October 22, 2007

"She told me she hoped to be complicated, someday."

"Someday? I was reminded of those credit cards which come preapproved. I was pretty sure that Diane Keaton was preapproved for complicated, and still is. On a too-brief visit last weekend I had, for a glimmering moment, a sense that I was about to grasp what she was up to. But when she left, she took the glimmer with her, leaving me no closer to comprehending her agenda than I have been for the past twenty-eight years."

Larry McMurtry effuses
over his friend Diane Keaton... and her book "Clown Paintings":
There's nothing the fondest friend can do about the pain of clowns—pain, after all, is where their job starts. In working up to the book called Clown Paintings—it's filled with paintings of clowns—Diane called various of her friends who work in comedy to get their thoughts on clowns—and what she got was their permission to shove off. Woody Allen and Steve Martin and the others she lists "work in comedy," and comedy arises from pain, not from happiness. Perhaps the pain of clowns is a little more primal, which is one good reason for people who work in comedy to give clowns a pass.
Clown Paintings—it's filled with paintings of clowns....


George said...

Happiness is not funny.

-Charles Schulz

Trooper York said...

My kind of bitch ain't like your bitch
Cuz my bitch don't bitch at all
My bitch don't blink, she don't even think
About money or f*ckin mall

My kind of bitch don't fix her hair
She don't care about what she wears
Cuz she's much too busy pulling the worms
Out her butt, she ain't bathed in years

My kind of bitch, I'll never forget
We forced met on a Oujia board
Miss Crabber Damned, she would chew on snakes
And swallow a ninja sword

I said, "hey bitch, how do you do?
Some f*cks call me Violent J"
She picked her nose and flicked it at me
Smiled and was on her way, my kind of bitch

My kind of bitch
My kind of bitch don't fix her hair
She don't care about what she wears
My kind of bitch don't fix her hair
She don't care about what she wears
F*ck that!

My kind of bitch has a hole in her neck
And has to talk like this "I love you"
She can drink through it, ya get used to it
It whistle every time we kiss

My kind of bitch gots one good tittie
The other one's skinny and red
She can make the one jiggle
The other one don't do shit but just sit their dead

My kind of bitch has a wooden eye
With a nail sticking half way out
It once caught a fire and we all had to spit
In her face just to put it out
(Insane Clown Posse, dedicated to Diane Keaton, My Kinda Bitch)

Joan said...

I was going to comment without reading the whole thing, and thought better of it. I was impressed by some of Keaton's observations, particularly on Corot's Portrait of a Girl. She seems so insightful, but then she veers wildly into the obvious and maudlin. ("Permanence can only be found in the immortality promised by the results of the click of a camera." !?) I think my previous impression of her as a ditz still holds. There's something there, but I have no way to evaluate it.

I never thought of Annie Hall (the character) as being a sweetie. I suspect my dislike for Keaton stems from my dislike of the character she so famously portrayed, and later appeared to be.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christopher said...

Happy Islamofascism Awareness Week, everybody!!!

Trooper York said...

Owen Cheese: You clowns are on dope!
Binky the Clown: You didn't see nothing old man. We're just five happy party clowns, sitting down to a plate of beef. White- powdery-beef.
(Shakes the Clown 1991)

B said...

Send in the Clowns - it's filled with, like, something about sending in clowns.

B said...


Clown Paintings is not about Hillary!?

Trooper York said...

HoHo the Clown: Oh, yeah? Well, the only show YOU could ever star in would be a show called the... Not... Funny... DIARRHEA CLUB!
(Shakes the Clown 1991)

Gedaliya said...

John Gacy frequently dressed as a clown.

Funny guy, John Gacy.

Trooper York said...

Koko can't find his hat, so he goes to the store and buys whips so he could whip the kids. He whips all of the kids living at his house if they aren't working to find his hat. Then his mom comes and starts yelling at him but when he gives her a whip they both start whipping the kids. Then the next door neighbor see's them and calls the cops. The first cop comes and helps them whip since it's a bad cop but then the neighbor calls again and the cops arrest all of them right when a kid finds his hat. Koko keeps his hat and goes to jail with the cop and his mom and the kids go to even worse guardians who make them pick wine grapes. As for Koko he had lighter fluid and poured it on his hat, light a match, put it on the hat, and ran out of jail. Koko was later found with his mom and the cop on the ground dead outside of a bar.
(Koko the Clown, episode recap, the final countdown)

David said...

