The Blue Raccoon

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Labor Day, Workers of the World!
[Or at least, this part of it it.]

I've said it before, billion-eyed audience, there's not a bad reason to present an image of Mary Louise Brooks, of Wichita, Kansas. The arrival of a fair autumn skies and moderate temperature to Ruch'mun' Vee-ay makes us all beam as big as Brooksie, who looks fantastic in this peasant blouse.

The film was the 1927 Now We're In The Air, an aviation amusement. The only thing remaining of the film are some promotional stills, of which this is one. Louise served as eye candy for a screwball buddy picture. The pals in this case were Wallace Beery and Raymond Hatton. Though the picture was set in Scotland and northern France, a good portion of it was filmed at a Venice, California, amusement pier.

Louise got to play twin sisters, Griselle, a French patriot, and Grisette, an ardent German. Beery falls for the French fille, the Hatton the madchen, and hilarity ensued. Except that it didn't, really, and the film crashed and burned. Louise got plenty of reading done, though.


Idiomatic Expressions In Need of Retirement

During the past few years, I've become tired of hearing at least three expressions that have shoved their way into press releases, disaster interviews and even artistic pursuits. I would like for them to be sent to the literary locker room, and their jerseys retired.

1) "Step up to the plate. " (4,760,000 Google references). This phrase is borrowed from baseball. It's come to mean that someone needs to take their turn, to not shirk responsibility. It's used in punning headlines, like "Chefs Step Up To The Plate," and for the 350 residents required to get Stafford County, Va. issued its own specialized license plate.

But during and after Katrina, victims, municipal officials, and government leaders were urging one or the other of the groups to "step up" in terms of relief for the stricken coasts, and especially New Orleans.

I'm tired of people stepping up. Just do your duty, take responsibility, and get rid of this collection of words.

2) "beef up." (20,300,000 Google references) You heard this a great deal after 9/11, the sixth anniversary of which we are approaching. The idiom was usually employed in connection to increasing or reinforcing security. Its origins are in physical fitness and refers to muscles; to get "beefed" up. I think with all the meat sensitivity these days, that our idioms should, from here on out, be vegan.

3) "kick off." (51,700,000 Google references) This is taken out of U.S. football, and I've seen it used to describe the premier of opera season, the first offering of festivals of all kinds, and the initial event of any number of competitions--academic, mechanical, mathematical-- that are far removed from the gridiron. I say: put a flag on the play of this idiom.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou-Lou, mon cherie!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger HEK said...


Thanks for visiting...and isn't she adorable?


Post a Comment

<< Home