Wednesday, August 31, 2016

As August Ends, So Too, It Seems, Does The Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            "One last's time to dress...for Fall."
                                               --Michel Legrand, Theme of "Summer Of '42"

                                          Something about August always makes me sad. Even with being out of school for decades, it signals the beginning of the end of Summer, a time, which, despite the heat, I find most cheering. Maybe because the days are longer.  It's that Seasonal Affect Disorder, darlings!

                                             This picture is perfect, as the above lyric plays through my head.  We had an interesting August.  We went to Montauk, which was lovely.  We lost our beloved neighborhood canine friend, Stinky, who will always be remembered. There was the tragic loss of Daniel Fitzpataick, which shall haunt me.  We saw "The Wizard Of Oz on screen once again.

                                                 And yet....August.....once the "ber" months commence, the year flies.  I
have a birthday during that period, holidays coming up....the Fall has much to look forward to, and we have much to be thankful for.

                                                   Anugst. Eight months down.  It was good to us.

                                                   May September be the same.

                                                    See you then, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How Could I See Such A Beloved Film, With So Cold An Audience???????????????????????????

                         I mean, it was positively shocking!  There my beloved, David, and I were, with our friend, Judy, at BAM, on Sunday, seeing my all-time favorite film, which it took two years for me to catch up with on the big screen, since it did not get an Anniversary showing, as it should have, back in 2014.

                          David was seeing it on the big screen for the first time, so this was an important viewing for him.  A teacher I once had often said we are freshmen many times in our lives. So, it is, with virginity, darlings!!!!!!!!!  There is always some form of it to lose!  As David recently found out.

                             The print was clear and sharp.  The audience was attentive.  But they were so quiet--even the children--you would have thought they were at a wake.   It is not that I do not appreciate reverence during "The Wizard Of Oz," but, if you are seeing a film with an audience, any true fan of the film knows the rules--

                                           1. When the Metro lion roars on screen, you sit up attentively.

                                            2. When the title appears on the screen, you clap and shout wildly.

                                             3. When Judy Garland sings "Over The Rainbow," there is
                                                   church like silence, while tears cascade down your cheeks.

                                              4. When Miss Gulch first rides across the screen, you "boo"
                                                     and "hiss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                                5. When Toto escapes her basket, applause breaks out

                                               6. When Dorothy steps into the Technicolor Oz, you applaud wildly.

                                                7. The audience automatically claps in rhythm to the song "You're
                                                         Out Of The Woods."

                                                  8. When Toto escapes the Witch's castle, applaud wildly!!!!!!

                                                  9. When Nikko, the monkey, applauds over the Witch's death, the
                                                        audience does, too.

                                                   10. When Dorothy bids farewell to Oz, you cry REAL tears.

                                                    11. When she hugs Toto, on the line "But, anyway, Toto, we're
                                                            home--HOME!," you cry copiously.

                                                    12.  When the end title appears on the screen there is roaring

                           This is standard operating procedure for viewing "The Wizard Of Oz" on the big screen., with an audience. The audience I saw it with was like a wet fish. Had they no respect for one of the most beloved films of all time.  One of the few things in Life that does not disappoint, and meets MY standards of perfection?????????????  Or is everyone just digitized out of any genuine feeling, empathy, or appreciation for artistry???????????????

                               I fear the last may be true.  But those of us who grew up with the annual TV showings--and you all know who you are, darlings--know better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Let the joyous news be spread!  "The Wizard Of Oz" is NEVER dead!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Take A Summer's Breath, With "Don't Breathe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                       Girls, I am telling you, "Don't Breathe" is the most fun I have had in a long while.  Too bad the movie cannot sustain.

                         It starts out credibly, in the land of adverse reality, with three teens, two boys and a girl, acting as some sort of thieving ring.  The girl, Rocky, played by Jane Levy is white, trailer trash, and is only doing this so she and her younger sister can get away, and flee to California, away from their alcoholic tramp mother, and sleazy boyfriend.  And yet, HER makeup and hair is perfect. Only in Hollywood, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         You have to see this, darlings. First, you think it is a "Wait Until Dark" redux, because the intended victim is blind.  But Audrey was the victim in the first, which meant class; never forget she gave the classiest "Fuck you!" on screen at the end of "The Children's Hour," so, even though she was blind, and in a wheelchair, Audrey, with her designer garb, gave the perps a run for the money.

                             Stephen Lang, that fine actor, plays the perp here. He may be blind, but he is far from helpless. Trouble is, three quarters of the way through, the film, with its gorgeous camerawork and atmospheric lighting, things drop to "Silence Of The Lamb" territory. Lang turns out to be deranged, not so much by the war, but by a rich, snotty bitch, running over his daughter.  The daughter is killed, and the girl gets off by her parents paying him $200K to settle him off.  But it is not enough, for, as Rocky discovers, the girl killer is now bound and gagged. What's more--this is sick--this guy has been saving and freezing years worth of his semen--don't even go there!!!!!!!--because he wants to impregnate this girl to get a new daughter!  And he is no spring chicken!

                                 Sick and incredulous, darlings! That is when I mentally checked out of the movie.

                                   I love the shot of Rocky--with the money she stole--and her daughter--getting on the plane, just as the discovery is made that Lang is still alive!

