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Flashback Friday: Bookfoolery: If I never sleep again until the end of my days, at least I will die well-readJune 3, 2011
This post originally appeared on June 24, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.
Maybe “well” is subjective …
If anyone but my Asia Argento plays Lisbeth Salander in an English-speaking adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I will put my hand through a blender. I pictured her the entire time I was reading.
Finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over a sleepless night that lead to one uneasy stretch of light snooze cut short by sudden bouts of vomiting. I found it very absorbing — the book, not the violent gut spasms from who-knows-what combination of stress and inattentively poor personal care — but it caromed briefly in to a few areas for which I was not wild. Still it all hung together in the end and I recommend it without reservation. Then I ended up reading a particularly pulpy and breezy Ross Macdonald mystery from the 70′s whose title I have already forgotten even though it kept me company for several hours.
I only remember that I’d picked it up a few months back along with a couple 70′s editions of Zane Grey at my preferred comic store, which, besides selling comics and related games and accessories, also carries a small inventory of used, cheapo books and spotty collections of memorabilia depending on what luckless local nerds have either died or lost enough money to place their treasures in hock. I snatched up the Greys and this Macdonald book a few months ago because I dug the kind of blocky-schlocky look to the lines of the cover art.
The phrase “blew my mind” was used repeatedly in the book to refer to literally taking too much acid and suffering brain damage and prolonged schizophrenic episodes triggered by hallucinations, which usage I thought was a handy demonstration of the evolution of slang — in the book it was suggestive of overdose and possible fatality, but you can see how it developed over time the more benign definition it has now in the sense of changing one’s worldview in a feller-than-the-usual-pace-of-educational swoop, while still somewhat referencing the phrase’s original intent.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). He swar to gar for all his life that whole sequences of this film were not planned to look like an acid trip, to which anyone who has ever done acid says, “Sure.”
The Macdonald book wasn’t the worst thing ever and some of the slangy shenanigans and quaintly dated rough talk in it wet my palate for some Hammett. I never re-read Red Harvest until October (red HARVEST, get it?) but I also brought down with me from Portland The Dain Curse and the Op’s short-story collection and could give one of those a spin. Think that’s what I’ll do tonight.
Actually maybe Hammett is only the appetizer. Know what? I think I will try to squeeze in L.A. Confidential before I have to pick up Tommyknockers. I usually, though not maniacally, like to read that closer to Christmastime because of the whole Bloody Christmas scandal that sparks so much of the action, but I’ve been self-auditing through all these long sick waking nights, and by setting this bookfoolery in to print I have come to see that I’ve got some really fucked-up and compulsive reading habits which are even perhaps the least of my worries and so I feel like rebelling against myself in this small thing to test the waters of making Change happen. I’m going to do this because I can.
Synchronicity — just dug out Red Harvest and the quote on the front cover is from Ross Macdonald, the author whose pulp I read this morning. Wild way that the universe is telling me I’m on the right track? or subconscious self-affirmation from whatever part of my brain has been looking at that (quite kickass) Red Harvest cover for the last four years?
I can’t say for sure. Either way, tell that girl from Canada that it ain’t ironic.
Tell a friend.
We all knew that, right? I mean, that’s why I can’t stand what I consider to be monotonous or repetitive, flat, uncreative music. I’d rather listen to nothing than something that doesn’t pull me in and start making me feel things. It makes me frustrated and mad. I really need music to take me There. You know?
Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: Enter the Bookworm and Up With Love plus Surprise Connections and Zodiac-quackeryMay 31, 2011
This post originally appeared on January 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm.
I hate to come off as a down-at-the-mouth grump on the topic of love. I am a romantic. Here is the Bookworm and his lady, the lovely librarian Miss Lydia Limpet, and may I add that I rooted like gangbusters for this pair to win?
via Batman villains database — I love clunky contraptions on men’s heads. I find it so fucking cute. I really do.
In fact, I remember pretty strongly wanting him for myself (girls like a boy who reads!), but I rightly understood Miss Limpet having him was almost the same thing. Later, when I figured out he was in Planet of the Apes, I was even more impressed, but, being a fickle little girl, I soon made way for other crushes, like Matthew Broderick and the Great Mouse Detective — shut up, because that could work — to the point that, when I stayed at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona several years back and was given the “Roddy McDowall room,” I merely remarked that I’d “once thought he was cute,” and meant nothing more by it.
