Although you may find me on Facebook until then.
Here’s your black and white “Indian head” test pattern of the week:
Mark Steyn writes:
The great survivor of Britain’s Profumo scandal died of cancer on Thursday, aged 70 and a fine looking woman in a way that her younger sallow hard-faced self never quite was. Mandy Rice-Davies was the tarty, assured, provincial teen who toppled a Conservative prime minister, Harold Macmillan, in the summer of 1963, and eventually his successor, Lord Home. The face of Britain’s protean sex scandal was her flatmate Christine Keeler, a more fragile beauty, but Mandy was its voice — the only one among the dramatis personae who seemed to be having a grand old time as the cameras clicked and the hacks barked. She provided almost all the memorable soundbites, commencing with her assertion that she was the Lady Hamilton de nos jours and continuing through to her scornful retort in court to the news that Lord Astor had denied sleeping with her: “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”
Eve Tushnet writes:
…the ones who recognize the name say, “I didn’t know she wrote poetry.” Shaidle is better known as a vitriolic right-wing Canadian blogger (I haven’t been able to read her site for a while; life’s too short) whose blog title, Five Feet of Fury, is truth in advertising.
So her younger self’s poems will come as a surprise: splintery, compassionate, and imagistic snapshots of celebrities, criminals, or artsy Catholic heroes like Flannery O’Connor. Here’s how Shaidle describes a rainstorm: “Skin’s prayed wet rosaries all day”—and you can see and feel them, the bead-sized dappling drops. Her work is allusive, rhythmic, and rich in spiritual insight. (Her compressed phrase, “those God-tossed well-coins/you call saints,” says more about abandonment to divine providence than a year of homilies.) It’s attuned to the spiritual lives of humiliated people, especially humiliated women: institutionalized, incarcerated, guilty, or shamed.
I admit I have a self-aggrandizing fantasy that my periodic reminders of the greatness of Shaidle’s poetry might somehow herd her back to her gentler muse. But she’s also the best contemporary poet I’ve read, and she deserves to be known for what she does best.
What can I say? 9/11 made me this way.
Although I was just as angry when I wrote those poems, and my other pre-9/11 stuff. My targets were different.
Why don’t I write poetry anymore?
For one thing, I quit smoking. That is the absolute truth. My brain chemistry changed.
Quitting drinking had no effect on my writing, but quitting smoking gave me writer’s block for months, and put my “poetry” function into a coma, which has only briefly shown signs of life in the years since then. (That’s why there are only two parts to this 3-parter. I quit smoking before I could finish, and I’ve long since lost the notes for that middle bit.)
Plus I “got over” (sort of) some of my “issues” — and as I say, I channeled my resentments etc to another target. And got older.
And writing poetry requires long periods of uninterrupted silence, and the free time (and irresponsibility) to deeply (and dangerously) indulge in that month’s/year’s obsession. I miss it sometimes but it is an unhealthy habit.
Eve Tushnet praised Lobotomy Magnificat back in 2007. It’s a review I treasure because she really “got” it.
Mostly: A lot of people see “compassion” in my poetry and other early writing that I simply don’t think is there. I think they’re seeing what they want to see. But whatever.
Thanks to the loyal 5FF reader who sent me the latest link. I don’t have a Google Alert for my name so I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.
Over at PJMedia, I look back at Rob Ford, Jian Ghomeshi and the Parliament Hill terror attack.
The tedious leftists at Vulture are sadly mistaken as usual.
“And speaking of trivializing, there is no more trivializing, over-rated, treatment of Hitler than Chaplin’s dimwitted, laboriously unfunny Great Dictator. Yes Chaplin made some funny movies, but when he tried his hands at politics Chaplin made a movie that did nothing but help Hitler because he made him seem like an unthreatening clown just at a time, 1940, when the world needed to take Hitler’s threat seriously.Yet Chaplin’s film makes it seem like Hitler was nothing but a harmless fool (like Chaplin, same mustache and all). And he made it at a time, during the Nazi-Soviet pact, when the world most needed to mobilize against Hitler’s threat. And yet Chaplin, to his eternal shame ended the film not with a call to oppose fascism, and its murderous hatred, but rather—because he was following the shameful Hitler-friendly Soviet line at the time—ended his film with a call for all workers in the world to lay down their arms—in other words to refuse to join the fight against fascism and Hitler.”
- Glenn Beck condemns the new Exodus movie
- Savage and Limbaugh predict Obama’s next move after Cuba
- Mark Levin is “an inch away” from quitting the GOP
Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt talk about the Sony hack and much more (Free audio.)
In its first year, PodcastOne was happy to snag six major brand advertisers. This year, it landed 36. Pattiz says he expects the podcast category to be worth $100 million next year, with PodcastOne taking the biggest share of it. It’s nowhere close to the $16 billion radio industry. But it might be the future of audio.
THE most terrifying thing in that movie wasn’t the trippy “ride” or the way the kids get punished.
It’s the sight of those four old people squeezed into one bed, doing nothing but eating and sleeping.
Hated that part as a kid and can barely write about it now without wanting to scream.
These fake “Ayn Rand” movie reviews are pretty funny, even though the New Yorker writer (obviously) doesn’t quite “get” Rand.
Bwa ha! Thanks, Ed Driscoll, for that neat blast from the (recent) past.
Mark Steyn: ‘Kathy Shaidle blames the lack of cojones at Sony less on Kim Jong-Un than on the grisly over-lawyering of American life’
Mark Steyn writes:
I made the point to Tommy that, for all the robust attitudinal expressions of American kick-assery, ultimately a liability culture trumps them and kills them. (…)
Your in-house counsel trumps artistic expression. As for the First Amendment, what’s the point of a constitutional protection saying the US government can’t prohibit Americans from seeing your movie if foreign governments can prohibit Americans from seeing your movie?
“I’m fat and I’m proud!”
Besides being fat, they also, for whatever reason, tend to dress rather eccentrically, in vintage hair and makeup.
Basically they are “Garcia” on Criminal Minds but real.
“Any day now,” I always think, “they’re gonna confess that they really hated being so fat and now they’re losing weight.”
And guess what?
IT HAPPENED TO ME: I’m a Body-Positive Feminist and I Had Weight Loss Surgery
But of course:
Ultimately, the same philosophy that allowed me to find peace with my fat body also allowed me to make the decision to have weight loss surgery.
Imagine wasting your life trying to embody a theory.