There's plenty of dumb stuff to talk about.But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about cool stuff. You know, stuff that makes you want to tell other people about. This is the kind of stuff I want to talk about. So, here goes: Cool Stuff I Want To Share With You, My Friends On the Internet:
B O O K S
I've been reading Haruki Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland And the End of the World and man, this is the business right here. It's one of those books, like Cat's Cradle or The Crying of Lot 49 or VALIS or Pattern Recognition or Seaguy, where I feel like it was written just for me to read. Which I know is totally narcissistic, but still.
It's the story of a Calcutec - a human computer - who is processing some very sensitive information for a secretive, possibly insane scientist. And it's also about a guy who lived in a strange city (which may or may not be the physical representation of the Calcutec's mind) who reads the dreams from the skulls of unicorns. So yeah, this is right up my alley.
I also checked out Betrayal, the first of the Legacy of the Force book series. Yes, that's a Star Wars book. And yes, I know this is not a good thing, that this will only end in shame and disappointment. Don't judge me.
M U S I C
Man, there's been some good music this year. I'm thinking about my "Best Of" mixes* for 2009 and there are a few albums I know will make the cut for sure. Monster Head Room by Ganglians, the Flaming Lips' Embryonic, Isnalds' Vapours and the album pictured at the left, the Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca.
The first couple of listens gave me a mild sense of vertigo, but once this album hooked itself into my earholes, it hasn't let go. It's dizzying indie mutant blue-eyed R&B. Highly recommended.
T V . O N . D V D
Been watching a lot of The Prisoner, which really doesn't need me to tell it it's awesome, but man, it's awesome. I seriously can't believe something this nutty and flat-out subversive ever made it on the air. It's really weird stuff and totally worth your time if you haven't seen it yet. Sure, there's gonna be the AMC remake, but I have a feeling it'll be too neat, too linear, not fever-dream enough to really capture the vibe of the original. I would be happy to be proven wrong, though.
We've also just watched the second (and final?) series of Flight of the Conchords. Dude, that show ... it's great. The "Prime Minister" episode with Art Garfunkel? Genius.
C O M I C S
Just read the first volume of the Vertigo series Air. It's really good, intriguing stuff. The art's sort of rough in parts, but the story's solid and, hey, it's a Vertigo book; the art is *always* crappy in Vertigo books. Except for The Losers, but even that sort of fell apart once jock left. But anyway, Air. It's about a flight attendant who's afraid of heights. And, uh, teleportation, forgotten countries and secret societies. And Quetzalcoatl.
There's a fair comparison with Lost in that it's a big, weird thing wrapped in a somewhat standard package, so yeah, I'm on board. I was a little worried about it getting canceled before it really got enough story out of the way, but again, it's a Vertigo book. They published Lucifer for like, ever and it was never in the Top 20 or anything, so hopefully, it's safe for a while.
I'm also loving the heck out of Batman & Robin. But then again, I'm totally retarded for Grant Morrison so maybe I'm a bit biased, but it's dang good dayglo superhero comicbookery.
And now I ask all y'all comic nerds out there: what else is really good right now. And if any of you say Blackest Night, I will throat-punch you. You have been warned.
T E L E V I S I O N
NBC's really got Thursday night locked down, right? Dang, that is one satisfying night of comedy. I mean, I'm sad as hell that Kath & Kim is gone (I think I was literally the only person in America who thought that show was good, but oh well), but from Community to Parks & Recreation to The Office and finally 30 Rock, it's a string of really great television.
And yeah, you can argue that The Office has jumped the shark and it hasn't been the same since Jim and Pam got together and blahblahblah, but let's be honest, The Office has always been just pretty good. I mean, I think a lot of people were just surprised that it worked, what with being based on the much funnier and impossible to replicate British version. So when like, the wedding episode sort of fell apart at the end or that episode after that one where Jim and Pam were on their honeymoon and it sort of just wandered around for a half hour, I don't get all worked up because it's not like it hasn't had a good run, you know? And even if it's not perfect, it's still way funnier than something like Three and A Half Men.
But yeah, I'm loving Community's (it's like Stripes: the College Years, isn't it?) and Parks & Rec's getting better every week and 30 Rock ... oh, 30 Rock, you had me at "chuckle hut."
And yeah, I like Glee. Why? Why does this show work? I don't know, but it does. And okay, let me just say this and hope one of the producer's is reading: The more Jane Lynch, the better the episode. That's just science. And you can't argue with science.
M O V I E S
If you're looking for a good indie adventure/comedy, go and Redbox The Brothers Bloom. It's not perfect, but it's a fun little film, well-acted, well-written, well-directed. It's sort of like if Wes Anderson directed a con man movie written by the guy who wrote Harold & Maude, if that makes any sense. See it. I mean, it's Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rachael Weisz. What more do you need to know?
And that's what's getting me all lathered up these days, pop-culture-wise. How about you?
* How about those? Are they worth it? Should I do it the same way this year, with a Top Ten Favorites and an Honorable Mentions? Let me know.