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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in cija's LiveJournal:

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    Friday, December 27th, 2013
    4:32 pm
    I am not technically on vacation today but I did leave at noon to go down the street and watch Inside Llewyn Davis before coming back to the office.  This is a good movie.  Maybe it is a great movie.  It will make you feel bad, though.  There is no amount of making fun of the Clancy Brothers that is too small to - what is the opposite of spoil - a filmic experience.  There is not too much Carey Mulligan in it unless you think any at all is too much.  I do think John Goodman is miscast but I don't mind, it's fine.  I read a bad review by some ignorant fuck who referred to one particular line as 'the only laugh-out-loud' moment which just goes to prove what an ignorant fuck he is.  Every musical scene is a joke and a funny one too.  There are a lot of musical scenes.  That's a lot of good jokes!

    You should go see it and ignore everybody who is like blah blah blah Dave Van Ronk didn't really blah blah blah or who is mad about the Coen brothers being mean about a musical style and culture that is pretty intolerable even for those who are able to have some fondness for it.  Five minutes in and then for most of the rest of it you will be having a very hard time because you will be sick with anxiety over what happens to the cat.  At least you will be if you are a human being, and I think a lot of you are.  Just try to keep in mind that fundamentally it is not about the cat's welfare, it is about how 1961 was the worst possible time for a human being to be alive. 
    Sunday, December 15th, 2013
    11:36 am
    hobbits review

    I paid $12.50 to watch a slow pan over Lee Pace's eyebrows and I don't feel like I was cheated.

    it was good that they saved money on all the dragon scenes by not making benedict cumberpatch wear a costume and just letting him be himself.  but it was bad that they spent like five hours in Laketown, a town where everybody wears Uggs and has to listen to Stephen Fry all the time.   and the elf lady was completely fine, she was no dumber than Legolas.

    and, ide_cyan, I must disagree about this movie not passing the Bechdel test.  All those spiders did nothing but talk to each other (about the dwarves, yes but we must remember that Dwarves are not Men.) (here is a SPOILER:  when Bilbo puts on the ring, he understands spider speech!)  they sound like such nice ladies, all they are saying is like 'we are so hungry' and 'let's eat this dwarf, he looks tasty.'  nothing wrong in that.  nothing evil about it.

    and I am not super up on feminist comics lingo but I believe the spiders were what you call "fridged" so that Bilbo could have some "feelings."  so, warning for that if you find that plot trope offensive (I sure do)

    there is a  trippy Sauron part that is pretty good, I almost forgot about it.  although it seems to me like they were at great pains to clarify that the evil Sauron eye is not a vagina like everybody said. [1]  like the whole point of that sequence was not to be mysterious and a little scary but just to point out that that eyeball shape can morph into all sorts of things that are not vaginas.

    Here is another SPOILER and this is a big one and a bad one:  Lee Pace's elk was not cast in this movie.  it does not fight the Mirkwood spiders.  It does not fight the wargs.  it does not do anything.  it is not there.

    [1] Not me!  I never thought that and still don't.  It was just everybody else did say that, for whatever reason.

    EDIT:  I was on a lot of opiates when I watched this because that is a thing I have to do if I'm going to be sitting down for three hours.  usually I find this gives the things I do a nice euphoric glow in retrospect but in this case Lee Pace is the one and only thing I remember fondly even with drugs helping.  the rest of it was like if I were Smaug and the movie theater was the mines of Erebor and boredom was a giant cascading river trap of molten gold and Peter Jackson was Thorin Oakenshield, if you know what I mean.

    Sunday, October 28th, 2012
    6:06 pm
    Please join me in wishing property damage on strangers just insofar as I would like the hurricane to destroy this thing:

    this thingCollapse )

    which I have to walk by, every day, on my way home.  in the dark.  nine out of nine clown phobias are made up but COME ON.

    ugh what do you think are the chances of savage winds uprooting it from its yard and blowing it end over end the six blocks it would have to travel to be pressed right up against my window

    please note I am not scared of it because it is a clown but because it is a jack-in-the-box.  I am not a child.

