This morning there’s no internet connection at casa de Fausta. The problem certainly wasn’t caused by the snow, which was sparse,
and therefore thousands of children had to get up early and head to school.
I left The Husband to deal with the internet problem and took my trusty laptop to the Princeton Public Library, that $18,000,000 living room where
people shop, talk and fall in love
I realize one can’t really control who one falls in love with, but I’ll do my best to refrain from all of those three activities. Right now I’m sitting entirely by myself right next to the LARGE PRINT BOOKS section. It smells of popcorn.
Last night while I was tidying up the family room I watched one of the weirdest musicals ever: In Caliente (1935), starring Dolores del Rio, whom I remember from when I used to wait for my piano teacher when I was a kid living in Puerto Rico. One of the local TV stations used to play in the afternoons old Mexican movies (mostly horrible tragedies) and Dolores starred in many of them after she left Hollywood.
In Caliente takes place in a Mexican town of the same name at the Hotel Caliente (the hot hotel) where four mariachis followed the guests singing the title song, much like Sir Robyn’s minstrels, and, while they didn’t meet the same fate as the minstrels, there was much rejoicing. Dolores del Rio managed to look impeccable while wearing evening gowns throughout the film no matter the time of day or what was happening around her, mariachi or no mariachi.
The rest of the movie’s a Busby Berkely musical, and the songs’ lyrics were written by Al Dubin, of Tip-toe Through the Tulips fame. Judging by his lyrics, Al must have been a wild and crazy guy with a Brooklyn accent, with the emphasis on crazy: here’s She’s A Latin from Manhattan
Fate sent her to me over the sea from Spain
And she is one in a million for me
I found my romance when she went dancing by
And she must be a Castillian, si, si
Is she from Havana or Madrid?
But something about her is making me doubt ‘er I think I remember the kid, yeah!
She’s a Latin from Manhattan
I can tell by her ‘Man-ya-na”
She’s a Latin from Manhattan
But not Havana
Though she does the rhumba for us
And she calls herself Dolores
She was in a Broadway chorus
Known as Suzy Donahue
She can take her tambourine and whack it
But to her it’s just a racket
She’s a hoofer from Tenth Avenue
While the NYT reviewer said,
Perhaps its most notable factor is the restraint of Busby Berkeley’s song and dance interludes
restraint is not what comes mind when you watch eight horses running amok in a Mexican cantina while three dozen dancers drink from shot glasses and sing “Muchacha, at last I’ve gotcha where I wantcha, muchacha“, and Dolores del Rio has just smacked her suitor across the face with a crop, after which he falls down the stairs and miraculously recovers all the while keeping time with the music.
Here’s a still showing the moment just before she grabbed that crop and whacked him.
The lyrics are special,
Muchacha, tonight I’ve gotcha where I wantcha, my Muchacha.
I’ll watchcha just like a cat would watch a little cucaracha.
So, stand up and hand me your lovely charms,
Give me two red lips and a pair of arms.
I’ve gotcha and in the lingo of the “Gringo,” I’m so hotcha,
Muchacha, for you.
I can almost guarantee that no one’s going to be falling in love at the Public Library if they hear those pick-up lines, but going by what Robert Osborne said, being at the set must really have been a hoot.
On to today’s items:
Things are getting more caliente in Venezuela now that the National Assembly has given initial approval to a bill granting the president the power to bypass congress and rule by decree for 18 months.
Also caliente, the Chinese used a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile to destroy a weather satellite that had been launched in 1999. Meanwhile in Iran, the UFOs are flying.
The stakes are nonetheless very high because, unlike Saddam’s Iraq, North Korea has already succeeded in testing its nuclear bomb. The hard currency supplied by the UNDP almost certainly goes into one big pot marked “Dear Leader,” which Kim can use for whatever he wants, including his weapons programs. This may not violate the letter of Security Council Resolution 1718, which restricts trade in anything having to do with North Korea’s nuclear or missile programs, but it certainly violates its spirit.
Unlike Oil for Food, there’s no evidence to date that corrupt UNDP officials are in on the game–though given the U.N.’s record of late, it would be unwise to rule that out before a full investigation.
In Turkey, Hrant Dink has been shot dead. He’s the guy who had been prosecuted under Turkey’s strict laws against “insulting Turkishness.”
In lighter news,
There’s a local exhibition of diverse views on ‘What’s Sacred’. I might drop by during the weekend.
Geoffrey Chaucer got tagged with the V Thinges Meme
The well documented phenomenon that leads to very low, unseasonal temperatures, driving rain, hail, snow or all of the above whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global “warming”. Hence the “Gore Effect”
And from Maria
Castro Shuffling in Place
The cadaverish dictator shuffling in place is a perfect metaphoric rendering of Castro’s Cuba over these many decades. He took his country from prosperity and a place at the head of Latin America in material terms to the bottom. In practically every material measure his country is a slum. In terms of freedom it is one vast jail. Had he, when he came to power after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista’s seven-year dictatorship, made good on his promise to return Cuba to the democratic condition in which it had existed in the 1940s, his country today would most likely be the richest and freest country south of our borders, and possibly Castro would be in the pink and deserving of the accolades now paid him by the American left’s rich and fatuous.