Saturday, March 22, 2014

...You Know I Love You!

When IBM was selling its own windowing operating system, I always thought this should be their theme song in their commercials. Listen and just replace "Oh it's true" with "OS2" and you will see what I mean. And I'm sure they could have gotten Flo and Eddie to record it for them.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shedding a Tear

I have a question: is there a statute of limitations for feeling ripped off? How long after you have been had is it no longer right to feel incensed by it, given the number of years that have passed since you was played? I'm trying to figure this out, 'cause I am feeling pretty damn used even though the "using" happened decades ago and I only found out today.

What has me in a tizzy? That guy in the clip from the PDA above. I watched these things for years; old Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear for the pollution of nature at the hands of the white man. Only, that isn't Iron Eyes Cody. That is Espera Oscar de Corti, of Italian descent.  The guy is white. White!

I shed a tear for the innocence of my youth.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Morman Rumspringa

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Jerry lay in a dusty heap on a dirt road in an unknown town. When he tried to sit up, the inside of his head sloshed like the deck of a storm-caught ship. Pain. Dizziness. Nausea. Jerry tumbled and the contents of his stomach created a puddle of pinkish mud in the dirt beside him.

Where was he? How did he get here? He’d been drinking; his head told him that. He staggered to his feet and wobbled toward the nearest building, coming to rest against a wooden post.

Las Vegas. He and his buddies from Brigham Young had been partying in Las Vegas. They were staying in the new hotel, the Desert Inn, trying their luck at gambling and other sins. The Holy Father would not approve of anything they had done this past week: the drinking, the gambling, the whores, but Carl had read of the Amish rite of Rumspringa, where before accepting the yoke of adulthood, the Amish youth would go out and taste the real world.

There being no equivalent to Rumspringa for Mormons, Jerry, Carl and Albert decided to create one of their own. They knew what they were doing was a sin, but they also had confided in one another that the lure of sin was more than enticing. So they had gone to Las Vegas and indulged in the vices so readily available there.

What could he remember? The women, he remembered them. He had taken three at one time and remembered wallowing in the depths of his deviancy, of drinking in the pleasures of their flesh until finally his lust was sated.

“We’re going to pay for this,” Albert had warned, but then Albert had spent his money on a man. Surely the Holy Father’s wrath would be greater on Albert.

After the sex, had come the drinking and the gambling. The thrill of wagering and the heady rush of alcohol burning through his veins, spreading throughout his body, kept Jerry going. The sinfulness was like a thick mud that Jerry heaped and slathered upon his body. Cool, comforting and decidedly wicked. But also heavy, the weight of it pulling him down, deeper and deeper.

There will be hell to pay, Jerry thought, as he hugged the post for support.

“There you are!”

Jerry looked up to see Carl and Albert come around the corner. They looked worse than he felt.

“Where are we?” Jerry asked, his tongue a burlap blanket in his mouth.

“I don’t know,” Carl replied. “I remember driving into the desert, but not much else.”

"I think we went too far," said Albert.

Jerry saw the flash, a bright light to the north, but he never felt the heat or the powerful wall of terrifying force that stripped the flesh from his body, before turning him and his friends and everything around them to ash.

Jerry hadn't even known the American government conducted above-ground nuclear tests.

There will be hell to pay.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oscar Season - Best Actress

Today we saw Philomena which features Judi Dench's Oscar nominated Best Actress performance. Dench's was the last Best Actress nominee for us to see, so I now feel I can give an opinion on this category.

I loved American Hustle and though Amy Adams was just wonderful, she is overshadowed by others even in that movie. A share really; in a different year this might have been enough to win. When you see these clips you realize how amazing she was:

I am a big Gravity fan, and thought Sandra Bullock's performance is the glue that binds that startling story together; the amount of time she is the only thing on the screen must have been frightening to consider. But, I needed a little bit more from her than I got. I'm not sure what that would have been, but just a little something more. Hard to find a clip that showcases Bullock's range in this film, but just know that the emotion you are getting in most of these scenes is transmitted through her eyes and her voice; nothing else is even real.

Judi Dench was spectacular as the real life Philomena and in a normal year, she might win for this amazing performance that is funny and poignant and vulnerable and all so real.

