Saturday, October 31, 2015
Well, girls, that's it for October. Just two months remaining in 2015.
The highlight of my October was getting a note from Sister Camille. I am honored. And in what turns out to be her birth month, too.
And don't forget Baayork's gala for the National Asian Arts Association. What a display of talent!!!!!!!!!!!
Tonight is Halloween. After our horror trip to Lake George--who knew they had such attractions there--I am kind of Halloween-ed out. I may just go home tonight, and relax with ID, or maybe some ghoulish classics.
Don't forget to set your clocks ahead; we all get an extra hour of beauty sleep, tonight, darlings, and I am speaking for myself in saying I can use it.
And when I speak to you again, it will be November. My month.
The year is quickly winding down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
October was great; let's hope the same for November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been so dissatisfied with what I have read, of late that I am happy to report that Ann Packer's book, while chartering familiar territory, is extremely satisfying.
Now, I know her breakthrough book was "The Dive From Clausen's Pier," and I know I should have read it. In fact, I thought I had, but when I checked through years of book lists, and it did not appear, I had to conclude I hadn't because I avoided the depressing nature of the subject matter--a woman whose husband is paralyzed in a terrible diving accident feels she cannot care for him, and leaves. Why should I bother with that?
"The Children's Crusade" is more familiar territory; so much so, at times I felt I was reading something by Jane Smiley, though this is not as wrenching as, say, "A Thousand Acres." Like 'Pier,' its central female figure, Penny Greenway , who marries Dr. William Blair, is cold and unsympathetic. Feminists will attack me, so go ahead; this woman had no business having children, who ultimately raised themselves--I found myself drawn to Ryan and Rebecca,--and was not surprised James turned out to be a problem. And all the boys are pigs, when it comes to sex, and their exploits are graphically detailed.
It was the nature of the children, watching them grow into the failures they become--except for Rebecca--that kept me glued to the pages. Packer tells a compelling story, but many of her characters are not likable. Even Ryan, whom I was drawn to, has his flaws. Rebecca seems to have turned out the best of all of them.
Nevertheless, this is a neatly written, tightly structured novel, with everything wrapped up at the end. When I closed the book, all questions had been answered, all matters satisfied.
It is a very near miss, perhaps because the book seems so clinical, and lacking in warmth.
But it is a literary work deserving of reader attention.
"It's Halloween, it's Halloween,
It's time for schemes, it's time for screams,
......Why, even Dracula will be there!"
Let's aim a little higher than the Shags on this Halloween, dears!
But, here we are, at least, another October 31. Ghosts, candy, all kinds of mischief and merriment. What will be all watching, those of us who stay indoors? The John Carpenter 1978 classic? Or how about "Meet Me In St. Louis?" It's all a matter of taste, I guess, and what one is in the mood for.
What I am in the mood for is a cozy evening with my beloved, and a classic film. I shall do the best I can. Meanwhile, remember this is All Hallows Eve, the prelude to the Feast Of All Saints, which is tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And just to put everyone in the right mood, here is the opening of John Carpenter's 1978 "Halloween," with my favorite manifestation of Michael Myers--the child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May all your tricks be treats, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Before we get into what today really is, darlings--Halloween!--I thought it was time to give Addiction Demon his due. He is just so lovable on "American Horror Story--Hotel." But not much has been seen of him, lately, so I think it ts time he got his due.
Not since Clownie popped out of the ring on Claude Kirchner's "Terrytoon Circus, " on WOR-TV Channel 9, back in the Sixties, has anyone made such a captivating entrance as Addiction Demon. When popped out of that sutured mattress, it was a show stopper! And ever since, we always await for him to pop out eagerly.
Because he is the show's moral compass. He is a reminder of what addiction can do, whether it is heroin, or Hershey's chocolate. He is no advocate, he is a symbol of addiction's ravages.
You have to just love him, darlings! When it comes down to it, he is so friendly and sociable!!!!!!!!!!!!
And what he can do with a drill bit dildo!!!!!!!!!! My, my!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Let's get it over with, right away--Lily Rabe nails Aileen Wuornos! She walks off with the entire show!
I have to confess that the "Hotel" season of "American Horror Story" has not been among the best, but last night's episode, "Devil's Night," was the best it has been so far. Thanks mainly to Lily, but also to some others--John Carroll Lynch, clown faced in a homage to Twisty The Clown, as John Wayne Gacy; an actor named Seth Gabel giving a chilling rendering of the scariest of this serial killer set, Jeffrey Dahmer, and, off the serial killer motif for a second Chloe Sevigny, whom I am starting to suspect there is more to. In her first appearances, playing a seemingly normal doctor and wife--albeit with a wretched hair style--I began to wonder, "What is Chloe doing playing a normal character?" Well, last night, the hair was acceptable, but Chloe's behavior was not--seeking to unite herself eternally with Holden, who, it was learned, had been abducted by The Countess, five years before, from the amusement park. That shot of Lady Gaga and Holden, she in her elegant outfit and umbrella, seen from behind on the beach, was stunningly Felliniesque.
But, I am telling you, once Lily enters the Cortez from behind, sauntering in like she owns the place, there is no doubt Lily is back in town, and the show has finally found its mojo!!!!!!!!!
What Lily does for this show is beyond amazing, and what she did as Aileen puts her in the pantheon of Meryl Streep. You just had to love her!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to confess I had the hots for John Carroll Lynch as John Wayne Gacy. Which meant I probably would have had the hots for Gacy, and ended up as one of his victims, so it is a good thing we never crossed paths!
See what I mean? Lynch was great as Gacy, and I hope the series makes more use of this very talented actor!
Seth Gabel, whom I never heard of, but is married to Bryce Dallas Howard, whose career has been going nowhere lately, scored a plum role as the scariest of this bunch, Jeffrey Dahmer. Kudos to the uncredited actor as Jeffrey's date, who got eaten alive and his head drilled. I never cared much for Jeffrey. He was a nerd, and lacked style.
