Viewing blog entries in category: Celebrity
Forgive me I'm out of practice. I haven't written much here or anywhere in the last few years. I blame it on Prozac. My desire or need to express myself out loud, in words, has been stifled. I'm just not that inspired, compelled, or motivated. I think my open-ended drug prescription has been a prescription for mild numbing of my emotions and a physical laziness which makes keeping it all inside less taxing. It is the price I pay to feel safer and saner. But don't think for a second that the thought treadmill has slowed down; it hasn't. It just doesn't want to be witnessed in action as of late. Today is an exception.
It has been almost a week since famed travel and food anthropologist Anthony Bourdain took his last breath—by choice. Or was it really a choice? That is debatable—at another time, in a separate blog entry, with a different state of mind.
Anthony's suicide ruffled my dormant feathers, stirred my still pot of stagnant soup stock—reviving it to a vibrant simmer. I haven't been able to brush-aside thoughts of what he meant to me: how he inspired me and changed my perceptions of foodways, foreign cultures, hospitality, and what it means to being a gracious guest. (Wish I had that last one down before travelling to Europe in the early 90's. What a ninny I was back then. What is the common phrase? Oh yes: an ignorant, arrogant, spoiled American.) I'm not the only person to share these sentiments, of course. Millions caught the Bourdain virus. We became a collective of foodies, chefs, travel enthusiasts, social scientists and common curious folks who loved and respected this snarky, creative, talented, hilarious, insightful genius.
Like many, my love of all things Bourdain began with his best selling book, Kitchen Confidential. It was the starting point. It captured my imagination and forever cemented my space in his global fandom. I thought, "Who is this guy? What insight! What wit! He became my intellectual hero—along with the late Christopher Hitchens. Both had chutzpah and charisma, could hold court, make one laugh out loud and cheer with utter gratitude to both for having the kahunas to unapologetically articulate human truths with such clarity and originality. Although Bourdain chose the destination and context, we were always involved in the adventure.
I can't claim to know why Anthony Bourdain decided to leave a party he was hosting. Even those closest to him are left with questions without answers. And so we'll keeping searching for these answers until we become comfortable with ambiguity—if we ever do. For his family and friends, this may take years—hindered by what ifs and guilt and possibly even anger—at him for taking his life and at themselves for failing to prevent this tragedy. The French detective in charge of the case stated he thinks it was an impulsive act—not premeditated—as if to ease the burden of the survivors who failed to see the warning signs. But truly, all suicides are premeditated. Perhaps no note is left behind, no weapon of choice purchased weeks in advance. But my reasonable mind informs me that all suicides have a modicum of preparation—of forethought. What evidence do I have to substantiate this claim in the case of Bourdain's suicide? Two things: he wanted to die in France and he wanted Eric Ripert to be the one to find his lifeless body.
France is where it all began. Tony fell in love with food and adventure while on holiday there as a child. It was with his first taste of a fresh-from-the-water oyster: "It tasted of seawater...of brine and flesh...of the future." "...I'd learned something. Viscerally, instinctively, spiritually—even in some small way sexually—and there was no turning back. The genie was out of the bottle. My life as a cook, and as a chef had begun." (From the opening pages of Kitchen Confidential.) And as where it all began for Tony, it also ended.
Why Eric Ripert? For one he is French—able to navigate France's laws and mores surrounding death procedures. Secondly, he was Tony's best friend—his confidant, his colleague, the person he trusted the most who loved him unconditionally—the one person whom he felt would protect his dignity and privacy after his death. Believing this so, makes me feel slightly less troubled knowing Anthony was not alone. Not really. He was loved, cherished, respected and best of all understood by at least one other person. Is that enough to keep one living? Apparently not. But it does offer my mind some peace. Comforts me. Calms me. Lets the feathers relax again and the soup return to a stillness—for now.
Miss you. x
This is what I think happened.
Moz hires Steyn to be his bodyguard or security staff member. Moz requests that David Tseng be removed from the queue line at the Santa Ana gig as he has imposed a lifelong ban on David attending his concerts. In his classic hyperbolic style, Morrissey and/or the tour manger, adds/asks Steyn, either while alone or in the presence of other security team members, if David "could get hurt" and "could be gotten rid of." Then they discussed how to get his home address. I think these things may have been stated. But I don't think they were meant to be taken seriously. Was Steyn lost to the humor—not aware that this type of melodramatic trash talk is par for the course in the world of Morrissey?
Steyn is fired soon after. He attributes his termination to David Tseng NOT being bruised and battered at his hands. He contacts the LAPD. They say he doesn't have a case. But a report is filed for the record. He contacts a lawyer and proceeds to file a wrongful termination suit. TMZ gets wind of it. That brings us to the present.
