I got to see the Matrix Reloaded twice already in the theater. Although the film was flawed, when the final movie in the trilogy comes out, a lot of people will re-examine Reloaded and be blown away. In the first Matrix, I caught the whole the story early on, and most of my ruminations were about philosophical issues, social theory, hyperreal, yadda. It was pure brain candy. I have seen Reloaded twice now, and I still can’t figure out the plot. I have re-watched The Matrix recently, and in retrospect there are several additional cool things. For example, the Oracle tells Neo something to theRead More →

Am I the only person in the world who selects musical choices by listening to the Mitsubishi car ads? I never heard of Dirty Vegas. Apparently I’m not alone, according to Rob Walker at Slant who says that the Mitsubishi ad was responsible for getting Dirty Vegas air time and concert dates. Dirty Vegas was fairly popular in England, but never “broke” here. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but TV commercials are indeed helping artists to break. Walker says it shows how cookie cutter US radio has grown. Walker also has a nice little piece on Spam’s new commercial,Read More →

The Quiet American. deserves the high rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was good: it was disturbing, haunting, and difficult to watch. The movie effortlessly metonymizes Vietnam with the woman character, Phuong, who is the object of both Michael Caine’s and Brenden Fraser’s attention. The best review is from Kamera.com in the UK. They like the film because it pushes us away from the tired “Miramax orientalism.” Excellent phrase! Nobody seems to be talking about what it means to turn Vietnam into a mistress or prostitute in that movie. That’s probably due to our “me so horny, me love you long time” consciousness. Given ourRead More →

It is in this juvenile ecstasy of the modern that we must locate the progeny of the future and initially ponder why a man, who just wants to be a boy, is apparently powerless to profess his innocence and relinquish his sexuality, despite assurances everywhere that he can and must.

– Slavoj Zizek in CTHEORY

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It is nonetheless easy to understand the intellectual attraction of The Matrix: is it not that The Matrix is one of the films which function as a kind of Rorschach test setting in motion the universalized process of recognition, like the proverbial painting of God which seems always to stare directly at you, from wherever you look at it – practically every orientation seems to recognize itself in it?

– Slavoj Zizek in CTHEORY

Zizek says so much more. It’s all about the “Big Other,” but this quote is my favorite part.

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All this anti-war activism (that never gets reported, of course, except in places like the Village Voice) reminds me of my grandmother, Anna Zuckerman, who devoted her life to peace activism. When I was a child, during the Vietnam war, she had a framed poster on her wall that said: War is unhealthy for children and other living things. I still have an unused patch of that slogan. So decided to buy a copy of that poster and put it up somewhere, probably at school. Here’s some interesting information:

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My church has a Mother (or guardian)/Daughter Book Club that meets once a month to read books of interest to middle school girls. Last month, the kid and I attended the potluck that gets the book club off the ground. Everyone got to suggest one book, and since there were twelve of us (six mother/daughter pairs) we each got to recommend a selection.

The selections were quite amazing. Nearly all of them shared a common theme of

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This week Entertainment Weekly featured Natalie Portman and an article on Star Wars. The picture looks so much like the cover of L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz that I am beginning to wonder if Oz was influential to the production designers.

Interestingly enough, an article in the Chicago Reader points out that “the underwater city of Otoh Gunga could probably be traced back to John R. Neill’s illustrations in one of the Oz books,” so others have noticed this similarity too.

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Harry Potter is all the rage, of course. Some people are happy about that and others aren’t. Crooked Dimwit is one of those who isn’t.

Annoyed and exhausted by the Harry Potter hype, Crooked Dimwit argues that the media overstates Harry’s preeminence at the box office. Because the rating system ignores inflation, HP rankings are actually exaggerated. When adjusted for inflation,

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