Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Howling the lugubrious howl

If we lose our sanity ... We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots, the howl of the utterly lost howling their nowhereness.--D.H. Lawrence
If I do say so myself, one of my best posts was written on August 29, 2006 -- I, Lugubrious. Actually, 2006 was probably my best year for blogging. I had a slew of regular readers who actually commented and interacted with me and each other. But I, Lugubrious, a five paragraph riff on the word lugubrious kind of illustrated why I love words. The muse moved me and amused me into writing it.

Thank you muse. I miss you and the many mini-muses who read and commented back then. But I still have Baggy in Great Britain even though she joined the party after most people left. She points out on occasion that I still have the lampshade on my head and the conga line has long since ended.

But back to the winter of my discontent. It is the day after Christmas (which traditionally is plagued with the post-Christmas blues). We are perched on the the end of 2016, one of the worst years in U.S. history. And with the upcoming inauguration of the person I will never acknowledge as my president, D.H. Lawrence's lugubrious quote leaps to the forefront of my soul. I am howling out my nowhereness in a suitably lugubrious fashion.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I watched a snail...

"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare: crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor and surviving." 
--Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), Apocalypse Now
I was never really a big fan of Apocalypse Now.  I accept that on some levels it is great film. But to me it is just bat shit weird.

I know Coppola based it on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (which I actually read). He just moves the setting from the Congo to Vietnam War era and adds a lot of explosions. Oh and Marlon Brando. He is billed as the star of the movie, but basically you don't really see much of him. Even though there was a lot of him.

The movie was filmed after Brando had pretty much hopped aboard the major train wreck of his career and spiraled out of control down the tracks. And whereas in the beginning of his career he became a really big star. In the end he became even bigger...physically. And the rambling lines he had to deliver as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, a Green Beret who had gone rogue and nuts, did nothing to dispel the belief that Brando was also as bat shit weird as Apocalypse Now.

One of those lines is quoted above. And it is a line I included in a skit I helped write for our office holiday party. I won't get to far into what the skit is about other than I play myself and I utter my Brandoesque line when one of the other characters asks me to talk about feelings. And I delivered my line doing my best Brando impression. Though it came across more like Robert Deniro doing Christopher Walken doing Brando.

Friday, December 09, 2016

I wanted to be a spaceman

I wanted to be a spaceman, that's what I wanted to be
But now that I am a spaceman
 Nobody cares about me
Hey, Mother Earth, won't'cha bring me back down safely to the sea?
Around and around and around and around is all she ever say to me
I wanted to make a good run,
I wanted to go to the moon
I knew that it had to be fun
I told 'em to send me real soon
I wanted to be a spaceman,
I wanted to be it so bad
But now that I am a spaceman
I'd rather be back on the pad
Hey, Mother Earth, won't'cha bring me back down safely to the sea?
Around and around and around and around is just a lot of lunacy (yeah) (Yeah) 
Spaceman by Harry Nilsson
"The time will come when we permit more people in space."
 --John Glenn
One of the original seven NASA astronauts, John Glenn, died yesterday.  It was just a month shy of my fourth birthday when he became the first American to orbit the earth on Feb. 20, 1962. So it wasn't likely I knew much about John Glenn at the time. But by the time I was five, I was fascinated by the space program and wanted to be an astronaut.

It was the romance of being an astronaut more than anything else that captured my young imagination. I didn't really think about most of the astronauts being military pilots and training for years as pilots before they could even get into the space program. All I saw were these heroes wearing shiny space suites and waving to us from small black and white television screens as they prepared to risk their lives and blast off into space and history.