What I see happening next is the case will find its way to the courtroom. Witnesses will be called. A jury will decide if Steyn was wrongfully terminated. If the witnesses are deemed credible and it can be shown that Morrissey and his management team did ask Steyn to rough up David and that his refusal most probably led to him being terminated, then Steyn will win the case and damages will be awarded by the court. Also criminal charges could be filed next. But if Steyn loses the civil suit, Moz could turn around and counter-sue—file a defamation of character suit. This could potentially go on for years. How long will we keep talking about it on Solo?
So why did Morrissey post Steyn's real name and alias on TTY yesterday? Because Morrissey has poor judgment and the impulse control of a three year old. He feels embarrassed and angry and wants revenge. I don't think he fears criminal prosecution. He thinks HE has been wronged. He may have joked about David being hurt. But, according to him, it should/would have been clearly understood by anyone with have a brain that he was not seriously wishing bodily harm to come to David. And this lack of intellect is precisely why Steyn was let go. Not because he refused to act as a henchman.
Nine films are vying for the Oscar for Best Picture. As of tonight, I have now seen all nine.
My 2014 Oscar Ballot
Which film will win? My guess is 12 Years a Slave. Which do I wish to win? Nebraska. Just saw this film tonight. What a wonderful story with characters that cement themselves into both mind and heart. The black and white cinematography, by Phedon Papamichae, is breathtaking—reminiscent of Gianni Di Venanz's cinematography in Fellini's 8 1/2.
Here are the nine nominated films listed in order of preference from most favored to least. What are each film's strengths? What are its weaknesses?
Click film name to listen to Slate's Spoiler podcast with my favorite film critic Dana Stevens. *Notes Cultural Gabfest podcast with Dana Stevens discussing film, rather than a spoiler podcast.
1. Nebraska*—Strengths? The cinematography is stunning—should win the Oscar for Best Cinematography. The characters are lovable, quirky, layered, and hilarious. Great story. Heartwarming. Great acting by all. June Squibb should win Best Supporting Actress. Weaknesses? None. Really, none.
2. Gravity—Strengths? Thrilling. Wonderful ride from beginning to end. Engaging and thought provoking. Bullock is fantastic. Alfonso Cuarón should win Oscar for Best Director. Weaknesses? Some religious undertones and themes were off putting to this atheist.
3. Her—Strengths? Current, relevant, and completely plausible storyline—believe it or not. Scarlet Johansson's character, Samantha, is both sexy and loveable—brilliant use of voice. Weaknesses? Ending. Would have been more interesting in my opinion if Samantha and Theodore had continued with their relationship rather than it ending.
4. Philomena*—Strengths? Steve Coogan and Judi Dench—both masters at their craft—give excellent performances and have wonderful onscreen chemistry. Interesting characters, storyline, and thought provoking themes. Weaknesses? Can't think of any.
5. 12 Years a Slave—Strengths? Heartwrenching and moving story. Brilliant performances by all. Devastating. You will cry at the end. Weaknesses? None.
6. Dallas Buyers Club*—Strengths? Great performances by Jared Leto and Mathew McConaghy. Leto should win Best Supporting Actor for his lovable and masterful depiction of a transsexual character with AIDS. McConaghy also lost a tremendous amount of weight. Gives best performance of his career. Should win the Oscar for Best Actor.
7. Captain Phillips—Strengths? First half hour. Loved it. As soon as the pirates board the ship the movie takes a turn for the worse. Weaknesses? Jerky camera. Irritating. Wanted to fast forward to the end—which is pretty good.
8. American Hustle*—Strengths? Bale. Great costume and set design. Amy Adams in low-cut dresses. Weaknesses? Too much flash and no heart. Predictable. Felt like I have seen this film before.
9. The Wolf of Wall Street—Strengths? None. Should not be on this list. Horrible film. Weaknesses? Lacks a single sympathetic character. No heart. Too many more to list.
There is no such thing as objectivity. Everything is a construct—constructed by subjects.
No one is capable of being completely objective. We all start with a subject—ourselves. Even in eastern philosophy—though they fervently deny there is such as thing as 'self'—a person cannot think, feel, make decisions, or critiques without the self being a part of the picture. All film, food, art, and music critics critique from a place of subjectivity. Even you do. You choose to read about certain bands and genres and ignore others. We cannot consume all the culture out there. Our ignorance prevents us from being 'objective.' How do you know what you are missing? You don't even know what you don't know, most of the time.
Scientists may conduct their research using objective methods—quantitative research. But even then, the subjectivity is never left outside of the lab. What theory will they test? What area of research? Who did they study under? How much funding do they have for this research? How many assistants will they have? So many variables influence their 'science.' Objectivity is a goal. Not an absolute.
