One Bite at a Time




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Potpourri

The Beloved Spouse and I started watching Breaking Bad over the weekend. (We wanted to be sure it was worthy of us, and no one would pull a Deadwood and stop the series in the middle, okay? When we’ve seen all these episodes, we’ll check out that NYPD Blue show everyone is talking about.) Last night we saw the episode where Walter’s family has the intervention, to talk about whether he should get treatment. I can’t remember seeing a better hour of television.

A question for all of you who watched the show on AMC: did they censor the language? I can’t think of another basic cable show that showed bare breasts and allowed for this level of cursing. Even when Justified is rated for Nudity, it’s a two-second shot of Raylan’s ass.

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We watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on a lark Sunday night. Knew nothing about it, except people I trust had recommended it. Expected something along the lines of Way of the Gun and were taken by surprise. Great fun, with three leads who were born to work together (Robert Downey, Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan). That’s all I’m going to say, except to warn the people in the Midwest they’ll say “fuck” a lot.

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Read the following quote by James M. Cain in Brian Ritt’s Paperback Confidential:

I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hardboiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called. I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from the fields, the streets, the bars, the offices and even the gutters of his country, has acquired a vividness of speech that goes beyond anything I could invent, and that if I stick to this heritage, this logos of the American countryside, I shall attain a maximum of effectiveness with very little effort.

I’m not big for posting quotes around the office, but want to think of this every day when I write.

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Patrick Stewart is appearing in two—count ‘em, two—Broadway plays simultaneously: Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land. I was impressed, until it occurred to me he probably plays Godot, which frees him up to be in No Man’s Land.

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We were able to start on Breaking Bad because we finished our fourth (I think) viewing of The Wire last week. I cannot begin to say how much I learned about storytelling from this show, and yet the stories were not the best of it. The characters are so well drawn that, after the final montage, when you see what everyone (except McNulty) does next, you’re left with the feeling these people’s lives are continuing; you just don’t get to watch anymore.

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Football people are defending Richie Incognito’s excessive harassment of a Miami Dolphin teammate as part of football’s “warrior culture.” Two things:

1. Football players are not warriors.

2. The military—where the real warriors live—would not tolerate such behavior.

Crawl back under your rocks, Richie and his people. It ain’t selling here.

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Swear to God, this is the (next to) last time I’ll mention Grind Joint’s launch this Saturday, November 16, at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, 514 Allegheny River Boulevard in Oakmont, PA. Ten in the morning. I’ll tell how the book came to be written, read a little, answer questions, and, hopefully, sign some books. It doesn’t sound like much fun to read it in black and white like this; I’ll try to do better in person.

 

(PS: I hate the smell of potpourri. I’ll come up with a better title next time I write a blog full of random thoughts.)

3 comments:

Mike Dennis said...

When you get done with NYPD BLUE, check out THE FUGITIVE. Then you should be up to date.

I love Patrick Stewart. He had a DVD set called WHEN THE LION ROARED, which is the complete story of MGM. A terrific look at Hollywood from its beginnings to its undignified end.

Love the Cain quote. It really says it all.

And didn't you say something about a book launch? I forget, is it coming up soon?

pattinase (abbott) said...

You have so much ahead to look forward to. It only gets better and better. I am watching it for the second time and if I had to pick the best episode it would come at the end of season two or beginning of season three. That's when they took the gloves off. IMHO it is the best show ever on TV. I don't think NYPD is going to seem as good as this. Check out Friday Night Lights, which I would rate number 2.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Hey, Dana: When is Grind Joint launching?

I was glad to see what you wrote about Richie Incognito. When I read Thomas Ricks' superb book The Generals recently, I posted that the book had taught me:

" Hatred of the sloppy invocation of military metaphors in areas of civilian life whose laughable triviality is matched only by the self-seriousness of the morons who invoke them. Every football coach who likens his game to war. Every corporate executive who issues a mission statement. Every middle manager who expects his or her underlings to take that crap seriously. Every business person who invokes The Art of War. At best you're a clown. At worst you're a destroyer of lives for no noble cause. I knew that already, but Ricks taught me that in appropriating military lexicon without any of the risk or the high purpose that attends some military action, you're not just debasing the English language, you're disrespecting an institution you'd probably pretend to admire. "

I also remember reading somewhere, apropos of, I think, one of the Rambo movies, that macho loose cannons would get weeded out pretty quickly of anything to do with special operations.