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  1. Final-Reel Flopping
  2. What Will Last?
  3. Food, Fat, and Health Linkage
  4. A Brand for the Ages
  5. More Reading and Writing Linkage
  6. From Richard S. Wheeler
  7. More on Dawkins, Sex, Jealousy
  8. Here Comes Another Bubble
  9. Sex, Jealousy and Richard Dawkins
  10. Sweetness

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Final-Reel Flopping
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- If I were a student of movies, something I'd be inclined to research is the matter of successful comedies. What do they possess that almost-successful comedies don't? I have no answer, just now. The only reason I'm mentioning it is that I've been thinking about three comedies that, while being very good (in my opinion, natch), shared a common flaw: They got sidetracked and, because of that, ran out of gas. Sorry, but none of these are recent movies, and that's my fault, I suppose. It's just that I'm down to seeing perhaps two or three movies a year and have been in that mode for a long time now. That said, here are my examples. M.A.S.H. About a wild army hospital unit during the Korean War. When I saw it, I was about six years away from the Army and was in hysterics over what the personnel were getting away with; a totally different atmosphere from the uptight, disciplined, rule-following units I had served in (which briefly included an evacuation hospital). I don't remember ... halfway through? ... it began falling apart. Crumbling started when some of the characters went to Japan for an R&R trip. Later, a sizable chunk of time was spent on a football game between the MASH troops and some other outfit. The Tokyo and football sequences weren't necessarily bad, but they were far removed from the inspired insanity that took place in the hospital setting. Help This was my first Richard Lester-Beatles movie. I was charmed. Forty years on, Lester's visual schticks are commonplace because they've been recycled or riffed-on. But when they were new, they astonished and delighted the 26-year-old me. Help began to crack when the Beatles were using Buckingham Palace as a safe-house and disintegrated when they went to Bermuda where the final segment took place. (Yes, Help might be considered a musical of sorts because it serves as a framework for Beatles performances. But that framework is a comedic one. Droll, wry, amusing, satiric in places -- low-key Brit stuff, and quite different from this final example....) Animal House This call might be more controversial than the others because Animal House seems to be in the Gross Comedy Pantheon. Having been a member of a decidedly less than top-drawer frat myself, I found it easy to connect to the movie. And the pace was fast enough that the details that bothered me (Rotsy-guys as fascists) blew by quickly and juicy grossness continued. Animal House slipped when the scene shifted to the roadhouse where the Black band was playing. Suddenly, we were no longer at college. Thereafter, things never got back on track. The parade scene at the finale did nothing to help. In each instance, the movie began in a well-defined comedic setting -- an overworked army hospital not far behind front lines, swingin' Sixties London, a dysfunctional private college -- and in each case the setting was abandoned or watered down well before... posted by Donald at December 7, 2007 | perma-link | (16) comments

What Will Last?
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Thursday takes up a Charles Murray challenge and lists some contempo-ish art-things that he thinks might still be vital in 200 years. It's a good list. Commenters at Steve's blog pitch in with a lot of suggestions and ideas. My response: I'm not sure that in 200 years anyone will be remembering anything from the past. Something we may take a little too for-granted is the existence of a Museum of Past Worthiness and Greatness. We maintain it, we argue over what deserves to be included, we teach it, we get upset (or cheer) when the canon is dissed, etc. What we don't do often enough is recognize that the existence of this Museum is a historical anomoly. In most places, at most times, people didn't maintain a Museum of Past Greatness. (Or if they did it was a much more informal one than our version.) They just lived, created, and enjoyed in the present. There was no Lincoln Center in 1700 Europe, keeping alive the "canon" of past musical greatness. There were just bands, composers, and audiences making and enjoying music in the present. Old music? It was done, over, forgotten. Art museums as we now think of them are themselves of very recent vintage. They're mainly creations of 19th century Europe. As for today ... Well, it seems to me that we're already in an era where people are living, creating, and enjoying in the present far more than they they did even in the very recent past. YouTube, Facebook, viral videos ... iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand ... In our mix-and-match, collage-it-together-for-yourself world, it's all about instant impact -- about making and enjoying and moving on. Look at the film world, for example. While the New Wave and '70s filmmakers discovered film history and made it their own, there aren't many contempo filmmakers who make any use at all of "film history." They couldn't care less. Today's hot and talented youngsters are involved with ads, TV, magazines, videos, performance art, and clothing styles, even with skateboarding and tattooing -- with stuff that's hot now. They just aren't that interested in film history, and certainly not in the museum sense. Since this seems to me to be the direction culture is going, my guess is that in 200 years museum-style "art history" itself will be a thing of the past. People with cultural inclinations are going to be making videos, collaging together music tracks, assembling Flash-like multimedia things. They'll be posting them online and social-networking them back and forth to each other -- and that'll be what "culture" will be. As for the artistic past? Seems to me likely that people will raid the past for ideas, because why not? But the history of art won't be a cultural presence in the "canon of greatness" sense, and almost no one will be taking part in "Does this deserve to be considered great?" conversations. To the extent it'll have any life at all, the cultural... posted by Michael at December 7, 2007 | perma-link | (31) comments

