Amoeblog

DON'T QUOTE ME BOY. I AIN'T SAID.......

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2007 07:45am | Post a Comment

It would make sense that as time progresses, use of the language we share would likewise progress. But not so. The opposite, in fact, appears to be the case in our current culture. As time marches on, despite all of the new technologies directly linked to the language, the use (nay, abuse) of simple English, especially in the written form, seems to be regressing at a rapid rate. 

Quiz any English high school teacher on the general current state of students' penmanship, spelling, grammar, etc. and odds are they will squeeze their face into a painful look and tug on their hair as they proceed to launch into a list of the many ills of today's abuse of the English language. And it is the written word, especially the typed or texted word, that tends to be the biggest victim of this current decline of the language.

These days, with typos and overuse of CAPS being the norm in the majority of Emails, IMs, and text messages, it is as if we are all granted a poetic license to type and spell however we feel fit. And of course this is all fine so long as the person on the other end of the two way communication can understand what the hell is been said or written. And this is where the problems and fun begin. In fact, many amused bloggers have dedicated websites to the numerous abuses of the English language.

One of my favorites is one that focuses on the misuse of quotation marks. The blog of unnecessary quotation marks is a fun site to visit to check out sent-in photos of signs that have been printed up with quotation marks used when they did not need to be used such as the "live" reindeer in the poster above. But take a moment to check out the blog of unnecessary quotation marks for many more abuses of the quotation mark and feel free to add to COMMENTS below your pet peeve when it comes to the current abuse of the English language -- be it spelling errors or overused terms like LOL.       

The Dangers of Swordplay: Cruising (1980)

Posted by Charles Reece, December 20, 2007 11:59pm | Post a Comment
A quick Google search reveals (well, confirms) that the snooty de rigueur critical terms ‘lyrical’ and ‘poetic’, which let you know that a film is serious art, rather than déclassé entertainment, pop up frequently with discussions of Claire Denis’ BEAU TRAVAIL, but only accidentally, if at all, with William Friedkin’s CRUISING.  (‘Poetic’ even shows up as a plot keyword in the former’s IMDB listing, whereas the latter gets words like ‘perversion’, ‘evil’ and ‘stabbed in the back’.)  Yet both films feature extended sequences of men with beautiful bodies, clustered together and moving in rhythm to music; both are concerned with men of uniform in their habitus, either diurnal or nocturnal, performing a ritual; and both argue for a certain degree of fluidity in male sexuality – however, degree is implicated by using highly different narrative styles.  The “poetic” homophilia of BEAU TRAVAIL is more a suggestion through the recognition of the beauty of male movement, so any of its purported gayness has plausible deniability (like obsessive wrestling fans rewatching old matches of Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka), whereas CRUISING quite literally and graphically depicts the lure of homosexuality for even the most macho of men, NYC cops.  If the object of audience identification, a straight cop, Steve Burns (Al Pacino), can catch it by breathing in the salty air of late 70s S&M clubs and dirty rags drenched in amyl nitrate, then you might, too.  I guess lyricism and poesis don’t spring to mind when our hero is starting to get turned on by a greasy depiction of fisting.

That homosexuality might be taught, or that it could lure someone in, remains a controversial idea among gay rights advocates.  Essentialism qua naturalism tends to be a more comforting thought, and not without some good reason.  Religious demagogues work up the fear of right-wing parents by suggesting that their children might catch the immoral queer “meme.”  Thus, the possibility that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality becomes a way of assuaging these bigoted fears, or at least as a scientistic defense.  But this has always been a fallacious debate.  Just because something’s natural doesn’t give it moral propriety.   If a murder-gene were found, society wouldn’t suddenly start calling murder moral.   And so it goes with homosexuality: regardless of whether Steve Burns starts off as latently gay, or begins to become more gay as he goes undercover in the gay S&M outre-mer to investigate a string of murders is unimportant, the moral questions raised by the film shouldn’t be any different.  Homosexuality is no more nor less moral for being biologically natural than heterosexuality.

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Captive Rage

Posted by phil blankenship, December 20, 2007 11:34pm | Post a Comment
 





Forum Home Video FH79016

christmas records, hollywood icon style

Posted by Whitmore, December 20, 2007 09:11pm | Post a Comment


Celebrities, actors, politicians, actually any one with an ounce of fame and without an ounce of shame seem to always want to get into the glamorous record business. That is as true today as it has been for many, many a decade. And one of the simplest ways to back into a recording career is to release a Christmas record, either novelty or a heartfelt, weepy ditty. But I have to say it’s very odd when a cultural icon steps into these murky waters.

When Cary Grant recorded “Christmas Lullaby” in 1967 it was just a year after he retired from the movie industry, leaving as one of the most popular and respected actors of all time. Obviously, Grant learned a few things from his occasional, and unintentionally amusing, stabs at singing on screen. Check-out his performance as the Mock Turtle in the 1933 Alice in Wonderland, or his attempt with a ballad in Kiss and Make Up, because in 1967 Grant mostly recites “Christmas Lullaby” in that perfectly invented accent of his. He gently whispers to his sleeping daughter the joys she’ll find on Christmas morning, about the time Grant promises that angels will always be there to watch over and bless her he breaks into song … well sort of … I guess it was easier for the former Archie Leach to invent the actor we know as Cary Grant then it is for Cary Grant to invent a singer. But who cares, it’s still Cary Grant! Like Audrey Hepburn’s line in Charade whenshe asks and purrs, "Do you know what's wrong with you?  Nothing." 

December 19, 2007

Posted by phil blankenship, December 20, 2007 06:57pm | Post a Comment
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