So, this will be the last post until Tuesday. I'll save some things I'm eager to share until then. Happy holiday, everybody.
the ride with this blog is worth the fall
I still write about hip hop occasionally. Once, I used to write about it in small independent magazines for love and armfuls of free vinyl. Now, I write about it for broadsheet newspapers for money. I don't feel great about this. These newspapers aren't actually interested in hip hop culture, they just want to be authentic/ down/ real and the fact that I'm as authentic/ down/ real as they dare to trust tells you all you need to know.Read the whole thing.
From the moment Brando appears, playing Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalski, it’s clear that he’s doing something different. Watching him share a scene with the overly mannered Leigh is like watching Jackson Pollock drip his paint on to a Rembrandt portrait. But unlike the neverending debate about the virtues or sins of modern art, only the certifiably insane could deny the brilliance of Brando’s performance.Here's the visual accompaniment, if you'd like it:
Jewell was initially hailed as a hero for spotting a suspicious backpack in a park and moving people out of harm's way just before a bomb exploded during a concert at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. ... Three days after the bombing, an unattributed report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described him as "the focus" of the investigation.It's hard not to find this quote incredibly sad:
"For that (first) two days, my mother had a great deal of pride in me -- that I had done something good and that she was my mother, and that was taken away from her," Jewell said around the time of the 10th anniversary of the bombing. "She'll never get that back, and there's no way I can give that back to her."
I'd say one of the ways I tried to use language to depict the impossible in Jamestown was to represent the past, the present, and the future happening simultaneously. This happens at the level of content--people in a future America living one of America's originary historical events as if it had never happened before--and, I hope, it also happens at the level of style--people talking in English that is Shakespearean one moment, Keatsean the next, Otis Reddingesque the next, or all in the same sentence, or word.But in addition to having all of that on the page, Jamestown is a deeply pleasurable read. Here's the opening, and I think your reaction to it will almost perfectly predict whether the novel is for you or not:
To whoever is out there, if anyone is out there:So, you should read Jamestown. But what prompted this post was actually a post Sharpe contributed to Terry Teachout's blog, About Last Night. In it, he recommends five novels with elderly protagonists. The two I hadn't heard of caught my attention -- they sound worth investigating for those drawn to the absurd. Here are Sharpe's descriptions:
Today has been an awful day in a run of awful days as long as life so far. The thirty of us climbed aboard this bus in haste, fled down the tunnel, and came up on the river’s far bank in time to see the Chrysler Building plunge into the earth. The grieving faces of my colleagues being worse to look at than that crumpling shaft of glass, brick, and steel, I used my knees to plug the sockets of my eyes, put my fingers in my ears, and clamped my nose and mouth shut with my thighs. All main entries to my head remained sealed till Delaware, where I looked up in time to see John Martin vault his seatback, steak knife aimed at George Kendall’s throat. Kendall, bread knife aimed at Martin’s throat, said, “How dare you say that!” Some great, quaint pre-annihilation philosopher described the movement of history as thesis, antithesis, synthesis, whereas I’ve seen a lot more thesis, antithesis, steak knife, bread knife.
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington. This fantastical novel whose author is probably better known as a painter concerns a 90-year-old woman whose family cannot distinguish between her, a rooster, and a cactus. She dies and comes back... as a 90-year-old woman.
Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf by Paul Fattaruso. My fellow Soft Skull author's novel is wise and beautifully written and its protagonist, being an unfrozen dinosaur, is way older than any of the others on this list.