    Friday, June 8th, 2012
    11:40 pm
    PRRRRROMETHEUS
    I am so in love with David the robot I can't even handle it.  I never really ever heard of this Michael Fassbender before the Prometheus previews and I wish I still hadn't because I gather he is a bad human, in Real Life, like a Sean-Connery-level bad human, but please do not clarify for me what he did or if he actually did or didn't do it, I do not need to know or to ever see him in anything else.  I will just dwell on David the robot.  can you imagine what a triumph this film would have been if it had been two hours of David riding his bicycle and combing his hair and practicing his Peter O'Toole impression?  Jesus Christ I would have loved it. HOW is it I waited all my life to find someone who loves Lawrence of Arabia just exactly as much as I do?  and he's not real AND he's a robot.  that's what tragedy is.


    but it was not all bicycling and robot hairstylesCollapse )
    Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
    9:41 am
    Maurice Sendak has died and I feel terrible about it, if you want to know.  I think his last dog was and is still alive but the New York Times obituary does not even confirm that one way or the other.  useless as ever.  I hope I am right that it stuck around until the end,  although it is certainly very sad for the dog.  I loved him very much and he was a great man.  He was as afraid of death as I am and I hope it got him when he wasn't looking.  He was the best there is. 
    Thursday, March 31st, 2011
    10:53 pm
    SUZANNE COLLINS, HUNGER GAMES
    The Hunger Games. SPOILERS AND I HATE THESE BOOKS.


    All right I have finished reading all three books of The Hunger Games -- by read I mean listened to in audiobook form while walking to and from work, experimentally -- let me just tell you, if you were to put this book in an arena with 23 other books of similar age and experience and let them fight to the death, The Hunger Gameses would get SLAUGHTERED. And not because they are not strong and practiced enough but because they just too stupid. I know a lot of people like these books, so if you disagree you can come fight to the death in an arena with me and 22 other Hunger Games apologists, and we will just see who gets impaled on a rusty spike and who survives.

    The worst and stupidest thing is if you went back and rewrote them to be about Joanna Mason and Madge whats her name they would probably be really really good. They have good parts! But these are books in which the main character is not alternately stupid and a total dick but is your pattern-perfect queen bee type whose only affectionate relations with other women can be biological or surrogate-biological. Also Katniss's supposed love for her sister would be more convincing if they had any conversations that were not about Katniss or else more than one conversation total in three whole books.

    I guess I am mad at these books for how easily they made me feel stupid and taken-in -- I really thought the Madge business was going to redeem Katniss for being such a sexist asshole, and then after that was revealed to be a bait-and-switch, I STILL did not grasp that after such a promising beginning, Joanna was going to be treated as equally disposable and her character was just going to be dropped. Joanna is worth fifteen Katnisses easy.

    I mean, these are books of which a third of each of them is a freaking makeover scene, each treated in the manner of bondage sex scenes in the trashy fantasy novels of my youth ('this is very wrong and shows that these are bad people, let me give you lots of anatomical details and draw you some pictures'), these books in which two totally different and super good-looking boys fall in eternal love with this horrible asshole who thinks she is so tuff because she likes to beat up a fucking housecat, okay -- NOT CUTE, NOT COOL -- but the REPEATED business about how Katniss doesn't talk to girls cause girls is dumb gossips who talk about clothes would be over the fucking line in any book, not just one in which the offending character actively collaborates in a concerted propaganda effort to portray herself as a fledgling fashion designer, because she has no other interests in life other than getting out in the fresh air to kill animals, and then sneers at a stranger who to make conversation politely compliments her dress, which she is pretending to have designed herself, for being a typical girl who talks about clothes.

    Oh yeah and her personal stylist/designer (he aids the rebels...through fashion) is totally cool and sympatico and clever and a true friend, even though he lives and breathes clothes, but that is okay and totally different because he is, you know, a guy.

    I should say that half my reaction is definitely not about the text as written but is to do with the audiobook narrator, who does all the female voices in a falsetto and most of the male ones in a chesty Kathleen Turner, and puts on an awfully silly accent for Capitol types, just in case you do not get that that the stylists and other shallow city types are supposed to be effete homosexuals and/or silly bitches -- they are effete homosexuals and silly bitches from England.[1] The worst kind!