                                     Chickens do come home to roost, darlings!  But let's hope there is not another "Don't Breathe, Part 2."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Her Name Was Stinky, But She Had Sweetness And Style!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    It was a sudden, unexpected shock. There we were, David and I, along with our friend, Judy, walking down 77th Street, to home, in Bay Ridge. When we passed number 315,  I saw that Bacci was out, and called out to him. One of the homeowners told us he had bad news--that sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, Stinky died.

                                     I cried instantly; Stinky was so cute and lovable. Holding, hugging, scratching and getting a kiss from her just often made my day.  And David's, too.  I shall never forget the day Roxy was clamoring for attention at the gate, fell onto Stinky's back--and she carried him up the stairs, where she would be safe. Such strength in such a tiny dog.

                                      And to think, as we found out, Stinky was all of 12 years old.  She never looked or acted it.  So, it is with extreme grief I write this post.

                                        You will always have a place in our hearts, Stinky. Now spread your love in the next world, to those who need it!

                                            Like Daniel Fitzpatrick!  If anyone can make him feel better, Stinky, YOU can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good News For Insomniacs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Yes, girls, as of last evening, Sunday nights will be easier to fall asleep, because Paula Zahn is back "On The Case."  Nothing much has changed--still the droning delivery that viewers have come to expect, and, my God Paula's appearance is still being handled by straight men--hair barely combed, and that square cut black thing she  has worn countless times.  Well, her fan base is made up of sex addicts, so the market has to be satisfied.

                                      The case was a happy one.  Because the girl survived.  The Romanek  sisters, Katie, 12, and Elizabeth, 16, were home. in Lodi, California, which happened to be up for sale.  Elizabeth was babysitting for her sister, who had a friend over, and they were playing "Operation."  You remember, darlings!  The electric game, where YOU are the doctor?????? This was as technological as games got, back in its day.

                                         This was back in 1992; almost a quarter century!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Anyway, this strange guy comes to the door, clad only in cut off jeans, and maybe shoes and socks.  Mr. Sex Dude, to be sure.  He says he wants to look at the house, because he wants to buy it, but Liz does not fall for that, and slams the door in his face!  Good for her!

                                           But, when she leaves the girls alone, while she picks up a pizza, he comes back, breaks in, ambushes the girls, with the friend hiding a closet. When Elizabeth returns to imprisons her, tied to the bed in her room, and brings Katie in, asking which one of them should he rape!!!!!!!!!!!  Sick, right???????? Of course, to protect her sister, Elizabeth subjects herself to this trauma, with Katie watching!   Nice, huh?  Then the predator abducts Katie, and runs off. The friend comes out of hiding, unties Elizabeth, and the search for Katie begins. The parents are notified.

                                           The good news from all this, is that, in spite of a burning car, Katie is found alive, her predator being the son of a neighbor down the street, barely weeks out of prison, a 25-year-old drifter/loser and sex sicko, named Steven Reece Cochran.

                                               This was as much of Paula as I saw before I fell asleep, but I can tell you that this guy was convicted, and is now serving a hundred year sentence, in a California prison.  He will never come out into civilization, except in a box.

                                                   Katie is lucky to be alive.  And I was lucky to have stayed awake through this much of Paula!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     Sunday slumbers are back, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Don't Forget Trailer Trash Barbie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Did you know there is an exhibit of Barbie, and her history, going on in Paris, at the Museum Of Decorative Art?  It has been running since March, and ends on the 18th of September--which is closer than you think--so all us girls had better fly over, to see this dazzling display.  I bet Anna Wintour has been to it, already.  Maybe she uses Barbies as models for her photo shoots, before going to actual humans!  I wouldn't be a bit surprise.

                             I really do hope Trailer Trash Barbie is included; she was my favorite!  But, where Matel missed the mark was during the Seventies, when Patty Hearst was kidnapped, and transformed into "Tania!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Imagine "Tania" Hearst Barbie!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You know I would have bought that one, and now would have  a collector's item I could retire on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              None of us needs an excuse to fly over to Paris, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just think--Barbie, and then lunch at Tour d'Argent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

                              As Peggy Lee would say, it just gives me "Fever!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Do You Actually Want A President Who Has Skid Marks In His Underwear?????????????????

                                It is a known fact, darlings, that sexist pig males do not know how to take care  of themselves.  Which is why their wives are little more than the White "ROOTS;" scrubbing the skid marks in the underwear under the sink every day, until the wear through, and she has to buy a new pair, because these types haven't the sense to clean or change their underwear.

                                  Which is one of many reasons gay men are so fastidious.  It is another way to rebel, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Donald Trump is not fastidious.  You can tell, just by looking at him, he has skid marks in HIS undies.  If not, DEPENDS!!!!!!!!!!!   So, do you really what him for a president?????????  If he is this slipshod about his appearance, what about the country!  Remember Sterling Hayden, at the close of "Dr. Strangelove?????????????"

                                     I wouldn't even get close to someone as filthy as Donald Trump!  Dump this guy quick, before he takes a dump on us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      He and his supporters are full of shit, anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Daniel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                Today would have been Daniel Fitzpatrick's 14th birthday, and he should be here, to celebrate it.  Alas, 16 days ago, forces conspired that caused him to make the irrevocable decision to end his life, by suicide.  It is widely known and accepted that every single member of Holy Angels Catholic Academy, just a block away from I in Bay Ridge, carries some of the mantel of blame; some more than others of course, like the actual bullies and administrators.  But those who stood by, and did nothing, are complicit, too.

