Tuesday, July 30, 2019
The film Purple Rain makes soooooooooo much more sense if you assume that the mother is dead and is a ghost haunting his father.
I don't see another way to explain the profound level of derangement that Francis L. exhibits throughout the film, all the way to his attempted suicide (or suicide? the film isn't clear on this) near the end. I mean, Francis' uttered complaints toward his wife (played respectively by Clarence Williams III—better known to you perhaps as Linc Hays—and Olga Karlatos) are random and weird, mainly he seems to think she runs around on him and that she doesn't keep a clean house. His lines, according to the screenplay, are: "Listen to me! You come home when I say come home! You've got no business in the streets!" and then "You do what I say, do you hear me?! You've got to keep this place clean! You here, no place else!"
The derangement of Francis L. and his wife (unnamed in the film so far as I can tell)—to the point that I prefer watching the film with the assumption that she is actually a dead person—is but one of the things regarding this film that I often comment don't make any sense. I've commented often enough that my Mom asked me today, well, if it's such a bad movie, then why do you watch it?
This week, I spun it up on the old DVD machine because it was released 35 years ago July 27. So to some extent, I watch it regularly because of nostalgia. Because its music was life-altering for me. Because it is the vehicle that propelled Prince into orbit. Because the performance footage is still some of the best ever filmed. Because Prince died three years ago and I'll never forget.
That doesn't mean the story itself makes any sense at all.
Here are the items that stuck out to me as I enjoyed the film last night:
- The Kid is ALWAYS late to rehearsal.
- Apollonia is from NEW ORLEANS? NEW ORLEANS? And she's come to Minneapolis to make it? MINNEAPOLIS? Who is she, Mary Tyler Moore?
- The Kid never speaks to Morris. Not once.
- Francis L tells the kid that he has all of his music in his head. "I don't write them down," he says. "I don't have to. That's the difference between you and me." We never see The Kid notate any music anywhere in the movie. Nowhere. The Kid never puts pen to paper anywhere in the movie, not even to sign a check, much less to create a music manuscript.
- Billy Sparks, proprietor at First Avenue, has three acts and don’t need four, so one of ya’ll has got to go. What would you do in his position? I’d tell you that doesn’t make any fucking sense. A music venue needs many many many acts playing to keep the audience showing up. This is why bands tour. I’d invite bands from other towns to come in and play at your club, man, rather than trying to make your house bands compete so they can go from four to three so you can have a smaller take in the end. That is a business model that does not make sense.
- The film "Purple Rain" spends 21 seconds watching Apollonia applying for a job. 21 seconds. Why not extend the scene and let's watch her fill out her W-2s.
- The Kid is a terrible kisser.
- The Kid attacks shelves and shelves of home preserves. THESE PEOPLE HAD TIME TO GARDEN? WHEN? WHEN?
- "I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain." Then maybe let's cool down on the bitch-slapping your girlfriend, Kid.
- When Prince Basically Made The Time's Debut Album By Himself (Ultimate Prince)
Saturday, July 27, 2019
You may even disagree that Trump's comments are racist in tone. I think it is more difficult to agree that the President of the United States should be using the Bully Pulpit to attack and denigrate a specific congressional district just because he has a disagreement with its duly-elected representative. This is disgusting.
- Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall (Borowitz)
- Better to have a few rats than to be one (Baltimore Sun)
Friday, July 26, 2019
As it often happens, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow went the extra mile last night on reporting an ongoing story. I mean, you all have heard by now about the doctored presidential seal and how hilarious that was, yeah?
Rachel had the b-roll for the event itself, which was something called "Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action," which she refers to as a "right-wing youth group," which, if yinz know your history at all, is a rather terrifying turn of words as it stands. Anyway, you can go watch Maddow's treatment of this story here.
So, watching the thing, it occurred to me that another story got missed. Have a look:
Now, bear in mind, this entire introduction is astonishingly stupid. I keep saying that Trump does stuff like a guy who's a six-year-old who thinks that's what the Presidency is—the July 4 spectacle being the most prominent example. This AV nightmare also reflects that; it's a dark, militaristic nightmare of a piece meant to make this small idiot feel like Thor. But checkout the screen capture above.
Trump has emblazoned his name in huge red letters on top of the relatively tiny (un-fake) presidential seal.
We can be fairly sure this violates the official style guidelines on use of the seal, and we can be even more sure that this is an abomination. It elevates the man above the office. It is gauche and shitty. And it certainly tells you everything you need to know about how this asshole perceives the office and his role in it.
One of the largest problems with the Trump presidency is that he neither understands nor respects the office. I have never seen a clearer visual representation of this truth.
Digby sez: "The people need to keep up the pressure on their representatives. They are all going home for the August recess and they will be available to their constituents. If you have the ability to go and see them or contact their local offices to demand an impeachment inquiry, now is the time to do it."
- ‘Purple Rain’ Director Gets Deep About Working With Prince: ‘How Is It You Just Told My Life Story?’ (Variety)
- You Have a Moral Obligation to Claim Your $125 From Equifax (Slate)
- Liv Warfield To Drop New Prince-Inspired Song ‘Mantra’ (Ultimate Prince) (Coming Aug. 16)
Thursday, July 25, 2019
- The Case of Al Franken (The New Yorker) (Spoiler: He was railroaded.)
