Friday, December 23, 2022

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Do you really want to see The Collaboration, a play about Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol (shades of Rimbaud and Verlaine?). The former is highly overrated and the latter just plain bad. “Here’s mud in your eye!” goes the old salutation. Andy Warhol's repetitive Campbell’s
 soup cans epitomize his value-free existence, if nothing else. Or what about a nostalgic film about how Steven Spielberg was first drawn to the camera as a kid? Not to underrate a talented director, but does everyone’s story need to be told? All art is autobiography and all autobiography art. Still, a book about Joseph Roth like the recently published biography, Endless Flight, by Kieron Pim may turn out to be far more interesting than Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip, which achieved a certain degree of notoriety when its author was #MeTooed. "Happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy its own way," said Tolstoy. Philip Roth drew the ire of Claire Bloom who was one of his wives, but compared to Joseph Roth, an alcoholic, who was forced to flee his native Austria by the Nazis, he had it good. The important thing in judging films, plays and books in the coming year is to make sure not to see or read them. The same can be said about people.You may take an immediate dislike to someone and then do backflips to understand and enjoy them, but in the end you're likely to find that your early intimations were totally on the mark in judging x to be a schmuck. Actually taking a look at someone or thing can cloud your vision. Uninformed snap judgements are much maligned, but look you’ve made your bed. Now you have to sleep in it.

"The Rise of the Crypto-Relic" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "I'm the One Who Love Forgot" by The Manhattans

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