s sister, Connie Nielsen. Jan loved it.

Inter-Species Intra-Tribal Warfare
The Jungle Book (2016 film)
2017 05 26 Disney’s Jungle Book is something else, great voice acting, great everything: but best of all for me today is the coincidence of watching it climax within hours of reading Chapter II ff. of Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday. In traditional warfare groups form alliances, change alliances … States form, and war continues with alliances, betrayals … In this Kipling-based movie the wolves ally with the bear and the panther allies against the tiger, against the orangutang, the monkeys … Absurdly anthropomorphic? Sure, but not obnoxiously so. The deep symbolism is profound.
2017 06 21 Last evening I showed E.T. to Jan, she seeing it for the first time. Menacing federally organized, key-bearing adults scare the ets among California forest and hills: the aliens take off in their ship, our ET is left behind: he hides in the toolshed of our particular family, doesn’t hide too well, is found by our Elliott. Children and aliens are shown as natural allies, war is shown as natural between divorced families and federally organized adults: no fair play but lots of Terry Gilliam technology, nonsense ducts, tubes, plastic. But it’s all ET’s fault anyway: what an oaf to get separated from his group. Why didn’t the aliens nuke the adult feds? Why didn’t they burn everything, then study it?
Why? ’cause it’s Hollywood.

I grew up believing war could be fixed, racism could be transcended, ignorance overcome. I was deeply offended to notice that Hitler believed that war is inevitable, why not try to win it? to profit from it? Now I agree with Hitler, but don’t expect anyone can “win” anything for long. “Profit” from destroying the environment? Absurd.

This is a famously loveable movie, but it sure breaks a bunch of standards for stupidity.
Steven Spielberg references Peter Pan in parallel throughout. Faith-based magic, healing powers: no consequences that can’t be overcome: so long as morons run society.

ET sure does cast for adorable children: the blond girl in the frog-dissection class is world-class female: the one Elliot climbs on a human ladder to kiss. So I looked her up! Damn if this Erika Eleniak didn’t become a Playboy model! But she was totally beautiful in ET, twelve or thirteen years old!

Now there’s a fuss about some kid going to North Korea, getter mashed, railroaded: who before dumb Americans would have thought cultural trespassers should be safe?!

Download Diamond’s Yesterday: Check out the photograph of the first encounter:

That‘s what ET would look like! realizing he‘s for dinner!

Once upon a time people were wary to venture from their hearth to their yard. Go back far enough and you didn’t dare to have a yard. You cowered in the cave, there were no yards. The were extremely wary to venture through their style to the neighbors. If your neighbor didn’t have you for dinner yesterday does not mean that he won’t have you for dinner today. It helps if you saw him in church last month. Maybe you were an usher at his daughter’s wedding. It doesn’t matter: watch your back, watch your front, watch your sides. Recognize that you’re a hypocrite. It stands to reason that you’re a hypocrite. It helps to believe that you control your God, that God forgives you, no matter what you do, even if you crucify and torture his own son. He wants to forgive you, the fool.
If you don’t trust him you can always trust Hitler.

English Bob’s Englishmen
2017 04 08 Just saw Clint talking about Unforgiven, Richard Harris, English Bob. Richard Harris, Irish of course, leapt at the chance to have the part. He reports England emptying its jails of murderers, rapists, arsons to enforce “peace” on Ireland. So glad to learn that! I’ve hailed Unforgiven as Clint’s greatest movie since it came out: I’m glad now to double down on that opinion.

School Bored Dykes
2017 04 06 I’d heard good things about Lillian Hellman all my life. I remember my mother in the 1950s commewnting that Hellman was famous for her dialogue. I didn’t doubt it but somehow I never experienced it. Later in the ’50s I read and revered every word printed of Dashiell Hammett’s. I heard that Hellman was is girlfriend. I heard they were targets of the anti-Commies, I heard they were censored, persecuted:
just like Jesus! just like me!
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Netflix provided me with a barrage of Hammett / Hellman film footage. Ooo, and Hollywood got attractive casts to portray them: Jane Fonda, Jason Robarts.
Last night Jan and I watched The Children’s Hour: Two women, friends from college, work to succeed with a girls’ boarding school: rich parents send their daughters, influential friends help. Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine as the school marms who try to discipline one of the girls: everything blows up in their face. The girl convinces her rich grandma that the two marms are lessies. The girl doesn’t exactly know what that is, neither does grandma, neither does the society as a whole: perfect for witch-hunting: no one knows anything, everyone is convinced that they don’t have to know anythinng, God is on their side. If God is on your side you don’t need facts: you don’t need a valid epistemology: burn everyone at the stake.
Grandma gets key parents to pull their girls from the school. Our marms go broke over night.

Where’s pk in all this? I’m the deschooler. My FLEX offered society an internet of community-resource data bases: in 1970! Everyone seemed to understand what it was about: eschewing control! The public was invited to fund its own freedom. It didn’t. Instaed, the kleptocrats reached into all our pockets and funded repression: this internet: controlled information; not free at all. We paid, and paid.
We’ll go extinct, and will never know why: can’t find two brains to rub together to make one intelligent creature.
Well: Hammett had been published, made money, was famous. Hellman wrote some hits, also made money: with his help, but she also had the talent: in some ways greater than his. Then they got sandbagged: House UnAmericans! Gee, just like the school marms in Lillian’s play!

So, The Childrens’ Hour was an autobiography, staged in 1934! though Hellman didn’t get schmeered until the 1950s!

Notice: we know a little about all this now in 2017, but we don’t know it all. We will never know it all. The kleptocracy can’t know much as still be a kleptocracy. The witchhunters betray science, abandon reason, have no right to any quorum of facts. The witchhunters say they have the facts, that real facts don’t matter: not while they have control.
Notice: human kleptocratic nature makes science impossible: but that doesn’t stop the saboteurs from claiming that they support science.

Meanwhile, kudoes to the cast. Audrey Hepturn and Shirley MacLeaine are marbvelous. The school girls were good. The grandma is great. Fay Bainter!

I’m growing blinder by the day. Very hard for me to edit, to spell check. I can keep working while I live but the quallity takes a plunge-dive.

Under Age

Niki Reed tongue stud
thanx 13

2017 04 05 the web was blathering this morning about whether or not Alec Baldwin know how old Niki Reed was when he, at 47 or so, filmed a racy scene or two with her. I was thinking that I didn’t know who she was but then it occurred to me that I had seen a movie called Thirteen. Ah so.
Now I ask how many people realize what a tongue stud is: on a young girl, a woman, a whore. Recall the line in Pulp Fiction: John Travolta askses the drug dealer’s wife why she has a stud in her tongu: “It help in fellation,” she says.
And now I remember the student screed at Colby in 1969 or so: some revolutionary laced his essay with four letter words, as though vulgarity equated with political courage. He omitted the three tail letters: s—, f—, c—, c— … Except for “fellatio: that one our revolutionary spelled out. Ah, thought I, whose office mailbox had been stuffed with this raunch, he doesn’t know what it means!!!
But I know what it means. and Quentin Tarantino knows what it means.
Does the 13 year old girl know what it means when she gets her tongue pierced?

I remember streaks of good blow jobs I’ve had from young women. (In one I was in my forties, the girl had to be coming up on twenty. I met her as she ran the rope tow at Hunter Mountain: I was riding the rope tow with bk: he was still a child.)

What’s mama supposed to think when she sees her little girl hardwared like a street whore?

2017 04 05 Jan and I love Cole Porter. But we didn’t get hold of Can Can till last week: just in time for my audio to be off-base. Today I install new speakers, marvelous, but the other evening we went ahead and suffered the old audio. Loved it, loved it despite.
On first view, I, testing the system alone, reacted as my Puritan self: Can Can is obscene, disgusting. Frank Sinatra struck me as Wrong for gay Paree, his friendship with Maurice Chevalier was forced, Shirley MacLaine’s cabaret-madame was slutty … Ah, but then watching with Jan I simply loved all of it: as I love all of her.
Mostly though we were loving Cole Porter: and Cole Porter’s Paris. Ooo la la la, c’est mangifique. I love Paris in the springtime …
Actually, I don’t know Paris at all, not in person. But Jan does, Spain too. And last week we indulged in some Flamenco.
2017 04 07 Apropos, last night we streamed Gentlemen Prefer Blonds: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell: beaucoup material for pk the Puritan to despise. I’ve seen much of Hollywood cenematic whoredom not in the 1950s but personally past 50, especially past 60: and in my 70s. So it’s with adult consciousness that I see things as a Puritan and as a highly experienced rake. Gentlemen and Can Can have multiple overlapping identities. Again it’s Paris that American meritricious profiteering chooses for its hunting park: morality, law … is strictly for our amusement, our benefit. Everyone, wink-wink-wink, is in on the fix.
pk is Puritan, pk is also the spoil-sport. MM & Jane wiggle their femaleness and all I see is a guy on his knees getting a wet fart in his face.
Notice: of course notning is more Puritanical (or more hypocritical) than Hollywood itself. It knows pussy-lust, it knows women as exploited exploiter. And just the other week Jan and I watched a Degas DVD, wonderful, all those gentlemen patrons sitting in their private boxes as their ballet-whores perform on the stage. Never for an instant though confuse English gentlemen and French gentlemen: different species. Both human, both kleptocrat, both hypocrite, but as different as Church of England(/Libertarian) / Catholic.

2017 04 08 It’s also wonderful to reflect on my Puritanism in the context of reading Steven Johnson’s great Wonderland: shopping as choreographed misdirection, church substitute, Byzantine Baroque.

I remember being handed my first porn. I was being gang-marched through the halls of my grade school, no latter than the sixth grade and no earlier than not much before then when some kid shoved a paper into my hand: like newspaper, blurry, not clear. It took me a second to decode it: it was a bare-breasted girl with her elbow thrown up and out. The gesture made her bosom stretch over a lot of ground. Bare, yes; big, no; expansive, yes. Who was that kid? Lenny? Could well have been. I eventually learned that Lenny was much older thyan the rest of us, he’s been left back more than twice: and sure enough, at work age, 16, he left: last time I saw him he was on a construction gang, muscles like Rafa. Anyway I came to know that that photograph was very famous, even then: young Marilyn Monroe, selling her tits to the worlds, certainly not for the last time. Let me explain: I liked the tits, I liked the blond, but the experience also hardened me against both. Even at that age, puberty only a hint toward arriving, I resented female attractiveness. Further, even that young I rebelled against the bleach, partly understood its implications, the virgin isn’t really a firgin: the “blond” is false.

So, Marilyn was my earliest nude. Mayilyn was also my first jaw set against being too easily attracted. PS the next porn I was handed, in the seventh grade, depicted a girl jerking a guy off into a Coke glass. Ugh, disgusting. The next was a girl blowing a horse: worse and worse. Anyway, MM invoked revulsion in me like a knee jerk. And Jane Russell in the 1950s went with MM. Here, yesterday, with Jan, age 78 1/2 (sitting with 85 1/2), Jane struck me as horse-faced. Worse, she reminded me of the cheap animes where the mouth moves but the face does not. A whore. A cheap whore: and by “cheap” I do not mean inexpensive.

Something else bothered me in Gentlemen: MM reminded me, more than once, of my mother! Mom was attractive to men in over-lapping ways, and more dynamically: not a blond, a red head.

Tarzan’s Toilet
2017 01 06 NetFlix streams docs galore, I gobble them up. God Grew Tired of Us had me in misanthropic fits, the world watched (and guided) as this and that government tried this and that dirty trick to claim control over jostled fragments of “countries”. Tens of Thousands of boys ran gauntlets of genocide, walking 1000 miles from one Sudan or an other to Kenya or Ethiopia or oblivion. One tribe sterilizes another, the boys tell of having needles stuck in their testes so they’d grow up sterile, yielding resources to this or that monopolist. I’m watching groups of boys replaced in PA, in Pittsburgh for example. From bloodbath to concentration camp to air flight to Brussels to US to PA, they eat styrofoam food, say they’ve never used electicity before, don’t feel comfortable that they’ll be able to do it: they attend classes in turning on the light switch, turning it off, and on again.
When I was a kid my friend passed his escapist library to me: Bomba the Jungle Boy, Tarzan, the Hardy Boys … In the jungle Tarzan knows everything: with his knife he can thrive, even flourish. With his knife he defeats the Germans, meets English virgins. Decades later Crocodile Dundee would go to Paris and discover, figure out the bidet. I loved it, I still love it. I love watching these Lost Boys of Sundan 1 2 3 being shown how to use a toilet: lift the lid, position the doughnut seat, pull down the pants … wad the toilet paper … Ah! Yes! Clean oneself!

Every day in every way inexperience makes the world new. Yesterday I wanted everyone who’s ever heard of Sudan to die in misery; today I weep for love of these Lost Boys. Some found Pittsburgh, some Syracuse.
One detail in this movie breaks my heart: we see the boys watching TV. What’s on the TV? Big assed buxom girls in workout bikinis, yoga costumes. These boys walked 1000 miles crossing countries when they were 13, 14: they livd a decade in a refugee camp, all male: now they have all this quim shoved in their eye. What are they supposed to do? What are they allowed to do. Charities give them clothing, food, shelter, what about women?

Bacon & Gance
2017 01 03 Jan and I have been watching movies for eight years. Initially the movies were all my recommendations: more recently she has the major voice in our choices. Over the new years I’ve been trying to catch up with a classic I hadn’t succeeded in chasing down: Abel Gance: 1920s, silents, famous for a monumental Napoleon … Blockbuster offered but then didn’t have the Gance candidates, finally NetFlix delivered. I watched La Roue disk 1, last night she sat with me as we both watched disc 2. Hard to take. I seen in an instant that the guy worked hard on developing a movie language, I see him laboring to match DW Griffith for imagery, I see him developing montage; but the stories are preposterous, unsympathetic: railroads, steam, soot, smoke: a girl, backlit All The Time!!
Jan left with a headache, but she’d stuck through to the end, we both made rude comments the whole time. OK, nuff said there. Now I’m watching The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon. Very hard to take, to sit still for: convicted pedophile tries to integrate with society. Pedophil watches other pedophiles, gets mocked, threatened, by the ahem, pardon me, normals. Gag.
Where I’m paused now we don’t know what he did with his little girls, only that he targeted 10 to 12 years olds (while the girls commonly lied about their age: but they didn’t claim to be 21). Riding the bus he meets a girl in the target age group, Robin, a birdwatcher: she senses his need, offers cooperation; he says, No, go home, Robin. I presume most peole believe the character’s claim that he doesn’t hurt them, his girls.
I hope so, but Ugh, very hard to take.
Meantime: bravo Kevin Bacon, and Kyra Sedgewick however hard to take.
A mystery remains: the film appears at NetFlix as recommended by me: four stars; but I don’t recognize any part of it! I wasn’t drunk: I haven’t been drunk, with no memory, since the late 1970s.

Franco Prussian Expressionism
2016 12 31 I’ve been trying to order DVDs of Abel Gance movies for coming up on a decade. Success didn’t arrive till yesterday, I’m watching La Roue. And I’m thinking of everything French: and the utterly American DW Griffith. But I’m also very much reminded of Murnau: and everything German! I pause and check dates: La Roue and Nosferatu were born within a year of each other!
I wrote “Franco Prussian” but I really mean “French-German”. Prussian and German are not really synonyms: Prussian is a subset of German, full of distinctions I don’t know.

Foreign Movies
2016 12 29 When I was a kid I saw far more foreign movies than the average person saw. Many of them were by Ingmar Bergman, half a dozen years before I heard the name Ingmar Bergman. They all starred Harriet Anderson and they all had a scene where she trotted skinny into the bay, flashing her cute bottom like the north star. I didn’t know Ingmar Berman, not as an artist, not as a concept. I didn’t know Harriet Anderson either, except as a winking bottom, often brunette. I saw those brief nudes thanks to my friend Al whose older sister bought our tickets for us. Rockville Centre’s Fantasy showed movies, Hollywood, American, domestic. That is, they were in English, starred John Wayne, and spoke in the same “accent” TV shows were scripted for: to sound American: mid-middle-middest American, with American directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang. American fourteen years olds didn’t know that Hitchcock was British or Lang German; they were Hollywood, as American as you can get. The Bergman movies that flashed Harriet Anderson were foreign, with a foreign accent; they were shot dark, they spoke Swedish … They all seemed to be called “Monika” and they were always the second bill. We would follow the marquee for Rosselinni, Open City, and also get Bergman, Monika. I bet I saw Monika six times beofore I ever saw Smiles of a Summer Night.

These days I see that all the movies are foreign: they’re shot is Spain, they’re cut by Poles, the cameraman is Czech, the gofer is Japanese. They’re in English, American English, but they’re not shot in English; they’re not show in any language: the audio is added later, in any language you want.

The Fantasy showed Hollywood, Alan Ladd, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds (RIP) … The Malvern showed the foreign movies with the blonds and the bare bums. You had to be eighteen to see Harriet Anderson’s bare bum; unless you had Al’s older sister to buy all three tickets for you. Once inside she say where she wanted, which wasn’t with a couple of fourteen years olds: we sat where we wanted, away from our benefactor.

I’ll never forget the night when Ingmar Bergman became a distinct concept for me. 1958 or so, I was in my dorm room, it was getting late, there was a knock at my door. It was DeJong, grinning like a fiend, he had just seen the weirdest movie, foreign, The Seventh Seal: and he told me all about it. Back home my friend Rudy had told me every detail of every Mad Comic, every word, every detail of every picture; now I’ at Columbia and I’m hearing about Death playing chess, Death cutting down the tree the guy has climbed to sleep. “My tree”, the guy says; “My tree”, Death insists. And the monks swing censers to Dies Irae, flagellating themselves. No, not American; that was foreign.

Footy Degrees of Bacon
2016 12 27 Footloose came out in 1984, Kevin Bacon was making James Dean look pasty. Nevertheless it passed under my radar till recently and I didn’t see it till last night. Big city kid, acrobat, gymnast, dancer moves to hick town, the local preacher is trying to wed Savonarola to Salem: no teen music, no teen dancing. Ah but he, John Lithgow, didn’t reckon on his cute daughter joining forces with Bacon’s bubble-over. They have a dance across the tracks, and the locals provide buckets of great-white-hope. No, Michael Jackson wasn’t in this movie, about the only dancing Michael Jackson wasn’t in for those years. But his moves were there. These Oklahoma white boys do half a moon walk, three-quarters of a break dance. Lincoln took the land from the natives, the implants took the gymnastic dancing from the ghettos.
Don’t worry: the kleptocrats seldom notice what they’re klepping. Certainly not Hollywood. But it’s OK, the girl was cute, though not nearly as cute as Kevin Bacon.

Good Night, Good Luck, Good God
2016 12 26 Streaming Good Night & Good Luck, the movie about Edward R. Murrow & CBS going up against heavies such as McCarthy & Hoover is taking me days and days. It’s a heavy weight, it seems to be very well done, as black and white as the TV, WASPs in suits and ties, chain smoking, their cigarette’s held phallically erect. I remember those days, very hard to take. I’ll spurt some scrapbook comments, allotting forever.
Why “God” in my title? McCarthy’s committees demand that this and that witness “swear by God that they’ll tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, etc. (Gotta restart.) I recall the moment in grade school when “under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance. As a kid, I took God seriously, I still do, see from my writing. Also see that I don’t mean the same thing by such words twice in a row, but I do, unlike others, define my terms, again and again: and indulge in sarcasm, irony, insult, again and again.
If rational discussion were possible in this society, in this species … notice my testimony that such has never occurred to me in my life time, not in 1954, not since, and neither before. Anyway, I deny that McCarthy or the Senate or CBS or America in general or human beings in general had or have any right to swear anything by God.
If people really believed in a supreme being, an truthful supreme being, incapable of error, would any of us really behave the way we do? Would the Pope? Maybe Francis would, maybe Theresa; who else? except maybe me.
I could prove that the lot had no right to such terms if I were allowed to speak uninterrupted by a group capable of understanding the arguments.
(PS I’ve been among individuals capable of understanding, but not groups.) (Can’t help spurting, try to understand: or go somewhere else.)
This country was created by deists, a fancy tern for atheists. Jefferson, Franklin believed in themselves, in their “reason”. They didn’t imagine that anyone would ever deride their potential for reason; they thought they’d achieved it.
Everything in McCarthy’s career was bullying, shoving: there was no discussion. None possible, none wanted.
This such was not obvious to everyone at the time or since is proof of what I say.
Forget God; If McCarthy really believe in “America” would he have been able to behave the way he did?

