Here are some more pink shoes Lielle has her eyes on.
It’s been quite a week.
The RNC took center stage with a powerful message calling for a return to constitutional values, support for Israel, and a resounding rejection of the collectivist, big government tyranny being imposed by the current, extremist regime.
Hurricane Isaac brought disaster to some communities in the Big Easy, while Obama fiddled at — what else? — fund raisers.
Karen and I slipped away to Yosemite for a brief vacation. In the old days, I used to shlep an SLR and half a dozen lenses. Now I just use my iPhone. The truth is the best camera is the one you use and my iPhone, for better or worse, is always there like an extra limb.
When we were first married in 1977, Karen and I used to go camping and indulge in some hair-raising rock climbing. But now our idea of roughing it is staying in the Ahwahnee, a luxury hotel in the heart of Yosemite Valley.
Karen and I could not believe how smoothly the hotel was run. Afterall, Yosemite is a National Park. Is it possible, we asked ourselves, that the federal government is capable of running an efficient and profitable business? Were our Conservative ideals about to be shattered?
Hypothetical question: Your house is on fire. Everyone is safe. You can run in and rescue one item. What will it be?
The answer, overwhelmingly, is family photos.
We are the sum of our memories. Photos help us capture time and space, preserve moments that otherwise would be lost. I seek the ordinary, the flat reality which is otherwise invisible.
Seraphic Secret watches movies in thematic clusters.
Last year I concentrated on the work of specific actors, among them: Clara Bow, John Gilbert, Mary Nolan, Lon Chaney, Esther Ralston and, adolescent sigh, Brigitte Bardot.
For the past few weeks I’ve been screening war movies, with an emphasis on films from Russia and Finland.
World War II brought Russian casualties in the millions. Soviet generals used mass instead of maneuver, throwing full regiments into suicidal headlong attacks designed to wear down the enemy through attrition. German soldiers were disciplined and equipped with the finest weapons, but eventually the Russian winter and the endless supply of Russian soldiers broke the German front.
Of course, Stalin’s political purges thinned the herd of capable Russian officers, but in truth, even Marshall Zhukov, Stalin’s most successful general, was not tactically subtle. He was a ruthless commander who did not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of millions of peasant soldiers who feared the political commissars of the Red Army as much as they feared the despised Nazis.
And so, just as American war movies give us a pretty good idea of the American mind and heart during times of war, Russian and Finnish films have a point of view that affords us profound insights into specific attitudes towards war, peace, duty, patriotism and of course love.