The Meddler

First heard about this show when Charlie Rose interviewed the director, Lorene Scafaria, and lead actors Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne

Guess it jumped out at me since it's always cool to see a woman director -- and she's quite young at that (under 40)!

A really well cast movie.

Really liked main character, played by Sarandon, a lot.  She's a meddlesome woman who encroaches on her daughter's life a bit too much, which is the main source of conflict in the story.  She's very sweet and perhaps too clueless about her bizarre altruistic behavior; including offering to pay for the wedding of her daughter's friend (which had to end up coasting over $60K, as she had Blues Travellers sing at it, plus the reception was held on a cruise), and giving the Apple worker who's helped her buy some ipads rides to his classes when she realizes he's been taking the bus.


OJ: Made in America Trailer

Wow, talk about a good trailer!  I've watched it five times now, I can't recall another trailer that's so captivated my imagination.  Mostly it's the two renditions of "Oh Sinner Man" played back to back. What a perfect song, an "African American Spiritual Song" (er, is it still PC to say Negro Spiritual?), played to all of the images of OJ scoring touchdowns and the infamous car chase just before his arrest.  


9/11 Truth and Psychology

I've often thought this article, "Psychology Experts Speak Out: 'Why is the 9/11 Evidence Difficult for Some to Accept" really goes to the heart of why so many otherwise intelligent people continue to maintain the official explanation for 9-11.

To my way of thinking, just the simple reality of Tower VII collapsing in free fall is sufficient evidence that the official explanation for 9-11 (Muslim fanatics armed with boxcutters launched a surprise attach) is pure fantasy.  Since a building like this can only collapse from internal demolition, which is in fact a quite sophisticated process that requires much prior preparation.  The boxcutter theory, in fact, given this evidence, is quite laughable.

However, many people who are well aware of the Tower 7 collapse continue to maintain the validity of the official version.  (Including, and maybe I'll remark on this more another day, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill.)  An excerpt from the article states;

9/11 Truth challenges some of our most fundamental beliefs about our government and about our country. When beliefs are challenged or when two beliefs are inconsistent, cognitive dissonance is created. 9/11 Truth challenges [our] beliefs that our country protects and keeps us safe and that America is the ‘good guy.’ When this happens, fear and anxiety are created. In response, our psychological defenses kick in [to] protect us from these emotions. Denial, which is probably the most primitive psychological defense, is the one most likely to kick in when our beliefs are challenged.

I guess that what I'm saying is that I think a lot of people have come to the conclusions they have about 9/11 not based on hard evidence, but rather on their world view, the paradigm they have established (in their minds) for who the US is and it's relation to the rest of the world.  


Demetri Martin

Just watched his Netflix Special; Demetri Martin: Live (at the Time).  It's pretty good, he prefaces the show with something like "ok I've got a lot of jokes and I'm just going to start throwing them out at you."  And that's pretty much what the show is, a litany of unrelated small jokes, mostly observational comedy.  Like I was telling my sister (and she corroborated), the show started to feel tedious in this respect, like hearing a bunch of really good knock knock jokes back to back.  Did he ever get personal?  It doesn't seem so.

A few of the ones that stood out (for me--paraphrasing)

"I have an L-shaped couch.  Lower case l".

"Why do people say 'I'm A-ok' when asked how they're doing?  Sounds like the first in a list of multiple choice answers; "I'm A-ok, B-suicidial, C-horny, D, all of the above."

Very clever cute jokes, but kind of er, like I said, tedious; he doesn't seem to be making any pithy statements the way comedy oftentimes can, but just cleverly pointing out inconsistencies in our language.

But I did like him.  I guess that he's A-Ok.  It's always inspiring for me to listen to a well-developed stand up comic.

I'd really really like to see his movie, Dean, that just came out about a month ago.  Now what kind of distribution does it have?  Not playing anywhere in my town.  Maybe in a few weeks.......


Tiffany Pratt x 2

The lesson is never stop. You always have to believe even when you are the most sad and even when you are in the most despair, you can't stop believing, you can't stop moving, you can't stop pushing forward. You just got to keep going....believing in your dream, believing in what is in your heart.    
And there' a lot more good quotes in this interview with Janna Overend from her podcast WeNation.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Am reading this book for the 2nd or perhaps the 3rd time.  I last read probably 15-20 years ago.  And cannot believe how much it holds up.  I love all of the passages that describe nature; the river, rain storms, Jim and Huck's adventures hunting on Jackson Island hunting, etc.  Can really tell how much Mark Twain loved the outdoors and the Mississippi River.

And such an original story.

Hm, yes, the book has a big emphasis on dreams and superstition.  Interesting to note that although Twain seems to outright dismiss superstition (referring satirically to Jim and Huck's plethora of superstitious beliefs), he doesn't dismiss the significance of dreams; as in his own life he was impacted by a prophetic dream that he had regarding his brother's death.

I'd often regarded, I mean to say, Twain as a cynic and sheer rationalist, and hadn't been aware of this aspect of his personality.  

Why the name Huckleberry?  Was it at all common at the time?