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Choke on your detention

Saturday 1/5/19

If you want to make money on sports betting, you should ask me for my predictions on a given game, then bet the opposite. I don't know why I thought the Texans would win this game. Watching it, I am of the mind that the Colts will beat the Chiefs. The top two seeds in the AFC could easily lose their first games--more so, I think, if it's the Chargers coming to New England, which I expect--and a Wild Card team could host the AFC Championship game. I also wouldn't be surprised at all if the Patriots do their thing and win the conference, but I think it's going to be tricky. But I was thinking: degree of difficulty-wise, nine straight first round byes might be harder to do than five Super Bowls in the space of time they've done it. I hope they're getting a lot done and a lot figured out during these two weeks before games.

This government shutdown is messing me up because I cannot climb the Monument. After all of that effort, I'm basically back where I started at. That's discouraging. You lose it fast. And this is what, three weeks without climbing? Today I tried to compensate. Normally I run three miles. I've never ran more than 3.5 in a go, because my run is augmented with climbs or a miles of walking. Plus, I don't like to run and I'm not good at it. But I ran six miles this morning. It was basically the same as running three miles. Tomorrow I may try and get some climbing form back by doing the Government Center steps a bunch of times. On my way out to the Brattle this afternoon I counted them. There are only fifty-one. They are close together, too. Almost too close to just go one at a time. The Monument stairs are perfectly spaced.

At the Brattle I saw all four of Jean Vigo's films in one go. A Propos de Nice (1930), Jean Taris, Swimming Champion (1931), Zero for Conduct (1933), L'Atalante (1934). I don't know what more you can want from cinema. There are very few artistic originals in this world. There are virtually none now. But there were never a lot. Vigo was one. What would have happened had you not died at twenty-nine? James Agee saw him for what he was. Michel Simon is one of cinema's greatest actors, and I think he's better in L'Atalante than in even Renoir's Boudu Saved From Drowning. While at the films I had to write several sentences for "Mission Brick Candy." They were cut sentences. That's a kind of sentence. My own coinage. Not a sentence cut from a work. I will go into it later. I don't want this to be a terribly long tonight. I may watch Solo which I've not seen yet. I have a feeling it might be decent. A critic at the time called L'Atalante "a confused, incoherent, willfully absurd, long, dull, commercially worthless film." Sure, dude.

Obviously I've seen touchstones like these dozens of times, but never on the big screen. How I love in Zero for Conduct--hardly far-fetched as a film that would resonant with me--when Tabard, whom Vigo based on himself, tells his moron of a teacher to go fuck himself.

And then the head of the school works it out so that he won't get kicked out, and he comes to the classroom, and he stands there with the moron teacher, a couple other high-ups, and the head of the school compliments himself on how generous they all are, and they await Tabard's public apology, and the kid, for the second time, tells them to go fuck themselves. The most original of all French filmmakers, even more original than Cocteau. I was watching John Huston's The Maltese Falcon today, and it's good, but it's not original. He's ripping off Citizen Kane over and over again. He obviously was on that set, or saw rushes, or something, because he tries to shoot Falcon the same way.

I have had the title ditty of Clair's A Nous la Liberte in my head most of the day. I need something to talk about on Downtown on Tuesday. Seems like forever since I've been on. Think I'll with the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society. There is the recent expanded release, it's a dark horse candidate for best rock album ever, and there is the larger idea of its theme of caring about what you care about. People don't care about what they care about now. They don't like what they like. They choose to watch, read, listen to, what they think the "thing" is, that everyone else is also choosing to watch, read, listen to. That thing could be a slug getting cut in pieces for a half hour, and if they feel like people are talking about it, posting about it, if Vulture is hashing it over in some round table digital conversation, they want in on that. But not because of the thing, the product. We are almost all nullity right now. There are no personal passions, or even interests. That thing in front of you could be anything. That's why none of it lasts, has much of a shelf life, stays with you, gets revisited, becomes part of your life going forward. The Kinks made an album about finding what it is that matters to you.

Bill O'Brien strikes me as a bad NFL coach.

Been listening to the Duke Ellington-Jimmy Blanton duets. They only did six together. The best bass recordings in jazz history? Hmmm. Could be. I'm writing about them for JazzTimes as part of a larger Blanton thing.

I am tired. I am going to go watch hockey now. And speaking of blacklisted: Zero for Conduct was banned in France until 1945.


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