Here’s the thing. We really love each other. So last night we were playing the “Our Song” game, which most people can play with top points. Wind Beneath My Wings ring a bell?
Of course we turned it into a competition. Several hours worth. Phil Collins, Foreigner, Cyndi Lauper, Warren Zevon, Edith Piaf, Puccini, Neil Diamond, Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Rossini, Jeff Buckley, Heart, and not Pat Benetar or the Stones, although I was tempted by “She Was Hot.” Truth is, we have an endless number of songs that are “ours.” We could dance to them in public and without caring what anyone thinks. Because we are always us, and we make everybody else so pissed at us we have to hang together. And we like it, like it, yes, we do.
One of these guys is named Michael Madsen and one is named Tom Sizemore. They’re both “actors,” which they do by cocking their heads sideways and acting tough. They’re also both drug addicts and whoremongers, like, you know, all real men are.
In 1942, my dad was stationed in the North African theater of the war. John Garfield came to buoy up the troops. He was a tough guy too. They laughed at him. Because when it comes to tough guys, there’s a thing called acting.
Had a French teacher back in the day. You know. A real teacher. Navy vet. Holder of six radar patents. He heard about the reading list for the French AP exam and clapped Camus’s The Stranger on his desk. “Gentlemen,” he said. He always called us gentlemen. “I’ve been told you’re supposed to read this book if you want to do well on the AP exam. Here it is. If you want to read garbage, I offer it to you freely. But you will not read it in my classroom.” He was six feet tall, white haired, taught us in odd moments about the meaning of modern art and anything else that took his fancy, and we all feared and idolized him.
So. We hewed to the classics. No women writers, for example. (I did a search for “not very good women writers, French, and came up with this list.) One thing Mr. Miller taught us you might not know. The great moments in drama — you know, plays — are few and far between. Most critics say these moments have happened four times. Mr. Miller said only three.
The Greeks. Aeschylus, Euripedes, and Sophocles. Skip ahead a millennium and you get to the English. Shakespeare, and on his best day, Marlowe. Then came, belatedly as usual, the French. Racine and Corneille. Who really honestly actually were almost as good as Shakespeare.
Racine did Phaedra. Corneille did El Cid. Who back in the day would have looked like this.
And nowadays would look like this. (See below.)
Regardless. Racine and Corneille were both great. Not that millennials would know. Uneducated tools. Shakespeare? Who?
Why I recorded the soliloquy of Phaedra from Racine’s play. I should rerecord it, because I forgot that women’s soliloquies are always at high volume and not controlled. But I’m tired at the moment, and I’m asking you to imagine that some Phaedra could internalize her insanity. To some degree. Perhaps not. But I’ll rerecord it tomorrow. Okay? Here’s the poor English version:
PHAEDRA: Ah! cruel Prince, too well
You understood me. I have said enough
To save you from mistake. I love. But think not
That at the moment when I love you most
I do not feel my guilt; no weak compliance
Has fed the poison that infects my brain.
The ill-starr’d object of celestial vengeance,
I am not so detestable to you
As to myself. The gods will bear me witness,
Who have within my veins kindled this fire,
The gods, who take a barbarous delight
In leading a poor mortal’s heart astray.
Do you yourself recall to mind the past:
‘Twas not enough for me to fly, I chased you
Out of the country, wishing to appear
Inhuman, odious; to resist you better,
I sought to make you hate me. All in vain!
Hating me more I loved you none the less:
New charms were lent to you by your misfortunes.
I have been drown’d in tears, and scorch’d by fire;
Your own eyes might convince you of the truth,
If for one moment you could look at me.
What is ‘t I say? Think you this vile confession
That I have made is what I meant to utter?
Not daring to betray a son for whom
I trembled, ’twas to beg you not to hate him
I came. Weak purpose of a heart too full
Of love for you to speak of aught besides!
Take your revenge, punish my odious passion;
Prove yourself worthy of your valiant sire,
And rid the world of an offensive monster!
Does Theseus’ widow dare to love his son?
The frightful monster! Let her not escape you!
Here is my heart. This is the place to strike.
Already prompt to expiate its guilt,
I feel it leap impatiently to meet
Your arm. Strike home. Or, if it would disgrace you
To steep your hand in such polluted blood,
If that were punishment too mild to slake
Your hatred, lend me then your sword, if not
Oh. The fourth age of drama? Moron critics think Arthur Miller and Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams made that happen. Did I use the word morons already? Then I’m out of useful adjectives.