Unlike Evan Peters, who brilliantly shone as the host of the whole thing, Mr, James March, who is really channeling pioneer American serial killer H.H. Holmes. He promised an evening of fun, and boy was it!
But Lily stole the show, and John Carroll was not far behind her! Please find more room for these two gifted actors!
And bring back Pepper and Ma Petite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think we are in for more surprises, as things go along, so stay tuned~!
I want to vacation at the Hotel Cortez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, Hypodermic Sally (Sarah Paulson) was on to get a few licks in. Thank God for she and Lily!!!!!!!! Give them a raise, Ryan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey, Ryan, feast on this creativity--if, during the dinner scene, the underscoring would have been Shirley Temple singing "At The Codfish Ball," from "Captain January!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not since Sante and Kenny Kimes has there been a mother-son team like Sonya and Damon Bamberg. Since "Scream Queens" was cancelled Tuesday night, because of the World Series, I discovered Sonya and Damon, thanks to ID, and having done that, I knew I found this week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award.
These two did not own the department store chain, Bamberger's, let me tell you. Sonya was actually a real life version of Norma Bates, mother of Norman, and their story here is probably what would have gone down in "Psycho," had Bates not murdered her, and what most likely has gone down on "Bates Motel," which I have not seen.
Let's start with incest. Mother could not keep her hands off her son, and would parade around in her underwear, like she was Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate." As you can see, Sonya is not nearly as attractive as Anne, and even the actress chosen to play her was not, so how the son, who was average looking enough to get a regular woman, could submit to his mother was just another part of the crazy sickness she was feeding into him.
But she was crafty. She wanted grandchildren, and she knew an incestuous union would not yield good product, on that front. So, she played matchmaker to her son, and he married two women. The first wife caught on, and got out of there fast; she was smart. The second, Nicole Orvin, was not so lucky. She came to this marriage with another child, whom Damon would abuse, and they had one of their own, whom Sonya promptly took charge of. Now that Nicole had fulfilled her reproductive function, she was of no use to either mother or son, so one night, near Mount Vernon, Georgia, Nikki was shot down in cold blood on a highway by Sonya and Damon. She says Damon fired the trigger, but I think Sonya did.She had the balls in this household.
They both got what they deserved--a Life sentence, without ever seeing each other. Poor Damon; so dependent on Mama. What is he going to do now? And what was Sonya thinking, knowing she would not be around forever; she would predecease Damon. What was she thinking.
She wasn't, darlings!!!!!!!!!! She was selfish!!!!!!!!! One of many reasons why she is Bitch Of The Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sonya was quite a mother! But I won't say mother what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The recent passing of Maureen O'Hara has left me with a deep yearning either to re-see John Ford's 1941 masterpiece, "How Green Was My Valley," or reread the Richard Llewellyn novel.
Of course, my fondest hope is that TCM will air it as a tribute to Maureen O'Hara. I know MOMA is screening it on Friday, November 27 at, I think 1:30PM, for those who can make it, but I expect to be in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.
The last time I saw this film, which I think was in a film club, I broke down sobbing. The mood of loss is established from the start, and the film builds to that, complete with the climactic mining accident, and the scene here which gets me every time--young Huw Morgan (Roddy McDowall, in his screen debut!) being hauled from the mines, holding his dead father (Donald Crisp, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar that year for his performance!!!!!!!!!) in his arms.
Along with the aforementioned scene, days earlier, from "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," these are the two of the most wrenching scenes captured on film. Maureen's death made me think of this film readily.
Let's hope they show it, darlings! It is a must...especially if you have never seen it!
Here is the stunning, famous eighteen acre set. Note the stunning cinematography by Arthur Miller; he, Composer Alfred Newman and Set Decorator Thomas Little joined forces again, two years later, in 1943, to create the same type of artistry in another one of my favorites, "The Song Of Bernadette." This shot is highly characteristic of that style!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a sad night, girls. "Scream Queens" got cancelled by the World Series, which pretty much killed my evening. I was hoping to dish about how Jamie Lee parodied her mother's iconic scene in the movie "Psycho."
So, I switched to "Investigation Discovery," where I watched the mother-son story of Sonya and Damon Bamberg, the greatest mother-child time since Sante and Kenny Kimes. This story went to the "Psycho" point, and beyond; I have not decided if I am going to post it today, or wait till Bitch Of The Week tomorrow. Beware--you have been warned!
The evening's highlight ended up being Hillary Clinton on Stephen Colbert's show. And it really was Hillary, not Kate McKinnon, who seems more like Hillary often than Hillary herself. Like Liza and Christine Pedi.
I thought of Liza last night, because Hillary was wearing red, which she looked great in. I wonder if it was some Halston knockoff she borrowed from Liza. Hillary is SO making the rounds, trying SO hard to look like SUCH a human being, and not the Evita Peron--without the music, glamour or class--that Nancy Reagan was. She and Stephen were so cute together, one could just cuddle up to them both. Though, I lean toward Stephen, dears.
Whatever Hillary is trying to do it is succeeding. I plan on voting for her, as does everyone in our house. Even Baby Gojira.
So, OK, Stephen, you have had Hillary on, now how about me?
And, before BARBRA??????????????????????
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Will Twisty Be Featured At Tomorrow Night's Serial Killer Dinner Party, On "American Horror Story??????????????"
Only here, darlings, can one go from Sister Camille to Twisty, in the blink of an eye! I guess that is what makes me The Raving Queen, and, in a sense, keeps me going.
Now, tomorrow evening, on "American Horror Story--Hotel," the plan is for Mr. March (Evan Peters) to have a dinner party, inviting some of the world's most famous serial killers. This is where we finally get a chance to see Lily Rabe as Aileen Wuornos, but word is John Gacy will be there, too, and as clown costuming was his thing, I wonder if John Carroll Lynch, who so brilliantly portrayed Twisty in "Freak Show," will don his outfit, to play Gacy here. Wouldn't that be fabulous??????????