Among musicologists, researchers of popular culture, and rock and roll lovers of all ages there exists a common debate. That is, with respect to the rock band AC/DC, who is the better vocalist: Bon Scott or Brian Johnson? ... In this paper, we explore this issue. Since it is difficult to ascertain which vocalist was better given the heterogeneity of musical tastes, our analysis does not focus on the aural or sonic quality of the vocalists’ performances. Rather, using tools from the field of experimental economics, we consider which vocalist results in individuals arriving at more efficient outcomes in a simple bargaining game.If you're desperate to know who won, you'll have to follow the link above. And if you're desperate to know whether Oxoby intends this at all seriously (obviously, there's a lot of humor in the notion), he seems to have a legitimate interest in the subject. On his personal web site, you learn he's also a bassist who's played on songs titled "Dragstrip Girl" and "Hot Rod of Love," as well as an album called Cavalcade of Perversions, which sounds, in fact, like an AC/DC album title filtered through an economics department.
Well, if I had to guess how you’re going to die, then, I’d have to say your wife is gonna kill you.
She won't serve any time. I mean, I don't care about Lindsay Lohan, but the problem is, she'll kill somebody else. They need to put some kind of tracking bracelet on her. Something where, if she touches a steering wheel, she blows up.
See, this other girl served 82 minutes of a four-day sentence for DUI...Nicole Richie, whoever that is.
Using virtual reality goggles, a camera and a stick, scientists have induced out-of-body experiences — the sensation of drifting outside of one’s own body — in healthy people, according to experiments being published in the journal Science.I'm sure this will eventually help debunk some paranormal explanations for things, and it probably also has implications for the study of consciousness. Before I get in further over my head, I'll leave you to read the rest of the article and draw your own conclusions.
The movie fast-forwards Ferris' life about 20 years. In the years since high school, Ferris has turned his carefree "Life Moves Pretty Fast" motto into a motivational self-help career -- think Tony Robbins, only with a beret and sweater vest. His best friend Cameron is still at his side, managing his massive business.Take a breath. Luckily, this is just a script being shopped around by "a screenwriter based in Arizona." I would say the chances of it being made are about the chances of me starring in it.
But despite his phenomenal success, Ferris is a bit distracted on his 40th birthday (which, considering his massive fame, is being watched on pay-per-view TV by millions of devoted fans). He decides to take the day off, sending Cameron, his business associates and family into a frenzy.
Which is why many people, I assume Matt included, make what we could call the "weak case" against torture, which is that it generally isn't that effective. But I don't think that this is a very good argument to deploy if your goal is, as mine is, a legal ban on torture by the US government. The weak case doesn't prove we shouldn't use torture; it just proves that we should limit it to cases, such as the above hypothetical, where there is a reasonable likelihood that it will be effective. I doubt the rules for doing so would be as complicated as, say, the New York City building code.
The other problem with the weak case is that torture can theoretically be made more effective. ... If you cannot make the case against legal torture without resorting to efficacy arguments, what the hell do you do if it becomes pretty damn effective?
My position is that even if it is 100% effective -- in the sense of producing only true information -- we should ban it. I don't trust anyone, not myself and certainly not the state, with the power implied by sanctioned torture. I don't want to live in a state that tortures people. And I don't think you need an efficacy argument to make that case.
More Britons dream about becoming an author than any other job, according to a new survey.and
A quarter of U.S. adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.And on the paper's books blog, John Crace reacts to that first bit of news with some undiluted cynicism:
Most book manuscripts end up unwanted and unread on publishers' and agents' slush piles, and the majority of those that do make it into print sell fewer than 1,000 copies. ... It's not even as if writing is that glamorous. You sit alone for hours on end honing your deathless prose, go days without really talking to anyone and, if you're very lucky, within a year or so you will have a manuscript that almost no one will want to read. Your friends and family will come to dread requests for constructive feedback - which they know really means just saying, "This is far better than Amis or McEwan" - and if, by some small chance, you do land a book deal you will spend the week of publication wondering why your book isn't piled up at the front of Waterstones and why you haven't even picked up a single, measly review in the local paper. ... One of the pleasures - and nightmares - of writing is that most of us can do it. Anyone with basic literacy skills can get a meaningful sentence down on a page. And, taken on its own, any one person's sentence may look not much different than one knocked out by Margaret Forster, so you can begin to see why people start thinking of writing as their creative way out. It's only when you've got several paragraphs of sustained writing that you begin to see the difference. ... So, by all means, write, if you enjoy it. But, if you value your sanity - and that of any readers - keep it to yourself. Keep the dream; just don't give up the day job.And in a long string of responses, one commenter tackles Crace head-on:
John Crace sounds like someone who has just managed to make a living out of writing, but is aware that he is not a writer, has realised that, in that middle bottle time of his life, and speaks out to all the wannabe writers that populate the blogs: "uh, if I was a young guy like you I wouldn't get into writing - that's a tough racket, you know."
