Category Archives: Pop Culture

The Tragedy of Sonny Liston

Some librettist and composer ought to join forces and create an opera featuring the life of one-time heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston. A tragedy, not an operetta. The travails of the long-dead champion contain classic elements the ancients would’ve venerated.

Brutal skills honed in an unforgiving background marked and formed the raw ambition that raised Liston high. Capricious and uncaring fate drove him into the lowest depths imaginable.

Strong and determined as he obviously once must’ve been driven, so did Liston easily succumb, powerless and guileless to thwart what now seems inevitable. The sole question needing asking and answering, whether Sonny Liston understood his plight, and did he submit? Continue reading The Tragedy of Sonny Liston

Ring’s the Thing

On a late November evening, Plush ignited a streak of spontaneous passion.

Certainly Las Vegas visitors are transfixed by the swarms of working girls so overtly advertising and plying their horizontal trade. Live here long enough, though, and the sight of so many intimate pleasure providers simply becomes tenderloin wallpaper.

Occasionally a standout presents herself. Plush is one of the notables. Continue reading Ring’s the Thing

Yours Alone

When does sovereignty of naked photos expire? Do they ever? Or should they?

Not the commercial nudes adorning glossy magazines or porn sites, but those serving as, what, mementos that have been passed between lovers. In some circles, these are called “dedication pictures.”

As in “dedicated to the one I love.”

Naturally. What proclaims deepest affection and fidelity more than a lover’s or companion’s voluntarily exchanged nude photograph? Continue reading Yours Alone

Let’s Cut the Rebop

Must the sensibilities of the fragile transform American English into an insipid language?

Our plummet through political correctness threatens rendering how we speak into mamby-pamby.

Several weeks ago, a very conscientious article ran decrying colloquialisms whose origins the author deemed racially-charged. Why, yes. Some were. What of them?

If the writing behind the subject had been any more earnest, the page would’ve wept. Since publication date sat so close to April 1st, I made sure the piece wasn’t a seasonal gag, a la some Borowitz satire.

Were that it was. Such would’ve elevated the article into clever entertainment rather than leave it low at honest persuasion. But since it was so doggone sincere, the views expressed so achingly put, that made this righteous tripe ripe for scorn. Continue reading Let’s Cut the Rebop

Show Me a Sign

Promiscuity suits me. But that isn’t the impetus behind my Las Vegas residence.

No, instead raw economic necessity and the complete disappearance of Brigadoon, a k a, Quarropas, my New York former hometown, propelled this move 2400 miles west.

Funny. Living now in a place celebrated for catering to inhibitions hasn’t added to my libertinage. With all the candy at hand – literally – I’ve been disinclined to grab more sweets. Perhaps when the goods were deemed illicit and their acquisition only furtively gained treats, did they sweeten my tooth. Continue reading Show Me a Sign

American Fly

Happy New Year!

Ancient Greeks would’ve most appreciated Bill Cosby’s contretemps. Mightn’t his plight have become their meat? From it a Greek playwright might’ve scribed then bequeathed us one tragedy which not only could’ve still informed us today, but presented a template to the sullied comedian’s fate.

Let there be no mistake. What has befallen Cosby is fate. Continue reading American Fly

… But Necessary Nonetheless

Screw John Hersey.

He actually covered (as a war correspondent, Hersey wasn’t a combatant) both theaters during World War II, yet his much lauded New Yorker article describing the aftermath of Little Boy on Hiroshima is steadily transforming the conflict’s concluding factor into a war crime against the victors.

When did commemorations for Hiroshima and Nagasaki become more noteworthy than Pearl Harbor remembrances? And why is this?

How have foreign revanchists and native revisionists alter just punishment into crimes perpetrated by the victims? Continue reading … But Necessary Nonetheless

Welcomed Indecency

Not all worthy films are recognized as such during their premiere issuances. The numbers are legion about movies taking decades before earning proper and due appreciation. This seemed particularly so for movies appearing just before the eruption of World War II.

Given the lingering trauma of the Great War and the Depression’s stubbornness it’s easy to imagine moviegoers everywhere were somewhat resistant to diversions which asked engagement rather than merely distracted.
Why bother thinking when charm was offered?

While Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, and How Green Was My Valley remain lush, intriguing, and heartwarming efforts, respectively, several of the also-rans to these prize winners appear even worthier of the laurels than upon those honored by that era’s sentiments.

One of the least considered of this imminent war period happens to be a favorite movie of mine. So much so it’s one of the few that I routinely watch annually. Not so much it’s become a ritual with a prescribed moment and place (nor incense, oils, and animal sacrifices), but often around this time of year it will occupy a spot on my movie rental queue. Continue reading Welcomed Indecency

Starpower

What to make of Bill Cosby’s recent aggrieved actresses/dilapidated models eruptions? Yeah, against him they’ve certainly stacked the preponderance of remarkable similarities. Nonetheless thanks to presumption of innocence, the accusations alone are insufficient proof of guilt. Otherwise it would be a Salem redux regarding one of America’s former “dads.”

Which is why in the United States one’s proven guilty instead of simply condemned of witchcraft after being spied upon dancing in forest clearings. Continue reading Starpower

Ooh! Scary! Ooh!

Congregants whose services demand sacrificial rites just might look for pointers at how cinema has steeped modern Halloween in blood and gore.

Until fairly recently wasn’t Halloween a simple holiday? One, which for the vast majority of us had lost its pagan purposes. Hadn’t it become candy mania for children and tomfoolery for adults? At best, an occasion for bingeing on movies that scared using moody atmosphere, lucid dialogue and vivid supporting characters?

When did trick or treat entertainments become so ominous? How did The Uninvited become the rebooted version of, what else, Nightmare on Elm Street?

For that matter, how has any producer neglected inserting Ministry’s Everyday Is Halloween into his or her movie?
What happened to the witches and ghosts? The improbable monsters? How did single-minded mass murders and asocial autonomes crowd out our familiar bump-in-the-night terrors? Haven’t these new manifestations of our subconscious, now news cycle regulars, coarsened more than the society they’re intended to reflect? Continue reading Ooh! Scary! Ooh!