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July 15, 2014



Cate Blanchett seems all right to me. I can see how Gwyneth Paltrow irritates people. Nancy Nall really can't stand her. But she's all right too. I just watch movies they're in, and couldn't care less about their personal lives.

I don't care for Kristin Stewart, however. Her claim to fame is Twilight. Not only is she one of the luckiest actresses in Hollywood, she has the personality of a bowl of mush.

"...Germany, Switzerland-- these are not places I understand at any deep level."

Do you think if you were born there or lived there as a child or youth, you'd understand it more?


Brandon: Well, yes. She was fantastic in Elizabeth. The best Queen Elizabeth ever. I wrote some more stuff about her where I said that but decided it was beside the point. But I am showing my age here when I say that the real movie star beauties were women like Ava Gardner and Lauren Bacall. The all-American girls of their time.
Yes, even though I speak the language and spent many years in Germany and Switzerland and know it in a cultural way, I can't imagine actually being a German or a Swiss. I don't understand the people themselves.
Oh, and then there were the Swedes: Garbo and Bergman. That kind of glamor no longer exists.


Traveling east by car, it has been fascinating how far east the locals consider themselves to be Far West. Western South Dakota (Black Hills, Badlands) clearly considers itself the ur-West. And if your idea of "west" is wrangling cattle and killing Indians, it probably is. So Far West is something else again -- except in the patches where it is not ...

Even western Minnesota and some of Iowa seem to think they are "west." I think them "central", but what do I know?

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