The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Monday, June 06, 2005

NORM'S MOVIE POLL: Since Palookaville is a place no one with an philosophical or artistic turn of mind would want to visit in a month of Sundays or any other day of the week; the percussion section of the Palookaville Opera Orchestra consists of three guys named Rocco, who spend the company's season beating the crap out of deadbeat season ticketholders with a lead pipe, a baseball bat, and the lid off an ashcan to the tune of the Anvil Chorus from Verdi’s Il Trovatore; for those really recalcitrant folks who'd rather not pay the 30% a week vig they owe on their tickets, the Three Roccos will do the entire Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner until the unmotivated opera lover agrees to pay the vig or until some part of the collateral, usually an arm or a leg, but sometimes a skull as well, cracks in half, breaking up the musical monotony and adding something different to the orchestra's season, which usually follows the usual Puccini-Verdi-Wagner and Mozart repetoire, punctuated by the occasional sprinkling of machine-gun fire and the odd visit from the FBI.

According to the company's brochure, the Palookaville Opera is one of the few such cultural and arts organizations to actually make an annual profit. Next year the company will move to its brand new theatre, a $45 million dollar architectural jewel that is already a source of civic pride for all the citizens of Palookaville; the mayor and the Opera's musical director will open the theatre at the beginning of next year's season with a new production of Struass' Die Fledermaus. The only questions hanging over the new season so far is whether or not the mayor and the musical director can get to the premiere on time and if they can both be in the same building without violating their paroles.

In fact, upon some reflection, I can’t think of a good reason why anyone in their right mind would want to go to Palookaville, except for Chicago Cubs fans and diehard supporters of the Brooklyn Dodgers (give it up, guys, Dem Bums is gone for almost fifty years now and they ain’t ever coming back), who usually have large numbers of relatives within the city limits depressing the value of the local real estate. Since I’m sure Norm
would just as soon skip the trip there, here is my list of movie stars, exactly ten of them, except when it isn’t ten. They are in no particular order, just as there aren’t ten of them.

1. Spencer Tracy & Tom Hanks—Everyman as movie star.
2. The Marx Brothers—I don’t know why a duck, I’m a stranger here myself.
3. Humphrey Bogart—no explanation necessary.
4. Steve McQueen—like the man says, the essence of cool.
5. Cary Grant—the one, the only.
6. James Cagney, Robert DeNiro, John Garfield & Edward G. Robinson—the men and the city.
7. Greta Garbo & Marlene Dietrich—the goddesses.
8. Vivien Leigh—archetype of the steel magnolia.
9. Ingrid Bergman—you must remember this…
10. Rosalind Russell—smart as a whip and with sass to match. “He comes by it [charm] naturally. His grandfather was a snake.”

UPDATE: Norm showed me how to fix the link, which I've done, and politely asked me to please try to limit my ten choices to just ten and not some other number that is not ten. As I want to be a good blogospheric citizen and it is, after all, Norm's poll, here they are.

1. Bugs Bunny-what's up, doc?
2. Linus Van Pelt-It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
3. Harpo Marx-honk
4. Stitch-magadomeifhtibhdirvosjkheifhnwsiffjhehehehohana
5. Curly Howard-nyuk nyuk nyuk!
6. Charlie Brown-Good Grief!
7. Margaret Dumont-I held him in my arms and kissed him goodbye. Groucho: Oh, so it was murder!
8. Lucy Van Pelt-I refuse to play center field for a sinking ship.
9. Margaret Hamilton-I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!
10. Cher-When you die, I'll come to your funeral in a red dress!

So what are you doing? Are you taking Norm's poll? This is the end of the post so stop reading and take Norm's poll. Go on, get on with it. It's painless, I promise.


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