A dangerous man.

Maybe it’s because of my recent experience in filmmaking, but these days, I find different things catch my attention when I watch a movie. So it was with “You Don’t Know Jack,” the HBO film about Jack Kevorkian; I kept noticing the production design. For you civilians, that’s a term of art that describes the general visual look of a film — everything from the costumes to the sets to the way the actors’ hair is styled. Many people have a hand in creating this, but it’s the production designer who oversees it all.

The design of “You Don’t Know Jack” is… I guess you’d say it’s fitting. It’s blue and damp and chilly and depressing, all of which suit a story about a man who helped dozens of people, in debatable degrees of illness or disability, end their lives with a number of contraptions he assembled from spare parts, from his “Mercitron,” which used saline and potassium chloride, to various gas arrangements. No one looks good. Everyone lives in a crummy apartment and drives a beater. The actors who aren’t cadaverous are Michigan-fat, or are buried under heaps of unflattering wardrobe — you can practically see the pills on the cheap acrylic sweaters, and you just know every sleeve has a snotty Kleenex shoved under the cuff. Only the lawyers look good.

Kevorkian gets a 360-degree portrayal from both the script and Al Pacino, who nails the look and manner and muffs the Detroit accent. (No shame, Al — it has confounded many others.) As the story unwound, and Kevorkian and his lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, make fools of the Oakland County prosecutor time after time, the design becomes key, because you see what made Kevorkian so dangerous to the status quo; he had nothing to lose. He didn’t care about anything but his passionately held beliefs and his odd hobbies (his macabre paintings in which he used his own blood as pigment, most notably). Take his medical license away? Lock him up? His lodgings behind bars weren’t much of a step down from his place in Royal Oak, or wherever he was living at the time.

The state finally had to write a law specifically aimed at him, which he defied just like he said he would, before they could finally lock him up for longer than a few days. And he did the time like a pro, I have to say, getting out last year and heading back to another crummy apartment. He’s not assisting suicides anymore, but he’s out and about. One of my Facebook friends spotted him in the Royal Oak library last weekend, got a picture taken with him and posted it. Local celebrity. The prosecutor who forfeited his public-service career — he was turned out of office by an exasperated public tired of financing his Ahab-like pursuit of Dr. K — wound up at the Thomas More Law Center, i.e. Tom Monahan’s Catholic Warriors, who in their high-profile cases aren’t doing much better.

(pause)

I wasn’t going to post this today; we’ve had so much discussion of death in this space of late, and some of us are having some uncomfortable brushes with it of late ourselves. But as if to mock my recent mention of a tax refund, last night our power went out. When I was checking the breakers, I flipped the main one, and couldn’t flip it back. Neither could Alan. Which means I have to call an electrician this morning and, assuming the worst, pay a huge bill. My laptop battery is down to 6 percent, so I’m hitting Publish and then going offline until I have juice again. Argh.

Posted at 7:12 am in Movies |
 

50 responses to “A dangerous man.”

  1. Laura Lippman said on April 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Your electricity went out? It could be my father-in-law’s dybbuk, although I have no idea why he wandered so far west. To date, he has melted down his son’s computer (while he was in the middle of writing his dad’s obituary, no less), zapped a toaster and a phone, maybe helped a contractor at our house cut his finger badly, some other things I’ve lost track of. And this from a guy whose computer skills never went beyond opening a Microsoft Word document.

  2. coozledad said on April 28, 2010 at 8:23 am

    We’ve got a lot of old floor lamps that I haven’t got round to rewiring, and it’s not uncommon for one of them to make blue sparks or cause spectacular flames to pour out of the outlet. I’m going to start calling them “mercitrons”.

  3. basset said on April 28, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Another topic before today’s thread gets too far along… a couple of days ago, Deborah recommended some music:

    >>Bas­set, give Cobain’s sweet piece called “In the Pines” (or “Where did You Sleep Last Night”) a lis­ten. I think you’d like it.

    I did, it was really hard for me to listen to. Some young guy scrubbing on a guitar and whining, playing the wrong chords and just emoting all over the place… couldn’t get into it at all. Try the Jimmy Martin version, that’s the real thing… or Bill Monroe’s, or the Stanley Brothers’.

