imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, May 07, 2005
ONCE A REBEL, NOW A GIANT IN EDEN
|When he finally watched Rebel Without a Cause on the big screen, he realised that Dean had borrowed not only his clothes sense and lifestyle but some of his mannerisms too. "There's a shot of him standing against the wall. He is wearing the red jacket, the T-shirt, the Levis, the boots. He has one foot up against the wall and his arms are kind of crossed. That's exactly how I used to talk to people. I never saw Jimmy talking that way or in that pose before that."|
By the time I had my own all-consuming crush on James Dean, he was already dead. The only movie of his I had seen was "East of Eden" on tv, and even though I wasn't crazy about the movie, I was absolutely crazy about Dean.
The man behind James Dean's rebellion
[Frank] Mazzola was working as an extra, but had no idea who Dean was. "My first impression was that Jimmy was like a wild animal let out of a cage," he recalls. "He was very focused. He was telling people to back away and not to look at him and swearing a lot."
There is an irony in Mazzola calling Dean an animal. At that time, Mazzola, just 19, was a notorious figure in Los Angeles. As the head of a West Hollywood gang called the Athenians, he was involved in some of the worst street-fighting of the era. After one brutal battle, during a turf war with the Motorcycle Gang, Mazzola admits that he left four guys in hospital, two in a coma.
Director Nick Ray heard about Mazzola's street-fighting exploits and hired him as a consultant and actor on Deans next film, Rebel Without a Cause. "Ray gave me an office," Mazzola says, "and told me to go through the script and let him know if anything was phoney. He said that he wanted me to hang out with Jimmy and show him the kind of clothes we wore and the cars we drove."
"We got in the car and we went up Laurel Canyon. It was the most insane ride. I've driven cars fast, driven hot rods, but Jimmy just had his pedal to the metal. He was going round blind curves. If there had been cars there, we would have been dead. When we got to Mullholland Drive, we hit some dirt and the car started sliding. By the time it stopped, I could touch the edge of the mountain."
Mazzola was terrified by Dean's reckless driving. At the end of the journey, the relationship between the two men had changed. No longer was the young gang leader lording it over the East Coast actor. Mazzola realised he had met someone even more intense and driven than himself.
"Jimmy was a good athlete. He was going to do [the boxing movie] Somebody Up There Likes Me and I am sure he would have been better than Paul Newman," Mazzola says. "If Jimmy had lived, there probably wouldnt have been a Paul Newman because Newman took all of his parts. Somebody Up There.... and The Left-Handed Gun - they were films that Jimmy was going to do."
Dean's trick was to take his own neuroses and insecurities and feed them into his performances. When it came to playing troubled loners, nobody could match him: neither the muscular, swaggering Brando nor the edgy but effete Montgomery Clift.
Friday, May 06, 2005
RIK IS AMSTERDAM BOUND
Rik, our American blogger in Italy, will be taking a trip to Amsterdam.
"Do You Know What They Put on French Fries in Holland Instead of Ketchup?"
In a matter of hours, I shall board a plane in Venice that will whisk me away to the magical city of Amsterdam. Don't try to talk me out of it, I've already got my ticket.
Going to Amsterdam for the fries? These photos are from a company promoting Amsterdam tours.
|Smartshops like this one in Amsterdam sell hallucinogenic mushrooms and other natural products. These are also tolerated.|
|The ladies in Amsterdam's Red Light District really work their butts off.|
|Theatre complete with interesting water fountain outside. Live sex shows are offered here daily.|
|Dutch men love urinating outdoors. So the city of Amsterdam has setup many "urinoirs," like this concrete model.|
|Amsterdam's live and let live attitude makes it the most gay friendly city of the world.|
NEED A GOOD BOOK?
Interview with Brian C. Anderson, author of "South Park Conservatives"
[Q] One of the most intriguing possibilities touched on in the book is the potential for tension between the "South Park Conservatives", whose outlook on some social issues (like gay marriage) is much different than that of more Evangelical conservatives. Given that these two groups will likely be big forces in the GOP in the coming years (as well as being highly sought after for votes) how do you think this ideological tension over some cultural issues will resolve itself, if at all over the next few years?
