Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jermyn on NPR

Listening to Studio 360 on NPR--one of its brilliant "American Icons" pieces on Wharton's House of Mirth, and in discussing the influence of the novel on Sex and the City, who do I hear but my friend Deborah Jermyn! What a delight.

Quote of the Day (10/31/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Sheldon: I've spent the last three hours in an online debate in the DC Comics chatroom and I need your help.
Stuart: Oh, yeah, those guys can be very stubborn. What's the topic?
Sheldon: I am asserting, in the event that Batman's death proves permanent, the original Robin, Dick Grayson, is the logical successor to the Bat Cowl.
Stuart: Oooh! Sheldon, I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong!
Sheldon: "More" wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and is not subject to gradation.
Stuart: Of course it is. It's a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable. It's very wrong to say it's a suspension bridge!
--The Hofstadter Isotope [2.20]

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ABC, Breitbart

This is appalling. How could ABC possibly think that this nasty, arrogant, totally partisan SOB would make a good commentator on election night?

Quote of the Day (10/30/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Sheldon: [reading his standard roommate agreement to new roommate Leonard] "Roommates agree that Friday nights shall be reserved for watching Joss Whedon's brilliant new series Firefly."
Leonard: Does that really need to be in the agreement?
Sheldon: We might as well settle it now; it's gonna be on for years
The Staircase Implementation [3.22]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Two New PhDs

Pleased to report that Dr. Schuy Weishaar and Dr. Cynthia Burkhead successfully defended their doctoral dissertations today.

Two really brilliant dissertations on (respectively)

Where Light In Darkness Lies: The Grotesque in Theory and Contemporary American Film

Dancing Dwarfs and Talking Fish: The Narrative Function of Dreams in Television

Quote of the Day (10/29/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Stuart: Sheldon, here is the new edition of Hellboy. It's mind blowing.
Sheldon: Excuse me. Spoiler alert!
Stuart: What?
Sheldon: You told me "it's mind blowing". So my mind goes into it "pre-blown". Once your mind is "pre-blown", it cannot be "re-blown".
Stuart: [Bewildered] I'm sorry.
Sheldon: Said the Grinch to Christmas.
The Classified Materials Turbulence [2.22]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

JEZEBEL's "Comprehensive Glossary Of Gifs"

Prepare to waste some time. Go here.

"Magical Nihilism"

Andrew Sullivan has come up with a brilliant name for the Republican failure "to produce a single credible proposal to reduce spending by the levels required to tackle the debt without tax-hikes":

magical nihilism

Quote of the Day (10/28/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Sheldon: Oh, look! Saturn III is on.
Raj: I don't want to watch Saturn III. Deep Space 9 is better.
Sheldon: How is Deep Space 9 better than Saturn III?
Raj: Simple subtraction will tell you it's six better.
Leonard: Compromise. Watch Babylon V.
Sheldon: In what sense is that a compromise?
Leonard: Well, 5 is partway between 3 and…never mind.
Raj: I'll tell you what. How about we go 'Rock-Paper-Scissors'?
Sheldon: Ooh, I don't think so. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in the game of 'Rock-Paper-Scissors', players familiar with each other will tie 75-80% of the time due to the limited number of outcomes. I suggest 'Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock'.
Raj: What?
Sheldon: It's very simple. Look -- Scissors cuts Paper, Paper covers Rock. Rock crushes Lizard, Lizard poisons Spock. Spock smashes Scissors, Scissors decapitates Lizard. Lizard eats Paper, Paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, Rock crushes Scissors.
Raj: …Okay. I think I got it.
Sheldon & Raj: Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock! [both play Spock and groan in frustration]
The Lizard-Spock Expansion [2.08]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Reader for "Finding Battlestar"

Jennifer Stuller reports:

I was at the opening of the Battlestar Galactica exhibition at the EMP|SFM here in Seattle this past weekend and thought you'd get a kick out of knowing that one Mr. Glen A. Larson was carrying around a copy of "Finding Battlestar Galactica" in his briefcase. Too cool! (He says he probably would have authorized it ;-)


Jace Lacob contemplates their problematic existence.

