January 2nd, 2013


To My Friends

Don't give up on LJ.  Please.

Yes, the service is lousy at the moment but that's because it's under attack. LJ is liable to such attacks because it serves as a major platform for the anti-Putin opposition in Russia. Tell yourself you're suffering (if you can call it suffering) for someone else's freedom of speech and bear your discomforts with pride.

Red River

The old movies have a rough and ready quality. They were made fast. There are scenes in Red River where you can sense the director thinking, "That's good enough; now let's move to the next set-up". It creates a kind of energy you don't get these days. Red River belongs to that period of John Wayne's career where his directors- notably John Ford and (here) Howard Hawks- were getting him to work challenging variations on his four-square persona.  Here he's the bad guy (sort of) but the good guys are in love with him. His scenes with Joanne Dru  are as tangy as it gets in mid-century westerns. The whole movie is a muscly, twitching, peculiarly American take on gender as performance.

Shambling A Little Deeper Into The New Year

LJ is selectively broken. At the moment I can put up posts,  but I can't reply to comments. Ah, well; it's not the end of the world (that was last month.) I'll get back to you later.

It carries on raining.

Yesterday I dismantled the Christmas tree.

The best cure for a cough is a strong cup of tea.

I've enjoyed a couple of Nicola Barker's books but The Yips has defeated me. Its central character is just too big a dick. I took it back to the library this morning and replaced it with a Wallander.