1. AOTW: A shared award this week. Now ... pay attention closely. We were driving west from Hudson on Ohio 303, near the Rt. 8 interchange. Two westbound lanes. In the left lane (where we were--the lane that allows for Rt. 8 access) a vehicle was broken down--just sitting there. I checked the mirrors, then pulled over to the right to go around, and roaring up behind us--two separate AOTW cars that blew by us, horns blaring, seemingly incapable of assessing what was going on in front of them and intent merely on their own desire to get somewhere as fast as they could, other motorists be damned. Joint award for a couple of joints.
2. Last night, Joyce and I drove over to the Kent Plaza Cinemas to see Michael Moore's new film, Fahrenheit 11/9, a film that left us both deeply affected. Sure, it's anti-Trump (duh--it is Michael Moore)!, but he also goes after both Clintons and Obama (the latter because of his egregious failure to do anything about the Flint water situation + some other ill choices).
No one, really, comes off well--except Bernie Sanders and some of the new young faces (many female) who are running for public office--and the Parkland survivors who are seeking to advance the cause of sensible gun control. It's no surprise, Moore's conviction that power corrupts--on both sides of the aisle. Time, really, to truly drain the swamp ... (Link to film trailer.)
3. I finished a play and a book this week ...
- Earlier in the week I read a review in the NYT of a play I'd never heard of by Tennessee Williams--A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (link to the review.) I discovered that the play--from 1979--is in a Library of America volume we have of Williams' work, so I read it one afternoon this week--and was surprisingly moved by it.
First of all--Creve Coeur (French for broken heart) is an actual geographic location (and lake) about 14 miles west of downtown St. Louis, setting for Williams' play. (See map. The Missouri R is on the left, the community of Creve Coeur is in the lower right; the lake, upper center.)
The play, set in St. Louis some decades ago, takes place in a lowly apartment inhabited by two sort of middle-aged women, one of whom (the principal character), is a local school teacher. No one has any money. We learn that she has had a fling with the school principal--though she considers it far more than a fling. She thinks LOVE is in the air. Throughout the play's two scenes she's expecting a (promised) phone call from him. Her apartment mate wants her to get interested in her brother (the mate's brother); they are planning a picnic out at Creve Coeur Lake ... won't she join them? No ... the phone will be ringing any moment.
- I also finished Now a Major Motion Picture (2018) the latest YA novel from Cori McCarthy, former Harmon Middle School Jaguar and graduate of Aurora High School. (I'm really sorry that I never got to have her in class.)
Cori has long had a fascination with Tolkien, Middle Earth, and their kin, and she employs this deep affection in this novel about the granddaughter of a woman who once wrote a wildly popular fantasy series, Elementia, which, as the book begins, is filming in Ireland. Iris Thorne (the young woman) goes to Ireland with her little brother, Ryder, while her widowed father (also a writer) stays home to work on his latest. There is--to say the least--some father/daughter tension in the novel, tension that time and circumstance must attenuate, or ...
Iris is figuring out who she is--what she wants to do with herself. She plays guitar, loves music--loves writing music--and this talent/interest finds its way into the plot--and the film.
She also is discovering love and gets involved with one of the actors in the film.
Well, things grow more complicated; it looks as if the film will shut down (the producers are worried); the family dynamic with Iris, Ryder, Dad becomes ever more intense, even explosive.
Ain't gonna tell you no more!
Loved this comment to Iris by one of the characters, the film's director: "Say that the book is a sculpture. You can walk around the story. You can touch it. You can view it up close or far away. That is why people love books. The stories interact with your memories, your experiences. They're personalized. Movies? Movies are a picture of that same statue. The parameters are set. The characters have defined faces. The scenes artistically rendered to one person's vision" (290-1).
I enjoyed reading this--and not just because a former Jaguar wrote it (reason enough!) but because it deals with a world I've always enjoyed, too. I'm not a mega-Middle-Earth freak, but I've read The Lord of the Rings several times, have seen the films (more than once), have read lots of other fantasy, and so the novel rang quite a few of my bells. Oh, and our son (and his sons) are Tolkien-o-philes as well, even more obsessed than I. Joyce first read the books aloud to son Steve (at nighty-night time) when he was a pre-schooler. He's now 46 and still an addict.
Anyway, congratulations to Cori! And now I want to go see Elementia!
4. Last word--a word I liked this week from one of my online word-of-the-day providers ...
- from dictionary.com
gnathonic [na-THON-ik] adjective
1. sycophantic; fawning.
That Jack's is somewhat of a gnathonic and parasitic soul, or stomach, all Bideford apple-women know ...
-- Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!, 1855
ORIGIN: The English adjective gnathonic comes from Latin gnathōnicus, an adjective derivative of Gnathō (inflectional stem Gnathōn-), the name of a sycophant and parasite in Eunuchus, a comedy by the Latin playwright Terence (Publius Terentius Afer, c190–c159 b.c.). Terence also coined the derivative plural noun Gnathōnicī “disciples of Gnatho” as a comic general term for sycophants and parasites. Gnathonic entered English in the 17th century.