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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Lee’

Joyeux Kerstfeest, Y’all

Posted by Dirck on 22 December, 2017

I hope you’re all done the necessary running around, and have plenty of free time to bake shortbread or speculaas or stollen… or in fact to not do any of that and just sit in a contented heap with people you want to spend your time with.

This last one takes a while to get through, and I suspect it’s not to all tastes, but it’s worth a look at the manifestation of Christmas Past and the treatment of the Christmas Yet To Be segment.

Stay warm, be happy, and I’ll make words at you next week.

Today’s pen: Waterman Phileas
Today’s ink: Montblanc Racing Green

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Chris (Lee) Kringle

Posted by Dirck on 9 December, 2016

Well, it’s that time of the year, where it’s just about all you can do to not beat co-workers to death with the radio which they apparently can’t hear playing four light-pop Xmas tunes on a ninety minute loop, leavened with a couple of traditional Christmas standards and possibly something by Nickelback.

To help with the not-beating, here’s some tunes that you can use to drown out the day’s seventeenth presentation of “Feliz Navidad”:

I heard an interview with Lee rebroadcast shortly after his death, in which he reminisced about being right at the very decision gate of sticking with acting, or giving into the urging of a famous opera star of the 1950s to join him in bringing more and better music to the world.  The path not taken, eh?

Today’s pen: Parker 50
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Three Ravens, No Waiting.

Posted by Dirck on 14 October, 2016

Because tastes vary, and we like to compare our choices, today’s film selections are really as much a public service as a filler of space on a Friday.

 

 

 

I know which one I prefer, but there’s no wrong choice.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer J5-30SC
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire

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Bonus Birthday Edition

Posted by Dirck on 27 May, 2016

Just a little vignette from some lunch-proximate errand-running, which I find I have a moment to relate.

While standing behind the person being served at a store, I find the clerk addressing me thus after taking in my houndstooth sport coat, snap-brim fedora (not a Trilby, although I favour a c-dent), and horn-rims:  “Hey, man, you look like a villain!

I have no problem with this.  Apart from the fact that he’s smiling and happy as he says this, I’m well aware that villains have a loads of agency in the story in which they appear, that apart from the very last moments of that story’s climax they tend to have a lot more fun, and that the villain is usually a good deal more interesting than the villain.  You don’t see a lot of films entitled Johnny Harker and His Polite Victorian Chums, right?  I therefore smile myself and, in dramatic fashion, say, “Uh-oh!  I’m found out!”

“Yeah, you know, like those guys in the old Hollywood movies…”

…at which I feel myself inflate slightly…

“…like from the ’80s and ’90s!”

I believe my smile may have become a little rigid at that point.  I will not tar all Millennials because one of their number views as much as 36 years ago as “old”, but I will shake my head over the folly of the individual.

It is not my birthday.  It is the birthday of villains.  You know.  From the old Hollywood movies.

ThreeGreats

The back row’s birthdays are 27 May 1922 and 1911, with the odd man out being 26 May 1913.  A damn good season for villains, and head-shaking aside, an auspicious day to be labeled as one.  Thanks anyway, kid.

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Encore?

Posted by Dirck on 12 June, 2015

I didn’t mention the worst thing to happen yesterday in my world, because it wasn’t personal to me.  Alas, alas, the world is without Christopher Lee.  Today’s lifted  film is just him, talking.  Because his is a voice one wants to listen to.

It’s also a great contemplation about regrets over paths not taken.

Today’s pen: Wing Sung 233
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé

P.S.: An advantage of this format of blog– you don’t have to watch me crying.

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Bundled Up Snug in Your Bed

Posted by Dirck on 24 December, 2012

We tend not, in our modern and shiny world, to consider Christmas as a night of spooks, haunts and spectres.  Sure, there’s the reform-minded spirits that drive old Ebenezer Scrooge into a frenzy of wealth redistribution (and may their efforts thrive) but they’re not alone.  One of the fruits of listening to the M.R. James Podcast is the discovery that a lot of his stuff, with its hair-monsters as one might expect in a Japanese movie and its vengeance-driven spiders and its whistle-powered hug-demons, is meant to be read at Christmas.

Since I’m too lazy to research even a little, I wonder if  this is a hold-over from some long-ago pagan propitiation of the solstice or if it’s just a clever way to get the kids from underfoot while the mysterious gifts from Santa, or St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas (in order of increasing gauntness and terror of aspect) are installed.  Did some druid one day say, “Y’know… this is kind of icky.  What say next year we just take it in turns telling scary stories and call it good, even if no one actually dies of fright,”  or was there some bright Victorian parent that realized that it’s a lot easier for a few candies to magically manifest in stockings if the kids are in a quivering heap, dead centre of the bed, with the comforter clasped about their heads?  I know that I’d certainly not put a foot off the edge of the bed if, at age eight, someone had read Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook at me.

And then there’s this guy:

Have a very stabby Christmas!