Herman Melville Would Be So Proud

I will need to update my essay.

Quote of the Day (10/27/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Leonard: Sheldon, think this through. You're going to ask Howard to choose between sex and Halo.
Sheldon: No, I'm going to ask him to choose between sex and HALO 3. As far as I know sex has not been upgraded to include high-def graphics and enhanced weapons systems.
Leonard: You're right, all sex has is nudity, orgasms and human contact.
Sheldon: My point.
--The Dumpling Paradox [1.07]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/26/10) ("The Big Bang Theory")

Howard: Not Sheldon. Over the years we've formulated a number of theories about how he might reproduce. I'm an advocate of mitosis.
Penny: I'm sorry?
Howard: I believe one day Sheldon will eat an enormous amount of Thai food and split into two Sheldons.
Leonard: On the other hand, I think Sheldon might be the larval form of his species and someday he'll spin a cocoon and emerge two months later with moth wings and an exoskeleton.
Penny: Okay, well, thanks for the nightmares.
The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem [2.06]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/25/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

A "modern" man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with.--Elias Canetti

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Final Serial Comma

I am religious user of the final serial comma and will not listen to arguments to the contrary.

Jeff Weintraub (via Andrew Sullivan) cites a perfect example of why it's needed:

The documentary was filmed over three years. Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.

Quote of the Day (10/24/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.--Elias Canetti

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bay and Plot

...and the potential charges never make much logical sense, but the idea gets introduced, and in a (Michael Bay movie), that’s the key. Plots aren’t important. It’s the implication of plotting that matters, and a reliance on certain basic concepts to hold that implication together for the running time.
Zach Handlen, "Bay-watch: The hunt for meaning in the films of Michael Bay"

Tip of the Hat to Rowan Kaiser (who quotes Handlen's superb piece in his Onion TV Club's recap of this week's No Ordinary Family).

Addy for Prez

This will be part of our granddaughter's Halloween outfit.

Susan Hoerchner/Anita Hill

With Anita Hill in the news again (because of Clarence Thomas' spouse's demand that she apologize), I found myself having a 1991 flashback.

When Susan Hoerchner, a law school classmate of Hill's, came out to testify, Joyce and I did a double take.

During our days in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, she taught in the Salmon P. Chase Law School at NKU, assigned, as I recall, to help improve the writing of law students (Susan had a grad degree in English as well as law).

We knew someone who was part of one of the biggest news story of the decade!

Here's her testimony.

Quote of the Day (10/20/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

It doesn't matter how new an idea is: what matters is how new it becomes.--Elias Canetti

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Verge" is Here

A Royal Mail bag showed up on my front porch yesterday. Handsome.

Quote of the Day (10/19/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

Whether or not God is dead: it is impossible to keep silent about him who was there for so long.--Elias Canetti

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kripke to Do Gaiman's "Sandman"

Apparently I am the last person in the world to learn about this.

Television without Pity considers the possibilities.

Adelle DeWitt in "The Ghost Writer"

Watched Polanski's The Ghost Writer today and liked it quite a lot.

Delighted to find Dollhouse's Adelle DeWitt's (Olivia Williams) as the wife of Pierce Brosnan's Tony Blairish PM.

Addy and the Mirror

Our Little Narcissus--today at our house.

