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On the Complementarity of Actors & Writers

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:36 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Literature & Ideas,Movies/Film & TV

Just over ten years ago, as I was outlining my first screenplay, I dreaded having to write a scene near the story’s climax.  A middle-aged man would come face to face with the woman he had always loved, but whose affection he rejected for the sake of social propriety, his defining flaw.  Given how much needed to be “said” in that scene, I feared my skills as a writer were inadequate to convey the characters’ conflicting emotions as they faced each other, aware of their passion, but accepting that they would never share it.

Once I started writing the scene, I realized how easy was my task.  I just needed to write the words.  It was up to the actors to convey the emotion and the internal conflict.  It’s one reason I want Angela Bassett cast as the woman; she’d give Martha a depth which no script could convey.

A film buff now for nearly twelve years, I’m still amazed how actors can do just that, give the dialogue meaning that you don’t see when you just read the words on the page, sometimes give it greater meaning than even the writer intended and a meaning, entirely consistent with the character he crafted.  To cite just one example, take a gander at Helen Mirren‘s Oscar-nominated* performance as Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park.  When you know the film’s twist and watch it a second time, you realize that you might have figured it all out had you just paid close attention to her face.

The ability of actors to transcend the script has been much on my mind in recent weeks, particularly in watching one movie (on DVD), episodes of a television series (also on DVD) and seeing a play (live on stage).  In each production, the actors made the script seem almost meaningless (there might be a bit of hyperbole in that statement).

If it weren’t for the last two-thirds of Spartacus, Kirk Douglas might have won an Oscar for his performance as the eponymous leader of a Roman slave rebellion.  For the first hour, he barely speaks, yet dominates every scene he’s in.  He doesn’t need to.  You know what kind of man his character is just by watching.  Only when he opens his mouth does his performance seem to suffer.   It’s as if speaking detracted from his acting.  

For Patrick Stewart, however, words become the medium for him to transcend their meaning.  Watching him in the various episodes in Star Trek The Next Generation – Jean-Luc Picard Collection, you quickly forget how clunky much of the dialogue is (Star Trek writers do better with the stories they created and the issues they explore than with the dialogue they write).   (more…)

What Price to Avoid Boredom?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:58 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

That idea came to mind Wednesday when, as my headache was beginning to ease up, I had to run a few errands.  I was at the Grove checking out prices and specs of a new Mac while buying a few necessities.  To make things easier on myself, I decided to grab a quick bit at the adjacent Farmer’s Market where I could get a cheese plate at Monsieur Marcel.  My sister-in-law insists that cheese is good for headaches. (Whether or not science backs her up is immaterial; just believing it is true transforms eating one of my favorite foods from a delightful and nutritious experience to a pleasant and therapeutic one.)

As I contemplated a sit-down meal, I pondered what I would do to deal with the boredom while I waited to order and be served.  There were only so many ideas I could scribble into the note-pad I keep with me at all times.  Would it be worthwhile to buy a book, I wondered (and not for the first time in such a situation), just to have something to occupy my time?  Or, maybe a magazine, much cheaper than books they are. (more…)

Of Headaches & Common Sense

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:31 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Health & medical,Random Thoughts

In my previous post, I mentioned “aggravations” I had experienced this past week.  That word seemed appropriate to encompass the frustrating process of going through my closets looking for stuff to sell and enduring a headache which slowed me down for the better part of Wednesday.

And it was a headache I could have avoided.  Back when I was in my early 20s, I used to get these really bad headaches that would last for an afternoon or evening, then disappear totally by the following morning (if I got a good night’s sleep).  My father told me that his Dad, my grandfather, also used to get really bad headaches in his 20s and 30s, but sometime in his mid-30s, they started occurring with less and less regularity.  The same thing happened to me.  I get fewer headaches nowadays and can usually avoid most such aggravations by making sure to drink enough water on hot days and not to wear my contacts for longer than a month.

Well, I started wearing my last pair sometime in mid-April which means I should have replaced them last week.  But, well, I wanted that pair to last me until the end of the month.  I put them on on Tuesday before going to the Decision Day Rally and could feel the buildup of enzymes or whatever accumulates after I’ve worn them for so long.  I know that if I wear contacts which feel as those did, a headache often ensues.  But, after a few minutes, my eyes began to adjust, so I didn’t let it bother me.

On Wednesday, I woke with an excruciating headache. (more…)

More MSM coverage of anti-Prop 8 Protests than of Tea Parties?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:55 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Media Bias,Tea Party

In my picture post on the “Decision Day Rally” in West Hollywood earlier this week to protest the California Supreme Court’s affirmation of Prop 8, I speculated that such “pro-gay marriage rallies will get better coverage in the MSM than did the anti-tax and spend rallies last month.”  Because of a variety of obligations and aggravations this week, I have not been able to investigate that hypothesis, but a post (to which reader Peter Hughes alerted me) at Newsbusters seems to back up my theory.  Note, I say, “seems.”  I have yet to explore this in depth.  Maybe some media watchdogs can help me out.

