Quantcast

Video of the Day

Masthead

Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Managing Editor
Kara VanderBijl
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Senior Editor
Durga Chew-Bose
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Live and Active Affiliates
Search TR


follow us in feedly

Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Monday
Jan042010

In Which You Receive Some Missives For The Missuses

Emails From Your Boyfriend The Beatle

by TESS LYNCH

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 8:45 PM, John Lennon<hrtbreakhotel@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Babe.

I've bought a military jacket. I thought that you would find that quite amusing.

 I'm writing to let you know, besides that I've bought a military jacket: I've decided to stay in my bathtub for a fortnight; now, now. I know. But I've a feeling that if I don't (stay in my bathtub for a fortnight), these awful wars will never end. It's dawned on me that a bathtub isn't quite so terrible a situation, especially not when compared with large-scale human suffering, so I've decided to fill the bathtub with river water from the Hudson. I've been carrying it up in buckets for a week now, leisurely. I heard of a boy who drank a teaspoon of water from the River Hudson and he became quite a maniac, really. Any interest in the tub idea? Could get ahold of some pharmaceuticals and make it quite fun!

Love,

John

On Thu, Nov 18, 2009 at 7:43 AM, Paul McCartney<thecuteone@gmail.com> wrote:

My Kitten,

First off: I'm sorry we had a row. It was a drag. And, you know, when I say it was a drag, I mean it was a terrible drag.A stone drag. I'm sorry, moonbeam. Look! I've writ you a poem!

Heloise, Hannah, and Joan
They can never dethrone
You, I'm blue, boo hoo.
Take me back! Heart attack!
Getting our love back on track --

Aw, love, it's rubbish. Even John won't speak to me. And he's usually quite a help with my poems. Look, perhaps you can stop by after work? Might you still have access to any pharmaceuticals? Even some shoe polish, distilled. That should jump-start things a bit, creatively. I'll stop scrumping that barkeep! I'll be true!

Yours Forever, Holding Your Hand,

Paul

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 5:02 PM, Ringo Starr<snarkystarkey@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey, Missus Octopus,

Ringo here. I'm not sure your phone is working. I've sent you quite a few SMS texts? Ringo, from the bar? 

I was the one who was sipping a mai tai, slaying you with my wit?

Please,

Ringo

On Thu, Nov 17, 2009 at 2:00 AM, George Harrison<DharmaAndGeorge@gmail.com> wrote:

[silence]

[guitar solo]

hello love.

I've eaten six bags of jelly babies, shipped from the UK. I've still got one bag in the pantry, if you'd like to join me after yoga.

[silence]

[guitar solo]

love,

george

On Thu, Nov 20, 2009 at 7:43 AM, Paul McCartney <thecuteone@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello, Bird,

Do you like when I call you that? I've had a thought, lover. What do you think of this!: I'm going to re-write the lyrics "Michelle, my belle" as "Michelle, my bird." Or maybe "Michelle, ma bird," if I do go in that direction after all. But what rhymes with bird? Word? "These two things are go-together words." Oh, well, stumped again!

Love Forever,

Paul

On Thu, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:45 PM, John Lennon <hrtbreakhotel@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Babe. 

I've gotten out of the bathtub. I didn't feel I was suffering at all, really. I kept refilling it when I caught chill -- I couldn't help it. I'm terrible at suffering. In order to improve, I'm going to try putting the bath on a barge, and then filling the barge with garbage and orphans, and sinking it into the River Hudson. After a dunk or two, I'll surely be a maniac, unable to fill my greedy mouth with candies. Are you coming along, my woman? I wish our human's skin was interwoven, like that peasant's basket from which we sampled the fruits of Jamaica.

Love,

John

On Thu, Nov 20, 2009 at 5:02 PM, Ringo Starr <snarkystarkey@gmail.com> wrote:

Well, hello, Missus Octopus!

Just a quick query as to why you have not responded to my emails and the SMS text messages I sent to your mobile? Feeling self-conscious (I'll admit it! Even I, a Beatle, sometimes feel just wee) about the last time we spoke, I thought I'd extend an olive oil branch in your direction. 

Please,

Ringo

On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 2:00 AM, George Harrison <DharmaAndGeorge@gmail.com> wrote:

[silence]

[guitar solo]

[burp]

excuse me.

today's lunch: almonds, apricots, prayer bread, and a chunky bar.

i'm curious what you had. it's a shame we have to eat at all, with all the starving children in third world countries.

what are the second world countries?

