Wednesday, November 14, 2018
1. Get A Dog, And Walk It.--Not a bad idea. The problem is, most of the dogs you meet are
cuter and better behaved than their owners. You could fall in love with the dog, but
the owner could be a real troll. My advice is to ditch the owner, and stick with the dog!
3. Attend Night School--Take Courses Men Like.--Are you kidding me? Girls, if you do this, you will be in a class with straight men who don't know a thing about theater, literature, arts or crafts. It will be strictly cars, and woodworking. I mean, if you want a hormonal rush from being around greasy straight men, then fine. But this is NO way to land a husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. Read The Obituaries, To Find Eligible Widowers.--This was the scam Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez used, and it got them executed at Sing Sing. Not only will you be suspected by said widower's family and friends of going after his money, if the guy is a wheezy old thing on an oxygen tank, one stop short of a nursing home, what is in it for you? You have a better chance finding an apartment this way, than a husband!!!!!!!!!!
9. Sit On A Park Bench, And Feed The Pigeons.--This is fine, if you are Ruth Buzzi. And look at the trolls she met. Anytime I did this, I got a lot of reading done, which was not a waste.
But no one ever sat near me. And if they did, and came on to me, I would suspect them to be a scam artist or a sex hustler. You can do better than that, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12. Become A Nurse Or Stewardess; They Have High Marriage Rates.--With more gay men working as flight attendants and nurses, this just might be your ticket. I mean, some of those hot doctors in their scrubs are scrumptious. The trick is being choosy. If you play it right, you can end up a moneyed alcoholic on Great Neck, Long Island--a single gay man's dream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To be continued tomorrow. This was either to have been the longest post I ever wrote, or not. I have decided to break it up into sections, to keep you in suspense, and let the suggestions sink in.
Happy Hunting, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, my God, Stacey Kaiser and Brian Russell. They are the faux therapists on "Fatal Vows," Saturday night on ID, and they are a riot!
That name, Stacey Kaiser!!!!!!!!!!! Staaaaaaaaaceyyyyyyyyy Kaiiiiiiseeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr! Like a Kaiser roll. This is when the name Elaine Grimminger popped into my head, and I had meant to reference Elaine in this post. Because she Stacey, and Randi Kleiner (0h my God, girls, remember Raaaaaaaaaandiiiiiii Kleiiiiiiiiiinnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeer?) have the whiniest sounding names in history.
I promise I will reference the "Annie Hall" girl at the end, to give Elaine her due.
But back to Stacey and Brian. Are they actual therapists? Stacey looks like a Long Island Jewish housewife, talks like one, too, and what is with those boots? Is she just tasteless? A lesbian? In any case, she just cracks me up.
Brian is tougher to get a handle on. Is he gay, or straight? A bottom? Do these two even have ANY sexual fantasies? But he must have a thing for the writer Jonathan Franzen, because he is so going for that Jonathan Franzen look. It makes me wonder.
But these two just crack me up, with their analysis of the relationships being portrayed. They are the prefect prelude to "Saturday Night Live!" because they are so hilarious.
The only better duo would be Amy Sedaris and Susan Lucci. Now, THEIRS is some therapy I would seek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Let's End The Day On A Lovely Note--Nymphs By The River, And The "Flowers Duet" From "Lakme!!!!!!!!!!!"
Some of you may recognize it as the former British Airlines commercial theme. Whatever it is, it is lovely. I used to think it was the "Bell Song," but it is actually the "Flowers Duet," which takes place in the opera's first act.
I am haunted by two central themes that often turn up in dreams--as regarding last night--the rejection of myself by my childhood friend who passed in 2017, and those of relations, mostly cousins, who will probably have nothing to do with me, now that my father has passed.
In the first dream, I was in my friend's childhood house. We were alone, but the spectral presence of his parents, especially his selfish bitch of a mother, who thought I to be the cause of all her son's problems, was palpable, as he told me he had to move on, and get married, even though he realized he was gay, and just couldn't accept it. I told him it would lead to misery and ruin.
Which it did. I never understood the relationship he had with the partner he lived with for over 40 years; to this day, I am not sure if was an actual gay relationship, but a roommate one. Though I did not realize it at the time, from the time we graduated eighth grade, and stepped into the building of our high school, we were on different paths already. As for adulthood, I have said, for all intents and purposes, our last really good time together was in 2011. He died in 2017, but, for all intents and purposes, our friendship ended six years before. He left me long before he left this world, so maybe that is why I don't miss him so much, as he had distanced himself already.
The second dream was familial. My niece and I were in the house of my aunt and uncle, parents of said cousins, and I was confiding in her about familial rejection. When all our parents were alive, I think they exposed us to all, because they wanted to give us the same sense of family they had had. It was like they were telling us, "Be nice to each other, because you may need each other later in life." Certainly, there are memories we all share. But today no one seems interested. Or am I the only one what feels shut out? Once I hit my twenties, I certainly did, and that feeling continued.
In the dream, after talking to my niece, I go up to my grandmother's house, where all these cousins are sitting, and confront them, turning tables and chairs over. I don't know if there was an outcome, but I know it felt good.