    Also I did listen to all three books all the way through so I certainly could have hated them more. I will certainly read other books by Suzanne Collins if she has written/ever writes any that are not partially consumed by this endless dick vs. doormat boyfriend subplot (but good for her for having Katniss choose the doormat, I will at least say. though that is not saying much given the whole setup where the boys have wants and desires and fall in love while the girl fucks around endlessly choosing.)

    I do think the books would make really wonderful Terry Gilliam movies although I would probably not be able to watch them. I am just thinking of the stuff he did in Dr. Parnassus recycled for the arena sections, especially for the Catching Fire arena. The particular kind of sexism he is prone to would work seamlessly with the source material so that would not be a problem, and he would do a great job with the Mockingjay part where the rebels go to shelter with Jocelyn Wildenstein.

    [1] Or old-school American theater-accent-land, but same difference.

    next post: a book I liked. maybe even two.
    Saturday, December 11th, 2010
    8:06 pm
    plus also
    meant to mention --

    The opener for Nick last month was supposed to be Armen Ra, but he had some kind of fearsome theremin accident, or his theremin did, so he fell off the tour and was replaced by Shilpa Ray, an angry woman with a harmonium. I was so sorry to miss the beautiful thereminist but I liked Shilpa Ray a lot, she was sort of yowly.
    6:26 pm
    [edit: so there's no misunderstanding, the book is good.]

    I don't know about you, but I am back from seeing Patti Smith and I have highly mixed feelings. On the one hand, you know those things where they put two chairs and two glasses of water on a stage and someone famous has a fake and stilted "conversation" with somebody not famous, the one says to the other, tell us your thoughts on art and life, and the other does so, and you feel uncomfortable for a while? On the other hand, you know those things where Patti Smith whips out a guitar and plays you a song after telling a cute story about Robert Mapplethorpe in his gold lame pants? First it was the one and then it was the other!

    And I know you don't get to be a living legend without knowing how to spin a fine line of pomposity and she IS a genius, what is my problem if she loves herself and all her famous friends just as much as we do? [My problem is actually that she mentioned "that wonderful book, 'The Alchemist'" and I felt just a little bit hollower in the empty place where I would keep my soul, if I had a soul. But maybe she meant a completely different book by the same name! At the time I just felt very OH, PATTI, as Robert Mapplethorpe was apparently used to say .] I think more than anything I feel dissatisfied because I like my living legends to despise me a little, or a lot, it's pretty fundamental to my worship experience. And Patti, when some sweaty mumbler got up to ask a question about how "Dancing Barefoot" had guided him as his perfect vision of love every year of his adult life and how did she ever come to write it, she smiled at him benevolently and answered him, radiating satisfaction and no contempt at all. I found that weird. It was a thrilling experience worth every hour I spent first in the ticket line at noon and then directly into the line for seats at 2 and then into the booksigning line right after, and my heart beat fast every moment in her presence, but I just did not feel the hand of God upon me.

    But let's talk about the last time I did!

    Last month I went to see Nick Cave and his Sad Old Mid-Life Crisis Band at the 9:30 club and it changed my life. For the better! I couldn't talk about it at the time, I had to wait until my thighs stopped quivering. Nick too has softened with age but his kindness to his audience makes you blush, every time he condescends to offer a bit of courtly stage banter or use someone's head as an armrest instead of a footrest or an ashtray, because it is a deliberate choice, he is not being cruel, but always you know he could be. I thought I was going for nostalgia and leftover affection, I did not expect him to take my world apart. I thought my love for Nick was an artifact of my youth, it was never going to go away but it couldn't be reborn again, I thought the best live shows of his careers were long behind him. I WAS WRONG. I saw him in concert twice before but it was never like this, never.

