Captain America - The First Avenger (2011) last night. I concur with my son's assessment: It was okay. Not as good as I had hoped, not as bad as I had feared. It contained the usual Hollywood tropes - a fisty, aggressive female, an anachronistic, racially inclusive infantry platoon, the usual imperviousness to small arms fire - but given what the entertainment industry thinks of patriotism these days (name a movie star who has seen military service), I suppose it could have been much worse.
Thank goodness for Band of Brothers; perhaps that production set the tone for current film treatments of World War II. Revise America's role or meaning in that conflict at your peril...
Along with Batman, Captain America was my favorite comic book super hero when I was a kid. Circa 1965-1967, when I was reading comics avidly, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were leading a Captain America renaissance: the wonderfully creative Cosmic Cube and Sleepers story lines were part of that, and so were the 1940's issues which were being reprinted in 80 page giants. Since I always associated with my father's G.I. Generation rather than with my own, my interest in Captain America and all he represented was easy and natural. When I read that Hollywood was about to produce a big budget movie treatment of the character, I cringed. But... It wasn't bad. Still, I would have preferred that the Steve Rogers part had gone to that sympathetic young man who plays in the American version of The Office, who was considered for the role. (IMDb to the rescue: John Krasinski.)
I think part of the attraction of Batman and Captain America for me was that they couldn't fly, sear things with heat ray vision, be able to run at super speeds or enjoy invulnerability. They were more or less real. True, Cap was a "super soldier" thanks to a serum and had generally unspecified powers, but these were deemphasized (especially in the 1940's stories) and one had the impression that if one spent enough time in a gym and single-mindedly dedicated one's life to it, one could become a Batman or a Captain America. It was an inspiring thought, especially since I was having any notions of self-worth being beaten into the ground at the time by a miserable teacher. I suppose it's significant that I also enjoyed the Jimmy Olsen comics... once again, a normal human (albeit with a bow tie) who was defined, more or less, by his friendship with Superman and not by super powers of his own. He just wanted to be a good reporter; I sympathized with him.
Last night I also viewed a rather clunky Italian film about the British and German navies in World War II, Under Ten Flags (1960), based on real incidents. The story of merchant raider commander Bernhard Rogge and his ship the Atlantis is interesting... as I have remarked before, there seems to be an never-ending stream of fascinating stories which came out of World War II!
I visited the Newseum in D.C.; I've wanted to do that for years. (Took a video.) The admission was $23 dollars after D.C.'s steep taxes. I'm not sure it was worth it. All in all, I enjoyed my visit to the Manassas Bug Out more. (Yipes! I'm turning into a redneck!)
I think I am again going to find a literary agent for Avocado Memories to try getting it published. Clearly, people like it. I have fifteen years of emails from complete strangers telling me so in terms like "You made me cry/you made me laugh/I just spent the entire night reading this"... that surely must mean something to a publisher, oughtn't it?
I submitted it to an agency back in 1998; they accepted it (they were the first I had tried, in fact) and shopped it around. It was haggled over by Chronicle Books in San Francisco for months, but they finally decided against it. But now perhaps its time has come. I feel certain it can be at least as good as other such books I have seen and read. And I am unaware of a work quite like it. How many graphically narrated home tours from the 1960's/1970's have you seen in book form?
If I spend half as much time promoting this with the time I spend composing needlessly provocative Facebook postings I should get some results.
My wife has only been gone on her Utah jaunt for somewhat more than 24 hours and the house is already beginning to take on the attributes of Bachelor Hall: the trash smells, the bed doesn't have a remote chance of being made (the decorative pillows will be spending their days on the floor until she returns), a fine layer of dust is settling everywhere, disregarded, and the window shades remain closed. The pots, pans and dishes I cannot run through the dishwasher are becoming "clean." Shaving seems optional. I suppose next I'll be buying stacks of frozen pizzas and receiving the knowing, disapproving stares of cashiers. Eventually, if left to my own, I'll purchase a few bottles of Mad Dog 20/20, hop freight trains and, half lunatic, make my home in the weedy, overgrown sections of town tangential to industrial areas with Vietnam vets real and imagined. If such becomes the case, Dear Reader, do not expect blog entries! Perhaps a friend will post the police blotter note of my sad demise to this site as a cautionary warning of the perils of being a man alone.
Hey, I lost 1.8 pounds last week. That's more like it! Perhaps I have not yet plateaued. I have lost a total of 35.2 pounds in 21 weeks for an average of 1.7 lbs./week. I'm slowing down in my race to the bottom! (Wherever "bottom" happens to be.)
It's looking like fine yard sale weather for use of the convertible tomorrow... I may have lunch at Bozelli's and enjoy one of their superlative steak and cheese sandwiches. And then perhaps an historic site, a museum or a battlefield (I haven't decided).
Or a weedy industrial area.
Have a great weekend!
- ▼ June (19)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)