Received an invitation to attend a royal banquet at Buckingham Palace? Uncertain of how to respond? Fret not, Debrett's guide on Etiquette & Modern Manners has you covered. Gone are the days when a book of etiquette is only deemed for the rich, the Royal, the business-oriented, or those planning a wedding. I think all of us could benefit from a little polish in our everyday behavior. A predecessor of and English counterpart to Emily Post, Debrett's has all one needs to know from addressing the Queen of England to approaching the delicate matter of breaking off an engagement. By the way, if you do meet the Queen, it's "Your Royal Highness" when addressing her directly and "Her Majesty" when addressing her in the company of others. Gentlemen, do bow your heads and ladies, a courtesy is required. And if you're beset by specific worries, there's always the Queen's Lady-in-Waiting to help with Q&As. Duh!
First published in 1769, Debrett's has so many wonderful sections with parts of it rather dated yet still applicable.
On asking your pesky neighbors who show up unexpectedly to leave your home: offer them something to drink when they enter your home, but do not be afraid to "allow the conversation to flag and not refill cups or glasses."
What to bring for your aging uncle who's staying at the hospital a while? Debrett's notes that "a small and robust pot plant is a good idea, but check with the florist that it will thrive in a hot hospital ward--a plant that drops its leaves or dies is not a tactful addition to a bedside."
Text too much? Chat too long? On the virtues of the telephone, "brevity and clarity are the two most essential qualities."
When going on a first date, did you know there is always a host and a guest? The host should arrive on time and the guest arrive only a little late. "There are two forms of invitation to a first date that are incorrect and unfair (although perfectly acceptable when people know each other better). It is wrong to ask if the other person is free at a specified time without giving further details about the evening. The girl might like the opportunity to say she will be busy on that particular day, if she chooses to accept she will need a rough idea of what to wear, and whether or not to eat first." I can definitely attest to the latter half of that sentence; a hungry girl will not be a good date.
"It is also unacceptable to arrange to meet or collect her and then to greet her by saying 'What would you like to do?' What is she to say? Apart from the fact that the responsibility should be taken by whoever issued the invitation, it is very unlikely that she will know what he is prepared to spend or how far he is prepared to travel." I wonder what Debrett's might say about modern dating on Tinder? Or unwanted photographs of the male anatomy via text. Oh my.
And if you are coupled, what about those dreaded parties you get dragged to by your spouse or for your child's playdate? How does one start a conversation with a stranger? "The first art of a good conversationalist is to put people at their ease. Conversation can hardly flourish in a stilted atmosphere."
Or here's a clumsy one that often happens. On the virtues of small talk, "Avoid asking people questions that might be on a government form or an application for a visa. One's heart often sinks when asked: "What do you do?' and 'Have you any children?'"
But my favorite part comes from a more serious section in "Invitations, Letters and Talk." Here on the difficult task of writing a letter of sympathy when someone has passed away, Debrett's cites the beautiful work of Henry James. In a letter to his close friend Sir Leslie Stephen (father of Virginia Woolf) on the death of his wife, James writes:
My dear Stephen,
I feel unable to approach such a sorrow as yours--and yet I can't forbear to hold out my hand to you. I think of you with inexpressible participation, and only take refuge from this sharp pain of sympathy in trying to call up the image of all the perfect happiness that you drew, and that you gave. I pray for you that there are moments when the sense of that rushes over you like a possession that you still hold. There is no happiness in this horrible world but the happiness we have had--the very present is ever in the jaws of fate. I think in the admirable picture of her perfect union with you, and that for her, at any rate, with all its fatigues and sacrifices, life didn't pass without the deep and clear felicity--the best it can give. She leaves no image but that of the high enjoyment of affection and devotions--the beauty and the good she wrought and the tenderness that came back to her. Unquenchable seems to me such a presence. But why do I presume to say these things to you, my dear Stephen? Only because I want you to hear them in the sound of the voice and feel the pressure of the hand of your affectionate old friend.
Al Jazeera English has a really great channel on Youtube called 101 East that I recommend to anyone who shows an interest in learning about Asia. It features a variety of investigative journalism, from the music ban in Pakistan, to the the problems of widespread teenage pregnancies in the Philippines, to gang rape in India, to children working as maids in Myanmar. All of it is well-written, well-produced, and absolutely worth your time.
