Last night I sat down on the recliner with my laptop and watched The Bourne Identity. It's a smart, sophisticated thriller. It's a movie where the human emerges from the inhuman, often in unexpected ways. As the summer drags on, my reviews get lazier: unlike my drive to write, this movie never lets up. 8.5
On Saturday night, Andy's sister had a gathering at her cabin. It was a hit. I brought ingredients for s'mores, and apparently it all got vacuumed up. Good. For my part, I was concentrating on drinking my beer and talking to people, not to mention trying to jot down the odd Great Idea™ so I wouldn't forget it. (I heard “That guy's crazy” being whispered, but I can't be sure if it was.) Elise's friend was very pregnant, so jokes were made about what might trigger her going into labour. That would have made this the best party ever – nobody would ever forget that!
For beer, Elise brought me a growler of Rare Bird's stout. Me: A bit sour. Another fellow: Not heavy enough. But I said to Elise that the taste grows on you. She laughed – that's often how it goes with alcoholic beverages, and it isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. “The more I drink, the better it tastes!” would be a great mock testimonial for something like Colt 45, though. I cleaned out Elise's computer on Sunday and she'll be refilling my growler with the truly scrumptious pale ale I tried last weekend.
I got a funny idea about mistakes. In a way, it's kind of reassuring when people make them, because you get a reasonable expectation that that person will become more careful about that thing or process they made the mistake in. Contrast this with someone who thinks they're flawless and therefore never takes any responsibility for any mistakes. (They have an “external locus of control”, to use psychology-speak.) Even if this second person were particularly talented about the thing or process, you'd probably sooner trust the first person with something important. And in the long run, the person who “never makes a mistake” generally never learns much of anything either.
I also thought Boston Pizza should start serving red wine if they're not already, then make an ad for a “Red Wine Stain Camo” t-shirt, complete with someone speaking in a fake French accent. Okay, that idea is pretty useless, but it makes more sense than a hillbilly who goes to Boston Pizza to eat ribs given that he could just roast the damn pig himself and also that the nearest Boston Pizza is probably a million miles away in the city. I'm tired of that ad.
Later in the studio, Andy tried to get me into watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I just wasn't having it. Then he tried a documentary, and I wasn't biting on that either. He has a good knack for sensing whether or not I'm enjoying something. Most people aren't that considerate, let alone that perceptive.
As above, I cleaned out Elise's computer while everyone was at her friend's baby shower. I'm confident it was a party with no trouble or expense spared – when this friend got married, they roasted a pig. (“A moment of silence for Wilbur” was taken.) Apparently for this occasion, there
So here I am, as Natalie Windsor puts it, kind of like the only guest at the hotel not with the Miss Monster Truck Parts USA Pageant. I went for a bike ride, and then I watched The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the 15-minute previews of Axe Cop and High School USA. I had Bob's Burgers on only for a minute before shutting it off – it kind of squicks me out; it's a little too disgusting for me to be able to comfortably watch. Maybe that's how older folks felt when they saw The Simpsons in its early, groundbreaking years.
Axe Cop: It takes juvenilia and makes it really funny. The main points of the story are driven by the mind of a 5-year-old, but the absurdities are sublime because they're illustrated and scripted with care. (The following day, thoughts about things like "The King of All Bad Guys" and the "Dinosaur Horn Store" still made me chuckle.) Would (definitely) watch if it was on, though I might only be able to take it in small doses. Seriously, with so much random jumping around, your head hurts a bit trying to keep it all in.
High School USA: It's superficially a parody of Archie's Riverdale High, but it doesn't hit close enough to the mark. The replacement for Reggie is the only one you'll really recognize – Betty and Veronica become spray-tanned airheads, Jughead becomes a black kid that gets picked on, and Archie has body image issues (a subject of potential depth, but here given a banal, superficial, inane treatment). These departures from the source material are neither funny nor reflective (which I think is an essential quality of parody). I liked the character of the teacher, though – it was a funny reflection of the prevailing attitudes of Riverdale High instructors. And the references to the genericness of the Archie Universe were amusing. But the show itself is too generic. It's too bad the creators didn't take far more risks and really make the whole series a direct parody of Archie, right down to equivalents of all the characters. Like imagine plots like “Betty and Veronica and Archie discover polyamory” or “Archie gets caught with a bag of weed”. It wouldn't be illegal – the rights of parodists are protected in the United States anyway – Weird Al doesn't actually need the original artists permissions to do what he does. Might watch it if it's on, but I wouldn't go out of my way.
I like the idea of 15-minute previews. As a matter of fact, I like the idea of 15-minute shows. Imagine the time savings if you could watch both The Simpsons and Family Guy in 30 minutes, without having to sit through Bob's Burgers! (Or just hop back on YouTube for those 30 minutes.) Most of the episodes wouldn't suffer much – there's usually an A story and a B story, so they just wouldn't do a B story. A few times a year, they could do something special and do 30 minutes or even an hour, but there'd be a lot more going on with those than just the standard A, B, C stories.
Also, I'd follow WWE if I only had to watch an hour a week (and it was a good hour). (Start by nixing the “brand extension”. I appreciate that Vince McMahon wanted to run WCW as a separate promotion. The Invasion angle could have been the biggest thing ever, though as it was it was still significant. But right now there just needs to be one strong brand, with one overall champion.) It's not healthy to vegetate on your couch for six hours a week. In the bad old days, I did that.
I watched The Bourne Supremacy. It's darker than the first film. I can't say too much about movies like these without spoiling them. It has a lot of moments that make you exclaim “holy crap” or something else along that spectrum. The plot has a little case of hey-that-worked-so-now-let's-make-aseque
Gosh, now there won't be any more sports in the morning. Last summer there was Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the Open Championship, and then the Olympics. All live from Europe, so from here it was great morning TV, when usually all you get are SportsDeskCentreConnectedCentral replays or perhaps taped fishing and poker. No Olympics this summer, though. (Royal Baby watch? I'll fib and say "no thanks", unless it's by The Onion.) Maybe I'll have to get some actual things done.