Painting, eh?

Well that explains why the photographs are so good.

Christy said...

Larry McMurtry loves women. He really loves women, not just the way they make him feel. He finds beauty in all and doesn't become confused by the more obvious manifestations of sex appeal. Helps him write some of the best women in literature. He obviously loves Keaton. She sounds insipid as hell to me, however.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

ALVY: So, did you do shoot the photographs in there or what?

ANNIE: Yeah, yeah, I sorta dabble around, you know.

I dabble? Listen to me- what a jerk!

ALVY: They're ... they're... they're wonderful, you know. They have ... they have, uh ... a ... a quality.

You are a great-looking girl

ANNIE: Well, I-I-I would-I would like to take a serious photography course soon.

He probably thinks I'm a yo-yo

ALVY: Photography's interesting, 'cause, you know, it's-it's a new art form, and a, uh, a set of aesthetic criteria have not emerged yet.

I wonder what she looks like naked?

ANNIE: Aesthetic criteria? You mean, whether it's, uh, good photo or not?

I'm not smart enough for him. Hang in there

ALVY: The-the medium enters in as a condition of the art form itself. That's-

I don't know what I'm saying-she senses I'm shallow

ANNIE: Well, well, I ... to me-I ... I mean, it's-it's-it's all instinctive, you know. I mean, I just try to uh, feel it, you know? I try to get a sense of it and not think about it so much.

God, I hope he doesn't turn out to be a shmuck like the others

ALVY: Still, still we- You need a set of aesthetic guidelines to put it in social perspective, I think.

Christ, I sound like FM radio. Relax

Zeb Quinn said...

I happened upon the old Rod Serling Night Gallery show the other day, an episode from 1970 in which Diane Keaton played a major part. Pre-Woody Allen. Pre-Godfather. I was amazed at how fresh she was.

ricpic said...

Amazing how far you can go on good bone structure.

Trooper York said...

Pennywise: Hi-ya, Georgie! Arentcha gonna say... *hello*?
George 'Georgie' Elmer Denbrough: [shakes head]
Pennywise: Awww, whatsa matter Georgie? Doncha want a... balloon?
George 'Georgie' Elmer Denbrough: My daddy told me never to take stuff from strangers.
Pennywise: Very wise of ya dad, Georgie - very wise indeed. But
*I* am Pennywise the Dancin Clown- and you're Georgie! So now we know eachotha!
George 'Georgie' Elmer Denbrough: How do I know that you are the Dancin Clown
Pennywise: Because I wear men's clothes and like to have sex with nebbishy child molestors to advance my career.
George 'Georgie' Elmer Denbrough: Well you could just be Natasha Kiniski in a sweat suit.
Pennywise: Come here boy before I introduce you to Maxine, the only person I know whose makeup I admire, you don't want to end up in her cluthes.
George 'Georgie' Elmer Denbrough:
(Stephen Kings It, TV Movie 1990)

hdhouse said...

Taking cheap shots at people isn't of much value. Further, it makes the "shooter" look silly and pathetic.

She may not be your cup of tea as an actress but someone saw something in her skills and she has done rather well.

But why the snide remarks? Do you feel compelled to do that so you feel better about yourself? It somehow boosts your ego? Why?

Pogo said...

Cheap shots?

I have a hard time seeing anything harsher than Meh in here.

Are you reading something here I ain't, house?

Anyway, clowns? Clowns?
Hasn't that motif been beaten into the ground? What is there left to expound upon regarding clowns? Okay, perhaps there is not yet a thesis on Clowns Showing the Violence Inherent in the System.

Trooper York said...

Sorry house, I guess I suffer from Diane Keaton derangement syndrome.

Trooper York said...

Little testie today aren't we sweetie?

Trooper York said...

I just never thought you were such a big Natasha Kiniski fan.

George said...


Is that the one where a painting comes to life and Roddy McDowell watches as a zombie digs his way out of a grave (in the painting) and then comes up the driveway and then comes in the front door and then and then and then.....Aaaaaaaaaa!

