Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Written On The Wind/Scarlet Empress/O Brother, Where Art Thou?/Queen Kelly

Have done some old movie-watching lately. Came across a few good ones.

Have to mention some of my favourite scenes.

Written on the Wind / Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall / Douglas Sirk
Trashy, and strongly conservative 50's melodrama, with fab colour photography.
Trampy rich girl Dorothy Malone breaks her daddy's heart by picking up strange men at gas stations, then does a wild mambo in her room oblivious to her father having a heart-attack on the dramatically steep staircase outside her door.

The Scarlet Empress / Marlene Dietrich / Josef von Sternberg
1930's flick.
Marlene sleeps with half the men in Moscow, while still being a more virtuous character than most of the people in the film. There are parts of the film which are intended to show that the filmmakers in Hollywood weren't officially approving of this kind of floozy behaviour. But the story sends the opposite message. Marlene learns the games of Moscow better than anyone else. She gives up on love and uses sex for pleasure and power, finally being made queen in the triumphant finish.
Also like the rather rude scene where Marlene first turns up at the Imperial court and is checked by a doctor to make sure she is fit for marrying into royalty. So while Marlene is being interviewed by the queen, the doctor disappears up under her dress and rummages around. When he's done, he pops his head out and advises the queen that all is as it should be. The punchline comes when Marlene reaches up under her dress, ruffles around a bit, pulls out the doctor's wig and hands it back to him.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? / George Clooney / Joel Coen
Not an old movie, but a good one, and I had to mention that I love the musical Ku Klux Klan scene.

Queen Kelly / Gloria Swanson / Erich von Stroheim
Young orphan girl Gloria is walking along one day when her knickers fall down. Somehow she doesn't notice this happening. A nobleman riding past is amused by this. When Gloria works out what has happened, she decides that she doesn't appreciate being laughed at. To teach the fellow a lesson she throws her knickers in his face!
This film was never finished, due to Erich Von Stroheim going over-budget. So there are different versions. The film I saw had Gloria jumping to her death in a river. The grieving nobleman uses a sword to kill himself. But on amazon.com, it says the american version has Gloria going off to Africa to work in a brothel!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

It's not working yet Matthew - I think you've just confused it - it's still coming up with discount encyclicals and the Vatican photo album.

Although now - I had another look before I published this post - it's coming up with Perfect Kauai honeymoon? and Honeymoon in Hawaii.

I can't wait for the stuff about hamsters with itchy scalps. "Does your rodent suffer dandruff?"

Friday, September 05, 2003

Creepy ad banners

Well Lynn, you've opened my eyes to something.
Today I looked at the banner ad on my blog and it has two ads, both for american resorts that cater for gay civil unions, weddings and honeymoons!
The website must have some program that reads what we write, looking for certain keywords, and then matches appropriate ads to go at the top of the page.
Kind of creepy.
In a few of our messages we've chatted about gay marriages, so the blog website presumes I might be interested in, and I quote: "Tropical Gay Honeymoon. Celebrate your civil union in style at Ft Lauderdale's true G/L B&B."
I wonder if this can be played with.
Like maybe I could pretend to talk about something, and see if some interesting banner ads turn up. Let's see, what are some keywords....
Chocolate, raising hamsters, virgin sacrifices, UFOs, Bridget Fonda, trampolines, health care, RateMyPoo (now there's a good website), needlepoint, bottoms, Tahiti getaway, I Want My MTV, pickles, dental floss, itchy scalp, lesbian, sex tips for nurses, worm farming.
I think that should do it.
In the next few days I'm going to have to keep an eye on the ad banners and see if I get any results.

hi Matthew, hi Cade, hi Brian !

I like the way blogger matches banner ads to the blog. For example, today when I look at MatthewSmith there's an ad for a Vatican Online Photo Book, paired with an ad for RateMyBody.com

Apart from the excitement of that I find it very exciting that Matthew has finally done his own blogging.

I'd like to add a little to the ongoing discussion about marriage to point out that there seems to be discrimination against heterosexual couples built into the UK immigration laws, in that a heterosexual couple MUST be married or intending to marry to immigrate to the UK, whereas, a homosexual couple MUST immigrate as "significant others" as it is illegal for same sex couples to be married in the UK.

Now that's interesting.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Hello Matthew, et al.

Though the post about gay marriages is old, it seems in the spirit of these things--not that I've ever done this before--to pipe up.

As you can imagine, Canada's recent move toward gay marriages provoked something of a stir in the US, but only in the sense that it seems that the federal government--Republicans for sure, and Democrats because they tend to be weak--is doing what it can to quash legislation at the federal level that allows gay marriages. There's the move to define marriage as explicitly between a man and a woman, and that's it.

Though I am not gay--and indeed, am about to be married--this of course bothers me, mostly because one's sexual orientation seems far more complicated than just "I like girls" or "I like boys," and I wish that the law would reflect that. But of course it doesn't. Indeed, I can't think of a single thing Bush has done that does reflect reality, but then again, we're talking about a man who doesn't get out much.

Anyhoo, to some extent, though, I'm not sure it matters. Vermont, a state in the US, quietly allowed civil unions for non-heterosexual couples; I suspect that slowly other states will follow suit. They'll have to, as people move out of Vermont, settle down in other states, and expect that the legal rights they enjoyed there will translate over. Also because it's my opinion that as you move from national-level politics to local-level politics, government policies begin more and more to reflect the actual needs of the people. If that assumption is right, then civil unions, if not marriages, for gay couples are just around the corner in California and New York--which would be a big step toward other states falling it, albeit slowly.

But is it worth all the trouble? After all, domestic partnerships, which at least in New York same-sex couples are allowed to have, can fulfill many of the legal functions of a marriage certificate, in that they allow you to get on each others' health insurance plans, buy property together, etc.--not everywhere of course, but it can be done. How important is it that a full-fledged marriage be allowed?

This, of course, leads to what is to my mind the big question: what does marriage mean anyway? What does it mean if you're straight? What does it mean if you're gay?

Have at it.
Here are some interesting websites.

* http://www.pm.gov.au/
The Aussie Prime Minister's website.
There's a spot for you to click on so you can write to him (to tell him to piss off perhaps?).

The Media Watch website.
The 'Dog of the week' page often has some amusing little mistakes by the newspapers.

* http://www.crikey.com.au/
Alternative look at Australian politics

* http://www.geocities.com/mnussitch/gossip.html
A list one fellow has made up of all the scurrilous gossip he can gather on Hollywood celebrities.

* http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho
The BBC's Doctor Who homepage.

* http://ami.iamcal.com/A+Good+Movie/
Vote on whether you thought a film was good or not, then see what everyone else thought. Prepare to be annoyed if they hated your favourite film.

Will have to think of some more later.