Benedick

A Force of Nature

By now you all know that Mickey Rooney is dead. I direct your attention to this fine obit in the N. Y. Times.

In the early 70s I saw him in a production of the English farce See How they Run at the Westport Country Playhouse. He was in his 50s, playing a young English flyer. If the casting wasn’t ideal, Mr Rooney fixed that problem by ignoring the play. He clearly didn’t know the lines or blocking; the rest of the cast, huddled on the opposite side of the stage, just as clearly hated him; but I remember it as being one of the funniest evenings I’ve ever spent in a theatre. By the end he was soaked in sweat, the buttons had popped on his shirt, his pants had split and the audience had laughed itself silly. I saw him again in Sugar Babies, three times, and if the show was past its first flush of youth and there were some episodes of planned corpseing, he was blissfully, outrageously low.

A giant talent seen in his youth when the world was young in this clip from Words and Music. He’s playing — ahem — Larry Hart. Tom Drake is Richard Rogers. Janet Leigh as Dorothy Rogers seems to be entirely shot from behind. They look like children playing at being grown-ups. And if we haven’t seen National Velvet I recommend it.

Where Will You Be In 2050?

February. Outside my study window.

Goldfinch in winter plumage outside my study window.

You know how it is when you think something and then you come across the same idea in print and you think: Finally! Someone gets it right?

This happened to me recently. The Global Warming thing. See? You’re rolling your eyes. I know. But why do we do this? We have it on reliable authority that our grandchildren are in deep shit – why collectively do we not seem to care?

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Why Is Mike Lee Such An Asshole?

I Have No Idea What This Is Supposed To MeanIt’s a question I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves at some point but I think it bears repeating: why is he such an asshole?

Was his brain starved of oxygen at some critical juncture? Is it all an elaborate joke and he’s really Abby Hoffman? I once spent six weeks in Salt Lake City so I’m something of an expert on all things Utahan and I see no rational explanation for him. If he’d been born in, say, Oregon then you might be able to point to some geographical factor like the misalignment of electromagnetic poles at work. Or a childhood spent too close to high-voltage power lines. But in my time at SLC I didn’t actually witness anyone out on the streets howling at the moon. Mind you, they did remove all the mail boxes from city streets after the Trade Center attack and in 2003 they still hadn’t been replaced. So there was that.

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MSNBC-in’ ya.

Doorman (2)

Snapped on the wall of a restaurant in the theatre district (ha!).

A man who loves men.

Just not in that way.

But who numbers hairdressers and cocksucking fags among his friends.

Don’t we all?

Empire

You can't come in.Jacob Adler, the great tragedian, performed in many European capitals. Of them all he declared the slums of London to be the worst he had ever seen. Worse than Russia or Paris, and worse than anything he would encounter in New York.

Dickens’s friend and colleague Henry Mayhew invented the oral history when he walked the streets of London asking its poor what work they did and how they managed to survive. He talked to children as young as four who lived off the farthings earned by scraping together small nosegays from the broken flowers dropped from the trays of older flower sellers, perhaps nine or eleven, in Covent Garden. In its uncut form his masterwork chronicles in infinite detail the lives of those considered not worth the reckoning. As Pax Britannica made a small coterie unimaginably wealthy their fellow citizens died in the street. But perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps the idea of of Empire that has infected certain societies at certain times demands the sacrifice of many so that some can believe themselves to be great. Ignoring the poor isn’t enough. They must be kicked aside. They must pay the price. The young must die in war.

Which brings me to This American Life.

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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Not Sarah Palin

This is a picture of pug puppies and a baby. At least, I think that’s what that is.

I don’t know if any of you watch Martin Bashir on a regular basis. We do because he can be funny and trenchant in about equal measure. And plus he’s not Chris Matthews. But yesterday, as you may already know, he suggested that someone should shit in Sarah Palin’s mouth.

This came about because she referred to…

You know what? I really can’t be bothered. No doubt he’ll either have to crawl or resign. I don’t know what he was thinking. Well, actually I do and if you have the patience to watch the video you’ll see the point he’s trying to make.

Trouble is: one can’t excoriate the former half-term governor for abusing a slavery metaphor then turn around and do the same thing yourself. Not unless you have the decency to get drunk first.

Video is here.

The Good Old Gays

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ONE HUNDRED PERCENT STRAIGHT.

The Daily Caller, home to all things bright and beautiful, just posted this piece about how the gheys have become like totally boring since they got a few civil rights and stuff. They were like so fun with their disco fans and Donna Summer and poppers and shit. But like now? You can’t even drive along Collins Ave with the top down screaming ‘Faggot!’ without some of the boys getting all riled up and pounding on your ass. And those boys are big. And muscly. And sweaty.

Speaking of which do you have any idea what it’s like trying to walk around Dupont Circle when you’re wearing your new Wrangler skinny jeans which are like awesome the way they hug your butt and like make your basket a real ‘case’ (lol) when all the old bald gheys keep scoping you out on account of how you totally look like a bottom? Even though you’re one hundred percent straight. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. That five o’clock shadow only took a week to grow. I’m more or less a bear. Or otter. Whatever. Jake Gyllenhall is so dreamy. Le sigh.

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