Close-Call Splendor
2016 12 12 I’ve finally managed to watch Splendor in the Grass, William Inge, 1961, DVD, all the way through, from beginning to end, fidgeting and pausing every five minutes. So it took all day, but now it’s done: and I’m proud to report that I resisted the tickle I felt throughout to write my thoughts and feelings as it proceeded. Nathalie Wood, wow, how could a whole half century have slipped past me without seeing this famous role of hers. Inge’s script got an Oscar. But it was the script that kept triggering my need to escape: that and personal associations. Those associations turn out to be misplaced if not outright wrong. I’ll try to clarify: the first half of the film shows high school girl Nathalie Wood’s instincts for love, pleasure, and procreation being interfered with by the culture as championed by her parents. Of a piece are hunk football hero Warren Beatty’s own insticts: they’re hot for each other but they hold off, as instructed. It’s bad enough trying to remain chaste and continent till they get out of high school but now Warren’s oil-man papa wants his jock dude to go to Yale: then — if he still wants her — he can marry Nathalie. She doesn’t last that long: off to the nut house with her. Meantime Warren’s idea of Yale is playing solitaire.
The cut-rate Freud was driving me nuts: doubly in the context I was imagining for it. Inge was doing great in the 1950s. I didn’t see any on stage; but I loved the movie Picnic. And I thought I had a special ringside seat on Inge and cheap Freud:
1958 or so my buddy Al and I ran the Si Como No on Macdougal Street for owner Al while he went to Mexico to restock his goods: pre-Columbian pottery, Mexican chotchka. There we were hanging out on MacDougal Street, getting visited by Al’s nuthouse friends. Such friends included a young man and woman, my age or perhaps a hair younger, takinga weekend from a New England phunny pharm whom I understood to be Inge’s kids: write about neurotics while breeding your own special crop.
Could that have been true? Inge was born in 1914. Maybe he had kids young? I was twenty, Inge would have been forty-four: could have have had a willowy blond daughter around 16 or so? Possible, I suppose. More likely I’m simply wrong, those loonies visiting the Village that weekend were somebody else’s kids. So, Knatz, stop blaming the playwright.
I did, just in time. Very good movie. Great Nathalie. Strong ending. Good use of the Wordsworth quote finally the final time through it.

Excellent cast, Nathalie outstanding but Barbara Loden is also something and I recommend that you let Zohra Lampert’s own dark beauty stands amid the company.

Butter Her Up
2016 12 04 Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Tango in Paris
That movie makes headlines today as Bernardo Bertolucci reveals that he and Brando planned the rape scene where Brando tells Schneider to “get the butter”, he plans to fuck her in the ass and wants a lubricant. Schneider was still a teen: nineteen, Brando was 48. Bertolucci was more than old enough to be able to weigh everyone’s behavior. They let her walk into a butt rape blind, not nice; was it good art?
I remember it all vividly. I discussed seeing the movie with a favorite FLEX volunteer, Rochelle, from Cony Island. Rochelle was sixteen or seventeen, very beautiful, had me in her deep throat within the first half hour after meeting. She had called me, wanted to come over, see how she could help. She went to an alternate high school, I was an alternate hero, the deschooler, her love making had been trained by a senior yoga, guy past sixty. Other girls were getting boob enhancements, Rochelle was having excess breast tissue removed! so she’d merely be very buxom. 1971 or ’72, Hilary was on one of her long weekends to Georgetown to visit her father.
I supply details so you can see in part how ludicrous me inviting Rochelle to see Last Tango in Paris. I was 33. Bertolucci a bit younger.
Rochelle decided not to see it, she’d heard it was extreme. She regarded herself and her mind as a pure mountain stream. She did not want her purity polluted. I thought this was hysterical, not that I wanted to argue with her. This girl arrived by subway at FLEX headquarters, my apartment, Riverside Drive and 103. Within a minute she was showing me her model’s portfolio, another minute later her pussy was spread over my face, my maleness was batting her tonsils, but she’s not sure she want to see Last Tango in Paris: a question of purity.
Well, I thought that was funny. She took the lead, I let her take it. Memorable.
That has nothing to do with Bertolucci and Schneider and Brando. And those relationships are complex, ambiguous. Does “art” justify a suspension of the ethical? ever? My own opinion there has changed, at least once. I regret at least a couple of my decisions in favor of the art, wish I hadn’t. Apologize to those I trespassed against.
PS I remember one other detail about the day I met Rochelle. She stayed till late, it as dark, I rode her back to Cony Island on my Yamaha. We ate shrimp for diner: Cony Island boardwalk seafood. I delayed my departure back home by hugging her, amazingly huggable girl. Then I vroomed myself back to the upper west side of Manhattan: and caught a damnable sore throat, got really sick.
PS I think Rochelle may have been right to fear Last Tango in Paris as dangerous to spiritual purity: whether she was pure or not, the Last Tango in Paris parades sin. I saw it, I saw it alone, never repeated.

Crown Royal
2016 11 30 I commend the British series on the British / English monarchy: The Crown. It launches in the wake of WWII. Elizabeth (II) becomes engaged to Philip, they marry, Charles is born, etc.
I invite you to know if you’re new to browsing this site that I am a Christian anarchist [Note]. I despise kleptocracy, I oppose monarchy, royalty. I oppose all forms of entrenched privilege, and so forth. But I find myself loving this movie. It’s the cast. I’m ravished by Jared Harris’ performance as King George (VI), Elizather’s father. Everyone is good, but besides Jared Harris I’m staggered by John Lithgow’s performance as Winston Churchill. 2017 02 08 All “Churchill’s scenese are terrific but my favorite thus far comes in the episode on the lethal London fog of Dec 1952. The government had been warned about pollution as a danger, Churchill threw away the correspondence: great speech maker; otherwise, another moron.
2017 02 21 Human cultures fundamentally misrepresent themselves to themselves. The English believed, Churchill believed, that order was necessary to survival and that without the right policial faction there was no order. Nonsense, there’s no such thing as no order: or, if there were, we couldn’t detect it. Churchill sees himself as the last bulwork protecting civilization. He cannot see that he’s the fascist, the nazi, the chaos. So: the fascists monopolize the resourses for protection: leaving us vulnerable. For the thousandth time: Jesus gets crucified if he tries to show us a new truth: Copernicus, Kepler, Darwin … Jesus is a symbol: never mind whether or not he’s actually said anything true. Jesus is ambiguous: he stands for authority, he also stands for truth. He stands for opposites. Point is, the civilized believe that survival has already been looked at rationally; when the opposite is true: the cop is your friend; the cop is your enemy.

I’m watching a Lot of British history recently. I suspect the cause is related to my discomfort as an American helpless in a tide of imperialism, especially in the wake of a particularly repellant presidential election.

Once upon a time I was specifically unhappy at the amount of smoking and drinking Hollywood exposed us to. Bogart’s cigarettes and booze expressed emotion. Then things reversed: smoke and booze reflected critically on characters. But I have to reserve here that King George gets great milage from the cigarettes flunkies are forever lighting and handing to him: he’s got concer, a malignant tumor just cost him a lung, the remained lung is no good, he understands that his time is short, that the smoke is shortening it further; yet he sucks it in, demanding comfort from the poison. Superlative.

Note: Christian Anarchist
Yes, it’s an oxymoron. Anyone trying to understand what I say and write should succeed; anyone dedicated to quarrel will surely succeed. What I mean by both “Christian” and “anarchist” is ubiquitous at K. as elsewhere. Here I feel I have to emphasize one meaning:
Who’s a Christian? There’s only one opinion that matters: God’s. The Church has sanctified Mary? I want to hear it from God.
Also keep in mind Ivan Illich’s wonderful joke distinguishing loosely what it eans to be a Christian. He asked:

Are you a Christian?
Or Are You A Son Of A Bitch?!

You want to know what I mean by Christian? Think of Tolstoy. An idiot might think of Tolstoy as an atheist, and not be wrong. But no, he tried to be a saint. He wasn’t a saint, but he tried to be a saint. Because it’s the only thing that make sense to him.

Or to me.

Segregated Hollywood
2016 11 29 I’m preparing to watch a DVD. Coming Attractions have turned me into a zombie. The manipulators have my emotions running hot and cold like a faucet when a tad of consciousness triggers me into rebellion: Clint Eastwood, worshp mode, then barf, rebel, they over-did it. Same again now with Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon. A second later tears are streaming down my cheeks while my pants restrain the stumulus of Sandra Bullick as the black giant’s mother. Cheez, when is the real movie going to start? But wait: I’ll postpone the title movie: gotta vent this idea. Hollywood movies, movies conceived in a studio by a studio are segregated in a new way: Sandra Bullock stars in a movie in which there are No Racists! Such movies are separate from a host of other moview, the majority of other movies, in which Everybody is a racist: it’s inconceivable for anybody to not be a ractist: hip-hop on the track, foul mouths reign.
How would we react to a movie in which some were ready to lynch while others are ready to forgive and forget?
I don’t know, with the camera up Bullock’s round rear, it’s hard to think of anything but booty.

Crowned Magic

2017 04 22 Jan joined me at the streaming monitor last evening. I recommended she try The Crown: so I’m watching it again with her: loving it, amused by how readily this anti-monarchist forgets Windsor family details. Some scenes I don’t remember: maybe age makes me a sieve; maybe NetFlix is flexing a different edition! In any case:

Elizabeth gets married, the crowd calls for the king! The hell with the princess, bring us the king! Then the Montbatans travel to Africa, Nairobi. Masai royalty, red-robed position themselves to see the queen. They believe their kings are magical, they believe the English is magical. The royals with their Church of England theology don’t understand the dynamics they provoke.  Philip had winked at a Masei, I like the hat? That’s not a hat, Liz says, that’s a crown! Morons, I love it. I’m reminded of the scenes in Tolstoy where every damn fool Russian royal goes chasing all over the palace after the Tsar: the vortex of the magic. I’m further reminded of my German friend Inge going crazy when Nixon was visiting the part of Long Island where we were that day. I can imagine my kraut friend going nuts had Hitler been present. God identifies the shan; but some shamn identify themselves.

Movie Scrapbook Note
I moved scribble here to a series of archive files, now I’m emptying those files into individual / Movies / posts. Now that overburdens the / Movies / menus: somethin’s gotta give.

Pidgeon Cousins
2016 04 28 On a Greer Garson binge, watching Mrs. Miniver: first time in years but not the first in adulthood. And every member of the cast has been in one binge or another: Theresa Wright sent me on a goose chase as I thought I remembered her from The Wild One: except she wsn’t in The Wild One: she appeared with Marlon Brando, yes, but not there. Then I realized, of course, The Shadow of a Doubt, Joseph Cotton.
It’s always been the case that people in the movie business, people with money, people with a budget, especially a professional budget, can order a viewing of many a film, get it by messenger the same day with a bit of luck, but even futurists didn’t imagine streaming movie after movie, getter DVDs in the mail, disk after disk. Yet that’s what we’re doing.
Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing more Greer, leapt for joy when I remembered that we were also watching Henry Travers, one of England’s most beloved character actors … but what brought on this scribble wasn’t Greer, wasn’t Travers, nor Theresa; its Walter Pidgeon. And as I look at him, I realize: by golly, he’s combining Gregory Peck with Ronald Reagan! Marvelous.
Meantime, everything is fascinating: Greet Garson married the actor, twelve years her junior, who plays her son!He too does a good job, Richard Ney: a little Jimmy Stewart-like.

2016 05 05 I notice further: Jan and I are enjoying revisiting stars who are approximately our parents age!

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Movie Scrapbook 3

/ Movies /

Precedent, Tradition
You’re supposed to be able to speak in confidence to your lawyer. Even older than legal traditions is the medical tradition of the Hippocratic Oath. I trust doctors about as much as I trust David Chapman’s church-invading Sebring cops. My son says read the Hippocratic Oath carefully, all the way through, and you’ll see that it’s really an agitation for guild monopoly: trust doctors to do no harm; don’t tolerate any harm to doctors, no matter what they’ve done!

Anyway, I saw the beginning of Addiction, saw the shrink assuring her new patient, and thought all of the above: paused Addiction to write it all down. I’ll breathe, then add more. Meantime, you can see coming: I don’t trust any human institutions: not church, not state, not professional: not political, not military, and absolutely, not school-related.

False History
We watch Addicted. We see, the woman is beautiful, well-off, well-groomed. We see that she’s black: African American. We know that there have long been successful, comfortable African Americans. When I was a kid people in Harlem were dirt poor; but on Sugar Hill sucessful blacks were well off. These who were somehow successful despite the far from level playing field all kleptocracies function on. What we see in the opening scenes could happen: the client could be beautiful and well-groomed: so too could be the shrink. But let’s not consider possibility alone; let’s consider probability.
Addicted doesn’t make a show of showing us today’s current recent possibility: it looks like it’s showing us normalcy: probability.

In other words the dreck the media feed us is designed to misreprest us to ourselves. Soap opera reality.
Similarly dishonest, reprehensible, in this fiction is the age of the players. They are well paid, very well paid, while still very young. How old is the wife, thirty? she goes to an art show, she meets the artist, very successful, gets big prices. How old is he, thirty? I can name you artists who earned big at thirty, but I can name you more great artists who wound up earning big but not until they were eighty. See? Possible, but improbably. Improbabilities stacked.

They live among populations of liberals. Where did all the Ku Klux Klaners go who committed all the lynchings only a few decades ago? These people have no history: or, their history is very much not our history. Polyanna looks in the mirror and sees her wishes.

At Judgment will God swallow these deceptions? Or throw the deceivers into the pit?

Plus ça Change

2015 09 24 First let me say I enjoyed Night Train to Lisbon very much. Much of that liking of course rode on the coattails of every other movie I’ve seen since the earliest days of American involvement in WW II, where the Third Man theme never stops playing. I like Jeremy Irons, I liked the women, Charlotte Ramping is something-and-a-half. The movie fits comfortably into that culture which insists that the best part of culture is European and the best part of that is English. I’m familiar with the tremor-in-the-stiff-upper-lip noir pretentious. But did it really earn all its points, or was it just taking half of them for granted?

Night Train to Lisbon
thanx filmofilia

The cast alone, men as well as women, will strike the middle-aged to elderly viewer dumb.

So much felt “the same”; but so much else was new to me. This old man is not the boy who gawked at Orson Wells once upon a time. I used to watch movies, get my nickel’s worth; now I pause movies, cross reference everything. The opening credits had barely begun insinuating themselves before I had to research Lisbon, glance at the history of Portugal, scan bios of players … drool at the very idea of Lena Olin …


2015 09 23 I’ve been aware for a while, a decade or two, that there’s an annoyingly persisten marketing phenomenon called X-Men. In that period I’ve also come to recognize certain stars, Hugh Jackman, for example, without having a clue what’s “x” about them: till last night: I rented X-Men, the DVD arrived, I watched it. Now I know: I know now at least as much as I intend to know, which isn’t much.

I hasten to admit: it ain’t all all-bad, not totally. For instance, now I know that that’s Halle Berry behind the riveting image of immortal features, inexplicably deadpan, with white hair, longish, around the shoulders, and blunked-out opaque-white eyes (the effect blue).

thanx digital spy

Oh, one more thing: it turns out that this franchise character is named Storm, she’s a “Mutant”, and is supposed to represent something African. Can you seriously see any relationship between Hally Berry and anything “African?” Wolverine extrudes razor fingers, Storm waves her hair around. We all come in our pants. That’s African?

The Reckoning

2015 09 20 Good movie about medieval morality players writing a new drama about the community they’re passing through. I want to quote a line, but understanding the line is too dependent on knowing what’s going on in the movie: a complex movie.

Willem DaFoe asks the condemned healer’s father, who’s using blather about divine justice to cover for gross failings of human justice. The father warns the meddlesome player:

Those who seek justice fall prey to it.

In other words, demand justice of human, state-run institutions at your own peril: from those very institutions.

This is a good movie, showing us some features of important under-understood history.

DaFoe has asked if the condemned healer’s father is referring to divine justice or human justice. His answerr shows he’s thinking of human perversions by government, by state. I’ll finish the movie in a minute: I expect to find it fine tuned to major life-long subjects of mine: church monopolizing this and that, state monopolizing this that and the other: nobody seeing that its all fraud: that church doesn’t represent either God or virtue (and certainly not truth: the state is anti-social and seeks monopolies wherever it can lay its hands.

Vincent Cassel is fabulous as the villainous Norman baron. One actress’ face was haunting me. I looked her up, Gina McKee. Something about the face seemed so familiar. Sure, she was in The Borgias, in Atonement: Jan and I had watched lots of movies with her in the cast over the last couple of years. Then it struck me: she played Irene Forsyte on the Forsyte Saga! I hated her! I begged Jan to spare me the balance of the episodes. But the features that provoked me there fascinated me here. Note though: Irene is a concocted role in the BBC Forsytes. She’s made to do all sorts of work on camera that the Galsworthy character does in the readers’ mind: not fair.

2016 11 27 Watching a doc on cults and the efforts of some individuals and groups to deprogame whose swept up by the cult. 1960s, 1970s … Certainly I see that the Moonies and the Hara Krishnas were in cults, but so is the priest, the nun, the Jehovah’s Witness. So is the student, the voter, the union member. I accept that Newton and Darwin and Freud exercised reason, struggled for freedom, and so do you and I; except you and I do so in very small measure, with very limited success.
One thing about the cults in this doc, they “kidnapped” and “brain washed” adults, not children. While the military, the government, the churches, the schools and universities typically kidnap and brainwash pre-adults. So, Governor Reagan sends a deprogrammer around, they’re kidnapping and reprogramming adults: people typically in their twenties, people with the legal rights of adulthood.
I’d like to see the schools un-kidnapped, the colleges made aware of freedom, reson …

Several months ago I saw a really good doc on the same subject except that it dealt with an individual guru: some faggot megalomaniac narcissist. But with a knack for enslaving others to his will. I’ll try to remember to report back if I remember the name of it, or of him.

Time Dissolve
2016 11 26 Julie Hagerty came on the screen in What About Bob? and I was instantly transported to 1980 and Airplane. She’s the pretty girl seated on the plane and says in a sweet reminiscence, “and I would sit on your face and wriggle”. That is insanely funny. I’d never seen this Julie Hagerty before that scene. She was very pretty, very clean-looking, “British” ethnic American WASP, culturally frigid you’d think: the last woman on earth to talk whistfuly about getting eaten let alone emoting nostalgia over it: wriggling on her lover’s tongue.

Anyway, that’s a “guy’s” line, not a girl’s, particularly not this girl! And she had this innocent little voice. I laughed my ass off, wishing the while that it was my face this Julie Hagerty had her twat spread over. But, 1980 to 2016, I’d totally forgotten it, never saw her again, didn’t obsess over it: till just now.
Thanks Airplane, thanks Julie Hagerty. Great job, wonderful memory, extraordinary melt.
Where did the regular time go: this is the first time I’m seeing What About Bob? Impressive stuff, Mr. Murray.
(I figured he was chanelling Jack Nicholson’s nut case in As Good as It Gets, but no: this movie is the elder.)

Skinny Nymphs

Julie Hagerty startles me into vivid recall of that scene, but seconds later another female has paralyzed my attention in What About Bob?. Kathryn Erbe as the doctor’s daughter: a jaw-dropping perfect face: skinny as a bean yet somehow totally sexy. I’m reminded of Emma Watson early on as the sorcery student: a “child” has no right to affect us so: our embarrassment as dirty old men is half of the attraction.

Speaking of pretty girls I’m currently rewatching Sherlock Holmes, the Guy Ritchie movie, my eyes peeled for what stopped me dead in my tracks when I saw it a few years ago: Holmes is climbing around in some grotesque structure, the female lead is there too, and we get a profile of her hip and her bottom right in our eye. Poof, then it’s gone. I remember going back for a better glance: there, gone. So I let time pass, last evening I’d savor this fleeting female wowie. I glanced through a filmography. Rachel McAdams had to be the actress I sought. Couldn’t place her for a moment: Oh, yes, Mean Girls. The annoying blond pack leader. She was OK, but she brought nothing to stop my heart. Watch the movie, discover what you’re talking about: I glue my eye to the screen and begin my search. Later I’m becoming convinced that I’m wrong, it must have been Holmes movie #2, not movie #1. The movie’s almost over, it must have been movie #2, prepare to reorder, annoying as hell; it can’t have been Rachel McAdams: she’s pretty, has shape, but she’s not the end of the world, when poof, it’s gone, Only a millesecond, but that had to be what I recalled. Sherlock is mucking about in a burning tunnel, flaming debris is falling everwhere, McAdams shows up, and for a moment, so fleeting, her female nether regions ore plastered against our eye. Wow. I rewound and refocused, several times.
This Guy Ritchie is an annoying director but that moment is priceless, eternal.

Funny, I just google image searched: the moment was not quoted not through the first very long, replete page..

Other thoughts on the same movie: the other girl, Watson’s girlfriend, is worth more than one look. And I’ve got to say: Jude Law is an amazing resource. What a great actor for the gorgeous, too gorgeous, male. He arrests the camera, is a great clothes horse, without taking over the movie. Actually all the costumes are very good, not least Rachel’s tweeds. Mmm.
Having gone that far I’ll note a couple of additional qualities. Mark Strong is some damn villain. The guy who plays LaStrad has a few pluses.
Robert Downey is a world treasure, but, as fear originally, he is a bit old for the part. And his chemistry with McAdams is middle aged.

Demographic Humor
2016 11 25 I Shared with bk & family via email:
when I was a kid the antisemites would do crass imitations of
“Jewishness”. people would laugh, including me, not because the
imitation was skilled or accurate, just because appreciation was
demanded, scripted.
I soon learned that if you just waited a minuted, some Jew would do a
Good impersonation, funny cause it was so accurate. My town was “half”
Jewish: took me a long time to realize we we had Any Jews, let alone

Mel Brooks ravished us with his Nazis, his Jews …
Archie Bunker was funny not because his anti-whatever was accurate but
because he was so transparently a bigot!

I’m paused halfway thru Colin Quinn, savoring it, not wanting it to
end. and it strikes me, with a Joe Louis punch, it’s so good not
because he nails the Jews, or the spics;
he nails Everybody! and at the speed of light!

what group is left out? and it’s All accurate!

In other words, his quality is humility, personified.

Wait: does he impersonate a WASP? Yes. it’s All Archie Bunker!

Now there’s something: Norman Lear loved Carroll O’Conner because he
was so good at being so dumb. But: Lear I just learned was a Jew; and
Archie Bunker is Not a WASP: he’s Irish!!! Carroll O’Conner: like
Colin Quinn!