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Food, Fat, and Health Linkage
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * Alt-health guru Andrew Weil thinks that Gary Taubes has made a major contribution with his book "Good Calories, Bad Calories." * Say hello to "In Search of the Perfect Human Diet," the documentary film. Donate -- er, become an investor -- here. * A few clips from Tom Naughton's Taubesian film "FatHead, the Movie": Learn to boo and hiss at The McGovern Report, and especially at Ancel Keys. Tom himself somehow managed to eat nothing but fast food for four weeks and lose weight. * What if saturated fat is actually good for you? * What if there isn't any correlation at all between cholesterol levels and heart disease? * Michael ("Protein Power") Eades blogs, very generously, here. Jimmy Moore -- low-carb-diet enthusiast extraordinaire -- blogs here. (Jimmy has lost -- and kept off -- 180 pounds by following a low-carb diet.) The Weston A. Price Foundation is here. "Paleo Diet" guru Loren Cordain has a website here. I wrote enthusiastically about Nina Planck's book "Real Food" here. Nina's website is here. * Jimmy Moore interviews Gary Taubes. Here's a CBC audio interview with Taubes. Here's a WNYC audio interview with him. (Scroll down a bit.) Best, Michael UPDATE: Thanks to Dave Lull for sending along links to some talks given by Malcolm Kendrick (author of "The Great Cholesterol Con"): Cholesterol; Familial Hypercholesterolaemia; Statins; What Causes Heart Disease?; CVD Populations and Stress. For Spiked-Online, Kendrick explains his view of what's wrong with the cholesterol hypothesis. For one small thing: "Cholesterol in the diet has no effect on cholesterol levels in the bloodstream." For another: "No clinical trial on reducing saturated fat intake has ever shown a reduction in heart disease. Some have shown the exact opposite." For a third: "It is worth highlighting a critically important -- remarkably unheralded -- fact: After the age of 50, the lower your cholesterol level is, the lower your life expectancy."... posted by Michael at December 6, 2007 | perma-link | (4) comments

A Brand for the Ages
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- I used to pay attention to beer brands back when I was young and drank the stuff fairly regularly with fraternity brothers, army buddies and grad school chums. Nowadays, beers are flying well below my radar. That's why I was startled earlier today while cruising the freeway and passing a beer truck with an odd image plastered on the sides and rear. A country scene with a moose standing in a pool or lake or something. (Remember, I'm driving 60 miles per hour, the truck is in the next lane to my right, and I can't do more than glance its way.) And what's that just below the Moose's head, that white area there? A waterfall in the background? No. Could the moose be drinking from a fountain of some sort? No, again. Why, it's ... Moose Drool Brown Ale from Big Sky Brewing Co. of Missoula, Montana. I am ashamed that I'd never heard of the brand. What a treasure! Okay. So it's not genteel. But if you're in the twentysomething-male demographic hotspot for beer marketers, the name is fabulous. Image some Gallatin Valley ranch-hands or University of Montana students near the brewery snorting with laughter when hearing "Hey! Let's swill some Moose Drool!" Guys can be gross. Gross can be fun. Later, Donald... posted by Donald at December 6, 2007 | perma-link | (12) comments

