The lush countryside of Argentina sets the tone for this tender tale of the summer when childhood is left behind. As school uniforms are sloughed off in favor of bathing suits, much more is revealed. Argentina , 2009 , 86 min. Screening Monday, June 21, 7:00 PM during the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.
A promising lad on a ranch in Argentina begins to experience monthly bleeding and growing boobs. Mom takes him to the nearest physician, who examines, looks strangely at her, hands her a sheaf of typed reports of findings and recommendations to go to Buenos Aires for extensive testing by a specialist.
Mama goes home and the bleeding stops, so she puts the papers in a safe place and forgets it all. Meanwhile the absentee doctor from somewhere else who owns the ranch comes back for the summer with his daughter. The boygirl friendish ranch hand starts bleeding again and confides to the doctor’s daughter, who confides the secret to doctor/owner.
He examines the youngster and discovers he was misdiagnosed at birth as being a boy. That he’s actually a budding female.
Naturally his father, the ranch manager, beats the holy hell out of him as soon as he learns of it because of the deception.
I’m not a person who toadies to celebrities. I couldn’t care less what they say or think about anything, what they do with their genitalia, what they eat, drink, or snort. If I like something they do on stage, on audio, on screen, that’s what gets my attention. I mostly don’t read biographies, autobiographies, mostly don’t watch interviews.
With rare exceptions. Leonard Cohen interests me. Louden Wainwright III interests me, Guy Clark interests me, and Tom Russell interests me. But Guy Clark and Leonard Cohen are the only ones I’d ever seen interviewed until now.
But I got to wondering whether Bob Dylan is still alive. I first was introduced to his music at a place on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1964. McDougal’s might have been the name of the place. And same as everyone else at that time and place, I was blown away.
So I went to the miracle of YouTube and started searching, thinking at least to hear some good music. And there they were, interviews with Bob Dylan, interviews with other people talking about Bob Dylan. Dozens of them scattered over half-century. So I picked a few, beginning with back when he was my age, 70 times around the sun.
Bob Dylan Interview and a very revealing one at that
For Bob Dylan it is Always the Same Interview 42 Years in 24 Minutes
Bob Dylan.Funny Interview.
I don’t care what the Beetles think, or thought about Bob Dylan, nor about anything else for that matter. But they did have a few good songs, and maybe what they say about Dylan will interest someone.
The Beatles talk about Bob Dylan
John Lennon and Bob Dylan Conversation
Bob Dylan and John Lennon on God and Religion
Bob Dylan: San Francisco Press Conference (Dec. 1965) 1/6
Bob Dylan – After The Crash – 1966-1978 (Part 1 of 12).mp4
I never knew Dylan got religion, or whatever it was he got, but I’m glad for him, though I don’t care whether he did or not from the perspective of knowing about it.
Bob Dylan – The Gospel Interview
Bob Dylan 1966 Interview, WBAI
Bob Dylan – Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award – 1991 Grammy Awards
Dylan and I didn’t know it because we never got around to discussing the matter, but we shared a lot of respect for Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash, I suppose, might qualify as another person I’d have possibly cared what he thought about some things. If I’d ever met Dylan we could have regaled one another with Johnny Cash respect, I suppose.
Bob Dylan on Johnny Cash. NDH outtake
I’ve mentioned Loudon Wainwright III is one of the people I’m mildly interested in what they might say about something outside the context of a song. Well, in this instance I didn’t have to look outside Loudon Wainwright’s music. He wrote this song to Dylan on Dylan’s 50th birthday.
Loudon Wainwright III – Talking New Bob Dylan.wmv
The Simon and Garfunkel thing about Dylan has always seemed to me to be a cheap shot. Dylan wrote the song that launched Simon and Garfunkel into fame. Sound of Silence. But when Dylan left ‘folk’ behind to invent ‘folk rock’ Simon and Garfunkel got offended enough to personally attack him in song: Bastards, both of them. Screw them, though they did one-hell-of-a-lot of great songs. If they’d kept their nasty little comments off their albums I’d never have known. Pricks.
