Sunday, March 12, 2006

Our Innocent Past: the Blog

News from our innocent past.
Hollywood is making what it likes to call a “biopic” about Grace Metalious, who wrote PEYTON PLACE, and a couple of other books before drinking herself to death at the age of 39. Sandra Bullock has been “tapped” to play her.

It has been fifty years since the book was first published, and the Associated Press tells us:

“Grace Metalious' sensational story of sex, violence and other scandals in a small New England town, based in part on Gilmanton, made the author an international celebrity and a local pariah. It transformed an otherwise obscure township into a symbol of decadence and hypocrisy and rivaled Elvis Presley as a shocking breach to the official decorum of the 1950s.”

“Published in fall 1956, PEYTON PLACE sold millions of copies, becoming more desired as censors sought to stop it. Metalious' novel was banned in several cities, declared ‘indecent’ by Canada and labeled by New Hampshire's Manchester Union-Leader as symbolic of a ‘complete debasement of taste.’ A sign in front of a library in Beverly Farms, Mass., read: ‘This library does not carry PEYTON PLACE. If you want it, go to Salem.’"

The book later became a movie, and a television series, which launched the careers of Mia Farrow and Ryan O’Neal. Today the novel is unread, and Gilmanton still stands.

So much for that molehill in a teapot.

Maggie Gallagher’s tempest.
Talking about the new HBO series, BIG LOVE, she writes—

“There's Hollywood family values for you: taking the yuck out of polygamy on national TV. This is just the latest salvo in what appears to be a nascent push for normalizing polygamy in this country.”

The latest salvo for normalizing polygamy? Did I miss something? Where are those guns, besides the wilds of Utah?

I love it when conservatives pull some imaginary trend out of their asses, and then blame liberals for it. Let’s take a poll of the practicing polygamist hordes in Idaho and see how many of them voted for John Kerry.

Cheney takes good-natured ribbing!
There are few things I hate more than “celebrity roasts,” in which the well-connected pick on their own over cocktails and chicken.

The Gridiron Club dinner is an annual event that features journalists and others “poking fun” at journalists and others.

This year’s jokes included:

-- Noting Cheney’s middle initial, President Bush said, "B. stands for bulls eye."

-- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama sang a parody, "If I Only Had McCain.”

-- Reporters sang, "What do we stand for? We don't know. What's our platform? We ain't sure. All we know is Dubya's got it wrong.”

The Associated Press reports: “Cheney, who sat at the head table, laughed along with most of the jokes.”

Hmm. What I want to know is, which ones DIDN’T he laugh at?

Science News
According to the Wall Street Journal, Scientists at Stanford University, used “X-rays generated by [a] synchrotron, a kind of particle generator, to study chemical bonds in molecules in water.” They finally concluded that water “has a structure totally at odds with what textbooks say and what scientists have believed for more than a century.”

That’s right, my friends. In this uncertain world, we no longer even know what water is.

Scare quotes!
I seem to be “addicted” to “them.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Like" so many other "things", William Shatner invented "scare quotes", too!

(or at least their overuse!)


1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the water thing, science has entered what the philosophers call "infinite regression." That means that every new "discovery" opens yet more possibilities, each of which opens yet more possibilites, until not even a bank of Cray computers could handle it. Let's just be greatful that water and alcohol mix beautifully. Thanx, Chris

8:59 AM  

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