Just as it feels good now, writing it all down.
Thank God for David!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, darlings, there's my therapy session for next week!
And fear of cataract surgery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My mother, may she rest in peace, used to say, there is someone for everyone. But is that actually true? As a child, growing up, I yearned for the adult life, but never felt, even before puberty, I would fit into its conventional aspects. And with adolescence, and Tennessee Williams as my spokesman, not to mention Miss Havisham, I felt spinsterhood was my destiny. Thankfully, I was proven wrong. But how many are? Or aren't??????????????
I maintain children, as far back as elementary school, can spot the spinsters among them. Of course, some surprise us, as did several girls in my class, but for the most part, I was right.
I will never forget my first viewing of "Annie Hall," in Manhattan, back in 1977. It was in a theater on Broadway, and you know the sequence where Woody has these kids pose as his schoolmates, and relate what they are doing now as adults? Well, when I saw the last child, a little bespectacled, nerdy looking girl, who says, "I'm into leather!," I thought, "Oh, my God! She looks just like Elaine Grimminger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I laughed out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elaine was one of those spinsterish looking girls. But she excelled in math. I know this, because I sat behind her in Trig class, and, if I had been devious enough to cheat off her, I might have done better. But I wanted to prove myself in math--something I always regretted, and still do--so I stuck it out myself.
Elaine aced the class. So I have to give her credit. But she was one of those girls who, I felt, was marked for spinsterhood. For all I know, she could be anything but.
Hey, I thought I was marked! And look what happened!
Here is the "Annie Hall" girl. I swear she looks just like Elaine Grimminger, back then!!!!!!!
I know, darlings, I know, you think I have gone nuts. Well, let me tell you, the Christmas overhanging street lights have been up on Fifth Avenue in my Brooklyn neighborhood, for weeks, and, just six days before my birthday, which predates Thanksgiving, they went up on third. So, who is rushing things?
My only question is, where is the Nativity? Where is the Baby Jesus????????
Also, was there a gay component to this card. According to my findings, the first commercial (which may explain the absence of the Nativity and lovable Baby Jesus!) was designed by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole, in the year 1843.
The design of the card, which I love, suggests that year. But what was up with John and Henry???????? Hmmmmmmmmmm? Inquiring minds want to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Could this actually mean gay men are responsible for the commercialization of Christmas???????? Then, darlings, give us credit, where credit is due!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Neither David, or I, were blown away by "A Star Is Born," when we finally saw it, yesterday.
That said, I have to say Lady Gaga does have a voice. The best moment in the entire film is what I call her "Man That Got Away" sequence. As Ally, (no last name, unlike Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester) a former server in a drag bar, who has been elevated to second tier singer, she does a scorching version of Piaf's "La Vie En Rose," in a place that should have taken her nowhere. Except addicted rock star Jackson (not Norman) Maine walks in, and the story begins.
Or does it? For me it just stopped. There is no buildup to Jackson's addiction; he is already full throttle, and Ally does not gradually fall into marital problems, they are there long before he pops the question. In this version, I found myself asking, "Why the hell are you marrying him?" Both exude the sexiness of the rock world milieu in which the once Hollywood story is now set--and I get that--but there is no romance, no warmth, between these two, except when they are performing. What makes them bound to each other offstage, and Ally risk her career, and Jackson end his life, is never as clearly delineated as in the warmth exuded by Judy Garland and James Mason in the 1954 gold standard. The only time they seem to love each other is when they are on stage, and performing, a series of repetitious sequences with generic music that suggests a kind of mutual musical narcissism between them. You call this a tragic love story, darlings???????????
The biggest tragedy for me, is that it went on too long. The whole "Mrs. Norman Maine" thing is dismissed, and while Ally gets the last shot, the final sequence seemed less an expression of a timeless love than a self congratulatory version of "My Man." That worked once, in "Funny Girl," but let's face it, Lady Gaga is NOT Barbra. No way, Jose!!!!!!!!!!! Who had the idea that she might be, as that is what the ending conveys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly, I had a better time yesterday morning, watching excerpts from "The Black Scorpion" on YouTube. Those tremendous closeups of the face, piercers, and dripping venom, are truly frightening.
Everyone acts well, especially Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Elliott. As Jackson's brother, Bobby, his is the only performance with any emotional juice. If he had played Jackson, he might have taken this "Star Is Born" into the emotional stratosphere it pretends to be in, but really is not.
The Freddy Krueger franchise ended. So did Chucky. Now, it is time to put "A Star Is Born" to rest.
After all, when considered, the true remake of the film was the 1967 "Valley Of The Dolls!" And THAT cannot be topped, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Musical Theater Week is that leading up to my own birthday, on the 18th, wherein so many Musical Theater Legends and favorites of mine were born. I was premature, so it
was like I was meant to be born amidst all these folk, and bestowed with a penchant for theater and the arts.