[guitar solo]

[silence]

love,

george

On Thu, Nov 21, 2009 at 7:43 AM, Paul McCartney <thecuteone@gmail.com> wrote:

Allo Allo Allo!

I know it's your birthday in a few weeks, and I've decided that instead of getting you things like diamonds and furs, all that wanky money stuff, I'd write you a poem. Poems are precious, like love, and ideas!

You are fun, and your love
is a lot of fun
And you say lots of fun things
(you know you do you know you do you know you do)
And of this ever-better world of which we speak of
Makes you want to say "Hi"

I've got a call in to John about the wrap-up bit. Hope you don't mind if he collaborates with me. It's my heart it's from. Don't forget who has the dimples, princess -- me. 

Love,

Paul

On Thu, Nov 21, 2009 at 6:45 PM, John Lennon <hrtbreakhotel@gmail.com> wrote:

Hey Babe.

They have Wifi on this barge. Can you imagine? There is literally no place in New York where I can suffer adequately. I've asked around, and it seems my only option -- the only way possible to peacefully protest the human tragedies of the world today -- is to wrap myself in sandpaper and roll about on the president's lawn whilst naked. Oh dear. I hope I'm not allergic to sandpaper. I think I might be allergic to contact paper.

The invitation still stands. I promise it will be texturally interesting.

Love,

John

On Thu, Nov 21, 2009 at 4:02 PM, Ringo Starr <snarkystarkey@gmail.com> wrote:

Hewoooo? Missus Owctopuwss?

Did you get the smoke signals I sent to your house? It's latitude 34.07, longitude -118.31...right? Could you read the special message I sent you? Don't tell the trees the secret things I said!

Please, please!!

Ringo

On Thu, Nov 20, 2009 at 2:04 AM, George Harrison <DharmaAndGeorge@gmail.com> wrote:

[silence]

[sitar solo]

i've just discovered a new instrument. ravi showed me. it's like a guitar, but it makes me sound much more intelligent. check it out:

[sitar solo]

[silence]

see you at yoga tonight.

love, 

george

Tess Lynch is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles. She tumbls here. You can see her on TV right now in a Crest ad you might have caught during the Law & Order marathon this weekend.

Enjoy More of Those Four Headstrong Gentlemen on This Recording

Almie Rose on Revolver...

Eleanor Morrow on John Lennon and Bob Dylan...

Durga Chew-Bose on Rubber Soul...

It's so hard to be Paul McCartney...

The rest of our days with John and Yoko.

Saturday
Jan022010

In Which It Was The Way He Saved Her

I Remember Baby

by JULIE KLAUSNER

Dirty Dancing might be the Jewishest movie ever made, and not just because of the Catskills setting or Jen Grey's original nose and curly hair. There are some impressively Semitic specifics in Eleanor (ahem) Bergstein's script, based in part on her own childhood. From the resort manager Max Kellerman — "This danish is pure protein" — to Wayne Knight as the Kellerman's tummler, alternately seeing over "Simon Says" on the lawn and cracking wise about his mother on stage, to the creepy neocon Yale Med school waiters like Robbie Gould; would-be louses I remember being ignored by when I was a baby myself, matriculating at Solomon Schechter.

Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey), a lithe-limbed Lolita, is not caught between Robbie Gould and bad boy Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). It's a no-brainer that the Ray-Banned race music aficionado is going to win over some would-be yuppie who tells her to read The Fountainhead after knocking up one of the help. 

Baby is instead caught between Johnny Castle and her dad. And because Dirty Dancing is an American Musical that entitles its heroine to all she wants, there are two embraces at the end of this perfect slumber party film. The first is the kiss Baby shares with Johnny after they finally execute The Lift. And the second is the hug she gets from her dad, played by Jerry Orbach, who admits, with no paucity of menschlichkeit, that he misjudged Johnny. "When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong," Dr. Jake Houseman admits to Swayze, then adds, to his daughter, "You looked wonderful out there."

Dirty Dancing is not just a Jewish West Side Story about getting it on with the guy from the other side of the tracks. It's also a Jewish Annie, about persuading Daddy Warbucks to fall head over heels for you, despite his reservations about budging on his worldview, and Yentl-esque too, in that it's about the pilgrimage a young girl takes, in the name of her poppa.

