Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
February 17, 2020
Thoughts re: Sabrina and her Satanic witches
Category: Linkage … TV, Film, & DVDs

Sabrina may be a terrible friend, but damn does our girl get the swankest threads! More on that in this Popsugar article. It's an amusing read.

Anyway: I've finished watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina S3. While I found it generally pretty satisfying -- the weirdly anticlimactic finale notwithstanding -- I don't think it's nearly as interesting or baffling as S2. Actually, I'd been meaning to write more about S2, but hadn't for fear of spoilers. Has enough time passed that I can spoil developments in S2? Imma spoil some developments in S2.

So one of the stranger things about the show is that witches in this canon straight-up worship Satan -- we're talking traditional Christian Satan, fallen angel, Prince of Hell, Father of Lies and all kinds of other evil shit. Most of the witchy holiday rites involve some manner of sacrifice and cannibalism; one reason the Spellmans run a mortuary is that closed-casket events for clients make for fine dining opportunities. Angels are agents of God and yet are clearly treated as villains when they appear -- Sabrina herself has killed two. And while initially the emphasis on Satanism felt like a move intended to make the show edgier and potentially offend uptight Christian audiences for no apparent reason beyond bad press, I ultimately got used to it? And then I found it weirdly entertaining. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 9:48 pm | Comments (0)
February 11, 2020
Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling
Category: Linkage

I was recently discussing the appeal of wrestling with a friend, so this feels like a particularly apropos find! Admittedly I was generally more interested in the technical aspects of wrestling, but I think this short film does a great job of explaining some of the character and story appeal. (Plus it's briefly got Lola Blanc as the Undertaker, which is how it ended up on my radar.) Worth a watch for fans and non-fans alike.

-posted by Wes | 2:10 am | Comments (0)
June 21, 2019
Brief thoughts on the Kashuv controversy
Category: Current Events … Linkage … Serious

So I'd linked the Vox article and included the accompanying text in a couple of places on social media, but I wanted to make sure I had a record of it here in my own space as well. (While I don't expect I have any regular readers these days who'd be inclined to weigh in, feel free to comment if you come across this whenever and have thoughts!) So here's the link to the Vox piece, and here's a Huffington Post article containing screencaps of the comments that have landed him in hot water. My post intended to initiate discussion and/or opinion sharing is below:

I'm curious to hear folks' thoughts on the Kyle Kashuv controversy. (I've included the Vox link because it gives a fairly comprehensive overview of the situation and includes abundant links to further information and assessments, not because of the particular viewpoint expressed here -- though I am in agreement with the author's sentiments about identity politics.)

For my part, I don't have a strong opinion about Harvard's decision -- I wouldn't have been outraged had Kashuv retained his admission, nor am I pleased that his admission was rescinded. Still, I acknowledge the difficult position in which the university was placed and I can imagine why rejecting Kashuv ultimately seemed like the better option. (Among other things -- and barring some demonstrated growth and insight that I haven't gleaned from reading several months of the kid's Twitter feed -- I don't know how favorably his peers would have responded to him on campus. I imagine at best he would have been a decidedly polarizing figure, and I'm not sure a student like that is a positive addition to a campus community.)

In any case, I'm sure Kashuv will be fine in the long run, and I hope that his stated contention to do better wasn't contingent upon the Harvard situation's resolving in his favor.

-posted by Wes | 6:04 am | Comments (0)
May 13, 2019
Ask not for whom “The Bells” toll
Category: Linkage … Miscellany … TV, Film, & DVDs

For readers interested in discussion of last night's Game of Thrones episode (S08E05, "The Bells), I thought this IGN review was an interesting one -- not necessarily because of the fairly universal criticisms it advances, but because one gets to see the reviewer actively contend with the reviewer's mindset and the utility of reviewing media at all, which is kind of an odd thing (and admittedly a touch frustrating) to see from someone getting paid to do it. I definitely disagree with the conclusions at which the author apparently arrives -- if that's how you feel, why bother attempting to evaluate anything? More to the point, why review media for a larger audience (besides the coveted paycheck)? I do think it invokes a conversation all "critics" need to have with themselves, though, and if you have any interest at all in that -- or in criticisms of the particular episode -- I think it's worth a look.

(Standout cringeworthy sentences: "But I was apparently giving the show too much credit, and ultimately that's on me, not the writers" and "I'd rather just pull a random number out of a hat than try to come up with one that I'll still agree with in a week or a month.")

Also, for a laugh, dig this Vox piece about the 4 winners and 10 losers from the episode. And this Polygon article about how things work in GoT Season 8 isn't the most compellingly written, but the points it makes are solid.

-posted by Wes | 3:34 pm | Comments (0)
March 13, 2019
Shame, Aunt Becky. Shame.
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

The Onion is killing it this week! ? Have some highlights:

Man Playing ‘Battlefield V’ Has Now Spent More Of Life Fighting Nazis Than Grandfather Did

USC Insists Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Was Admitted Solely Based On Socioeconomic Background

Report: Just Go Ahead And Tell Yourself Bribery Is The Only Reason You Didn’t Get Into Columbia

Also, that last one would be so much better than that other reason folks often cite for not getting into the colleges of their choice...

Case in point: this Media Research Center article, in which the author writes, "If CNN is so scandalized by Kushner getting into Harvard, it should tell us how CNN's own Chris Cuomo, son of former New York Governor Mario, got into Yale. Were his grades and SATs in the top 1-2%, like the vast majority of non-minority Yale applicants admitted on their own merits?" Because of course the majority of minority Yale applicants aren't admitted on their own merits. Sigh.

-posted by Wes | 4:47 pm | Comments (0)