Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pop Song of the Week: "Mr. Bass Man"

The best musical dialogue of all time.

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Movie Song of the Week: "Siberia"

One of the few Cold War movies songs about the downside of the former Soviet Union. Or, if you prefer, a premature musical tribute to Vladimir Putin -- co-sung by Peter Lorre of all people!

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1. selva--forest; woods
2. selva pluvial--rainforest
3. selva tropical--rainforest
4. selva virgen--virgin forest

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Movie Quote of the Week

Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge.
--Scarlett Johansson, Lucy (2014)

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TV Quote of the Week

I read books. That's like the Internet but printed on paper.
--Sydney Rae White, Marley's Ghosts, "Episode Two"

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book of the Week

I have long enjoyed the writing of Stephanie Elizondo Griest but I would like to think that her latest book -- All the Agents and Saints -- is her best book yet -- perhaps because it was so ambitious but more likely because it was so angry. I found it hard to read the book without finding at least one item to be angry about -- and no, I'm not talking about bad grammar or misspelled words, I'm talking about the events Ms. Griest described in the book when writing during her various visits to the Mexican and Canadian border country. She wrote about a lot of things worth getting angry about -- ethnic discrimination, environmental racism, illegal drugs, unsolved murders, and so forth. As you might guess, she also wrote quite a bit about illegal immigration but even there she had a different take on the issue than most Hispanic apologists. As you might guess, she was not overly fond of our current president but she also didn't pretend that the problems on our southern border began on January 20, 2017.

My biggest problem with the book is that it made me want to hulk out and hit somebody -- preferably one of the many people responsible for the problems she described in her book. And as you might guess, that's not exactly a very productive strategy.

However, the book did teach me a lot I didn't know about the Mexican and Canadian borders. And the parallels Ms. Griest drew between the two borders I found most fascinating. In any event, knowing about a problem is all too often the first step in solving it.

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Monday, July 09, 2018

Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt

I had a good birthday celebration last week thanks to my mother and my youngest brother, but I'm finding it harder and harder to find time to write, and when I do write, I find it harder and harder to resist the temptation to sound like Dr. Greg House. And of course, it doesn't help that the last time I got out of the hospital, I thought quite seriously about buying a cane due to assorted health problems. Such problems have since been resolved but still...

On the bright side, I'm still employed.

I hope that all my loyal readers are enjoying good fortune as well.

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Friday, July 06, 2018

¡Feliz Cuatro de Julio!

Michelle Rodriguez and I want to wish a belated happy Fourth of July to all my loyal readers. I hope you all had a great holiday.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

¡Feliz Día del Padre!

Happy Father's Day to all my readers!

I hope you all are able to enjoy this holiday with your own fathers.

My father, unfortunately, is no longer with us but while he was alive, he inspired me in so many different ways that it seems futile for me to try and list them all.

For example, I once saw him working on a painting that looked much like the above illustration. When he asked him about it, he said that he had copied it from a picture -- and I'm guessing that the above illustration -- which comes from a famous book by Mexican architect Ignacio Marquina -- is the one he copied it from. To some people, that might not seem like much but it seemed obvious to me even when I was a child that it took a lot of effort for him to duplicate a picture like the above illustration so well that it looked like an original piece of work. And of course, my father's interest in things artistic eventually helped inspired my interest in the arts -- although, unlike him, I never seriously tried to copy an actual picture, much less create one from scratch.

Anyway, I am sorry that I never had a chance to question him more about his painting when he was alive but perhaps it is just as well. After all, some things are better left to the imagination.

Anyway, please enjoy the holiday.

(A repost in honor of my late father.)

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pop Song of the Week: "The Girls on Fox News"

Believe it or not, this song is not a satire. At least that's what songwriter Austin Cunningham said.

However, it is surprisingly catchy.

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Movie Song of the Week: "One Jump Ahead"

Who among us hasn't had a day like this during the last ten years?

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Movie Quote of the Week

He's wrong! It don't take much strength to pull a trigger, but try and get up every morning, day after day and work for a livin'! Let's see him try that! Then we'll see who's the REAL tough guy! The working man's the tough guy! Your father's the tough guy!
--Robert De Niro, A Bronx Tale (1993)

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TV Quote of the Week

A child tries; a man accomplishes.
--Hector Elizondo, Columbo, “A Case of Immunity”

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