At night, during the making of the Frankenstein films, Boris Karloff sometimes slept with his monster make-up on, as it took so long to apply. He would sleep between 2 books to protect his neck from any harm, which could be caused by those famous glued-on bolts. Karloff spent up to 4 hours in make-up, as the legendary Jack Pierce applied his iconic design.
Over the years, I have seen quite a few hand-tinted photographs of Karloff as the Monster, but rarely any color footage. So, this brief home-movie clip from 1939, of Karloff in full make-up on the set of Son of Frankenstein, is quite delightful.
Here is the exact timetable of my daily activities.
Get up: 7:18 am; be inspired 10:23 to 11:47 am.
Take lunch: 12:11 pm; leave table at 12:14 pm.
Healthy horse-riding out in the grounds: 1:19 to 2:53 pm
More inspiration: 3:12 to 4:07 pm.
Various activities (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, swimming etc.): 4:21 to 6:47 pm.
Dinner is served at 7:16 and ends at 7:20 pm
Then come symphonic readings out loud 8:09 to 9:49 pm.
I go to bed regularly at 10:37 pm. Once a week on Tuesdays I wake with a start at 3:19 am
I can only eat white foods: eggs, sugar, scraped bones, fat from dead animals, veal, salt, coconuts, chicken cooked in white water, rice, turnips, things like pasta, white cheese, cotton salad and certain fish.
I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with fuchsia juice. I have a good appetite, but never talk while eating, for fear of strangling myself.
I breathe carefully a little at a time.
My sleep is deep but I keep one eye open. My bed is round with a hole cut out to let my head through. Once every hour a servant takes my temperature.
I have long subscribed to a fashion magazine. I wear a white bonnet, white stockings and a white waistcoat.
My doctor has always told me to smoke. Part of his advice runs “Smoke away, my dear chap. If you don’t someone else will.”
The Alice Cooper Certificate of Insanity (issued by the School for the Hopelessly Insane) was a limited edition document given away free with Cooper’s album From the Inside, in 1978. Whether this was a recommendation or, a comment on the quality of the record, was never made clear. What is known is that rather like the source for Malcolm Lowry’s excellent novella Lunar Caustic, Cooper’s album was similarly inspired by the singer’s stint in a New York sanitarium for his alcoholism.
From the Inside was co-written with Elton John’s song-writing partner, Bernie Taupin.
Billie Whitelaw stars in Samuel Beckett’s one-woman play Rockaby, which was written in 1980 at the request of Daniel Labeille, to tie-in with a festival and symposium celebrating Beckett’s 75th birthday.
The play focuses on a woman (W),who contemplates her life, and the loss of the things she had been unable to do, leaving her gently, slowly, to her own lonely demise.
““went and sat/at her window/facing other windows/so in the end/close of a long day/in the end went and sat/went back in and sat/at her window”
The play uses repetition, in a similar way a lullaby uses it to comfort a child, but here its purpose is to underscore Beckett’s view of the terrible loneliness and emptiness of the human condition. W searches for some positive affirmation of her life - “a little like.” The chair rocks in time with the words, as if its movement comforts and maintains her life. A dark, and many layered play, that rewards with a second viewing.
As for Whitelaw, she is, as always in Beckett’s plays, perfect.
George Takei is a man after my own heart. As Wired’s Ryan Tate reports in “Family Feud: Tense Thanksgiving for Facebook and George Takei,” the iconic Star Trek actor and political activist is about to publish a new book and apparently he’s preparing a chapter about his frustrations with social network Facebook:
Takei, whose page has nearly 3 million followers on the social network, says in a Facebook post that his forthcoming book Oh Myyy will include an entire chapter devoted to Facebook’s filtering of page posts using an algorithm called EdgeRank and its parallel practice of charging page owners to reduce EdgeRank filtering. Takei made the announcement while replying to another Facebook user who wrote a jeremiad against the filtering. Takei has been outspoken about his frustration with the filtering, which essentially forces him to pay Facebook if he wants to reach all of his own fans.
“I am writing a chapter in my book Oh Myyy about Edgeranking and what I have done to try and achieve higher engagement,” Takei writes. “I am curious as to why interactivity rates on my page appear to fluctuate so much when I have done nothing different. I have not been pressured to use Promoted Pages [advertising], but I have had to take active steps to get fans to add my page to their ‘Interests’ so that it has a higher likelihood of appearing in their newsfeed.”
Takei’s book is slated for release sometime around Thanksgiving, keeping alive a controversial issue that just won’t die. Earlier this fall, the blog Dangerous Minds and the author Ryan Holiday both published rants accusing Facebook of aggressively filtering posts from Facebook pages in order to get owners of the pages to pony up for advertising to escape the filtering. Facebook told our sister site Ars Technica that, regardless of whether the author has paid for promotion, a post can be suppressed if readers fail to interact with the post or if they respond negatively.
Ryan’s conclusion, if you ask me, forecasts an unpleasant future for Facebook:
It’s a complex and wonky issue, one that Facebook might reasonably expect might fade away into confusing arguments involving talk of algorithms, analytics, reach, and viral lift. Except it’s not going to fade away with Sulu from Star Trek beaming his detailed analysis of the situation into people’s Kindles, iPhones and iPads this holiday season along with cute animal pictures. Lending celebrity cred to the topic Facebook filtering is certainly a boon to advocates of internet transparency, but, if Takei’s past frustration is anything to go buy, it will be no gift to Facebook.
