Archive for May, 2005
May 30th entries respecting historical dates at HISTORY 4 2DAY include one on Biafra… and one on Christopher Marlowe. Both involve betrayal; a subject of concern in my recent article “Too Proud to Run.” One wonders what Amerika’s response would have been to Biafra –black skins and oil interests (+) notwithstanding– if the religious [...]
As noted in yesterday’s writings, it’s the birthday of Death on the Installment Plan Celine. Ditto for (1878) Duncan, Isadora… with what might be an interesting 2002 essay, “Isadora Duncan and the Politics of Modern Dance“, courtesy of Ann Daly of *Centre National de la Danse*. Ditto for Dashiell (Hammett)… partner of Lillian [...]
Like Woody Allen says, *Double Indemnity*, the 1944 seedy story of the insurance agent who’s seduced by a devious female “client” into killing her husband deserves the four stars, the four bones…the high five that any reviewer/critic gives it.
The four-eyes funny man noted, in Eric Lax’s WA bio, that it has all the characteristics of the classic forties film, it’s in gorgeous black and white, has high-speed badinage, is witty to the extreme…”with a story from the classic age.” He observes further that it has Edward G., Stanwyck, and Fred MacMurray…”and the tough foice-over” we’ve all come to love…when done right. Which is rare. In addition, the dialogue has never been better in a film, and the score is perfect. It’s Miklos Rosza’s best job and Billy Wilder’s best movie.  Allen underscores, “practically anybody’s best movie.”
Growing in the wet areas of U.S. libraries, too weak to rely on…are literary oddities.  Magnificient odysseys I thought I’d call your attention to…to kind of balance what I put on the table in yesterday’s Alternative Dates section. For reading…once the school bells stop ringing in your ears.
I recommended an English translation of (German) Patrick Suskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer yesterday. But I don’t have a clue as to why –as fine a trip as it is– I chose that over Blaise Cendrars’ Moravagine. Or something by Pynchon.
For those of you who are *story-eyed* and have been asking about a summer reading list, without knowing your taste…please note:
On this date in 1822…Edmond de Goncourt is born. See Wikipedia for a rundown of the annual Prix Goncourt for fiction. Although Proust and Celine were passed up *at interesting times* (which are [...]
Special note: *I know how to write. I taught the perfect rules for decades in very prestigious surroundings. When I write like I do below, it’s for various reasons. And one of the reasons has to do with wanting readers to respond proactively. Like providing a table surface that’s uneven…with cups, mugs and glasses, the bottom of all being irregular too. And asking for an alignment. Imagine that you’re given a favorite brew of yours…and all you have to do…to sit at the table and dialogue…is to find the fit for what you’re holding in your hand…on the table. So that you can put the receptacle down at times*.
Blessings from Ox
“Italian police are investigating 186 people including three priests after uncovering an Internet pornography site for pedophiles that showed young children being tortured, an official said Tuesday.” — News item out of Rome focusing on something less severe than what’s here.
“Your latest record and your recent public statements, especially the interviews in *Rolling Stone* magazine, suggest that your views are becoming increasingly radical and political. When did this start to happen?” — Tariq Ali interviewing Lennon for *Red Mole*, March 8-22, 1971, asking a question which seems, in retrospect, emblematic of never-ending celebrity inquiries…which can go nowhere, man.
May 25, 1960, Jay Warner, six-time Grammy-winning music publisher, tells me that “while hanging out at Stuart Sutciffe’s apartment, John Lennon and Sutcliffe thought of a new name for their group from a line in a Marlon Brando-Lee Marvin film, *The Wild One*.” Marvin, talking to Brando, said: “We all missed you.” Then, pointing to [...]
May 24, 1856 - This is the date of the Pottawatomie Massacre. Folks interested in the John Brown I’m always tooting a horn for…and his impact…can start with Pottawatomie Massacre to get a general early hit on it all. Please note that W.E.B. Du Bois has a Brown bio out in a (New [...]
“When you can’t escape and you depend on others so much, you learn to cry by smiling.” — One of Ramon Sampedro’s (Javier Bardem’s) lines in *The Sea Inside*
“Many die too late, and some die too early. The maxim: die at the right time still sounds foreign to us.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Spanish director Alejandro Amenebar can be forgiven his (undeservedly) highly-praised *The Others*…now that he’s reached the heights scaled by (Oscar’s Best Foreign Film ‘05)… *The Sea Inside*. I didn’t like the former ‘tat all (to say the least), but the latter climbs The Ladder way up beyond anything offered up…by anyone from the Iberian Peninsula… within my Alzheimer’s memory. 
Special note: *Ridders* don’t have to have seen the New York production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” to get something from this piece. In fact, they don’t have to know the play at all, or get all the references herein. Neither do they have to like plays or gay playwrights…or understand that “ridders” means *readers*. They just have to be capable of caring about cruelty. Caring for its opposite.
> “This is doubtless the worst of them.” — Critic Jacques Le Sourd of *The Journal News*, judging the current Broadway production relative to previous revivals of “The Glass Menagerie.”
> “If activists can’t appreciate the beauty of a Du Bois or a Degas, they’re probably better off not talkin’ shop…and just tellin’ jokes.” — Anonymous