    I was RIGHT UP AT THE FRONT right in front of the left speaker. I thought to myself, I don't need full use of my eardrums but I do need to see Nick's ass that close, it may not pass this way again. It was the right decision. I was tired and my back hurt and I was sleepy and had to go to the bathroom, and then BANG I came out numb from the neck down, full of lust for life. Nick, I'll never make fun of your silly mid-life blues band again! I felt so repentant and full of joy I almost bought a Grinderman tea towel at the swag stand, can you imagine.
    10:42 am
    Ha, so after kicking out that '80s ants-on-Jesus video installation or whatever it was (not that I don't care about the details or want to characterize it accurately, just, ants, so I did not go to the protest gallery to watch it myself) the National Portrait Gallery is having Patti Smith in this afternoon to talk about her memoir about being young and terrific with Robert Mapplethorpe. I am going! I will be in a room with Patti Smith! But jeez.
    Monday, November 15th, 2010
    9:52 pm
    So at the beginning of Chapter Three of Stephen Greenblatt's Shakespearean Negotiations, he tells Montaigne's story of
    seven or eight girls from a place called Chaumont-en-Bassigni [who] plotted together "to dress up as males and thus continue their life in the world." One of them set up as a weaver, "a well-disposed young man who made friends with everybody," and moved to a village called Montier-en-Der. There the weaver fell in love with a woman, courted her, and married. The couple lived together for four or five months, to the wife's satisfaction, "so they say." But then, Montaigne reports, the transvestite was recognized by someone from Chaumont; "the matter was brought to justice, and she was condemned to be hanged, which she said she would rather undergo than return to a girl's status; and she was hanged for using illicit devices to supply her defect in sex."
    Whatever you may think about this story, familiar probably to many as it is to me from its inclusion in a lot of books about gender I must have read without remembering too well and striking as it is frightening -- though not so striking as the following anecdote in Montaigne, which Greenblatt does not discuss, about a man called Germaine who was a woman called Mary until the age of twenty-two, when, making a large leap, strained too hard, causing "her virile utensils" to come out, and at the time of writing had a full beard but no wife, unlike the unhappy weaver, now hanged, who had a wife but no beard -- the same question must seize you as seized me, which is: what happened to the other six or seven girls from Chaumont-en-Bassigne??? [1]

    Perhaps I will write a book about it (perhaps a children's book, in seven chapters, and at the end of each chapter the next girl would be found out and hanged, and the moral of the book, which would be written out, would be THIS IS THE WAY OF THE WORLD, but it would end with the hanging of the weaver, who said she did not care and would rather be hanged than go back, so it would be a happy story really.) Or an exciting book for adults full of adventures! People might like that better.

    [1]can you imagine Montaigne reading to you from his travel journals in the evenings, he tells you this story and you get very excited and demand to know what became of the other girls, but he has already moved on and is all like NEXT LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A TOWN WITH A NUNNERY AND THIS OTHER ONE, HAD SOME FOUNTAINS. And then you finally get him to go back to the transvestism story and he is all like, oh, I don't know, I didn't ask.

    Or maybe everybody already knows what happened to the other six or seven because they read their History of Gender texts with more attention than I did, and remembered them afterward.
    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
    10:02 pm
    Whoa hey Julie Taymor's The Tempest is coming out, I did not even know it had been made. Why I am excited I don't know, I hated Titus -- it was pretty arty all right, but I simply do not care for surprise cannibalism -- that is why I never saw The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, although I know I would like it a lot, and you could say it's not surprise cannibalism if you know it's coming all along, but to me it is always surprising, that's why I can't handle it -- and also on my list now of things I don't see movies for if they are in them, from Titus, is tree branches stuck in severed arm stumps. I am sorry but I just do not care for it. But anyway, I forgive, and I already forgot exactly what I had against Julie Taymor for that shit production of The Magic Flute she directed a couple years ago -- of course I did not see it but boy did I ever read the New York Times review of it.

    the Tempest trailer shows that Helen Mirren (Prospero!) will probably be okay and Alan Cumming will probably be handsome and all the other actors will SUCK. I only mind a little, although it does bug me a little that people only seem to mock the humiliating inadequacies of bad Shakespeare acting when it's done by Americans. English people are no good at it either! Djimon Hounsou is not English but he looks terrible too.

    -- I hadn't gone to a movie in almost a year until last week when I went to see Never Let Me Go. Maybe the book is good. I imagine the book is good. It was I think the worst movie I ever saw in my life, and stupid, too. Kiera Knightley was very good, it's true, but you know what, she's not especially bad in other movies, whatever people like to say, so that is no big achievement. The main woman, Carey Mulligan, I understand was momentarily a Doctor Who person, and let me tell you something, I am sorry to be mean but it FUCKING SHOWS. The first few minutes you think she is sensitive and expressive and then she stands around crying tiny tears and wearing grey flannel dresses and drinking cabbage tea and all the other things people do in England while waiting to have their organs harvested. And while if you have read reviews you may know better than to expect strong emotions or even strong language, if you were led to believe that the organ harvesting frame is essentially set dressing and the real story is is in the CHARACTER RELATIONSHIPS you have been lied to just as much as if you were promised gunplay or exciting events of any kind. It was so fucking lousy.

