Being that today is one in a series of drearily cold, wet days, and everyone could use some cheering up, please accept this gift of Helen Mirren on a motorcycle:
Made a crack, did it? But you’re still glum? How about calling in sick and kicking back on the couch with the DVD version of the sublimely soapy UK costume drama Downton Abbey? I mean, let’s face it, with all this icy mist seeping into your bones, you probably are sick, whether you realize it or not. And Maggie Smith in a swivel chair does wonders for the constitution.
A similar marathon viewing of the BBC’s Cranford did the trick for me. Friends crowded into my living room to feast on ricotta-and-bulgur pancakes and cheer for the lovelorn, careworn citizens of Victorian small-town England. For one day, at least, we could avoid thinking about the clouds scything through Manhattan, chopping off the heads of buildings left and right.
If you’ve missed it up to now, by the way, check out my piece on Salon.com. The headline and subhead made the essay seem much more sensationalist — and anti-gun — than it is, which inflamed some readers. My point, as a commenter late in the game said for me, was to investigate the end-of-life choices made by two men I loved very much. What I realized writing the piece was that, when you watch someone die, you find yourself knowing way too much; and when someone kills himself, you find yourself questioning whether you ever knew him at all.
Anyway, read on, if you dare, and enter the Comments section at your own risk.