Of course this is a party one only wants to watch from the confines of one's living room. The question to be asked is not only what do you serve--but WHO???????? This is one party I would never go to, if given the opportunity, because I could end up being the main course!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But, for entertainment value, it sounds like the Party Of The Season! We will dish about it later in the week, but I for one, am looking forward to seeing who shows up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just hope none of my girls on here don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For those readers on here of long standing, who may think miracles consist of apparitions in grottoes, or in pastoral settings, let me be the first to assure you that is not entirely the case. Miracles abound everywhere around us; some we take for granted--like rainbows--while others come in unexpected ways. Such is an experience I had.
Now, for some time now, you have read on here of my singing the praises of Sister Camille D'Arienzo, whom I listen to each Sunday on 1010 WINS. As does my beloved.
Well, several Sundays back, Sister Camille announced a drive she was running, collecting clean, warm socks for the needy, who are going to be in need of such, now that sandal weather is gone for good. So, my beloved and I packed some socks in a box, and, with me writing a nice note, sent it off to Sister Camille.
And that was that. I felt good not only doing something for Sister Camille, whom I admire tremendously; if saints walk among us, she surely is one, but for those who would use, and greatly appreciate those warm socks. Remember my empathy for Fantine.
Last night, my beloved greeted me at the door, with a look of amazement on his face. I had just come in, carrying a bagful of dinner ordered from Mr. Tang's, and my first thought was we had unexpected company for dinner, and how would we make this food stretch for three? Well, we would have!
But that was not the case. A letter was placed in my hand, addressed to the two of us. Nothing unusual about that. Then I saw from whom it came. Sister Camille herself!
Not only did she take the time to write a gracious thank you for what we had done, but in the note I had expressed my insecurities surrounding my imperfection as a Catholic. To inspire, and remind me, she enclosed two lovely Mass cards, with a Rembrandt painting on front, illustrating the story of The Prodigal Son, with text on the other side. The message being forgiveness is possible for all, no matter what we may think.
I was so touched, I felt truly blessed. My beloved was amazed. So, thank you from the bottom of both our hearts, Sister Camille, We are happy to help any time.
And the next time you are in the neighborhood, check us out! Or meet us at Peppino's! A bad meal is impossible to get, there!
Blessings on you, Sister Camille!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 26, 2015
I had such high hopes for "Crimson Peak," the latest Guillermo del Toro film, that I thought it might be the Halloween classic of the season we were all hoping for. To be sure, it is visually stunning, befitting del Toro; this film should garner at least Oscar nods for cinematogrpahy, set design and art direction. But a beautifully packaged product does not a finished work make.
Maybe the director intended this to be a homage, because this film abounds with references. Let's see how many I can name.
1. Henry James a) "The Turn Of The Screw"
2.The Brontes a)" Jane Eyre"
b) "Wuthering Heights"
3. Daphne Du Maurier a) "Rebecca"
4. The Hammer Horror Films Of The Sixties
5. Mario Bava a) "Black Sunday"
There may be others, but this is what I spotted; if you found any more, feel free to let me know.
Jessica Chastain, as Lady Lucille Sharpe (what a name, considering the bloodletting she and her brother, Thomas, do) steals the show, because she is the film's biggest hoot. Without those compelling eyes, there is no way she can channel Barbara Steele as Asa, in "Black Sunday," so when she resorts to screaming, and running down the stairs, knife in hand, dress flowing in the breeze, I decided, as an actress, she had had enough to the director's insistence on restraint, and went for the gold, like the mad scene in 'Lucia.' She might as well, but, let me tell you, it was such camp that when she morphed into this I laughed outright.
There is supposed to be a Dickensian symmetry to it all, but it never coalesces. Lucille and Thomas exploit people by selling them this product, that nets them victims to kill, from which they live off the money. Supposedly, their father was mentally ill, and Lucille inherited it. Bet she and Daddy were having something on the side, before she took up with Brother. It might have been nice to made aware of this, as of the children killing their mother. Lucille is ill; but Thomas is so pussy whipped by his sister, one is supposed to be sorry for him? How can that be possible? All he needed was to give Lucille a good smack and toss her out in the snow, but no, he is too weak willed. He gets what he asks for.
How does Edith (Mia Wasikowska) survive a three story fall? Why isn't the concept of this being the novel she eventually writes made clear before the end?
I get the impression del Toro was so impressed by how much he crammed into one film that he did not realize things needed to be separated in components for the film to make any sense, dramatically! It is a feast for the eye, but not the ear. And what kind of accent is Jessica using, or not? And how about Lucille and Thomas having a baby?
The title "Crimson Peak" is a misnomer. It should have been called
Makes just as much sense.
You just gotta love Jessica Chastain, as Lucille, darlings! She is something else, but I am not sure that is what she was intended to be!
You have to admit, darlings, the cover is eye catching, and perfect for Halloween! When I perused this in the book store, I thought I was hitting pay dirt, with another story about a psycho kid on the prowl. This would have been fun, but what I got instead was a literary package wrapped in ambiguity.
This is Justin Evans' first novel. It is the story of George Davies, and goes back and forth, in time. In the present, he is married to a lovely woman named Maggie, and they have just had an infant son...whom George, for reasons unknown, cannot seem to bond with, touch, or go near. It just about costs him his marriage, as Maggie thinks he is nuts. So he seeks psychiatric help, and, through a series of notebooks detailing George's childhood past, we learn about his growing up years in Preston, Virginia.