But my favorite in this series however is on China, of course I'm also partial. Hosted by Canadian journalist Steve Chao, this series is illuminating of a country that is often misunderstood by the west. Even for me, watching 101 East confirms just how little I know of my own birth place.
So here's a list of the "Top 5," in no particular order, as subjectively curated by yours truly. As with all modern journalism, I do ask my readers to keep in mind the kinds of subjects that are deemed by our media as "newsworthy." Often times, they are the sensational ones. Even with Al Jazeera English, they are at the end of the day a business, with a somewhat subjective lens, probably with viewers who are measured in click throughs, that bring in ad revenue, and so on. This is not to discredit, but to remind us that 101 East is only scratching the surface of a real China - there are after all, 1.3 billion Chinese with 1.3 billion differing views of the country in which they live. For every one negative story, I bet there is a positive story that go untold. And the only way to find the truth is to go to China for yourself, spend time there, get to know people there - and I hope this channel will help inspire that curiosity.
1. Left-Behind Generation - With stagnant wages and the rising costs of living, millions from the rural regions are forced to migrate to the cities to find work. But China also has strict policies towards these migrants which won't allow their sons or daughters to go to schools in the cities. So millions of children are left behind without parents, in remote villages, some by even themselves.
2. The End of China Inc - For the past few decades, China has been building massive projects to transform itself into a modern nation. But was the country ready for it? Today, it has 5.7 trillion in debt and two billion square meters of empty residential space. Where is everyone? And what does its economy mean for the rest of the world?
3. Faking It - More than 90% of the Chinese antiques on today's market are fakes. Acquired by private collections, galleries, auction houses, and even museums, these fakes are so well-made that even experts can't tell the difference. How is it possible that within three months after an object is excavated a fake shows up on an auction house catalog? This story takes you to the village where these high-level potters and craftsman make their imitations, and to the bigger story behind it on how they get their hands on the original. As someone who studied art history, I find this an interesting debate because at what point, does the knock-offs, which are so well-made, become a piece of art itself?
4. Food for Thought - Fakes are not just relegated to expensive art. Even your local wonton noodle soup dealer is making fakes., using toxic ingredients with deadly effect. What does that look like? And most importantly, why? This episode asks why ordinary citizens would want to hurt each other for the sake of profits.
5. Super Moms - "Zuo yue zi" is the Chinese custom that new mothers spend the first month after child birth in bed. Three meals a day prepared for her, her infant bathed and fed for her, her home cleaned for her, even her hair is washed for her. Traditionally a duty of her own mother or mother-in-law, now is a booming industry in China.
I like to say that I was raised by three parents, the third being the 50's era sitcom I Love Lucy. Like most latchkey US children with a house to themselves and no babysitter, television was my portal into the world, however flawed that method of childrearing might be. And who dominated the public TV airwaves more than Lucy? She was on Mondays through Fridays before and after the news, and again on weekends...at least on channel 11 here in Los Angeles. Love her or hate her, I Love Lucy is as much part of American culture as oversized Cadillac cars and free candy on Halloween. Sure Lucy McGillicuddy's (Lucille Ball) behavior is more than obnoxious at time, and yes, Ricky's (Desi Arnaz) man-of-the-house dominance leaves a viewer in 2018 totally nauseous, but I hope we're smart enough as modern TV-watchers to remember that these fictional characters on this show aired more than 60 years ago. Much has changed in the half century since, including our views on acceptable roles and partnerships. And if you feel a gnawing discomfort at watching Ricky deny Lucy an allowance, then that's terrific--it means we as educated individuals have come a long way!
The thing I always loved the most (and still do) about the show was Lucy's strong will, in spite of what Ricky or the world wanted from her as a housewife. To me, a newly arrived foreigner born into a totally different set of gender expectations, Lucy was nothing less than an eye-opener. Even as a little kid in the 90's, I wanted to be subversive just like her. While Ricky paraded his success and cockblocked her career (at times with so much cruelty it was degrading), Lucy, with the help of Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance), would always manage to claw her way to the limelight. Remember that time she ate too much spaghetti when meeting William Holden? When she stole a grapefruit from Richard Widmark's house just to meet him? How she "spooned her way to health" to get in front of the camera for Vitameatavegamin to prove she had talent? Or when she finagled her way to perform "Cuban Pete" with Ricky's band? By the way, the woman can dance!
Lucy didn't always win, but when she did, it was meaningful. And even when she lost, like in her bet with Ricky about whether she would buy a new hat or he would lose his temper first, she won in her own way--eating crackers in bed, loudly, obnoxiously, and on purpose. Compare her to other television wives I grew up with, say, Peggy Bundy from Married With Children or Jill Taylor from Home Improvement (both of which I love), Lucy is a far stronger character.
What strikes me the most now as I watch old episodes is Ricky's insecurities on the show, and how it corresponded with Arnaz's own shortcomings in real life. It is no secret that he was often unfaithful, that he was an alcoholic, and that he was resentful of her success. I'm sure the writers, Madelyn Pugh-Davis and Bob Carroll Jr together with Ball, observed this dynamic in real life and turned that into part of Lucy and Ricky's characters on the page. Of course like any good writers would, they leave it up to us, the viewers, to see the irony.
After six years on air, two homes, one baby (on the show at least), and many many adventures together, I Love Lucy ended in 1957. In real life, the formal partnership between Ball and Arnaz (as well as the marriage), similarly came to a close. Ball filed for divorce, bought out Arnaz from Desilu Productions, and went on to produce more work with Vance. Arnaz on the other hand took a more secondary role away from the camera. In his memoir, Arnaz wrote that he still adored Ball, though by then both had remarried and were living separate lives.
Lucy was never meant to be a universally-liked character. Even the title of the show, I Love Lucy, uses a subjective personal pronoun. Hate her, mock her, despise her all you want, but she is an iconic figure that will outlast any critical essays about her. At the end of the day, it is Lucy who was the star of a show about a woman who wanted to be a star. And golly, she succeeded.
Get a glimpse of the voice that built Capitol Records now on Netflix. Released in 2014, Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark takes an intimate look at the elegant yet difficult private life behind this voice of gentility. Told in part through his late widow Maria Cole's point of view, the documentary covers Cole's rise in American pop culture in the 40s and 50s, and the racial fallout he quietly faced behind the scenes. What was most surprising was the contrast of Cole's public reception as entertainer and of him as an ordinary citizen. Residents protested when he and his family moved into the affluent neighborhood of Hancock Park even though they were fans of his music and owned his records at home. Similarly in Las Vegas, his sold-out concerts didn't garner enough status for him to enter through the main casino floor or to stay at a good hotel.
America, when I first saw you on television as a child in another country, you were made up of magical things that made me dream -- you produced wonderful movies, you made incredible jazz music, and you were even the first on the moon. I think that we all, from other countries, saw you in this way. It's why we're here. But now living among you, you tell a very different story.
In spite of the heartbreak and the external pressures, Cole's presence, like his voice, remained firm and elegant. The documentary's lens via Maria Cole's POV was especially touching--to hear how she ignored him at first, very gradually fell in love, and finally said an early goodbye from cancer. Cole's story coupled with songs like "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" makes a nostalgic music lover like me want to listen to him again and again while dreaming of when I first heard him decades ago...those thousands of miles beyond the pacific ocean...of a place that I would one day live. And life ahead promised to be wonderful.
Another interesting thing about the film is the mention of how much pressure Cole faced among fellow artists for not taking a stronger stance against inequality. Silent protest is still a form a protest and though Cole wasn't vocal in his time, the fact that his voice is so widely listened to even today is a testament to the extraordinary effect he has had as a human being. George Benson said it best during the film, "It just wasn't his style."
Drive about an hour east of Los Angeles County and one can find among the thrift shops a variety of vinyl records cheaply and in very good condition. Towns like Beaumont and Cathedral City are particular favorites for great finds like a deluxe Nat King Cole two-album set, produced by Capital Records circa 1950s, for 50 cents. Decca, RCA, and Columbia also released fine albums, though Capitol is in an audio class of its own. Even now, Judy Garland's "I'm Confessing" sounds as if an entire symphony is right here with me in my living room.
Over the years I've amassed a pretty generous collection of records that takes up most of the wall space in my home office. Vinyls require a lot of care--cleaning, dusting, vertical storage in a temperate place. Most of my records are missing sleeves with many cardboard jackets that require extra scotch tape reinforcements.