  4. Deborah said on April 28, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Basset, I’ve got a whole dissertation on Cobain and that song, I’ll get back to you about it later.

  5. Dorothy said on April 28, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hmmmmm… I wonder if “In the Pines” is the same song Sissy Spacek was singing in her role as Loretta Lynn when a neighbor came by to tell her she had a phone call (she and Doolittle didn’t have a phone). I still remember that was the very first movie I recorded on our first VCR back in 1984 I think.

    We lost power on Monday while I was at work. Had lots of rain that day. Then yesterday morning Mike tried to tell me he could smell smoke in our bedroom, like wiring was on fire or something. I didn’t smell a thing and the house is still standing so I guess he must have been dreaming it.

    Nancy I love noticing stuff like that, too. All the background images contribute so much to the meat of the movie and much of it is somewhat subliminal. I am not familiar with the Detroit accent, but I did admire the fact that Al tried to do one. He barely looked like himself with that prosthetic nose and stooped shoulder kind of walk. We went to Cleveland on Saturday to see “August, Osage County” with Estelle Parsons and it was really, really good. But it did bother me that when characters came on stage with suitcases, I could clearly tell they were empty. If I were the director I’d be insisting they have at least a couple days’ worth of clothing in there so it looked more accurate.

  6. John said on April 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

    We replaced our electrical panel last year (it was 40 and had seen better days). Not a cheap proposition but part of the cost of owning a house. Good luck to you!

  7. Randy said on April 28, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Nancy, I can relate to your electrical woes… we have lived in our home for nearly 10 years, and last spring we finally got around to addressing the various creative solutions the previous owners had used to wire stuff. An example – our dishwasher and microwave could not run at the same time, because they would overload the breaker. The dishwasher was plugged into an outlet in the basement, and the plug was actually pulled through the drywall, then the hole was plastered, primed, and repainted. You want to take some pride in your sub-par work, right?

    Oh, and if you turned off the laundry room light while the washer was running, the washer went off too.

  8. moe99 said on April 28, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Something more to cogitate on today.

    http://ephphatha-poetry.blogspot.com/2010/04/imagine-if-tea-party-was-black-tim-wise.html

    I’m off to my ct scans and results will be available when I meet w/ a new oncologist at 4pm PDT today. This is the hardest part.

  9. Snarkworth said on April 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Here’s to you, Moe.

  10. nancy said on April 28, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Yes, here’s to you, Moe. And has anyone heard from Whitebeard of late? I need to drop him a line.

    We’re like a nursing home around here lately. Someone tell Jen to get a baby project going, so we can all flutter and dote.

    Laura Lippman’s dybbuk father-in-law nearly cost me $2,400 (new breaker box). The second opinion found a new main switch and brought us in at $216. Power is back on, battery-powered devices recharging, furnace rewarming the house, tropical fish being reoxygenated and rewarmed as well. I feel like I dodged a big bullet.

  11. LAMary said on April 28, 2010 at 11:11 am

    All the good thoughts from the LA outpost, Moe.

  12. nancy said on April 28, 2010 at 11:13 am

    BTW, Mary, the LATimes health page (web-only) has a panoramic photo of a bunch of people getting their health care at the L.A. Sports Arena. You might be interested. I’d have sent it last night, but I was laboring under adverse conditions.

  13. Julie Robinson said on April 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Wishing the best for you, Moe.

    Dorothy, I’m with you on details like obviously empty suitcases or coffee cups. We saw a production of The Miracle Worker where they used plastic dishes and silverware in the dining room scene where Helen throws everything on the floor. It was so jarring that I could never re-engage with what is usually a magical piece of theatre.

    Here’s some happy news: our son Matt is training for a census job right now. So my thanks to anyone in this area who didn’t fill out their forms. The pay is great for a temp job, and he even gets mileage back and forth to work. It’s the first time I’ve heard of that. He’ll be juggling two jobs while it lasts; hello, real world.

  14. MichaelG said on April 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

    We’re with you, Moe. Best wishes. My fingers and toes are crossed.

  15. 4dbirds said on April 28, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Sending positive thoughts Moe.

    We can’t use the outlets in our bathroom. I’ve googled and am pretty sure it’s all related to one load bearing and/or breaking outlet somewhere in the basement. Problem is, hubby and I can’t find it. I.am.not.calling.an.electrician. I use an extension cord to blowdry.

