shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


If you've sent in a submission to Say...what time is it? and are wondering when in the hell you'll ever hear from us, it'll probably be pretty soon. With the painting and the move and the boxes, submissions have sort of been piling up, but we're going to make a good faith effort to get through as many as possible this weekend--and send out responses. So, there's that. Saying it here means we have to do it. And if you haven't sent us anything yet, um, what's the problem?


The Bourne Identity ended up being not as good as it wanted to be or could have been. It's very much like a really good first draft screenplay, filmed. Which means better than most movies, especially in the action genre, actually. The problem is that all the little flashes of really good writing and visual storytelling are dragged down by moments of illogical character behavior and, frankly, characters just not being consistent. These are very much things that happen in first drafts of really good screenplays. And, from what I remember about the making of the movie, they were pretty much writing the script as they filmed. A tentative recommend for some night when your brain is beat down enough to not question too much.

Christopher knows all the songs from Ishtar. He also swears it was a really funny movie, very underrated. I remember my parents taking me and my brother to see it at the drive-in in Richmond, but little else. Just sand and Dustin Hoffman's face, really. I'm not sure if this is one of those things I'm willing to investigate by actually re-watching or not. Perhaps it should remain a mystery.

There's part of me that wishes I could be assured of a turnout of Hell's Angels contingents at my funeral. But I'd rather not have to live Johnny PayCheck's life (or listen to his music) to do it.

And, lessee, the debate in the Senate yesterday turned to the proposed CBS hillbilly reality show, which I must give Zell Miller credit for deeming a "cracker comedy." Appalshop is a really cool music station/arts group that funds all kinds of things which has been leading the charge against CBS on this one; they're in Whitesburg, Kentucky ("The Mountain Eagle: It screams," best newspaper slogan ever). They recently have been victims of local government officials refusing to sign off on a $300,000 grant to build an Appalshop museum, because a DJ was heard by some people saying something to the effect that "America has killed more innocent people around the world than any other country." The local officials thought this unpatriotic; the DJ doesn't remember if he said it or not. WMMT (the radio station and the "voice of the hillbilly nation") is standing behind him, because they don't censor. (Here's the Washington Post story on it.) This ticks me off on so many levels, and makes me very proud of Appalshop for not backing off one inch.

I love listening to WMMT by the way--it's a great radio station in a sea of boring dross. The late night Friday show when I was in high school was the first place I ever heard The Replacements. Last weekend, when I was visiting my folks, the Saturday night show was being hosted by a 21-year-old infatuated with herself and unabashedly having a good time with things. And whose accent reminded me lots of my own around that age. Think verrrry long "i's." The first time I met Charles and Karen Vess we bonded over talk of WMMT, because they get it where they live. What the point of all this rambling about Appalshop is, is that it really isn't a "hillbilly nation" anymore, and if it is then there's something kind of great about that. It's not worthy of being mocked, or cheapened by a reality show. They're not looking for the kind of people that volunteer at Appalshop, or even listen to it; they're looking for something else, something cheap. Hopefully, if they find it, we won't reward them by watching.

End of diatribe.

Oh, and for all the people who are still talking about the duct tape thing. Here's the thing, these are fairly common sense recommendations. Giving people something to do, that's productive is not a bad thing. Yes, Tom Ridge is a dolt, but having an emergency kit and a family communications plan are not radical ideas. The Red Cross is making very similar recommendations and has been for decades for emergencies like, oh say, weather. But, on duct tape. 1. There's actual research to back that up, which I've read as part of my job. A study from Oak Ridge that's actually called, "Does Duct Tape and Plastic Sheeting Work?" The research suggests that it does. 2. At the very least, you can make a post-apocalypse prom dress with it.

Now, I'm not doing any of this stuff, because I figure if something happens where we are, I'll be working. But, just because something easy to make fun of--and it is, and it's the laughter of fear, I suppose--doesn't mean it's bad advice. In fact, this campaign is the most practical thing I've seen coming from D.C. in awhile, even if some of it maybe isn't supported by science. (Like: "Anything over your face in a biological attack is better than nothing." Um, not sure whether there's science to back that one up.) And yes, it's simple, it has to be because it's a general education campaign aimed at everybody. So, ignore it or follow the advice, but get over it. It's not that bad an idea to encourage people to take common sense emergency precautions and to break down various types of threats that are considered most likely for them. Really, lots of cities have been doing this, and no one cared until Homeland Security got involved.

End diatribe two.

I wish we could smell the roses, but here it's just more snow.


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