Diversity in the real world

· Music

In People Like Us, noninsane conservative columnist David Brooks writes

Maybe somewhere in this country there is a truly diverse neighborhood in which a black Pentecostal minister lives next to a white anti-globalization activist, who lives next to an Asian short-order cook, who lives next to a professional golfer, who lives next to a postmodern-literature professor and a cardiovascular surgeon. But I have never been to or heard of that neighborhood. Instead, what I have seen all around the country is people making strenuous efforts to group themselves with people who are basically like themselves.

I recommend he come visit us in Oakland. He’s pretty much described the block I live on, give or take a few equivalents.

New York is off-line

· Music

Suddenly I’ve noticed the charms of a hosted weblogging system, now that the New York blackout has taken my server off-line. Not sure if my sites will be up again today or not till Monday. It’s too bad, too, because I’m missing “Fair and Balanced” day on the Internet.

Dear Ndugu

· Music

Rented and saw “About Schmidt” last night. I kind of liked it, enjoyed Nicholson’s restrained performance. I’m not sure B liked it. Perhaps too much male angst, too many shrewish or otherwise exaggerated female characters. It was all a bit broad for sure. The fellow playing the prospective son-in-law seemed to be doing a sort of poor man’s Nicholas Cage impression, Valley Girl era.
Writers like myself tend to forget sometimes that film is a visual medium as well as a written (and acted, and directed, and sonic, and so on) medium. It’s a very rich form. About Schmidt is visually stunning, and the attention to detail (as in the haircuts) was superb. I didn’t recognize Howard Hesseman at first through his snowy hair, but the voice and mannerisms gave him away.
It’s Doctor Johnny Fever, I said to B. Who? She said. From WKRP? Oh, you’re right! Lots of embarassment humor. Some really cringeworthy moments. The letters written the African foster child turn out to be an excuse for ironic voice-over exposition, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Kathy Bates was great of course, and carried off her repellant seductress role with aplomb. The actress playing the daughter was painfully good. I don’t know if I’d recommend this film to anyone with serious father-daughter issues going on! Otherwise, I give it two opposable thumbs.

now playing:
Severe Tire Damage” by Zero [Go Hear Nothin]
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