Sunday Morning! “The Fable of the Bees” & Film Noir


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Note: Sorry this is late. My laptop burned out or ended its life last night, so I’m finishing this up in the library. Support your public library!Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Some people behave virtuously because they are excluded from the groups of people that follow their vices. Can’t really sin if nobody wants to sin with you.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. says:

      There was a cartoon in a recent New Yorker: the wife leaving for a trip “Don’t do anything I would have done but nobody asked.”Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Its a form of herd immunity. If everyone stole, looted, etc. we could have no functioning society, as everyone would spend all of the time watching their backs on one hand and stealing on the other. So, we create social rules to keep those impulses down to a dull roar. This obviously works better with a smaller group but can expand the more things are kept as vices or virtues. Thus insider vs. outsider traits that permeate functioning societies. In a way, you are trading one set of vices for another, equally despicable vise.

    I had plans to read Huysmans La Bas over my vacation, but with a swamp of bad news, I have postponed that. I did, however, watch the Michael Douglas and Matt Damon movie about Liberace. Which was depressing in many places, but quite good. I would recommend it.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. says:

      Huysmans is great, but maybe not after bad news! It’s been a while- I remember spending quite a bit of time on Google looking up things. I wanted to see the Liberace movie because I generally like Stephen Soderbergh’s stuff. Hopefully, I will have a functional laptop soon because we’ve never sprung for an actual television!Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        Its a period and place I know very little about. I studied German and Spanish in HS, plus one of my best friends in Austrian along with my wife having majored in German in College. So, I too expect to look up a lot of things. Always fun to explore new pathways.

        As a side note, its good in a way that lit is going through the MFA crisis now, as it lets me just go back with novels and not worry too much about the current state of lit.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    When I was young, I thought the Hays Code was silly.

    Then I realized that we’ve got an unofficial one.


    • Avatar Rufus F. says:

      I read an article recently about the British Board of Film Censors/Classification and how they’re not seeing very many films with sex scenes coming through anymore. They sounded mainly disappointed.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Can’t really have sex scenes when every movie is attempting to be PG-13.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Yeah, PG-13 movies can be marketed to oh-so-very-many more people than Rs. And soft-R movies can be marketed to more people than hard Rs.

          I mean, if you want to see someone’s body parts, I have heard that there are websites out there that cater to that sort of thing that are visitable in the privacy of your own home.Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. says:

            The problem is adults don’t like buying the popcorn because it’s more expensive than they’d like. The kids will buy the popcorn and the concession stands are where theaters make their money. Of course, if more theaters sold booze, the problem might be solved.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

              Alamo Drafthouse does this and I noticed the bigger chains are starting to catch on. Landmark (the semi-arthouse chain) sells booze.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. says:

                We used to go see movies at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Virginia. I don’t know if it’s changed, but they also had a pretty decent menu and tables, so you could watch a movie and drink and eat throughout. That seems more appealing to adults than 10 dollar popcorn and kids on their cellphones throughout the movie. Of course, streaming might still be preferable.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                No chances of a drunk driving charge when streaming from home.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I am reading a book called The Secular Enlightenment.

    I just saw the Avengers movie. It was very good. I will spare everyone the Beckett jokes.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. says:

      Yeah, I’ve heard that’s a good book. I’ve got to try to get the university library to get it though because I’m not fond of university press prices. I learned yesterday that we’re one of the few remaining university libraries in the area to get new books, which is unsettling. I did hear it from a librarian, so he might be biased. He sniffed “The other ones spend their money on toys”.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        One of the joys of Kindle is that you can get University Press books at reasonable prices.Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        I find one good way to get university press books at not those prices is to watch their sales. My favorite one of late is the U of Chicago press (sadly over for the year, it ended feb 2019) which always has tons of the books i wanted to read but couldnt’ afford:
        to get an idea of what i mean… 9 dollar hardcovers and the like.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Chances are the Russians have a copy online for download. What the Russians usually have for such texts is a sizeable PDF file — a few to several megabytes — complete with all the proprietary fonts and high-resolution images.

        I’m beginning to suspect that the leakage is intentional, or at least tolerated, as a means for getting the books into the hands of the (large?) majority of the world’s population/libraries that can’t afford them. A friend and I were able to establish that the version of her book the Russians had put up was a bit-perfect copy of the file that went from the publisher’s staff to the printer.Report

  6. Avatar Maribou says:

    Struggling to read anything the last couple weeks but I did see both Barry Lopez and Roxane Gay read live, and both were warm, funny, tough, and deep.

    So that was good.Report