Friday, March 03, 2006

Pretty Good Tribune List; Firefly; Apparently No Bananas in Persia, Circa 1920

  • Chicago Tribune Internet Critic Steve Johnson shares his and his colleagues' top 50 Internet sites. Opportunity for readers to submit their faves at this link. I'm gonna go recommend a few shortly.
  • I've started watching the first few episodes of Firefly this week. (I know, I'm late to the party.) So far, they're pretty good! (But it's not like they're Battlestar Galactica or anything.) I finally placed where I've seen the one mean guy before -- He played Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket. Here's the non-Josh Whedon-affiliated Whedonesque.
  • I've been enjoying reading Living Dangerously: The Adventrues of Merian C. Cooper quite a bit. At one point in the early 1920s, Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack, and Marguerite Harrison were out in the middle of nowhere in what is now Iran (or Iraq?), travelling with a bunch of nomadic tribespeople on their annual migration to greener pastures (literally) to get the film that would turn into the 1925 documentary Grass. An amusing anecdote rom page 125: By the end of April, Haidar's five thousand had been marching for weeks and the Americans had settled into a comfort zone of familiarity and shared burdens. The women goaded their sheep along with sticks and the call of "Yo, Ali, Ali!" and in good humor, Schoedsack would call back with the same inflection of voice, "Knock 'em for a goal!" The tribeswomen laughed and repeated the foreign slang, to the surprise of the filmmakers. And that's what started the collective singing of the American song and catchphrase "Yes, We Have No Bananas." After a few days, the infectuous ditty echoed along the trail. Cooper would recall, with delight, the bizarre touch of Persian mountain passes echoing with the lyrics, sung by one of the wildest nomadic tribes in Persia. This kind of reminds me of "Frank Burns eats worms." Anyhow, this is a great book and you ought to check it out. (And I haven't even gotten anywhere near the Kong stuff yet!)


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