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margot (new york, NY, United States)

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4.0 out of 5 stars A street shoe with running potential, 20 Jan. 2008
The Jarowe was Nike's fashion-shoe version of its highly regarded Zoom Kennedy track and cross-country spikes. While the Kennedy series (c. 1999-2006) was almost unknown outside North America, the Jarowe (2003-2006) was distributed almost exclusively in Europe. In Europe it had no track-shoe cachet and Nike seems not to have put marketing resource behind it. As a result it garnerned very little notice during its distribution period.

It was a remarkably comfortable shoe, with the distinctive and supportive Kennedy upper. It has been seen in nearly a dozen different colorways. The sole is the same rubber-spiked waffle plate used on Nike's 'Streetcat' (street version of the Maxcat spike).

Although sold as a men's fashion shoe, Jarowes make a perfectly adequate racing and track flat, with similarities to the Zoom Streak XC and the Zoom Waffle Racer.

Like the Kennedy XC, the Jarowe is sized very small--a half-size to a full size tighter than a standard Nike flat.

Trivia notes:

- The shoe was named for Nike marketing rep Josh (J.A.) Rowe, founder of the Nike Team Nationals (a cross-country series among American secondary schools).

- When the Jarowe was first released, there were plans to sell a women's version, identical except for colorways. The samples for this shoe are labeled Kennedy XC.

Lifeitselfmanship,or, How to become a precisely-because man: An investigation into current L (or Left-wing)usage
Lifeitselfmanship,or, How to become a precisely-because man: An investigation into current L (or Left-wing)usage
by Decca Treuhaft
Edition: Unknown Binding

3.0 out of 5 stars Jessica Mitford one-ups her sister, 6 April 2007
The edition described here is the hand-bound stapled version that Decca Treuhaft (aka Jessica Mitford) put together on her Oakland, CA kitchen table in 1956, with some help from her Communist Party friends. But you can find a reprinted version, complete with illustrations, in the appendix of Decca's autobiography, A Fine Old Conflict.

The pamplet is a mildly amusing, gentle satire on the stilted syntax used by earnest Commies (or Left-wingers, as the author euphemizes). It is frankly derivative of her sister Nancy Mitford's little treatise of the period, Noblesse Oblige, which contrasted U (upper-class) and Non-U usage, eg, 'false teeth' vs. 'dentures'.

Lists of 'Left-wing' cliches are given, in glossary format, along with sample translations.

Non-L: Time will tell whether that plan was O.K.

L equivalent: That _correctness_ of that _policy_ will be _tested in life itself_. (Alt., in the _crucible of struggle_.)

Modern readers may note a family resemblance between these hackneyed Stalinist phrases and the jargon-laden idiom now known as political correctness. They may also be reminded of George Orwell's essay, 'Politics and the English Language,' which covers the same sort of gobbledygook and does so much more readably and trenchantly, perhaps because Orwell didn't have to worry about the East Bay chapter of CPUSA looking over his shoulder.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2015 2:13 AM GMT

Boy With the Green Hair [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Boy With the Green Hair [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre "message" film from Joseph Losey, 1 Nov. 2006
This strange film is a relic of a peculiar Hollywood genre that flourished briefly just after the Second World War. I don't have a catchy name for the genre; "Hackneyed Homilies for Tolerance and Understanding" is the best I can do. Typically these films were conceived by Red-front writers and producers (e.g., Albert Maltz, Dore Schary) and have more than a whiff of Communist cant about them. Their message is that Prejudice Is Bad, although they are seldom clear about what sort of prejudice they mean.

A good example of this confusion can be found in "Crossfire," a mystery thriller originally about a serviceman who gets picked up by a homosexual and kills him. Alas, the producers didn't want to come out with a plea for homosexual tolerance, so they made the murder victim a Jew instead. The result is a script that makes no sense at all.

Similarly with "The Boy with the Green Hair." A boy's hair turns green, and he is shunned and laughed at by his schoolmates. You might assume this is a bad allegory about race bias, but it's nothing of the sort. The boy's neighbors don't hate the boy, they are just put off, and want him to dye or cut his hair. They fear that his green hair might be contagious. So the boy is depressed and suicidal. But then children from a war-relief poster appear to him in a vision and tell him that the green hair is a badge of courage, or tolerance, or humanity...or something like that. So the boy lets the community shave his head but tells them all that when his hair grows out it will still be green.

What on earth are the scenarist and director trying to tell us? Perhaps green hair is a stand-in for political views that were fashionable during wartime but no longer tolerated post-war--that is, pro-Stalinism.