"Mad Men's" Unpredictability

Keith Phipps nails it (Onion TV Club recap of "Tomorrowland"):

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Talking TV With Ryan And Ryan, a fine podcast from Maureen Ryan and Ryan McGee. We talked about Mad Men and kept coming back to the futility of trying to predict where the show was heading. Case in point: this season finale. Or, pulling back a little bit, this whole season. Now that we’ve seen the big picture, it almost seems designed to thwart expectations. Sally reconnects with creepy Glen. Glen trashes the Francis house. Tension builds… and then he turns into a pretty decent, only mildly creepy friend. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce teeters on the brink of collapse and then… just doesn’t. Don’s on the verge of being exposed and then, without much drama, he’s not. Don finds a mature woman who seems to understand him and wants only to help him… and then he sleeps with his secretary. No, make that enlists his secretary as a virtual mother. No, make that proposes to his secretary. It’s as if Matthew Weiner knows every rule of creating tense, dramatic story arcs and then willfully ignores them.

Happily, his subversive tendencies have their own sort of satisfaction. The fact that I never know where Mad Men is going is part of why I love the show. But it’s not that I love the unpredictability of it, if only because the word “unpredictability” implies a much wilder ride than we usually get. It’s that these characters, so intimately realized in every detail, never seem like they’re being pulled along by anything so mundane as plot mechanics. There always seem to be bigger forces at work.

"Boardwalk Empire," American Lit

In TV Guide's new cover story on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, we learn that Kelly Macdonald (Margaret Schroeder) was encouraged by series creator Terence Winter to read Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie in order to understand her role.

Quote of the Day (10/18/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

There is nothing that man fears more than the touch of the unknown. He wants to see what is reaching towards him, and to be able to recognize or at least classify it. Man always tends to avoid physical contact with anything strange.--Elias Canetti

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Rubicon" Finale

Rubicon started slow but by tonight's finale it had become one of my favorite series.

Here's hoping AMC sees fit to renew it.

The Philly Phanatic & "Fringe"

Prior to Game Two of the National League Championship Series, FOX just aired a spot with Olivia Dunham (or was it Fauxlivia) and Broyles investigating the Philly Phanatic.

I doubt even Walter could make sense of this strange mascot.

Chihuly at Cheekwood

Joyce took me to the Chihuly exhibit at Checkwood yesterday (after Safe Haven's Hike for the Homeless).

Breathtakingly beautiful displayed outdoors around Cheekwood's lovely gardens.

A New "Mad Men" A-Z

From Entertainment Weekly. The slide show is here.

Quote of the Day (10/17/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

There is no such thing as an ugly language. Today I hear every language as if it were the only one, and when I hear of one that is dying, it overwhelms me as though it were the death of the earth.--Elias Canetti

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"For My Dog, Who Listens to All My Poems"

This poem by Cathy Smith Bowers (The Atlantic July/ August, 2002) was posted today by Andrew Sullivan.

How entranced, each time, she sits there,
her eyes, I swear,
filling with tears
at her master's

inimitable brilliance. It's
clear to me what's
bounding through her
head: The greatest,

yet, of all the generations!
My husband says
she's just waiting
for her rations.

New Rule: If a Woman Rejects Your First Dozen Advances, Don't Send Her a Picture of Your Penis

Bill Maher's hilarious "New Rule" from the October 15 Real Time.

"Weekend at Bobby's"

This week's Supernatural (directed by Jensen Ackles) was terrific. A Bobby-centric episode that gave Jim Beaver a chance to shine and fleshed out the complexities of his world, it reminded me in a way of Buffy's "The Zeppo," in that it focused on the world of a supporting character, the Winchester boys' "watcher," rather than on the almost superfluous narrative of the show's stars (although Sam and Dean do get to travel out of the country for the first time--to Scotland).

The A story concerned Bobby's efforts to get his soul back from Crowley, with a major assist from Rufus Turner (which means we get a welcome dose of both Mark Sheppard and Steven--formerly The X-Files' Mr. X--Williams).

And we also get the best use of a wood chipper since Fargo.

I see that Onion TV Club gave it only a B+. Undervalued. A solid "A."

Quote of the Day (10/16/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

There is no doubt: the study of man is just beginning, at the same time that his end is in sight.--Elias Canetti

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Foyle's War"--Done

I have now watched all the existing episodes of Foyle's War and loved nearly every one.

