Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Misanthrope – Sunday's Lighter Side

It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), philosopher, political theorist

Movies. John Wayne The big guy with the battered hat... and Dean Martin the ragged woman-wrecked castoff called Dude... and Ricky Nelson The rockin' babyfaced gunfisted kid... And Time Was Running Out Through Bullet Holes At Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo" so reads the trailer for John Wayne’s 1959 movie Rio Bravo. I have seen the movie a few times in pieces while I am flipping the channels. I rented the disc and the acting and dialogue appeared almost campy, everything seemed slightly over the top. John Wayne didn’t open one door, he kicked them open and went rolling on the ground and got up shooting. The good guys Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson were able to shoot the reins in half out of the bad guys hands or shot a gun right out of someone’s hand. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

"Clock Work Orange" was another movie I rented. I had never seen this apparent classic before. B2 urged me to watch it and it was interesting. Politicians can be as bad as criminals in the ways they use people. I enjoyed the music the most and at least now I know what a Droog is because I didn’t understand his comparison here.

Harry Potter. It looks like the latest version of the magic prince or whatever he is called is going to be another blockbuster. I was looking at the wall of new releases in the local Borders and this guy who had to be at least 6-2, dressed in motorcycle leathers and holding a hell’s angels style helmet, which looks similar to a German army helmet, went up to the information desk and asked to put on the waiting list for the new Harry Potter book. He was told that the initial order was already sold out and that the second order may be a while. I have yet to read any of the Potter books, but obviously they appeal to all ages otherwise a book doesn’t sell so well. I just found this update: Scholastic is distributing 10.8 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling's sixth of seven planned books about the boy wizard. That's a record for a first printing.

Electronic Freeway Signs. Traffic moves slowly as it is, but once the electronic freeway sign has a message whether it is an Amber alert or just a note to drive safely it slows traffic to a crawl. You can watch their lips move as they read the short sentence fragments.

Poor Daughter. She is interested in politics, but her father will be considered her Billy Carter. I fired off notes to the local city council, mayor, police chief and copied the editor of the county’s local crappy newspaper complaining about their lack of enforcement regarding the blasting of fireworks. I am telling you the only thing missing were air raid sirens. I also shot off a note to the managing editor of the LA Times pointing out that they ran other article on Halliburton winning another military contract, but they neglected to point out whether it was a competitive bid or sole source. I wasn’t finished yet, I sent Barbara Boxer California Senator an e-mail note about how ridiculous I thought her efforts were in fighting methamphetamine by taking allergy medicine off the shelves.

The Party’s Over. It’s back to work on Monday. In a weird sort of way I look forward to going to the office. However, if I won the lotto don’t look for me to continue working the day job. It was a very relaxing two weeks and much needed. I did spend the second week nursing a bad back that is almost better, just in time for work.


Nigela said...

There's an article in last week's Book Review from the NYT about the security for the new Potter book. Booksellers have to sign affadavits they won't release it before midnight. At warehouses they have special sealed rooms with security guards that you have to have a special pass to access and cannot enter or leave with anything in your hands. Pretty intense, I'd say...
I just find it amazing and wonderful that so many children are going to read the book.

The Misanthrope said...

The appetite for Harry is akin to Beatlemania. I too think it is great. I have enjoyed the movies.

B2 said...

Joel Stein's piece in today's "Currents" section of the L.A. Times covers my thoughts succinctly -- it's a great kids' book, but a kids' book nonetheless. I read C.S. Lewis and Tolkien in junior high school, and they rise above.... but Rowling is just another good kids' author. I recommend Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; it's fantasy for grown-ups living in the 21st century.

Janet said...

Clockwork Orange scared me. But then again so did that rolling around in beans thing Ann Margaret did in Tommy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.

Now, you wrote: "Anyway, it said, I'm easy I am convinced. Hope to see you soon on the site."

I'm lost. What does this mean?:(

Devo said...

I've enjoyed the Harry Potter books, but they are certainly fluffy. Cory Doctrow sounds awesome. I've been wanting to read Down and Out IN DisneyWorld or whatever that book is called. But, since the library didn't have ANYTHING by Cory, I picked up a bizarre little tale by a man named China Mieville called Perdido Street Station. THAT is some serious fantasy for grown-ups.

As for politics... I've become quite the little letter-writer as well. I just wrote an email to my Republican Representative urging him to sign the recent letter penned by John Conyers asking El Presidente to make his little Turd Blossom own up to his actions publicly. I doubt it'll have any effect, but I quite enjoy sending ineffectual letters to partisan hacks who will never share my views on anything I consider important. It's life-affirming.