Alas, there is a sad note to today. This should have been the 70th birthday of Sammy Williams, who originated the role of Paul in "A Chorus Line," and whose song "I Can Do That" is actually his story. But he passed away eight months ago, on March 17, of cancer, at 69. The first Musical Theater Week to celebrate without him. And the same year as my father, and Aretha, too!
Seeing the Original Company of "A Chorus Line," back in 1975, and with my father, was a life changing experience. Seeing Sammy do "Paul's Monologue" was the best one I have ever seen, or will now see. And it touched into my own experiences as well.
Here is an excerpt from Sammy's Paul Monologue, as well as a tribute to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are missed, Sammy, and Happy Musical Theater Week to all of us, who are still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 12, 2018
Barbie Millicent Roberts made her debut in March, 1959. and girls, let me tell you, the world has not been the same since. This was the look we all aspired to--and maybe still do. Despite her ideal figure, and rumors of a lesbian relationship with Midge--just like in the film, "Carol," darlings!!!!!!!--Barbie was a good girl!!!!!!!!!!! And she made us all want to be good girls!!!!!!!!!!!
She brought the importance of clothes into our lives, Future Anna Wintour aspirants cut their fashion teeth on dressing up Barbie. Where would ANNA and her empire be, were it not for Barbie?????????????????
Just think, Barbie turns 60, next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has that number ever looked so good?
Times may change, but if glamour is to stay in some form---and, please God, it MUST!!!!!!!!!!!--so must Barbie remain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's have a doll's tea party with Barbie in her best tea party dress, serving cakes and dainties to all my girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Long live Barbie! May she continue to guide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Lizzie Borden took an ax,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty one."
---Famous folk rhyme
Lucy Harbin, as all my girls know, is the gay iconic re-imagining of Lizzie, by Robert Bloch, as embodied by Joan Crawford at her campiest, in the William Castle film "Strait-Jacket," back in 1964. We just LOVE that crazy bitch, Lucy, darlings, but let us not forget that, without Lizzie, there would not have been Lucy.
I am sure Sarah Schmidt knew what she was getting into, when she began writing this, her first, novel. This will surely not be the last time Lizzie's story is explored, but I was fascinated by the spin Schmidt put on it.
For starters, she stays very close to the time frame of the murders, and their aftermath. She goes as far in the future to 1905, and as far back as to Lizzie, clearly the favored daughter, if a bit spoiled, getting the Grand Tour of Europe as a young woman.
The dynamics of the household is everyone resenting everyone else. The Borden sisters resent each other, their father, the stepmother resents them, the maid, Bridget, resents being employed by them....clearly this is a powder keg waiting to go off.
I will not ruin things except to say the big surprise, is the supposition, that, whether Lizzie was guilty or not, the Bordens were marked for murder, anyway. You will have to read the book to see what I mean, and glean the meaning of the book's cover, but it puts a spin on things I had never considered before.
The book is almost a bit "King Lear-ish" in the inevitability of tragedy lurking about the Borden house. The Bordens would have been murdered, no matter what, and that is a fascinating premise.
No matter what you may or not believe, no matter what the "Lizzie Borden Hoedown" song says, mother can, indeed, be chopped up in Massachusetts!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After the let down, last week, of "Caretaker," the show's take on killer nanny Yoselyn Ortega, neither Baby Gojira or I were especially excited about "Hell's Kitchen," which was to be, I thought the show's take, on the whole Mario Batali scandal.
It was, but I had to laugh. Batali became Andrew Liebowitz, well played by Luke Kirby, who runs a restaurant called "Far Rockaway," in Far Rockaway. This cracked me up, because the place is a high end seafood restaurant, and Far Rockaway is Jill Eisenstadt country, and, if you go back and read the posts I wrote on Jill's books, what is made clear right away is that Far Rockaway is strictly Nowheresville!!!!!!!!!! A high end restaurant in a destination no one would think of going to is not sound business sense. Even I, with no business cred, knows that.
Things are as predictable as might be expected, except for a nasty client who asks a waitress to sit on his face! Even in the 10PM slot, I never knew 'SVU' to get this sleazy. Just when a lecture is badly needed from Olivia, she is nowhere to be seen.
What gets this story going is Jacob Pitts, and his performance as high minded ADA Chris Hodges. When it is discovered he and Liebowitz were high school buds, and used to troll around, and that he has covered up other accusations of Liebowitz, even though he is, supposedly a #MeToo advocate, the story moves from Batali to Brett Kavanugh, which is much more interesting, to begin with. As bad as Liebowitz is, Chris is worse, because, like Kavanugh, he is the biggest hypocrite there is. But, then, aren't most high powered hetero men???????? They don't respect women, they don't respect themselves, just Corporation America. They bow to the almighty Trump statue!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These two get what they deserve, but good! School is out for these boys, in what turned out to be a better episode than I had expected. Even Baby Gojira was happy.
But the ending was chillingly prophetic. As Chris is being hauled off to the slammer, he says to Peter Stone, "One day, they will come for you!"
And it turns out, next week, Stone is facing rape allegations from his past. With his already displayed hot body, penchant for alcohol and hedonistic sex, Stone is not the strait lacer his father, Ben (played by Michael Moriarty) was. And what is all this about having been some minor league baseball player, in the past????????? So, I am anticipating an exciting episode next week.