An honest-to-goodness vintage image, which even if you’re not in the “clown = scary” camp is a pretty distressing one.  Look at the gleeful way that homunculus is working away with his knife.  Who, that isn’t bent on a rampage of destruction, uses two hands on a knife, even when trying to work free a fragment of fruit-cake?  And when I say “fruit-cake”, I say so with a tone of doubtful hope in my voice, because I suspect what wee Pagliacci there hungers for is something more in the line of… human brains!

You know how it is; laughing on the outside, plotting grim deeds on the inside.

The first mistake is to make eye contact.

Knife and repast aside, that’s a flat affect if ever I saw one.  He’s smiling with his mouth… sort of, and if we make allowance for what appears to be an utterly inhuman tongue… but there’s only calculation in those eyes.  Utterly chilling.

Looking at the matter positively, though– as much as I like the idea of the world being merry and gay (use the word however you wish) in the face of the bleakest season, I should hate for a reduction in the amount of M.R. James’s tales that might stem of an entirely un-dark Christmas.  Also, we might be without The Nightmare Before Christmas, either in its animated form, or in the earlier poetic incarnation:

By the way, if you’re as much a Christopher Lee fan as I am, you’ll absolutely want to lay hands on his heavy metal “Little Drummer Boy” (“Silent Night” is a little less fun, but not without merit).

Now, because I don’t want to be totally contrary to the received spirit of the season, I offer a couple of non-skeletal, terror-free items.  First is a link to a somewhat late gift-idea, which may not even bear more than a sense of having properly applied one’s powers in the direction of charity– Shawn Newton is running another raffle to drum up some scholarship money for a deserving urchin.  Since we are, indeed, out of work-houses, how can you decline to give?  The prospect of possibly getting a nice pen out of it is a mere sweetening of the deal.

And from nice pens, let’s move to pens being used nicely:

And that is it from me until after Boxing Day. Don’t do you livers too much injury in the next couple of days through either booze or fatty treats, forgive your family in their lesser failings, and try not to worry about that damn clown.

He knows when you are sleeping!  HE KNOWS!

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Legacy
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Lie de Thé

Post Scriptus– I find that I’m not the only one considering the terrors of the season; there’s a BBC article on the very same subject.  Strangely, while touching on Zwarte Piet, they miss entirely that most Jamesian of Christmas critters, the Krampus:

This is just about the least distressing image on the Wikipedia page regarding Herr Krampus.

This is just about the least distressing image on the Wikipedia page regarding Herr Krampus.

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“It’s in the trees! It’s coming!”

Posted by Dirck on 26 October, 2012

Rather than bore you all on Monday with what I did over the weekend, I think I shall rather bore you all with what I intend to do.  This being the weekend before Hallowe’en, when the spirits are about (and being consumed in great quantities by college freshmen wearing either Fred Flintstone or Sexy {insert profession here} costumes), and even we firmly stick-in-mud long-married couples have a sense that, damn it, some fun needs to be had.

Of course, being what we are (and not just the preceding description), our notion of fun is not quite what others might follow.  We might, but for a paucity of sitters, be almost like others; some friends are hosting a Time Traveller party which would be right squarely up our alley.  The situation being what it is, sitting quietly about the house and watching creepy films is about the size of it, but what a bounty of creepy films we have on tap!  We have cheated ourselves a bit, having already watched something that is just on the edge of “OK with the kid in the room”, which I hint at in the title (name it in the comments and earn the admiration of others; name the somewhat-old which sampled it and gain extra lauds), but good old Turner Classic Movies is really pushing the boat out on Saturday with a solid eighteen hours of largely Hammer horrors, and what’s not Hammer is just as much fun.  If nothing there suits the moment, we’ve things on disc tame enough the tiny tyrant, but with sufficient subtle terror to see us happy.

During the day, I will probably play at least one of the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre discs I’ve got.  They’re extremely cunning simulations of 1930’s radio dramas, without any winking modern irony, and all of them do at least as good a job at offering the shudders of cosmic horror as the written works they’re adapted from; in one case, certainly, even better.

Sunday night, I am going to suggest an abandonment of electronics (Walking Dead being something we definitely can’t watch with freedom); we have occasionally had reading nights, and it’s about time we had another.  There’s a couple of M.R. James’s stories that shouldn’t panic the son, who will no doubt go and pursue his hobby of staging little wooden train crashes after a couple of minutes in any event.  Stodgy?  Perhaps… but if you read “Count Magnus” with your imaginator engaged, you are apt to be amazed at how graphic it is.

At some point on Sunday, my wife and I will no doubt also have a great roaring debate, as much as ever we do, over the making of popcorn balls to hand out on the night itself in lieu of teeny chocolate bars.  She sees it as a waste, I as both a savings and a nod to a more traditional Hallowe’en.  Should the kids not be slightly afraid of the free candy they got?

Today’s pen: Sheaffer 300
Today’s ink: Organics Studio Manganate V

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