- These stories are getting weirder and weirder, only 25% of the way through the goal. Nothing weirder that last week’s “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hellhound,” I’d imagine. But wait next week for part two. I’m heading somewhere with that, I swear.
- Birthday was a good one. Four movies, pretty much in a row. Ocean’s 8, which I liked, but felt that it’s fealty to the Clooney trilogy got to be a bit excessive, even though I liked those movies. Tag, which was funny enough, I suppose, but had an ending so deflating and at odds with the rest of the movie, that it may be one of the worst of all time. The Seven-Percent Solution (1976), which I naturally loved, and loved the first time I saw it. Meyer is Meyer and you can’t do much better than him. And finally (or at least, so far) California Typewriter (2016) which I still have a little less than an hour left on it and it’s fantastic. Then again, there was little chance of me not liking the film. I’m feeling a little guilty about typing this on my computer while I do so. Between this and Life Itself (2014), the best things I’m watching now are the documentaries.
- More movies I’ve seen over the summer:
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (wasn’t enthralled; needed more Goldblum)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (liked it; let’s face it, could have used some Goldblum)
- And most recently Mission Impossible: Fallout (liked it, but fear that the glowing reviews over the last week might have left my expectations higher than they ought to have been).
- With my participation on “Beyond the Cabin in The Woods” I’ve seen (for the first time):
- Creepshow (1982) (liked it, but the experience of seeing it in a midnight showing in 35mm might have helped)
- Thr13en Ghosts (2001) (really hated it, worst editing of all time, even if Adrean Messmer rightly brought in Suicide Squad (2016) as a contender for that unique distinction)
- The Haunting (1963) (really didn’t like, don’t see what the big deal is for some people)
- The House on Haunted Hill (1959) (liked it more than the others in our haunted house run, but that’s not saying a whole lot)
- It’s only now occurring to me that I should invest in some kind of movie journal.
- Relenting to the cloying, dulcet tones of my past, I broke down and bought Christmas With Conniff (1959). If you’re unaware of the album, you clearly did not spend a lot of time with my of my relatives over the last 50 years. Without any sense of irony (mainly because irony wasn’t invented until 1973), my grandfather calls it the greatest album ever made. The Ray Conniff singers sound sort of like if someone went on The Lawrence Welk Show and proceeded to have a diabetic coma. What’s more, with my frequent listenings to the album, whenever my car communicates with my phone to start playing music, they assume I want to listen to it. 100-plus degree heat coupled with the sudden summoning of their rendition of “Sleigh Ride” might be a little too much for my primitive meat-based brain to handle.
- Had a dream a few days ago that Jeb Bush was President, and I was so happy. Well, not that happy… But happier, to be sure. I really look forward to the day that we can elect some completely boring person to run the country so we could just let them do it and not have to think about it all. the. time.
- Speaking of existential dread and the Ray Conniff singers, here’s a <little story> from the before-times of January 1972. The White House held a celebration for Reader’s Digest’s 50th anniversary. While America outside the walls was in a similar turmoil, the event inside was built out of pure safety for Nixon. Bob Hope? He’s on board with the War, sure. Billy Graham? No problem there. The President even celebrated the absolute square-ness of the evening before handing the dais over to Conniff and his singers. At that point, a Canadian (because of course she was Canadian) last-minute sub singer Carole Feraci took control of the whole show. Just watch**:
I don’t know why I keep thinking about that incident lately. Maybe I just want a few more squares to speak out. Feels like that’s the only way we’ll get out of this. Which, I think they will, eventually. I don’t think we have it in our collective spirit to become a authoritarian state. We’ll flirt with it, sure, but I think our fundamental character avoids it. This isn’t to say this has always been a virtue; I’m also of the mind that our current predicament is just as much a result of that character trait. But, when it comes right down to it, the founding of this nature wasn’t about taxes, or freedom, or the ability to take freedom from somebody else, it was most succinctly about a group of disaffected people—with agendas as numerous as the population of the country—screaming out with one voice, “You are not my Supervisor!” Maybe we’ll say it again.
** In case you didn’t watch to the end, after the crowd turned on the whole affair, Conniff asked her to leave, to which she replied, “Certainly.” Because she’s Canadian, and of course she was polite about it.