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glomph last won the day on December 13 2009

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  1. It is generally now accepted that Tchaikovsky was gay. While many in the West have thought he was, after the collapse of the Soviet Union his and his brothers letters that acknowledge it have been made public. The movie Death in Venice makes the main character a composer (rather than the author in the book, as I recall) that appears modeled on Gustav Mahler, whose music is used in the soundtrack. But I don't know any reason to suspect that Mahler himself was gay. Of course, by the mid-20th century there were quite a few openly gay composers of varying degrees of fame. It's hardly obvious who is addressed in many of the sonnets. The ones addressed to a younger man may be read as having a more fatherly interest than anything else, as I recall. (I'd welcome some good counter-examples, if anyone can post them.) As for who wrote the plays, Isaac Asmiov has an interesting argument based on astronomy that they were not written by Francis Bacon. I can see how Tim Considine could have starred in Tommy Kirk's wet dreams and be the subject of wishdar by a generation of gay men, but I've never seen the suggestion that there was anything between the two of them. Walt perhaps knew of Kirk's orientation earlier, but didn't fire him until confronted by the mom of a fifteen-year-old. These guys are now in their 70s, hard as that is from me to imagine. (I like the software on this board that makes me eternally 56--ancient enough to most of you I realize. I tried changing it in the profile, but gave up. Now I'd just as soon that nobody tells me how to do it.) Walt Whitman is the only gay man I know of with a bridge named after him. He doubted Shakespeare was the real author, too. Writer Gertrude Stein lived with Alice B. Toklas about 40 years until Stein died.
  2. I'm bothered by the misuse of "literally." I literally die when it is used nonsensically. That makes me wonder if "subconscience" might be useful on some contexts, though. There is a word "imputed." Maybe you are thinking of that one. It has an interesting variety of uses in theology, finance, and economics, for starters. Well of course you choked on the D' if you tried to pronounce it like French but without a vowel after it. In the US it is pronounced like "mater dee." I don't know if the phrase is used in any other English-speaking country or pronounced otherwise. I don't hate the word "subliminal," but I avoid trying to say it in public since it often gets my twoung twangled.
  3. The differences of convention for centuries and decades is like the difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers. Centuries are named with ordinal numbers: the sixteenth century, the twentieth century, e. g. If we used ordinal numbers for decades, we'd talk about the 198th decade (1971-1980, I guess), but we don't. We talk about the '80s (1980-1989). 2000 and 2009 are in different centuries, different millennia, but the same decade, the '80s. I sometimes see the confusion about ordinal number in stories. "My Fifteenth Year" is when I'm 14 years old, because my first year comes before my first birthday when I become one year old, and start my second year. (Maybe horses and Chinese people count that differently.) {corrected a typo}
  4. I think Rory would object in both cases. Perhaps the most brilliant. I didn't vote for it as my favorite. If Dom were to revisit the story, I think it would be helped by developing the side plots about Aiden and Owen and about what's-her-name and her boyfriend choices. Rather than detracting from the central Travis/Dennis story, those lines would be complementary. Then he might need to add some more to Travis/Dennis for proportion, and that would not make me unhappy. If Dom really had time to develop it, TLW and ITFB together could be the bulk of a novel. Short of that, there could be a trilogy of TLW, ITFB (minus the quickie resolutions of the side plots), and then the third would concentrate on Aiden and Owen and pull together some of the other loose ends that are not so tied up in ITFB in its current form. I don't know what it is about Jude; maybe it is the sweetness, strength, and air of mystery all at the same time. I would see Taylor as more of an interesting friend.
  5. Great choice for Aaron, and the Taylor choice is about as good as anyone is likely to do.
  6. I tend to think of "classic" movies as being the great ones before sound. I saw The General again recently, and I seem to enjoy it more every time I watch it. But if we're including talkies, then my list would get pretty long, including almost all of the films mentioned in the thread so far. I didn't care that much for the recent incarnation of Titanic, but it had it's moments, and I can see why people would like it. As for John Wayne movies, I like The Quiet Man the best. If someone ever questions whether the guy could act, tell them to watch that film. Rio Bravo was the first John Wayne movie I saw as a kid, so it will always have a special place in my list. I would add a bunch of comedies from the '30s and '40s, such as It Happened One Night, Philadelphia Story, and Dinner at Eight. Citizen Kane is in a class by itself. And don't forget The Godfather, both I and II, as well as the edited-for-TV chronological amalgam of the two. Forget III. Then there would be another long list of films that I really enjoyed and watch again from time to time, like Trading Places and Groundhog Day. They have some merit, but are hardly "classics" except in the sense of being personal classics of mine, in that I keep watching them at least every couple of years.
