Tilda Swinton, Communist?

In an earlier post, Ex Bootneck confessed to watching Top Gun for twenty minutes and Billy Elliot for ten. In college, I watched a movie called Orlando for all of five minutes before I decided it was simply not for me. The starring actress, Tilda Swinton, came across as both bloodless and anemic, which may be a contradiction. And now she is up to new tricks:

Tilda Swinton has snoozing down to an art.

The “Moonrise Kingdom” actress, 52, took up residence in a glass box at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Saturday as part of an unannounced performance piece.

Tilda Swinton, She helped launched the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Actress sleeps in box: Tilda Swinton. She helped launched the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Clad in jeans and a blue button-down shirt, the Academy Award winner slept on an unadorned white pallet in a transparent display case.

A label for the work lists its materials as “living artist, glass, steel, mattress, pillow, linen, water, and spectacles.”

Her public napping is part of a performance art piece titled “The Maybe,” which she debuted in 1995 at London’s Serpentine Gallery. She later repeated the work in the Museo Barraco in Rome.

Swinton will return to the glass case several times to appear in the installation, but the exhibition dates remain a mystery even to MoMA employees.

Interesting facts about Tilda:

Her father is Major-General Sir John Swinton, KCVO, OBE, DL, and Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1989 to 2000.


While at Cambridge, she joined the Communist Party.

Her father must be proud. Of her (yawn) artistic expression.

Tom Cruise as a Marine in All You Need Is Kill?

Oh no, here we go again with a Marine uniform. This time our stalwart Marine is no other than Tom Cruise, on location in London, playing character Lt. Col. Bill Cage in the movie All You Need Is Kill:

Tom Cruise as Lt. Col. Bill Cage in All You Need is Kill

Tom, this is very petty, but you better ask the prop department to let those trousers out a half-inch or so. They are starting to look like you fell into a pool. And please floss before you show up on set. Really love Top Gun, Maverick. Don’t screw this one up.

As for the movie, All You Need is Kill:

A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way.

It sounds like a real oater. . .

Top Gun or Umm Qasr, Iraq?

Alright, time for a little game. Read this opening sentence and take a guess as to what this NY Times article is about:

Twenty five years ago, I woke up early on a Saturday morning, watched the movie “Top Gun” and began dreaming of becoming a heroic naval aviator like Tom Cruise’s character Maverick.

Pretty straight-forward, right? A young man, wanting to stretch his ambition, becomes a fighter pilot. He joins the Navy and earns his wings o’ gold. Wrong. Wrong. And wrong. If you’d guessed Navy Day in the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, you are correct:

At Navy Day, an admiral in the Iraqi Navy, who wore a white suit and hat just like the aviators in “Top Gun,” doled out shiny plaques and trophies to Iraqi and American officials. Despite the thick mustache nearly all Iraqi officers seem to have, the admiral looked like he could have been an extra in the movie.

The similarities between the movie and the ceremony, however, diverged from there.

In the movie, the pilots are dispatched into battle.

An Iraqi Navy sailor and his daughter, Navy Day, Umm Qasr. (Nevermind the NY Times’ typo. They can’t spell daughter properly.)

We used to go heels dry in Umm Qasr as we wound our way up into Iraq on recon (EP-3) flights. The Brits manned the airwaves down there; they had responsibility over Basra and the southern corridor. To a man, they were more relaxed than a shivering plate of bread pudding. No matter what had occurred or was occurring, they were nothing by calm gentlemen over the net. . .

The Navy, Anthony Weiner, and Mustaches

In the Navy, we have a time-honored tradition known as the cruise ‘stache. You are away from home, on deployment, and suddenly your upper-lip begins to scream. For the warm, gentle blanket of your own ‘stache-li-ness.

Magnum PI’s 3M: Marine Ballcap, Mustache, Mauser

You want to let your inner-Magnum out and rock your Walrus. Undoubtably, you are working hard on deployment. And the lip-catapillar is your reward. Who you gonna impress anyway?

So you do it. You grow a masterpiece. Preferably along with your squadron, your unit, your division.

Some folks even designate a month and add competitive flair to the whole affair. Mustache March, or any month that begins with M. Or not. July is perfectly acceptable. As is September. Why not try: September Stache-o-fur?

Take a peek over at Thomas Selleck. He is displaying what we refer to (in the Navy) as 3M. Mustache, Marine ballcap, and Mauser handgun.

He even wins extra points for wearing a sweater with, get this, no t-shirt underneath! Do not try this at home, work, or anywhere! You are most certainly not Magnum. Behold, but do not try to become. . .

You know who also wins extra points? The Marine Corps. Note Thomas is wearing a Marine unit’s ballcap in Navy colors. I don’t blame Marines for embracing the blue and gold. Scratch any Jarhead and there lurks a Sailor underneath.

True story: I was playing basketball with a Marine friend back when we were both E-3s. And he turns to me and says: I tell you man, I really should have been a squid.

