Sunday, March 31, 2019
When first hearing about Climax (2018, Noé) I was a little worried that it would be boring or feel limited in a low budget way because it was going to be about a group of dancers in one room. Those worries were dispelled.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Us (2019, Peele) is a horror movie that’s not scary. It’s also contrived—the doppelganger fam turns out to be symbolism for the symbiotic underclass of US citizens. Also turns out the government’s to blame (or is it, according to an Old Testament easter egg, God?). Add to all of this the use of upbeat pop hits contrasted against scenes of visceral terror with some moments of broad comedy and it’s back to again losing faith in Peele’s sensibilities.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Image Book (2018, Godard) is composed of several clips taken from Histoire(s) du cinema—like “Shit Storm” by the Melvins. And I reacted in awe, because intermediate works like In Praise of Love (2001, Godard), Notre Musique (2004, Godard), Film Socialisme (2010, Godard) or Goodbye to Language (2014, Godard) are all similarly filmed essays with V.O. narration but none use any of the footage from Histoire(s) du cinéma. The big difference between Histoire(s) du cinema and The Image Book though is the ratio of cinema to political poetry. The Image Book is esoteric and elliptical although features fewer movie clips—aside from a lengthy montage of scenes of passengers on railcars. I love Godard’s work almost as much as I love movies so The Image Book is every bit as compelling and more so than anything he’s done since Histoire(s) du cinéma. I’ll also admit the sections on remakes and the Arab world were way over my head, but just more reasons for me to rewatch this first chance I get.
Friday, March 22, 2019
(Behold! The Spice Rack Two Thousand.)
Not long ago, in the group text, a set of fellows began debating wood. Eventually, one issued a bold challenge: "It is also really hard to get a spice rack that doesn't look like hot garbage."
I began with a survey of the current state of the art. Not so much a prototype as a stereotype.
(Your standard spice rack, as envisioned and analyzed by a genius.)
However, my mind wouldn't let this powerful challenge go. Something seemed amiss. Something, to be frank, seemed lacking. So I had a couple extra cups of coffee, until my mind was aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought, careening through a cosmic vapor of invention. As I am me, a persnickety, critical sort, I began with the problems posed by the spice rack as commonly designed, developed, and deployed. The traditional existence of the spice rack is marked with instability, poor usability, and even safety issues. Propped and leaning against a wall (see the "ladder" analysis above), the very act of accessing something on the top shelf opens the chef, and the object, up to toppling.
A second issue. Spices are often contained in entities of widely varying sizes and shapes. Baggies. Jars. Bigger jars. Mislabeled jars. The mind reels! And then, when confronted with a standard spice rack, executed for (a) jars and (b) jars of just one size / shape, the mind congeals and hardens into rage. Or, if that mind is mine, explodes into grace and sets itself the task of fixing the problem.
Imagine, then, a spice rack that did two things: hold spices in place, regardless of container, when you wanted them thus held; allowed spices to be removed, when you wanted them thus displaced. Imagine...Spice Rack Two Thousand.
(Gape at the power of the Central Tower.)
We begin with the Central Tower. The spice rack, reborn. Flexible, vital, and solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Heavy base, varied shelving options, a total solution to the unstable—one oughtn't to hesitate to call them "rickety"—options of our dark past. And yet this is just The Beginning.
The Central Tower is, however, just the beginning. Remember two things. First, the savvy spicer will of occasion employ mortar and pestle to, if you will, grind their own. This leaves problems, tho: where to put the newly ground spice? Or where to mix spices? How to ensure the violence of mortar/pestle doesn't (literally) impact one's presumably beloved or simply rented kitchen counters? Now remember a second thing: every tower needs a penthouse suite.
(The right materials. The right shape. The Tip Tower: the right thing to put on top of your Central Tower.)
Our tower's penthouse suite is a floppy yet sturdy silicone bowl, inverted. Functioning as a koozie or cozy around one's mortar/pestle, the Tower Tip will cushion its blows and prevent any/all counter surfaces from suffering mars. Inverted, it functions as a humble heatproof bowl, flexible enough for easy pouring, heavy enough to hold its shape (and whatever you may have put in it).
Were that all, it would surely be enough. But it's not all.
Most spice racks, lamentably, aren't extensible. Buy one, you have one, and that is all you have. (Please: don't embarrass yourself by suggesting "buy another one and put it next to the first one". Nobody has time for that shit.) What if: you could extend your spice rack's capacity? What if expanding its capacity actually enhanced its stability, by adding weight and width to its base?
(Details of the side-mounted Tower Tubes. You've never seen anything—ANYthing like this.)
Stable. Yet flexible. A spice rack that will grow with your needs. A tower, with tubes, closed at one end, allowing loads to be added to the base. Need no loads? Simply collapse the tubes!
Let's see the whole thing, the entire package.
(Spice. Rack. Two. Thousand. An idea whose time is coming.)
I foresee one of these in essentially every kitchen—and soon! I foresee one of these in essentially every kitchen—and soon! There's really only one thing left to say (if that):
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Don't know necessarily if I need to talk about the replenishments, new versions of old faces, but I was inspired by old Twitter running (and funning) mate @mighty_flynn to revisit an old style I hadn't had my hands on in a long while: a retractable ballpoint.
The appeal is pretty immediately obvious: the fidget potential and ability to make annoying noises of the G-2 plus the versatility and rock-like reliability of the Bic Crystal? Can you even imagine how good a pen that would be. Can you even imagine.
(Although...if I'd seen this back-of-package image, I would not have bought these obviously cursed and sinful objects.)
Good gravy what is with this pervert zebra, Zebra?? That's a yikes and a third, maybe a full yikes and a half.
More later, once I've had the opportunity to wrap my fingers around these new Pen 15es, rub 'em around, see what comes out of the tip.
NOTE: title / format drawn from this all-time great tweet.
Dalí: Surrealism is DESTRUCTIVE, but it DESTROYS only what it considers to be SHACKLES limiting our VISION.— Spoinky McPhee (@LHippopotamelan) August 15, 2018
Varo: I'm envisioning some cats right now :)
Dalí: That's not what I meant.
Varo: They have their own little castle and everything :) :) :) pic.twitter.com/n1gpv0gLDT