    There was one good part, when Young Doctor Who Person sits on her bed clutching a pillow to her breast and listening to a music tape the boy gave her, it is very affecting, and you know what the audience did to that scene? They laughed at it. A young girl, having emotions, how droll. MONSTERS. And I bet most of them liked the movie.
    Thursday, September 9th, 2010
    8:40 pm
    waaatch iittttttt
    I don't quite like to link to the Huffington Post but I would vote for this man every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
    Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
    9:32 pm
    TARDY SOTU LIVEBLOGGING
    OH MAN did you hear when Obama said how he still reads ten letters a day, but

    "the toughest letters to read are those written by children"

    'cause children don't write too clearly, get it

    LOW BLOW, BARRY

    CHEAP SHOT

    EDIT: "I know some still disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence"

    oh barack

    YOU RUINED EVERYTHING BUT ONE BITCHY LIP TWIST AND IT'S OKAY AGAIN

    EDIT SOME MORE: JUST GET THROUGH THE MIDDLE CLASS PANDERING AND GET TO THE HIGH SPEED TRAINS ALREADY WILL YOU BARRY

    WE ARE ALL ONLY WATCHING FOR THE TRAINS

    TRAIIIIINS

    Oh jesus I am muting it for the spending freeze bullshit because it is just too stupid to be endured

    WAKE ME WHEN THE TRAINS


    SAM ALITO YOU CREEPY OLD HAG, OUR BARRY HAS GOT YOUR NUMBER, YOU HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME

    I have never called our president Barry so many times in a row but THIS SPEECH IS QUITE SAUCY
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010
    1:13 pm
    QUESTION
    QUESTION: If you put this wallpaper on your bedroom wall and you put this throw on your bed, would that be too much octopus? Or does it not even make sense to say too much octopus?

    QUESTION 2: Should I have bought the two-foot tall gilded owl at the antique store yesterday? I have read enough tiresome design blogging over the past two weeks to know that owls are "played out" as a design element but I must say I still "like them." OR should I have bought the 5- or 6- foot square giant birdcage at the other antique store? I could use it for, for a library? A bedroom? I could buy an actual owl and imprison it there?

    I am absolutely going to buy the giant (and I mean GIANT) ornate gilded mirror at the other other antique store next week, I am not going to even ask about that. Can you tell that I am excited about having an apartment of my own again (IN SIX DAYS)? I am excited about having an apartment of my own again (IN SIX DAYS). I am also very frightened about getting all of my possessions back, they have been seven months in storage and maybe I will open the storage pod door and there will be a cloud of moths or a herd of deer or a flock of owls come storming out. Plus I do not remember the combination to the cheap hardware store lock I put on there seven months ago so I will have to take a pickaxe to the door of it or something like that.
    Saturday, January 16th, 2010
    12:17 am
    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
    is twelve pounds of misogyny in a, uh, in I guess a twelve-pound sack, since the sack is the movie and the movie is made to order. Seriously though if you watch this without wanting to punch good old Terry Gilliam in the nuts about two thirds of the time there is something seriously deficient about you as a human being. I am prepared to get into friend-losing fights about this if I need to.

    I think maybe the best way to put it is that the blackface gag was more misogynist than it was racist. I mean profoundly more.[1] That is sort of breathtaking when you think about it.

