Like most of the world, I watched Bo Burnham's latest special Inside on Netflix. It appears to be pretty divisive in my circles, but I quite enjoyed it as a collection of skits and songs about the performances we all put on, for everyone and no one, on the Internet.
Blaseball is back from an extended Siesta and my beloved Seattle Garages are as dogshit as ever. We're in a strong position to win the Underbracket, but I have mixed feeling about that.
Reporter Lee Sanderlin finished dead last in his fantasy football league, and as punishment, had to eat his way out of a 24-hour stay at Waffle House. This is his saga.
Quinton Reviews goes waaaaay long on two artifacts of millennial junk culture, Fred and iCarly. The only conclusion I can draw after watching 8.5 hours of this is that this is media criticism as a form of self-flagellation. #FREDPILLED
On the most recent episode of The Big Picture, co-host Sean Fennessey spoke with filmmaker Alex Ross Perry about home video distribution, how canons get built, and movies that fall into the cracks of history.
I filled a big gap in my personal filmography by finally sitting down and watching Singin' in the Rain. I was winded just watching this movie. Here's Donald O'Connor doing “Make 'em Laugh,” and keep in mind, this dude smoked four packs a day and was hospitalized after this because he simply went in too hard.
I revistied Brian Eno's Another Green World, which is a great piece of work. I love it when Robert Fripp's distinctive guitar shows up anywhere.
This is a lightly-edited list of king shlockmeister Joe Bob Briggs's advice for budding writers. Like all writing advice, it boils down to “apply ass to chair,” but with a fair bit more Job Bob colour:
The way you become a writer is you WRITE. Every day. No exceptions.
What you write is not important.
Nobody is going to steal your idea.
THERE ARE NO NEW IDEAS. There are only individual expressions of old ideas.
Be honest. It always works.
Don't listen to anybody's opinions about what you write, especially your friends and family. (I don't mean ignore these people. I mean listen to the voice inside you that says "That's good" and "That stinks." It's the only voice that doesn't lie.)
Never be afraid to write something that stinks. The more stinky stuff you put out, the more risks you take. And the more risks you take, the better chance you have of creating something beautiful. No great writer has ever been a wimp.
If you can explain how to write a book, then you don't know how to write one. If you can write a book, then you won't be able to explain how you did it. It's stupid, but it's true.
There are no membership cards or initiation rites for this profession. Anybody with a sheet of paper can do it. So you become a writer on the day you say "I'm a writer." It doesn't matter where your income comes from. The work you take joy from is writing.
Nobody can tell you how to write, but there are certain things you can do to get to a PLACE where you can write. There are three of them: Write every day. Write every day. Write every day.
I am back in the swing of things at work, which is great for my livelihood but not so good for my writing. Thankfully, I love writing lists, and since it was both Hayao Miyazaki's birthday (happy 80th to the GOAT) and just another day on the internet (nerds having opinions about Wes Anderson, yours truly included), I wrote up some lists. I love making lists. And I hope you love reading (or arguing with, whichever suits your fancy) them.
Wes Anderson, Ranked
The Grand Budapest Hotel. It took me a long time to admit to myself that not only is it my favourite, but that it's a five-star film.
Moonrise Kingdom. Maybe I just like the cute/funny Wes movies rather than the sad ones.
Rushmore. The first one I saw. For a kid from the sticks, the movies Wes makes might has well have been set on Mars, but that was part of the appeal. What wasn't alien was kick-ass rock music, crushes on people I had no business having crushes on, and, in retrospect, being an annoying precocious asswipe.
The Royal Tenenbaums. Bet you 20 bucks this goes up two spots on rewatch.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. See above. Might resonate with me more now that I'm over 30.
Fantastic Mr. Fox. Can't help but feel I lowballed this on the first go.
Bottle Rocket. Wes's first is his least quintessential, but I love how shaggy it is. Come back to us, Owen Wilson, all is forgiven.
Isle of Dogs. Uh, well... the dogs are cute? The sushi prep scene is cool? Strong weeb vibes coming off this one.
The Darjeeling Limited. Man, I don't want to talk about this one, this one's kinda of rough. I think it's the only complete misfire in the run.
Top 10 (Paul Thomas,Paul W.S.,Wes) Anderson Films
Boogie Nights. It's not the Great American Novel if there's no dick and no cocaine.
The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Inherent Vice. Up in smoke.
There Will Be Blood. I'm starting to suspect that PTA is attracted to these widescreen American tragedies with mad barons and charlatans and shit in them.
The Master. This is what Joaquin should have gotten his Oscar for. Either this or You Were Never Really Here.
Phantom Thread. Motherfucker really went and named his character "Woodcock," huh.
The Royal Tenenbaums.
Event Horizon. Hell is outer space.
Hayao Miyazaki: A Tier List
N/A: Porco Rosso, Ponyo. I'll get to them eventually, I swear.
D tier: Hayao Miyazaki has never made anything less than good and to claim otherwise would be heresy of the highest order.
C tier: Castle in the Sky. As with any of these lists, this is subjective, but this is the only one that doesn't, you know, move me.
B tier: The Castle of Caglisotro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle. The first one is really fun heist movie, and Howl might be Miyazaki's most phantasmagorical film, and yes, I'm aware Spirited Away is a thing.
A tier: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, The Wind Rises. I especially like The Wind Rises, because it's the most politically complex film of the bunch. What does it mean when the thing you love is turned into something that brings hell on Earth?
S tier: My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke. Two perfect films, what can I say. Two very different way of communing with nature. Sometimes it comes to you softly, and sometimes it comes to you with a vengeance. Plus Totoro is south of God's Runtime, which as we all know, is 87 minutes.