My fiance has gone up to NYC to do awesome things for a bit, so I was home alone tonight with a vow to watch all the movies. I saw Looper, which I thought was great and sad. I didn’t realize they’d done up JGL to look like Bruce Willis, so for a little while I felt pretty uneasy because JGL didn’t look like himself. Had he gotten plastic surgery? Why would he do that? So I had to pause the movie and consult the google machine. Then I felt better.
I also watched Pootie Tang up until the scene where he smears cherry pie on himself. I hate seeing pie go to waste, so I turned it off. I thought it was funny before that, though, in kind of a rough, sequential way. I also liked the tiny shout-outs to The Wire.
I finished Going Clear by Lawrence Wright and am a little sad that it’s done. I’m not sure what is wrong with me—it’s not a novel. It was written like one, though, with a definite build-up and climax. I thought some of the sentences could have used some fine-tuning. There were instances where his pronouns were ambiguous, and where he used informal language that didn’t quite fit. But you can’t fault his research, which appears to be comprehensive. Every other page has a footnote that says “The Church of Scientology denies that this took place.” or “Tom Cruise’s lawyer says Cruise has no memory of that conversation.” I didn’t know beforehand about the apparent violations of child labor laws, physical violence towards underlings, and extortion of those who try to leave the church. And that, with all the money they make, they have managed to qualify as a religious organization with the benefits that status affords them during tax season. Jebus.
What you might not know is that a small Caesar salad at Wendy’s is far superior to a side salad at the Macaroni Grill.
A year after 9/11, Tom Cruise set up a program for over a thousand rescue workers in New York to go through a similar procedure [the "purification rundown"], which was paid for in part by using city money. Many participants reported positive results, saying that they had sweated a kind of black paste through their pores while in the sauna. The Borough of Manhattan gratefully declared March 13 (Hubbard’s birthday), 2004 as “Hubbard Detoxification Day.”
from Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright. Boldface mine. I…don’t know what to say. This was probably in the news when it happened, but I missed it. I am thoroughly disturbed.
"We saw to the edge of all there is—-
So brutal and alive it seemed to comprehend us back.”
From “My God, It’s Full of Stars” from Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith. A great poem from a great collection, even if I think 2001 is an overrated movie.
Anonymous asked: My eyes followed the lit cigarette hanging from his mouth as he turned and looked at me.
My eyes followed the lit cigarette hanging from his mouth as he turned and looked at me.
"What are you staring at?" he asked.
"Cigarettes aren’t romantic," I said. "We should stop romanticizing them."
"But I like smoking," he said, flicking his too-long hair out of his eyes like Justin Bieber.
"Well, you’re stupid," I said, and then I grabbed his cigarette out his mouth, ground it against the wall to put it out, and then disposed of it in the proper container.
The work at my job is pretty mindless, so I listen to a lot of podcasts from 8:30-5. Here are my favorites:
New Books in Poetry is an interview series with well-known poets that have just put books out. I like these interviews because the host, John Ebersole, mostly gets out of the way and lets his interviewees tell their stories of how they got into writing and their journeys since. There has not yet been a boring host monologue or yawn-worthy question about where the guest likes to write. Apparently, New Books is a larger effort to get people talking about books published in the humanities, and anyone with subject expertise can apply to become a host of a books channel.
Snap Judgment, much like This American Life, is a nationally syndicated show that broadcasts human interest stories on a theme for each week. I enjoy the stories themselves, as well as the unique framing given by the gregarious and dynamic host, Glynn Washington. I’ve only just begun listening to it, but I like what I have heard.
Book Fight! I didn’t like at first, but after listening to a few later episodes it grew on me. It reminds me of Car Talk, except it’s about novels (mostly) and writing. Every week’s episode focuses on either a particular novel the hosts agreed to read, or on answering listeners’ questions about writing (and MFA programs, de facto). Their jokes have had me stifling laughter at work more than a few times, and they have slain without mercy some of the more asinine listener questions. The hosts sometimes read books by women, people of color, and other marginalized groups, but could stand to up those numbers.
Apex Magazine, publisher of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative genre fiction, publishes a monthly audio recording of one of their short stories. The stories are read aloud by good readers, much better than the New Yorker Fiction Podcast’s or the guy who reads on Escape Pod. Sorry, guys.
There might be others I haven’t thought of, but my phone is downstairs and I am upstairs. You see my problem.