Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weekend in Review

So Obama now has a double-digit lead over HRC in the NH polls. You'll forgive me for not getting too jubilant. I'm no supporter of Hillary (clearly), but right now predicting the Fall of the House of Clinton! is the prevailing narrative for our friends in the Fourth Estate. When she slightly raised her voice last night during the debate all the reports started saying, "Shrill! Meltdown! Lost it!" I kept re-viewing the debate and could not see the meltdown some outlets were claiming. She could have hit it out of the park last night and unless they had all decided that Clinton is the Comeback Kid in NH! was the story, she'd still have been declared dead in the water.

I have no doubt that Obama's turn will come a la some kind of Golden Boy Tarnished! narrative via those same news peddlers. It's how our news media works. So I'm not taking too much schadenfreude-y joy in Hillary's 'oy' regardless of how tempting it may be to do so. I'm all big-hearted like that.

We saw the movie The Namesake last night, starring Kal Penn of risible Harold and Kumar fame. Namesake was a world away from White Castle however. An adaptation of the Mira Nair novel of the same name, it follows Indian-American Gogol Ganguli from his parents' meeting via arranged marriage, through his journey as an American kid straddling the worlds of Bengali customs and American sensibilities. I'm doing the story absolutely zero justice here, so see it for yourself. By the end of the film I was doing that, "Man, I think I have something in my eye" thing because this was a very touching and funny and bittersweet movie. The only false note is Gogol's Caucasian girlfriend played by Real World alum Jacinda Barrett. I actually said out loud, "Is she written this annoying in the book? Am I meant to completely dislike her from her first word?" I'm not sure, but either way she was the one not great part of the movie. The actors who were Gogol's parents were amazing, the story wonderful. I want to read the book now because if the movie captured so much of the silent pain, I can only imagine how well the book communicates it. Seriously netflix this movie if you can.

You also need to netflix The Wire's first four seasons and watch at least two episodes per night until you are fully caught up. The fifth and final season premiered on HBO tonight, and I just don't know what I'm going to do when this show ends. This show kicks so much ass that it has never won an Emmy. In a world where Desperate Housewives has, like, four, it's a badge of honor baby. The show is all about Baltimore, the police, the drugs, the money trail that leads to and from the drugs, the kids involved, the parents, the politicians, everyone. From HBO: The first season of 'The Wire' (2002) concentrated on the often-futile efforts of police to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring headed by Avon Barksdale and his lieutenant, Stringer Bell. In Seasons Two and Three, as the Barksdale investigation escalated, new storylines involving pressures on the working class and the city's political leadership were introduced. Season Four focused on the stories of several young boys in the public school system, struggling with problems at home and the lure of the corner - set against the rise of a new drug empire in West Baltimore and a new Mayor in City Hall. The fifth season is now tackling the press and their role in the continuing problems plaguing the city. In any season, The Wire is such a great show because it offers no easy answers, if any answers at all. It shows good and bad cops, good people in a bad system, good kids with bad parents, good teachers and bad teachers in a crumbling infrastructure. What it never shows, however, is a fairytale ending. People are killed, cops lose their stripes, schools are used as pawns in political games--and the drug situation goes on unabated. I seriously will enter a period of mourning when this show ends. See that you do too.

You also should consider getting Hustle via netflix too. It's a BBC show with the delightful Robert Vaughn as a member of a group of long-con artists headed by Adrian Lester. This show is exceedingly funny and cool because it cons you, the viewer, in some respects by its Gotcha! endings. The story follows this group of good-natured hustlers-with-a-code: "you can't cheat an honest man." They perpetrate various long cons (big money, big investment to make the con happen) against various unpleasant and extremely wealthy individuals. But just as soon as you think they are going to be caught red-handed, you realize that the con is not what you think it is, nor is the risk you think they face. They turn so many of your expectations on their heads that I now find myself wondering where the Gotcha is going to be in every episode. It's good telly.

For parents, from today's New York Times. Even if your kid is one month old, this article will nail what you feel. It's by Elissa Ely and I will post it as soon as the NYT web site acknowledges that it was actually in their paper today.
UPDATE: I am a shmo. It was in the Globe. watching_the_past/

Okay, with that I'm off to get some sleep for about 45 minutes till Bambina decides (again) that shadows scare her. Then I go up and attempt to explain that leaving one's light on at night causes the very shadows that scare her. I then ask if she wouldn't prefer to have the light off. NO!! Okay my love, well, here's your choice: turn the lights off and no shadows, or leave them on and have shadows. During the day we discuss shadows--our friends the shadows--and how they are not scary. But as soon as one pops up, it's drama with a capital Dram. And good thing I don't have a job to get to tomorrow so I can manage our ongoing Shadow Crisis without worrying about exhaustion in front of clients. I can just worry about exhaustion in front of child.

Happy Monday, y'all. Hope you got a good night's rest. :)

1 comment:

Vigilante said...
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