Category Archives: On This Day

“When I aim at praise, they say I bite.” — Alexander Pope

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! -— Alexander Pope, from “Eloisa to Abelard” Alexander Pope was born on this day in 1688. He was so huge … Continue reading

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“Boredom is very important in life. It helps you feel when something is wrong.” — John Strasberg

It’s John Strasberg’s birthday today. I told this story before on here years ago, when I used to write like this on here, on occasion. Figured I’d re-post it. He is very very important to me. Back in the late … Continue reading

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“There’s nobody as good as the Ramones, never will be.” — Joey Ramone

“To me, John Lennon and Elvis Presley were punks, because they made music that evoked those emotions in people.” — Joey Ramone It’s Joey Ramone’s birthday today. Nothing I can say will top my brother Brendan’s essay on seeing The … Continue reading

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“The problem for me, still today, is that I write purely with one dramatic structure and that is the rite of passage. I’m not really skilled in any other. Rock and roll itself can be described as music to accompany the rite of passage.” — Pete Townshend

It’s his birthday today. The Who’s songs were in my consciousness from a very early age. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about them – somehow. This is what it meant to grow up without the technological … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Big Joe Turner, “Boss of the Blues”

Before the advent of microphones, if you were a singer, you needed to be heard. “Blues shouters” were powerful figures known for shouting above the music. Big Joe Turner was a blues shouter from Kansas City, and also one of … Continue reading

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“I should have been dead ten times over. I’ve thought about that a lot. I believe in miracles. It’s an absolute miracle that I’m still around.” — Dennis Hopper

It’s his birthday today. I’m so glad I used one of my columns at Film Comment -now on hiatus – to sing the praises of Dennis Hopper’s wild and nihilistic Out of the Blue, starring Linda Manz and Hopper. Of … Continue reading

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“My goal: never copy. Create a new style, with luminous and brilliant colors, rediscover the elegance of my models.” — Tamara de Lempicka

“I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don‘t apply to those who live on the fringe.” — Tamara de Lempicka Spoken like a true exile of Jewish descent. For her birthday: “Self Portrait … Continue reading

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“Manuscripts don’t burn.” — Mikhail Bulgakov

…Speaking of Mohammad Rasoulof… It’s Mikhail Bulgakov’s birthday. The author of The Master and Margarita, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. (It’s not his only work. There are many others. But I’ll be focusing on Master and … Continue reading

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For Joseph Cotten’s birthday: Gaslight: His Listening Is Active

Except for a couple of brief encounters in public settings, Joseph Cotten’s Brian Cameron and Ingrid Bergman’s Paula Asquist never meet until the final scene of Gaslight. Brian Cameron has been obsessed with the unsolved murder of Paula Asquist’s aunt … Continue reading

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“That’s the way I work: I try to imagine what I would like to see.” — Sofia Coppola

It’s her birthday today. Doing these posts is a way to pull up things from my gigantic archives. I might as well find ways to share them. But it’s also a reminder of how much I haven’t written. Topics I … Continue reading

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