These years include having a father who was into religious mysticism, so much so he wrote a book that was dismissed by the academic community he once was part of. He goes off to South America, where he dies mysteriously? Of what? Did someone want him dead? Is this a "Hamlet" scenario, with George's mother being the Gertrude of the piece,with her men? Or, is George possessed by a demon, as a group of fellow mystics in his town seem to think, and want to help him with. Does George need therapy or an exorcism? And people seem to die around George; who is doing this, an evil, psychopathic child, or someone possessed by a demon he sees?
Evans skirts the ambiguity channel, never offering a satisfactory explanation. By the time a character named Kurt is found dead, in a tree, I was convinced George is a child psychopath, who, as an adult, fears he may harm his son, or that his son may turn out to be what he was, since he inherited much of his behavior from his own father.
The ending is the capper. I am not sure if Evans is going for affection or death, at the end! Does George finally bond with the child? Or does he grab it, and hurl them both out the window, ending their harm to society? I tend to favor this last, but if anyone wants to try and prove me wrong, please go ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, a novel I was hoping to be fun and innovative is just more variations on tried but true themes. Evans writes well enough, but does not clarify his ideas. Still, the cover art is outstanding, and perfect for Halloween. The novel is skilled enough, but never approaches the level of adding another novel to the gallery of horror classics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This one is a trick, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, October 25, 2015
You Should Have Seen The Evil Lesbian Monster Last Night On "True Nightmares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I could not find an actual photo, darlings, but this drawing is a good replica of the actress chosen to play Nurse Robinson on the "True Nightmares" episode, "Too Rich, Too Thin." In the segment entitled "The Story Of Linda Hazzard," there was this health place back in 1911 run by a doctor with unorthodox methods--the kind where patients keep dying, and Linda keeps collecting money! You should have seen the scold they hired from Central Casting to play Nurse Robinson, the evil lesbian--with these looks, what else could she be????????--who was the most sadistic masseuse this side of the one in Tennessee Williams' short story, "Desire And The Black Masseur." Which inspired "Suddenly, Last Summer."
I do not k now the name of the actress who played the role of Nurse Robinson, but let me tell you, girls, she is proof that one can be ugly, and still be an actor!!!!!!!!! Picture Ellen Corby as Grandma Walton, with her faced punched in, and this gives a pretty idea of her looks. Or lack of them.
Even Nurse Robinson had it up to a point, with Linda; she came to her senses and fled, alerting cops to what was going on. Linda got jail time for what she did, but not enough. She started up another health clinic, and decided to put her money where her mouth was by undergoing the same treatment herself. Guess what? She died, forty days later! There's justice, for you!
But the nurse playing Nurse Robinson stole the show! I didn't know people who looked like that still existed, outside of freak shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ryan Murphy should get a good look at this scold! She clearly belongs on "American Horror Story!!!!!!!!!!!"
See, girls? Sometimes being ugly can land you a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The first movie I ever saw Maureen O'Hara in was with Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap." That was back in 1961, when I was all of six years old. The following year, in a rare permissive gesture, (at this stage of life, I was not permitted to see anything but Walt Disney movies) my parents and I saw her again, with James Stewart (whom I was seeing for the first time) in "Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation."
As my childhood stretched on, Maureen O'Hara would become indelibly associated with Christmas, when the networks, each season would annually trot out "Miracle On 34th Street" to show. And, being Irish, there was no getting away from Maureen on St. Patrick's Day, as "The Quiet Man" was shown then, every year. And then there was her unforgettable Esmeralda in the 1939 "Hunchback Of Notre Dame," with Charles Laughton. She was in her teens, then.
But my favorite of all her films is the one pictured her--John Ford's stirring film of social realism, "How Green Was My Valley," made in 1941, based on Richard Llewellyn's novel, and which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Did anyone ever look so good, in their early twenties, as Maureen? Not on your life! Not me, sweeties; I can tell you!
Maureen had the face of an Irish colleen, but she was an actress of considerable ranger, passion and depth. She left us yesterday, at 95, one of the last of Hollywood's Golden Agers, and it with sadness, but wishes for a peaceful, well earned rest, that I wish her farewell.
The like of artistry like this will never be seen again. It is her legacy--and ours!
Rest In Peace, Maureen! You were much loved on Earth, and you will be continue to be ever more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, October 23, 2015
Not since Susan Lewis' (Sherry Stringfield) troubled sister, Chloe, played by Kathleen Wilhoite, has there been a piece of work like Kim Rollins. Things are beginning to liven up at 'SVU,' at least as of the recent episode, this past Wednesday. They should have called it "The Grifter Baby Shower," because the segment opened with a party so opulent I had to wonder where Amanda's mother (brilliantly played by Virgina Madsen, who has gotten heavy since her "Candyman" and "Sideways" days. But that time is gone; just like my youth!!!!!!!!!!!)
Lindsay Pulsipher returned as Amanda's White Trash, no good sister, Kim, and let me tell you, it was like a breath of fresh air. Within minutes, a disguised Kim is in town, working her way through city life as a prostitute, and rolling all the men she can get! You gotta hand it to Kim; she may be White Trash to the core, but within that head is a mind as cunning and manipulative as Veda Pierce. It is a dangerous combination.
Amanda has been trying to escape from this crew for years. Good riddance; she is better off without them, and growing up amidst them I am certain led to her gambling addiciton.
But Kim won't stop at anything. She rolls a prominent musician, steals and pawns his flute, gets arrested, and then blames it all on Amanda. Meanwhile, Mama is not much better. Every inch the classic enabler, but looking classier than Mama June, Madsen's Beth Anne Rollins defends her daughter (whom she still calls Kimmie) at every turn, saying Amanda should stick up for her family. Where Kim blames her sister for thinking herself better, and this is why her (Kim's) life is all screwed up.
If you have family or longstanding friends, darlings, chances are you have heard variations of this theme, too. Cut those ties as fast as you can, because their troubles will drag you down with them.
