Piano recital tonight, another sign of spring, another sign of the school year winding down. May is prison for kids. Worse since school goes into June and starts in August, which is vile. They learn nothing. They go to movies. They fidget and look out the window and their brains, having shut down the moment they entered the school, begin disassembling the things they’ve managed to remember.

Anyway, we will go to Perkin’s after the recital, because that is the order of things. If the Clown is there I’ll try to snap a picture.

UPDATE: No clown. Day now a success from start to finish!

THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. The movie’s been out for a while and who cares what I think of it. But I started to watch Mission Impossible 4, and right away there were things that make me think “Hollywood. How I hate you.” Man jumps off roof. Spins around with a gun in each hand and shoots the guys following him. While falling. Lands on one of those big pillows they use for stunt men, and I guess we’re supposed to think “this will be explained later.” Runs into a Beautiful Young Woman, who of course is really an assassin, and she shoots him. Cold-blooded lass. So we have physical impossibility - well, the name was a warning - and the obligatory Beautiful Young Woman who could be a model, but thinks no, I do believe I’ll undertake secret training and become an assassin. That sounds like so much more fun.

How does one become an assassin, exactly? Are there accrediting schools?

Switch to Loveable Simon Pegg, who’s hacking a Russian prison to free Tom Cruise so the rest of the movie can happen. Did you know that in old, broken-down Soviet-era prisons, the celldoors are electronically controlled? And hence can be accessed remotely, of course. So here’s another thing: I have to believe that at some point, Russian prison wardens - known, I’m sure, for the dedication and forward-thinking that landed them jobs as Russian prison wardens - said “these doors in this ancient structure are locked with bolts and must be opened individually with keys. We should rewire everything so the doors can be controlled from a central point, permitting all doors to open simultaneously.”

So the request went up the chain, and someone looked at it, and thought “that’s a clever idea. What purpose it might have I do not know, but he must know what he is doing, otherwise he wouldn’t occupy the highly-desirable job of working in a stinking, deafening craphole with the worst sort of criminals this dysfunctional society has produced.” Whereupon the request is approved, with a condition: the doors must be redone so they look exactly like old doors from 50 years ago, with no indication of new mechanisms, for the sake of historical preservation.”

This is done up to exacting Russian standards.

Anyway, Tom Cruise is rescued by another Beautiful Young Woman, who is working for the good guys, having decided that this would be more fun than sitting in New York and getting every meal paid for by handsome men in between trips to Paris to strut in front of cameras and amass an amount of money that would finance whatever she wanted to do with the rest of her life. That holds no appeal. Running through a sewer with a fellow secret agent because that’s what the email from the boss said last week - now that’s fun.

So I said meh, and left it for another night.

Watched a Twilight Zone. As I said on Twitter, it’s sort-of overrated. Most of it. “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” is a better anthology show. “Zone” gives its character a magic side-door through which they can slip without explanation to end the story, as with the one I saw last night. Actor believes he’s really his character. He’s cracking up! At the end? He vanishes. Close up on the script. Dee-dee-dee-dee.

Went to bed. Before that I’d watched the opening of “Poseidon” while making some cruise ship arrangements for a far, far-distant trip. Why? Because I like movies about big cruise ships, I guess. Makes me think of the next time I will be on a big cruise ship, standing on the balcony, watching the sun go down, dolphins playing in the water. These are good things, and people who make fun of cruise ships without having experienced such a moment don’t know what they’re talking about. As I keep saying: it’s a hotel that drives you around the world. What’s not to love?

Anyway, I’d seen the 2006 Poseidon before, and had been unimpressed; dark and murky and wet. Richard Dreyfuss plays a gay man, and you can tell because he has a neat beard AND a big diamond earring, so there you go. Kurt Russell plays Kurt Russell, which is fine. Realized something I’d never realized before: that necessary space with the big stage and the dining room and the three-story high space through which people tumble - they don’t exist on ships. There’s a dining room, and there’s a theater. No one puts a big theater in the dining room.

Here’s another sound from 1974. I’ve put the others, and many more, in the 70s section, here.


Can’t hardly contain their delight at that one, can they? Vengeance is mine, saith the Hiss! All the news reports are quite remarkable in tone. The Labour party in Great Britain is described as Moderate, for example. Every top story is about Nixon. The drumbeat is incessant.

The tape from which I took this story starts after the quote. Remember, this is 1974:



Hmm? Well, “Senator Buckley” was this fellow, older brother of William F. Buckley. The comment caused sufficient stir to make it on that reliable barometer of cultural impact, a Neil Young record cover.


Finally, a Country-Western Bud ad. Sounds a bit like Elvis, don’t you think?



















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