Lotsa Movies

Posted in Film on August 31st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: So far this long weekend, I’ve seen Open Range, Bend It Like Beckham (2nd time), Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, and Capturing the Friedmans. I’m trying to catch up on letters to be written, and a bit of sleep. I finally finished Eyes Wide Open: A Memoir of Stanley Kubrick, by Frederic Raphael, Oscar-winning screenwriter and author, who co-wrote the screenplay for Eyes Wide Shut with Stanley Kubrick. The book, published after Kubrick’s death, enraged his family, and apparently legions of fans, but I found it fascinating. This review sums it up quite well for me. More insight is available in this brief 1999 interview of Raphael.

I’m also frustrated about having registered on Sat morning for another hosting service for my site, but have yet to hear back from them with any instructions or information… 🙁

A Break In The Action, and Other Stuff

Posted in Pop Culture, Random Thoughts on August 26th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’m going to take Geoff’s lead, and take a few days off from blogging. That said, don’t be surprised if something turns up here within a day or two.

:: One of the great hot dog stands in NYC loves Al Franken. BTW, I like Al Franken, too.

:: Moose and Squirrel Go Digital! My favorite cartoons have always been those produced by Warner Bros, and I reported recently that a 4-DVD set of classic Looney Tunes will be released in October. Next to Bugs & Co., I loved the Jay Ward cartoons, led by Rocky and Bullwinkle, and including Mr Peabody and Sherman, Fractured Fairy Tales, George of the Jungle, Hoppity Hooper, and many other brilliant creations. I learned today that Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends: Season One is now available on DVD as well. Reviews I’ve found have been very favourable. Another item to add to the always lengthening wish list…

:: I forgot to mention that a highlight of the weekend in Calgary was visiting an old friend: dr T, aka Terry K, my first roommate in Edmonton. We met in residence in 1978, and shared an apartment from Dec 78, for about a year, until he moved on to bigger and better things. Terry and I played much gee-tar together “in those days”, and he still has the chops. I met his wonderful wife Bev (also a guitar player, of the classical variety), and their beautiful daughter, Nicole. I was amazed that he remembered the words to a song I wrote that year – dr T, I bow in your general direction!

The past two years have seen me re-establish contact with many important people from my past. I reconnected with my dear friend Cathy G last year in Winnipeg (hadn’t seen her since 1973 or so), and this past July, with dozens of old high school friends, most of whom I hadn’t seen since 1971. I hadn’t seen Terry since the early 80s. It’s nice to know that one can go home again, in the sense that true friendships last a lifetime.

Le Weekend, Zine Publishing

Posted in Film, Music, Pop Culture on August 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I returned from Calgary this morning, having attended bits of two days of the Blues and Roots Festival. Los Lobos, Richard Thompson and Solomon Burke were the acts I caught, all exceptional performances. Los Lobos rocks with the best, and began their set by inviting fans down from the stands in Burns Stadium (a baseball diamond) and onto the grass, right up to the stage. It made sense. They played with energy and conviction, and with smiles on their faces – they had fun. They closed with a great version of Mas Y Mas, and encored with a blistering take on Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl, a song which they may have now co-opted as their own. Thompson’s songs are powerful, and he weaves magic on his guitar. He performed one of his signature pieces, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, leaving me almost breathless as he played a solo that featured twists, turns and surprises not heard on the recording. Burke, the King of Rock ‘n’ Soul, surrounds himself with a great band, and is in true love with the audience – he hands out red roses to dozens of women while he sings, and each show ends as a big on-stage love-in. I learned from his harpist, Julia Cunningham, that their previous gig, in Beirut last Tuesday, was a great success. However, they were 35 hours in transit, arriving in Calgary on Friday quite exhausted, and without their luggage or instruments! Nonetheless, they played a great show for the last stop on their current tour.
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Blues and Roots Festival

Posted in Music on August 22nd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’m in Calgary, to attend two days of the Blues and Roots Festival, and visit a few old friends. Have a nice weekend.

Paul Newman is still HUD!

Posted in Miscellaneous on August 21st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I absolutely love it! I mentioned earlier that Fox News is suing Al Franken, one of my favorite comedians and political satirists, for using the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the subtitle of his new book, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look At The Right.” Now Paul Newman has joined in the discussion, with a short but brilliant op-ed piece in the NYTimes. Paul Newman is still HUD! (ID and PW: podbay) Full text of the editorial is below:
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Blackout Fallout, Astrology Sucks

Posted in Uncategorized on August 19th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Some interesting NYC bits from the recent Blackout of 2003.

    Amy Langfield describes being “On the last car of the Q Train between DeKalb and Atlantic” when the power went down last Thursday. Read as people fuss over a seven-month pregnant woman, who is eventually helped off the car by the NYPD as a couple of men yell, “I’m pregnant”, and “Me, too!”, in hopes of being helped off the subway car in advance of the other passengers.

    Farai Chideya, founder of Pop and Politics, initially thought she was responsible for bringing down the power grid in NYC by turning on her AC, and describes the “Top Ten Things to Do in a Blackout

    NYC bloggers Jenny and Fiona describe their lives at 4:11 pm on Thursday, Aug 14, in NYC, and what happened to them later that day.

:: Astrology has been debunked, according to a study published in the v10, n6-7, June-July 2003 issue of Journal of Consciousness Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by Imprint Academic in the UK. The authors of “Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi? “, Geoffrey Dean and Ivan W Kelly, concluded the following:

    Our concern in this article has been to measure the performance of astrology and astrologers. A large-scale test of time twins involving more than one hundred cognitive, behavioural, physical and other variables found no hint of support for the claims of astrology. Consequently, if astrologers could perform better than chance, this might support their claim that reading specifics from birth charts depends on psychic ability and a transcendent reality related to consciousness. But tests incomparably more powerful than those available to the ancients have failed to find effect sizes beyond those due to non-astrological factors such as statistical artifacts and inferential biases. The possibility that astrology might be relevant to consciousness and psi is not denied, but if psychic or spirit influences exist in astrology, they would seem to be very weak or very rare. Support for psychic claims seems unlikely.

Well, duh. The only astrologer who knows what he’s talking about is Lloyd Schumner Sr., anyway. Right? I would, however, like to experience some transcendent reality from time to time.

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