They may have saved the best for last. "Hide" was an extraordinary episode, and the last minute reveal about Christopher Foyle's past was mind-blowing--and moving.

Is it over? Here's what Anthony Horowitz, the series creator, said in The Daily Telegraph:

Is this the last series? Well, the Second World War was followed, of course, by the Cold War so our title still holds good. Foyle may be out of the police force, but he’s too young to retire. At the very end, he’s seen leaving for America on a personal vendetta but whether we follow him there or not remains to be seen.

Quote of the Day (10/15/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation.--Elias Canetti

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Mad Men," "LOST" Paratexts

I have written about and am a collector of television tie-in books.

So I was delighted to get two of them--paratexting two of my favorite series--this week.

Mad Men: The Illustrated World is great fun, though I probably need to be careful not to be discovered in my office dressing paper doll Joan Harris in her lovely outfits.

I will be pouring over the LOST Encyclopedia for months, but I already found my first error. On Vincent the Dog's page we read:

As happened years prior, Vincent lay down next to Jack to provide him comfort in his last moments of his life.

In the pilot, of course, he came up to Jack where he lay in the bamboo forest, but he did not lie down with him.

Seen on "The Colbert Report"

In response to the news that Campbell's is offering Halal soups, last night Stephen demanded that they begin offering soups offensive to Muslims as well.

Quote of the Day (10/12/10) (Elias Canetti Week II)

The planet's survival has become so uncertain that any effort, any thought that presupposes an assured future amounts to a mad gamble.--Elias Canetti

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heard on "Supernatural"

Castiel: I think we can rule out Moses as a suspect.

Dean: Why are you buying human souls anyway?
Balthazar: Are you kidding? In this economy probably the only thing worth buying.

Castiel: I believe the hairless ape has the floor.

"The Third Man" (6.3)--written by Ben Edlund

SF Dreams

My dreams of late have all been science fictiony.

Is this because I am teaching an SF course this term?

Quote of the Day (10/11/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

Ours is a shockingly dead view of creation. We ourselves are the only things in the universe to which we grant an authentic vitality, and because of this we are not fully alive.
--Frederick Turner

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/8/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

We are judged by the sincerity with which we live up to our masks.
--Frederick Turner, "Garden Aphorisms"

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/7/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

The saints have dissolved themselves, and have become that imperceptible radiant cloud which lies before us; the clemency of the weather of the future is their doing. Because of them we are not entirely strangers in this new world we enter every moment. But they are not especially concerned with us. They give us their glory without their right hand knowing what the left is doing.
--Frederick Turner, "Garden Aphorisms"

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Map of the Blogosphere.

From XKCD. Their entire map of the internet is here.

Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.

If A TV Show Turns 50 And No One Notices...

David Bianculli did a great Fresh Air piece today on television's failure to honor its own history. Listen to it here.

"No Ordinary Family"

As Rowan Kaiser correctly notes, the first episode after the pilot of a new series tends to suck, customarily wallowing in repetition and redundancy.

No Ordinary's sophomore outing was quite awful, but I will give it one more week to grab me. So far, however, I find it devooid of any real imagination.

Distinguished Community College Grads

HuffPo has a slide show (Jackie Robinson, Tom Hanks, etc.).

Though not distinguished, add to the list:

David Lavery
Venango Campus, Clarion State College (1967-1969)

Quote of the Day (10/6/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

We are re-entering at last the ancient animist universe, populated by genies and geniuses of place, in which every object possesses a demon that one might control and use. But the nymphs and dryads are now microprocessors inhabiting our cars, our stoves, our clocks, our chess sets, and our typewriters. Soon everything will have its own dedicated intelligence, its own nisus, or animating will.

We are at a curious juncture in the history of science and technology. The empiricism of the Renaissance gradually flattened out the ancient hierarchy of the universe and broke up the Great Chain of Being. But just when the world seemed to have been reduced to a collection of objective facts the world view of modernism a new order began to come into being.