                                                 Some of my earlier readers may be surprised to discover I have not written as much about Daniel on here, as I did with Tyler Clementi.  It is not that I have not wanted to.  The reason is Tyler's case was more clear cut; with Daniel, there have been allegations related to his home life, and, to be honest, I don't know enough about those matters to make me certain enough to write about those.  And I certainly do not want to crucify a family who has been crucified enough!

                                                   So, I am complying with his sister, Shannon.  I saw an article on the Internet, and, getting off the train last night, was reminded of it, when I saw a sign taped to the nearest lamppost.

                                                  Here is my offering to Daniel and his family.  May Daniel rest in peace, his tormentors be brought to justice, and his family get some kind of closure.

                                                And shame on you, Holy Angels Catholic Academy!  I hope your enrollment drops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Not The Stunner I Expected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                There were surprises, to be sure, but "All The Missing Girls" did not turn out to be the stunner I had expected.

                                  The gimmick, which had the author been consisted, might have worked, was to tell the story in reverse. The problem is that within certain chapters the reader goes back and forth in time simultaneously, and this makes for a lot of confusion.

                                      The premise is all very simple.  Ten years before, when the narrator and her friends were still in high school, a girl named Corinne Prescott vanished, never to be seen again.  What happened to Corinne?

                                         Ten years later, another girl, Analiese Carter, who was the same personality type as Corinne, also goes missing?  What happened to her?  And are the two disappearances connected.

                                           There is one revelation I did not see coming, but it makes sense, in retrospect.  You read to get answers, and you get the answers you want.

                                            Unfortunately, the gimmick of going backwards makes what should be a fast moving mystery rather plodding.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Is The Witch The Bitch? Or Is The Bitch The Witch????????????????

                                   "Hansel And Gretel" is a story long overdue for examination in the Bitch Of The Week column.  I had always thought of the Witch as being the bitch; one who, deservedly, gets her comeuppance.

                                      But there is another bitch lurking in this story; one that has been as much of a fairy tale component as witches.

                                        The Evil Stepmother.

                                         Hansel and Gretel's father was a widower, and he remarried this scold.  Economic times hit them hard, and she came up with the idea of luring the children into the woods, and abandoning them, so they would have only their mouths to feed.  This makes even Cinderella's stepmother seem benign; at least Cinderella was allowed a roof over her head!

                                           What always got me ticked off with this was how dumb the father was.  I mean, it's not like the woman he married is some sex kitten.  She is a cold, heartless, scold, who, if the story were to carry forward would either physically or psychologically castrate him.

                                               She is hateful.

                                               But wait!

                                               There is a theory, popular among some genre scholars, that the Stepmother and the Witch are one and the same.  This makes sense in terms of getting rid of the children, but if this were really true, the Witch should have made herself more desirable and alluring as the Stepmother, in order to ensnare the father.

                                                 So, I think they are two different individuals.

                                                 Both are evil bitches, but I think the Witch is the worst of the two.
At least, the kids have a fighting chance in the Woods.  The Witch, who is the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, may very well be a female pedophile, luring the kids with the Ultimate Candy House, imprisoning them, torturing them, until Gretel gets her act together, and tosses the Witch into the oven.

                                                  I actually forget how the story ends.  In one version, I recall they go back through the woods, and embrace their father, who loves them.  The Evil Stepmother is now gone.  Does that mean she was the Witch?  Darlings, you are free to think so.

                                                   I think Daddy finally came to his senses, saw how cold and ugly she was, and threw her out into the street.

                                                     Which is what becomes of all Evil Stepmothers!  Or should!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Something Is Stirring, Shifting Ground, It's Just Begun............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                Those words were lyrical and singable, back when I first heard them, the night of October 31 (Halloween!) 1981, when I first saw "Merrily We Roll Along," at the then Alvin Theatre.
I heard the words, but I did not understand them. Because I had not lived long enough.

                                  This realization came to me on February 14, 2014 (Valentine's Day!) when my beloved and I saw 'Merrily'at ENCORES.  When it got to "Our Time," my heart broke, as I realized that this show was not just about Prince and Sondheim's generation, but mine, performed, as the original was, by a cast comprised substantially of baby boomers.  I could very well have been one of those people up on that roof. And in life, back then, I had been.

                                    So, "Our Time' means considerably more to me now, than it did, then.

                                     Darlings, imagine my excitement when I heard that the longtime documentary about "Merrily We Roll Along" and its now legendary Original Cast, entitled "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened,": is ready.  Not only is it ready, it will have its premiere at this year's New York Film Festival.

                                      We simply have to be there!  And, of course, if we cannot, this film must get a theatrical release, so it can be flocked to instantly.  'Merrily' is as defining of the youth of those who first saw it when young, as the actors themselves.

                                          I simply cannot wait!

                                           Here is the song, done by the Original Cast!