[A] This tension is nothing new on the Right, though now that Republicans have the White House and Congress, it has sharpened. But my use of the term South Park conservative is pretty looseit basically amounts to someone whomay not be traditionally conservative on issues of censorship and popular culture, or even on some social issues, but who wants nothing to do with the politically correct, Nancy Pelosi, weak-on-fighting-terror Left. I think a lot of younger Americans fallinto this category. In speaking to a many right-of-center college kids for this book, I was surprised at how unconcerned they were with the gay marriage controversy. Few of them supported gay marriage, but most of them were supportive of the idea of civil unions. By sharp contrast, most were adamantly opposed to abortion. Id love to see a serious poll of college conservatives on these matters, to see if my anecdotal observations are backed up by further data.
I think one area where the tension you describe could lead to a break is on censorship. ...
Bulldogpundit's review of the book:
"South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias"
By Brian C. Anderson
Anderson has written the authoritative version of not only the overall "war" fought by conservatives to get their message out, but also details the the individual battles that shaped it. The retelling of these skirmishes is an terrific mixture ofresearch (the book is amazingly footnoted) and interviews with some of the "generals" and foot soldiers in the trenches who saw it with their own eyes. From Andrew Sullivan to Glenn Reynolds to David Horowitz to Jonah Goldberg - Anderson talks to them all. These interviews give the book a depth not usually seen in books this size (the book is about 200 pages long, which makes for a quick and easy read, and Anderson's writing style makes it a quite enjoyable one as well).
WHERE WILL THE BUFFALO ROAM?
Last year I read an article about how crowded the parks have become and how the massess have ruined them. So you can imagine how I cringed when I read Bill Croke's column.
Disney's Last Frontier
By Bill Croke
Greetings from Wyoming: A truly magnificent place of vast silvery sagebrush plains drained by rowdy rivers issuing from majestic purple mountains, and where the deer and the antelope play. Not to mention Mickey Mouse. The WaltDisney Company recently announced that it will start -- on a trial basis -- six Disney package tours to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the Jackson Hole region this summer. The mega-corporation's 2005 "Quest for the West" is part of its "Adventures by Disney" vacation concept that caters to families who may already be familiar with their theme-inspired Caribbean cruises. Thus Disney enters the so far small and locally driven Western eco-tourism market.
In reality, "the Park" is a wreck of old forest fire burns (from the big fire year of 1988), and chronically potholed and crumbling highways thanks to severe winters and heavy summer traffic that require constant road construction projects (there are three scheduled for this summer, one of those just outside the Park) that spawn large traffic jams. Did I mention occasional sewage spills? The public outdoor toilets at Old Faithful have been known to discharge excess effluent into the nearby Firehole River on busy summer weekends.
The Greenies want to keep Mickey Mouse out of the cathedral, of course, but the real question is why Disney would want to pursue this public relations disaster-in-the-making in this the 50th year of the founding of Walt Disney's iconic American theme park.
Not that the following has anything to do with the above ...
GOOFY GETS LUSTY
THE suits at Disney corporate communications are straining their mouse ears to hear more about Radar magazine's upcoming expose of the bad behavior of the costumed characters at Disneyland and Disney World. In the piece, titled "Wild Kingdom," Radar is set to air "tales of hard-drinking staff parties, cross-dressing and trying to get Cinderella in the sack that Walt himself would probably like to have cryogenically frozen," tattles our wag. We're told that one nervous nellie from corporate communications in Anaheim even called a local newsstand distributor and asked him to "set aside issues for Disney to buy" when the much-hyped comeback issue hits stands on May 24.
|Leave it to the Superficial (and Star Mag) to point out that Katie Holmes has some really gnarly hobbit feet.|
MORE BURKA BRIDE BILGE
As I posted the other day, as the details of Burka Bride's planned escape leak out like raw sewage, the story just gets worse and worse. Running away because John Boy wouldn't put out is childish. But to then cry RAPE!?? I don't think she's nuts or a mental case; instead, she's coming across as a spoiled brat who lived 32 years without acquiring adult coping skills.
