Ten Things, 2023-12/13


Here are ten things.

  1. JOHN WICK 4, MOTHERFUCKERS! It owns bones! Manna from the action movie gods! DONNIE FUCKING YEN! I saw it with my sisters! I had a big-ass Diet Coke! Fun!!!
  2. OPENING DAYYYYY! GO JAYS GO! Fuckin' baseball, bro!!!
  3. Speaking of baseball: in 1985, the great George Plimpton published on of the best April Fools' Day gags of all time in the hallowed pages of Sports Illustrated: “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch”.
  4. Over at Uproxx, Steven Hyden counts down the 100 best debut albums of all time.
  5. After a couple of years of fitful activity, the great I Don't Even Own a Television podcast, a punk-rock beacon of literary hijinx, has packed up the van and driven off into the golden Cali sunset. J., Collision, if y'all ever see this: thank you. Your show fucking rocked. Ride the crab, forever and ever.
  6. I was spoiled by the gods manning the Watchlist Roulette wheel: The Changeling, The Battle of Algiers, Female Prison #701: Scorpion, Pigs and Battleships.
  7. If Line Goes Up was Dan Olson's Spalding Gray monologue, its sister video, The Future Is a Dead Mall: Decentraland and the Metaverse is pulling hard from the Charlie Brooker playbook. Call it Metaversewipe. (Bonus rec: I still think Olson's 2021 video The Nostalgia Critic and The Wall, aka “Comfortably Doug,” is one of the great video essays of the decade so far).
  8. If you stream or otherwise need closed captions in a pinch, Web Captioner is one of the better, deeper utilities I've seen that you can use.
  9. RIP Ryuichi Sakamoto.
  10. Matthew Ogle's Pome newsletter is back with a vengeance. Here's “Intelligent Design” by J. Estanislao Lopez:
    An engineer in Wisconsin claims to have improved grief's design. Aerodynamic, he says, showing off his sketches, barely grief at all! Applying physics like salve to a wound, he remembers what Torricelli said about vacuums, what Carnot said about absolute terror. He grabs a pencil and revises one more time. There's money to be made in this, his father would assure, chopping chicken-necks through the afternoon. Flightless birds! The engineer pores over schematics, grimaces at draft after draft. His last sketch: confused. Joints unlabeled. A room inside a room inside a room.