Interestingly, after his role as the Bookworm in the live-action television series, McDowall continued to wreak villainy in the DC world. He voiced Jarvis Tetch/the Mad Hatter for both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, as well as performing him in a brief cameo for the late ’90s animated Superman.
In the original television series, the Mad Hatter was played by David Wayne. More on the Mad Hatter another day cause he was really depressed as a character and had some killer-great deadpan lines, even though no one matches King Tut in my estimation for the male villains’ comedic value. But back to love, because that is what I’m trying to prove is probably more important than trivial details of cartoons and old lunchbox-selling serials.
No, I can’t stop talking about it. Okay, because I’m looking at his page on the imdb to make sure I had the dates and titles right and it ends up Roddy McDowall was also the Breadmaster on Edlund’s masterwork The Tick, which is of grave emotional significance to me, and, moreover, had cameos on Darkwing Duck, Quantum Leap, and mother-effing Gargoyles. Also, he was monumentally in to photography and experimental camerawork. So, holy hell, I was smart to have a crush on him as a kid and now I’m going to have to get back to Roddy McDowall another day; he’s obviously been far more of an important thread in my life than I ever could have possibly understood … y’all please excuse me because Roddy McDowall has just now blown my mind.
Finally, according to authorities on these matters, the Catwoman outfit regularly worn by Julie Newmar appears to have been “upcycled” and worn by Francine York (who played librarian Miss Limpet on Batman) for the Lost In Space episode “The Colonists.” Also, in looking for pictures of her, I stumbled across a page where a woman had collected a bunch of pictures of famous Virgo women and though I always claim to put almost zero stock in that stuff, I have to say that they/we all have the faces of birdlike closet freaks who are too shy to smile with our lips parted but rock straight-up crazy do-me eyes despite our distrust of other people — to say nothing of the number of patron saints in her gallery of too-close-to-home horror. Good thing I think that’s largely bunk, or the unnerving similarities might have me concerned that my chakras weren’t aligned with the downward dog position of my chi and I’d have to bury a peeled potato under a full moon or some shit.
Truly the end of this post. Moving on for my own sake.
Oh my god — so I had linked you guys up to his blog in my post about it being Day 1 of Sam Haskins Month this morning, but had not checked the front page of his blog for myself for a few weeks.
Sam Haskins died five days ago, on November 26th, at his home in Australia. Holy shit. From his blog, November 27th, an entry by his son:
Sam Haskins died last night. He was severely depressed after his stroke in New York in September and I suspect he suffered another smaller stroke after his return to Australia. In an act that was entirely out of character with his consistent celebration of living large, art and beauty, Sam took his own life.
Sam Haskins cover edition from “Four Masters”
I genuinely thought he would pull out of his post stroke depression, I had always watched him overcome challenges with a combination of intelligence, know how, buckets of creative talent and extraordinary discipline. Unfortunately the stroke on September 19th, the day his show opened at Milk Gallery, damaged the right side of his brain and he never recovered his emotional stability.
It is always a wrenching loss to see great minds and great artists departing but Sam had a recent blessing, his last rock star moment, in New York, with the huge success of his Fashion Etcetera book launch and exhibition. That recent high note was made especially poignant by the photographers, both from New York and those who came to Manhattan from all over the world, to tell Sam that they had embarked on their careers because of his books. We lost count of the number of times that was said.
“Poster Girl” from Five Girls.
Sam’s fellow professionals and fans showed him enormous warmth, love and respect in New York – those memories are very fresh in my mind – and I want to thank the people concerned.
I will post an obituary later.
Ludwig Haskins (Sam’s son)
Well, I guess that makes this month and a celebration of his long and wonderful career even more important. He is one of those photographers whose work means the world to me. I hope that the pictures and little factoids and vignettes from his life that I post over the course of this month inspire you to buy one of his wonderful books, or just learn more for yourself about him.
This is a real shock. My condolences to Sam’s family and friends, especially his sons Ludwig and Konrad, and most of all to Alida, his wife of fifty-seven years.
The film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a great movie.
The book is an absolute motherfucker. I’m done and I’m buzzing. I cried til I puked. Really special. Read it.