Simon & Garfunkel – A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission)
The Sound of Silence (Original Version from 1964)
Peter, Paul and Mary got pretty pissed when Dylan drifted to folk rock, too. I saw an interview with one of the guys several years later in which he said it was the only really nasty attack song they ever recorded, and that they all regretted it. Something about what he said made me thing it was directed at Dylan. Listen to the words carefully to hear the sarcasm “between the lines”. But at least they did it with some class. They made a lot of money and miles off Bob Dylan creations.
I dig rock n roll music
So I think I’ll just toadie to Loudon Wainwright’s birthday tribute to Bobby Dylan and make a wish when I think he’s blowing out the candles in the wind: “Here’s hoping you outlive me Bobby Dylan. I’d like an excuse to begin my next lifetime in time to hear what you do after I exit the vehicle.”
Hi readers. Someone female sitting in the lobby late one night tossed The Bell Jar aside and groaned a curse. Headed for the wagon yard, I reckons. So I picked up Plath’s tome and read enough to remember everything else I ever knew, ever wanted to know about Sylvia Plath. Most vividly I remembered a poem, Daddy, by Ms Plath. Some University of Texas poetry course caused me to write a ten page paper about it once.
I learned to hate the thought Sylvia Plath and her lot shared this planet with regular human beings. And after reading a while on Bell Jar, chunking it, I wrote this:
Virus of the mind
The drumbeat litany of hatred
Of smug mindless naiveté
Numbs the mind.
Alienation is a welcome gift
From the universe
When it involves the inability
To identify with THAT.
The preoccupation with death
As though death is an unnatural state,
Created by a dark maker for the shallow purpose
Of providing a source of terror and sadness
For tiny humans;
Leaves me with a yearning:
Just once I’d like to see a poem
A poem full of truths:
“I gave you permission
to hurt me and make me angry;
because of my illusions and expectations
you never agreed to satisfy
now I’m angry.
“I wanted you to behave a certain way.
Because I wanted it, I demanded it
In my expectations of you
without saying so.
“I wanted you to give up your choices.
I didn’t want it
because giving them up would make you
Or more fulfilled.
I just wanted it because I wanted it.
“I’m used to getting my way.
I’ll hate you if I don’t get it.
“I’ll hate you fiercely
and if that doesn’t work
I’ll threaten to kill myself
Just to get you back.”
“I’m angry. I’ve always been angry.
Life isn’t fair and it pisses me off.
I haven’t gotten everything I want.
Sometimes my parents weren’t kind to me;
Didn’t give me what I wanted.
“I talk to my friends and they’re angry, too.
The more we talk the more we realize life isn’t fair
And it pisses us off.
“We talk among ourselves
About how cool it would be
To kill some of those flawed bastards
We don’t like.
“We savor our anger; our hatred
We wallow in it
And think of different ways we’d like to kill
The bastards we don’t like;
How much we’d enjoy killing.
We all know
Because took a voice vote.
“Some nerd who wears his glasses crooked
And isn’t cool;
Some football jock who gets all the girls
We’d like to get;
We hate the girls and the jocks.
“Some sarcastic adult who isn’t cool
And doesn’t respect our views
About how the world is.
“We’d like to kill them all.
We took a voice vote
And we all agree.”
“We haven’t studied much
Nor read much
Nor lived much
Nor listened much
But that doesn’t keep us
From knowing how life is;
How life should be.”
“We’re angry and we’d like to kill them all!
We took a voice vote.
“And by God you’ll see
You’ll be sorry
When I kill myself!”
And the Ted Hugheses of the world , the Daddys
Sort through selective memories to avoid the truth
About this creature they loved.
From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003 Jack Purcell
Hi readers. Shortly after I came back to town after The End of Life As We Know It and the Y2K I gave myself [you can probably find the stories of that by searching the blog for Y2K] I went to work graveyard shift. Travel Lodge, maybe, or Motor Inn, night clerk. 11pm-7am. That story’s here somewhere, too.