The new Great Chain of Being, unlike the old one, is dynamic and fluid: it is the great branching tree of evolution. As long as evolution was confined to the realm of biology, it did not seriously threaten the modernist vision of the world as "value-flat"; it simply made of life a mystical anomaly, a "fever of matter" in the "frozen chastity" of the inorganic, as Thomas Mann put it. But now we can create viruses out of "dead" chemicals, proving they were not as dead as we thought. The link has been made. All of the world is alive.
--Frederick Turner, "Escape from Modernism"

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Todd Palin's E-mail, Corrected

Salon reported today that Todd Palin, Alaska's former First Dude, is very unhappy with Senate candidate Joe Miller provided his angry e-mail. Here it is, English teacher improved: [Click on the image to see a larger version.]

My 2020 Grotesque Class

Just learned that my proposal of an English 2020 course on The Grotesque was approved by the Department Lower Division Committee. Below is the essence of my proposal for a course I will begin teaching in Fall, 2011.

Thanks to Laura Dubek for helping me shape the proposal.

English 2020—Themes in Literature and Culture
English Department
Course Proposal
Dr. David Lavery

Course Title: The Grotesque

A. Summary Course Description and Objectives.
This course will examine the literary and artistic mode known as the grotesque. Although there is no consensus agreement about the meaning of the term, The Oxford American Dictionary’s gloss—the “comically or repulsively ugly or distorted, . . . incongruous or inappropriate to a shocking degree”—accurately captures the contemporary sense of the word, as does its list of synonyms: “misproportioned, distorted, twisted, gnarled, mangled, mutilated; ugly, unsightly, monstrous, hideous, freakish, unnatural, abnormal, strange, odd, peculiar; informal weird, freaky. antonym normal.” In this multi-art, multi-media, multi-national course, students will be introduced to the history of the mode and read/examine/watch grotesque literature, painting, popular culture, and film. The objectives of the course include: (1) to gain knowledge of the grotesque across time and place; (2) to understand how a particular form of artistic representation evolves/mutates in different milieus in order to express their mentalities; (3) to learn more about how to “read”/understand/analyze literature, art, film.

B. Course Structure
1. Outline of course topics
* The origins and meaning of the word “grotesque”
* Bakhtin’s theory of carnival (based on Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel)
* The Grotesque in Film
* The Grotesque in Literature (in particular in Southern fiction)
* The Grotesque in Painting
* The Grotesque in Photography
* The Grotesque in Popular Culture
* The Grotesque in Theatre
* The Grotesque and Other Modes: The Comic, The Surreal, The Uncanny, The Macabre, The Fantastic, The Bizarre, Magic Realism, The Absurd, Caricature, The Gothic, Black Humor
2. Student activities
* Reading a variety of literary texts, watching several films, examining numerous paintings and other works of arts, listening to music
* Discussing readings and viewings in class.
* Conducting research on the nature and history of the grotesque in general and the specific works of grotesque literature and art.
* Writing about the grotesque in all its forms.
3. Evaluation Procedures
Two critical essays on course readings or viewings (each worth 25% of course grade).
* Creation of a webpage on a major practitioner of the grotesque—to be housed on my own website on the grotesque [] (15% of course grade).
* A take-home essay final exam (25% of course grade).
* Class Participation (10% of course grade).
4. Course texts
* Philip Thomson, The Grotesque (1972) [available online]
* Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532) [students will read selections from the Project Gutenberg E-text edition]
* Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726), “A Modest Proposal” (1729)
* Mark Twain, “1601” (1880)
* William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)
* Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933) and Day of the Locust (1939)
* Amos Tutuola, The Palm Wine Drinkard (1952)
Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum (1959)
* Flannery O’Connor, The Complete Stories (1971)
* A CD of Course Resources

C. Contribution to General Education Learning Outcomes
The Grotesque will introduce students to literary texts, art, and media from the late middle ages to the present and from a variety of nations and cultures (medieval France, 18th century England, modern Nigeria, 20th century Germany, 19th and 20th century America) and require them to consider how these unique “texts” reflect their place and time.