Of course, it all depends on how low key the writers keep Olivia. Like they did here!
"American Horror Story:Apocalypse," Episode 9, "Fire And Reign" Not As Good As James Taylor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With just one more episode to go before the season wraps up, no wonder Cordelia is freaking out. It's still better than "Roanoke," but, except for a few choice moments, and the episode "Traitor," this season has been a dud,
I am getting just a little tired of Kathy Bates, and her robotic character. It says more about the writing than Bates, who can only do so much with her gifts if the role is limited as it is.
And killing all the witches????? What is that about. Poor Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga). Will we ever see them again? And why can't Joan Collins stay around longer?
Not to mention poor Lily Rabe, as Misty Day. She was not killed, but I just thought, after her cameo, she was sent back to hell, where she should not be taking Advanced Placement Biology. This just proves not everyone should take AP Bio. Including yours truly. My experience would have been the same as Misty's During an aside, this past week it was suggested Misty was off "witching" with Stevie. Good for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But bringing in the Romanovs? Claiming Anastasia was a witch? Puhleeeeze!!!!!!!!!!! Anastasia was not a witch! She was Ingrid Bergman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, is next week going to be a showdown between Mallory and Madison? And why is Miss Bitch Montgomery left alive? I think there is going to be some kind of showdown, and if Madison emerges as the New Supreme, who is going to restore world order, well, then, I am throwing in the towel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Give Evan Peters more to do than a sociopathic nerd/dork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Season 9 is not an improvement, there may not be a Season 10!!!!!!!!!!!
Ryan, Brad, PLEASE! Let these gifted actors play characters, not caricatures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The whole apocalypse thing was done better decades earlier, in "On The Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Friday, November 9, 2018
I did not know, till very recently, that ten years after his classic, "It Conquered The World," featuring the ever lovable "Cucumbo," Roger Corman, in 1966, remade the same film, in a color version, entitled "Zontar, The Thing From Venus!"
I admit I was curious to see the remake, until I discovered an altogether different monster had been used. Cucumbo should have been taken out of retirement, so we could see him, in all this Technicolor glory!!!!!!!!!!!!
Who could forget Cucumbo, menacing Beverly Garland, in her bullet bra blouse, and matching skirt?
Zontar, to me, looks more like a player. Look at all the lovelies he is surrounded with! I am sure the girls find him cute, but, for me, I find Cucumbo cuter, He was the first, and the best!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bring him back, in his own color spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The sadness of what has been going on around us is only compounded by the chilling irony that today marks the 80th Anniversary--yes, 80!!!!!!!--of Kristallnacht. Known as the "Night Of Glass," it was a, if not THE, starting point of the Holocaust, when a bunch of thugs and Nazi sympathizers tossed stones, shattering the glass windows of the stores of Jewish business owners. Simply because they were Jews.
As a Christian, married to a Jew, and, on behalf of all my Jewish friends, past and present, I am offended by what has transpired recently, and horrified that things occurred so close to this anniversary. I thought something like it could never happen again, but now I am not so sure.
I thought lessons had been learned after November 9, 1938, and once the war ended. But now I wonder.
Sadly, this is also the 47th Anniversary of The John List Murders, which took place in Westfield, New Jersey, on this date, back in 1971. List helped define the term "family annihilator," and set the gold standard in that field--and that is not a compliment.
He started off the morning by shooting his wife and his mother. When the kids came home that afternoon, he shot them one by one--first Patty, who was 16, then Frederick, 13. He then went to watch his son, John Jr. 15, play in a soccer game. He drove the boy home, tried to shoot him inside the house, John, Jr. was the only one who put up a fight, and it is too bad he did not survive. Then List, who planned to kill himself, but couldn't, went on the lam for years, being apprehended in 1990. He was convicted, and died in prison. When he died, on March 21, 2008, his family was waiting for him on the other side, to slap him across the face, and I hope they gave it to him good.
He came from a domineering mother, who controlled him so that he was so rigid he could not bend to change. This resulted in a series of jobs and losses. Having, before the murders, felt he hit rock bottom, he would hide out at the Westfield train station, pretending to go to work, but faking it, Eventually, facing dispossession and welfare, he felt his family would be better off dead, which was his rationale for the killings. But he was too narcissistic to take his own life, which makes him a greater monster than he already is.
He even started an new life in the Midwest, marrying a woman named Delores Miller, and working for a paper plant, and active in Lutheran church activities, under the name Bob Clark. However, he was starting to bottom out again, meaning, had he not been caught, Delores might have been his next victim. I have no doubt she would have been. He had that part of his act together.
I am sure the town of Westfield has not forgotten. And neither shall I.
List is being meted justice.
I hope his victims are now at peace.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
"I had a dream!
A dream about you, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!"
--Ethel Merman as Rose Hovick in "Gypsy"
(1959), "Everything's Coming Up Roses!"