"Saratoga and Suffolk both begin with S," Peter Fuller once told me, "but that's where the resemblance ends." Every year, when racing in New York moves north, Saratoga's brief season inspires railbirds to rise to the occasion with plaid pants and boaters, and stirs turf writers to flights of rapture. There is a special intensity to Saratoga, as James Agee observed, due to both the shortness of the season and the history and location of the town. Saratoga, said Agee, "grants none of that leisure for the gentle build-up and the dying fall which is the typical rhythm of more typical seasons but is brutally shear-lopped fore and aft." When fans "come to a small town thirty miles north of Albany in the foothills of the Adirondacks for thirty days' racing," he said, they "come to sit down and stay the time out, night and day."(More from up north either tonight or tomorrow...)
For four weeks in August, Saratoga becomes...a place of pilgrimage, thronging with believers, swells, and touts who come to revive their spirits and renew their faith in racing. The cycle of racing that culminates in the spring with the classic races begins again, as the best young two-year-olds in the country make their debut, and the survivors of the previous generation battle it out for the three-year-old championship.
For some, even the idea of Saratoga is enough to keep the cycle going. Said Joe Palmer, the most bookish of sportswriters, "As a man sweltering through the lone and level sands of the Sahara draws new strength from an inward vision of green palm trees and cool water in some verdant oasis, so it is possible to struggle through Jamaica-in-July in the hope of Saratoga."
Pitchfork: People sometimes break the Beatles into these archetypal roles, Paul's the mother, George is the older brother, etc.-- do you ever think about the roles that you and John ended up assuming?
DH: I know the roles. I don't have to think about it. I lived the roles that John and I played together, and I know what John does, and I know what he doesn't do. And he knows what I do, and we're comfortable with it. And one of the reasons we're together is because we're so comfortable with it.
We are not an equal duo, and never have been. I'm 90% and he's 10%, and that's the way it is. And he'd say the same thing. He has plenty of ideas, he's a finisher, he's a good musician, he is an attention-to-detail person. He is overshadowed by me because I'm such a strong vocal personality. I also always believed that you can only have one singer in a band. The ping-pong thing doesn't work. We're not the Bobbsey Twins. He stands there, he's the quiet one -- it's sort of like Jagger-Richards or something. And I'm out there banging away. And I'm much more prolific than him. I have much more energy than him. He's more lazy than me -- [laughs] -- in music. But he's a meticulous person.
And he's my brother. And he is a very, very talented person. And he goes out and does solo work of his own, he just takes the guitar and goes out and plays. One thing people don't know about him is he's a great finger-picking guy. He's a really, really good guitar player. And he's a good singer. But you come up against me, and a good singer -- it's like, [makes squawking noise].
Homer Simpson and the Archbishop of Canterbury might seem unlikely bed-fellows but the Archbishop, Rowan Williams, has given his blessing to a scheme whereby a book called Mixing It Up With The Simpsons has been sent to youth advisors in every diocese in England. The book’s author, Church of England youth worker Owen Smith, says "The Simpsons is hugely moral with many episodes dealing with issues and dilemmas faced by young people." He believes the willingness of the show's writers to deal with questions of morality and spirituality makes it an ideal tool for reaching out to the young. The Archbishop has in the past expressed admiration for the show and was reported to have been approached to appear on it a few years ago.(Via Bookforum)
Seth Gordon's documentary is a heavy-handed but consistently hysterical and ultimately moving chronicle of two men vying to be the world champion of Donkey Kong. Throughout, Gordon capitalizes on a fact that hounds the increasingly tired genre of "mockumentary": Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it's also much, much funnier.
