Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Senior Sexytime

Writer-director Nancy Meyers specializes in the postmenopausal romantic comedy, in which a fiftyish woman, living in a gorgeous home, revives her flagging sexuality via an awkward liaison with an inappropriate man. In Something’s Gotta Give, Diane Keaton’s uptight authoress succumbed to the charms of Jack Nicholson’s potbellied Lothario, who learned — as all men must in Meyers’ movies — that older women are better than those young things they’ve been chasing. The signature Meyers moment is one of profound sexual embarrassment, as when houseguest Nicholson accidentally walks in on Keaton naked.

Meyer’s latest, It’s Complicated, follows the basic outline but is subtler and more successful. Meyers takes the autumn-romance template, casts it with top talent, soft-pedals the slapstick, and creates a popular audience-pleasing “sex-with-your-ex” romp. Meryl Streep is Jane, divorced for ten years, which she’s spent rebuilding her life, opening a bakery, and planning an addition to her beautiful house (see above). Her nest now empty, Jane confides to her obligatory girlfriend circle (Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, Alexandra Wentworth) that she hasn’t dated in years. On a New York trip for her son’s graduation, she has drunken sex with her once-loathed ex, philandering Jake (Alec Baldwin), now married to Agness (Lake Bell), a petulant, fertility-obsessed shrew who insists Jake help raise her bratty tot.

Jane and Jake start an affair, and Jake falls “back in love” with Jane, pining for the family he left behind. Jane glows, then frets, feeling naughty and excited, until she realizes that “other woman” is not a suitable role for her, especially when a real suitor, architect Adam (Steve Martin), is waiting in the wings. (The “Meyers moment” occurs when Jake sends his paunchy naked image via webcam to the wrong person.) Superb casting and a solid script make the movie a considerable improvement over Meyers’ previous efforts. Streep, freed of the requirement to impersonate a nun or Julia Child, is natural and winning. Baldwin, playing an ox-like narcissist, has an endearing vulnerability. Martin is funny and touching in the stock nice-guy role, and John Krasinski has some amusingly awkward moments as Jane’s future son-in-law, who accidentally becomes privy to the affair.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shermlock Shomes

One can almost imagine Guy Ritchie as a lad in Hatfield, Hertfordshire England, crouched under the bedclothes reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and thinking, Oh, how I wish Holmes was like Batman, swinging about and smashing the evil-doers!

Ritchie may not have actually had that boyhood wish — his new action-packed Sherlock Holmes was written by others (Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham) — but he has lent his directing talents to a Holmes that casts Robert Downey Jr. as the cerebral Victorian sleuth, reimagined as a surly, bare-knuckle-brawling bounder. Setting aside the heresy against the sacred Holmes canon, casting Downey was this misbegotten movie’s first mistake. The excellent Downey did intensive research for the role and wields a passable British accent, but he’s too young and contemporary-looking to be a credible Holmes. The next error was rendering insignificant Holmes’ friend and chronicler, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), who spends most of his screen time complaining about Holmes’ violin playing, pistol shooting and experimenting on Watson’s bulldog (the movie’s most charming actor).

The film serves up a mixed stew of hoary Holmesiana, featuring the evil Dr. Moriarty and Holmes’ female nemesis, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams, dreadful). The plot is some folderol about an occult society whose leader, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), survives the hangman’s noose and has a plan for (what else?) world domination. Pursuing the case, Holmes and Watson participate in a series of imaginatively staged fight sequences.

Maybe Ritchie and company should be praised for taking Holmes out of the parlour, but really, Holmes should be charming rather than rude, and if he’s going to be an action hero, he might at least be a genteel one. Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel, Snatch) has a good feel for the English underclass, and the few lively segments are those featuring its denizens (a pipe-smoking gypsy woman, a grizzled boat captain, a crowd at a pit fight improbably featuring a bare-chested Holmes). Overlong and a little unappetizing, this Holmes is unlikely to endear itself either to Holmesians or discriminating action-movie fans (if there is such a creature).

Nevertheless, Ritchie is busily at work on a sequel. Sir Arthur, please telephone your office.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Barbershop






Barber Shop, Chester Avenue, downtown Cleveland, featuring master stylists Tay and Mafioso. Some Cleveland Cavs players get their haircuts here.

