Sunday, February 25, 2024

Smart Art (Eat, Drink, and Be Quarry Edition)


French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on this day in 1841 (he died in 1919.) Let's take a brief look at what's probably his most famous painting, along with a quote from someone who seems intent on combining his screen image with his passion for art:

For over thirty years I made periodic visits to Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party in a Washington museum, and stood before that magnificent masterpiece hour after hour, day after day, plotting ways to steal it.

--Edward G. Robinson

Robinson leaving the museum after a guard noticed him. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Quips and Quotations (Current Affairs Edition)


I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi. Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was free and safe once more. I hadn’t had a bite to eat since yesterday, so Jim he got out some corn-dodgers and buttermilk, and pork and cabbage and greens – there ain’t nothing in the world so good when it’s cooked right – and whilst I eat my supper we talked and had a good time. I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds, and so was Jim to get away from the swamp. We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.

--Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, first published on this day in 1885.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Greening of America


Since it's Black History Month, we should be reminded that along with a host of other problems they had to deal with in the first six or so decades of the 20th century, African-Americans had to be very careful when it came to taking a simple vacation. Many hotels and motels wouldn't let them stay the night. In fact, there were whole villages and towns (especially in the South) that wouldn't let them stay the night, at least not if they still wanted to be around in the morning. So to make sure that the black traveler seeking a break from their concerns didn't end up running into even bigger concerns, a Harlem African-American postal worker by the name of the Victor Hugo Green scrounged some money together in 1936 and began publishing his own travel guides, invariably titled The Negro Motorists Green Book or The Negro Travelers Green book, or more informally, as the books became more and more popular (allowing Green to retire early from the post office), the Green Book. These books listed a variety of business, as well as whole neighborhoods and towns, that could be counted on not to give a hard time to black travelers. The guides were put out annually for 28 years, finally ceasing publication upon passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. These days, African-Americans are free to rely on the same AAA triptiks as white folks, as well as in more recent years the Internet. All well and good, though don't be too surprised if in the near future something very much like the Green Book makes a...


Sunday, February 4, 2024

Graphic Grandeur (Spiraling Spirituality Edition)


Clay Bennett on the possible perils of mixing religion and politics.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Quips and Quotations (Footlights Forever Edition)



Many of the shows I danced in don't exist on film, but they do exist in the memories of those who were in the theater for that single moment in time. And nothing can replace that.

--Chita Rivera

Only in people's memories? Chita, darling, I know you're a Broadway legend and all that, but every Spider Woman must have her...


Did you catch what Katie Couric said at the end of that? I'd like to think even Little Miss Tuffet would stick around for these posterity-positive performances:



Thursday, January 25, 2024

Graphic Grandeur (America Faust Edition)


I'm just hoping the rest of the country doesn't complete the sale in November.

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Quips and Quotations (When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie Edition)



I try to find stories that I would think that everyone would find interesting, and just a good entertaining story, and then if I can find a story that has a raison d'etre behind it that I feel is important then that's the best for me.

--Norman Jewison, filmmaker

(I like all of the following movies, but see if you can guess which one is my personal favorite--Kirk):

The Cincinatti Kid (1965)

The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Jesus Christ, Superstar (1973)

Moonstruck (1987)