my car is not a piece of tin

used media purchased/consumed week of 8/6/2005
Night of the Hunter: Like combining Flannery O’Connor/Sherwood Anderson with the old-new bad kind of Hollywood thriller (a crazy person is trying to do crazy things!), except with Robert Mitchum having like a 40 point 40 rebound game in the middle of it, despite not really acting so much as talking funny and screaming like a girl or a female animal anyway. and no, it was not viewed at the Grant Park outdoor thingthing, it was rented on the same night as the outdoor thingthing. Even though said outdoor showing was free. Goooooo movies.

Cakes and Ale W. Somerset Maugham
My stated position on early 20th c. English social drama/satire is that I like it, even though it’s probably corroding the wiring in my brain. I maintain icegrill for Point Counter Point, which i read so long ago I can’t remember what i liked about it other than the dissolute novelist dickhead character winning in the end, and Evelyn Waugh’s collected a-sides; everything else i previously would have tasted and then spit into a bucket. i will now look in the bucket.

Giovanni’s Room James Baldwin
What are the odds that there would be a very famous and acclaimed author and medium famous all-star starting pitcher (well, technically an all-star) in the same half-century and they would both be haunted-looking black guys? In my experience, the odds are pretty good. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to read more James Baldwin since I wrote a 10page paper about “Sonny’s Blues” five years ago, and owning the book and dusting it from time to time is a lot like reading it.
The Complete Plays of Aristophanes
500 Plays (a book of plot summaries and contextulations of um, 500 plays)
Four Great Plays by Chekhov
The Soul of a New Machine
Farewell My Lovely
American Dreams: Lost and Found
Studsworth Terkel
Why not. Dude graduated from law school in 1932 or some shit like that. Also, this book cost 25 cents, so, well, why not. U of C pride, need to get toes wet in Terkel oeuvre, etc.
Rabbit, Run
Prometheus Bound and Other Plays
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
Vargas Llosa
Only purchased it because well, i want to read it, two because i was thumbing through it and a bookmark fell out and it was a deposit slip from the checkbook of mary schmich. which i am going to sell Luis gonzalez’s gum-style on eBay.
The Razor’s Edge
The Counterlife
, Phillip Roth
One more chance after Zuckerman Unbound and <goodbye Columbus and the shared agony of watching the bqa get through Portnoy’s Complaint. My snap take on P. Roth circa this spring’s foray with Zuckerman is that Maxim :: Playboy as Roth :: Bellow, and that Saul Bellow is also much better. I stand by this because, if these two Jewish-American writers of mostly autobiographical novels were turned into magazines, Saul Bellow would certainly have nudity (is there anything funnier than Saul Bellow having a raging libido. it makes sense, in addition to is funny, in Augie March and gets kind of tiresome when it’s Moses Herzog then comes back and is awesome again by the time Charlie Citrine is the guy) and Philip Roth would have more gadget reviews but maybe less actual nipple, which is whatever as far as you know, softcore porn goes, but the thing is, I don’t like Maxim or Playboy all that much, but I do like Saul Bellow, and I don’t like Philip Roth (before you tell me about non-philip roth based philip roth books, be advised that those are for different stuff later. But they both probably belong mostly in the bucket, on account of having diarrhea profundis of the typewriter.
The New Journalism (ugliest cover design ever; looks like a book designed by VH1)
Parliament of Whores
total price paid for all of these books: $5.00. oh word.

4 thoughts on “my car is not a piece of tin”

  1. 1. Point Counter Point was written by Aldous Huxley, not Evelyn Waugh. I bet you already knew that.

    2. Homicide: Life on the Streets is an outstandingly good book that could blow your mind.

    3. Rabbit, Run should probably be avoided.

    4. Parliament of Whores is only okay, but it has some great one-lineres and can be read in about an hour and a half.

    I haven’t read any of the others. Some kids in my high school did Tartuffe but they totally botched the performance. Also, Remember that scene in The Breakfast Club where Molly Ringwald knows who Moliere is? That was a pretty good movie. I want to write a sequel called The Supper Club; they’re all in group counseling now. Molly Ringwald is a single mom whose daughter hates her (played by the girl from thirteen). She drinks too much and chain smokes. Judd Nelson is the estranged father under house arrest for aggravated assault. He still has long hair and an earring but he’s going bald. Anthony Michael Hall came out to his parents and they won’t talk to him. He and his life partner have just adopted a Bangladeshi orphan. Emilio Estevez has been born-again as pentecostalist evangelical. He tries to blame Rush’s OxyContin addiction on the liberal media conspiracy. Ally Sheedy has been institutionalized after three suicide attempts. She drank Drano and needs to use a colostomy bag. The prinicpal is dead. The creepy janitor is the counselor. He got really into a bunch of weird new age healing and is constantly try to sell them energy crystals. I think I can get Miramax to buy it.

    Also: A sequel to the Zero Effect. Bill Pullman reprises his role as Darryl Zero, a stand-in for Sherlock. Ben Stiller is Watson again. Here’s the twist: Jeff Bridges plays Jeff Lebowski again, but it’s revealed that he’s Darryl Zero’s brother (a stand-in for Mycroft Holmes.) Anyways they bust some kind of white slavery ring or something. Maybe that’s too heavy. Maybe it’s a DVD piracy ring. Anyhoo, Zero’s meticulous style clashes with Lebowski’s more holistic approach. Stiller is forced to be the intermediary and he can’t stand either one of them. This thing would write itself.

    I know these pitches are supposed to be 25 words or less, but lets face it, both these ideas are brilliant. My mind right now is a fertile lode of box office gold. If only I could get some face time with Harvey Weinstein, instead of comment space on your blog.

  2. “American Pastoral” is less annoying than most Roth-Zuckerman books. The first hundred pages are just Zuckerman complaining about his inflamed prostate, but then at least he gets to talking about other characters.

    Also, I think “Night of the Hunter” is a cut above your typical bad Hollywood thriller, if only because James Agee at one point worked on/looked at/thought really hard about the script.

  3. it also bears mentioning that Starter James Baldwin kind of disintegrated and then came back like four years later as Reliever James Baldwin, who is apparently having a respectable year for the Rangers now.

    Isn’t it just possible that he’s related to William/Stephen/Alec Baldwin? Think before you answer too quickly.

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