The grotesque has never been a more mainstream/dominant mode than in our time. Why that is will be the major focus of the course. Though ancient in its origins, why does the grotesque now provide an especially conducive means for this century’s writers and artists to examine/depict the modern world? Theorists of the grotesque from earlier in the century believed it to reflect a sickness in both the artist and the individual. Does the mainstreaming of the grotesque in our day mean art is now deeply disturbed? Does it mean we are?

The grotesque has always dealt with aberration, with the abnormal, with bodily excess and deformity, with the scatological. Why those subjects have proven to be central to the practitioners of the grotesque in our era—to such widely different contexts as the 20th century South (Faulkner, O’Connor) or Nazi Germany (Grass)—will be a major question before the class. O’Connor has insisted that her motive for using the grotesque was simple: “For the hard of hearing you shout; for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures,” but she also suggested that what the rest of the country finds grotesque in the South customarily is just reality. Painters like George Grosz and Otto Dix and a writer like Gunter Grass (The Tin Drum) resorted to the grotesque as the best way of revealing the “reality” of Nazi Germany. Does the grotesque change over time and place? Is it universal? These questions will be at the forefront of our discussion during the course of the semester.

In addition to enhancing student interpretation and analysis of written texts, this course will extend those important skills into film and the fine arts (especially painting), thus broadening their applicability and relevance. The Grotesque will adopt the ancient idea (first coined by the Roman poet Horace) that “Ut pictura poesis,” that painting and poetry (literature) are sister arts. Students will thus learn to compare, contrast, and connect forms of expression and patterns of meaning across the arts. They will be asked to consider important cause and effect questions about how the impact of the grotesque varies when the medium of its expression is words or paint or photography or cinema. For example, how does Diane Arbus’ depiction of the grotesque body in black and white photography differ from Federico Fellini’s cinematic, grounded-in-narrative, depiction of similar freaks?

"H Five-0"

Just watched my third Hawaii Five-0, and I am finding little or no reason to keep watching.

Nothing distinctive here. Pretty and all, with pretty people and gorgeous locations, but shallow and soulless.

Tea-Baggers Oppose Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation

Missouri Tea Partiers, Joe The Plumber Join Movement Against 'Radical' Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation

The Onion could run this story pretty much as is.

The Tea Partiers have now become self-parodists.

Terry Gross/Jon Stewart

Fresh Air had a wonderful interview with Jon Stewart yesterday.

One of my favorite answers:

You'd be surprised at how easily I turn it off when I go home. ... The kids and I, we watch The Wizards of Waverly Place, and I don't think about it again. ... The real challenge is when I'm at work, I'm at work. I'm locked in, I'm ready to go, I'm focused. When I'm at home, I'm locked in and I'm ready to go and I'm focused on home. We don't watch the show. We don't watch the news. We don't do any of that stuff. I sit down, I play Barbies. And sometimes the kids will come home and play with me.

Stanley Fish Does Television

Word of the publication of this book (thanks to Doug Howard for calling my attention to it) made me smile in delight--the same delight I felt when I learned that Oxford U P was publishing Michael Adams' book on language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Another milestone in serious consideration of the small screen.

And just last week I co-opted Harold Bloom for the study of TV.

Seen on "The Colbert Report"

Inspired by the Tea Party coloring book, Stephen suggested some other party books. Opening Down on the Farm to show "how centaurs are made" resulted in technical difficulties.

Quote of the Day (10/5/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

Spring Evening

Above the baby-powder clouds
The sky is china blue.
Soon, young and chattering, the crowds
Of stars come pushing through.