Cloudy Atlas
2016 11 24 The Korean girl says that truth is singular. Her interrogator has assured her that all they are interested in is her version of the truth. Already the movie Cloud Atlas has shown us a dozen actors playing a dozen roles in half a dozen times and places. The movie is three hours. The first hour and a half was much harder work than any fun was fun, but there, about half way through the movie picks up and starts to run. The graphics, the editing, the makeup are all very impressive: do we want to applaud the makers? or see them whipped? Ah, there is somebody whipped, a slave, of profound fortitude. Yes, let’s see the Wachowskis whipped.
I watched the movie yesterday, all three ours of it. I read snippets of reviews (@ Rotten Tomatoes), and a couple of whole reviews. I write emails. And here I am the next day, Happy Thanksgiving, watching it all over again, with maps of who’s who, when, where, what handy, pausing even more frequently than yesterday. Maybe i should be whipped.
I have one thought here I’m confident of: Hollywood gives oscars for best picture, And best director, And best script, And best make up: best major actor, best support actor … There isn’t just one thing about a movie that’s good. This movie is very good in several of its aspects. How many is it very bad in? Any? do we old the same opinion later?
In some respects, if you haven’t seen it you disqualify yourself for lots of things.

Family Union
2016 11 19 Amazing feeling, genetic kinship, family. I start to stream Hoffa. Jack Nicholson bullies his way aboard Danny Devito’s truck. Jack Nicholson obviously is playing a character, Jimmy Hoffa. Devito is playing some other characters: a truck driver, ordinary slob tying to make a living, a hireling to bosses who screw him left and right. And I think, these great stars, these amazing actors, characters: they’re our family! They carry our culture. They’re our genes.

Fuqua the Law
2016 11 16 I like Denzel Washington. This director, Antoine Fuqua, has a hell of a body of work. Training Day came out, won prizes, esteem, in 2001. I’m just streaming it for the first time. Denzel plays a narc. In the opening minutes Denzel’s narc violates every rule of manners: he’s rude, he interrupts, pushes Ethan Hawke’s rookie around. They go out onto the street, in the ‘hood. Denzel has Ethan violate every written law too: they drive like maniacs, do dope, confiscate property, wave guns in people’s faces … The “laws” observed are expedient: presumably Danzel’s narc “gets things done”, impresses his department.

No, no: I’d rather they make no arrests and obey the speed limit: get no confessions but first don’t torture anybody: no entrapment, no bullying. If the ‘hood gangstas are loud and impolite, well, they’ve not famous for knowing any better; cops are a different animal, supposedly.

We pay big bucks for “entertainment” to train us to scoff at decency? Instruct us in criminality. No thanx. Denzel and Fuqua are something though, and I understand Snoop Dog will be coming along soon.

Now if Snoop Dog is a gansta that’s one thing: look at him, listen to him, he doesn’t pretend to be Washington, Jefferson, or Hamilton.

Oh, I was just reminded that it was Fuqua who did a favorite filming of mine of a favorite novel of a favorite writer: Stephen Hunter, Shooter. Kata Mara is coached to look just fabulous: she’s dressed but oh, the imprints of her nipples!

Baker Blue
2016 11 11 Jazz was the major part of my teen life: and so I sketched in my first personal post online: 1995. My postings till then were all business: pkImaging.com, out of business since the FBI arrested me in 2006, the fed knocking everything I had online kablooie. Anyway just now I watch a bio pic on Chet Baker: Born to Be Blue. I liked Chet Baker in the 1950s, I made an effort. Jazz in New York seemed mostly “black”; west coasted jazzed seemed consciously, deliberately mostly “white”: Gerry Mulligan, Shelley Mann, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker. They all played everywhere: Bird, Miles: east coast, west coast, and Europe too. And never forget Clifford Brown: the three biggest trumpets in the 1950s were Miles, Clifford, and Chet Baker.
I liked Chet Baker OK. The business using him as a pretty boy model bothered me. His singing I could have done with a deal less of. Hearing that he was a junkie bothered the hell out of me, but that seemed to come with the territory: jazz =/ junk.
Anyway I was eager to be reminded of Chet as I slipped the DVD in the Mac slot, but the movie quickly showed me it was going to be a long night. We saw a lot of Chet the comatose junkie, but worst of all we saw much too much of Chet playing badly once his teeth got knocked out for him and he lost his embouchure: his chops. So why do I even mention it? ’cause the girl was really pretty.
The sixties came, Miles exceeded divinity, and Chet disappeared. Pathetic, but typical: of the whole jazz thing.
2016 11 16 Ha! same actor as Training Day!

Encroaching Fed
2016 10 19 Jan (welcome back, my darling) and I watched Laura (1944) last evening. Good looking movie, great looking Gene Tierney. Cigarette smoking is incessant on all sides. I’ve commented on that plenty before, but here’s something evven more important that I’d missed: government surveillance is everywhere, goverment interference is creeping in from every direction, tolerated, half and the invitation of the characters involved. The characters come home and find the cop sitting in their parlor, making themselves comfortable, smoking away, violating the constitution left and right … but I tell you: it ain’t a violation if the girl is lying there, flexing her femaleness, urging rape. The cop may ask permission to smoke the first time, but the cop chainsmokes thereafter. The cop may ask permission to examinet the premises, the tenant assents, and the cop simply moves in thereafter.
Gene Tierney is supposed to be dead, but she’s just away for the weekend: it’s one of her models whose been rendered unrecognizable by a double shot gun blast to the face. So Tierney comes home, knowing nothing, and there’s Dana Andrews with his feet up. It’s a murder investitation; therefore, the Constitution don’t count.

I’ve always loved the song. Dave Brubeck played in on one of his albums, I listened to it daily. What I didn’t know till last night was that the song as “song” wasn’t composed or released till the following year. The music was composed for the screen. Johnny Mercer then wrote the lyrics.

Tierney was famous throughout my childhood but I didn’t respond to her as a male until 1956, y freshman year. Columbia’s Macmillan Theater was playing Tobacco Road. Gene Tierney squirmed her fanny in the dust. Cheezus.

I’m re-skiming the movie to slow down and capture a reference to a poet and poem with at least one famous line. Dana is making himself comfortable in Laura’s apartment, sipping her scotch, lounging under portrait. Wait a minute: what woman hangs a large portrait of herself in her own living room? Laura might stick a big portrait of herself in her colleagues’ eye in her publishing house office’s waiting room, maybe in the board room, certainly in the sales room; but in her living room? He drinks her scotch, he reads her mail. Clifton Webb comes in. It’s everyone’s house except Laura’s.

Nanny’s Annoying Magic
2016 10 14 Watched Nanny McPhee. Preposterous fairy tale with a great cast, devoted to being taken in by the worst elements in culture: fairy tale magic. But, you know, I was moved by it anyway. The crew really knew how to get the tears jerking. They all flew high, especially Kelly Macdonald

Class Actors
2016 10 09 I want to make a point about what I’ll call “revisionist entertainment”. First I’ll get my point about class actors out of the way.
In my life time my focus has been on film. I’ve known and admired Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis; I heard about but never saw Eleanora Duse, Sarah Burnhart. And TV actors I didn’t give a damn about, whether I saw them or not. That movified a bit when I watched HBO’s Rome. Now I’m just starting to watch
Jamaica Inn, Jessica Brown Findlay: oh, yes, Downton Abbey. My grandfather likely thought that Paul Muni was a “real” actor: stage! he could be forgiven if he starred in a movie or two also. But I doubt that my grandfather would have countenanced TV actors, however many millions watched them daily.

I’m sure there are parallels in all sorts of other media: take the president seriously, but not the king: while grandfather is the opposite. Anyway, I’m pleased to notice Findlay with pleasure as well as recognition. Ah, yes. Nice to get re-aquainted, taking her seriously: taking TV seriously, a little bit, for the moment.
Ah, you know I just thought of a great compliment to pay Jessica Brown Findlay (coming up next): she reminds me of Jennifer Connelly.

Revisionist Entertainment
So Jamaica Inn attracts me not just because of the long history of the title. But a graphic shows Jessica Brown Findlay hauling a stout rope that hauls a ship, a heavy cargo: a woman doing hard physical labor, the situation plausible: and we realize how absurdly censored we hotshit moderns have been: not just with regard to sex. I scribbled something on the subject just recently: Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger is THE poster boy for steroid masculinity: great, he’s an old man, and he still models fabulously. But this issue also stars that ridiculous-looking girl from Game of Thrones: Emilia Clarke: and she’s buff as all get out, and the camera bumps its nose against not just her boob, not just her butt, but her biceps. Fambulous. Lillian Gish was asked to be tough, as women go; she wasn’t asked to benchpress a locomotive.
But now we do.
What are we censoring that our children won’t censor? What will we look ridiculous for having censored that we don’t even know we’re censoring?

So: this medium ascends, that medium denigrates. Ditto this and that gender role.
Meantime, I expect to enjoy Jessica Brown Findlay hauling hawsers.
a couple of hours later I know what scene was being quoted: they prey on wrecked cargo, doing much of the wrecking themselves. The rope she hauls draws a cargo palate toward the beach. It’s a coed activity, now she’s complicit in the family crimes.
Cornwall. I love how they’re handling the geography, the culture: the moors. I gotta read some Daphnis duMaurier, not just see classic movies, and remakes. Thie remake is very good, reverential. Worthy.

Old & New
2016 10 02 I was streaming some trash and half-recognized an actor: big guy, very male, jaw like a clif, pockmarked skin that suited him: you don’t want a male principal with a face like a baby’s ass. I’d seen him, recently, but I couldn’t place him exactly. Fortunately NetFlix keeps track of my rentals: I skimmed back, and there he was: The Harvest, Richard Shannon. He played the “father” of the sick kid held captive in his bedroom. Natasha Calis, wonderful young actress befriends him, rescues him. The father is no more the father than the mother is the mother: Samantha Morton’s real son is dying in the basement: they kidnapped the other kid so they could harvest his organs to keep the blood son hanging on. So I’m glad to know Richard Shannon, and Natasha Calis, glad to already have know Samantha Morton: and by gooly here’s Winona Ryder as Richard Shannon’s wife, the mother of his two daughters. Whoowie Winona Ryder is so adorable, always has been, still is.

To Kill an Atticus
2016 10 01 I was a draftee stationed at Whitehall Street Induction Station when Gregory Peck won the Oscar for To Kill a Mockingbird. My friend Phil was elated: he regarded Peck as underrated. I saw what he meant, but not to the hilt: and when Fellini had some street whore deflate Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita with the sarcasm, “Hey, Gregory Peck”, I knew what that meant too. I had to snort because to me in 1962 it was Marcello Mastroianni who was the obvious male idol. But Gregory Peck was one of the stars, had been all my life: and I was aware that he was respected but with an undercurrent of disrespect: it was his looks, his looming male presence, that earned him his stardom far more than his acting.

Well last week I watched A Conversation with Gregory Peck and let me confess that I enjoyed the hell out of it. I wound up loving Pick like never before. And I want to share with you a think or two that I thought. I come in from a tangent, a hairlip. Michael Caine is a familiar star, right? We’ve all seen him in more films than we can count. There was a standup joke decades ago. John Belushi says that for the holiday his family showed home movies: “Yes” he said, “Michael Caine was in it”. Funny, yes. Michael Caine was in everything. We were all up to here with wisdom about how he got his unique pacing from his unwavering concentration on each syllable of his lines, getting the English out before the Cockney trips him up and bashes his brains in the gutter. Michael Caine acts one syllable at a time.

And so does Gregory Peck.

And I think I can say why. First though I’ll say why why. The Conversation cites someone as hailing Gregory Peck as playing a man we all respect. I think Gregory Peck was pacing his words in his own mind, silently drilling himself in what a respectable, an honorable American man thinks he should be, say, sound like, thinking what he should come across as. and I think he got it right.

And I’m going to breathe, and write this better.

A few months back I got To Kill a Mockingbird for the Kindle and read the few few paragraphs. When Jan comes back in a couple of weeks we’ll have to dig into it: and we plan to read some Edith Wharton too. I’ve been catching up on American women writers a bit: it’s about time. Read some Willa Cather, read a bunch of Joan Didion.

Hollywoody Film School
2016 10 01 I just emailed bk:

It’s funny that I’m giving Daredevil another try because last night I
gave a more than fair chance to the Hong Kong bs The Iceman.
In film school you can just make the universe up as you go along: just
like theology, like history, like “science”: reality custom fit after the facts have
been altered.

and bk responded Ha!
I love it when people appreciate my writing, especially Brian.

DownUnder Adoration Rubbish

The world is full of talent. Some of it gets noticed: there’s no telling how much doesn’t. I’ve met two really attractive Australian females recently starring in movies we really could have done without. Radha Mitchell is pretty, can act somwhat, and is an instant billboard for fashion: sweaters, jeans, blouses look fabulous in her vicinity. The travesty I saw was called Sacrifice: lots of great movies with that title, see the Tarkovsky.
Last night I met an adorable package, Emily Browning: deadpan pretty. We see lots and lots of every inch of her in this Sleeping Beauty; never her open vagina, never her gaping ass hole, but lots and lots of everything else, with lots of time to delectate. But the movie itself is an offense. She plays a whore who works for a madame with a “no penetration” rule? And the whore is out cold throughout her encounters? The john is instructed not to leave any marks, but there’s no supervision. There is an assumption that any john would want to leave marks? any john could be trusted not to penetrate? I know colleges dumb enough to trust honor systems, but whore houses?

In the plot, no body likes this girl. None of them are very likable either.
We see plenty of her boobs from early on, but they’re fairly ordinary. Her hips though! Her crotch, her fanny: gorgeous.
We see her pubic puff but no lips, and no dark yawn.
When she winds up waking up with corpses we’re supposed to care?
2016 10 31 Legend. More Emily Browning. She’s wonderful, adorable, I’m in love. Tom Hardy too.

2016 10 01 We all know how attractive deadpan can be, don’t we? But I really got hit between the eyes by a deadpan a few days after writing the above: Victoria Beckham in the early period of her marriage. Stunning. I’d never been a fan; but I am now! 2017 12 23 Gotta mention Debbie Harry of Blondie in the same connection. Just saw a video of Heart of Glass I’d missed previously. Fantastic.

Ready, Aim
I care. But only about seeing more of her. I would watch this travesty again just to see more of her.
24 hours later I’ve seen it 1 2/3 times. I may watch it forever. But I’d prefer an Emily Browning gallery, that’s what we need: ditch the ridiculous story.

She’s not a perfect hour glass. Where she’s short an inch up top she makes up for it, perfectly to my mind, below the border. Those hips, Mmm, that bottom. Those hips aim her crotch right at your eye ball. You can see her rearend coming before her front end arrives. A treasure where you don’t have to hunt.
2016 10 26 Goodie for me, now I see Emily Browning in Legend, Tom Hardy too. There sure are some cute actresses around the world.

Day By Day
2016 09 18 A few weeks ago I saw that I could stream Mission Impossible III. I grabbed it, I watched it. Ten, fifteen minutes in, I bailed. Couldn’t stand it. Tonight, I don’t know why, I decided to see if I could stream Mission 1, or 2. No: only III. Oh, hell: and I punched it up. Doncha know it places me right where I bailed. And this time I’m in love with the girls, some blond with a stick flexing her ass, some brunette with an arresting face agonizing over Ol’ Tom Cuise. I watch the males: Ving Rhames, Lawrence Fishburne, Simon Pegg … Tom, of course … It’s a treasure! And Philip Seymour Hoffman is yet to come!
What they did with Hoffman is itself a treasure, but I gotta comment on something else. Our spies are up to shenanigans in the Vatican. Sacrilidge. Are you aware that Old Tom, when young Tom, was a devoted little altar boy? Had ambitions to become a priest?! And here he’s breaking and entering, and deceiving, and defiling.
And he’s torturing Philip Seymour Hoffman with the bomb bay doors on the plane: so well done. Ethan does evil.

Hughes Hawks Censorship
2016 09 09 I just wrote theMarcus:

Mayflower revisionist Kramer

diction shifts meaning outside of our control, misunderstanding is mandatory: I mean inevitable. Revisionist to me had always meant whitewashed; Not “corrected”

And I don’t trust anything in human society to be correct anyway.

coicidence or not I’m so glad of my recent concatenation of cultural documents: Inherit the Wind made me want to see Scarface: because Paul Muni did it on the stage.
The 1932 film had treasure after treasure, and of course I recognized that I’d seen it: no saying how many times. Major thrills: recognizing Boris Karloff instantly; major confusion: is that an English accent?
George Raft’s coin-flipping deadpan is unbelievable. And all the females were great too.
Paul Muni was good no matter which Tony character he was playing, all mutually contradictory, the coward pretty hard to swallow though.
Howard Hawks touch was indelible, funny to see that he plays crime drama exactly the same way he plays screewball comedy: the illiterate on the phone as the bullets fly.

But never mind: let me start over: culture, censorship:

When I was a kid Stanley Kramer was huge, like the patriotic sculpture in Dakota. He was so sanctimonious, so solemn, he was the perfect Hollywood, revise and rerevise.

early ’50s I saw The Wild One. We were all nuts for Brando. A year or two passed and I saw it again: Hey, wait a minute, this one is revised: Version Two ended with a secular Puritan of a judge telling us delinquency is our fault: just like Crime! just like Government. So this is where Hollywood Stalin comes from.

So Scarface is identical: there’s the movie people loved: Crime! and there’s the sanctimonious revision that Kramer nailed on: demand that the government fix everything, and it’s all Your Fault!

Select a focus:
in Version 2 of Scarface (Revision 1), the sanctimonious judge pronounces his secular sermon on us. Moral: there’s no place for crooks in this country!

There’s no place in this MY country for anyone or anything I say, and don’t bother to write anything down because I can arbitrarily rewrite whatever I want!

Only pansies would want the government to mean what it says when it comes to habeas corpus. Don’t tie Stalin’s hands with meaning.

GB Shaw used to get my attention when he said that the censor’s obligation is sto state clearly, unequivocally, what’s illegal: then, therefore, all else IS Legal!
Don’t wait for the studio to spend 100M$ machine-gunning people and then tell me I can’t sell it!
Hawks and Hughes had their own money invested in the film, so they tried to work agreeably with the censors: but then the censors censored it anyway, despite the expensive changes!

So: H&H release their original version into those states that didn’t have censorship, and fuck the states that did!

I was born here, 6 years after Scarface came out. Eventually I didn’t want Kramer telling the government to fix everything.
Now I mostly don’t want some Hollywood judge telling us who does and doesn’t belong here. or Trump: how is the US more Trump’s that the wetback’s?

I don’t see the Mayflower pilgrim belonging here any more than Crazy Horse, or the Chicago judge, or Mayor Daly.

Complex, but you see All these points.

1932 Zoot Suit
Last week I so liked Inherit the Wind that I zipped through a series of associations all of which triggered my renting Scarface, 1932. Paul Muni you see that played Wind on the stage. I’m fairly disappointed in Scarface, but definitely like several things: 1) Muni’s “Tony” goes for his boss’s blond. He’s making money, he redecorates: in taste that in the coming war years would climax in the zoot suit. The blond comments on the vulgarity of his taste. “I thought you’d like it!” Total moron.
2) Boris Karloff! I recognize him instandly, but then he spoke: and by golly of course he’s got a Brit accent! Of course he does, he’s English.
3) It’s got Howard Hawks fingerprints all over it: deadpan crime, it’s still comedy: Hawks’ comedy.

Repeat #2 & #3. Seeing Karloff is worth the ticket. Fabulous.
And 3: the illiterate “secretary” trying to hear over the phone as the bullets fly: just like in screwball comedy: Hawks at his best.
4) But wait: I didn’t recognize George Raft at first, but Holy Mackerel did I once he was flipping his coin. Fabulous.

Prohibition Reminder
2019 09 09 wikipedia has a good review of prohibition of alcohol movements around the world. The US ammendmanet of the subject went into effect in 1920. Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Scarface came out in 1932. Complex causality, I don’t doubt. But it would be easy to see a “cause”. Scarface takes a major left wing stand: Prohibition is repealed. Simple, 1,2,3: Presto, Changeo.

My Position
Let me repeat my position: you’re not likely to guess it accurately.
I’m not sure what I believe when it comes to human interference in human behavior. For the most part, I’m against it. That is, I’m for “freedom”. I want a free marketplace. No, that’s not right: I don’t want a marketplace, markekts are too organized: already too interferred with. I don’t want it to be illegal to buy a gun: I want it to be economically infeasible to manufacture guns. Industry, not guns is the problem.
I don’t want the Brits to be able to sell opium to the Chinese. I don’t want it to be illegal, I don’t believe in human laws. You write anything you want; we’ll do anything we want!
If drinking is bad (and it seems to be): good, then let drinkers all die, all kill each other, all have families that starve amid wrecked cars.

Where did the US get off making alcohol illegal?
Having done something really stupid now where do we get off blaming Al Capone? Or making a hero of Elliott Ness?
Heroin will kill you?: Good: let it kill you. Don’t anyone interfere.
If a doctor on his own time with his own money wants to save an OD junkie, find let him: it has Nothing! to do with law, or medical policy. The policy is simple: let them kill themselves?
Innocent people get killed too? Innocent people always get killed, it’s no one’s business, let the die. Don’t interfere. Let’s really try laissez-faire. If if that pushes us opff the cliff, good, why should we stay on the cliff? if we’re too stupid to live?

