post-ironic quotation marks

Slightly neurotic (but cute!) singleton looking for adventure, finical stability, and some delusion of meaning. With much thought in the topic of sincerity and the occasional film review.

Monday, July 31, 2006

In which I rant on something that bugs me. A lot.

People in this country do not know how to have a proper arguement. Not that people in other countries do, but once upon a time (maybe never) there was a concept of debate. Or as I like to call it arguing for fun, if not profit. This used to happen in schools when we were suppose to discuss a topic. What would happen was either people started to rip each other apart for their beliefs, or the discussion would grind to a halt because a person felt that the opposition was ripping her apart rather than her ideas.

The same thing happened in the car on the way to and from D.C. We started arguing about the War or a cousin's lifestlye. And soon it's name calling and yelling, although that could be because I'm arguing with my family and not random person from across the room. Family is always more emotional than friends or strangers, and I haven't a clue why. However, while it got intense, it was fun to play devil's advocate. Now if I could only teach my family the finer point of using your opponent's argument against them, as well as listening to the argument made, then we'd be awesome. I really should try to get a job as a pundit. I've had tons of practise.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Disillusioning Sen. Ted Stevens

Jon Stewart has greatly improved his ability to conduct a good interview. Even though his subject, Senator McCain, was being slightly difficult in the first half when Stewart was asking him about how, if President Bush keeps insisting that he's made the US safer, "how much safer can we afford to be?" Senator McCain really flubbed up by attempting first to change the subject, and then by answering the question by explaining that the administration tries really hard, but that there's still work to do. He looked uncomfortable, and tried to interupt Stewart when he tried to steer McCain towards an actual answer.

I'll post a link to when they actual put it up on either YouTube or Google Video.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Commercials that I miss

So, British television sucks, but despite basic American cable featuring over 70 channels, more often than not there's nothing on. However, I miss seeing the bouncing ball commercial. Despite it being an old commercial now, it hasn't become annoying, and still makes me smile. And because this is something that should be shared, here's a link to the commercial itself.
Question: does the world need another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (trailer here)? At first glance I would suspect not, or I am not ready for another TMNT movie, as I haven't seen any of them except part of the first one. But the trailer looks pretty cool, and at least it's done in a semi-realistic cgi cartoon style rather than that horrible (!) style used for the new cartoons. Okay, so 80's comic book is not everyone's cup of tea, but neither is willfully ignoring the curve.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


From today's New York Times, a survey on blogging. Turns out that bloggers are more racially diverse than other internet users.

More than half of bloggers (54 percent) are under 30, the report said, evenly divided between men and women. More than half live in the suburbs, a third live in urban areas and 13 percent in rural areas. Bloggers, the report said, are also less likely to be white than the general Internet population: 60 percent are white, 11 percent are African-American, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent identify themselves as members of some other race. By contract, 74 percent of Internet users are white.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

things I find troubling:

that an American family was denied being able to leave Lebanon because they had an 11 day old infant without a passport. Is there any wonder that the government is being criticised because of their response?

That and today Pres. Bush had his first ever veto. Now, did he veto a pork ladened bill?

Sorry, just couldn't help snickering there. No, the President's first veto was against a bill allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Because he believes in a culture of life, but not necessarily a life worth living.

Monday, July 17, 2006

More on the head butt around the world

I wonder for the reasons why we're still talking about Zidane's headbutt in the States, since I doubt that many people watched the World Cup final here. But that moment was perfect for an audience reared on the violence of American spectator sports like football, it really defined the game in a nano-second. However, as most Americans don't watch soccer at all, and as I said before, probably weren't sitting at home cheering on either Italy or France, why should they care if Zidane "disgraced" himself in the last two minutes of his career? What the American audience sees is something very unAmerican, as defined by our ideals of sportsmanship. But what they also see is a reason to not be very good internationally at soccer. A way of showing that it's not us, but the game, perhaps?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Just to make my life easier: the bookstore I visited in Paris was not the Avenue Victor Hugo, that closed in Boston two years ago (sadly, it was my favourite bookstore ever). The one that I visited was the famous Shakespeare and Company. Although the books are a bit pricy (9 euros for a Jane Austen paperback, when it was 4.99 GBP seems a bit excessive), it is a lovely little store with a second/first floor that encourages people to just sit and read. Oh and a cat, which sleeps on the books. I have pictures of the cat. Quite a few.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

the dullness never ends

Aaaaaaaaaargh! I remember why I can't stand being home. One, there's nothing to do, so in theory, I should be mega productive. I'm not. Oh, it's a silly reason: I have no place comfortable to write. I have a fondness for tables and chairs, there isn't a free one around here. Grrrrr to infinity.

Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night.

Movie discussion (spoilers ahoy!):

It's not as bad as I feared. It's nothing like what I would have done, but then again, I'm not in Hollywood rewriting bad scripts. Maybe I should be. That, however, is another entry.

