The very last shot in “Boys on the Side” is of an empty room. As the camera pans around it, we remember who was in it, and how much we grew to care about them. We may be a little surprised by how that happened, because the movie starts out seeming contrived and routine, and only gradually gathers power until, by the end, it is completely involving.
Ebert’s review of Boys on the Side -> https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/boys-on-the-side-1995
Larry Clark’s “Kids” is a movie about their world. It follows a group of teenage boys and girls through one day and night during which they travel Manhattan on skateboards and subway trains, have sex, drink, use drugs, talk, party, and crash in a familiar stupor, before starting all over again the next day. The movie sees this culture in such flat, unblinking detail that it feels like a documentary; it knows what it’s talking about.
Roger Ebert’s Kids review -> https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/kids-1995
The Devil in Steve Bannon
The celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris has a new documentary — and candid remarks — about Donald Trump’s dyspeptic strategist.
Do you think, a couple of years from now, Bannon’s going to be this very curious footnote, this sort of one-off? Or do you think we’re going to be reckoning with what he’s peddling and what he represents for a good, long while?
I have to distinguish what I hope for versus what I really think will happen. I hope all of this is a very bad memory soon: Trump, Bannon, national populism, etc. In one respect, I do agree with Bannon. And I told him so. I grew up in the ’50s. My mother was an elementary-school teacher. My father died when I was 2, and my mother brought up my brother and myself. She took care of everybody, having practically no money, no insurance money from my father’s death.
And I often think, could she have done that today? And the answer is no. I don’t think she could have. There is greater and greater inequality, economic inequality, income and otherwise, in the United States. And I think it’s a very, very bad thing. And I think Bannon is right — that it will have terrible consequences in the long run.
Tarantino, del Toro, and More Directors Pick Favorite Horror Movies | IndieWire
Looking to watch a scary movie? Why not take a suggestion from one of the best directors working today or a master of the horror genre. IndieWire has rounded up 32 of our favorite directors naming some of their favorite horror movies ever made, from Guillermo del Toro on “Eyes Without a Face” to Martin Scorsese on “The Innocents,” Jennifer Kent on “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Jordan Peele on “Misery,” and more. Check out all 32 recommendations in the list below.
John Carpenter, on “The Exorcist”
John Carpenter’s “Halloween” was a pioneer in the slasher-film subgenre, and when it comes to the horror director’s own favorite scary movies he often singles out William Friedkin’s classic “The Exorcist.” As Carpenter told The Fader, “You know what’s scary about ‘The Exorcist’? Everyone knows what’s scary about that movie. It’s the devil. The first time I saw it, I thought, in order to be really effective, this movie requires a belief in a higher power. But since then I’ve come to appreciate it just for what it is. I watched it again recently and was surprised by how intense it is. The things that they did back then, with this little girl, they broke a bunch of taboos, my god. It’s pretty damn good.”
Slater: Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.
Slater: Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky shit goin’ on there. And it’s green too.
Cynthia: I call it the “every other decade” theory. The 50’s were boring. The 60’s rocked. The 70’s, my god, they obviously suck. So maybe the 80s will be like, radical. I figure we’ll be in our 20’s and hey, it can’t get any worse.
Pink: All I’m saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life – remind me to kill myself.
Pink: I may play ball next fall, but I will never sign that. Now me and my loser friends are gonna head out to buy Aerosmith tickets. Top priority of the summer.
Taking “Street Fighting Man” to the extremes, or “Gimme Shelter.” But without a doubt it was a strange generation. The weird thing is that I grew up with it, but suddenly I’m an observer instead of a participant. I watched all these guys grow up; I watched a lot of them die. When I first got to the States, I met a lot of great guys, young guys, and I had their phone numbers, and then when I got back two or three years later, I’d call them up, and he’s in a body bag from Nam. A whole lot of them got feathered out, we all know. That’s when that shit hit home with me. Hey, that great little blondie, great guitar player, real fun, we had a real good time, and the next time, gone.
Sunset Strip in the ’60s, ’64, ’65—there was no traffic allowed through it. The whole strip was filled with people, and nobody’s going to move for a car. It was almost off-limits. You hung out in the street, you just joined the mob. I remember once Tommy James, from the Shondells—six gold records and blew it all. I was trying to get up to the Whisky a Go Go in a car, and Tommy James came by. “Hey, man.” “And who are you?” “Tommy James, man.” “Crimson and Clover” still hits me. He was trying to hand out things about the draft that day. Because obviously he thought he was about to be fucking drafted. This was Vietnam War time. A lot of the kids that came to see us the first time never got back. Still, they heard the Stones up the Mekong Delta.
Richards, Keith. Life (p. 238). Little, Brown and Company.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
A. Alvarez, a British poet, critic and essayist who played a pivotal role in bringing the poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath to the public, and whose acclaimed book on the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas helped transform high-stakes professional poker from a cult to a televised sport, died on Monday at his home in London. He was 90.
Mr. Alvarez’s enormously influential anthology “The New Poetry,” published in 1962, brought the poetry of Mr. Hughes, Thom Gunn and Geoffrey Hill and the American confessional poets John Berryman and Robert Lowell to a wide audience in Britain. Ms. Plath and Anne Sexton were added to the 1966 edition.
In his polemical preface, Mr. Alvarez railed against the genteel tradition in English poetry and what he called “the cult of rigid impersonality.” The new poetry, he argued, took emotional risks. It embraced “experience sometimes on the edge of disintegration and breakdown.”
