To take a break from all the ranting about stuff that upsets me (I do like things, I do, really), here’s an idle slice-of-life with the main purpose of not messaging a bunch of the same pictures to a bunch of different friends. And because, when one is as frugal as I tend to be, finally getting around to spending some money on nice things is cause for (minor) celebration.
It’s not that I’m cheap — at least I don’t think I am. I’m more than willing to spend plenty of money, but only on things that make sense to me. I don’t cut corners on vacations, for instance. They’re rare enough to be worth going all out; stay in a nice hotel; eat in nice places. But I have no urge towards getting the latest, greatest, fastest whatever. “Works for me,” is kind of a personal ethic.
Anyway, I finally bought a new dining room table set. And got a new driveway.
Loving art is not the same as loving your children: with art, you’re allowed to have favorites. Within any beloved medium or genre, there are always favorites. Of interest here is a long-time favorite of mine, the late-1990s graphic novel Preacher, written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon. It’s a violent, gory, wonderfully original story involving: a southern preacher, an Irish vampire, the Saint of Killers, the off-spring of an angel and a demon, and God himself (not to mention Tulip, the Grail organization, and a, pardon the expression, “host” others).
When a favorite literary work (such as Preacher) is adapted for film or TV one has a sense of both anticipation and trepidation. On the one hand, seeing the work come to life can be wonderful. But on the other, it can be awful if (you feel) the adaptation doesn’t honor the source.
To me, the AMC adaptation of Preacher is the latter: awfully awful.
The other night, I watched the first episode of the CBS reboot of Murphy Brown, and my first thought is that I hope it gets better. A lot better. The only part I liked was the cameo by Hillary Clinton playing “Hillary Clindon,” a potential secretary for Candice Bergen’s Murphy Brown. (If I remember the original show correctly, Brown had a long and troubled history with secretaries, which puts a bit of icing on the scene.)
Seeing the main characters again, for me, was awkward and close to cringe-worthy. They seem very much a product of their era (1988-1998) and didn’t translate well across the two decades that have brought so much social and technical change.
Part of the problem might be that I find CBS half-hour sitcoms tediously dull, cliché-filled, totally unfunny, marshmallow realities.
In debates (or even just discussions) people sometimes ask how we know the physical world is really there. A variation asks how we know that what we perceive as the real world is the same as what other people perceive. (One example of this is the inverted spectrum.)
The most accurate answer is: We don’t. Not for sure, anyway. There is at least one assumption built in, but it’s one we have to make to escape our own minds. According to ancient philosophical tradition, the only fact we know for sure is that we ourselves exist. (Although I think there’s an argument to be made about a priori knowledge.)
But, as with the excluded middle, accepting reality as an axiom seems almost necessary if we’re to move forward in any useful way.
Of late I find myself in a state of profound despair. Many attempts to post; all end up in the trashcan. It’s not having nothing to say, but finding no point any more to saying it. My faith in humanity was always a bit tenuous, and the last decade or so has really given it a beating.
Things on a personal front ain’t so great, either, but that just makes it all that much harder to take. The Kavanaugh (Kava No!) hearings, and all that went with them, made me sick to my stomach. Once again I see how far we have not come.
I find I’m losing my last illusions about people. Maybe that’s a good thing?
Not long ago I wrote a post about not “liking” dinosaurs, and a crucial caveat there was that I also do not dislike dinosaurs — that I was essentially neutral on the subject of dinosaurs. To me they’re seriously old news. Not on my radar, as it were.
What certainly is — unavoidably — on my radar is modern technology, and in particular the ubiquitous touchscreen device and its myriad apps. After being subjected to an Apple iPad for over two years now, I’ve come to have a deep loathing for almost every aspect of the whole thing! And, because of my issues with it, I see no reason to ever own a “smart” phone (although I fear an eventual lack of choice in the matter).
Now be warned: this is me venting. I have very little positive to say here.
To advance, I’m gonna need another bit…
For the last week or so, on a physics blog I follow, I’ve been part of a debate about the nature of time. It’s been interesting and fun, but the conversation has reached that point where folks are mainly maintaining their positions, and it seems that the matter has stalled.
Some of the on-going assertions bemused me so much, that I was about to tender one more rebuttal comment… When I remembered what a wiser person, “back in the day” (before the web), said about online debates: State your view. Support it further if you need to address points raised. But once you’ve covered it well enough, just stop. After that, you’re just wasting your time; it’s rare that anyone changes their mind on the internet. Including yours.
Fair enough. I can natter on about it to myself on my own blog, though…
I’m a keeper and a collector, especially of sentimental mementos. My (these days declining) love of physical books is connected to this. It’s exactly why I’ve dragged dozens of boxes of them every place I live. (Bookshelves are a whole discussion!) And it’s also why I still have every love letter I’ve ever received.
Which, I’ve come to realize, is silly — especially now, when I’m seeking a simple, small life. My goal in retirement is minimalism in everything. Clearance! (Going out of business!) Everything must go!
Quite some time ago, a friend commented that I hadn’t put anything on my walls — that years later they were as blank as the day I moved in. They’re still blank, at least twice as many years later.