Always do whatever’s next. —George Carlin
Why does the U.S. House of Representatives increasingly look like a monkey house in the zoo, with ignorant congressmen swinging from the branches and shocking us civilized people with their bestiality? My parents tell me that, when I was a little tyke, we visited the Bronx Zoo in New York and were assailed by dung thrown at the visitors by the gorillas. It was an early instance, I guess, of gorilla warfare.
What Representative Todd Akin did that upset so many people in both political parties is to hint, by his choice of language, that (1) there is such a thing called “legitimate rape,” which sounds in his words as if it were a good thing and (2) women can, when being raped, shut down their baby-making factory at will. Therefore there is no valid justification for abortion in the event of rape.
Women have tried for so hard and so long to win the equality that they deserve that it has become shocking when a troglodyte like Akin steps forward and makes chattering sounds that betray his ignorance. And he wants to join that Gentleman’s Club known as the U.S. Senate! I don’t think he’ll make it.
It’s back to the bananas for monkey boy.
Some films are better known for stills than for the films themselves. One of them is Fox’s Just Imagine (1930), a science fiction musical set in the distant future year of 1980. Today, Martine and I attended a screening at the American Cinemathèque’s Aero Theater in Santa Monica. The event was to honor the late art director Stephen Goosson (1889-1973), who was responsible for designing such pictures as Lost Horizons, Meet John Doe, It Happened One Night, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. (Yes, all the above were directed by Frank Capra at Columbia Pictures.)
Just Imagine, however, was directed by the less talented David Butler. Except for Goosson’s outstanding design work, the film was corny to the max. In fact, Martine walked out of the picture about three quarters through because she couldn’t stand it any more. I gamely sat through all of it and cringed through El Brendel’s vaudeville-style comedy routines. Although Brendel received top billing, he was a major drag on the picture.
Late next week, I will be attending Cinecon 48 in Hollywood and sitting through upwards of fifteen films from the silent era and the early days of sound, with a few outliers that were more recently made. This was, for me, a foretaste of the film orgy to come.