There’s a line from an old movie that goes, “It’s easier to change your mind than you cafe.” After a couple years of intractability, neighbor and Millennial Fogey columnist DCG and I had our morning coffee today at a new cafe. It’s a longer walk, but the coffee is better and so is the music.
When a jazz rendition of the standard “My Honey’s Loving Arms” came on, hardly the most popular tune of all time, I lit up. I plunk the song out myself on the piano, and first heard it from Duke Ellington and his female vocalist Ivie Anderson, my favorite female jazz singer. The fogey countered with his favorite, Sarah Vaughan.
What does this have to do with the headline and image above? Allow me to do a little blogging improv and tie these multiple themes together.
The weather is unbelievably fine today here in New York, so it might as well be spring, which just so happens to be the title of another old song. And DCG was wearing a sunshine-appropriate pink buttondown (I was in navy and white, in preparation for a lunchtime tennis match). Now just last night I’d watched the 1997 movie “Contact,” which I’d somehow never seen despite an interest in astronomy and science fiction. There’s a supporting character who smokes a pipe and, in the scene above, wears a monogrammed pink buttondown. Now if Dr. Matt Taylor had worn one like that, instead of the one he did during the Rosetta Mission, he would have simply been called a twit instead of a sexist.
So there you go. Spring is here, the perfect time for pink shirts. And below is DCG’s favorite singer Sarah Vaughan doing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “It Might As Well Be Spring.”
Spring, jazz, buttondowns, coffee, pipes, tennis, science fiction, good friends — these are a few of my favorite things. — CC
You now how Hollywood dresses actors preppy/ivy/WASPY for a sort of short hand for asshole/evil/entitled characters? You should do a count of those characters who are NOT intrinsically negative. i.e. Robin Williams in The Dead Poet’s Society, Ryan O’Neil in Love Story et. al.
What movie is that from???
The Moderns. Too bad that terrible movie isn’t among my favorite things.
Impressive. Saw that movie at age 18 on my first solo road trip. Still love it.
Quite a contrast between the two characters in that still from Contact…
Good look. But what is he doing to that pipe?
The greatest part of ‘Contact’ (a movie that I enjoy very much, by the way) is the preposterous love affair between Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughy as a priest!
Of course if you view Dead Poets Society as a Nietzschean allegory, then perhaps Robin Williams, rest his soul, was the bad guy.
Where’s this new cafe?
Next post, please Christian. The guy stuffing his face is annoying me more and more. There has to be another thrilling OCBD story you can’t wait to impart to us.
We exchange emails, long ago, and I have a quick “more personal” style/brand” question for you. I have tried for about 30 minutes how to email you, but I see the “techie” stuff like Facebook,Tweeter et. al. that I do not use. Can I please send you a brief email about chinos of a khaki color since my prior “source” has liquidated. I respect your opinions very much and know you interact all the time with the “gurus” of what I have always worn and will ride into the sunset at my old age wearing. Can you send me your email? I will make it concise and brief. My email is email@example.com. My name is Joe.
ps-please try to bear with my post-concussion medical issues from football-long ago but hitting me hard. Thanks so much in advance Christian. You seem like a truly nice person.
Paul, the Matthew McConaughy character was not a (Roman Catholic) priest but a “Christian philosopher.” The relationship between him and the Jodie Foster character represents the peaceful coexistence of science and religion, something that more or less everyone took for granted until scientists hostile to religion fired the opening salvo in what has become a needless conflict between the two.
Regardless, watching that movie for the first time was one of the best moviegoing experiences I ever had. The way the story unfolded, with each scene adding some sort of complication or twist that built on previous ones, made every scene even better than the last.
The fellow with the pipe should really get a haircut and learn how to smoke a pipe. In my own opinion, a fellow should also be of a certain age to get away with smoking a pipe. Christian, for instance, can pull it off as I believe we are close to the same age-forty nine. Although I pass for thirty (HA!) I enjoy a smoke on the beach or on the golf course from time to time. Mine is a streamlined Porsche Design beauty from the early nineties.
Incidentally Christian, how’s that crew cut coming?
@Henry Contestwinner: you may be right about McConaghey, although wasn’t he wearing a Roman collar in some of the scenes? Regardless, I had to chuckle at a love affair between a lesbian and Wooderson (“Alright, alright, alright.”). And the “theme” you describe felt a bit forced to me, maybe because the rector in my (Episcopal) church is a biochemist by training, so I never thought (and still don’t think) of science and religion as incompatible at all.
That aside, the movie is brilliant in so many ways: the way the Hitler image arrives; when John Hurt lets Jodie Foster know he’s built a second machine; when the “alien” finally approaches her on the beach; etc.
It really is sci-fi done very well. (in my humble opinion)
Paul, I agree with you that religion and science are not incompatible. Surely I’m not the only one who sees the Palmer Joss-Ellie Arroway relationship as a metaphor for their compatibility.
I also agree with you that Contact is an incredibly well-made movie. Maybe it’s time for another watch….
I loved the preppie scientist. In another scene, he’s wearing what appears to be a BB GTH uni stripe shirt.
As an amateur astronomer and one who believes that the universe is teeming with life, Contact is one of my favorite films on the subject.