Monday, June 11, 2012

Old Mail

In our closet there is a huge box full of mostly love letters from Kim's and my courtship days -- mostly but not all.  There's some other stuff in that box too.  Like this postcard I received in 1994 from someone who liked my letter to the editor --he was kind enough to post a copy of the letter on the back of the postcard:
That made me feel pretty good, that somebody liked something I wrote enough to compliment me on it.  The next item I found though caused more negative emotions.  It's a Christmas Card from Cher and it's doubly disturbing:
First because even though she signed it "Always" I haven't heard from her in about 20 years -- and she's obviously trying to copy my handwriting.  I have no idea why.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

More Book Spine Poetry

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About:
How to Ruin Your Financial Life,
How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle,
How to Shit in the Woods.
(Love Warps the Mind a Little.)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

Juliet, Naked,
The Cunning Linguist,
This is Where I Leave You.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Catchy but Creepy

"Come on Down to My Boat, Baby" by one-hit wonders Every Mothers Son is one of those catchy 60s tunes that so peppy and exuberant you don't realize how deeply disturbing it actually is.  But stop tapping your feet for a minute and listen to the lyrics.  Something is really wrong here.  

"She sits on the dock,
A-fishin' in the water, uh-huh.
I don't know her name,
She's the fisherman's daughter, uh-huh.

Come on down to my boat baby.
Come on down where we can play.
Come on down to my boat baby.
Come on down we'll sail away."

(So far, so good.  Boy meets girl, girl invites girl to ride in his boat.)

"She smiled so nice,
Like she wants to come with me, uh-huh.
But she's tied to the dock,
And she can't get free."

She's what?  Tied to the dock?  Can't get free?  What's going on, has she been kidnapped?

No, the truth is even worse -- "Father never lets her out of his sight."

So, this poor young woman is tied to the dock by her own father, but now that this young man knows of her plight surely he'll rescue her, right?  

Well, yes, eventually:

"Soon I'm gonna have to get my knife,
And cut that rope, cut that rope.
So we can go fishin' in my little red boat,
Make you happy in my little red boat."

Soon?? How about now, you spineless beach bum?  Come on, man, This girl is being abused.  Do the right thing, either cut her free or call the police or the Coast Guard or somebody.  Don't make it worse by taunting her, telling her how much fun she could be having if she was only free. 

Rob reviews "Apres Vous"

If you told me I could only watch movies from one country for the rest of my life I would without hesitation pick France.  French films so rarely disappoint.  (And not just because of my crush on Vanessa Paradis.  There's also Melanie Laurent.)  Even in genres that don't usually do much for me -- like suspense -- I love the way the French do it.  And when it comes to my favorite genre -- Romantic Comedy -- well, the French are the masters in my book.
Today I watched "Apres Vous" and loved it.  Every time I watch one of these French romcoms I hope nobody in Hollywood is doing the same, because I know they'll dumb it down, wring all the charm out of it, and remake it with Adam Sandler and Kate Hudson or someone equally lacking in talent.
Here Daniel Auteuil plays Antoine the head-waiter Chez Jean in Paris.  One night he sees a guy trying to hang himself in the park and he intervenes, saving the guy's life.  But you can tell that Louis (Jose Garcia) is not grateful, and you can tell that as soon as he can summon up the energy he's just going to try again; he's almost catatonic with grief. So Antoine takes the guy home, helps him land a job at Chez Jean, even tracks down the girl who broke Louis's heart. And all that might happen in an American comedy, but they'd have to establish that there was something wrong with Antoine for going out on a limb like that -- something lacking in his life or in his brain -- whereas here we get to see a fundamentally decent guy tries to help someone and ends up screwing his own life up pretty royally.  It's interesting to try and figure out exactly where he went too far.  It's also fun to try and see how all this is going to end up with anything like a happy ending
Another thing the French do that I so appreciate it their actors don't look like movie stars.  I mean they're not all drop-dead gorgeous as they are in American cinema.  In America everybody -- doctors, lawyers, serial killers, are all beautiful.  In France the movie stars look like real people.  Sandrine Kiberlain is not a classical beauty but by the end of the movie you've fallen in love with her because of who her character is and how she lives.  And somewhere along the way she becomes beautiful.
Watch how underplayed and erotic this realizing you're falling in love scene is: