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Our Last 50 Referrers

« Women Who Convert to Islam ... | Main | Women and Stress »

December 29, 2005


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Dunking, gymnastics -- it somehow makes sense ...

* I'm one happy Vedantist and yoga-newbie. Still, those Hindu-ish cults ... What's all that about? Here's a fascinating memoir about 30 years spent living with Yogi Bhajan.

* Slate's Jill Hunter Pellettieri thinks foodies should go easier on that hyper-perky whirlwind, Rachael Ray. (Link thanks to a fluff-scoffing Steve Sailer.)

* Somone has been giving Anne Hathaway's scenes in "Havoc" one heck of a close going-over. (NSFW)

* Dudes: Have you ever wondered if you'd have been happier attending Florida State University? On the other hand, college life in Western Canada can evidently get lively too. (NSFW) (CORRECTION: Thanks to Intellectual Pariah, who points out that the Canadian party-heartiers aren't in "Western Canada." They're at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.)

* Erotic blogging and podcasting: another match made in techno-heaven. (No naughty visuals, but the audio is very NSFW ...)

* Functionality or aesthetics? Why should we have to choose, wonders Virignia Postrel. Nice quote: "Aesthetics isnít a substitute for functionality, but functionality isnít a substitute for aesthetics either."

* Everybody -- even fictional characters -- is doing it: The immortal Nomi Malone (heroine of "Showgirls") is now a blogger.

* Will a woman-run corporation be a more trusting place than an outfit run by men? Here's a book that has its doubts.

* I'm even more of a former film-buff than I thought. Of the 21 movies and shows Anne Thompson includes on her year-end lists, I've seen exactly one.

* Razib asks a lot of provocative questions about Christmas, Christianity, paganism, and culture.

* Jill tells a sad story about getting used by a rich kid. Great passage: "He was a good-looking hippy boy, with pretty curls and a dimple. He also seemed kind of aloof, in that way that was completely alien to me, that way that only very rich kids are. A sense of entitlement, which I mistook for confidence." Rich kids often are kind of aloof, aren't they?

* Here's a clever way to become a regular videoblogger: do your vlogging during your commuting time.

* Why not become a vlogger yourself?

* Are you interested in sampling French graphic novels? Zompist supplies a page of recommendations.

* News comes from the University of Rochester that all of digital photography's problems have now been solved.



posted by Michael at December 29, 2005


which one was that? you're too much of a culture vulture not to have seen more of these movies...

Posted by: anne thompson on December 30, 2005 3:20 AM

Jill's story *is* sad. Wow.

Posted by: MD on December 30, 2005 9:48 AM

That's not "Western Canada", it's the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, just about 100 miles north of Cleveland, OH. In fact, it's the Saugeen-Maitland residence, a concrete highrise which already had a depraved reputation in the mid-1980s when I was at school there.

Posted by: Intellectual Pariah on December 30, 2005 10:36 AM

Anne -- I'm a theater-owner's nightmare: a moviebuff who almost never goes to movie theaters any more. I think I saw all of three movies in theaters last year -- "History of Violence," (The Wife is a Croneneberg nut and wouldn't let me not go with her), "The Passenger," and that new Townes Van Zandt documentary. FWIW, my hunch is that the day that digital cinema projection is finally perfected and installed will be the same day the final film fan stops seeing movies in theaters.

MD -- It's a good posting in many ways, isn't it? One of them, that's a good topic for all of us: our first encounters with the rich.

IP -- Good pseudonym! Thanks for the info, I'll correct. Funny how some dorms acquire and then keep for many years a certain rep, isn't it?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 30, 2005 11:00 AM

Michael: Two days ago I went to the movie theatre for the second time all year to see Harry Potter (hold your laughter please). The film was being cancelled because the film broke.

Even though the videoclips about the commuters didn't seem all that great, it's a great concept! BTW, putting a camera mount inside (or even outside) your car is cheap and easy. You can do it for less than $75.

Posted by: Robert Nagle on December 30, 2005 2:31 PM

I liked the Anne Hathaway link so much I stayed up late last night and watched the entirety of "Ella Enchanted", which is not exactly my usual fare. I don't think I had ever seen her before. And yeah, I guess the nude scenes (umm, in "Havoc" not "Ella"), were fine, but after a certain age it just becomes "nice tits" and you move on. And it was the other stills that impressed me.

She is stunning. And from what I saw of her in "Ella" charming and talented. But she reminded me of many other All-American healthy brunettes who never seem to reach their potential. Margaret Colin and maybe Tea Leoni, althought Tea is doing well, and I should be able to come up with others.
Lauren Bacall? I guess a feminist might say that American movie-goers don't like their actresses that strong, but I sometimes wonder if some actresses can be so strong and healthy that they can't find a vulnerability to increase their range.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on December 30, 2005 8:32 PM

Michael: Here's my grades for the flicks I saw last year. I did it as a year-end thing. Clip & save!