Streaming Oddments
2016 09 08 Just when I think I don’t need more rubbish on my screen, that I’ll cancel my streaming contract with NetFlix, something enters the stream that has me celebrating how good it can be. We’re all spoiled rotten, maybe, but quality can seep other genres at you that you normally might have been blind to. I’m a cook, among so many other thing. I’ve been a cook since childhood, a very good cook, much praised through out my life. I’ve gotten a kick out of this and that cooking show: I reprsented an artist in Fort Lauderdale whose cable connection showed cooking shows 24/7. Joe was a cook, a very good cook. Shot his own birds for the pasta sauce with a slingshot, dairy farm in Michigan. I got a kick out of the guy who drank while he cooked before the camera, made glug-glug drunk jokes. So when I found myself enjoying Chef’s Table the other week I wasn’t surprised. What surprised me was to be almost worshipping it: five of the six chefs I’d never heard of before had me ready to nominate them as cultural peers to Escofier: great men, never mind the food, the invention, the escape-artist talents.
OK, even so. Last night Holy Hell astonished me at how worth while, and how improbable, the interest was. Another guru, another cult, another bunch of idiots not numerous to be called a church or to have the media genuflecting to them, so what?
At first I thought this guy really was brilliant, he knew a lot of cosmology, a lot of theology, a lot of myth. No, no, no: all he had to know was how strong his slaves’ need was to be slaves, to worship … to Believe!
And the guy’s so improbable: a porn star who keeps up his ballet? A guy who has his crotch in the girls’ face, but fucks only the guys? All the guys?!
Chefs: I adore the guy with his open pit cooking, wilderness, lake-side in South America. That guy is deep. But so’s the guy I met earlier yesterday, Magnus, in Sweden.
And now I’m about to sample an Icelandic movie: I recognize the protagonist’s sweater from the Reykjavík airport.

Freshman year our dorm provided two rooms for three guys. The other Paul left mid winter and Colombian Nick, Nick the Spic, moved in. Nick was very private, not social. He moved to a single the minute he could. Once he was alone he didn’t come chasing after us; but we, I at least, chased after him: till he disappeared at last, back to Bogota? and I’ve worried about him ever since. He said he’d commit suicide at 30. Lots of people say that, then the change it to 40. No, I think Nick meant it. Anyway Nick because important to me in a way I wouldn’t have guessed. One evening, sophomore year or so, Nick announced that he’d gone to the Thalia, by himself of course, to see The Seven Samurai. Very good, Nick pronounced: and I went to see it for myself! And how many Kurosawa masterpieces have I seen since then? How many other Japanese masters? How many other films starring Toshiro Mifune?
Actually I’d already know Roshomon: without learning all the names and personalities, without it registering that a new and wonderful habit had opened to me.

Anyway, Nick recommended it. I took the recommendation. And I’ve been seeking great Fellini, great Bergman, great Kurosawa, great Mizoguchi ever since. There the “great” movies were all of a kind: human dramas. One can stream for dramas, but the dramas that stream prove mostly to be rubbish. I bailed out of Mission Impossible III within five minutes.
(Phone just rang: Oh, my darling is calling from Nova Scotia, again, I just love her so. But no, a robot says its calling about my vehicle’s warrenty! What? my 1995 Dodge Neon? the one with 300.000 miles on it? the one not registered or insured since the state deprived me of my license?)
took my breathe, broke my concentration, but I’ll be back: I want to say something about that porn star group hypnotist guru, the ballet body building, the faggot god impersonator:
Oh yes, he told his flock that there have been many Jesuses, that All of them get tortured to death, that society hates instruction. Yes, yes, yes. Guy’s a fraud? maybe in every other way, but he’s right on on that point, on those points.

Dance Romance
2016 08 27 Willowy blond goes off to Manhattan School of Music. She reminded me of Maria Sharapova as a teen. She was a little too Grace Kellyish for my taste, but she grew on me. She passes a guy, way too pretty, busking a violin on the subway. He reminded me of Pierre Clementi: with the difference that I like Pierre Clementi and did not like this guy. But the girl did. And it didn’t really matter, there’s hardly any story: they in the arts, they’re young, they’re attractive, and they all burst into dance at the slightest excuse.
Years ago I never ever would have seen a movie like this: I don’t know how many they made, my theater habits steered me clear of them. Oh, and the girl had a better wardrobe, mostly dance kits, than England’s late princess or current duchess. Something to be said.
Oh, and they did a pretty graceful tango. Mmm.

Faery Revisiontales
Watching Once Upon a Time, loving it. Last night Jennifer Morrison knocked my socks off: pretty girl, yawn, but all-time bod! So immediately I order more. Once Upon launches as Snow White, She’s dead, in her glass coffin, carried by dwarfs, Prince Charming shows up, kisses her, she springs to life: and they’re at the altar, getting married. It’s Faeryland High Church, has to be the Arch Bishop performing the ritual. Oh, now I know, it’s the same Hollywood Gothic church they used in Game of Thrones, just like St. Peter’s Basilica, only grander. And the Arch Bishop? Why he’s black African! And I’m sure he’s the best friend of a dozen WASPs. Ah, now I see they have other blacks salted here and there, black knights too. Back to my movie, you see it too. Jennifer Morrison looks great. It’s marvelous, I love it.

2016 08 23 Except for one thing: Revisionism steps too far. Once Upon a Timie opens with Prince Charming opening Snow White’s glass coffin and kissing her. She comes back to life, cut to their wedding. Later on it’s Prince Charming who’s in trouble, drowning in the river. Show White gives him mough-to-mouth: it’s she who revives him! saves him! OK, maybe; except: it’s the children and the girls who do all the saving in this rubbish. The hero has no role except the old female role: to be utterly helpless, worthless, a seed bearer, that’s all, a laughing stock. Oh well, we shouldn’t ever have believed anything in the movies anyway.
But I do like the casting, especially the female casting. The camera always finds a way to be an inch from Jennifer’s crotch, from her bottom, from Snow White’s hips, belly, bottom, crotch. These girls are cast by how much time they spend on the stair-master. Well done.

Kubrick Ball Ammo
2016 08 16 It didn’t take me long to bail out of Kubrick ‘s Full Metal Jacket. What a shame. Shame on all of us. I once worshipped Kubrick, saw Paths of Glory at the Thalia in the late ’50s, very early ’60s. Sought more. No longer, now I’ll run and hide, warning others, cover your children’s eyes and ears. and minds.
Actually, churches trying to separate Christians from Christians could use this film’s opening scene with the foul-mouthed foul-minded DI to separate sheet from goats as reliably as the Jews’ blood on the doors in olde Egypt.

Fonda Stars
2016 08 16 I finally saw On Golden Pond. What rubbish. Did I know in 1981 why I was avoiding it? I know I was awfully busy in 1981, enjoying sobriety, addicted to golf: clearing my head to be about to be addicted to fiction writing: a decade of poverty, novels, and stories: new women too. One thing though, you don’t have to know me to guess: and be right: anything with Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda. We’re kind ‘a fond ‘a all three of those aren’t we, it doesn’t matter if it’s rubbish.

Do you remember 1981? Were you too smitten by Jane? all her life? I’ll say this for all of them: as gorgeous as Jane is and has always been (and will always be), one can’t take one’s eyes off of Kate either!!! or Henry! What’s he doing? What’s so magnetic?

I’ll tell you though, the movie is enough to put any fisherman off all of them: what ineptitude. The big rainbow trout deserved better than that? And what was the stinking dead loon about?

Now there’s something: it’s a very regional movie: loons are common only in the NE. Very precious where they are. I’ll never forget my first in-person loon calls, sightings: on a lake just south of Baxter State Park, Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Oh, and I caught pickrel! Never before, never since. I think it was actually called “Loon Lake”! I rented a canoe & a cabin with a bunk: I brought my own Yamaha YL1! trail bike! wanted to climb Mt Katahdin on knobby tires. Part-way did, glad I tried no further, suicidal. I would come to know Maine and Maine mountains, Maine north woods: thick, darm, impenetrable: a city boy’s fantasy, not a smart ambition. bk had just been born, I’d moved us to Waterville, Hil and bk were still in NY, I was getting the house ready, getting my head into skiing, sailing, fishing, trail-biking around Maine.

PS I was mentioning elsewhere last night that Jane Fond’a was reminding me facially of my dear beautiful friend Carole, Jan’s dear beautiful friend too. This morning those memories, those associations are vivid: Carole’s distinctive jaw, her cheek … those teeth! Henry was 80 in the movie, Carole turned 80 last year. Boy, can 80 be beautiful.

Dumb Comedy
2016 08 04 Even a really dumb movie can have a really funny line. I love Jim Carey, but haven’t seen everything. So last night I watch The Cable Guy for the first time. The cable guy and his victim go to a restaurant with a medieval theme. They wind up jousting: broad-swards, maces, lances … on horseback … Schmuck asks dubiously, “Is it safe?” “Sure”, says his demon: “that’s what the armor is for”!

2016 08 15 The movie Theeb deserves a couple of brief mentions from yours truly: actually it’s already gotten one. Here’s another:

You can’t stop a spear with your hand.

Illusion Clinic
2016 07 31 I remember my socks getting knocked off back in the late 1950s, early 1960s by facial gymnastics by Orson Wells, a moment in Citizen Kane. Jeez, that guy can act. That got reinforced by a moment from Peter Lorre: again, facial gymnastics. Since then my collection has grown: Robert Deniro, showing off solo. Typically I’m very impressed. And I adore the counter story/example of Humphrey Bogart losing patience with John Houston: Houston was coaching Bogart in African Queen toward some nuance, Bogart wasn’t getting it, and Bogart interrupted the session saying, “Look, I’ve got three expressions, now which one do you want?”
But today I come to this post not to praise an actor but to puke: Last evening I was watching Primal Fear. Nearly every member of the cast was rubbing me the wrong way: Richard Gere: how come we’re not all dead from OD? Laura Linney: please make those sweet faces somewhere else: Francis McDormand: we’re supposed to believe she’s a shrink? we’re supposed to believe she’s an expert? thinking!? When the camera focuses on Edward Norton: his first film role. 1996. (Can it really be that all the distinctive times we’ve seen him have occurred since 1996?) I watch him show off a series of expressions but instead of going wow like with Orson Wells or Peter Lorre, I’m just fed up, sickened.
Well, now I realize, the last time I saw him, Birdman, I was a little bit fed up there too.
I’m reminded of the movie, Rounders, with Edward Norton and Mat Damon where they play a couple of poker cheats: “Look’a my chops”, Norton says as he displays a series of leger-de-mains: second-card dealing, bottom card dealing … an awesome technical display, virtuoso but annoying as hell.

OK, now I’ve finished it. Good movie, in streaks. And now I see that it relates to The Usual Suspects: the evil master mind is among them all along, jerking the law, the courts, the press around like puppets. Except why if he’s so smart, so disciplined did he make that absurdly simple mistake, to sympathize with the prosecutor’s neck? Caesar turned fifty and got careless; but it as suicide: he was tired of winning, tired of being the smartest player in the game. So he slipped, right in front of everybody.

I particularly liked the depiction of Alfre Woodard’s court as a place where arbitrary power abuses sensible epistemology at every turn, protecting the porn-producing bishop, the manipulating state prosecutor. The lawyer gets at embarrassing truths, threaten him, fine him. Right in our face these judges display their corrupt contempts for any possibility of a convivial society.

Primal Alfre
2016 08 04 The days are slipping by, as they do, even when time drags and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to help your society that the society can’t interrupt and subvert, reversing interpretation of everything you or Tolstoy or Socrates said, and I’m still dwelling on Alfre Woodard’s judge in Primal Fear. She’s amazing. She’s cast to misrepresent American justice, American history, American society. She’s striking looking, the audience’s eyes, pair by pair, will zero in her protruberant eyes, flinching from while attracted to the revisionist Hollywood version of the white alpha male. She’s a judge: so supposedly her job is to make sure the court, the lawyers, the procedings are following “the law”, the law that changes every other year if not every other hour. Actually her job is of course to interrupt, threaten, intimidate the lawyers in the improbable circumstance that the society’s real powers are som much as momentarily threatened. The state prosecuters are bulldozing the court to haha prove that Edward Norton heinously murdered the Boston bishop. Richard Gere’s questions for this and that witness start to turn over some stinking turds: the bishop was a faggot, a pornographer, and abuser of youth, an dabuser of power … Furthermore, there’s money invovled, millions, tens of millions, corruption of every kind, at every level …
But good old Alfre is right on the case, stopping Gere in his tracks, fining him, threatening disbarment.
All this is especially wonderful since Gere’s characters has been introduced as a greedy unprincipled money shart if there ever was one. He’s wormed his way into Norton’s affairs as “pro bono”: for free! Now he’s getting fined $10,000 for stirring the society’s sewers. And everyone is acting as though he’s getting paid like Johnny Cochran! Not in this plot.

2016 08 05 I’ve stumbled on Alfre Woodard another couple of times over the last few days: y’a know what? She reminds me of Wesley Snipes! hard edge facial presence, solid block flesh. We all know how the body builders get big biceps; how do chisel faces become chiseled? I can see Peter Lorre actually working his face out in front of the mirror, ditto Orson Wells. Why not Alfre? & Wesley?

Difret Ethiopia
2016 07 25 I looked forward to this movie: different faces, different culture … see what Angela Jolie has been up to. But I bailed within minutes. I may go back, maybe I won’t: regardless I want to say what sent me scurrying. Weepy woman, filled with trepidation, goes to some bureaucracy: slick desks, tailored woman, somebody from the UN, a lawyer maybe. The woman says her husband beats her all the time, the neighbors tell her to go home, her husband is a good man. The lawyer tells her to go home, the woman shrinks shrieks, the lawyer tells her not to worry. “We have laws in this country.”
What country doesn’t have laws? Didn’t the Reich have laws? Didn’t US lynch states have laws. Is a battered women whom the law has not protected really to trust the law now? this time around.
This victim is going to get clobbered. I only wish that the lawyer got half the blows.
How stupid is this woman to think that her tailored suit makes her different from yesterday’s woman, yesterday’s tyrant, yesterday’s fool?

Hollywood Scale
2016 07 15 Paused about fifteen seconds into Game of Thones, Episode … oh, 3 maybe. Sean Bean meets with some guy in a hall as grand as St Peters Basilica. Two guys. A thousand men labored for centures, bankrupted kingdom after kingdom, theocracy after theocracy to build it.

thanx renaissancearchitecture

The great pyramids were huge, but the rooms they served were tiny, barely big enough to hold one corpse and that corpses retinue: a boy, a girl, a servant, a horse, some grain.
Think of the Parthenon.

thanx visit-ancient-greece

Consider at the “steps” leading up and into the temple. They look like steps, don’t they? If a normal size person stands on the ground before the first step she’ll discover that the step is taller than her ribcage! Look at the ground in this pic: it does not look like it could be entered easily or comfortably. But look at the steps from a distance and logic tricks one into thinking steps mean it’s human scale! No, it isn’t. And this sword and sorcerers movie is architecturally misleading: the economy of the United States could barely pay for Basilica-scale grandeur.

Previously at K. I’ve mocked Hollywood architecture: in Cleopatra, for example. Well, now I’ll watch the second set of a dozen seconds in this flick.

Belle Gugu Raw
2016 07 09 There are actresses (actors) so beautiful that it’s enough just to see them. So are so replete with character that ditto. The beauty of some is enhanced by the character of the drama, by the appropriateness of the dictions. Bogart tells the punk with the guns in the pockets of his big coat that he’s taken guns away from punks before: just beautiful: Bogart, Elisha Cook, the fat man, chuckling, a Hammett mood, a Hammet morality, just fabulous. Or Brigitte, or Lillian Gish … Good staging, good make up, lighting, beautiful.
I’m watching Belle. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is riveting, can’t take my eyes off her: or my ears. What a blend of British, English, Zula: shape, accent, names. So how come I’m still pausing the flick every ten minutes? why is it taking me days to get half through it? Is it the story? I don’t even know what the story is! It’s so boring, so pretentious; but she’s so gorgeous: and so are several of the other actors.

thanx zimbio

I’m guessing what I don’t like about it: I’m fed up with scripts calculated to include the audience in some superior position: They were hypocrites and slavers and whore-masters in the 18th Century; I, we, are not. Gag. But she’s so gorgeous!

OK, I persisted, weathered it: finished it, saw it to the end: and was moved, blubbered, wept, it was so sentimental, so successful: all right decisions are made: good triumphs. So. Everything became perfect in the 18th C. English law reformed, the boy got the girl, the girl got the boy, the old lion was true to his principles after all.
The lawyer says the law is the law, he also says it’s right! I was in a funeral parlor a few months back, presented my case to the director very bluntly that I had no money, wasn’t going to have any, and I had no respect whatsoever for my or anybody else’s corpse: burn it, bury it or just hold your nose. The law didn’t give a fig for my principles, they pretend to respect them, actually everything I want is illegal: therefore the state is not obliged to keep its promise. Henry Ford said you can have any color you want so long as it’s black; the US says your will will be respected so long as your will rubber stamps the norm. The director dismissed all my points with an angry and emphatic, “It’s wrong!”
Should I back up and rewatch? No. I get it without watching more than a bit of it.

Sufi Ecstasy
2016 06 21 Even as a kid I had favorite movie music: Charlie Chaplin! Modern Times!
When I turned twenty, when I read Chaplin’s autobiography, when I read other biographies, that attribution became embarrassing: (Chaplin was a genius, a great artist, but he was not a musician: couldn’t read music, played by ear, had no way of writing it down: he’s whistle what had come to him in his garden to Alfred Newman and would be irate when Alfred Newman was unable to play it back to him perfectly via full orchestra the next day!)
How can one explain to an illiterate how much of other people’s time they’re wasting if they persist in not learning their end of communication? Chaplin should have listened to Newman explain what a key was for five minutes before he expected anything else of him.
As a teen my film music favorite was clear: Nino Rota! Not that I knew his name: I knew La Strada! !!! Then I also came to know Nights of Cabiria! I Vitelloni! Things complicated further in college when it seemed clear that Eisenstein had collaborated with the perfect cinema composer, Sergei Prokofiev! Alexander Nevski!
Meantime things became impossibly complicated as Miles started doing film tracks: Elevator to the Gallows. I’ve said a million times that jazz was my music: and Miles is still my god. Not that Bach has ever budged, or Wagner.
Meantime there were spells where I listened to Ravi Shankar (or Abdul Allauddin Khan) almost as many hours a day as I’d earlier listened to Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing, or Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Goes to College, or Miles’ Kind of Blue.
(Once around 1965 I’d listened to the same Ravi Shankar evening raga for about six straight hours. At the end of the vinyl my wife saw me get up and restart the same vinyl: she made a squawk and fled!)
Now: here’s the divide: only the tiniest amount of Muslim music got binged on in any of those periods. Oud music, Umm Kulthum. I’d binge on Umm Kulthum, but not for half the day and all the night.

Umm Kulthum
thanx wikimedia

Except for her and a little bit of Sudan oud I didn’t know any Muslim music at all. Till now. Till now!
Suddenly it’s coming in a rush. Half a year ago I started to watch The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I knew Mira Nair, very good. That film opens with a couple of guys chanting in Lahore, Pakistan. Intercuts with night on the street, as credits advertise the stars and the techs. The chanting climaxed, faded, the movie became a movie: and I stopped it, restarted it. Stopped and restarted again.
Last night I replayed that music, twice: as I paused the movie I was already saturated with: Sufi Soul: whirling dervishes, from Morocco to Lahore. Finally, the sun peeks around my culture’s, our culture’s eclipse.

Musicians’ Union
Organized labor: that’s almost as repellant an idea as organized wealth: where the wealth is traditionally organized against labor! disgusting world we live in, disgusting politics, disgusting relition: almost as disgusting as the top down imposed revolutionary reforms: all the words wrong, all the ideas disgusting. Above I referred to the musicians union: as a teen I loved jazz, in college my friends were jazz musicians, aware of the local union and its obscene power. My favorite musicians only occasionally commanded scale, my friends, never. Yet they played, regularly: by ignoring the union! playing under pseudonyms: Charlie Parker in Canada was Charlie Chan.
It still happens: where I dance these days, for example: the venue will hire Joe, and pay Joe, but Joe will invite Sam, Bill and Louise to come and jam: off the books.
Anyway, I insert a related story:
In the late ’70s I stopped drinking. Sober, doing what I wanted became more important to me than making a living. My wife had kidnapped our kid, the state backed the kidnapping: fuck ’em, I knew how to beat them: don’t have any money, then you can’t be sued for any money. Don’t earn it in the first place: write, playing music, take up golf …
Hilary and I in the mid 1960s had taken up the recorder: straight wooden flutes, she a soprano recorder, me a tenor recorder. Twenty years later I began practicing more, wanted more range: thought, a flute would be easy to carry around, only a little bigger, heavier, than the recorder. I kept a recorder in the car, I wanted a flute at home. Trading art, I made a deal for one. Then bought a Real fake book from the same guy. Oh, goodie: now I had sheet music for In a Silent Way: man oh man. The lowest note was B. The recorder was in C (the tenor in F). Man I wanted to play that B. I didn’t not want to transcribe in my head, I didn’t know enough. I was told I could get a B foot for the flute! Never mind, I meant the story to be about buying the Real Book: hundreds of classics: $25. The guy selling me saw I had misgivings. He correctly guessed that I wasn’t comfortable with the clear absense of royalties paid. He said to me, “If it makes you feel any better: any of those guys whose songs are fipped off here, any of those guys not getting a royalty for their work, not one of them doesn’t have this fake book. Not one of them doesn’t rip off his friends.”

Yes. Pay me for what’s been stolen from me, and I’ll happily pay any royalty. Of course before you pay me, pay Jesus: and pay Sutter: and pay the Cherokee.
How about just paying Bach!? I’ve listened to the St Matthew Passion a thousand times: what royalties has Bach been paid for it?

