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Monday, 2021 March 8, 08:02 — cinema

Billy Budd

Last night I watched Peter Ustinov’s adaptation (1962) of Herman Melville’s story Billy Budd. In 1797, a young merchant seaman is drafted onto a warship, where his sweet nature is admired by all except Claggart, the cruel master-at-arms, who resents Budd’s inability to fear him (because Budd is too innocent to see evil in anyone). ( . . more . . )

Wednesday, 2020 December 16, 05:22 — music+verse

a wave in the air

“Radar Love” (1973) is the biggest hit of the Dutch band Golden Earring. Some folks strongly prefer a cover (1989) by White Lion. I don’t; is there a reason for that, other than my notorious conservatism?

White Lion’s version fills the ears more fully, and I can understand that some fans prefer that. But when it’s all high energy all the time, there’s no room for crescendo. Also, I find the implied silences of the original more appropriate to the story of the lonely night road. The entry of an organ at 2:38 and lead guitar at 2:48 suggests headlights appearing in the distance; they need the darkness for full effect.

Wednesday, 2020 August 26, 15:18 — cartoons

curious about causality

Without trying, I can think of five webcomics authors who changed their pronouns long after they started posting: Dana Simpson (Ozy and Millie), Joey Alison Sayers (Thingpart and now Alley Oop), Allison Shabet (Deadwinter), Elli Stephens (Goblins), and now Maelyn Dean (Real Life).

Is there something in the ink?

Sunday, 2020 April 19, 14:52 — cartoons

early webcomics gallery

Joe Average’s first anniversary strip features characters from 37 other strips. Can you help me name them? Some have fallen off the Web.

Nukees S.S.D.D Look What I Brought Home (?) Superosity
Road Waffles ? Life at Bayside (?) Bobbins
Krazy Larry Ashfield When I Grow Up
Bruno the Bandit Avalon High Joe Average
? Soap on a Rope (?) Melonpool
? ? It’s Walky
Awkward Zombie (?) ? ?
Help Desk Clan of the Cats GPF
Sinfest ? ?
Everything Jake Real Life ?
Alice Funny Farm The Class Menagerie
Down to Earth (?) Suburban Jungle ?
Wednesday, 2020 February 12, 16:57 — prose

a sense of place?

I read Jack Vance’s memoir, of which many pages say “We went to Ireland / Tahiti / Kashmir . . . found a pleasant cottage and stayed there for a couple of months, cranking out stories.” It would be pleasant to know what was written where! Perhaps Jack himself did not remember. But it is impossible not to imagine that “The Moon Moth” was conceived on the houseboat in Kashmir.

Thursday, 2019 January 10, 09:20 — music+verse

intertwingled

Simon & Garfunkel came up in conversation, and I mentally listed their alba: Wednesday Morning 3AM, Sounds of Silence, Bookends, Bridge Over Troubled Water. Wait, aren’t there five? I was sure there are five . . . . .

The other one came to me as I was assembling ingredients for supper: salmon, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, black pepper.

Saturday, 2018 December 22, 21:51 — music+verse

musical generations

I’ve had this conversation more than once. I’m chatting with a cashier half my age. A song circa 1967 is in the background.

Me: “Is that song familiar to you?”

Cashier: “Um, yeah.”

Me: “When I was your age, if I heard a fifty-year-old song, I might recognize it but it would be foreign, you know?”

Cashier: “Well, my parents played it.”

I guess my parents are weird: as far as I remember, the only records they had from between their birth and mine were South Pacific and My Fair Lady. When the Swing revival (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy &c) came along, Dad said “They’re playing my music again!” and up to that moment I’d had no idea.

(This is my first post in WordPress 5. I hope there’s a setting to restore the old-fashioned editor.)

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