On March 2nd, about exactly a year after I took off for New Zealand, I hitched a streetcar over to Kensington and got some Dwarven runes carved into my leg. They mean “decide,” or something close enough to it; I fooled around on the internet with various rune generators for about ten minutes a year ago this past February, until I ended up with something that looked like something I’d want permanently scribed on my flesh. It’s a bit like that episode of LOST that everybody hates except me - the one where what matters is what Jack’s tattoo means, not what it says. When dealing in made-up languages and the trade of black ink against one’s own very limited skin, what it means is pretty much the whole thing.Read more
In which I give you what is, hopefully, the last think piece ever on the Oscars. Well, this year. Read more
Oscars 2014! This omnibus episode stitches together all 9 of the minisodes from last night’s Oscar telecast. Ellen, Slave, Gravity, selfies, Blanchett, McConnaughey, Hustle, Menzel, Midler, Minelli, the pizza guy and much, much more!
In which the neuroses of the physical/electronic divide are starting to catch up with me. Read more
“Well that’s a conversation-stopper if I ever heard one.”
This aimless little ditty appeals to me precisely because it’s so far off the beaten track. It’s the fifth season’s annual Lwaxana episode, and it’s about… the importance of having a good time? On paper it’s an absolutely awful idea for an episode, but against all odds, it largely works. The lion’s share of the credit, once again, goes to Majel Barrett. These latter appearances for Lwaxana on Next Gen were surprisingly complex from her standpoint; at precisely the moment that the character was within striking distance of becoming a one-note joke (“Menage a Troi,” I guess), the writers turned into the wind and actually started writing Mrs. Troi as a richly-realized mature woman. Which, then as now, is somewhat of a rarity on television.Read more
I keep circling back to Danny Boyle for no particularly good reason; he hasn’t made a movie I’ve enjoyed since 1997. I guess “no particularly good reason” isn’t accurate, as there are three particularly good reasons, which are the three movies he made before 1997; they’ll be in my DNA until I’m dead, I think, as most of my cinematic obsessions in the film school era shall be. But Trance doesn’t break the streak. I got up a good head of steam to watch it, falling for the “Trainspotting / Shallow Grave throwback” branding, but as has been the case with every other movie since The Beach, the storyteller who made Trainspotting and Shallow Grave is no longer in residence. These movies don’t feel remotely like they were made by the same guy.Read more
So what, then? A few weeks ago I wrote about paralysis and solitary living, and must now admit that over the course of the last three months of 2013, I did more than my fair share of spiraling down. It was a difficult time, perhaps a bit of delayed backhaul for all the (generally magnificent) transition and change at the forefront of the year. Various professionals were consulted in my dudgeon. As usual, though, there comes a point where all the “help” structures are as useless and external as they always are, and one simply must work out all on one’s own what to do about it. I needed a strategy. I found three.Read more