Category: Reciprocal Affection

Whatta Rush

It’s always fun to get a phone call during morning meeting from your oncologist, who you just met yesterday, and who says …

Surgeons in a Circle Looking Down on a Patient

My Cancer Journey Begins

I called Monday morning and the news was what I thought—but with an unexpected twist
I have a malignant carcinoma on my toe…type is Kaposi’s Sarcoma.

Screaming Woman

#EmptyThePews

“FRICKIN’ HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD! JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH! POPE PAUL VI AND ALL THE SAINTS! AND DEAR GOD WHY ARE ALL THESE WOMEN IN EXPENSIVE ULTRASUEDE DRESSES RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE AISLES SCREAMING THEIR FOOL HEADS OFF???!!!!!”

Red Dust: Gable and Harlow

Movie Night: Red Dust

“The attraction here isn’t really the cultural relic/curiousity value, it’s the variation of the old man meets woman, they hate each other, they clash with sparkling dialogue and then end up together ’til death they do part. This bit has been done to death in Hollywood’s 100+ year run, but it can be freshened and redeemed if the scriptwriter is up to the job.”

American Civil War Casus Belli: African Negro Slavery.

Let’s be clear: The war was about slavery, from first to last. And after the gun stopped firing, the war continued in multiple ways that all-too-often includes violence and murder.

Movie Night: Born Yesterday

“Born Yesterday is pretty fabulous. At least until it sinks in that it’s just as applicable today (especially today!) as it was in 1950. In that year, it could have been warning against the House Un-American Activities Committee, which ultimately wrecked lives, but failed. But today, the movie is depressing when you realize that Broderick Crawford’s Harry Brock is in charge of the country, the Senate and the judiciary and is sitting in the White House tweeting.”

Nashville Rails

Donelson Renovates

Not much can be done about the traffic volume as long as Metro and the State are devoid of ideas or even the hint of wanting to think about possible solutions. Nashville is drowning in traffic, but no one has the will or money to do anything about it.

US Flag Upside Down-Republic in Distress

The Indictment

“Senate Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent that threatens the republic itself. I’m not naive enough to think they would hold Democratic presidents to the low standard they’ve applied to Trump, but all future presidents will be able to point to Trump to justify …”

Amara Rensa

What We Hath Wrought

RIP Amara Renas and all the other unknown women and men and children. May you haunt our collective memory forever.

Charles Laughton and Ray Milland in front of the Big Clock

Movie Night: The Big Clock

“Regardless of whether you saw it then as scandalous that such perversions were being exhibited in public theaters or whether you see it now as being stereotypical, offensive and overly focused on white, male, straight actors and queer panics and Italian stereotypes, to wit … offensive!! … there is much to actually be loved here.”

Shirley MacLaine Loves Her Yellow Rolls Royce

Movie Night: The Yellow Rolls Royce

“… this is probably the granddaddy of all product placement movies, far more egregious than even Joan Crawford’s conspicuous scattering of Pepsi bottles in Strait Jacket …”

Sweet Charity Party

Movie Night: Sweet Charity

“The songs and dances, Shirley MacLaine and Cita Rivera, et al, were great; it’s just the stuff in between that is less than satisfying.”

Strait-Jacket 1964

Movie Night: Strait Jacket

“The bonuses here are George Kennedy as a farmhand foreshadowing by 22 years Billy Bob Thornton in 1996’s Swing Blade (“I like them French fried potaters.”), all the Pepsi placement, and Lee Majors in pre-Six Million Dollar Man mode, along with his very hairy chest, fluffily rising and falling just before the axe falls.”

A Cry in the Night, US 1956, From the Ronald Grant Archive. Photo by Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Movie Night: A Cry in the Night

“Whatever the novelty of seeing goodie two-shoes Perry Mason as a Peeping Tom/Kidnapper, it’s Carol Veazie who is the standout.”