As far as philosophy goes, the more I learn about the different traditions and philosophers the more I see just how subjective the whole thing is. Philosophers are almost always egotistical and self-absorbed. And they build upon the works of other egotistical and self-absorbed thinkers. Objective? Hardly. Once a branch in philosophy becomes objective, it leaves the philosophy department. All sciences and mathematics were once branches of philosophy. "I think therefore I am," claims to assert an objective truth about reality—from a subjective position. Perhaps logic, physics, and mathematics are more in line with objectivity. But bring the mathematician, logician, and physicist into picture, and you have now contaminated anything that was once potentially pure, with subjectivity.
Law, objective? Never. Law is a construct. Constructed by human subjects. It was not something discovered. Some a priori entity. Like Plato's Forms. Even the concept of 'human rights' is a construct. Animal rights? A construct. Justice? A construct. Fairness? Depends on who you are asking. All completely subjective—constructed by subjects. Interpreted by subjects. The beauty of the Constitution of the United States is that it is NOT objective at all. It is a living and breathing document that is capable of changing with the times as the society and her subjects change. Subjects will interpret its contents differently to suit their needs. Brilliant, isn't it?! A perfect subjective construct. Perhaps objectivity is overrated. Even an illusion.
Hater and lover are constructs.
Do haters hate themselves and so they project this hate upon a musical artist—Morrissey? They are misogynistic so they project misogyny onto Morrissey? They are uncomfortable with their own sexuality so they claim Morrissey is uncomfortable with his? This is a cop-out and seems to be a convenient way to dismiss all criticism. What kind of criticism is objective—enough? I know I am not projecting my feelings about myself onto Morrissey. Are the 'haters?' Perhaps some deranged haters online—somewhere are. But, I honesty don't see any of those types on this website, at all.
And as far as trolling goes, studies have shown that the notion of the bully bullying because he hates himself and projects this hate onto his victims is erroneous. Many bullies have very high self-esteems. Are actually narcissists. Even psychopaths. They are not projecting self-hate onto others. They are toying with someone else for pleasure. For fun. Because they like it. We want to believe that all haters hate themselves and are broken in some way. Not always the case. Not even often the case.
What does it mean when we say a person is a lover or a hater, anyhow?
'Hater' has lost meaning from overuse and misuse. A pejorative construct. Notice how its counterpart, 'lover,' is not a pejorative term? 'Lover' is sweet and positive and conjures up things like goodness and peace and beauty—all lovely things. I prefer the term sycophant instead of lover. Because truly that is a more accurate description of the obsessive fan who is projecting, in denial, and completely subjective. I think if you are going to label some fans as haters, you must label their opposites as 'sycophants'—not lovers.
Perception is a construct.
I would also suggest there are more 'lovers' here than 'haters.' Way more. And, I would argue if there is any projecting going on it is coming from that camp. Some of the comments and attitudes of the 'positive obsessives' are seriously problematic and three miles from reality. Pure subjectivity. And projection. Read the, Does Moz hate his female fans? thread. And Who is Tina Dehghani? Numerous heterosexual female fans, who claim to have read Morrissey's Autobiography, exhibit a complete denial of the misogynistic and homosexual content in the book. They don't WANT to believe those things. So they don't see them. Willful ignorance. That IS projecting a worldview, sexual orientation, values, etc., onto a person—Morrissey. He is what they want him to be. Not what he says he is or shows himself to be through his actions and comments in the press. It doesn't help that Morrissey has made it easier for his American hetero female fans to remain in their delusional states now that he has edited out the 'gay' parts from his book. Should he publish a special edition for his radical feminist fans so that they too don't have to struggle with cognitive dissonance? Edit out the misogynistic tidbits? Protect your fan base by protecting your image. If there would have been as much talk of the misogyny found in Autobiography, in the reviews and press, as there was of homosexuality, you better believe those misogynist parts would also have been absent in the US edition as well. But as we all know, sexism and misogyny are so pervasive and ingrained in our culture, that some—most—can't even see these things when they are staring them in the face. See those two previously mentioned threads for evidence to back this claim.
It is all a construct folks.
Morrissey is a construct. His fans are constructs. I am a construct. Fandom—is a construct. Morrissey will let you see what he wants you to see. Image. Damage control. It is hilarious. And kind of sad. But... brilliant. That cannot be denied. He knows his fans all too well. He created them after all, didn't he? Morrissey constructed his own fan base. Perhaps like no other.