  16. basset said on April 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Dorothy, it probably was the same song… it would have been appropriate there, anyway.

    Deborah, if you would, help me understand what you like about Cobain’s version… because I just don’t get it. Different frame of reference, most likely… that nasal hillbilly stuff is the native music of my people, I was raised on it, still listen to it, and occasionally play it in public.

    That said, Jimmy Martin can be a little hard to take if you’re not used to him… kinda like taking a swig of straight moonshine if you’ve never had a drink before.

    More on the “nursing home”… Mrs. Basset is currently at home recovering from a total pancreatectomy, all is going well (and they found no cancer!) but it’s a big recovery, she is now a complete Type 1 diabetic and checking her blood sugar seven times a day.

  17. Jeff Borden said on April 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Ah, you all are pikers. I have to replace a furnace. When ours was inspected last fall, the technician said the heat exchange, whatever that is, was pitted and would eventually waft carbon monoxide along with warm air into our home. He estimated it will cost $2,500 to $3,000.

    So, the first year in a very long time that we get a tax refund and. . .

    Good luck, Moe!

  18. brian stouder said on April 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    So today I learned what a dyb­buk is, thanks to Nance & LL & the internets and Google. I think my lovely wife and I have a dyb­buk that takes great pleasure in tormenting us with small, precision-targetted annoyances calculated to yield approximately 45X chaos, compared to the input. Actually, I think we inheritied our dybbuk from her side of the family, which, come to think of it, seems to be the key to detecting these things (that is to say – if you can see the dybbuk, it must be your signifcant other’s)

    You go, Moe!

    edit: and, stength to Mrs Basset, too

  19. beb said on April 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    speaking of production design, I yearn for the old days of technicolor when red was really red and yellow really yellow and so on. I really hate these modern movies where everything is so dark. It doesn’t add mood, it only makes the seeing hard.

    Good luck, moe.

  20. Peter said on April 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Jeff, I may be oversimplifying it, but the heat exchanger is the item that your gas (or electricity) heats up, and then transfers (or exchanges) the heat to the air blowing over the surface.

    We had to have ours replaced due to rust and it was less than 1K, but it may have been due to the relatively young age of the furnace.

    Oh, and good luck to you Moe!

  21. Joe Kobiela said on April 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Blue Skys and Tail Winds your way Moe.
    Pilot Joe

  22. LAMary said on April 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    The big issue at the Remote Area Medical sports arena health service is adult dental care. The state of CA has discontinued dental-cal, the low income dental care for adults. Yesterday they turned away over 100 adults waiting for the dentists and they are extending the dental care into next week. I hear they also need more OB/Gyns. We’ve got a big contingent volunteering there again this year but they still can’t meet demand.

  23. Jeff Borden said on April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Peter,

    I think the problem for us is the age of the entire furnace. We’ve been in our house for more than 17 years and the furnace looked old when we moved in. I’ll definitely be looking to bid it out. . .maybe I can get a package deal and have them prep our central a/c while they are here.

    Here’s a quiz for NN.C readers: What right-wing star said the following after passage of the “Get Down on the Brown” law in Hatezona.

    “There is no ability or opportunity in there for the racial profiling. Shame on the lame stream media again for turning this into something that it is not.”

  24. Bill said on April 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Jeff: sounds like Rush to me. Our nursing home is caring for my wife’s broken hip. Therapy begins Friday. Prayers and good thoughts to you, Moe.

  25. Jolene said on April 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    “modern movies . . . make the seeing hard”

    More often, I find the hearing hard. I don’t think I’m hard of hearing, but, even at full volume, I sometimes find it hard to hear the dialogue in movies and TV. A few days ago, I watched “Crazy Heart”, and was extremely annoyed w/ the mumbling of Maggie Gyllenhall and Jeff Bridges.

    That said, I liked the production design of the Kevorkian flick too. Really helped to show how his creepiness undermined an enterprise that might have found more public support had it had a more effective spokesman.

    And yes, all best to Moe and Mrs. Basset.

  26. crinoidgirl said on April 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Fair winds and following seas, Moe and Mrs. Basset.

  27. Sue said on April 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Question for you Nancy: if it’s a production designer on a film who handles the look of the thing, how do you account for someone like Tim Burton? You can always tell a Tim Burton film, does he serve as his own production designer?

