Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Known Things

I generally read reviews after I’ve watched a film, which might seem odd, but is a natural part of my assessment process, seeing what others have to say. Obviously, this time of year, as I catch up with the prestigious and high-minded films catching awards heat, what others have to say gets more diffuse, specific and hair-splity, since in general such films have at least a base level of competence. Usually. Anyways. Two such films I made sure to catch are 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station, which respectively have aggregate review scores of 96% and 94%, and one criticism I saw levied at both, from professionals and cinephiles, hinged on matters of existence. Specifically that they didn’t “say anything [the speaker] didn’t already know.” Looking at the posters for both, you might see something else they have in common. Further, if you’re familiar with the backstory of each, you might see yet another.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Don’t Know, I Wasn’t There, But I’m a Human Being with a Brain, so I Have Suspicions Based on the Information I Have Gathered

The human brain is, surely, the most wondrous thing currently known to mankind. Right now, I just opened a bottle of my favorite beer. My brain coordinated not only the entire mechanical process (while keeping me upright the whole time), it managed the impulses that drove me to get one, while retaining all the information required to acquire said beer, where I left it, where I could find more, the process by which I could get more, roughly how much more I could get balance with how much more I should, the qualities that make it my favorite, how it compares to all the other beers I have ever had, and many, many memories surrounding this beer, and it has resolved the philosophical conundrum that while I have never had this specific, individual beer before, it is my favorite, and it continued to regulate the rest of my body’s functions that ensure my continued survival, with plenty of room for a myriad of other thoughts, plans, wishes, memories, instincts, feelings, and so on. All of this, it did, while only weighing about 3 pounds. By way of contrast, the laptop I am composing this upon weighs about 3.3 pounds, and it sometimes runs at 33% capacity with just a document and a web browser running. Yet, this laptop was also designed by a brain, as was the beer, the bottle it came in, the car I drove to get it, the store I bought it in, and the economy that allowed me to buy it. I love my brain, and thus I have little patience for those who pretend theirs don’t work.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Speaking For: The Rings of Akhaten

Very rarely has it been said of me that my tastes are expected, and obviously, there is never total agreement on quality. Still, in the hype leading up to the 50th anniversary of The Doctor, I was aghast to see the two part “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit” mentioned in a positive context. This culminated in a ranking of every single Doctor Who story that placed this bit of idiocy where the Doctor finds the Devil in a black hole and shouts at him at 27 of 241. Twenty-fucking-seven! He meets Satan! Twenty-fucking-seven! According to the list-makers, that was firmly among what were dubbed “Classics,” and above…well, just about every story I’ve seen, except for the girl who draws squiggles and the one with the ass monster—admittedly, it does introduce the Ood and does very little with them. Still, I can’t exactly judge—I really like “The Rings of Akhaten.”