Why do some of us 'fans' appear to focus more on psychoanalyzing the man rather than discussion his music? I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Moz's musical output has been slim pickings as of late. What is on offer to discuss? Not much. Certainly nothing new. Whereas we had a a 450 page book about THE MAN to dissect, analyze, speculate, critique. And all his comments in the press and statements on TTY—an endless supply of content to mull over. Of course many of us became armchair analysts. That was what we had to work with. The book revealed little about the music and much more about the person. Plus some of us are more fascinated with the persona of Moz than his music—at this point in his career. The song remains the same. How many times can we dissect a piece of music? Or lyrics? New fans can and will, of course. But for us long-term fans? Been there, done that. The music is static. The man is dynamic. Much more interesting to discuss, I think. But that is just me. Can we have both types of discussions here? I say yes, we can, and should.
I'd like to share some of my digital paintings with you. All of these were done using Photoshop CS4, along with some plugin filters.
From my Tilda Swinton series:
Tilda becomes a Picasso painting...
Tilda becomes a Van Gogh Painting...
From my James Franco series:
Franco the Thinker...
The Wizard of Oz...
From my Titanic series:
From my album covers series:
From my David series:
From my Wallflower series:
From my Casino series:
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards
Ceremony Aired January 12, 2014
My picks are in bold font. Winners are underlined.
Some categories I did not vote in.
Best Picture, Drama
12 Years a Slave
Paul Greengrass - Captain Phillips
Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne - Nebraska
David O. Russell - American Hustle
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Actor, Drama
Idris Elba - Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford - All Is Lost
Best Actress, Drama
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Judi Dench - Philomena
Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet - Labor Day
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale - American Hustle
Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac Inside - Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix - Her
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Julie Delpy - Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig - Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Enough Said
Meryl Streep - August: Osage County
Amy Adams - American Hustle
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
Daniel Brüel - Rush
Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
June Squibb - Nebraska
Foreign Language Film
The Great Beauty
Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Wind Rises
Best Television Series, Drama
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex
Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Parks and Recreation
Best Miniseries or Television Movie
American Horror Story: Coven
Beyond the Candelabra
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
The White Queen
Best Actor, Television Drama
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Michael Sheen - Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
James Spader - The Blacklist
Best Actress, Television Drama
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany - Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Kerry Washington - Scandal
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Best Actor, Television Comedy or Musical
Jason Bateman - Arrested Development
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Michael J. Fox - The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Best Actress, Television Comedy or Musical
Zooey Deschanel - New Girl
Lena Dunham Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation
Best Actor, Television Movie or Mini-Series
Matt Damon - Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas - Behind the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba - Luther
Al Pacino - Phil Spector
Best Actress, Television Movie or Mini-Series
Helena Bonham Carter - Burton and Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson - The White Queen
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren - Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss - Top of the Lake
Best Supporting Actor, Television Movie or Mini-Series
Josh Charles - The Good Wife
Rob Lowe - Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll - House of Cards
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
Best Supporting Actress, Television Movie or Mini-Series
Jacqueline Bisset - Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer - The White Queen
Hayden Panettiere Nashville
Monica Potter - Parenthood
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
That's right, Keanu Reeves is a psychopath as the character, Scott Favor, in Gus Van Sant's film, My Own Private Idaho. More on this in a bit. But first...
What do they call it when you view a movie again, many years later, and see it in a different light? Answer... proof that we can and do change. Our attitudes, perceptions, and values change over time. And this is a good thing. New information and evidence should have us reevaluating our positions. If not, what is the point of learning and growing as human beings? Of course, some of us learn to satisfy a craving. We are information junkies. We don't just crave information in order to grown and learn. We regard learning as intrinsically valuable and not just a means to an end.
I'll get to more on the concept, means to an end, in just a bit.
I watched My Own Private Idaho again, the other night. And it was truly like watching it for the first time. It felt like a new film. I don't remember feeling this
way about it the first time around—back in 1991.
It was so much better on this second viewing. I noticed how brilliant the cinematography, music, and direction are. I obviously have learned over time to notice such things. I have become an educated cinephile of sorts in these last twenty years, between viewings. I'm not just focused on plot and dialogue and character. Though these things are still important elements in film, of course. But I have a new awareness—a heightened sensitivity which has been fine-tuned over time.
Maybe, not surprisingly, I also viewed the characters in a different light—particularly Scott (Scottie) Favor. He now seems like a classic psychopath. Mike, Bob, and anyone else who crosses his path, are props in his play—means to an end. I probably failed to see this the first time around for two reasons. First, I was blinded by my lust for Keanu the man. Let's call it what it is—cult of personality syndrome. And secondly, I failed to see Scott's true nature due to my ignorance about psychopathology. I was first introduced to psychopathology in 1991—same year MOPI was released—via the book and film The Silence of the Lambs. And as brilliant as the character Hannibal Lecter is, he is NOT your typical psychopath. He sits at the far end of the spectrum—an extreme case, if you will. The typical psychopath is NOT a serial killer... or even a criminal. One percent of the population are psychopaths. And only twenty percent of the incarcerated are. No, you see, the common psychopath walks and lives amongst us.
