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Hall of blog

Tuesday 3/2/20

* I'm going to need more than one book to do it, but when I reach the place and the point--and I will--when it is time to tell this portion of my story in book form, I think I will call it something like, Hey, Bigots: How a Unique Artist Overcame an Industry Built on Discrimination and Got the World Reading Again.

* Walked three miles, climbed the Bunker Hill Monument five times. That's six straight days of at least five climbs and a total of thirty-five over those days.

* It kind of bothers me in the Monument when able-bodied men ask if they are close to the top as I am coming down. The stairs are numbered. This makes me want to call them weak and do defenestration but you are not allowed to do anything anymore.

* Speaking of weakness: Chris Sale! The most overrated pitcher in the history of baseball is going for an MRI after which he will need Tommy John surgery when he was already going to miss the start of the season because he had the flu a few weeks ago. (So with a month to prepare, after being sick, he wasn't going to be ready. Good God this dude is weak.) Which I think is a legit statement and not a hyperbolic one. But he strikes out lots of guys when he is not hurt or getting rocked! Why you would care about strikeouts is beyond me. They have no intrinsic value. They appeal to the simple-minded. You'd rather have the soft ground out on the second pitch to the second baseman. Does Chris Sale even try to take care of himself? Usually athletes are cited for their lack of fitness when they are overweight. Clearly that is not Chris Sale's problem. You can't put on any muscle or weight? Can't build up your legs so you're not just throwing with your arm, and with a 3/4 whip-like motion at that? Fake tough guy if I ever saw one.

* Walking down from Bunker Hill, a dog came over to me who belonged to a hot woman. The hot woman said, "Leave that guy alone, Gunner, unless he wants to pet you." But I did want to pet him and was already petting him before she finished telling Gunner what to do.

* A little while after I saw a grandmother walking with a toddler. The little girl could pretty much speak but you couldn't understand everything. The grandmother says, "It's bed time," and the kid eyes her suspiciously. "You're very tired," the grandmother adds, note of hope in her voice. She looked more tired. And the little girl was not having this. She said, "I don't want a nap. I want a sandwich." Very specific. I kind of admired that. It wasn't "I'm hungry," it was, "sandwich, grams."

* I watched Delmore Daves' 3:10 to Yuma (1957) and Peter Bogdanovich's Targets (1968). I should write a piece on Daves as the missing auteur, so to speak, of the psychological Western. He made a number of Westerns--Jubal (1956) is another--quite unlike anything else you see in that medium. Bogdanovich, meanwhile, knew what he was doing right away, which is more interesting considering how totally he lost the plot fairly quickly. Boris Karloff is really good in the picture.

* Ring Lardner also wrote a story about going to the barber, called "Haircut" (1926). His is very different from the one I wrote today.

* Thoreau hardly made any money and Van Gogh made none, and Thoreau had assistants and Van Gogh lived in houses.

* Rossini had such a gift for melody that he claimed he could set a laundry list to music. I suppose this is not completely dissimilar to my assertion that I can write a story about anything, as with the example of the pencil. Around the age of thirty, at the apogee of his success--he had made a fortune--he retired and never published a single note of music again over his remaining thirty-nine years of life. He sat around, ate and ate and ate--viewing himself as a gourmand--and became corpulent, focusing his musical discussions on telling people how much Berlioz and Liszt sucked.

* I have been listening to broadcasts of the radio program The Hall of Fantasy. The show was based in Utah, and only ran for a little more than a year--from August 22, 1952 to September 28, 1953. No name stars, of course, local talent. It's good. The angle I like is that the supernatural is presented as something to be respected--like a kind of force of nature. M.R. James wanted you to respect the supernatural, too, but in the sense of "don't screw around with this, human," which is different.


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