You might think that; the media blow couldn’t possibly comment.
The Wire: … ha ha, just kidding, see all last week.
Franny and Zooey: Remarkably well written. I don’t care much for Salinger’s brand of inoffensive, Western-flavored Orientalism, but I can’t help but admire his style. Another exhibit in my case that a story’s subject matters far less than its style; “what’s the book about?” is the wrong question to ask. Could any writer other than Salinger pull off a story which takes place in a bathroom, a living room, and a bedroom and has nothing but conversation?
A History of Violence: A little stiff, but what do you expect from a movie adapted from a comic book? William Hurt got a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his spot here, with good cause I feel. Maria Bello surprised me. Viggo Mortensen gave the natural and nuanced performance we’ve come to expect from him, as well as a glimpse of his junk. A bit gory in spots.
Mind Performance Hacks: An early contender for the best non-fiction book I’ve read in this year’s fifty. Born-agains must feel this way while reading the Bible, though I know I could pick a better metaphor: this book is an instruction manual for thinking. It teaches better ways to memorize lists, to organize your thoughts, ways to get better sleep, how to focus through meditation (not transcendental hippie shit, just clearing your thoughts), how to inspire yourself creatively, etc. I’ve already found four or five things worth putting to immediate use and will be turning back often for more.
House of Cards: The premier story of political intrigue, brooking no challenger. The late Ian Richardson plays Francis Urquhart, chief whip of the Conservatives in the days after Thatcher stepped down. Passed over for a plum promotion, he stealthily puts into motion a series of events that will unseat the Prime Minister, shake up the Party, and may just leave him a spot at the top. I’ve already seen it once before, but I got it for myself as a birthday present and it continues to sweeten on a second viewing.