Brief notes on just about everything I watched from January to June 2017. Read more reviews.
A SPECK OF DUST – Sarah Silverman’s latest Netflix standup special. The story about her sister in the bathroom is very moving.
ARENA – Space fighting on a space station.
ARRIVAL – Good science fiction. Went in with low expectations and really enjoyed it.
BABY MAMA – Sometimes I forget that Tina Fey is not Liz Lemon and I am sad when reminded. I think I saw this when it came out? Dead boring; bad acting, gave up twenty minutes in. Is there a baby in it?
BASKETS (s2) – Chip seems to be becoming less of the main character, and less interesting. I still laughed a lot, and Louie A. is great, but the show seems to be drifting a bit in a way I might not stick with. Continue reading →
Recently, I received a tempting offer via email. What a wonderful business opportunity! A person named Ankit wrote me, representing a casino company. Ankit wondered: Could I write a minimum of 2 paragraphs relating to either fantasy football, online casinos or sports betting, while including a link to one of his company’s client’s websites? I sat and thought about it.
Could I write about fantasy football?
Do I have anything to say about online casinos?
Where do I stand on the issue of sports betting? Continue reading →
A lot of recent talk around ‘fake news’ focuses on blatant lying and overtly partisan bullshit. Those sites are usually grossly apparent to people with brains, so I’d like to look at a different sort of example – plain old junk news. This is a mediocre flavor of fake news — pseudo-news sites swiping content and adding a little commentary. I thought I’d do a little case study on a link that recently popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. Continue reading →
Doctor Zhivago, a beautiful film, a troubling film. A timely film if you’re a person who feels the struggle between political life and a creative life. Giant red trains. Ice-encrusted homes in the mountains. A British cast portraying Russians for some damned reason. Invite thirteen families into your home to watch this classic film. It is more just.
Saw Doctor Strange last night. With all its spinny foldy landscapes, this was the first 3D movie I’ve seen that felt worthy of the 3D treatment (to be fair, I haven’t seen many). The bad guys were boring and paper-thin. There were, as always, plenty of non-Asian main characters appropriating bits of Asian cultures. A question I asked last night: Why would someone bother hiring Benedict Cumberbatch to have him be not-British? The spinny foldy bits were pretty cool.
I’m sitting at my desk on post-election day, reviewing eight pages of aborted paragraphs I’ve scribbled in my notebook, wrestling with the desire to communicate and connect with you, to say something important or useful or — if all else fails — something clever or entertaining. The eight pages have come up short on all fronts. I got bupkis.
All I can do is tell you what I’m going to do: Make things I care about and call out bullshit when I see it. I will do these things because I think they’re important and vital to our culture and society (and also because they’re the only things I have any aptitude for). So I will play to my strengths, even if it’s in the form of a dumb joke. So be it. These are the tools I have, so I’ll use them. I encourage you to create art and fight against the things that make you mad, too, in your own way, using the tools you have.
Go forth and make something. A scathing op-ed, a stupid meme, a fierce metal riff, a sketch (comedy or pencil), a protest sign, a hilarious book about drinking coffee available on Amazon next month, a photo of your world, an earnest Facebook post, whatever. Inform your audience, or rile them up, or give them joy. Play to your strengths. All I ask is that — on some level — you believe in your thing, it communicates something you give a shit about, and it’s the truth. Cut off little pieces of yourself and set them loose in the world. Don’t be afraid. You won’t run out.
There was a fantastic Prince tribute show at Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton, June 5, 2016. Have a listen to Nothing Compares 2 U, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man, and a real low and dirty version of Let’s Go Crazy, featuring me on vocals and guitar, Dana Wilde on drums, and Aaron Borucki on bass. Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down? Continue reading →