Growltiger’s Last Stand

GROWLTIGER was a Bravo Cat, who lived upon a barge;
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of “The Terror of the Thames.”His manners and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye. 

The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame,
At Hammersmith and Putney people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore: GROWLTIGER’S ON THE LOOSE!

Woe to the weak canary, that fluttered from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekinese, that faced Growltiger’s rage.
Woe to the bristly Bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships,
And woe to any Cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!

But most to Cats of foreign race his hatred had been vowed;
To Cats of foreign name and race no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear–
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear.

Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play,
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay.
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide–
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.

His bucko mate, GRUMBUSKIN, long since had disappeared,
For to the Bell at Hampton he had gone to wet his beard;
And his bosun, TUMBLEBRUTUS, he too had stol’n away-
In the yard behind the Lion he was prowling for his prey.

In the forepeak of the vessel Growltiger sate alone,
Concentrating his attention on the Lady GRIDDLEBONE.
And his raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks–
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.

Growltiger had no eye or ear for aught but Griddlebone,
And the Lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone,
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise–
But the moonlight shone reflected from a thousand bright blue eyes.

And closer still and closer the sampans circled round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives–
For the foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives.

Then GILBERT gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde;
With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, and their pullaways and junks,
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks.

Then Griddlebone she gave a screech, for she was badly skeered;
I am sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I’m sure she was not drowned–
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.

The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop,
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.

Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the strand.
Rats were roasted whole at Brentford, and at Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.

by T. S. Eliot

The Pampered Life, Viewed From the Inside

NYT – By A. O. SCOTT

…What happens is something marvelous: a film that never raises its voice (its loudest and most assertive sound is that Ferrari) or panders to your emotions, but that nonetheless has the power to refresh your perceptions and deepen your sympathies. As it proceeds from one careful, watchful, slow shot to the next, a sad and affecting story emerges, about a father’s loneliness and a daughter’s devotion.

But the experience of watching “Somewhere,” shot in lovely tones of Southern California haze by the great Harris Savides, is like reading a poem. The scenes play off one another like stanzas, producing patterns and echoes that feel like the camera’s accidental discoveries, even as they are the surest evidence of Ms. Coppola’s formidable and subtle art.

The driver of that car is Johnny Marco, a movie star played, right at the boundary between restraint and catatonia, by Stephen Dorff. Johnny is living at the Chateau Marmont, a storied Hollywood hotel that is either a paradise of easy wish-fulfillment or a purgatory of celebrity anomie. Or maybe both.

He seems to be finishing work on one movie while publicizing another — from time to time, he is whisked from the Chateau to a junket or a special-effects prosthetic-making session — but mostly Johnny hangs out, smokes cigarettes, drinks and has sex with one of the women who seem to be at the hotel for just that purpose.

The tricky feat that Ms. Coppola pulls off is to convey the emptiness of Johnny’s situation without denying its appeal, and also without giving him more spiritual depth than would be credible. He lives in a world where his desires are so instantly and easily gratified that they hardly even count as desires, since no longing or effort ever enters into the picture.

In an early scene, after breaking his arm in a drunken stumble (“I do all my own stunts” is his facetious deadpan explanation), he is entertained in his room by twin blond pole dancers who work their way through a routine that seems more calisthenic than erotic as he dozes off. (Later he will fall asleep during foreplay, his head between the legs of a recent conquest, which is to say a woman with whom he had just made eye contact.)

… Johnny is, in part, a prisoner of his own fantasies and aspirations, and he drifts through his days in a state of dazed, weirdly polite bafflement. The only thing keeping him from utter ruin is his professionalism, which expresses itself in an ingrained habit of courtesy. His job is a paradox: he must be himself by conforming to what everyone else wants him to be, and so he must answer dumb questions at a news conference, listen patiently to a young aspiring actor’s plea for advice and travel to Italy for a ridiculous awards show.

I know: poor guy! But without making him especially noble or smart, Mr. Dorff makes it clear that Johnny is human. It turns out that he has an 11-year-old daughter, who at first comes for a brief visit and then, because of an unspecified crisis in her mother’s life, for a longer stay.

Her name is Cleo, and she is played by Elle Fanning with heartbreaking clarity and grace. Cleo, having grown up on this strange planet of fame, has learned both how to take advantage of its entitlements and how to acquire some of the life skills that her father has allowed to atrophy. She calls up room service to order ingredients for a homemade dinner and later serves her father and his brother a meal of eggs Benedict…

Anatomy of a Scene: ‘Somewhere’

Robertson favors marijuana legalization

Raw Story – By Stephen C. Webster

Count this among the 10 things nobody ever expected to see in their lifetimes: 700 Club founder Pat Robertson, one of the cornerstone figures of America’s Christian right movement, has come out in favor of legalizing marijuana.

Calling it getting “smart” on crime, Robertson aired a clip on a recent episode of his 700 Club television show that advocated the viewpoint of drug law reformers who run prison outreach ministries.

A narrator even claimed that religious prison outreach has “saved” millions in public funds by helping to reduce the number of prisoners who return shortly after being released.

“It got to be a big deal in campaigns: ‘He’s tough on crime,’ and ‘lock ’em up!'” the Christian Coalition founder said. “That’s the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn’t the answer.”

His co-host added that the success of religious-run dormitories for drug and alcohol cessation therapy present an “opportunity” for faith-based communities to lead the way on drug law reforms.

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson continued. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ’em.

“I’m … I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”…]

Related: Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages ‘mutiny’

Sarah Palin: Smoking Pot Is No Big Deal

Kenneth Anger (born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemeyer; February 3, 1927) is an American underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author. Working exclusively in short films, he has produced almost forty works since 1937, nine of which in particular have been grouped together as the “Magick Lantern Cycle”, and form the basis of Anger’s reputation as one of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history.

Anger has described filmmakers such as Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès as influences, and has been cited as an important influence on later film directors like Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and John Waters. He has also been described as having “a profound impact on the work of many other filmmakers and artists, as well as on music video as an emergent art form using dream sequence, dance, fantasy, and narrative.”

During the 1960s and 70s he associated and worked with a number of different figures in popular culture and the occult, including Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, sexologist Alfred Kinsey, artist Jean Cocteau, playwright Tennessee Williams and musicians Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Marianne Faithfull.

He is also the author of the controversial best seller Hollywood Babylon (1959) and its sequel Hollywood Babylon II (1986), in which he claims to expose many of the rumours and secrets of Hollywood celebrities.

One of the central recurring images found in Anger’s work is the concept of flames and light; in Fireworks there are various examples of this, including a burning Christmas tree, and it subsequently appears in many of his other works as well. This relates to the concept of Lucifer, a deity whom Anger devoted one of his films to, and whose name is Latin for “light bearer”.

In many of his films, heavy use is made of music, both classical and pop, to accompany the visual imagery. For instance, in Scorpio Rising he makes use of the 1950s pop songs “Torture” by Kris Jensen, “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March and “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton, something that he believed was later copied by David Lynch in his 1986 movie Blue Velvet.

He first used music to accompany visuals in the 1941 work Who Has Been Rocking My Dreamboat?, where he used tracks by the Mills Brothers. His use of popular music to accompany his films has been cited as a key influence on the development of music videos and of MTV, although he has stated his dislike for the whole music video industry.

Source:  Wiki

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