Weekly World News held a kind of funhouse mirror up to much popular American belief. Without meaning to, it offered a far more effective critique of the nation's religious literalism than anything the so-called New Atheism, burdened by its obvious animosity, has served up.(Via Andrew Sullivan)
The tabloid's writers matter-of-factly exaggerated literalism's demand for factual detail to the point of parody: God's exact height and hair color, the soul's exact weight, the exact distance to heaven and hell and, as those excavated skeletons of Adam and Eve indicate, the exact location of the Garden of Eden — about 40 miles south of Denver.
The bacon begins to sizzle. Harry belches significantly and wipes his hands on the stomach of his apron. He feels the way he always does on Saturday morning after a hard night's drinking. He has come directly to the diner without any sleep, and the sweet smell of frying meat has his stomach churning. It's not his stomach he's worrying about, though. He has proposed marriage to some woman during the course of the evening. When drinking, Harry is indiscriminate about women, to whom he invariably proposes. The women Harry ends up with on Friday nights usually say yes, and then he has to renege. On the plus side, they know he hasn't any intention of marrying, so their feelings are never hurt. They say yes because it's a long shot and their lives are full of long shots. They know Harry doesn't need a wife and could do better if he were serious about taking one. There was a time when they could've done better than Harry, but that was several presidents ago. The calendar above the grill is for 1966, a year out of date. Whoever gave Harry the calendar the year before didn't give him a new one this year. The months are the same and Harry doesn't mind being a few days off.
While her writing betrays a keen and obviously knowledgeable interest in horse betting...she confined her fiction largely to her limited social field: the relationships and inner lives of well-heeled women in the pretty villages of the Home Counties and in shabby-genteel Kensington and Chelsea.She also appeared to have a high tolerance for routine, something else to which I can relate:
Like Jane Austen, the writer with whom she's most often compared, Taylor led a perversely mild and parochial life. Before she was married, she worked as a governess and a librarian. With her husband, the director of his family's confectionary company, she had a boy and a girl (her fiction displays a remarkable ear for the speech of children and a subtle grasp of their peculiar obsessions, suspicions, and insecurities). Ensconced in an upper-middle-class Buckinghamshire village, she was fascinated and deeply comforted by the daily routine of domestic life, the details of which she gave minute attention in her fiction. "I dislike much travel or change of environment and prefer the days ... to come round almost the same, week after week," she said.
I wasn't crazy about him as a broadcaster but he was one terrific player. I always contrasted him with Ralph Kiner when I mocked the Hall of Fame. Kiner sailed in and Rizzuto had to wait decades before the Old-Timers Committee voted him in. No GM who ever lived would have taken Kiner ahead of Rizzuto if they were starting a new franchise. He was the catalyst for all those Yankee championships. Sad to see him go...
Essentially, all (On the Road) seems to do is substitute one myth of American freedom for another. Just as punk quickly ceased to be about self-expression and became a Johnny Rotten dressing-up contest, so all the newly groovy hipsters easily ignored the alienation, the restlessness and the dissatisfaction in this book and bought themselves Levis and espresso machines anyway, and became the beat generation i.e. a new generation of good consumers, ready to take over from their frustratingly thrifty parents, who had had to combat a real economic depression and a real war, rather than choose to impose those conditions on themselves for 'kicks'.That's sharp enough for me to almost forgive the fact that Leonard doesn't like the Hold Steady.
Delpy starred in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset — co-writing the latter with director Richard Linklater — and she must have learned a lot about shooting and pacing a naturalistic story from the experiences. In some ways, 2 Days in Paris is superior to those movies. For instance, Ethan Hawke is nowhere to be seen.
