Ten Things, 2023-12/13
Here are ten things.
- 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!!!
- OPENING DAYYYYY! GO JAYS GO! Fuckin' baseball, bro!!!
- 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”.
- Over at Uproxx, Steven Hyden counts down the 100 best debut albums of all time.
- 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.
- I was spoiled by the gods manning the Watchlist Roulette wheel: The Changeling, The Battle of Algiers, Female Prison #701: Scorpion, Pigs and Battleships.
- 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).
- 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.
- RIP Ryuichi Sakamoto.
- 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.