Friday, September 22, 2017

let them see what they've done

After President John F. Kennedy was murdered, Mrs. Kennedy's pink suit was stained and soiled by blood and brain matter:  on the plane from Dallas back to Washington a fresh, clean outfit was offered -- "better change before we land...all the cameras will be on us..." -- and Jackie answered, "No.  Let them see what they've done."

Everything you read about the Kennedys has that story in it, and probably the various movies, too....

In the Pablo Larraín 2016 film Jackie, she says, in a focused, injured, ticked-off whisper, "There were 'wanted' posters everywhere with Jack's face on them!  Let them see what they've done!"

What she seems to be saying, there, is -- well, this film version is making 2 points:

1.  In politics, people's desire to win and frustration if they lose can become too emotional and extreme, and putting up posters saying the president of the U.S. is "wanted" like a criminal or whatever, could possibly provoke mentally unbalanced people to perpetrate violence.

And 2.  In politics -- and in other situations, too -- better to keep it light, don't rile up the crazy....


"Don't rile up the crazy" is excellent policy, in my opinion.

However, I question the idea that the "wanted" posters drove Lee Harvey Oswald (or whoever) to murder President Kennedy.  Stuff like that -- wanted posters, or enactments of pretend-exaggerated-aggression against the current president, or any elected official, are dumb, unhelpful, and in bad taste.  But I don't think such an exercise in bad taste inspires people to suddenly want to commit murder.

Whoever planned the 1963 JFK hit was organized, had it planned out, motivated by extremism or evil or profit...and probably paid no attention to posters plastered by crackpots.

It would be different if elected officials made a "joke" or "exaggeration" like that -- it would seem then like sort of "an order," or "encouragement," if a troubled person chose to take it that way.  

But any common schmuck can put up posters saying a politician is "wanted."  It doesn't carry the same weight as it would if someone in Congress or the White House said it.  I mean, do we obey commands or act upon suggestions from, for example, graffiti written on bathroom walls?  Probably not.

But a person can see how the widow would be freaked out on several levels by several things, at the time, & the silly "wanted" posters didn't help.

I've read that on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, the president showed Jackie a newspaper advertisement purchased by someone who imagined that they didn't like him -- a black border all around a photo of JFK and some kind of negative mean ominous message printed on.

"We're heading into nut country," he said lightly.

I think the scene in the 2016 movie was combining that newspaper-ad-vignette into the "Let them see what they've done" verbal exchange.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

the lines he loved to hear

Don't let it be forgot

That once there was a spot

For one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot -- and it will never be that way again.

Mrs. John F. Kennedy said these words, quoting from a then-current musical comedy, in an interview with the LIFE magazine journalist Theodore H. White.

The interview took place a week after the assassination, at one of the Kennedy houses at Hyannis Port, by the ocean, on a dark and stormy night -- the young widow chain-smoking throughout.

She doesn't want White mentioning the cigarettes, in his article:  "I don't smoke," she says, in the 2016 Pablo Larraín film, Jackie.

The movie brings to the viewer the chaos, shock, and grief in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.  Or -- maybe it brings the viewer to the chaos, shock, and grief -- I'm not sure....

It illuminates the chaos, actually, of grief itself:  part and parcel of Grief are frustration, stress of trying to make the correct decisions, anger, regret for what might have been, and gazing into the past and present and future, trying to put together puzzle pieces of experience and see Meaning.

Portraying Jacqueline Kennedy, Natalie Portman got the voice and accent exactly right.


--------------- [excerpt, White's LIFE article] ---------- She remembers how hot the sun was in Dallas, and the crowds -- greater and wilder than the crowds in Mexico or in Vienna.  The sun was blinding, streaming down; yet she could not put on sunglasses for she had to wave to the crowd.

And up ahead she remembers seeing a tunnel around a turn and thinking that there would be a moment of coolness under the tunnel.  There was the sound of motorcycles, as always in a parade, the the occasional backfire of a motorcycle.  The sound of the shot came, at that moment, like the sound of a backfire, and she remembers Connally saying, "No, no, no, no, no ..."

She remembers the roses.  Three times that day in Texas they had been greeted with the bouquets of yellow roses of Texas.  Only, in Dallas they had given her red roses.  She remembers thinking, how funny -- red roses for me; and then the car was full of blood and red roses....

--------------------- ... "At night, before we'd go to sleep, Jack liked to play some records; and the song he loved most came at the very end of this record.  The lines he loved to hear were:  Don't let it be forgot / that once there was a spot / for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.

...There'll be great Presidents again...but there'll never be another Camelot again.