How about by the churches?
Or, hey, what royalties were paid on the gospels?

Musicians Local Screen Credits
2016 06 05 Jan and I have recently watched a couple of Martin Scorsese movies: Young Victoria and The Age of Innocence. Both films show off how responsibly Hollywood can handle “history”: as well as this and that actor, this and that cultural tidbit. The Victoria film takes us to the London opera very much as the princess would have seen it in the 1830s. Then we have Strauss waltzes from the same period. I trust the historicity of his city maps, his stage architecture, his hansom cabs. I looked forward to the end of the movie so I could identify the musical literature invoked. With Victoria I went back to the credits a couple of times, ditto Innocence. Sure enough: Faust, Gounaud; Beethoven piano sonata … Wonderful stuff, espectiall for Princess Vicky. But that wasn’t all: Scorsese knew exactly what city planning to show us for Golden Age Manhattan, for summer homes up on the Hudson … and what paintings would have stood out in which museums of the time, and which styles of painting were coming to the fore: we see Manet happening and that Tintoretto happened.
Here’s the thing: Beethoven isn’t going to get slighted in the credits. Neither will Michelle Pfeffer, nor Danial Day Lewis; but Manet, Monet will!
When I was a kid the musicians’ union was so good that my favorite musicians couldn’t afford to play union regulated gigs. And now Vivaldi, and JS Bach all have lawyers sticking up for them and their property rights that they the musicians never met; but Goya, Michelangelo don’t get a break. The movie credits Strauss but steals the hit melodrama Jeez, as a kid I knew the name of the union guy who built iron contracts for the musicians; how come Picasso and Matisse had nothing comparable?
Regardless: bravo, Martin Scor: that’s some work.

2016 06 26 I just saw a movie that belongs in the same conversation: My Kid Could Paint That: Marla Olmstead, impressive and successful child artist: four, five, six years old, selling at $25,000 … Anyway, good documentary: and it strung art credits as well as music credits, the music credits dear to my heart as they featured Nino Rota, Fellini … Great stuff. The art shown at auction was pretty impressive too: Rothko, Guston … Marvelous. I’ll add a separate piece on the Marla movie.

Whahoo, Reggie
A repeating line from a movie, late 1940s probably, just popped into my head:
boy and girl marooned on Robinson Cruso island. his name is Reggie.
the girl calls to him, “Whahoo, Reggie, Whahoo.”
Anybody else remember this story?

Cry, the Star Memories
2016 05 30 Just watching Cry, the Beloved Country, James Earl Jones
He’s had some career, hasn’t he. But I remember him from way back. I remember him from Shakespeare in the Park, Coriolanus: good excuse for me to crib on one of the plays in the Shakespeare canon I know lest well. Jones played one of the senators: or was supposed to: he didn’t know his lines! And I suspect further that he was drunk.
Maybe I had it in for him anyway, for a reason in no way his fault: he’d gotten a lot of publicity a year or two before playing Otello. The press had bowed down: a big black, occupied space on the stage: therefore he was Othello material. No, no: the press was remembering Paul Robeson. Now there was a real actor with a real voice: or so I thought in the 1960s. Now I’m less sure. Maybe that was reverse-racist propaganda too. I’ve re-seen some Robeson movies since then: and they’re OK, merely OK: it’s not Olivier, or Gielgud, or Sir Tony.
I continued to have a thing for Paul Robeson through the later ’60s when I played a recording of a Robeson Othello for my English class at Colby. My students seemed unimpressed: all that Commie / antiCommie propaganda centering around Robeson had missed that college generation completely: they didn’t know that voice was supposed to be anybody.

Queens in New York
2016 05 26 Last night Jan and I watched Young Victoria. We love period films, costume films. Jan especially loves them when rich, privileged people are depicted: the more so if they’re famous: like Queen Victoria. I as a child didn’t take my school seriously: I went along with the Jeffersonian ideals. I thought of America as having been right in opposing a king’s taxes. we won the war, the Brits left us alone: Therefore: democracy defeated monarchy. Therefore: I gagged when King John, and Henry VIII and King George the Nth were shoved up my nose. I got upset when American groveled before royalty.
But: 77 years old, wrongly fired, wrongly jailed, misunderstood, not published, not credited, interrupted, my kid kidnapped by the law as well as the villains I keep my trap shut if Jan will enjoy the movie more with me silent than with me grousing.
Besides, the film was by Scorsese: featured Handel, Bellini, Shubert, Strauss. Last night I kept my peace, my silence. Ah but this morning I told Jan an example of my resistance to my fellow American’s groveling before privilege: back when, the 1960s maybe, Queen Elizabeth planned a visit to NYC. Bloomingdales was on her list of places to visit: on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue. Lexington Avenue ran downtown only. Something about the queen’s limousine necessitated passengers discharged from the starboard side of the car. There Queen Liz would have to get out on the traffic side of the limo, not on the safe sidewalk side (sharing the walk with a subway entrance. Drove me nuts: the paper reported that Lexington Avenue traffic flow would be reversed for that day. Eight million New Yorkers will have to put up with a foreign invasion!
Imagine Hitler visiting NY after WWII : after WWII. Imagine that instead of dragging him in chains we rebuild NY for his convenience, imagine we cross ourselves backwards, or genuflect in Teutonic.
Well, hell, never mind: I enjoyed the hell out of Victoria’s constitutional monarchy. I liked her Prince Albert. And I loved seeing Sir Robert Peel, my great great grandmother’s guardian: raised in Scotland, sailed to America, dance in the White House with Abe Lincoln: or so my mother said..

Sugar a Toxin
2016 05 23 Just watching Sugar Coated. I’m reminded of reading a report in the NYT implicating sugar in a laundry list of diseases: alcoholism, tooth caries, diabetes … In the early 1970s, ’71, maybe ’72, the United Methodist Women sent me down to Cuernavaca to see Illich and hook up with Denis Detzel, founder of the Evanston Learning Exchange. Denis was known to be interested in forming a learning exchange before I heard of Ivan Illich, but I founded FLEX in 1970, first offer of an internet in the world. Anyway, while there I sat in on Illich seminars. In one of them Illich was attacking the hacienda system of sugar production. People’s jaws were dropping, Ivan was implicating sugar and how it’s produced with economic, political, social, and cultural evil. Good, true, no doubt. So I raised my hand and referred to the NYT study: sugar is toxic. Sugar is evil in everyway; not just in political ways.
I drew a complete blank: including from Illich!!!
Forty-odd years later, nearly a half a century, even the medical profession has now heard the charges.
People think that ideas get thought, then they spread, we learn. No, no: ideas get thought, then spread a little, then they’re repressed, the thinkers, the journalists are punished … then, if we’re still alive, some individuals, some members of relevant institutions learn: a little, and late.

Tramp Chaplin
2016 05 22 I despise my culture now but as a child I was my culture. Like everyone this toddler adored Charlie Chaplin. Friends of the family had several Chaplin reels: and a screen, and projector: I saw Chaplin again, and again: with far more impact than church (though I loved and revered church too!) Last evening Jan and I watched the Robert Downey, Jr. movie, Chaplin. Bravo. The original has no been well-imitated: to a naturally worshipful world.
Not everyday do we have a star – who’s a genius – who’s loved – who’s sabotaged – who’s martyred.
I’ve been martyred too, I know all about it.
The US didn’t play fair, it never has, it still doesn’t. Then we turn around and give him a reward!? No, the question is should he give us an award?
Who owns Jesus’ right to love and forgive us? Us? or Jesus? When Jesus shows up, we’ll find out for sure.
1964 Chaplin’s autobiography came out. I read it religiously (though it’s gotten rusty in my head in the half-century since then. But: the film reminds me of much much much of it, bless it.
Chaplin liked pretty girls. So do I. Don’t we all? Chaplin married a few of them: that’s not me. Chaplin slept with more than three of them. More than two ballooned up. One of these girls sued him, in barbarous California. Chaplin insisted on a blood test, got one. The test proved he could not be the father. But California law did not admit science in the courts. The world was left with an unwed mother, a tortured womanizer with a fortune, and a little girl with no income: so: California’s jury told Chaplin to sponsor the girl who’d been used to oirture him!
Now: what right does the US have trust any California law? What right does the US have trust anything?
Having voted against science mankind has no right to vote for it.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what we say, or write, or do, so long as we’re kleptocrats, murderers, land grabbers, genocides.
Related, in a way, I guess: The Girl King
Interesting movie on Sweden’s Queen Kristina: a society caught in its hypocrisies. Good treatment of complex sexual behavior in the public eye: the queen chooses her friend, the pretty countess, to be her official bedwarmer.

Winona Ryder
2016 05 17 I just started to stream How to Make an American Quilt. A girl appears, I’m stunned. By golly, it’s Winona Ryder! How can a human being be so pretty, cute, stunning, beautiful, interesting-looking? She’s arresting to the impossibleth degree. Maybe the movie will suck; but I can’t take my eyes off of her.

Quo Vadis Scribble Scrap
2016 04 11 Just watching Quo Vadis – for the first time since it came out, 1951. For a moment I wasn’t recognizing Robert Taylor or Deborah Kerr; but the moment Peter Ustinov stuck his cine-brilliant perverted dip-shit puss on camera, thoughts flooded me, this is one of the stupendous roles in film history: utterly vile, a delicious, supreme, sustained wet fart of an interpretation. The director told Ustinov that Nero played with himself in bed and that tipped the ball straight down the hill.
The Christians sing in the arena as the lions come, tears stream down my face, Christian rubbish will make me weep every time.
Oh, and I couldn’t possibly have remembered adequately, not from twelve, thirteen years of age, Deborah Kerr – her bosom, her expression perfect – was not the only pretty girl.

Rome Burns, Nero Fiddles
Someone tell me please why theatrical portrayals of stringed instrument performances are always so blah. Maybe Nero sucked at the harp, but surely others could play. How did they play? I don’t know: but take someone with talent, let them practice on a harp from childhood onward, and I promise you’ll hear something that will take your breath away.

My grad school prof once, 1962 or 63, performed on an Anglo Saxon harp that he’d modeled on something found in a Viking burial ship. Fabulous, very creative, melodic, percussive, rhythmically complex … Pros would have been proud.

2016 04 15 Last night I caught Jan up on The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. Saw a menu of complaints: the woman the story was based on was short, Ingrid Bergman was tall, the original had a Cockney, not a Swedish accent … Maybe, but I’d rather have my eye mushed against Ingrid any day: this is “Hollywood” after all. There were also complaints that the male leads were played by Kurt Jurgens and Robert Donat, not a couple of Chinese actors. In other words, it’s an entertainment, not a documentary. That’s OK, just rub my eye against Ingrid! (while my arm is around Jan.)
Further, Quo Vadis gives us more Deborah Kerr! another several great views of the Kerr bosom: nice, nice, nice.

Re Quo Vadis: gotta add:
The Quo Vadis title references the apocrypha Book of Peter: outside the orthodox RC canon. Peter, fleeing Rome and Roman persecution, see Jesus, resurrected but again carrying a cross:
“Quo vadis?” Peter asks: in Latin of course!
Jesus replies that he’s going to Rome to be crucified: again (since Peter in his flight is such a fink). Now dig it, that the apochrypha, not the Catholic Bible, that’s the part of the Bible the Catholics rejected. All that Nero business isn’t in the stripped down Bible either: no room for Deborah Kerr, or Robert Taylor.

Quo Vadis intruded other non-core bible business, familiar stuff very common: we are shown these early Christians teaching themselves that Christians must tolerate tyranny with patience! Why? That is a “Christian” convention, but it is not a biblical convention. Early Christians wrote it in, told it in, gave it strength of tradition.
I hate it. I see, or have come to see, Christianity as a rebel religion; not passive, not all-patient, not numb to tyranny.

Peter’s Latin
One other thing while I’m still sticking here: Peter wouldn’t have spoken Latin. And Peter certainly didn’t write in any language: Jesus’ fishermen would have been illiterate: not stupid, illiterate (like most people, ever). That’s what Bart Ehrman says, and I see him as surely right on that point.
a little scattered, but there’s o time for perfections around here anymore, no budget for it either. (and absolutely no just claim for it.)

Meantime, in Inn of the Sixth Happiness our heroine teams up with an old white woman, a missionary who keeps an inn: the inn advertizes no bugs, good food … stories! Ingrid lures mule teams, captures the mule drivers too, and learns her Chinese by telling Biblical stories while the men eat. Yang, the cook, takes over in one circumstance, Ingrid listens with horror as Yang puts Noah and his ark, and his animals, into the manger in Bethlehem story. Yang has the Magi as war lords and they come to worsip the infant Jesus. Noah is one of the war lords, but a nice and cuddly war lord. Ingrid is about the stomp on Yang when he adds that biblical men lived a long time, there was no proving that Noah was not there! Anyhow, I loved it: the more so because that is very much how biblical stories got woven in the first place: oral culture, not scientific history. People read the Bible and think it’s Toynbee, or The Rise and Fall: no it isn’t, it’s stories.

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Movie Scrapbook 2

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Mesrine: Killer Instinct
2016 04 17 In the 1960s I adored Jean-Pierre Cassel, especially The Love Game, loved Philippe de Broca too. As the decades passed I saw Jean-Pierre Cassel in more mature roles: good but not the same. It’s a trip to now be magnetized to his son Vincent. How did the other come from the one? It’s like imagining that Danny Kaye sired George Raft.
I’m now watching Mesrine: Killer Instinct for the second time: hateful, but good anyway. Good lines:
Mesrine shows his buddy his gun, the buddy shrugs, disapproving.
Don’t tell me you’re not strapped, Mesrine challenges him. Buddy says:

If I carry, I draw. If I draw, I shoot. So, no. No thank you.

Goodbye Greer Chips
2016 04 07 I’ve heard Goodbye, Mr. Chips revered all my life, both the novel (1934) and the movie (1939). I’m one year older than the movie, Jan is older still. Greer Garson was just coming into her fame. I may have only been a boy but I was well aware of her fame, her appeal in the 1940s …

Greer Garson
thanx meredy

Jan and I well remembered Mrs. Miniver, but neither of us had seen Chips.
I’m losing my eyesight, and other senses. Jan is cute but 84: we easily could have cashed our own chips out without ever having seen it. Fortunately The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, with Ingrid Bergman as well as Robert Donat came streaming through the Mac last week: I decided we needed to see more of both actors, which brought us, gratefully, Donat as Mr. Chips.
A reviewer of 1939 hailed Chips as among the best films of any year! I expected it to be sentimental twaddle. I’m not a fan of British (or any other) imperialism, I don’t genuflect to the British public school system … Anyway, the movie is a marvel: so glad we saw it.
The other day we were loving Deborah Kerr, and have loved Norma Shearer. We love Celtic genes, Scotts and Iirish women with red hair!
And now I’ve loved learning that “Greer” is a short form of MacGregor, a Garson family name.
2016 04 28 It’s just a couple of weeks ago that I jotted the above. But momentarily today I couldn’t remember what I’d seen Greer Garson in: we’re about to watch Mrs. Miniver: Greer’s on our mind. Just wonderful to review these stars from the ’30s and ’40s: young Liz Taylor too. Etc. Meantime, movies spin off and spin off further: Chips led us to Inn of the 6th Happiness: and to Ingrid Bergman, God love her, via Robert Donat. a Robert Mitchum destroyer vs sub marine led us to Inn: Kurt Jurgens, marvelous.

King Solomon’s Mines
2016 03 23 The DVD for King Solomon’s Mines just arrived: and a vivid memory from 1950 beamed into my skull: Deborah Kerr hires Stewart Granger to guide her search for her husband, missing in Africa’s bush. I see her standing there in the jungle, dressed within an inch of her Victorian life: Stewart Granger grabs her by the blouse, practically grabbing her Victorian boob, and yanks her some ventilation. “And take those corsets off too!” Ooo, symbols for rape, for conquest. Our animal natures win: according to this brand of anthro-theology. Of course it’s ambiguous, perfectly: he’s not grabbing her stuffy boob, he’s ventilating her stuffiness, much needed, she should thank him. (Eventually she will.)
So: this movie was 1950. Ryder Haggard’s novel was 1885. I saw the movie when it was new, 1950 or 1951, I would have been around twelve. And of course I was by then long addicted to National Geographic: naked boobs by the hundred; but no white women’s boobs! no invasions of Deborah Kerr’s bodice.
Jeez, did I love her. And still do, and didn’t we all? Go, Scots redhead.

I don’t doubt that Ryder Haggard influenced National Geographic as he influenced so much of my reading: Henry Miller, Bomba, Tarzan

I just learned that Eroll Flynn had been cast for Quartermaine: oh well, Granger got it, so it was Granger who freed Kerr’s bosom, influenced all of us to hell and gone: a gentleman, but not to the point of suicide, not to the point of suffocation.

Now I can’t wait to actually watch it, see how right (or wrong) I’ve got that scene, from way back in our innocence.

Another thing: Hollywood provides African drums for the audio behind the credits. Mahvelous. Wow, was I influenced by that movie: Africa, our home, all our home: home to the insufferable Brits.

OK, next day. Jan and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Cannibalism, tribal coups, revenge, justice: and nature burbling out of the cracks. (And yes, I had the bodice scene exactly right.)

The guy who plays the Watusi’s tattooed king, dances with his skinny spear, his magic wand is fabulous. Now I cast back and remember how many such seven footers I’ve met in intervening years. I particularly recall one who borrowed and never returned my Olatungi African drum music record, on Columbia. Michael Babatunde Olatungi.

Oscar Double
2016 02 28 “It’s a disgrace to have an exclusionary policy represent American culture.” Al Sharpton
pk asks, “What other kind could we have and also be in any way truthful? truthful to ourselves? We’re racists, mono-culturalists, always have been: we sabotage those who’d liberalize us. death cheats against life, nothing new there.

Game of Thrones
2016 05 05 Several months ago I scribbled some notes on Game of Thrones. I saw disk one, reacted against it. Now, utterly by accident, I saw it again: again I hated it: till I thawed, and grew to enjoy it. I take back much of what I said. I’ll watch more: and say more: from scratch: in particular about its preposterous gender stance. We want to read our sexual politics into our dungeons and dragons fictions. Next round I hope I discuss it better. I indent the original, take it with a grain of salt:

Role Playing Rubbish
2016 01 21 I’m trying to watch Game of Thrones, am reminded of my son playing Dungeons and Dragons in the 1970s. One detail I’ll comment on before seeing more than a few minutes of the movie: soldiers are exposed to horrors, dismemberment and a witch woman terrifies them. Back at the castle a ten year old boy gets his nose rubbed in horror and practices archery. The boys have their noses rubbed in death and horror. The boy is a klutz with the bow. A young girl steps forward and zing, hits the target with her arrow. Fine: but when the guys, males, soldiers don’t stare down the blood they’re decapitated. Now this show-off girl embarrasses this ten year old prince! Uh, I don’t think so. We didn’t see girls being trained in archery. Either the movie isn’t showing the actual culture or the girl is an outlaw. But no one chops her head off! Her sabotage of the gender hierarchy, the male hierarchy, is ignored! No, I don’t think so. What rubbish.
Later on, I’ve seen more, the inconsistent, a-historic, continues, and builds. The script is showing the children to be liberals, Jeffersonians: girls are equal, but not in the culture, the culture being ignorant, hypocritical, illiberal.
I’m beginning to like the girl: and I like what the MakeUp Dept is doing with her: her eyebrows are bushy, weird. Hollywood can derive character from the luxuriant chaotic eyebrows of an actor like Milo O’Shea (or Martin Scorsese, or me), but eyebrows have to be a few decades old before they achieve that potential for character: no young girl has Milo O”Sea eyebrows!
But I’m making a fundamental error here: who said the drama was trying for realism? Once you swallow Darth Vader you ought to be able to swallow a girl archer in a society that trains only boys, the girl must be allowed Milo O’Shea’s facial hair …
I’ve seen disk 1: 2 episodes. I think that’s enough for now. (It’s more than clear enough that the plot is not finished with the rambunctious little girl: the prince accuses her of disarming him, beating him up, having her direwolf bite him: the king scoffs, “You let a little girl disarm you?” scoff, sputter. jerky kid is caught.
damn power outage, just lost a half a point’s worth of prose.

Fantasy Architecture
But speaking of fantasy written, performed for twelve year olds (see Role Playing above), the most ignorant, naive, not the geekiest, a moment later in Game of Thrones.
Damn, a typo just cost me a paragraph! In a word I was saying how “Hollywood” imagines King Arthur holding court in Chartres, gothic magnificence. Hollywood shows the pharaoh, Cleopatra, Ptolemey, having a feast in the terminal for Grand Central Station: expanses of interior space that depends on steel, not stone, not wood. No, the Egyptians needed hugs stone architecture to enclose one claustrophobe. Arthur would have held his round table on a dirt floor; not in limestone Westminster.

2016 05 04 Damn me if I didn’t order Game of Thrones without any memory of seeing it just last January! Ugh, my suffering serves me right.
But did I make the most important points? The long bow is a demanding weapon, any bow is. You don’t expect results from ten year olds. And if your a warrior society you absolutely don’t let little girls humiliate the prince.

The archers who freed England of feudalism didn’t expect good archery till a bowman had practiced for a lifetime. The thirty year old was better than the twenty year old, and the ten year old couldn’t do it.
You used females for what they were good at, you didn’t let them mock the princes. This rubbish isn’t just unhistorical, it’s antihistorical. This tripe trains audiences in elective reality: if half-wits win the election then you pretend that stupid people deserve the Nobel prices.

The white-haired blond grew on me. Addictive.

