The White Tiger
By R.S. Thomas
It was beautiful as God
must be beautiful; glacial
eyes that had looked on
violence and come to terms
with it; a body too huge
and majestic for the cage in which
it had been put; up
and down in the shadow
of its own bulk it went,
lifting, as it turned,
the crumpled flower of its face
to look into my own
face without seeing me. It
was the colour of the moonlight
on snow and as quiet
as moonlight, but breathing
as you can imagine that
God breathes within the confines
of our definition of him, agonising
over immensities that will not return.
dark_cygnet posted this for me here, and it is so very lovely I had to swipe it and repost it.
The ragweed is really irritating me this season in a very strange way...it seems to be bypassing my sinuses, which are fine and not in the least congested, and giving me a very dry throat which is making me cough in a very dry way and it's very uncomfortable though my throat is not properly sore as with a cold! I keep feeling like I should be coughing something up, either post-nasal or from my lungs, but I am apparently not sick and this has been going on for three days now...it's just this icky dry feeling in my throat that will not go away no matter what I gargle with. Bleh.
Had a relatively quiet day...wrote articles on Brent Spiner saying Star Trek is less important than saving the planet from Republicans and on John M. Ford's death, which is very sad, as I hadn't realized he was so ill for so long...his Star Trek novels were among my favorites but it was The Dragon Waiting, an alternate history of Europe that I read at the height of my interest in alternative Richard III stories to Shakespeare's (The Daughter of Time, The Sunne In Splendour), that I absolutely fell in love with. I must reread that before I go to Wales! Took younger son to and from Hebrew school and in between stopped at the card store to get older son Magic cards for his birthday...we meant to get Pirates of Davy Jones' Curse cards too, but never made it to the game store, which is further away.
Had birthday dinner with my parents, or more specifically my mother, since my father was playing tennis and apparently couldn't be arsed to skip the game...after all his insanity about how I'm going to "miss" my mother's birthday because I am unavailable for a potential family get-together several weeks afterward during spring break! Sigh. Son didn't mind, as he received all the Pendragon books he did not own previously and a red panda adoption certificate from the National Zoo (with a stuffed red panda, with which he is now sleeping despite being 13, which makes me smile). I had bought younger son a little plastic collectible cat for $1 in the card store, not wanting his nose to be out of joint over older son's birthday, which apparently pleased him so much that he was in a good mood all night, though he wants to go back tomorrow because apparently there is a cat named "Rosie" in the collection, which I did not see. Sometimes I manage to guess right! And late night of course was Boston Legal time, during the course of which I learned that Denny Crane would never date me...not that this is necessarily a bad thing.
The episode starts with Denny meeting the new lawyers on the show, whom he has trouble believing are going to be regulars since they didn't appear in the season premiere (he actually says this). He hits on the woman, Claire Simms, telling her that if she's a client, he'll get her off, and if she isn't, the offer still stands, which gives her an excuse to say Ew and Double Ew and proceed to be as bitchy as bitchy can be, which is really sort of understandable. She's an associate; Jeffrey Coho, played by the delightful Craig Bierko, is a new partner, which doesn't sit well with Denise at all since Shirley tells her that she won't make partner until she proves she deserves it.
It doesn't sit well with Brad either, who calls Jeffrey "New Guy" and informs him that at his old firm, all the women might have wanted to sleep with Jeffrey, but at Crane, Poole & Schmidt, Brad himself is that guy. "I can see that," Jeffrey says. "Even I want to sleep with you." When Brad asks whether he's gay, Jeffrey says no -- completely straight -- which just shows how good looking Brad is. Denise (whom Jeffrey calls "Drop Dead" since it was one of the first things she said to him) watches this entire exchange like she can't decide who to root for, which is kind of annoying because Brad is still totally in love with her and OMG she needs to realize...oops sorry. Anyway, no sooner has Jeffrey been read the rules of the firm ("we have a zero tolerance policy on sexual harrassment" hahahahahahahaha) than he gets a high-profile murder case, a judge who was also the wife of the judge played by Armin Shimerman last week. The client came straight to the lawyers before going to the police to admit he had sex with the victim hours before her murder. Even Jeffrey finds this suspicious, but he does a great job pulling the police bulldog off the very young client.
Meanwhile Alan and New Girl Claire are given a case representing a woman who says she was denied her right to maternity leave. When the woman comes in, it's immediately obvious that she's a transvestite, though Denny is still trying to figure this out while Alan is learning details like the fact that Clarice wanted to go overseas to adopt like Angelina Jolie. Claire is unimpressed by Barry Bonds in a frock; Clarice calls her ho, pointing out that her own dress is Dolce and Gabbana while the shoes are Prada. They call in Clarice's boss, who says that the real issue wasn't maternity leave but the fact that the Clarice is a distraction in the office who is constantly making jokes about her knockers like the ones she addressed to Denny (who was, indeed, checking them out) and worse, that Clarice uses the women's bathroom. He says he'd rehire her if she'll drop the comedy routine and use the men's room. When Alan and Claire (who's wearing a Yankees cap in Boston) go to visit Clarice to tell her this, the door is opened by a soft-spoken lookalike who claims to be her shy brother, Clarence, and they leave a message.
