I'm reading Michael Moore's book and feeling glummer and glummer. This is not a fun read. It's hard, what he says. After all, where do we have to go, we Americans? This is our country, and it's just been taken away from us. We have managed, most of us, to find shelter, but what is our national purpose at this point? More wars? More poverty? More racism?
Moore's harrowing account of his mother's death just about did me in. How could people be so callous toward his mother, and toward him, when they were in such trouble? He talks about the encouragement of all kinds of meanness and cruelty among the middle Americans where he comes from, and it's very distressing to think about. He mentions how beating up on kids was so routine as not even to be discussed except in terms of how good it was for their character.
The townspeople were vile to the anti-Vietnam protesters in Madison, where Terry and I were in the 60's, and hospital personnel refused to treat people coming into the emergency rooms who had been beaten up by the cops. I think again about how vulnerable I felt then to the waves of hatred directed at us in the university community from everyday people. It was awful to feel that way when we were young and in our own country. And this was one of the big reasons we left in '71, not to return until '85. Moore brings all those unwelcome memories back.
But enough. let's look at some pix instead:
Sarah of Adventures in Mediocrity has a posting on bumper stickers and other messages on automobile rear ends. Here is our car:
A friend gave us that sticker, because those are Terry's initials. Paulo's is our favorite Italian restaurant on the island and is run by a true temperamental chef from Emilia Romagna. He keeps threatening to leave for New York City or back to Italy. For years he has been making this threat, so I guess we are pretty safe in assuming he will stick around.
This pretty butterfly has been gathering nectar from the oregano blossoms. I don't know what it's called.
This purple orchid was here when we moved in. I have one big pot of it plus the plant that is blossoming now that grows on a native fern in the backyard. This flower is radiant. Be sure to look at the enlargement.
I see that the New York Review of Books is trying to boost their readership with porn. Since we live in a porn-saturated society, I enjoy avoiding porn when I can. What do you think? Is this porn sufficiently high class and "artistic" to earn the label of "erotica?" Wells Towers little moralistic tales are good, though.
nybooks NY Review of Books Three new stories by Wells Tower, with paintings by John Currin http://j.mp/pLBeZ9
Correction: After reflection, I think both the stories and the pictures are repulsive.
Furthermore, the nudge and wink at the supposedly sophisticated NYRB readership puts me off. Check out that Norman Rockwell style of porn. And the stories are similarly ridiculous in their hyperrealism and ludicrousness. Meh!
Gertrude Atherton's novel, Black Oxen, was made into a silent film, which is quite fascinating to watch. Clara Bow appears in it as the original flapper of the movies. I like the music someone added, too. Like the novel, this is not great art, but there is something fresh about it even so. Parts of the film have been lost, alas.
A mysterious woman appears.
Clara Bow as the Flapper makes a scene in a restaurant.
Zero people showed up for my computer class, so I get the message. I walked into the classroom, and a social worker there said, "Oh, you have a class? I didn't know about it." At the front desk, the woman said, "No one has signed up for your class." This is something the social worker at the transition facility should have seen to. I went in the back to the supervisor's office. He was not there, and no one seemed to know where he was. Am I getting a message? This is the first class I was supposed to teach to people coming out of prison.
I am not naive, and I know what is going on. One of these days I might level about it, but not yet.