Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THIS POST FROM AN OLD FRIEND SAYS IT BEST

Pedophiles are protected because a priest is more valuable to the Church than a 10-year-old boy. Predators like #HarveyWeinstein are protected because a successful producer is more valuable to the Hollywood establishment than a wannabe actress. Homicidal cops are protected because a trained officer is more valuable to the Force than a black teenager. Trump is protected because a warm body in the Oval Office is more valuable to the Party than ALL Of US PUT TOGETHER.
We don’t just have a misogyny crisis. We have a crisis of greed and self-interest.
Ethlie Ann Vare

Sunday, October 15, 2017

PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN

What a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect when I entered the theater to see PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN, but I did know that it was written and directed by a woman, Angela Robinson, and among the stars was one of my all-time favorite movie actors: Rebecca Hall. Neither disappointed. Hall gives an Oscar-worthy performance, and Robinson counterbalances all the films I've seen recently that were about women but were written and directed by men.

From the first scene, there's a realistic, blunt honesty about the many dimensions of the three main characters (the other two played by Bella Heathcote and Luke Evans). The real people their characters are based on, as shown in the usual old photos during the end credits, were much more ordinary looking then these movie actors, but instead of that diminishing the truth of the movie, it enhanced it, for me, because it allowed me to surrender more easily to depictions and declarations that I might otherwise have too easily dismissed.

Those three historic characters—a one-time professor who ends up creating the comic book hero Wonder Woman, and the two women she is based on, i.e. his wife and their lover—not only personally explored some of the infinite possibilities of human behavior and relationships, but withstood the censure, and worse, of a time as repressed as most. But their beliefs and discoveries, as depicted in this film, should be more understandable and relatable to audiences these days than at any other time in our history.

For my taste, this was a  nicely directed, acted, and written, film, about life choices that can seem challenging, or even distasteful, to some, including me at times, but in the end are deeply and fully human. Worth seeing.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I NEEDED THIS

Tell me this isn't the sweetest, and purest, little demonstration of humble vocal skill you've heard in a while:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A FACE IN THE CROWD (PART 3: L.A.)

me as "counterman John"—in the first L.A. production of Landford Wilson's BALM IN GILEAD—in white shirt dark hair at the top right, standing next to the late Jesse Aragon, and the rest of the cast who keep in touch to this day, L.A. 1983
another shot of THE BALM IN GILEAD cast with me, this time, at lower right, I can't name everyone (blame it on the brain op) but among the cast are Dennis Christopher, Eddie Velez (we were later in a TV series called BERRENGERS together), Vida Vierra, Jesse Aragon (r.i.p.), Rhonda Aldrich, Ty Granderson Jones, Cyril O'Reilly, Lorrie Marlow, Peter Frechette, et. al. L.A. 1983
a Lally clan reunion with me obscured behind someone and impossible to make out anyway among those who were able to show up for this one down the Jersey shore at cousin Kathi Lally Gross's. in I believe 1984
 a bunch of us who took part in POETRY IN MOTION (called that because we moved locations so often), the poetry series I founded with Eve Brandstein (dark hair in top row) around 1986 or so, top row left to right Anne Beatts, Hubert Selby Jr., me, Jack Grapes, Eve, the late Lotus Winestock, Joel Lipmam, bottom row, Tommy Swerdlow, Katy Sagal, Yvonne de la Vega, Michael O'Keefe, Robert Downey  Jr., Michael Harris, Michael des Barres, long-haired woman behind him a French actress whose name I can't remember, Miriam?, and the shorter haired woman next to him, also French, the director Caroline Ducroq?, Cafe Largo, L.A. c. 1990?
same as previous but in living color!
me dancing with my then love Crystal, and Hubert Sleby Jr. (with pony tai!) dancing with my niece Lisa Koch at a wedding in Malibu in 1995

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

VARIATION ON A THEME BY OTHERS' MEMES

(unfortunately not sure who to credit, but what follow is not mine)

1967 - Jayne Mansfield is killed when her car runs under the rear end of a tractor trailer. Since then, all trailers have a DOT bar at the rear to keep cars from going under them.
1982 - Seven people die when Tylenol packaging was tampered with. Since then, it takes a PhD, channel locks, and a sharp object to get into a bottle of pills.
2001 - One person attempts to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb. Since then, all air travelers have to take off their shoes for scanning before being allowed to board.
Since 1968 - 1,516,863 people die from guns on American soil. Since then, the problem apparently can't be solved except with thoughts and prayers.
Why do you think this is?
We need to stop letting the NRA hold us hostage ... at gunpoint!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TODAY IS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THELONIOUS MONK'S BIRTH

Thelonious Sphere Monk was the Einstein of Jazz, the pinnacle of genius as both a composer and performer, the most sui generis of all music creators (my perspective but many others, whose opinion I respect, concur)...Here he is in 1969 performing his best known "tune" (written back in the '40s) and in some ways least challenging to the listener of all his compositions, "'Round Midnight"...I figure few folks will have, or take, the time to listen to over six minutes of a solo musical performance that doesn't have anything other than one man at a piano (and some static-y old European TV footage which lasts less than a minute), but if you watch to the end, it will become more and more apparent why Monk is held up as unique and unprecedented...Just imagine what the reaction was from most of the musical performance world to his deliberate dissonance and stop-step rhythms when this is the most accessibly simple of his compositions, in many ways (leading to its popularity)...also go back and listen to any recordings made before Monk to appreciate what a revolutionary he was...