Sunday, April 18, 2010


Lat night, I saw the movie THE RUNAWAYS and was brought back to the era of platform shoes, dial phones, and heavy metal rock.  My youth, in other words.  I sat around people my age an others who were young enough to be my kids.  We older folks were looking for a dose of nostalgia.  The younger people were drawn to the remarkable stage presence of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.  

The movie left me speechless (well, at least contemplative) for a number of reasons.  I was definitely impressed by the acting chops displayed by the young leads.  I had never seen Kristen Stewart, but this young woman embodied what I remembered of Joan Jett.  She was tough yet vulnerable and never gave in.  I enjoyed her reaction to her instructor's proclamation that  "girls don't play electric guitars."  Joan plugs in anyway.  I was not a major fan of the Runaways' music, but I admired their panache and toughness.  Dakota Fanning, whose work I did know, has grown up.  She was Cherrie Currie, the Bardotesque child sex kitten caught in a web of fame she can't escape.  Fanning made me think of the youthful Drew Barrymore, and I've loved Drew ever since she and ET screamed in unison.  Drew, of course, is the descendent of a great acting family, but Ms. Fanning was impressive.  The supporting actors also are solid.  Riley Keogh, the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, was excellent as Cherrie's older sister.  The King lives on!

What also struck me is the way young people are manipulated by the entertainment industry, particularly young women.  The Kim Fowley character uses the girls to his advantage, manipulating them and then deserting them as his own needs dictate.  I was reminded of all those young people, male and female, who sign contracts and are metaphorically raped.  For example, two young men named Lennon and McCartney never owned the bulk of their own songs. In this movie, the young girls burned out because no one had their interests at heart.  Fowley was a Svengali and a Rasputin, using the girls to make himself a legend.  The young performers suffered.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Writing Blog

I am a writer.  At one time, those words would have died on my lips, but the publication of BURIED TRUTHS gave me hope that my hobby or avocation could one day become my vocation.  Currently, I am revising a mystery and writing a synopsis.  At least two new plot lines are pounding away in my head.  Not enough hours in the day exist for me to complete every project I hope to create.  

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer.  Writing has saved me in my darkest hour.  After my father's death, I wrote to escape those bleak days.  When my mother died only two years ago, the only thing that kept me alive was my writing.  I wrote a journal and tried not to wallow in my paralyzing grief.  Eventually, the journal became an avenue for my creativity.  I wrote my mother about my ideas. Those ideas developed into full-blown stories.  

Summer is coming, and I will have a respite from my day job.  I vow to create a schedule and to adhere to it.  I will finish the projects floating around inside my skull.  Poor John Keats died before he could write every poem in his head.  I swear that won't happen to me.  The goal is to work this summer.  Really work.  

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wanderlust and Liverpool

I didn't know how this blog post would evolve, but it's turning into a valentine for the city of Liverpool.  This Christmas, I traveled to England.  While there, I walked through the snow, danced at the Cavern, and journeyed between London and Liverpool by train.  Since my mother's death, I've felt sad at the holidays, and traveling during the holidays distracted me.  

I've always loved London, but I'd been there twice already.  Liverpool was wonderful, and I truly loved that old port city.  Amazingly gracious people.  As a Beatles fan, I reveled in total Beatles immersion, but I loved the whole atmosphere.  Even though the Christmas season was in full swing, residents were gracious when a lost tourist asked for directions.  The city is gritty, working class, and friendly.  I felt at home, reminded of New Orleans.  One gentleman even discussed American football, telling me he liked the Green Bay Packers.  I didn't know American sports had any following over there, but we talked at length about the Saints.  

Though smaller than London, Liverpool doesn't lack in history or culture.  The Walker Gallery offers an impressive display of art from the medieval era to the present, and the Tate Liverpool provides an amazing collection of modern art.  Merseyside Maritime offers a compelling history of the port, and the International Slave Museum stands as a testament to humanity's capacity for cruelty as well as its ability to triumph over adversity.  The Liverpool Playhouse, the Royal Court, and LIPA(to name a few) provide compelling entertainment.  

Of course, no one can travel to Liverpool without visiting the many places made famous by the Beatles and their music.  Various tours take you to the homes of the Beatles and the sites made famous through their music.  The Beatles Story Museum holds Beatle memorabilia and provides a wonderful perspective of the Fab Four's rise to fame.  Throughout this year, White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon, Julian Lennon's tribute to his father, offers a touching view on the life of the late John Lennon.  

I'd also love to see Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Wales.  I've seen Ireland(which is beautiful) and London.  Liverpool, however, had me enthralled.  One day, I'll go back.