Monthly Archives: January 2008

COTMC, pt. 1

It’s not that the film turns out not to be about race. But race is only one thread in this meandering but compelling story, albeit the most electric and painful thread. It’s also about bored young men getting around town, the brutality of show business, the fascination and the superficiality of art culture in New York in the 50s, how men seduce women, violence in ordinary life, and the garish beauty of Times Square. And by branching out into all these other threads, it avoids the numbing single-mindedness of other “race” films of the period. Rather than laboring awkwardly to prove that black people are human, too!, it takes this rather bland point as the obvious fact that it is, and proceeds to examine how racism poisons our collective human nature. Yet Cassavetes is not remotely pessimistic about the effects of racism — both black and white characters in this film are capable of rich, full, hilarious, fascinating lives. The film bursts with life, with weird and unexpected moments, with sheer enthusiasm.

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a short note on military fashion

Eventually, following the Marine Corps, which had adopted a new “digital”-pattern uniform in 2000, the Army developed the ACU, the “Army Combat Uniform.” Even the name indicates the change in attitude — it’s a combat uniform, intended for an environment in which the Army, nearly all of it, is constantly rotating in and out of combat. Some of the innovations of the ACU are functional — the left sleeve has three slender pen pockets on the forearm; there are utility pockets on each shoulder (because you can’t reach the chest pockets when you’re wearing body armor); the fabric is lighter-weight, non-starchable, and cut looser than the BDUs; and the boots, like those of the DCU, are no-polish tan suede.

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