  7. Does this just assign some writer's name at random? I tried it four times (different samples) and came up with Stephen King, James Joyce, Dan Brown, and Chuck Palahniuk.
  8. Definitely. And that brings to mind Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and Richard deVere, a favorite couple of mine. Lionel and Jean had a great love story, and a bit more obscurely in the States, Laura and Mike, played by Dench and her real-life husband. In a different vain, but at least as entertaining, were Hyacinth and Richard Bucket and Basil and Sybil Fawlty. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Rhett and Scarlett or Rick and Ilsa.
  9. Not to be confused with a bodice ripper.
  10. A few years ago I lived in a house that was surrounded on three sides by a forest. There was a paved drive 1/10 mile to the street. There were major shopping and dining areas 15 to 20 miles away in a couple of different directions, and a city of a half million about an hour away. I liked it OK in general, but I hated going back to dialup internet when I moved there. The cost of running a cable line from the street or upgrading the satellite dish to support high-speed internet was prohibitive, and I didn't plan to live there as long as it turned out I stayed. I think the ideal for me would be to live in an isolated area that was convenient to all the amenities, and in walking distance of public transportation for a big city, and of course with at least 8 Mbps internet at the house. But where I live now is a pretty good compromise for all that: a small town with a lot going on and great places to eat, and major shopping 5 or 6 miles away, and a city of 700,000+ 25 miles down the freeway whose bus service comes to just over a mile from the house. Even though I have plenty of close neighbors, the huge windows I see from the main living areas of the house all look into acres of woods, so it's like being isolated when I'm in the house. Available internet speeds go up to 20 Mbps, which is pretty decent by American standards. It may not be ideal for a lot of folk, but it works well for me.
  11. The Beatles also had a song, "Bayou a diamond ring, my friend, if it will make you feel all right."
  12. From my avatar you might reasonably conclude that I'm not averse to anime. I also enjoy the literary and musical sophistication in an absurdist context of the Looney Tunes cartoons of the '40s and '50s. "Rocky and Bullwinkle" is still funny to me. I like "Southpark" in small doses. And there is great Japanese animation that's not in what we tend to think of as anime style, such as My Neighbor Totoro. I haven't got to see Grave of the Fireflies yet, but it is supposedly one of the greats. It's coming up on my Netflix queue. I agree that Pixar movies are special. Up is one of the great films of the decade.There's a great extended sequence without dialog. You laugh. You cry. There are talking dogs. What else could you want? Suffice it to say that I didn't vote in this poll. ----- Softly, just like this, I don't care if it's all a lie, Memories that belong to you and me only are left on the asphalt... Because the after-school you is just too dazzling, my bottled up voice seems like it might overflow. ----- I guess something's lost in translation.
  13. Lucida Grande is a very legible sans-serif font, and it is a really good choice for reading from the screen if you have it. I use it as the default in my browser. Verdana is good if you don't have Lucida Grande. I usually put the two as alternatives on my web pages. Arial is a cheap rip-off of Helvetica. On screen they should look pretty much the same, though there'll be some difference in higher-resolutin printing. As said above, for reading paragraphs, sans-serifs work better on screen, and serif fonts work better in print, most of the time. As important as font choice and size in legibility, is line length. A line that is too long or too short will slow you down, lessen comprehension, and maybe tire you out after a while. Aim for two or three eye "fixations" per line. The font size and line length need to be chosen to go together: use longer lines for bigger font sizes, and shorter for smaller ones. As a rule of thumb, divide the font point size by 3, and that should be about the line length in inches. Alternatively, aim for around 39 characters per line of your chosen font and size. That's for paragraphs of text. Your titles and such of course don't follow that. For the screen, Georgia is a really good choice for a serif font. Adjust sizes for you audience. Use bigger sizes for small children and elderly adults. And, eat a lot of peaches.
  14. I remember seeing a cartoon years ago, perhaps in The New Yorker. Two men are very obviously in Hell (flames, demons, etc.). One says to the other, "But it's a dry heat."
  15. I've never read her books, but I did see the movie The Fountainhead, and it has certainly been one of the most influential movies in terms of affecting my life and thought. The architect and later QAF's Brian Kenney have been somewhat role models for me, even though I don't find them particularly likable or admirable characters. While I like approval and affirmation from other people, I don't see altering my values, etc., in a significant way to seek them. As Jimmy Buffet says, "You have to follow your own weird." I am rather self-centered and deep down I believe that the universe revolves around me, but I don't think I'd really get into Rand's philosophy. Everybody in the US and many in the rest of the world have been affected by her through the person of her friend Alan Greenspan. As a practical matter, when the yellow mask drops down, it makes sense to follow the airlines' advice to put on one's own make first, and then help others with theirs. I think that approach may work as a more general rule.
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