Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Steve 'Booger' Bailey (this post needed a name.)

Apparently I have been blogging for six years.   I have no idea what to think of this, so I'll move along to more important issues, like, what is it when your potatoes have a metallic sheen on them?  Because that's what happened to some of mine.  They were those little blue potatoes.  I grew them in a nice raised bed, heavy clay soil amended with lagoonage, they had a nice potatoey life, then I dug them up and let them cure.  Go to scrub them and I find a metallic-looking goldish sheen in patches on the skins, which were otherwise blue. It wouldn't clean off. 
So I cooked them and ate them. 
They were good. 
I feel OK so far.  I'm not marching around stiffly with a blank expression on my face attending mysterious neighborhood meetings late at night either. You should still probably keep an eye on me though.

Here's what I 've been diggin' the mostest lately:  Mack Sennett silent comedies.  Every now and then Turner Classics will play a big slew of them and I am right there.  Those things are hilarious!  And I love imagining a whole theatre full of people, innocent of television and political correctness, all cracking up together at this stuff.  You see immediately where the gang at Warner Brothers cribbed all Bugs Bunny's best gags from. 

I love silent films.  Seeing the years gone seem to live is incredibly fascinating to me.  In the case of the Mack Sennett comedies, the vibrance and immediacy of the people is so hyperreal against the dated backdrops and the age of the medium that it's become something more than itself as time has gone on... a sui generis comedy-surrealism that happens in each moment of vision, 24 times each second. 
   I think what I love best about them is the innocence.  This is not complicated stuff.  It's just silly and sweet and fun.  A little kid and a clever dog having adventures in a farmyard.  A very strange and silly man in a very strange and silly department store.  Foreign airplane spies.  Odd waiters and submarines!    One of the most touching things I've ever seen was in a short called 'Fatty and Mabel Adrift.'  The newlyweds are going to bed for the first time in their honeymoon cabin - in separate rooms!  Fatty gets up, goes to her doorway, and draws the curtain aside to peek in at Mabel, sound asleep. Then you see his shadow on the wall over her bed...just his shadow! and it bends down, and places a sweet kiss on her head.     It was like an old Valentine card falling from between the pages of a book you've just bought.  And it will always be this way.  Every time this film runs.