  28. moe99 said on April 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Basset: My best to you and your wife. Here’s something I found quite by accident about Kurt Cobain today, while noodling around waiting for the dr’s appmt:

    http://monkeygoggles.com/?p=3714

    Courtney Love sounds worse than a harridan.

    And Bill, best of luck to your wife and you too.

  29. judybusy said on April 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Best wishes to Moe and Mrs. Bassett–I hope all goes well.

  30. Dorothy said on April 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Adding my voice to the chorus of well wishes for moe, Mrs. Bassett, Mrs. Bill and Whitebeard, wherever he is.

    Jolene I too saw “Crazy Heart” and even though I’m a Jeff Bridges fan, I found the movie to be just fair. It could not hold a candle to “Tender Mercies” which I watched for the 352nd time the other day. Now if only the soundtrack was available to that movie that included Betty Buckley’s version of “Over You” my life would be complete.

  31. Dexter said on April 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    It must have been around 1885 when Art Fike was born. I knew him when I was a little kid and he ran a gas station right across Rt. 327 in DeKalb County , Indiana. He was a grizzled, furrowed, old pipe smoking man in the 1950s. he also had a penchant for old cars. He collected them way before it became fashionable to do so.
    My brother and I would sneak across the highway and play in the cars when old Art was gone…no fence, no security anywhere. Mom or Dad took a photograph of us in what was described later as one of John Dillinger’s many cars, then, much later, my uncle said no, it was actually one of Al Capone’s cars that Art had bought. I wish I had that long lost photo.
    And now…I have a chance to bid on Dr. Jack’s VW van in May. It’s fate, I am afraid. Jack’s VW is a 1968, of which I have owned two, and I currently own a 1969 VW bus, so I am quite familiar with these vehicles.
    From the description of the VW that will be auctioned in May, in Auburn, Indiana, since it was described as water-damaged, it would cost a minimum of $4,000 to restore it to any level of 1969 safety, and of course by 2010 standards, in no way would it be safe to drive even then. Still…I have restored three of these old VWs…but so much time has elapsed, my current one is just a thin sheet of rust covering a now non-drivable frame. Like the article I posted here yesterday pointed out, it will just be the best if a horror-museum buys it, or nobody buys it and it goes to the crusher.

  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Moe & the Bassetts, I like Pilot Joe’s wish, and I’ll second it, for “blue skies and a good tailwind.” Prayers for hope and healing looking for the same upper air currents, or whatever prayers travel on (tachyons?).

    Cousin Jeff, that sounds more like Our Gal Sarah than His Rushness, no? Not gonna Google, wouldn’t be prudent . . .

  33. Dexter said on April 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    A few years ago I somehow got Dr. Jack’s prison mailing address and sent him a well-wishing card. I had sort of forgotten that until I saw the HBO show. I don’t remember if the Freep published the address or I got it from a website.
    Again, this is Pacino’s best work. He IS Dr. Jack…it’s almost unnerving!

  34. Jeff Borden said on April 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Bill,

    The statement was made by our favorite half-term governor millionaire, She-Who, once again demonstrating her mad political insights.

  35. Rana said on April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Good thoughts, moe, and the mistresses Basset and Bill.

    Re: movies – with a few exceptions (like Up! and Avatar) I agree that too many of them are murky and dark. What I also dislike about them is that they are LOUD. Actually, many things in life are far louder than they need to be – music in public spaces, leaf blowers, dishwashers… While I feel sympathy for those who are hearing impaired, I have no wish to join their numbers prematurely.

  36. 4dbirds said on April 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I have plenty of postive thoughts so sending them out to the Basset and Bill family.

  37. Jolene said on April 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Jeff B.:

    Keith Olbermann refers to Palin as “the former half-governor of Alaska”, which I love. A great title for her.

  38. jcburns said on April 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Tim Burton (it’s my understanding) rides the production designers very, very, very hard after laying out a vision that comes from art school (he attended with Pixar’s John Lasseter). One of those beleaguered designers, Bo Welch, worked with him on Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands and, I dunno, others. Welch met his onetime wife Geena Davis on the Beetlejuice set. OK, out of trivia there. Best wishes from the ATL, to all of you, amidst medical crises or not. And Nance, glad you don’t have to sell your new toy to pay for electricity to run it.