It takes place on a bare stage, with minimal scenery. It is staged more conceptually, as the story moves along in a series of vaudeville routines that tell the story. It involves a troubled mother and daughter relationship. And the daughter is even named Gypsy Rose!!!!!!!!!
But any resemblance to the Styne/Sondheim classic ends there!
This is a brand new musical, based on a program I saw on ID, called "Gypsy's Revenge!" Instead of a showbiz obsessed mother determined to keep her daughters' youth, long enough to make them stars, here is a mother plagued with Munchausen By Proxy, who needs to keep her daughter young and chronically ill, so she can gain attention for being such a wonderful mother and caregiver. In this picture, the real Gypsy is somewhere in her teens, but functions on the level of a child, and cannot walk. She later discovers she can, and her childishness disappears, when she takes up with an online hookup named Nicholas.
What the mothers in both shows do not realize is once they get their children tot he point they want them, there is no use for them. With Dee Dee, if Gypsy hand not beaten her to it, you would be right to suggest she would have murdered her own child!
Until then, Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter got all the sympathy and support out there. Even a Habitat For Humanity Home, built for them, free of charge, in Springfield, Missouri. I mean, talk about having a gimmick. Dee Dee knew how to milk it for all it was worth.
But things changed, once Nicholas entered the picture, and Gypsy discovered what Dee Dee had done to her--which was what Dee Dee own mother had done to her. Only Dee Dee broke free, and now Gypsy was. But Dee Dee did not resort to murder. Gypsy did, by having Nicholas kill Dee Dee.
I mean, the final number has to be Gypsy's version of "Rose Turn," holding up the knife in her hand, triumphantly, like "Sweeney Todd."
Of course they were convicted and imprisoned. But that could be done in an Epilogue.
The only problem I see is casting it. Who could play it?
Celia Keenan-Bolger, maybe? Or Tyne Daly?????????????
If you have any ideas, girls, I would like to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, darlings, it is time for Bitch Of The Week, and Susan Westwood is such a perfect choice. She is so trashy looking, and yet she boasts about making $125K--at what, I would like to know?--and is the Queen Of Entitlement at her Sunset Beach Park neighborhood, in North Carolina.
The incident happened on October 19. Susan came home to her apartment, from an evening out, and was clearly inebriated. Nothing wrong there, and she made it home safe. But, when she got out of the car, and saw a group of Black folk waiting for someone to come fix their car, which had broken down, she went into a racist rant, about what the hell do they have the right to be in this neighborhood, when she makes so much money; she claims they were scooping out the place to steal, and that people such as they do not belong in this neighborhood!
Hey, Susan, I got news for you, neither do you! You belong in some trailer trash community, because your behavior fits that rubric. The piece de resistance was when she shouted to them, "I'm White, and I'm hot!" Hot???????? HOT???????????? Hey, Susan have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror? Unless it is lying to you, like with the Wicked Queen in "Snow White." Even she looked classier than you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, Susan Westwood is the undisputed winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award! No beauty, no class, NOTHING! Bet you have a Confederate flag over your fireplace, you White Supremacist/Nationalist Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take a community college (because you are not smart enough for any other!) course in Black Literature, you rotten tramp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Ever since he blew me away in "Manchester By The Sea," and having seen him previously as Richie, in the American dramatization of "The Slap," Lucas Hedges has, in my estimation been the actor to keep one's eye on. All those ancient queens extolling Timothee Chalamet are so deluded; he is a flavor of the month, a pretty boy, whose star will be short lived, when that prettiness goes. And it will go. Lucas, on the other hand, has a fresh, natural look, not conventionally pretty, but imperfectly handsome. He is a fine young man, but this is backed up with a lot of acting technique and sensitivity that makes him not a flavor, but the most exciting young presence out there.
It comes as no surprises to me that he carries "Boy Erased." But the film did surprise me, with one of the best performances I have seen from Nicole Kidman recently--she more than atones for "The Beguiled" here--and Russell Crowe, with her, playing the Eamons, parents of Jared (Hedges), who are not the hypocritical monsters one might expect. They love their son, but are misguided by society and what they grew up around. The real monster is Victor Sykes, played by writer/director Joel Edgerton, who did the same in his brilliant thriller "The Gift." Unlike that film, no one really gets a comeuppance here, but it almost does not matter. What happens is Jared' mother's maternal instincts outweigh her religious values, the father is imprisoned by them, but tries to understand, and that Jared does what many young gays do--he flees to an urban area; in this case, New York City, and surrounds himself with like minded friends.
But the film does not sugar coat the issue of conversion. The camp, hypocritically called Love In Action, is more about breaking down its individuals' spirit and confidence, something Jared senses early on. It is a testament to Hedges' gift for acting that the discoveries he makes, and the viewer with him, are conveyed by internalization, the emotions seen on his face, rather than dialogue. Edgerton's performance is like a snake, seemingly friendly, then sneaking up on one with psychological and physical abuse.