The major problem of the movie was tone. The film all fits together, I'm sure, but it felt a bit too much like Frankenstein's monster. Either the audience is sitting through High Drama and Plotting, or the live-action-Bugs-Bunny-antics of Captain Jack Sparrow. The comedy scenes are wonderful, and I love. love, love the scene with the waterwheel (or hamster wheel) because it just gets thrown to the gods of randomness. As for former, it would have been passible, and even enjoyable if that's what the audience came into see. Orlando Bloom is made to carry most of the serious stuff, which he does quiet well, considering he's playing the noble, righteous (read: boring) Will Turner.

From a continuity stand point, this doesn't make sense. In the last movie, Turner was the most treacherous character -- he knocked out Sparrow believing full well that the other pirates would kill him, and then lies to the crew about leaving Sparrow behind. Sparrow might seem treacherous, but he always knew more than the other characters about what was going on and what the risks were (e.g., that they didn't need to kill Turner in order to reverse the curse). Now, the roles are somewhat reversed, with Sparrow being willing to trade the souls of others, as well as his friend, for his own freedom. However, dear William will probably still remain boring unless someone gives him some real conflict (for instance, making him choose between his fiancee and his father, and having to betray one of them).

Part of the problem is that Dead Man's Chest has the misfortune to the in the middle of an unnecessary trilogy. The end was tacked on to ensure that one gets to the theatre next summer. Frankly my dear, by the end I couldn't care less about Captain Jack Sparrow, or saving him. By that time, I just wanted out of the theatre.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm sitting at home listening to Regis and Kelly, or whatever it's called now. You can almost picture how Kelly looks just by listening to her chatter. She would be perky with a big smile, and equally big eyes that are vacant.

TV personalities, have to be sort of dumb. Not all of them (my sainted Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are exceptions), but why are people who lack any internal monologues featured? They rarely say anything interesting, although tell a lot of unneccesary details about their lives. As another general rule, they rarely realise that the dribble they spew is dribble. It would be one thing if most of these presenters had, oh, a drop of introspection to them, because then they would present these trivial, inane facts as if they were solemn truths. But an ironic Kelly or Regis, or even Oprah, would be, well, weird. The world might end. People like my mom wouldn't know what to do. (She get's all her views from the View. That's frightening.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My thoughts on soccer/football.

I'm back in the States and irked that the sports headlines are not still on Zidane, but on baseball's All-Star Game. Hello? Um, far more interesting story going on here. Or at least it seems to me, but then again, against my better judgment, I have fallen for soccer. In Europe, Zidane's behavior isn't all cut and dry. While there has been some outrage, it's equally on Marco Materazzi for making whatever comments about Zidane's mother or sister.

Here, all the talking heads on ESPN are all condemning Zidane. I'm all for being professional, but I also realize that there are simply somethings which you do not say to another player, even when you're trash talking. A white player would (or should) never call a black player the n-word. That being said, there are better ways of dealing with aggression, like beating the opposing team, than head butting a member of the other team in the chest.

At least one member of the Italian team went off for legitimate reasons. You know why I don't think professional soccer will ever be really big in America? Watch Italy. They're good, but everytime an opposing player taps one of them, he falls to the ground and the drama begins. The crying, the holding of the leg. The paramedics will drag him off on a stretcher, and then someone pours water on his leg, and the guy is back up and running on the field. He was never hurt, but if a player can make it convincing enough then maybe the referee will give the player who caused him to fall a yellow, or red, card.

This irked me, and the rest of the Americans at the hostel on Sunday night. In football (real football with helmets) and the other big sports, you play until you can't. But you also play by clearly being better than the other team, not by using lack of referrering to disadvantage the other team. To Americans, weaned on a sense of 'fair play' and 'good sportsmanship', exaggerating an injury to cause a player to be expelled from the game is one step above attacking the player before hand with a crowbar. If you can't win by skills than maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

So, this is my last few days as an ex-pat. Le sigh. Right now I'm in Paris, a beautiful city. I kind of wish that I were spending my last few days back in London with my friends, but I'll be able to visit them. I just won't be living with them.

Ah, the depression is setting in.

So, i'll be changing the name of the blog in a few days.

What can I say about Paris that I haven't already espoused in a post card. It's interesting, it's different. There are things about it that I really like, and there are things that I don't like so much. Cafes are not pubs, cafes aren't even like American cafes, but somewhere in between and far more formal than either.

However, I am sick of traveling along. One entirely dependent upon who's hanging out in the lobby, and while that has a very Hemingway-esque air to it (or Fitzgerald, some relic of the past), it also means that one is not in control of their own outings or conversations. But it can also lead to some really cool conversations, although I'm sick of the where have you been conversation which everyone does. Funny, before Paris, I never considered using the verb 'to do' to describe my outings, but Paris is a bit of a check list. One doesn't see, one does, as in today I did the Louvre. Or I've already done the Notre-Dame. It's almost as if being a tourist is a way of having sex with a city, and eash spot of interest is a different sex partner.

Tomorrow I have know idea what I'm doing. Probably going back to the Shakespeare and Co, because that's my new favourite book store.