Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wes Anderson is like Terry Gilliam without the edge?

Once again, the post title is the thesis, doesn't that make it easier, like when a song is named after its most earwormy lyric ingredient?

We saw "Grand Budapest Hotel" at Coolidge Corner Theatre last weekend, where it had the third largest weekend gross in its history.  The reviews were good.  I had not yet seen a movie by Wes Anderson.  I don't watch movies much because most are so interminably tiresome like this one.

I went in thinking this some period piece but the pseudo period setting was just dress up, after some initial setup the script played with anachronism beyond its welcome.  It's a bad sign the first time a punchline is a cuss, junior high school style.

Hijinks ensue, characters were cartoons, sight gags, stunts, running jokes, some characters used a voice or an accent and some spoke Californian.  Cameos aren't a bad thing, they indicate respect in Hollytown. I perked up when Bill Murray was on screen, but he didn't do much and then was gone.  I couldn't follow the story at times. I was sorry they left the grand hotel, which had a nice look and where I had expected the story to take place, to run amok in the outside world.  Some of the gags were good, some groans.  One interesting thing, how every shot seemed to be centered and framed by symmetry.

Watching the clock by halfway, how long oh lord?  So much gratitude when the narrator voice indicated coming closure.  During "Drive" I sat in the bathroom reading my email I was so bored, this wasn't that bad, set pieces kept dropping and I had some hope something better might come.

So to expand the thesis, "Grand Budapest Hotel" is like a defanged Terry Gilliam movie, fanciful comedic fable, but without the edge, with lightweight character development, patchwork storytelling, a frame to hang scenes on, and not as funny.

Oh well it was a night out.  Then we went to Lemongrass for defanged Vietnamerican food for Brookline, I like that, I'm an old Yank myself, please no spicy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When money grew in ponds weather like this was like hitting the lottery.

Thomas Perkins is the guy who recently dinged the Godwin's Law bell by saying resentment of the rich is akin to the Kristallnacht of 1930's Germany, but in a more simple time Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins was the man who created an industry, like an Edison or Fulton, by marshalling the early 19th century craft of refrigeration, not yet a technology so much as an art, to export ice sawn from Boston area ponds overseas. 

Caribbean plantation owners and English manors paid well for this luxury of the pre-refrigeration days, making it profitable even if most of the goods melted in transit.

If this lost industry existed today, then this wintry March we are still enduring, like going out not at all like a lamb so much as a rabid rogue ram, would indubitably be classified an economic boom time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Power of Equality, = != == != ===

The equal is equal except when only congruent, excepting when actually equal, so define equal as equal and not.

Roxbury Conglomerate Puddingstone

There is an outcropping of Roxbury Conglomerate on the beach in Hull, an assemblance of pre-Devonian granite pebbles and cobbles in the conglomming medium of muds.  A snapshot of the geology at that period, with less interesting sedimentaries because the contributing landmass was more upswelled ignitions than previously deposited record rocks.  But the rock is rock-hard, not flimsy for being conglomerated.

Rocks have become more interesting as time has gone on since the Cambrian, since calciferous lifeforms have deposited immense calcium, now known as limestone and marble, and carbon is laid down in fossil fuel rocks.

The Roxbury Conglomerate represents a time when the life of earth did not contribute so much to deposition, although it is lightly present, more in the sea than the highlands that fell into the muddy seas that created this formation.

The most interesting rocks in my purely amateur opinion are from the sedimentaries of the life period.  

My current evaluation of Crimean War II.

Crimea is not worth nearly as much as Putin seems to think. This is in line with his assault on Georgia for the puny prize of South Ossetia. He was more on the right track with the costly corrupt Olympics at Sochi just a few weeks ago, and the current Paralympics which goes on during all this. Cultivate a worldly image and keep up the energy exports. But now Russia has magnified its sometime role as crass brutal bully 

The Black Sea fleet could have been maintained merely with the threat of invasion, but exactly how worthwhile to Russia is the maintaining of a Black Sea fleet? Nobody cares about it, except the former Soviet republics that border Russia, and how much can Russia gain from bullying Ukraine and Georgia that is worth more than their commercial relationships with Europe? 

Putin must be surrounded by yes men who echo 1980's considerations that expired in the 1990's. An isolated boss without reality checkers, whose main purpose is to maintain the corrupt advantages of power.

The Crimean War of 1854 is best remembered if at all by the unintentionally ironic poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson "The Charge of the Light Brigade", a celebration of the misguided valor of British light cavalry, specifically the 4th and 13th Light Dragoons, the 17th Lancers, and the 8th and 11th Hussars (don't you love these obscure archaic names?) under the command of the Earl of Cardigan, he of the sweater, on the wrong target by a confused British headquarters.  They assaulted a dreadfully deadly wrong position, and their lack of tactical tact was celebrated as the bravery of dying just because somebody says go for it.

This Crimean War II may be a possible verification of one of Karl Marx's better quips, that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Exile on Main Street

I originally had this on a cassette tape that I made from an LP from the Schenectady County Library, LP sides 1 and 2 on cassette side 1, and LP side 3 and 4 on cassette side 2. The tape soon suffered a characteristic failure on the media, a section turned over and was subsequentially played backwards, and sounded amazing.  Backwards tape is underrated; the reverse rhythms are quite striking.

When I bought the remastered reissue CD a couple of years ago, I first wanted to hear "Casino Boogie", then "Torn and Frayed", but the song that had most stuck in my brain since that old cassette gave out was "Let It Loose", and it is now the most played song from Exile on my iPod.

So here I once again take the opportunity the discuss what a single album of a classic double album might include.  There are 18 songs on Exile, so what are top 9 according to me?  I ask.

I like many of the cult favorites and not necessarily the popular favs; I'm not into "Tumbling Dice" or "Happy", more into the French studio excretions and the LA gospelishers.

So my 9 iz:  "Casino Boogie", "Shake Your Hips", "Torn and Frayed", "Sweet Black Angel", "Loving Cup", "Let It Loose", "All Down the Line", "Shine A Light", and "Soul Survivor".  Thems those I want to listen up with on iPod for purposes on running. (I fracture my speak to celebrate and exploit the declining prestige of prescriptivism.  On. Internet. English.)

Casino Boogie is a great take on some old blues cliche, Shake Your Hips even more so, Torn and Frayed is a classic of simple acoustic chords, Sweet Black Angel has great structure, Loving Cup was a result of Mick's gospel church take and subsequent adaptation and rip off, and song that came on abruptly after my cassette tape's backwarding, Let It Loose is my favorite song on the album; it takes up the black church musical tradition in stepping up to higher levels several times to increase the intensity, although it suffers from Mick's lyrics of pickup politics.  Mick should have given it more universal lyrical themes, then it could really be a great song, as is it is somewhat problematic to sing, his tale of picking up some girl.

All Down The Line I include because it is a moving rock song.  Shine A Light is good, but could be replaced by Rocks Off in all honesty, Rocks Off is an interesting tune with some resonance, it has unusual features, but Shine A Light  is classic, so maybe this is a tossup.  Soul Survivor belong in any distillation, the guitar architectural is good Keith, Mick had to instill a melody upon it, from the latest CD outtake you notice Keith didn't have a melody on the demo.

I have stopped listening to some of songs.  It is 2014, I can't listen generously as much no more, this has to upholster my iPod on runs during this winter with so many cruel cold days.  Running seives my tolerance for songs that can't move me.