Bolting bride Jennifer Wilbanks was chaste away by her fiancé's insistence on abstinence, friends of the sex-deprived couple claim.
"She told people the fact that she and [husband-to-be John Mason] were not having sex was upsetting," a friend of Wilbanks' told People magazine, which hits newsstands today.
Mason was once a "wild" guy who "dated a lot," his running pal Ted King said.
But he became a born-again virgin eschewing premarital sex five years ago after pledging himself to his Baptist faith, friends said.
"He's been saving himself for the right woman," Mason's friend Andy Parsons told the magazine.
Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday the runaway bride claimed to have been raped during her "kidnapping."
"She made accusations she had been sexually assaulted during the course of her abduction," Albuquerque Police Sgt. Trish Ahrensfield told reporters.
Wilbanks reportedly submitted to a rape exam even though investigators did not request one. She later recanted both the rape and kidnapping claims.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
I got rid of a cold … well, almost … and now I think I’m coming down with spring fever. I don’t want to do anything except laundry. So I did a couple of loads of “linens,” as my grandmother used to call sheets and towels, and I hung them out to dry. Of course, the draconian utility bills I’ve paid this year alone was all the inspiration I needed to dig out the clothespins and to tighten up those lines. To date this year, I’ve paid out $1,450.47 in gas and electric bills on a 6-room plus bath home. I’ve never kept the thermostat set very high … 65* … but I cut that back to 62*. Most days I refuse to turn on the furnace until nightfall. But today is the first nice day we’ve had in a while. Sunshine and possibly 60*, although I’m still waiting for that mercury to rise. I trudged out to the clothesline, and began hanging up the sheets. My neighbor was mowing his lawn so he stopped and we chatted over his white picket fence. He’s a single, bib overalls kinda guy. We rarely speak; I think he once said his name was Gary, but I can’t be certain. I filled him in on the history of his lovely little cottage, how his home used to be a crack house. (Our home is a classic example of arts & crafts architecture in desperate need of some classic remodeling.) We always thought it was ironic that in this neighborhood, where working cops and retired cops lived, there was a drug house right next door. They were a family made notorious when one of their relatives was involved with murdering a state trooper. Because they dealt drugs from their home, their house was under constant surveillance. We witnessed many no-knock searches on their home. Not too long ago, a relative of the family named Luigi was found naked in his apartment, knifed to death. The druggies lived there several years and then sold the house to a nice couple. Gary is the 4th neighbor in that home since we’ve lived here. Nice and quiet.
I have no interest in the news today. Iraq has a new government, the first democratically elected one in the Arab world? That's nice. A bomb went off at the British Embassy in New York City? Oh, dear. More gossip about the Bush twins? Yawn. I've no interest today cuz I'm coming down with spring fever.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005| |
The details of her premeditated deception continue to leak out.
SMOKING GOWN VS. JEN
Days before she disappeared, bolting bride Jennifer Wilbanks lied to her boss that she needed time off to fix her wedding dress, in an apparent effort to cover up plans she was about to flee the state, sources said yesterday.
The latest revelations could bolster a criminal case against Wilbanks, 32.
Authorities believe she planned the run from her impending wedding to John Mason, 32, that sparked a massive and costly three-day manhunt.
Cops have already confirmed that Wilbanks bought a Greyhound bus ticket out of town a week before she ran away.
She also arranged for a taxi to take her to the Atlanta bus terminal and cut her hair.
Meanwhile, Andrea Peyser writes a hilarious piece about the whole sordid mess.
BOOB OF A BRIDEGROOM GOSH-DARN HAPPY - & HE'S PLAYING IT TO THE JILT
JENNIFER Wilbanks hails from a slice of the South where 32-year-old never-married women are either insane, in prison or gay.