(BTW, you also saw The Island and Sin City, or at least according to your posts you did. Meaningless exercises in style do tend to evaporate from the mind though, don't they?)

Downfall A+
Batman Begins A-
Melinda & Melinda A -
March of the Penguins A-
The Island B+
Cinderella Man B+
Sin City B+
Oliver Twist B
Red Eye B
40 Year Old Virgin B
Good Night, and Good Luck B-
The Merchant of Venice C+ (A+ for Pacino)
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit C
Corpse Bride C-
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants C-
House of Wax C-
Proof D+
Capote D
War of the Worlds D-
The Interpreter D-
Revenge of the Sith D-
Kingdom of Heaven F

I feel like I forgot a dozen or so meaningless exercises in style myself...

Posted by: Brian on December 31, 2005 3:32 AM

Now that I think about it, Michael, you saw also Red Eye on my recommendation! The three highbrow flicks are the only ones you admit to at real-life parties though, is that it?

Posted by: Brian on December 31, 2005 3:38 AM

Brian, the Movie Theater Association (if there ever is such thing) should've awarded you with life supply of popcorn; I'm impressed with your devotion to cheesy red velvet seats and coughing morons the row above.

Can I ask you (off topic - if there is only one in this post) to expand a bit on your grade for Capote?

Posted by: Tatyana on December 31, 2005 12:03 PM

Tatyana: Scene after scene of nothing happening, a crushing air of humorless self-importance, and a lead performance that consisted of little more than putting on a silly voice. I hit the road at the forty-five minute mark. Oh, and the bad guys shoulda been hanged. Ambiguity my foot!

Here's a good summary fom an IMDB reviewer:

"Hoffman's range runs the gamut from witty and subdued, sensitive and subdued, curious and subdued, and depressed and subdued. To gauge by what's on screen, Truman spends almost five solid years in an unrelieved state of quiet depression...apparently much of it laying in bed."

I'm pretty sure Capote will wind up being one of those "disposable classics" that show up around Oscar time, the films that trick the critics into thinking that dullness=depth, and then vanish without a trace as soon as the next Oscar season rolls around. (E.g. The Piano, The Ice Storm, Shine, American Beauty, Good Will Hunting, Road to Perdition, A Beautiful Mind, etc. Does anyone watch these anymore?)

You seem to have a healthy disdain for the superficial, Tatyana, so I can't imagine you liking it. Have you seen it?

Posted by: Brian on December 31, 2005 4:38 PM

"Does anyone watch these anymore?"

The Ice Storm. Yes, again & again.

Road to Perdition, for Conrad Hall's cinematography, as eye candy only.

I agree about the others.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on December 31, 2005 5:59 PM

I don't know what am I doing here, 6+ hours till the champagne pop, but since tradition demands to close all unfinished business before the clock strucks, I'll answer the Q.

I did see Capote and I liked it - with reservations. Hoffman won me over. I ignored the inescapable Hollywood posturing, vulgar "society made them criminals" dull message. When you try to abstract from inevitable ideological cliches, get concentrated on message that matters: responsibility of the words you say, their consequences, how it affects people; harmless enough bragging and a little white(really ?) lie for money. Glamour, wit, sparkle - and disgusting dirt you yourself - needlessly, needlessly - put on your family, all to turn some heads your way.

And the crime itself: what makes a person who, by all markers, should never had done it, go on a cruel killing spree? I loved it that the answer given is an intentional non-answer, not satisfactory even to the writer who was eager to embroider any hint - but he's left empty-handed; Capote failed in his profesional ability, as detector of human soul's movements; for all his assumed wisdom he didn't have a clue what made his subject tick.

This is sketchy and not quite legible, sorry - my aperitif started to get to me - but there is always a next year, right?

Happy New Year everyone; let it bring clarity.

Posted by: Tatyana on December 31, 2005 6:22 PM

Re Yogi Bhajan: the author was repeatedly abused by her father. Later she equated Yogi Bhajan with another corrupt father abusing her. Is she talking about Yogi Bhajan or herself?

This is a sadder story than Jill's.

Re Jill: We're talking about self-conscious, gawky adoescents. What was his story? Maybe he was in love with her and too incompetent to deal with it.

The Jim Kunstler Theory of Life: When you go to a party with 100 people, 99 of them think no one at the party wants to talk to them.

The other 1 is Jim. These 2 sound like 2 of the 99.

Posted by: john massengale on January 2, 2006 12:51 PM

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