Sir Garfield Sobers, by Mighty Sparrow

Two cool names.  From the 1966 album This Is Sparrow.


Michelle Wolf, Peter Schweitzer, and DC/media as pro wrestling

Michelle Wolf says that in this Vulture profile by Amy Larocca.

A very similar complaint voiced by Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer in the Devil’s Bargain book about Trump and Bannon:

Pull it, switch it, top it


But there are devices one can use to set up a story, aren’t there? Such as the love rack, or the algebraic analysis of a story.


Devices, yes. Like the old switcheroo. I used quite a few in my book called Past All Dishonor. It’s about Virginia City in the Civil War days of the big whorehouses. It’s about a boy who fell for a girl who worked in a house. Every guy in town could have her for ten bucks except him, and the reason was that she half-loved him. This was a very nice situation, and I was able to do something with it. I was able to top it, and that’s always what you try to do when you have a situation: You pull it, you switch it, you top it, which is the old Hollywood formula for a running gag.

James M. Cain in the Paris Review.


Do you have any memory of the origins of The Postman Always Rings Twice?


Oh yes, I can remember the beginning of The Postman. It was based on the Snyder-Gray case, which was in the papers about then. You ever hear of it? Well, Grey and this woman Snyder killed her husband for the insurance money. Walter Lippmann went to that trial one day and she brushed by him, what was her name? Lee Snyder.* Walter said it seemed very odd to be inhaling the perfume or being brushed by the dress of a woman he knew was going to be electrocuted. So the Snyder-Grey case provided the basis. The big influence in how I wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice was this strange guy, Vincent Lawrence, who had more effect on my writing than anyone else. He had a device which he thought was so important—the “love rack” he called it. I have never yet, as I sit here, figured out how this goddamn rack was spelled . . . whether it was wrack, or rack, or what dictionary connection could be found between the word and his concept. What he meant by the “love rack” was the poetic situation whereby the audience felt the love between the characters. He called this the “one, the two and the three.” Someone, I think it was Phil Goodman, the producer and another great influence, once reminded him that this one, two, and three was nothing more than Aristotle’s beginning, middle, and end. “Okay, Goody,” Lawrence said, “who the hell was Aristotle, and who did he lick?” I always thought that was the perfect Philistinism.


How did it work?


Lawrence would explain what he meant with an illustration, say a picture like Susan Lenox, where Garbo was an ill-abused Swedish farm girl who jumped into a wagon and brought the whip down over the horses and went galloping away and ended up in front of this farmhouse which Clark Gable, who was an engineer, had rented. And he takes her in. He’s very honorable with her, doesn’t do anything, gives her a place to sleep, puts her horses away and feeds them . . . He didn’t have any horses himself, but he did have two dozen ears of corn to feed hers. Well, the next day he takes the day off and the two of them go fishing. He’s still very honorable, and she’s very self-conscious and standoffish. She reels in a fish (they used a live fish—must have had it in a bucket). She says, I’ll cook him for your supper. And with that she gave herself away; his arms went around her. This fish, this live fish, was what Lawrence meant by a “love rack”; the audience suddenly felt what the characters felt. Before Lawrence got to Hollywood, they had simpler effects, created by what was called the mixmaster system. You know, he’d look at her through the forest window, looking over the lilies, and this was thought to be the way to do it; then they’d go down to the amusement park together and go through the what do you call it? Shoot de chute?


Perspective on Bitcoin

Eric Guinthier put this on Wikipedia.

was thinking about this as I tried to remember some login or another: there’s no way in Hell all these numbnutses are gonna remember all their blockchain passwords and cryptokeys and what have you.  The panicked runs on cryptocurrencies are gonna be crazy.

Maybe I should start a dump or an ewaste junkyard, eight bucks to throw away your old hard drive, and wait around for some panicked nerd to come screaming that he threw away seventeen million dollars in unharvested Ripple or whatnot.

that picture above is of Yap stone money.  When someone tries to explain the history of money, sooner or later they’ll mention the stone money of Yap, usually avoiding an opinion on whether or not using enormous stone wheels as money is completely ridiculous.

Because these stones are too large to move, buying an item with one simply involves agreeing that the ownership has changed. As long as the transaction is recorded in the oral history, it will now be owned by the person it is passed on to and no physical movement of the stone is required.[citation needed]

(lol at citation needed.  God bless Wikipedia.  You try and write up Yap money in your spare time and someone comes along demanding footnotes).

Beades on Wikipedia took this picture of a rai stone at the Bank of Canada Currency Museum in Ottawa. How much do you think they paid for it?


Wild interview of Christian Lorentzen and Seymour Hersh in NY Mag.

Henry IV

source: Variety

Agree with Rivers:

Saw Malis at the show, here was his review:

I thought Hamish Linklater was really good.  A very easy, relaxed, natural way of delivering Shakespeare.
Hanks was Hanksing it up, but fun.
It’s interesting how jokes written in the 1500s can still make people laugh.
Thought this performance was absolutely fantastic.
Brilliant, beautiful staging.
Great choice to stick with natural American accents.
Good edits to the plays.
Was pre-cringing to hear phony knowing laughter from the audience, but there were real, genuine laughs in this play.
Hanks brought real, human richness to Falstaff.  Sadness as well as joy.  The tragedy of the character as well as the fun.  (Keep an eye on this actor.)
BTW the VA West LA campus is gorgeous if decaying:
Trump fix this for our great VETS!
How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish overcareful fathers,
Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
Their brains with care, their bones with industry
For this they have engrossed and piled up
The cank’red heaps of strange-achieved gold;
For this they have been thoughtful to invest,
Their sons with arts and martial exercises.
When, like the bee, culling from every flower
The virtuous sweets, our thighs packed with wax,
Our mouths with honey, we bring it to the hive,
And, like the bees, are murdered for our pains.
Not easy to get so good that you can say that and make feel real but pretty magic when someone nails it.
Interesting how Henry IV Part 2 is truly a redo of Henry IV Part 1, a sequel in the real Hollywood sense of hitting the same exact beats: Henry IV (Bolingbroke) moans about his frat dude son.  Hal and Falstaff clown around.  In the end Hal steps up and kings it up while Falstaff falls behind.
I know thee not, old man.  Fall to they prayers.
How ill white hairs becomes a fool a jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane,
But, being awakened, I do despise my dream.
But, being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less they body hence, and more thy grace.
Leave gormandizing.  Know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Doll Tearsheet, Mistress Quickly, Pistol, Bottom, Falstaff, Hal, Hotspur, Westmoreland.
You don’t want to see that gang clowning it up in a brothel?
Give it up to Shakespeare, man.

China Racing Club

Was wondering why Justify / Mike Smith’s silks looked like the Chinese flag.  Turns out the horse is part owned by China Horse Club.

The China Horse Club has about 200 members, according to its vice president, Eden Harrington. Membership costs a minimum of $1 million, according to some reports, but Mr. Harrington said the club offered different tiers of investment and that the fee was a credit that went toward the purchase of horses. He declined to give a range, and the club does not disclose the identities of members, who include wealthy citizens from China’s mainland and beyond.

Hmmm.  From this NYT article by Melissa Hoppert and Alexandra Stevenson.

Mr. Harrington said the club kept its membership private to shield members from potential public scrutiny amid a Chinese government led anti-corruption campaign which has “created a culture of fear where people didn’t want to be seen to be spending money in a way that may be seen as excessive.”