Make no mistake, Scott Favor is a psychopath. He is charming, charismatic, fearless, intelligent, and manipulative... and cold as ice. His strained relationship with his father is not Dad's fault, but rather, the son's. He was born this way. Scottie is a user. He uses everyone he can in order to propel himself to where he wants to end up—at the top. People are just stepping stones. Even Carmella—his beautiful, elegant, and poised girlfriend—is just a prop in his carefully orchestrated plot. This scene towards the end of the film showcases this perfectly...
WATCH: Scene is at 8:37 - 12:27
Does seeing Keanu in this new light—as a psychopath—make me love him less? Hell no. I love him even more. Bring on the bad boys—the very, very bad boys! Kidding. Or am I?
Gus Van Sant—a brilliant auteur. With the inclusion of My Own Private Idaho, these are some of his films that I recommend...
Drugstore Cowboy (my favorite GVS film)
To Die For
Good Will Hunting
My print version is on its way. Should have it in a week or so. But in the meantime I am going to start reading it as an eBook on my tablet.
This is an ongoing post, updated regularly until I finish the book.
Let the reading begin...
Good morning. And indeed it is. After reading Moz's book in bed last night, I slept like a baby. Didn't want to put it down. But I knew I had a busy day up ahead.
This is going to sound cliche, but the book is a page turner. It really is. From page one I was fully engrossed in the text. Morrissey is a wonderful story teller. Nannie, Jackie, and all his family members read like interesting characters in a novel. Moz's imagery is affective and colorful. Bleak, quiet, dirty, desperate Manchester... no wonder Moz found friendship and amusement in small vinyl discs. There was nothing else to do. The city died after dark. Two channels on television. No other electronics to be found. There was music and books. And that's it. His childhood was so different from my own. But because of his ability to describe his experiences so effectively, I am able to empathize with and visualize his early years.
Moz eloquently and thoroughly reveals why he became a singer and not a guitarist or a pianist. He first fell in love with the words on the page and not the music via Record Song Book... "an expensive magazine that prints the lyrics of famous or bubbling songs of the month, and I practice with invented melodies on the songs that I haven't heard. It is only the singing voice, I decide, that tells us how things became how they are..."
Can't wait to read more tonight. I want to know what became of Mary once she moved to America. And Nannie. Did she settle nicely into her new home? Poor black cat. We can only hope that Minnie fed it. Alas Morrissey tells us it is highly unlikely.
Another great morning. Great read last night. Pages 50-1oo reveal a great deal about Moz's early sexual development. If the book ended here, I'd without any doubt conclude that he is in fact gay (not bi). But there are nearly 400 more pages to ingest. So we shall see.
Hmm. So, Morrissey announces on TTY : "Unfortunately, I am not homosexual. In technical fact, I am humasexual. I am attracted to humans. But, of course... not many."
Well this really muddies the waters, doesn't it? What's a girl to think now?
Woke up this morning with this beautiful passage still etched in my mind...
"The written word is an attempt at completeness when there is no one impatiently awaiting you in a dimly lit bedroom – awaiting your tales of the day, as the healing hands of someone who knew turn to you and touch you, and you lose yourself so completely in another that you are momentarily delivered from yourself. Whispering across the pillow comes a kind voice that might tell you how to get out of certain difficulties, from someone who might mercifully detach you from your complications. When there is no matching of lives, and we live on a strict diet of the self, the most intimate bond can be with the words that we write."
Last night I learned what became of Mary. Married, kids, frogs galore. But what happened between the years that she arrived in the US and got married? Why did she move there in the first place?
Jon Daley. Tragedy. So sad. Lots of loss and death in Moz's young life. Could this explain why he has walls erected? Perhaps.
"My own name is by now synonymous with the word ‘miserable’ in the press, so Johnny putters with ‘misery’ and playfully arrives at ‘misery mozzery’, which truncates to Moz, and I am classified ever after. I had originally decided to use only my surname because I couldn’t think of anyone else in music that had done so – although, of course, many had been known by just one name, but it hadn’t been their surname. Only classical composers were known by just their surnames, and this suited my mudlark temperament quite nicely."
I hope he doesn't mind being called Moz. That is how I refer to him 90% of the time.
Still waiting for my print book to arrive. By the time it gets here, I'll probably be finished with the eBook. I'm almost halfway finished now.
Yay! My book was in my PO Box this morning. Should I read the print version or keep reading it on my tablet? Hmm... I'll probably do both. I like being able to highlight text then copy it and email it to myself. Keeps me from having to type out my favorite passages. But I do love holding a paperback book. And... it is much easier to flip through the pages.
I'm halfway through the book. The Smiths dissolve with a whisper...
