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Stumbled across “His Girl Friday” this evening after I grew bored with the football game.  Rosalind Russell….mmmmmmmm.

And not just because of her looks (which, on the surface, were okay but nothing to write home about, strictly speaking).  No, Russell projected an intelligence and a style and a sense of humor which were every bit as attractive, if not more so, than any of her physical attributes.  (In this, she was much like Jean Arthur, another of ol’ Robbo’s favorites.)

Sigh.  They just don’t make ’em like that in Hollywood these days.  Yo fazizzle?

Speaking of which, who knew that Bill Murray, one of my very favorite modern actors, is not only Catholic, but is also a proponent of the Traditional Latin Mass and dignified musick?  Money quote:

One new saint he does approve of is Pope John XXIII (who died in 1963). “I’ll buy that one, he’s my guy; an extraordinary joyous Florentine who changed the order. I’m not sure all those changes were right. I tend to disagree with what they call the new mass. I think we lost something by losing the Latin. Now if you go to a Catholic mass even just in Harlem it can be in Spanish, it can be in Ethiopian, it can be in any number of languages. The shape of it, the pictures, are the same but the words aren’t the same.”

Isn’t it good for people to understand it? “I guess,” he says, shaking his head. “But there’s a vibration to those words. If you’ve been in the business long enough you know what they mean anyway. And I really miss the music – the power of it, y’know? Yikes! Sacred music has an affect on your brain.” Instead, he says, we get “folk songs … top 40 stuff … oh, brother….”


Despite the fact that he made his name doing screwball comedy, I have long thought that Murray has incredible depths of subtlety and I simply love most of his more recent, nuanced stuff.  To find out that he shares ol’ Robbo’s views re the Mass is, well, not so much icing on the cake as breaking out in a new dimension of bonding.

(And lest you thing that I’m indulging in sloppy, blanket praise,  I will confess again here that I have never made it all the way through “Groundhog Day” without dozing off, although I think that’s more me than the movie itself.    Also, I think “Caddyshack” is immensely overrated. )


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo always has been appalled at the concept of “Black Friday”, the notion that on the day after Thanksgiving  we should “cry ‘Havoc!’ and release the dogs of X-mas shopping!!”

This year, however, it seems to him that things are much worse, in that major chains are advertising that their “Black Friday” sales are going to start on Thanksgiving Day itself.  Is this a thing that’s been going on for a while, or is it new?  (I watch very little commercial teevee so don’t often come in contact with this sort of thing, but I happen to be watching the Ravens/Saints game this evening.  Also saw an Obamacare ad for the first time.  J’eh, right!)

Apart from anything else, do any of these outfits pause to consider what kind of impact such ploys have on their own employees?  Do they stop to consider the poor shlubs  who will have to give up their Thanksgivings in order to go pull a shift?  Do they care?  (Okay, I know the answer to that last one….)


But then again, that word seems to apply to so much of what passes for the culture these days.

As for myself, I can assure friends of the decanter that I will spend Thanksgiving itself in pure family revelry and  “Black Friday” loafing about in post-revely recovery.  No. Shopping.



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November 2014