Dec 6, 2012

Sorry, Nick C. This, too, is prob tldr.

Ever since the election ended I have dedicated myself wholeheartedly and obsessively to the cinema.  I am trying to watch at least one film (or quality television program) a day, and often I am watching more than one.  Yesterday, I watched the second episode of season two of The Hour; Fritz Lang's seamy, cheap, gut wrenching film, Scarlet Street; and started -- which I will finish today.  Gosh! Capra used to be good! -- Ladies of Leisure, directed by Frank Capra, which features the debut of Barbara Stanwyck.  ("Have you got a cigarette?" is the first clearly audible speech of her career.) And, I have got a lot on my plate for today, too.  I would like to watch Gloria Grahame's first film, Blonde Fever; Crossfire; The Woman in the Window; The Bitter Tea of General Yen, etc, ...

"Missy", Barbara Stanwyck

And, then there all the films (and "films") recently I have seen, that my (healthy) obsession is such that I can barely keep up writing about them in this space:  Ullmer's Detour and Ruthless; Elena; Flame and Citron; Treme; Young Adult (It is a fucking joke, just as I expected); Kiss Me Deadly; Ninotchka; Peep Show; Side by Side; The Rockford Files (I swear I am going to do a post on this series.  It is unbelievably solid, perfect, and a force for good); The Naked City (awful); Mid-August Lunch and The Salt of Life (both so touching and special), etc, ...

I am hopelessly what David Thomson would call a cinephile, and part of the blame has all to do with him.  But, I was before what I am now, only much larger and louder re the cinema.

It was both exhilarating and a little scary to read these words by Thomson, in a blog post for The New Republic re the 2012 Sight and Sound Greatest Films Poll:

The cunning thing about modern movie technology is that if you want to be a cinephile, instead of a moviegoer, it can be arranged. Cinephile is a classy word, one that suggests a careful superiority and the unquestioned notion that film or cinema is an art, to be preserved and enjoyed in the way Alistair Cooke once ushered in what was really “Masterpiece Television.” (Of course, the true energy of TV, like movies, was interested in sensation, not in masterpieces. “Laugh-In” and “Monty Python” were strokes of genius, but they were also manifestations of the remote control device, that wand of the urchin gods.)
So as the movies are dying, you can choose to ignore the awkward stink. Cinephiles watch Turner Classic Movies and subscribe to Netflix. They swear by Criterion. They may be within reach of a film museum, and even a repertory house. They go to silent screen festivals, and revel in the club-like mood of their packed houses. Cinephiles have their rows of DVDs, and we can watch our best Blu-Rays of the golden oldies, and nod in agreement to the admission in Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953, third place) that “life is disappointing, isn’t it?” In the directors’ poll that ran alongside the critics’ poll, directors said Tokyo Story was the best film ever made, leaving us to wonder why more directors don’t try to make sad, quiet, restrained films about family life instead of The Hunger Games or Killer Joe.
It is to avoid the vulgarity and the violence of those films (to say nothing of the chatty young audience) that older cinephiles stay at home nursing their Criterion securities. They have never had it so good, or so misleading. But they need to know that the investment in their Blu-Rays is allowing the companies that hold the negatives and the prints to treat those things with mounting disdain. That’s how digital projection is taking over, and why good projectors and projectionists are hard to find. Inevitably, this will lead to foreclosure for most theaters. But don’t worry: new movies will be released on any Pad you have, streaming, screaming, and available for interruptions of all sorts. “Moviegoing” may become as quaint a term as “home theatricals.”
It is frightening, indeed, to be called out so plainly on the interwebs.  Called out, yet, still so proud of my cinephile status.

I also masochistically love Lena Dunham's statement in the great doc, Side by Side -- I am paraphrasing -- "I don't know anyone who goes to the movies anymore as a date.  Now, it is, 'Would you like to come over to my house and watch Netflix on my computer?' Which is really just an excuse for a twenty-four year old guy to get his date on his bed."

Here is Thomson's article for The New Republic in full.  The finest thing he has written in years, perhaps even greater than his most recent book, The Big Screen.  (Though, I have not finished it yet.)  And, he (and the Sight and Sound critics) are right:  The Man with a Movie Camera is an absolute magical, majestical delight of filmmaking.  I do wish so that Thomson is right, and that our new technologies, and tiny screens, will lead to filmmaking like this.


