Monday, March 16, 2020

McNeilileaks

Welcome once again to McNeilileaks, where I leak the contents of my friend McNeil's emails. From the inbox this morning: "I wonder if there's a way to make 'powdered meat'? I bet you could sell a lot of it in this market. No need to freeze or refrigerate it. Also, as I was watching I WAKE UP SCREAMING, there is a scene where [Victor] Mature goes to see the caretaker of a cemetery. I wonder if they still have those somewhere...What a job!!!"

Saturday, March 07, 2020

It Only Hurts When I Cry

Well, I happened to scroll past TCM last night, where the film BEACH BLANKET BINGO was playing... there was this woman (pictured) singing "It Only Hurts When I Cry" while she was roasting some wienies in the fireplace, and I stood there and counted the wienies (lying on a napkin on the bricks, bottom right). I am pretty sure there were at least 20 wienies in the scene, including a couple you can't see because I grabbed this screenshot from a faded pan-and-scan version on youtube this morning, giving you little idea of the garish vitality of the original wienies as presented in Technicolor, or whatever process they used on BEACH BLANKET BINGO. It really did look like an awful lot of wienies, but it was a big party and, honestly, there may not have been enough wienies to go around.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Golf Buddy

So I was watching CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM the other night, and one of Larry David's golf buddies reminded me of something. I was like, "Hey! Isn't that the standup comedian who sat in the car so we never met him? We were having dinner with Rhonda Shear and her manager more than twenty years ago, and her manager wrote the authorized biography of Harry Ritz, which no one would publish, even though it was authorized, and her boyfriend at the time, who is this guy I am seeing on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM right now, sat and waited in the car while Rhonda Shear and her manager ate dinner with us?" That's what I was like. So I emailed Ward McCarthy, who was the other person in this story, and asked him if I were crazy. He wrote back, "That is pretty much how I remember the story. However, I thought Bobby Slayton was driving the car around and around the block because they couldn't find (or didn't want to pay for) parking. Or maybe I just made that up when telling the story later to make the guy seem even sadder." This is just the kind of wayward memory I used to "blog" about. Now, I don't "blog" anymore, but... I don't know. The evidence would suggest otherwise, maybe.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Mr. Frazzlebottom

I saw a tiny bit of THE GUNFIGHTER on TCM last night. Some no-good punk is trying to rile up Gregory Peck, so he calls him "Mr. Frazzlebottom." He calls him "Mr. Frazzlebottom" about ten times in quick succession. "Say, Mr. Frazzlebottom, can I buy you a drink?" And so on. Ten times, I bet! "What's the matter, Mr. Frazzlebottom, you feeling okay?" I paraphrase. It truly is irritating, this kid is onto something. Now, I don't "blog" anymore, so I don't know why I'm typing this. Now that I don't "blog" anymore, I generally just email this type of thing straight to McNeil.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Too Late

"If Philosophy aims at some good to man it comes too late in the day for that... It is not till the twilight comes that the owl of Athena begins its flight." So Oscar Wilde jotted in his Commonplace Book as a young man, as I learn from Richard Ellmann's biography of Wilde, because every book has an owl in it.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

McNeilileaks

It has been a while, as I don't "blog" anymore, but we just got in some "McNeilileaks," which is where I leak the private contents of McNeil's email. McNeil sent along the above comic book cover, commenting, "I'm not sure why I think it's hilarious. Adam's pose?" As for me, I think it's the line, "You're holding up the war," which sounds like the title of a 60s comedy. YOU'RE HOLDING UP THE WAR, if it existed, would star Robert Morse, Ernie Kovacs, Tony Curtis, and Paula Prentiss, or so I decided last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Infinite Truck Drivers

On a recent visit home, Mom started singing a song I had never heard before, which went, in Mom's version, "Bring me another cup of coffee/ It is the best in the land/ Bring me another cup of coffee/ For I am a truck driving man." So! It was quite a coincidence when I recently acquired a trove of songs by Bakersfield musicians, one of which was called "Truck Drivin' Man." It was just the song I heard my mother singing, except she had some of the chorus wrong. It actually goes, "Pour me another cup of coffee/ It is the best in the land/ I'll put a nickel in the jukebox/ And play the 'Truck Drivin' Man.'" Now! In a seeming paradox, the narrator of the song appears to be playing on a jukebox the very song to which we are listening, but that song could not exist to be played on the jukebox until the singer (as distinct from the narrator, who identifies as an actual truck driver, not a professional singer of truck driving songs) had recorded it. The singer, then, is projecting a future in which his own recording is not only possible, but essential. A leap of faith! Yet that is not the most interesting aspect. More than an advertisement for itself, this song is an endless universe willing itself into existence. I mean! Are we meant to think that the narrator of the song is listening to the same song that WE know as "Truck Drivin' Man"? If so, he must be listening to a second narrator, who, within THAT song, is listening to the song "Truck Drivin' Man" on another jukebox, in which yet another narrator in turn is listening to the song "Truck Drivin' Man" on yet another jukebox, and so on, into all of eternity. I don't "blog" anymore, but some thoughts have nowhere else to go.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Capering About Spreading Tension

Speaking of books with owls in them, Jeanine Basinger, in her book on the movie musical, summarizes one Danny Kaye number: "He barks like a dog, crows like a rooster, hoots like an owl, and mews like a kitten." She doesn't mean it in a good way. Danny Kaye seems to irritate her greatly. For perspective, she describes his presence in another movie as "capering about spreading tension."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New Year

Though I have a compulsion to tell you every time I read a book with an owl in it, I hope I have made it completely clear that I don't have to tell you EVERY time a single book has an owl in it. Like, if there's an owl on page 14 and then another owl on page 63, I only have to tell you about the first owl. So get off my back! BUT! This book DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT has had at least FIVE more owls in it since the last time we spoke of it, which seems worth mentioning. Now, you may ask yourself why it is taking me so long to read DUCKS, NEWBURYPORT, to which I respond that it is none of your damn business, but for one thing, it is too large to take on an airplane, according to my strict rules, and I was on lots of airplanes in 2019, some I didn't even bother to tell you about. For another thing, Megan and I are fully committed to our unceasing diet of books about celebrities, so leave us alone.