2017-04-15

sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
Thanks to the Gregorian calendar and Washington D.C.'s observance of Emancipation Day, the 15th of April this year is not Tax Day. (That's Tuesday, thank God.)

It is, however, the hundredth birthday of the inimitable Hans Conried and I can think of no better way to celebrate his legacy than by colorfully protesting a ridiculous terrible authority figure. Toward that end, I am off to the Tax Rally being held on Cambridge Common.

Shall we dance?
Don't mind if I do!


Terwilliker
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
I got to the Tax Rally a little after two o'clock. It was smaller than I had hoped, but dense with signs and flags and even stalls or tables like a fair, since it was a stationary event rather than a march; I think my favorite sign was "Show Your Work and Explain Your Thinking. Signed, Any 6th Grader," held aloft by a young person of the appropriate age, but I also enjoyed "45 Is an Undocumented President—Show Us Your Taxes!" and "I Doubt You're Even Rich." Multiple variations on "Yes, We Care" and "We Care Bigly." Multiple variations on "Show Me Yours, I Showed You Mine," including an absolutely scarifying fluorescent marker portrait of 45 as an exotic dancer in a G-string and pasties of dollar signs. A redesigned Gadsden flag with a coiled rattlesnake against a rainbow field with the motto "Don't Trump on Us." A woman holding a sky-blue ukulele with a sign around her neck reading "Ukes Not Nukes." I didn't see who held it, but a red, white, and blue sign kept surfacing above the heads of the crowd—"Congress: Grow Some Balls, Demand the Damn Taxes Now." More than one instance of "Respeta Mi Existencia o Espera Resistencía." I still don't understand the purpose or the politics of the guy who dresses like a Day-Glo orange rhino, but I was impressed by the Revolutionary War reenactor carrying the four-sided sign "I can afford to pay my taxes . . . but I don't have to . . . because . . . I'm rich." Because I really don't think the twenty-first century needs to recapitulate the mistakes of the twentieth, I do not like seeing people carrying anti-Russia signs; I don't like that they have reason for it. "I Can See Russia from My HouseTax Returns—Sarah PalinDonald Trump" was clever. I am not sure what was going on with the couple complaining about U.S. money going to Israel. Of the speakers, the best I heard hands down was spoken-word artist and activist Maurice "Soulfighter" Taylor, who delivered a blistering free-form rebuttal to the white audience member who interrupted him mid-poem to argue that he shouldn't have felt hurt by Clinton's remarks about "super-predators." I ran into Gillian Daniels; we left during the closing music, which happened to be Loyal Opposition on "This Land Is Your Land."

Afterward I hit up Burdick's for an Easter bunny for Charlotte—white chocolate over hazelnut ganache with ears made of almond halves—and came away from Raven Used Books with a copy of Alain Silver and James Ursini's Film Noir Reader 4 (2004). Specifically I took it home because Glenn Erickson's "Fate Seeks the Loser: Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour (1945)" agreed with me about Tom Neal's self-deceiving, self-destructing protagonist and therefore even if I wish people would stop taking Walter Neff at face value when they write about Double Indemnity (1944), I figured the rest of the articles were worth taking a chance on. So far, just for Eric Somer's "The Noir-Horror of Cat People (1942)," Daniel M. Hodges' "The Rise and Fall of the War Noir," and Robin Wood's "Rancho Notorious (1952): A Noir Western in Color," the grand outlay of eight bucks has paid off. I am a little wary of Grant Tracey's "Covert Narrative Strategies to Contain and Punish Women in The Big Heat (1953) and The Big Combo (1955)," but since I haven't actually read any criticism of the latter, I've got my fingers crossed. I know from glancing through that Reynold Humphries' "The politics of crime and the crime of politics: Post-war noir, the liberal consensus and the Hollywood Left" contains mentions of The Prowler (1951), so ditto. Sheri Chinen Biesen's "Manufacturing Heroines: Gothic Victims and Working Women in Classic Noir Films" already looks like it might not assume that every woman in a noir is a femme fatale. Not to mention any number of movies I haven't seen or haven't written about and even some consideration of neo-noir at the end. It should be fun.

I stopped by [personal profile] rushthatspeaks' on the way home and watched them make a pizza with [personal profile] nineweaving. Fox was asleep, but I was informed they look very grown up in their T-shirt and jeans.

I now have an Autolycus soundly asleep in my lap, so I might as well try to do something useful with my brain; I am not leaving this chair any time soon. I couldn't fit it into the earlier post because it did not suit the Seussian theme, but I find this picture of Hans Conried on air in the character of Professor Kropotkin from My Friend Irma (1947–54) almost stupidly endearing. I don't care if it was a promotional photo, wearing a pince-nez for radio is commitment.

Kropotkin
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