Archive for February, 2007


Get Ready. They’ll Be Coming.

February 27, 2007

h1, February 17th, 2007

February 26, 2007

Early in the morning of February 17th, 2007, this was on the front page of

Clicking that link took me to this story:

Aside from the obvious absurdity of this being front-page, above-the-fold news anyway, I have another issue — an issue beyond the ridiculous nonsense headline. The issue is simple: How is this even political news? What on earth is this even doing in the Politics section at all?


You and Oscar Have Fun.

February 25, 2007

Oh, right. The Oscars are tonight. I completely forgot because, you see, I don’t care. I’m not entirely sure when I stopped caring, but it was three or five years ago, when I had somewhere to be the night of the show and didn’t realize that I was missing. Since then, I can’t be bothered to give half a damn.

Making Oscar predictions is a little like betting on a horserace that takes all year to unfold, with each horse running the track a week apart, in slow motion. And the whole thing is rigged anyway. Not literally rigged, as in the voting is tampered with, but rigged as in the reasons why people vote don’t have that much to do with the categories. Best Actor trophies go to people, not to actors for the roles they played since last year. The Best Director Oscar gets awarded not for a movie in the last year, but for a director that Academy members either want to work with or apologize to for past years. The Departed was terrific, but the ultimate reason why Scorsese will win this year (assuming) is because he released a movie after the rags ran articles on his recurring failure to win much-deserved Oscars.

The movies that get nominated can be spotted a month away, now, by when it gets released, by what arm of what studio, who’s in it and how the studio chooses to market it. Movies are made to win Oscars, like they’re competing for a marketing scholarship. The awards have so little to do with their categories anymore, I honestly wonder why we can’t just have the Academy nominate five directors, actors and actresses each year who they’d like to fuck or hire or dine with or study under or comb their hair, regardless of whether the nominee released a movie before December 31st of last year.

The show is dull — fifteen minutes of entertainment broken up like a pill and stirred into four hours of mush — and I can watch the highlights anytime I want to for the next four months anyway.

Yet the Emmies still hold a thrill for me. Why? Because the nominees continue on after the award show. Because an Emmy can be appreciated or despised in the context of a show’s ongoing run. It’s not necessarily more fair or rewarding, but it’s at least a little more meaningful. Why does a show win one year and lose the next? Why does a writer? A cast?

If the Oscars awarded five trophies for Best Picture every five years, that might be more compelling. Did three Best Picture-worthy films come out in one year? Great — they all get one. Did the first Lord of the Rings maybe deserve the Oscar, while the third one shouldn’t have even been nominated? Fine, then, at least we won’t be praising one movie just for managing to complete a trilogy. The Best Picture in a year of garbage isn’t equal to Best Picture in a year like 1974, when Godfather II was up against Chinatown and The Conversation.

I mean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Goodfellas and L.A. Confidential are all in the same bracket as The Cider House Rules, The Fully Monty, Jerry Maguire and Quiz Show? Really? They’re all Best Picture nominees, but because these movies came out in the same year as movies like Chariots of Fire, Titanic or Forrest Gump, they don’t get to put the award on their DVD box. Whatever.

Five years of hindsight might go a long way toward developing awards that can appreciate, say, Munich as opposed to Crash, or Fellowship of the Ring as opposed to A Beautiful Mind. Better than that, it might let us recognize that E.T. and Ghandi are both Best Picture-caliber movies, even though Richard Attenborough and Spielberg released them in the same year.

Update: I happened to be in the kitchen making coffee when Michael Mann’s montage for America (or is that Montage For America?) came on. There’s four of the fifteen minutes of entertainment right there. I forgot about the montages — they’re what I miss about watching the Oscars. Losing four hours of my Sunday night is not what I miss.



February 25, 2007

I love this picture. It scares the hell out of me.

— by Dave Bushe


American Metaphor

February 18, 2007


Says It All

February 18, 2007

I’ve never met James Wallis, but I’ve read a lot of his work and seen him in a movie. I also frequently remember a saying of his, which penetrated my head like a bullet and lodged in the wrinkles of the writer part of my brain. It goes like this:

I have so much to do that I’m going to bed.

(But, I can’t breathe through my nose and my throat feels like it was dragged across asphalt, so I can’t exactly sleep either.)


Desmond and Darko

February 16, 2007

I’ll make this quick:

First of all, I told you that Desmond is from the future, at least since the failsafe incident. He’s not precognitive, he’s a time traveler. Maybe the psychic that Claire went to back in Season 1 was, too.

Enough with the referencing of Donnie Darko when talking about this past episode, “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” Donnie Darko did not invent the conflicts between time travel and free will. That’s one of the archetypal component conflicts of time-travel stories, people. Come on.

If you think the notion of alternate timelines — or alternate Earths, or alternate possibilities — is a new revelation on the show, let me point you to the reincarnation references, Oz allusions and four-toed statues all over the island and the series. What we learned during “The Lost Experience” was that people (Dharma?) were trying to forestall or escape a major human catastrophe deemed, by the Valenzetti Equation, to be imminent. That is, these people are trying to change a predicted future and create a new outcome for humanity — that’s free will versus destiny. Maybe the way to do this is to make use of a major electromagnetic anomaly on a remote tropical island that’s moving between different worlds, from Earth to “Oz” or “Neverland” or wherever. Maybe the idea is to reincarnate mankind in this alternate world.

Anyway, the point is, this multiple worlds aspect of the Lost material has been there since the beginning.