The Lancer Destroyed By Fire

The Lancer, a landmark Cleveland restaurant and gathering place for the city's black elite, was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning, December 6. The restaurant opened in 1960.

Owner George Dixon says the cause is unknown but "suspicious." He plans to rebuild.

UPDATE: Dixon plans to relocate temporarily to another location while the Lancer is rebuilt.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Father Knows Least


Everybody’s Fine belongs to the “Old Man Road Trip” movie tradition, in which a retiree, played by an aging A-list actor, embarks on a sentimental, transformative journey. Jack Nicholson has made two, About Schmidt and The Bucket List. This season, it’s 66-year-old Robert De Niro in Everybody’s Fine, directed by Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine).

The melancholy movie is based on Giuseppe Tornatore’s
Stanno tutti bene, which starred Marcello Mastroianni as a retired Sicilian bureaucrat. Just as dinner at one of Italy’s finest restaurants can’t be replicated by eating at the Olive Garden, the bittersweet enchantment of an Italian film suffers when filtered through the conventions of a Hollywood holiday movie.

De Niro plays Frank, a widower retired after 30 years manufacturing coatings for telephone wires. While Frank prepares for a reunion with his grown children, they each call to say they can’t make it. Impulsively, Frank boards a train to pay surprise visits to his children scattered across the country. Onboard, he shows off a photo of his successful brood: David the artist, Amy the ad executive (Kate Beckinsale), Robert the renowned orchestra conductor (Sam Rockwell), and Rosie the Las Vegas dancer (Drew Barrymore).

On his first stop, New York, Frank finds David missing from his rundown tenement apartment. He heads to Chicago, where Amy, a gorgeous ad executive, is hiding the truth about her marriage and other things. In the Northwest, Frank discovers Robert isn’t an orchestra conductor but a percussionist (though why that’s a bad thing is unclear). Rosie, living in an expensive Vegas apartment, is conducting an elaborate charade as well.

Phone conversations, set against a landscape of telephone lines echoing Frank’s career, reveal that David’s in trouble, and the siblings have agreed not to tell Dad. For years, they confided in their mom, who assured Dad they were all “fine,” because they considered him a demanding taskmaster.

There’s pathos in the kids’ lying to the old man, revealed to him in a dream sequence in which they appear as the children they once were, a magical-realist device better suited to the movie’s Italian progenitor. There are poignant scenes, as when lost David “appears” at his ailing father’s bedside, but generally the movie clicks along on a predictable track, punctuated by a series of sappy pop songs. Secrets are revealed, relationships are healed, all in time to trim the tree.

Mastroianni was touching as the bewildered pensioner in thick eyeglasses telling his dead wife's gravestone that the children are “all fine.” De Niro goes through the same motions, but to far less stirring effect. Maybe because he’s played so many tough guys, or maybe because his goofy expressions cue laughter, not tears, he seems miscast in sentimental roles.

(A different version appeared in the Cleveland Scene.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Road With Mickey D

Say what you will about McDonald's, it's the long-distance traveler's friend. It also gives you the opportunity to consider the shifting landscapes and populations as you cross state lines. Below, images from a long, exhausting trek from Ohio to Florida.

Early morning shift, Saturday.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Bus Stop





Sunday in Canton, Ohio

Storefront church, downtown Canton. "These are my grandchildren."


Luncthtime, Burger King.

Proprietor, Towne Manor Motel. "People take pictures of that sign all the time."


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Rags to Britches Story


Movies have long been a source of fashion inspiration, but movies about clothing design generally don’t wear well. They tend toward the fanciful (the 1956 Funny Face) or the farcical (The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City), assaulting the eyes with ridiculous getups pretending to be haute couture.

Unlike the fashion movies that focus on spectacle,
Coco Before Chanel, an attractive French biopic about the early years of legendary designer Coco Chanel, is about the origins of style. Writer-director Anne Fontaine’s screenplay illustrates the way Chanel’s hardscrabble early life — she was raised in an orphanage after the death of her mother — informed her practical, accessible fashion ideas. Rejecting the tight corsets, puffy gowns and feathered hats favored in the early 1900s, she pioneered sleek, sophisticated, comfortable clothes: trousers, little black dresses, and her legendary boxy, collarless suit, enhanced by ropes of chains and faux pearls. The clothes were scandalously simple in an era of luxury and excess, and today seem as modern and modish as the day they were created.