William Grimes, Sept. 23, 2019, nytimes
From Alvarez’s book Night:
Apart from the ‘organised and steady system’, something else hasn’t changed since Dickens went out with the police: the ‘individual energy and keenness’. But police take on the character of their territory. In London, the energy and keenness are masked, like the city itself, by a certain reticence; in Manhattan, they come with a New Yorker pace and appetite. When I called Lieutenant Raymond O’Donnell, the head of media liaison at Police Plaza, the NYPD’s downtown redbrick fortress, to arrange a couple of nights as a ‘ride-along’ in the back of a patrol car, I asked to go to precincts where I might see some action.
A gravelly voice at the other end said, ‘Whaddya want, drugs or whores?’
‘How about both?’
‘You got it!’
Right now, after the lights go down, Cinemark shows 15 minutes worth of trailers before the actual movie begins while Regal’s trailer block runs 15 to 20 minutes, according to the news report.
Every human being is tried this way in the active service of expectancy. Now comes the fulfillment and relieves him, but soon he is again placed on reconnaissance for expectancy; then he is again relieved, but as long as there is any future for him, he has not yet finished his service. And while human life goes on this way in very diverse expectancy, expecting very different things according to different times and occasions and in different frames of mind, all life is again one nightwatch of expectancy.
Søren Kierkegaard, Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses: “Patience in Expectancy”
related post, William James on Expectation
A simple experiment, so simple as to seem trivial, will bring us directly to the heart of the matter. Take any two unequal objects, such as a pen and pencil or two unequally filled glasses of water, and place them on the desk in front of you. Then, partly closing your eyes to increase your attention to the task, pick up each one with the thumb and forefinger and judge which is heavier. Now introspect on everything you are doing. You will find yourself conscious of the feel of the objects against the skin of your fingers, conscious of the slight downward pressure as you feel the weight of each, conscious of any protuberances on the sides of the objects, and so forth. And now the actual judging of which is heavier. Where is that? Lo! the very act of judgment that one object is heavier than the other is not conscious. It is somehow just given to you by your nervous system. If we call that process of judgment thinking, we are finding that such thinking is not conscious at all. A simple experiment, yes, but extremely important. It demolishes at once the entire tradition that such thought processes are the structure of the conscious mind.
This type of experiment came to be studied extensively back at the beginning of this century in what came to be known as the Wurzburg School. It all began with a study by Karl Marbe in 1901, which was very similar to the above, except that small weights were used. The subject was asked to lift two weights in front of him, and place the one that was heavier in front of the experimenter, who was facing him. And it came as a startling discovery both to the experimenter himself and to his highly trained subjects, all of them introspective psychologists, that the process of judgment itself was never conscious.
Jaynes, Julian. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
California, the country’s wealthiest and most populous state, also has the most homeless, an unremitting crisis that has confounded the state’s political leaders for decades and exposed one of the most extreme manifestations of economic inequality gripping the country.
Tent encampments — Oakland city officials count 90 of them — are now as much a part of the landscape as the bars and restaurants that cater to the city’s rising affluence. Many Americans are one medical emergency, one layoff, one family disaster away from bankruptcy or losing the roofs over their heads.
I was driving around Downtown Denver earlier today and drove past three people sleeping on the street, a few blocks from the ballpark. They didn’t have much baggage – no tents or sleeping bags, and one of them was in a large electric wheelchair. You see a lot of homeless people in Denver so I might not have registered these three, but that I had read this article earlier in the day, and I can’t see how someone survives being homeless in an electric wheelchair.
Theresa and I joined the regulars who hung out at night in the Sunset Strip parking lot between the Rainbow and the Roxy. That spot was the late-night nerve center of L.A.’s rock scene. Between eleven P.M. and two A.M., rock stars and wannabes, groupies and insiders gathered there and waited for something to happen, though looking back I realize the party itself was in the parking lot and that just by being there we were where it was happening.
If only we’d known. But everybody who was anybody in music hit the Rainbow. It was the place for exchanging news and information, seeing stars, finding drugs, and finding out where the best party was that night.
If you were a poseur, this was where you posed. If you wanted to pass around a joint or score quaaludes, you showed up there. The lot was always filled with shiny Rolls-Royces and Excaliburs, clues that a VIP was having a good time inside. It was also the best pickup spot in the entire city. Everyone was on, as if playing a part in their own movie.
Carlisle, Belinda. Lips Unsealed
Non-cashiers of Reddit: What’s the "It didn’t scan, so it must be free hur hur hur" of your profession? from AskReddit
I used to be in the beer industry (selling to supermarkets) and I’d get
“you can just load that pallet into my truck” every day.
Now I’m in the elevator industry and about once a week I get
“I bet that has its ups and downs.”
When I worked at a ski shop setting up snowboard rentals I’d ask how they wanted their stance, regular or goofy, so I could set the bindings up. At least 3 times a week, for the 6 months a year we did rentals, for the 4 years I worked there, I heard from dads “well he rides regular, but he’s pretty goofy hahaha.” By the end of my time there I never even bothered with a fake chuckle anymore, I just didn’t have it in me.
Selling lottery tickets.
I’m like what numbers would you like?
Everyone be like “the winning ones”.
Mail carrier here.
“You can keep the bills !” hur hur hur
I’m obligated to ask those visiting my work place if they have any weapons to declare.
“These guns!” flex
As a church musician, I’ve heard things like:
“How does it feel to have the largest organ in town?”
from September 21’s selection:
Tolstoy, Leo. A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul