I’ve had hundreds of requests for an interactive panoramic tour of the cockpit of an Airbus A380 commercial jetliner, and I want you all to know I Hear You:
How about that surge! Everything’s good now, right?
The critic Clive James has a nice little web site showcasing some of his favorites. I was particularly impressed with this Australian painter, who, refreshingly, can actually draw, in composition!
Twenty years after the spill, fourteen years after a verdict, Exxon still has yet to pay a dime in damages for the Exxon Valdez disaster.
With the genuinely experienced Democrats being chewed up and spit out very early on, I find that it’s a toss-up between the final two. I’m leaning Obama, and voted that way. The popular dilemma is mine as well – Hillary’s sharper on the specifics, but will be adversarial politics-as-usual. Obama’s more expansive outlook is inspiring, but he’ll definitely be The New Kid, and may end up in Carterville – every good intention meets the Beltway buzzsaw, and he’s wood-chipped into near-irrelevance. But if the mechanics of the campaigns are any indication of their White House managerial skills, Obama’s well-oiled machine can order up the champagne in less than a few weeks. I defer to a very good column by Frank Rich in today’s Times:
I think I’ve offended the powers that be. I think Ned Beatty thinks I have meddled with the primary forces of nature. Was it too many french films? Did I go overboard in my praise of ‘Jules and Jim?’ I seem to be serving penance for a sin I’m unaware of committing.
First, the egregiously overrated Lifetime-movie-with-sperm-everywhere ‘Squid and the Whale’. (Thank God for the too-infrequent sightings of the always classy Anna Paquin). Now here’s another movie I wouldn’t have lasted a half hour into if I had paid ten bucks. I’ve rearranged my Netflix queue – ‘The Kingdom’ and Jason Statham’s ‘Crank’ are now next. Bring me the blowing up of shit. Bring me the big budget. Bring me the hack directors. Please save me, Netflix.
But first, a rant. I’m perfectly willing to admit that I may have turned into an old, cranky, humorless killjoy. I may have completely forgotten what it was like to be an adolescent growing up in America. Years ago, I saw ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’, and thought “Well, I see where he wanted to go here, and it could have been a good idea in the long run, but those two guys are insufferable tools. Who likes these guys? Who identifies with them? Only in the most exaggerated Cloud-Cuckooland testosterone circle of hell could these two characters exist. What the hell is Maribel Verdu doing with these guys? They’re supposed to be endearing? They’re behaving naturally? We should relate to these masturbating monkeys just because Gael Garcia Bernal has dreamy eyes? I don’t feel any empathy for her because she’s stupid enough to spend all this time and sexual energy on them. I don’t care if the end of the movie gives her a supposedly better excuse. I was at a loss. I didn’t get it. People loved this movie.
Because (Oh, boy, here we go…) when I was a kid, when I was that age, we thought about girls a lot. We thought about pussies a lot. We thought about our dicks a lot. We all had the hormones writing checks our brains couldn’t cash. But it wasn’t all our lives were about. In fact, the few kids I knew back then who Were all about the pussy and Were all about their dicks and Were all about getting into a girl’s, any girl’s, pants, and were all about being shitface drunk before any of it could happen, WERE FUCKING CREEPS! If those guys grew up to be like that today, THEY’D BE FUCKING CREEPS! I see that side of my own experiences in characters like this, but when the whole movie is about characters for whom that’s all it’s about, then it’s a fucking creepy movie about fucking creeps!
So it is with sadness that I must inform all of my friends with differing opinions ( and God Bless You All!) that the characters in the mega-hit, mega-hip Superbad, to me, were virulently unsympathetic, in fact, nauseatingly pa-thetic, and incapable of delivering one single funny moment. The only, one, single time I laughed was at the drawing of the erect penis standing in front of the tank in Tiananmin Square. ‘Porky’s’ is a better film than ‘Superbad’. ‘Bachelor Party’ is a better film than ‘Superbad’.
I felt only sadness for Michael Cera’s character, having to tolerate this pestilence of ‘friends’. I guess having Any Conscience Or Tact Whatsoever makes you not only an endearing everyman, but a good sport, too. McLovin is amusing for about a minute-and-a-half. The cops are a sloppy and unfunny live-action cartoon. All the drunk chicks egging on Becca the drunk chick – ‘Blow that cute drunk guy, Becca! You go girl!’… Been there? Done that? The sober girl is slobbered over and insulted by the surrealistically neurotic, brain-dead, mouth-breathing, practically insane excrescence that is Seth, and we sure hope they hook up anyway? So he’ll be saved from himself by the love of a good woman?
Shit is funny when you establish a reality, and then break it’s rules. It’s funny when you have How Life Is in common, then take liberties and say stuff and do stuff that We Sure Wish We Could Say And Do. We like to see the little guy put one over on The Man. Schaudenfreude can be funny – pratfalls, slapstick, Larry David.
For me, this film utterly failed at establishing any reality, alternative or familiar, that I might identify with in order to share, or even locate, humor in. It was all so exaggerated, so in-your-face, so ‘Hey, you get this, right?!’, so simultaneously eager-to-please and eager-to-offend, so FUCKING CREEPY, that I will now take a goddamn shower. Yeeeee-uckkkk!!