                                             "Dreams don't die," darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, Here Is The First Look At Celia Keenan-Bolger Rehearsing In "The Cherry Orchard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                         With Summer surely slipping away from us, it is time to look ahead, and one of the most anticipated things is the upcoming "Cherry Orchard," featuring Diane Lane, Joel Grey, and others. Chekhov, the period, the romance, the is enough to make one sigh. BUT the drawing card for yours truly, as well as all my girls will be Celia Keenan-Bolger.  Here is her first rehearsal shot, and I cannot wait to see what kind of dramatic magic she does with Chekhov. After her Laura Wingfield,  nothing is impossible for Celia, which is why we all love her. She could be working with MERYL, someday. Or Mary-Louise Parker.

                            Look at the technique Celia exhibits in this shot. And she may start a fashion trend--
a lot of actors may be rehearsing now, in their bare feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Another Philip Roth?????????? What's Going On????????????????

                                No, darlings, I am not intending to read the complete oeuvre of Roth.  Having read "Nemesis," that makes eleven of his books I have read.  So, I expect this is where I will end with Roth.

                                 Now, polio was a word bandied about during my early childhood years.  For all that my mother fiercely worried about me, during this period--and she did!!!!!!--I never heard polio enter into her reasons for doing so.

                                   I vividly recall having a polio vaccination in my pediatrician's office.

                                    And I recall Spring of 1965, when I was in fourth grade, where all of us had to show up, on three different times, at the high school gym, in my hometown of Highland Park, New Jersey--the very gym that five years later would become the bane of my adolescence!!!!!!--and take these pink sugar cubes, laced with some kind of drug.  The sugar counteracted much of the medicinal flavor, and all of this somehow related to polio.

                                    Which is why I thought the epidemic was during my childhood years. Only, it was not.

                                      "Nemesis," which takes place in Newark, New Jersey, during the Summer of 1944, is a sad meditation on this time.  This was more my sister's childhood than mine--only we were fortunate enough to be far enough away from Newark.  World War II was also going on, and to witness the decimation of a neighborhood, and then a camp in the Poconos, is too much to bear.

                                         So is the character of Eugene "Bucky" Cantor, a tormented individual from the start, whose anxieties unfold along with the war and epidemic.  I related to him to a point, with all my anxieties and neuroses, but I am not certain I would have made the same--what I consider--detrimental choices that he did.   This is an extremely sobering work, and when I finished it, I had to go out to clear my head.

                                           It is short, a minor Roth gem, compared to some of his larger ones, like
"Sabbath's Theater," and "The Plot Against America."  Roth may be a prick in real life, but on paper he can emerge, when he sets out to, an an artist, many of whose works are worth reading.

                                             As  is "Nemesis."  Don't judge Roth by Alexander Portnoy alone!!!!!!!!!!!!

MERYL Is, Well, Of Course, MERYL, But I Am Telling You--Simon Helberg Steals "Florence Foster Jenkins" From Her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Now, darlings, let's face it. How many actors out there can pull an audience's focus from Meryl Streep?  There are not many.  Let's see--

                               Stanley Tucci.   Julianne Moore.  Amy Adams.  Viola Davis.

                               Now, to that list, add Simon Helberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Simon Helberg?  You mean, that guy who is on that show, "The Big Bang Theory," which you could not even pay me to watch, darlings???????????????

                                 That's right.  He gives a remarkable performance.

                                  As does everyone. Stephen Frears is a first rate director, and when Meryl is alone on camera, singing away, she is at her best.  And in the final scene, which is laced with such touching humanity, I got the impression, from the way Meryl played it, that Florence, at the end, knew the truth about herself.

                                   But, she had one hell of a ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   As for Helberg, as Cosme McMoon, from, of all places San Antonio, he goes from comedic, to genuinely touching as he buys more and more into the relationship with "Madame Florence," seeing her for what she is not, but touched by what she is.

                                    It is a performance that is unexpected and seems to come out of nowhere.  I cannot remember the last time this happened.

                                    But that scene, where he arrives late for the concert, disheveled, having been "jumped by some sailors."  Uhm-hmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You and I know, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      MERYL should certainly get an Oscar nod for this film. But so should Simon Helberg.  For now, he becomes an actor to watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Girls, This Is Just Too Much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          I saw this for the first time, last night, darlings, and you have just GOT to see it.  Even though I am voting for her--I mean, what other choice is there; are you kidding me?  Do you want to be put in a concentration camp, for being an individual?????--the ad for the Hillary Doll is priceless.  It is as great a send up of Hillary as Kate McKinon impersonating her on SNL.  Wonder if McKinnon is the voice of the doll???????????

                             In any case, dolls, you just have to see this!  Hope it livens up your Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, Here's A Read You'll Love, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Like "The Sport Of Kings," which I posted on several weeks ago, "The Lives Of Others" is a work of epic scope, generational family angst, class consciousness, and political upheaval. It is set in India and Bengal, during the early to later parts of the twentieth century, and involves two families, one wealthy, the other poor.  I was enraptured by its 500 plus pages, which I consumed ravenously.

                                      It seems I read a lot of Indian literature. I mean, there was "A Suitable Boy," "A Fine Balance," (which this closely resembles) not to mention Amitav Ghosh's trilogy, beginning with "Sea Of Poppies," continuing with "River Of Smoke," and soon to be finished, once I read it, with "Flood Of Fire." And, yes, I could even mention "The Far Pavilions" by M.M. Kaye.

                                      You would think, darlings, I choose these works specifically.  More to the point, they choose me.  What's distinctive about all of them--including Jhumpa Lahari, whose works I have also read--is their ability to explore, with such keen insight, the human condition, often better than their American or British contemporaries.  So, I keep returning to them.

