Tertiary Means Third
Manohla Dargis’s review of The Libertine, an Earl of Rochester biopic I’m seeing next week, alludes to my very favorite stage of syphilis, which is the nasty, highly literary, quasi-leprous tertiary stage (rarely seen in the modern antibiotic age), in which one’s nose is liable to rot entirely off. What Dargis doesn’t say is whether said character, played by Johnny Depp, is actually seen on screen with this affliction. If he is indeed noseless by the end of the film, that makes two noseless evildoers in the fall movie season (the other being Ralph Fiennes’s Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). No nose is the new, non-racist hooked nose. Pass it on.