Translation from English

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Return of High Camp:" Sherlock Holmes "

Have already written on Facebook about the new Guy Ritchie film, "Sherlock Holmes".

Occurs to me on reflection is that what Ritchie has done, probably unintentionally, is to resurrect the notion of "high camp"-- that kind of cliched, over the top and even kitsch-y stuff that typifies say, Busby Berkley musicals.

It is often great entertainment and such is the case with "Sherlock Holmes"--as long as you accept that it's all balderdash.

All the actors in the movie are great and memorable and I think Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are as effective a buddy duo as Paul Newman and Robert Redford...

The evil Lord Blackwood, played by Mark Strong, is fantastic.

This movie is of course NOT Arthur Conan Doyle. It IS however a send up ( as I have written elsewhere) of every buddy film, detective story and action movie every made.

Loved Holmes final confrontation with Blackwood high above the Thames ( on the scaffolding of what is to become the Tower Bridge?)-- where Holmes explains how all of Blackwood's "black magic" has been achieved ( shades of Charlie Chan and "The Thin Man'!").

Fantastic escapist adventure. Violent fights are well staged --one is almost a quote from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with Holmes facing a tough giant of an opponent ( with a different ending, however).

Also loves how Holmes is always getting kicked around (as also happens to Watson) in the pursuit of the triumph of Good over Evil.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sights of Lower Midtown

These little advertising statues are growing rarer and rarer...found this one ( and Santa behind it in window) on Fifth Avenue about 28th Street)...

Reminds me a little of pizza guy near where I live.

This kind of art used to be common and is getting lost with gentrification.

Also going is the kind of store like the one shown here, the "$2.99" store, which seems to be mostly junk jewelry.'

It is not far from the Empire State Building...that whole are has loads of tacky, tourist oriented shops.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Says No to Democrats

Right wing radio is always referring to Massachusetts as a lost cause for "Real Americanism"--but it doesn't look that way now.

The situation is further muddied by the fact that, by all accounts, Martha Coakley probably ran one of the most uninspired, inept campaigns ever as the Democrat...she hid from the people.

Seems to me Obama has let the right wing have the initiative from the very beginning on the Health Care issue, and is still painfully slow to respond.

Hard to be optimistic now about Health Care. It was hard enough with a "secure" Democratic majority in the Senate. Health Care reform may have to wait for another generation before it is which time it may well be way too late.

This is not a happy day for the country.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taking Leave of Nicotine Anonymous

Since I have been smoke free for over ten months now and feel like there is no chance of my ever smoking again, regretfully have decided to stop attending Nicotine Anonymous meetings. Today was my last one.

Wish I had found a support group like NA years ago...and also wish they had had nicotine lozenges years ago ( all they had was the patch, which did nothing for me and to which I am allergic).

There are Nicotine Anonymous chapters all over the country now, and I could not recommend it highly enough.

Unfortunately, there are not as many groups as there are for AA-- I was lucky to find one within easy commuting distance.

If you know anyone who is trying to quit smoking 1) see if they can get free gum or lozenges from some program to get started-- my dental clinic supplied some 2) DO look for a NA makes such a huge difference.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January Thaw- Around the Empire State Building

After freezing for some time, temperatures crept upward today and you could stroll around the Empire State Building area and look around...

The snow is gone, as are the rogue patches of ice...

Just a short distance from the Empire State Building, an elegant old Beaux Arts building is all cheap advertising glitz on its first two floors-- all aimed at tourists.

On the side streets, the buildings vary widely in age and style, with all kinds of pleasant houses hidden away in what is surely one of the most obscure neighborhoods of Manhattan.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Begins

In the aftermath of New Year's celebrations, statue of painter is left bedecked with a balloon...

New Year's Eve was very festive in New York. As usual, people crowded Times Square ( most under 30, by reports)--some had been waiting around for hours and hours--so they could see that silly ball drop ( why doesn't it go UP instead of dropping?) ( It would be much more visible from Times Square).

The New Year begins on a shaky note, with an airplane bomb plot stopped at the last minute, and an economy still in the dumps ( I am hearing stories of people who were laid off a year ago and still haven't found new jobs).

Well, here's to 2010 and let' s hope for the best!