 

It's a Jewish John Hughes period piece as well. Baby begins as a Semitic version of Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles — the gawky underdog who has to dance the meringue with the old lady in her class when it gets partnered up, and schlep a watermelon to the hottest party in town. She transcends the dregs of suitors unfit to shine her Keds, tolerates her squawking older sister, and ends up losing her virginity to her version of Jake Ryan. 

Swayze's Johnny Castle literally could not be any less Jewish if he tried. He is a sexy greaser whose dad is in the House Painter's Union. He doesn't know the Talmud from the Megillah. And he took a hungry young woman with a heart bigger than a Catskills Family Resort and all the Mountains around it from babydom into adulthood with a tilt of his pelvis and the "guh-GUNK" of his heartbeat. Johnny's love, the forgiveness and admiration of Baby's daddy, AND an all-you-can-eat fleishig buffet, is a Houseman's — or a Bergstein's or a Klausner's — ultimate fantasy.

The Jews of Dirty Dancing are not low-status. They are not oppressed first-wave immigrants, fools, clowns, or money-lending schnorrers. At Kellerman's, Jews are moneyed doctors and lawyers who tip and vie to shtup the ethnic hotel staff. It's a small distinction to those who see the proceedings as another generic installation of "slobs versus snobs" from the "One Crazy Summer" chapter of 80's romantic comedies, but to Jews, being considered White People, even at the hands of our own screenwriters, is something we never take for granted.

It's nice to see that a lead character with a name like Houseman and a nose that came with the name was still someone scores of teenage girls and women from all over the world could relate to. That there was no need to make Baby "Muffy" or to make Kellerman's a Yacht Club. Women love this movie because they remember when they were girls who hadn't outgrown their daddy's love, but wanted to make room for somebody else, too. 

It's a particular stage of reverse Oedipal girlhood, especially among the Jewish set, and it doesn't get as much ink as Woody Allen's whole "My mother!" thing, but it's parallel and real, as is a Jewish woman's sexual desire for a goyish guy. There are plenty of pop culture examples of Jewish guys lusting over shikses, from Portnoy's Complaint to the special "Leslie Mann" filter Judd Apatow uses to make his slope-nosed, blonde wife look even more radiant in one of his shots.

But Dirty Dancing is one of the only movies to illuminate the flip side of the same story. "You're WILD!" Baby screams in Johnny's car, speeding towards the lake in the rain. And she's really saying "I would rather slit my wrists than end up under a chuppa with that circumcised schlub Robbie Gould!"

"That was the summer of 1963," Baby narrates in voiceover from the backseat of her parents' car at the top of the film, "when everybody called me Baby and it didn't occur for me to mind." She starts her summer in the nascent stages of her sexuality, scared of everything by her own admission, but especially worried that she'd "never find a guy as good as my dad." 

At the end of the film, she does — and she gets to keep both.

Julie Klausner is a contributor to This Recording. She is a comedian living in New York. She blogs here, and you can buy her new book here. She last wrote in these pages about Hannah & Her Sisters.

More Movies About Jewish Women Coming Of Age:

guest list by Molly Lambert

Marjorie Morningstar: Natalie Wood is a sassy Jewish girl who charms arrogant playwright Gene Kelly with her Hebraic sex appeal and verve. He turns out to be a real dick and then the movie goes on for a while longer. Based on the book written by Herman Wouk, who coined the term Jewish-American Princess

Hester Street: Carol Kane is the HBIC of the Lower East Side in the late 19th century.

The Way We Were: Barbara Streisand and her beautiful goyish college boyfriend Robert Redford try to make it work but can't. I made fun of this movie a lot before I saw it but damned if I didn't cry like a bitch when I finally did.

Julia: Lillian Hellman gets sexed up Jane Fonda style, with Vanessa Redgrave and Nazis.

Crossing Delancey: Sex and sour pickles with Amy Irving. Another Joan Micklin Silver joint, who also directed Hester Street. Alex Carnevale loves this movie.

A Walk On The Moon: Diane Lane flees bougie JAPdom and fucks traveling tie dye salesman Viggo Mortensen under a waterfall while Woodstock happens. Her daughter Anna Paquin fucks a guy with a teenstache. And somebody walks on the moon. 

Clueless: I mean her name is Cher Horowitz, duh. Zol zain!