International word of warning for us Yankees, do not try to compete with our mustachioed brethren from across the sea, the Brits. Them boys can grow a ‘stache overnight! Little known fact: 1% of all male United Kingdom’ers can merely think of a ‘stache and one magically sprouts, real-time. Curled like ram-horns. ‘Tis a sight to witness.

So profuse are their skills that their stiff, upper-lip hair twirls both ways and can even cook a three-course meal of haggis, grey peas, and fried fish wrapped in tomorrow’s newspaper. To say nothing of pouring a chilled pint of pale ale, so light it’s not perceptible to the human eye. Invisibly refreshing, it is. 

Yes ‘Muricans, we wield the power of the Magnum. But he may be an outlier. England has glandular superiority with respect to lip-thatching. How do you think they nabbed the name England, anyhow?

Okay, so we have covered two angles of our title, the Navy and ‘staches. What does the third leg, Anthony Weiner, have to do with anything? Anthony Wee-na, is that not the name of that disgraced politician from New Yawk? Who resigned after a ‘wittle blue-ha-ha?

Anthony Weiner, Mets hat, mustache

Yup and yup. Señor Weiner is back in the news. With big-time exposure. Well, different-time exposure. Hmm, I better just avoid that word. Exposure.

So what has Tony el Tigre done? He has gone and grown himself a man-stache! Taste the rainbow. . .

Carefully examine the ‘stache-a-rooski for signs as to his state of shave-a-ment. Observe the ever-so-slight downturn of the lip-music. A handle-bar in the making, no?

Subconsciously, Monsieur Weiner is saying: yes, I am a weensy bad-boy. But not too bad. But definitely a boy. A man-in-training. Notice, he can’t pull off 3M like Magnum. Here, he has to settle for a flaccid 2M, mustache and Mets hat.

Heed the clenched jaw, ala Maverick and Iceman, Navy locker-room, Top Gun, 1986. You’re dangerous, Mav! A little about the Wee-Na’s jaunt around town, with wife Huma Abedin, sporting his new lip-fur:

Disgraced former pol Anthony Weiner stepped out to do some Black Friday shopping in SoHo sporting a moustache reminiscent of the one made infamous by-

Whoah Nelly! Go to the New York Post link above for all the low-down, high-brow details. The Wee-Na really should have hidden in-cog-neato for a couple more years. Myself, I would have moved to the Falkland Islands, far out of texting range.

 Estelle Costanza (George’s mom from Seinfeld) sez: Enough with the Weiner! 

Goofing on a Military Chaplain

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I am guilty of a transgression and not of the normal type. This one is extra special. A unique one.

I am on the phone. With the new Chaplain from a base across town. Our Navy command does not have its own, so we “borrow” a Chaplain from another base. The Admiral wants to meet with him and since I met Chaps at another event, I offer the Command Master Chief to make the arrangements.

Bear in mind that the Chaplain has one ribbon. He just graduated from seminary and arrived in San Diego for his first Navy posting. He did not go through OCS, but a kinder, gentler version. Up in Newport, Rhode Island. (I think they go through fork-and-knife school with the doctors.) The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hey Chaplain, NavyOne here. We met at that dedication last Friday?
Chaps: Sure, NavyOne how are you?
Me: Good. Yourself?
Chaps: Fine.
Me: I wanted to schedule time for you to come on base to meet with our senior leadership, the Admiral in particular.
Chaps: Alright.
Me: How is next Wednesday?
Chaps: That works.
Me: I will get you a visitor’s pass.
Chaps: Okay.
Me: (Smiling) Um, the uniform of the day will be Choker Whites.
Chaps: Great! (I pause, surprised with his enthusiasm.)
Me: Awwww, just wear your normal khakis.
Chaps: If Choker Whites is the uniform, no problem.
Me: I was just kidding about the Chokers.
Chaps: Oh.
Me: (Feeling guilty) Sorry about that.
Chaps: No problem.

Nice kid, the Chaplain. Can I call the Chaps a kid? Sure, why not?!? How many Hail Marys did I earn for that one? (Completely unrelated side musement: Do some of Tim Tebow‘s long bombs count as Hail Marys?)

Top Gun: Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in Choker Whites

Ladies, the sad truth about Choker Whites: they are uncomfortable. I know we look Top Gun-ish in them. But come some hot summer day and you swelter in all that polyester.

Every uniform I wear has polyester in it. We have become grudging friends. Me and the polymonster. But the stuff does not breathe.

Later, still feeling guilty about goofing on the Chaps, I email him. And offer to answer any curious questions he may have about the Navy, San Diego, anything. He still has not emailed me back.

At a bar-b-que, I see the Command Master Chief and tell her the story. She grins and says: C’mon sir, you should have let him show up in his Choker Whites!

Fact: however many Hail Marys I owe, the CMC owes double. . .