Those nights in that motel were always long, sometimes interesting, never boring. At least not to me, but I don’t recall ever having been bored this lifetime.
One night a guy came down from his room and sat in the lobby, just wanted to talk. He was in town as part of a team cleaning up a particularly messy suicide. That’s what he did for a living. Travelled all over the place where suicides happened and left a terrible mess, maybe a hazardous one.
Interesting guy, with a perspective about suicide and life that I mightn’t agree with, but am glad I encountered anyway. So sometime one of those long nights later I wrote this thing I might have once called a poem:
Brain soup on steel rails, Creosote and gravel Is tasteless and inconsiderate.
What a waste, you say. It keeps people employed I say.
Lawsuits, insurance forms Police reports Accident reports For a non accident.
Clerks, cops, lawyers Funeral directors Morticians And the little guy.
Someone has to clean up Those brain and bloodstains On the walls and carpets; Pick the bone fragments Out of the doorframe With a pair of needle nosed pliers; Plug the holes Re paint. Mop up those Sidewalk body fluids Untangle the lariat Or phone cord From the light fixture Scrub bathtub crimson rings.
Someone has to manufacture Sleeping pills Bullets Razorblades Ropes.
And hospital beds For the faint of heart.
Some of that’s still Made in America (Good quality, too And I’m damned proud To say it.)
It’s hard times. A man has to go where the work is.
What a waste, you say. It keeps people employed I say. It’s commerce.
From Poems of the New Old West, copyright 2003, NineLives Press, Jack Purcell
Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.
I noticed on the television down at the Olathe Community Center to be stared at by people on treadmills and other torture machines that some big name celebrity killed himself. Guy who was in an amusing movie once about a house that an airplane crashed into and he bought it because it had been pre-disastered.
I don’t know. Maybe the guy was terminally ill, or maybe just depressed. That crap can surely happen. Back in my younger days I used to go into a black pit of depression there seemed no way out of. Where it seemed the Universe was trying to drag me into the hole a person doesn’t come back out of, the way this Williams guy exited.
I was lucky in a lot of ways, though I’m not sure what all of them were. I had a name for the ‘entity’ that seemed to take possession of my mind and spirit during those times. I called it the blue demon. Because it seemed to be a real being.
And the way I eventually got it into my past so’s I have to work to remember about it, was by treating it as a living, thinking creature with a will I could do battle with, wrestle it to the ground. Banish it from my psyche.
And once I discovered I could do that and did it successfully and thoroughly one time, afterward it was a lot easier. For decades afterward anytime I sensed that blue demon out of the corner of my perceptions I’d immediately jump in and do battle with it again, drive it out before it got a foothold.
It worked so well for me that I’ve sometimes gone years, maybe decades without ever sensing it, doing battle with it. But it’s still there, lurking, waiting for things to happen in its favor. When my health began the slide down the slippery slope the old blue demon tried whispering to me out of the wings a few times.
Interestingly, I think I have a lot of the symptoms of clinical depression right now, today, minus the blue demon black pit and the anguish that goes with it. I’m a happy, lucky man, grateful and congratulating myself for it a thousand times per day.
But I can’t force myself to open my mail. I don’t answer the telephone unless I’m confident who is calling. Have to force myself to do anything that falls into the arena of acknowledging one hell of a lot of life that would love to come in and say hello.
I’m probably going to have to do something about that. Maybe give it a name, shake hands with it, and do battle. I’m just not there yet.
74 years old, a resident of Leavenworth, KS, in an apartment located on the VA campus. Partnered with a black shorthaired cat named Mister Midnight. (1943-2020)
Since April, 2020, this blog is maintained by Jeanne Kasten (See "About" page for further information).
I’m sharing it with you because there’s almost no likelihood you’ll believe it. This lunatic asylum I call my life has so many unexpected twists and turns I won’t even try to guess where it’s going. I’d suggest you try to find some laughs here. You won’t find wisdom. Good luck.