Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There is just the merest sliver of this magical fabric. A remnant of 18" by 22.5". Oh the injustice of it all. There should be reams of this. Enough for curtains, duvet covers, throw pillows and a circle-skirted shirtwaist dresses with cuffed short sleeves accented with these crown buttons.

Again with the Scottish Secret Service. I know, I know.

And so, goslings, my friend Fidel is retiring.(Do you think he'll move to Florida?)
My buddy Musharraf is trying to be a good sport about losing. What shall I do when even Generalissimos are throwing in the towel? Do neither of them have the gumption anymore? Are they just gonna take it lying down? If Fidel and Purvez can no longer be bothered to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, who does a poor performance artist have to inspire her to battle on?

Oh, what would Kim Jong-il do?

The thing with dictators is that they usually keep going. That can be relied upon. They invade Russia in winter. They scheme about invading Iran when they are already fighting losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have no intention of altering their plans just because people are dying in large numbers and the economy has tanked.

Henry Kissinger was awarded the Novel Peace Prize in 1973, along with Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho, for brokering a cease fire to end the Vietnam War. So the cease fire didn't last and the war didn't end for two more years. This is realpolitik, kids. At least Le Duc Tho had the decency to decline the award, stating that his country was still at war. Did Mr. Kissinger lose any sleep? Not a chance.

Me, I've been fighting a losing battle for years. And I've been fighting it like a dictator. I pour more and more resources (read:money) into failing projects. I do the same things again and again but expect different results. I take bad advice. Do the ill-advised. And then wonder where it all went wrong. I too should step down.

I want to retire. I want fresh air, lots of plants and a big mean doggie. I want to grow vegetables and eat them. I want to perform ukulele concerts for squirrels and ants. I want to listen to 8 track tapes and be completely innocent of tabloids, blockbusters, and fashion trends. I want to paint and whistle and dream. But, to be perfectly candid, I still want to pop over to the Met, take tap dancing and uke lessons, and eat really good Indian food. In short, I don't want to leave New York. True, most of what I loved about this town is long gone, destroyed by a terrible fungus similar to the one that destroyed the grossmichele banana crop in the 1950s. This fungus killed off all the independent bookstores, cinemas and cafes, leaving behind a sterile ring of Footlockers, Banana Republics and prefab condos that seem to import young puppies from elsewhere who think they are getting the real New Yawk experience at $4,000 a month.

But then I saw this article in the Times and hope blossomed again in my bitter bosom.

I could buy a boat and dock permanently in the boat basin at 72nd Street. Close to the express stop. Not so far from Zabars. I could have seagulls for neighbors, watch the moon rise and still make it to the screenings at MOMA with all the old ladies wearing fur coats like bathrobes. True, it might be difficult to get Chinese food delivered, and I know nothing about the seaworthiness of vessels but I began looking for boats for sale on craigslist right away.

$50,000 is about the going rate for what I'd need, though I must say the interiors of these boats look awfully 80s. And not in a good way. But it certainly beats NY real estate prices.

But alas, goslings, once the NY Times writes about anything, it is already over. The permits the city is issuing for permanent docking are probably all gone. And I can't even fix my leaky kitchen faucet, so I severely doubt I can manage to keep something a float. But it was nice to dream, n'est pas?

Now if I had a submarine with a roofdeck, a sunken living room in white fur and pop art paintings of red lips where I could lure my Catholic priest cousin to totally mess up his priesthood, then I'd be in Roger Vadim's If Don Juan Were A Woman. This 1973 film is one of the worst I have ever seen. And remember, I LOVED Ishtar.

La Bardot looks dyspeptic throughout as the title character. She is not so much acting (she has no range) as stumbling through. I really think she wasn't feeling well during the shooting of this film. It looks like Mr. Vadim only allowed her to go and throw up between takes. Poor thing.

But cinema always has a moral. In this case: don't star in a film directed by your ex-husband.

Bardot plays out not so much the story of Don Juan, but every sleazy 70's dude's fantasy of what he would do if he were Brigitte Bardot. Oh, wait, that would be Roger Vadim. Exploitative, tacky, risible dialogue throughout. One of La Bardot's conquests is an archer, which is very visual and made archery look like fun. Another is her cousin (or is it half-brother? Oh, who cares?) who's a priest. There's even a folk singer in a beatnick cafe (checkered tableclothes and candles stuck in empty wine bottles) who cuts his throat for her. I think a mime wanders through at that point. Oh no, I'm making it sound better than it is. Don't see it!

Some reviewers (dudes, of course) make much of the nudity in this film. (One even recommends turning off the subtitles for certain scenes so you can see it better--yuck!) I saw this this film a couple of years ago, and I remember it being completely unerotic. There's a totally boring orgy scene in Sweden where everyone looks like ABBA. I mean, really boring. That sentence is more interesting than the scene it describes. And of course, our Dona Juana is punished at the end for doing whatever Mr. Vadim wanted.

Warning: spoiler ahead.

La Bardot, in an ill-fitting tuxedo that she wears shirtless, has a death scene that seems to go on for 20 minutes. She's actually burned alive in a half-finished house that is one of these planned suburban communities. A prototype of a McMansion. She screams and screams until you look at your watch.

But the design! The interiors! The polyester! But whoever did the art direction achieved the apotheosis of early 70s style. I remember thinking that I would so want to live in that submarine.


Post a Comment

<< Home