Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Whatever happened to "Audrey Rouget"?: A screen biography of actress Carolyn Farina - The O'Dea Fixation

Here is the long, un-awaited review of Whatever happened to "Audrey Rouget"?: A screen biography of actressCarolyn Farina. Actually, it isn't a review, just a few rambling thoughts.

If you follow the blog of a fellow named Julian O'Dea, you might notice he has a tendency to write about an actress whose career as a star spans one movie. The obsession he has might lead one to think him a bit strange and well he might be.

The movie in question, however, is a jewel and said actress he has a thing for played her role to perfection.

Julian's blog ranges to a number of subjects from haiku, to art and nature and movies and women among other subjects. It is women and movies that he often dwells on, especially one.

The women thing is not something we who have only a superficial knowledge of the Aussie world understand. The men from down under have a rep as macho mateship types. As a rule, stereotypes can be relied on to a great extent, but those we get from movies and TV might not be too reliable.

Whatever happened to "Audrey Rouget"?: A screen biography of actress Carolyn Farina is a collection of information about the movie Metropolitan and the woman who played a, if not the, central role.

I can't say, I have the same fixation as Mr. O'Dea. There are other movies I like a lot, but would never read a whole e-book about, let alone write one.

That having been said, I must agree with the author that it is a great film. One I think about a lot, though differently in some ways. After all, it takes place in my country and in a city I've visited often.

Among the links about Metropolitan is one for Udolpho. The man had an interesting blog that I would read. The ebook link is now dead as the impresario of Udolpho has gone on to host a website called MyPosting Career that can be described as a club of folks frothing at the mouth. It can be interesting, but is unworthy of him.

On the Udolpho site, there was, if I remember correctly, an Amazon link to Metropolitan. Udolpho wrote about it with a lot of care and made me wish to see the movie, which I borrowed through our inter-library lending system.

It was back in 2007 and I wrote about it on this blog. Viewing the movie led me to concur with the man's thoughts, though at this remove, I can't say I clearly remember them all.
Another blogger, the Black Sea, commented that I should also watch Barcelona and though I liked it, it did not feel the same.

The Black Sea also noted the Whit Stillman interview with Charlie Rose. Stillman spoke of the self-sacrificing of the men of the upper-crust as the Titanic sunk and contrasted it with Cameron's view of the plutocrats in his movie. Stillman had it right, but today's. 001% probably would take a sauve qui peut attitude.

Now the ebook itself has value as the place to go to find out everything Mr. O'Dea has written about Carolyn Farina, the movie and the character of Audrey as well Whit Stillman and some tidbits about the other actors.

Mr. O'Dea also was influenced by the Udolopho blog. I was surprised that is where he found out about it.

Julian writes of Metroplitan, “It is a surprisingly hard film to parse and interpret. I think this is because it is hard to place it in time; it was a time of rapid change anyway; and Stillman’s intent, and his level of irony, are hard to determine.”

I suppose so. There are some markers of that dizzyingly rapid change that Americans from the Northeast of a certain age (mine) might get, but not many unless they were born into that life (I was not).

It is a tale of decline. The lads were sent to prep schools to become gentlemen and that is noble, but not much help on Wall Street. They, especially Charlie, know it. The boys might take solace from the fact that most of the villains of the 2008 crash were not high-Sassenach, but they probably are not hanging out at the Hamptons these days, let alone hitchhiking return trips.

The young ladies were also sent away to boarding schools, more probably to be “finished” rather than career women, other than, say, in publishing.

For the men, and women, as well as the rest of us, it is a different world now.

I've never read any of Jane Austen's books so I am at a loss for some of what Mr. Stillman is trying to convey. I do think I get it from the scene where Carolyn defends convention. It was an important part of the movie and I may not have got it had I not been prepped for it by Udolpho.

Audrey loves Tom.  This is the part I don't get.  Mostly what comes out of his mouth is drivel and he not especially forceful.  He comes into his own at the end, sorta.  His letters to Serena that came into Audrey's possession must have been brilliant.

In a not overly large e-tome. Mr. O'Dea has compiled as many links as he could as well as his own thoughts as gleaned from his own pages. This is not to say he is done. there are a number of entries on his blog about Audrey that were posted after the ebook came out. I for one encourage him to keep at it, otherwise it would probably be a life down at the pub with his mates.

Actually, that doesn't sound all that bad.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Paul Graham is no gentleman

Paul Graham is a startup guru who writes about that culture and reveals something about himself and his class.  In a recent

post on his own site, he argues to let the floodgates open to talent.

He posits that as;

The US has less than 5% of the world's population. Which means if the qualities that make someone a great programmer are evenly distributed, 95% of great programmers are born outside the US.

Though he says if certain qualities are evenly distributed, he is not arguing whether or not that if is correct. Without doing that, there is no point in opening the sluices. Of course, as he has said the technology companies are right, so that implies he is using his words in the paragraph quoted as justification.

Now Mr. Graham is not so much an idiot to believe much is evenly distributed in this world.  It is possible that it was something off the top that he didn't pay much attention to.  Not a quality prized in someone in the business of choosing startups.

That is not the question the voice of humility wishes to address.  Rather it is that there is a class of vastly successful entrepreneurs who have no sense of fellow feeling for their countrymen.  They probably make some nice noises, but the general tenor is the lumpen Yank is slow and we can't do without the more advanced peoples from exotic locales.

Here at the tvoh we have looked askance at the antics of our foreign policy elite.  Even if our wish came true and the foolish overseas adventures ended, we would still need an army.  None of the startup class would rush to the colors.

this is the point, these men are not an aristocracy.  They are just smart guys who made big money on their ideas.  We are not without libertarian leanings and to a degree many of those who have done well have such a point of view.  One hardly has to agree with Liz Warren to think these guys want a bit of a free ride.

They may see their assets protected in Singapore and could possibly duplicate some of Silicon Valley culture there, but few other places would they feel safe.  The brainiac class depends on the goodwill of their lower orders more than they think.  That they have so little fellow feeling means the class lacks nobility.  That they don't seek out talent among American citizens is damning.  There is probably a pool of gringos out there who could rise to the higher level of programming Graham wants, but he ain't looking for it.

In Downton Abbey, the snobbish dowager says; "An aristocrat with no servants is as much use to the county as a glass hammer."  She knew that not providing employment for those she lived amongst took away some of the rationale for her class.  This doesn't mean I'm suggesting titles be given out, we hardly need Earl Paul of Central Square or Count Sergey of Mountain View.  It would be nice, however, if they felt themselves part of the nation.  Of course, one should not think they lack for servants.

The voice of humility is not against all immigration.  If Gupta is a true super programmer, let him in.  We have average enough that if he is run of the mill, let's not be overly ready.