Robert Goulet – “If Ever I Would Leave You”
Holy crap, Goulet, just… holy hell.
"A quarter of the U.S. population — and 40 percent of the population of New York, where my novel is set — self-identify as Catholic. One of the most striking features of the city is that there are churches everywhere, from one of the world’s largest cathedrals to hundreds of storefront churches. And a bit of investigation will reveal that those churches fill up every Sunday. Not to mention the fact that there are more Jews in New York than in any other city in the world. But for some reason the publishing industry in this city tends to view the introduction of religion into contemporary realist novels as a willful act that must have some strong rhetorical justification. From where I stand, the exclusion of religion is the willful act. Novelists never get asked why they don’t include religion in their books, or why the religion they do include — often just a species of madness — bears so little resemblance to religion as it is practiced by the majority of Americans. If they were asked, I suspect, most of these writers would not have a very good answer. It simply doesn’t occur to them. Whatever one’s beliefs, this seems like a basic failure of verisimilitude. Reality includes religion; realism should, too."
This is the appreciation (obits are for suckers) that I think I most agree with (although my appreciation for James Garner and The Rockford Files is at least a further decade removed from Alan Sepinwall’s own).
But damn me, James Garner just was that good as Rockford, holy hell, he really was. And that theme song—I really don’t think of anything other than James Garner when I think of it. Perfect all around.
"My best Beloved keeps his throne
On hills of light, in worlds unknown;
But he descends and shows his face
In the young gardens of his grace."
Isaac Watts, from a little-known hymn that (Watts says) paraphrases Song of Songs 6. A stunning poetic sentence. (via ayjay)
A little old in Internet time, but worth it.
#27, The Ghost of Blackwood Abbey
Nancy decides to leave secular life and become a nun. It turns out the only ghost haunting Blackwood Abbey is the Holy Ghost! But one of the nuns is stealing from the abbey, which explains the missing candelabras.