Friday, May 20, 2022

Gamboling Greenery

Breeze-blown tumbling leaves, 

green banners against the blue,

wave away winter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

How We Exit

Pebble in a pond,

ever-widening circles,

stillness restored soon.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Dr. Strange on the Yellow Brick Road

The two Benedicts, Cumberbatch and Wong, face relentless supernatural peril.
Bart and I just watched the new Dr. Strange movie. We’re off to see the wizard in this one, with a powerful witch pursuing a vulnerable girl to destroy her and gain what she possesses. 

A friend becomes an implacable, seemingly omnipotent enemy in this multi-dimensional Marvel of marvels.

I particularly enjoyed Dr. Strange’s Superman turn at the beginning, when he leaps off a building into costume to save a girl from a one-eyed Lovecraftian leviathan. The cosmos-splintering action rarely relents after that. As the Master of the Mystic Arts, Benedict Cumberbatch takes it all in stride with his usual lightly aloof touch. Once again, his Cloak of Levitation provides subtle comic relief.

This movie does run into the problem that has always plagued magical comic book superheroes like Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate and the Spectre. When you can seemingly wave your hand and do anything, the audience doesn’t know what the ground rules are. Stories about super powers require definite rules imposing limitations that the audience clearly understands, or the suspense is undercut. 

Nevertheless, I had a great time at this movie. The invincible enemy is overcome in a clever, logical and yet surprising manner. This Sam Raimi-directed film delivers a series of surprises, in fact, including one right at the end. 

Marvel continues its merry march.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Wind Waves Their Ears

Heads out the window,

Both dogs stare at each other

As their cars sweep past.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Christian Hysteria Turns Totalitarian

Fundamentalists are always, finally, about totalitarianism. It's the only place they can go to relieve their own nagging doubts about their absurd religious beliefs — deny and forbid the existence of any possible alternatives on any level.

Oh, and you can dry up about your “real Christians.” The fascist, murder-loving, totalitarian Christians are the ones who’ve got the national bullhorn. I’ve heard about all these supposed “real Christians” for a long time, but I don't see any evidence of them in this country. Until they stand up to fight these alleged usurpers, I count them as fiction.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Re: That Tired, Tiresome 'Both Sides' Con

As my friend Paul Loop explained, regarding false balance: "Explaining Politico (and CNN, the news networks, the Sunday shows, the punditocracy in general, all major corporate-owned news sources): When you assert that 'both sides' are equally to blame, and they are obviously NOT equally to blame after a simple objective analysis, you are essentially covering for the side that deserves all the blame. In Politico's case, it's beyond obvious by now that putting lipstick on the conservative pig is an essential part of its mission."

Saturday, April 9, 2022

If Hitchcock did Batman...

Well, if Alfred Hitchcock directed a Batman movie, it would be something like The Batman.  Bart and I just returned from seeing it, and I like it better than any of the Christopher Nolan movies. Like the superb Daredevil TV show, it takes familiar figures from the comic books and moves them several degrees closer to reality without sacrificing their essence (the cast includes an unrecognizable Colin Farrell). 
The movie offers actual mystery and suspense, and builds in its three-hour running time to a spectacular, exciting finish. Robert Pattinson makes an excellent Batman (he certainly has the jawline for it).
As with Zorro (a name Batman is called, ironically, at one point in the movie), the film gives us a somewhat credible reason why Bruce Wayne must dress up. Virtually the entire city of Gotham is corrupt. Only a man in a mask may act freely there.