Saturday, February 25, 2006


"knock, knock" "who's there?" "'The Graduate' and I want my royalties"

garden state was lamelamelame Zach Braff is cemented in my mind as the magical realist JD on scrubs, and this movie doesn't go quite far enough to break that idea. Zach even sends us in for a little magical realism with the "infinite abyss" scene which just reinforces that it is still JD up there.

Natalie Portman is playing the same alluringly wise and perky character she has been since she was 15 in "beautiful girls." I am still a sucker for this character at a adolescent, midbrain level, but running over the same old ground rarely brings anything (except the same old fear). She did nail the accent and speech pattern of non-trashy Jersey. At least at the beginning when she talked, before the last 50 mintues in which all she does is cry and look perky.

People made a big deal out of the music in the movie. and I have to admit I like Alexi Murdoch's "Beneath an Orange Sky" in an O.C. watching kindof way. But while garden state was meant to cement the existance of indie-yuppie music as a metonym for intermediately professional, twenties, social ennui, the use of music actually serves to reject this idea. During his misery and loneliness, JD is steeped in this sub-radio milieu ("the shins will change your life") surrounded by charicatures of twentysomethings. When he finally faces the realities of himself and a healthy future (in the forehead slapping "abyss" scene) it is to the soundtrack of simon and garfunkel's "The only living boy in New York." Boomer music par excellance. Therefore, the music serves to undermine, one hopes intentionally, the premise that young people are facing unchartered waters dotted with psychotropics, malaise, and stodgy parents. and so we beat on, boats against the current, carried back ceaselessly into the past.

this movie does tug the heartstrings a bit. It is always nice to be pandered to, and I am the exact age and career stage who is mean to be affected by the movie. And to revist DFW's definition of Art vs. blockbuster, and at least it is trying to make us think about our own lives instead of forget about them. But these movie rings hollow with it's blockbuster obviousness conclusions and hollywood ending.

gotomoscow has a theory ( that it is much more fun to imagine an activity that is designed for people older than you than to actually do the activity. perhaps that is where the true resonance of the movie lies, with those too young to experience it but viewing that age group of the characters as idols/rolemodels/on the horizon.

Can someone help me out? Which famous poet used to live in beached boat? Neruda? Was that a fictional character? the keeper of the abyss in the movie also lives, heinously incongruously, in a boat.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Rickey Henderson still loves the olympics

Has anyone else been watching the US women's alpine team? They keep coming down the hill with these hilarious little accesories--fake pearls necklaces, tiaras, tiger ears attached to their helmets. They aren't overstated and the crowd doesn't know. it is clear they are just having fun. And the ski commentators keep busting thier chops for it with statments like "that just disrespects the sport of skiing." and "They need the results to back up stunts like that." I salute you, US team, for having the courage to have some fun for yourselves, and not in a way that places you above the event or brings you a lot of attention. That is what the olympics should be about. and they even got a gold medal in GS out of it. nice job, Julie.


I forgot the real point of yesterday's post

the thing boogie nights really got me thinking about was whether every recent past period piece has to ultimately reject that social system in favor of the current one? the big picture of boogie nights was "it was fun, but it wasn't really a good way to live." This darkness is underscored by all the violence and sadness and emotional underdevelopment. "Blow" had very much the same message as did "Almost Famous" which undermined all the fun they had with mysogyny and dangerous drug abuse. I haven't seen any of the "Dogtown" movies that all came out together, but I woudl imagine they would fit nicely into this framework, unless it is clouded by personal nostalgia (one of the Z-boys produced one of the movies) I am struggling to think of other examples from the 80s; input is welcome.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


it's a long day, livin' in Reseda

so boogie nights is really good.

Yeah yeah, you all saw it when it came out and are totally over it, but I really enjoyed it. The plot is a lot silly, but it still holds my attention because the actors are so goddamn good. don cheadle, burt reynolds, luis guzmn, john c reilly, william h macy, julianne moore. jeez. I thought the later development in the movie where you realize that they are all children was very interesting. and a good commentary on celebrity in general. it also makes a less-than-subtle parallel between adult film and the pimp-prosititute relationship. mark wahlberg is very likeable in the movie. the prosthesis shot at the end was a total let down. they should have left it unshown. and in response to bill simmons, the problem with heather graham is that she really can't act, which is a shame because she is very beautiful, but it is apparent all the way back to the beginning of her career in this movie.

can it be march 10th so I can find out about my funding? I know how I hate to wait, like even for a bus or something.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Rickey Henderson also loves the olympics

