It feels funny to be agreeing with Tucker Carlson’s essay about Matt Damon. As everyone knows Damon was recently all but lynched for remarks he shared with Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers ten days ago. “There’s not a single sentiment in [what Damon said to Travers] that’s not defensible or that 90 percent of the American population would find over the top or outrageous,” Carlson said. “It’s all within bounds or it would have been last year. [But] because a handful of Twitter users don’t like it, the rest of us have to pretend that Matt Damon is somehow guilty of something awful, and if we don’t pretend, we may ourselves be seen as collaborators in whatever crimes he supposedly committed and forced to share his punishment.”
There’s a contingent that feels Call Me By Your Name isn’t queer enough. It’s too chaste, too subtle, too geared to “str8” guys like myself. Maybe they’re right. Maybe the thing keeping Call Me By Your Name from true greatness is the absence of a nice splooge shot.
A 2nd annual Park City Women’s March will happen on Saturday, 1.20, at 9 am. Barring some unexpected hazard and exactly like last year, Hollywood Elsewhere will be there with bells on. Passions were running high 11 months ago, but with the building of the #MeToo movement over the last ten weeks plus the 16 (or is it 19?) Trump assaults plus the generally deranged mindset of his administration since 1.20.17, the fervor should be even stronger next month. Here’s a tee-shirt link.
31 years ago and four months after a calamitous U.S. debut, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz‘s Howard The Duck opened in England with a new title — Howard…A New Breed of Hero — and without any indications (at least in the print ads) that the hero was white and feathered. I don’t know if this approach was used in other European territories, but it would’ve made sense, given what happened with the straightforward U.S. sell. If IMDB figures are correct (total U.S. haul was $16,295,774, worldwide gross was $21,667,000), the European marketing didn’t help. Honest admission: I’ve never watched Howard The Duck start to finish — I’ve only seen a third of it on DVD.
I realize this photo was taken last August, but it’s an American classic. It belongs in the same gallery with that shot of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J day, that woman wailing over a guy killed at Kent State University, Barack Obama hugging the grieving parents of Newtown, etc.
A friend who lives overseas wrote the following earlier today: “I’m really suffering, and I feel really alone and broken. The closest people to me have all betrayed me in the last days. Go figure. The truth is that this world is not good, and people are afraid of the things they truly crave. I try so hard to be so good and give to so many, but receive so little of that care or kindness or closeness in return. And it hurts the most when it’s on a day like today, on Christmas. Yes, I know, just a random holiday but still.”
HE response #1: “If we were sitting in a cafe somewhere and you said ‘the closest people to me have all betrayed me in the last days,’ I would naturally say ‘whaddaya mean…betrayed you how?’ I’m presuming that at least one of these betrayals had to do with a woman hurting your feelings. Well, you don’t need me to tell you that this is sadly and eternally par for the course. Ask Frank Sinatra. Lovers ignore, pull back, occasionally bruise, cause hurt, sometimes even draw blood. Obviously not all the time but often enough for what I’ve just written to be a cliche. Quelle surprise!”
HE response #2: “What can I tell you? People mainly look after themselves. I don’t think that rule of existence is going to change any time soon. My grandparents used to have a green candy-serving bowl in their living room, and I distinctly recall chuckling as a nine or ten year-old at the slogan painted upon it: ‘People are no are no damn good.’ Ever since I’ve been measuring human behavior against this somber assessment, and my considered opinion today is that more than a few people (especially those blessed with good genes and decent educations and non-traumatic upbringings) are actually quite ‘good’ as far as kindly, considerate behavior goes.
“But you’ll never find a center of happiness if you’re looking for others to do it for you — to offer love and respect and care for you in the right ways — to provide that balm, those hugs, that emotional support system that we all want and need. That was probably what my grandparents were irked about, and they had several friends and a large extended family to hang out with from time to time. Friends and lovers are blessings but not solutions, and they never will be. Take yourself off that treadmill, get shut of it. Here comes another cliche: ‘Happiness and sadness are illusions — opposite sides of the same coin.’ We’re all part of a single, spherical, immaculate universe of chance and destiny. Buy a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, listen to Van Morrison on vinyl, sail into the mystic.”
HE response #3: “Or get hold of the Bluray of Brian Desmond Hurt‘s A Christmas Carol.”