That said, I can't wait to see what Kim and Beth Anne do next! They are not through, and while they may not be on next week, I am certain they will return this season again. Kim has already threatened to extort Amanda in horrible ways, proving how dangerous she really is. Beth Anne cannot lay off the sauce!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But they are fascinating, and the machinations of the Rollins' family drama is a blessed break from the strum und drang that has turned into Olivia Benson.
We all want to see the Rollins' trash get theirs! But not before they entertain us with some more mischief!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, October 22, 2015
When I heard Jonathan Franzen was coming out with a new novel in the Fall, I had high expectations. So high I expected to write a post, citing it as the book of the year.
I could not have been more wrong.
"Purity" is the year's disappointment. It is not bad enough to be accorded "worst" status, but it is a tremendous letdown. The title refers to the heroine's name (which made me wince) and her nickname is--get this--"Pip.." She is in search of her biological father, so what Franzen is starting out with is a contemporary riff on Dickens' masterwork, "Great Expectations." That phrase is even used in the course of the novel's over 500 pages.
But the gimmick does not work. I found myself trying to absorb both the immediate story and then tie it in to Dickens'. We know who Purity/Pip is. But who is Miss Havisham? Andreas Wolf? Pip's mother? Tom? Leila? Who is Estella? Jason? Which would make sense a man would take Estella's part, since Pip here is female.
You tell me. I am still not sure. Franzen is all over the place with this. He sends the heroine to work at Andreas' start up in Bolivia, and this is Franzen's turn to criticize the ills of contemporary society--which Dickens did, in his time, and many of Franzen's ones I share myself--but nothing is clear and concise. The mixture never congeals.
After a double whammy with "The Corrections" and "Freedom," I was convinced Franzen could do no wrong. Boy, was I in for a letdown. Many will see this as the Book Of The Year, but not yours truly. I have a vague idea what it may turn out to be, but I have not read the title yet, and will let you know when I do.
Those, such as I, who admire Franzen, will read this, anyway. The quality of the writing is sold. It is the narrative concept that fails. For those who are Franzen's detractors, skip this one, or read it, and use it to justify your hatred. I am sure some will.
On to the next volume, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have nothing but empathy for the plight of the genuinely mentally ill. I should; I mean, let's face it, honestly, I am not that tightly wrapped, myself. That is why I am saying that Tenisha Fearon, 27, winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, is bogus.
She is claiming a psychotic episode. I cite either drug influence or depraved indifference. Most likely the latter. This sick excuse for a mother, on October 15, naked, and screaming epithets such as "We're all going to die!" or "The devil is in her!" held her six-month-old daughter, Junilah Lawrence, out the window of her apartment at Tieboult Avenue and East 182nd Street, in the Fordham section of the Bronx.
As she is doing this, her more rational children, of which there were about four, the oldest being ten, were screaming, begging her not to drop the infant.
But she did.
Too bad those children did not collectively push Tenisha out the window. Like tossing the witch into the oven in "Hansel And Gretel."
Mental illness, my ass! This depraved bitch did not want to be saddled with another child, so she tossed it out like garbage.
Well, I got news for you, hon. YOU are the garbage, and you will be going away someplace--prison or asylum--where the key will be locked, and then tossed for good.
Meanwhile, your children will find better homes than yours.
I am sick of so many of these children being murdered like this, and using mental illness as the excuse they hide behind, instead of their own irresponsibility and, in the is case, depraved indifference.
Bitch, I am indifferent to your suffering. What you did to your child was inexcusable. I ain't no saint, but the road to Heaven is not picking you up, any time soon!
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
It was an exciting night, for a change, last night, on "Scream Queens," darlings. The Red Devil was in his glory, wandering about, and killing everyone in sight--even Roger, and Sam, whose death I found sad, as I had grown to like her.
But I mean, really, when the Kappa Girls had their slumber party, and then get into, via a game of "Truth Or Dare," vagina dentata, I wanted to scream.
This topic was, and never will be, handled more brilliantly than in Mitch Lichtenstein's (son of David) 2007 film, "Teeth." You really should see it, dolls! The last scene is so deliciously nasty, I cringed and laughed at the same time.
Now, for those who may be new to things here, vagina dentata is the myth that some females have teeth in their vaginas, thereby cementing the image of Woman As Castrator, because, once the guy is in there...well, that's it. Of course this is some myth cooked up centuries ago by sexist males, and Lichtenstein's spin on it was so memorable it cannot be topped.
So, why did they have to bring it into the episode last night? Wasn't there enough going on?
A very telling moment--just before Sam is murdered, she asks, since she is soon to die, that The Red Devil, reveal himself. To his credit, he does, peeling off the mask, so that the audience cannot see. "I knew it!, Sam says. "I knew it was you!:"
I am still thinking Jamie Lee, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That Chad! I would like to see him done in! As well as Lea Michele, but then she could be the killer too. After this show, the coffin will be nailed on her career! At last!
The thrill of the Devil chase made this episode more exciting than some of the previous episodes. Let us hope the momentum built here continues to flourish!
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Not even in acting have I seen people hired on the basis of their looks as I have in TV meteorology. Sure, there's Lonnie Quinn, and we love him. I mean, he is HOT, and he has some brains!
Several nights back, my beloved and I were forced to watch Eyewitness News on ABC-TV, and we got a gander at their meteorologist, Jeff Smith. What on earth is he doing there?
"Fags have pretty good taste," says one character in the iconic novel, "Valley Of The Dolls." Jeff, sadly enough, is not one of these. He is a victim of the Deborah Norville Syndrome--the hire brought to New York City, and forced to give execs head--or something else--in order to get the job, because, let me tell you, on camera he comes off dumber than a pig in shit! No offense to pigs!
I can tell you right now, he is a Big Old Bottom--the kind who lets his tops work him over with Latex gloves, if you get my drift. I am not going further than that, except to say maybe an aerial position got him the job!