But while her mental fitness is currently up for debate, and her sexual orientation has not been road-tested, as her idiot fiancé has made sure to reveal, I'm beginning to believe something far more sinister is afoot in the state of Georgia.
There may be good reason why a pop-eyed femme fatale who's fairly long in the tooth, by Scarlett O'Hara standards, chose to flee from her marriage to a willing bridegroom who may not be the most brilliant buttercup in the bouquet, but nonetheless appears to possess the majority of his teeth.
Perhaps Jennifer and her hubby-not-to-be are far better suited for each other than meets the eye.
According to her fiance, they've never done "it": "We have not, you know, broken the sanctity of marriage yet, if that's the right way of putting it. In God's eye our relationship is still very pure . . . Very platonic relationship." To which DogMan had some choice comments: Does that mean she's a 32-year-old virgin? Who'd want a 32-year-old virgin?
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
MY LITERARY PALS
|Rodger Jacobs, who's already authored two books (here and here), wrote to say, New Trace stories at my blog and I've begun working on the Trace novel, "Bogart Sleeps Here."|
|Pat Hynes, at AnkleBitingPundits, is writing a crime novel: A Secret Service agent and a right-of-center blogger team up to solve the murder of a Supreme Court nominee and end up unraveling a far-reaching liberal conspiracy.|
|A good friend of mine, Sue Watkins, has written several books ... makes a decent living writing, too ... and has a new one due soon.|
CELEBRATING THE PAST
From the Dorothy Parker News:
SCOTT FITZ FANS UNITE!
We met some of the bolder members of the Scott Fitzgerald Society last month (the ones that wanted to play with us anyway). Out in California, writer Rodger Jacobs, who is not a member of their group, is spearheading an independent effort to get a street corner in Los Angeles named after Scott. It will be at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Hayworth Avenue. To that end, he has organized both a petition drive and a short fiction contest. He said in an email to the DPSNY:"We started an "F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood Short Fiction Competition"on April 5 to increase awareness of the project and to entice some angel investors. The press release was picked up left and right and published all over the web but, sadly, to date weve only had one submission and a good one at that but just one."
All of which got me thinking about the wonderful Dorothy Parker, who wrote such witticisms as "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" and (my personal favorite) "She ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B." I discovered The Dorothy Parker Society of New York. The DPSNY had a get-together at The Plaza in January and the DPSNY president got stuck with the check and is asking for donations. Nearly thirty people showed up and, according to the check, 34 drinks were consumed for a total bill of $547.94, including tax and Julio's tip of $85.20. Thirty-four drinks for 30 people?
Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table group of the 20s.
Algonquin Round Table
The period that followed the end of World War I was one of gaiety and optimism, and it sparked a new era of creativity in American culture. Surely one of the most profound -- and outrageous -- influences on the times was the group of a dozen or so tastemakers who lunched together at New York Citys Algonquin Hotel. For more than a decade they met daily and came to be known as the Algonquin Round Table. With members such as writers Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross (founder of THE NEW YORKER) and Robert Benchley; columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Heywood Broun, and Brouns wife Ruth Hale; critic Alexander Woollcott; comedian Harpo Marx; and playwrights George S. Kaufman, Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber, and Robert Sherwood, the Round Table embodied an era and changed forever the face of American humor.
It all began with an afternoon roast of the NEW YORK TIMES drama critic, Alexander Wollcott. A number of writers met up at the Algonquin Hotel on 44th street and had such a good time thatthe event was repeated the next day, and the day after that, until the lunch table at the Algonquin was established as a ritual.
Round Tabler Edna Ferber, who called them "The Poison Squad," wrote, "They were actually merciless if they disapproved. I have never encountered a more hard-bitten crew. But if they liked what you had done, they did say so publicly and whole-heartedly."
By 1925, the Round Table was famous. What had started as a private clique became a public amusement.
