Watched the pre-season Vikes game with the Giant Swede and the Crazy Uke. There we were in our accustomed chairs saying the accustomed things and having the traditional accoutrements, but of course it wasn’t serious. Pre-season game-watching is just practice. It eases you into it. Nothing’s at stake, so emotions are not engaged as much. You feel more like some Roman nobleman watching the executions at the Coliseum on a day when the common criminals are being dispatched; you don’t really pay close attention. It’s a light social event. You may drift out and discuss politics in the hallway during the third batch of criminals, even if the announcer is talking about how they’re desperate murderers from the Syrian provinces.

That’s really stupid, you say. I expected better. It’s not the Coliseum. It’s the Flavian Amphitheater. The Coliseum name was appended after the erection of an enormous statue of Nero, and refers to the gilded image.

Did it really, though? Yes. Although "gilded" might not be right, because acksually it was bronze. Also:

Shortly after Nero's death in AD 68, the Emperor Vespasian added a radiate crown and renamed it Colossus Solis, after the Roman sun god Sol.

The whole Sol Invictus thing is an odd part of Roman religion. We got all these gods, let’s toss in another who’s completely unrelated tied to a celestial object. But Sol was a Roman god from the git-go, and while he never seemed integrated into the Roman pantheon, he persisted, even getting integrated into the Mithras cult.

Which, in other words, makes Uhuru’s comments at the end of the Roman Star Trek episode a source of amusement for scholars of Roman religion. Spick and Kirk and McCoy up on the bridge, wondering why the Romans down there were worshipping the sun, and she says “you don’t understand, they’re talking about the Son of God,” something that probably made Roddenberry and all the atheist Trek-bros go all Rumpelstiltskin. But it was a nice moment.


Around 128, Emperor Hadrian ordered the statue moved to just northwest of the Colosseum in order to create space for the Temple of Venus and Roma. It was moved by the architect Decrianus with the use of 24 elephants. Emperor Commodus converted it into a statue of himself as Hercules by replacing the head

Well, he would, wouldn’t he.

but after his death it was restored, and so it remained.

The statue disappeared sometime afterwards, likely toppled by an earthquake or destroyed during the Sack of Rome, although some sources indicate the statue may have remained standing as late as the 7th century AD. Today, the only remnants of the statue are some concrete blocks that once made up the foundation of its marble pedestal.

I gotcher Ozymandus right here, Nero.

Anyway, the Vikings lost.


"The primitive passions of the people of the soil." Will Harben, the author of the source materual, wrote abou the people of Norther George, according to his bio. I love this: "In 1889, Harben wrote his first bestseller, White Marie, a story of a white girl raised in slavery in the American South.  After the publication of this novel, he moved his family to New York City." See ya! I'm outta here. I'll write about you, though,

Sure, they look like a couple of farmers:

“It is sufficient to say that it is to be supervised James Cruze.” Well, it had better be, because you don’t have any talent attached to it yet.

This one was put in turnaround as well, it seems. No record of it appears in anyone’s credit listings.




This one is a perfect example of why I do the Black & White World feature. It’s not about reviewing a movie; who cares what I think. It’s about the lost faces and places, the things that were taken for granted at the time, and strike modern eyes as different.

It’s an interesting little movie about a kid who's a habitual liar. The wolf-crier. His parents despair. He witnesses a murder, and that leads to disbelieve and complications. That’s not why we’re here. It’s the old view of New York.

New York was in bad shape.

It’s like they lost the war. Bombed out. Full of rubble.

There's our hero, bounding over a busted wall on the roof:

This is where the poor kids play.

Oh, we should note the actors: Della Street, in doughy mode . . .

She's married to Charles Foster Kane’s manservant.

This shot of a drugstore is interesting; they kept one brand, and blacked out all the others. Covered up all the names.

It's fun to poke around current New York, and find the locations. I did find this synagogue, but I've misplaced it.

Or I just omitted it here to give you something to hunt? I won't say.

Folks in the 50s had all the modern appliances:

It's ceaselessly grey and depressing, a vision of New York as a tired place, past its prime, full of old buildings covered with soot, a place that bred the worst social ills. Tear it down! Level it all!

Big modern projects standing alone in empty fields, that's the ticket!

It ends in night . . .

And pulls back to show the great Gotham in need of a Batsignal.

One more thing:

Really? Indeed:

Most notably, he served as the animation model and provided the voice for the title role in Peter Pan (1953). He received an Academy Juvenile Award for outstanding performance in two feature films released in 1949, for his roles in So Dear to My Heart and The Window.

In the mid-1950s, Driscoll's acting career began to decline, and he turned primarily to guest appearances on anthology TV series. He became addicted to narcotics and was sentenced to prison for illicit drug use.

After his release, he focused his attention on the avant-garde art scene.

In ill health due to his substance abuse, and with his funds depleted, his body was discovered on March 30, 1968, in an abandoned building in the East Village of Manhattan.

If you know that going in, it makes the whole thing worse.




That'll do! See you around.




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