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Category: society/popculture

Wed 08 Mar 2006

Not much from me recently, I admit. I've been busy -- or was that lazy? Hrmm.. Anyway, I have been silent long enough. It is necessary for me to pronounce that the Great Outdoor Fight is genius. If there isn't such a thing, there should be.

Man, I can't believe they took out Beef! This is tragic...
Posted pretty early in the morning./society/popculture ]

Mon 21 Jun 2004

Trying to come up with the names of black actors who weren't in Roots, a number of names were tossed out. (Lavar Burton? Chris Rock? Chris Tucker? Damon Wayans?) Then, my coworker says, "Orlando Bloom?" Boy, I imagine Orlando Bloom would have been great in that movie, don't you think?
Posted before lunch./society/popculture ]

Tue 20 Apr 2004

You'll have to forgive me, for more than one reason, for linking to this (via Volokh). It's a list of handy phrases in Aramaic for when you go see The Passion. Not that I've seen it, or have any intention of doing so, but still...
Posted late at night/society/popculture ]

Mon 01 Mar 2004

I just want to contrast similar scenes from two different movies that came out last year -- Holes and Return of the King.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD -- but not really...

Both involve scenes where two undersized characters are struggling up the side of a mountain. In both movies, one character ends up having to pick up and carry the other to the top. OK, fine. Far-fetched, yes, but so what; it's dramatic as all get out.

In Return of the King, (Note: I consider myself a serious fan of the books, so take what I say with a grain of salt) Jackson seriously made me want to puke. Frodo and Sam are climbing up the mountain, Frodo falls down. OK, so what happens? We get a dialogue -- "I can't do it, Sam!" "C'mon Mr. Frodo, we need to keep going!" "Ugh..." (sorry, can't remember it all) until the music dramatically swells, we cut to Sam's face for a Hero shot, wind blowing his hair, hold for a couple of seconds, then "Well I'll carry you!"

I guess the whole "carrying" thing just wasn't dramatic enough for Jackson. No, we've gotta bash the audience over the head, and say SAM! IS! A! HERO!!!!! Makes me weep. For me, what made Sam so dang heroic was just his matter-of-fact way of going about things. Oh, you can't climb anymore? Um, OK, I'll carry you then. Just does it, none of this hero-shot, music-swelling, dramatic-shout nonsense.

In contrast, in Holes, the whole carrying-up-the-mountain thing was as clearly telegraphed as it was in Return of the King, but for some reason, it just didn't come across as forced. Stanley didn't want to carry him up, but kinda had to. So he did. And that makes him so much more the hero. The intercut scenes with Eartha Kitt helped, too, I must admit.

And don't get me started on the Scouring of the Shire. Really, don't.
Posted around lunchtime/society/popculture ]

Tue 18 Nov 2003

I have a new favorite song; Sloop John B will drop from my most-played spot -- most likely to my wife's great relief. My new favorite song is Island in the Sun. So much for the thesis that all good music must be more than 10 years old.
Posted late at night, when I should be writing a paper for Strategies./society/popculture ]

Thu 06 Nov 2003

Bought my first song from iTunes today. "Still Loving You" by the Scorpions. At first, I noticed a hiss in the song, but I decided that it was simply the headphones I was using. Pretty cool. I was glad to see that "Still Loving You" is the top downloaded song by the Scorpions, and not "Rock You Like a Hurricane" or "The Zoo", although I do like "The Zoo". Showing my age, again...

I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a high-speed connection, though. Luckily, I can plug my laptop in at school -- instant broadband! Gotta like that.

I'm a bit disappointed in the selection, though. Every time I think of a single song I would like to have, they aren't there. "I'll Be There" by The Escape Club? Nope. "Baby Mine", by Alison Krauss? Nope. Oh well. Hopefully it'll get better.
Posted while Jacob is getting his bath/society/popculture ]

Wed 17 Sep 2003

I simply don't understand what the big deal is about Neal Stephenson. I read Cryptonomicon, sure. Apparently you can't be considered a geek without having read it. It was OK; Stephenson keeps the plot going pretty well. Some parts of the book just bugged me, though.

Randy was out on the sidewalk, swiping his card through a pay phone like an assassin drawing a single-edged razor blade across the throat of a tubby politician.
I mean, what is up with that? That is quite possibly one of the worst similes I have ever read in my life. This kind of I'm cool attitude permeates the book.

And I know I'm going to sound like a total snob writing this, but I much preferred Anna Karenina and Moby Dick. At least a person can relate to the characters in those books.
Posted at night/society/popculture ]

Wed 02 Apr 2003

I just want to say that I'm mightily disappointed in the Kinks. Boy, Ray really turned out to be a bitter old man didn't he?
Posted during Civ Pro./society/popculture ]

Boy, talk about a generic blog. What can I say, I'm not a design guy. My brother says he'll design a template for me if I want...

These are the sites that I read the most:

instapundit (like many, many other people)
Google News
OK, OK, so I'm biased. Big deal.

Arts & Letters Daily

The best dang writing on the web, period. (At least it was, when I set up this blog 4 years ago.)
Lileks (especially the Bleat)
Eject! Eject! Eject!

Dave Barry
Tim Blair
Worse Than Failure

Legal Stuff
How Appealing
Balkin (when I want to get mad)
Volokh & Co. (I like Phillipe the best) (where did he go, anyway?)
Some Harvard graduate who happens to be totally hilarious.

Other interesting political commentary
Colby Cosh
Impromptus (and what happened to him, too?)
Best of the Web

Baseball stuff
Hunt (What the heck happened to him, anyway?)
Viva El Birdos

Geek stuff

Sites I used to read all the time, but rarely visit anymore
Yahoo Money
Andrew Sullivan
New York Press

Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon
Travels with Samantha (rated PG-13)
The Institute of Official Cheer
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
The Tolkien Sarcasm Page
Wikipedia's BJAODN

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