- Autopsy Offers Jarring New Details About the Death of a 16-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy (Texas Monthly)
- Meet the man who created the fake presidential seal — a former Republican fed up with Trump (The Washington Post)
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Friday, July 19, 2019
- How to Use 'Affect' Versus 'Effect' (Lifehacker)
- O.J. Simpson lashes out at Howard Stern, wonders what’s happening in America (New York Daily News)
- The Family’s Paul Peterson returns with a pair of new solo songs that sound a lot like Prince (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)
- Why Brittany Howard Put Alabama Shakes on Hold and Made a Wild Solo Album (Rolling Stone)
- The Fed's monetary policy prison (The Week)
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Hi. Britanny Howard has come out with a thing, and it is just as good as you'd expect. She's magical.
Bonus preview audio:
Album drops Sept. 20.
- Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It (Common Dreams)
- Little Richard Disavows the ‘Unnatural Affections’ of Homosexuality (Ebony)
Thursday, July 11, 2019
- The 1968 Peanuts Voice Actors: Then and Now (Voicechasers)
- The Greatest Songwriter You’ve Never Heard of Is Back (Slate)
- Kent man assaulted, allegedly hit person with burrito (Record-Courier)
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
- When Mingus met Mitchell (Jazz Journal)
- That time Frank Zappa considered running for president with H. Ross Perot as his veep (San Diego Tribune)
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
- The Rise of Non-Religious Americans is Occurring All Over the Country (The Friendly Atheist)
- Secret use of census info helped send Japanese Americans to internment camps in WWII (The Washington Post)
- Pentagon: July 4th Flyovers, Tank Displays And Performances Cost $1.2 Million (NPR)
- Conspiracy theory about slain DNC staffer was planted by Russian intelligence, report finds (NBC News)
Sunday, July 7, 2019
I have been a "cord cutter" for a long time. In its last iteration, my entertainment system relied on an over-the-air antenna and a Tivo with perhaps one or two streaming services. I have also been a big fan of a service called YouTube TV, which not only provides streaming but also offers live television and a sort of hybrid DVR/streaming service that works extremely well. That was as far off the grid as I could stand, and I enjoyed it.
But then my building cut a deal with Spectrum to put 100/100 Internet in our building with cable television. And I thought great, it'll save me $60 a month that I was spending on Internet. I hadn't, of course, calculated that once I had the service, I'd want DVR and premium channels as well. The package includes HBO, Showtime, Cooking Channel, and -- surprisingly to me the one that I am watching the most these days -- Turner Classic Movies.
Lately in the mornings I try to put C-SPAN at least in the background, but there's no Congress this week, so it's been MSNBC instead. As such, I caught something on Joy Reid's "A.M. Joy" yesterday that may make her show a weekend staple for me. It was fabulous.
Essentially, Reid had among her panel a person identified as a "Republican strategist." And this person referred to something called the "Democrat Party."
And Joy Reid CORRECTED HER.
And, apparently, it's not the first time. Here she is correcting a guest previously:
Everyone should do this. Everyone. Chris Matthews should. Rachel Maddow should. Thom Hartmann should (I believe I've heard him do this, in fact). Chuck Todd should. Nancy Pelosi should. Everyone who gives even a teeny tiny shit about the Democratic Party should take the time to correct this linguistic idiocy, each and every time.
It was a bit on the nose, too, that as I watched this happen yesterday, they were talking about Rep. Justin Amash's recent announcement that he is leaving the Republican Party while complaining about factional tribalism in American politics.
Because how can we possibly restore more civility to our civic matters when one of our major political parties regularly employs a known bullying technique of disparaging the opposition by withdrawing the respect to even call it by its proper name?
How can we even talk to each other when you insist on "Democrat Party?"
Dear Punditry: Do more than correct these troglodytes. Call them out. Ask them why they do it. Make them explain it. Shame the fuck out of them. Because every time a Democrat hears "Democrat Party" and blinks their eyes and allows it to shoot into the Jet Stream, it is a pinprick of a victory that your opponent did not earn. You know it's bullying. You know it's a flaming bag of shit on your porch.
Put a stop to it.
Be like Joy.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Maybe I'm just anthropomorphizing, but I think that turkey is in a panic.
Just in the time it took me to walk to my car, I've seen the bird dart across the parking lot a few times. He's pecking at the grass in front of the apartment, which is farther than I'd ever seen him venture before. The he darts back to the now razor-thing treeline and waits there as if any hiding there is possible.
I do not give this bird a week to live, and I feel bad about it, and there is nothing I can do.
I noticed the turkey maybe a month ago. He had a buddy as well, but this guy was clearly the grand-daddy, large enough that he made this human a little nervous. Turkeys are goofy-looking, but I would not put it past a full-grown one to be able to peck a person to at least some sort of treatable injury. I know this first-hand from the summer my family tried to raise a flock of them. They like to climb, and they like to peck.
One of the nicest amenities of my apartment has been this lush wooded area that has been my view. Well, about a month or so ago, capitalism began the process of taking that away from me. I'd hear them as early as 7 a.m. ripping trees out over there. Last week, I got back from a week out of town, and sure enough, they'd finished that stage of the project. Now only a faint treeline exists between my property and several acres of newly uncovered dirt where there used to be trees.
I've seen deer, I've heard foxes, and I've seen these turkeys, not to mention other wildlife. This was quite an active scene. I can't imagine how many birds alone had their entire ways of life disrupted because Sam Mustache needed to build a new industrial park. And this turkey. This poor panicked turkey. Were that I could take him in for a while. Have him crash on my futon until he gets back on his feet.
"In a truly good economy, helping the ducks cross the road safely would be a well-paying job." (A.B. Pryor)
So this guy is my new favorite YouTube car guy.
Isn't he wacky?
- 10 new places to eat and drink around Rochester (Democrat and Chronicle) (paywall)