The Great Plains Royalty
The Oscars were on last night, and I watched it off and on, but DVR'd it so I didn't have to suffer through the more painful parts. Hugh Jackman was more interesting in the post-Oscar interview when he contended that straight men can love musicals and then did a lap dance for Barbara Walters. Too bad he consented to star in Baz Luhrman's career suicide homage to David Lean, Australia. Related or not, the previous night I watched 1965's Dr. Zhivago on KQED. At the time of its release my leftist Jewish relatives complained that it was shameless, pro-Czarist propaganda. Mainly I liked all the snow and big coats but had trouble with the repeated cuing up of "Somewhere My Love" (the worst song ever pre-"Feelings"/"I Just Called to Say I Love You"/"Ray of Light"). I liked the film as a kid because it was such a long, depressing examination of the futility of life. One reviewer described it as being Chekov for the masses with Omar Sharif being picked because he was a lot cuter than the real Chekov
Growing up in Oklahoma, Dr. Zhivago made me think of our Canadian snow storms that came sweeping down the plains from Manitoba via Fargo and Omaha. That was fitting since much of Dr. Zhivago was filmed in Canada, even though the snow still looks fake. Also, Oklahoma once had a history of being a hotbed of American Bolsheviks and when Eugene V. Debs ran for President in 1912 on the Socialist ticket, he got more votes in Oklahoma than anywhere in the Union.
Things have dramatically changed since then. Oklahoma has gone Red but in the bad kind of way. On the other hand, I learned yesterday from Bryce Digdug that they now have a Czar and Czarina. Perhaps they parade around in Oklahoma's Red Square and show off their collection of Fabergé eggs. If they ever make a movie about them, Joaquin Phoenix should be lured out of retirement and cast as Rasputin. For a mere $25 you can fill out a membership application and become a member of the Royal Barony of Oklahoma. (It's just $15 if you're under 21. Maybe what they say about recruiting the young is true.)
I've never comprehended the San Francisco Royal Court and what powers they possess. Personally, Bow and I want to be declared the Kaiser and Kaiserina of the Mission. We could ride in a gold carriage in the Carnival parade wearing gold pith helmets with elaborate fezes. Of course, I would want to be referred to as Kaiser Permanente (Prussian for Kaiser for life).