Yes, that’s an original image. And yes, I’m quite proud of myself.
Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite actors and directors. He got famous acting in movies that glorified guns and violence, and graduated to directing introspective films about the toll violence takes on the human soul. Unforgiven is my favorite Western, and one of my favorite movies ever.
Last night Clint Eastwood was the RNC’s monkey, debating an empty chair, then harangued by the crowd into delivering a catch phrase he’s ashamed of.
One fringe benefit of dating an actor: last week Liz was cast in a commercial production in Atlantic City, which meant a free hotel room for a couple of nights. I hopped a train from Philly and met her, and we got in a few hours at the casinos.
I managed two things I’ve never done before in a casino: a straight-flush on a video poker game, and hitting a number (17) on a roulette table. Unfortunately, both times my bet was only one quarter. I’m not exactly a high roller. I’m one of those people who stretches his money out as long as he can, to maximize the free drinks. At least Liz and I left the casino about even.
In the morning before Liz went to work and I got a train back to Philly, we went for a run on the Boardwalk. For those of you who know AC, we started at the Tropicana and ran East, past Revel, to the end of the boardwalk and back. Atlantic City is funny in the way it juxtaposes the glamour and scale of big casinos with the tiny beach-style houses of the Jersey Shore. Around the Absecon Lighthouse, on the East side of Revel, AC is empty and desolate. Julius DeAngelus, a fellow author and head organizer of the Philadelphia Writers Group, grew up in that part of Atlantic City. His blog, Dancing on Seaside Ave, chronicles his life experiences as well as the recent developments in Atlantic City. After following Julius for a couple of years, it was interesting to get my first in-person look at the neighborhood he’s written so much about. It was easy to spot his childhood home – it sticks out a bit, the only structure left standing on that strip of Seaside Ave.
Liz and I are talking about a longer trip back to Atlantic City at some point in the near future. Maybe while I’m there I’ll take some time to explore the forgotten sections around the Absecon Lighthouse.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I hardly need validation from celebrities to make me feel good about my job. Still, it was a nice start to the week to read George R. R. Martin’s screed against nationwide voter suppression efforts. A sampling:
The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.
As a fan of GRRM’s books, I’m also a regular reader of his blog. Naturally I posted a comment thanking him on behalf of his fans at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, where we just wrapped up a two-week-long lawsuit against the state’s voter suppression law. We’re expecting a decision this week, so we’re all on pins and needles right now. It’s nice to see that an author I respect and admire is willing to speak out against such injustice.
Now… how do I parlay this into a blurb from GRRM?
I think from now on, Hollywood should make two versions of every action movie: a regular version, and a right-wing version.
In the regular version, the villain is trying to destroy the world, enslave humanity, blow up a bus full of nuns, or what have you.
In the right-wing version, the villain is trying to take $1,000 away from a wealthy American.