"At the close of the Strangeways sessions there took place a glut of meetings with accountants and lawyers at the Wool Hall Studio, and in the context of such, the Smiths breathed a last exhausted sigh, and folded. It happened as quickly and as unemotionally as this sentence took to describe it. No high-octane squabbles, no screams at midnight, no flying furniture, no one dragged head first into the snake-pit, no animated yelps from unused outbuildings (these would, of course, come eight years later, eight years too late, at the Smiths High Court trial). In 1987, at Roland Gardens, Johnny and I stood – he smiling, I not master but servant. Sing me to sleep|I’m tired, and I|I want to go to bed."
Welcome to America! Love Moz's humorous descriptions of his experiences in the US while touring during is early Solo years. Here are a couple examples...
"The Smiths and REM had come to light at roughly the same time, and, as a Sire Records executive had remarked, ‘It’s just a question of which of the two will explode in America first.’ As the Smiths choked to death on a chip, the REM rocket accelerated. Michael’s voice is a very cornfed John Denver sound, and in fact his real name is John."
"I am introduced to ‘the most famous football player in America – who loves you.’
‘Does he have a name?’ I ask, but suddenly this jockstrap hunk of studhorse has me in a crushed manful hug, into which I disappear like a pressed flower. Where, I wonder, am I? ‘Oh, I think Morrissey summed it all up perfectly when he said ...’ and at this point prime-time television’s Denis Leary bursts into mock tears – which is of course the punchline, and the loud audience laughter indicates understanding."
Love Moz's description of his time with Jake. He obviously was very much in love and happy as well.
This had me in stitches. I guess it all depends on who his biting wit is directed at...
"Siouxsie chooses Timi Yuro’s Interlude, and she pulls up at Hook End Manor recording studio in a black Mercedes. She is carrying her own microphone and she wants to get on with it minus any familiar chit-chat. In the event, she is a seasoned professional of exact run-throughs and topnotch precision. There is only one crack in the alabaster as she listens to her final take and softly asks me, ‘Are you sure it’s OK?’ It is the solitary moment when the Soviet Statue breathes. One can suddenly imagine real blood in Siouxsie’s veins – and yet, perhaps not."
I'm about to enter the courtroom...
Trudging slowly through the court case pages. Just when I think I will be able to come up for air... oh no!
Love the last hundred pages of the book. Moz is witty and playful. Almost happy, it seems. His description of his relationship with Tina Dehghani shows her to be loyal, considerate, non-demanding, intelligent, and good company. Passionate? Doesn't say. Obviously he can and does love both men AND women. Maybe just a few more men--or many--than women. Is it ever 50/50? Perhaps he desires men more in a physical and emotional, even intellectual sense. But he can clearly also relate to women and establish meaningful connections with them.
Moz is not a misogynist, as some have suggest. What man does not utter insensitive things every once in a while? Women are not innocent either. The street runs both ways. True misogyny is fueled by dogma and anger. Moz has no script and no rage against femaleness.
Some of Moz's comments can/may be interpreted as anti-Semitic. But I don't believe Moz harbors any real hate for Jews--or any group for that matter. He just doesn't filter what he says a great deal of the time. This is not always a bad thing. At least he is not vulgar--now that would be criminal.
I finished the book this afternoon. Enjoyed it very much. Well done Moz. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
This has been a re-commitment ceremony of sorts... this active listening and lyrics posting. In these last two weeks, I have listened to well over 200 Morrissey songs. My journey is now complete. So, what effect has it had upon my fandom, a friend recently asked? Well... I am going to give it a few days to marinate. And then I will let you know. Next Thursday, the 29th, I am going to see Morrissey 25: Live in Sedona. I plan to blog about my experience. Perhaps I will address the fandom question then.
In reverse order, Smiths' last album to Morrissey's latest...
Part II is albums The Queen is Dead - Strangeways, Here We Come. Smiths Part I. Moz albums Part I, Part II.
The Queen is Dead ~ August 21, 2013
Frankly Mr. Shankly
Fame, Fame, fatal Fame
It can play hideous tricks on the brain
I know It's Over
A hauntingly beautiful song.
It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
Over, over, over, over
One of my favorite Smiths songs. Clever, witty, and fun... a happy song?
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetry gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine
If you must write prose/poems
The words you use should be your own
Don't plagiarise or take "on loan"
Bigmouth Strikes Again
Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said I'd like to smash every tooth
In your head
Bigmouth strikes again
And I've got no right to take my place
With the Human race
The Boy With a Horn in His Side
Love this song... especially the yodeling.
The boy with the thorn in his side
Behind the hatred there lies
A murderous desire for love
There is a Light That Never Goes Out
One of the greatest love songs ever recorded.