She played a nurse in that episode. I didn't think she did much of an acting job.

Now, that episode with Joan Crawford as the rich blind woman....now that was some good acting....

Trooper York said...

As an actress, Diane Keaton makes
Tori Spelling look like Dame Judi Dench.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Posting your gripes about the wealthy while a beautiful town burns is beyond pathetic. I'm not wealthy but am currently evacuated from my Castaic home and can tell you wildfire does not discriminate. "

(Not written by Maxine, who sees race and social strata in every situation !)

Trooper York said...

I thought your house is catastic, Catwoman.
(Batman TV Show)

Maxine Weiss said...


Maxine Weiss said...

Always hate it when this happens:


Where will they go?

Blake said...

"Is this place great or what? It looks like it was decorated by Klowns R Us." -- Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Christy said...

Taking cheap shots at people isn't of much value. Further, it makes the "shooter" look silly and pathetic. - hdhouse

You will let us quote you in the future, won't you?

Beth said...

Maxine (and everyone),

While we're crying our eyes out for the rich and famous, I ask that any of us here who are inclined to pray, please do so. There are actually a whole lot of regular folks fleeing for their lives, and at risk of losing everything. The elderly parents of one of my colleagues evacuated last night. I know firsthand from the experiences here in NOLA over these past two years how hard disaster is on the old folks. Many of them won't recover after losing their homes.

Maxine Weiss said...

TMZ doesn't report on anybody but Celebrities.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Regular Folks"

--you mean like the Virginia Tech victims.....whom Althouse never mentions?

...or maybe it's the students at Brooklyn Law School, who get nary a mention, and might like to be acknowledged every now and then, from the most popular Law Blogger.

Nope, Celebrities and Public figures.....that's what we care about around here!


Shawn Levasseur said...

I'm reminded of "A Cotton Candy Autopsy" from the comic book series "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children" by Dave Loupare and Dan Sweetman.

Not so much a comic book but a parody of the children's illustrated storybook, but meant for a mature audience.

"A Cotton Candy Autopsy" was the story from the first issue. It was about a bunch of clowns who torch the big top, steal a car, and go on a crime spree while on the run...

From the opening pages:

"The circus was burning.

"It was me, Bingo, Foo Foo, and Joey Punchinello from the street. Foo Foo stole the keys to the Dart while Bingo grabbed Addy the Freaklady and some of our best pups. I got the booze out the ringmaster’s trailer when he was watching the big-top burn. Joey Punchinello just lay low. Everyone knew he was always wiser to things than he was saying, like when that midget got drowned in the horse trough last winter.

"We figured we’d go ‘til either the gas or money ran out, and if we could, swing back for Bingo’s gig in the suburbs next day. Whatever.

"Not a damned thing about the fire on the radio so we blasted the tunes and shot west doin’ 95, teasing the dogs and taking turns with Addy. In the back seat, she was anybody’s freak."

Christy said...

I've always feared clowns. Harlequins, not so much.

Ann Althouse said...

HDHouse: "Taking cheap shots at people isn't of much value. Further, it makes the "shooter" look silly and pathetic. She may not be your cup of tea as an actress but someone saw something in her skills and she has done rather well. But why the snide remarks? Do you feel compelled to do that so you feel better about yourself? It somehow boosts your ego? Why?"

Is that aimed at me? My post is composed almost entirely of Larry McMurtry quotes. I think I'm making fun of McMurtry with his own words.

BTW, back in 1980, I bought my first SLR camera in Manhattan and Diane Keaton was at the counter buying some equipment right alongside me. I wouldn't have recognized her. She was completely nondescript and unglamorous. But the store guy wanted me to know it was her.

Ralph said...

Will her next book be Dog Poker Party?

lee david said...

Isn't complicated just another term for schizoid? A clown for every mood.

Joan said...

If it were up to me, I'd declare Ralph the winner of this comment thread.

rcocean said...

"I expect she grasps by now that her two children, Dexter and Duke, may have slain the Clown Inside. What with all that soccer practice, moms don't have much time for the Clown."

How can anyone mock prose of this quality?

B said...

Beth - You're Back!

(background sound of dancing and champagne corks popping!)