Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I ate too much to post. I'm gonna sack out on the sofa. See ya' Thursday!

BTW: The drawing is of course by Don Martin.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


INT. RESTAURANT: Lunch time.

Magnolia (Voice Over): "Yeah, all my boyfriends have been losers!"

Magnolia: "Oh, I don't mean you...I just mean...well, I have to wear dark glasses so they don't recognize me. What pests!"

Magnolia: "Really? You think it's okay to take them off here? Well, er...it is pretty crowded...I guess nobody could..."

Magnolia: "Yeah, nobody's gonna see me here! I'll do it!"

Fred (V.O.): "Magnolia! There you are!"

Magnolia: "Oh, Good Grief!"

Magnolia: "Hi, Fred. Fancy meeting you here!"

Fred (V.O.): "Magnolia, let's stop the pretense. I know that you're aware of me. For a long time I've watched you secretly. But for the past few days I've stopped hiding, and now I know that the moment has come."

Magnolia: "Um...the moment?"

Fred (V.O.): "Yes. You see, before discovering you I never loved anybody."

Fred (V.O.): But between us things will be different. "

Fred (V.O.): "We'll be the example for others to follow."

Fred (V.O): We'll never leave each other, not even for an hour."

Fred (V.O.): I don't work and have no responsibilities in life."

Fred (V.O.): "You will be my sole pre-occupation."

Fred (V.O.): "I understand that this is too sudden for you to say yes at once...that you would first have to break off your provisional attachments to provisional people."

Magnolia: "Well, actually it is just a little...."

Fred (V.O): "Just remember...I AM DEFINITIVE. I must go now."

Magnolia: Definitive...yes...definitive. Well, See you around Fred."

Magnolia: "Watch out for traffic!"

Magnolia: "Don't look the other way when a car comes!"

Magnolia: "Bye, now! Don't fall down any manholes!

Magnolia: "Is he gone?"

Magnolia: "Hey, the waiter didn't give us water! What kind of restaurant is this!?"

BTW: Dialogue is an altered version of a piece by Francois Truffaut.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I should really call this "What I'm Thumbing Through Now," since I haven't had much time to read in the past few weeks. Here's (above) an interesting, if somewhat disappointing, book I got from the library: "Plains Indian Drawings 1865-1935." Gee, I love what I've heard about Indian culture, but I have to say that I didn't know the Plains Indians were such bad artists.

The drawings I'm putting up here are pretty much the cream of the crop. The average drawing in the book looked like modern kids drawings, except that modern kids are more likely to draw things as well as people. The cover drawing is great, and so is the famous drawing above, or it should be famous, because so many modern American artists and illustrators were influenced by it.

You see the influence in fashion illustration (above) all the time. To judge from the Indian drawings in the book, American Indians were fascinated by what they wore and painted on themselves. They didn't spend much time on getting a likeness in the face, or on getting the muscles or the perspective right...it was all about the clothes. Apparently Plains Indians were more obsessed than we are about looking good.

Saul Steinberg's work (above) was clearly influenced by indian art.

A quick digression: I just stumbled on a picture (above) of Steinberg, and I thought you might want to see what he looked like.

Of course the Plains Indians were nomads, and I suppose nomads haven't much use for permanent pictures. Even so, these drawings might be an insight into the kind of thing the artists valued. They certainly were clothes-conscious, and they evidently considered battle a good excuse to show off their finery.

Like many primitive people they seemed to think nature was an unfit subject for art. Trees and mountains seldom appear and when they do they get the short shrift. There are no still lifes of a bowl of apples, no glorious sunrises and star-filled nights, no animals except horses. Teepees were drawn with an emphasis on the designs painted on them.

For an artist like me the Indian life depicted in these pictures seems pretty boring. Like the Homeric Greeks their real art form seemed to be the cultivation of character and one's own personal legend, together with horseback riding, hunting, dressing nice and war. The drawings are oddly humorless and indicative of a lack of interest in the world around them. You only realize how sophisticated the outlook of modern man is when you have something like these for comparison.

I'll note that these pictures may have been made by mostly non-artists. It's possible that all people who don't draw frequently draw similar subjects, i.e., other people and their interesting clothes. Maybe I'm reading too much into these drawings.