                                         I had to wonder whether some of it is autobiographical, because one of the families is named Ghosh, and Amitav gets a thank you in the Acknowledgements.  Mukherjee's structure is very similar to Tolstoy; just as Leo did not know how to end "Anna Karenina," so does this author not know how to end his work.  The final suicide should have been the end, to frame the story between two suicides, as it opens with one.  But the ending used makes a powerful political point, so I can carp, but I can't complain.

                                          Neel Mukherjee is known for his debut novel, "A Life Apart."  I was so impressed with his work here, I must read the earlier one.

                                           But, settle in, girls, and let "The Lives Of Others" take you on an epic ride!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Bitch In This Photo Is Dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               On Sunday, the day before he did the heinous deed, Mark Short took his wife and children to Hershey Park, PA.  On August 6, their bodies were found, in another family annihilation suicide. Which makes Mark, who was 43, the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award.

                                 Short joins the company of John List, and others. But it wasn't financial problems that drove him to this. It was that Megan, the wife, wanted out of the marriage, and planned to move she and the kids into an apartment, the next day.

                                 Megan should have kept her mouth shut. Perhaps she and the kids would be alive.

                                  Mark, whose ego had to be enormous, pulled the old "If-I-can't-have-you-no-one-will" motive out of his pocket, via a gun, and shot the entire family, then himself. At least he had the sense to do what John List did not.

                                    Bullying and family annihilation. What can be done about them?  No matter how many times people speak out against them, they keep on happening.

                                      The surname Short was aptly ironic. Because the entire family's lives were just that--too short!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Time For Some Levity; We Need It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Before I learned the truth about what a bitch that Diana Ross was, and still is, there was a brief period, when I wanted to be her.  That is when the song "Love Child" first came out, back in 1968.

                               It was something of a ground breaker for The Supremes. It dealt with the social issue of the marginalization of those born illegitimate, and a reminder of their humanity, and dignity, too.  Today, on the day of interment of Daniel Fitzpatrick, I want to think of him as a "Love Child;" in this sense a child who was loved by those who deeply cared for him. And so many of us, who are saddened by his death.

                               My poor parents.  When this song would play on the radio, I would, on cue, get up to do it, in Diana's key, and with all those gestures.  And I can still do it today!

                                But instead of giving you that, let me give you Diana--Miss Ross, my ass!!!!!!!!--and The Supremes.

                                  I sure knew what it was like to live my life in doubt, to be without the simple things--like designer clothes and a Manhattan penthouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Minor Gem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I have to confess I think Elizabeth Strout writes better female than male characters. Her last book, "The Burgess Boys," disappointed me.  But I had heard good things about "My Name Is Lucy Barton," and it was short enough, so I decided to give it a try.

                                     In tightly structured prose, Strout tells a concise, but encompassing story, of a lifelong mother-daughter relationship, framed within the confines of the mother visiting her hospitalized adult child, in bed.

                                      What comes up between Lucy and Mother is universal--how some children turn out one way, while others do not, what drives one to stay in their place of origin, versus leaving it altogether, and the gossip that small town residents always share between them, no matter what the age.

                                          The one male character I would have liked to have known more about is Lucy's brother, who was made to seem interesting.  I also wondered why Lucy' sister, Vicky, was so bitter. What in life did she feel she did not get?

                                            It is a quick read, but an insightful one.  It may not land on any Ten Best lists, but it is worth reading.

"May The Almighty God Have Mercy On This Poor, Innocent Boy's Soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                These words are spoken in a thought balloon, by Victor Frankenstein, in the Classics Illustrated Comics edition of the Mary Shelley novel.  In the panel, he is standing at the foot of the gallows, at sunrise, upon the hanging of Justine Moritz, the distant cousin/governess, who was accused of murdering Victor's prepubescent brother, William. But Victor knows who the real murderer is, but will not come forward.  And so he thinks in his head, what bears repeating--"I shall never know peace again.  May the Almighty God have mercy on that poor, innocent girl's soul."

                                  Yesterday, sadly, over on Staten Island, the Fitzpatricks bury their beloved son, Daniel.  I imagine words to this effect are floating through their heads, but I would hope they are floating through the heads of everyone in attendance, there. And that would include I hope, Daniel's classmates, and, most especially, the tormentors and their parents.

                                      Sure, no one wanted this, but you know, darlings, actions have consequences.  I think there should be an investigation into the teaching and administrative practices at this school. Already, a Council chairman has been asked to resign--and should--for taking a stand that dealing with bullying is unnecessary. Well, eat those words now!  And Daniel's sister's tale of a teacher, who would stand outside, after school, holding up the poorest students' test papers and scores, and calling them out to one and all, outdoes even what Mrs. Cohen did to me in first grade.  And that has certainly left its scars on me.

                                        I hope Sister Camille is there. I know our lovable reptile friend, Gojira is there, incognito, and he would love to give the student body a good talking to.

                                         And why have we not heard of the perpetrators being dealt with?  Are they to be allowed to get away with this?  At the very least, they should be thrown out of school!!!!!!  Go on; attack me, if you want; I stand by what I say.

                                          Is Holy Angels Harvard?  Is it Miss Porter's?  If they are trying to incorporate the word of God, and the teachings of Jesus into their students, they have not done a very good job!

