Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Holiday Gifts

Hollywood Bohemians: Transgressive
Sexuality and the Selling of the Movieland
Dream. Brett L. Abrams. 256pp.,
2008, $39.95 softcover, 20 photos,
notes, bibliography, index, 978-0-7864-
3929-4.
Mexican Cinema: Reflections of a
Society, ¡896–2004, 3d ed. Carl J.
Mora. 335pp., 2005, $49.95 hardcover
(7 × ¡0), ¡58 photos, bibliography,
appendices, notes, index, 978-0-7864-
2083-4.
Asian Gothic: Essays on Literature,
Film and Anime. Edited by Andrew
Hock Soon Ng. 252pp., 2008, $35 softcover,
notes, bibliography, index, 978-
0-7864-3335-3.
Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science
Fiction and Film Noir. Paul Meehan.
272pp., 2008, $55 hardcover (7 × ¡0),
64 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography,
index, 978-0-7864-3325-4.
Sword Fighting in the Star Wars
Universe: Historical Origins, Style
and Philosophy. Nick Jamilla. 287pp.,
2008, $35 softcover, notes, bibliography,
index, 978-0-7864-346¡-9.
Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film. Karen
Burroughs Hannsberry. 643pp., 20¡0
[¡998], $75 softcover (in 2 vols.), 98
photos, references, filmographies, bibliography,
index, 978-0-7864-4682-7.
Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir.
Karen Burroughs Hannsberry. 797pp.,
2008 [2003], $75 softcover (7 × ¡0 in 2
vols.), ¡48 photos, appendices, bibliography,
index, 978-0-7864-3739-9.
Cornell Woolrich from Pulp Noir to
Film Noir. Thomas C. Renzi. 368pp.,
2006, $35 softcover, 32 photos, bibliography,
index, 978-0-7864-235¡-4.

Parade Magazine’s Cowboy Stadium

Woke up this weekend and saw the article in Parade magazine on the cost of sports. Thought the piece was either about the high risk of injury or focused on the economics of professional sports.

The writer focused on the cost of attending a football game. Fair enough. Who can afford to get a good ticket for a NBA game ($150 face value). Even a good ticket for a MLB Baseball game runs ($40-60) and there are 81 home games a year!

The prices are amazing for a NFL game. “The average cost of attending an NFL game for a family of four is $412.64, it’s a staggering $758.58 to watch the Cowboys.” While mentioning that the new Cowboy stadium carries $1.15 billion price tag, the writer doesn’t mention who paid for that.

Just like I describe in Capital Sporting Grounds for Washington, DC, it’s the taxpayers. The total cost of Arlington’s share of the stadium bond debt, including interest, is expected to be $502.9 million. That’s about $44 million more than the city initially expected. At least in this case the team paid about half of the cost!

In the current economic times, who has the disposable income to attend games? Presumably only the top salaried individuals while everyone has to pay for the actual stadium.

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Depression, Love Life and Male Culture

Recently I received news that a person who I worked with died at 48 years old. It shocked me.

Then I discovered that they had ridden their bicycle into a local woods and took a boat load of pills. The suicide made me wonder if working for the federal government could be so stressful. Then I learned of the split in his marriage.

There are many more men that face dark moments in their lives and men in this culture does not provide an effective answer, except suck it up or deal with it.

I found this article on a major league baseball player from the Oakland A’s fascinating because it discusses some of these issues.

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The Value of Local History

The Washington DC Studies Conference this weekend drew several hundred people to wide ranging talks on stories of the nation’s capital.

Pennsylvania Ave around 1905

The event took place in the city’s Charles Sumner School, one of the first public school buildings erected for the education of Washington’s black community.

Sumner Museum & Archives

 

Presenters ranged from professional historians and architects to long-time residents. Historian Kathryn Smith opened the conference with a discussion of the need to tell local and federal DC stories together. Histories about local people and activities empower residents and convince the citizens in other areas of the country and the world of the value of the place.

Social and community history capture the stories of people in their everyday lives and give us a rich and deep sense of place.

Conferees told of the Berry Farm community and the Underground Railroad little known places.

I learned about the prevalence of particular kinds of crimes in the 19th century and about plans of builders to establish communities with the style of houses they built near the city’s Soldiers Home in the 1910s.

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Media’s Short Memory

Today the New York Times ran an article on the marvel of combining hockey and figure skating to create a successful television program. Nowhere does the piece mention that this is not such a new idea. Have they ever seen the movie, The Cutting Edge from 1992!

Perhaps D.B. Sweeney is not their their favorite actor. Co-star Moira Kelly made a handful of movies. But even several movie guides rate the movie very good. It’s hard not to root for them to win the gold!

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My Yankees Unsung Hero

Been nearly a decade, which for us Yankee fans seems like an eternity. And this is why other baseball and sports fans feel such warmth toward us.

Still, I relish this moment, particularly since many of the pundits who predicted aYankee win began wavering when the Phillies won Game 5.

One player had a major role in influencing several of the post season games and last night’s World Series game: Damaso Marte.  He had a haoorible season and was even injured during much of the regular season.

Joe Girardi deserves great credit for recognizing that this was a new season. Several newspaper columnists and television broadcasters even took issue with him using Marte and what did the player do, he retired all ten batters he faced in the post season.

Most Dangerous Man

Another intriguing year of movies at a Washington, DC Film Festival. The DC Labor festival featured two weeks of movies.

The most interesting group was called the Whistleblower series. Shown at a time when the US Congress is debating a bill to offer protection to federal government employees who speak out about problems and spending issues, the series included four movies: The Whistleblower, Silkwood, The Insider and The Most Dangerous Man In America.

3858172.47

The latter showed in the new theater at the US Capitol Visitors Center and large, spacious, beautiful theater. Representative Jim Moran (Democrat from Virginia) provided inspiring opening remarks.  The audience contained several other political notables and Washington figures.

The movie is a fascinating time capsule that resonates with America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If five US Presidents can lie to the public about their efforts in Vietnam, then George W. Bush‘s lying about Iraq is not unusual and what is currently not being told to the public?

Ellsberg raises the most salient point: citizens need to be vigilant and demand to know what their leaders are doing!

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