When not in the studio, he spends his time at the gym. Uh-huh. You would think that would imply he is dumb, but actually that shows he has some smartness about him. At 34, he knows his entire future rests on the durability of his body--after all, what else does he have to offer?--so he is determined to make it last as long as he can. There are plenty of these types of gay men out there, who at least have some ability to evaluate themselves.
Jeff is the one on the far right. As if you couldn't tell.
He SO fits the profile doesn't he, darlings????????? And he is not particularly delicious looking!
He must have satisfied some exec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Somewhere at the bottom, or even sub-bottom of the sub-genre Women Menaced By Apes Movies--like "Gorilla At Large," and "Phantom Of The Rue Morgue"-- lies Universals "Captive Wild Woman," a gem that HAS to be seen. To think this was released in 1943, the same year as "The Song Of Bernadette!!!!!!!!!" Hollywood sure was more far ranging, back then!
It is formulaic fun, with high camp value! John Carradine--during his Universal period-- has this rather butch looking ape--just look at this; it is so masculine, you cannot accuse it of being a lesbian!
Now, it just happens that John Carradine is a mad scientist--what else???--and is extracting serum from the butch ape, and injecting it into Acquanetta, whom I have no idea if she did any other films, or where she came from. Probably the Gowanus Canal.
Come to think of it, where does he pick her up in this film? A mail bride from a tropical island? An island abductee? My guess is she was picked up on Hollywood and Vine; perhaps this film is a foreshadowing of what happened to Elizabeth Short!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When injected, she turns into Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman. You have to see her! Sometimes, she looks glamorous, sometimes less so! Like this--__
I mean, this film is the best justification for electrolysis that I have ever known! I've heard not shaving, darlings, but who wants to look like this? It would more than Neet or Nair to cream that hair away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Never underestimate the importance of make-up!!!!!!!!!!
And I love the name--Paula Dupree. Sounds like Paula Deen!
Once seen, this film is not soon forgotten! And for good reason!
It's a real gender bender, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 19, 2015
The Crown Jewel of Investigation Discovery's program roster is returning soon. I am talking about the Emmy winning "A Crime To Remember," that recreates, in period detail, famous crime cases, many of which I am familiar with, but some I learn about.
This will be Season Three. It always starts with a kicker. The first season opened with that cheap cocktail waitress, Alice Crimmins. Who could forget that? Last season's opener was the famed Kitty Genovese Case, and, while I knew most of the details, it was stunning to watch it unfold.
I have been told--but could be wrong--that the season opener will be "The Gaffney Strangler," a serial killer from South Carolina, who preyed upon young girls in 1967 and 1968. It will be new to me, so something to look forward learning about.
But the ads hype three very well known cases, ones which I know very well, so I want to see and hear how they are depicted.
The first is "The Sam Sheppard Murder Case," where a prominent doctor's wife was mysteriously murdered. I believe this happened in the year of my birth, 1954. This became the basis for the David Jansen series, "The Fugitive," in the Sixties, and, to this day, people debate about who was responsible.
Then there is what is called "The Nurse Murders." This has to be the Richard Speck case, where eight student nurses were tortured and murdered in Chicago. This should be a gem.
Lastly, there is "The Roseann Quinn Murder," where a teacher of deaf children, who hailed from Jersey, but was living on Manhattan's swinging singles Upper West Side, was murdered in her 72nd Street apartment on New Year's Day, 1973. If this sounds familiar, darlings, it is what became the basis for Judith Rossner's iconic novel, "Looking For Mr. Goodbar," which still holds up on a reading, today. I cannot wait for this one. One of these three is what they should lead with.
That makes four cases. There are usually six to a season, so that leaves two more. Wonder what they will be??????. You know I will be tuning in to find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How about something from way in the past???????????
I am far from being in a tear-jerking mood, girls, but, when it comes to such scenes, few can match the scene of Peggy Ann Garner in the schoolroom, with the flowers, in the 1945 film "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn."
It has been so long since I have seen this gem--which, because of this scene I find so hard to watch--that I had to research where in the film it comes in. About three quarters into the picture, I would say, and one does not forget it. Ever. Peggy Ann Garner won a Special Juvenile Oscar for delineating Betty Smith's immortal literary creation, Francie Nolan, and if the rest of her performance were not so exemplary, which it is, this scene alone would have won her the statue.
This moment was directed by a man making his film directing debut--Elia Kazan!!!!!!!!!! What a start!
But here is what leads up to it.
Francie's parents, Katie and Johnny Nolan, are mismatched. But they are Irish Catholic, so forget a separation. Besides, they love each other. Katie (Dorothy McGuire, in another outstanding performance) is the hard-scrabble wife with the force of Scarlett O'Hara, who, like that heroine, keeps food on the table and in the children's mouths, and a roof over their heads. Johnny Nolan (James Dunn, in an Oscar winning performance) is a charming, ne'er do well dreamer, who has a gorgeous tenor voice--but it can't support his family.
Joan Blondell also turns in an Oscar worthy performance--but wasn't even nominated; can you believe it????--as Aunt Sissy, Katie's morally liberal sister. Both she and Francie are the iconoclasts of the family, which draws them together. As does Francie's unswerving love for her father.
Familial tensions erupt, but are resolved. Katie becomes pregnant, with a third child, and Johnny, desperate to provide for his family, ventures out into a snow storm, only to vanish for days. He is found, dead, frozen to death from pneumonia, while in Manhattan, vainly trying to seek employment. Francie is grief stricken, but cannot reconcile herself. They took some liberty with the book, and I think there Johnny dies of alcoholism. Things were softened, but penumonia in 1912 New York certainly made sense. Now, pay attention, here it comes.
