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May 02, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Lynn is turning 50. Youngster!

* Hey, baldness can be studly: Chris White points out the funny and informative Take It From the Head, self-described as "The Gallery of Shaved Head Musicians." Photos and info about tons of musical cueballs to be enjoyed.

* Stuff Asian People Like explains that whole badminton thing.

* Roissy turns up a study that reaches some depressing conclusions about marriage and sex.

* David Chute confesses that he has a taste for melodrama.

* Steve and commenters have a lot of shrewd hunches about why our lawgivers think insane immigration rates are such a great thing.

* Dark Party Review picks 10 great teenflicks from the 1980s. Hmm: Cute as Molly Ringwald was, I could never really stand John Hughes' work ... So I guess my fave of the bunch is "Valley Girl." Or maybe "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." (UPDATE: Here's a 2004 interview with Molly Ringwald.)

* Part of Thursday's translation of Ecclesiastes is going to be published.

* Katie Hutchison celebrates some beautiful carriage-house doors.

* How are dogs and children similar? How are they different?

* Pants for geeks. (Link thanks to the Communicatrix.)

* A great line from Baldilocks: "Grown folks expect criticism; children in adult bodies mistake criticism for being dictated to."

* Rick Darby speaks up in praise of the wonderfully eccentric jazz pianist Erroll Garner.

* MBlowhard Rewind: In this posting I wrote about all kindsashit. The really interesting bit, though, is about the history of the director. Did you know that until the 19th century plays didn't have directors? To quote m'self: "The Greeks, Shakespeare, Mozart's operas, etc -- all were performed without a director."



posted by Michael at May 2, 2008


I never understood what people found attractive about Molly Ringwald, or even cute.

Those are some of the faggiest movies of the '80s, and as you point out, it's no surprise that they're so weighted toward the Brat Pack and John Hughes. The only really good one there -- Heathers -- was written and directed by a non-Baby Boomer (Hughes was a Boomer). Also not a surprise.

Posted by: agnostic on May 2, 2008 6:06 PM

Molly's "real girl" thing didn't do it for you? Hey, I wonder if she qualifies as a "jolie laide" ... Any thoughts from anyone else on this? Do we have a culture of appreciating "jolie laides" in this country? Probably not. Anyway, Molly: good actress, blushed and flushed really well, and that mouth ... She was like the essence of half-grown, semi-pretty, slightly-out-of-kilter awkwardness, no?

Hmm, I see that the writer of "Heathers" (b. 1962)and the director Michael Lehman (b. 1957) are most definitely Boomers ...

Hey, here's a semi-recent interview with Molly.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 2, 2008 6:19 PM

Molly Ringwald was the epitome of every half-cute, half-intelligent, half-savvy girl in the 80s. In other words, the majority of the female population. No wonder she was huge back then.

Hughes' movies were massive for my generation (Gen X). They're sappy, but they dealt with suburbia in an intelligent and recognizable manner. Basically, the movies recognized the unbelievable privilege those of us lucky enough to grow up in the suburbs experienced, but also the sometimes crushing sense of emptiness and materialism that can happen out in the sticks. And so you had characters who acted out in a very safe way, to show their disapproval but also their timidness.

I don't know, all of that was instantly recognizable to my adolescent self back then. And come on, Sixteen Candles? There's some funny shit in there.

"Oh, black and white would just capture the moment here..."

Posted by: JV on May 2, 2008 6:36 PM

Hughes best movie is the non-teen flick Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I laugh my ass off every time and both John Candy and Steve Martin are great. His teen movies have their moments, but are often rather dated.

Posted by: Thursday on May 2, 2008 8:09 PM

I have always had a soft spot for John Hughes, despite having been in my 20s when the movies came out. Gotta agree with agnostic, there's something a little faggy, or anyway nerdy or betaish about them. They encourage you to identify with a wet, unmasculine part of yourself. A guilty pleasure. Hughes also wrote "My Vagina" and "My Penis" for the National Lampoon - which I just reread online and no, they don't really quite hold up - but which killed me as a 12 year old sneaking into the 14-and-over YA room at the library.

Posted by: robert on May 2, 2008 9:26 PM

I think the arrival of the director on the stage is a more recent phenomenon in Britain's theatrical history. I noticed that Peter O'Toole's autobiography does a nice rant on the subject as an annoying and recent development, something that hadn't happened yet in his early days in theatre in the mid-1950s.

Posted by: alias clio on May 2, 2008 9:28 PM

It's a valiant effort for Lynn to put a good spin on turning 50, but in one respect she's quite wrong. She says in essence that 50 isn't as old as it used to be because people are living longer. Unfortunately life expectancy gains have pretty much stalled out, at least in America, and just recently it came out that for some groups (women in some southern states, IIRC) life expectancy's actually begun to decline.

Posted by: Peter on May 3, 2008 9:45 AM

I wouldn't consider 1962 a Boomer year, in the way people refer to Boomers.

Posted by: agnostic on May 3, 2008 1:35 PM


Aren't baby boomers those born from 1946 to 1964?

Posted by: beloml on May 5, 2008 3:36 PM

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