...For a while I thought history was something that bitter old men wrote.  But then I realized history made Jack what he was.  

You must think of him as this little boy, sick so much of the time, reading in bed, reading history, reading the Knights of the Round Table, reading Marlborough.  

For Jack, history was full of heroes.  

And if it made him this way -- if it made him see the heroes -- maybe other little boys will see.  Men are such a combination of good and bad.  Jack had this hero idea of history, the idealistic view."


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

dimensions and purity

pink suit and cigarette meditation

Is there more truth in a
photograph or in a painting?

Is morning
more beautiful than evening,
or vice versa?

To write, or to type:
That is the question.

Living in the country is
better than living in town
Except for when it isn't...

or Shine

To sit quietly and relax,
a movie
or a window

Blues - jazz
hardcover - paperback
cat - dog
Ford - Chevy
Red Sox - Yankees

This modern global life




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

go make your own movie

I become fascinated by Internet Comments.

I said that one time at a social gathering, and a guy went, "Oh!  Internet Comments are the --" and I forget how he put it, exactly, something like, the Comments people type on the Internet are the lowest of the low, the stupidest of the stupid, or the -- I don't know, the most undependable source of any kind of well-considered, thoughtful opinion. ...

He must have thought I was crazy.

A scene in the 80s sitcom "Designing Women"

comes to mind, where the sensible, businesslike, and intellectual Julia 
comments on the dreamy, enthusiastic, thinking-outside-the-box Charlene's ability "to become fascinated by ab - so - lute - ly  nothin' - !"...

But -- (but -- I'm not crazy!) -- Internet Comments are interesting because as you read through them, you see people's different perspectives, the way they perceive things, and how opposite (oppositely?) they can see things...

"The movie was nothing like the book!"

"The movie was just like the book!"

"The movie was great!"

"The movie was terrible!"

One YouTube Comment about the 2012 movie One For The Money stated that the Commenter would not watch this movie because she would "never support" the lead actress.  ("What?" lol... I never knew Katherine Heigl was -- requesting our -- she, or was she then, in 2012 -- running for office??  I have no idea where some of these people are coming from....)

One For The Money was the film version of a 1994 novel written by Janet Evanovich.  [Excerpt from the book] --------------- The next time I saw him, I was three years older.  

I was on my way to the mall, driving my father's Buick, when I spotted Morelli standing in front of Giovichinni's Meat Market.  I gunned the big V-8 engine, jumped the curb, and clipped Morelli from behind, bouncing him off the front right fender.  

I stopped the car and got out to assess the damage.  "Anything broken?"

He was sprawled on the pavement, looking up my skirt.  "My leg."

"Good," I said.  Then I turned on my heel, got into the Buick, and drove to the mall.

I attribute the incident to temporary insanity, and in my own defense, I'd like to say I haven't run over anyone since.


During winter months, wind ripped up Hamilton Avenue, whining past plate-glass windows, banking trash against curbs and storefronts.  

During summer months, the air sat still and gauzy, leaden with humidity, saturated with hydrocarbons.  It shimmered over hot cement and melted road tar.  Cicadas buzzed, Dumpsters reeked, and a dusty haze hung in perpetuity over softball fields statewide.  I figured it was all part of the great adventure of living in New Jersey. --------------------- [end, excerpt] ---------------


Selected YouTube Comments on a "trailer" for the film version of One For The Money:

~~  I love how I see at least 3 of the greys anatomy actors

~~  Did I just watch the whole movie?

~~  Best movie EVER

~~  woman cant make movies, this movie is the proof..

~~  okay it's time to get out of my shelter from todays society and WATCHES TRAILER I'm going back down.

~~  They should make a movie for the 12th book of the Stephanie Plum Novels, it's called Twelve Sharp.  It's pretty interesting and funny.

~~  Yeah, but you can't skip 2-11.  It wouldn't make sense.  I think they should just make a movie for every single Stephanie Plum book, or make it a series.  That would be awesome!!!

~~  I have been saying all along that they should make the Stephanie Plum books into a movie or a series.......  Now I find out that they did make a movie!!!  I am sooooo watching it this afternoon!

~~  I am starting to think hollywood comedy is getting boring.  Another typical comedy plot..

~~  saw the movie, it's so great, loved it!!!

~~  What song is playing?

~~  Was this movie just about Katherine Heigl acting like a complete ditz?  

Oh and in the shootout she fires 7 shots out of a 5 shot revolver WAY TO GO HOLLYWOOD.  Ya big bunch of dumb-asses.