More Reading and Writing Linkage
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * Ebook fan Robert Nagle left a very interesting comment on my recent posting about Amazon's Kindle. Recommended. Robert has also responded to my posting at Teleread. Reading-and-technology fans take note: as far as I know, Teleread is the only online site that regularly covers ebooks and ebook readers. * Maxine makes some sense of LibraryThing. (Link thanks to Dave Lull.) Social networking for the cataloguing-inclined? * Mencius Moldbug has a good time dumping on some all-too-typical contempo poetry. Great passage: Certainly the best poetry of the 20th century was written from the '20s through the mid-'60s ... In the '60s, though, something awful happened. Poetry became a Federal jobs program. To use the terminology from my theory of corruption, it became a form of edupatronage. The great disaster was the enormous expansion of higher education in the '60s and '70s. There is a reason so many college campuses have that abominable Brutalist architecture .. The overwhelming force behind this expansion was a massive injection of Federal subsidies ... Education, for New Deal [and Great Society] Democrats, is just like immigration -- a way of making more Democrats. Of course, no one thinks of it this way, but the machine works whatever its parts are thinking. (Link thanks to Derek Lowe.) * Bryan Appleyard wonders why sci-fi doesn't get more respect. (Link thanks to ALD.) Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 6, 2007 | perma-link | (2) comments

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

From Richard S. Wheeler
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * The excellent Western-fiction blog Saddlebums has asked Richard S. Wheeler -- whom they aptly describe as "the dean of the modern Western story" -- to write about Conrad Richter's "The Sea of Grass." Richard's posting is a beautiful piece of appreciation. A while back, Richard wrote some postings for 2Blowhards: here and here. Click on 'em, read 'em. * In an email to me, Richard has pointed out that of the fiction-books included on the NYTimes' Notable Books of 2007 list, precisely zero come from the popular-fiction shelves. (Harry Potter excepted, I guess, though it seems to me more useful to think of Harry Potter as exceptional in every way.) Zero! The Times' editors and critics are nothing if not open to global literature, god knows. But to the popular fiction of their own country they continue to turn a completely blind eye. Gotta love some of the "plot" descriptions of the fiction-books that earned places on the Notable list: "A nerdy Dominican-American yearns to write and fall in love." "The boy narrator of this novel, set in Libya in 1979, learns about the convoluted roots of betrayal in a totalitarian society." "A young woman searches for the truth about her parentage amid the snow and ice of Lapland in this bleakly comic yet sad tale of a child’s futile struggle to be loved." "In this short yet spacious Norwegian novel, an Oslo professional hopes to cure his loneliness with a plunge into solitude." "Henkin follows a couple from college to their mid-30s, through crises of love and mortality." "In this debut, a Londoner emerges from a coma and seeks to reassure himself of the genuineness of his existence." Could a parodist have done better? And what a jolly, out-to-entertain bunch the literary set is, eh? * A while back, I wrote a five-part series ranting about the Times Book Review Section's absurd attitude towards popular fiction: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five. * The wonderfully crusty and combative B.R. Myers has a wrestle with Denis Johnson's highly-praised new novel. (Link thanks to Saddlebums' Gonzalo Baeza.) In 2001, Myers wrote an anti-literary-pretentiousness rant called "A Reader's Manifesto." At that time, I was still working in and around the book publishing world, and I can report that there were many people in the business who read Myers' essay and smiled in quiet agreement. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 5, 2007 | perma-link | (16) comments

