MLB is scrapping the term "Disabled List" for fear that it triggers people. Keep incubating mental illness, America. Incubate it, grow it super-big, then make everyone have to cater to it, and the remaining sane folks have to deal with being in the minority of the actual true victims as it gets harder by the day to live in this world as a sane person. Let the ill and depressed rule all. And that way more people can be made to be ill and depressed. Or more ill and depressed. It's too bad that we don't have some atomic bomb we could use to just blow up reality, right? Just wrap ourselves in fantasy and delusion? Hmmm. Wouldn't that feel nice. You know the expression drain the swamp? What is happening right now is people are trying to drain off reality. When you drain off reality, it's like a lubricant. Everything becomes dry, brittle. Desiccated. And eventually, the spine of humanity just snaps. It snaps like a twig. And once it snaps, it can't be put back together. The life form changes. Like something that dies. Maybe it goes off somewhere else and has an existence there. But you can't put that first form of life back into that thing that is dead. There is nothing you can do to put the life back in. We're getting there. If we do, we--almost all of us--will be murdering savages in a completely lawless, moral-less, society of death. All kinds of death. With everyone broken and terrified and wanting to stab someone else for fear that they'll be stabbed if they don't. That is the new world order we are slouching towards. Yeah, this is just one thing. But there are 50,000 like it every day. People don't know it yet, they don't get the implications, but this is society as mass suicide.
I will pause now to drink some hibiscus tea for my blood pressure.
Mmmm. Slaking. We move on. I screened The Third Man again. I saw a comment from someone on a noir discussion forum--though I don't consider the film noir--saying they didn't get it. I don't get that. You can't look away from a single frame. It's not quite a perfect picture, but it's damn close. You're going to want to watch the Dutch angles. One common way to do them is to have the character's face in the foreground in standard alignment with the edges of the frame--that is, parallel to them--but with the background shifted so that the lines/edges of it--say, from a building wall, a street lamp--are oriented diagonally. It's like the back of the shot is a rotated clock face, with the foreground holding upright and steady. Why did Carol Reed do this? Welles's presence lent itself to this treatment. There are a lot of Dutch angles in Citizen Kane. I don't think any actor--persona--could have pulled off the part of Harry Lime, save Welles. There is too much build-up. You go so deep into the movie with everyone talking about this guy before you see him. When you do "see" him, at first, you see his shoes alone. The actor has to make his appearance, when it finally happens, pay out. You need to have a huge presence for that. I don't mean being a fat load. I mean charisma and so much energy and artistic energy that people just feel it coming off of you whenever they see you. Even if you're just tying your shoe.
I also saw The Green Room. Okay thriller. My faults with it are more with the producer than the director. There were errors a producer should have caught. Choices they should have overriden. First, though, the premise was not believable. Seems like it would have been pretty easy to kill there kids. But that they wanted to kill them with methods of the max degree of difficulty. Death by trained dog! The last reel when the two survivors have so slowed down how they're talking--it was cartoonish. Yes, they should be exhausted and all of that, but this came across as forced. When you force something in cinema, it becomes hammy. But they still worked in that bad joke for the final line, which took both of the characters out of character. More and more movies do this now. At the end of The Autopsy of Jane Doe, the toe of the corpse in the car clicks into motion and the bell fastened to it jingles. Then hard rock music starts pumping away. Same effect with The Green Room. Do the joke, cut to Creedence over the credits. You're selling out the integrity of your entire picture for that joke beat at the end. Which everyone does now. Childish and hackneyed. Producer should have fixed it.
I read a story tonight about a real murder. Recent college grad slit his mother's throat. Nice. Then he phones his girlfriend and his buddy to help him clean up. And this they do. She even does their laundry. What the hell. A friend of mine once, to prove his loyalty, said, "If you killed someone I'd help you bury the body." That would so not be in my skill set. When I read Crime and Punishment, I freak out, because I wouldn't last a minute if I did something. And even when I encounter bugs, I move them to a safe spot and let them go about their bug-y lives. When I take my long, twenty miles walks on Cape Ann, and it's morning, and snakes are out on the roads sunning themselves, I pick them up and walk them back into the forest, putting them on rocks where the sun is shining. As horrified as I am by the murder, I am also horrified by the kid saying he didn't do anything, his mom was great, when they have him on video. Does no one take ownership of anything? And of course by the girlfriend and the friend. How could you not know that you were ending your own life with something like that? I think this was in Manhattan, too. Not some farmhouse in Idaho. So you know there are loads of cameras around. So if you're the girlfriend, are you honestly that stupid? Can one be that stupid? is it drink? Drugs? He texted her that it took his mother a long time to die after he cut her throat. He provided some play-by-play. Or analysis, anyway. And you're like, "Okay, babe, I'll be right over"? These were all college students. Naturally, my stance is that college is bad for you, if you wish to be intelligent and make good decisions in life. Not that I'm linking college to murder. The murder of creative thought, maybe! Ah, wacka wacka.
I listened to the Coasters' first album. They could bring it. No wonder Paul McCartney likes "Searchin'" so much. The Clash were playing regularly at the Starbucks today. A lot of black swing in their sound, and some James Brown. The Clash were very funky. Throughout their career. Not just with like "This is Radio Clash" and "Train in Vain." I like Mick Jones and Joe Strummer more and more as singers. And I listened to Hendrix's Smash Hits. I like greatest hits albums that work as proper albums. That's a good one. Dylan's first greatest hits album is another. But I'll tell you: for all of the insane guitar work on "Purple Haze," do you know what the crucial sound of that track is? It's Mitch Mitchell's snare. Listen to it. Everything is built around the snare. Not around the entire drum kit, but very specifically the snare.
Here is the stand-alone audio of every episode of The Twilight Zone. Neat.
I keep forgetting to buy lemons. When I was drinking, I would squeeze lemon juice into a mug each morning and drink it with water for my liver. I've kept doing this almost every day since. Just in case. To keep my liver healthy. It must be returned to glory by now, after what I did to it. The liver is an organ that gets better quickly. That's its best skill. The problem is, once it goes, it goes. Kind of like our stick analogy from above. But I just keep giving mine that lemon. Livers love lemon. We all that the L-cubed principle. That's not true. But the lemon part is.
I acquired a Happy Mondays recording from live in NYC in 1990 today. "Wrote for Luck" is one of the best songs anyone has ever written. "I wrote for luck/They sent me you/And you give me fucking poison/I hold the line/You form the queue" pretty much sums up my battle at present. But that's okay. A problem to be solved. A plague to be wiped out.