Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Blog

A rest from my labors.
Must be the hot weather, but not only have I been avoiding my blog, but have been leaving the house! The Cruel Spouse and I saw two movies in a week! And we hadn’t been to a movie in a theater since August, 2007.

We saw PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, which amused us perhaps too much. But then, we both are suckers for stoner humor.

Earlier, based on a reference from a review of PINEAPPLE EXPRESS in Slate, we Netflixed (Is that a verb? It probably shouldn’t be.) SMILEY FACE, with Anna Faris. I’d never seen her in anything before. Somehow I missed the SCARY MOVIE franchise altogether. SMILEY FACE was more odd than funny, but it was very odd, and even frightening in an inexplicable way. Kind of reminded me of bad trips I took in college, only watching the bummer happen to somebody else. For all that, it was quite entertaining, and Anna Faris deserves whatever fame comes her way, if HOUSE BUNNY doesn’t blow it for her.

And we saw HAMLET 2 on Saturday. Many are not, but Cruel Spouse and I are both big fans of Steve Coogan. I don't see how this movie could have worked with anybody else. Fatuousness, earnestness, self-delusion.... Nobody does it better.

And the play itself (HAMLET 2, that is) was believably dreadful. It actually seemed like something the Coogan character would have come up with. The face rape song had me gasping for breath, especially the stage picture at the end.

Also went to see Circus Vargas yesterday (C.S. got free passes from work). The circus members outnumbered the audience, which added to a kind of Fellini-esque charm.

High points: The clowns played "My Heart Will Go On" on outsized Michael Jackson gloves that had little harmonicas in them. I don't know why.

And there was this line from the ringmaster: "It's not a lion, it's a puppy!"

GOP Veep
Sarah Polley? Isn’t she Canadian?

GOP Veep
Just kidding! The media have been all over themselves debating whether the choice of Sarah Palin was stupid or really smart. She is a hunter, likes ice-fishing, rides snowmobiles, has her own marathon, and enjoys the occasional mooseburger. She also approves of shooting wolves from airplanes, an activity that I believe is largely confined to Alaska, is very pro-life, and doesn’t believe that global warming is man-made.

Well, she might come in handy if the White House is ever under a polar bear attack, but as for the hope that she might take some votes away from Obama, especially among disgruntled Hillary supporters, well, I don’t see it: “She’s just like Hillary, only she kills her own food!”

There is a rumor that Joe Biden has bought a rifle, and is scouring Delaware for stray moose. You heard it here first.

New extreme sport I thought up
Taser tag.

Neologism C.S. made up.
If you’re eating something, and some of it falls on your chest? Snacktation.

Democratic National Convention
Yeah, we watched the convention. Why are pundits so wrong? Remember? Obama was going to have to pry Hillary Clinton’s delegates from her cold dead fingers. Bill Clinton was going to go off on Obama, or something, ruining his chances forever. Obama was going to blow it with his big speech. Disunity and chaos would rein.

In a similar vein, the ever-angry Michelle Malkin wrote this:

“The hard-core Left vowed to turn out 50,000 protesters for the Democratic National Convention this week. They pledged to ‘Recreate ‘68’ and cause the kind of tear-gas-infused revolutionary havoc that marked the DNC in Chicago four decades ago. Police prepared for the worst riots. Media from around the world anticipated the best pictures.

“But when rhetorical push came to real-life shove, the nostalgic, Marx-adoring organizers of Recreate ‘68 seem to have mustered no more than, oh, 68 bodies. Their presence here is dwarfed by the massive show of police, press, and camera-toting looky-loos. You can’t take a picture without someone else taking pictures of everyone else taking pictures of not much else getting in your frame.”

The point of this, near as I can tell, is that … um… Gosh, I don’t know. She’s disappointed that Commies didn’t disrupt the Democratic National Convention? She’s happy that Commies didn’t disrupt the Democratic National Convention?

She seems to be sneering at the far left, but if there are only 68 far lefties to sneer at, isn’t the sarcasm kind of wasted? It’s like shouting in an empty room.


Blogger Benjamin Russell said...

Anna Faris is one (of two) of the great unappreciated things about Lost in Translation, where she does a clever send-up of a dumb American celebrity. Her character is named "Evelyn Waugh", if I'm not mistaken. No, really.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire you for watching the conventions. I couldn't bear the defensive layer of punditry around them. I have a similar problem with my father, who's got an inexplicable willingness to listen to ignorant people with loud and very firmly held opinions going on the Excessively Loud News Channel all afternoon.

At least Andy Rooney goes rambling on about things like umbrellas or clothes he doesn't wear but doesn't throw out either. He may or may not be right about them, but at least I don't come away feeling like I'm stupider for having seen him show how complicated the nutrition labels on a box of cookies are.

I did go to a movie in the theaters, just a bit over a month ago, my first time since I was living in Asia in 2006. It helps to have someone specific to go with.

Delaware was closed yesterday for road repairs, according to an aunt and uncle visiting after dropping their child off at college. And according to a book I read last week, it exists as a separate state, rather than as part of Maryland (or Pennsylvania) mostly because the King of England was annoyed at both Maryland and Pennsylvania.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Never seen LOST IN TRANSLATION. We should rent it, I suppose, but for some reason - the subject/plot/something - elicits zero interest. Maybe if it had zombies.

I watched the convention on public television, which has the advantage of saving the commentary until the thing is wrapped up. CSPAN is even better. They just let things run, and keep their mouths shut.

Re: Delaware. I was once in a bar (hard to believe, but true) many years ago, and we were talking about where we were from. A woman said, "You'll never guess where I'm from." I guessed, "Delaware?"
She asked, "How did you know?" I said, "I've never met anybody from Delaware."

I didn't know you could close a state. Unless it's Louisiana, of course.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

From Alternet
Why people hate liberals:
"It would be cheap to trade on the irony that a firm backer of abstinence-only sex ed is now the mother of a pregnant teen."
So the writer gets to trade on the irony, even while denouncing those who would trade on the irony.

8:24 AM  

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