Coco, born Gabrielle Chanel in 1883 and taught to sew by nuns in the orphanage, is played by all-purpose gamine Audrey Tautou, who wears an expression of feral determination, with a smile seen only once, when she catches her first glimpse of the sea. Gabrielle acquires her nickname from a popular song about a lost dog that she sang in clubs in Vichy and Moulins (though Chanel, with wry self-awareness, said ‘Coco’ was short for
cocotte, the French word for “kept woman.”) After her sister and singing partner Adrienne (Marie Gillain) runs off to Paris with an aristocratic paramour, Coco shows up uninvited at the country estate of her sometime lover, wealthy playboy Etienne Balsan (Benoit Poelvoorde), who keeps her as a closet concubine, mostly hidden away from his rich friends.

She confounds Balsan with her insistence on restyling his clothes into fetching, man-styled women’s riding outfits. She becomes a designer when Balsan’s actress lover (Emanuelle Devos) notices her cleverness with clothes and enlists her to design her hats and costumes.

Though Chanel had many lovers, she never married, and in the movie, Coco has little use for love, observing that “a woman in love is like a begging dog.” Love does find her briefly, when handsome Englishman Arthur “Boy” Capel (Alessandro Nivola), romances her and breaks her heart, though it quickly recovers when he offers to finance her design business.

Except for a silly scene at the end, in which the mature Chanel oversees a cascade of runway models, the movie doesn’t cover Chanel’s famous years, let alone her notoriety when she was suspected of being a Nazi collaborateur because of an affair with a German officer. Some viewers may wonder why the early life of Coco Chanel should interest them at all. If you're not the kind of person who is dying to learn where Chanel got the idea for horizontal-striped tunics (fisherman she observed at the seashore) or the inspiration for her pioneering use of jersey (Boy’s polo shirts), this is not your movie. For dedicated followers of fashion, it's an interesting, nicely nuanced biography with exquisite, desirable clothes and settings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dream Weavers


In his autobiography, Malcolm X recalled the first time he had his hair chemically straightened with a caustic lye-based solution. “The comb felt as if it was raking my skin off. My eyes watered, my nose was running. I couldn’t stand it any longer; I bolted to the washbasin.” For Malcolm, the wearing of a “conk” — as the chemical process was then known — became a symbol of black self-degradation.

Comedian Chris Rock takes a lighter view of the issue of African-American hair in the documentary
Good Hair, which Rock produced and co-wrote with a team including director Jeff Stilson. Rock’s premise is captivating. One day, one of his young daughters asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?”

Weaving together interviews with actresses, models, scientists, stylists, salon patrons, hair-product manufacturers and, amusingly, the Rev. Al Sharpton (who says he modeled his unique look on James Brown), Rock explores the idea that naturally kinky African hair is culturally undesirable, showing the lengths to which black women (and some men) will go to achieve straight, smooth, European-style tresses — “good hair.” Skin-corroding chemicals, labor-intensive hair extensions, entire days and thousands of dollars spent at the salon. When Tyra Banks appeared on her talk show with her “real” hair, it was a step toward exposing what is behind the smooth-haired looks of famous black women. This movie is another.

Rock is an amusing explorer as he examines the components of this mad pursuit of smooth hair. He enlists a scientist to demonstrate, by dissolving an aluminum soda can, the corrosiveness of sodium hydroxide, which is the chemical basis of hair straightener (“nap antidote,” one woman calls it). He travels to India, where he discovers the source of the human hair used in the expensive “weaves” worn by black women: impoverished, devout Hindus, who sacrifice their smooth locks in a head-shaving ritual at the Hindu temple, which then sells the shorn hair. Rock follows the hair as it travels to Los Angeles, where it is more profitable to its traders than gold.

The movie glosses over the socio-cultural implications of hair straightening, preferring to focus on comedy, as when Rock delightedly prods some black barber-shop customers to discuss the problems of having sex with women who wear don’t-touch weaves ("Go for the titties!") It misses a good opportunity to examine the tyranny of “white” beauty standards, and wastes considerable time focusing on a flashy hair-styling competition in Atlanta, in the style of cable reality shows (the movie was produced by HBO).