Jack Weston in The Ritz

Movie Night: The Ritz

“Regardless of whether you saw it then as scandalous that such perversions were being exhibited in public theaters or whether you see it now as being stereotypical, offensive and overly focused on white, male, straight actors and queer panics and Italian stereotypes, to wit … offensive!! … there is much to actually be loved here.”

Movie Night: An American Tragedy

“Basically, amoral social climber from poor background seduces poor factory girl, gets her pregnant, wants to marry a rich socialite and so kills poor factory girl by smashing her in the head with his tennis racket and dumping her body in a lake, fakes a canoe accident, trips self up by being basically an idiot, dies in electric chair after mercy is refused by Governor Charles Evans Hughes.”

Thieves Highway

Movie Night: Thieves’ Highway

“Thieves’ Highway is a classic Noir tale of truckers and apples and greed and sex and San Francisco and California and highways and death.”

Apollo 11

Movie Night: Apollo 11

“It’s a magnificent bit of cinema and well-worth watching, especially on this day. It freshly reminds you of just exactly how incredible the achievement of half-a-billion people, represented by three men, was, in an incredibly difficult decade.”

Desk Set Spencer Kate

Movie Night: Desk Set

“Not only is it hilarious, it has fabulous midcentury (ugh, that word) interiors, jokes only librarian/book/research nerds understand, an awesome supporting cast including EMERAC and Kate gets to get blotto and talk about the “Mexican Avenue Bus” (the Lexington Avenue Bus, that is).”

Hot Millions

Movie Night: Hot Millions

“There’s a lot more than just smiles to recommend this one–ts droll English humor, its glimpse at fashions and designs and trends of 1968, the fantastic acting of everyone, including the performance of Bob Newhart, whose movie outings are often forgotten, the sarcastic wit and the satire–it’s a long list and will need a second viewing to get it all.”

The Guardian's Ben Jennings on Donald Trump and the San Diego synagogue shooting

On Crime and Punishment This Fourth of July

“It’s well worth a challenging read-and-think on everyone’s part at this particular moment in the country and society.”

Pocket Guide to France

Pocket Guide to France, or, Onward to Parisian Mademoiselles

“You are a member of the best dressed, best fed, best equipped liberating Army now on earth. You are going in among the people of a former Ally of your country. They are still your kind of people who happen to speak democracy in a different language.”

Dead American on the Beach

Beginning of the End Day

“Instead of “Thank you for your service,” try, “We’re sorry you had to expend your blood, sweat, tears and toil to clean up our monumental failings.” Every time you meet one of the dwindling numbers of WWII veterans (and those of all the other magnificent little American wars we’ve fallen into), keep your mouth shut and your brain focused on peace. These “Greatest Generation” folks answered the bell and won the fight. We might not be as blessed next time.”

Terror Clown

Paranoia, Fear, Terror and Facebook, et al.

“Insane levels of fear and control and succumbing to terror. We are a nation which is perhaps the most fearful of all countries.”

Stop CETA

Corporate Power

“Many states whose sovereignty is threatened are now finally waking up to the danger. But is it perhaps already too late to do anything about the seemingly over-mighty corporations?”

Everest Capital Collision

Capital Destroys All It Touches

“What’s our death toll up to in this week’s boutique pay lots of money and die fashionably sweepstakes? 19?”

White Rose Society

The Wages of Sin, America, is …

“It is impossible to engage in intellectual discourse with National Socialist Philosophy. For if there were such an entity, one would have to try by means of analysis and discussion either to prove its validity or to combat it. …”

American Notes

Random American Notes

“An American gentleman . . . likewise stuck his hands deep into his pockets, and walked the deck with his nostrils dilated, as already inhaling the air of Freedom which carries death to all tyrants, and can never (under any circumstances worth mentioning) be breathed by slaves.”

Conquest 1937 Garbo Boyer

Movie Night: Conquest

“The film itself is fairly representative of the period and shows how far ahead of her time Garbo was … that she could shine in spite of rather stilted dialogue, in a non-native language shows just how great an actor she was at the height of her career. It wasn’t bad, and I might have another look under certain conditions, but I probably wouldn’t buy it for the DVD collection, unless Criterion gets hold of it.”

