Thursday, January 3, 2019

Disappointing David Brooks, A New Chapter

They're like twins! Can you see the wolf's eyeglasses?

Holy shit you guys, is it possible that I went through the entirety of 2018 without writing about a disappointed David Brooks? How is that even possible.

Needless to say, David Brooks remains disappointed. To be honest, I'd be disappointed if he wasn't.

In his year-end column, "2019: The Year of the Wolf," Brooks spoils Willa Cather's 1918 novel My Antonia, and refuses to use common words like sled or sleigh, instead using sledge several times. As I write this, my Grammarly Chome extension has the word sledge flagged and recommends changing it to sled. I know, Grammarly, I know.

David Brooks asserts that when people are surrounded by wolves, they will do things that society might judge harshly just to survive. Then he declares 2019 the year the wolves will surround Donald Trump.

David Brooks continues to be disappointed that reasonable people haven't returned us to the orthodoxy that made David Brooks so comfortable. "Would David Brooks give up the tax cut he got under Trump to return to that orthodoxy?" you might ask yourself hypothetically.

"Shut. Up." David Brooks would exclaim from nowhere in particular.

According to David Brooks, Donald Trump will likely attempt to undermine the credibility of the various officials ("the wolves") investigating him, his family, and his business deals. David Brooks is smart like that; able to intuit that which has been going on for years.

I'm sure David Brooks had an erection reading freshman Senator Mitt Romney's op-ed piece in the Washington Post wherein Mittens makes it clear that he's going to vote for Trump's agenda, but he won't be totally happy doing it. Total maverick.

Song of the Day: "Treasure"

The Best Original Song category of the Academy Awards is a frustrating one. The scoring system is cognitively challenging (it's not even close to being user-friendly), and the Academy is inconsistent with when it applies rules. Today's SotD is from Beautiful Boy, Oscar bait for Timothy Chalomet's performance as a drug addict son of Steve Carrell. Chalomet's acclaimed work in Call Me By Your Name left me unimpressed and a little confused by the movies acclaim. Both this movie and last year's powered into the lead up to awards season riding high, and CMBYN ended up with just 3 nominations (granted, Best Picture, Best Actor, and winning Best Adapted Screenplay isn't nothing).

Still, here we are with a lovely track by Sampha, one of last year's musical discoveries. It seems like one of the songs from a few years ago, lush and lovely—like "Manta Ray" and "Simple Song No. 3"—certain to be forgotten, a random footnote to some careers. Except for the random time a song like that wins, songs like that never win.

Still, I think I'd rather have Sade lost to Lady Gaga...



Song: "Treasure"
Artist: Sampha

Gratitude & Bad-itude 2018: Donald Glover

I didn't take to Atlanta when it debuted. I gave it another chance and binged season one in a single night. Now that Hulu has seasons two, I'm confused about why I go so passionate about it. So I'm granting partial credit to Glover for that. And had he only released 2 fairly laid back mid-tempo songs about summer ("Feels Like Summer" and "Summertime") he would be enjoying a rather large amount of esteem from me these days.

But it's unlikely he'd be called out as someone or something I'm truly grateful for in 2018 if that was all he did. It took the audacious, and cynically brilliant "This is America" and the brutal directness of its video to put him here. Much like BeyoncĂ©'s war on police female empowerment song "Formation," it's a video that is thought-provoking and technically stunning; teeming with visual references.

It's really tough to watch, and that it doesn't pull any punches is a big part of its charm.

Quote of the Day: Presidential Style

"It’s hard to pin the president down on the facts."--Nancy Pelosi via "Nancy Pelosi Comes Out Swinging" by Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

The article lays out the various ways Donald Trump's life becomes more complicated today, with the beginning of a new session of Congress with Democrats holding a majority. The quote itself is from a Today show interview by Savannah Guthrie with Pelosi.

Also from the interview: "When you’re negotiating with someone, you have to know — you stipulate to some fact. It’s hard to do that with the President because he resists science, evidence, data, truth."

I want to call Trump intransigent, but that's not appropriate when for a man whose views are constantly shifting, and never to support a single consistent ideal.

Fractious is more appropriate.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Adventures in Copy Editing, 2015 Edition

You know how sometimes it's hard to follow my thinking in these posts? Me neither.

Presumably, you know me and have a bit of an understanding of my style, and if you don't, well, you have only yourself to blame (unless you're reading this after my untimely [or possibly timely] death, which this morning was almost "choked to death on breakfast cereal" but I'm okay now]). What was the point of this part? Shit. No idea.

Blah blah blah got an email from Atlanta Strippers (no relation) saying they/he/she would be adding my business to their network on some business referral site. Shitty LinkedIn Jr. spam crap, clearly. Or is it? Maybe Atlanta Strippers really valued my work as a copy editor.

You see, my only interaction with Atlanta Strippers, aside from dancing for them for about 6 months in 2004, was that I marked up a slew of suggested changes to a page on their website.

Here is the text of the email that accompanied the edits:

Subject: It's complicated 
But long story short I was at your site a bit this weekend and ended up doing some copy editing on your "porn" page. I don't mean this as any kind of insult. I'm just the kind of weirdo who fixates on a web page and then can't leave well enough alone.  
If you have questions (aside from "what the fuck?") feel to shoot me a note. 

And below, hopefully preserving the edits and commentary, is the mark up of their page:

Atlanta Female & Male Porn Okay, so I know you’re carrying forward your Female & Male taxonomy from the strippers, but largely 2/3 of the porn has both female & male performers and the other 1/3 has one or the other and/or possibly strange hybrids. Since this isn’t specific to Atlanta (which your dancers are)—it’s not the Varsity—I recommend calling this “Straight & Gay Porn” or just “Porn” or just leave out this title altogether.