OOPS, SHE DID IT BEFORE!
She must be some catch for two guys to propose.
Bride Broke Off Engagement Before: Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks was engaged once before and broke it off, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter confirmed during a press conference Monday evening.
THE SUPERFICIAL: Jack Osbourne makes the news lie: I don't want to insinuate that Jack Osbourne is out of shape or a lumpy potato or anything, but I'm about 100% sure that the "veteran Thai kickboxer" was either paid to throw the fight, made up by the Associated Press, or simply an 8-year old girl.
ACE OF SPADES on Live-Blogging the Bus With My Sister: Okay, I'm probably going to burn in hell for this ... I will, to the extent possible, keep the focus on Rosie O'Donnell's inability to act, her embarassing performance, etc., and keep way from actually making fun of the mentally handicapped. Although, I'm afraid, there's going to be some overlap; her performance is, after all, a (clumsy, talentless, Emmy-bating) attempt to portray the mentally challenged.
BREAKUP BABE, who's wrapped up with book rewrites, is normal: Not that you'd know it from how little I post these days, but things are never boring around here. That's because the minute I get bored I cook up some drama!
Pat has another blog, Silver Age Comics!: It occured to me that my musings on the political scene might cast doubt on my credibility as a comic book fan, so I have started Silver Age Comics, a blog that is dedicated to the comics published from 1955-1970. I'll still have occasional comic-related posts here, but over there I'll feel free to do more extensive analysis. I've posted a reasonably exhaustive look at the Martian Manhunter's 102-issue run in Detective, and have a doozy of a post upcoming on the rise of scientofascism in DC Comics.
FACT OF THE DAY: TV's long-running soap saga 'Dallas' finally ends today in 1991. Apart from the famous 'who shot JR?' plotline and the infamous 'it was all a dream' plotline (to explain a character's death and resurrection), the show has also bizarrely been credited with the end of communism in Romania as the populace began to yearn for the opulent lifestyles enjoyed by the show's characters.
Monday, May 02, 2005
BLOGGING ON THE DELIGHTS OF ITALY
Enjoying a plate of tortellini al balsamico.
Rik, my favorite American in Italy ... okay, the only one I know (of) ... is eating and drinking his way through Italy and then blogging on the delights later. Check out his photos!
Bologna: A Veritable Gastronomical Utopia
Though certainly not as famous as other Italian cities such as Rome, Milan or Florence, Bologna has quite a bit to offer the wayward traveler, not the least of which are the culinary delights which have made the city famous, at least in Italy. In Italy, the city is so famous for it's good food that the Italians have honored it with a nickname "Bologna, la Grassa", which means simply "Bologna the Fat".
Most of the popular Italian dishes you are familiar with originated in Bologna; tortellini, Spaghetti, Lasagna, mortadella, etc.
The mention of mortadella reminded me of the 1971 Sophia Loren movie La Mortadella.
No, this picture is NOT part of the story.
But imagine the field trips with this class!
Parents can't sit in on sex-ed classes
The policy states that parents are welcome to visit their child's classroom with permission from school administrators. The policy says, "Classroom visits and conferences by parents and other persons in the school community are encouraged."
Not this time.
Brian Edwards, a county schools spokesman, said the parents' presence at the sex-ed classes would have a "chilling effect on the educational process."
"If you're in a classroom and you want to have a frank discussion among your peers, with whom you've developed trust, and you're going to have Johnny Smith's mother sitting in the corner, you're not going to be as honest," he said.
Parents who are concerned about the new curriculum because they think it favors a homosexual agenda and encourages promiscuity said keeping them out of the classroom when the new sex-ed curriculum is being taught is "a big mistake."
"There isn't anything in the school curriculum that parents should not be able to go and hear for themselves," said Michelle Turner, president of Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum (CRC). "If the school feels that parents shouldn't be in the classroom, then that's a red flag for parents."
IMPULSIVE OR PLANNED?