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
(But then a strange fear gripped me and I
Just couldn't ask)
I'm not sure what happiness means
But I look in your eyes
And I know that it isn't there
So how can you call this a home
When you know it's a grave?
No heavenly choir
Not for me and not for you
The World Won't Listen ~ August 21, 2013
If I showed you the video footage I took of me singing and dancing to this back in 2000, you'd kill yourself laughing.
Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
IT SAYS NOTHING TO ME ABOUT MY LIFE
On the Leeds side-streets that you slip down
Provincial towns you jog 'round
Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ
One of my favorites. Playful. Fun.
Shyness is nice and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to
Spending warm Summer days indoors
Writing frightening verse
To a buck toothed girl in Luxembourg
Ask me, ask me, ask me
Because if it's not Love
Then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb,
the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb
That will bring us together
Nature is a language - can't you read ?
Shoplifters of the World
Learn to love me
Assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow and always
My only weakness is a list of crime
My only weakness is ... well, never mind, never mind
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go
Another personal favorite.
I know I'm unlovable
You don't have to tell me
I don't have much in my life
But take it - it's yours
I wear Black on the outside
'Cause Black is how I feel on the inside
And if I seem a little strange
Well, that's because I am
But I know that you would like me
If only you could see me
If only you could meet me
Half A Person
Call me morbid, call me pale
Do you have a vacancy for a back-scrubber?"
Sixteen, clumsy and shy
The story of my life
A sad fact widely known
The most impassionate song
To a lonely soul
Is so easily outgrown
But don't forget the songs
That made you smile
And the songs that made you cry
The passing of time
And all of its crimes
Is making me sad again
Yes, you're older now
And you're a clever swine
But they were the only ones
Who ever stood by you
The passing of time
Leaves empty lives
Waiting to be filled
And when you're dancing and laughing
And finally living
Hear my voice in your head
And think of me kindly
Everybody's clever nowadays
You are sleeping
You do not want to believe
Louder Than Bombs ~ August 21, 2013
Sheila Take a Bow
How can someone so young
Sing words so sad?
Boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear
Throw your homework onto the fire
Stretch Out and Wait
My second favorite Smiths song.
Nature must still find a way
So ignore all the codes of the day
Let your juvenile impulses sway
God, how sex implores you
To let yourself lose yourself
Stretch out and wait
Let your puny body, lie down, lie down
As we lie, you say
Will the world end in the night time?
(I really don't know)
Or will the world end in the day time?
(I really don't know)
Stretch out and wait
There is no debate, no debate, no debate
How can you consciously contemplate
When there's no debate, no debate?
Stretch out and wait
Strangeways, Here We Come ~ August 22, 2013
My favorite Smiths album. The first one I owned.
A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours
They said :
"There's too much caffeine
In your bloodstream
And a lack of real spice
In your life"
I Started Something Something I Couldn't Finish
I doused our friendly venture
With a hard-faced, three-word gesture
Hair brushed and parted typical me, typical me, typical me
I started something and now I'm not too sure
Death of a Disco Dancer
Love, peace and harmony?
But maybe in the next world
Girlfriend in a Coma
There were times when I could
Have "murdered" her
(But you know, I would hate
Anything to happen to her)
Let me whisper my last goodbyes
I know - IT'S SERIOUS
Stop Me if You Think You've Heard This One Before
I love Moz's lyrical narratives. This is a great one...
I still love you, oh, I still love you
...Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love
I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar
And the pain was enough to make
A shy, bald, Buddhist reflect
And plan a mass murder
Who said lied I'd to her ?
I was detained, I was restrained
And broke my spleen
And broke my knee
(and then he really laced into me)
Friday night in Out-patients
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Last night I dreamt
That somebody loved me
No hope, no harm
Just another false alarm
I've come to wish you an unhappy birthday
'Cause you're evil and you lie and if you should die
I may feel slightly sad but I won't cry
From the one you left behind
Paint a Vulgar Picture
The sycophantic slags all say :
"I knew him first, and I knew him well"
Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!
Re-evaluate the songs
What makes most people feel happy
Leads us headlong into harm
I Won't Share You
Probably a song that every single person who ever walked the planet can relate to. Simply beautful.
The note I wrote
As she read, she said
"Has the Perrier gone
Straight to my head
Or is life sick and cruel, instead ?"
Life tends to come and go
As long as you know
I won't share you
I'll see you somewhere
I'll see you sometime
I Keep Mine Hidden
I keep mine hidden
But it's so easy for you
Because you let yours flail
Into public view
Oscars Ballot 2013, Oscars 2012, Oscar Ballot 2012, In Bed With Oscar, Oscars 2011.
If it is in red, it is also my personal choice.
