Sugarpuss O’Shea, Copyrights, Vacuum Pumps

Thursday, February 10th, 2005 | Film, The Dating Game

I’ve discovered peer-sharing. I’ve been downloading these ridiculously expensive language tapes, and have no regrets about my infringement of the intellectual property rights of these new-age robber barons. I’m mortified because I accidentally purchased a course recently on e-bay, with “Buy-it-Now,” where they give you, like, 5 opportunities to make sure you’re sure of your purchase, a course for Italian speakers wishing to learn English. Great. After much pleading, the company reluctantly agreed to send me the 3rd course instead–I thought I was buying the 2nd–of the actual Italian language course for English speakers wishing to learn Italian, but at a highly inflated price, so I’ve been trying to download Course I and II for free, to make up for the difference. I also intend to digitize all of the Lessons and then immediately re-sell the course on e-bay once it actually arrives. When I browse the hosts of the Lessons that I need on this peer-sharing program, I find much pornography, and I’m usually, like, 10th in line to download a 28mb file from someone on dialup, so the process has been agonizingly slow. “Need more sources,” “Waiting for Busy Hosts,” “Waiting in Line, Postition 10.” We really are at the cusp of a completely new relation to originality and authorship, aren’t we? Or maybe all of you are already there?

I saw Ball of Fire the other night, which is one of the great screwball comedies of the 40’s. Gangster moll Sugarpuss O’Shea, played by Barbara Stanwyck, stumbles into the Victorian household of a bunch of sequestered professors working on an encyclopedia for a rich benefactor. They’re almost through with their project–at the letter “S.” Sugarpuss needs to lay low for a while because her lover, Dana Andrews, is under suspicion of murder and she’s being hunted down by the law because of a pair of jammies that she bought him, so she convinces the professors that her presence is essential in their study of “slang.” She spouts off many gems, including “I’ll have a jav, no calf,” and “..redder than the Daily Worker, and just as sore!” and works her way into all of their hearts, but also the pants of professor Gary Cooper, the youngster of the bunch, and of course they end up together at the end of the film and Dana Andrews gets tossed in jail through the intelligence of the professors–brains against brawn. And there’s a fabulous scene with Gene Krupa delicately playing drums with a pair of wooden matches, “Matchstick boogie.” You must see this film.

Next month Stanwyck’s ultimate pre-code masterpiece Baby Face is being released on dvd, and the world will continue spinning.

Staying in my bedroom, alone, and with no snoring to drown out the sounds of my downstairs neighbor, I haven’t been able to sleep since taking my break from BC (only 18 hours together instead of 24). The guy in the bedroom downstairs has a new device, the purpose of which still eludes me, but it makes this loud vacuum-cleaner sound followed fairly quickly by a muffled orgasmic aspiration. When his boyfriend stays over, there’s the sound of a very loud TV (until well past midnight !), and so much conversation that I imagine the very specific void that the vacuum cleaner fills in their once house-shaking sex life. Someone, get me a white noise machine.

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