Sunday, November 26, 2006

be thankful for Jim Carrey

Ted & Ta came up for Thanksgiving, and since by their own admission they don't see many movies, and don't know which ones are worth watching, we watched two that I consider among the best of recent years: "Motorcycle Diaries" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Both are definitely worth second viewings, especially the latter.

I have always liked the actor Jim Carrey, from day one. In a world of cookie cutter thespians Carrey is fresh, energetic, and original.

I've observed that many people have some kind of a block against liking him. They say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but I admit that he was good in Eternal Sunshine". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but he was quite good in The Truman Show". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but his performance in Man on the Moon was exceptional". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but I admit he was really good in The Majestic". So what the heck is going on here?

Then these people will explain to you that they are put off by Carrey's goofy, over-the-top antics, but that in ... (enter the Carrey film of your choice), "he was subdued and toned down", "he stopped overacting", "he showed another side of himself", or "he showed that he can be a serious actor".

These people can rationalize their strained warm/cold relationship to the man in any number of ways. All I know is that I don't have that problem. The early, silly movies made me laugh, and the more recent serious material is first rate. "The Eternal Sunshine" is one of the most original films I've ever seen (along with "Being John Malkovich"). And unlike so many lesser comedians that pull out all the stops for a laugh, Jim Carrey is one of the few that can pull it off in a way that is not embarassing.

warm beer is good

Just heard an absolutely infantile song on the radio called "Beer is Good". The main problem I had with it was a line about how the beer must be cold. Cold?

People, people, I thought we'd been through all this. The microbrewery revolution in this country is at least fifteen years old -- enough time for everyone to have gotten the memo. The main lessons of this revolution were: 1) there is such a thing as good-tasting beer 2) beer tastes good because it's fresh, hasn't been shipped across the country or over an ocean, and hasn't been sitting on a supermarket shelf for Lord knows how long and 3) "cold" beer was a scam championed by the mega-brewers to hide the fact that it wasn't very good. Furthermore, the beer of Europe, the ancestor of what we drink, is served luke-warm. Anyone lucky enough to have tried beer in Europe knows how good it tastes. It's the difference between fresh, home-made bread and Wonder Bread. To their profound credit, our microbreweries have bridged this divide and serve beer as delicious as anything across the ocean.

But what do I care? I don't drink much beer anymore... Red wine rules!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Glenn Beck is an idiot

Now, I don't want to rush to judgement, or be overly-judgemental, but it appears that CNN talking head Glenn Beck is an idiot. Out of curiosity I typed "Glenn Beck is an idiot" into a major search engine, and was comforted with the knowledge that my thought "Glenn Beck is an idiot" is not an isolated sentiment, but appears to be a very widespread one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

reverence for life

The next time you see a vehicle bearing a "Bush-Cheney" bumper sticker, ask the owner why they like to promote murder, torture, and reckless abuse of power.

Ask them what's so great about exposing thousands of US soldiers and Iraqi citizens to Depleted Uranium (DU), a known carcinogenic substance. Is that anyone's idea of a good time?

If unwarranted death and disease are the ultimate end product of the conservative "pro-life" agenda, I want nothing to do with it.

The Bush administration needs to be held accountable for their complete lack of what the humanitarian Albert Schweitzer called "reverence for life". Furthermore, people who voted for or supported this junta need to understand that they were complicit.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

bleak + music = Manchester

The film "24 Hour Party People" should be interesting to anyone who got caught up in alternative music of the 80's. It helps put all that strange energy in perspective. Manchester would seem to be as bleak and intoxicated as a city can get; nevertheless something there has caused some great bands to happen: The Smiths, The Fall, The Buzzcocks, Magazine, James, Oasis. I appreciate the music and applaud the creativity, but can't shake the impression that the Mancunian vision is at times full of unhealthy pathologies.