Accusations against Christopher Marlowe by Richard Baines and others

Kit Marlowe is a Naughty Nellie and Probably a Witch

I just caught this from two years ago on The Guardian‘s website. Two years behind, that’s about my speed. But

Bayley Murphey Beagle

Another Anniversary

It’s been TWELVE (12)!!! years??! Holy cow. In spite of all the special dogs (Feargal, Fergus, Fred, Roux, Sascha, Bosco,

US Flag Upside Down-Republic in Distress

Sieg …

“DEEPLY OFFENDED that a child refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance bc freedom is all about mandatory loyalty oaths.”

His Majesty Objects

“After some interminably loud defending the walls of the castle, HIM the Roux comes inside and complains for 15 minutes to us churls about Townes very existence in the Royal Orbit. Part of the Complaint revolves around the undisputed Treasonous Conduct of us churls in Divers Huggings and Walkings and Flauntings of the Dangerous Interloper …” | Read more after the jump …

11:00 | 11-November-1918

100 years ago today, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the guns along the 440-mile line stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea fell silent. The war started 1 August 1914 just as German Chancellor Otto von Bismark once famously predicted around 1884, by “some damned fool thing in the Balkans;” in this case, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, a city of agony in the 20th century). But on 11 November 1918, it was finally “all quiet on the Western Front.”

Ausrufung Republik: Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the Republik, 9 November 1918

9 November: Schicksalstag

In the next few days, there will be much remembrance of the events of 100 years ago—the end of World War I. Not as much in the U.S., where World War I is like the Korean War, a largely forgotten conflict, even though 115,516 Americans died between 1917-1918, along with over 320,000 sickened, most in the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Steve Bell political cartoon on the Jamal Khashoggi crisis

Tragically Brilliant

Steve Bell’s ‘toons for The Guardian are always brilliant. But «in this one», he’s surpassed himself.

Every Building in America, Mapped by the New York Times

Every Building

“On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States. Why did we make such a thing? We did it as an opportunity for you to connect with the country’s cities and explore them in detail.”

Message in a Bottle picture

German Roofer Finds Message from Grandfather

A message in a bottle on the roof of a Goslar, Germany, cathedral was found by the grandson of the

Cramped | Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash

Squeezed to Death

“On every airline flight, a crew member talks to passengers in the exit rows to see whether they can, as Federal Aviation Administration regulations specify, “pass expeditiously through the emergency exit” if needed. Given how passengers have grown in inverse proportion to the spaciousness of airliner seats, anything like “expeditious” evacuation of an entire airliner seems doubtful.”

Photo of HIroshima destruction in 1945

Of Manifestoes and Buildings and Truman and Stuff

[Edited two days later to fix some typos and unclear, stream-of-consciousness-type unclear phrases.] During the recent effort to rename the

Small flame on black background

Atomic Poetry

On 1-Jun-1945, six weeks after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, new U.S. President Harry Truman convened a meeting to update

Remembering the Past

Remembering Bill Schock on his 100th birthday … and the 52nd anniversary of Braniff 250 in Falls City. Also …

Cuba Slogans on a Wall

Treading a Careful Path in Post-Castro Cuba

“There is a discrete left-opportunist trend that seeks to throw all developments in Cuba post-1959 into the dustbin and forget about it. This does as little for us as the right-opportunist line; both fail to grasp the full reality of revisionist corrosion and capitalist restoration in Cuba, although one cloaks itself in stultified theory.”

Warm Summer Night

Terrible quality, but is there anything better than a warm summer night playing in – er, rather sitting near the

Photo of Bill Schock

For Bill

Back in 2014, I included a chapter in my book detailing Bill Schock’s war experiences as they related to his reporting on the crash of Braniff International flight 250 in 1966.