More on Dawkins, Sex, Jealousy
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Just because I can -- well, and also because I'm curious about how people will respond -- I'm copying-and-pasting a comment I left on Donald's recent posting about Richard Dawkins and his view of sexual jealousy. Here goes: Dawkins really does seem to have given himself license to pontificate about whatever he feels like, doesn't he? I wonder if he's having a better time pontificating and provoking than he had as a scientist ... Oh well, he's getting away with it for the moment, good for him. I look forward to being a much-noted old windbag myself when I get to be his age. I do marvel that Dawkins seems to see the goal of right-thinking people as overcoming the basics of human nature. Evo-bio hit me very differently. It confirmed me in my hunch that it makes much more sense to work with (rather than against) human nature -- to build on it (or just plain enjoy it) rather than pave it over or wall it up, let alone triumph over it. But maybe I don't have the crusading-heroic gene in me, or it hasn't been expressed, or something. On the other hand, where jealousy and the sex drive is concerned ... I think I'm with most of you about two-thirds of the way. Sexual activity and the sexual emotions are dynamite, of course, and if you're too irresponsible with 'em they'll blow up. On the other hand, that's true too of food, alcohol, drugs, and art, all of which can be over-indulged-in and can turn on you. That doesn't mean they aren't there to be enjoyed, or even played-with a little bit. (What "enjoyed" and "playing with 'em" means will vary by person, of course ...) I think the American-style pattern -- dating around a bit followed by longterm monogamy -- is probably a sensible way of arranging sexual matters for many people. But I'd hesitate to prescribe it for everyone. Life's complicated, people come in many different forms. There are sexual freelancers of both sexes ... There are people who are natural libertines ... Exhibitionists ... People who really don't like sex of any kind ... Couples who make their own arrangements ... And some people move through phases over time too: women who marry, have kids, then leave to "become" lesbians, for example. Or people who are addicted to marriage but can't stay in a single one of them for long. Or people who marry young, live square, get the kids on their feet and out of the house, and then spend their 40s and 50s as swingers ... I mean, where I live all of these kinds of people can easily be found. And that's not just OK by me, it's kinda fun. And there's the imagination too. Movies wouldn't be movies if people didn't enjoy the fantasy of being intimate with the people onscreen, for instance. I suppose porn can be become an addiction and for all I... posted by Michael at December 5, 2007 | perma-link | (17) comments

Here Comes Another Bubble
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- It's bewildering enough to be a 50-something media-and-arts guy living through the changeover we're undergoing from an analogue-based to a digital-based culture. God knows I've had moments when I've felt like a buggywhip specialist watching Henry Ford's business explode. Oops, there goes the whole basis of my commercial life. Such as it is, of course. But I've also spent a few minutes wondering what it must be like to be a youngster these land-rush / gold-rush days. Great new tools and toys ... Fantastic opportunities ... But is it in fact all that much fun? A few lucky and/ or brilliant people hit it rich by 30 ... Fads and paradigms are forever erupting and popping ... Everyone's so relentlessly career-obsessed ... You're a loser if you don't have a clever idea and cash out at the exact best moment ... Living through early adulthood these days must sometimes feel like blundering your way through a cyclone, no? Lordy, what a lot of pressure and anxiety not to be left behind. Talk about needing to play aggressive offense just to stay even. Anyway, here's a funny evocation of the rattled and frantic "Omigod, why aren't I a billionaire yet?" mindset that the air seems so full of these days: Best, as well as pleased -- for the moment at least -- to be over that particular hill, Michael... posted by Michael at December 5, 2007 | perma-link | (3) comments

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sex, Jealousy and Richard Dawkins
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- Michael Novak on National Review Online offers this link to an article by Richard Dawkins that rambles on about Awful, Terrible Religion, Awful, Terrible Tony Blair and George Bush and Awful, Terrible Sexual Jealously. Here are some observations on the latter topic that caught my eye. Returning to the original topic of sex outside marriage, I want to raise another question that interests me. Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place? Agony Aunt columns ring with the cries of those who have detected -- or fear -- that their man/woman (who may or may not be married to them) is "cheating on them". "Cheating" really is the word that occurs most readily to these people. The underlying presumption -- that a human being has some kind of property rights over another human being's body -- is unspoken because it is assumed to be obvious. But with what justification? ... Just as we rise above nature when we spend time writing a book or a symphony rather than devoting our time to sowing our selfish genes and fighting our rivals, so mightn't we rise above nature when tempted by the vice of sexual jealousy? ... I, for one, feel drawn to the idea that there is something noble and virtuous in rising above nature in this way. I admit that I have, at times in my life, been jealous, but it is one of the things I now regret. ... I'm not denying the power of sexual jealousy. It is ubiquitous if not universal. I'm just wondering aloud why we all accept it so readily, without even thinking about it. And why don't we all admire – as I increasingly do -- those rare free spirits confident enough to rise above jealousy, stop fretting about who is "cheating on" whom, and tell the green-eyed monster to go jump in the lake? Sigh. This strikes me as a fine example of the over-educated, concepts-trump-reality mindset stalking the quadrangles of academe. Married people having "property rights" over one another? I could be wrong, but I thought that, in most Western societies, civil marriage is, legally, a form of contract entered into by consenting parties. Still, assuming that Dawkins is not committing sophistry, perhaps I'd better stop calling Nancy "my wife" and she should never refer to me as "my husband." Implies ownership, don'tcha know. Although he observes that jealousy is nearly universal, he expresses admiration for those (such as himself?) who have the sophistication to rise above the muck of nature, freeing themselves to experience excitement without guilt or, apparently, concern for others. This being justified by their tolerance of other people doing similar things, perhaps with one's own regular squeeze. Dawkins seems to be straying from his roots in nature, biology, genetics, and all that messy stuff. Perhaps, even though he's 66 years old, he missed out on the Sixties and Seventies. Remember Open Marriage? -- it's based on the sentiments... posted by Donald at December 4, 2007 | perma-link | (28) comments

Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Guy Clark and Emmylou Harris give a lesson in "how to do it so understated and sweet that it hurts": The casual, loving, dignified, lifted-out-of-time openness of that performance reminds me of Robert Altman's wonderful film "A Prairie Home Companion," which I wrote about here. I linked to a few more duets with Emmylou back here. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 4, 2007 | perma-link | (0) comments

Opinions About Movies
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- David Chute offers a dissent on "No Country For Old Men." Jon Hastings defends "The Mist." Prairie Mary thinks she'll watch "Indochine" one more time. The Communicatrix raves about Julian Schnabel's new movie "The Diving Bell & the Butterfly," and asks for help with her mission statement. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 4, 2007 | perma-link | (4) comments

Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * When should a traditional journalist credit a blogger? * Roissy thinks that a little attention to personal hygiene might be in order. (Extreme vulgarity alert, which should come as no surprise to fans of Roissy.) * Apparently it's true: Americans get the majority of their calories from soda pop. * Hibernia Girl shows how to express concern about immigration policy and demographic shifts in a civilized and nuanced way. * Kathy Foley reports that Facebook is big in Ireland, and that she has finally learned how to enjoy getting poked. * For the first time ever, DVD sales are declining. * GNXP's Herrick interviews James Flynn. Steve Sailer interviews himself. * PoddyMouth -- who isn't the old PoddyMouth -- offers a lot of zesty, informed, and helpful coverage of the print-on-demand scene. * Finland: land of very strange competitions. * MM vows to be more charming in the future. * Some guys have it and some guys don't. (Links thanks to Charlton Griffin.) * A list with almost too much of substance and wisdom in it, from Execupundit Michael Wade. My favorite is #11: "If you want to make something permanent, call it a pilot program." * Ira Levin, the brilliant author of "Rosemary's Baby," "A Kiss Before Dying," and "The Stepford Wives," has died. I rhapsodized about Ira Levin's writing here. * So has '70s-era hero / legend / joke Evel Knievel. Lexington Green evokes the man and the era well. * Dennis Mangan raves about dynamic young orchestra conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and links to a scorching video of Dudamel at work. * Polly Frost interviews a couple of wonderful Downtown NY artists: the cartoonist Tom Hart and the novelist Silvia Sanza. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 4, 2007 | perma-link | (3) comments

DVD Journal: "Pulp Fiction Art"
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Given its title and its publicity material, you might expect the documentary "Pulp Fiction Art" to comprise a quick intro to the era of pulp-magazine fiction followed by interviews and encounters with, and bios and appreciations of, the artists who created the era's visuals. The film turns out instead to be more of a jumble than that: a zig-zaggy, 55 minute-long survey of the pulp fiction era generally, with some minutes with the artists (Norman Saunders, Ernest Chiriacka, a few others) crammed in here and there. But as modest as the film is -- and, yes, it did feel a bit like an opportunity lost -- I enjoyed it anyway. The overview it provides of the pulp-magazine era may resemble a disorganized term-paper, but it's still informative -- and newbies to the material will learn quite a lot. Many of the interviewees (especially some collectors and fans) are amazingly articulate about and appreciative of the art. And if the time the film spends with the actual artists and illustrators is 'way too small, that's still a lot better than no time spent on them at all, which is the treatment you'll find accorded to pulp-fiction artists in most histories of American art of the 20th century. Jamie McDonald, who made the film, never loses track of his subject's central irony: Although this really was an amazing episode in American visuals, almost no one was aware of the fact at the time. Highbrows of course turned up their noses. The artists thought they were doing mere commercial work, cranking out tawdry paintings for a sleazy market. Many of them had their sights focused on higher, fine-arty things; they often didn't even bother to sign their pulp work. Yet these lewd, exploitative images are turning out to be the art that they'll be remembered for. It's sad to be reminded of the fact that nearly all of the original paintings were simply thrown away once they'd been reproduced. Today the work of people like Rafael DeSoto and Margaret Brundage is much loved, enthusiastically enjoyed, and widely influential -- and collectors pay big bucks for the handful of originals that still do exist. As for the self-consciously significant work of that era? Well, some of it's still enjoyed too. Since the film is so skimpy and modest, it's a little hard to recommend a purchase. But why not put the film near the top of your Netflix queue? I'm very fond of this book, which includes lots of excellent reproductions of pulp fiction art. H.J. Ward, who specialized in illustrations for the "spicy" market and who made the image at the top of this posting, is a particular favorite of mine. (I found the image above at this website.) Someday I'm going to buy a copy of this book about the art of the "girly pulps." Semi-related: I wrote about the film "The Notorious Bettie Page" here; Donald wrote about pin-up art here and here; Friedrich wrote... posted by Michael at December 4, 2007 | perma-link | (1) comments

