Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy happy thoughts

Even though things look a little grim for those wishing to keep Obama out of the White House, I refuse to let it consume me at the expense of my mental health. You gots to keep some small sense of humor about it. So here's some happy thoughts, distractions and recommendations.

In general I prefer folk art and POP to whatever is au courant in the art world. Some jerkwad "sophisticates" might argue that I really don't get it, but I'd suggest that I do and I just don't fucking care. Something either appeals to you or it doesn't. I love this print by Gary Baseman. Especially the way it captures the expressiveness of old school animation with a modern way. I'd buy one in a heartbeat were the prints not the size of a postcard. Maybe I'll get a starving artist to duplicate it in a larger size. I don't know what the ethics of that are if you're not trying to deceive anyone into thinking it is an original. I just know it would look pretty cool in my living room.

Movie recommendations:

Shitty weather here in New York put me in the mood for old movies, so I yanked a few out of my massive collection - thanks to a brother who has bought, illegally downloaded or copied off cable practically every film ever made - and took myself back to the golden age of Hollywood. I've been doing so much of this in the past few years that I'm starting to think of people like Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Humphrey Bogart and Gene Tierney as my contemporaries.

13 Rue Madeleine

Stars James Cagney and Richard Conte as American agents during the run up to the Allied invasion. One is actually a Nazi plant and US intelligence decides to allow him to maintain his cover in order to feed him disinformation. It is based on a true story, and like other films of this period based on actual events like The House on 92nd Street it has a dull, documentary quality for much of the film but is definitely worth watching if the subject matter interests you.

From Here to Eternity

Probably most famous for the scene in which Burt Lancaster rolls around with Deborah Kerr on the beach, this is a classic in every sense of the word. It has everything. A great cast. Adultery. Murder. The almost frivolous corruption which enveloped the military when it lacked the sense of purpose with which war fills it. Frank Sinatra as a goofball drunk. Donna Reed in all her hotness. And no happy ending.

Book recommendation:

During the week I read Parliament of Whores for like the fifth time. Whenever I find myself taking politics too seriously, find myself dispirited or otherwise need a reminder about why I care at all this hilarious book is all the comic relief and focus I need. PJ O'Rourke's schtick has maybe grown a little tired but this is him in his prime and it is brilliant and though-provoking even if you're a big government even if you're silly enough to disagree with his political point of view.


And lest this blog's contents suggest I'm some weepy little pseudo-intellectual Manhattan dork boy, three cheers to QB Mike Teel and the Rutgers football team for coming out of their coma and opening a can of whoop-ass on #17 Pitt.

I adopted Rutgers because I'm a Jersey native, LOVE college football and I can't bring myself to give a shit about my alma mater's big games against the likes of mighty Princeton. And while it was lame having to watch this game on my laptop since ESPN 360 was the only coverage, it was still more fun than moping around a bar or tailgate after a loss. That's the funny thing about college football. Every game is precious and meaningful. And even though there is no substitute for a tailgate surrounded by hot college girls and free-flowing beer, it all dissipates into one big knot in your stomach when you lose. It was nice to finally have the happy back even if it was confined to me in my shorts in the living room.

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