~~  The Bounty Hunter seems a lot like this

~~  Actual Jersey people sound much worse imho

~~  1:16 this wasn't in the movie

~~  seems really similar to the bounty hunter

~~  three to get ready

~~  two for the show

~~  what's the first song?

~~  Im watching the movie right now

~~  i don't like this movie

~~  absolutely love this movie im half way through book 8 right now

~~  I love the actress but this movie was a little slow

~~  well go make your own!


~~  This movie was criticized by both critics and fans but I do like it.  I didn't expect much from the start and I found many entertaining scenes.  I just didn't like the ending.  I wanted Stephanie (Katherine Heigl) and Ranger (Daniel Sunjata) to hook up.  They would make a very beautiful couple.  That Morelli was so annoying 

~~  the Book was waay better!

~~  The movie really sucked but the books are awesome

~~  I love how the Jersey accent comes and goes

~~  Movie looks funny, but I'd never support Heigl.  Pass.

~~  my  mother owns all these books, if they are really this bad then Im scared for her

~~  Debbie Reynolds is pretty funny in this movie  :)

~~  this movie is not really anything like the book....

~~  I read the book, and the movie is JUST LIKE IT!

~~  is this the trailer or the movie?!

~~  this movie was filmed in my town  :)

~~  Grate movie, actors and actresses are perfect and I like them all.  The movie is informativeness.

~~  Please make sure to spell correctly when calling someone else an idiot.
-------- This has been a YouTube public service announcement.

~~  this looks like a great wait it looks like shit!

~~  baffled as to why Hollywood remakes the same movie numerous times?...

~~  This is based on a book that was written before the Bounty Hunter.

~~  one for the money two for the show three to get ready now go cat go but don't you......

~~  This movie is Like Bounty Hunter!  :)

~~  Stop advertising torrent sites that's why they getting shut down.  Keep low!

~~  "GOOD TO SEE YA CUPCAKE!!"  Lmfao!!



Monday, September 18, 2017

it's a small world after all

The Guardian-UK ran an opinion piece titled, "We've hit peak injustice:  a world without borders, but only for the super-rich," by Hugh Muir.

...Something about wealthy people essentially "purchasing citizenships"....  ("Ah yes, sir, the rules apply to them, but not to you..." [ingratiating smile])

The article prompted 596 Reader Comments -- the one shown below helped me think about globalization (or, "globalisation," as the British people spell it...).

Tony Hill
--------------- Stop the first twenty people you meet in the street, in any country, and ask them where they, their parents or their grandparents were born.  Factor in the increase in global population, migration due to people escaping conflict or seeking a better life and multiply by the pace of technological advance and the world shrinks even more rapidly than some would like, or even like to acknowledge.

It has always been thus.  It is the human condition.  Mass migration, exploitation of the many by the few, inequality, "globalisation" and the desire for economic and territorial expansion are not modern phenomena.

What are new are the speed of technological advance and the rate of growth of the global population.  The latter has increased from around 3.6 billion in 1970 to 7.5 billion in 2017.

What has also increased is the ability for the gap between the rich and the poor to widen more quickly due to technological advances that enable the almost instantaneous exchange of commodities worldwide, including cash itself, coupled with a variety of nebulous financial instruments that the sometimes less than scrupulous members of our global society create.

As someone whose surname suggests my ancestors sharpened flint axes on a hillock somewhere in Salisbury Plain, I have never questioned or been troubled by the origin of any of my fellow Britons.  Whether or not I take into account the Celtic, Roman, Germanic, Nordic or Norman invasions of Britain in the distant past, or the relatively more recent influx of people due to our current post-colonial status and even more recently the loosening of borders not only here in the UK but also elsewhere.

We are inherently tribalistic and I fully understand why people feel threatened by all of this.  It is the speed of change rather than the change itself that engenders fear.

However, the challenges that we all face, i.e., inequality, competition for finite resources, global warming, pollution etc. cannot be overcome by isolationism and putting a little white picket fence around the nation.  What is more important is holding our governments 

and politicians 

to account to ensure that they act with integrity and ensure that the wealthy and those in positions of power also act with integrity and balance.

We must be more selective about what we believe, educating ourselves and striving always to get to the truth.  Ultimately, knowledge and truth are what empower the people -- and recently, neither have been in abundant supply.  What we are experiencing in the world is inevitable, the way in which we deal with it is not.


Salisbury Plain

Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain
in England


Friday, September 15, 2017

you're always on the run now

Review:  'Neruda' Pursues the Poet as Fugitive

NERUDA     Directed by Pablo Larraín

by A.O. Scott

"Neruda," Pablo Larraín's semifantastical biopic, is a warmhearted film about a hot-blooded man that is nonetheless troubled by a subtle, perceptible chill.  Blending fact with invention, it tells the story of a confrontation between an artist (the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda) and an emerging dictatorship, and more generally illuminates the endless struggle between political authority and the creative imagination.  