Greasers, Grinds
This is gonna be hairy, I’ll develop in a separate scrapbook.

Luring Love
2014 09 24 Some actors stand us on our ear they’re so attractive: Coop, Bogey; Lillian, Marilyn. I can love Brando to pieces and then love only Mifune. I’ve been streaming lots of movies recently, documentaries too, and picked up a few new stars to gawk at. I’ve been watching Jason Statham, can’t get enough. I’ve been watching Colin Farrell: him I’ve been aware of for years now. I streamed In Bruges, great cast, watched it again after a month or two: to the result that I am utterly smitten with Clémence Poésy.

Clémence Poésy

What does she have, what does she do? I can’t take my eyes off of her. She’s skinny as a pipe cleaner, she’s got a nice face but lots of girls are even prettier. Partly, it’s the shape of her mouth. Mostly it’s how she times her personality to radiate on cue.

The other evening I was marveling at JLo: sharing the screen with Statham. I haven’t loved Lopez as long as the rest of the world has, but I’ve loved her plenty long, a couple of decades at least. What does she do that keeps us looking? I suddenly thought of what Hanibal Lecter says about Clarice Starling: for the moment I just paraphrase a string of things: she’s a rube, she strings her hopes absurdly high, she’s so vulnerable, she’s so transparent … we root for her!

Last night’s Poésy movie also starred Michael Caine: gosh, he’s around 80, still great. Actually he was sort of absurd in this movie, Last Love, but it doesn’t matter, we can’t take our eyes off of him either, or close our ears: we have to hear every beat of his poor tortured speech. Every cockney should be so self-conscious, to such effect. Last Love started out so promising, boy did it degenerate. But don’t miss that pair, don’t miss their chemistry.
Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn addicted me but also made me want to retch; this Last Love pair I just love love love: till the script, the direction, the conception made me retract, pull back, sigh.

Rubbish Stream
2014 09 21 I’ve seen great movies all my life: Chaplin as a kid, Cocteau, Ford, Wayne … So many great movies came out when I was just getting mensch enough to respond: La Strada, Roshomon, Pather Panchali … Then in college I really started paying attention: more Bergman, Antonioni, Mizoguchi … And for five years now I’ve fed great movies to my beloved: and for her sake, proving to be for my own too we also devoured chick flix, all the more English period pieces: wonderful, all. Now we stream stuff. Sample it, watch more, or not, finish it, don’t: so what. With Jan up north, dammit for another three weeks yet! I’m streaming rubbish right into my cranium. Some of it turns out to be fabulous, and I’m now watching some for a second or third time: Atonement, HannaIn Bruges … Some trash is worth while for one moment of a very attractive actor. What moron would watch Bette Davis, and Bette Davis, and never discover Saoirse Ronan? There are some. We’ve been some till recently. No telling who we’re still missing. If you’re in France, you’re not in Rio.

I just bailed out of a series of examples of truly inept rubbish, I’ll never know what might have come up in the next frame, I’m gone. For example, representative, one was about Thor and some ware wolves. It looked good at first: attractive Viking ship, attractive actors, standing, rowing, looking inscrutable … then we see that some of the great looking people are women: fabulous long hair. Good so far, keep it up. I’m not knocked out by the Thor actor, but what the hell, bring on Freya, bring on the Walkyrie. Unfortunately, some then begin to stir, to move, to speak, and all that shit should have washed out the scupper hole. It seems they’ve sailed to the end of the world, it seems they were looking for honor, for conquest. Then why in hell did they bring the chix along? They’re going to explore. Someone says, Stay here and guard the ship and the women, and some woman answers, Hell, we’re going too. No discussion, no argument, the woman are going: on their own say so!!!

One guy, big guy, has been dragged off by a ware wolf. The women aren’t phased, they’re still there! Uh, excuse me: whether women go adventuring, fight, bear arms or stay home, hide by the fire, are profound questions, answered over millennia, not in rubbish sound tracks. Anyway, the women come along. They find a shed. It’s full of men and women, in equal numbers! Last month’s adventurers.

I’m reminded of one of the first novels I ever really hated: The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand. The protagonist is an architect, a genius: Frank Lloyd Wright, imagined by a Nazi. We’re told he’s great, we’re told that no one appreciates him: turn the page and he has a state or two or three filled with fans, rich fans, he has more commissions than he could fill in ten careers. No body likes him, he’s just the most successful architect in the world. Well which is he: a success? or a failure? Is this the end of the world, or is it a crowded stop on the IRT express train?

If group B or group A brought all the women along, and they all got captured, where are the children? If nothing happened to them in a month, except a little hunger, what are they worried about? These ware wolves are really inept? vegetarian Buddhists?

Yesterday I streamed a Korean kendo flick. Guys fights a duel, it’s annonced he’s the greatest swordsman who ever lived. He goes on a journey, he winds up in the Wild West. He winds up with Kate Bosworth, Kate winds up treating herself as having learned “the sword”! Now she’s his peer! Of course she’s never seen him fight, he, we’ve never seen her fight! She’s cute. I loved her when she was fourteen. But: I don’t care how cute her crotch is, I don’t care how she looks in a bikini, without a bikini, on a surfboard, where does she get off … I bailed. And what I bailed from just before that was more of the same.

2014 09 16 In Bruges
I’m watching In Bruges for the second time, streaming, sampling to remind myself who Clémence Poésy is. I loved it the first time where it was obviously good from the first frames, but this time around I know what the weirdness means: and it’s great! I love it! The cast is to wow over, very much so the females: Clémence Poésy, Thekla Reuten, Anna Madeley … Reuten I’d only recently heard of, boy is she climbing my monument fast.

2014 09 09 I put Double Indemnity on m streaming list a few months ago, have been watching bits and pieces of it, Fred MacMurray never appealed to me much, I loved Barbara Stanwyck in the ’50s, didn’t know why, it was all too sophisticated for me, her hair I guess, her smokiness, Edward G. Robinson of course is fascinating. Anyway, there’s a shtick they do, Robinson’s cigar is always out, Fred is always snapping a kitchen match alight against his thumb nail, hands the flame to Edward G., Edward G. lights his cigar, blows out the match, throws it away: all in one motion. At the end though Fred’s Walter Neff is dying, he fails to light the match, Robinson takes the match from him, Edward G. lights Fred’s cig.

There’s something insane there, not that many people noticed it in 1944, and now few smoke and no one uses kitchen “safety” matches, for anything, so they’ll never know. I used to pull that stupid stunt, snapping the phosphorus tip against my thumb nail, so cool, so sophisticated, such a dumb schmuck teen. Buddy, let me tell you, one time, the phosphorus tip broke off and buried itself, burning, under my thumb nail! Jesus! Bastard almost killed me, hurt for days! A little late to ask Fred, or Edward G., or Humphrey if it ever happened to them. or to Lauren.
2014 09 16 There’s something about that phosphorus burning under the nail, shut off from the fresh air: the phosphorus, once kindled, wants to burn, demands oxygen. It doesn’t care where it gets it: it’ll cannibalize the oxygen right out of your flesh, right out of your blood, your bones: you’re not just getting burned, you’re getting devoured! eaten from inside out.

Raquel Note

Salters Bookstore, on Broadway and 115th, after it had replaced Riker’s there, 1960s, had that Raquel poster in the window. I’d stand there and stare at it. Oh, I’d read some book titles too, so I wasn’t totally embarrassed-self-conscious. I remember vividly what I saw, what was so unusual then, so riveting, I gotta explain: people who weren’t adults in 1960 won’t have a clue: the composition has us looking up into Rachel’s crotch: her crotch cover, her little square inch of loincloth leather, conceals the pudendum, but you can see through her legs, you can see a little bit of the curve of her right buttock!! Standing in front of her, you can see her behind! Maybe only a fragment, but holy Christ! in 1965 or so!
By 1957, certainly by 1961, I was seeing greatly shaped female crotch, bottom, lips for hours and hours every single day if not every single hour: it wasn’t that we’d never seen crotch; it was that we’d never seen Raquel’s crotch, from below, through to her fanny, as a cave woman! Not on a big screen, not as a poster in a bookstore window.
Those dinosaurs could have gobbled us in a second, standing there, staring, like hypnotized chickens.

Racist Redux

20114 08 06 Taking a glance at 42, the Jackie Robinson story. The postwar Dogers give Robinson a chance. His instructions are to play well, win; turn the other cheek to all insults. Ten years later I was fighting racism by loving and promoting jazz: so very much black music in a white, cheat-by-all-means society. And now here I am watching somebody’s dramatization of it, Harrison Ford fabulous as Branch Rickey, the target audience encouraged to sympathize with the liberals, whereas in fact almost any of them would have stood and fought among the racists: keeping any underclass under, by any means necessary.
Great scene with rival player coach Ben Chapman shouting trash at him. Jackie tries to ignore it, to hold his temper. My point is: the bulk of both teams also ignored it! the stadium audience ignored it, the radio announcer ignored it, the home listeners ignored it … just Americans being Christ-killing kleptocrats, and proud of it. What else is new?
Eventually we did ignore it less: but are we “better”? or just meaninglessly modified?
A couple of hours later: I finished it, terrific movie, quite moving: terrific cast, performances. I absolutely adore Mrs. Jackie’s very special Afro hips.
Gotta comment on one thing I particularly enjoyed: I wasn’t a baseball fan as a kid, I paid a price for my ignorance: I’ve told the stoory of the older kid, new in the neighborhood, who jumped on me and beat me up when he drew a blank from me as he asked Which was I: Dodger fan? or Yankee fan? Huh? I didn’t know what he was talking about: so he assumed “Yankee” and made me pay.
Well, in those years following, later 1940s, early 1950s, I delivered my papers, collected the weekly bill, and absorbed more of the Yankee Dodger succession of World Series than I might have had I not been given lumps over it. I noticed: the Yankees always won, the Dodgers always gnashed their teeth. I came to know names from both sides: Joe Dimaggio, Phil Rizutoo, Yogi Berra … Casey Stengel … Roy Campanella, Pete Reiser, Ralph Branca, Eddie Stanky … Branch Rickey … So: since then I’ve heard of Jeter and Bonds and Ortiz; but names will never again possibly carry the aura that those Yankee and Dodger names do from Jackie Robinson’s reign.
And it’s true: Jackie’s fame transcended the sport.

Del Toro’s Labyrinth

2014 08 01 Pan’s Labyrinth: Del Toro is skilled, hard-working, doesn’t seem to have funding difficulties … brilliant … surrounded by other brilliant artists — anything with Maribel Verdu is worth a watch … so how come I typically don’t like it much? find it gray, ugly, stupid?

whoops, missing graphic of Maribel Verdu

I was moved by the ending, moved to tears, but it took hours to get there.

My “Monthly” posts are schedules to be reborn the first of every month: scrapbooks as renewable.

My on line writing has long burgeoned with babble about movies. I use movies to illustrate social, political, philosophical points: linguistic points, semantic points … and I also just blab about movies, as a form of Chat. It’s the latter category that has had menus of contents here for some time: Movies: under Art Favorites, under Chat.

I made a scrapbook, then I made it a monthly: now I split it into a scrapbook and a monthly.
This material should get moved either to the scrapbook or will get promoted to its own posts.

2014 05 20 I repeat: Mark Cousins: The Story of Film: An Odyssey.

thanx guardian

See it, memorize it, see it some more.

One point of his I rant on at Patent Pirates. Here’s another from his cornocopeia:

Women in Film

Movie making was a new industry at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Therefore, minorities weren’t (yet) (routinely) excluded. Jews’ contribution we can guess at from the omnipresence of Jewish sounding names in movies; but who knew about women? One female secretary was allowed to teach herself directing, editing, writing: after hours, provided she’d already completed all her secretarial tasks! Another woman auteur-ed a masterpiece of film: it was shown: and credited to DW Griffith!
(Compare my story about noticing the call number for George Eliot in the library: it’s coded under L. Her pan name was E: her real name was E (Mary Ann Evans). So where’d the L come from? She lived with George Lewes! The scholars had to give her identity to some man. She wasn’t married so they just stretched the “truth” further, and further … to make the world agree with their patriarchal mythology!

I’m back, a few hours later, with details: One, two: kerpow! Left, right: Wham! Cousins cites film historian Carrie Beacham. Beacham says that film was developed by women, immigrants, Jews: people not welcome in other professions.
Before 1925 half! of all films were written by women! Not just chick flix; all films!
Alice Guy-Blachet was the first woman director, and the first studio boss.

This material can be found c. 48 minutes into the film: streaming shows the time elapsed.

Helen Hunt

2014 05 01 Did you ever dislike a star, were even repelled by them, then see something, like it, love them in it? Helen Hunt was popular on TV but not with me. I avoided her, I avoided TV sicoms in general: some exceptions, always exceptions: Taxi, Seinfeld.
But then I saw As Good As It Gets: not for Helen Hunt, for Jack Nicholson: positives about him swept over negatives about her. Except that I liked the movie! and I like her in it. I loved her in it!
And then I saw As Good as It Gets (1997). She was a key part of what was good about it. A couple of years later (2000), it happened again: Cast Away. (Somewhere in there Twister wasn’t bad.) OK, I was converted; but I would never have raved about her: till last night. Jan and I watched A Good Woman (2004). Man, oh man: that was a great performance: not many actresses could have done half so well: she looked alternately young, old, nice, a frigid conniving bitch, a criminal, selfish, shallow, loving, self-sacrificing … just wonderful playing off Scarlett Johansson. Damn right Tom Wilkinson’s earl would know what she was and still want to marry her: by all means, marry me for my money.
I put up with chick flix for Jan’s sake, I ordered this as a chick flick, was pleasantly surprised to see that it was an Oscar Wilde adaptation, Lady Windemere’s Fan. But before long I was OKing on Wild’e oh-so-rhetorically-formal witticisms. But over all, very glad to have seen it: Scarlett Johansson, of course, mama mia, and whammo bango, Helen Hunt. Bravo.

Erotic Iberia

Sex & Lucia
Paz Vega, Sex & Lucia
thanx cinematicthoughts

2014 04 18 The Spanish produce the most tasteful erotica I’ve seen in movies. And they’ve got a stack of good actresses. I first thought that after seeing La Belle Epoche, thought it further as my jaw dropped for Almodovar.
reedit mess
I thought highly of Spanglish, really liked the actress Paz Vega, so I went ahead and streamed Sex & Lucia: not a title I would normally pursue. No matter how many movies one sees, there are others one’s back is turned to: you may see every western, but did you see the Indian films? the Chinese films? The only porn I’ve seen in my life, seventy-five and a half years of it now, came unsolicited in the mail, then unsolicited in the email. Deep Throat came and went with me hearning aboout it but without my seeing a single frame. Meantime I certainly saw plenty of eroticism in standard cinema: tit shots in early 1960s French film … Ooo: little did we realize how much female flesh had been adored on screen before the censors ruled our lives. Every once in a while we’d be teased with a hint of pudendum, a moment in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for example … I’ve mentioned elsewhere my first exposures to diirty pictures, dirty movies, dirty magazines, back in the 1940s, very ugly, shameful, amateur. I’ve still never bought a single issue of Playboy; but I’ve seen them. I knew cheap smut, and slick manipulations all along. So here I’d see what a title like Sex & Lucia was up to.

Wow. Slick and erotic and beautiful and well acted, written, produced … holy mackeral.

What I want to know is: what happened to the Spanish? In the 1950s my friends visited Spain and the girl was spat at for wearing a short sleeve blouse! Now they’re all walking around in public blowing each other? I could imagine such things in Berlin, but not in Madrid.

Actually, maybe I’ve seen more than I let on: Bunuel was fantastic, a hero, but Almodovar doesn’t fool around either.

Lucia PS: The flick did one thing that astonished me: we look at this girl’s tits, then that girl’s tits, this and that snatch, up this and that ass. See male erections, cocks in the mouth, tongues in the pussy, open ass spread over the face, great water shots, beach scenes, and now one of the studs is with a little girl! His daughter, apparently. Now we see the little girl swimming with the camera up her coo … If everybody sucks and fucks everybody, if the Church has taken a dive into oblivion, then do we also suck and fuck the eight year old? the four year old? Do we really want to look up inside the underage virgin?

2014 04 15 I sure love this new Dr. Who series, with Billie Piper.

Billie Piper
thanx wikimedia

Last night I watched a pair of episodes that I was not enjoying especially, fidgeting a bit: the one where Rose and the Doctor land in London in 1941 during an air raid, and the little kid in a gas mask is looking for his Mommy. But then it did something that vaulted it among my favorites. Some other time traveller is there, he heals Rose’s rope-burned hands with a sprinkle of nanobots. The nanonurses heal her in seconds. Meantime, London, and soon the world, is being turned into inviable clones of a dead boy the bots had found and turned into a zombie, not knowing what they were doing. Ah, but for the climax, the zomboy finds the appealing perfect English girl, Nancy. She actually is his mommy. The bots swarm her, are about to zombify her, another damn stupid clone, when the swarm realizes that her DNA is already the sensible “original”: so, instead of over-writing her code, they correct the boy’s to match hers, his actual mother, a healthy normal human specimen! Then the swarm corrects all the zombies!
Wonderful. It isn’t everyday anymore that my beloved science fiction can give me a nice meme thrill.

Meantime, Billie Piper’s Rose is so cute: nice to look at, nice to listen to, nice and curvy, not too moral, not a whore, not too stupid … She shows her bosom but doesn’t flaunt it, intelligently handled in every detail, nice full bottom, fully female.
One nice thing about media, these digital images, like the images of the silver screen, are odorless (and germ-free). When we imagine smooching Rose in the midst of her ample buttocks, we don’t have to worry about the details of her personal hygiene, she’s perfect. Well, these last couple of days I’m catching up a bit on horror films, a neglected if not despised area in my life, and I stream the first five minutes of Scream. Drew Barrymore is on the phone with some pervert stalker. Now her fat little face was adorable in ET, so long ago: but now, oh my god, her fat ass looks like chubby teen Britney Spears. No, no, keep that disgusting pooper away from me, she’s trying to swallow me, males so susceptible to curves we have no defense.

The Asphalt Jungle
2014 04 09 Sixty-four years buried! finally free! John Houston’s The Asphalt Jungle came out in 1950. I was very much into Tarzan novels at the time. I’d read all the Bomba the Jungle Boy books. I heard Rudyard Kipling poems all around me that talked of jungles. I really wanted to be a cave man, but I’d settle for being a jungle boy. (Of course I’d need to take my beloved jazz with me.) I heard that The Asphalt Jungle had arrived at our Fantasy theater. I wanted to see it. My mother corrected me. No, I did not want to see it. This was an adult film. It wasn’t for me, I wouldn’t like it.

Last night Jan and I slipped the DVD into the slot. Finally, I’m going to see my “jungle” movie. But of course what we saw was a noir classic: John Houston! Marilyn Monroe!
Elsewhere at K. I’ve told how in 1974, running the Circle Gallery on Madison Avenue, I’d put a huge Milton Green serigraph of Marylyn Monroe in the window. I look up, and there looking in the window and smiling was long John Houston. I waved, he winked, and I left him to look all he wanted.
Houston did so much: The Maltese Falcon (1941) is still champ.

Gallic Favorites
2014 01 04 I just edited a pic of Jean Pierre Leaud in Goddarrd’s La Chinoise, am reminded of how wonderfully Francois Truffault has used him as an alter ego since the 1950s, and I reminded of another Gallic favorite I don’t recall having yet mentioned online: Phillipe deBroca and Jean Pierre Cassel.

Jean Pierre Cassel
The Love Game
thanx unifrance

I’ve been unable to rent The Love Game on DVD these last few years so Jan doesn’t yet know what I’m talking about. But I was able to share with Jan familiarity with Jean Pierre Cassel’s great cinematic offspring: Vincent Cassel. I think he’s great as Mesrine. And I love him too as Otto Gross, the anarchist shrink, in A Dangerous Method.

thanx telegraph

2013 10 12 The Gift just made me laugh out loud. Cate Blanchett’s weird beauty is well suited to her role here as a ESP pro: a seedy pro, but they pay her. (Correction: they give her “gifts”: local law doesn’t permit wages for witches.) She drives a wreck, has kids, has a fan base. She meets her kid’s principal’s girl friend. Katie Holmes manifests the girl friend as so cute I wanted to smash her with a rock. (First time I ever saw her (Ice Storm) she proved that room temperature was just fine for dissolving flesh into helpless longing: statutory rape is suddenly pure reason. Anyway the cutie beards the wacko psycho, says What’s my future? and Cate gets all a-tremble: a pencil rolls off a desk, the screen shows flayed feet and shanks … That’s even better than a rock: Cutie is about to get stomped: and its magic: fate, gods, witches.
If this Katie ever actually spent more than five minutes alone with Tom Cruise, she deserves every scratch, cut and scrape. (I duplicate here the ethos of the film itself: the bad guy there commits, or threatens every crime, except the one he’s jailed for: and everyone says, Serves him right.

More important I have to coordinate some comments on horror films, recalling what I’d scribbled about Nightmare on Elm Street and some other Wes Craven stuff:
I’ve been on a number of “I love this actress” kicks, including opening my eyes to a couple of roles by Amanda Seyfried after being struck by her buxom talent in Mean Girls. (She’s struck in the boobs by a football: and we go, “Look at that girl!” So I was looking at her in Gone: She plays a girl who’s been abducted, the cops didn’t find anything, didn’t really look, didn’t bother to imagine that anything she said might be true or even partly true; they’re the government; you’re the schmuck citizen: they can crucify Jesus and give themselves a raise, out of your pocket, after they’ve raped you in several other ways first.
So: I said, in several of those earlier files, the horror genre, for all the preposterousness of much of what it seems to portray, idiot teens, preposterous society, is perfectly true to life in how the adults, the parents, the police, the media, never believe a single true fact about the danger they’re all in. Well, Amanda Seyfried’s nemesis in this other exercise is played by Daniel Sunjata. Never heard of him, but boy did he and (the team) succeed in making me hate him.
And behold, mixed ethnicity! So the White House isn’t the only muddied house!