POLICE UNVEIL BRIDE PROBE
Georgia cops yesterday warned runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks they'll slap her with a felony charge if they find out she planned her escape with a bus ticket to freedom purchased in advance.
Investigators were looking into reports that the 32-year-old nurse had bought her ticket a week in advance under an assumed name in her hometown of Gainesville, about 40 miles from Duluth.
A Greyhound spokeswoman confirmed that the bus company had been helping with the investigation, but refused to comment on when Wilbanks bought her ticket or if it was one-way.
Wilbanks, who cut her hair short while on the road, told investigators she had at least $140 on her when she left Georgia on Tuesday night.
[Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny] Porter said he was considering two charges: the misdemeanor of making a false report of a crime, or the felony of lying to public officials. The latter carries a five-year jail term.
"If it was premediated, I'm going to tend toward prosecution. If it was panic and spur of the moment, I'm going to tend away from it," he said.
And now for those wedding bill blues ...
FLEE-ANCÉE IS NOW A REGISTRY OFFENDER
More than $10,000 worth of presents had already been purchased by friends and relatives of Wilbanks and fiancé John Mason before the bride vanished from her hometown of Duluth, Ga.
Wilbanks was registered to receive l7 different nonstick baking pans, as well as several fancy cookery books.
She also had asked for and was to receive 12 sets of the coveted Lenox Solitaire line of dinnerware, costing $1,548.
The Georgia jilter also had a craving for beautiful Waterford crystal.
Her friends obliged by purchasing a sparkling Lismore pitcher for $225.
The reception was to be held at the exclusive Atlanta Athletic Club in The Carnegie Way building.
The 10-story building showcases a rooftop dancing area as a major draw in the hot Atlanta summers.
The club accepts only members who have been invited to join by those who already belong. A special "legacy" admission is available to those whose parents are members.
A local chef in the area estimated that banquets at the club cost at least $100 a head.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
HOME TOWN NEWS
Corning Inc.CEO Wendell Weeks
Weeks is only the third non-Houghton to run the business. Just an aside ... I think Weeks looks like Steve Doocy on Fox.
New Corning Inc. CEO sees potential in biophotonics
CORNING It was 1985 and Wendell Weeks, a junior manager at Corning Glass Works, was packing up his desk.
After spending two years at the company, it was a time of opportunity for the young man. He applied and was accepted to Harvard's Business School, the premier school of the day.
Weeks' heart skipped a beat after being told that the boss - CEO Jamie Houghton - wanted to see him before he left.
Houghton, who said he had been watching Weeks work, made a simple request.
"'I'd like to help you when you go away to school,'" Weeks recalls Houghton saying. "And all I ask for is your hand that says that you will come back to Corning."
Weeks shook Houghton's hand and accepted the charge. Two years later Weeks was back at Corning - graduate degree in hand - as corporate business development manager.
Fast forward 18 years and 11 promotions, and Weeks, now 45, is sitting in the big office at Corning Headquarters discussing the company's newest venture, biophotonics.
|Jennifer Wilbanks, the Georgia runaway bride, is escorted by police through the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Saturday, April 30, 2005. Wilbanks first told police she had been kidnapped. She later confessed that she got cold feet regarding her wedding and that's why she vanished for several days.(AP Photo/Joe)|
I heard on Fox News that 32-year-old Jennifer Wilbanks had purchased her bus ticket back on April 19th, under a false name, which would mean premeditation. However, this was the only reference I found online. Did she plan to run? Did she buy the ticket as an out ... just in case? What it does say is that she had doubts/fears for a while and said nothing to anyone. My biggest beef with this whole mess is that she LIED about being kidnapped. She made a false report. Does the fact that she's a white middle-class female mean she got special treatment?
Jennifer Wilbanks Drama Begins - Ends With Calls To 911
Additionally, John Mason has now confirmed to Fox News that Jennifer did buy her own bus ticket on April 19th using the name Wendy Mason for the transaction and also cut her own hair prior to her leaving the state.
Nurse G didn't run away.