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Month: October 2009

But If It’s Us!

The current schadenfreude election race — if you’re a Democrat — is the NY-23 House race. You’ve got a moderate Republican, a Democrat, and a third party social conservative. Doug Hoffman, the social conservative, is getting lots of national attention: endorsements from Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and so on. It is symptomatic of the split in the Republican Party. Cue Daily Kos smugness.

It is oddly reminiscent of the doomful prognostication regarding the Lamont/Lieberman primary in 2006. Daily Kos did a couple of retrospects of that smuggitude recently. Alas for those who would learn from history, no parallels were drawn between the two elections.

Let’s Put On A Show

Susan and I caught the So You Think You Can Dance tour last Thursday. I’m not sure I’d shell out for the season 6 tour, but I had more fun than I expected at this one.

As expected, it was relentlessly full of tweens and parents, with a scattering of oddballs like us. The overall vibe, as Susan noted, was a high end Disney show. I imagine they’ve learned from High School Musical and so forth. The dances, of which there was not enough, were situated in a rather bland pudding of dancer banter. These kids are not in fact trained in the ancient art of standing on a stage and sounding conversational, excepting of course Evan. It showed.

Most of the dances were refined and tuned from the show versions, to good effect. Different intros, better performances, and so on.

Best dances, not in order:

Kayla and Kupono’s addiction dance. It brought me to tears again. Kupono’s overwrought performance style fit the theme and Kayla does vulnerable very well.

Phillip’s solo. He got a full solo; everyone else had a show-style 1 minute solo, but the Chbeeb got a few minutes to do what he does. He got the biggest solo ovation of the night, too (with Brandon as #2 in that regard). His sense of rhythm and bodily control are superb.

Brandon and Janette’s pop contemporary dance. The thievery dance, I suppose you’d say. Lovely and fresh as always.

Biggest surprise:

Randi and Evan’s samba. Of all the ballroom dances to include, that was the second one, after Brandon and Jeanine’s pasa doble? But it was really good. Randi seems a lot more relaxed now that she isn’t competing, and they really rocked it. Randi and Evan were a solid couple and if any couple not named Brandon and Janette was gonna get two dances on the tour, I suppose they’d be the ones.

Biggest disappointment:

No solo from Janette, no Brandon and Janette ballroom, etc. Maybe she was sick? It seems like a pretty glaring omission. I mean, she’s the one person who didn’t get a solo, out of all twelve performers.

Peace Out

Apparently everyone already knew the Nobel Peace Prize was going to be used as a way to increase someone’s influence. Reuters had the story two days ago. Not that anyone was paying attention.

Wanted – a peace maker or rights activist engaged in a current conflict whose influence would benefit greatly from winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

That is who Norway’s Nobel Committee will choose for 2009 Peace Prize laureate if, as experts expect, it returns closer to Alfred Nobel’s notion of peace. Past prizes went to climate campaigners, life-long diplomats and grass-roots economists.

Nobel’s will doesn’t exactly allow for this. The prize goes “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” I could get snarky and say he deserves it for preventing McCain from becoming President, but I’m not sure I feel quite that snarky about McCain.

On the other hand, I probably do feel that snarky about Palin. The world’s a safer place without her in the Executive Branch. Hey, good work, Obama.

Rope Ends

In episode 3 of FlashForward:

  1. The Center for Disease Control requests money from the Department of Homeland Security. In 1991. Which is somewhat prior to the date the DHS was founded.
  2. The only person in the world who notices all the crows in the world dying during the flashforward blackout is a Nazi prisoner.
  3. After all the crows in the world die, the crow population magically recovers.
  4. Approximately every single cast member explains that the world has changed, and we are all prophets, and we know our future, and the world has changed as a result. In case you hadn’t heard.
  5. Jack Davenport does not appear.
  6. Dominic Monaghan does not appear.

Sorry, semi-promising new SF show! Your time is up. Anyone still watching can let me know if it gets any better.

See This

John Woo’s new movie, Red Cliff, will be hitting US soil on November 20th. If you are a die-hard John Woo fan, you’ll see it. If you’re a John Woo fan who’s been disappointed by such cinematic masterpieces as Paycheck, you should see it: all reports are that he’s back to form. If you’re not a John Woo fan but you like big historical epics, you should see it. Everyone else: also see it.

Here, have a trailer.

The US version is two and a half hours, which is heavily chopped from the four hour double movie Asian version. Obsessive fans can get the original two movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. Consumer protection warning: the Mei Ah Blu-Ray discs reportedly have a small watermark in the letterboxing.