There's a nuance of space and texture in vinyl that I can't hear in the digital age. Though wonderful to have millions of songs on demand with a service like Spotify, digital recordings underwhelms when it comes to capturing the full range of a sound wave, missing out on subtle timbral varieties.
The human element of old-fashioned recordings continue to amaze me--of course there were the artists (singers, back up vocals, orchestra, instrumentals, composers), the producers, mixers, A&Rs. Then there were the photographers, the graphics team, printers, the marketing department that made mini replicas of record stores so they could dictate the exact placement of merchandise. On the factory side, there were the fabricators, the testers, the distributors, the people who put stickers on jackets and placed them into boxes for shipping. Craftsmen who made the lacquer masters out of acetate, electroplated the metal master to the metal mother, made metal stampers to transfer onto the biscuit, which were themselves chemical marvels--carnauba wax, red slate, copal gum, keystone white, cotton flack, ethyl cellulose, carbon black, zinc, vinsol resin--this stuff goes over my head. There was an art to it, a kind of human ceremony that now gets replaced with a microphone and GarageBand for Mac. What happened to all those people?
It's late morning on Monday as I type the final few words of this piece--a cup of coffee, a sunny day outside, and a Capitol recording of The Andrew Sisters' "Rum and Coca Cola" to start the week. On the corner of the jacket is an old sticker price for $28.75. I got it for only $1 in a plastic bin in Palm Desert, but I would have paid much more.
Vintage eyewear, strong hair games, and a crowd more chill-laxed than a cannabis lounge in San Francisco--this, ladies and gentlemen, is a Khruangbin concert. And specifically, the concert I went to last night at the Lodge Room in Highland Park.
I first discovered Khruangbin in 2013 when their piece "A Calf Born In Winter" appeared on the compilation album Late Night Tales: Bonobo. Since then, they've released two full-length albums; The Universe Smiles Upon You (2015) and Con Todo El Mundo (2018), along with two mini releases: The Infamous Bill (2014) and History of Flight (2015), of which HoF is particularly noteworthy.
Based in Houston, TX, Khruangbin is a conceptually simple musical ensemble: a three piece band of all instrumentals consisting of a lead guitar (Mark Speer), bass (Laura Lee) and drums (Donald Johnson). Borrowing notes from soul, funk and Southeast Asian rock, Khruangbin is a feast for the ears. Reminiscent of Jaco Pastorius and Chet Atkins, Speer lets the sound of his 2001 Fender Strat shine as vocals are only added in support of this main star of the show. His command of the guitar is especially impressive in "August Twelve," "The Number 3," and "Ha Fang Kheng Kan" to name a few.
How could an instrumental trio carry on an entire concert, you wonder? Colorful costumes, meticulous hair, and Speer's own lighthearted nod to Michael McKean from This Is Spinal Tap--a serious band that also doesn't take themselves so seriously (or at least I hope). And they are in demand! With three sold-out nights here in LA and plans to return again in the fall...this time, to a much bigger venue at the Greek. I wouldn't be surprised if they play the Hollywood Bowl in another year.
Now with two full albums, two mini albums, and a cult following of coiffured hipsters (I count myself among them), I am curious to see how Khruangbin will continue to reinvent themselves. They seem to have carved a musical space that's unlike any other on the market with copy cat bands yet to emerge as notable enough names. Speer's guitar has carried this band forward through three albums, now adding in vocals on the most recent Con Todo El Mundo. With a sound so distinct (and also limiting), I don't envy the enormity of their next album project, whenever that comes. Will Laura Lee's skills as a bassist be given more spotlight? And will Donald Johnson's artistry as a percussionist be given a solo? Not sure, but I hope so. I'm looking forward to it.
The apple of knowledge opens and closes Francois Truffaut's 1966 film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, Clarisse pops in blues and rouge while all the other characters wears black and monochrome. And all throughout the film, the viewer is confronted with an oppressive and enormous red -- the iconic red wall of the fire station, the red of the truck, the red on Clarisse's jacket when she and Montag set a list of names on fire -- dangerous, fiery, and likely politically-charged given Truffaut's own leanings at the time. Two years later, his contemporary (and then friend) Jean-Luc Goddard reinterprets the same color in La Chinoise.
Politics comes to mind when I watch this film -- the book burning, the absolute obedience demanded upon the masses, the systematic brainwashing -- do we champion the triumph of the individual or of the collective? It's hard to watch this film and not remember China, to not make a connection between the schoolhouse scene of children repeating the multiplication table and my own experience in preschool in Shanghai. For years, I believed that Vladimir Lenin single-handedly saved a burning village.