What surprised me about the camp was that it was not made up of overly hormonal teenaged boys. There were girls, women, and even older men. Two of those campers, Jesse LaTourette, as Sarah, and Britton Sear, as Cameron, offer strong supporting performances. There is a scene where Sarah and Jared look at each other passing by, and it is an example of what this film, and its actors, do the best. One wants to know what is in their heads, at the moment, and the back story of Sarah. I kept feeling something tragic--ie; suicide--was going to happen to Sarah. An incident does happen, and its surprise is so startling, and understated, it is more impacting than if shown the actual act.
Understatement is the byword in "Boy Erased," but don't let that fool one; the message gets across loud and clear. Everyone is brilliant including Cherry Jones, in her cameo, within their roles, but Lucas Hedges carries this film. I now almost want to see him on stage in "The Waverly Gallery."
One last thing. There is a scene where Jared excuses himself to take a leak. It is a basement bathroom, with windows looking in. Standing there, near one of those windows, is Victor Sykes. Is he watching? Has he watched? When his outcome is revealed over the end credits, I was not at all surprised. I had to laugh.
Go, Lucas! I cannot wait to see what you do next!
It is no surprise to me, girls, that what emerges in fiction reflects often the times we live in. This is almost a no-brainer. In this year of the #MeToo movement, this year's fictional output has dealt with a lot of women wending their way through politically difficult times. Some are better than others. So, I was intrigued by Ingrid Rojas Cantreras' "Fruit Of The Drunken Tree." I expected to be blown away. Alas, I was not.
This first novel cross cuts the lives of Chula, Cassandra, and their families, with the novel's most sinister, yet intriguing character, their nanny Petrona, a teenaged girl. No, she is not as sinister as Yoselyn Ortega, but I did not like the fast and loose way the author plays with the reader's emotions, first having us like Petrona, then hating her, then we are supposed to feel sorry for this enigmatic, and, by end, I was convinced, narcissistic woman?
The title is a poetic metaphor for the tree in the sisters' house, that is poisoned, while the atmosphere around them--and that includes Petrona--is tainted with poison and corruption. I simply could not warm to it, Maybe I am over read? But I don't think so.
I want to be able to understand where a novel is going and why. Ms. Cantreras fails to do this, so I was not as impressed with her work as some. Can I recommend it, in good conscience? No.
Time to get away from women in peril. The market is over glutted with them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 5, 2018
Hard as it may be to imagine, Joyce Maynard, famous for the article pictured above, turns 65 today. Hers, and mine, was the generation, I naively thought at the time, that would remain young forever and never age. But Joyce got older, and so did I. Now, she is 65, and while I turn 64 in just 13 days (a thought that scares me, as that was the age my mother died), in another year after that, I will turn 65.
As a peer I followed Joyce, sometimes agreeing, sometimes not, with her. Interesting some have called her 1972 essay "neo-conservative," because I never thought Joyce a Right Winger. Far from it.
Joyce found her voice early. I found mine late, in 2007, with this blog, though I never stopped searching, until I realized I had fulfilled the search at last.
So, a Happy Birthday to Joyce Maynard! And many more!
Will there soon be another piece about being 65? I would not be a bit surprise!
Back at ya, Joyce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What Happened To Birttani Marcell Was Tragic! But I Have Some Things To Say Today That Will Get Me Attacked By The ID Nuts!!!!!!!!!
Last night Paula Zahn examined an interesting case, one of the better ones this season. Of course, she wore her leather zipper outfit, showing a bit of cleavage to gratify the geriatric demographic male audience, who jerk themselves off, while watching her.
The case in question was both miraculous and tragic. On September 11, 2008, Brittani Marcell returned home to meet her mother for lunch. As she entered the home, she was ambushed, beaten with a shovel, stabbed with a knife, and left bleeding on the floor.
Brittani's mother arrived just minutes later, to discover not only the horror of her daughter's situation, but the man still in the house, threatening she, who ran for her life.
The amazing part is, after being rushed to the hospital, and undergoing a total of twenty surgeries over the years, having to learn to walk and bring her brain, which had been reduced to the level of a two-year-old, up to her level, Brittani succeeded, though she remained blind in one eye, and deaf in one year.
Having undergone such trauma, she had no memory of the attack. But, over the years, thanks to determination, and working with detective Jodi Gaunterman, Brittani got her memory back. As she was still conscious while being attacked, she kept saying to the perp, "Why, Justin, why?"
It turned out she knew her attacker. Working at an eyeglasses store in an Albuquerque mall, Justin Hansen, smitten with Brittani, would frequently visit her. She was friendly, and polite, but when he asked her out, politely turned him down.
That is when he snapped. He was 24, and by ten years later, when convicted, was married, with four children. Pity that household. Nevertheless, he stalked Brittani, unknowingly, until the right opportunity, when he struck.
Brittani fixed him. She survived, and remains undefeated.
He only gets an 18 year sentence, for attempted murder. For what he did to her, he should get more, or pay medical restitution to Brittani for the rest of her life.