But Chris Rock isn’t Malcolm X (or even Spike Lee), so it's best not to lament what's not here. The movie is best appreciated for what it is: a highly entertaining look at a seldom-explored cultural phenomenon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Father Knows Mess

It’s funny how the movies will change a person. Consider Simon Carr, a political columnist for Britain’s The Independent, whom former Prime Minister Tony Blair once called “the most vicious sketch writer working in Britain today.” (A sketch writer is a kind of Parliamentary verbal cartoonist.)

Yet it’s not his scabrous political opinions that bring Carr to the screen, but a touching memoir he wrote about his life as a widowed father raising his young son and older boy from a previous marriage. The book, with the Thin Lizzyish title The Boys are Back in Town, is a sort of wry parenting manual for the hopelessly messy. It is the inspiration of the lovely film The Boys are Back, directed by Australian Scott Hicks (Shine). Through cinematic alchemy, the paunchy, balding Carr has been transformed into impossibly handsome Clive Owen, who plays Joe Warr, an English sportswriter living in Australia.

Joe’s beloved ex-equestrian wife (Laura Fraser) dies of cancer, leaving Joe alone to raise 6-year-old Artie (Nicolas McAnulty). Overwhelmed by his unaccustomed responsibilities and Artie’s inconsolable grief, Joe determines to say “yes” to every childish request, no matter how silly or inconvenient, and to approach housekeeping with casual indifference. Let Artie steer the truck? Yes! Can he put on wet clothes directly from the clothesline? Why not?

The increasingly disheveled all-male household is expanded when Joe’s adolescent son, Harry (George MacKay), who lives in England with Joe’s ex-wife, joins them, bringing along a case of culture shock and unresolved feelings of paternal abandonment.

The movie is achingly sad at times, and in lesser hands might have been a mawkish mess. But there is exceptional talent at work here. Allan Cubitt’s screenplay preserves much of Carr’s real-life dialogue and is subtle enough to make events like the occasional reappearance of Joe’s dead wife seem completely natural. Owen’s taciturn demeanor is well suited to a man trying to keep his emotions under control, McAnulty is cheekily adorable without being cloying, and MacKay is persuasive as conflicted prep-schooler Harry. Scott Gray’s rhythmic editing is remarkably effective, and cinematographer Greig Fraser, who also made Jane Campion's Bright Star so pretty, paints the Australian countryside with a lively, luminous palette.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tropic Blunder

It’s axiomatic that an exotic tropical setting will not save a bad movie.

In Couples Retreat, written by the
Swingers team of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, the best moments come before its four couples arrive at their island paradise. Hyper-organized Jason and Cynthia (Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell), troubled by infertility, persuade their friends, via an amusing Power Point presentation, to join them at Eden West, a partnership-renewal retreat. The other couples — Joey and Lucy (Favreau and Kristin Davis), Dave and Ronnie (Vaughn and Malin Akerman) and divorced Shane (Faizon Love) and 20-year-old girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) — are compelled to participate in therapy and absurd activities like swimming in shark-infested waters and yoga that involves a hunky instructor dry-humping the ladies. The high point in lowness is the scene in which Favreau tries to connive a masseuse into giving him "full release." Embarrassing!

What might have been an amusing domestic comedy or sharp satire of marriage-therapy schemes disintegrates into a scattershot collection of unfunny, unsexy sex jokes and curiously stale references (Fabio, Chewbacca, Mr. Belvedere) by a largely charisma-free cast. Vaughn and Favreau reverse their
Swingers roles, with Vaughn playing the nice, devoted husband who, in one of the funny male-banter scenes that are the movie’s saving grace, warns Favreau’s horny Joey that if he keeps chasing tail, he’ll end up eating alone at Applebee’s. A mildly funny jape, but hardly worth the price of admission, or the two hours or so you'll never retrieve.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lie Defector


The winning comedy The Invention of Lying, directed, co-written by and starring Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town, Britain’s The Office), imagines a world in which falsehood doesn’t exist and everyone always tells the truth. They don’t know how to do otherwise: in this alternate universe, lies, fiction, irony, imagination and even social niceties are unknown. Daily life is a harsh landscape of unfiltered admissions (“I loathed almost every moment I worked for you”), and rude insults (“You’re fat and have a snub nose”). Advertising is limited to true, mundane assertions (“Coke: It’s Very Famous. Pepsi, When They Don't Have Coke.”) It's a terribly depressing world, this world without lies.

