Ten Things, 01-2022

Shout out to the Criterion Collection for these sick banners.

Here are ten things.

  1. For the last five weeks, I've had lots of fun on laserdisc.party running the Movie Bowl, a week-long single-elimination poll tournament where 16 movies, selected CFP-style with a deliberately obtuse mix of “box office performance, awards performance, critical reception, long-term popularity, and a vague secret sauce [we're] calling 'canonization',” vie for the title of best movie of that year. We just wrapped up the event for 1999, which The Matrix won quite handily from the 6-seed, defeating the 16-seed Cinderella The Mummy by a score of 83-42. The Matrix joins previous winners Fargo, Jaws, The Princess Bride, Spirited Away, and The Shining.
  2. I got the daily Wordle puzzle in two guesses, two days in a row.
  3. Cam Macaulay, a student at Syracuse University, released the first act of The Chronicles of Syracuse Men's Lacrosse. This series is obviously indebted in spirit and style to the work of the great Jon Bois (especially The History of the Seattle Mariners), and it sometimes feels like regional Boispolitation, but Macauley's own passion, voice, and choices make this an engrossing piece of work in its own right; there's a bigger focus here on institutional forces and, uh, straight-up historical dominance than in the Bois projects. I can't wait for Act II to drop, and from the looks of it, so does Jon.
  4. On her 40th birthday, New Yorker writer Helen Rosner tweeted out a thread of great advice. A relevant entry for yours truly:
    “You can just write things. An article. A poem. A book. You don't have to wait for someone else to say you should. You can just do it. This is still unbelievable to me.”
  5. I watched the Robert Greene wrestling doc Fake It So Real. It follows a troupe of down-on-their-luck wrestlers in North Carolina during the lead up to a big show. Heartbreaking and invigorating.
  6. I had myself an Alfred Hitchcock triple feature of The 39 Steps (good), The Lady Vanishes (great), and Rope (HOLY SHIT!). Hitch sure knew his way around a thriller.
  7. RIP Sidney Poitier and Peter Bogdanovich. In the Heat of the Night and Paper Moon would be my suggested double feature here.
  8. I got a big box of belated Christmas gifts from my family, including a pair of Doc Martens from my eldest sister. I heard third-hand that people in their 30s dress like the cool teen they wanted to be, and between these boots, the long hair, and the new tattoos, I think that would explain a thing or two.
  9. Speaking of Christmas gifts, I used the Mystic Mondays tarot deck Steph gifted me to draw myself a spread for the new year, courtesy of Yoshi Yoshitani. It's a lot of info to parse, but I'm not super duper thrilled about that Tower card for December.
  10. A poem, from the ever-delightful Wikipedia Haiku:
    Politeness, among
    just a few other things, seems
    to go a long way