On the Ringling Midway, 1898

On the Ringling Midway, 1898
and on their way to guilt-free amusement. They did not enter the big top with "issues."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunday Morning Off-Script Scramble ... Society is Now the Side Show

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen (if I may), that is -- all of you silent voyeurs crowded around my little platform out there, don't be shy! I know you have no patience for the philosopher I once quoted. So, here's this, a new slant with a little rant, I'm about to tease you unexpectedly with some randomly risque reportings. Now, have I got your ear? Hey, what have we to lose? I don't know you. You don't know me, right?

Latest lifestyle trend may steer marriage, what's left of it, closer to the Old West pay-as-you-go model. Couples, some of them, bargaining up front before they say "I do" for frequency of love-making, by the day, week, month, maybe down to the hour. A sexy pre-nuptial would spell it all out, thus giving the male a kind of carnal package he can count on; of course, I'm assuming the she-male to be the passive party; not necessarily so. Some men actually enjoy stress-free intimacy, it's been lately noted. Call it the new digital boudoir, pre-scripted for on-demand performance. Happy endings presumably guaranteed. Whatever happened to romance? ... Credit card by the night stand? A monthly print-out of contractual hook-ups? ... So cold and callous. Yes, maybe there is a fine line between the world's oldest profession and the veiled version.

Everything about sex links back to Big Pharma. And what a boon to thrill pills such a new form of negotiated marital pleasure would be! There's that awkward commercial aimed at medicated dudes wishing a jump-start at the front end of passion's selfish call when the perfect moment strikes and they lack the steel. A warning, as you know, about cupid's magic pill overstaying by hours its intended effect, leaving its users walking lopsidedly in a state of prolonged readiness. I'm not going there, ever.

Say it isn't so ... My heart goes out to Judy Dench, the incomparably gifted actress. "I can't see the person I'm having dinner with," says she, stricken, as was her mother, with macular degeneration (I rarely utter scary medical terms, but out of respect to Dame Judy, here I will). If you haven't seen her in Mrs. Henderson Presents, give yourself a great cinema treat. It's a marvel. "I love my job she says," with no intent to retire. In order to memorize lines, scripts are now read to her by others, among them, her daughter. She's 77, and still on top of her mark.

I'm a friend of losers, it seems. Craig Killborn, whose late night TV show I saw taped on several occasions at CBS, walked away from a promising gig that might have put him in line to replace Dave Letterman. Killborn got full of himself and got bored, and wanted to be a movie star. Hollywood did not cooperate. Last year, he returned to the talking desk on a Cable net, failed to gather an audience and was TV toast in mere months. Tis a pity; he had so much natural talent for late night stardom ...

Onto my next ill-fated fixation: Two young movie critics, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, a contributor to the Chicago Reader, and AP film judge Christy Lemire, put up on Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, an effort to bring back the chemistry that Ebert and the late Gene Siskel enjoyed. Already history is the one-season old program, an odd and sometimes irritating mixture of the two new bright lights reviewing new films, andtoo much time listening to Ebert have his say, too, and watching replays of old Ebert and Siskel shows. I've never bought the Ebert image, he is about as overrated a critic in my opinion as was the virtuoso of vacuous verbosity, sainted Pauline Kael ... I'm hoping that Christy and Ignatvy find another platform. They are refreshing, says me, a lover of losers ...

Bette Davis, far from a loser, continues to compel and amaze me as I watch and discover her old movies (no, I don't like them all). Last night, Old Maid, a great film, thanks to Davis and to a terrifically shaped script, gripping as it builds around the terrible issue of a young woman being protected from the truth of her out-of-wedlock birth to Davis. Another Warner Bros. classic; what a tough gritty studio! ...

Stay tuned: As I read The New York Times this morning, I may have more. Strictly trivial, I promise. Mr. Krishnamurti is on high hiatus. And I know you don't want brain food.

10.16/13

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