And this is the first dispensation,
The setting up of the odds;
This is the eve of creation,
This is the time of the gods.
--Frederick Turner

Monday, October 04, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/4/10) (Frederick Turner Week)

That nature from which we are supposed to be alienated never existed. The great quantum experiments the parallel-slits light experiment, the polarizing-filter light experiment show that nature has not made up its mind about what it really is, and is quite happy to have us help it do so. The tradition of philosophy that saw us as cut off from our "true" way of being has collapsed, although it hasn't realized it yet. We are nature, and we are as at home here in the world as anything has ever been. For the whole world is made up of such as we; its physical components are, just as we are, tourists, outsiders, amateurs, getting by on a smile and a shoeshine, and deriving what being they have from the recognition of their fellows. All nature is second nature.
--Frederick Turner, "Escape from Modernism"

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Quote of the Day (10/3/10) ("30 Rock" Week)

Science was my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament.
--Kenneth, 30 Rock, Season Three

Saturday, October 02, 2010

11 Astounding Sci-Fi Predictions That Came True

Arthur C. Clarke foresaw the IPad?

Movies I Have Seen Recently (Since June 12, 2010)

A Single Man
Alice in Wonderland
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Being Human: Series 1: Disc 1
Being Human: Series 1: Disc 2
Brooklyn's Finest
Cop Out
Crazy Heart
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Foyle's War: Set 1: Disc 1
Foyle's War: Set 2: Disc 1
Foyle's War: Set 2: Disc 2
Foyle's War: Set 2: Disc 3
Foyle's War: Set 2: Disc 4
Foyle's War: Set 3: Disc 1
Foyle's War: Set 3: Disc 2
Foyle's War: Set 3: Disc 3
Foyle's War: Set 3: Disc 4
Good Hair
Green Zone
High Tension
Hot Tub Time Machine
In the Name of the King
It's Complicated
Me and Orson Welles
Monty Python's Life of Brian
More Than a Game
Ninja Assassin
Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief
Repo Men
Shutter Island
Starship Troopers
The Blind Side
The Book of Eli
The Cove
The Crazies
The Damned United
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Last Station
The Losers
The Meaning of Life: Special Edition
The Messenger
The Missing Person
The Mutant Chronicles
The Princess and the Frog
The Road
The Stepfather
The Wolfman
The Young Victoria
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
When You're Strange
Youth in Revolt

Quote of the Day (10/2/10) ("30 Rock" Week)

Ongoing train wreck aside, I love this idea; it's great synergy. By putting a TV actress into the movie world we can promote both. It's like how we're including a Heroes DVD with every missile system we sell.
--Jack, 30 Rock, Season Three

Friday, October 01, 2010

"Fringe" Naughty

Kent Street! I used to frequent a massage parlor around the corner. I used to get off right here!--Walter in "The Box" (3.2)

Joss Whedon quality double entendre.

CNN's Rick Sanchez: 'Jon Stewart Is A Bigot' -- And The Jews Run CNN

"I'd challenge you to a battle of wits, but I never fight an unarmed man." So goes the old line.

Can't wait until Monday. This is gonna be good. Stewart vs. the imbecilic Sanchez.

Wanting to Be Tony Curtis

NPR's All Things Considered interviewed the late Tony Curtis's collaborator Barry Paris yesterday (he helped Curtis write his first autobiography). I found this memory fascinating.

Well, I think the best way to give you an idea of who Tony Curtis was was to just relay a little story of my first meeting with him, when we were discussing doing the book. He asked me to come out and I did, and we had never met, and we introduced ourselves, and I didnt know what to say. So I said, Mr. Curtis, I when I was 11 years old, I saw "The Vikings" three times in two days, and I just desperately wanted to be Tony Curtis. And he looked at me, and he said: So did I, so did I.

Heard on "The Colbert Report"

My guest is West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. We'll walk and talk in the hall and hand each other stuff.

Quote of the Day (10/1/10) ("30 Rock" Week)

Kenneth: I'm glad I'm not a white man, Mr. Donaghy. ...Is SpongeBob SquarePants supposed to be terrifying?
Jack: You're darn right he is, Kenneth.
--30 Rock, Season Three