November 30, 2013 archive

Saturday Night Movie

On This Day In History November 30

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 30 is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 31 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1886, the Folies Bergère in Paris introduces an elaborate revue featuring women in sensational costumes. The highly popular “Place aux Jeunes” established the Folies as the premier nightspot in Paris. In the 1890s, the Folies followed the Parisian taste for striptease and quickly gained a reputation for its spectacular nude shows. The theater spared no expense, staging revues that featured as many as 40 sets, 1,000 costumes, and an off-stage crew of some 200 people.

In 1886, the Folies Bergère went under new management, which, on November 30, staged the first revue-style music hall show. The “Place aux Jeunes,” featuring scantily clad chorus girls, was a tremendous success. The Folies women gradually wore less and less as the 20th century approached, and the show’s costumes and sets became more and more outrageous. Among the performers who got their start at the Folies Bergère were Yvette Guilbert, Maurice Chevalier, and Mistinguett. The African American dancer and singer Joséphine Baker made her Folies debut in 1926, lowered from the ceiling in a flower-covered sphere that opened onstage to reveal her wearing a G-string ornamented with bananas.

The Folies Bergère remained a success throughout the 20th century and still can be seen in Paris today, although the theater now features many mainstream concerts and performances. Among other traditions that date back more than a century, the show’s title always contains 13 letters and includes the word “Folie.”

Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret. It was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London. The closest métro stations are Cadet and Grands Boulevards.

It opened on 2 May 1869 as the Folies Trévise, with fare including operettas, comic opera, popular songs, and gymnastics. It became the Folies Bergère on 13 September 1872, named after a nearby street, the rue Bergère (the feminine form of “shepherd”).

Édouard Manet‘s 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.

The painting is filled with contemporaneous details specific to the Folies-Bergère. The distant pair of green feet in the upper left-hand corner belong to a trapeze artist, who is performing above the restaurant’s patrons.

The beer which is depicted, Bass Pale Ale (noted by the red triangle on the label), would have catered not to the tastes of Parisians, but to those of English tourists, suggesting a British clientèle. Manet has signed his name on the label of the bottle at the bottom left, combining the centuries-old practice of self-promotion in art with something more modern, bordering on the product placement concept of the late twentieth century. One interpretation of the painting has been that far from only being a seller of the wares shown on the counter, the woman is herself one of the wares for sale; conveying undertones of prostitution. The man in the background may be a potential client.

But for all its specificity to time and place, it is worth noting that, should the background of this painting indeed be a reflection in a mirror on the wall behind the bar as suggested by some critics, the woman in the reflection would appear directly behind the image of the woman facing forward. Neither are the bottles reflected accurately or in like quantity for it to be a reflection. These details were criticized in the French press when the painting was shown. The assumption is faulty when one considers that the postures of the two women, however, are quite different and the presence of the man to whom the second woman speaks marks the depth of the subject area. Indeed many critics view the faults in the reflection to be fundamental to the painting as they show a double reality and meaning to the work. One interpretation is that the reflection is an interaction earlier in time that results in the subject’s expression in the painting’s present.


Part 1 of 2

Late Night Karaoke

WYFP- 2 Memorials and a Thanksgiving

So it’s Thanksgiving and if you still have relatives around it’s a problem.  I wish I had one of mine around.

His name was Fred and he hated it. I met him when he married my Aunt and the first thing I remember about him is he used to tickle me and say “Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Ice Cream”.

That was not his most objectionable trait.

He was also a writer and as I look at my life it’s just amazing how much I have modeled his very worst habits.  I’m a solitary recluse except when I’m practicing politics (in real life folks, takes a heart of stone to cut someone who delivered their votes to me, and I have one).

Fred always respected my space because he understood that being a writer meant spending large quantities of time reading and staring at the ceiling waiting for a muse and then turning out a piece of crap on deadline.

You know, like this one.

He was a public relations professional, an educator, and a Longshoreman (very proud of his Union memberships which he maintained throughout his life).  He lived in New York City and on a commune with a goat and dirt floors.  He spent several years picking rocks (I’m going to stop right here and explain.  This is a pretty common seasonal agricultural occupation in New England where the frost heaves up stones during the winter and you have to pick them out of the soil before you plant).  He never had to work in a chicken factory though except when he taught there.  He wrote for newspapers and magazines pretty continuously, but he also did screenplays and plays, many of them for children.

In fact I’d say the bulk of his work by piece was children’s plays which he wrote for my Aunt to produce with her theater students.  You see if you use commercial material you pay an arm and a leg for it.  She says the worst thing for her is that he was around to see everything she ever produced.

And now, he’s not.

He was a terrible poet who’s efforts mostly reflected his twisted sense of humor which was formed by his admiration of Soupy Sales, the Marx Brothers, and the Three Stooges.  He wrote some short stories and novels, most unpublished, but his magnum opus is his collection of B-Movie quotes which is far more extensive and accurate than IMDB.  He has a collection of over 2000 tapes and DVDs and about twice that in books which will need to be cataloged.

I’ll probably end up his literary executor, not because his daughter (my cousin) is incapable of the task, she’s a book editor, but because she’s busy with two kids and a Masters degree in Special Education and I have the computer skills to detangle his drive which I expect is a mess.

He died unexpectedly after a short illness.  I had not seen him for several years nor was I able to get there before he passed.  I suppose it’s for the best, it was quite debilitating and I suspect that was not the way he wished to be remembered.  I hope he knew how much I admired and respected him.

And so, instead of being with you this evening as I originally intended, I am serving a Thanksgiving feast I and my immediate family and friends have prepared at his memorial.  Sorry I’m not here to interact as is my usual custom.


As it turns out this is not even my first this week.  My political ally and partner lost his mother.  He is a good friend and was the candidate until he lost.  He decided to go in a different direction with his life, I persisted and became Capo di Tutti instead of Consigliere.

I hope you’ve all had a happy, healthy, and safe holiday, so what’s your fucking problem?

The Butterball Hot Line

(h/t John Aravosis @ Americablog)

Friday Night at the Movies

“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”

WKRP “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly” Thanksgiving

Mr. Carlson decides to take a more hands-on managerial approach by doing the greatest Thanksgiving promotion in radio history — dropping live turkeys from a helicopter.

Note– In 1997 TV Guide ranked this episode number 40 on its ‘100 Greatest Episodes of All Time’ list. It is based on a real event that happened at WQXI, the station many of the WKRP characters were based on

We hope everyone is having a health, happy and safe holiday weekend.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Soup to Start

Soup to Start photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zps6b622929.jpg

I love the idea of soup as part of the Thanksgiving meal. There are so many fall vegetables that make delicious, light purées, and that you might want to include in your Thanksgiving menu. But the prospect of a first course with the additional bowls and soup spoons to place and clear, when the main course and trimmings and dessert are the real focus of this meal, gives me pause.

But this year I found a solution, and it solves not just the soup conundrum but also the problem of what to serve before the meal, when guests and family are trickling in, maybe some people are watching football, and you need and want to serve something good without filling people up too much. I will be serving soup shots in demitasse espresso cups. They won’t require spoons, as four of the choices are purées and one is a consommé.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Parsnip and Carrot Soup With Tarragon

A fragrant soup that lets the flavor of the vegetables shine through.

Dried Porcini Consommé

A refreshing and light soup that can be an appetizer or full first course.

Puréed Mushroom Soup

This soup is made without cream, but still tastes very rich.

Celeriac, Potato, Leek and Apple Soup

A sweet and savory mixture that works well as a soup.

Turnip, Leek and Potato Soup

A simple French soup that works well regardless of which vegetable gets the emphasis.