Already established that we like the show. But the more we watch, the more puzzled I am by the genetic anomalies in this All-American family. We’re all still grieving for the long dead wife of Commissioner Reagan. But we can’t help thinking there’s a skeleton, or two or three, in her closet.
Take Danny, the macho take no prisoners Reagan son. What is he? 5′ 6″? Really? What side of the blanket did he come from?
And the ADA daughter, who looks like she has an eating disorder we don’t normally associate with brawling Irish Catholic cop families.
5′ 5″ maybe. And the bone structure of an ultra-WASP graduate of Miss Porter’s and Mount Holyoke. Not computing here.
Which brings us to Number Three Son.
What? What? 5′ 3″ with lifts? Go on witcha.
Not trying to be nasty. Just genuinely nonplussed here.
They’re rereleasing this monumental milestone in film history on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary. I noted this somewhat flippantly at Facebook, assuming, wrongly I suppose on reflection, that everyone in the movie audience knows of it. But it doesn’t play on TV, hasn’t for many years, and so I want to make the case for finding it and watching it.
It’s the work of the great British film director David Lean, who didn’t think a movie was worth making if it didn’t last three hours and torment your deepest emotions. Doctor Zhivago is a romance set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Its stars are, in order, the vast Russian landscape, the impossibly beautiful Julie Christie, the lambent eyes of Omar Sharif, and the haunting score written by Maurice Jarre.
If it’s occurred to you at some level that they don’t make great movies anymore, this masterpiece will cement your suspicion to a certainty.
When there was still such a thing as romance.
I’ll close with the immensely superior sound quality of this version of Kontakion from the first clip. (Be advised, the new Zhivago promises to equal this quality.)
Confessional. Back when I rooted for the Raiders and the Vikings of Bud Grant.
Amazing. Liberating. Neo-kidifying. I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE EAGLES AT ALL ANYMORE. Sanu(Rutgers) at the Bengals. Fitzpatrick(Harvard) at the Jets. Other people. My wife will let me know who they are. The great thing about getting old. Your wife will tell you who to be for. Sorry about the German. But the last time I heard “I’m Free” I had an 8-track in an MGB. We both broke down about back then. Couldn’t understand any language but Lucas Electrics. Which has never communicated successfully with anyone.
Unless you’re young, in which case you’re totally and thoroughly screwed. What’s left is freedom. I awaken each morning happy that no federal SWAT team came to take me in the night. I know they will one of these nights but I live from day to day. And I’m old. If they come to take my wife, I’ll try to kill them of course. But mostly she posts about greyhounds.
As one who is sure to lose it in the New Democratic Socialist regime of either Bernie or Jeb, let me tell you about life. It was great when we could be Americans. Now that we have to be black, white, Hispanic, Hispanic, Hispanic, and LGTB, not so much.
Who’s to blame? Women of course. Never should have given them the vote. They always were nuts.
Carrie Nation. Bitch of her day. Not talking burkas or clitorectomies. Just common sense. Which she never had.
Not that I’m upset or anything. Mind if I clear my throat?
There. Much better. Women are great. I love women. I just….
Excuse me. Hillary and Huma. President and Ventriloquist-in-Chief. Muslim Lesbian Rasputin in Chief. Cool.
“I did NOT make a mistake with my emails, Mortimer. Er, Charlie. Er, Madam Hillary.”
And Bernie makes it all so deliciously kinky.
We had it so much better. I have never seen the nipples of Raquel Welch. Not from the first day…
..to the last. Imagination is a lost art.
Still lovelier than all the pop music sluts.
I mean, why do any of you need imagination?
Unlike all the women you know, I have NIPPLES!
So. As long as there is no news, we will not pretend there is news. And all you gay lesbian bi transgender girls can go suck eggs. Consider this my electronic wrecking ball to all of you.
Only the beginning of the clip is necessary (unless you want more laughs and gasps). Most of the youth audience will be more familiar with Dane Cook than Anthony Jeselnik. But Jeselnik is our subject today. The first two minutes of the video above are the most devastating takedown of one comedian by another I have ever seen. One comedian turning another into an utter joke is virtually unheard of. Yet Jeselnik accomplishes it with ease.
My purpose is to to direct you to a brand new Netflix original by Jeselnik. Here’s a trailer from YouTube.
I wrote about him back in 2009. I was right then, and I’m right now. Though I took plenty of heat for my opinion back then.
The Netflix concert is almost up to the minute current. He is a man at war with political correctness, triggers, micro aggressions, the assault of the censors on what comedy is and should be. He’s actually funnier than Lennie Bruce, though he has the same “should I laugh or not” reaction in the audience. Razor quick, utterly self-assured, not currying favor, but provoking and posturing like a latter day punk. He dares you to laugh at things you are certain are not funny.
