The Wayne Coyne way.
I enjoyed it.
Also saw Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. I DID NOT enjoy it.
That is all. Except: This week will be the Year in Review issue. Lotsa lists and lots of snarky blurbs. Next week we're back to normal, and there will be reviews of Valkyrie (by Ann Morrow) and The Reader (by Laura Leon) and Benjamin Button (by John Brodeur) and I've Loved You Too Long (by me) and many more.
Peculiar, yes, that there are two big Hollywood Nazi-centric flicks opening today? There's the Tom Cruise as German hero flick, Valkyrie, in which our Tom, surrounded by British actors, attempts to blow their Adolf up real good.
Then there's The Reader, which stars Kate Winslet (left) as a former SS camp guard with a shameful secret not related to murdering Jews. I just saw it. Winslet is superb. The story is as trite as my flip description, but, as with the equally trite The Hours, director Stephen Daldry has made something quite entertaining of questionable material. Whether that is appropriate is for you to decide.
It's nominated for 4 Golden Globes.
UPDATE: A.O. Scott panned the film in the NY Times. Fair enough. But he also criticized the filmmakers for scrambling the simple, linear structure of the novel into a complex flashback structure. In yet another example of something that's been bugging me lately--the herd mentality of many film critics--other reviewers have echoed this complaint. Any critic worth his official Roger Ebert Film Critic Sweater should know damn well why there's a flashback structure: So there is no shock or dislocation when the teenage lead character, played with skill by David Kross, turns into a middle age man played by the great Ralph Fiennes. That would have stopped the drama dead in its tracks. The audience needs to know from early on that Kross and Fiennes are playing the same character at different ages.
The New York Post reporting on New York City Councilman and state Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate's alleged attack on his girlfriend that left her with a black eye and a gash on her cheek that required 20 stitches:
Can't get enough of serial optimist and author of The Long Emergency? The KunstlerCast:
I added the emphasis because, as anyone who follows Troy politics knows, the controversy of selling/demolishing/moving/re-building City Hall has been a heated one, only settled this summer when Uncle Joe stepped in and planted a big $6 million in Tutunjian's hot palm. I have written before on my distaste for the plan to demolish the 30-year-old building just cause it's ugly. Between the costs of relocating the City Hall offices to the Judge building and then finding them a new home when that lease runs out, I won't be surprised when Bruno's millions wind up costing Troy more money than just repairing the existing City Hall. In an economy like this one, it just doesn't make sense to be spending tax dollars on such an extravagance; how many times will it take River Street blowing up before we invest money in fixing our infrastructure? The money from Bruno aside, there has never been a thoroughly compelling argument that demolition, rather than restoration, is the better choice.
Regardless, Kunstler's conversation with the mayor is worth a listen.
Pictures of fun stuff we recommend:
(If you're wondering about the TOP image, I didn't write about Holiday CD's this year, as is my wont. Go out and buy, in a local used record store, an old holiday LP like this Firestone tire compilation instead.)
UPDATED to improve layout.
Kevin Drum finds a nugget in the NYT about our own Sen. Schumer, and writes:
"When it comes to workplace regulation, they're on the side of workers. When it comes to consumer regulation, they're on the side of consumers. But when it comes to financial regulation they're....um — well, they've been mostly on about the same side as Republicans. It's true that the fanatics are largely on the GOP side, but they've been aided and abetted the entire time by a Democratic Party that went along with their self-regulation agenda with almost nary a complaint. This has truly been a bipartisan train wreck."
The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.
In October, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrated the opening of its opulent EMPAC with elegant champagne soirees and weeks of festivities. At the same time, according to sources, the school was alerting department heads of budget cuts, with some absorbing losses of 25 percent or more. And now, just in time for the holidays, according to a forwarded email, R.P.I. President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson has warned the "Rensselaer Community" that "staffing reductions will be necessary" immediately.
Jackson, who makes $1.3 million, didn't state whether or not she would be willing to take a pay cut to help achieve these "financial objectives."