Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Blogoversary!

Happy Birthday to Languagehat!

Captain America, Fuck Yeah!

I went to see Captain America today, the first time I've been to the movies in maybe two years. I enjoyed it immensely! The 40s design was amazing, the action thrilling, the acting surprisingly strong, and the effects stellar. It was also surprisingly funny. Tommy Lee Jones's dry one-liners are particularly hysterical. Chris Evans was not only a heaping slab of beefcake walking around with a shield (though there was disappointingly little shirtlessness), but turned in a very strong performance. Captain America could have just been a goofy, hokey cornball, or a sanctimonious jerk, but the writers and Evans made him both believable and rootable. I want the T-shirt he wore -- and wore very, very, very well -- at the end, BTW.

The rest of the cast was also superb. The aforementioned Tommy Lee Jones could have stepped straight out of one of my dad's John Wayne war movies as the grizzled colonel in charge of the SuperSoldier program. Hugo Weaving leaves no scenery unchewed, but in that utterly delightful way he has, as Red Skull. Stanely Tucci does a wonderful kindly scientist. The until-now-unknown-to-me Haley Atwell as the love interest (who is, gratefully, more than just a female love interest, and actually I must applaud the movie for creating an organic and very sweet variation of the obligatory romantic subplot) was terrific. Dominic Cooper, who is also very hot, was inspired casting as Howard Stark, Iron Man's father. He really could be Robert Downey Jr.'s father. You know, if he wasn't younger than RDJ or whatever.

I want to give special kudos to the movie's score, which was very effective in highlighting and complementing scenes' emotional tones, without the overpowering, emotionally bullying "YOU WILL NOW FEEL THIS EMOTION!" so many movies today go in for. It didn't try to create emotion out of whole-cloth, which is what those bullying scores do, but served to heighten it. A particular favorite is Captain America and the Star-Spangled Singer's war bond pitch: it's corny and catchy and makes you want to go swing dancing.

This sounds completely corny and even sad, but what I loved most about the movie was the way it made me feel as an American. Without the over-the-top jingoism and xenophobia so often indicative of this kind of movie, Captain America is all about what is best about the US: our optimism, our energy, our generosity, our selflessness, our diversity, our resolve. I left the theater wanting to salute the flag, punch some Nazis, and kiss a seaman (and a Marine... and a grunt...) in Times Square. In this time of political insanity and economic stagnation, where it is the worst about us (our ignorance, our arrogance, our pig-headedness, our prejudice) that seems to be all we really are, it was nice to be reminded that we do have better-selves buried somewhere. If only we had more Steve Rogerses, a good man who can't stand a bully no matter who he is and a heart that won't quit, in real-life.

Just a note: if you stick around for the Avengers sneak-peak after the credits, be forewarned: LONGEST. CREDITS. EVAHHHHHHH!!! Seriously, it took a shitload of people to make this movie, and they all deserve credit for a great achievement, especially the five million special effects people who were necessary to produce it in less than the decade it probably would have taken a more credit-friendly team, but man. My friend is convinced they just started making up people at one point, to prolong the agony.

Skimpy Sunday

(Via Roids and Rants [NSFW]; Mimziz [NSFW])

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Of DEATH!

I have fairly hairy forearms, and this hair is sort of fluffy and spiky. During the sultry days of summer, then, little bugs, such as gnats and mosquitos, get trapped in there. My forearms are an insect death trap!

Nerd Humor

"Liches be trippin'!"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Evening's Philosophical Pondering

...undoubtedly it is the knowledge of death, and therewith the consideration of the suffering and misery of life, that give the strongest impulse to philosophical reflection and metaphysical explanations of the world. If our life were without end and free from pain, it would possibly not occur to anyone to ask why the world exists, and why it does so in precisely this way, but everything would be taken purely as a matter of course...temples and churches, pagodas and mosques, in all countries and ages, in their splendour and spaciousness, testify to man's need for metaphysics, a need strong and ineradicable.

Arthur Shopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Typographical Titles

Books about Typography, Typographers, and Typophiles. Having known some font-freaks and typophiles in my day, nothing is scarier than an argument about serifs and Comic Sans.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Verbal Vogueing

The delightful and delicious Louis Virtel of Movieline, with whom I've long had a torrid affair (not really) based on Muppet Baby references, now has a YouTube show about the really important issues: pop culture, pop culture, and celebrities called "Verbal Vogueing." Werk, hunty! Totally NSFW, BTW.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Test Your Vocabulary

I know approximately 40,300 words, apparently. How many words do you know?

(Via Languagehat)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Beargosh and Beargorrah!

Polar bears are Irish (on their mother's side).

Joan Rivers

Though people make fun of her for the plastic surgery and the red carpet stuff, actual comedians like Louis C.K. and Jim Norton think Joan River's a genius. That woman hustles like there's no tomorrow. For my 23rd birthday, I saw Joan Rivers live in Atlantic City, and it was amazing!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"Why" "Are" "You" "Quoting" "That"?

I'm not at all shocked that there's a blog about unnecessary quotation marks, since there's a blog about everything, but I'm pleased all the same, because man do those things chap my ass! I mean, I guess people do it for emphasis like italics or something, but they just make it sound like you're being "ironic" or quoting yourself, which is just weird.

(Via Awful Library Books)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Book Becalmed

I've become becalmed on the Sea of Books. For the past two or three weeks, I've just not been in the reading headspace. I just can't seem to find anything good to read, when I even feel like reading at all. I've begun and then discarded several books, and the ones I have read all the way through haven't really satisfied me. For someone so bibliomaniacal as I, you can see why it's my most dreaded occasional experience. Perhaps the summer heat has brought with it a certain lassitude, a literary ennui. Thankfully, next week A Dance with Dragons comes out, so a steady wind should rise soon to speed me on my way.

Skimpy Sunday

(Via Postmodernbarney After Dark [NSFW]; Will Clark World; Midnight to London [NSFW]; Mimziz [NSFW])