Johnny, without question, loved his family. He was inept, but he had heart. One thing he did for Francie was to enable her to enroll into a better school, where she could get the education she would need, to go beyond what she
was born into. Now, I don't know if Johnny had a premonition of what was to happen, but, months before Francie's graduation from the school, and eighth grade, he had given Sissy some money, and a note written from him, instructing her to give them to Francie on the day of her graduation.
As it turns out, Francie and her brother Neely (Ted Donaldson) are both graduating from school the same day. Katie goes to Neely's ceremony; both she and her son are more pragmatic. Sissy goes with Francie; after all, she and her niece are iconoclasts. She walks into the school, leaves the items there, and watches Francie graduate.
After, the children go to their classroom, to say their goodbyes, and receive whatever gifts have been left for them on the desk. Sissy goes with Francie--I am starting to cry myself, as I write this!!!!-- and the note and flowers are on the desk. Francie reads the note, hugs the flowers--and unleashes her pent-up grief in a scene that has caused many to break down over the years. I dare say, if I went to see this in a revival at the Film Forum, I would have to be escorted out, at this point, because I would be heaving great, gulping sobs.
You can see it on this tribute to Joan Blondell's performance on here. It is the last moment, and it is devastating to watch. Though it lacks the impact if you have not seen what comes before.
If you have never seen this film, I urge you to.
As for me, I will sit it out, till revival time, when I know I will be escorted out!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Switching from the fictitious setting of "Mamma Mia!" to the actual one of Lake George, New York I have to say I was impressed. Though thoughts of Theodore Dreiser and "An American Tragedy," not to mention, Kate Smith and "When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain"--though I think that was more Lake Placid-- floated through my head. As did Christine Ebersole's eleven o'clock number from "Grey Gardens," "Another Winter In A Summer Town." If I had known the song I would have stood in the middle of the street,and sung it. There was no denying the pictorial quality of the community, but it did have that end-of-season feel.
Not that this stopped us from doing things. We first went on a lunchtime cruise on a steamboat, which served lunch, to take in the beauty of the lake. Ours was Le Lac Du Saint Sacrement, just right for one who has sat through "The Song Of Bernadette" dozens of times!
This is where we saw much of the scenic splendor, and the array of palatial homes and hotels along the lake. I had known of Lake George for years, as some sort of summer haven affluent New Yorkers could retreat to, when they wanted something even farther away than the Hamptons, but I had never been there, so had no idea how beautiful it actually was. And the timing was perfect, for the Fall foliage was out in all its glory.
But, when the bus took us to the Village, and let us roam around for about ninety minutes, that's when surprises popped up. Like a bookstore I walked out of empty handed, because half the items on display, were, I think, vanity produced. And Christie's Lane, a mini side mall, leading to a restaurant at the foot of the lake that, needless to say, was closed, but I would love to come back to. But here is the real surprise!
Imagine walking down the street of your town, and seeing this, every day! Highland Park; are you kidding? Imagine living in Lake George, and working at such a place!!!!!!!!!! I can almost see myself doing it!
Anyway, we went through this attraction, which was staring at us right from the street! It was loads of fun, very well organized, with many surprises. I was taken with how thorough, in a literary and historical context, this attraction was. And it wasn't just Frankenstein--Dracula, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Creature From The Black Lagoon--kinda cute!--were represented, along with serial killers, the history of torture and witchcraft, even Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. Not to mention Edgar Allan Poe!!!!! Sure, it was tacky, in its own way, as Asbury or Point Pleasant, but you have to give it credit for being in Lake George. Who knew? And what I call The Equilibrium Passage will almost bring you down. It nearly did, with me!
But wait, darlings! Just down the street from the museum we went to, is Dr. Morbid's--that's right!!!--Haunted House. We really wanted to go there, too, but apparently this is a walking tour, with a guide, and done only at selected times. The next tour yesterday was four PM.. We were there at three twenty, but we had to be back on the bus at three forty five, when it pulled out, to take us back home. So, this will have to wait another time!
Two horror attractions in the same town!!!!!!!!! Where else can you find that?
The trip, door to door, was sixteen hours, more than half of that sitting on a bus. You want to talk about a pain in the ass? No,. girls, I am not going there, but I can tell you I am still feeling pained and bet from all that sitting, yesterday. I would not have missed it for the world!
And no matter where I go, horror seems to follow me! Sort of a pre-Halloween celebration!!!!!!!!!!
You got that, Ryan Murphy?????????????????????
On a bus trip to Lake George, which my beloved and I took, yesterday, they showed "Mamma Mia!" I had seen it three times, but not in awhile, so I decided to give a fourth viewing. It was a revelation!
I don't know why this is not more of a gay movie! Just like I don;'t know why Dominic Cooper's career never went anywhere, from here.
Of course it is MERYL's movie. This is the film where, if you ever doubted her ability to do anything, this shows she can. This is where you see MERYL--MERYL STRREP, darlings-- actually handle and operate a drill and a bit! With me, it's like Mayor Koch and a twat! I wouldn't know what to do with either!
MERYL also runs a hotel, operates it as a successful business, and raises a teenage daughter, in the most gorgeous setting imaginable, where she plans to give her daughter the most gorgeous wedding imaginable! As only MERYL can!
But something I learned on this viewing, girls!!!!!!!!! The one we all want to be--at least I do--is not MERYL, but Amanda Seyfried, as Sophie!
I love that the film opens and closes, with Amanda in blue. We all want to look that good, so let's start with that. Then, there is Sophie's hair! We all want it! She has MERYL for a mother, so, like, who needs a wedding planner???????? But I am telling you, on this viewing, the highlight of the ENTIRE film was Amanda Seyfried pulling off her dress, and diving off that pier, to her "alleged" fathers, with that bathing suit and perfect hair. The dive was so flawless, I was, like, "Did she REALLY do that?"
I wanted to be young again, have that body, and be able to execute a dive like this! Only in my dreams, darlings!
So, while MERYL as Donna leads, Amanda, as Sophie is actually the film's focal point! Now, I have find a stylist and a wedding planner fast!