No, it certainly won’t be. It will be a public relations disaster of epic proportions.
This is turning into a real “thing.” A thing Facebook’s management team have foolishly not nipped in the bud yet with a Netflix-style mea culpa and an abrupt reversal of their unpopular policy of “promoted posts.”
First it will be George Takei, then the indie bands will start to say “fuck Facebook,” too. They already are.
I don’t think Facebook realizes just how angry the public is. Facebook is only going to get ONE chance to lance this festering boil and if they fumble the ball this time, I believe it could be fatal to their beleaguered stock price. What credible stock analyst would think Facebook is a “buy” with Lieutenant Sulu waging a pop culture jihad against the company?
Breitbart has a legitimate scoop today, one that may have deeply pained them to report on: The staggering technical incompetency of Mitt Romney’s ground game.
A source within the Romney campaign shared his thoughts about “Project Orca,” the campaign’s massive get-out-the-vote digital infrastructure—which failed completely—with Breitbart News:
It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.
Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV
resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.
I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.
Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.
I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.
Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…
Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.
Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
The reichwing is still trying to wrap their heads around, not just why Romney lost, but why he failed even to match John McCain’s tallies in 2008. I tell ‘em: HEY, IT WAS GOD’S WILL.
And then I laugh in their faces. (Actually that’s not true, I don’t know any fucking Republicans).
Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote (Breitbart News)
David Frum. During the Bush administration, I used to really hate him, but now, kinda like how Bruce Springsteen has a grudging respect for NJ Governor Chris Christie, I think he’s pretty good (for a Republican). Pretty astute. Frum says really smart things.
Things the GOP ought to listen to.
David Frum’s instantly published new e-book, Why Romney Lost grabs the lapels of shell-shocked Republicans and attempts to talk some sense into them.
The ratification of the Obama agenda will understandably enrage and depress conservatives. Yet if there is any lesson conservatives ought to have learned from the past four years, it is the danger of succumbing to angry emotion. We’ve had four years of self-defeating rage. Now it’s time for cool.
Those who would urge the GOP to double down on ideology post-2012 should ask themselves: would Republicans have done better if we had promised a bigger tax cut for the rich and proposed to push more people off food stamps and Medicaid? Would we have done better if we had promised to do more to ban abortion and stop same-sex marriage? If we had committed ourselves to fight more wars? To put the country on the gold standard? Almost half of those surveyed on voting day said they wanted to see taxes raised on Americans earning more than $250,000. Exit polls do tend to oversample Democrats, but the tax result is consistent with other polling that has found that even Republicans would prefer to raise taxes on the rich than see cuts in Medicare.
Some combative conservatives may wish that Mitt Romney had talked more about the various plots and conspiracies they believed Obama to have launched upon the land: Fast & Furious, ACORN, Pigford, U.N. bike lanes, Obama’s imagined plan to abolish the suburbs. But while this kind of angry talk may gain eyeballs on Hannity, it’s not the stuff that swings undecided voters in Colorado and Virginia—especially not the women voters who formed 53 percent of the electorate on Tuesday; or the moderates, men and women, who formed 41 percent of it; or the nonreligiously observant, who formed three quarters of it. Only 34 percent of the vote Tuesday was made up of white men. The share of the vote that was made up of older, conservative white men must have been much smaller still. Fox Nation never was more than a very tiny slice of the American nation, and it was only sad self-delusion that ever led anyone to think otherwise.
Interesting to note how much agreement David Frum and Rachel Maddow would find themselves in, post election, isn’t it? I’d love to see Frum as a guest on her show and being interviewed by Bill Moyers, too.
Do yourself a favor and watch this video clip at least until the end of Frum’s first answer to the big question: “Why did Mitt Romney lose?” He also gets a very good point in at around the 11 minute mark about how Republican voters were exploited and fleeced for their donations with apocalyptic, “death of America” rhetoric. Fellow Republican Joe Scarborough strongly agrees with him.
Let There Be Rock is a film version of one of AC/DC’s greatest concerts. Recorded during their Highway to Hell tour, at the Pavillon de Paris, France, on December 9th, 1979, this concert contains a great selection of some of the band’s best known early numbers (“Highway To Hell,” “Let There Be Rock,” “Whole Lotta Rosie”), together with stunning performances from an unstoppable Angus Young (only pausing for some oxygen) on guitar, and blistering vocals from Bon Scott.
01. “Live Wire”
02. “Shot Down in Flames”
03. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
04. “Sin City”
06. “Walk All Over You”
08. “Bad Boy Boogie”
09. “The Jack”
11. “Highway to Hell”
12. “Girls Got Rhythm”
13. “High Voltage”
15. “Whole Lotta Rosie”
17. “Let There Be Rock”
Tragically, 2 months after this concert, Bon Scott died, his body found in the back of car outside a friend’s house in London. His demise started the version of AC/DC we know today, with former Geordie singer, Brian Johnson on lead vocals.