Over at Newsbusters, Colleen Raezler writes:

ABC, CBS and NBC combined devoted nearly 11 minutes of air time during their evening and morning news shows to the May 26 California Supreme Court ruling that upheld Proposition 8, the 2008 state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. The networks gave gay rights activists more than seven minutes of air time, through interviews and footage of their protests, while they gave Prop 8 supporters less than one minute to talk about their victory.

Now, I wondering, did the networks give that much time to the Tea Parties on Tax Day.  It would be interesting to compare the coverage.

In both cases, we had genuine grassroots gatherings, but only the anti-Prop 8 rally seems to meet the standard MSM definition of what a legitimate protest is supposed to be.

Gay Lefties Beginning To Realize Democrats Are Liars

My only response:  I TOLD YOU SO.

AMERICAblog reports:

Obama joked about gay protesters asking him to keep promises: “I don’t know which promise he was talking about.”

So, Mr. Obama doesn’t know which promise the protester was talking about? Did he even know what was going on in California? About the Prop. 8 decision? Does he know who Lt. Choi is? Who briefs Obama on LGBT issues? Anyone? Because, it was well known that the LGBT community would be protesting. And, as for promises, there were several. To remind him, we could say check the White House website for a list of the promises Obama made to the LGBT community during the campaign. But, that wouldn’t probably wouldn’t do any good.


Obama, The First Gay President?  Hardly.  The ADVOCATE is reporting today that the White House will not move on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Here’s a wise commenter from the ADVOCATE story:

I read all these comments slamming Obama, but we all know he will still get your votes when he runs again, regardless of his stance on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act.  How do I know this?  Because he has a D after his name, and when it comes to discrimination, being a Democrat means never having to say your sorry.

Here’s another news item that should set the Gay Left’s panties on fire this weekend:

Washington Blade: Gay rights bills remain stalled in Congress

So let me get this right.   When the Democrats held the Congress for nearly 40 years (until 1995), there was no significant gay-rights legislation passed.  And now, after all of the promises and money given by The Gays — no progress after the Democrats have held Congress for two more years and now the White House.

Hey, Gays Who Support Democrats:  You are suckers.  Hopeandchange, hopeandchange!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Thoughts about a Blue Jean Jacket:
or, Continuing the House Cleaning

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:50 am - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Random Thoughts

When I first posted on my house cleaning yesterday early in the afternoon Pacific Time, I had intended to take only about an hour or so to go through my closets and cupboards so I could come up with some stuff to sell at my friend’s yard sale.  And just in case, you’re in LA, here are the details again, tomorrow Saturday May 30 from 8am-3pm as the corner of Cahuenga and Bloomfield in Toluca Lake. One block south of Moorpark. East side of Cahuenga.   (In the Valley.)

So, I posted on it, headed out to run some errands (including a stop at Staples to buy some storage boxes).

When I returned from my errands, I decided to dispense with blogging and my workout to continue what I had begun earlier in the day.  I removed all my T-shirts from my closet–and took most of my shirts on hangers off the bar.  I even removed everything from three shelves in my built-in linen cupboard.

It was amazing how much stuff I had accumulated, some stuff that I just removed from boxes when I moved here, now nearly a decade ago, from Washington, D.C. and put into the space it occupied . . . until today.

As I removed stuff from my closet, I took note of my blue jean jacket.  Not until I looked at it, did I recall how much I loved wearing that jacket back when I was in law school.  I don’t think I’ve worn it since.  I graduated in 1994.  At least I can’t recall wearing it.  Previously, when I looked for shirts to give away, I had the exact same experience I had had yesterday.

This time, I finally moved it to the sell pile.

Only when I look at it do I recall how much I once loved it.  I guess that’s why I refused to give it away in the past.  When it’s gone, I’ll have a little more space in my closet.  And I’ll think about it exactly as much as I did when it took up that space.


A Typical Bush Critic

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:07 am - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Bush-hatred

In an article on former President George W. Bush’s speech in Michigan, AP Reporter James Prichard asked Mark Brewer, chairman of the state Democratic Party, for his reaction.   And this representative of the political party of the Governor of his state, the state with “the highest jobless rate” in the nation sounded a lot like some of our critics:

“I think it takes a lot of gall for him to come into Michigan without acknowledging the damage that his policies have done to the state,” Brewer said. He did not offer any specifics.

Typical of so many Bush critics, fault him without specifying what he did wrong.