For anyone who believes that poetry and democracy spring from the same source and provoke the same enemies, this movie provides both encouragement and warning.

It starts, cameras whirling and swooping, in 1948, with Neruda (Luis Gnecco), a prominent leftist politician as well as a literary celebrity, in a rhetorical war with Chile's president, Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, an erstwhile ally in the process of moving from left to right.  When Videla bans the Communist Party, Neruda -- who represents that party in the Chilean Senate -- goes from opposition figure to outlaw.  

Much of "Neruda" is a shaggy-dog cat-and-mouse game, as Neruda and his wife, Delia (Mercedes Moran), are pursued by Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael Garcia Bernal), a preening police inspector who stakes his professional honor on his ability to track down the country's most famous fugitive.

Peluchonneau is an invented character, a creature conjured from crime fiction and touched with philosophical melancholy as well as ruthlessness.  Whippet-thin and strait-laced, he stands in dour contrast to Neruda, a plump sensualist with a robust sense of mischief and an inexhaustible appetite for pleasure.  With and without Delia, the poet manages to stay one step ahead of his nemesis, executing a series of escapes that seem equally inspired by Hitchcock and those old Peter Sellers "Pink Panther" movies.

Neruda also composes "Canto General," his great, Whitmanesque work on the glories and miseries of Latin America.  Pages are distributed clandestinely, and committed to memory by workers and peasants.  Their popularity, and Neruda's easygoing populism, are a rebuke to the arrogance of the ruling class and the Chilean state.  

And Mr. Larraín's eye for the rugged beauty of Chile's protean landscapes implies a similar argument.  The poet is open to nature and humanity.  The policeman is consumed by rules, tactics and procedures.

Peluchonneau is a tragically constricted soul, but not an entirely unsympathetic character.  Neruda is a heroic figure -- comic and Dionysian, brilliant and naughty -- but his personal Javert is in some ways the film's protagonist.  Neruda is annoyed and sometimes amused by the detective's doggedness, but Peluchonneau is haunted by the poet's mystique, and by a growing sense of his own incompleteness.  A curious symbiosis develops between them, a dynamic more complex and strange than the simple conflict of good and evil.

Mr. Larraín is a master of moral ambiguity.  His previous films about Chile -- "Tony Manero," "No" (which also starred Mr. Bernal) and "The Club" -- are interested in collaboration as well as resistance, in the inner lives of the corrupt as well as the actions of the virtuous.  Those movies, in particular "Tony Manero," set during the military dictatorship in the 1970s, and "The Club," about a group of disgraced priests, are studies in claustrophobia, with cloudy cinematography and grubby behavior.

"Neruda" has a looser story, richer colors and a more buoyant spirit.  It is less abrasive than Mr. Larraín's Chilean trilogy, and less intensely focused than "Jackie," his new English-language film about Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of her husband's assassination.  But like that unorthodox foray into history, this one approaches political issues from an oblique angle, looking for the idiosyncrasies and ironies that humanize the pursuit of ideals and the exercise of power.

The period details cast a romantic glow over Neruda's flight, which feels more swashbuckling than desperate.  But the film casts a shadow forward in time, into the darkness of Chile's later, bloodier period of military rule, and beyond that into the political uncertainties of the present, in Latin America and elsewhere.  Mr. Larraín 

invites us to believe that history is on the side of the poets and the humanists, and that art will make fools of politicians and policemen.  But he is also aware, as Pablo Neruda was, that history sometimes has other plans.

This movie review ran in the New York Times December 15, 2016.


Ladies and gentlemen, it's Frid-a-a-a-yy Night!!  And that means a Song to You-Tube and DANCE-IT-OUT...!

type in
Laura Branigan, Gloria

That's a song which combines an incomprehensible urgency with unknown drama -- it swirled and capered from our radio dials, in the 80s, and is, as the movie review says, "swashbuckling"...

you really don't remember --

was it something that he said

are the voices in your head



...You don't have to answer...

Leave them hangin' on the line, oh - oh - oh, calling -- Gloria!

...will you meet him on the main line,

or will you catch him on the rebound?

and like the "series of escapes" inspired by Hitchcock and Pink Panther movies --

I think they got your number --

I think they got the alias (Gloria)

that you've been living under...


Thursday, September 14, 2017

what shall I say; what shall I see

a brief visual essay