I liked a couple of things about this Gone. The villain had abducted her, but she got away! She’d stabbed him with a bone! Now she believes that the same villain has abducted her sister. She decides she’s not gonna take the same crap from the cops this time, not in quite the same way. So: she goes to the same park the guy had taken her to, marches up to the same hole in the earth … Next thing we know, though it’s dark, murky, we don’t really know anything, she seems to have overpowered the guy: again! He didn’t learn a thing last time! Then we find out that her sister isn’t in the hole; she’s hiding under their own porch at home: and the villain knows it!!!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Amanda Seyfried, I love to look at her, her eye balls are so weird. She’s so round: her boobs, her tush, her eye balls. But I would have liked this movie much more if the villain hadn’t been such a helpless patsy schmuck.

Anyway: she’s stabbed the abductor first time around: did he prosecute? Did the cops ask if he wanted to prosecute? Second time around she coldcocks him, shoots him, pours gas on him, lights him up, presumably burning him badly, presumably to death: Do the cops investigate?
The cops haven’t even found the hole from the first time!
So she sends them a map! Is she crazy? And they still don’t arrest her for murder?

The funeral parlor guy in the Godfather wants the guys who molested his daughter dead. The godfather points out to him that beating the guys up would be a justice, but killing the guy wasn’t called for. Ah but then Puzo is no longer around to reason with the movie makers.

2013 10 13 Back to The Gift: J.K. Simmons plays the no-sensible-inquiry-can-take-place-while-I’m-in-charge-(and-I’m-in-charge) sheriff. He’s as intelligent, as inquisitive, as fair, every-bit-as-fair, as the priest torturing the girl for heresy.

I haven’t seen nearly enough horror and ouija board movies. I’m thrilled to discover that behind my back, despite my ignorance, my contempt for them, they display an attitude the exact same as mine toward the Nazis who run civilization: with the difference that they go ahead and live in that universe while I do not: not without kicking.

2013 08 29 I’m a awe of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. I didn’t think much of it for the first half hour or so, was ready to bail out. Murk: some of that may be my monitor, some may be my age, most may be my hatred of things federal, my mistrust of human political centralization: we’re dangerous unorganized, we’re lethal centralized. Trying for unfair advantage we’ll kill everything: ourselves too, eventually.
But, in the second half, and by the end, I came to think that this is one of Clint’s greatest achievements: and that’s saying something.

The film is the biography of all of us, of the 20th century. Clint embarrasses all of us retracing how J. Edgar had us by the nose and the White House by the balls. G men, we thought that was “good” once upon a time. Like a medieval trusting his “Church.” GREAT film for irony.

I loved the scenes where Robert Kennedy tried his power politics on Hoover: like the White House was the government while Hoover and his FBI were just employees of the government! Hoover calmly kicks RFK in the balls as it were: and RFK knows he’s been kicked. Wonderful.
RFK tells Hoover to leave his report with him, RFK. Of course. Hoover complies. RFK has it! Then Hoover says calmly, “I have my own copy.” And RFK turns to an ice statue. God, that’s delicious.

Wonderful watching J. Edgar amass power by keeping himself and his agency sober while everybody else floats away on drunken hubris. (His sober-hubris will get him too, in time.

Naomi Watts is fantastic as the dedicated secretary. Hoover avoids women, except for his monstrous won’t-go-away mother. Miss Gandy gives up men: what does she believe in instead? The US? Hoover himself? Power? herself?!?!?
Regardless, she gets it. Marvelous to watch her taking dictation for an anonymous hate threat to Martin Luther King: as she sees that she’s actually worked for Stalin, for Hitler: the US another tyranny: lies, threats, false evidence: by the Edison of evidence: Hoover.

Hoover: the Edison of evidence

Nixon has always been my favorite modern president: epitome of evil, stupidity, dishonesty. Nixon has always known the noose Hoover had the White House in: Roosevelt, Eisenhower … Nixon knows about J. Edgar’s secret files … Finally, the bastard is dead. Nix gets word. “That cocksucker,” he exclaims. “Get those files!” he orders.
Ah, but loyal Miss Gandy, using fed dictatorial powers to destroy evidence, shreds everything. That’s a meta-betrayal, a betrayal of all betrayals, the evidence-king’s legacy is to destroy evidence.
Cut to Nix, on TV, pipe to America’s consumer-audience brain-stem, pabuluum feeder, brain drip. Nix waxes sentimental: J. Edgar had always been one of his best friends, favorite people, great American. (The cocksucker.)

This is a deep movie. Bravo.

The make-up is a great element. We’ve all marveled at this and that movie with great make-up: Babette’s Feast, Back to the Future. One of my favorite examples of aging beauty where I love the age, never loved the beauty, King Kong vs Cape Fear, e.g.; here, ironically, another King Kong: Naomi Watts! Miss Gandy.
Naomi Watts is Sooo beautiful no matter how the costumes, the make-up, age her: some Naomi Watts shows through.
And LeoDiCaprio!
I’m floored by this Armie Hammer. Think of his great grandfather, then look at him: now, look at him in make-up as lifelong companion to the American Stalin.

The scenes with that old queer and his career-long companion are very moving: Clint! making homosexual complexity tug our heart strings, bravo.

Ironies abound. Hoover comes on the crime scene, local law enforcement contaminating all evidence. Hoover will now take forensic science as his own, develop it, pervert it, abuse it, render it damned. He congratulates the NJ cop, Now you’ve contaminated the evidence.
Hey bozos. Hoover breathing NJ air is contaminating the whole universe!

Employees note: by all means absorb my note about Eisenhower at Columbia: History of Schools

Related: Secret Honor
A fiction of the disgraced Nixon’s dialogue with himself. Marvelous, probably very true if hardly factual. Did the authors of J. Edgar have access to a hate letter J. Edgar forged to Martin Luther King? Is it a fact that Hoover tried to intimidate King so he would not accept the Nobel Peace Prize? What does the prize mean anyway when Nixon also won it? No, no: fiction, honest fiction, unfettered fiction, may be the most efficient form of truth we have.

Hoover and his FBI
I’m just remembering a nugget claimed as fact I heard decades ago: Hoover advertised his agency as being for crime fighting: Hoover was masterful at getting ever bigger budgets: (and never forget that “crime” is defined by the people who make up new laws every year: people have fermented beer or cider forever, suddenly it’s a crime: people never paid taxes, suddenly not paying is a crime …) but crime was a cover; the real reason Hoover got all that budget was because the base purpose of the FBI was to beat up anarchists, make sure they are homeless, friendless, can’t make a living …
However true or untrue that is, it’s certainly what the state and its agencies, the state and its citizens, have done to me, since childhood: but with both fists and all their boots since 1969. 1970, 2006, 2007 … All of K. details.

2013 08 03 My daring went north yesterday, so now for two months I’ll watch DVDs by myself, or without her at least. We’ll still talk about it a few times a week: she has unlimited phone service from Nova Scotia as she does when in Sebring, but I’ll be holding my own hand. The other night I offered us Barabbas. She wanted nothing to do with it. We’ve seen zero Biblical epics together: junk I used to watch all the time, in the 1950s. At least Jan and I read Bart Ehrman biblical scholarship somewhat regularly. (Best: best: we’re currently reading Tolstoy! that is, I’m reading to her.)

Jan rejected Barabbas even when I told her it was Anthony Quinn. Even when I added that Jack Palance was in it. She doesn’t remember Shane: she may not know Palance by name or face. Anyway I was pleased to learn: Jack Palance had been a boxer! a heavy weight! Ah, now I appreciated his gladiator the more: appreciated his Jack Wilson the more too!

Jack Palance, Shane
thanx broadband

Lee Daniels’ The Butler

2015 08 10 I’m paused in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, pretty well into it, but now can’t wait to say this: great idea, American history from the 1950s to nearly the present through the experience of a White House butler, black, one time cotton chopper. What a great cast: the cast alone should make it first rate. So how come it ain’t?

2015 08 11 A scene or two brought a tear to my eye, a small tear: his missuz’ death for example. Oprah Winfrey goes clunk. I liked the cutting back and forth between “history” and “personal”.


Netflix offers a five star system with which to rate movies. Ridiculous: Gradations of quality are near infinite,

I watch Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia. I’ve been watching bits and pieces for years now. Some of it’s annoying, so maybe I’ll just give it four stars. But no: there are several places that by themselves should get five stars: even if Homer and Shakespeare are five stars. Boy: if I feel inadequate, how inadequate is Netflix? how inadequate are my neighbors?

Quelle Belles
2015 07 19 I was just raving about some attractive filming of females, ranging from films I’ve seen recently and harking back to films encountered in the 1950s: Emma Stone, Monica Bellucci … Jeanne Moreau … I just joked that Monica Bellucci’s body (and face) (and hair) qualfified for multiple awards as, in Malena, her legs when akimbo, her crotch was stage center, her left boob did this, her right boob did that … and I have to mention something else magically female:
Have you heard about the fourteen year old Israeli girl just hired as Dior’s lead model?

Sofia Mechetner
Sofia Mechetner

Read the story, it’s something: from sleeping in a broken bed, content in poverty, to being launched over age-blue-laws to star for Dior!

I’ll look at a female image, I’ll look at a female: all my life; but I don’t seek porn, I try to keep stars in perspective, I don’t gad after models … Till now! Look at that face! Look at that girl!
She’s an angel! with a model’s dead-pan! Yet nothing seems sexed about her at all. We see her drawers through the gauze, but so what? she’s a Madonna! We worship, not lust for her.
Rossetti, the PreRaphaelites would have gone crazy.
One fabulous thing is … she knows it! She’s controlling this!

Public Rape
2015 07 04 The arts exercise our powers to recognize patterns, to note similarities, and differences. At 76 3/4 I know that my pattern recognitions are regularly out of step with the majority: Christians are expected to see themselves as different, as superior: Americans, ditto, but with a secular bent. But pk sees Christians as the same: no different: or, essentially the same, trivially different. The Jews killed Jesus (Uh, wasn’t that the Romans?); yeah, but the Christians killed Hypatia! How is that so different?
(The Americans who had a contract out on Einstein for being too smart for his own good, were identified, convicted, and fined: $5!!! That’ll show the world how Americans respect genius.
Jesus was too good … Einstein was too smart … So am I, so am I.)

Anyway, last night Jan and I watched Malena.

Monica Bellucci as Malèna
thanx filmphilosophy

Italy under the Fascists: Mussolini. A Sicilian town is ravished by Malèna’s beauty. The men want to rape her, the boys at puberty aren’t sure what they want, the women want to gouge her eyes out.
In college my friends (those who could afford to go to Europe every summer (and as many Christmases and Easters as they wanted (one pal, the son of the only man whose father had never not been on the NYT list of New Yorkers with incomes in seven figures, said the fares are so low now you can’t afford not to go!) told me that in Italy (and in Spain) any female tush on the street was public property: walk the square and if you are at all shapely, and youthful, you are guaranteed to get a lot of male groping of your ass. Gangs of males own the earth: the women see it, from hiding, and jeer, and hate, and count breaths toward revenge.
How different from New York, from New Orleans? Yes, but also No: that’s a very human pattern.
(Bellucci is fabulous at knowing to keep her gaze downcast, humble (non-sentient) as she walks her errands.)

Malèna’s husband is off to the war, her father is deaf (and a fool), her husband is reported dead:
Allied bombs rain on the towns. Malèna gets raped by this and that male above the middle ground of the kleptocracy. She dies her hair, she’s seen accepting gifts from Nazis … first chance, the town’s women are seen ripping her to shreds, dragging her over rough ground, shearing her hair, abusing her magnificent bosoms.

I didn’t see that behavior in high school, or as a teacher, nor as an art dealer; but I was never in a place being rained on by Allied bombs. No, we’re the droppers, not the droppees. But: I know from assorted readings that such behavior is deeply normal in human societies. The rapists, the men, the women, the pubescents, despise Jesus, oh, he’s so goody-goody, putting the rest of us to shame … It is not flattering to be lusted after, to be resented …

So different? So much the same!

Pack Behavior
The males form gangs, the gangs dominate the public places. (Rats dominate the sewer.) Check out behaviors by gender (and by age, and maturity) in other cultures: the Muslims? are they more “Christian”? Try being a fly on the wall here or there in Africa. … There are societies around the world where females are caged from puberty onward. The harem has its own architecture.

Goodbye, Simple Simon
2015 07 04 I stream movies from NetFlix, I also rent DVDs from NewFlix via the snail mail. I try to watch the DVDs promptly, Jan knows this and cooperates, to an extent: the faster I mail ’em back, the move movies we get to see, for the one monthly price. With the mail there’s sometimes a movie on hand; with the streaming, there’s always a hundred movies on hand.

I’m forever fidgeting the queues, moving a title up or down, simmering at the back burner, or promoting to Now. But inevitably time passes and I may not remember why I rented a title. When Jan and I started this activity five, six years ago, it was clear: La Strada, Roshomon …. I wanted to show them to Jan becaue they’re among the greatest movies ever made. That is, they’re among the core experiences of my life, esthetic, intellectual, cultural. Some of the auteurs are my heroes, my gods … But sometimes I don’t remember why I put the damn title on the list.

Just now, last night: Malena: the movie was over before I remembered: Oh, yes. Monica Bellucci: I wanted Jan and me to recognize her, got to see something she’s in for that to be possible (though now one can just Google images, one never has to actually experience anything!) Two seconds in I said, “Oh, I’ve seen this.” Still, Jan or not, I had to watch further to absorb Monica Bellucci: a grand activity.

The night before we watched The Goodbye Girl. Why? I don’t remember! To try to remember who Marsha Mason was? I don’t remember.

I expected from moment to moment to see something that would prompt recognition: oh, yes, Marsha Mason, or Neil Simon … I began to remember, a bit, hating Neil Simon in the 1960s (and the 1970s). He was famous, rich, admired, loved, successful; my play put on at NYU in 1964 was a total dud: I don’t think my friends who agreed to read their parts had a clue what I was up to. (That was Hilary, Phil, and David Smith, the latter subsequently using his PhD to launch his career at Toledo University.) (Oh, and yours truly: I had the lead: I played the fumbling fool: a la Chekov’s farces, via Robert Benchley five minute radio spots.) Half century ago: no one has since come up to me and said, “Oh, I think I see what you were doing: Goddard might have understood. Or maybe Brecht.” (Or maybe Chekov, or maybe Benchley.) No. Zero. Subsequently, I say what I say, already braced, already numb, that no one will understand. After a certain period of crucifixion, it still hurts: it’s just that you’re not surprised that hurts: of course it hurts: and, of course they crucify you: they’re incapable of learning. People flocked to Simon plays, Simon movies. I finally saw one: a movie, Barefoot in the Park. It was hard to pk to be aware of Neil Simon in the 1960s: it was harder in the 1970s: I’d been conceiving the internet since the late ’60, actually offered digital data-basing with my Free Learning Exchange in 1970. Zilch. Nada. Zippo. The public eagerly stole networking when it was finessed on them as an accomplished theft, like how the US stole California from Sutter: we’d ignored Sutter when he invited us, then we klonked him on the head once it was gold we could steal. pk got Nada; but Neil Simon people saw voluntarily: paid to see him! It was hard and I hated him. I knew the name of every donar to FLEX: and his name was not among the contributors (as, neither was yours!)

Anyway, Jan and I watch The Goodbye Girl. A string of things annoyed me, I’ll mention only the set of things that stuck the most violently in my craw; they all have to do with Shakespeare.
Richard Dryfus’ actor has a gig as Richard III. He butts heads with the director. He wants to play Richard the usual way: as a cripple, as a hunchback; the director wants a flaming queer without any limp. With a different tone that might have been OK: moronic ways to murder Shakespeare are supported by simple truth, just look around you: there’s some funding available for shoving Shakespeare in our eye, the schools do it, but there’s lots of funding, uncritical funding for blatant perversion: drama-murder.

Regardless, the Simon audience has to watch Richard Dryfus prance around the stage, butchering familiar lines.

That’s something Simon seems to do regularly: again and again we hear the line “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York …” At no point does anyone, on the stage, on in the audience, betray a clue what the line means! It’s a great line, a great great line: if you understand what it says; it’s just so much noise if you don’t!
2015 07 07 In college I heard a woman referred to who’d seen Shakespeare for the first time: It’s all just quotes, she observed! Didn’t have a clue that they weren’t quotes until he wrote them. (Shakespeare in Love shows Sweet Will hearing a harangue on the street including the curse, “A plague on both your houses”. Fine: so Shakespeare was quoting somebody: but his quoting is what made it quotable!) Anyhow: that’s what Simon does: he plagiarizes our best know literature, then insults the source.

Marsh Mason’s ten year old daughter complains that Richard III is “boring”. Boring? The play is played around the world for four hundred years because it’s boring?! American kids get indulged no matter what cultural, intellectual blasphemy they utter?

But maybe worst: the “experts” inform Mason and daughter that Shakespeare himself was a flaming fag. They say it as though it were a fact, not an egregious misreading, an ad hominem assumption..

Jan turns to me. “I didn’t know that!”
“Good”, I answer: “because it isn’t true!”

A coupld of decades ago I got an email from a student in Turkey who complained to me, internationally visible Shakespeare scholar, that his English teacher said that Shakespeare was queer. I told him to tell his teacher to read my explanations on the subject. No: the student came back to me: his teacher had merely corrected him, ignoring me, by authority!

Hell, Shakespeare did write a hundred odd sonnets, explicitly love sonnets, to a male. That would certainly make one tend to sniff homosexuality.
But let me point out a couple of things, real quick:

  1. Shakespeare wrote those sonnets during plague years. The theaters were closed, poets had to scrounge alternate ways to make a living. And the low numbered sonnets are addressed more to the young man’s father than to the young man: Shakespeare was groveling, hoping for cash; sincerity was not in evidence.
  2. Clearly the love declared is 99% Platonic!
  3. Sonnet 20

    A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted,
    Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
    A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
    With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion:
    An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
    Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
    A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
    Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
    And for a woman wert thou first created;
    Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
    And by addition me of thee defeated,
    By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
      But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure,
      Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure.

    The love is for the poet, the lover’s dick is strictly for the ladies!

  4. Forget about arguing that Shakespeare could have been bisexual. Sure, and so could anybody; but this sonnet is unequivocal: male male love is real: male male fucking is not something endorsed by Shakespeare.

Odd Men: Reed, Mason, Newton
2015 06 12 I was so looking forward to introducing Jan to Carol Reed’s Odd Man Out: 1940s Irish noir: James Mason, an IRA cell chief, the people’s hero, flubs a robbery, ripping off the man to finance revolution, and bumps around Belfast for two hours, dying. Did he sound Irish? No: English as hell; but what a voice: held us till Burton came along.
Anyway, I knew Carol Reed through The Third Man: what a great movie. It’s the movie that made me realize that there was more to urban noir than Orson Wells. Wells was fabulous, in icon, but the movie was directed by Carol Reed. So: Odd Man Out was the first Carol Reed movie I sought out because it was Carol Reed. Wow, what a bonus. And pure bonus comes from Robert Newton’s Lukey, the mad painter who connives to get the dying cell chief brought to him. Lukey want to see death in James Masn’s eyes and capture it in oil on canvas. Till we meet Lukey Odd Man Out is a very good movie, but Robert Newton’s madman puts it on an altogether higher plane.
Note that Oliver Twist is also Carol Reed, with Robert Newton paying an indelible Bill Sikes.
And never ever ever forget that it’s Robert Newton who gave us our indelible Long John Silver.

Robert Newton
Newton in Shaw
thanx evanwinchester

Alas, Jan didn’t care at all for Odd Man Out. She bailed. Later, watching it myself, the tears rolled down my cheeks.
I love the left-handed insults to England, to British rule, to imperialists minding everyone’s business: with Jails, and Germs, and Guns: and utterly unconscionable cops.

Conserving the Revolution
2015 06 09 Some of my movie blab ventures close to objectivity, to film history, to film criticism — and when I say “film” I mean “life”: life, evolution, etcetera. Inevitably any of it may be autobiographical. Where was I when ? What film, hymn, poem nudged me to the left, tickled my most ancient prejudices …? As an academic, of sorts, an anti-acedemy revolutionary, I, like all of us to some extent, live a decade late, a century late, a millennium late: I listen to Bach, worship Bach, long after his music was current, cutting edge. I missed “the ’60s” because I was busy getting saturated with what the Fortune500 wanted our knees to jerk to: I was reading Shakespeare, trying to explain how I read Shakespeare; not smoking dope and gawking at the ‘Stones.
Tom Wolfe did his grad stint at Yale but then got the culture to pay him to be current. I read his Electric Kook Air Acid Test after it was current. I read Ken Kesey after it was current. Now I see a movie about the Grateful Dead half a century after they lived the Acid Test in San Francisco and all-about. Now I watch my culture as a foreign movie, way after it’s dead, grateful or otherwise.
I watch The Other One: the Long Strange Journey of Bob Weir. Never heard of him till last week. Jerry Garcia I know only from the Wolfe book. Maybe he mentioned Garcia and Weir, the co-founders. It didn’t register on me. Now I watch old footage of this Bob Weir as a baby faced acid head, chicks sliming him 24/7 with their hot boxes. It’s a hoot, the other Dead all joking how they reaped his leftovers, everyone of them ugly, him angelic.
OK. I got it. I watched it piecemeal, a piece made a meal. (PS Do you realize that piecemeal is the only adverb in its class? that the suffix -meal meant -like? See? You were listening to the dead, toking weed, dropping acid; I was studying English: from of olde.

