Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oregon Dreaming

Photos by De Campo from Portland that was a long time ago now

This is merely one of the signs on the Burnside Bridge

This gang expedites trays of vodka jello shots until your esophagus turns blue

I thought the way the light hit this door was cool but I guess it could be anywhere

Mexican beer sign and boarded-up rat’s nest taken from a moving car

H, all stocked up to sit on the deck next to the cooler in Seaside

This is my Mom played by Penelope Cruz she’s awfully suspicious (taken from a moving car also) here with Woody Allen

Tiki/karaoke lounge /generous grub after midnight (free too!)

alibi grub
My old school, ripped and torn asunder

Winco foods and their dedicated rows of generic miracle whip

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Revolutionary Road, probably the Best American Novel, I mean sure, why the hell not, hasn’t Richard suffered enough?

No wonder Yates was unpopular, Revolutionary Road performs a type of surgery on suburbanites. By ripping them a new one, he alienated potentially four-hundred and eighty hundred thousand of his readership because that’s how many people live in the suburbs. I should know I grew up in one and had to put the book down because I was reading it in one and it was pretty upsetting and I was on holiday and nobody wants to get upset reading on their holiday.

Published in 1961, the novel puts an entire generation of smug suburbanites on a skewer and barbeques them in the salubrious comfort of their immaculate backyards. No wonder then that upon its release a lot of people averted their eyes from the hard truths (which Richard Ford distills pretty succinctly in the book’s introduction — the smoke and mirrors quality of suburban bliss), but really these people had no other choice, they had already been barbequed. So of course when the author turned up in their town to read from the book no one showed up. He spent his evenings after reading to empty rooms alone in bars and eventually died in a lonely place, penniless and borderline mad.

Now I am willing to accept almost any work as a comedy, at least I try my best to, but Richard Ford I take action against you saying Revolutionary Road is ultimately a comedy. Hard to accept such bile-producing sentences being construed as comic. Miss Lonelyhearts is pee-your-pants funny by comparison.

Truly asinine they turned this into a movie. There’s a vicious irony to these dilettantes living in the suburbs that I’m sure those movie bozos could never translate. Huge mistake casting the guy who saved the titanic from drowning. Needed some unknown without Leo’s millionaire swagger. Frank Wheeler’s main gig is fooling people into thinking he’s capable of some nebulous brilliance by way of some rather brilliant bullshit. Leo may be full of bullshit, but he’s filthy rich and bangs a different broad every night. Seem to have forgotten what my point was going to be.

RE the casting, I blame Winslet, who I quite like and her husband, who I quite don’t. I’ve seen Kate save her bacon by acting like crazy in movies that suck so I’m morbidly curious to see how she handles herself in the shoes of April Wheeler. April’s in a far more interesting place than whatever place Frank’s in, but then again, I find Betty Draper more interesting than her husband, so I guess deep down I’m just a 50s-era ladies man.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Viaggio in Italia

Not to deny Ingrid Bergman her devastating performance, but at this point in his acting life, I doubt a woman alive other than a hooker could have stimulated George Sanders. The happy ending is not the most appropriate ending, but who gives a flying fig. The bitter pill had already been swallowed. This is troubling stuff. I'm gonna go have a meatball.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rad Bummer

Read Middlemarch in a voracious blaze of bookish glory. De Campo and I had a couple of quiet days in Seaside prior to the commencement of straight debauchery. A whole lot of genius informs this total classic. The similarity structurally it shares with The Wire is pretty juicy and George Eliot really knows how to ratchet up the love sparks. Ends poignantly with a message celebrating good ordinary peoples’ lives and how integral they are to a fine civilisation. I got halfway through Revolutionary Road after that before caving in and shelving it — a painful, yet necessary decision as the Yates’ novel was despairing me, in part to our lodgings, a claustrophobic house in the suburbs, the primary source of Yates' ire. Had plenty to read after going to Powell’s and stocking up on the usual suspects. McGuane’s Nobody’s Angel proved to be the right elixir after Yates’ profound summer bummer. I'll revisit Rev Road in a more stable environment.

My nieces are nice girls. The day I finished Middlemarch they came to the beach. A bunch of other people came to, mostly good friends and my brother who brought tasty smoked salmon. My nieces are 18 and better adjusted than I was at their stage. It’s questionable whether they have it better together than I do now; nevertheless I can see myself consulting them on important life decisions in the near to distant future. Fun fact: our hands are identical. A hummingbird just used my parent's feeder during Todd Rundgren's Rock and Roll Pussy.