While Truffaut very obviously champion the celebration of the individual (as is, at least philosophically, in most Western societies), he does leave his viewers to wonder what happens in the end when all is for the self.
After Montag escapes to The Book People, he meets a number of individuals who like he, preferred knowledge over obedience. They dedicate their lives to memorizing books -- the twins of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, the tattered gentleman of Niccolò Machiavelli'sThe Prince, and so on.
Truffaut ends the film with these various characters walking around their forest, repeating the lines of their chosen books, like the school children who repeated the multiplication tables from earlier in the film. So what is the purpose of an education? I wonder. What is knowledge and what is action? Will these book people use what they know? Or will they resort to...do nothing? I don't remember if Bradbury answered this and I'm not certain that Truffaut didn't bring this question up deliberately.
If anyone's gonna make a movie about a hand job and call it Art, it would be Wong Kar Wai. Cigarette smoke, Nat King Cole, moody interiors, and much (much) brooding over a glass of whiskey, neat--an escapist's dream come true. Spaces are cramped and, everyone has excellent hair all the time.
As one of WKW's lesser-known films, The Hand (a nod to Alexandre Dumas' La Dame aux Camélias) is a must for the self-proclaiming aficionado who likes to imagine herself among colorful wallpaper and form-fitting cheongsams. A short film at only 40 ish minutes long, The Hand is packed with color-obsessed scenes and signature WKW unrequited love story (because if it was requited, it would be called "marriage" and that's obviously not worth making a movie about, but I digress).
Miss Hua (Gong Li) is the high-end call girl with a taste for expensive clothes and Zhang (Chang Chen) is the naive tailor who....well...gets the hand job. Two, to be exact. Over the course of the film via Zhang's POV, we find that Miss Hua is losing her appeal (and her clientele). Her finances are a mess, she has a lover on the side who ditches her after she gets pregnant, and all the while Zhang continues to visit her for her fittings. We overhear her undignified calls to her past clients and we see that with each fitting her waistline grows. Finally, she falls from grace, whores herself out at the docks, gets sick, and dies of TB (while still looking good in a cheongsam).
Like Francois Truffaut, WKW's artistic skills really comes at portraying sensitive subjects with a subtle hand. We are never told that Miss Hua is pregnant and we never see any of her clients (except in one scene when we catch the back of a man storming out of her apartment). Even towards the end when she's bringing back men from the docks, all we see is a shot of her foot at the edge of a shaking bed frame. WKW trusts his audience enough to pick up on visual cues and to connect the dots for themselves throughout the film. The result is a piece layered in complexities--making art out of cultural taboos..
Of course there are some plot hole questions to point out (from the POV of a 2018 viewer). For example, why doesn't Miss get herself a roommate to help with the rent? What is she spending her money on that she has to sell all her jewelry she doesn't look like she eats that much? What happened to her baby? And is Zhang a virgin or something I mean, he looks like he's at least 35?
A city that lights up at night in neon and fluorescence. During the day, Shanghai isn't much to see--especially on days where there's heavy smog in the air and skyscrapers seem to disappear into the vague haze. But at night, they are outlined in illuminated squares of offices and apartments.
During summer evenings, whole families sit outside to cool off. They bring their lawn chairs onto the sidewalk, some even eat their dinners out in the open. The streets are lined with vendors leaning over bright green tarps selling anything from watermelons to phone trinkets that light up when you receive a call.
The very poor, the very rich, they're all jammed together here. Children begging on the street outside of a western cafe featuring a live jazz band nightly. The police come by every so often to shoo them away. A woman folding dumplings inside of a restaurant window. A chef kneading dough with a cigarette behind one ear. Men smoking on stoops while playing cards. A yellow Ferrari lurches bumper to bumper down Hua Hai Road's French Concession. Occasional rain that makes the concrete pavement reflect the storefronts selling floral dresses. Warm. Humid. A new mosquito bite on the back of your calf. Little bursts of cool air as you walk past sliding glass doors. People shouting about prices.