But through it all one performance kept pulling me back. Kate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine jut blew me away. As the widow of a Bernie Madoff type character who has lost everything, she is nothing short of spectacular:

So for me that was it, a slam dunk for Blanchett. And then I saw August: Osage County and Meryl Streep just killed it. Every time I think I have seen everything that Streep can give us, she gives us something new, something more. This is not the best scene in the film by far, but you can surely see here that she is on top of her game.

So my choice for Best Actress is the incomparable Meryl Streep.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Oscar Season - Supporting Actress

Oscar season is upon us and like every year, I like to be a well opinionated person. When I give an opinion of who or what should win, I like it to be based on knowledge of all nominees, not just one or two. So, this time of the year we see a lot of movies.

Last night it was 12 Years A Slave, up for nine Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role
Actor in a Supporting Role
Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Picture
Costume Design
Film Editing
Production Design
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Yeah, it was pretty damn good. A little hard to watch, the inhumanity of slavery is just too much for my sensibilities, but a very good film. With this film, we have now seen all of the "Actress in a Supporting Role" nominees, so I can now venture an opinion on this award.  To me it is a close race between Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle. I would be happy with either winning, though I think I would vote for Jennifer Lawrence by a hair.

Both have extremely powerful scenes, worthy of an Oscar. When Julia Roberts says to her mother, "I'm fucking in charge!" she had me completely, but when Jennifer Lawrence admits, "I don't like change, It's really hard for me," in my opinion, she won the award. See what I mean:

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Long, Long Time Ago

Fifty-five years to be exact, that was the day the music died for a whole generation of rock and roll fans, the first generation of rock and roll fans.

I don't remember the year, but it was the early 60s and I was playing a stack of my brother's 45s as I was wont to do in those days. A lot of doo-wop, a taste of Del Vikings, a little Stagger Lee ("Oh the night was clear, and the moon was yellow...") and something I had never played before. It was a song called "Oh Boy" and I found it infectious.

When my brother came home later that day I asked him who the Crickets were and he looked at me and said, "Oh...that's Buddy Holly."

And I said, "I like these others Jack, but this is just the best. Do you have any of his recent records? I want to listen to them." And that's when he told me.

And I was shocked, because in my world only really old people died and this guy didn't sound old. And it changed me a bit. Buddy Holly taught me that anyone could die. But over the years he taught me that anyone could live on beyond their body's demise, 'cause the Beatles played Buddy Holly and the Rolling Stones played Buddy Holly and over the years lots of people played Buddy Holly. And even those who did not record Buddy's songs, were influenced by his music.

Thank you Buddy, I wish I could have known you.

If it Wasn't for Junk EMail...

...I wouldn't have no email at all. To paraphrase Mr. Ray Charles.
I am not sure who the spammers think I am, but every single day I get two emails for each of these products/services:
  • Exotic Car Rental
  • Luxury Yacht Rental
  • Private Jet Rental
People, I make a good living, but not that good of a living.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Bright Sunny Day

He lies there shivering on the soft grass covering the hard ground on this bright sunny day. If he could concentrate on the world around him, he might find some humor in that incongruity, but the outside world does not exist for him. All that exists is his pain…and his need.

On this pleasant day of early afternoon sun, of mild temperature and soft breeze, his is a world of gnawing ache and uncontrolled trembling. He holds himself tightly trying to comfort himself like an old friend, as the sweat pours down his face, drips from his oily hair, pools in the hollow of his neck. His clothes are so drenched with his bodily secretions that they stick to him in odd ways, like insects trapped and dying on brown curls of flypaper.

His head throbs, pounding like a jack hammer, so much so that his only relief, his only solace is the pauses between throbs, when the pounding doesn’t feel like it will crush his brain and splatter it against the inside of his skull. The rest of his body is a mass of contradictions: it seems all he is aches in unison, a glorious orgy of pain and suffering, but he can feel the goose pimples dotting his arms and feels the cold numbness grabbing at his fingers, toes and cock.

The thought comes to him: if he lives through this day, will he ever have sex again, or is something fundamental to his manliness being broken? For the first time in hours he laughs, for the answer is a startling, “Who cares?” Sexual gratification is not his addiction, not today anyway.

That’s not what he wants. Damn him, that’s not what he needs, not why he aches in this self-made hell.

When he had started, they all told him this day would come. Somehow, he thought it would be easier. He lies there shivering on the soft grass covering the hard ground on this bright sunny day.

Copyright 2014 Barry Keller. All rights reserved.