Friday Farrago

I keep a Text Edit document open and paste things into it, to look up, think about, or use later. Today I'm going to share some of what's on the current one. And random images downloaded to my phone.

Here's a list of famous people who have hazel eyes. I meant to look some of them up to see if they look like mine, but was too lazy so far. Kelly Clarkson, Brooke Shields, Kristen Stewart, Ben Affleck, Jenny Mollen, Olivia Munn, Jason Statham, Tyra Banks, Jeremy Renner, Dianna Agron, Steve Carell, David Beckham, Heidi Klum, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jessica Biel, Jason Bateman, Demi Moore, Rebel Wilson and Angelina Jolie.

I just looked up a few and they seem to all have the blue/green kind instead of the yellow/green/brown kind, except Jada Pinkett-Smith, but all her photos seemed to have colored contacts, so whatever. Oh, here's one. 86305602

"being a grown-up, and your petulant fascism about the things you like" 

Probably a topic I wanted to address, because it often is. People are so weird, to me, about their tribal consumer preferences, and actually judging people who are not interested in them. But also people like to talk about how they wish to not be a grown-up, and I do not relate to that at all. I get that they just mean all the pressure and worry sucks, but being adults is our general life goal, and we get to drive cars, have sex (theoretically, anyway,) and drink cocktails, so. Dsc_3651_20367388613_o

Anyway. Like what you like, and pat yourself on the back for it being "nerdy," if that enhances your pleasure. None of it is a contest.

Avarice is enthroned as his bosom's lord, and assumes the style of the Great King; the rational and spirited elements sit humbly on the ground at either side, the one immersed in calculation, the other absorbed in the admiration of wealth. The love of honour turns to love of money; the conversion is instantaneous.  The man is mean, saving, toiling, the slave of one passion which is the master of the rest: Is he not the very image of the State? He has had no education, or he would never have allowed the blind god of riches to lead the dance within him.  And being uneducated he will have many slavish desires, some beggarly, some knavish, breeding in his soul.

--Plato, The Republic

That probably needs no explanation.
Nihilist

The United States has grown wary of impeachment. The history of its application is widely misunderstood, leading Americans to mistake it for a dangerous threat to the constitutional order. That is precisely backwards. It is absurd to suggest that the Constitution would delineate a mechanism too potent to ever actually be employed. Impeachment, in fact, is a vital protection against the dangers a president like Trump poses.

This is true, and I think it is a paraphrase of an essay in The Atlantic. The reason it is important to me is because it's yet another indicator of the world we're living in which is determined to ignore contextual logic in favor of hysteria, keywords, and short-sightedness. But I don't feel like repeating myself today.
Mark

palliative care for a non-viable fetus ≠ the execution of newborns. 

Duh.

The press keeps trying to manipulate what people have said lately in a fervent attempt to stir up even more divisions between us. Let's just say no to that. No one is going around trying to "abort" healthy babies after they're delivered. Sunny

You were not a 1940s movie star or a major league baseball player. You certainly weren’t Jim Garner. You were not even Robby Benson.

Oh, I wanted to draw on that for a bit of writing on boys and their self-conscious need to assume if you were friendly to them you liked them and wasn't that icky? Whatevs. But also, Robby Benson. I'd forgotten about him. He turned out awfully well, too, which is nice.

Here's a link to a super terrible website about the village where my grandpa grew up.

It has a chicken salad recipe for some reason. My mom would have said they meant well. Montalbano

Finally, I made a list of shows that appear on American TV at varying times that I follow/am trying to follow. I think it's incomplete? Because there isn't a strict schedule anymore. I left out the ones you have to work to find in alternative places.

The Cool Kids
Criminal Minds
Doctor Who
DuckTales
Endeavor
Midsomer Murders
The Orville
Riverdale
Stranger Things 
Young Sheldon (way better than the show which spawned it)

But also I hope to see A Discovery of Witches, not because I was super keen on the series after the first book but because I just now learned Matthew Goode plays Clairmont, and I am ready for that. If I don't have to pay someone extra for it.


Speaking of obsessions…

I love this, you know. I love it so much.

And lots of other people do, too. I feel they are my tribe on this big strange planet.

I feel a little bad about it, but my favorite is the only one on here sung by a man; the Polish one. I just do respond to a man’s voice, and I like his. I mean, I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t good. But for me, he’s almost the new version of original Dutch Guy, except Polish. Very pleasing. 

(This is original Dutch Guy.)

My new favorites otherwise are: Arabic, because the language is neat fitted into that space and there’s extra groovy harmony, Chinese (Mandarin,) because she is awesome and could sing me into a calm dreamy place, plus there’s a fun vocal background bit, and Czech, which is maybe how a woman would sound good to me if I were attracted to women. 

Apparently, the German version is also sung by a man. Let’s hear it.
Ooh, these lyrics are way different than the original German version. They make a lot more sense now for the show, though the original sounded pretty fun. 

The Latin American Spanish was also left out of the collection.
That’s pretty cool. I like the pacing.

 

Speaking of obsessions and my tribe, the Wall Street Journal posted a fluff piece on how people are going out in winter with no socks on. As it was posted at Facebook, naturally there were people snidely decrying others who do things purely in the name of fashion. Like, your choices are facile and stupid because they aren't the ones I make. 

But then I saw this and responded, and the world felt better, and then the DuckTales thing turned up, so today is not too bad so far. Sensitivetypes(I removed the names even though it was a public post, since people have odd illogical ideas about how that works.)

