Kitchen Sink

The Beauty of Blogging #32: Random thoughts in list form are not merely acceptable but genre-defining.

1) As usual, the Academy Award noms are crap. Sigh. Can we put the French in charge? Or at least me?

2) Please see The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mike Daisey’s latest show (in repertory with The Last Cargo Cult at The Berkeley Rep). Fascinating, hilarious, and deeply distressing. We’ve seen . . . 6? of Daisey’s shows now, and they’re always worth it. He comes out swinging, and his obsessive intellect is well worth following down any number of rabbit holes. In this case, though, major, major FUCK: labor conditions in China. We are all complicit. And it is truly horrific.

3) Mumblecore. I feel like I was there in the beginning, having reviewed Andrew Bujalski’s Funny Ha-Ha in early 2003 and the Duplass brothers’ Puffy Chair in 2006, two foundations of the subgenre. Plus, I’ll never forget one of my favorite moviegoing moments in recent years: About an hour into the verrrry slow and intentionally flaccid Mutual Appreciation, John bursts into laughter, suddenly GETTING IT big, and then we can’t stop, and it’s massively awesome.

Last night I watched yet another installment, Hannah Takes the Stairs, and . . . maybe we need to be finished with the subgenre. Or take it somewhere else. BecauseĀ  listless twentysomethings falling in and out of non-relationship relationships are not so interesting when they can’t even articulate their particular brand of pain. Also, why does it feel like Bujalski casts conventionally beautiful women as romantic others so he can kiss them on-screen? Is that just projection? It’s kind of creepy.

4) While I watched the movie, Melanie rooted around in my fleece jacket, burrowing into the sleeves as rats are wont to do. By the last twenty minutes, she was peeking out of the neck, and finally she hopped out and began exploring the bed. This is good news! in the sense that it demonstrates decreasing fear. It’s not as good news in that before long, she’ll be exploring everything else, and the true challenge of rat ownership—i.e., keeping the little smartypantses from boredom—will begin.

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