Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Star is Born, the ivy comes down, E.B. White Day Two

Went yesterday on a drizzly grey day to see "A Star is Born," which is making a big buzz. Wonderful cast, especially Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who directed as well as starring and did both really well. However - not my favourite recent movie. Cooper is a very good actor who's not a bad singer; Gaga is a fabulous singer who's not a bad actor. The story of the guy musician on his way down and the young one on her way up has been updated cleverly, and there's powerful music and great scenes. Still it didn't stir me much, and I resented the sad ending. However - music, Hollywood, stars - fun on a dark afternoon.

Fun on THIS dark afternoon - my son-in-law Thomas came to take down the dead ivy that created a beautiful weird sculpture on my south garden wall but which had grown so rotten it was dangerous. He brought his electric saw but mostly just pulled the whole vast heavy structure down with rope. Dramatic.

There was a lot of sawing and chopping and gathering, and it's not all done, more next weekend. But now I or my guests will not be crushed by a solid wall of dead ivy. Now that's an interesting way to go.

Here's your gift of E. B. White for today:

July 1938. (about the power of radio and newspapers - how much more true today!)
When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy; today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tidings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.

This life I lead, setting pictures straight, squaring rugs up with the room – it suggests an ultimate symmetry toward which I strive and strain. Yet I doubt that I am any nearer my goal than I was last year, or ten years ago, even granted that this untidy world is ready for any such orderliness. Going rapidly through the hall, on an errand of doubtful import to God and country, I pause suddenly, like an ant in its tracks, and with the toe of my sneaker shift the corner of the little rug two inches in a southerly direction, so that the edge runs parallel with the floor seams. Healed by this simple geometry, I continue my journey. The act, I can only conclude, satisfies something fundamental in me, and if, fifteen minutes later on my way back, I find that the rug is again out of line, I repeat the performance with no surprise and no temper. Long ago I accepted the fact of the rug’s delinquency; it has been a pitched battle and the end is not in sight. At least one of my ancestors died lunging out of bed at the enemy, and it is more than likely that I shall fall at last, truing up a mediocre mat.

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