“It’s glossing over all the unknowns for the sake of a quicker, cleaner solution,” he says. “It’s wrong to be so uniformly fatalistic so early on, especially with all the data emerging about the prospects for later-stage recovery.”

Mother and son, both lean, watchful and dark-haired, are like a pair of predatory reptiles incongruously housed with the fluffy, friendly animals. Their antagonism is its own kind of bond, which makes its fulfillment almost incomprehensibly terrible. [New Tilda Swinton movie review, in the NYT.]

Motivation: motivated by more than meets the eye; bear down and do whatever it takes to survive; reptilian, like the sword, only motivation is survival; how, what do I do to survive? Logic versus emotion; what about instinct? Tom always loved reptiles…

And why the hell isn’t my stuff being posted when I email it??? Grr. (Or should I say hssss?)


In his memoir, Hitch expressed regret that he never engaged in combat at arms, to fight the brave fight (a la Orwell in Spain). But his life and work demonstrated that HIS pen was mightier than any sword he might have held. The world mourns his loss today.

“Tom and Viv,” which was made into a 1994 film starring Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson, told the story of Eliot’s calamitous 17-year marriage to a high-spirited but unstable British woman, Vivien Haigh-Wood, and its aftermath, when she was committed to a mental hospital where she eventually died. Meticulously researched and treading carefully on delicate personal matters, the play nonetheless engendered outrage, especially in England, from those who found it an unseemly invasion of private lives. On the other hand it also elicited frustration from those, like the New York Times critic Frank Rich, who found it not invasive enough.

“It’s possible that Mr. Hastings has placed too much stock in his store of dry facts,” Mr. Rich wrote. “Eloquently written as this work can be, it’s also bloodless until its waning moments. It’s as if the playwright were afraid to take the final plunge of imagining, however speculatively or voyeuristically, just what intimacies his couple might have exchanged in all those rooms they unhappily cohabited.”