Friday, October 7, 2022

chewy reading

1. Suddenly I'm finding a whole lot of articles and reviews about Tár, a new movie about a star conductor of the imperious old school, played by Cate Blanchett, who's accused of emotional abuse. Sounds fascinating, and the reason the articles are appearing now is because the movie is supposed to be released today. But according to Moviefone (where I couldn't find it directly, probably because of the accent in the title; I had to look it up under Blanchett), it's not appearing for another three weeks. I expect I'll have to go see this one.

2. B. has been watching the Korean series Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix. I learned, I think from a comment on one of the articles on Tár, that it was preceded by a one-season show starring the same lead actor, about students at a classical music conservatory, titled Do You Like Brahms? That is not on Netflix, but I found a video of musical excerpts from it.

3. Michael Tilson Thomas, facing his mortality. I thought this particularly wise: “Even in a situation where the time is short, whether in rehearsal or in life, you can accept and forgive yourself,” he said. “You can say, ‘I had this much time and this is what I could accomplish.’ And that’s fine. I am at peace with it.”

4. Laura Miller is one of the best literary commentators out there, and this analysis of Maggie Haberman's book on DT is more substantial than the book seems to be. I was especially struck by her observation that "Trump expected his political career to operate the same way his New York and New Jersey real estate development enterprises did" and her demonstration of how that worked in the next paragraph, and by her note that "what’s fascinating about Trump and his presidency is not him, but the people around him." About the people who tried to tether him to reality but only wound up enabling him, she reaches the rare example of a Tolkien comparison that works: "Like Saruman and Gollum, their compromises and torments are more interesting than the dark lord they served."

5. This is old but I saved it. It's sf author Connie Willis's reaction to the repeal of Roe.

6. Columbus Day v. Indigenous Peoples Day. I'm staying out of this dispute altogether.

7. I'm not sure what to make of this. It says it's a Historical Database of Sundown Towns, that is, towns where Black people (or other minorities) were told they had to be out of town by sundown, i.e. they couldn't live there. But its information seems awfully sketchy and, when looking up towns I know in California, I find it includes towns whose evidence is that it once had a pogrom of the Chinese in the 1880s, or one report of a Black or Hispanic person feeling harassed and unable to buy a house. Which are bad but not the same thing. We need a finer distinction and less sweeping generalization.

8. Angry rant in an angry Scots accent about The Rings of Power. This is 20 minutes I found a lot more satisfying than an hour plus of the original, which was all I could stand.

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