Denny has found a really hot girl via an internet dating site, but when he goes to meet her for their first date, he discovers that while she has the pretty face and knockers he saw in her online photo, she's perhaps three foot six. She's also a lawyer, and starstruck, saying that in law school she dreamed of going up against Denny Crane and now she's on a date with him, but she's uncomfortable doing all the talking. Denny announces that the problem is, she never indicated she was Jewish; not that he has anything against Jews, but what if they decided "to get married and have midgets of our own? I'd want to bring them up Christian." When she is furious at his obvious bias against little people, Denny blames the slip on his mad cow disease and says he loves twerps.
Back at the office, Denny tells Alan he's afraid this midget put a hex on him even though he liked her face and breasts, and Alan is forced to point out that the girl is RIGHT THERE in the room with them...Denny simply didn't look down (and the camera has been shooting them from the chest up, so it's a hilarious trick shot on the reveal). She produces a summons and complaint because he called her a midget in a crowded restaurant and his bigotry caused her emotional distress. "Next time you're on Larry King, you can explain why you hate dwarfs," she snaps. Denny says this is worse than a hex. (These two are totally made for each other, so I really hope they get over themselves...of course I am just saying this because the idea of Denny with a really short Jewish woman does something for me.)
So in the Real Case of the episode, Coho gets in the DA's face, takes photos of the autopsy, ingratiates himself with the kid's mother whom he suspects may be the real killer (she says that if an innocent person must go to jail, better her than her son), talks to a flaming neighbor who claims that the dead judge was obsessed with him but he's deeply Christian yet also a peeping tom and they mutually got off on his watching her have sex although her husband took out a restraining order against him. The kid, Scott, is arrested in a huge public spectacle and Jeffrey is furious, promising the DA that he will not only be in his face but up his ass for this since the entire jury pool has now been tainted. The judge is irate about cameras in the courtroom, threatens to lock up the media and sets bail $1 million. One of the assistant DAs slips Jeffrey a recording of one of Scott's private therapy sessions, passed on by a concerned doctor, in which Scott says he thought about killing the dead judge; Jeffrey wants it ruled inadmissible under doctor-patient privilege, but the judge says it's admissible if relevant and obtained by legal means, and also that Jeffrey should tell his client not to kill any more judges. Things don't look good for Scott.
Clarice storms into the office declaring that she prefers the women's room because it has "bidettes" as she pronounces it, which cracks Claire up. "You're a shy man who likes to hide behind a disguise. Admit I was right," she says. "Admit I was right when I called you a ho, ho!" retorts Clarice. But then Claire turns into a different person. She asks Clarence to take off the wig and explains that everyone has false public personalities, but for most people the distinctions are not as radical. "You are so successful as Clarice that it's not as fun being Clarence," she guesses. He says it's not that simple. He THINKS things as Clarice that he couldn't come up with as Clarence: "I think I'm even smarter as her." And here the show totally drops the ball, backing Claire's suggestion that it's all confidence from brain chemistry and the desire to live through a fictional character Clarence created, as if transvestitism is all about lack of confidence and wanting to be flamboyant. Claire demands to go out with Clarence as Clarence (platonically of course) and after some initial reservations -- he pretends to be his brother Clevant -- Clarence goes. So Claire comes off looking nicer and more sensitive than she can afford to be in the office, which is fine, but Clarice gets dismissed as a crutch rather than a valued and valuable aspect of who Clarence is, and I am really not comfortable with it.
In the end, as Denny and Alan smoke, Denny says that he considers himself a tolerant man and even thinks midgets are sexy -- he's always heard about munchin orgies, and how their libidos are out of whack so they can go like gerbils. Alan stares, saying he's just listening to the idle ramblings of a tolerant man. Denny's concerned because his spurned internet girlfriend is a tenacious litigator: "They call her the badger." Political correctness is out of control, he says, when he can no longer racially profile nor call a midget a midget. Alan says oh, no, things are spinning your way again: snap judgments are all the rage, the press has already convicted the kid charged with the judge's murder. And then there was the transvestite...well, Denny notes, tranvestites are a threat to national security. "There could be a Muslim underneath that mascara." Rather than taking this bait, Alan says he likes Claire, but Denny recalls that she called him gross. "I think she's attracted to me. These are exciting times at Crane, Poole & Schmidt. And to add to it all, I'm being sued by a killer dwarf."
I like having serial episodes, and it's probably necessary if Bierko's character is going to get any balance with the already established cast, and I like Jeffrey and Claire's interactions with people but I'm still worried about too little screen time for Brad and Denise in particular (Paul never gets enough screen time but I get the impression that's Rene Auberjonois' request), I'm not sure about playing Brad and Jeffrey off against each other with Denise in the mix trying to make partner, and I always wonder when the crack will go a little too far and won't redeem itself in the last minutes for me. It was a close thing this week; I'm not offended by the midget stuff but it seems mean-spirited so far, I don't know where this whole promiscuous judge thing is going (will be very annoyed if Armin killed her because she was sleeping around but I don't think the crazy kid did it and am not sure about the mother for whom he might be covering), and I hope that if Clarence is happy being Clarice, he can be Clarice happily! But I'm betting we don't see her again.
The stuffed red panda son got along with his adoption certificate and photo of the actual animal at the National Zoo.
And one of the horses from the Renaissance Faire...as soon as he rode out, my son said, "THAT horse is a boy."
Half-day of school Wednesday. Kids have violin and dentist. Joy! And I have seen the photos from the Bar Mitzvah, which are finally up...I look so much like my father's mother in them that it freaks me out.