The movie hilariously illustrates the pitfalls of such congenital truthiness in the opening scenes, in which pudgy Mark Bellison (Gervais) calls on pretty Anna (Jennifer Garner) for a blind date. She bluntly states her disappointment in his looks; a waiter serves their cocktails saying, “I had a little sip of this.” When Mark, a screenwriter for a company that makes boring historical documentaries – the only kind of movies that exist in this truthy universe, like “The History of the Fork” and Mark’s downfall, “The Black Plague” -- is fired because his true stories are too -- well, true. He's about to be evicted from his apartment, and in desperation has a sudden impulse to lie in order to get extra money from his bank. As the world’s only man who can lie, Mark decides to use his newfound power to get rich and win Anna, who likes money quite a lot but still finds him insufficiently handsome (not a good “genetic match” for creating the attractive children she requires).

The movie ventures into religious satire as Mark is called upon to comfort his dying mother and “invents” a story about paradise in the afterlife. This makes him an accidental new messiah, a phenomenon that culminates in his delivering a kind of Sermon on the Mount with delivery-pizza boxes as tablets. The movie is sprinkled with droll lines, marvelous visual gags (a nursing home’s with a sign reading “A Sad Place for Hopeless Old People”), mild Pythonesque routines and amusing small roles for Tina Fey, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill and Jason Bateman.

Although the movie doesn’t know quite what to do with its good premise and sags considerably after its brilliant opening, it’s still a thoughtful, original and funny movie that blends English humor and American romantic comedy in a refreshing way. Of course most people I know will hate it, but I liked it quite a lot.

The Lesser Barrymore


Drew Barrymore makes her directing debut with this girl-power action comedy, a sort of Kansas City Bomber meets Juno. The movie is based on Shauna Cross’s clever young-adult novel Derby Girl, in which Bliss, a 17-year-old bored with her small-town Texas life and beauty pageant-obsessed mother, secretly joins a women’s roller-derby team in Austin.

The premise has abundant appeal, especially for adolescent girls, and with
Juno star Ellen Page, a 22-year-old actress blessed with convincing teenage looks, a relentless retro-rock soundtrack and lots of derby action, the movie should have been irresistible. But it's a flabby affair, with a weak script unhelped by inexperienced direction. Cross, a former derby skater, adapted her own book, yet strangely, much of its wit was lost in translation. Page's acting is fine, but her pretty, slender looks make her a wildly unlikely derby champ (Juliette Lewis, as Bliss's hard-bitten rival, is more persuasive), and emphasize the silliness of the notion of bone-breaking roller derby as a self-empowerment strategy for teen girls. You're not supposed to side with her disapproving parents (Marcia Gay Harden and Daniel Stern), but you do: you worry about their cute teenage daughter getting permanently maimed in a ridiculous "sport." Neither are you persuaded that this sardonic, combat-boot-wearing girl would last for one moment on the beauty pageant circuit, no matter how vigorous her mom's machinations.

The team Bliss skates with is called the Hurl Scouts, and they compete in short little Girl Scout uniforms: the soft-porn element of roller derby is mostly unexplored but is never far from awareness. Like the underdog Hurl Scouts,
Whip It rallies briefly in the stretch with some strong scenes in which Bliss makes amends to her deceived mom (helped by the fact that Marcia Gay Harden brings so much dimension to the part) and betrayed best girlfriend Pash (Alia Shawkat). The unevenness suggests that had Barrymore focused less on music, makeup and mayhem and more on real storytelling, the movie could have been a resounding success. As it is, many will enjoy it for the spectacle, and the hell with the story.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Between Pity and Scorn

Do you ever feel sorry for inanimate objects? I do. I have suffered from this inconvenient tendency since childhood. Poor forgotten teddy bear, nobody loves him anymore. Poor old streetlamp, so lonely. Aw, look at the cheap little toys. Some nice grandma will buy these for her grandchildren, with joy and expectation, and they will hate them. These days I feel much sadder for suffering animals and people than I do for things, but sometimes I feel sorry for movies, the ones that mean well and have good qualities but are horribly trampled by critics. I even found Ishtar pretty funny, the more so because it was famously reviled. It is pure contrarianism, the same that makes me hate with extra zest an overpraised faux-independent snarkfest like Juno.