Something happened. I fell in love with Bob Weir. If his music had appealed to me, I should have heard it: some of it should have filtered through my filters. I should at least once have listened to the Grateful Dead, should have read more Kesey, or at least a little Kerouac: realized that that was Neal Cassidy driving the Merry Pranksters’ bus.

There was Bob Weir, changing music. He didn’t go to Julliard, he didn’t sit like a schmuck while stiffs told him how to be original, he didn’t get a can of paint and dribble and splash; he did what he wanted to do, and it so happened it changed the world. I still don’t give a damn for the music, I was busy listening to Bird change music in the 1940s from the safety of the 1950s. But something happened. Bob Weir, getting ravished by every girl around San Francisco Bay and beyond, gets ravished by an exceptionally cute sixteen years old: and he’s with her an hour later, a day later, a week later … a life time following. They have children, they raise them carefully, and well. … My God: a human family: stable: with property: affluent!

Did the Pope say Follow Bob Weir? Not a bit of it. The Church has long been even more out of it than the state. Did the druggies say Follow Bob Weir>? Apparently they did, not that anyone but Tom Wolfe paid attention. Well, a little late, very late, I don’t doubt too late, I’m getting a little bit of it. The human family. Three of four of us just might survive not matter what happens to the multi-billions.

Casting MisGovernment
2015 05 19 I’ve known better than to confuse the actor with the part for a long time. But human psychology just keeps on operating some of the time no matter how smart or wise you are: by the time we’re old we’re back to committing childish fallacies. I so hated Nixon that I also hated poor Mrs. Nixon: and then I hated Joan Allen for acting so appropriately Mrs. Nixon on the screen. I knew better. (And I didn’t do it altogether) but I also didn’t censor myself from doing it at least a little bit. (Hating the actress was cathartic!)
So now I’m watching W. Spread out over months, I’m delectating on morsel after morsel: the movie is amazing, Oliver Stone understands his own ironies! But it’s also promulgating old confusions: forinstance: Elizabeth Banks is so gorgious, so female, so attractive, I go Gah!, and half forgive George W. Bush on behalf of his movie-dopelganger wife. (Oliver Stone is setting the table, doing the casting, in all of these cases.) Meantime, Ellen Burstyn’s Barbara Bush is so near perfect, that in my case it hardly does any good: I hate her anyway.
Caesar Gets the Girl
Elizabeth Banks’ beauty may serve to remind us that Caesar got the girl: and so did the gladiator. Caesars and gladiators got lots of girls: much of human behavior tracks to adultery: hypocritical monogamy. Wilt Chamberlin build himself a basketball-court-sized bed and filled it with beauties. Magic Johnson did the same: and got AIDS, for all the world to see! Tiger Woods gets the world’s most beautiful bride, and mother for his legit kids, but shacks with the other world’s-most-beautiful girl in every port, embarrassing a famous blond beauty in the international press, the idiot. I was just watching a David Attenborough nature doc: the female elephant goes into heat, a big bull elephant courts her, mounts her, rams his eight-foot-long schlong into her: the female elephant bellows for all the world to hear — “Jeez, what a loud girl”, a roommate once remarked from several rooms away from the bedroom in which my partner was having public orgasms while blowing me. But this elephant, like all rutting female elephants, was not just announcing her ecstasy, she was broadcasting her fertility: any other bull elephant was welcome to come and pry the present bull elephant off her back and try taking his place. Will Wilt Chamberlin survive Magic Johnson getting into the sack with him and his troop of females? And when Tiger Woods joins them all? I’m glald my roommate didn’t try getting into my waterbed with me and Linda! PS, if she was loud when giving me head, she was likewise loud when I was giving her head too! She was loud, loud, loud.
Btw after the bull had climaxed and while the cow was bellowing the whole elephant clan formed something Attenborough called a mating pandemonium! All the elephants including the babies had a kind of communal orgasm.

I remember watching a spectacular beauty sit in Ivan Lendl’s box at his tennis matches. I found him ugly however dominant on the court; I found her world-class. TV coverage broadcast her bellows for her, reaching Wilt the Stilt, Magic, LeBron … The other day Ricky Fowler won a golf tournament: a spectacular cat-walker positioned herself where Fowler could insert his tongue into her abdomen as the world watched. A minute later he was paddling her pussy with his finger tips. Yes: Caesar gets the girl, so does this and that gladiator.
And so did JFK, and his damn brother, and Nixon, and Bush … except that even Elizabeth Banks isn’t quite as beautiful as Tiger’s Elin!
Anyway, the Caesars don’t lack for bellowing females. But notice: you can monitor a stack of presidents and find Martha … and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mamie Eisenhower … while waiting and wondering for Elizabeth Banks, or Marilyn Monroe! How come?
Clinton kept a fat girl under his desk: how come it wasn’t Emma Watson? or Emma Stone?

Caesar & Cleopatra
2015 04 29 It’s some time now that I’ve had Caesar & Cleopatra on my streaming list. That GBS play was filmed in 1945. I first saw it approximately ten years after that. I first read the play along around in there: 1955, 1956: then read it carefully and officially (in Hilary’s company) (for the 6-points-on-GBS-class of Prof. Dan Laurence) in 1963. I was getting peeved that Jan wasn’t requesting it, the months slid by, I put it under her nose several times a week. Finally, last evening, I pushed it on her. I could feel her sulk. What’s with Jan and the Roman Empire? She bailed oout of HBO’s Rome, wouldn’t let me turn her head back that way. She knows that GBS is of the first importance in my life: what’s she putting it all off for?
I’ll come back to that, as I’ll return to a series of points on the subject. First: 1955 or so I was so impressed by Claude Reins’ Caesar. I love “Hollywood”s cadrre of British gentlemen. Just last week we saw again how fabulous James Mason was in that class of character: his Gustave Flaubert was masterful in Mme Bovary! In that context I commended Reins: he’s so good at “intelligent” dialogue. The trouble with GBS’s Caesar is that by 2015, after sixty years of it, I’m thoroughly fed up with Shaw’s idea of how clever Caesar was: I no longer agree that Caesar was very clever by the time he met Cleopatra. I like the idea that he developed her as a competent kleptocrat ruler/executive, that sounds accurate; but I’ll be damned if at 76 I can swallow Caesar as a Christian Buddhist Marxist wise bureaucrat. I gag at the idea of “good” coercion.
Reins did not impress me much this time around. And I’m reminded of how fed up I am with most British gentlemen: I never want to see David Niven again.
From high school I adored Shaw’s wit, his sense of play, or irony: I loved his strong women, I loved his perverse aphorisms; but I never altogether swallowed his acceptance of law, of authority, his genuflections toward Stalin, Marx … Hitler, concentration camps …
So much of C&C is filler: the same joke repeated over and over. C&C has good moments, some of the scenes play well, but …
On the other hand we ought to be able to cut GBS some slack: he was born in the same culture that Marx and Stalin and Churchill and Hitler were born in.

Dark Victory
2015 10 26 I remember a time in the 1960s discussing acting quality / role quality with my best movie friend: he maintained vociferously that an actor could not give a great performance in a dumb role, there was nothing to work with. I don’t recall jumping onto his bandwagon but I did see some perspective to his point. Regardless I thought of his rant last night as Jan and I watched Bette Davis in Dark Victory. It’s a nitwit movie centered on whether doctors should tell the truth as they see it to patients. Sentiment at the time, 1939, was No: Be Kind: Ignorance is bliss, happiness the goal, never mind philosophy. Whatever the rest of the world thinks I grew up into a belief that doctors as well as presidents as well as pastors should tell the truth, or at least what they think is the truth. So: Bette Davis may be the stellar actor, but how good can she be if her character is out of phase with morality? Answer: Bette Davis is The greatest actress: Bette Davis living in a fantasy world, expecting illusion, demanding illusion, is still the greatest actress.
Stagy? you bet: very stagy.

Music BioPix
2015 10 19 NetFlix puts titles on its buffet that never would have come to the neighborhood theater of my youth. Neither would they have been shown on TV. Quentin Tarantino grew up watching stuff no previous generation had ever heard of. When I was a kid music was my preoccupation: first joke music, the Firehouse Five, then dixie, then swing, then jazz: bepop, modern. Then blues got added, then folk. By the early 1960s Ramblin’ Jack Elliott was a favorite. So, fifteen or so years ago when I saw a video on Ramblin’ Jack I grabbed it: but it turned out to have been made by his neglected daughter: it wasn’t about Ramblin’ Jack and his music, it wasn’t about Woody Guthrie and how Jack followed him, channeled him, became the library on New Deal hillbillies. No, the movie was about the daughter, neglected by the father, while the father got drunk and stripped naked while mesmerizing groups of spellbound women. Imagine a book on Thomas Jefferson that focuses on Jeff eating breakfast and fucking his slave woman.
I shoudda been warned, because a year or so ago I eagerly grabbed a DVD on BB King: one of the great great greats. Well, there was the great great BB, old, and fat, and far too familiar sounding: making jokes about needing viagara!
And last month I saw footage of Muddy Waters, the greatest since the proliferation of recording. Muddy used to dominate the bandstand. He’d uncork a shaken beer battle and spray brewers cum all over the audience as he sang “I’m a Man!” But in this DVD Muddy was old and tired and had to sit on a chair on stage. At least Pete Seger apologized when he had to sit in a chair on stage.
OK, I’d been warned.
So last night I launch a stream on Glen Campbell. Thanks to a DVD on The Wrecking Crew, studio musicians who played the instruments for any number of pop hits —
Take the Beach Boys for example: Brian Wilson “writes” a song. The Beach Boys will learn to perform it, to sing it and to play in on their instruments, in six months of regular practice they’ll be good at it. But modern times can’t wait six months: Brian Wilson teaches the parts to the studio musicians of the Wrecking Crew. They can sight read, or hear-play the song lickity-split. The Beach Boys finally learn to play and sing their parts and sing and play them well, but they’ve had millions and millions of dollars rolling in for those six months, because by using the Wrecking Crew for the instrumentals, they got the hit out overnight.
Take Ronald Reagan for comparison: he could learn the speeach in six months, he could give the speech pretty well in six months. But while he’s being rehearsed, learning his lines, the US has gone on, making billions with the policies of the speech, bombing more gooks all over the world: profit, profit, no time to waste on integrity. or intelligence.
OK, so in six months you see and hear the Beach Boys on stage, doing the song; but when you first heard it, it was Glen Campbell speed-learning the virtuoso guitar parts. Brian Wilson thought it, the Wrecking Crew played it, the Beach Boys sang it, and six months later Brian Wilson could front the group playing his own fast licks on stage.
OK, so now I’m watching a Glen Campbell movie: and it’s all about him having Altzheimers so bad he doesn’t know what day it is or how to stay on his X on the stage where the camera is aimed and pre-focused. Ugh. Who ever imagined?

But I’ll confess. I was enjoying this anyway. And I’ll volunteer why: Campbell’s nth wife is B-e-a-utiful, and his nth daughters look just like their adorable mom, and they take such loving care of poor Glen that it’s a wonder to see.

My grad school thesis on Shakespeare’s Sonnets argued among many other things that the sonnets are not about what Shakespeare had for breakfast or what he said to his girl friend in bed: they’re about basic patterns in civilized western behavior: they’re about epistemological issues, sumarizable as ideal versus real: theoretical versus experienced.

I would relish a nice musical bioPic on JS Bach: I’d tolerate a detail or two about whether the boy soprano had kibes while learning his part in the Matthew Passion, maybe Bach himself had the ague … but please, mostly, keep the music and the persons separate.

Cast Chemistry
2015 10 17 Watching Restoration I was reminded of how the camera loves Robert Downey Jr. The audience sure loves him too. What I didn’t know to anticipate was how well the camera established a bond, not to mention desire, between Downey and Meg Ryan. Her collaboration with surgery is well documented: here her relationship to the protagonist sounded a depth or two. Nice.
A minute later I was watching Moonrise Kingdom, apprehensive, ready to bail out at any moment, Wes Anderson’s tricks putting me on annoyance alert in advance: but I must say, the two kids actually started working up some chemistry between them. I’l wait till Jan is back from Nova Scotia and sitting at my side in our love seat before the monitor before venturing further.
Of course the girl, twelve or so years old, is wearing a short skirt which juts if not puckers in front so were perpetually sure we’re about to catch a little junior beaver (and actually we do see plenty of her white panties as she crawls into their tent). This girl may be worth keeping an eye on.

Farvorites Forlorn
When the Salt has Lost its Savor
2015 10 12 In the 1950s I worshipped Fellini as much as I’d tingled at Chaplin. It drove me crazy in the 1960s when film reviewers were dissing Fellini, talking about how great Fellini had been in his early- and mid-’50s films and how sad and bloated it had all become by La Dolce Vita. But then seeing La Dolce Vita I half-agreed: till it too wooed me, and I became so smitten with it too that I could hardly breathe. But by the time Boccaccio ’70 came along … it was cloying as well as bloated. I couldn’t stand it. Last week I tried to watch Boccaccio ’70 afresh: I felt suffocated, like the time my fat friend wrestled me to the ground and sat on my face: I couldn’t breathe! and had I breathed I’d have been breathing Lenny’s ass! I bailed out. Enough already.
Just today I loaded the rental To Rome with Love, the Woody Allen tribute to … lots of things. Immediately there were jokes so great I had to pause the flick and email the joke to my son. But I found myself pausing the movie every other five minutes. That seems to happen to me all the time these days, whether I love the movie or hate it. I’m half-blind, I’m more than half-deaf: I usually have my glasses on but frequently have forgotten my hearing aids: they don’t work all that well anyway. And the movie has too much talk. Too many plots, too many actors: much too much dialogue. By the time I read the subtitles I’ve missed seeing what the actors are doing: so I’m forever backing up, reading again, watching the action again. How many people would go to the movies or even stream one if everyone had to read, and ponder, and review, and catch up … Pause, sprint, sprint some more.
I may take a vacation from movies. But by the time I’m ready to try again I may be even more blind: and less in love with Fellini, and Woody … Fortunately I’ve seen most of the great ones already, repeatedly.

Movie Marathon
2015 10 11 Coming up on twenty-five years of K. I’ve written the following more than a few times:

Calvinist me, unwilling to waste anything, unable to afford to waste anything.

Today I’m remembering an ecstatic form of movie masochism I submitted myself to in the 1960s:
I saw Pather Panchali when it came out. It numbed me but I loved it. I saw it again: then again, and again.

Pather Panchali
thanx snipview

When Aparajito came out I saw it. It wasn’t Pather Panchali but it too was great. So I pounced on The World of Apu, movie three in the trilogy: loved it too however much less. So: by the late 1960s, early 1970 I’d seen them all at least twice, PP, the original, multiple times. So, one day I see the sign on the Carnegie Cinema, around the corner from Carnegie Hall: all three on one bill. What did I do? I decided to inflict a Ray marathon on myself. The box office opened at noon. I was there, saw Pather Panchali for the nth time. Two hours, whew: and that’s a long two hours: a life time of suffering. But so great. At this moment I can hear, and feel, grandma’s head clonking on the tree stump when she dies. So, I visited the mens room, and Aparajito came on.
I could have used some dinner before long movie three started, but this was my Ray marathon, I had to stay the course. It was well into evening before I stumbled from the theater, feeling like a stylites, some guy balancing on one foot on a pole high above a river. The suffering is without price.

PS I knew the above image before I saw Pather Panchali: it was featured at MOMA in The Family of Man: 1955! Now I see the movie was released that same year, but I saw the Steichen show immediately, didn’t see the Roy movie or hear the Ravi Shankar score for another couple of years: later ’50s. See? I loved Ravi Shankar years before I ever heard of him! Lots of us did.

I’ll be back to further develop the “Calvinist” waste not want no theme. And to tie in another association: I avoided The Rocky Horror Show and the The Rocky Horror Picture Show through the 1970s and so forth till this week. I finally gave up, ordered the DVD, started to watch. It made me sick, but I’d paid the rental fee, dammit, waste not.

No, I finally caved in to my revulsion, quit it, mailed it back.

Next Subjects
Falsehood Addicts
Client Privilege, Sherwood Cathedral
2015 09 28

I just start to watch a movie, Addicted. NetFlix promises addiction to sex. We open with a well-groomed, clearly affluent, exceptionally beautiful woman finding a parking space right in front of her city destination. She takes the elevator, knocks at an office. A well-groomed, clearly affluent, exceptionally attractive woman bids her welcome: make yourself comfortable, sit anywhere. What you tell me here, the office holder says, is strictly confidential, no one sees these notes, she waves her notepad, but me.

When I was a kid I was very impressed to hear that if Robin Hood could get to the cathedral and enter it, the Sheriff of Nottingham could not arrest him. Outside the church, the sheriff could make mincemeat of him; inside, couldn’t touch him. Then, growing up, a classmate with a hotrod would peel rubber on Sunrise Highway right in front of a cop cruiser, race to the border of the next town, two blocks away. There my showoff classmate would thumb his nose at the cops. The Rockville Centre cops could stop you and ticket you: in Rockville Centre; but if you could cross the border into Baldwin before they nabbped you, you had escaped their clutches.
Now, these days, if the IS terrorist crashes the airliner into the WTC but somehow lands east of Staten Island, is he safe from the cops, from the FBI, the CIA …? Uh, I doubt it.
And in medieval times, would Robin Hood really have been immune to the secular law once in the upposedly “sacred” church?
A friend of mine, founder of the Sebring Militia, was pastor of his own church, was pope for that religion, his own invention. The Sebring cops went to his house (his church, his cathedral, that is) dragged him out onto his walkway, and pistol whipped him within an inch of his life before dumping him in the county jail. If David Chapman wasn’t safe in his cathedral, would Robin Hood really have been safe in his?

You know, my class mate back in 1955, roaring across the RVC / Baldwin border: I bet he knew those cops, they coulda been his cousins. I bet he rigged the performance with them, rehearsed it.

Anyway: the chic black professional, shrink, psychologist, some kind of secular priest, promises the new client that what she says there (in this “church” of “experts”) is confidential. Talk in the street and the papparazi can blab it; talk in the office and it’s the secular equivalent of sacred. (Unless you’re Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist: then the CIA can waltz in: steal, disrupt, destroy, incriminate.)

This is: any kleptocrat can promise the anything to the Jew: but does the Nazi then have to deliver? Not to the Jew, he doesn’t.

Once upon a time the good Catholic could confess to the priest believing there to be a sacred trust between them. What you whispered in the confessional booth was private: between you, God, and the priest. Supposedly, in theory, you could confess to murder. The priest would then intreat you to surrundewr to the secular authorities and trust to God’s mercy in the sacred realm.
Really? What if you confess to unspeakable acts committed on the statue of the Virgin? Can that priest really be trusted to keep mum? About as much as the CIA could be trusted to recognize non-US waters east of Staten Island. About as much as David Chapman should have trusted the sanctity of his home-vatican.

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Movie Scrapbook 0

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Personal / Chat / Favorites / Art / Movies /

I babble a great deal about movies, as well as many other things: music, art, lit … politics, science. In the 1980s I scribbled in a digital diary. In the 1990s I scribbled online. The files get unwieldy. Today 2018 03 22 I musch them together and rebirth them in a series of scropbooks, 1, 2, 3. This one launches as 0.

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Christmas Bankrupt

Decentralization / Deschooling /

A series of relatable memories just cascaded me. In high school, 1950s, I heard that the company that had won the contract to construct the UN building on the East River had gone bankrupt before the roof was finished. They hadn’t adequately budgeted for the roof. Ah, so that’s how come they were cheaper, that’s how come they won the contract: they forgot the roof! How could they have been so stupid?
But why, having been so stupid, should they have to continue to suffer? would you have thought to budget for a roof? How much can a roof cost? How many people buying the New York Times that day would have done better? been smarter?

Those memories first came back to me a decade later. I’d taken a teaching post at Colby College, Waterville, Maine. I wanted a change of pace. Coming hard up on thirty, I wanted to ski before my body tunred chicken (as well as clumsy), abandoned me quivering on the steep: and Colby was not only located in Maine (read Winter!), but had its own ski slope, near the campus: weekends I could go to Sugarloaf, weekdays I could ski right there in Waterville.
Other guys didn’t have to catch up on their early twenties in their late twenties: they’d proved themselves to themselves in their teens.

Dartmouth had its own ski slope, so did U Colorado, Denver. Colby responded, I went to Colby. And there, in the unforgettable winter of 1968-69, I encountered the snow removal company that was bankrupt not just by Christmas but before Thanksgiving! That company had played public roulette and survived in the past, but not in 1968-69. So that hell-of-a winter the roads weren’t cleared. Snow fell, people who knew how to drive in the slick, drove. People who knew how to drive in snow did just great. I had a Saab, Swedish car, front wheel drive, and free wheeling. Skis a-top, I’d drive like a maniac: I’d skid, so what? the back of the car would pass the front of the car, what a thrill, so what? I just keep driving, keep skidding: let the front end catch back up. I loved that Saab. I’d pass jeeps with 4-wheel drive! They were stuck, I’d whizz right past. As long as no lumber truck comes, also skidding sideways. the truck longer than the road is wide, I’m just fine, ahead of the game.

I post, to finish (or add) another time. At the moment I’m not remembering what my “deschooling” hook was. My anarchism bankrupted me.

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