Then a rush of air conditioning when you step into one of the karaoke bars on Nanjing Road. Muffled music overhead, video games, flashing lights like the inside of a pinball machine. The air smells like cigarettes and fried tofu. A beautiful waitress bows to you at the door and ushers you to your private room. It has black leather couches, a big screen TV, and a glowing tile floor that alternates in pink and purple. Full menu service 24 hours. Buckets of ice, liters of Coca Cola, sweetened chrysanthemum tea, and a bottle of 104-proof baiju. Shanghai is open all night long.
Francois Truffaut seems to question many relationship conventions in Jules et Jim (1962), of which, "Can we love more than one person at a time?" "Can a woman love as freely as a man?" "Can we overcome jealousy?" and most importantly, "Are bros really before hoes?"
In this messy intrigue of ménage à trois, Jules and Jim's friendship are put to test when Catherine shows up to ruin the frat party. At one of their first outings as a trio in such the cool girl of Victorian era fashion, she dresses up in menswear and calls herself Thomas. She ends up fooling a passerby into giving her a light to prove she is one of the boys, but not before the camera pans to her pulling off a silk stocking just before the transformation. Both Jules and Jim are smitten of course--she seems to be the girl of their dreams: fun, feminine, and so full of manly bravado,
Then the war happens and Jules is sent back to fight for Austria while Jim fights for France. Jules (who is by now dating Catherine) writes her adoring love letters while also mentioning how much he's afraid he might end up killing Jim by accident (the two countries were at war). After the fact, Jules marries Catherine and Jim takes up with one girl after another, all the while secretly harboring feelings for Catherine. When the trio reunites again (now with Jules & Catherine's little daughter as well), it is like nothing has changed. The four frolic happily on the beach together and for a while, "The sky seemed so close."
The story takes a turn when Jules finally convinces Jim to hook up with Catherine because it's worse to lose her, but then Jim gets jealous that she hooks back up with Jules, her husband. Meanwhile, Jules tells Jim that Catherine has a third lover, a guitar-playing Albert from down the street. He is Catherine's most current lover in her succession of lovers since Jules married her.
Confused yet? I wouldn't be surprised if this is confusing even for Maury Povich. Not surprisingly, it all ends tragically, but I won't spoil it for you. Do watch it for yourself. It's available for rent on Amazon for $3.99.
While watching this film, I couldn't help but realize how terrible Truffaut must have thought of women. Both male characters are fully developed with moments of great tenderness and vulnerability between them, but Catherine is something of a beautiful two-bit narcissist. From an auteur as great as Francois Truffaut, I would expect a little more empathy for the opposite sex. Catherine isn't the only passive woman in the film--there's the girl at the bar who hooks up with strangers for sleeping accommodations with her cheap cigarette trick and Jim's girlfriend who doesn't seem to have any agency over his philandering. I can't even remember her character's name!
In spite of its shortcomings, Jules et Jim is still a piece of art. It's Francois Truffaut, after all! I have much respect for him as an artist, a visionary who created groundbreaking continuous shots in The 400 Blows and infused Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 with cinematic life. It's just that with the lens of a viewer in 2018, I question some of Truffaut's character choices. Why are we made to feel sorry for Jules when it was he who set up the whole tryst? He's a pathetic man! And was Jim really all that innocent that Catherine could seduce him? As memory serves, he was the one who idolized Catherine all those years, not to mention he kissed her first. All she did was reciprocate.
Catherine, I think, is the real victim in all of this. A woman who was played by the men who she thought loved her. She didn't know Jules knew about her infidelities. She didn't know Jules encouraged Jim to go after her. Once she fell in love with Jim (and I believe she really did), she didn't know that Jim kept confiding in Jules for advice on how to deal with her (that's two against one!). You knew what you were getting into, bro!
I don't deny that Catherine's character is a narcissist. But so is Jim, who had a girlfriend back in Paris. So is Jules, who didn't want to let Catherine go so he arranged the entire affair. Maybe both should have just left her alone in the first place.
A quote from Fitzgerald'sThe Great Gatsby comes to mind. It is from another passive woman character: Daisy Fay Buchanan recounting having just given birth, "[The nurse] told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. 'All right,' I said, 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
In the end of Truffaut's ménage à trois, nobody's happy. Though it does make for good cinema.
Bits & Pieces
A place for experimentation, a place for pieces unpolished and unpublished, a place to work out thoughts and ideas for larger collections. Typos aplenty. Enjoy (or not).