But, hey, unlike the case of Gene Thurnau, and Bob Peterson, Justin and Brittani's was a straight situation. So, white trash rallies to his defense, because he is straight, even though he is more dangerous and twisted than Bob Peterson--who was sick, but had no convictions till then, whereas Justin had a DWI and rape charge. All the ID nuts who attacked me for Bob--understanding his torment and such--didn't gave a damn about his back story, because he was gay. But because Justin Hansen is straight, very likely a White Supremacist, and an abuser of women, and, had the marriage lasted long enough, children, people will get down on their knees to him, simply because he is HETEROSEXUAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Both cases are variations on "Fatal Attraction." Brittani's tale thankfully had somewhat of a happy ending. But Justin Hansen should get LIFE, and all the bigoted heteros out there who attacked me on Bob and Gene should realize both--Justin and Bob--are bat shit crazy!
Both the gay perp and the straight one are guilty of their respective deeds. So, why, all you ID nuts, defend one, over the other????????????
The mystery of the Farea Sisters, Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, is still challenging all us crime buffs. Is theirs a political homicide, or a social tragedy? The case seems to be made for both.
It started on August 24, the last time they were seen in their hometown of Fairfax, Virginia. It seems the girls made it on their own, to Manhattan, and, as if on borrowed time, lived the high life, in lavish hotels, and restaurants. Sounds like a plan to me, before ending one's life.
Further complications arose when the girls' mother got a call from the Saudi government, learning her daughters were seeking political asylum. The Farea family was told it had to leave the US, which the girls emphatically did not want to do.
What is more, a witness said, he saw the sisters, alive, bound together, and praying near the spot where they were found--but on land. This raised the speculation of suicide; the sisters said they would rather do themselves harm than go back to their native country, and that it has been corroborated they walked into the water still alive, makes suicide plausible.
But how do two people tie themselves to each other? That is the question!
Remember the "Law And Order" episode, "Honor," where the Afghan family was destroyed, because the daughter wanted to be truly American, and the mother loved her daughter more than the ideology? For that, both women were killed.
Perhaps the Farea Sisters are a similar circumstance. Talk to the male members of the family, and the Saudi Arabian government. If anyone therein is involved, all should be held accountable for a senseless tragedy.
Bring justice and peace to these sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, what of Anya Johnston, the 24-year-old mentally unstable woman, who slit her neighbor's throat? That neighbor was Susan Trott, found dead in her apartment, at 710 West End Avenue, on October 21.
Johnston had a troubled past, which included bullying at Winston Prep, a private school for disabled students. She tried to stab a classmate with a pencil, would have outbursts of anger and abrupt physical movements that would disrupt classes, and even harassed others, whom she did not want around her.
She was even institutionalized in 2014.
So, why didn't Mommy take better care, so Susan would still be alive?
Did Anya target Susan intentionally? And how did she gain access to the woman's apartment.
While this is more cut and dried than the Farea sisters, it still raises questions as to why Anya was not protected from society better, and why it took Trott to be the object catapulting her from harassment to murder?
I will stay on these cases, and let you know more, as soon as I find out!!!!!!!!!!!!
For Those Who Ever Wanted To Walk Along A Real Life Version Of The "Candy Land" Game Board, This Comes As Close As One Can Get!!!!!!!!!!!
Candytoipia has been going on for months, on a side street, near Penn Station at 34th Street. I noticed it as we were wending our way there, to visit our friends, Linda and Marilyn, in Morris Plains.
It is not literal. There are no lake of Ice Cream Floats, a Gum Drop Forest, or a Molasses Swamp. But what it does have comes pretty close!!!!!!!!!!!!
They even have a Candy Bar, which is set up to look like an adult bar, except it sells candy instead of booze. No one will become alcoholic here, but what a joy for dentists, who will get a lot of patients, and cash business and then some. While the kids will get a sugar rush so high, it will be a prepubescent precursor to drugs! I mean, isn't candy that, anyway?????????
But the main reason I want to go is to see The Swimming Pool Of Marshmallows! That is right, one actually, after removing shoes, gets to dive into this deep pool of marshmallows. I understand it is a challenge to get out of. Is this dangerous? And what about all those stockinged feet and people's bodies immersed in this? If you eat a marshmallow, do you get sick? How does this get past the board of health?
When, as a child, we used to go visit relatives in Red Bank and Rumson, we would pass a Dixie Cup factory, that had a giant Dixie Cup outside the establishment. My fantasy was it would be filled to the brim with a chocolate milkshake, which I would always swim in, and dream of trying to drink. But how realistic is that? Still, it was fun! The Swimming Pool Of Marshmallows reminded me of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, like the "Candy Land" game board, the place is awash with color. I can't recommend this place for calorie counters, or diabetics, but it certainly speaks to my inner child, And I know there are lots of us out there.
Candytopia is located at Penn Plaza, 145 West 32nd Street. It will be there till January 6. Something different for the holidays. And wait till you see all the candy that went into the sculptures.
I promise, girls, to have only one piece of candy. But I cannot wait to dive into The Swimming Pool Of Marshmallows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All week along, Baby Gojira and I were psyched on how this show would spin the "killer nanny" story, that is Yoselyn Ortega, whose story was novelized to chilling effect in "The Perfect Nanny," by Leila Slimani.