But, a large portion of this post, and what I would like to speak of today is the 2012 General, the OEE (Orchestrated Electoral Extravaganza), if you will.  And, how I did with my November 4th predictions.  And, if I do dare say so myself, I did spectacularly well.

Here is the link to the post in full.  Below, I will dissect the post for you, and inform you on how I did.

I am not going to bury the lede.

The good guys are going to win this thing on Tuesday.  And, we will know that the good guys have won on Tuesday evening.  I am guessing that Obama will break the two-hundred and seventy electoral vote threshold at about a quarter after eight PM PST.

... With Nick C and my Wife as my witness, the networks called Ohio for Obama at 8:18 PM PST.  Ohio was the state that put Obama over the two-hundred and seventy electoral vote threshold and also had the bonus effect of making Karl Rove's head explode on national teevee ... 

All the shenanigans in Ohio and Florida, and the True the Vote douchewackets will not be able to steal this election for the GOP.  Women, all across this nation, are going to come out in full force on Tuesday and nail this thing down for Obama/Biden.

... Women made up fifty-four per cent of the 2012 OEE electorate, and went for Obama over Romney fifty-five to forty-four ... 

Here is what the map will look like.  Obama will win the Electoral College 332-206.

... I, and many others, including Nate Silver and kos, were one-hundred per cent right on this.  Obama won every state we said he would and the final electoral college vote was 332-206 ... 

Obama will win the National Popular vote fifty to forty-seven.

... According to kos, updated just two days ago, the current 2012 OEE popular vote stands at (rounding up) fifty-one to forty-seven, Obama over Romney ... 

Democrats will maintain control of the Senate, with a fifty-three to forty-six edge.  No one knows what that crazy guy in Maine is going to do, who he will caucus with, whatever, ...

... The crazy guy in Maine won, and no one still REALLY knows which party he will caucus with, but the new Senate line-up in January will be fifty-four D and forty-five R ...

Obama will still have to deal with an intransigent GOP House of Representatives, of which the GOP will have a majority of 238-197.  As much as I would like to see loony tunes Michele Bachmann ousted in Minnesota, I do not think it will happen.

... Bachmann won, but Allen West was defeated in Florida.  The new House will be 234 R and 201 D ... 

Claire McCaskill will defeat Todd Akin; Professor -- boy, did that strategy backfire -- Elizabeth Warren will become Senator Warren; Joe Donnelly will defeat Dick Mourdock; Tester will win in Montana; Kaine will win in Virginia; Heitkamp will lose in North Dakota; and Tammy Baldwin will win in Wisconsin.

... I was right about every single one of these predictions except for Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.  AND, right around the time I wrote this post, days before the election, I had a dream that Ms Heitkamp was at my store with her husband, and I commiserated with her about losing the election.  In the dream she was very upset with me and stormed off.  So there is that ... 

And, Joe Walsh will be thrown out on his ear, and will become a whackjob Fox News contributor.

... Joe Walsh WAS thrown out on his ear, but there is no news on whether Fox News has hired him yet ... 


This is kind of an odd post, right? What was up with all that stuff about my cinema habits and the David Thomson cinephile stuff? Why did I bury the lede, quoting an old post that was titled:  I am not going to bury the lede?

My point is that I did so well with my predictions because of my naturally addictive, obsessive nature.  I do not have any insider friends, or secret knowledge of the political game.  I did so well with my predictions because I read a lot.  (Or, as Chloe Sevigny says in Whit Stillman's excellent Last Days of Disco, "I read a lot.") I completely immersed myself in to the OEE horserace, like I do with everything that I deeply care about.

I did so well with my predictions because of my passionate nature.  Whatever it is that I am interested in is something that I will throw myself in to (sometimes recklessly) with every last ounce of my spiritual and physical energy.  Of course, some of my friends and lovers have questioned these directions of energies, that perhaps they are wasted on frivolous things, instead of something more productive or rewarding.  And, they have a point.

To wit, the last three times my "teams" have won major titles -- the Sooners and Stars at the turn of the most recent century and the Mavericks in 2011 -- I was horribly sick right after they had won.  See here.  Basically, what was happening is that my body had to shut down, it could not cope anymore with the psychic/spiritual demands laid upon it.

I was not sick after Obama's reelection, but was confronted with a couple of much more serious vulnerabilities of my character.  Serious things that I need to work on to become a better person.

I am confident that I can do the things I need to do to insure a rich rewarding rest of my life with Renee and all my closest friends without stifling my passionate spirit.

All my love,
kisses on the bottom,

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