Wednesday, April 29

The Not So Lush Life -

Profuse apologies for my unexpected blogging hiatus, but I got unusually busy. We had a cascading phenomenon at our house; viz: three women in rapid succession relapsed, got drunk, went berserk, and became combative.

Two of the women tried to assault me, and the third woman tried to hit my male boss with a frying pan. I didn't suffer any serious injuries, and they are all gone now. But while this was all happening, there was much chaos and turmoil, so I couldn't get much writing done.

Why continue doing this? Well, one wants to make a difference, help people, make the world a bit better, etc. It is a response to the classic question: what is a good life?

Entre nous, I have never directly witnessed women behaving so badly. And this is all attributed to Demon Rum? I have never been much of a drinker myself, but my impressions of alcohol have certainly changed over the years.

When I was a young adult, living in Greenwich Village, alcohol was regarded as merely a social lubricant, although it was the nemesis of many a writer. One of the songs which became part of the soundtrack of our lives was Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life.

You could hear it over the jukebox in restaurants, cafes, bars, and other establishments. It provided a poignant and sometimes nostalgic musical background while waiting to meet a friend. It seemed to have a romantically tragic aura around it.

But not anymore . . .

One can never predict which British detective series some PBS governing board will select for local consumption. Lately, I've enjoyed Vera and Inspector George Gently. I was quite surprised at the arrival of John Banville's Quirke.

Nevertheless, there he was in three episodes in our living room. I'm in no mood to critique John Banville, who has certainly been far more productive than I in the writing department of late. But why he became fixated on The Fifties completely confounds me. I didn't like that decade at all, not the music or the clothing or anything at all. And who else would portray such a figure but Gabriel Byrne, of course - surely, the casting of Byrne as Quirke was a no-brainer.

The one issue in the drama which disturbed me considerably was Dr Quirke's alcohol problem. After being deeply immersed in this issue 24/7, I'm not favorably disposed to tolerate much of it in my evening divertisements, too.

Even so, I remain curious about Banville's Philip Marlowe venture being shopped around for a possible movie. And the jackpot question: who will portray Marlowe this time round?