Tag Archives: good reads

Caffeinated Links: Lizzie Bennet Diaries, The Problem with Moffat’s Sherlock, Poverty and Television

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The A.V.  Club on LBD – “Although the basic structure and format of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is what garnered it media attention and critical acclaim, ultimately its stories are what connected with audiences. Without them, this would have just been an experiment.” RT

David R at Unreality wrote a long article encapsulating exactly the problem with Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Moffat’s writing. “More than anything, this season just felt like one long bit of fanservice. I mean that both in the minor sense — like the recurring gags about phrases to put on a t-shirt — as well as in larger story beats. I’ve never seen a moment more desperate to be put on tumblr than that bit in “Sign of Three” when Sherlock, for no reason and completely out of character, decides to prance about in a bearskin hat. That wasn’t Sherlock, it was Doctor Who.” RT

Russell Brand wrote a startingly articulate and powerful article based on his own history of drug abuse for The Guardian a while back. “The mentality and behaviour of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help they have no hope… I look to drugs and booze to fill up a hole in me; unchecked, the call of the wild is too strong” RT

Dustin Rowles writes brilliant pop commentary blended with real life, as usual. “But where Shameless especially gets it right is not in the setting, or even the circumstances, but in the way that bad luck seems to follow you everywhere you go when you’re poor. You’re doubly fucked, not just because you’re without money, but because being poor puts you in circumstances in which it’s almost impossible to succeed. If you finally get a job that pays above minimum wage, for instance, it’s almost guaranteed that your car will break down the next day, and you’ll lose that job because you can’t get there on time. When you’re asked to look presentable for an interview, or a school function, that’s sure to be the day that your sewer line leaks into the water line, and both your bathtub and your shitty washing machine will fill up with sewage. It’s practically inevitable.” RT

Netflix and the Ghosts in the Machine

“Let me get philosophical for a minute. In a human world, life is made interesting by serendipity,” Yellin told me. “The more complexity you add to a machine world, you’re adding serendipity that you couldn’t imagine. Perry Mason is going to happen. These ghosts in the machine are always going to be a by-product of the complexity. And sometimes we call it a bug and sometimes we call it a feature.”

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood

Hey, Los Angeles (Caffeinated Break)

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Hugh Laurie’s love letter to Los Angeles in The Telegraph is the kind of defense I wish I could give of LA to the (many) unbelievers I’ve encountered since leaving the City of Angels.

“I love you, I hate you: you might call it a mixed message, if the message weren’t so unmixed. You’re allowed to love Paris, up to a point, New York, more or less, Dublin and Glasgow, definitely, but loving Los Angeles is just plain wrong. Oxymoronic, in fact – if you promise to go easy on the oxy.

…And then, as the drowned man said, there’s the weather. Great, fat dollops of it. On the eighth day, God reached down and set southern California’s thermostat to “lovely”, and he hasn’t really touched it since.

But Los Angeles, if it’s anything, is a place of reinvention, the edge of a continent, both inner and outer, from which you can step off into a new life and a new way of looking at things. Or, if you prefer, you can decide that your old life was just fine. Either way, you end up better off.”

Hugh Laurie’s Los Angeles

And the Huffington Post has a fairly brilliant analysis of a troubling aspect of the ever-increasing collisions between nerd culture and “pop” (as in “popular”) entertainment.

“I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness, but the worst part of the movie was the almost complete recreation of the Kirk-Spock death scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It’s not so much that J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof did recreate that scene, it’s that they did so in an effort to make people watching say, “Oh, I get it.” Great! I mean, of course you “get it.” How could you not get it? Everyone gets it. That’s the problem. The best kind of fan service is when very few people get it. Being beat over the head with a reference to a prior movie isn’t fun for anyone.

I keep thinking about Whedon’s sentence, “I feel that’s what all of culture is becoming — it’s becoming that moment.”

-Joss Whedon Is Right About ‘Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom’

Caffeinated Links

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“The dust clearly matters. Michael heard from a pilot, who thought the loops are “static electricity created by friction.” The helicopter’s blades, the pilot said, are covered with a protective sheath of titanium and nickel. The air is filled with floating dust. Maybe when these different minerals slam into each other, the electrostatic charges become excessive and they spark.”-Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan, via NPR

“What I’m doing now is what I’m going to do with my life.

I don’t mean this in the literal sense, like if I’m a barista today I will be a barista for my whole life. I mean it in the sense that the way I conduct myself with people today, the decisions I make, the character I build — all these things don’t just determine what I do with my life, someday. They are what I do with my life. This is my life. These are the raw material that make up what I’m building.” – What I Do With My Life, via Allison Vesterfelt

Quotidian: Middlemarch

Middlemarch is full of delicious sentences.

“Souls have complexions too. What suits one may not suit another.”

“This hope was not unmixed with the glow of proud delight – the joyous maiden surprise that she was chosen by the man whom her admiration had chosen.”

Also, no-one can sum up a character quite as dismissively as the 19th-century Victorian writers.

“It was hardly a year since they had come to live at Tipton Grange with their uncle, a man of nearly sixty, of acquiescent temper, miscellaneous opinions, and uncertain vote.”

 

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