clovers has returned from an exhausting stint as his alter ego, mild-mannered seabird researcher, at the national conference for all such mild mannered folk in Alaska. In keeping with his tradition of not saying too much about his day-to-day happenings or the people who comprise them, there isn't much to report except that academic politics are real. He is distressed to learn that senor beavis has scooped him about the incredibly cute and intense-looking US women's curling team who are from Bimidji, Minn. and are composed of a pair of sisters...the Johnson sisters. Swear to god. Their attractiveness was enhanced by the fact that there are lots of 50 year old norwegian hags as rival skips which set them off like a foil. Too bad they totally disappointed in the results catagory. but Cassie and Jaimie, Clovers salutes you. Clovers thinks Sasha Cohen looks creepily underaged, however, at least she isn't tara lipinski or sarah hughes who were both the spiritual heiresses to the tanya harding memorial no-class US skater nut-bowl. Clovers saw sasha's short program and it was dynamite. Clovers also believes that the US obsession with figure skating can be tied into Natalie Holloway and the general infatuation with small, pale-skinned, highly feminine young women. Clovers notes the hypocrisy of his previous statment about the Johnsons, but stands by it because of the sub-saturation popularity of curling.
Clovers, proving that his is officially over some sort of metaphorical hill, does not like snowboard cross and frankly doesn't really want to see any crossover between the X- and Olympic Games. That means you, moguls and half-pipe. Clovers does respect shaun white's post-win interview skills. Clovers salutes Shani Davis on his historic victory. Clovers also salutes Dan Jansen and DHL for their Cam Neely/Sportscenter-style ironic commerical. Clovers thinks team pursuit has potential. Clovers still giggles every time he hears the name KC Bouttiere--this is like 3 olympics straight. When there is CloverTV, it will only show any even involving nordic skiing, speed skating, luge/skeleton/bobsled, ski jumping, and curling. Clovers certainly does not want to watch professionals play hockey badly and without chemistry. He sees enough goddamned hockey on TV already, thank you. Although there are crowds of jersey-wearing students in University Center watching team canada play russia right now. go russia. Shouldn't the guy who jumps the farthest win the ski jump? what is this scoring system? Clovers is curious why China is good at pairs skating and women's short track and nothing else. Clovers is very curious what life in a sequestered developmental camp is like for chinese pairs skaters. it is so incongruous. Clovers is iritated that everyone was engaged by/uncomfortable about Johnny weir because he was so gay, yet none of the articles about him used the word. Clovers absolutely loves the olympics. It is like special treat-- an ice cream cone to break up the usual pierogies of hockey and NBA. except when NBC inserts junky segments, then clovers switches the channel. He can't wait for World Cup 06 either. If anyone has a short-wave radio, he is going to need it on his desolate island.

Clovers will be participating in the Zoology Dept. Bonspiel on sunday. wish him luck. last time he tried a new recreational ice sport at the behest of his superiors, he earned a separated shoulder and six weeks of solitary confinement. He is looking forward to shouting "Hard! Hard!" as professors sweep busily at his tosses. he was also a member of the 4x1km winning Nordic ski relay at aforementioned seabird conference. His part involved not falling over and letting his obscenely fast teammates do the rest.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

what are the effects of place?
I was just on the phone with an old friend in which I opined from my experiences that location is secondary to nationalism. that in america, whether in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, atlanta, dallas, or even winnipeg, that bankers will always be bankers. they will wear boldly striped shirts and be nice guys with a touch of arrogance and no free time. teachers will be teachers, they will be sweet and a little self-righteous, outdoor sportspersons will be outdoor sportspersons and will be superwelcoming superficially with a tinge of clannishness. And you can find this sorts and lots o other sorts of people anywhere you go. I contend that it doesn't matter where you live, but rather with whom you associate. or in statistical terms, the intracity variation for any given city is greater than the intercity population differences. it is possible that this is a by-product of post-modern globalization, or at the very least innexpensive air travel and computers. I am open to the fact that there are small cities where more extreme identities might not find comfortable homes do exists, but among the big urban areas, is there really such thing as a personality that could only feel at home in a certain place? and please, if you are going to chide my about stereotyping, consider what I am saying first.

Monday, February 06, 2006

while in canadian tire (it is a big chain in canada that has housewares, automotive stuff, and low-end outdoor gear. can't think of a US analogy. best descriptor, it sits right next to a wallmart and the big difference is CT sells hockey skates while walmart doesn't) I saw a really amazing little-kid mullet. full fledged brunette boy mullet, but the top was dyed red. not bleached first, just dyed red kindof claire daines mysocalledlife red.
I have always contended that my peers making fun of mullets is totally inappropriate. mullet mockery seems to be the last bastion of making fun of people from races/cultures that seem foreign because we were taught that to to so to ANY OTHER GROUP is racist and intolerant. but for some reason making fun of poor/rural white people is totally funny and ok for even the most p.c overeducated person. I call bullshit. just because they are also caucasian doesn't make it ok. yet for some reason I just mentioned it on my blog. hypocrite

in addition to watching the superbowl, at Kyle's behest we drove much of the way to ontario to watch/feed/photograph wild northern hawk-owls. Bird fun. His pictures are available
life in manitoba is not as bad as presumed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


lacking a costar?

I could talk a bunch of yin-yang about the state of the union, but it was so standard that it hardly bears mentioning. partisanship, interventionism, casting your opponents in a bad light. it was like watching espn classic: you don't care and you already know what is going to happen.

so instead I bring you this little piece of heaven.
yup, these are my people.
(check the photos of members and the jokes of the month)

so apparently maureen dowd used to date Michael Douglass (now married to Catherine Zeta-Jones).,0,1882523.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions I know. I can't believe I just linked to anything by the LA times either. but I find this stuff fascinating in a geek US weekly kind of way (TM Kyla Dahlin). And since wonkette broke my heart, wrote a shitty book, and stopped digging up this silly stuff for me, I have to do it myself. if anyone knows of any other dowd conquests. please post here. I am looking for any kind of written confirmation of a Warren Beatty tryst.

while I'm at it, since when did the LA times become a respectable paper in anyone's eyes? why didn't I get this memo? Heinous establishment rag rooted in the developmental culture of LA (TM Mike Davis) But I guess now blogs will also excerpt from the NY post and the Washington Times so using "The Manitoban" as a source can't be far behind.

and if you are bored, check senior beavis (genetic coefficent of relatedness=0.5) about Indie-Yuppies.

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