Conjuring Political, Cinematic, Cultural, and Athletic Arcana since 1999


"It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive."
- Mark Twain


Steppin' Out.

Whachutalkinbout, Willis?


Jumper, Stephen Gould

Recent Tomes
Struggles for Justice, Alan Dawley
The Cultural Front, Michael Denning
The Color of the Law, Gail Williams O'Brien
Irrigated Eden, Mark Fiege
Hammer and Hoe, Robyn Kelley
Voices of Protest, Alan Brinkley
Running Steel, Running America, Judith Stein


Insomnia (8.5/10)

Visions Past
Attack of the Clones [x2] (6/10)
Spiderman (9/10)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (9/10)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring [x5] (10/10)


Elvis Costello, When I Was Cruel

Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

5/26/02 - OCEANS ON MARS! Insiders suggest that partly as a result of this finding, Nasa may commit itself to a manned landing within 20 years...Prep the colony ship!

5/25/02 - Beware the Magic Lantern. Hmmm...I think I'll take the grue instead.

Now it's a series. Kings beat up the Lakers to take a 2-1 lead into tomorrow's game. Woohoo!

Caught Episode II again with my brother and sister-in-law and, while it definitely looks much better in digital, it's hard to deny how truly bad the movie is after a second viewing. In some ways, I even think it's worse than Phantom Menace - however lame Jake Lloyd was, at least we didn't have to sit through so many cringeworthy "romantic" scenes the first time around (if one can use the word "romantic" to describe the courting rituals of a stalker boy and his wooden girl.) And, for all the nice setpieces in Ep 2 (Dex's Diner, Kamino, Dooku duel), there's nothing as viscerally kinetic as the final Maul v. Obi-Wan fracas of Episode I. Quite depressing, really.

The full Road to Perdition trailer is now online.

Sorry if you've tried to stop by over the past two days, by the way. Geocities has been experiencing more and more complications of late. I know I've been a Geocities stalwart for years now (since 1997, in fact), but between this and the server downtime two weeks ago, frankly, I'm sick of it. With a little research I've found a few hosting services that cost the same amount of money and would allow me much more flexibility (yeah, I know, I should've figured this out years ago), so expect a move sometime in the near future.

5/21/02 - Clever, clever. Vice-President Cheney and his cohorts try to re-accentuate terrorist paranoia to take the heat off Dubya for the recent 9-11 second-guessing. And, if that doesn't work, some folks in the administration are clearly setting up Ashcroft as the fall guy. How great would it be to see Ashcroft's head roll as a result of the recent media onslaught? If nothing else, Justice would get to bare their statues again.

The Madness of King George, diagnosed...The LA Times argues (quite convincingly) that Lucas is lonely.

Knicks pick 7th...y'know, that's probably not going to cut it. Here's hoping Curtis Borchardt is the real deal.

The Lieberman Gambit...the former veep candidate comes out against implementation of the Dubya tax cuts, no doubt to distinguish himself from the Democratic pack. Kinda funny to hear ole Joe running on the Clinton economic record these days, when he and Al couldn't distance themselves from it enough only two years ago.

R.I.P. Stephen Jay Gould 1941-2002 and Walter Lord 1917-2002. I took one of Professor Gould's classes at Harvard ("Thinking About Thinking," with Alan Dershowitz and the late Robert Nozick) and, although he seemed a bit enamored with his own scientific prestige, Gould gave the most eloquent defense of contingency in history and evolution that I've ever heard, and it definitely made an impact on me. And A Night to Remember, of course, is arguably the best book and movie out there about the tragedy of the H.M.S. Titanic, and this is coming from someone who still admits to thoroughly enjoying James Cameron's take on the sinking. Much rest to them both.

The Diamond Age nears...IBM successfully develops carbon atom transistors.

Emboldened by the success of LOTR, New Line hires playwright and Brazil scribe Tom Stoppard to pen the Amber Spyglass screenplays. The first one would make a great movie (Vin Diesel as the voice of Iorek Byrnison?), but I'm not sure how well the other two would translate.

Despite the ratings, X-Files went out with a whimper Sunday was almost unwatchable. Sad that they let it die like that.

Dems thanks Jeffords for switching, although they might as well thank Dubya while they're at it. It was his utter lack of ideological moderation and political sense that drove Jeffords to it.

The Chinese make plans for a lunar base. That's great, great news. As I've said before here, I would love to see another serious space race. Not only is the quest for space exploration served, but there's no better way to channel nationalist tensions away from less healthy pursuits. (I'm sure the Civ 3 players out there agree.)

5/17/02 - In keeping with their usual ideological m.o, the Weekly Standard defends the Empire.

Ben Affleck suits up as Daredevil. Hmmm...the costume kinda has that biker look that they went for in X-Men. And he still looks very Affleck-like, which makes him even harder to take seriously.

Also, the Road to Perdition trailer drops today. Looks a bit stilted, but hopefully that's more a function of the honor-faith-family trailer edit than it is Sam Mendes' directing.

Spring is in the air...must be time for mating in New York.

Oooh...conspiracy theory. What did Dubya know about 9-11, and when did he know it? I'm all for giving Dubya lousy press, but c'mon, people. 20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing...even if an FBI report had some inkling of a possible hijacking, it doesn't follow that the government expected anything like what happened that day. If anything, it seemed pretty clear at the time, when Dubya was shuttled off to Omaha, that we were caught tremendously off guard.

The Theory.Org Dave Sim trading card, by way of LinkMachineGo.

So I saw Ep 2 wednesday night with the rest of the fanboy legions...and, I dunno, I'll have to think about it. I'd say my very low expectations were met, but not exceeded. At least I didn't leave the theater with that sickly feeling after Menace. That being said, there are a number of scenes, particularly in the "romantic" parts, that are so wooden and off-kilter they just make you cringe. Very pretty to look at, though, and the final payoff that everyone's been mentioning in the reviews is pretty huge. Perhaps I'll try to catch it in digital next time.

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