Movies

Not that I was gonna see it anyway, but I’m delighted that the cinematically erudite Dustin Rowles has done the work for me:

http://www.pajiba.com/sex-and-the-city-the-movie.htm

Advertisements

Quotable

I keep a file called “Quotable” that I just cut-and paste stuff into.

Here’s a chunk:

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” – Neil Gaiman

“The most important things are the hardest to say… because words diminish them.”~ Stephen King

I loved you, and perhaps still do,
The flame may not be extinguished; yet
It burns so quietly within my soul,
No longer should you feel distressed by it.
Silently and hopelessly I loved you,
At times too jealous and at times too shy.
God grant you find another who will love you
As tenderly and truthfully as I.
-Pushkin

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
– R. Buckminster Fuller

“Anyone that speaks ill of revenge ain’t ever lost anything important.”

“I’m glad I was raised Catholic. That way the sex will always be dirty.”

A new parent, when asked if she had any advice for expectant mothers: “It’s not abuse if it’s neglect.”

“I want to kill robotic zombie terrorists with you. You can even have the deluxe shotgun with explosive scattershot. I’ll just use this knife over here.” – Craigslist post

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
– Ali ibn Abi Talib, A Hundred Sayings

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over. – Octavia Butler

He was a no-nonsense Midwestern man’s man. He could appreciate a scotch without being sloppy; admire the curve of a woman without being vulgar; share humor without being a buffoon. A gentleman, I guess.

Some of these were found here:
http://www.pajiba.com/whats-your-favorite-quote.htm

Politics / Socioculture

Some friends and I were discussing Ted Kennedy’s recent tragic setback (and may I remind the pundits – He Ain’t Dead Yet – Back Off!) and were reminiscing about his outta-the-park concession speech at the Convention in 1980.

“The 1980 Republican convention was awash with crocodile tears for our economic distress, but it is by their long record and not their recent words that you shall know them.

The same Republicans who are talking about the crisis of unemployment have nominated a man who once said, and I quote, “Unemployment insurance is a prepaid vacation plan for freeloaders.” And that nominee is no friend of labor.

The same Republicans who are talking about the problems of the inner cities have nominated a man who said, and I quote, “I have included in my morning and evening prayers every day the prayer that the Federal Government not bail out New York.” And that nominee is no friend of this city and our great urban centers across this nation.

The same Republicans who are talking about security for the elderly have nominated a man who said just four years ago that “Participation in social security should be made voluntary.” And that nominee is no friend of the senior citizens of this nation.

The same Republicans who are talking about preserving the environment have nominated a man who last year made the preposterous statement, and I quote, “Eighty percent of our air pollution comes from plants and trees.” And that nominee is no friend of the environment.

And the same Republicans who are invoking Franklin Roosevelt have nominated a man who said in 1976, and these are his exact words, “Fascism was really the basis of the New Deal.” And that nominee whose name is Ronald Reagan has no right to quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/tedkennedy1980dnc.htm

Books – Tipping the Velvet

Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet is a ripping, exciting, heartbreaking, sexually arousing Candide-like adventure. The story follows the resourceful Nancy Astley – from a small village ‘oyster parlour’, shucking and cooking oysters for tourists in the family business; to music-hall London, assisting, and then starring with, the impressive entertainer Kitty Butler; to the decadent squalor of being a quickie ‘renter’ for horny businessmen; to being kept by a ridiculously wealthy, and kinky, divorcee, and finally reconciling herself to happiness with an entirely different kind of family. In fact, one of the overarching themes of the novel is the variety and plentitude of all kinds of ‘families’ – family back home, families of theatricals, families of street kids, families of peers, families of the like-minded – the communities we create, fall into or gravitate towards as a consequence of our own present condition in life.

The first two or three pages of the book are exhiliarating – Waters welcomes you to the book with a disarmingly conversational tone, catching you up in Nancy’s girlish enthusiasm. Nancy is an immensely likeable character already, and when her modest life is turned practically upside-down before you even cross page 15, you follow her right down the rabbit-hole. Nancy falls head-over-heels in love with Kitty, and inures herself to Kitty’s world. And because we already feel such goodwill towards Nancy, it never occurs to us that this should be some Big Conditional Psychological Revelation – falling in love with another woman. Nor is there any sense that it’s a schoolgirl crush or infatuation, or some kind of adolescent exploration. We fear that Kitty may take advantage and, ultimately, break her heart over the long run, but Nancy is so earnestly and guilelessly devoted for all the right reasons that we can’t help but fall into her idealistic side of the romance.

I’m sure there are hundreds of books that establish their protagonist so graciously, so winningly, so sympathetically, in the first few pages, that you’ll follow them anywhere the story may lead. Candide is probably the obvious example, but I really can’t think of another character that has pulled me through an entire book so effortlessly and compellingly as Sarah Waters’ Nancy. As Kitty’s dresser, we’re rooting for her. As Kitty’s lover, we’re thrilled for her. When Kitty breaks her heart, we can’t believe that could happen to her. Reduced to poverty, Nancy sells back-alley handjobs to furtive strangers. Then stumbles into the exact opposite – a heady mix of wealth, indulgence and luxury as the sexual consort of the imperious Diana Lethaby. And through it all, she’s nothing less than admirable – admirably giving, admirably practical, admirably self-preserving, admirably accepting, admirably sexual.

The last section of the story, where Nancy is taken in by the charitable and businesslike Florence (and her brother Ralph) at first feels like a letdown after the headiness of the music halls and blueblood orgies she’s previously experienced. But every lesson she’s learned, every attitude she strikes, every choice she now makes, is informed by everything we’ve been through with her. Even if these late chapters feel a little rushed and preachy, they are nonetheless honestly arrived at, and immensely satisfying.

This is the first of four novels that Sarah Waters has written, and all have terrific word-of-mouth. I intend to check out these others as well. My impression is that this, and ‘Fingersmith’, are the raciest, and I want to emphasize that as well as being wonderfully written novels for any genre, Sarah Waters writes some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve encountered. I can’t help but think of a ‘Law and Order’ episode featuring a lesbian writer who describes the reactions of most men towards her sexual proclivities – “they’re either ‘That’s Disgusting’ or ‘Can I Watch?'”. Nancy and Kitty, Nancy and Diana, Nancy and Zena, Nancy and Florence – trust me, you’ll wish you could watch.

Highly recommended.