If you are just looking for some good solid quality porn to keep you company, here are some great porn sites recommend by your friends here at MC Entertainment. for the night then we have the best porn websites in Atlanta here at your finger tips. Click below to see which go the sites that peak pique your carnal interests! most! I feel like “good solid” is too much although I do appreciate that you’re trying to convey some kind of recommendation here. I zapped “for the night” because, let’s be honest, porn is not for after dark hours only. I mean, maybe in your house but not my house friends’ houses. I zapped the part about the sites being the best in Atlanta since the internet is everywhere (except China) and so are these sites. When I first saw this I thought maybe “Atlanta Porn” was a thing at Pornhub and if it is, that isn’t really clear to me. I changed “the best” to “recommended” to avoid the possibility that someone is using this as an objective resource in picking a porn site and having done that feels like that wasn’t sufficiently thorough. A more reasonable example might be something like motor oil. “This is the best motor oil” makes a claim of superiority while “we recommend this motor oil” is easier to defend. I am fairly certain this would never bite you in the ass and yet I’m explaining the change anyway because that’s how bad my brain is. Sorry.

Pornhub
Pornhub is one of the best BEST porn sites today! on the world wide web! They have an array of professional and homemade videos; many in HD. The clearest in HD videos that you can get. Check it out... you won't be dissapointed! I made best lower case and am using bold for emphasis. I dropped “on the world wide web” because it’s not 1998 anymore and where else would websites be? You might point out that I didn’t change sites to websites, and you’d be right. I think the context is clear, especially since this will be on a website, but feel free to make that change if you feel strongly. And I added a hyperlink to the Pornhub name above the description.

And that’s it? Pornhub and you’re out of ideas? I recommend you either delete the 2 boilerplate sections below or you discover more porn out on the web. You might want to stay within the Pornhub network, in which case http://www.redtube.com/ and http://www.xtube.com/ have their merits (although the % of quality is debatable with the latter). Sensing I might not know all the best sites I googled “quality porn sites” and The Porn Dude spoke to me as the most credible sounding resource. Here is his/their top 20—I only know 7 of these. Apparently I am out of date as the kids today say (note: I have no idea what kids today say).

TOP PORN TUBE SITES


THERE WAS A PICTURE OF THE BUDS ON A CHERRY BLOSSOM IN SPRING HERE
Services 2. Click here to edit me

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. Feel free to drag and drop me anywhere you like on your page. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
This is a great space to write long text about your company and your services. You can use this space to go into a little more detail about your company. Talk about your team and what services you provide. Tell your visitors the story of how you came up with the idea for your business and what makes you different from your competitors. Make your company stand out and show your visitors who you are. Tip: Add your own image by double clicking the image and clicking Change Image.

THERE WAS A PICTURE OF THE BUDS ON A CHERRY BLOSSOM IN WINTER HERE
Services 3. Click to edit me

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. Feel free to drag and drop me anywhere you like on your page. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
This is a great space to write long text about your company and your services. You can use this space to go into a little more detail about your company. Talk about your team and what services you provide. Tell your visitors the story of how you came up with the idea for your business and what makes you different from your competitors. Make your company stand out and show your visitors who you are. Tip: Add your own image by double clicking the image and clicking Change Image.



Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Song of the Day: "42"

Do you think Mumford & Sons are sounding like a hybrid of Coldplay and Imagine Dragons because this is authentically the sound they want to have right now? Or because some record label is nudging them away from Americana and toward mainstream radio (as though radio is still important these days [it is]).

I definitely liked it better when they were trying to sound like Kings of Leon.



Song: "42"
Artist: Mumford & Sons

Monday, December 31, 2018

Truth!


"You can just dim the lights so low, and then you're in the dark."--Brother Boy

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Apologies to Mr. J


Gratitude & Bad-itude 2018: Nanette

I'd never heard of Hannah Gadsby before seeing Nanette. It transcends "stand-up special" and for purposes of this post, I'll call it a performance piece. It is funny, gut-wrenching, impassioned, heart-breaking, and far too relatable for me.

Will Emmy show her as much love as they did Louis C.K. for any random season of his show? He did jack-off in front of women without their consent for decades and Gadsby probably hasn't even done that once.

Gratitude & Bad-itude 2018: "Free Churro"

Bojack Horseman has been an important show for me since I found it back in 2016, just before its third season aired. Well, not aired, but was made available on Netflix. 

The show came into my life at a time when depression was really settling into my head. It wasn't a cure for the depression, or even therapeutic in dealing with the depression, necessarily. Less like a life preserver; more like having a buddy to hang out with as you both drown.

Its depiction of depression hits home with me. I'm not the only one who relates to it.



The show's first 3 seasons play out in a large story arc. Its fourth season wisely didn't try to be bigger or darker. Its stories enriched the Bojack mythology and set the stage for a strikingly self-referential story arc that kicked off with season 5. But this isn't about that story arc, it's about an episode that took a timeout from that arc, and, in an audacious manner, let Bojack bury his mother while giving WIll Arnett a full 30 minutes of dialog. Arnett performs as Bojack's father in the cold open, and everything after the opening credits is 100% him as Bojack with no B-story. It is a fantastic performance that balances humor and pathos, eschewing histrionics and feeling all the more potent because of the restraint. It's the kind of work that ought to earn Arnett an Emmy nomination for Character Voice-Over Performance, and if there's any justice, would get some accolades for the episode's writer, Raphael Bob-Waksberg (who is also the show creator).



I know exactly what he means about Becker.

My mother indulged me and watched the episode, and says she enjoyed it. It is a little awkward that the episode I told her she had to see was about a mother's funeral (especially considering the vitriol toward her), and she asked me if she should read anything into that.

And I just shrugged which maybe she didn't see over the telephone.

2018 sure sucked.