    cut for repetitiousness not for spoilersCollapse )
    Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
    8:21 pm
    mais ce n’est pas un homme, c’est un champignon
    Oh my god, You've Got Mail was on the television AND I WATCHED IT. This is the charming story of how big stupid stores move in and destroy incompetent independent businesses and nobody minds as long as they are rich and in love, and nobody has trouble paying their Manhattan rents even when they lose their jobs and have nothing to do with themselves for months. I liked the movie for two seconds when Meg Ryan (who, though I hate her, actually does have what they call A Quality in this movie, though in no others) makes some cute reference to the correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Then I felt dirty. [1] and at the center of it all is TOM HANKS, this sexless misshapen potato of a man. So there is TENSION set up because, you, the viewer, want Meg Ryan to be happy (on account of her Quality) but equally and perhaps more so you want Tom Hanks to be unhappy (as he is not a man, but a mushroom.) Meg, who starts out the movie wearing scary-severe crisp white shirts buttoned all the way up under slim black sweater vests, and crisp white shirts under nun-grey blank shifts (sexy-sexy!), soon lapses into limp twinsets and baggy khaki trousers to match her repulsive paramour, it is tragic to watch. There is this scene towards the end where they promenade down an avenue of flower stalls wearing MATCHING BEIGE PANTS. This is to symbolize Meg giving up her dreams. HOWEVER, even though Tom Hanks ends the movie with a squalid sexual triumph, the movie has one of those meta-happy-endings, because we-in-the-now know that ten years after the closing credits BordersFox Books starts hemorrhaging money and poor old Tom Hanks spends his days alternately begging Barnes & Noble to buy him out (which they will not do because they do not have any money either) and playing a kazoo for spare change in Grand Central Station. Romantic comedies! They aren't very good.

    [1] I WILL NEVER FEEL CLEAN AGAIN
    Sunday, December 6th, 2009
    10:05 pm
    Went to hear Handel's Messiah at the National Cathedral, got tickets in the "partial view" section because they were the cheapest and the only ones not sold out but that is okay because who would not rather look at beautiful columns than singers making faces (NO OFFENSE SINGERS but for the love of the god about whom you were singing, please stop trying to show "emotions" through your facial "expressions," that is what the music is for, I mean you, soprano, the other three soloists did not make awful faces the whole time.) AND MY GOODNESS AUDIENCE WERE YOU RAISED IN A BARN, I was brought up to believe that the only time you ever ever EVER leave in the middle of a musical performance, intermission aside, is when you are having a heart attack or a baby, and if you are wearing clicky heels in an echoey cathedral you stick it out till the end even if one of those things is happening to you, but a full third of the audience today just up and left after the Hallelujah chorus, it was SO RUDE I thought. I mean yes the middle hour of that stupid oratorio is extremely boring but after the Hallelujah chorus is the prettiest aria of all and the last fifteen minutes are prettier than the whole middle hour, so it was foolish of them as well as rude.

    then I walked the two miles down to Dupont Circle in my ouchey new boots and had a couple of glasses of wine and then I went home. My relatives keep trying to impress upon me how great a city DC is for free things that are culturally edifying, and it is true, it is, and I do love the Smithsonian and all the various readings and panel discussions and things, but the thing I love best of all is throwing away money on entertainment, it makes everything seem covered in a faint golden haze, I was not made for poverty one bit. I will have to get a better job sooner rather than later, but I do not want to give up my bad-job three-day weekends either, which I also love, already, even though I have only enjoyed two days of the very first one.

    I think I am beginning to believe that I can really live here and never ever go back to Indiana or New York and it is a very good feeling.
    Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
    4:58 pm
    Do you know who I saw last night at the Sixth & I synagogue? Barney Frank! I walked six miles and paid six dollars for the pleasure, a bargain at twice the price. Although not a bargain for five times the price, so I did not purchase a copy of his biography and therefore did not follow him down into the after-talk reception and get it signed, although I certainly would have liked to if I could have afforded it, which I could not, because of poverty. The biography's author (who was there alongside him in what they called a "panel" although you need more than two people to call it a panel, I really think) was smarmy as fuck and the moderator was mainly there to facilitate the production of anecdotes, but Barney Frank was delightful even though the audience was desperately eager to please by laughing as loudly and as often as they could possibly justify and even though I was sitting next to a couple that repeated each witticism as it was produced to make certain the other had heard it. It was fabulous.

