The Human Jungle starring Herbert Lom

Posted in Moving pictures on September 27th, 2012 by bill

Herbert was a dashing young man, it seems

I just now read that Herbert Lom has died. This comes as something of a surprise, as I had no idea he was still alive. Herbert was 95 for Chrissakes!

Most of us remember him as (Chief) Inspector Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies — in which role he was magnificent — but he had a long and busy career. Not only did he appear in many movies and TV shows, but, according to The Wikipedia,

Lom wrote two historical novels, one on the playwright Christopher Marlowe (Enter a Spy: The Double Life of Christopher Marlowe, 1971) and another on the French Revolution (Dr. Guillotin: The Eccentric Exploits of an Early Scientist, 1992).

Quite the accomplished fellow. Thanks to The Jazz Butcher, I have long been vaguely aware that Lom was in something called The Human Jungle, but I had never seen a second of it. Internets to the rescue!

I read the news today

Posted in Whatever Else on September 14th, 2012 by bill

Today I did something I rarely do anymore: I bought and read an actual newspaper, like with ink and everything. In this case it was the Oakland Tribune, no one’s idea of a Pulitzer contender, and yet somehow I managed to learn several things that have escaped my attention among all the data pouring out of the internet:

  • Both the Giants and the A’s are in position to make the playoffs, meaning that another Bay Bridge World Series is not out of the question. If this comes to pass, I’m 90% sure that there will be another big earthquake in the Bay Area. Be prepared. (I think it would be hilarious if something happened to the new bridge they’ve been working on for the last 23 years. I’m not saying I’m wishing for it. I just think it would be funny.)
  • The marketing gimmick dreamed up for Michael Chabon’s new novel Telegraph Avenue — temporarily transforming Diesel Books on College Ave. into a “record store” (really a book store with some records in the middle) — was successful enough to garner front-page coverage in the Trib. And good for it, or them, or him, or whatever; you’re not going to hear me complaining about anything that goes right for the publishing biz these days.
  • 12 planters in Montclair Village are being spruced up with new mosaics. This is the kind of nugget I usually glean from local “paper” the Montclarion, which appears weekly on my doorstep whether I want it or not.
  • Amazon.com wil start collecting sales tax on purchases made in California on Saturday. Oddly enough Amazon hasn’t used this fact to try and goose me into making unwise purchases this week; maybe they’re trying to pretend it isn’t happening?
  • Apparently there is some kind of trouble happening in the Middle East. This whole kerfluffle is causing me to rethink the release of my next feature film, The Buddha Is a Big Fat Fuck.

Some random Bowie thoughts

Posted in Because he's David Bowie, that's why on September 10th, 2012 by bill

Guess who?

For some time now I’ve been looking forward to the day when Bowieism will officially be recognized as a viable option when it comes to choice of religion. (None of the presently available ones really suits me; if push came to shove I’d probably check the box for “agnostic,” unsatisfying as that might be.)

But I suppose it will only happen after David is gone, and I’m in no hurry for that. Although he doesn’t seem inclined to give us any more music at this point (or to ever again update his website, for that matter), I hope he enjoys a good, long, healthy retirement. The prospect of a planet without David Bowie on it is not one that I relish.

Of course, Bowieism would require accepting the fact that God recorded “The Laughing Gnome,” made albums like Tonight and Never Let Me Down, and let Hunt Sales sing in Tin Machine. But compare these with some of the things other gods are guilty of. War, famine, pestilence, the existence of evil in the world — are these things not worse than that disco version of “John, I’m Only Dancing”?

Much as some people judge others based on their feelings about Jesus, Allah, or JHVH, a person’s attitude toward Bowie can change my opinion of them for better or worse. Now not everyone who loves Bowie is a mensch; and not everyone who doesn’t is a fool; I’m just saying that all things being equal, I am much more likely to get along with the Bowieist than the non-Bowieist.

At this very moment I am listening to “TVC15″ and hearing some vocal harmonies on the right channel that I never noticed before. I must have heard this song hundreds of times. Of course I can be a little dense but still…remarkable when you keep finding new things in the seemingly familiar…that is Art, my friends.