Best Picture ~ Argo
Best Director ~ Steven Spielberg
Best Actor ~ Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actress ~ Emmanuelle Riva
Best Supporting Actor ~ Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best Supporting Actress ~ Anne Hathaway
Best Foreign Language Film ~ Amour
Argo wins Best Picture! Yeah! Great film and deserving of the top honors. Too bad Affleck didn't win Best Director. He wasn't even nominated in this category. Idiots!
I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of Affleck, mostly behind the camera.
Best Director Oscar goes to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Arrgh. Don't like his films. The critics panned this film. And its religious themes kept me from even seeing it.
Best Actor goes to Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, of course. No one expected otherwise.
Best Actress goes to Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. Great film. Great performance. But I still think Emmanuelle Riva pulled off a more challenging and memorable role in Amour. Ah but it was in French. The Academy voters shy away from films with subtitles--takes too much effort. And they can't be viewed on their iPhones--text is too small to read.
Best Supporting Actor goes to Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained--another film I didn't see. And as you know, there weren't many. Tarantino's films have become boring, redundant, and predictable.
Best Supporting Actress goes to Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables. She's great in everything she does. Deserved an Oscar. If not for this, then for the sum of all her roles. Do they give Oscars out for past accomplishments? I hear they do.
Amour wins Best Foreign Language Film--and rightly so!
And as for the Best Dressed of the evening. All I shall say is that ALL red carpet walkers were dressed better than me.
To be updated weekly...
Related articles of interest...
Guys on Girls ~ Season 2 ~ What We're Expecting
Girls is Back. Cue the Irrational Reactions
Money Never Sleeps
Lena Dunham on Charlie Rose
Discussion of episodes by Slate's staff writers...
Episode 1 ~ It's About Time ~ January 13, 2013
Guys on Girls ~ Is this show becoming a network sitcom with nudity?
Episode 2 ~ I Get Ideas ~ January 20, 2013
Guys on Girls ~ Does Hannah really think we live in a post-racial world?
In Defense of Marnie, the Most Hated Girl on Girls
All the ways Lena Dunham has (maybe!) given the finger to her critics so far.
Episode 3 ~ Bad Friend ~ January 27, 2013
Is it possible to like this show if you can’t stand Hannah?
Video clip: Where the Magic Happens
Episode 4 ~ It's a Shame About Ray ~ February 2, 2013
Will the characters on this show ever grow up?
Episode 5 ~ One Man's Trash ~ February 10, 2013
Was that the worst episode of Girls ever?
Was that the best episode of Girls ever?
Episode 6 ~ Boys ~ February 17 , 2013
Are the men on this show interesting? Are they even men?
Episode 7 ~ Video Games ~ February 24, 2013
Is Hannah growing up? Is Jessa a child?
Episode 8 ~ It's Back ~ March 3, 2013
Are the characters on this show consistent? Should they be?
Episode 9 ~ On All Fours ~ March 10, 2013
Girls gets dark
Episode 10 ~ Together ~ March 17, 2013
Did men just save the day on Girls?
Pure Morning - Placebo
A friend in need's a friend indeed
A friend with weed is better
A friend with breasts and all the rest
A friend who's dressed in leather
Placebo sound best on an iPod w/ high-quality ear buds...
Or listen to these great tracks on YouTube...
Every You, Every Me
You Don't Care About Us
Running up that Hill
Bigmouth Strikes Again
Song to Say Goodbye to
Where is My Mind?
Slave to the Wage
Taste in Men
Without You I'm Nothing
Johnny and Mary
My Sweet Prince
Sleeping With Ghosts
Bizarre Festival Germany 2000
Interview on 4Music (2006):
NME Blog: Why I'm Still a Proud Placebo Fan
Michael Stipe & Morrissey
Here are a few more older blog posts... these ones center around fandom...
Ah the lists... everyone makes them...
This one is from June 1, 2005...
Well I Wonder and Jack the Ripper still top my lists today.
Here is one from June 10, 2007 ~ Experiencing Moz live...
David is my son. It was his first concert. He had a blast and knew the lyrics to a great number of the songs.
This one is from July 25, 2005 ~ Solo...
Thought I'd share this. Chins up folks. There is good to be found. You just have to be willing to see it.
From September 16, 2005 ~ A silly letter to Morrissey... never to be read by him. The third person mentioned is/was my fiancé--now ex-husband.
I still Love Morrissey and Eddie Vedder, and care deeply for the well being of my ex.
From April 5, 2005 ~ How I became a Morrissey fan...
This blog post reads like some kind of defensive explanation or justification. I think it was. At the time, I was surrounded by die-hard fans. To them I looked like a poseur or a lightweight. I probably still do. But guess what? Today, I don't care. I really don't.
Another one about Solo from April 28, 2006...
And that is how/when I became realitybites on the forums.
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