Most interestingly, he continues Lennie Bruce style at the conclusion of the concert to explain that it is deliberate and principled, while still squeezing laughs out of the audience. He just might be the savior of standup comedy. And I’d never let him inside my house.
Why do I make so many dead baby jokes? Because they make me rich.
We wondered why Raebert was so anxious and yet standoffish last night. No surprise that the mail lady loves him. Most ladies do. But surprising alacrity on his part this morning when she popped the mail through the doorway.
The part of the instructions he did NOT eat along with the box said this.
Google Glass Features
Touchpad: A touchpad is located on the side of Google Glass, allowing users to control the device by swiping through a timeline-like interface displayed on the screen. Sliding backward shows current events, such as weather, and sliding forward shows past events, such as phone calls, photos, circle updates, etc.
Camera: Google Glass has the ability to take photos and record 720p HD video.
My wife swears she didn’t order Google Glasses, and I know I didn’t. The little ones are too short to reach the phone, and Elliott is busy outside killing things. Which leaves us with one prime suspect. And the suspect photos he took before we observed his new eyewear. Judge for yourself.
Well, Champ, we’re not the one who continually spills breakfast and dinner all over the carpet.
The best place is right behind Mommy’s desk chair. She yells sometimes, but it’s never as bad as Daddy’s cold barks.
Get over yourself, Rae. Cold barks are better than hot ones.
When you have to sit in the corner, this is the corner to go to.
You put yourself in the corner, Rae. We can never figure out why exactly.
When I’m bad they show me this. I don’t like flies.
Who does? But we don’t all run shrieking from the room like a little girl, do we, Raebert?
The Missus does not like photos taken of her from her unsuspecting behind (well, you know what I mean), and so the ground penalty will have to be commensurately unfair. No cheese products for a week, including Cheetos, Cheezits, Combos, Baby Bonbel, Brie, and your favorite imported Camembert. Maybe that’ll learn you, son.
Could anything be worse? All those women. Oh, the humanity.
My wife was just telling me that Hallmark stock has plunged by ten percent or more based on the latest revised (downward) profit predictions.
What can one say? How is it possible that American women have finally grown tired of the works inspired by the greatest of all female poets, Amanda Kittrick Ros
:“The Old Home” from Fumes of Formation
Don’t I see the old home over there at the base
Of a triangle not overcrowded with space:
‘Twas there I first breathed on the eighth of December,
In the year of Our Lord the month after November.
I’ve been told it was snowy and blowy and wild
When I entered the home as a newly-born child,
There wasn’t much fuss, nor was there much joy
For sorrow was poignant I wasn’t a boy.
I felt quite contented as years flitted on
That I to the coarser sex did not belong
Little dreaming that ever the time would arrive
That of female attire I would be deprived.
By a freak of the lustful that spreads like disease
Which demanded that females wear pants if you please,
But I stuck to the decentest style of attire
And to alter my “gender” I’ll never aspire.
During that hallowed century now dead and gone
In which good Queen Victoria claimed to be born
From childhood her modesty ever was seen
Her exalted position demanded when Queen.
She set an example of decency rare,
That no English Queen before her you’d compare
Neither nude knee nor ankle, nude bosom nor arm
Dare be seen in her presence this Queen to alarm.
She believed in her sex being loving and kind,
And modesty never to march out of line
By exposing those members unrest to achieve,
Which pointed to morals immorally grave.
But sad to relate when she bade “Adieu”
To earth and its vanities tainted with “rue,”
That centre of fashion, so French in its style,
Did its utmost to vilify decency’s smile
And mock at these garments which proved in their day,
At a glance-who was who-and wherein gender lay,
But alas! Since the death of our great and good Queen
That attribute “Modesty”‘s ne’er to be seen.
It wasn’t long after till modesty grew
A thing of the past for me and for you;
Last century’s fashions were blown quite aside,
The ill-advised folk of this age now deride.
The petticoat faded away as we do
In circumference it covered not one leg but two,
Its successor exposes the arms, breasts and necks,
Legs, knees and thighs and too often-the —.
She thought buttocks rhymed with necks but was too nice to say so. That’s the Hallmark hallmark.
And now we face the prospect of all the Hallmark stores closing down, one by one. The cloying cards, the cute fuzzy things, the made up holidays, all vanishing into the mist of third (or is it fourth?) wave feminism.
Don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I’m going to miss those cards and fuzzy things.
Oops. My wife just told me she was watching Walmart, not Hallmark, stock on the Dow.