Retail is suffering, we're told, because there’s overcapacity. I would like to note that the majority of these suffering chains offer women’s clothing. Wet Seal, Bebe, Express, and so on - endless floor space and a billion hangers aimed at one portion of the market. Any fool could see it was overdone. Meanwhile, I can’t buy one fargin’ pair of pants that fit me.
Went to Banana Republic (The Gap for people who have tired of color) and tried to find a pair of black slacks. The waistlines start at 30. “You could go online,” said the clerk. Great idea! That’s exactly why I got in my car and drove here. So I could go online and wait and discover they didn’t fit and mail them back. You nailed it.
How about this shirt, do you have it in small?
“We had one, but it’s gone. But you can”
Yes, yes, I know. Off to Macy’s, where there are approximately 9,000 pairs of Dockers, and not one had my size. I got something larger that was Slim Fit, and it was a bit tight. Had I gained weight? Perhaps, but the 29 at the Gap was fine. I hadn’t bought it because the shins were tight, as is the style, if one is an art director in New York City wearing black glasses as an accessory, and acting all smart and sharp at the office but always going home to a small apartment and crying over takeout food.
I ended up buying the Macy’s pants and two ties, which had been marked down from $59 to $9. Of course, they had never been $59. That price exists only to make you feel better about what you eventually pay. There is a moment in time where everything at Macy’s is full price; probably 9:00 - 9:01 Tuesday morning. Then it’s sale, Sale, SALE! EVERYTHING IS 40% OFF! TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 20% IF YOU USE YOUR CARD! GET FIVE DOLLARS CASH BACK WHEN YOU STAND ON ONE LEG!
It’s a trial, always a trial, and makes me realize why I like grocery shopping.
Well, I got a cheap shirt out of the trip. From the Ryan Seacrest Collection. The nice lady at the cash register said “he has his hands in so many things! And they're so nice. He has good taste.”
I said I think he just licensed his name, and probably left all the design to other people.”
“No, do you think so? I think he probably approves of them, wouldn’t you say?”
I had an image of Ryan Seacrest standing with his hands crossed over his chest, tapping his foot impatiently, shouting AWFUL or LOVE IT as designs were tossed on the table in front of him.
“Yes, of course.”
I checked Penneys before I left to see what ridiculous configuration of shirt-sale they had today - two for one? Second shirt for a dollar? Buy one, get the second for half the price of half the price? At least they had my size in everything I didn’t want to buy, so there’s that.
. . . is on hiatus for the week.
The last of the batch, and the most . . . transgressive!
It’s a movie about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Right away, we know he deserved it. Look at this guy:
His wonderful story:
Many historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as "the man with the iron heart". He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and murders. He helped organise Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance. He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces which traveled in the wake of the German armies and murdered over two million people, including 1.3 million Jews, by mass shooting and gassing.
It’s a brilliant move, his introduction: he rants in German, and all the assembled Czechs speak English. He comes across as a ranting cruel lunatic:
Let's put his shrieking tantrum in gif form:
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, an actual German who was “strongly anti-Nazi,” and “often portrayed Nazis on screen.” He was also in Casablanca, briefly. Work dried up after the war was won.
Boy, you’d love to see more of this fellow, right? Build up a sloshing reservoir of loathing so we can see him die like a dog?
Alas, he gets popped offscreen. The movie follows one of the assassins and gives it all that wartime noir look:
It's Brian Donlevy. He's not that interesting. The look of the movie, however, is very interesting.
I processed this one a bit to give it a painterly quality:
Director: Fritz Lang. Author: Bertold Brecht..
Odd casting choice for the noble, friendly Czech doctor:
Walter Brennan, of all people.
Here’s the real star of the picture:
Alexander Granach, playing a Gestapo investigator. He’s bigger than everything, and the worst sort of Nazi - intelligent, amused by human foible, mercurial, theatrical, possessed of a certain horrible charisma. He’s the Wo Fat of the movie.
So what’s it about? The hero trying to give himself up to spare the people from reprisal. He has to be exonerated by the movie, and the collateral damage minimized. Eventually it's ingenious and satisfying, but that's for you to discover should you ever watch it. I'm here for the art of the shot:
Man, don’t you hate vicious babies?
Inspirational credits at the end:
That was 1943.
What really happened was too horrible for drama.
Beginning on 10 June, all males over the age of 16 in the villages of Lidice and Ležáky were murdered. All the women in Ležáky were also murdered.
All but four of the women from Lidice were deported immediately to Ravensbrück concentration camp (four were pregnant – their unborn babies were forcibly aborted at the same hospital where Heydrich had died and the women were then sent to the concentration camp). Some children were chosen for Germanization, and 81 were killed in gas vans at the Chełmno extermination camp. Both towns were burned and Lidice's ruins were leveled. At least 1,300 people were massacred after Heydrich's death.
The movie has a happy ending.
That'll do for today! Don't miss my MONDAY newspaper column! Just click on the Star. You know: The big green Startribune Star.
Just two matches today, for reasons too insane and detailed to mention. Okay, since you asked: There are only four more Grocery matchbooks scheduled for 2017, and I could do two for two weeks or three for one and one for the next.
You can see the difficulties I face putting this site together.