Another well-tested appeal, that of the orphan hero, has also been given an intensive workout with the Copperfield-like privations of the eponymous hero. For Orwell, the English school story from Tom Brown to Kipling’s Stalky and Co. was intimately bound up with dreams of wealth and class and snobbery, yet Rowling has succeeded in unmooring it from these considerations and giving us a world of youthful democracy and diversity, in which the humble leading figure has a name that — though it was given to a Shakespearean martial hero and king — could as well belong to an English labor union official. Perhaps Anglophilia continues to play its part, but if I were one of the few surviving teachers of Anglo-Saxon I would rejoice at the way in which such terms as muggle and Wizengamot, and such names as Godric, Wulfric and Dumbledore, had become common currency. At this rate, the teaching of “Beowulf” could be revived. The many Latin incantations and imprecations could also help rekindle interest in the study of a “dead” language.
This can't be love, because I feel so well,
No sobs, no sorrows, no sighs.
This can't be love; I get no dizzy spells,
My head is not in the skies.
Labels: Five Songs
Put an actual asterisk next to Bonds' name and you might as well do the same for every World Series won in the last 20 years -- unless someone can prove that every member of those championship teams, including the 2005 White Sox, was 100 percent clean.So, now for the original part. Or at least a contrast that I haven't seen elsewhere, though I'm sure it's been made. Click to this video, and about 20 seconds in you can watch Aaron hitting his 715th home run, which surpassed Babe Ruth's previous record of 714. Immediately after contact, he starts running toward first base like it was any other homer, even though it wasn't. I won't even link to Bonds' 756th, but you've probably seen it. If you haven't, it's all over YouTube. The moment after contact is a moment, like almost every other in his recent past, that is drenched in self-regard. That's his legacy as much as 756 is his legacy. I'd say he's earned both.
The fact is much of Bonds' work from 1999 to 2004 -- during a time many of us believe he was juiced -- can't be touched by an asterisk. Baseball had no policy against steroids during this time. You can't break a rule that wasn't there.
Selig points to the little-known provision that using any illegal drugs is a violation of baseball rules. But none of the players caught with marijuana or cocaine or amphetamines in the history of the game has an asterisk next to his numbers.
Look at Detroit Tigers infielder Neifi Perez, the former Cub who is missing 80 games -- maybe the rest of his career -- because he ingested amphetamines, performance-enhancers that were as common as bubblegum in clubhouses during Aaron's era.
A child born with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome seems normal at first, but by the age of three months he has become a so-called floppy baby, and can't hold up his head or sit up. ... When the boy cuts his first teeth, he starts using them to bite himself, and he screams in terror and pain during bouts of self-mutilation. ... A few hundred boys and men alive in the United States today have been diagnosed as having Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. "I think I know most of them," Nyhan said. One boy, known as J.J., ended up living in Nyhan's research unit for a year, when he was eleven. He was a gregarious child, whose hands seemed to hate him. Over time, his fingers had got inside his mouth and nose and had broken out and removed the bones of his upper palate and parts of his sinuses, leaving a cavern in his face. He had also bitten off several fingers. J.J. died in his late teens; in the past, many Lesch-Nyhan patients died in childhood or their teens, from kidney failure. Nowadays, they may live into their thirties and forties, but they are generally frail and often die from infections like pneumonia. Occasionally, a man with the disease flings his head backward with such force that his neck is broken. Many Lesch-Nyhan patients die suddenly and often inexplicably.Dark stuff, obviously, but also captivating if you're at all interested in genetics and behavior:
In the early nineteen-eighties, a group of researchers, led by Douglas J. Jolly and Theodore Friedmann, decoded the sequence of letters in the human gene that contains the instructions for making HPRT (a protein for recycling DNA that doesn't work in Lesch-Nyhan patients). ... there was no single mutation that caused Lesch-Nyhan. ... And in the majority of cases, the defect consisted of just one misspelling in the code. For example, an American boy known as D.G. had a single G replaced by an A -- one out of the three billion letters of code in the human genome. As a result, he was tearing himself apart.If you don't have this week's issue, get it. Preston's piece isn't as sensationalistic as this might imply, and it includes a profile of two people living with the disease. There's also an article by Burkhard Bilger about parachuting from space, also not online and also terrific.
