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Sunday, 03 April 2022


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I am on Allen's side. He made ONE big mistake: Becoming acquainted with Mia Farrow. Hell hath no fury ...

Smiling over the "contact with an ex-girlfriend". I hope you are also.


Your life is getting more interesting. I can feel that in the way you wrote this one. I have a strange feeling that the contact with your ex-girlfriend will inspire you even more.

Dan K.

I need the eggs.

Beautiful. I am richer reading your writings.

Your piece also made it to Hacker News :) the discussion might be of interest to you

Research can take hours. I've been trying to find the location of a concrete sculpture, made by the residents of a local housing estate in the mid 1970s. It was a great big giraffe, laid down on a slope.

The trouble with researching online is that people make guesses and assumptions when they don’t know things, then present them as facts.

This might be why I've read in different places that the giraffe is either 70ft, or 100ft, or 90ft long. Cross checking, sometimes between very different pieces of information that may or may not back each other up, is the way to go. Below is an example.

An online photo gave me several clues. There are 2 storey terraced houses in the background, on an estate where most homes are one or three storeys. There's a gap between two of the houses for a rear access road, and few of these gaps on the estate are between two storey buildings. Already, I'm down to four possible locations.

The giraffe is on a slope, and from the shadows it casts the sun is high in the sky; I now have a good idea which way the giraffe, and the slope, faces. There are young saplings all over the slope, and these will be well established trees by now.

I found a couple of references to the giraffe written by people who played on it as young children in the '70s; they both lived in the same estate road and the giraffe wasn't far from their homes.

With all the above and some virtual exploring via Google Maps and StreetView I've narrowed it down to one very likely position, but I need to go out and take a look now; nothing beats going to the spot and seeing for yourself.

Here's a link to the online photo I found. (scroll down)

Oh crap... I don't usually smile this big. I think I sprained my face... :)

What we need in this world who are people who stand up and go "You know, I said this, and thought that, and I was incorrect. Here is what I learned since."

Well done, great article, btw, and this is why I keep reading this blog.


That's interesting that your former girlfriend from the photo found your article in the New Yorker.

It would be interesting to hear what she had to say, but, of course, none of anybody's da*n business.

[Actually, I gave her a heads up before it was published, because I was afraid she might worry if she were contacted by the fact-checkers. I sent her a link once it was published. She liked the article a lot. --Mike]

About movies: "most of anyone's favorite movies will be movies from his or her adolescence and early young adulthood". I completely agree, at least for myself.

I can recall minutiae from my youth, but can't recall something I viewed last week. I rarely go to movies anymore. There are some movies I would have liked to see (not withstanding the pandemic restrictions), but not enough, apparently, to actually go.

I really don't find many of today's movies worth seeing. Remakes - yawn. Comics come to life? Maybe when I was a teenager. I've seen most of the movie plots already. A movie would need to be very inventive to interest me today. Those are in very short supply. (Thank goodness for the Turner Classic Movies channel.)

Anyhow, congratulations on the New Yorker article. I see at least one person who read that article has made it to this site and left a comment. May you have many more visitors!

Ahhh, lovely post.

Is art a stand-in for the artist, a thing to praise, and by extension praise the artist? If so, it gets difficult to praise someone I do not deem praise-worthy and therefore it becomes difficult to praise the art.

Is art an utterance, separate of the artist? If so, I can accept that artists are just humans, and humans are wildly complicated, contextual and inconsistent. No human is completely deplorable and without grace, and for some the grace might only show up in their art. This way of thinking allows more opportunities for connection, which I value greatly, especially for people who are otherwise difficult to connect with.

Not wishing to add to the argument, just pointing out the thought your post inspired in me. I appreciate it, and I thank you for it.

Not quite sure I'd agree that movies that are most meaningful to us are the ones we see when we're young. I mean, sure, I still can't get enough of Dr. Strangelove and Aliens, both movies I saw when *relatively* young.
But as an old guy I find the movies that really resonate, that keep coming back to mind over and over, are much more current. Winter's Bone, Frozen River, and the recent Wind River are all at the top of my current brain rotation, scenes popping unbidden into my head at the oddest moments. All are dark, moody, very character-driven explorations of less than exemplary features of American culture. I don't think I had the emotional maturity or the compassion for others to appreciate such movies as a young adult.

Couldn't agree more about Annie Hall. Haven't watched it in 10 or more years, probably due to the Mia/Woody dispute. Moses's side seems to wring more true, but not sufficiently to prove that Woody wasn't very strange. But that doesn't mean it's true or that Woody was not a comedic genius who made a well-endowed living on the subject of neuroses. And don't we all see ourselves in some parts of his movies?

It's an interesting question in sports, music, movies, etc., to ask to what degree does the fact that a person doesn't fit our mold of "acceptable" behavior mean their achievements should be thrown away? Not easy to answer and not subject to a black-letter rule.


I don’t know if this is the right place for this comment, but there is a wonderful B&W movie released since your list that - in my mind - should sit on top - not necessarily because it is the greatest movie of them all (though it’s very good) - but that the cinematography and photography is just excellent.

The movie is Ida, released in 2013 and directed by the Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski, who also later did Cold War (good, but not as good in my opinion, maybe because as I understand (could be incorrect) that he switched from film to digital between the two films).

Anyway, I like every image of the movie so much, my kids would always complain because every 5-10 seconds I would make a shutter sound like I was taking a photo of the scene!

Best Regards,


It's so nice that think your ex enjoyed the article and that the photo continues to have meaning for you both. And I too enjoy how online research can lead us to discoveries that we'd have never made without the link from that previous topic or article.

"I decided to provisionally accept that I don't know the truth". I don't think there is really anything 'provisional' about your lack of complete understanding of Woody Allen's personal life.

While a fascination with the turbulent lives of the famous is understandable, I think it merely distracts us from thinking too deeply or extensively about our own lives. Or more specifically, *doing* more things.

Bad news makes attention-grabbing headlines that pull at our natural curiosity. But following the twists and turns of that story takes us away from being in the present, living our own lives. But that takes considerably more effort and doesn't have the immediate impact of some seemingly exciting tale about someone else (half of which could even be untrue!).

It can lead us to think that our own lives are inferior, inadequate or plain miserable when in reality we might even be more contented than Woody, Will Smith or whoever is having a bust-up with whom. I pay scant attention to the news, especially celebrity gossip (which makes me useless at quiz games), but I make an effort to focus on and experience things that bring me real enjoyment. One benefit of this approach is that I would hope to watch Annie Hall without Mr Allen's personal life colouring my experience of it too much. I'd say that is a good thing.

I just wanted to +1 Aaron's suggestion regarding the film "Ida", which indeed is absolutely gorgeous in terms of cinematography.

Another recommendation, not black and white, but stunning in terms of color is "In the Mood for Love" by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai. A modern classic beloved by cinema aficionados (as per Wikipedia, "often listed as one of the greatest films of all time and one of the major works of Asian cinema. In a 2016 survey by the BBC, it was voted the second-best film of the 21st century by 177 film critics from around the world."). Stunning soundtrack also.

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