Saturday, July 25, 2009

And starring Draco Hamlet.

Lesley and I recently saw 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' (okay, we've seen it twice, don't you judge me) and thoroughly enjoyed it. The aesthetic that David Yates brings to these films is quite terrific.

Anyway, multiple times in the film a very Nordic looking character is brooding about the castle, vacillating whether he should kill a father figure that another father figure has asked him to kill, never quite bringing himself to do it. Yes, Draco and Hamlet are amazingly similar.

In the scene shown above the camera glides by a sulking Draco, it could easily stop on a close up

Draco: O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew.

In the above scene, riveted with doubt over his assignment, Draco pauses as he looks in the mirror.

Draco: To be, or not to be: that is the question:

This game gave me a ton of enjoyment. If and when you see the movie try to find places for all six soliloquies. You'll be amazed how well they fit.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Move on, already

I know, I know. You're like, we know you like Grizzly Bear, already. In fact, I've put off posting this for a few days for that very reason. I can hear the eyes rolling collectively in their sockets out there.

But you have to see this. They pulled this off... LIVE. I have to wonder if that trippy nymph Bjork was in the sound booth, engineering the scope and clarity of the noise coming from these Brooklyn hipsters. I'm just so thrilled that in a day and age of over-produced and performance-altering recording technologies, there's a band out there that can not only conjure music like this, but can actually write it on paper for someone to join them in a live performance of it.

Here's to real talent.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Neil Young Mea Culpa?

This post is more of an apology to Brandie than anything else. See, I used to make fun of Neil Young even though I knew Brandie really liked him. But I was making fun of Neil Young based on a COVER VERSION of one of his songs: Castles Burning covered by Annie Lennox. You can hear it in this video. If you listen to it you can imagine why I thought he was total weak sauce. Anyway, I was utterly debased and nihilistically humiliated when I actually heard some of his other stuff. He's pretty great (although I still maintain that Castles Burning isn't that great of a song). So my apologies to Brandie, Hubbel and any other Neil Young fans who had to endure my smug ignorance. Maybe the real shame here is that I made it to 30 without knowing any real Neil Young songs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Steyn on Life Span and Health Care Systems

I had to pass on this money quotation from Mark Steyn's latest post at NRO.
Life expectancy in the European Union 78.7 years; life expectancy in the United States 78.06 years; life expectancy in Albania 77.6 years; life expectancy in Libya, 76.88 years; life expectancy in Bosnia & Herzegovina, 78.17 years. Once you get on top of childhood mortality and basic hygiene, everything else is peripheral – margin-of-error territory. Maybe we could get another six months by adopting EU-style socialized health care. Or we could get another six weeks by reducing the Lower 48 to rubble in an orgy of bloodletting, which seems to have done wonders for Bosnian longevity... Even within the United States, even within the Medicare system, there are regions that offer twice as much “health care” per patient – twice as many check-ups, pills, tests, operations – for no discernible variation in outcome.
Health care is incredibly complex, but my instincts tell me that the costs of having government run our health care system will greatly overshadow any of the benefits. And the benefits--improved access, lower cost (in theory anyway)--will probably have no discernible effect on big outcomes like life span, cancer rates or obesity rates.