Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mundane Sunday, Part II

I. Orderly Arrangement

[Aaargh--why is Blogger being weird and changing the text size on me????]
Uff da. I had to turn off that adagio [from Part I] and put on Bruce Springsteen before I melted into a puddle on the floor.

My Big Plan today, in the face of the state of things, is to get kosmic and  bring some order to my sewing supplies, 
which are all muddled up on my new '70s bamboo bookshelf. >

Someone had put this out for free on the curb and I thought it looked . . .

1. lightweight enough to carry
2. useful
3. like Starsky & Hutch

II. Starsky's Swim Poster (featuring Starsky's back)

I went looking to see if my bookshelf shows up in Starsky and Hutch---(it truly is from the Seventies, and it would match Hutch's houseplants). 
But S & H does not have a huge, organized fandom with a database of images like Star Trek's

So I can't argue from its absence online, but I didn't see such a bookshelf in S&H.
 I did, however, see its matching bamboo "peacock chair" in Starsky's place--a tiny image at Barbwire's "Da Little Tings".

(She calls it wicker, but it's bamboo.)
I remember this chair as the most uncomfortable chair ever.)

Oh--here's a larger shot of the chair, on Starsky's right, from the episode "Running" (1976):
Along the way I also came across this screencap of Starsky's apartment (below, from "Foxy Lady", 1978).

As you can see, the person who took it was interested in Starsky's menorah. (I believe it's never stated Starsky's Jewish, though the actor, Paul Michael Glaser, is.) 
I got interested in the poster above the menorah. 

I tell ya, the Internet is so great, isn't it?
 I just googled around:
"1970s swimmer poster"didn't bring it up;
 but, guessing, I added "olympics", and there it was! 
A swimming poster for the 1972 
Summer Olympic Games held in Munich, Germany. 

One of a series of posters thirty-five world artists created for the games, organized by the games' lead designer, Otl Aitchen.

This one is by artist R B Kitaj.

I thought Kitaj was British, 
but no, he was an American Jew who lived in England, and, according to his NYT obituary,
"Later in his career, Mr. Kitaj (pronounced kit-EYE) celebrated Jewish culture and his Jewish identity in his art."

So, a poster by a Jewish artist, above a menorah. Could there be a connection?

Starsky's apartment seems like a random jumble of stuff, but in this case, there is a connection:

The 1972 Olympics were the ones where Palestinian gunmen kidnapped and murdered eleven members of the Israeli team.

From "Olympic Posters" in The Telegraph: 
1972 Munich, Germany 
Designated the “Happy Olympics”, the 1972 Munich games were anything but. Conceived to promote a positive and peaceful image of modern Germany, these were the games when the Utopian Olympic ideal came most badly unstuck. 
...these games were overshadowed by the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by members of the Palestinian Black September group. The games continued with flags at half-mast, with American swimmer Mark Spitz winning seven gold medals.
Also, Starsky likes swimmers, I presume, since he has a Speedo poster in his kitchen. Which one? I can't find it, so I added Mark Spitz in his Speedo.

I was eleven during the 1972 summer Olympics, and I remember the buzz about the men's Speedo tiny (for the time) swim briefs.
But I didn't remember that Mark Spitz is Jewish and during the 1972 Olympics:
"Mark Spitz, the American swimming star who had already completed his competitions, left Munich during the hostage crisis (it was feared that as a prominent Jew, Spitz might now be a kidnapping target)."

Yes, and so, my conclusion is:
I am not going to get much done today, after all, because I spent hours establishing that Starsky is a Jewish guy who likes swimmers and has some feelings about the 1972 Olympics...

Also, he has nice shoulders. But you knew that. Maybe he's a swimmer himself?

*googles again*
Wow, huh:
according to the Talmud, Jewish parents are supposed to teach their kids to swim.

From Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas, "Learning to Swim":

"The Talmud (Kiddushin 29a) enumerates three specific requirements for what parents must teach their children: the Torah, how to make a living, and how to swim.
The first two seem obvious, but how to swim?
Swimming, literally, is a life-or-death matter. The authors of the Talmud recognized that parents must teach their children how to survive — how to come out on the “swim” end of “sink or swim.”
Even if we live far from water, even if we think our children will never accidentally enter a pool area, even if we ourselves hate water, we must ensure that our children have the basic skills necessary to survive."

* Weird coincidence:
According to wikipedia, the night before the Palesitinian attack...
"Monday evening, 4 September [1972], the Israeli athletes enjoyed a night out, watching a [live theater] performance of Fiddler on the Roof"

If you've read this far, you may already know that the coincidence is that Paul Michael Glaser was in the movie version of Fiddler released the year before, in 1971.
"Starsky & Speedo" from OK-7's Tumblr post "Some Thoughts on Starsky's House"


Zhoen said...

Starsky was the one of that team I did like. I do remember him from FOTR, which may be when the attraction started.

I have distinct memory of the whole Olympics crisis, even though I didn't completely understand what was going on, it all fed into the fear of the time. Violence and chaos everywhere.

Mark Spitz appealed to me as well, but in a non-crush way, which might be why I didn't quite get the speedo issue.

Zhoen said...

Oh, and maybe Jews have to swim, because you can't always count on God to part seas for you, gotta show willing to make it on your own.

yvette said...

My glasses are hiding themselves so i cannot read now but

Here's to live too!!!

Marz Starsky said...

Please cross post to LJ. This is very interesting.

Frex said...

ZHOEN: I'd say Starsky is the more dynamic and charming member of the team.

As for learning to swim, I see a metaphoric meaning, yeah, but I don't know that its roots are theological so much as practical...
Minnesota lawmakers have introduced a bill to make it mandatory too.

YVETTE: Indeed. L'chaim!

MARZ: Thanks! I put it on my LiveJournal right after I posted it here.

Zhoen said...

Never worked for me, but that's how it goes, right? Re: swimming. That was an attempt at humor, sorry if it fell flat.

Fresca said...

Z: What never worked for you? The team of Starsky and Hutch?
Swimming lessons? :)

I didn't get your joke because in Jewish and Catholic theology, that sort of metaphor is totally valid.
You may even have something there!
It's like my favorite quote from the prophet Muhuammed:
"Trust in God, but tie up your camel";
that could be rephrased, "Trust in God, but learn to swim"!

Zhoen said...

Ok, now I'm confused and just trying not to offend.

Frex said...

Oh, hey, Zhoen---now I am too! (confused and trying not to offend).

Sorry I didn't get back to respond sooner:
Here's the thing:
for me, your comments are sometimes so short or cyptic that I don't know what you mean or are referring to.
So when you wrote, "Never worked for me", I truly didn't know WHAT never worked for you.