Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Ideals

When I was little, a relative subscribed to "Ideals" magazine for me. As I remember it, the magazine was filled with super glossy and heavily staged holiday photos. The magazine itself was very heavy. Does anyone else remember this magazine? What a standard to live up to, though, "Christmas Ideals". I mean, every family has its bumpy patches, and some are like scaling down the inside of a volcano.

The lighting in this picture reminded me of the magazine, and I do love this ornament. It's a big one, one of those you hope isn't going to just drop from its own weight and shatter.

We went to see "No Country for Old Men", based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, with Tommy Lee Jones and a whole slew of folks with interesting faces. I only had to look away about 15% of the time. Jon warned me it would be grim but sometimes I forget what grim means when I'm thinking of the popcorn and arm rests. I think of dust storms and telegrams. But grim means stuff you hope you never will experience in this lifetime. And I don't think I want to read any C. McCarthy novels.

It's a Coen Brothers movie, with no good songs, so don't go on that account. But it's very strong and engaging if you don't mind seeing guts and gore and dead pitbulls. (At least the dogs didn't look very real.)

Night before last we saw a DVD of Persepolis, which I thought was outstanding and a very sensitive artistic treatment of a powerful graphic novel. The subtitles are dreadfully low contrast however, which makes you feel a little frantic when viewing on a small screen.

An interesting observation on NPR this morning between Bob Sheer and the old guy who's brilliant in analysing the week's news. (That would be Daniel Shorr, thanks Jon-- across the room.) Bob said he wondered if the sudden skewing of the primary polls might be due to the writer's strike, because so many base their gut opinions on the late night tv patter and jokes based on candidates' mistakes. Without the patter voters have to think for themselves? Made sense to me.

Here's an image from a 1956 issue of "Christmas Ideals", seen on ebay just now. Not exactly what I was looking for, but looks as if some Disney artist was on staff:

Snails are not customary Christmas images! Joseph and Mary didn't travel by snail. HA!

oh and by the way, I'm hoping John Edwards wins in Iowa!


sal said...

I am getting much less political news now that Daily Show is only showing reruns.... Cormac lived in Knoxville, and his ex-wife started a bar there where we used to go.

Katy said...

I remember Ideals as the dullest magazine ever. It wasn't quite a magazine though---no liveliness, no zip. Just heavy tired pictures of tablesettings. I had no idea what they were up to, and I didn't know the meaning of the word Ideals. At least I knew what Ladies' Home Journal was about; Can This Marriage Be Saved always caught my child's reading eye.

Sally said...

"the dullest magazine ever." Perfect description of that odd zine, which didn't have advertising either. I remember looking through it and wondering when it was going to start getting good. But some of their ideal photos had amazing lighting, though I haven't seen an example of one.

Namowal said...

Is that house ornament looking at me? Or have I drank to much coffee?

Sally said...

Namowal, not sure who it's looking at, but thehouse reminded me of your artwork.

Linda said...

Was this movie as good as Blood Simple?

sal said...

Many of our ornaments are too heavy for the real tree's frail limbs; I guess manufacturers are making ornaments with artificial trees in mind now.

Sally said...

Linda, yay, we hear from you again. I asked Jon your Blood Simple question. He said he thought if you liked Blood Simple you'd like this. What I noticed and admired about the movie was how competent and sure-handed the direction and story telling were.
Sally, that's interesting about heavy ornaments and artificial trees.