Monday, July 30, 2007

Re the passing of Ingmar Bergman and Tom Snyder.

As a university student in Wichita Falls, TX in 1980, I didn't have too many options in terms of viewing foreign films.  In the fall of that year, I was a student of Dr. Baird Whitlock's Introduction to Foreign Films class at the Wichita Falls Museum.

There, I was introduced to Ingmar Bergman's work.  Whitlock was a passionate devotee of Bergman--and the films he screened included SHAME, THE PASSION OF ANNA and PERSONA.

The intensity of emotion is what I remember most from watching these films for the first time.  And I thank Dr. Whitlock for broadening my limited perspective as to what film can aspire to and accomplish.

As for Tom Snyder, he was the interviewer as Star.  If you're of a certain age, you can remember the numerous parodies Dan Aykroyd did of Snyder on the original SNL.

Some of the NBC TOMORROW shows from 1973-81 (those involving musical guests) have surfaced on DVD recently.  Given the tendency to cash in on deaths of the famous, perhaps some of the episodes with non-musical interviewees will be released later this year.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A modest proposal re Lindsay Lohan and her sisters/brothers in Tabloidland.

Unless Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton etc. etc. are involved in car accidents where someone is seriously injured or killed--or are killed themselves--any story involving them should be treated strictly as a one-day affair by mainstream print and televised media.

Any one-day stories of the above personalities should end with web addresses of and other sites of a similar bent for those who want to spend their lives wallowing in the antics of Lindsay, etc. etc. nonstop.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hilary Duff's bikini body secrets.

Unless someone can tell me otherwise, I assume that showbiz ubermom Susan Duff still controls the not-as-hot-as-it-was career of daughter Hilary.

In an effort to reposition Hilary Duff as both an Object of Desire and a Dieting Success Story, there are two current magazine covers with Hilary in either bikini or athletic two-piece wear (one of them is US; I've forgotten the other).

Unfortunately, Hilary Duff, even with the now-brown hair and thinner body (with pushed-up cleavage), will never exude the physical appeal (especially to teenage and college-age boys) of the current pinups du jour--Jessica Alba and Megan Fox.

In an amusing sidebar, easily-controlled-by-Disney Hilary clone Miley (HANNAH MONTANA) Cyrus has now changed her hairstyle from LIZZIE McGUIRE-era Hilary blonde to "mature" Hilary brown.

Monday, July 16, 2007

My mother's health.

A week ago, my mother was found immobile in the living room chair in her vacation home in New Mexico.  She was thought to have had a stroke, but tests at the Holy Cross Hospital in Taos proved a brain aneurysm existed instead.

Last Wednesday, my mother was operated on at the University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque.  The aneurysm had burst, but a clamp was placed on the portion of the brain controlling the speech and swallowing functions.

Thank goodness she survived the operation and later today (Monday), she'll have a tracheotomy (sp?) so she can again breathe on her own.  She can move her legs, shake her head yes and no when asked questions and has visually expressed her dismay with being confined to a hospital bed.

I've been in Albuquerque much of last week.  I'm now back in Canoga Park and will return to New Mexico on Thursday (my older brother is staying there until I return).  Thanks to all the people (family and friends) who have sent my mother their best wishes and prayers.  And thanks to the doctors and nurses in the neurological wing of UNM Hospital.

Regular blog entries will resume later this week.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

LIVE EARTH is history--now what?

Yes, I enjoyed the LIVE EARTH music I heard on Sirius satellite radio and watched on NBC, Sundance, Bravo and CNBC.  And, yes, I also watched the it's-up-to-you-little-people tips on taking public transit, using energy-efficient light bulbs, turning computers to sleep mode when not using, etc. etc. etc.

I guess I'm a bit suprised that Al Gore didn't emulate the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon and bring out some corporate execs (for valuable face time) to announce commitments of cash or personpower to reducing their gigantic carbon footprints.  But why attempt to hold corporations in the free world and in capitalist/communist hybrid China to even a loose set of standards when it's easier to exhort the little people to partially erase their somewhat smaller emissions of greenhouse gases?

A final observation:  Obviously, TODAY newsreader/DATELINE host Ann Curry utilized someone to engage in the process of pre-interviewing her guests.  When Trudi Styler (wife of Sting) dared to get substantive and mention Chevron allegedly dumping oil in a poor village area, causing a greater amount of cancer among the village's citizenry, Ann immediately reported corporatespeak about how it's not Chevron's fault, that it's the fault of the country's own oil company and that the matter is now in court (reminds me of a recent profile of Rupert Murdoch in THE NEW YORKER where the claim was made that the censorship-prone version of MySpace in China wasn't really Murdoch's baby--the MySpace name was "licensed" locally).

Something to think about in the months before the LIVE EARTH DVD box (likely in environmentally appropriate packaging) is released for holiday giftgiving.


Friday, July 6, 2007

Reactivating an old webpage.

An old website I haven't used since 2002, SELECTED POEMS, is now in the process of being reactivated.

Here's a link to the links page:

Feel free to click onto one or more of the links--and, if there are any of them no longer working, contact me here so I can delete them.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Listening to two poets who hate me.

A few minutes ago, I listened to a portion of an internet radio show called INSPIRED BY.  It's located on

I know the host (a woman) and the guest ( a man).  Around 2003-2004, I made both the woman and the man furious with me for making comments (both expressing personal dislike and dismay with their narrowness on what they considered GOOD POETRY) on a certain poetry listserve.  It's a big no-no in the poetry community to be aggressively opinionated and call people out in public when you disagree with them, so I was beaten with a rhetorical tire iron and considered "mean."

Both the woman and the man won't speak to me anymore, and I'm not inclined to do much to reverse the situation (though I e-mail invited the woman to the Coffee Junction reading to see a friend of hers feature recently).

However, I must say that there was a certain earnest sweetness as they read poetry (not always their own) and talked about artistic influences.  Hopefully, no one will take it as an insult if I compare INSPIRED BY to high schoolers in the A/V club looking for someone who shares their sincere and knowledgeable enthusiasm for an art form not blessed with mainstream recognition.

Therefore, I'll recommend for the various verse-related programs (including THE MOE GREEN POETRY HOUR) hosted by Los Angeles poets. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Martial law in America continues.

At this point, I'm just another blogger venting about George Butch and Dick "Shotgun" Cheney deciding to protect Scooter Libby from prison but keep the fine and probation on the books--something called "commuting" the sentence.

Something grimly amusing on Keith Olbermann last night: A legal expert who dared mention that Bill Clinton grossly abused the pardon privelege (at the end of his second term in office) by pardoning his brother, plus allegedly crooked financier Marc Rich.

Olbermann let the subject drop.  Safe to guess that COUNTDOWN will bestow wet kisses to Hillary's run for the Presidency by this time next year.

(Speaking of Hillary, is it bad form to suggest that sensitivity about her gender--whether she's "tough enough" in a post-9/11 world--will lead her to be as reckless with warmaking and troop deployment as George?)

To ignore the Rule of Law for the Rule of Cronyism and, conversely, engage in stonewalling/coverup is bad Presidential behavior--whether it's from George W. Bush, Richard Nixon (mentioned by Olbermann in his closing commentary last night) or Bill Clinton.