Lost In Translation: What? She's half.

every Winona Ryder movie

"Be My Baby" — The Ronettes   (mp3)

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" — Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (mp3)

"Hungry Eyes" — Eric Carmen (mp3)

"Where Are You Tonight?" — Tom Johnston (mp3)

"Yes" — Merry Clayton (mp3)

"In the Still of the Night" — The Five Satins (mp3)

Thursday
Dec312009

In Which We Wrap It The Hell Up Just In Time

'09 The Year In Review

by MOLLY LAMBERT

What the fuck happened this year? Seriously. I sat down to write this list and already I can't remember a single thing that came out in 2009. The internet has obliterated my short-term. Except for Single Ladies. Was that 2009? Man forget 2009. That shit is over. Fuck the 2000s. FUCK 'EM!

I gotta be honest with you, I barely consumed any culture this year that cost money, because like so many people I haven't had any to spend. If it was free, I was there. If it was new, I was waiting for it to come out on DVD or in paperback.

CULTURE

favorite film: Adventureland. Greg Mottola's love letter to eighties college radio is the closest thing yet to the film version of an autobiographical graphic novel. Great performances and the best soundtrack ever. A eulogy for the pre-internet days when prized information and secret lore came via your local gatekeepers of cool.

best thing I read: the internet

the magazine I still buy occasionally: Esquire 

best non-blog essay I read on a blog: Zadie Smith on essays

closest thing to an ongoing scan of my brain: my delicious account

best TV drama: Mad Men 

best TV sitcom: 30 Rock

best mini-series: Eastbound & Down

most useful websites (tie): hulu/surf the channel/wikipedia

biggest timekiller: yahoo answers

best indie subcultures: indie video games, free parties, scuba cats

worst indie subcultures: bike dorks, vegans, fashion fascists

things you'd think I'd wouldn't like that I do: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Taylor Swift, James Cameron

things you might think I'd like that I don't: Dexter, Dirty Projectors, Phoenix

most disturbing trend: the increasing acceptance in America of gingerism. This is how World War II ended up happening.

best ONTD post headline of the year: Jolie Likes To Lick Pitt's Asshole!!!!

runner-up ONTD post: Alec Baldwin: "I Can't Resist My Mom's Baking!"

best color: blue-green

DEATH

good for the form bad for my bank account: the death of print media

quickest change of stance on an issue: Jay-Z following up "Death Of Autotune" with "Run This Town" ft. (queen of autotune) Rihanna

death becomes him: naturally Philip Roth assumes the novel will die out when he does.

three strong counter-arguments to Brian Eno's "Death Of Uncool" position: Owl City, Millionaires, Brian Eno producing that Coldplay album

counter-counter-argument: I kind of like that Millionaires song. It's the Jersey Shore of songs.

I don't even know anymore: My Morning Jacket on American Dad

SCIENCE

scariest science event (tie): giant jellyfish topple fishing boat, predatory coral eats jellyfish

best science event: census of marine life

best science corner: live from the Chilean Andes

BEST OF THIS RECORDING CONTRIBUTORS

Will Hubbard's Astral Weeks

Yvonne Georgina Puig's Texas drought

Danish Aziz's San Francisco  

Meredith Hight's Second Sex

Andrew Zornoza's reading list

Durga Chew Bose's Vivre Sa Vie

Almie Rose's dating rules

Eleanor Morrow's Funny People

Georgia Hardstark's first kisses

Molly Young's tanning adventure

Meredith Chamberlain's love story

Owen Roberts' cookie history

TR All Stars' Woody Allen Week

ALEX CARNEVALE'S '09 MASTERBLOGS

The 100 Greatest Writers Of All Time (w. Will Hubbard)

stranded in the wilderness

Lady Detectives of the 2009 period

his review of Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan"

YouTubes and kill lists

Times Square and capitalism

the end of the old death

the magical lands of Hawai'i

his favorite 2009 albums

he aims to clone Kristen Stewart

evoution and Predator X

Brett Ratner's The Family Man

MUSIC

some albums I liked this year, in no order

Cass McCombs  - Catacombs

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest 

Freddie Gibbs - MIDWESTGANGSTABOXFRAMECADILLACMUZIK

Lil Wayne - No Ceilings

Bob Dylan - Together Through Life

Micachu and The Shapes - Jewellry

Röyksopp - Junior

Gucci Mane - The State vs. Radric Davis

The Dodos - Time To Die

Robert Pollard - The Crawling Distance

Andrew W.K. - '55 Cadillac

Little Dragon - Machine Dreams

Polvo - In Prism

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here and twitters here.