Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hillbillies Everywhere: Abundant—And Proliferating

An American family of hillbillies from the Ozarks?

No, a Danish family of hillbillies from Copenhagen.

This hysterical yet revolting photograph depicts a July 2011 gathering of the family of a Danish blogger. The blogger shall remain unidentified—but she works in Copenhagen’s National Gallery and blogs about life in Copenhagen. The blogger, contrary to all clear evidence, considers herself to be educated and sophisticated, surely an alarming prospect for anyone that stumbles upon her blog.

I happened upon the Dane’s blog while following a trail of vicious anti-Roman Catholic news articles that had appeared in the European press last year.

The Danish blogger added her own vile anti-Catholic ranting to the stew, writing a dumbfounding and frightening “essay” about the Roman Catholic Church that was one of the most hate-filled and ignorant things I have ever come across on the worldwide web.

The post that followed the anti-Catholic rant on the Dane’s blog—a post in which the authoress presented photographs of herself and her immediate family—explained everything.

Until firmly established otherwise, I must assume that the idiot blogger from Copenhagen crafted her breathtaking display of nonsense about the Roman Catholic Church while watching television, outdoors, with the other appalling members of her hillbilly family.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Passage To India

An outtake from David Lean's ravishing and masterful "A Passage To India".

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barry Lyndon

An outtake from Stanley Kubrick's ravishing, and deceptively complex, "Barry Lyndon", a film I have been fortunate enough to have seen on the wide screen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bad News From The Great White Way

Press releases containing bad news are generally released late on Friday afternoons, as persons experienced in public relations know that newspaper readership reaches its low point for the week on Saturdays.

The press release below was issued late yesterday afternoon, and has not yet received much attention, which is why I offer it in its entirety.


January 13, 2012, New York, New York 5:38 p.m. EST

Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization jointly announce a permanent halt in production of the long-awaited one-woman show, “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera”, which was expected to move into the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in June after the current Broadway production of “Death Of A Salesman” completes its scheduled run. Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization will no longer provide continued support for development of this Matt Gatens one-woman vehicle and have no plans to revisit the project in future. All persons associated with the production have been released from their contracts and commitments.

In development for the last three years, “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” has become involved in insurmountable legal entanglements that prohibit the production from moving forward.

Director Susan Stroman abandoned the show in March, citing “irreconcilable differences” with Mike Gatens, father of Matt Gatens. Mike Gatens had attempted to assert influence and control over “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” since the production’s inception, angering many persons associated with the show and causing some investors to withdraw their backing. Stroman’s abrupt departure led to the departures of numerous other personnel, leaving only Gatens himself, as of the date of production shutdown, the sole surviving member of the original creative team.

Last year, Gatens, in violation of his contract, and without informing Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization, entered—and won—a global beauty pageant, choosing to represent the nation of Venezuela. Numerous contractual personal appearance commitments required of the pageant winner by the organizers of the pageant have severely limited Gatens’s availability for rehearsals of “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera”. When Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization attempted to call Gatens back to work, pageant officials threatened to obtain an injunction against the “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” production unless Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization promptly and unconditionally released Gatens from his run-of-the-play contract.

Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization have done so today.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Berchtesgaden, Again

Wilhelm Keitel, Hermann Göring, Karl Dönitz, Heinrich Himmler and Martin Bormann at Berchtesgaden in 1943.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Two Cars Bought

After interminable hemming and hawing, Andrew and I have bought our second car. In fact, we bought two new cars today.

When we move into our new house on Saturday, we want to make sure we have two vehicles available to us. This is so because we will be living ten miles further from downtown, and ten and eleven miles away from other family members (Andrew and I will be living “out in the middle of nowhere”, according to Andrew’s mother).

Andrew and I have been car-shopping for months—and, until today, we were unable to make a firm decision what to buy.

The situation was so bad, we had become embarrassed to keep visiting the same dealerships over and over. In fact, things had arrived at the point at which Andrew’s father had started sending Alex with us on our car-shopping sprees, hoping that Alex might be able to jar us into making a decision.

The stratagem of sending Alex with us being unsuccessful, Andrew’s father took matters into his own hands this morning. During breakfast, he announced that he was taking us car-shopping today.

Indeed, Andrew’s father more or less made our choices for us—and conducted the negotiations, too.

We headed straight for the Volkswagen dealership, and made a beeline to the GTI models, with Andrew’s father taking the lead. His first words to us as soon as we arrived at the GTI models: “This model has a hatchback, so you can haul things when necessary. I would get the four-door model rather than the two-door model if I were you.”

Andrew and I looked at each other, and sheepishly shook our heads in an affirmative manner.

“I would get one with a shade of gray” were Andrew’s father’s next words—at which point Andrew and I decided we preferred the “Carbon Steel Gray Metallic” color to one of the other silver/gray/black shades available.

Once Andrew and I had settled upon the particular GTI we wanted to buy, we learned that we were not done.

“I would replace the Jetta with a new Passat” was Andrew’s father’s next announcement. “Do it now instead of waiting another two years.” He was referring to our 2004 Jetta, which Andrew’s parents had bought for Andrew when Andrew enrolled in law school.

Andrew and I had not planned on buying two new cars, but the idea made sense, and we started examining the Passat models in stock. We settled on a “Platinum Gray Metallic” model with black interior—after seriously considering a “Candy White” model, which we ultimately decided would be a poor color for getting through Minnesota winters.

Once our choices were complete, Andrew’s father smiled and said, “I am saving you the trouble of going through this exercise again two years from now. And you’ll get a better deal, buying two cars instead of one.”

I am confident we did get a good deal, although I am not qualified to know. We left everything to Andrew’s father. Andrew’s father stated terms, the dealership accepted the terms without modification, and dealership clerks immediately started taking down information necessary to register the cars in our names.

That was it. We were in and out of that dealership in fifty minutes, two cars bought, one car traded in, all necessary papers signed. We arrived back home at 10:30 a.m., our main business for the day complete.

There is only one thing left for us to do: Andrew and I must return to the dealership tomorrow morning to deliver a check, to deliver the Jetta, and to deliver title to the Jetta—and to pick up our new cars.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

96 Years Ago This Morning

Kaiser Wilhelm inspecting German troops on the Eastern Front on New Year's Day 1916.