                                          Daniel Fitzpatrick's untimely demise indicates that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Who Knew "Sudden Fear" Held So Many Surprises???????????????

                           When Sunday came, we just had to do something, darlings, so even though the heat was ratcheting up my Bitch Meter, a visit to the Film Forum we felt would cool us off. Which it did.

                             I had never seen "Sudden Fear," the 1952 film which netted Joan Crawford an Oscar nomination--losing out to Shirley Booth, in "Come Back, Little Sheba"--but there were so many surprises.

                              For starters, I learned that if one is going to gun down someone, the deed should be done like Joan, dressed in an elegant scarf, and long fur coat.

                                I also learned that Gloria Grahame is the one actress who could steal scenes from Joan. Hell, she could steal them from everyone.

                                  Who knew "Junior" was played by someone named "Touch Conners," who would late become Mike Connors, who became "Mannix" in the Sixties??????? Unfortunately, Gail Fisher was not on hand here, as Peggy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Bruce Bennett, who played husband Bert in "Mildred Pierce," appeared with Joan as her lawyer, and did a wonderful job. Nice to see them back again.

                                      But the plot--oh, my God!--Joan plays a successful playwright, Myra Hudson, who just happens to be an heiress. She fires her leading man, played by Jack Palance, which leads to trouble--I mean, it's Jack Palance, for God's sake, of course there will be trouble--and Joan foolishly marries him, while he and Gloria, who is also stringing along Mike Connors, plot to kill Joan.

                                        The climax is a hoot! Jack and Gloria get theirs, Joan gets away with the whole thing by tossing her scarf in the sewer, and then walking up a San Francisco hill!!!!!!!!  And this was before Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           My only disappointment was there was no nasty daughter, to act as a foil for Joan.

                                             It was Joan's show, all the way! And she made the most of it!

                                             Now, I simply have to find a coat like hers, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And those facial close-ups!  The like has not been seen since the days of Norma Desmond!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

I Had Such Fun With "The Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        Now, don't get me wrong, honeys!!!!!!!!!!  I am certainly NOT going straight!

                                         I began Emma Cline's "The Girls," with some trepidation, because, in the time since I first purchased it, I had heard words to the effect it starts out well, but then sort of peters out.  So, I read this, with that warning in the back of my mind, but it did not happen.  To be sure, there were other things I questioned, but "The Girls," from start to finish, was an unstoppable read.

                                         Anyone of a certain age knows what it is based on, where it comes from, and where it is going.  But knowing all that does not blunt the impact.  The most fascinating thing about Cline's book, which is exceptionally well written, are its fascinating and insightful glimpses into female psychology, especially for those of us outside the realm.

                                          This is where "The Girls" is at its best.  Its chronicling of the crime, and what leads up to it is graphic and disturbing, no matter what.  Especially when a child is involved.
Cline is never excessive here, and while the section was repulsive, I can excuse her for allowing that, as I think it helps the narrative impact.

                                             What I could not countenance--and this may come as a spoiler--so if you want to be surprised, stop here--was how Evie Boyd, the protagonist, was allowed to come and go from the ranch, where Russell's cult lived.  Even though Evie and Suzanne Parker, one of the core members, formed some unexplained emotional bond, which I think resulted in Suzanne tossing Evie out of the car prior to the crime; she was trying to protect both Evie and the group, as she knew it would be too much for Evie. Well, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                I just cannot see a cult of any sort allowing a member such freedom, even if she was 14, or not.  For a better handling of this situation, check out the 2011 movie "Martha Marcy May Marlene," starring Elizabeth Olsen (yes!!!!!!!!!) in a genuinely good performance, and the always brilliant Sarah Paulson, as her older sister, Lucy.

                                                 I question how Cline justifies all Evie's freedom. Aside from that, "The Girls" is the perfect Summer Read it has been hinted at, and laced with suspense, in spite of its being a story many of us are all too familiar with.

An Open Plea To Sister Camille D'Arienzo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       "Oh, the Sisters of Mercy, they are not departed or gone.
                                         They were waiting for me, when I thought that I could not
                                            go on.
                                          And they brought me their comfort, and later they brought
                                             me their song.
                                          Oh, I hope you run into them, you who've been traveling on."
                                               --Leonard Cohen, "Sisters Of Mercy"

                                           Long time readers of my blog know I start each Sunday morning, as I did, yesterday, with a cup of coffee, and listening to the commentary, on 1010 WINS, of Sister Camille D'Arienzo.  It is to her I post this, hoping it may get to her, and she might do something.

                                             Over the weekend, I learned of the tragic death of Daniel Fitzpatrick, a 13-year-old boy from Holy Angels Catholic Academy, which, I am almost now ashamed to say, is not far from where I live, in Bay Ridge.  It seems Daniel, who resided in Staten Island, had been bullied for an inordinately long time there, and while correctly reaching out, nothing was done.  He hanged himself, in his home, on August 11, the day before the 27th Anniversary of the suicide of someone I knew. Maybe that is why I reacted so vividly to this. Not since Tyler Clementi, whose sixth anniversary is approaching next month, have I been so upset; I find myself crying for this poor, innocent child.

