Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What circle of hell is that?

I am a Christmas-hater.  I hate the freaked out people in the stores, I hate the massive message of consumption, I hate the gaudy displays, I hate hate hate my kids learning to expect they'll get some more crap.  I like poinsettias a lot I guess.  But what I hate most is the music, from every radio and every store audio system: it's pretty much the worst in the whole Western canon (except We Three Kings, which is OK.)  And I just want to make the statement somewhere: there needs to be a special Day of Infamy for whatever sick, twisted bastard wrote Jingle Bell Rock.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NPR tagline tempts the highbrow with lowbrow

The local NPR affiliate often gets some funding from some studio and this week they're often using a tagline something like, "with support from the new movie True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen."  Nice of the studio and I get it: NPR listeners probably dig Coen brothers movies.  But last week it was something like, "with support from Black Swan, a psychosexual thriller from Darron Aronofsky."

Which irritates.  Why the ten-dollar word, "psychosexual"?  It's sort of unneeded.  You can say it's a dark thriller following an actress in a ballet company and I can infer that it's a bit sexy.  You can do all kinds of things advertisers do.  But this pitch was written to be heard, "C'mon, you NPR types are just dying to see Natalie Portman's boobs, now you can but it'll be all intellectual and shit so you don't have to hide it from your thesis advisor."  I mean, c'mon.  Do it the True Grit way or not at all; who the hell do they think they're kidding?  I'm insulted and won't go see the movie.

That's not to be read as  an indictment of Natalie Portman's boobs, but dammit, let's just come upon them when we happen to be in the theatre for art.  Or, y'know, for a really good comedy.  Or when they're used ironically.  Or as an essential framing device in a superhero blockbuster.  Or displayed as a gesture of deep mutual respect.  Look, the point is, I'll probably rent the DVD.