As Barack Obama would say, let’s be clear: it’s not the movies themselves I feel sorry for but the people behind them, who put so much hope, work and money into a new release. With an epic failure like Heaven’s Gate, the schadenfreude is deserved; with a smaller movie with imperfections, I sometimes want to say “good try!”

Lately, my childhood pity affliction has flared up something awful, and I feel compelled to defend unjustly maligned movies. A few years ago, I was laughed at by the host of a radio show where I was on a movie-critic panel. I said something about having sort of liked Swing Vote, the Kevin Costner movie that critics had abjured in unison. Having read a local newspaper reviewer’s enraged review, my friend and I decided to see it and perform what we now call a “rescue job.” We found the little movie about a down-and-out man who improbably becomes the lone deciding vote in a presidential election a gentle, likeable comedy, a kind of minor-league Preston Sturges fable. Nothing spectacular, and surely not Oscar fodder, if you care about that crap, but what had this modest movie done to provoke so much scorn?

The radio host snorted into the microphone. “No, really. Swing Vote?” He hadn’t seen the movie, but...Kevin Costner! Waterworld Kevin Costner. I was never asked back to sit on the panel. I don’t know if there was any connection between my embarrassing admission and my ouster, but clearly I wasn't the right type.

Recently my friend and I did a rescue job on the Sandra Bullock movie All About Steve. My friend didn’t know that it had been crushed to bits by reviewers, and when I told him, he was mystified. The movie, which stars Bullock as a socially awkward, super-smart crossword-puzzle constructor who becomes insanely obsessed with a news cameraman she met on a blind date, was a pleasant little fable, with many charms and flaws. It resides in the same neighborhood as quirky-protagonist movies like Lars and the Real Girl or the overlooked Wristcutters, movies I like because they play like celluloid short stories.

So what was it that made the critics hate All About Steve so vehemently? Is it because they expect something more slick and commercial from Bullock, who also produced this cinematic white elephant? Is it because she looks strange in the movie, with blonded hair, orangey-tanned skin, micro-miniskirts and unfortunate cosmetic surgery that betrays her age? Is it because they dislike smart women? The odd look is integral to the character, an introvert who lives with her parents, converses with her hamster and engages in a nonstop monologue about definitions, puzzles and an encyclopedic collection of facts. She's the kind of character who tends not to win friends, either in the movies or in real life.

I guess I am attracted to movies about unpopular, misunderstood misfits. It is the story of my life.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Harmonica Man

Flea Market, Oldsmar, Florida.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Water Workers Strike

Picketers outside the Baldwin Filtration Plant on Fairhill Road. Ninety Cleveland water plant workers went on strike July 17 after failing to reach a new contract agreement with the city. The union is seeking a retroactive 2 percent pay raise going back to 2007.

Mayor Frank Jackson called the demands unreasonable. Union President Frank Madonia says other city workers have received the same raise. (Photograph by Pamela Zoslov)

It ain’t quite this simple, so I better explain
Just why you got to ride on the union train;
‘Cause if you wait for the boss to raise your pay,
We’ll all be waiting till Judgment Day;
We’ll all he buried -- gone to Heaven --
Saint Peter’ll be the straw boss then.

-- excerpt, "Talking Union Blues" by Millard Lampell, Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Bouquet for Obama

Having waited in the rain for President Obama's motorcade, a woman is overwhelmed after catching a glimpse of the President's limousine.

Shaker Heights, Ohio, July 23, 2009.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who Is This "Barry Serento"


And why do they want him to go home?

Protesters awaiting a visit by President Obama, July 23, Shaker Heights, Ohio.

UPDATE: Hooray, the hilarious website Wonkette has posted the above picture! Thanks, Wonkette.