Mitch Harper advised his readers to visit a farm market over the weekend. I did, but I was going to anyway. I usually go to the Eastern Market downtown, but Saturday decided to offset a little carbon and ride my bike to the West Park Farmers Market, down in GPP. Now that I’ve lived here a few years, I realize the mistake of not buying in GPP, Grosse Pointe Park, or just “the Park” around here. That’s where my people live, but hey, it’s only a couple miles down Kercheval. The market, alas, is less wonderful. It’s festive and market-like, but with only a few sellers of actual produce — everyone else is hawking bottled gourmet sauces, handmade jewelry and that sort of thing. I bought four lovely-looking Georgia peaches, took them home, bit into one and immediately spit it out. It had that interior mealiness that suggests weeks spent in cold storage, with a dark hint that perhaps it wasn’t even a Georgia peach at all, but maybe one of the loathsome California variety.
Note to California readers: I’m sure the peaches you buy are pretty good, and I expect some defense of home-state produce, so save your protests. The lousy California peaches are all exported to the Midwest, where they sit in supermarkets looking like the platonic ideal of peachiness, truly beautiful specimens. If only they weren’t rock-hard and inedible. I used to buy them and put them in paper bags on my counter, waiting for ripeness to arrive. Ripeness = Godot. When a lovely peach sits for two weeks and can’t soften even incrementally, something very strange is going on.
That was dispiriting. The tradeoff in being able to ride a bike to market is always variety — the Eastern Market has the critical mass of customers to support such local treasures as Mushroom Man, Organic Egg Guy and the vital-to-our-emotional-well-being Gratiot Central Market, for all — and I mean all — your meat needs, but still. It’s six more days to next Saturday, and I really wanted some Georgia peaches.
Even more dispiriting was that the bike ride sapped my energies, and the rhinovirus came in for the kill. What’s less exciting than a summer Saturday night spent at home with a worsening cold? This must be why we pay big bucks for digital cable. Nothing particularly good was on, but hey, “Summer of Sam” was coming around on the Retro channel. I have two major allergies in today’s multiplex — Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee. Where critics see (and say, endlessly) “gifted,” “accomplished” and “national treasure,” I see only “overrated.” But now that Spielberg’s made a movie I can not only stomach but actually enjoyed (“Munich”), it seemed time to see whether my immunity had changed with Lee. “Summer of Sam” it was, then. And the short answer is? No. He still sucks*.
Overdirected? Check. Half-baked script? Check. Casting of capable actors in parts that hogtie their talent? Check. Obscenity-strewn** dialogue scenes that go on three times as long as they need to, until you hold your head in your hands screaming stop stop someone please make it stop? Check. Oh, and wait — is there a Message Stick lying around, and is it used to beat on us at regular intervals? Certainly, yes. Finally, did Roger Ebert ladle an astonishing dollop of praise over the whole mess, as he has over pretty much the whole Lee catalog, proving everyone has his blind spots? Yup. Am I saying there wasn’t one good thing about it? No. I liked Adrien Brody, and I thought the “Baba O’Riley” montage was OK, but then, it’s hard to go wrong with “Baba O’Riley.” So there.
(*”S.O.S.” was made in 1999, so I acknowledge “still” may not be accurate. One always hopes for growth in an artist. I only saw part one of the Katrina thing, and it was OK, but it didn’t make me want to watch parts 2, 3 and 4.)
(**As for “obscenity-strewn,” I yield to no one in my tolerance for rough language, but there’s a point at which it becomes annoying, distracting background noise, especially in an overlong scene, because you want to shake the characters and say, “If you’d stop saying ‘fuck’ so often you could maybe get to the point, you fucking asshole.”)
Enough about my little problems. Bloggage!
Evil, evil, evil, evil, stupid: A surgeon general’s report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration’s policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.
A declaration: I don’t give a fat rat’s ass about Hillary Clinton’s cleavage — I have my own to worry about — but evidently others do. Thousands of words were spent in the last week discussing whether the junior senator from New York did or did not display uncontrovertible evidence that yes, she does indeed possess a pair of breasts, but by far, the stupidest of all came, fittingly, from Dan Quayle’s former aide Lisa Schiffren. She, mind you, also doesn’t give a fat rat’s ass about Hillary’s cleavage, although being a Republican wife and mother, she puts it more delicately: I overcame my desire to comment on this tempest earlier this week. But then she does — it’s “legit” to talk about the big C, she opines — and then ends with one of those sorority sister, it’s-for-your-own-good-that-I’m-saying-this lemon shake-ups:
But let’s be real here. The fact is, Hillary was wearing a fairly low cut summer top. She was not displaying cleavage, as the shot on Drudge indicates. Someone else wearing the same outfit might have done. But Hillary Clinton does not have cleavage to display. Period. Indeed, Hillary never forgave her mother-in-law, Virginia Kelly for pointing this out decades ago to the young Bill Clinton, a cleavage man if ever there was one. So…it’s OK to discuss something that doesn’t exist? Thanks, girlfriend.
And now, because I believe in saving the most important, depressing, vein-opening stuff for after the trivial, whiny, vein-opening stuff about bad peaches, crappy movies and cleavage, “Inside the Surge,” excellent photos and video from Guardian photographer Sean Smith, embedded with U.S. Marines in Iraq. Just about as depressing as you’d imagine. But required viewing.