I do own socks. First, my oldest daughter sent me a couple of funny pairs that go up past my ankles and are just right with boots, and then one of my sons gave me a large package of thin, cute, “no show” ones for Christmas year before last, which are good for the suede oxfords that need light cushioning and for when I have a cold or etc. Between these two sets I am set for a long time to come.

In general, though, ugh. Socks are the clothing equivalent of crumbly meat mixed into in smooth food or raisins in cookies, or bubble tea. Life is far more enjoyable without them. The person who mentioned foot odor should probably just take better care of her skin or shoes or both. It’s generally avoidable. 

 


It made my evening, anyway

I turned on the TV this evening to keep me company while I made linguini and meatballs, then left it on for the dog, for some silly reason, when I went out to pick up my son from his job. AND THAT WAS AWESOME TO DO. Because if I'd turned it off before leaving, I probably wouldn't have bothered to turn it back on. But Dick Cavett was on the Decades channel, and I'd been meaning to check in with that, so I sat down to have a look. Eartha Kitt was the guest, and she was interesting and pretty and a little bitter, but that's fine, and then Dick started listing the movies his next guest starred in. I wasn't paying any attention at that moment, to be honest, but suddenly I realized they were all William Holden movies. I held my breath. Okay, probably not, but let's say I did.

And there he was, in a nicely fitted dark suit and perfect narrow 1969 tie, in one of his sober periods, I guess, talking about African conservation efforts and being serious and dreamy. I was swimming in a world of magic show. Dick asked pretty good questions, too. Bill told Eartha it was okay about her leopard furs, which I thought was nice. He said when she bought them, leopards weren't endangered, but don't buy anymore. 20170206_202606
As if that wasn't awesome enough
, Dick told us his next guest would be Rex Stout! I never before saw him in a TV interview, so I was super excited, and of course he was good. He was a brilliant man, erudite and charming. For this interview, Dick was kinda awkward, but it rolled along well, anyway. Mr. Stout told us he was working toward better copyright laws for authors and explained about that. I think they've gone too far at this point, but he made a good case for how he wanted it to be in 1969—when he was nearly 83, by the way.

I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone! But honestly, even in my family, there isn't a single person who could understand the thrilling sensation of seeing a talk show featuring both Bill Holden and Rex Stout, and purely by accident. Screenshot_20170206-212834Sometimes this sort of thing makes me feel a little lonely, but not for long. It is what it is, I'm just me, and that's just fine. Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.38.15 PMNo one cares, you dweeb.

Interestingly, as I was picking up my other son from his job after the show ended, a local radio station played "Crazy Baldhead" from Bob Marley's Rastaman Vibration, which I was just talking about last week. A nice piece of serendipity to conclude the affair.


has the dam broken open? also, a French TV show.

It's been a long strange winter, and I want to share all about it. But in no particular order. I might write 16 posts or 3 very long ones or change my mind and keep writing with pen and paper to no audience. But here's something.

I found this show on Acorn TV called Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie, and watched the first episode last night, "Les Meurtres ABC." The first eleven episodes of the show are set in the 1930s and star Antoine Duléry and Marius Colucci. Here's the Google translation of the Wikipedia.fr page: "The main characters are the Commissioner Jean Larosière, fifties seducer, poet and Epicurean and Deputy Inspector Émile Lantern, thirty, shy, bumbling and awkward, but very endearing."

Acorn TV has six of their eleven episodes available, and one from the newer series which began last year, is set in the 1950s, and stars "A new born duo: Blandine Bellavoir in the role of Alice Avril, a journalist Voix du Nord (that's a newspaper in Northern France where the series is set) and Samuel Labarthe in the role of Commissioner Laurence Swan."

Knowing that, I have mixed feelings. I wonder why they were released this way, instead of in two full sets with the second including the replacement cast, and carrying on from there.

Anyway, I didn't look too deeply into it, but apparently Duléry said it was time to move on while things were still swell, which is what they always say, and fan reaction was exactly the same as everywhere else, from the emotional "Oh, no, it will be terrible now!" to the pedantic "I have faith in the writers' creativity and will continue to watch."

I know what I'd have thought. "Oh. Labarthe isn't nearly as…well, maybe. We'll see."

So the show is very good. The production values are rich and thoughtful and thoroughly satisfying. I saw a couple of English language reviews stating "This isn't the real thing, sniff." Well, in a sense, it's more real than the adaptations we've seen lately, to be honest. I think Agatha Christie would be rather more pleased with these interpretations of her stories than she would be with, for example, the bizarre 2008 Murder is Easy, even if Benedict Cumberbatch was a somewhat inspired choice for retired policeman Luke Fitzwilliam. I'm not saying it's terrible. But a purist would hate it.

The ending of "Les Meurtres ABC" struck me as a bit too entangled and even more improbable than the original ABC Murders ending, until I thought it over. I believe the subtitle translation influenced my view of it, and so now I also believe the writers actually made a little more sense of it, rather than less.  And I think Christie'd have preferred the somewhat gratuitous (but not actually! it was a power grab! and kind of hot...) love scene between the deputy inspector and the substitute commissioner, to the perpetual BBC notion that every single unmarried woman of a certain age in her stories was a lesbian.

I wish I could just watch without subtitles, but there's too much I'd miss. You have to immerse yourself in a spoken world in order to pick up the speed and rhythm of speech, and I've never had that opportunity. I think possibly I read French well enough that I could follow closed captioning instead of subtitles, with a certain amount of pausing, but that isn't available.

Here, for my Twitter/Tumblr friends who have not seen it, a talk show segment with Antoine Duléry and Jean Dujardin.