  39. basset said on April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Sure appreciate the support… all is going well so far, she has another follow-up visit in the morning.

    Cobain just sounds pitiful.

    Have been meaning to see “Crazy Heart” because I enjoyed the book so much but it wasn’t in the theaters long, probably a rental by now.

  40. alex said on April 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I’m not a praying man, but my best to moe, Whitebeard, mrs. bassett, Mrs. Bill and anyone else who needs a hug and well wishes. (Wow, the old copy editor in me is coming out and capitalizing or not as per the peccadilloes of the publication, in this case NN.C.)

    I don’t have HBO. So it’s Treme (as in N’awlins, where it’s steamy)? Not Treme (as in fete, creme, etc., as my high school French teacher would have insisted)? The Kevorkian pic sounds rather interesting. I love a film with good art direction; it always distracts me from picking apart the dialogue, acting, etc., as I’m otherwise inclined to do, which is why I seldom watch movies anymore.)

    Well, Nance, sounds like you got off easy. My parents paid a guy beaucoup bucks on Christmas eve one year when the power went out and the house was full of out-of-town guests and we couldn’t get anyone else to come to our rescue. He said it was the entire panel that needed replacing, and he did it in record time. Christmas was saved. Then the power fritzed out again a few weeks later because it was some other problem entirely and Mr. Handyman, whom we’d praised to the hilt, was nowhere to be found.

  41. Deborah said on April 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Moe, great story link about Cobain, and good luck to you.

    Basset, I’m still working on how to respond to you about Cobain, in a succinct way. I’ll probably comment late tonight when everyone has moved on to other things.

  42. nancy said on April 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    The other thing about Burton’s films is, there’s so much CGI involved that it enters a realm I’m simply not familiar with. I suspect, as John says, that it’s very, very top-down. I always wonder how his actors, or any others in those kinds of productions, find it in themselves to react to a blank wall or a green screen or whatever the action will be pasted onto months later. Same with voice acting; I heard an interview with Wes Anderson after “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” where he said he didn’t know how good a job George Clooney had done until he was listening to the lines, over and over and over and over to the power of 10, during the animation process. As someone who finds one or two rewrites simply excruciating, I honestly don’t know how people work on projects where the morning’s work consists of moving a prop arm two inches, frame by frame, while the audio says, “Hi!”

    I saw “Sling Blade” the other night, and could have spent all night freeze-framing and examining every object on the coffee tables and kitchen walls. The art department on that one earned their paychecks.

  43. 4dbirds said on April 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    So Geena Davis was married to Jeff Goldblum, The director from that horrible pirate movie she made with Matthew Modine, her now doctor husband and also this guy Bo Welch. I laugh at that last one because my youngest son’s name is Beau and maiden name is Welch.

  44. Joe Kobiela said on April 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    From what I’v read Geena shoots a mean bow, about made the olympic team.
    Pilot Joe

  45. Deborah said on April 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Basset,

    Sending good wishes to Mrs. Basset

    Regarding Cobain: I’ll try to make this brief and to the point but it will be difficult not to ramble on so bear with me. First of all as you mentioned there have been many versions of “In the Pines” by various artist over time. No one knows exactly who wrote it. It has no official words, because each artist varied it slightly for their own purposes to fit their sense of the song to themselves. There is a commonality among all of the versions, pines are always mentioned and are cold, the idea of searching for someone lost and almost every version has a refrain about someone losing their head in a violent way. It is seemingly very simple when taken very literally but it also can be very complex, taken metaphorically (searching for love as a metaphor for destiny) . There is also some ambiguity as to who is talking, who’s voice is it when in the cold pines shivering the night through, is it the man or the woman? Cobain’s version is of interest because it contains a specific type of ambiguity. He sings it as if he is bereft, depressed, pining away for his lost “love”. There is a repetition of the long i sound (pines, night, shine, mile etc) Cobain sings it like he’s “pining” away first tender, hurt and powerless but at the end totally manic, screaming and screeching the iiiiiii sound. I think Cobain was an exceptionally talented, wild, creative person, and as many creative people was highly sensitive with large dreams of what he wanted to accomplish, and his dreams always fell short of reality in his mind. He had a hard early life, broken family, living under a viaduct as a young person when he didn’t get along with his mother, he was discovered as a talent but was eventually abused by record company execs and his horrible wife etc etc etc. He was disdainful of his audience, a highly poetic person in an underdog position. What mainly appealed to me at the time about Cobain, was his voice, I thought it was stunningly soulful, and could express extraordinary complex emotions. His voice made me shiver, especially when he sang this song.