(White Teeth by Zadie Smith) was a funny, lively, exciting book in many ways, but I was struck that I was having an experience not unlike the experience of reading a number of other contemporary novels, large contemporary novels.
And that's to say, I had been completely unmoved. There had been no transformation of feeling. And it sent me thinking about why that might be, what the central lack might be. And it seemed to me that it had something to do with character and the human. I then began to think of Smith's novel in relation to a number of other large books: Underworld by Don DeLillo, Pynchon's recent book Mason & Dixon, David Foster Wallace's large book Infinite Jest, and so on. Was there some kind of genre here in which the cartoonish was displacing the real? In which the machinery of plot was also blocking out in some way a greater simplicity? I also thought perhaps there was an interesting borrowing from Dickens: It seems to me that if you look at a book like Underworld, it is in fact a sort of quite old-fashioned social novel like Bleak House -- it tries to account for the connectedness of society at various levels. But, and here was the thing that struck me, strongly in relation to DeLillo, perhaps less acutely in relation to Smith, was that the connectedness was entirely conceptual. It was asserted by DeLillo and it exists on the level of paranoia and ideology and so on. "This is how we will account for the last fifty years of American life." There was no human connectedness at all. There were lots of different characters; none of them had any real life with each other. The really striking difference from Dickens, say.
"I don’t have many heroes left," said David Simon, a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun who co-wrote “The Corner” and created "The Wire." "Woody Guthrie and Fran, I guess — and I’m not so sure about Woody."
I saw men just pushing their way past a pregnant woman trying to board a crowded bus. It was animal behavior this morning.Reminders of why I'm planning to sign another yearlong lease to live here can be sent to the e-mail address at right, or in the comments section below.
Even if one thinks the calculation does convincingly establish how any US president would have acted, it doesn't show that it wasn't a war crime. It is not a legitimate act of war to save the lives of your own soldiers by the mass bombing of civilians, and to reason simply from the 'realism' of what was to be expected in the situation prevailing is to suggest that the laws of war only apply when it's easy to uphold them, but otherwise must give way to utilitarian calculation. On that basis you might as well scrap those laws.Like most people, I think September 11 changed some of my previous political thinking. In certain ways, it pushed me rightward. But I remember thinking, almost immediately after that day, or even during it, about the more total destruction caused by the bombing of Japan, and how killing innocent civilians on any scale -- much less that one -- is essentially unforgivable, even if refraining would cause equally terrible and unforgivable results. This is nothing more than a longer way of stating the "no winners in war" cliche, so... as you were.
Rasmussen has a new poll out on the way Republicans and Democrats perceive the tax system. Republicans believe that tax fairness is best achieved when everyone pays the same percentage of their income in taxes; Democrats believe that fairness demands that the wealthy pay a substantially higher percentage of their income in taxes. This is not earth shattering news. ... Perhaps the most interesting data in the poll, however, is that Democrats overwhelmingly believe that we do not at present have a progressive tax system. By a 53 percent to 28 percent margin, Democrats believe that those earning $50,000 per year now pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those making $200,000. By about the same percentages, Republicans have the opposite view.Eric Kleefeld, another of Andrew's fill-ins -- and much to the left of Bartlett -- responded here and here. I don't really have a dog in this fight. I think each system offers reasons to argue for its relative fairness. I just like the back and forth, because I'm a geek that way.
Since this is a factual question, it is a simple matter to check and see which side is right. The best data we have comes from the Congressional Budget Office. Looking at the total federal tax burden, which includes income, payroll, corporate and excise taxes, we see that those in the middle quintile, with an average income in 2004 of $56,200, paid 13.9 percent of their income in taxes. Those in the top quintile, who had an income of $207,200, paid 25.1 percent.