But honestly! With a all the eroticism of "Lay Your Love On Me"--including a chorus of gorgeous gay men in flippers dancing on a pier, MERYL dancing, leaping, and running a business, and Amanda flitting through a fairy tale existence that we all want, to songs like "Honey, Honey," "Mamma Mia!" should be more of a gay cult film! I don't get why it's not, unless...wait....of course I get it...it has style and taste, something the more homogenized gays of today do not understand!
I mean, just look at this!!!!!!!!!!! Who wouldn't want it??????????????
Not to mention having Amanda's hair and wedding gown, and MERYL helping you get ready for the wedding??????? I mean, I am not going to call my Super anymore; I am going to call MERYL!!!!!!!!!!!! And she can plan our wedding, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Darlings, with my schedule these days, I simply have no time to get down to this neighborhood that I frequented so much during my youth, it now has come to represent it. But now, even those representations are fast disappearing.
I found this out, on Friday, when I had a free day. I got my flu shot, then took the train down to the Village to see what was up. Or wasn't.
I am sure most of my girls recognize the facade of this building. It was once Manatus, one of the two all-night venues one could go to, so one could sober up, or recover from a quickie lay. I am told, before it was Manatus, it was known as Clyde's, but that was before I hit town!
Standing in front of this facade made me feel like Gloria Swanson in that iconic photo of her, standing in the Roxy's rubble, which inspired "Follies." I knew a picture of me here would not inspire anything, so I decided to take a little walk to see what else is gone.
Well, the big news is Christopher Street is not the gay mecca it once was. Now, I am not sure this city has a gay mecca anymore. Some used to say Chelsea, but have you been there lately, darlings??????? Are you kidding???????????????
Imagine my shock when I saw the windows of what used to be Boots And Saddles all papered up. The sign naming the bar was gone, but, hell I knew that place for years; I'd been in there, during my time. As far as I am concerned, it is gone!
But Rag And Bone is still there; can you believe it? And that Havana food place that had the temerity to replace David's Pot Belly? Oh, and that other all-night eatery around the corner, the Tiffany Diner, has been gone for years, replaced by a bank!!!!!!!!!!!
The Village just isn't the Village anymore. I had to wonder why. Economics? Well, partly! Age; that is, the fact I am getting older? Maybe, though I am not infirm enough yet to not enjoy a stroll down Christopher Street--if there was anything worth strolling for. But there is not.
What has happened is, as the Baby Boomers age up and out, the succeeding generations of gays are going to become--if they haven't already--so dangerously homogenized they will not be able to be distinguished from their straight counterparts. Which means the notion of a gay community becomes questionable, and then, at least not in my time, vanishes altogether.
It bothers me to think what, if anything will be left. The specificity of gay culture was what made us such a viable presence. Sure, anti-gay violence and bullying should end, but there is no reason to water down style and attitude, just to fit in. Being gay should be about celebrating your differences, not blending in.
So I thought, as I walked through the Village of my youth, seeing what it was flash before my eyes, confronted with what is there now. How sad. I could not wait to leave.
But, thank God for Three Lives Bookstore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cindy Karlsen, second wife of Karl, was smart to get herself and daughters Erin and Katie away from this man. It wouldn't be long before they became collateral damage, the source of a gravy train that Karl could ride to more money.
Which he did. back in 1991, in California, when his first wife, Christina, died in a fire, deemed to be accidental. But was it???????
Karl and the kids left California, shortly after the fire. He remarried Cindy. What was not known, at the time, was that, days before the fire, Karl had taken out a life insurance policy on Christina, for over t hundred thousand dollars. And guess who was the prime beneficiary? Karl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Karl relocated to his hometown in upstate New York, not far from Syracuse. But what no one knew was what an egotist, ne'er do well and pipe dreamer Karl was. He had dreams of fame and glory, from a high end duck farm, to being featured as a star on the Food Network. What a narcissistic piece of shit!
Christina was just 30, when she died. I have to wonder about Karl. He does not strike me as the literary or cultural type, but he sure lived by the philosophy of Vera Donovan, so brilliantly played by Judy Parfitt, in the 1995 (OMG! 20 years ago!!!!!!!!!!) film of "Dolores Claiborne"--"Sometimes, an accident can be an unhappy woman's best friend." Of course, one could almost sympathize with Vera; she was unhappy, and with good reason. Karl was not unhappy; he was just greedy!!!!!!!!!!!!
But, wait, it gets better! Karl's eldest son, Levi, was a sweet, quirky young man. Of course, when adolescence set in, Levi and Karl clashed; a teenager and control freak narcissist are just not going to get along. So, Levi moved out, to start his own life, which included marriage, and two sweet daughters.
Karl needed money, so he got it from Levi. How??? By going with the son to draw up a seven hundred thousand dollar life insurance policy, from which Karl benefited, of course, and 17 days later, Levi, in 2008, just 23, died. The policy was purchased on November 3, and Levi died on the 20th. Fast work, huh?
You know how this scum killed his son???? By deliberately crushing a truck on his chest, and leaving him there to die! Can you imagine????????? At first, no one questioned a thing, though accidents seemed to happen, when Karl was around. If I had been Levi, I would have asked dad why he was naming himself the beneficiary, when it should have been Levi's daughters!!!!!!!! Who, I hope, now with this bastard put away, get that money.
Smart Cindy started putting the pieces together, and got the kids outta there! Fast!
Because, before long, Karl would come up with some need for money, and another cash cow would have to be done in!!!!!!!!!!
Well, surprise Karl! You won yourself a lifetime policy of imprisonment, where you belong!
What a sick fuck! A word to his inmates--don't get close with this guy? Because you could be collateral! I wouldn't put it past Karl to try and pull something off, from prison walls!!!!!!!!!!!
Burn, baby, burn, Karl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!