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lean Christmases
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- It seems I've been AWOL the past few days. That's because I had the flu. Today we're having a severe storm and the garage is flooding. Oh, and the cold I was catching when the flu hit has been unmasked: I don't know if it was running parallel with the flu or was on hold, eagerly waiting to pounce. But I'll find out soon. At least I drafted one of those memoir pieces before I got sick and, for what it's worth, here it is: * * * * * I was fortunate enough to have been born into a middle-class family. Aside from the Christmas when my parents wisely did not buy me an electric train (I soon might well have become too old for it as a kid and was much too young to become a true grown-up train hobbyist), Christmases were satisfactory for me in the stash department. They were satisfactory because of ignorance, when I was little. It had to do with timing. And location. As long-time readers know, I was born about two years before Pearl Harbor. I have a fuzzy memory of Christmas season that year -- my father and uncle having a serious discussion, probably about the war, I now realize. But I don't recall anything about presents I received. A year later we were living in a thinly-settled suburb about a mile north of the then Seattle city limits. Wartime. No nearby kids my age. Gasoline rationing that might have prevented me from vising my cousins in town (I don't remember wartime Christmas visits, though we certainly visited that day, post-war). In other words I was celebrating Christmas isolated from other children aside from my sister when I was three, four and five years old; no basis for comparison, but that might not have mattered anyway. Besides gasoline rationing there were other shortages. Metal, for instance. I recall stomping on tin cans in the driveway (after my mother had removed the tops and bottoms) to flatten them for metal drives. So metal toys were scarce or non-existent. The one metal toy airplane I had looked a lot like a Seversky P-35, sort of like this one: Except mine was better. It had a propeller that would spin, the landing gear retracted, the cockpit framing was better-done and it even had little bumps indicating rivets, if I remember correctly. (Sigh. Wish I still had it.) But my P-35 was probably a pre-war present. Wartime toy planes were crudely-done plastic jobs. Another toy I remember was a wooden pop-gun type cannon painted olive drab -- just like genuine army cannons! Yes, I got Christmas presents. But not many and few or none made from "strategic materials." Mostly I remember the Christmas cards and decorations -- not toys. Christmas 1945 was still a bit meager though I didn't realize it. Revelation came in 1946 when there was a ton of stuff under the tree. Age seven, it dawned on... posted by Donald at December 3, 2007 | perma-link | (12) comments

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Shouting Thomas Moment
Michael Blowhard write: Dear Blowhards -- * Loyal Democrat Yahmdallah finds much to agree with in Shouting Thomas' comments at 2Blowhards, and confesses that righties often seem to make better neighbors than liberals do. Sigh: Why can't more Loyal Dems be as honest as Yahmdallah is about how infuriatingly messy and incoherent life often is? * Shouting Thomas himself praises Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and says that Filipinas are anything but submissive. * A form that I've come to love thanks to the Web is the mini-memoir: quick snapshots -- verbal and visual -- from people's lives. ST puts a welcome spin on the form in a photo-illustrated series documenting Woodstock's Tinker Street: here, here, here. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at December 2, 2007 | perma-link | (9) comments