Thus we see that the Democrats are simply wrong in their perception.
NICK HORNBY: Every time I think, Man, I’d love to write for The Wire, I quickly realize that I wouldn’t know my True dats from my narcos. Did you know all that before you started? Do you get input from those who might be more familiar with the idiom?
DAVID SIMON: My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: f*** the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. F*** him. F*** him to hell.
Ms. Meadow runs the horse with the shortest name and the longest morning-line price on the entire Saturday Saratoga card: Zyxt, a 4-year-old gelding listed at 99-1 in the 8th race. She has run seven other similarly-named horses over the last five years: Yaye, Ybbs, Ydy, Ys, Ytyzz, Zyth and now Zyxt. All appear to be homebreds from her Sky Band Farm in Canton, Massachusetts ... Zyxt is the lone winner from 33 starts over the last five years for Ms. Meadow and her band of Scrabble-tile runners. He won his debut at Suffolk Downs last Nov. 6, rallying from 18 lengths off the pace to win a mile-and-70-yard maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths, returning what seems like a rather stingy $8.20. He earned a lowly Beyer Speed Figure of 39 for that effort and will probably be close to 99-1 stretching out to 9.5 furlongs on the turf off a nine-month layoff and presumably meeting tougher company. On the other hand, he's bred for the grass in general and this turf course in particular: Zyxt's dam is Bailrullah, who won the Diana in 1987.Crist later reported that Zyxt went off at 67-1 in that race, and finished 11th.
The Ten is ultimately just a flimsy excuse to air 90 minutes of sketches, and like any sketch comedy show, it’s wildly hit or miss.
I guess I'm alone, but I would rate it #3 in the trilogy. It had its moments, but I have a hard time understanding the near unanimity of the rave reviews. Bottom line for me is that the dialogue and plot took a back (way back) seat to the handheld camera gimmickry. Some of it is fine and I suppose lends a touch of realism, but two hours of it could lead to motion sickness. The hand-to-hand combat scenes reminded me of the Richard Gere tap dancing scenes in Chicago. I like my karate to be less impressionistic and more literal. Matt Damon is an effective presence as the confused and dangerous Mr. Bourne, but my advice is not to wait on any long lines to see it. Let it come to you.
Labels: Dad at the multiplex
The reviewer, mistaking bright lights for evidence of habitation, praises the novelist who knows about, say, the sonics of volcanoes. Who also knows how to make a fish curry in Fiji! Who also knows about terrorist cults in Kilburn! And about the New Physics! And so on. The result - in America at least - is novels of immense self-consciousness with no selves in them at all, curiously arrested and very "brilliant" books that know a thousand things but do not know a single human being.(James Wood is really good, in case you didn't know.)
After Strong Motion was published, I took a year off to gather material. When I got back to writing fiction I thought my problem might be that I hadn’t gathered enough. But the problem manifested itself as just the opposite: an overload. I was torturing the story, stretching it to accommodate ever more of those things-in-the-world that impinge on the enterprise of fiction writing. The work of transparency and beauty and obliqueness that I wanted to write was getting bloated with issues. I’d already worked in contemporary pharmacology and TV and race and prison life and a dozen other vocabularies; how was I going to satirize Internet boosterism and the Dow Jones as well while leaving room for the complexities of character and locale?The solution to this would have been to keep the complexities of character and locale, which he occasionally achieves, while ignoring the impulse to satirize every cultural trend and institution that crossed his mind.
Expecting a novel to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society -- to help solve our contemporary problems -- seems to me a peculiarly American delusion. To write sentences of such authenticity that refuge can be taken in them: isn’t this enough? Isn’t it a lot?It is enough to write such sentences. It is a lot. And Franzen, at his best, delivers them. But too often in The Corrections, he gets distracted, against his own advice, by the urge to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society.
Labels: Delayed Criticism