Odds and Ends

The Rocket Scientist is back from his tour of the Southern Hemisphere: Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand.  Now he only has South America to go to have a complete continental set. It’s nice that he’s back. Now I don’t have to worry about all the exotic things I worry about when he’s out in the field, just the normal stuff like car crashes and what not.

So, my Oscar picks were not all that good.  Oddly enough, I do better in years when I have not seen all the movies and am going by the buzz.  Of course, there were a lot of good  movies out there.  I guess the ones I was most surprised for was Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.  I think she’s wonderful, even though I hated the movie.

The ceremony itself was often crass, sometimes outright offensive, and not amusing.  And cruel in the most unexpected ways:  when the visual effects guys were cut off before their allotted time was up when they were beginning to mention their now bankrupt firm that was responsible for all the wonderful effects in Life of Pi, that was almost obscene.  The plight of the Hollywood visual effects guys is evidence that, like their blue collar workers, tech people need unions too.  (Don’t get me started on Electronic Arts.)

The misogyny on display on Sunday night was breathtaking: I don’t know which writers thought a tasteless song about women showing their boobs (because of course Jodie Foster showing hers while her character is being raped in The Accused was simply meant for men’s amusement) or “women not letting go of things” or anorexia jokes was okay were but they should be ashamed of themselves.  And yes, I get that you were going for a meta-level effect: but when the meta is that mean-spirited, it ceases to be meta and just ends up nasty.

Which brings us to that Onion tweet.  Or rather, not.  I understand that they were trying to poke fun at the fact that actresses are called all sorts of vile names by calling an adorable nine-year-old one (because who would call that charming child in the blue dress who  was so clearly excited to be at the Oscars such a thing?).  The problem is, women, and particularly black women, are called names like that from an age not that much older than Quvenzhané Wallis is.  My theory is that the tweet was written by a white male staffer who simply does not know about a lot of life for other people.  Which does not make him a bad person, simply an ignorant one.  Hopefully, he will learn to be more careful next time in how he writes his satire.  The Onion, to its credit, not only quickly (or as quickly as a corporation its size can be expected to react on a Sunday night, which is to say about an hour) took down the offensive tweet in question, but openly and thoroughly apologized the next day.

And speaking of Miss Wallis, you have to admire a child who at the age of nine has the self-composure to insist that an adult reporter use her actual (admittedly hard to pronounce) name rather than calling her “Annie.”  Any self-respecting reporter would learn the name of any NBA star from a Eastern European country, why not a very talented movie actress form Louisiana? Not to mention Coach Krzyzewski’s name, and next to that “Quvenzhané” should be a piece of cake.) She also had the gleeful exuberance to pump her fist when her name was called as a nominee.  I am very interested in seeing what this girl does next.

And, to continue on with movies, Fandango’s cozy deals with the big movie chains are disgraceful.  I put in Palo Alto’s zip code because I wanted to see what was playing at a couple of independent theaters on or just off of University Avenue.  Fandango brought up results for chain theaters as far away as Union City and San Mateo before it finally showed the results for the Aquarius and Stanford theaters, which were in zip code I entered.  This has got to warp people’s decision-making, if the local theaters are all the way on page two or three — people may just give up and go to a farther away big chain.

The sky is beautiful, and it was hard NOT to go to the beach today.  The reason for the self-denial is that until the van gets tuned it is eating gas at an enormous rate and 87 is currently at $4.25 at the station near my house.  I need to save my fuel for  more important things.

For various reasons, I did not play trivia for about nine months.  I am playing at a new venue now: California Cafe in Palo Alto on Wednesday at 7 p.m.  I am getting shellacked every week by a group of six Stanford biology graduate students.  It’s still fun.  Part of the reason I am not doing as well as I used to is that they have a music round.  I am sort of hosed on that one.  Even in this week’s “Disney” music round, our team only got seven.

I have been working on a project which involves data mining about, among other things very large churches.  I have read enough about Biblical imperatives for women not to have dominion over men (that’s why they cannot be elders or priests!) and how liberals are destroying America and Christianity and where “we welcome everybody” means “we welcome everybody as long as they agree that homosexuality is sin” to last for a while now.  On the other hand, one large church had an article on why it was important to date many people (presumably without having sex with them).  That’s useful advice.

Also, regarding that same project, I just want to say to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, your search feature sucks.  It is nowhere near as useful as the San Mateo County Association of Realtors.  Aren’t you guys in competition?

At any rate, back to the salt mines.  I am working on another personal project (which I expect to run about seven-eight thousand words) which I am about halfway done with, so I don’t know how much I’ll be here.

Have a nice weekend, guys!

This entry was posted in Culture (popular and otherwise), God faith and theology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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