Well, we made it through another weekend!

I know that sounds odd, but the weekends are not my favorite part of the week. Friday, yes. Friday is the Night of Rewards. The rest after that is housework and yard work and watching the Vikings summon a dim, flickering memory of how to play football. Although that was fun; always is. The yard work consisted of planting grass seed and putting down the blankets, which gives me at least four weeks of pretending something is growing under there.

This meant another trip to Home Depot for stuff, including the bane of my life, Mulch. I do not know how much mulch I have bought over the last 20 years. At one point you have mulch and then you notice that you do not. At least we’re not in Mum Season yet, which is the wife’s last stand against winter.

And of course the floors. Vacuuming. I highly recommend the Dyson vacs, because the battery goes out just about when you tire of the chore. Well, that’s it for that, then! Nothing I can do. I washed the floors with the Swiffer WetJet, which isn’t the same as hands-and-knees, but on the other hand I don’t get down on my hands and knees to see if there is a slight coffee-drip mark on the floor, so it all works out.


They burned Tintin:

A book burning held by an Ontario francophone school board as an act of reconciliation with Indigenous people has received sharp condemnation from Canadian political leaders and the board itself now says it regrets its symbolic gesture.

Among them are classic titles, such as Tintin in America, which was withdrawn for its “negative portrayal of indigenous peoples and offending Aboriginal representation in the drawings.”

The Tintin books were a product of the era, and abound with stereotypes and caricatures. I thought they were ridiculous and wince-inducing when I read them in 1972. Those moments stood out as relics, the same way certain images in old animated cartoons stood out: man, they were really bad with that. It didn’t stop me from reading the rest of the pages, because for the most part, Tintin was absolutely wonderful.

But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Tintin in America is 89 years old, and perhaps might be spared from the fire because it is a record of attitudes at the time, and hence proof of the very thing deplored by the people who hate it. Eventually we’ll get to the point where people note that the movies of the past had racist stereotypes, and someone will say “oh yeah? Prove it.” And they can’t, because they made sure the evidence was burned. (“Flame Purificatied,” to use their term, which sounds like a 1930s commercial process for ensuring food safety.)

That assume anyone will ask them to prove it, which they won’t. Primary sources aren't important when you have personal stories about how you felt when you heard about something.

When you read of book-burning these days, you wonder if there was another alternative. Yes, yes, tone-policing, and all that. But no one said “let’s move it to a special room we call the Garden of Monsters, and require people to sign a paper that acknowledges the thoughts contained within may inflict violence.” That wouldn’t be ideal, of course - it would give the books a forbidden cachet. Might even make them more attractive. But what to do? You can’t just leave them on the shelf where anyone could find them, and confront a previous era’s plain ordinary ideas, sitting there, unchallenged. The past is full of these dangers. To say you can’t burn them all is defeatism. Of course you can't, but that doesn’t mean you can’t burn some, and hope the light encourages others to turn towards the flame and wonder what they could do to help.

The caricatures taint the entire work of Herge. Even when his characters are on the moon, you cannot escape the personality of the artist who committed offensive images to a piece of paper with a pen. He was Belgian; a colonialist sensibility informs the Eurocentric view, extending even into space. After all, it is the Balkan people of Syldavia who harness the atom, a technical feat Herge could have ascribed to the other nations he preferred to otherize as “exotic.” But he did not, and the choice speaks of the privilege he extends to the entire European continent.


A rather cramped and narrow sensibility, right there. You can see another continent, but it obviously is not participating. One could even say that the inclusion of Africa serves to exclude it, since it is clearly not the point of origin for the spacecraft.

There’s no reason to let children read Tintin. There’s no loss if they don’t. I mean, really: a boy, his dog, a world of danger and adventure, trials and dangers met with pluck and bravery - it's so laughably archaic it's surprising no one thought to burn them before.


I think there's two other authors in the suggested names.

C'mon, man: Paul Revere?



Every day, something new to learn. Like this guy’s existence:

It's a comedy, despute the studio's spinach name:

Most of what we know of the silents, he said, switching to the plural first-person to dilute his ignorance in a larger pool, concerns the top three names. After the greats follow the second tier, who have their own skills and charms, and their own momentary vogue.

How many could have reached the top-tier if they’d had more time or better pictures? How many were actually top-tier for a while?

This one concerns a fellow named Lupino Lane, who’s a rich layabout.

The Girl:

Styles do change, don’t they.

His officious butler tells him it’s Saturday, and hence time for his bath. We get a look at how the swells live:

Nice gag:

The maid walks in while he’s naked, and again, nice gag:

And . . . you suspect the is going to come, but you don’t, but you do.

Turns out he’s only rich because his uncle is sending him money, and he get a telegram that says the money’s cut off. They have to move! But how to get the piano out the door? Not enough room, so it must be dragged back to the window . . . anyway, watch this pratfall.

The piano goes out the window, and it promptly turns into a thrill comedy:

It’s an okay bit, but what comes next is quite good.

So who was he? Lupino Lane was Ida Lupino’s brother, and he had a long and successful career. Never top tier in comedies, but based on this you’d be happy to see him again next week at the theater.

About this:

That was a pseudonym. In 1926. the director couldn’t use his real name. Because he’d been screwed over once, twice, three times. William Goodrich was his father’s name.

You know him by another handle.


That will suffice! Now, as ever, the Matchbooks.





blog comments powered by Disqus