    Barney Frank really is very smart, the smartest, though sadly his intelligence is both under- and over-sold in the popular press. I mean a lot of people seem to mean by "smart" that HA HA DID YOU HEAR HE CALLED A LADY A DINING ROOM TABLE THAT ONE TIME, which, WITTICISM, yes I laughed as well, in the moment, but it is much more of interest that he is just an extremely intelligent speaker on all topics--he is not full of facts because he read twenty briefings and memorized a set of talking points before each interview; he is full of them and can speak off the cuff without preparation because he really does know a lot of things about almost everything. And the moderator asked him a fairly stupid question, something like How do you reconcile your belief in the importance of civil liberties with your belief in the importance of government intervention to help people? and instead of calling the moderator a dining room table as perhaps he was tempted to do, he just up and talked about John Stuart Mill for a while and it was AWESOME.

    what else do I remember, let me see, Barney Frank hates the twitter and the Blackberries and he likes books, good for him. He did not seem terribly fond of the "netroots." He says we should all use UPS for our package delivery needs, because they are unionized. Someone in the question/answer period asked him a question that was basically, Being a Jew is awesome, Y/N? and he responded with a well-articulated Y, which was well-received. He mentioned Hillary Clinton's smartness and judgment a couple of times. He is in favor of pornography. I mean he went to some lengths to make the distinction between things that goverment has an interest in encouraging and things that the government has no business forbidding or indeed taking any position on, but I am going to just ignore that distinction and report that Barney Frank is highly in favor of pornography and marijuana, as am I ("And not just for medicinal use!" he said.) Someone asked a smug liberal question about how we, smug liberals, can 'help' the struggling Republican party and get it to stop wallowing in its own crapulence or whatever, and Barney Frank said we can only help them by crushing them brutally, breaking their spines and their hearts and their spirits in 2012, because only then will they be forced to rebuild along more sensible lines. He said also that we should never support moderate republicans in the current climate, they're just taking us for suckers because whatever they say, once they get in, they vote with the party, we are only enabling them and they in turn are enabling the party leadership, so they, too, must be crushed. I liked this answer a lot.

    All the post-panel questioners were extremely well-prepared and well-spoken except for the one token crazy person, and most of them seemed to be from organizations of some kind, so it is good that I did not fight my way into the line and ask my question on camera (it would have been, "Barney Frank, please list the top five members of congress you hate most, and why, please give details, P.S. you are my favorite" and he probably would have just ignored me anyway, he is too cool for me.) He gave a very detailed answer to the question about the DC same-sex marriage business; apparently congress will let us keep it after all? No one ever lets DC have nice things, so I was sure they would take it away and it was just passed for the sake of trying, but I guess I was wrong, hooray.
    Saturday, August 15th, 2009
    9:03 pm
    Is there such a thing as a dedicated LJ community for very specific book recommendations where you tell them a set of criteria and they give you a list of things that suit it? Not vague crap like "what is a good book for my boring friend who does not like to read," more like, you say you want a book about amnesiac psychic teens, but not the kind where they work as a team to fight other, eviller psychics, the kind where they run away from oppressive situations, but not the kind of book where they turn out to be aliens in the end or the kind where they have escaped from a government lab, the kind where they are special people with special destinies. Or you want a book where there is a sympathetic narrator and also a horrible psychopath but in the end they are THE SAME PERSON, because of split personalities, and there is amnesia too.

    I think what would work really well is posting such queries on whatwasthatbook, pretending to have read such a book and forgotten the title, but that would be a misuse of a very good resource, although it would work really well, like I say.
    Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
    10:41 pm
    REVIEW: this Harry Potter film
    That was the most molestery movie I ever saw and that is INCLUDING all fifteen of the previous Harry Potter movies! The problem with all the movies and the books as well is that Harry never does anything, not a thing ever, he just like STUMBLES over things and has people TELL him stuff, and finally, finally they give him an actual quest! a goal! a task! that Hermione does not solve for him by researching the answers for him and Ron does not solve for him by sitting around being useless and WHAT IS THAT SPECIAL TASK THAT ONLY HARRY CAN PERFORM? WELL it is to seduce information out of the pervy old schoolteacher by repeatedly offering him himself! And he does it, too, without any help from his friends or anything, and it only takes him the whole movie. Hooray!

    edit: and thank god Draco's actor belatedly grew into some kind of tolerably good looks by the time he had his big emotional arc, because it is a lot easier to feel sympathy for people with moral dilemmas when they are at least a little bit handsome. Not a moment too soon, Tom Felton!
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