Sunday, January 24, 2010

The last few days have been a blur: i've had a cold and it's just wrecked me. I've slept through most of the weekend, and haven't really had the energy to do much. However, i should say that the weather here in Berlin has not exactly been conducive to going out. The cold is brutal: minus degrees celcius (-10, -14, -16) for days. Insane.

And then i get tired very easily, and have been taking naps.

But a few quick notes. Howard Dean was on BBC this morning, and what he said was (i think) exceptionally lucid and on-the-mark. The "lesson" of the Massachusetts special election is not that the country (per se) is swinging right: "right" and "left" are becoming increasingly meaningless in US political discourse. Instead, there is a demand for change. ANY change. There is a sense of betrayal: Obama has not brought about any significant change, and people are fed up with the constant equivocation. People want a clear health-care bill, they want a public option, they do NOT want a bill obviously designed to placate the special interests of insurance companies. But Obama keeps trying to "compromise": people don't want compromise, they want change.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards were last night; couldn't watch it from here in Berlin (not that i ever watch it; i don't watch award shows as a rule), but followed the results. Mo'nique seems unstoppable, as does Christoph Waltz. The surprise was Sandra Bullock's win for "The Blind Side". Was glad that "Glee" won the award for Best Ensemble Cast for a television comedy.

Watching the news (what else is there in English?); tried to watch the Paris Hilton show on MTV (that's how desperate i am for English-language programming), but enough was enough!

The death of Jean Simmons was very poignant: she was one of the big stars of the 1950s, yet she never quite fulfilled the promise of her early career, because she was rarely given the proper roels or the proper vehicles. But, still, she was one of the finest actresses of her generation, and she will be immortal because of such movies as "Great Expectations". "Hamlet", "Angel Face", "The Actress", "Guys and Dolls", "Elmer Gantry", "Spartacus". And she gave so many wonderful performances, in a wide variety of films, including "The Robe", "Desiree", "Home Before Dark", "Until They Sail", "The Big Country", "All the Way Home", "The Happy Ending".

But starting to fade. I hope i get over this cold fast!


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