Friday, May 29, 2009

Backlog two (deluxe edition)

Happy thoughts

After the busy sunny weekend here is Tuesday, the most lacklustre of days, with a monsoon. Here are my happy thoughts –

- The new Star Trek movie.

- The Rock Me Sexy Jesus song from Hamlet 2. The only reason to see that movie, but a pretty darn good one

- Watching the President be hugged by graduating naval officers. Who knew these fancy, manly (and yes, it was, as far as I recall, all men doing the hugging, though there were plenty of women) military types were up for hugging their Commander-in-Chief?

- And on the topic of the Captain, your Captain, Leonard Nimoy recounts a favourite fanmoment: “’During the campaign, Barack Obama gave me the Vulcan greeting at a fundraiser,’ the 78-year-old actor said, holding up his palm in Spock’s signature split-finger gesture. ‘That was pretty memorable’” Warms my geeky heart, that does.

- This clip. So wonderful:


From last Thursday:

Today was supposed to be a good, double-booked sort of day. Instead I will cancel both plans and lock myself up with gallons of tea and throat drops. Sigh.

On the upside, I’ll probably watch Wrath of Khan. On an idle search for Trek things, I came across a video interview with Pine and Quinto – Kirk and Spock. I didn’t watch it, because I don’t want to know, but it was a striking shot, an amusing one: Pine in something young and trendyish, Quinto wearing a very ugly hat and yes, a cardigan. Cardigans are for old ladies and Alan Rickman. It really is rather sweet. It becomes clear very quickly when one peruses Wikipedia that the ways in which these folks got their parts are incredibly appropriate – Pine with his initial screw-up, Quinto with his eloquence. And his cardigan, I suspect, because to pull off a cardigan as a 31-year-old, you have to be exquisitely good. And now he’s friends with Leonard Nimoy. Together they will conquer all. Poor William Shatner, he gets none of the sexy this go around.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Naked time

Oblique spoiler alert for the awesome Star Trek movie
I am watching The Naked Time, which reminds me of just how much innuendo there is in the original Star Trek series, from the title down to Sulu's come hither invitation to go to the gym. And somewhere earlier in the series Uhura pretty much propositions Spock. How prophetic. Any excuse for a naked torso (fencing is a great excuse!) or short skirt. Or proposition.

And there's emo Spock. Emo Spock is awesome. (Though Nimoy is not as good at it as the new guy)

Anyway, I was reminded of all the Harry Potter Pupper Pals and their pupper nudity = also awesome.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Star Trek, a whole new excuse

I do wish that I could write in something other than fangirl squees. This may not be possible. I just saw the new Star Trek movie, and it is better than any other Star Trek movie I have seen. The casting is inspired - some familiar faces, but mostly new ones, perfectly pitched. Eric Bana is a lame bad guy, but it really is all about the Kirk/Spock chemistry (no slash intended), and that is just perfect. It is also very funny, which is a little surprising, but in a pleasant sort of way, and it surrenders none of the principles of the original series. Beautifully done and absolutely riveting. Go see it, it is wonderful. Even for non-fangirls. Not just by Star Trek standards; Star Wars has nothing on it. Go.

In other news, I just acquired two zombie books, one of which is called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You can see why I had to buy it.

Now off with you, go see that movie.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Christmas? Surely not

I was trying to type this post yesterday. It was not good. I was watching Love Actually and exactly replicated my original viewing experience - I spent the first half of the movie being intrigued and excited, and the second half thinking "man, for a Christmas movie and romantic comedy this movie is pretty damn depressing". I like its silliness, its reluctance to fit into the traditional category, its unapologetic approach. But who wants complexity at Christmas? Even if it isn't Christmas. The box says "The Most Delightful Film of the Year!" and I wonder how much idiocy it takes to find this movie delightful only. The problem is here that this whole thing is labelled as romantic comedy, thereby setting the viewer (at least the moderately attentive viewer) up for, at best, a surprise, and a very frustrating one. That said, Hugh Grant is awesome, I love Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth does that thing that he does best. But anyway, I could go on about this movie, and my vexation, but instead I have Sweet Valium High stuck in my head, a song I dislike on principle (noxious lyrics, annoying singer) yes find myself humming at unguarded moments. I could talk about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a movie which manages to unhinge a perfectly good plot for no reason I can see, thereby ruining my simple desire for romance. Frances McDormand, Ciaran Hinds, Amy Adams - such perfect casting, such scripting massacre.


Well, "but as the philosopher Jagger once said, 'You can't always get what you want.'"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Atrocious empathy

Spoiler alert for the fools who watch House. End of season four.

Which I just finally watched. It reminds me of Boris Vian's word - l'arrache-cœur. He uses it somewhere in L’Écume des jours. The word means something like "the heartwrencher"; arracher means "to tear out", which is exactly what this two-part episode does. The first part is deplorable; supposedly clever and ingenious, it is instead predictable and obtuse. The second part is better, but even then not for the plot, though that too is better. Only for its capability to remind you of what it might feel like.