                                                While I cannot possibly know the whole story, being not involved, it seems this child was picked on for his weight, lack of athleticism, and his low grades.  I find the last interesting, because, while I was a good student, I have no recall of those who weren't being picked on for that. It was more social exclusion, in my case. Where academics were concerned, like being omitted from Algebra in eighth grade, or the National Honor Society in high school--which I have never gotten over--it is the teachers I blame, not peers.

                                                  I wonder if the school Daniel attended was all boys, because I have heard no reports of bullying from girls, and you all know how mean they can be at this age, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    There was also something said about Daniel being asked to repeat the seventh grade again--but at another school.  Wonder what is going on there?

                                                      One thing I learned from the Tyler Clementi tragedy, and my incessant writing of it, was that the writing helped get out my anger to the point, where, while I may--and still--dislike Dahurn Ravi and Molly Wei, I don't feel the need to demonize them. So I am not going to demonize the school, or anyone connected to it. But I applaud Daniel, in his note, for naming his specific tormentors.

                                                         I do hope the Clementis reach out to the Fitzpatricks; they more than any of us can understand what that family is now going through. And, Sister Camille, please, on one of your broadcasts address this in some way that I know you can find of getting points across without hurting anyone.  And, please, Sister, may Mary and Jesus have mercy on this poor, innocent boy's soul.

                                                           I said all this  to Mary on 76th Street, while leaving for work this morning.  But I am saying here now to everyone.

Rest In Peace, Daniel. And God bless the Fitzpatricks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

See Why I Wanted To Be Them???????????????

                             I don't think I need to tell many readers on here that that is Angela Cartwright, and Heather Menzies in a candid shot during the filming of "The Sound Of Music."  Aren't they, like, perfections of beauty????????????  I so wanted to be them both, but with my hair texture, I think I favored Heather, who must have had an early growth spurt when she was a young girl, because, I am about Angela's age, and always thought of Heather as way older. Which she is not. She was like so many girls I knew once I reached junior high school, who towered over all us boys. They just grew earlier than the rest of us.

                              I thought this would cool off tempers, and cheer you up, after my last post. May it give us all the strength to get through this heated day, and  cool us down.

                               Why, just looking at Angela and Heather in their glory days is enough to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Canal Street Meltdown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           My makeup was the least of it, girls!  I am telling you, right now, do NOT go out in this heat, because it will kill you faster than Miss Diana Ross killed Florence Ballard. And I can prove it.

                            Both my beloved and I  had the day off. We thought we would venture into the city, get the errands done early, then go to a movie.  Well, dolls, I am an Uptown Girl, and if you put me into a Downtown World, I have no idea where I am going.  Neither does my beloved; for both of us anything below the Film  Forum is like the End Of The World.

                             So, it was no surprise, getting lost, trying to find our way to a subway--ANY subway that would take us anywhere--in coolness.  I have been wanting to do a post for awhile now on how the Summer heat triggers people's tempers. Well, yesterday, I became my own subject.

                               And no movie, to boot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              See, I won't put up with those sordid, self-absorbed self-involved Downtown Non-Professionals.  I won't take that attitude from a bunch of Second Rate Divas, who can't sustain. All of those corporate honchos, knocking off common pieces of female dirt from Staten Island, while their wives take the money and run.  They bought their asses for money, and I hope they can live with that!

                                The whole goddamn Manhattan is like that, which is how I felt yesterday, and why I was so mad, I knocked down a sunglasses display on Canal.  I feel bad for my beloved who had to stay with me during all this, but I am not a bit sorry I knocked that down!  I wanted to punch someone in the face!

                                  This is what the heat did to me, yesterday! And, to think, I used to love Summer as a child.  Well, not when it gets like this.

                                     Thank God, I was not doing a gig at the Delacorte!  You want to see one bitchy Diva?????????  You just put me there, in weather, like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls,I Cannot Believe I Am Reading Philip Roth Again......Philip Roth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                The last Roth work I recall reading was a slim volume called "Everyman," which did nothing for me, though the straight, white male entourage over at The New York Times turned cartwheels over it.  Just like every Roth work.  If he wrote "Shit" on a sheet of toilet paper, the same reception would be accorded him.

                                    The man's a prick, but he can write.  When I saw the trailer for "Indignation," and saw all the praise being heaped upon it, I felt I had to see it, but that it was my duty to read it, beforehand.

                                       Well, I have.  First, let's get some stuff out of the way.  There is a twist, but, from the endless clips shown of the Dean (Tracy Letts) asking Marcus, "What did you do? you would think it centers around that, but it does not.

                                         To be sure, Roth cannot get away without incorporating male masturbation into his book, which gets tired real fast.  Come on, Phil; we've all been there, done that.

                                           What makes "Indignation" resonate is its hero's disenchantment with the authority surrounding him, showing it was not just limited to the hippies or Baby Boomers, but exists within any of the iconoclasts among us.  This particular one happens to exist in 1951, at the height of the Korean War.

                                               Marcus Messner's experiences at college prove to be disillusioning. But, before one say, "Ah, the pretension of youth," consider how Marcus father is falling mentally apart, without any explanation, which probably did exist then, and, at the very least, if examined today, might hint of bipolar disorder.  And could Marcus disenchantment not just be akin to his age and generation, but a genetic tag of what is to follow for him.

