Okay, THIS WAS THE LAST good weekend. I’ve checked the weather and it’s going to be cool in a few days - next Friday will have a high of 49, which is one degree shy of 50 so you know what’s what. If we see 50 we figure there’s hope. When you get 40s you know the jig is up. But it was in the seventies and sixties this weekend, bright blue sky - no coat, people biking in shorts, general glee all around. I never sit outside and write in November. I am now.
On the other hand, Madness! Madness everywhere, it seems. And of course Madness Tomorrow. It’s odd to think that the entire election cycle we’ve endured might just be the slow ascent up the rollercoaster, and we’re just cresting the peak. The ride’s just starting.
Just a thought. All this news over the weekend: US Hacker Squad Elite Division ready to attack Russia if they contrude with the election, for example. Why, you’d think they were our most significant geopolitical opponent, or something. I did a podcast on Friday where all sorts of frustrations about my supposed motivations and desires boiled up and out and landed on our guest, who happens to be Rush Limbaugh’s brother, a guy I genuinely like. Disagreements aside. That’s the thing that I keep wanting to hammer: disagreements aside. I’ve had friends say some hard, harsh things because I can’t vote for someone I believe is temperamentally, emotionally, and intellectually unfit for the highest office in the land. BUT YOU HAVE TO!
No. I. Don’t. And if means I am cast out of this or that, I. Don't Care. And if you have different reasons for thinking something else, I understand. You may think I'm wrong. I may think you're wrong. I'm not going to cast you off or cut you out.
Unless you're a fargin' Illinois Nazi or a bloody Bolshie, but this is unlikely.
The picture above sums up a lot, doesn’t it? You can read whatever you like into it. The genius of Sundblom. One is full of passion and conviction; the other is serene and unmoved. It’s applicable across the spectrum. You don’t know if the old man is arguing for some outmoded idea that went out with ambergris futures, or whether he’s making an appeal to tradition against the young man’s belief that all must be washed away. You don’t know if the young man is hearing grand-dad go on about something they both believe, and is amused that the old duffer can still get so angered up about the issue. You don’t know which one you are and you don’t know if you’d like being either.
I remember the election of 2000; I remember what I had on the car stereo that season. A mixtape - well, mixdisc - that included the soundtrack to “Run Lola Run.” The trees were bare and it was wet and rainy. I would go home to a tiny new human who knew none of this. The old house. Jasper Dog. I remember how we watched the election results at the Giant Swede’s house, and the party broke up early because it seemed the results were in. Then they weren’t. 640 X 480 resolution TVs, rudimentary graphics compared to today, but still somehow the same - the same hues of blue and red, the same unblinking blondes sitting in front of a busy set, the same THIS JUST IN sense of jumbled events.
All a dress rehearsal for September 2001, in a way. What was our worry before that? Y2K bug. Little did we know we’d get a pas de deux of Black Swans. And they were lost from a flock that would wonder where they’d gone, and fly off to find them.
Oh, we’ll survive. I am not FLIGHT 93 or FEMA CAMPS FOR EVERYONE or SCOTUS WILL OUTLAW GOD or TRUMPITLER WILL CLOSE DOWN THE NYT - if anything, I am more worried about the termites in the foundation than the rabid bats in the attic. This is regrettable, but it is necessary. To quote what I have been quoting for years:
A note about this week: Hilariously hellish in its quantity of requirements. I have nine pieces due at work this week. NINE. It’s not unreasonable; as I’ve always said, if you can’t write two pieces a day for a daily newspaper you’ve no business in the business. But it means there’s going to be some lean days ahead. On the other hand - updates galore. I have prepared for this. The other day I wrote the Odds & Ends for next month, concerning an obscure 1910s cartoonist; it’s something I found while going through some old newspapers for a site on a different 1910s cartoonist.
How is that pronounced? Nineteen Tens? Does that sound right? No; we go from Oughts to Teens. But 1911 isn’t part of the Teens. It’s part of the Tens.
Here's something to keep in mind for the next 48 hours.
PSA: L is for lobbying! And that's good.
I've had these hanging around for a while, and I'd best get them out of the way because I'm due to go back soon for Christmas stuff. You can see the greenery of summer, and the delicious browns of Pride Shortening Brain Pie.
It's GAME TIME says the mark on the neck
And GAME TIME is evidently DEATH TIME, because the clown's eyes are either sewn together as part of some horrible ritual, or X'd out in the usual comic-strip indication that the person is dead.
Which is okay, because, clowns.
What could be more appropriate?
But it's not that movie. It's not the 1972 Redford movie, but a 1964 movie that promises more than it could possibly deliver.
Because of the censors.
Now, you can 't say this doesn't have promise.
Comedy? No. Cheap sex movie? Well . . .
Yes. Without nudity or sex. Just lots of insinuation and va-va-voom Monroe types wiggling and vamping. A Machiavellian campaign manager; an earnest candidate who gets drawn into a Web of Intrigue, all told in flashback. The framing device is a Senata Committee Hearing, held in a small closet:
Mamie Van Doren on the left; Robin Raymond as her Brassy Broad Attorney. You know what? Forget the whole thing. The best part is the credits, and its novel approach to listing the names.
I'm not saying it works, but it's different.
That's it - I have the feeling this week will be brisk. Refreshingly quick to read. Soooooooooo much work to do. Are you sympathetic? Of course not. You have work to do as well. So get to it!