There are many things to like in this dream-like movie. Nat King Cole sings the theme song, "Nature Boy." Child star Dean Stockwell has the lead, the strangest role he would play till David Lynch put him in "Blue Velvet" four decades later. Director Joseph Losey's knack for portentous atmosphere and dismal fantasy has an early outing in the scenes with the war-poster children, and bears a close resemblance to the high-weirdness we see years later in his mature work ("The Damned," "The Servant," "Accident," "The Go-Between").
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2010 9:54 PM GMT

by Ian McEwan
Edition: Hardcover

38 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, harrowing, astonishing tour-de-force, 2 Dec. 2001
This review is from: Atonement (Hardcover)
Atonement is a novel with three parts, set in 1935-1940, and a 1999 epilogue. The composition and point-of-view in each part is radically different, so don't be put off by the Woolfean longueurs and internal monologues of the opening section (about 40% of the total). The author knows precisely what he's doing. And even with his page-upon-page description of what it's like to be the inhabitant of a grand country house in Surrey in a heatwave of the summer of 1935, the plot and characters will soon have you in their grip.
We begin with Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old younger daughter of a ministry official and his migraine-ridden wife. Briony is a self-absorbed young author of short, grandiloquent short stories and playlets. She has written a fairy-tale fantasy play to be performed by herself and her three cousins, whose parents are in the middle of a divorce. The play is intended as the entertainment for a grand dinner party to welcome Briony's brother, a recent Cambridge graduate, and his wealthy candy-making friend from London.
The play isn't performed. The house party goes horribly wrong. Briony is disgusted by her cousins' acting incompetence, and then, inspired by an tussle she views between her elder sister and a male neighbor, she decides that really she wants to be a novelist anyway. She cancels the play, the dinner is a disaster (no one is hungry, the heat is stifling, the candy-maker's chocolate rum-and-gin cocktails are disgusting); the younger cousins run off, and by the end of the night Briony has accused someone of rape.
The victim of the accusation is the second main character in the story. He is Robbie Turner, a charwoman's son whom Briony's father has sponsored through grammar school and Cambridge (where he took a first). Robbie is sent to Wandsworth prison for three or four years, then given early release if he joins the infantry. The second part of the book belongs to him. We follow him for a hundred harrowing pages in June 1940 during the last few days of retreat to Dunkirk. This is not the heroic Dunkirk rescue of legend, but a chaotic mass-evacuation full of mutilation, thirst, despair and gratuitous violence.
Briony passes up her place at Cambridge and instead becomes a nurse-probationer in South London. She has spent the last five years ridden with a growing sense of guilt about her false accusation against Robbie, and imagines that nursing the war-wounded will enable her to find some sense of atonement...

Gemma Bovery
Gemma Bovery
by Posy Simmonds
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect parody, a perfect metier for Posy Simmonds, 23 Oct. 2000
This review is from: Gemma Bovery (Paperback)
Posy Simmonds is one of the most talented comic illustrators anywhere, and that has been her tragedy. Most comic illustrators these days can't draw particularly well (cf. How Green Are Your Wellies?), or they hide it if they can. Having the talents of a Daumier and not living in the nineteenth century does not bode well for the modern cartoonist. Still, she's apparently eked out a decent career over the last two decades--illustrating the odd book or advert, publishing elegant full-color comic strips in both English and American periodicals.
Gemma better than Flaubert's original. Same story, but a century and a half later.
And it's illustrated.

Bruce Chatwin
Bruce Chatwin
by Nicholas Shakespeare
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Chatwin surpasses anything Bruce ever wrote, 7 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Bruce Chatwin (Paperback)
A few years back I indulged myself in a marathon reading of every Ernest Hemingway biography that came to hand. Not all were top-notch, but a few were so good that I will forever after prefer to read a Hemingway bio to anything by Papa himself.
And so with Nicholas Shakespeare's lovely masterpiece of a biography of Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin's own works are scoured for biographical data, but most of Shakespeare's research involved 8 years of painstaking interviews and worldwide travels to Afghanistan, India, Patagonia, New York and elsewhere. Simply put, this is a more enjoyable book than anything Chatwin himself ever wrote, and maybe it's better than anything Chatwin could write.
The parallels to Hemingway can be expanded. Chatwin's life was more varied and exciting than anything he was able to commit to his tight, crystallised prose. He was a much greater man than the sum of his works, and he's a very very lucky dead author indeed to have had someone like Nicholas Shakespeare take the first crack at a full-length treatment of the Chatwin life.
Again like Hemingway, Chatwin was brilliant, charismatic, generous--and often supercilious, nasty and a downright selfish bastard. He was so dedicated to his craft that he appears never to have felt a pang of guilt over his readiness to sponge off friends and his long-suffering wife. Anyone who thinks he wants Chatwin as a role model will give the idea second thoughts before finishing this marvelous book!

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