                                                 Roth never explores any of his ideas in "Indignation."  It is his most presentational novel, which means it is pure narrative, rather than analytic and discursive.  But it is absorbing, and leaves much for the reader to ponder. Roth can still turn them out.

                                                    The film of this book has been called by many the best film translation of a Roth work.  I cannot wait to see how what I consider his Masterwork, "American Pastoral," will be handled on screen.

                                                       I look forward to being disappointed, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Dream.....Little One, Dreaming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                             This haunting image, coupled with the journey of the Harper children, John and Pearl, with that equally haunting song, are two of the more spectacular visual elements in the film version of Davis Grubb's 1953 novel, "The Night Of The Hunter," directed by Charles Laughton.

                              When I first saw the film on TV, around the age of 13, its visual style was so disturbing I could not comprehend it. Was the opening sci-fi, or what?  Twenty years later, when I saw it on screen at the Theater 80 St. Marks, I was struck how unnerving it still was--I don't think I could watch it again--but I could easily recognize the neglected masterpiece it was.

                                I had always wanted to read the Davis Grubb novel, but it turned out to be one of the hardest works to track down, Well, I finally did, and that is what I want to talk about.

                                 It is as chilling as  the movie.  It develops in different ways than the film, but all the key elements are there. The one thing that disappointed me was  the pathology of Harry Powell was never explained. He is presented as Evil Incarnate, who deceives the trusting, preys on  the innocent, is a misogynist of the highest degree, and unrepentant of his deeds. Classic pathology, but, as we know, darlings, serial killers are not born, but made. What made Harry?  An overbearing religious and emotionally abusive father?  Or the same for his mother?  Something turned Harry this way, and once there, he was not going back.

                                  Grubb's prose style has some of the visual style of the film, especially in the section detailing the children fleeing down river--my favorite. It is said Grubb, a skilled artist, designed many of the visuals for the film. Too bad he did not continue in the industry.

                                     Though I knew the story faithfully, I was on the edge of my seat. More than the film, the novel captures the adult world seen through the eyes of a child, and the reader learns to become as fearful and suspicious as John Harper, a child whose father forced, however well intended. too much pressure on this boy's shoulders.  I would have cracked.

                                       Perhaps Harry Powell is better for not exploring his pathology. The readers can do that on their own, so that just the Pure Evil is enough.

                                         It is one of the most unsettling works of fiction out there. And, like William March, who penned a substantial number of works in his time, with"The Bad Seed" remaining what he is remembered for,  so the same with Davis Grubb and "The Night Of The Hunter."

But what a remembrance to have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Trailer Trash To Trailer Trash, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  It happened in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is a supremely White Trash state.  I mean, what do people do there?  Sit around eating Doritos, distending their  obese bellies in cluttered trailer parks, while guzzling down beer?????? From what I have heard about Arkansas, there is not much more to do there, so maybe it is all inevitable.

                                    Michelle Despain, winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, was born into trailer trash, and had she stayed there, maybe things would not have turned out the way they did. But, no, Missy thought she had to move up and out, and look what it got her.

                                      Michelle thought she was marrying up, when she met Marc Despain, from a real estate family.  She drove a wedge between this guy and his family, had Marc start a business, and goaded him into the get up and go that maybe Marc was not interested in.  But was Michelle interested in doing any work!  Oh, no! She was interested in being kept and supported!!!!!!!  Bitch!  It was all about Michelle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       She was Michelle Kelly before she married Marc, and many thought Carl, her father-n-law, bearing a grudge against Marc, whose own father was alleged by Michelle to have molested his granddaughter.

                                         This bitch Michelle, she concocted the whole thing, with her dad being the killer.  Terrence Baker and Johnny Hubbard were also in on the conspiracy, but I am telling you, Michelle's dad, at the request of his daughter, murdered her husband, shooting him at home, in cold blood.

                                           It was for that old saw--she wanted out of the marriage, but no divorce, and no custody issue, and she wanted the life insurance money--so murder was the simplest solution.


                                             The murder was done on August 24, 2011.  Michelle drew a 30 year prison sentence, and her father, 35.  I hope they serve every second of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               You thought you would move up in the world, Michelle, but you couldn't because you were trailer trash, and trailer trash you will always be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  I know all about my class distinctions, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Girls, I Have GOT To Apologize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Girls, I am sorry to say my postings have been down, as of late.  Sure, it is the Summer, the endless repetition of shootings, and the lack of Broadway gossip,what with us between seasons, but something else seems to have seeped into the picture.   My health.

                            You know by now that I am a member of the High Blood Pressure club. That is doing nicely. Recently, I was placed on Metformin for our family's genetic bugaboo--Type 2 diabetes.  Now, I am watching what I eat, and trying to maintain things, but when your thyroid is out of commission, and some of the meds--I take 14 in all!!!!!!!--do things to your weight and metabolism, that is an issue.

                              But even more.  It deprives me of the energy I used to have, and that got me to the computer, and write. When I do it, I am off and running. But setting to do it has gotten harder, especially when I have put myself on a Aggressive Summer Reading program. My own Advanced Placement, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Let me tell you, aging becomes a real balancing act between what one wants to, can,, and does not want to do, nor can.  Which is why my posts have been down, and for that I am SO sorry. But not to fear.  I think, as I adjust to things, they will come up.

                                  The South may not rise again, darlings, but I, surer as hell, will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!