The nanny was represented by a character named Delores Alverez, played by an actress named Soleidy Mendez. I really thought she was going to nailed by the squad, and I was looking for the twisted way she would spin justification for what she did.
But it was not just the Mill children who were killed. The father, Julian, a stay at home hubby who writes--sound familiar, girls???????--was also stabbed to a bloody pulp and left discarded.
The highlight of the entire episode was the performance of Sasha Alexander, as Anne Mill. She got the grieving mother/widow thing right, but, as the story began to twist and turn, it horrified me to realize where this show was going with this. Not necessarily because of what it turned out Anne did--but because it detracted from the nanny, and was something done many times before on such shows. Though usually by a man, and not a woman.
When Sandrine Holt, as psychologist Lisa Abernathy showed up, I cringed. What a poor choice for a shrink, I cannot emphasize this enough--bring back Dr, Skoda. or Dr. Elizabeth Olivet. She is my favorite.
Holt looks like she barely made it through Psych 101. And when she spoke the words "family annihilator," as though speaking to Helen Keller, I was insulted. So, the much hyped supposition that this would examine the Ortega case, was jettisoned, in favor of a modern Medea, or, in more criminal terms, a female John List. And it was the same reason--the family, of whom Anne was the soul support, was crashing financially, she was facing fraud charges at her law firm, so, like List, she thought the safer thing to do was to save her husband and children, by ending their lives. Hey, Anne, while you were at it, why the hell didn't you end your own? Like List should have done?
Why was the nanny thing jettisoned? Too tough for the writers to tackle? Too many producers afraid of lawsuits?
The verdict was bogus. She was found guilty for killing Julian, the husband, but not guilty of killing the children. The dumb jury, who must have been rejected from "Judge Judy," could not conceive of a woman killing her children. Hey, folks, remember Susan Smith? Or Andrea Yates??????????????? This bitch is headed for the canner's, because when the inmates find out she committed infanticide, they will tear her apart.
I felt completely let down. Get rid of Sandrine Holt, and Gary Basaraba, who played defending attorney Billy O'Boyle, had the most annoying speaking voice since I first heard Harvey Fierstein, in the original "Torch Song Trilogy," and that was 38 years ago!!!!!!!!!
Next week, it looks like the show if going to tackle the Mario Batali sexual assault allegations. After the failure of this episode, I have no more hope that the cream will rise to the top on this show; it is much too curdled.
But Sasha saved the day, with her truly chilling performance
Friday, November 2, 2018
It has been promised us for weeks, dears, but this Saturday, November 3, which just happens to be tomorrow, Jonah Hill hosts "Saturday Night Live!" I can't help it, Jonah is so sweet and charming, no matter what size he is, he is hot!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all love Jonah! So, be sure not to miss him!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fix those clocks, but make sure you set them for Jonah! I cannot wait to see how the show engineers him into its pointed political humor.
And how about a surprise appearance by Melissa McCarthy, as Sean Spicer? Or Lee Israel?
Go, Jonah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After the brilliance of last week's segment, entitled "Traitor," I expected the show to go up from here. Was I wrong!
Though it starts out with a Felliniesque sequence of Michael discovering that his allies--including Miriam Mead, his Satanic henchwoman--are all dead, and a fateful confrontation with Sarah Paulson's Cordelia, the show goes down from here, offering up teasers instead of drama.
Michael (Cody Fern) is seen in a forest undergoing some sort of Satanic version of Gethsemane, complete with angel forest children who offer him Fanta--why not Coca Cola? Why an inferior product? If that's the best the Devil can do, forget it!!!!!!!!! Than, when the Anton Lavey wannabe (because no one can play Anton, like Anton!) morphs into some Tony Kushner type angel, I was, like "Get outta here!"
The slow emergence of The Cooperative, headed by bowl headed Evan Peters and Billy Eichner, was flat out frat humor, complete with cocaine, and a demonstration of the Millennial Generation's mass capacity for knowing nothing, save what is in front of them, at the very moment. A nice, humorous tease, and we get it, but hardly the substance of drama.
The most informative point I learned was how Kathy Bates' Miriam came to be a robot!
Sarah Paulson can hardly miss, but her Miss Wilhemina Venable is nothing more than this generation's version of the career woman. Once upon a time; it was those like Glenn Close, who hid behind careers when they could not find love, but once the opportunity was there, they would either leap at it, or, like Glenn, as Alex, go bat shit off the wall!
This generation, embodied by Sarah, cares nothing for love, and will have no regrets when their reproductive systems dry up. Believe me, I have dealt with these types, and they have no capacity for mass humanity at all! Their jobs are their lives, and their vaginas! I did not need Sarah to tell me this, but she is so good at it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get the idea we are going backwards, ending where we started, so we can understand how we got there. Last night offered some stellar star turns, but where is the dramatic substance?
Harriet Harris, as Madeline, was a riot! But where does she go, from here? Same with Sandra Bernhard, as Hannah! Teasers, not characters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ryan and Brad, get your act together! Please!!!!!!!!!!!
And, Sarah, can we have just one more look, at Hypodermic Sally???????????