Unexpected side effects of marriage - well, love: one finds oneself suddenly capable of imagining what it would feel like to lose all this, thereby opening an immense vista of fear and anxiety. After all, once you imagine what it might be like to lose this loved one, why not consider who else one might lose?

So this thing, this fiction, it pulls at my heart, not because it is good, not because it is well-acted, but because it forces me to live through my terrible dread on someone else's face. And Robert Sean Leonard has such a lovely face for emo.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Really smart stupidity

After perusing Total Drek today, I decided to freshen up on my Hitchens, and started listening to the annoyingly named God Is Not Great. It is a good listen - very like having a lively argument with a friend. Hitchens is infuriating, thought-provoking, compelling and polemic in equal parts. And annoying; really annoying. Hitchens bothers me because he is almost there; or perhaps I mean he was there and then ran away with the circus. I understand his reasoning against religion - but much as he claims that humanity's good qualities do not require faith, I will say that their perversity and cruelty will appear without religion. The holocaust did not require religion, only ideology and racism. The Rwandan genocide was based in political motivation. To ascribe all man's failings to religion seems as naive as ascribing all its beauty and compassion to faith.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Teh awesom

Sorry for the lolcat there, but I am momentarily discombobulated and distracted from previous criticisms of House. Why? I hear you ask - well, because I am now in the latter half of season four, and it is wonderful. Shame season five is so lame right now. Also, in reference to stuff I said earlier about TV and happiness:


Hiccupy hookups

Well, I guess there should be a spoiler alert here. Bring on the sirens. If you haven’t seen the latest House episode, don’t read this.

So the House/Cuddy (I refuse to say Huddy. It’s just…ugly) thing finally happened. No surprises there. I am very frustrated with it though. Having just watched almost all of the back story (most of the way through season 4, folks!) I find that often, the writers do a great job of building tension, and then completely wimp out on the wrap-up. The most frustrating one is still the Tritter story, which was awesome and wonderful and creepy until they had that one-episode deus ex machine nonsense. There’s more examples – Foreman’s almost death and possible brain damage completely disappears from view immediately after; Houses loses his team at the end of season 3, but then they sneak back in because the writers can’t live up to their threat of dramatic change. I mean really, I am glad we had the Amber hallucination because frankly, otherwise, everyone would doubtlessly have forgotten about her already; not to mention poor Kutner, about whom no one seems to give a damn after that first dramatic death episode. *sighs* And so back to the Hookup. Folks, it’s not that I object to it in principle. It was bound to happen sooner or later. But really, he is Sick and Lonely and she Looks After him? Oh ye gods, it is the most classical of all ploys. I find myself wishing for David Simon, he of The Wire. Or some British detective screenwriters. Something. An original thought. This half-detective half-soap writing doesn’t work for me at all. So much is good here – good characters, lovely cast, a compelling setup. Yet for something so supposedly risky and unapologetic it becomes trite and tame whenever there’s a real challenge. Perhaps this is the affliction of a mainstream tv show in the US. Yet it saddens me that here are some of the best actors around, and heaven knows I love Hugh Laurie in the most platonic sense anyway, and this is what they do? This is as provocative as they can be? Man, they better have some real follow-up on that whole detox story or I am finding something else to obsess about.

That said, the Amber interaction I am currently watching ("Don't Ever Change") is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The thing is

It’s Monday, it’s raining, and I have already lost interest in anything that is not lying in front of the tv watching House with a cup of tea. Thank you TDEC’s body and terrible eating habits. Thanks to your brilliant idea that yes, two coffees, a donut and pretzels do in fact a meal make, and that canned soup is an appropriate way to soothe a miserable stomach. Thanks to you I spent Friday night working (yes, working. Why would I do fun things like lie on the couch groaning when I can work?) in agony, by which I mean spasms. It refreshed my acting skills considerably. Anyway, what I mean is that it provided me with an excellent reason to spend Saturday on the couch finishing up season three and starting on four.

By the way, I don’t know if any of you pay attention to my blogroll, but Lethe at Women Who Are Geeks has an awesome post about how to woo a geek girl. Go read it. Much better than my stuff. Seriously.

On the geek note, the Spouse and I have decided that, in spite of prominently placed Macs, House is definitely command-line Linux.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Could you repeat the question

Maybe the answer to “What’s the point?” is “I need to watch more tv.” I am being flippant, or rather, I am not. I notice that on the whole I am happiest when I am lost in something or other – some fandom, a lilac bush, dinner, frantic writing. Perhaps my pattern recognition is just screwed up; I always see things that aren’t, and don’t see what is there. I can give five interpretations of any given set of data, and completely fail to detect what is most plausible.

I find that the big decisions are best left alone. The big questions – well, Rilke, sentimentality and all, is right I think, and worth quoting again:

“...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Also, I am not entirely sure that I am not looking for the question, rather than the answer.