Friday, July 21, 2017

Stars, No Stars

Happy Friday, if happy is what it is. It has turned hot, even here in the vacation state - making it a challenge to find ways of getting around the heat. I stick to my chair - it is warm. There is respite here, though, it ids always cool by the river...



I should, coming in here once a week, manage to find something to say about the world. Donald Trump is still president, though still a fool; Republican health care savagery is on hold, though it's hard to get rid of it; John McCain is gravely ill, leading to a certain amount of hand wringing, at least on left - he voted against us, he got a free pass sometimes for talking like he might vote differently, but he never did - but you still had to respect the man. I certainly suspect that if he'd managed to win the residency in 2000, we'd be a lot better off... I hope he recovers, as a person, and really - if all Republicans were John McCain, we'd be a lot better off. It is a luxury to have opponents you can respect - who can respect Donald Trump? What kind of monster would respect Donald Trump?

On the other hand, McCain did elevate Sarah Palin to prominence, and that is part of why we have the scum we have now in Washington, so... I've never quite been able to shake the conviction McCain did that to make sure he'd lose in 08 - that's a mighty price to pay for getting Obama elected though.

Enough politics. I could note the passing of another rock star, Chester Bennington or Linkin Park - however, the less said the better, lest I bring up my opinion of Linkin Park. Its too bad about him, though. All musicians are, in fact, heroes, as musicians - I don't have to be a fan to respect them, and mourn their passing. Though I'm not posting any Linkin Park at this blog...

What else? TV countdown at WITD, but I hope you know that my now. My parts of that are still a ways off, though I hope to do some writing on the subject here, too... On that score - TV? I am, for the first time in a long while, watching a TV series in (nearly) real time - Twin Peaks Return, of course. I could be watching Game of Thrones in real time - I have HBO these days, first time in ages (I had it in 2010 just long enough to watch the first season of Treme in real time - that was a promotional offer, so that was all of that.) I did watch 4 seasons of Game of Thrones in a bunch a couple years ago, then read the books - so it might be tempting. But it is on opposite Twin Peaks: it is incomprehensible to me why someone would watch GOT over Twin Peaks. (Obviously, in this day and age, you DVR both - it comes down to which you watch first.) Maybe it isn't incomprehensible - GOT is a fine show (well - the first 4 seasons were - the 5th sounded like it jumped the shark pretty badly; even though I hadn't read the books when it came out, it sounded as though the show went completely off the rails that season. It sounded like a violation of the books - and of the show that I had seen to that point, since the show still felt like it matched the books, more or less. Maybe - through 3 seasons anyway. That is a topic for another day.) But even at its best, compared to Twin Peaks - it feels like, I don't know - comparing Lord of the Rings to Ulysses. For all of Tolkien's powers, it shrivels to nothing beside Joyce.

I know that's a minority opinion, all of it - that Twin Peaks is that much better than Game of Thrones - that Joyce is that much better (and worthy of your time) than Tolkien - and, probably most of all, that Joyce is that much more enjoyable than Tolkien (though that is true: Ulysses is a joy to read; LOTR is a chore. The Hobbit or the Silmarillion, I can make a case for - but reading the Lord of the Rings would be work, and I'm not going to do it. This is as a source of pleasure alone - never mind quality...) A minority opinion, though getting back to the TV shows - one that might mark certain boundaries. Twin Peaks is probably the cinephiles' choice - it certainly seems that way on Twitter. It's a show for movie lovers - though probably a minority form of movie lover - cinephiles - taken in all its connotations... The difference tends to bring out the way TV and films are different - GOT is TV, all the way - and TV is far more literary than film. That is one of its strengths - it can tel different kinds of stories, differently - long, complex stories, with complicated relationships among characters, with the stories, relationships and everything else made explicit, explored - words are powerful, and TV allows for words to be used differently than film, as such... This version of Twin Peaks puts it all in the images and sounds, the editing, the flow of information - a film; if you were making literary comparisons, more like a poem than prose....

That's part of it, though not all. It is also simply true that Twin Peaks is better than Game of Thrones - the way Ulysses is better than Lord of the Rings. (Or A Song of Ice and Fire, for that matter.) It's art - or better art; it beats it at its own game. And to be honest, some of that is due to the fact that TwinPeaks - at least this version of Twin Peaks - is completely in the care of David Lynch. I am very fond of David Lynch - in ways I can sometimes articulate and sometimes not. I'm not quite sure I can articulate why Twin Peaks The Return is so good, yet - but it is, and it is something I can't miss.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bastille Day

Happy Bastille day, France, and Francophiles everywhere. Try not to dwell too much on the appeal of the tumbrel in these troubled times, as our (sort of) elected leaders demonstrate how Louis XVI ad co weren't the worst you could do....

I know this is another placeholder type of post - I don't know when that will change. As always, for the next few months, don't miss the TV countdown at Wonders in the Dark; don't miss the new Twin Peaks. Baseball starts back up after its all star break. And the Tour de France rolls along, with a twist - Chris Froome and the invincible Sky Team have lost the lead! Though no one seems to npticethe obvious: the current leader, Fabio Aru, got it yesterday by winning a sprint up the side of a wall after rding the entire race on Chris Froome's wheel. If Sky is so invincible, don't beat em - join em! Make them pull you through the mountains!

Good enough. Music? Kraftwerk can bring you the sport:



And as usual - a bit of French pop is in order - here's Johnny Hallyday:



et encore - live, 1960!

Friday, July 07, 2017

A Berry Nice Friday

Happy Friday again. A busy kind of week, with the holiday and all, at least the beginning of it. Lots of summery stuff! parades and fireworks, fried dough, barbecues, strawberry picking, jam making, lots of shortcake eating, you name it. Along with watching bicycle racing, complete with Controversy! - involving stray elbows, not doping this time... Major star #1, Peter Sagan, collides with major star #2, Mark Cavendish, and Cavendish crashes and breaks a shoulder. Sagan gets kicked out of the tour for it. Everyone who cares has an opinion, and most of them think Sagan was badly done by - there area couple angles on the crash, one of them looking like Sagan whacked Cavendish with an elbow as he went by, the other looking like Cavendish ran into him first, and Sagan's elbow came up after Cavendish was already down. The more you lookat the picture, the less Sagan seems to be to blame - but the tour kicked him out.

Anyway - there's plenty of bike racing to come, for those of us who care about that sort of thing. No Sagan, which drains a lot of the fun out of it, but plenty of Chris Froome and the invincible Sky Team, for those who love the Yankees.

I could say something about politics, though as usual, it is nothing but depressing. Trump feuding with CNN, some dipshit making a dim witted wrestling meme of Trump tacking CNN - which Trump, being more dimwitted and classless even than his fans, retweeted. Followed by controversy over whether CNN should name the dipshit who made the meme. All of this creating noise while Trump and company continue to work on dismantling the country. Trump abroad, where he's soiling himself among other world leaders and getting ready to meet the boss. God.

So maybe I won't write about politics. Do't forget to look in on Wonders in the Dark's TV Countdown. Don't forget to watch Twin Peaks when it comes back this Sunday. (I actually have pay cable these days - I can watch these things when they air!) Don't forget to enjoy the summer as much as you can.... And eat all the strawberries you can. To which end - some music:

Brother's Johnson!



Strawberry Alarm Clock!



An obscure group from a northwestern English seaport!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Television Countdown

This is a busy week, but I want to get this out there - a new countdown has stared at Wonders in the Dark, devoted to the 80 Greatest TV shows of all time (as voted by participants and friends of the blog.) That will be going all summer. As aways, expect plenty of fine writing and a few arguments along the way. Check it out!