  46. brian stouder said on April 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    And Deborah, I’ll just say – it IS late at night, but rather than go on to other things, I was looking forward to your thoughts on Mr. Cobain, as I suppose Basset was, too; and I sincerely thank you for sharing them.

    I only appreciate him from a distance; Eddie Vedder is (to me) “the music”. ‘Course, Eddie expresses a great deal of respect for Mr Cobain, and therefore, although I missed the Nirvana train at the time, their music (“Smells like teen spirit”, etc) does now turn my head, when it comes across the airwaves.

    On the other hand, Eddie also always had good things to say about Stone Temple Pilots, a band that (it turns out) has almost nothing at all to say to me. They have one completely marvelous song, called “Sour Girl”; I liked that one so well that I bought the album it was on, and – honestly – I found the entire thing to be horrible dreck EXCEPT for that ONE song, which sticks out like a race horse in a pig pen.

  47. MarkH said on April 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    This “In The Pines” thread has been fascinating. I used to jock country records at the little station in Lancaster, OH and never knew about this song. Sort of ashamed about that now, having read this wiki history of the song:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Pines

    Scroll down the above entry and catch the amazing array of artists that recorded this song, or as Deborah so eloquently describes, the different variations of it. Dave Van Ronk? R. Crumb?? Amazing.

    Continued prayers to you, moe, and to Mrs. Bassett and any others being on the mend from whatever. Why are so many of us ill? I count my blessings of good health every day. Here in Teton County, it has finally been acknowledged that we have a higher rate of cancer and cancer deaths than the national norm. My wife and I have lost more than a few friends to this, and they were not in high risk behavior categories (smokers, etc.), or genetically predisposed. The culprit being zeroed in on: radon gas. If one could smell it, the Yellowstone region would positively reek of it. People living in older homes here without modern radon ventilation set-ups are particularly vulnerable. Three weeks ago, my very dear friend, Jim, who lives in one of these homes, called to say he was diagnosed with stage 3a lung cancer. Otherwise very healthy for a 68-year-old man who had quit smoking over 30 years ago, he has a half-dollar size growth on a bronchial tube (hasn’t spread), inoperable, but they are aggresively treating with radiation and chemo. Tough to visit him as the toll is visible.

  48. basset said on April 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Again, thanks for the support… we have discovered a pancreatectomy support group on Yahoo and have been reading that this evening.

    Cobain, I’m afraid, just doesn’t say anything to me. I couldn’t even get all the way through that mangling of “In the Pines” – it sounded like another sensitive college freshman out on the grass in front of the women’s dorm scratching the top off a cheap acoustic guitar and emoting just as hard as he possibly can.

    I can at least say now that I have actually made a genuine attempt to listen to one of his performances on purpose (and I do recognize the voice now, it was pretty hard to avoid there for awhile), but I don’t hear anything that makes me want to go out and look for any more.

    His act on and off stage, from my admittedly very limited point of view but reinforced by that story link, seemed to revolve around making himself into a twitching, cowering ball of pain and begging for pity. Which he may well have deserved, particularly with that wife he had, but I have tried and failed to take an interest in it.

  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 29, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Mixed blessings of Facebook — two friend requests from folks who are looking for support from having lost people close to them whom I’d known long-ish ago, and two from people, adults with their own children now, whom I’d known and pastored as they were treated for leukemia & lymphoma . . . in both cases, around 15 years ago. And the latter two both have really cute little kids now, and a clean bill of health where once I stood with their parents and heard “it doesn’t look good.”

    So always keep an eye on the farther horizon. Sometimes the sun rises after the darkest night, and sometimes, it’s just the moon, but both can show a path forward.

  50. del said on April 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Yes Jeff. Here’s an NYT article about stage 4 cancer survivor — for 17 years: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/health/27case.html?src=me&ref=homepage