Sunday, 13 May 2007

The Villains in my Home Town- part 14.

H e embezzled a million bucks from his business partner and blew it at the casino. He'd already done the same thing in Hong Kong

The judge called him a greedy man and gave him nine years.

'Hot Fuzz' proves Brits are more adept at comedy than Americans.-- Santa Cruz Sentinel. May 12, 2007
"Two weeks ago in this column, I lambasted what I called "The New American Comedy" — the rude, crude, shock comedy of Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers and their ilk. I said their films were virtually plotless, their antics childish, their dialogue without wit or any verbal sparkle, and that generally speaking their comedy operated on a level of fourth-grade toilet humor. That audiences had made these comics and their films box office hits, I concluded, was sad proof of the dumbing down of our culture..."

Charles Mingus' famous last work, His ambitious 'Epitaph' will come to life at Disney Hall. Los Angeles Times--May 6, 2007
"With 19 movements embracing everything from elemental blues to bebop, from soul and ballads to the most extreme avant-garde music, both jazz and classical, "Epitaph" is unique, one of the most expansive works ever written by a composer with roots in the jazz world.
"Nobody was more surprised than I was," says (Sue) Mingus (widow). "Charles only talked about what turned out to be 'Epitaph' if I was complaining about something of my own. If I said, 'Oh, I submitted something to the New York Times and they rejected it,' and moaned around the household in martyred tones, Charles would say, 'Well, I've written a whole symphony that was never performed. How do you think it feels to be a composer and have a whole symphony that's never been heard?' ."
"Back in the '70s," she recalls, "someone showed up one day from the library wanting to pay real money for scores. Who knew they were worth anything? They paid maybe a thousand dollars, which was a lot of money then. And Charles, whether he did it mischievously or not, stuck his hand in the closet and pulled out 'Inquisition,' added it and sold that as well. Whether he thought, 'Ah-ha, I'll show them when they finally get around to playing 'Epitaph' years after I'm gone!' or not, I don't know. But that's how it got to Lincoln Center. Fortunately, it made its way back to us."

(link via Bob Morales)
Daily Star, India, Book Review. May 12.
The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers by Sarnath Banerjee; Delhi: Penguin India; 2007;
"The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers is a graphic novel. And what is a graphic novel? Author Sarnath Banerjee, who is on the fast track to becoming a cult figure among India's small but tightly knit cohort of graphic novel readers, answered it best when asked what kind of a 'writer' he was: "I am a comic book writer. 'Graphic novel' is a term publishers use to segregate comics which have a certain literary quality. And have concerns which are novelistic…whatever that means."
(file under "It's not a graphic novel, Percy.")



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Eddie, you've reminded me that I haven't imported my few Mingus CDs into iTunes yet.

13 May 2007 at 07:37:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

That embezzler's lucky he wasn't tried and convicted in China. My neice (a former Olympian from China) informs me that such a guilty verdict in China would result in public execution. White collar crime is often punishable by death.

Mingus: so many of those old jazz artists were screwed out of their music for pennies.

13 May 2007 at 08:01:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bill said...

I don't know that it proves Brits are more adept at comedy. I think it proves they don't exists in the same crushing system that demands every movie be like last year's success.

13 May 2007 at 23:15:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'll agree that the Brits are more adept at a certain kind of comedy. I've fallen in love with shows like the Office, Red Dwarf and Spaced over the years and I love it. But my family has always had a sardonic, dry sense of humor, so I identify with Brit humor more readily than the more slapsticky American style. Certainly more than folks like Sandler and Myers have produced over the years.

What gets me is that Sandler, Myers and their ilk are not the new American humor. They're at least over ten years old at this point. Sandler's doing pointless romantic crap and Myers is lost in children's voice-over land.

People like Zach Galifinakis, David Cross, Brian Poesehn, Steve Carell, and Patton Oswalt are the new American comedy. Look at Judd Apatow's 40 Year Old Virgin, that's the new style people are looking for in America. It's more suburban, but it has a more positive value base, is usefull and entertaining. Keeping in mind that the movie has been described by the actors as having been 85% ad-libbed, it's certainly a positive trend as far as American Comedy goes.

But then, the "red-neck" guard spitting their tabbacco all over Comedy Central, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engval, Jeff Foxworthy etc. always leave a bad taste in my mouth.

14 May 2007 at 14:07:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just googling when I ran into this post.

India is just in the discovery phase of these genres, but things here are more difficult than in the West. There are no funds available, nor are the publishers willing. Then there's undue praise when it's not worth it, as for Sarnath Banerjee.

If you are interested, here's the link to a detailed review, a little caustic perhaps, of the indian graphic novel scenario.

30 June 2007 at 13:46:00 GMT-5  

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