“Hold my watch, because if it breaks I’ll kill everyone on this train.”
News, movies, and books. A day in review.
”Before Medea sailed away on the Helios she killed king Creon and the princess, with what? A: A rock. B: Spear-gun or C: a bit of Poison.”
Notes from the News:
- Suspect confesses to killing missing teen: Now it seems that Natalee Holloway is actually dead. If you are from Alabama, do not vacation in Aruba. I watched Club Dread the other day: better and more island death scenes. CNN would also like to warn us that Caution is key to safe travel—and here I thought it was being stupid, drunk, and irresponsible. Silly me.
- More importantly, Giant Balls of ‘Snot’ Explain Ocean Mystery: “Scientists have discovered giant sinking mucus ‘houses’ that double the amount of food on the sea floor.”
- Salon had an article about eHarmony: the writer pulls the bullshit coastal liberalism that makes conservatives refer to such people as condescending. The author was surprised by the founder: “[...] Warren surprised me. I figured that a religious man—who runs a pro-marriage matchmaking site no less—would tell me to get a move on. But he didn’t.” This was with regard to her (the author) being 30 and single.
- Stinky “Big Bucky” (a corpse flower or titan arum) is blooming again.
Movies from the past few days:
- The Talented Mr. Ripley: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman ... not a bad cast. All did rather well, though Q.P. had little to work with at times, and P.S.H. had too little screen time ... when he was around, he got under my nerves and seemed to disrupt the harmony of the scene, which I liked. Elegant (the locations, costumes, atmosphere) and smooth. M.D. inhabited his character, which is interesting insofar as Ripley is a sociopathic chameleon.
- Ripley’s Game: John Malkovich and a bunch of minor figures, especially Dougray Scott. Whereas M.D. was at times a conflicted character, driven to kill when things became problematic or tense, Malkovich’s Ripley has few worries, and will ruin people partly because he can and partly because they insult him. Peter was the only of M.D.’s victims for whom we could perhaps care, here D.S. stands in contrast to Ripley—he has a conscience, and he grows on us over the course of the movie, even though he began as a less than sympathetic character.
- Wild Things: Matt Dillon (aka Bruce Campbell impersonator), Kevin Bacon, Denise Richards, Neve Campbell, Bill Murrary, and even Robert Wagner (aka Natalie Wood’s former husband). In short: amusing trash with a pot-boiler plot with lots of twists you see coming from a mile away. M.D. is accused of rape by D.R.; N.C. joins in. B.M. becomes the attorney, and K.B. is a cop on the case. It is discovered that D.R. and N.C. made up the story, so M.D. is let go, and due to the abuse settles out of court for $8 million from D.R.’s mom. Then it is discovered (gasp!) that the girls and M.D. were all in on it, but K.B. seems to have figured it out and is on their tracks. Then N.C. seems to die, D.R. is framed for her murder and is killed by K.B., and K.B. shows up in M.D.’s shower—yet another partner in the deal. M.D. decides to get rid of him, and as K.B. dies we discover that N.C. was not dead after all. N.C. then poisons M.D., and we discover that she is D.R.’s aunt (illegitimate half-sister to the mother) as well as a genius, etc. She does not look as good in a blonde wig as Jennifer Garner. A bunch of cut scenes during the credits are amsuing, especially the last in which B.M. is brought into the whole plot. Silly, silly, silly. But fun.
“I want you to call the man who sent you here. I want you to tell him you got a very long look at the two of us, we were definitely not the people on the train. Do you understand? If you do that, you do it convincingly, you walk out of here, we give you half a million dollars, okay? If you don’t do it convincingly, I take you out back, and I run my fucking tractor over your head the rest of the day. Okay?”
Some reading material:
- Norris, Christopher, The Truth About Postmodernism. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993. A follow-up of sorts to his Uncritical Theory (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1992) ... he has definite issues with Baudrillard. I cannot really blame him.
- Gloy, Karen, ed., Rationalitätstypen. München: Alber, 1999. Part II.B. (Analogische Rationalität) is of the most interest to me.
- Beall, J.C. and Bas C. Van Fraassen, Possibilities and Paradox: An Introduction to Modal and Many-Valued Logic. The authors’ names are better than the title of the book. It is nevertheless an interesting volume, though not nearly as conversational or such as other books on paradox I have checked out at the moment.
The day in review:
I woke up at 6 and went back to bed; a bit after 9 Andrew called, wishing to provide me with quotes from the above-mentioned Salon article. I informed him that I had already read it, and then I went back to bed for a while. I had bizarre dreams regarding kids crossing the street in front of cars as well as an oven that was used at Auschwitz—mind you, this was a kitchen range sort of oven. Silly, I know. There were walks over the overpass into Meridian, ID (a not-too-rare trope in some of my dreams) and matters of forged currency. The rest is gone from my memory. It was fun, though, for the most part.
I got up, showered, had breakfast, and dealt with various emails and phone calls. I watched Ripley’s Game. Some work, but not much, was accomplished. I eventually got Kaela on the phone later in the afternoon.
Darin Eich’s birthday gathering was at the Terrace at 5. The sky was blue and clear, so I left my umbrella at home, put on my sandals, and walked down Langdon to the Union. I bought ice cream, chatted with Jenny (journalism), Mark (medical physics; saw him at Julia’s Tuesday party), Brian (a regular), Jeff (did not catch what he was in) and a few others. Matt Greenberg showed up. Jason (physics) arrived. Much conversation was conducted. Around 7 it began to rain. Big juicy drops falling heavily, not drizzle. We cleaned up, and then made a run for it; I ended up in side with Jason, his girlfriend (biological statistics, as of this coming fall), and Jenny’s beer, which was, since she was stuck outside near the Union Theater, eventually donated to Darin. Around 7:30 the rain let up and we left. Darin and a friend went to the Nitty Gritty. I came home.
—June 10 2005