Mmm, Kosher Franks…

Danny Gregory tells us about his summer jobs. Veterinarian’s office, slaughterhouse, McDonalds, record shop.

Occasionally I would help out in a two-story shed behind the slaughterhouse. Cow intestines were brought in by the barrelful and we would slide them through v-shaped boards that would squeeze out the contents into gigantic metal sinks, leaving us with empty sausage casing. The cow shit would run down to the first floor and into a cart tethered to a balding donkey. Without looking over his shoulder, the donkey knew when the cart was filled and would then trudge out of the shed and across the courtyard to a deep pit. He would back the cart against a pole upending the contents into the stinking pit. Then the donkey would trudge back to its post in the shed.
One afternoon, the rabbis discovered they had unwittingly processed a pregnant cow. I was called in to haul the purple fetus away and carve it up. The dogs ate it with relish, untroubled that the meat wasn’t kosher.

Update: Part Two: White House Intern, waiter, bus boy.

Lessons in Bad Web Design #246: has just gone through a major redesign and for about a week now their site has been unusable in IE. We’re not just talking aesthetics here–though I don’t like the layout one bit, the CSS or whatever they’re using doesn’t work, with lines through words and such–but THE BLOODY SEARCH BUTTON DOESN’T WORK! On top of that, it loads twice as slow, and Mozilla can barely even contact the site.
I mean, c’mon guys, how hard is this? Again, this feels like typical corporate makeover design, making something over-complex, too many cooks, etc.
Allmusic is one of my toolbar links, just like, where I go at least once a day to reference something. Now IT DOESN’T WORK.
Aargh. Blow me.

In Cold Blood

Dir: Richard Brooks
I read Truman Capote’s novel during my first year at 6th Form in England,
over the course of a month of bus rides to and from campus. It still stays with me, and I finally saw the 1967 adaptation by Richard Brooks the other night.
Brooks shot the murder scenes in the actual house where it occured, and wisely removes all music from this sequence, just letting the wind howl around the house.
With Robert Blake in the main role as killer Perry Smith, the film can’t help but reflect on his own trial and incarceration. Not only that, but much of the film reminded me of Lynch’s “Lost Highway,” from the night shots speeding along the road to the scenes in the cell. Maybe we’re seeing chapters of a megamovie where Robert Blake, frustrated movie star, kills his wife, and transmogrifies into a young, sexy Perry Smith, who then goes on to kill again and wind back up on death row. As the psychologist in the movie says, “Separate they were harmless, but together they made a third person who killed” (I’m paraphrasing). That third person shaved his eyebrows, lives in a roadside shack, and urges men to kill.
There’s even more intertextual hoohah when we see Perry in flashback as a little Mexican-American kid helping his mom out at the rodea. An early Blake role was as a little Mexican kid who sells Bogart a ticket in Treasure of the Sierra Madre. That movie and Bogart are referenced several times in “In Cold Blood.” Some film student is bound to have a field day with this…
Missed in several online reviews I read of the film was the rather obvious suppressed homosexual relationship between the two killers. Dick Hickock, the other killer, talks of their friendship like marriage, and Perry seems quite co-dependent. The rage that sets him off on the killing spree in the Clutters’ home starts when he stops Dick from raping the young girl, a sort of jealous rage. (Add in the father issues as well, and there’s a whole heap o’ problems here).
Strangely enough, a writer by the name of J.J. Maloney was the first to advance the homosexual jealousy idea, not Capote, in 1999. But didn’t he get this idea from the film? Somebody’s out of chronological order here. Either way, you can read about that ideahere.