I'm also reading a book called, "The Pictorial History of Radio." Early on broadcasters devoted air time to music, and this (above) is how they did it. They played records in front of a horn.

Here's (above) one of the first mass market radio sets. It was called the "Aereola."

People used radio as a babysitting device, just like they do now. Aaargh!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


An interesting tower (above) made doubly interesting because it's back lit by diffused sunlight. If you were an architect, wouldn't it be fun to design structures for foggy places? You could make the case that all climates should have their own unique architecture. Tropical architecture would be a no-brainer, but imagine imagine buildings designed to look good in the snow, or under gloomy, overcast skies.

I do have some misgivings about this picture. If you put your thumb over the tower, the rest of the structure isn't that interesting.

I love stairs and the example above is one of the best I've ever seen. Here the stairs come in rolling, almost musical waves with a promise of profound revelation at the top.

The trouble is, though, that unless you're 12 years-old, long staircases are a chore to climb. Government buildings traditionally have long stairs to remind visitors how insignificant they are. What an odd message to send in a democracy where the people are supposed to be in charge.

I'd be curious to know what Ruskin would have thought of this (above) picture. I know he was against excessive decoration on cathedrals. Even if there's more than a touch of decadence here, relative to the austere, and probably more religiously inspiring cathedrals of an earlier time, I still find the shapes fascinating.

How do you like the high ceilings and wonderful light in this (above) English manor house? The doorway beside it is interesting too, though maybe over done. Doorways are powerful romantic and psychological symbols, and it seems odd to throw all that away in order to emphasize the meaningless space above the door.

A curse on the wretches who tore down beautiful buildings like his one (above) in the last century. I love structures like this, but I still can't help wondering why people spent so much time and money on the roof and upper floors. I mean, why didn't they put the biggest effort into the lower floors, which are more visible from the street?

Maybe the builders were attic enthusiasts. Maybe giant attics and roofs are cheap to build and provide more visual bang for the buck than lower floors. Maybe big attics serve as insulation and heat radiators.

Can you believe that buildings like this (above) were ever torn down?

I love the interlocking shapes of wood at the intersections of beams in Asian temples and old bridges. You see it in modern Western architecture too sometimes, and the effect is always welcome.

Friday, June 19, 2009


You sit alone, Ray Brandon.

You sit alone in a house haunted by memories...

...memories of the greatest happiness and yet the deepest misery that you've ever known. But you're not thinking of happiness now, are you? You're thinking of the days in which you made this house ready for Charlotte with your own hands...the days thru which the laughter of an adopted son gave new warmth to your life.

Remember the day when the little boy's tiny hand tweaked your nose?

You laughed and laughed!

Those were indeed golden days.

You're also forcing yourself to remember the dead, lifeless months that followed the return of that child to its real mother, Meta Baur.

They were sad days, weren't they, Ray? In your grief you shut your wife out.

Charlotte kept trying to mend things between you.

But you wouldn't let her in, would you?

You thought you could take love, a woman's feelings, Ray, and tear them apart like a piece of cloth, and try to put the love together again...but the pieces never fit quite the same, do they? No wonder Dr. Mary Leland spoke to you as she did.

And now Charlotte's lying in a hospital after you forced her to return to this house, this wife who stood by you thru the most difficult times of your life.

Yes, she was there when in your grief you chased after other women.

She was there when you fought to clear yourself of a crime you didn't commit, a prison sentense you didn't deserve, a battle to build a career as a lawyer for yourself, a wife who believed in you, gave you encouragement, loved you with every fiber of her being, a wife who was ready to forgive you anything, everything, as long as you loved her.

Ray, do you remember the words of your old rival, Sid Harper?

Sid also loved Charlotte, and nearly married her.

Do his words keep pounding in your brain? "You crucified that girl, Brandon! You treated her like a dog!"

"It's your fault she's in the hospital now!"

"You're a fool! A stupid fool!!!"

"A stupid, stupid fool!"

TO BE CONTINUED.............

BTW: Thanks to Rusty for identifying this as an episode of "The Guiding Light." I don't know the name of the original writer.